Written: April 24th-May 1st, 2016
Alternate Title: Hebereke [|O|]
Year: 1991 | Developed and Published by: Sunsoft | [|O|]
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here; passionate about video games, big retrophile, and fan of all things 16-bit... only today we're talking 8-bit; awkward. =|
Image from Wikipedia; Happy 30th Anniversary, Metroid!!!In 1986 Nintendo unveiled unto the world the Alien-inspired non-linear sidescrolling adventure game Metroid for the Famicom Disk System in Japan, which saw an American and European release on the NES in 1987 and 1988 respectively. The game was ahead of its time in that there was heavy emphasis on exploration (not to mention survival) as opposed to being a straightforward full-on actioner which would serve as an influence on various games that came after, and it was one of the first games to have a female lead (which came as a surprise to most everyone that played it at the time when male protagonists largely dominated, if they beat it in less than five hours that is). Metroid, regardless how you feel about the original, has left a big impact in the gaming world that it became a success and spawned not only a franchise but also inspired similar titles. =)
1991 (yay, my birthyear!!!) saw the return of bounty hunter Samus Aran in Metroid II: Return of Samus for the original Game Boy; not only that but Sunsoft created their own lighthearted take on Metroid for the Famicom titled Hebereke that September, which saw a limited European and Australian release in November 1992 as Ufouria: The Saga. An American release was planned during its heyday but never materialized due to cancellation (which was rectified when released on the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U Virtual Console downloadable services in 2010 and 2014 respectively). So how did Sunsoft do?
Since I only played the European version on the NTSC Nintendo Wii U Virtual Console, I'll be talking about this version specifically, since there were lots of changes made from the original Japanese Hebereke (as much as I wish I had the Famicom version, despite not owning anything that can play a Nintendo 8-bit game from Japan). The story goes in this version that Bop-Louie and his three friends lived in a world called Ufouria, and when they noticed a crater they decided to stumble across it but fell in. All except Bop-Louie have lost their memories upon entering this new world, so he must find them and convince them that he's not a threat to them. Once everyone's been accounted for they all must search for three keys which will open the gate that takes them back to Ufouria, but it's easier said than done.
|Why must penguins be enemies again? =(|
|Well, it's all fun and games until someone loses|
their eyes... I'll see myself out now
|Riding along in the mine|
|Swimming to the nearest platform|
|"I must regain my friend's memory by fighting him!"|
|That's drool, alright; you mean I have to climb on it? <=/|
|Shades delivering an egg to make progress|
|"Special delivery, pussy cat!"|
|"You've sung 'Let it Go' for the last time!"|
Because those two really go hand in hand together when you think about it. =<
|Snow place like home, right?|
Eventually Hebereke became a franchise, spawning several games that largely appeared on the Super Famicom (a console which I own), partly on the Sega Saturn (which I do not own), and partly on the PlayStation One (which I do own, but only the NTSC model) straying from the very sidescrolling genre that started it all and focusing more on genrebending (ranging from puzzlers to fighting to racing to even more puzzlers). A couple of them also made it to European shores, as is; then what was the point of making those changes in the first place??? >=( You think I exaggerate when I say that people make no sense?
If I recall correctly I first found out about Ufouria: The Saga back in 2010 (before I learned what it really was in its original incarnation) when it arrived on the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console worldwide, and even though I wanted to play it I was in that phase where I was more into collecting physical cartridges (namely SNES) than I was into VC downloads; but luckily when I got a Nintendo Wii U console on Christmas 2013 I not only alternated between collecting physical carts but also once in awhile download games on its Virtual Console service, and on January 2015 I downloaded today's title. Was it worth those years of curiosity? For the most part it was. =)
I thought it was fun as a lighter take on Metroid, and the way its structure was modeled after that title was sound. I enjoyed Naoki Kodaka's music (even if it was sped up), visually it was pleasing to look at for 8-bit standards, I liked to search every nook and cranny, the easy difficult was fair, and each characters' various strengths and weaknesses and alternating between them given the situation was quite intuitive. The main thing that dragged it down for me was the fact that it's so short. =( No lie, the first time I beat Ufouria: The Saga (after a day or two that I started) I played through the game again that night and wound up beating it in roughly an hours' time. I just could not believe it, but hell, it was fun while it lasted. =)
My Personal Score: 7.0/10
<( ^o^)^TO EACH THEIR OWN^(^o^ )>
P.S. Recently I got to play the first Hebereke follow-up, Hebereke no Popūn on the Super Famicom, out of genuine curiosity for the other titles that followed after today's game and so far I like it. =) Can't wait to try more Hebereke SFC games this Summer. Also, today's title has got a ton of stuff that was left in The Cutting Room Floor.
Happy 25th Anniversary, Hebereke!!!!!! =)
Thank you for reading my review, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Hope you all have a great Summer, take care! =)
If by "forever" you mean a dozen-plus years (three and a half not counting the Oh-Chan Picross series or the Famimaga comic strips) then yes, their saga did last forever; also, that's the subtitle. Can I go back to talking about Nintendo 16-bit games now? <=(