Super Lucky’s Tale was a fairly mediocre 3D platformer on Xbox and PC two years ago. New Super Lucky’s Tale is a supposedly completely re-imagined version with significant improvements. Do they actually fix the glaring issues of the original?
Developer: Playful Corp
Publisher: Playful Corp
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: November 8th, 2019
If it’s not a Nintendo console, 3D platformers are few and far between for most, and that’s why two years ago Super Lucky’s Tale seemed like an easy sell for fans of the genre. It was colorful and full of charm. It was even budget-priced. As long as it was an enjoyable competent platformer, it seemed like an easy recommend. Instead, it was plagued with pretty bad camera issues, bland levels, awful collection requirements and bad jumping. No one was expecting it to be the next big thing in platforming, but it was an extremely underwhelming effort at best.
Two years later, developer Playful Corp is giving it another go with what isn’t a sequel, but instead a “re-imagining” in New Super Lucky’s Tale. An exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, New Super Lucky’s Tale supposedly boasts a whole bunch of improvements, but does it really and are they enough to make it into a worthwhile game?
The first and arguably most non-sensical change is to the story. In the first version, it was pretty simple: Lucky’s sister gets trapped in a magic book, Lucky goes after her into the book and there’s an evil cat who wants the magic book for sinister purposes.
Sounds perfectly fine to me, especially for a platformer ostensibly aimed at a younger crowd. For whatever reason, this has been completely re-worked. Lucky and his sister are now part of the last remaining parts of a failing resistance against the same villain and his overwhelming forces. The magic book is still in play for essentially the same reasons, and Lucky gets sucked into it. With no sister to rescue, he simply needs to get himself out. Does the change mean anything in terms of gameplay? Only really in that you are collecting book pages instead of lucky clovers, which I’ll expand on in a bit.
In terms of gameplay, there are two vast improvements that make a noticeable difference in New Super Lucky’s Tale. In the original version, the camera was fixed, which caused a whole host of issues. Now it’s a fully rotatable camera, so that’s one big issue fixed right there. The second being that in the original version jumping was terribly floaty; here, it’s much more precise.
Unfortunately, New Super Lucky’s Tale seems to have pretty much considered those two admittedly major issues the only things that matter and having fixed those is perfectly complacent to leave the other myriad issues be. Hey, we put out two big fires in this building, but we’re just going to let these other ones keep going until the building eventually burns down anyways!
Super Lucky’s Tale wasn’t a game that should have been taxing on the Xbox One, which it was a console exclusive for, yet it suffered from some pretty bad performance issues. These have arguably gotten minor improvements in New Super Lucky’s Tale but it’s still incredibly noticeable. There is constant stuttering throughout, and occasionally impact your gameplay with things like making jumps and hitting enemies.
More pressing is the pages you need to collect to proceed. The game does provide a variety of ways to earn these and it’s not quite as punitive. In Super Lucky’s Tale, you had to collect a vast majority of clovers to proceed. In New Super Lucky’s Tale, the amount of pages you need to collect seems lower, but it’s still not enough. The barrier should be way lower or the game should just throwout pages like they throw out shines in Super Mario Odyssey. Because each area only has a few levels (and several puzzles) you are constantly repeating bland levels
So what we are left with in New Super Lucky’s Tale is a decent 3D platformer that has fixed a couple of glaring issues, but still has several more serious ones. It’s an improved version, but at best that makes it just another perfectly okay platformer now on a system filled with great ones.
New Super Lucky's TalePlayful Corp
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.