Hugo: Black Diamond Fever
|a game by||ITE Media|
|Platforms:||PC, GameBoy Color|
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 4 votes|
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|See also:||3D Platformer Games, Hugo Games|
Coming in as the fourth installment in a fairly cult-status children’s series, Hugo: Black Diamond Fever improves on many of its predecessors with engaging platforming and collect-a-thon gameplay. Inspired by other platformers of the early PlayStation era like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Croc, and even Tak and the Power of Juju—Hugo does a lot right to keep a younger audience entertained. It offers a colorful palette of distinct environments, zany characters, easy to collect items, and basic combat elements. While these facets of the game might limit the engagement of an older audience, it works perfectly to entertain the audience it was meant for and offer a sense of accomplishment for easy-to-beat levels.
Called to Help Again
Without shaking up the basic story of Hugo too much, the hero is once again called on (or rather, receives a letter) to help the citizens from the evil Scylla’s wrath. Scylla to Hugo, like Dr. Eggman to Sonic is the villain that always has a new dastardly plan to, basically, be more evil.
This time, Scylla is after the Black Diamonds, a source of power that can ‘make her more evil.’ So, not terribly complex as far as evil plans go. However, it’s enough to set Hugo off to Jungle Island and save the day.
Hugo does well to embrace the game it sets out to be and remain tonally consistent. Whether it be the vibrant colors that always seem to pop and give a warm visual style, or the easy elements to collect that make the game rewarding—it never overwhelms, but always subtly delights. The voice acting is goofy but sometimes witty, and the actual visuals are solid for the era.
It’s the best of its predecessors, to be sure, but in the same way a rather mindless experience. However, mindless for a game like this isn’t bad. It allows the player to relax—never having to stretch far from the linear path to collect gems or defeat enemies. That said, a game with this level of complexity might be more likely to be a phone game nowadays—and most smartphones can run ps1 level graphics so it could be a nice remaster.
Lost to the Classics
For all it’s simplicity, Hugo: Black Diamond Fever is a pretty fun game. While the camera can be annoying at times, as it doesn’t respond well to your progression and might limit your view of harder to reach gems—it isn’t a deal breaker. After all, Crash Bandicoot is known for its tricky camera too. That being said, the story is simple, but gives the most of the hero defeating the villain—as predictably that path might be.
However, somehow it feels like the over-arching story of Hugo is written by a scorned man named Hugo and the woman named Scylla that broke his heart.
All that being said, at least this game gave us the lovely horrible voice-acting of the assistant Croc, who sounds more like a Vogon from Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy than anything else.
- Solid platforming and collecting
- Vibrant presentation
- Simple, humorous story
- Pretty awful voice-acting
- Bad camera work
- Limited combat mechanics