La-Mulana 2 doesn't reinvent compared to its predecessor, but it doesn't have to. The foundation left behind by the original La-Mulana is strong enough to justify a sequel that, on the whole, follows the same beats as the original. Exploration is deeply satisfying as Eg-Lana is one of the finest crafted worlds in a Metroidvania; puzzles require genuine use of critical thinking more than not; and, while the curve perhaps isn't as refined as in the original, the difficulty provides a consistent challenge from start to finish. La-Mulana 2 is more of the same, in the best way possible.
A great introduction to this punishing series that is like no other. Suffering in the ruins has been fulfilling, as always, and makes me yearn for more.
For a game as mechanically complex as this, the extended tutorial area was welcome. What is 40 minutes in a 60 hour experience anyway?
This is the sequel that La-Mulana deserved. The puzzles and traps were just perfect. Played it blind, took 40+ pages of notes, finished in about 100 hours. There's an absurd amount of content here. And there's no grinding; it took that long because it's a big, deep game.
It's a huge improvement over La-Mulana 1. When you solve a riddle here, the game gives good feedback about what happened where, so you know what to do. The puzzles are actually fair, and some of the harder ones have multiple clues. The music is excellent, the art is a lot better, the engine is vastly improved.
There were some bugs at launch, but they got patched out in the first few weeks, along with difficulty tweaks.
La-Mulana 2 is an absolutely solid sequel. Even though there are a few additions to the core gameplay loop, they don't dilute how unforgiving the game can be. The level of difficulty doesn't feel cheap, and obtuse puzzles can feel very rewarding when solved. The game is long enough to feel like you've squeezed more than enough value out of it, but it never drags on. The game has a few flaws here and there, but anyone who's looking for a tough platforming experience will be pleased with what they find in La-Mulana 2.
It is a faithful recreation of the classic genre while telling a fresh story. The characters within have a fun sense of humor that will keep you entertained in the midst of the action. Even though the controls are not perfect, after a few hours of play, I found them less frustrating.
The aesthetics were legitimately nice, but they were overshadowed by the red brought to my eyes by the gameplay. The music was nice, but a song’s repetition grows irksome after returning to a stage after each one of a multitude of deaths. The bad of the game is bad enough to darken the good of the game, which is a shame to those who truly did excellent work. Those who worked on the pixel art, on the aesthetics, or on the music, hats off to you. You did great work. I wish the game I played was of the same caliber.
A masterpiece without equal, La Mulana 2 punishes the meek and rewards the stubborn. If keeping notes and being mercilessly crushed for the smallest transgression seems unappealing then do not even consider playing this game; though if challenge is what you seek then look no further. To call it a Metroidvania would not be doing it justice since only a minor percentage of progress is made by upgrading your arsenal. Indeed, your own personal knowledge is what is being upgraded. If you ever find yourself stuck, try revisiting some areas. Ruminate on what you've learned thus far. Examine your notes. Hit a few walls. Odds are that you will discover something you didn't notice the first time you went through with your newfound experience.
While most of the bosses are noticeably easier than in the first game, this is mostly thanks to your main character's greater air mobility and stronger subweapons. To compensate the platforming has been made considerably more difficult and enemies in general provide a whole new level of danger, such as projectile-throwing skeletons that cannot be destroyed or valkyries that zoom to the other side of the room to blast you with ranged attacks whenever you get near.
The puzzles are top-notch and no doubt better than the first game. Puzzles only have one solution yet still reward creativity thanks to being so varied. No two puzzles feel the same, and while cowardice will let you avoid many traps some puzzles can only be solved by displaying carelessness. Paying attention to the tablets and learning about the inhabitants of each branch is sure to work in your favor. For example: If you find yourself in an area inhabited by foolish warmongers, the solution to the block puzzle is to simply swim through lava without protection. If a pedestal has an obvious crusher overhead but the tablet says "Believe", the key is to not run away after activating it.
Let me be clear about one thing up front: I like La-Mulana a lot. It has issues, but does what it does well. La-Mulana 2... is not La-Mulana. My best guess is that they ran dry on time or money and rushed it out the door; there are still, at time of writing, DOZENS of potential soft locks and save-bricking glitches, and while the aesthetic of the game is superb and they make more of an effort to ease you into things (by making puzzles and bosses in the early game WAY too easy), the general design feels very half-baked.
Even ignoring the fact that it's easy to accidentally brick your save...
- The translation is choppy to the point where a critical part of a hint for a late-game puzzle was omitted entirely.
- Strategic enemy placement and variety is way down, and "hurr difficulty" enemy spam is way up.
- Bats have been deliberately recolored to blend into the environment.
- Instant death traps and generally **** pitfall traps have about tripled in frequency and are much more often completely unmarked rather than having some warning signs to intuit.
- Progression is much less intuitive and more subtly railroaded. Both the first and second areas you're likely to unlock are actually late-game areas that offer nothing of value for their exploration at that point other than death. Where in LM1 you could often be chipping away at something like two to six major overarching puzzles simultaneously, you are instead punished for trying to explore here. In LM1 every area you could access from the Guidance Gate was intended to be accessed at that point in the game and each one let you make significant progress. In LM2 you're basically handed a series of baited mousetraps that you must jab at until you find the one that DOESN'T snap shut on you.
The later parts of the game will still legitimately test your puzzle-solving and boss-killing resolve, but frankly the uphill battle with artificial difficulty it takes to get to the genuine challenge isn't worth it.
SummaryThe sequel to La-Mulana, La-Mulana 2 follows Lumisa Kosugi as she explores the ancient ruins of La-Mulana. Desperate to find the cause of the recent slew of monsters appearing from the ruins, Lumisa discovers the "other" La-Mulana: the ruins known as Eg-Lana.