Sunday 2 February 2020

Adventures of Lolo 2 (NES review)

Developer: HAL Laboratory
Publisher: HAL Laboratory
Released: 1990

Adventures of Lolo 2 is a puzzle game that was released one year after the original.

The King of Eggerland has kidnapped Princess Lala and it's up to you to save her. There's 50 stages split across 10 floors (plus four Pro levels) and the objective in each is to collect all the hearts, collect the jewel from the chest and then reach the exit. Enemies can be foiled by trapping them with blocks or by shooting them with your limited Magic Shots. What's most disappointing is how little has changed since the first title; there's no new enemies, no new mechanics and no new abilities. This means that you're essentially experiencing the same game, but with altered puzzles, and whether this sequel manages to hook you in depends on whether you expected the series to advance rather than providing what (in today's world) amounts to DLC. Saying that, the action is still enjoyable and there are some clever moments, such as in Floor 4 where you need to avoid Medusa's projectiles by timing your movements when a Leeper crosses its path. The puzzles are expertly designed and some will have you scratching your head, before the satisfying: "A-ha!" moment suddenly hits! I particularly enjoyed how the gameplay resembles chess, as you always need to think 1-2 steps ahead and use every object to succeed. In my opinion, this sequel is aimed at players who mastered the first game, as the difficulty is much higher; even floors 2-3 can echo the final stages of the original, so newcomers might want to play through the series in order. If you're up for a real task, there are four Pro puzzles that will test your mental agility! Again, the music is the weakest part of the game, as there's only one track.

Adventures of Lolo 2 is less of an evolution of the series and more of a tougher expansion pack in a similar vain to Super Mario Bros. 2 (1986, Famicom Disk System). The puzzles are still great fun and there's plenty of clever brain-teasers, but there's really nothing here than you haven't already seen or experienced in the first game.

Random trivia: In 2008, the game was re-released on the Wii Virtual Console.

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