Marsupilami: The Secret of the Sarcophagus

Although relatively popular with fans of Franco-Belgian comics, it cannot be said that the Marsupilami enjoyed great glory in video games. With only one platform game on SEGA Genesis to its credit, it took 26 years before seeing it again on a console. With Marsupilami: The Secret of the Sarcophagus, our yellow haired friend returns to our screens, through the French studio Ocellus Studio, as well as its publisher Microids.

Image credit: Microids

In well-known terrain

From the first seconds of Marsupilami: The Secret of the Sarcophagus, the feeling of having already played is startling. And for good reason, the game shamelessly picks up on platform games that have made us happy in recent years. Ocello Studio is eyeing Donkey Kong Country Returns for most of these mechanics, but we can also detect some inspiration from Rayman. A bad thing for a great good, because in principle these are games that work admirably. And that’s exactly what it feels like playing one of the three playable characters, during the three worlds and 21 levels that make up the game.

Immediately we feel that it is a game intended for young players, by its easy mode which makes it almost invincible, but also by its richly colored universe. However, do not be mistaken, because even if a seasoned player will hardly take two big evenings to see the end of it, there are a few passages at the end of the game that can bring us down the life counter quite easily. . Nothing insurmountable and the difficulty is especially felt in the last bonus level, as well as the end boss. However, it’s still a game with a good progression curve for beginners, with a few surprises if you’re a little more used to the genre.

On the finger and on the eye

When it comes to handling, don’t expect something that tries to renew the genre. As said above, it strongly resembles the games of Retro Studios, even in the inertia of the character which strongly recalls that of a certain gorilla. For the rest, the Marsupilami can jump, bounce off walls, and strike with a close range attack. He can also not perform an attack by jumping, which makes the handling of the character a little heavier at times. As is also the case with the absence of the double jump and which at times would not have failed us. The gameplay also lacks a bit of flexibility, but the most bizarre idea is to have the player strum a key, instead of holding it, in order to benefit from the roll to move faster.

Marsupilami: The Secret of the Sarcophagus - A platform for everyone

Marsupilami: The Secret of the Sarcophagus offers a linear progression, with a map of the world on which we advance one level after another, with each time a form of boss at the end of the world, which is more like a forced scroll. There are classic levels, but also specials in the form of a dojo where we are asked within a given time, to kill a certain number of enemies or through the rings. The concern is that these challenges take exactly the same form as the tables hidden within the standard levels. It feels strongly the lack of inspiration, especially since even if they offer a good challenge for those who want to finish the game 100%, we still quickly get around it. For a little more content, it will be necessary to fall back on the hidden feathers to collect in the levels, to unlock levels a little more full-bodied and therefore requiring slightly more dexterity.

A very quiet adventure

On the other hand, you shouldn’t expect to rage in front of your screen, because the game is generally quite easy. In addition to the fact that the checkpoints are frequent, in addition to having quickly available a fairly huge reserve of lives. It is easy to collect them, since you gain a life each time you collect 100 apples and you might as well say that the levels are full of fruits, all along your way.

Marsupilami: The Secret of the Sarcophagus - A platform for everyone

With only twenty levels and a handful of challenges, Marsupilami: The Secret of the Sarcophagus is not very long and it takes about four to five hours to complete. We can add two or three more hours, as long as we missed some bonuses to collect, as well as taking the time to redo the levels in “Time Attack” mode. There are in itself no big surprises, but the game remains consistent in its approach to the platform and what it offers us. Even if we would have liked to have had a little more variety, with a bestiary that renews itself relatively little, as well as traps that all end up being alike. The levels are not the same, but we always use the same elements, like jump rings or mushrooms to bounce, which can get boring.

Marsupilami: The Secret of the Sarcophagus - A platform for everyone

It really lacks that little extra that would make the game a staple of the platform game. Its graphic universe is nonetheless pleasant, with environments crammed with details, as well as cool lighting effects in places. The music that accompanies our antics in the jungle or the cursed temple are discreet, but they work really well with the cartoon aspect that emerges from the game. We can still blame Marsupilami: The Secret of the Sarcophagus for having a scenario without much interest, in addition to not being put forward. Our three Marsupilamis discover a sarcophagus on the beach, with an entity that tries to bribe the animals in the area, then that’s it. This is done by a small cutscene of a few seconds at the start and end of the game, then it is settled. We would have appreciated a little more staging and humor, like the comic book by Franquin.

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