Nostalgia is a powerful thing especially when it can both evoke the found emotions behind it while simultaneously granting you a brand new adventure. Capturing a bit of the magic from the PS1 era of adventure games such as Spyro the Dragon, New Super Lucky’s Tale is an adorable little adventure about a young fox named Lucky and his adventures of collecting the pages of the Book of Ages. Having separated itself before being used by an evil wizard known as Jinx and his band of minions known as the Kitty Litter, it both sucked them and Lucky into a portal bringing them all into several different worlds that Lucky will soon find himself protecting.
From the get go, the adventure isn’t a very serious one especially with the main group of antagonists being called the Kitty Litter. A Ninja, a would be naval admiral, a mad scientist and then a full blown social media diva, it strikes that feeling of Saturday morning cartoons where you know in the end everything is going to be alright. Finding himself inside of the Book of Ages, Lucky is now in a unique position to help save it by recovering all of its pages and foiling the Kitty Litter’s various plans of domination against the lands that they were thrown into.
To foil said plans, Lucky needs to collect “X” amount of the Book of Ages page’s in order to unlock the path forward through a locked door leading to the land’s ruling member of the Kitty Litter. Collecting these pages is actually fairly simple and never really feels like a chore as they have been pretty well integrated into the stages of each world. Split between main stages where four pages can be collected and side challenges that only offer you one, it doesn’t take long to unlock a boss gate and move forward but the completionist will want to hang back just a bit.
For the main stages, you’ll automatically receive one page for completing it. For the other three, one can be claimed by doing a “secret” puzzle, one can be claimed by collecting all the letters spelling L-U-C-K-Y’s name, and the final one can be claimed by collecting three hundred coins. As none of the stages take very long to go through, it never feels like a chore but more of a fun challenge to simply get every possible page before moving on. Even if the word challenge is used, it’s mostly a simple task as while new elements are introduced into the mix, the core mechanics do not change. If you want to change though? Those coins that you pick up can be used for cosmetics to change how stylish Lucky looks while saving the lands and defeating the members of the Kitty Litter.
Now while you never get any new mechanics as Lucky can walk, run, double jump, dig and tail swipe from the beginning, how you use these features will change depending on the stage. So while you’re never going to learn anything new, the base gameplay offers a solid platform to base the various challenges off of. Full 3D mode, 2D Platforming, 2.5D auto running challenges, a marble on a table that you have to tilt, and move the pieces around the board puzzles. All of these use the core mechanics and each world uses a variation of these in order to spice things up so that each stage is not always the same thing while also adjusting the length of time that you’ll need to put in.
So as a bit of an aside, as Izzy was going through and platinuming Maid of Sker alongside the Lego Harry Potters (before getting her own PS4), I noticed that New Super Lucky’s Tale was also available through the Game Pass that we received in order to cover Minecraft Dungeons not that long ago. Finding myself in a neat position, I loaded this adventure up on my XB1 and suddenly found myself clearing each world in rotation. Clear the first world on the PS4, clear the first and second on the XB1, clear the second and third on the PS4, and so on. All at 100% level completions too. What can I say? It’s fun and easy to sink loads of time into.
What this allowed me to do though, is see if some of the issues that I had were specific to the system, or if they were specific to the title. For the most part, New Super Lucky’s Tale is really well designed and both looks and runs fantastically. That said, there’s a bit of lag in the framerate that can occur though it didn’t seem to be in the same spots. For the PS4, the lags were coming in on the marble mini-challenges while for the XB1, the lags were coming in the auto-run stages or if too much was on screen like in the second world when you’re in the background of a certain stage and there’s a lot of moving parts. It’s not enough to break the experience, but it’s enough to make you miss your jump once or twice.