The year 1999, the gaming world is striving with wonderful titles left, right and centre yet it was still wasn’t ready for this. The long awaited sequel to ‘Hugo’ is released and once again PlayStation consoles everywhere must endure another unprecedented s*** fest in the form of Hugo 2. Please do not feel ashamed if you have never heard of Hugo or any of its useless spin offs, as it probably would have been best to keep it that way.
It’s hard to put my finger on what genre Hugo 2 actually falls into, however for this review I shall refer to it as an adventure game although I do use this term lightly. The main protagonist of this ‘adventure’ is a rather hideous small troll appropriately named Hugo. It seems poor Hugo’s family is under threat from the evil witch Scylla and it’s up to you to save them. This involves traversing upon three adrenaline filled levels that put the most modern adventure titles to shame.
First impressions are not good; when I booted up Hugo 2 I thought the game was a joke. After a poorly animated introduction that screamed low budget, we are thrown straight into the deep end of Hugo 2’s advanced gameplay. The first level involves our friendly little troll riding down a snowy mountain on a log avoiding ‘oncoming’ snow balls. Yes, the snow balls actually roll uphill and try to kill you; I don’t know whether the Danish production team behind this masterpiece forgot about a little thing called gravity or they were simply too lazy to create anything more comprehensive. With luck you’ll be able to get Hugo out of this icy situation and onto the second mind boggling challenge, a mine cart chase! Other than the introduction this game has absolutely no narrative, so no explanation is given to the player how he got here.
After spending a couple of minutes working out how the remapped controls work for this level, off we go. However something strikes you almost immediately after you start playing; this is exactly the same as the first level just with your beloved log and snow balls changed to a mine cart and boulders. This pivotal change in the game structure may throw off some gamers, but those committed enough will be able to push on through to the game’s third and final level. (which believe it or not is strangely similar the second)
Hugo 2’s visuals are for the most part horrendous, with 2D hand drawn sprites used for the character models that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the Super Nintendo. Hugo’s environments are bland and uninspired which make for a functional experience at best, although the general sloppiness in presentation isn’t really acceptable for a PlayStation game.
Hugo 2 is an embarrassment. It appears that the production company was aiming for a very child friendly experience but even if I was eight years old, I definitely wouldn’t want to play this crap. It’s void of any kind of fun and will most likely leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth rather than any sense of satisfaction. If Atari decided it was best to bury all unsold copies of ‘E.T’ in the Nevada desert, then by all means Hugo 2 should be cast into a volcano. Do the decent thing as a gamer and avoid this game at all costs, but if you do see it make sure you dispose of it in the nearest receptical.