Otaku USA Magazine
Ufouria: The Saga 2 Breathes New Life into a Unique Retro Platformer

ufouria: the saga 2

Hebereke kicked off a series of games from SUNSOFT after launching on Famicom in Japan back in 1991 before heading to Europe as Ufouria: The Saga. The exploration-based platformer had early Metroidvania vibes, and while it didn’t make its way to NES in North America at the time, players finally got to dig into an official release through the Wii Virtual Console almost two decades later. Now, SUNSOFT’s ongoing slate of revivals has brought a sequel into the world in the form of Ufouria: The Saga 2, serving up a bright and cheery tribute worthy of its legacy.

Rather than doing a straight-up remake of the first Hebereke game, the devs opted for something that falls somewhere between sequel and remix. Pixel art has been swapped out for a fantastic handmade style akin to something like Kirby’s Epic Yarn. The characters—all of which are still adorable, classic designs—are felt-like, with a purposefully stilted stop-motion style to their animation. It’s a simple visual overhaul but it really works, and pairs nicely with the new arrangements of the earworm tunes from the original.

Once again, Ufouria: The Saga 2 has you starting out in control of Hebe, gradually unlocking new areas, rescuing your three friends and swapping between them to progress further. Those who are familiar with the original will recognize locations, enemies and bosses, but there’s a uniquely remixed flavor to it all. Every time you enter one of the handful of main areas you’ll find its layout slightly different, tossing a bit of randomization into the mix. Each area is relatively short and free of much in the way of challenge, but the platforming and butt-stomping is fun and none of it sticks around long enough to overstay its welcome.

One of the key aspects that wasn’t in the original Ufouria is the Bumyon, an organism (or something of the sort) that sticks to everything and essentially serves as an additional barrier for combat and exploration. To clear up the sticky substance, you just need to toss your Popoon projectile at it. Once an enemy or boss is all cleaned up you can slam them to your heart’s content. It’s not the only new addition, but it is the one that makes the biggest difference in the way the world and its main threats are presented.

Among the other new additions is Hebe’s house, which provides a home base to return to in the middle of your gang’s sticky situation. Rather than finding items in chests scattered around the world, you’ll save up money to purchase key necessities from the vending machine right outside your house. Running around collecting coins doesn’t quite have the same thrill of discovery to it, but there are quite a few items to unlock, including at least one that introduces additional challenges.

From the Perler bead flourishes to the way you gradually uncover each part of the charming pastel-tinted world, there’s a lot to love about Ufouria: The Saga 2. Its objectives are straightforward, progression is breezy and uncomplicated and you’ll be able to wrap it all up in roughly five hours. If you prefer your side-scrollers to be a little on the tough side, you won’t come close to breaking a sweat here, but it’s clear that real love was put into the project. Ufouria is a game that holds up better than ever today, and its quirkiness, oddball charm and fun are well-preserved in this light and lovable followup.

Systems: Switch, PS5, Xbox Series, PC
Publisher: Red Art Games, Sunsoft
Developer: Sunsoft
Rating: E

This review is based on a digital copy provided by the publisher.