(In all honesty, I'm playing this because a friend of mine poked me and went "Hey. Hey. How do you La Mulana? Explain this." and I realized I'd never played more than a few minutes of it and I would need to play more to divine basic gameplay concepts. Thus, I am being ALTRUISTIC in slacking off. Really!)
What is La Mulana? Well. You're a famous archeologist with a whip. (No, not that one.) The opening movie informs you that you have finally discovered the ruins of La Mulana. Go.
No, that's all it gives you. Go.
In practice it plays very much like... oh, how to say... if Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest had a child with Jet Set Willy, or maybe Impossible Mission, or that one Aztec themed game I can't remember but was largely sepia-toned and which had bats that homed in and ate you no matter what you were doing. So basically, it is The Goonies 2 for NES.
You run around a huge set of ruins, collecting weapons and items, exploring, piecing together puzzles from stone tablets, and presumably in the original game you died a lot. I've played four or five hours and haven't died yet, but I eagerly expect death around any corner.
In reality though the difficulty level can be split up across three fields:
A: Manual Dexterity. Jumping. Hopping -just right- to pass under the spikes but above the platform. Whipping things. Boss battles.
B: Puzzles. Which one of these giants is Futo? Prepare to leap around for hours translating small clues to figure it out.
C: Cheap bullshit. Remember how bats in Castlevania knocked you backward in a fixed arc at exactly the moment you didn't want that to happen? IT'S BACK, BABY! Also, spike traps, trapdoors, unexpected gotcha-traps... all here. I can forgive this because I am a DUDE WITH A WHIP IN AN ANCIENT TEMPLE so I don't expect to get off easy.
I haven't been playing this very hard (because FFXIV) but I have been enjoying it, so I thought I'd mention.
I've also been playing Final Fantasy 1 on the PSP, with characters from my FFXIV Free Company. (Xao the Warrior, Nana the Black Mage, Liah the Red Mage, Scian the Thief.) ... I can't explain or justify this, but I figured I'd point at it and sheepishly own up.
This entry was originally posted at http://xyzzysqrl.dreamwidth.org/362177.h