Releases March 1st on PS5, XB and Switch, the felt art style looks amazing. I wish Ufouria 1 wasn’t stranded on my Wii U, apparently the original game was supposed to get a re-release last year but that hasn’t happened so far:
Hyped for this.
1st March 20224
Was blown away by that trailer when I saw it earlier this week. Happy to see Sunsoft return with a game that’s evidently made with a lot of craft behind it. Hope it’s good!
On a related note, I really need to get round to playing through the original Hebereke. Bought it for my 3DS before the eShop shut down.
Started Hebereke, what a game! The last thing I did was climb up a giant tree and deliver an egg.
Really enjoy the game’s structure though, the world is both dense and sprawling at the same time, and having to start from the same position every time you die/continue helps reinforce its layout nicely.
Also impressed by how the map screen works, wouldn’t be surprsied if Team Deer Force took inspiration from this game when designing Super Metroid.
I’d forgotten about this - the Sunsoft stream with their own vtuber also announced Hebereke 2 as just a remake of Hebereke. I guess they realised they could do more with it, which I appreciate, but it does explain why it appears to be set in the same world and shares the same music.
This was originally billed as a remake? Odd to release it was Ufouria 2 when most people haven’t played or even have access to the original. At least ‘Ufouria Returns’ or something would seem more friendly to newcomers.
Yeah, when it was announced in 2022 (iirc) it was a remake, agreed that the branding probably won’t help it given how obscure the original is outside of Japan.
Picked up a Japanese copy of this. Played about four or five hours so far and I think I’m nearing the final stages of the game. I’m glad I still have the Famicom original fresh in my mind going into this!
As the trailer suggested, the presentation really is gorgeous. The stop-motion animation makes everything feel as snappy as a Famicom title while also fitting the hand-crafted art direction taken. And there’s a lot of nods not only to Hebereke’s three decade heritage but also Ufouria: The Saga itself. Really cool stuff.
What’s more interesting is the designers have decided to take a completely different approach with this game - it’s not really more of the same despite the world themes being reused.
While the original Hebereke was an open-ended action-adventure game in the vein of Kid Icarus, Metroid and Blaster Master, Hebereke 2 instead splits its locations into distinct levels accessed via a hub. It gives the impression of player agency in exploration without there being much at all…
The main flow of the game sees you enter levels, collect coins, reach the end - which often triggers a story event - and fly back to Hebe’s house. All upgrades are dished out via a vending machine beneath Hebe’s house.
At first it seems like a rather weak and unambitious follow-up, since the developers are keen on explaining every little thing to the player, almost as if they are worried they will get lost and lose interest, despite the much more linear game design.
Case in point: when I got the ability to climb up walls, the game tells me exactly where I should go next. But I had my own plans - to return to the caverns and uncover an entrance I could now reach. But that entrance was covered up by an invisible wall, as the game wasn’t ready for me to get there. I’ve also found walls I could climb which took me off-screen, taking damage.
Luckily, Hebereke 2 does quickly expand and there are a lot of cool ideas in there. Levels change and develop the more you revisit them, for instance, and there are lots of mini challenges you can attempt as you romp through one for the fourth time. The difficulty also ramps up a lot as well, and it’s rather engaging as a result.
Do I like it as much as the original? Not really. It’s enjoyable enough, and it’s extremely charming while still carrying its own flavour compared with other platformers. But the original Hebereke is much purer - it’s you and the game world. The world is compact and enticing enough that the designers trusted players to get lost and explore. Hebereke 2 has enjoyable platforming in it, but it rarely feels like an adventure.
Huh, kind of a shame, but oh well I’ll play it anyway, despite not having played the original.
Thanks for the detailed impressions! Despite the simplified exploration it still sounds fun and worth playing.
Also, the original Ufouria/Hebereke is coming to Switch March 28th:
Yep, still worth playing!
I finished it this evening. I like it quite a bit, even if it’s a lot more straightforward than the original I’m just glad the developers tried something different.
What did surprise me was that the game’s development was still outsourced to a developer called Tasto Alpha. I thought this was meant to be Sunsoft’s big return to game development so assumed they had assembled a team themselves.
Still, Tasto Alpha did a good job, and looking through the credits it seems there are some ex-Grasshopper and ex-CiNG staff who have taken prominent positions in Hebereke 2’s development.