Ufouria: The Saga 2. (Switch)

Ufouria: The Saga 2 is the sequel to a cult NES classic by Sunsoft, seeing the developers have started mounting a comeback I was pleasantly surprised when this was announced. Does it retain the wacky atmosphere, fun music, and enjoyable gameplay Sunsoft is known for? Let’s find out.

Ufouria: The Saga 2 puts you in control once again of the quirky and loveable Penguin Hebe who befriends an alien, said Alien decides to infect the world with Slime and Hebe decides to wash their face in the toilet, come down from their tree and locate several friends the feline O-Chan, the ghost Sukezaemon and the frog-like Jennifer to help cleanse the world all the while avoiding giant poops from birds flying overhead.

The story is daft and in-offensive and much in the spirit of the earlier era of gaming it isn’t required to enjoy the game, it’s a nice bonus with some genuine laughs and you can tell the writer had a tonne of fun putting it together with it’s Nickelodeon/Saturday Morning Cartoon vibes that only add to the overall package rather than being “essential” to the experience.

The visual style of Ufouria: The Saga 2 is reminiscent of stop-motion, clay models which just gave me the strongest Kirby’s Epic Yarn/Yoshi’s Wooly World vibe in the best way. From the playful character models to the seemingly randomly stitched-together world, even the tutorial messages are built with what looks like a children’s “pixel art” project, while I can’t remember the actual name of the toy you’ll know exactly what I mean the second it turns up.

The world of Ufouria: The Saga has various areas starting with the pleasant fields and then going into all the main offenders of video game biomes, you’ve got your caves, underwater areas, giant trees, and snowy areas, again it all feels familiar but in a fantastic nostalgia-inducing way, rather than reinvent the wheel Sunsoft have just reminded you how good of an invention the wheel was here.

While the game looks great in screenshots, they don’t do it justice you need to see the game in motion to see just how captivating it is, the performance throughout was smooth with no frame drops at all, and the character models were fluid and the areas just vibrant and full of life, I honestly cannot put into words not only how good the game looks but the amount of classic NES era nostalgia just oozes out of every pore of the game visually, while I think the game would still go down well with the modern crowd, us 80/90s kids are going to get the biggest kick out of this one.

Ufouria: The Saga 2 is a mix of a traditional 2D platformer with very “Lite” Metroid elements to it, I wouldn’t say it’s an outright “Metroidvania” especially since it follows the same format as the original which came before that term, but I feel the backtracking and exploration side of that genre is quite watered down, in a good way when it comes to this title.

Hebe has one main ranged attack by throwing a slime creature at enemies to immobilize them or clean the gunk off of them, then you can butt-stomp enemies as standard. Every character has these combat options, the difference for characters comes in how they navigate the world and this is mostly where the “Metroid” element starts to creep in.

Each one of your friends as mentioned has a unique traversal option, O-Chan can swim across the water with ease, Sukezaemon has a floaty jump allowing you to jump much further and Jennfier can swim in deep water, further adding to the areas you can explore. As you progress you also unlock various upgrades such as plungers to allow you to climb up any wall to reach further heights.

While exploring the world you can find Cans of drink, these unlock more items in the vending machine back at your tree that give you upgrades, these range from extra health, new moves, and even items that allow you to find hidden areas more easily. You pay for these using the coins you’ll find throughout the world, you’ll need a healthy supply of both cans and coins as when you eventually meet your friends, chances are they need a certain item from your vending machine before they come into play.

Each area plays closer to a traditional 2D platformer with very little backtracking, think of these more like self-contained areas rather than a giant intersectional world, each ends with a boss fight, all of which are quite simple affairs involving using both your attacks to butt stomp the boss enemy 3 times. After this you can get a lift back to your tree, this tallies everything you have collected and also resets the levels which are somewhat randomly generated, not to an amazing degree but enough to make the levels feel fresh should you return to them to find some extras Cans of the drink.

Ufouria: The Saga 2 isn’t the most difficult of games, it’s quite a breeze even when it gives you the option to take on some of the additional challenges, what it is though is fun from start to finish, is it’s easy to play, engaging and despite having lite Metroid features, it never feels draining to have to backtrack due to the semi-randomized nature of the stages.

The game isn’t the longest of adventures clocking in at around 4 hours but be assured it is all killer and no filler, it’s a genuine pleasure to play, highly recommended for younger gamers as a gateway way but also an amazing window of nostalgia, if you’re hankering for a new “Kirby” style game then you can’t go wrong with Hebe and friends in this madcap, quirky tale of Poop and Aliens.



A fantastic yet brief adventure full of quirk and charm

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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.

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