Review: Little Medusa (Retro)

Little Medusa: Official GBAtemp Review

Retro 2,528 views 4 likes 11 comments
Reviewed by Prans Dunn, posted Sep 8, 2018
Sep 8, 2018
  • Publisher: Mega Cat Studios
  • Developer: Mega Cat Studios
  • Genres: Puzzle
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
Back with their retro games homage is Mega Cat Studios with Little Medusa, or what they call the spiritual successor of Kickle Cubicle. Take control of Artemizia, heir to the Olympian Greek throne, as she fights her way out of a curse to take back Mount Olympus from the Titans in this brand-new NES cartridge!
Prans Dunn

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A Tale of Revenge In Ancient Greece

After Zeus and the Olympia Gods chased and imprisoned Kronus and the other Titans, Kronus’ wife Fiora put her plan for revenge into execution. She secretly replaced the mirror of Artemizia, the young goddess destined to rule after Zeus, with a Gorgon Glass. The latter is a Titan artifact which transforms whoever looks through it into a Medusa - and that’s exactly what happened to Artemizia!

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Thinking she has gone missing after her transformation, the Olympians spread throughout the whole Cosmos in search of Artemizia. In their absence, Fiora seizes the opportunity to free the Titans and their pawns and takes over the Olympian Throne!

Now it’s up to you to help Artemizia to right the wrongs and claim what’s rightfully hers!

Ancient Console, New Game

Continuing with their philosophy to bring the feel of games of old to a contemporary audience, I commend Mega Cat Studio’s effort. While from the outlook Little Medusa looks very much like Kickle Cubicle, the team produced 5 new, colorful and hand drawn worlds with various levels of their own. Worry not about your progress as it is saved on the cart itself!

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Travelling from world to world, you’ll come across quite a variety of enemy types, from cyclops to centaurs to minotaurs, who’ll impede Artemizia’s progress. True, the little Goddess has been turned into an unrecognizable Medusa, but on the flip side she has the powers of a Medusa as well! So to progress she’ll be able to turn opponents into stone statues that she can push over empty areas to create new platforms to access otherwise unreachable areas. Her other ability is being able to create boulders to block an opponent’s way. In this way you’ll have to pay attention to every enemy’s moves to hit and/or block it at the right moment at the right ledge to be able to collect those stars that are instrumental to clear a level.

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This simple mechanic proves to be quite challenging at times, leaving you scratching your head for a while before figuring out the best approach to clear a level. This is because Little Medusa is essentially a puzzle game where you’ll have to create your own pieces by petrifying foes, and figure out how to place them to progress. Given that it’s also the only mechanic in the whole game, it does feel a bit overused, but it can also be attributed to the NES’ technical limitations. Nevertheless, figuring out how to deal with the mythological beasts with the limited techniques available can require some creativity at times and can prove to have a steep learning curve, especially for those better acquainted with “Nintendo-hard” difficulties.

The writing often feels shallow but that's not the focus of the game. I often found myself moving across levels and then pausing, asking myself how and why I'm in this particular location.

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As with Creepy Brawlers, Little Medusa packs an Achievement menu for bragging-rights retro style, i.e. not through social media but through the menu itself on the screen. Other notable features include an unlockable world with an alternate ending if you solve puzzles quickly enough and the Olympian Mode which involves permadeath, but is also the only way to unlock a special achievement.

Contemporary Relic

As is customary with Mega Cat Studios, if you want to test the game before deciding to buy it, you can have a sneak peek via the free demo. As for the full NES version, you have the option to buy the cartridge only at $49.99 or get it complete in-box at $59.99.

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I'm once again impressed by the faithfulness to the look and feel of Mega Cat Studios' NES carts and boxes. If not for the game, you could purchase it only as a memorabilia.

Little Medusa Trailer

Verdict
Pros
+ Challenging
+ Varied levels and worlds with different enemy types
+ Works on original NES
Cons
- Looks too similar to Kickle Cubicle at times
- Overused mechanic
- Steep difficulty curve
- Shallow writing
7
out of 10
Overall
Mega Cat Studios did it once again: a laudable accomplishment at producing new, authentic hardware and software that are reasons enough bring to dust off your NES.


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