"Oddworld's Back": Lorne Lanning on Remakes, Game Design, and Abe's Future

"Oddworld's Back": Lorne Lanning on Remakes, Game Design, and Abe's Future

We sat down with Oddworld Inhabitants' Lorne Lanning and discussed the trials and tribulations of rebuilding an old game for a new generation.

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Awww, Lorne Lanning no longer has his long luxurious luscious locks.

But this news makes me happy. I loved Oddworld, and it was the main reason I bought a PS1 years ago. I just love the design and the weirdness, and even at it's time the cutscenes were amazing, that still look good to this day.

I still need to pick up new and tasty, very much on my list! Interesting to hear about the tweaks they made and how they had to compensate, good on them for putting the extra effort in. This is how a developer should be.

This for me isn't Oddworld being back, but Oddworld trying to reboot. I'll believe there's more to this when I see it.

Well, I'm sorry Mr. Lanning, you're a cool guy and all and you have my deepest respect for making Abe's Oddysee back in the day, but New 'n Tasty really kinda sucked. The only improvement over the original was the resolution -- Everything from the animation, to the sound, the backgrounds, and the gameplay were all worse. And I sincerely hope someone got fired over that choice of song playing over the end credits.

Casual Shinji:
Well, I'm sorry Mr. Lanning, you're a cool guy and all and you have my deepest respect for making Abe's Oddysee back in the day, but New 'n Tasty really kinda sucked. The only improvement over the original was the resolution -- Everything from the animation, to the sound, the backgrounds, and the gameplay were all worse. And I sincerely hope someone got fired over that choice of song playing over the end credits.

Yeah, I'm actually rather shocked how much acclaim New'n'Tasty received, considering just how much of the original they seem to have butchered in the process. MatthewMatosis does a particularly scathing analysis of it.

I've only played a few hours of the original Abe's Oddysey, but if I want to play the game again I'll go back to that version.

Casual Shinji:
Well, I'm sorry Mr. Lanning, you're a cool guy and all and you have my deepest respect for making Abe's Oddysee back in the day, but New 'n Tasty really kinda sucked. The only improvement over the original was the resolution -- Everything from the animation, to the sound, the backgrounds, and the gameplay were all worse. And I sincerely hope someone got fired over that choice of song playing over the end credits.

I think the animation, backgrounds and gameplay was just fine, much improved over the original in many areas. But the sound design yes, many of the games musical and auditory ques have far less unique quality to them and have that "standard" thing going on now which was really disappointing. I feel like the original series had a certain style to a lot of its audio and that was lost in the remake.

And in some cutscenes for whatever reason they added extra lines of dialogue, like the scene where abe narrates "I fell down a cliff" as he's falling down a cliff which wasn't in the original version of that scene and detracts from the punchy humor of the original "then I fell" *pause* "and smooshed my head" line which was so perfect. The overall pacing of the dialogue I found to just be less comical, the delivery is way off compared to the originals perfect execution. So much of the humor and cleverness is not there anymore and that to me was the biggest let down with the remake. I hope Exodus' remake ends up much better in that regard.

LazyAza:

Casual Shinji:
Well, I'm sorry Mr. Lanning, you're a cool guy and all and you have my deepest respect for making Abe's Oddysee back in the day, but New 'n Tasty really kinda sucked. The only improvement over the original was the resolution -- Everything from the animation, to the sound, the backgrounds, and the gameplay were all worse. And I sincerely hope someone got fired over that choice of song playing over the end credits.

I think the animation, backgrounds and gameplay was just fine, much improved over the original in many areas. But the sound design yes, many of the games musical and auditory ques have far less unique quality to them and have that "standard" thing going on now which was really disappointing. I feel like the original series had a certain style to a lot of its audio and that was lost in the remake.

On it's own merrit it was fine, but by comparison..? Uh uh.

The animation moved too swift and completely lacked that hefty swager from the original. It's what made all these creatures come to life so vigorously. And the inclusion of ragdoll physics robbed nearly all the deaths of their impact. When you got killed in the original, Abe would smack against the ground like a slab of meat. In New 'n Tasty he just kind of flubs to the floor like a plastic bag.

The chant has way too much shit all over Abe, with the birds and the light patern. Rupture Farms itself feels completely drained of its vile, gooey atmosphere due to the over use of lighting, bloom, and highlighting levers with light cues. In the original it looked like an otherwordly slaughter house, now it looks more like somekind futuristic laboratory.

And the gameplay with the control patch certainly works better now, but it's still too loose. The grid-based movement is gone, and it was this that made planning ahead on a screen and flawlessly traversing past mines, pits, and beasties so satisfying in the first two games.

Combo breaker!
I actually really liked New 'n Tasty. But it's greatness is in the details. The mudokon slaves that complain to each other, the sligs that are more silly and threatening at the same time, the super smooth and faster gameplay.
And the reworked and extra cutscenes are even more amazing and detailed.

And don't get me wrong, the original is a masterpiece and will always have a special place in my heart, but if I take off the nostalgia goggles for a moment, I can definitely see that New 'N Tasty is the superior game to me.

 

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