Things were looking up late last year for the Wiiware port of Nigoro‘s classic PC platform/adventure/puzzle/exploration game La-Mulana, but things fell apart at the 11th hour as issues were discovered, and Nintendo rejected the submitted version. It’s been a few months, but the developers seem confident that they’ve got the kinks worked out. In a recent development blog post, they proudly proclaim ‘We will finish soon!’.
For those unlucky few who haven’t played the original version, you can find it here, translated from Japanese by Aeon Genesis. The PC version, widely considered to be an indie classic, is an enormous puzzle-centric action/platformer set in an enormous maze of ancient ruins and tunnels, done in deliberately retro 8-Bit MSX style. Huge levels, tough combat, and complex Myst-esque puzzles put the average players completion time over 25 hours.
The Wii remake looks to be leaping forward a few hardware generations, skipping 16-bit era entirely and landing on early 32-bit 2D style, much akin to Castlevania: Symphony of The Night. It’s a full remake as opposed to a direct port, and large chunks are being redesigned and rebalanced so that new players should have a smoother ride. Localization and international publishing on the Wii version are being handled by Nicalis, who oversaw the worldwide commercial release of Cave Story.
To celebrate their newfound confidence in the version to be submitted, Nigoro have released a fresh screenshot gallery showing off several of the updated ‘main’ bosses in their full genre-bending glory. Having seen some of these in action already via trailers and livestreams, I’m glad to say that they’re a massive improvement over the slightly awkward, 8-bit sprites of the original release.
There’s also a developer livestream set for at 22:00 PST, February 27th. Unfortunately a little early for me (7am on the 28th), but well worth a look for those who’ll be up at that hour. See the dev-blog post linked above for details.
With the new version of the game looking so polished, my only concern now is whether the game will sell enough to break even given the extended development cycle. The Wii has been something of a waning star so far this year, with essential releases being few and far between. Wiiware sales likely aren’t at their best, either. I wish Nigoro all the luck in the world, and will be buying it the moment that Nintendo Europe allow me to give them money for this game. Bring on the temples.