The first time I indulged in this - the muckiest of practices - it was Mickey’s ‘Castle Of Illusion’ on the retired family Amstrad/Megadrive (also home to Sonic and ‘Virtua Fighter II’) for which I vividly recall never being able to stick the landing on that first toy-zone boss. At least I think that’s where tiny Taco first came a cropper, circa late Ninety Ninety Something.
Now this. ‘Oddworld:Abe’s Oddysee’ on the PS1 kept me well and truly glued for at least one summer in the early Noughties but I never got past that bee ridden mountain, with or without the “help” of a desert type tauntaun. Fortunately, Yourub exists and I can finally reach those once unvisited, unsurmountable heights via the most vicarious of means. Nostalgia has never been so fully realised and you may rest assured that I am at the very least participating in both the voice n’ chants. Lorne Lanning has musk to answer for.
As puzzle games go, Oddworld is obscure and borderline sadistic big boy territory. Those fucking end time dogs will sic ‘em for days and you’d better just stick with it. As acutely environmentally and socially-aware science fiction/fantasy goes, it’s something else. They have lore and there are waves. The New & Tasty remake exists and I’m glad they got to go there: It is most definitely a prettier game (although I do miss the paint and there might just be too much bloom for their own good) but that’s to be expected. It’s also perhaps more palatable in the very real sense that it’s a better game in terms of design and communication. Don’t let that fool you into thinking for a second that the remastered flavour is an easier ride because it isnt and the sligs will still make mincemeat popsickles out of your tender bits with evangelical vigour.
This guy appeared to have an idea as to where he should be going and that was surely in his favour. I would never expect my mudokon to be so fortunate and that last little friend would have perished enslaved. I can only be grateful that the portal on my wall allows me to see where, in all honesty, I could never make it to in either iteration. Even with a time machine and this experience feels somewhat like that. A very optimistic, retroactive version at least. Spoilers don’t seem like they could exist at this point in time so I shall feel free to express my fascination that both creepy forests and a return to that industrial hell-scape were fully realised at the time.
As though that weren’t enough, Lanning may yet be back for more - with part two of no less than five - a brew as dark as the world available to us. If he’s to be taken as even remotely sane then it could possibly involve some bat shit breed of Tower defence. I worry that they may have missed the point with what people still love about the original style and story but that could just be me, walking uphill to and back from school both ways and it doesn’t matter. Soulstorm is out there, ‘Strangers Wrath’ is lurking for a remake and (I know, I know - a whole bunch of stuff occurred post Oddysee, including Exodus and Munch’s thing - improvement on existing ground over a truly new biome looks to be the word but) the Switch exists and I want to rush that pyramid.
These are strange and wonderful lands in which we binge.
JD - TACOCAT
[Props to BagoGames for the thumbnail]