If you own an Oculus Rift, you might remember the lovable fox's first outing called Lucky's Tale. Lucky's Tale was designed exclusively for the Oculus Rift and offered numerous enhancements when it came to camera controls and perspective. The sequel is bigger and better in many ways but suffers from some problems which may be a result of its virtual reality roots.
Story and environments
Super Lucky's Tale is a playground platformer for all ages. Similarly to other games in the genre, you need to run, jump, spin and burrow your way across a wide variety of environments including deserts, castles, and forests. By collecting coins and four-leaf clovers, you unlock new doors which lead to new worlds just like Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. The presence of collectibles and secret areas in each level enhances the title's replayability as well.
The game's plot may be simple, but it's adequate nonetheless. It follows Lucky, the ever-optimistic and lovable critter, on his quest to find his inner strength and help his sister rescue The Book of Ages from Jinx. Jinx is the antagonist who wants to reshape the world. It's unclear why he wants to do that though.
The Book of Ages contains entire worlds and simple creatures who are no match Jinx's spoiled children. You defeat them one by one until you make your way to Jinx. Aside from platforming challenges, the game has plenty of boss battles. Despite the fact that they're fairly easy, it still switches up gameplay and is a refreshing change of pace.
Art direction and graphics
One of the defining aspects of this game has to be its gorgeous visuals. Super Lucky's Tale features cartoon characters and uses pastel colors to bring environments to life. The art direction is also a high point here. You will see majestic structures and towering giants on many levels. There is a lot of mystery and intrigue involved, even though it's never fully realized.
For example, early on in the game, you're tasked with bringing a slumbering golem to life by finding the heads of beings who can "activate" it. While it's easy to understand the task at hand, one can't help but wonder what adventures the towering giant has been through, who is he? And so on. The developers should've incorporated additional ways to include lore into the game. It would've added to its depth.
Performance and controls
Super Lucky's Tale runs at 1080p 30 FPS on Xbox One and native 4K 60 FPS on Xbox One X. The resolution upgrade, in this case, isn't as important as the frame rate upgrade. The game looks great on both systems due to its native presentation, however, the Xbox One X version has a clear advantage here. Not only does it look better, but it also feels better when you're jumping and burrowing.
The Xbox One version is difficult to control because it suffers from increased input lag. While every game exhibits this to some degree, no matter how minuscule, doubling the frame rate reduces it by a significant amount. This seems like the primary reason why Super Lucky's Tale feels that much more precise on Microsoft's new console. Sadly, it's hard to recommend the standard Xbox One version because of this. Luckily, Super Lucky's Tale is Xbox Play Anywhere so you can experience it at a higher frame rate on Windows 10 in addition to Xbox One and Xbox One X without purchasing another copy.
Aside from the frame rate and input lag on Xbox One, the other major problem has to the camera controls. Instead of moving freely, thumbstick motion causes it to rotate in a rigid manner. It seems as those players weren't meant to move it around all the time. It's unclear if this is the case but the fact that you can't move the camera properly causes an issue with depth perception. This may not have been a problem on Oculus Rift in virtual reality, but when you're playing the game on a display many feet away from where you're sitting, it can be hard to plan jumps. Collecting certain coins or reaching some platforms always seems like guesswork. Throughout our playthrough on Xbox One, Xbox One X, and Windows 10, we encountered this issue. The 2.5D platforming levels are fine, but parts of the 3D levels can sometimes feel like a chore.
Super Lucky's Tale Final Thoughts
Despite its problems, Super Lucky's Tale is more than the sum of its parts. One important factor to consider when gaming is how a title makes you feel when you pick up the controller and engage with it. This is just as important — if not more — than its story and technical aspects. In some scenarios, a simple "pick up and play" experience can bring you more joy than a gritty "AAA" blockbuster.
Super Lucky's Tale is one such experience — you can't help but smile as you play. Its adorable nature, strange characters, and quirky dialogues make you fall in love with the game even though the camera controls are a bit off. If you're looking for a title which is guaranteed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, then be sure to give this one a go.
- Gorgeous visuals.
- Addictive gameplay.
- Collectibles and secrets enhance replayability.
- Rigid camera controls.
- Standard Xbox One version runs at 30 FPS and suffers from clunky movement.
- Relatively short length.
Super Lucky's Tale costs $29.99 on Xbox One and Windows 10 as it's an Xbox Play Anywhere game. The title is enhanced for Xbox One X.
This game was reviewed on Xbox One, Windows 10, and Xbox One X using a copy provided by Microsoft.
Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.