Virtual Console Review – Ufouria: The Saga
Releases on the virtual console have been few and far between lately on the Wii, almost has few and far between as Iâ€™ve been posting lately. Is it because theyâ€™re running out of good games to put on it? I highly doubt so. Only Nintendo would really know what the hell is going on.
I wrote most of this review a while back, so Iâ€™ll keep the old format, but from my next post, Iâ€™ll use the same system Jo started using.
But enough rambling. This week they released a NES/Famicom gem that hadnâ€™t seen a release in North America. It was called Hebereke in Japan and Ufouria in PAL regions. It was featured adventure-action gameplay similar to games like Metroid, but overall took from all that was good about games from the NES era while also showing hints of more recent standards in videogames, like infinite continues and the ability to pick right back up where you last left (assuming in this case you wrote down the password, which youâ€™ll probably wonâ€™t need as you can beat the game in one sit).
So was the 20 years wait in North America worth it? You know the drill, find out after the jump.
Date of Release: August 23rd 2010
Platforms: Wii’s Virtual Console (originally on Famicom/Nes)
Genre: Action-Adventure (Metroidvania)
Rated E for Everyone
I really didnâ€™t pay any attention to the story intro, so hereâ€™s what Wikipedia has to say about it:
Bop-Louie and his friends live in a world named Ufouria , The characters stumble upon a crater, in which his friends fall in. Bop-Louie climbs in, but suddenly blanks out. He finds out that he must find all 3 of his other friends, all of which suffer from amnesia and take on Bop-Louie as a threat.
The Japanese version had a very different story apparently and some different sprites for the character, which was common back then (see Doki Doki Panic/Super Mario Bros 2 US). It also had some weird alterations. I guess birds dropping dung didnâ€™t make sense to the Europeans, so they changed that to 16 tons weights, which makes a whole lot more sense (it doesnâ€™t).
But anyway, as you play the game, you need to free your friends, who join you into beating mini-bosses, getting upgrades and finding keys to the final boss.
It took me around three hours to get through the whole game on my first (and only) play-through.
The gameâ€™s graphics are pretty good for an 8-bit game. Itâ€™s comparable to some other late NES/Famicom games. Â The game sometimes runs into slowdowns when there are too many sprites on screen. I wish they wouldnâ€™t emulate that kind of things in the virtual console, but again, I guess itâ€™s the nostalgia factor. An on/off option would be great. But anyway, this isnâ€™t a Virtual Console review; Iâ€™m 4 years too late for that. The slowdowns can be really annoying though, since they mostly happen during boss fights and can change the flow of the fight easily, in both directions. They can make a specific boss ultra easy or make it hell just because of it.
Other than that, the game has some great 8-bit music, which is always a great point for old school games, and it was a pleasure to be introduced to old classic 8-bit tunes.
The menus are a bit weird to navigate at first, but they work well once you get around switching from one character to another pretty often. As for the graphics and music, theyâ€™re your usual NES ones. Simple graphics, catchy chiptunes.
I want to keep this on the short side so Iâ€™m skipping ahead to gameplay. After freeing all your friends, you have access to four different characters with different abilities each. One can swim on the water and run on ice, one can swim under water, one is your run of the mill average guy and the last one is a ghost that can jump farther than the others. They also each get an attack upgrade and a few other boosts along the game.
Most of the game is spent exploring in a Metroidvania fashion, opening access to new areas and boss fights as you go along. Most of it is fairly easy and youâ€™ll hardly have a problem going through most of the game.
There were a few challenging sections, but nothing really hardcore if you played any Megaman games, or if you played something along the lines of Battle Kid, Ufouria will be a cakewalk for you. Itâ€™s still a fun game to go through though.
Most of the first few boss fights are quite simple and will almost hold your hands, but a few of the last ones are mild, fun, challenges, so donâ€™t be deceived by the first few encounters.
I feel that Ufouria is still one of the must-have on the virtual console, especially if youâ€™re in North America, as it was a good title we didnâ€™t get a chance to pick up back in the 90s. Â It wonâ€™t come with the pure nostalgia dose buying a game like Excitebike or Super Mario Bros. 3 would provide, but itâ€™s still has a good chunk of old school charm.
The story isnâ€™t all that great and the ending is pretty dumb, but itâ€™s definitely not why we played games back then.
Pros and Cons
- Fun (yes)
- Metroidvania style gameplay
- On the short side (3 hours to get everything done)
- Story is stupid, especially the ending
The Save Factor
When it comes to the save factor for this game, I donâ€™t remember how much it cost me on the virtual console (I believe it was $5), but $5 does sound like the best fit for this game.
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