The Game Tutor Grades Mulaka
Mulaka is an action adventure game set in Mexico based around the generally unknown culture of the Tarahumara people (Native Mexicans from northern Mexico). The game is rich with story and culture surrounding the people;s culture as well as their mythology but sadly the actual game itself does not quite live up to the excellent setting of the game itself.
you play as Sukurúame a shaman of the Tarahumara people. An unknown evil presence threatens your tribe's existence and it is up to you to try and set things right. While this is familiar to most fans of JRPGs the setting is nothing like I have encountered before but sadly this was not enough to make up for the iffy gameplay.
Mulaka is basically set in a number of dungeons where you must gain 3 crystals, beat the dungeons boss and then progress to the next one. Its nothing we haven't seen before but that is not really the main problem on show here. The low polygon art style is beautiful and effective but it does lead to many of the game's areas looking similar particularly in the opening few areas of the game. Combat is the main course on offer here and this is where the game stumbles a little. The game plays similar to a more traditional 3D Zelda game in terms of accuracy needed and as such you would expect some kind of lock-on for enemies but sadly this is not the case. Now 'spectacle fighters' such as God of War find this no problem as they lock you on to whatever you are attacking automatically but neither of these are in place in Mulaka leading to a lot of missing hits and things being obscured by the camera.
To continue the action adventure stuck in a 'spectacle fighter' game you often are locked into arenas and must fight a number of enemies to advance to the next stage but without the strong combat system from the likes of Bayonetta it becomes tiresome. The bosses in the game however are fantastic and this is really where the game shines and this is where the Zelda inspiration is most evident. The weakest part of the game however is the platforming sections. The paltofrming in the game is dodgy and regularly would I miss easy jumps due to the unresponsive controls.
Now it does sound like I have not had the best time with Mulaka but that is not 100% the case. Mulaka is a well thought out game set in an interesting setting about a part of history I knew nothing about before I started. Sadly however the core gameplay doesn't quite match up to the setting and leaves you continuing out of interest rather than pure enjoyment.
a copy of the game was provided for review by the publisher