It’s rare for me to think that a remake is as good as the original, especially when that ‘original’ is one of my favourite games from my childhood. For me, Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey is one of those games. Abe’s Odyssey was at the pinnacle of platforming games back in the late 90s on the PS1, and the game sucked up hours upon hours of my time when I was growing up. Its tricky puzzles, slightly creepy undertones and beautiful graphics helped to make it one of my favourite games of that generation. So, when I heard that ‘Just Add Water’ were remaking the game “from the ground up” I was both sceptical and excited. I was excited because I was relishing the opportunity to play that wonderful game again, but I was sceptical due to my concerns that the remake might not live up to the wonders of the original. My scepticism, however, was unnecessary.
The second that I started playing New ‘n’ Tasty, all of those memories started flooding back. Abe’s little voice, the design and sounds of the game, the noise that the bad-guys make as they shuffle along the floor – it all hit me in one big surge of nostalgia. From the first minute of gameplay, I was back to being a kid again – exploring Oddworld from the perspective of that calamitous slave called Abe.
I remembered so much from the original game, all of which I thought I’d forgotten. Even the sounds that Abe makes whenever he meditates, every detail felt as though it was fresh in my mind. That’s the sign of a great remake. A great remake sparks something inside of you that had laid dormant for years. It reignites your love for a game, and regenerates the passion and enthusiasm which you first played the game with. I look at re-releases of games like Sleeping Dogs, for instance, and I wonder to myself whether a re-release was necessary. It wasn’t a remake, and it had only been out for a couple of years at most. Does re-releasing the game really add anything?
If you want to bring out a game again, I can see real value in a remake along the lines New ‘n’ Tasty. It isn’t just a rehash, it’s a reimagining. It takes the essence of a game that was once great, and it revitalises it for a new audience on a new platform. Not only that, but it brings in the old fans of the game too, and it gives them both something new and something nostalgic. That’s how I want my re-releases to be.
In New ‘n’ Tasty, I’ve found more than just an old game that I enjoy playing. I’ve found a piece of my childhood, I’ve rediscovered an old love and it feels as though I’m experiencing it again for the first time. New ‘n’ Tasty is now one of those games that I can’t wait to play. I look forward to picking it up when I get home, and I find my mind drifting to it now and then in those quiet moments at work. All of this from a game which, technically, hasn’t changed a whole lot in near two-decades. The Oddworld series really has stood the test of time, and I really can’t explain just how overjoyed I am that Abe is back on our screens in a new(ish) adventure.