Review: LA-MULANA 2 (Nintendo Switch)

Cue the Indiana Jones music… wait, this seems vaguely familiar.

LA-MULANA 2 takes place about three years after the events in LA-MULANA. In this story, you play Lumisa Kosugi. Your father, Lemeza Kosugi, has gone missing, and the village chief needs you to find out what’s going on in the ruins of LA-MULANA.

LA-MULANA 2
LA-MULANA 2

You are the spitting image of the old man, a whip-wielding, leather-vest-wearing, Indiana Jones wannabe. With the heroine’s attire comes a lot, and I mean a lot, of familiar things from the first adventure. Clunky controls are a bit more refined, but oh man, do the cheap shots still come flying. In the first game, most of the traps were clear to see, but not so in this one! You think you’re using a weight to open a chest or unlock a secret and, bang! You drop the ceiling on your head. Shortly after getting through the ruins of the now really ruined LA-MULANA, you find the doorway to Eg-Lana, the temple of the mother.

In Eg-Lana you are tasked with the job of… ah, I have no clue! This game (and the previous) take after the famous Nintendo game, Metroid. While being completely different in theme, the story mechanics are the same. Go in here, break stuff, blow stuff up, and maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a clue after you’ve run through the same rooms over and over again. I put in 12 hours, and my adventure was littered with sculptures and the remains of long-forgotten would-be adventurers. You can scan the latter to find humorous last words and incredibly vague clues.

LA-MULANA 2
LA-MULANA 2

When I was a kid, I loved games like this because I had a lot of time to play, and I loved the challenge. This game is not for the mobile generation that is used to doing a little bit here and there. You will need to sink some serious time into uncovering all it has to offer. I’m not talking time like a deep RPG, but it will take time to dig through the ruins as you die over and over again, scrutinizing each room while dodging bullets, skeletons, monsters, and traps.

I still enjoyed this game for the way it offered some youthful nostalgia. It delivers a definite challenge. But LA-MULANA 2 is cut from the same cloth and does very little that’s different from the first. While that doesn’t make the game bad, it does make it frustrating. So kick back and grab a beer (or soda depending on your age) and be prepared to take a trip back into the challenging 16-bit era of platforming.

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