U-four-ia: The Saga
Review by Terravation
"It is a pity not many people have played this game"
As far as I know, Ufouria was never released in North America, yet it was released in the PAL regions (United Kingdom, Australia, etc). I was one of the lucky few that actually got to play the game (though only through renting at video shops).
The game itself has a very unusual feel to it, it's almost like Super Metroid, but without all the big guns and huge Space Pirates (though the game does feature aliens). The game can in some places be very annoying because it very rarely actually tells you what you're supposed to do, and you're left just walking the (rather large) planet that you're on trying to find aliens.
The game features some very innovate controls as well as items and monsters. Some of the bosses will have you questioning your sanity though because when I first played it (and I was young), I honestly thought they were big babies (I'm serious). Only until recently (when I can actually comprehend what the odd story is about) have I realised that they're supposed to be aliens invading the planet. The game has some great items you can find, like the ability to walk up walls (Spider Ball anyone?) and walk across water.
For the Nintendo, this game had great graphics. Even better than Kirby's Dream Land, which I would regard as one of the "prettiest" games on the Nintendo. The enemies and players you control (excluding some of the bosses which can be mistaken for giant babies) all look great. The atmosphere of the game, including some areas of the world that are dark, or underwater all have a great feel to them. The backgrounds to the game levels all look great, and you can clearly see the developers put some time into them. It still amazes me as to why this game was never released in North America, because it easily matches some of the other "more popular" games quality.
Ok, from the minute you turn this game on you will realise that sound isn't one if its strong points; in fact, it's probably it's worst point. Some of the music in the game is pretty average, while some of the other music is downright terrible. For example, the boss music sounds great at first, then it goes into a beat of stupidity and really takes away any seriousness that the boss (or enemy) may have had and makes them look like a total and utter joke. The actual sound effects in the game are much better than the music, and I would literally suggest muting your television when you're about to encounter a boss.
The game is pretty fun the first time, average the next, then less than exciting, etc, etc. The thing that does add to the replay factor in this game is all the items you could potentially miss (though it wouldn't be unheard of for you to get them all in one swipe). None the less, the game is packed with lots of secrets and hidden areas, so you're probably going to miss at least one of these places on your first play-though, which would add some "replay" factor to the game, I guess. Unfortunately the game doesn't have a way to replay the game under a harder difficulty. This is something that I think all games should have, but unfortunately most don't.
The difficulty in this game is almost perfect, almost. The reason it doesn't get a perfect score is because some areas are really confusing, and the game gives you no hints at all as to if you need a particular item, or some sort of key. Most of the bosses are pretty easy (with the exception of one Underwater one who is quite hard), and the final showdown with the last boss has a good difficulty factor established with it.
As I said above, I don't think this game was ever released in North America, which is a pity. I guess maybe this game will be lined up on the Wii's virtual console in the future though.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/18/06
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