Review – New Super Lucky’s Tale

One of weirdest games I got to play at E3 2019 was New Super Lucky’s Tale. Not because the game itself was unusual or anything like that, but because I got to play it at an exclusive Nintendo booth, with the game sharing the same space with other Nintendo juggernauts like Link’s Awakening and Luigi’s Mansion 3. Whatever the case, Playful’s marketing strategy worked, as I doubt I’d be able to test the game elsewhere at the time. I noticed some significant quality of life improvements over the original Super Lucky’s Tale release, so even though the demo didn’t blow my socks off, it left me positively curious about the final product. Now that I have finally played the full version, I can say that my opinion remains the same: it’s not amazing, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it.

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Red Fox Redemption.

The name might make you think that New Super Lucky’s Tale is to its predecessor what New Super Mario Bros was to the 1985 classic, but this is more of a revisiting of the 2017 title than a brand new iteration. It features everything the previous Super Lucky’s Tale had with a handful of new levels, a very simple character customization mode, improved framerates, and above all, greatly improved gameplay.

Lucky is a bit less sluggish this time around. His tail attack doesn’t take three weeks to be performed, and his digging mechanic allows you to cover big distances very quickly. The camera, the biggest villain in the original Super Lucky’s Tale, has been revamped, as you can now move it freely. You’ll do that a lot because even though it’s a lot easier to control, it will still move around in a very unintuitive manner, as if you were playing a 3D platformer with an erratic camera from the Nintendo 64 era. I can safely say that I never died because of a camera-related issue (the game is easy as hell), but it still bothered me a bit.

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You have your standard 3D levels, you have your standard 2D levels… there’s a bit of everything to satisfy all tastes.

Besides the revamped controls, the framerate is a lot more stable this time around, at the cost of some less impressive graphical effects and resolution. It doesn’t matter that much, however. I spent most of my time playing New Super Lucky’s Tale in portable mode and the game ended up being a perfect fit for the system. It’s filled with levels that take no more than ten minutes to complete, many with various layouts. These include 3D stages, straightforward 2D levels, auto-runners, and of course some puzzle minigames. They’re all fairly well-designed and polished, with some creative themes and colorful assets. If there’s just one thing regarding this game’s technical performance that is a lot worse on the Switch, it’s how long it takes for a level to load. Loading times are very long in here, to the point of testing my patience.

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I know, right?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: New Super Lucky’s Tale is yet another unimpressive, yet very competent 3D platformer that can most certainly please fans of the genre, as well as younger audiences. It is a significant improvement over its predecessor, with revamped controls, more content, and a camera that isn’t here to drive you insane. It also feels right at home on the Switch, even though it faces a nearly unfair amount of competition from bigger and Nintendo-er titles like Super Mario Odyssey. If you’re still looking for a new platforming fix, however, give New Super Lucky’s Tale a try. Your jaw will never touch the floor, but you’ll most certainly smile a few times throughout your adventure.

 

Graphics: 7.5

It might not have the same amount of detail as the Xbox One version, but this iteration of Lucky’s Tale makes up for it with its more stable framerate.

Gameplay: 7.5

While the camera controls are still a bit faulty, they are a lot less irritating than the controls from the Xbox One version. The gameplay has been revamped, being a bit more intuitive than before.

Sound: 6.5

The same as before. A cute, yet unmemorable, soundtrack clearly inspired by the works of David Wise and Grant Kirkhope, coupled with Sims-ish voice acting that gets on my nerves.

Fun Factor: 7.5

A few new levels and improved controls are what you get in this version. It is a good platformer that feels right at home on the Switch, even though it faces severe competition from much bigger franchises.

Final Verdict: 7.5

New Super Lucky’s Tale is available now on Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of New Super Lucky’s Tale was provided by the publisher.

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