Excruciatingly difficult 2D adventure La-Mulana EX dated for Vita next week

Fez meets Dark Souls on the go.  

La-Mulana, a game that can only be described as "Fez meets Dark Souls," is coming to Vita on 4th March (or 3rd March in North America) in a spruced up edition entitled La-Mulana EX.

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La-Mulana is easily the best game that I've only made it about a quarter of the way through.

The colossal metroidvania that combines expansive, obtuse puzzles with excessively deadly enemies was initially released in 2005 as a free PC game in Japan, but was remade into a commercial product where it came to WiiWare in 2012 and Steam in 2013. Now Vita players will get a chance to fail at developer Nigoro's fiendishly difficult expedition.

Port developer Pygmy Studio worked with Nigoro on this enhanced edition that makes the game a tad more accessible without making it noticeably easier. As detailed on the PlayStation Blog, there's now a Monster Bestiary to check out details on the creatures you come across, and some puzzles have been slightly adjusted to make more sense.

"La-Mulana lets you go almost anywhere you like from the start, which can be a bit daunting to some. When we first started developing La-Mulana EX, the plan was to have two modes: the original version for returning players and a revised adventure that was more accessible for new players. However, as time went on, we decided to bring both versions together in a way that improves the experience for everyone," explained Pygmy CEO Hisashi Koshimizu.

"Of course, this doesn't mean we've made La-Mulana EX easier! Trust me, it's still just as challenging as ever - it's just also more accessible for those who might be too scared to enter the ruins otherwise. The signposting is improved, some of the puzzles and obstacles have been altered slightly (don't rely on your memories if you've played the game before!), it's now possible to undo the 'Hard Mode' curse if you want to and so on."

That does make it sound a smidge easier, but when the original adventure contained a way to accidentally permanently triple the amount of enemies in the game, one can allow such mild concessions.

A sequel to La-Mulana was successfully Kickstarted last year, where it raised over a quarter million dollars. La-Mulana 2 is expected to come to PC in December.

"It was typical to explore La-Mulana's caverns for hours without making any progress until you'd suddenly attempt some cockamamie solution to a puzzle and it would actually work," I wrote of La-Mulana when its sequel was announced. "Naturally, it was an acquired taste, but patient players found plumbing its depths to be a refreshingly demanding experience."

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.

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