Super Lucky's Tale (9)

Nazis in the streets, loot boxes under the sheets. 2017 has been both the best and worst year for gaming. The best, thanks to stellar games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Injustice 2: We Don’t have Anything To Add After the Parenthesis Like All the Cool Kids Did. The worst has been the creeping rise of loot boxes and more insidious microtransactions, that have stripped would-be contenders for the best games of the year and left behind glorified gambling machines.

Super Lucky's Tale (6)

It’s times like this when you want to step back and sink into nostalgia. When you want to pine for the good ol’ days of colour, simple mechanics and a more straightforward path to victory that didn’t require you to slay the final boss with a credit card.Super Lucky’s Tale fits that bill perfectly. It’s cartoony, colourful stuff and built on the spine of an Oculus Rift port and the golden age of 3D platforming as the ironically-named Lucky finds himself flung into an adventure to save the land from a gang of felonious felines on the rampage.

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Charming stuff, it is. Yet, there’s something that elevates it beyond being “just another platformer™”. Super Lucky’s Tale feels more alive and vibrant than other games of its ilk, bristling with character and actual passion for the genre as you explore grassy vistas and spooky fairgrounds.

There’s a freedom evident in the level design here, that has lucky bouncing and burrowing across the stages as he scoops up clovers in an attempt to force a showdown with the various bosses trapped with him, as well as other staples of the genre such as collectible letters and coins with which to spend your time on grabbing.

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It’s the perfect itch to scratch, a focus on OCD habits of gamers who want to grab everything and progress forwards to the end, all wrapped up in a series of actions which makes for a fun experience when controlling Lucky. The nostalgia of the levels and the action you explore a memorable story of saving the day. It’s also challenging enough, with trial and error being a constant facet of Super Lucky’s Tale as you perish attempting to conquer the puzzles of the signature villains of the level that you find yourself stuck in.

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Lucky himself really is the star, a mascot from a bygone age with a modern coat of paint slapped on him. He’s able to pounce on foes, do a double jump and tail-slap the taste out of enemies when pressed into a corner. He’s adorable, speaks volumes without opening his pie-hole and he’s able to leap across chasms with the best of the 90s platforming stars.

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Super Lucky’s Tale relies heavily on that nostalgia for a genre that few people still pine for, and while my biggest gripe is a semi-fixed camera that feels unwieldy at times and can cause you to miss a crucial leap, it still succeeds as the sum of its parts. There’s a sweet glamour to the game, a recollection of the past that adds a few neat twists on the collect ‘em all formula that is elevated by a likable hero and an even more appealing cast of rogues.

Last Updated: November 21, 2017

Super Lucky's Tale
Summary
All ages gameplay, a colourful world to explore and a platforming mascot who has some potential to join the legends of the genre in the years to come. Super Lucky’s Tale won’t push your skills too far when it comes to its imaginative level design, but it’ll still be a cathartic way to wrap up the year thanks to its nostalgic focus on the past.
7.0
Super Lucky's Tale was reviewed on Xbox One
64 / 100

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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