Published on March 28th, 2015 | by Muse Shake0
La Mulana Ex Review
Sometimes I miss the challenge of older games. The way newer games hold my hand and give me a good idea of what I should be doing and how to do it is nice and all, but so often they go too far, and the player is left without the satisfaction of having overcome a challenge on their own. Other times the challenge itself is just too easy, and there seems to be a wave of gamers now that are craving difficulty in their games. The massive amounts of players invested in PVP and the cult like fan following of titles that are trumpeted as being the hardest games of our generation is proof that there is a market for selling difficulty, but there’s a fine line between challenge and frustration.
Where La Mulana Ex fits on this line is hard for me to say, it will definitely satiate those craving an old school challenge, but the game starts you out with so little instruction that it took me four die-and-start-agains before I even realised I could save (for those in the same idiot boat as me the statues are save points). It’s an old style 2D platforming adventure game with an Indiana Jones style and a sort of special hatred for the player. Quick reflex and well timed cracks of your whip are all you have against the everything that wants to kill you and you’ll have to turn your brain into obscurity to navigate the worlds and its puzzles. That being said when you do get these things down playing through this game can be exceptionally rewarding – but don’t be ashamed to Google the puzzles.
If the game wasn’t hard enough, the game world also happens to be huge and branching. Getting lost was a regular event during my time, and coming back to the game after even only a few hours away can leave even a keen adventurer totally confused about where they are and how to get back. This probably wouldn’t be such an issue if the game wasn’t shipped on the PS Vita and as a hand held game needs to be the kind of thing you can pick up and put down to get the most out of the system.
I’d say that La Mulana Ex is a game almost entirely made of double edged swords. It’s hard but sometimes it just feels like difficulty for difficulties sake. It’s huge but also confusing. It doesn’t hold your hand but there’s also not really enough direction to work things out for yourself. I think right off the bat it’s going to be one of those games that players either love or hate, and it will have far more to do with the individual than the game itself. If you’re feeling nostalgic, enjoy a challenge and have a lot of patience it’s a great game. You’ll have a lot of fun and a lot of hours of game play to fill your time. For the rest of you who’d rather have their games offer some direction and prefer not to use Google then you’re probably going to be more frustrated than delighted with this title.