Review: La-Mulana (WiiWare)

Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
A Journey That Any Archeologist Would Absolutely Love!

Price: 1,000 points
Developer: Nigoro
Publisher: EnjoyUp
Release dates:
EU: 9/20/12
NA: 9/20/12
JP: 2011

La-Mulana is a remake of a 2005 freeware pc title with vastly improved graphics and music as well as other changes. The game saw many delays and the previous publisher even cancelled the North American and European releases, luckily EnjoyUp games picked up the game and now it's finally been released outside of Japan, but is this game worth the long wait? Let's find out!

Story and Gameplay

The story in La-Mulana is fairly important despite how it feels, the story and events often uncover clues to difficult puzzles so the difficulty of the game can vary depending on how well you pay attention to what's going on around you. The game is a platformer that feels alot like an Indiana Jones meets Metroid style game with tricky puzzle, platforming, and treasure hunting this game will never have you bored!

The bosses in the game can be nightmarishly difficult or very easy depending on your weapon choices so be sure to not use up all of a particular sub weapon before fighting the boss of a temple.

A word to the wise collect the item near the start of the game because without it you may need to backtrack or worse yet could end up stuck in a pit or other trap with no way out forcing you to reset the game!

A unique feature in La-Mulana is the .EXE system that grants you power-ups from .EXE files that can be found, but your cpu memory is limited so don't expect to use every good .EXE file you find at the same time.

The game is very long and can easily take more than 40 hours to beat, but can take over 80 hours for completionists to collect every item and fully explore every area in the game!

Graphics and Music

The graphics in the WiiWare remake have been drastically improved from the PC release and are easily some of the best graphics you'll see on a WiiWare game as the details are breath-taking as every single area looks not only beautiful, but also completely unique with so many background objects and enemy designs you'll wonder how Nigoro put so much detail into a game that is under 40 MB!

The soundtrack is quite possibly the most impressive feature of La-Mulana as there are easily 50+ music tracks in the game and every one of them sounds like something straight from a PS1 platformer! How Nigoro managed this I'll never know, but you won't hear better quality music on any other WiiWare game!

Bottom Line

With fun, yet challenging gameplay and unrivaled graphics and music for a WiiWare game this is one game that no Nintendo/Retro gamer should pass up and at 1,000 points it's easily the cheapest WiiWare game with around 60 hours of gameplay!

Score ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 10/10

This review can also be viewed here

Last edited by Reanfan on October 22nd 2018, 1:32 pm; edited 1 time in total


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on September 23rd 2012, 4:08 pmKokorOtaku
Awesome, glad I picked it up, but I suck a games it seems since I have very few completed gams Sad
on September 23rd 2012, 5:17 pmSKTTR
Great review! How come you're already through with it??
I'm at the 3rd boss (Pyramid).

Maxed out my Shuriken (150). Time to challenge that giant lizard again.
The game gets better and better. It never fails to impress.
I put 20 hours into the game so far, played this the whole weekend Smile

I love it! I never thought it would be THAT good.
I'm excited to see what's coming up next but I played this 7 hours today and now is enough, i need a real life hot spring bath Razz
on September 23rd 2012, 5:23 pmTowafan7
@SKTTR A few sleepless nights allowed me to finish the review in a competitive amount of time so our review can actually draw more people. Now for some well deserved sleep. Sleep
on September 23rd 2012, 6:19 pmNINTENBRO
Good work Rukiafan! I must have this game at once! That inventory screen gets my mind wandering everytime I see it.

HarmoKnight, that doesn't necessarily mean you're not very skilled at playing videogames. I have more unfinished videogames than I can count on both hands, and I know I don't suck at videogames. Sometimes I think it's just because subconsciously I don't want certain videogames to ever end.
Rena Ryuugu Fanboy
This game deserves that perfect score more than any other WiiWare game out there.
Great review Rukes!
on September 24th 2012, 6:54 pmNINTENBRO
I don't know about that ReverseInverse, because Moto Heroz was a pretty damn good game too. Also, as a WiiWare title, Max & The Magic Marker is an extremely polished game, and I love the colorful art style.
on September 24th 2012, 8:07 pmSKTTR
@Nintenbro wrote:I don't know about that ReverseInverse, because Moto Heroz was a pretty damn good game too. Also, as a WiiWare title, Max & The Magic Marker is an extremely polished game, and I love the colorful art style.

Yeah, MotoHeroz was awesome. And so was World of Goo, Hydroventure and My Life as a King. And now La-Mulana is making my 10/10 WiiWare Top 5 complete.

As for Max & the Magic Marker, I have a different opinion on that one. It is a unique game with neat 2D graphics and good gameplay. But there are several big letdowns: It freezes regularly in the later levels when you have lots of ink and draw too complex lines. It is extremely frustrating to restart over and over again if you try to go for completion and collect all those hard to reach bubbles. There is a handful of extremely challenging stages later on. The crashing noise is awful as well. And it has various bugs: There are collectables (black paint bubbles) in each level, but it makes no sense to collect them, because I found out in one level there's one that will respawn endlessly. I managed to collect 64 out of 63 just to see if it was possible... I unlocked all cheats with this glitch. I don't think that was intentional. I beat the game, but didn't go for 100% because of the problems. The framerate got very twitchy as well. It had a good soundtrack though. But an "extremely polished" game? Unfortunately not.

Last edited by SKTTR on September 24th 2012, 8:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
on September 24th 2012, 8:13 pmNINTENBRO
Hmmm... That's very strange SKTTR, because I haven't encountered any of those glitches/bugs you mentioned above. Maybe it's just an issue with the PAL version of Max & The Magic Marker. I do definitely agree with you about Hydroventure/Fluidity, though. I don't know why I didn't include that game in my post above.
on September 24th 2012, 8:38 pmSKTTR
Yeah, maybe. How far are you into the game?

Anyway, let's move back to La-Mulana.
I'm still stuck at the third boss - even 150 Shuriken are not enough - and now I'm not sure anymore if he really is the 3rd boss or if I skipped a few again. So, I explored more of the ruins. There's a pitch dark cave I'm in now. And I'm running out of ammo for that flare gun...

I'm a bit slow sometimes cos I recently found something out that everyone should know from the beginning: Read the save stones! Then you can warp to them!
I backtracked to every one of them so now I can warp to any location I want. Saves me the trouble of finding my way around. No more items, time, and health wasted! If I would have only known earlier I would have spared me some moments of trouble.

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