Super Lucky’s Tale – Xbox One Review
If there’s anything that Xbox is lacking, it’s exclusive IP’s and it looks as though Microsoft are trying many genres to bring a secure IP to the table. Developer Playful released a cutesy 3-D platformer about a fox titled Lucky’s Tale just last year, as an Oculus Rift launch title. This time around, they’ve released a sequel titled Super Lucky’s Tale to launch alongside the Xbox One X, but is this really the start of a new franchise that Microsoft are so desperately seeking?
Super Lucky’s Tale is a story about Lucky the fox who gets swallowed up in a book full of worlds, where cats known as ‘Mittens’ are taking over these worlds. It’s Lucky’s job to vanquish the mittens from these worlds and restore peace, in the hopes of allowing him to escape the book to be reunited with his older sister. A simple yet oversaturated story, but considering the nature of the game, we’ll allow it, as there are few stories to be told in video game format that is accessible and understandable by all ages.
Gameplay takes on the form of classic 3-D platforming adventures in the same vein as Super Mario 64 or Banko-Kazooie. In fact, I’d say it’s closer to the Banjo titles more than anything. This is essentially a huge collect-a-thon style game, requiring you to collect a shed load of coins (that apparently don’t do much other than tally the overall total coins collected throughout the game), whilst looking for lucky clovers that unlock new levels and areas to explore – much akin to Jiggies in the Banjo series.
Each main level has four clovers for you to collect, with each of the four collected by performing different tasks throughout the level. The first you’re given upon completion of the level, the second is collected for collecting a set amount of coins during that level. The third clover is a mystery within each level and is acquired differently from level to level. The final clover can be collected by picking up all the letters scattered throughout, that spell out Lucky. Fans of Donkey Kong Country will find this process familiar, for if you pick up the letter ‘Y’ and haven’t yet picked up a ‘K’, then you know you’ve gone too far and must backtrack to find the missing letter.
Whilst Super Lucky’s Tale seems to have taken elements from various different 2-D and 3-D platforming titles, they’ve actually thrown in a unique camera system that takes a while to get used to, but ultimately reduces the many camera issues and complaints one may have had with almost any 3-D platformers. Instead of rotating the camera 360 degrees around Lucky, the camera is fixed and can be angled slightly left or right using the right thumb stick. Now to most, this could become an infuriating experience, having been so used to troublesome camera work in the past with other titles of the genre, but it is also those same people that would complain about glitchy camera angles. Personally, having spent quite some time with Lucky, I found that this was evidently the only way to eliminate those camera issues and provide a smooth experience, albeit a bit tricky to get used to, to begin with.
Super Lucky’s Tale offers a little variety in the levels, with some being 3-D based puzzles, whilst other levels are 2-D side-scrolling. There’s bonus levels to earn single clovers such as burrowing down to secret hatches to play a fast-paced running level or playing puzzles. There are only four different worlds, but does not offer much variety in terms of aesthetics. The last two worlds do change up the theme somewhat, but the initial two worlds are almost identical except for the different bosses.
Overall, Super Lucky’s Tale is a decent outing and a great 3-D platformer that hopes to make its stay on the Xbox. The price of the game is just right for a game of this calibre and any higher would make this title too expensive. This isn’t quite Mario-worthy, but it does have the potential to be with future titles, should the developer expand on a great formula they have, albeit nothing we haven’t seen before. The issue, is that I don’t think some people will ever get used to the camera mechanics which could be the deal breaker for this title.
Super Lucky’s Tale is available to purchase from retailers or can be downloaded from the Xbox Store, priced at £19.99.
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