3D Platformers are a bit of a marmite genre. For some, they're an experiment that died when people realized that platforming in 3D wasn't good enough to carry a game on its own. For others, they're a lost art that desperately needs to make a comeback. Right now, it seems like that second group of people is winning. New Super Lucky's Tale is a re-release of Super Lucky's Tale, a 3D platformer from 2017. This new version includes fixes to some of the original version's problems, as well as expanded content to keep the game fresh.
New Super Lucky's Tale certainly feels like it's steeped in the full history of 3D Platformers. There are elements of a lot of other games here. The overall aesthetic is strongly reminiscent of Banjo-Kazooie. There's a burrowing ability like Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time. The main character is even similar in design to Conker the squirrel from Conker's Bad Fur Day, albeit without his foul mouth. That's not to say that it doesn't have its style or feels like a total copy, but it's clear that New Super Lucky's Tale knows its genre's roots.
In New Super Lucky's Tale, you control Lucky, a young fox whose family has a long history of being guardians. The guardians are a group that protects the various worlds of the multiverse from malicious forces, using a magic book to travel between them. When the guardians' are betrayed, and the book's pages are spread across the worlds, it's up to Lucky, now separated from his sister, to find all the pages, stop the evil mastermind behind the attack on the guardians, and reunite with his sister in their homeworld.
The Controls in New Super Lucky's Tale
The controls in New Super Lucky's Tale are superb. Lucky is super responsive to your inputs. After a few minutes in the opening level, you'll find yourself smoothly stringing together attacks, jumps, and dives to move across the landscape. In some ways, the controls are a little too good. The game's main stages aren't particularly challenging for an adult if only because it's so easy to steer your character through all the levels. The ease might be something to do with the newly improved camera, which gives you full control in this version of the game.
Levels are split into various types, although the collectibles you gather and how you gather them is always the same. The most common type is your standard 3D platformer-style levels, where you must jump and attack your way through various enemies and challenges to grab the collectibles. There are also 2.5D levels where you can only move left and right. Finally, there are running levels; in these levels, you're continually moving to the right, and all you can do is jump, burrow, and attack to try and collect items before the level end.
The variety of level-types is a massive advantage to New Super Lucky's Tale. There are enough different types of levels to keep the game feeling varied, but not so many that any of them feel underdeveloped or gimmicky. Even the running stages don't suffer, despite being the level type of which there is a fewest. Part of the reason this variety works so well is thanks to the different worlds' designs. For the most part, there's nothing overly special about them. You have your standard platformer world styles, grass-land, desert-land, etc. However, each of these worlds is so well designed that any lack of originally basically doesn't matter.
New Super Lucky's Tale's Bonus Bonanza
Other than the primary levels, New Super Lucky's Tale features bonus levels. Some of these bonus levels are combat challenges, but most of them fall into one category: block-sliding puzzles. While I don't mind sliding puzzles, it does start to get disappointing when you drop into a bonus level in the overworld, and it's yet another block-sliding puzzle. These were probably the most challenging part of the entire game, and even then, all but 2 of them were stunningly easy to blaze through.
As you would probably expect from a classic 3D-platformer, there are also bosses at each world's end. Once again, there isn't much superior going on with these boss fights from a gameplay standpoint. You dodge various patterns of attacks until your enemy becomes vulnerable, then you attack them back until they fall. The difficulty does ramp up nicely from boss-to-boss, though, which is nice. The real draw with the bosses is also a big part of the reason that the game is so enjoyable to play in the first place: the characters.
The Lovable Characters of New Super Lucky's Tale
Pretty much all of the characters in New Super Lucky's Tale are bursting with charm, including the bosses. As you start the game, you're introduced to the golems, little stone people who are your first allies. In particular, you meet a post-man golem who wants to be your best friend so hard. He gives you tips on the loading screens and can't help but needily try to confirm that you're his best friend. Then the bosses are also a decent blend of cute and annoying, so you still want to beat them, but you don't end up hating them by the time the game is over.
The cherry on the cake is the final world you unlock after beating the final boss. This extra world features a bunch of bonus challenges to prove your worth as a guardian. These levels finally start to present you with some decent challenge, but even more than that, some of them have the best level design in the entire game. One of the collections of levels has a vaporwave design, and it's just plain fun to platform around stages that look like you're stuck inside an 80s home microcomputer that someone has hacked.
New Super Lucky's Tale | Final Thoughts
Overall, New Super Lucky's Tale is an excellent update of the original game and a standout modern 3D platformer in its own right. The camera has been fixed, and that makes playing the game much, much smoother. Although the challenge level never raises beyond 'mild,' there's certainly enough here to keep a 3D platformer fan entertained for a few hours, and if you've got kids in the house, they'll love it. With an excellent visual design, some enjoyable characters, and gameplay improved to perfection, New Super Lucky's Tale is the classic platformer for the modern era.
TechRaptor reviewed New Super Lucky's Tale on Xbox One with a code provided by the publisher. The game is also available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
- Excellent and Smooth Platformer Gameplay
- World Design And Characters Are Fun
- A Decent Amount Of Variety
- They Fixed The Camera
- A Bit Light On Challenge
- Too Many Block Puzzles