One unexpected surprise from back at E3 this year was the announcement of Super Lucky’s Tale, bringing one of the best received VR games from the launch of the Oculus Rift to the more conventional world of gaming on a TV. This is an Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive, but not only that, it’s an Xbox One X launch title.
If you hadn’t been paying attention, you might be forgiven for assuming that this is a straight up port of Lucky’s Tale. However, this isn’t taking that game and disentangling all of the VR wizardry from it, it is instead a brand new adventure with the same characters and world, as Lucky sets off to try and rescue his sister and the Book of Ages from the evil character known as Jinx.
One thing that’s instantly clear from picking up the controller is that this isn’t the most taxing of 3D platformers and boasts a distinctly family friendly affair. The game is incredibly bright and colourful, and looks simply gorgeous in full on 4K through Xbox One X, and it really calls back to the classic days of platforming on N64, albeit in much, much, much higher fidelity. It might almost be a bit too chirpy and happy, with an eternal smile on Lucky’s face, but there is an undeniable charm to it all amidst the recent 3D platformer revival.
It even borrows their style of dialogue between characters, as a foolhardy ninja cat named Master Mittens mocks and challenges Lucky to progress through the level and reawaken the Great Golem that looms over the centre of the hub area. He happily meows his way through the dialogue, thankfully avoiding the annoying gibberish that Yooka-Laylee went with, and instead managing to sound as conniving and shady as you’d expect.
Lucky runs around at a relatively slow pace, it feels like – even if watching back the footage shows this to be categorically untrue – and that feeling really helps to keep the game nice and easy to control. Lucky has a bunch of moves in his arsenal, not all of which make a huge amount of sense for a fox. He can pull a neat spin attack and bounce off an enemy’s bonce, of course, but then there’s his ability to burrow underground, letting you collect coins that have been buried under little mounds of dirt or allowing you to hide from enemy attacks, only to spring out and surprise them.
In terms of the actual platforming, it’s not terribly challenging going on the section of the game that I saw, but exploring the world and figuring out what you need to do is a joy. Our main task here was to bring a series of robot heads back to their bodies so that they could ring the bells and awaken the Golem, and that in and of itself limited the scope of the challenge, as carrying items slowed Lucky down and meant that he couldn’t jump. Instead, this meant that we were waiting on platforms to raise, lower or spin, while dodging fireballs and outwitting enemies that doggedly follow you.
The challenge does increase when you have to battle against various enemies, from choppy plants to stinger firing bees, as they’re only stunned when you do a swiping spin attack, and you need to follow this up with a second attack in order to make them disappear. With three hearts per life, it’s got that old school vibe to it, that’s for certain, though again, this demo area didn’t appear to be terribly challenging.
There’s not a huge amount more to say about this game, I feel, which is both a blessing and a curse in a way. The original game was certainly boosted in its profile by being attached to the Oculus Rift launch, and I’m sure that same thing could happen here with the Xbox One X, as Playful find themselves as the only exclusive game releasing alongside the console – no pressure, eh? Super Lucky’s Tale might not be groundbreaking, but it’s charming, simple fun, and boy does it look good on Xbox One X!