Lucky’s Tale Review (Quest 2) – Lucky’s Charm
Lucky’s Tale lands on Oculus Quest 2 and loses none of its charm The Finger Guns Review;
The last thing you imagine doing in VR is controlling a cartoon fox. Normally you would be dreaming of piloting a mech, playing Call of Duty or wielding a Lightsaber. Funny then that controlling said fox is up there with some of the best VR games around.
Lucky’s Tale tells the story of a plucky young fox and his living piggy bank best pal who happens to be only known as… Pig. One day, while both asleep this large, purple tentacled beastie decides to steal Lucky’s porky companion. Thankfully being a money box, Pig is able to leave a trail of coins for Lucky to follow. And so begins Lucky’s adorable quest.
So what do we have here then? Well, Lucky’s Tale is a charming 3D platformer that will appeal to a pretty wide audience. As soon as you don the headset and load the game up, you’ll realise that near every mechanic has been borrowed, or downright stolen, from one Mario game or another. Be it hidden coloured coins, the ‘bottom bounce’ wall climbing, invisible coins, hell even the height in which you snag the end of level ballon is taken directly from Mario’s flag pole. But you know what, if you’re going to copy a game, why not copy from the best. It’s both familiar and comfortable, two essential things if you’re bringing a tried and tested genre to a new gaming medium.
3D platformers have been a mixed bag in VR, with some giving me some pretty bad motion sickness. This is in part to the position of the camera. Playing a game in VR having the camera set behind the character as it would be on a normal TV just doesn’t work. But Playful Corp has cast some witchcraft hoodoo on this game and made it one of the most comfortable experiences I’ve had in VR, while still retaining that behind the camera kind of feel. They have achieved this (I think, because I’m no expert) by placing the camera higher and slightly to the side. For some reason this makes it more comfortable, but more importantly allows you to look around the level to find all the hidden secrets, of which there are plenty. And it is this that makes VR platform games work better than the 2D counterparts. Having the ability to physically look up, down, forward, backward and peak behind scenery is literally adding another level to the gameplay.
Gameplay is split into two main groups. The standard 3D free roaming platformer were you’ll be jumping, climbing swinging and bouncing all around the delightfully colourful and brilliantly realised levels. They really are a thing of beauty, and with that added dimension of VR really pop. The other is a 2D style view where you go underground to explore for hidden goodies. Generally these are quite short but are more puzzle based which adds another level of gameplay and mixes things up a bit. Both work as well as each other but there is something quite remarkable about the 2D sections as it feels like you’re looking at a real, living, breathing cartoon such is the power of VR
Ready, Aim, FIRE!
Although gameplay pretty much boils down to jumping and tale swiping, there are elements that put the VR headset tracking for good use. There are times when you need to pick up and throw things at enemies and bosses, or buttons. The aiming is mapped to the position of the VR headset so basically wherever you look that’s where you aim. It’s a nice break from the bottom bouncing fun but can be a little off at times, meaning your well intentioned throw goes nowhere. A small flaw but stands out due to the rest of the game being so well made.
Lucky’s Tale is a fairly short game, weighing in at around 3-4 hours for your first play through. Yet there are so many hidden secrets to find that reward you upon discovery you could in theory double that if you want to find everything and get that perfect score on each level. Also worth a note, if you’re an experienced platformer player, you’ll make easy work of this game. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy it though; in fact, you would be hard pushed not to fall for Lucky’s charms (ahem) even if you’re not a fan of 3D platform games.
Lucky’s Tale has been in development since 2014 with a mission to prove that 3D platforms will work in VR. Initially this bold claim was dismissed due to people not believing the third-person experience wouldn’t work in VR. I admit, I was one of them. Of course a lot has changed since then, but I’m happy to say I was wrong. Mission achieved for Playful Corp and am super excited to see where this franchise goes next in VR!
I love Lucky’s Tale, a wonderful platformer that harks back to the good old days of cartoon platformer antics. Easily holding its own against the likes of Mario and Banjo & Kazooie, this should definitely be in your collection of Oculus games alongside heavy weights like Vader Immortal.
Lucky’s Tale is available on Oculus Quest 2 (reviewed), Microsoft Windows and Oculus Rift.
Developer: Playful Corp
Publisher: Playful Corp
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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