Review by megavegeta
A cute little platformer, but ultimately doesn't stand out from the rest of the pack.
Super Lucky's Tale is the latest platforming adventure in the "year of the platformer". It stars a cute cuddly fox named Lucky who gets sucked into the Book of Ages, alongside the villianous Kitty Litter gang, and he must traverse four distinct worlds in the book and stop their nefarious plans with the book. How does this adventure stack up to the likes of Mario? Let's find out.
It's the usual fare here for platformers, but is serviceable for its needs. Our adventure starts off with Lucky fishing dreaming of greatness as the usual protagonist usually does in these games. He dreams of one day becoming a Guardian like his older sister Lyra, who are foxes that travel and search for adventure. His sister happens to crash land nearby on her airplane, who happens to have found the Book of Ages, which has worlds inside of it and is apparently able to rewrite history. The Kitty Litter gang, led by their father Jinx, also happen to want the Book of Ages for its power, and demand Lyra to give the book to them. Lyra refuses and stands her ground, but the book happens to open up and begins sucking everyone in around it, in which Lucky pushes his sister out of the way to save her. He gets sucked in, along with the Kitty Litter gang, and now he must find a way out of the book and stop the nefarious schemes of the Kitty Litter gang. The story is really nothing special, but it doesn't really need to be for a platforming game and it just gets things going.
I honestly couldn't get behind any of the characters in this game. The main protagonist is a bland copy paste platformer mascot from the 90s that really doesn't stand out in any significant way. He's really cute I'll admit, but I never really cared for him since he was pretty much a one note character and just came off as a bland cheery fox. His sister usually chimes in at times from outside the book in the beginning of each world and offers gifts, but overall isn't really present in the game. The villains fair a little better and stand out a little more, but are ultimately just ripoffs of Bowser and the Koopalings. Everyone in this game is ultimately forgettable which is a shame.
Sound : 5/10
The music in this game is average and not really catchy, but it's not bad and does a serviceable job providing atmosphere for each level. The sound effects are pretty well done, whether it be burrowing under the ground with Lucky or running around and jumping on things. It does its thing and is not bad or distracting in any significant way.
I played this on a Xbox One X, and the worlds were really a sight to behold in 4k. The worlds are colorful as should a platforming game aimed at families, but ultimately most of the levels, especially the first half of the game, mainly look the same and just have the feeling of average. I really liked the 2nd half of the game, especially the last world. This definitely doesn't compare to Mario's latest adventure in the graphics department, but for a smaller studio they did okay.
The gameplay is honestly a mixed bag. The game is divided to up to 4 worlds to explore, with around 5 or so stages each to explore and conquer. There are both 2d and 3d style levels to explore. Lucky can run around the stages and use his tail to attack or stun enemies, as well as jump on enemies to kill them like Mario. He can also burrow under the ground to be able to collect coins that are buried under the ground. Lucky doesn't have any other interesting moves or any powerups, which is really disappointing. Lucky also has multiple lives like most other platformers from the 90s, but ultimately they serve no purpose since all they do is make you restart the entire level if you happen to run out of lives.
The game's primary objective is to collect four-leaf clovers which are scattered throughout the levels, in which there are 99 in total to collect. There are usually four to collect in each level, with one usually gotten by going into a secret hole and completing the objectives there, which usually is collecting colored coins within the time limit. A clover can also be found by finding 5 letters scattered throughout the level which spell out LUCKY, which is pretty similar to finding KONG letters in the Donkey Kong Country series. A clover can also be found by finding 300 coins in the level, and finally just beating the level will net you a clover. There's some variety to be found in this game, whether it be solving sliding puzzles for clovers, becoming a marble and collecting all the coins in the marble maze, but none of it is really all that fun or really stands out. There's an arbitrary number of clovers that one must collect to fight the boss of the world and move on to the next world, but the requirements for each world does get increasingly high and by the end you need most of the clovers to be able to finish the game which is way too high for a game like this for families. This artificially extends the game in which there is forced back tracking to collect more clovers if one hasn't collected most of the clovers by the 2nd half of the game. I honestly felt tired of having to repeat levels just to be able to get everything since none of the levels is really all that fun the second or 3rd time around.
Controls : 6/10
Lucky for the most part controls okay, but can be a little floaty at times. The camera is fixed in the 2d levels. The camera can only be rotated in 3 specific points in the 3d levels and that's about it, so it feels like a step backwards compared to Super Mario Odyssey. I was able to get most jumps okay, but at times its hard to land on some platforms since the camera is fixed in such a way that its hard to perceive depth in the 3d levels and can easily overshoot a platform and make the poor fox boy fall to his death.
There's honestly no reason to replay this after getting all the clovers. Its pretty much an easy play once title to net all the achievements for an easy 1k points for your gamerscore. None of the settings, characters, or any of the gameplay is really worth going through again compared to other platformers.
Final Verdict : 5/10
I honestly can't recommend this title to anyone over the age of 10, let alone the close to 30 somethings like myself. Lucky is a cute character, but his game just boils down to just average and boring pretty much like himself. There's definitely much better releases in the platformer department this year, and yes that includes Yooka-Laylee. I could see some potential here for a sequel if they listen to all the criticisms of the game and improve those areas. There's definitely much worse ways to spend 30 bucks, but at the same time there's definitely plenty of much better titles out there that cost way less.
Product Release: Super Lucky's Tale (US, 11/07/17)
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