La-Mulana EX Review [PS Vita]

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La-Mulana EX is an action adventure 2D game reminiscent of many older, retro games. It has much in common with games like Metroid of Castlevania in that there is much exploring to be done while also battling it out against enemies and huge bosses. La-Mulana EX is a remake of the original game from 10 years ago, with slightly updated graphics and sound, though the feel of the original is still there. The game still features true retro gameplay which means you are in for one glorious stroll down memory lane where the challenges were insanely difficult and brutal and only those with patience and ferver would make it to the end.

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You play as famed archaeologist, Professor Lemeza Kosugi, whose family have long searched for the fabled ruins of La-Mulana. One day, you receive a letter from your father, Shawn Kosugi, claiming to have found the ruins. Here your adventure begins as you set off in search of your lost father and the fabled lost ruins. Of course there’s a reason why La-Mulana has never been found because those who go in search of it never never come back to reveal its secrets.

Unlock the mysteries of La-Mulana and be rewarded with fame, wealth, and knowledge.

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At the heart of La-Mulana EX is that of an action exploration game. Again, gameplay is similar to that of games like Metroid or Castlevania where the most rewards come from those who take the time to explore everything despite the dangers lurking on each screen. Your main weapon is that of a whip in which you must you to defend yourself. Through your journey you’ll be able to upgrade to better gear which you’ll need because the game can be quite unforgiving. Playing through La-Mulana EX will remind you why games back then were so hard to beat and finish.

Jumping can be incredibly unrealistic, which is how jumping was done back then and combat too can be quite iffy. This is seriously a flashback to the good old days of exploration games, making La-Mulana EX incredibly fun for those who love retro games. There wasn’t anything fancy about it, just good old strategy, exploration, and just playing smart. And just like those old games, you’ll also be able to save at designated save points, so I suggest saving often so you don’t lose huge chunks of progress because you thought you were invincible.

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Graphically, the game is a big step up from the original La-Mulana game. Much of it is still reminiscent of that game but it has less of that 8-bit style of art. It doesn’t look as flat as the original with La-Mulana EX looking more realistic with more depth to all the art assets. It art style reminds me a bit of Spelunky, which is a good thing as that game looked pretty good for what it was. I’m sure there are a lot of parallels that could be drawn between La-Mulana EX and Spelunky, but in my opinion, they are both great games on their own and vastly different in gameplay.

I will note that the actual game itself does not take up the whole screen on the PS Vita. The original game wasn’t widescreen and neither is this one. Instead, you get these huge borders on the left and right sides framing the game. On the plus side, these borders at least are decorated but it would have been nice with the game was upgraded to fit the whole screen.

I like La-Mulana EX. I admit that I’ve never played the original, but being a “Metroidvania” style game, I’ve played many like it in the past. La-Mulana EX does a good job recreating a game from our past. Even if you’ve never played the original, you should enjoy this if you’ve played games like Castlevania or Metroid. There is definitely a lot of exploring to do and lots of story elements if you read everything. It can be a deep game if you just take the time to really do everything you can in it. You die a lot in La-Mulana EX, but if you play smartly, you won’t lose too much of your progress.

If you’ve never really been a fan of Metroidvania style games, you might not like this at all and there’s nothing I can say to change your mind, but if you are, I would definitely give the game a chance. If you like retro gaming,  this is a very good update to an older game and one that I think remains faithful to the original, while improving on it in every way.

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Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.

 

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One thought on “La-Mulana EX Review [PS Vita]

  1. Pingback: PS Plus: Free Games for September 2015 | The Gamer With Kids

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