For Metroidvania game lovers, this is a great time to be alive! In 2018 alone, we have seen several solid contenders in the genre such as Iconoclasts, Guacamelee 2, and Dead Cells – to name a few. While each takes its liberties with the genre, what might it look like to have a Metroidvania experience that learned heavily into the “-vania” end of that with mythological creativity to boot? Throw in a dash of Indiana Jones and you have yourself our title in review. This is our review for La-Mulana 2 on Steam.
As the title suggests, La-Mulana 2 is sequel to 2005’s La-Mulana, originally released on PC with an update version released in North America on PS Vita in 2015. After a crowdfunding campaign which raised $266,670, La-Mulana 2 began a long development cycle by indie developer NIGORO. Their vision was to create a 2D adventure game to carry on the tradition of classic titles of yesteryears.
In La-Mulana 2, an ancient creature known as The Mother fell to the earth and produced life in order to help her leave the planet. After several failed ct of her will – even though they were not directly created by her. You will guide a young archeologist to discover the secrets of the La-Mulana ruins, believed to be the location of The Mother.
Following in the the footsteps of her father and protagonist of the original games, Lumisa Kosugi dives deep into La-Mulana and discovers the unexplored world of Eg-Lana – a penal colony locked in the the bowels of the ruins where generations of festering creatures lay in wait for the seals to be broken.
Rife with Norse mythology, as you enter Eg-Lana, you begin your exploration at the Roots of Yggdrasil. Thought the typical Castlevania fodder of bats and skeletons still exist in this game, you will encounter the denizens which you might expect from Norse mythos, such as the menacing Fafnir or colossal Nidhogg. While Norse mythology is where La-Mulana 2 finds its foundation, it does weave together the mythos of multiple cultures into its tale.
As far as gameplay goes, La-Mulana 2 is a faithful take on the genre which inspired it. It leans heavily in both art and controls as a Castlevania title, but occasionally to a fault. While the action is great as is the depth of content, the controls felt stiff, specifically the jumping. Unfortunately, the jumping can be the difference between defeating a boss or having to reload from your last save.
That being said, each zone has a save location that also serves as an instant teleportation point from one location to another – at least, wherever you have unlocked the teleportation rune! This is exceptionally handy because you can teleport from anywhere back to town for a quick heal. The one exception to this rule is that you cannot teleport out of a guardian battle as they require a special item to fight them. You can also heal by collecting green tokens to fill a healing meter.
La-Mulana 2 has an interesting apps add-ons system which allows you find items through the in-game shops to purchase. Equipped with the trusty Mobile Super X3 mobile device, Lumisa can enable combinations of apps which will allow her to access different types of information from maps to text logging to logging monster data. What makes this a unique system is that each app uses the phone’s memory, with the phone having one gigabyte of memory to run the apps with.
La-Mulana 2 is $24.99 on Steam.
Note: Our copy was reviewed on Steam with a code provided by PR.
COMPARE TO: Classic Castlevania, Axiom Verge