Hugo and Hugo 2 (PlayStation)
Hugo and Hugo 2 are mini-game collections developed and published by ITE Media. Two Hugo games for the PlayStation are compilation console remakes of six games released on Commodore 64 (only the first game), Amiga (only the first two games), MS-DOS, Macintosh and Microsoft Windows.
For those of you who don't know, Hugo started out as a Game show (originating in Denmark) created by ITE Media (who are also the developers of the game), where the player would call the show's Hotline, and if they were chosen, they would play the selected Mini-Game by using the digit buttons on the phone while looking on their TV screen, like a Video Game. The series became really successful, managing to be aired in over 40 countries during its lifespan, and getting merchandise and games.
Once upon a time, there was a troll family living in a forest. They were living happily in the forest, but little did they know about the danger looming nearby. Over in a short distance is a mountain on top of which is a skull-shaped cavern. This cave is a home to an evil witch Scylla, the villain of this game.
One day, Hugo's three kids and his wife Hugolina were playing outside their house. That's when Scylla made her move and ambushed the troll kids. Hugolina heard this and ran outside only to be kidnapped along with the children. At the same time, Hugo was having a nap, only to awaken quickly to see what's happening outside. Sadly, he was too late and the witch was already heading back to home with Hugolina and the kids. Hugo immediately went after the witch to save his family...
After saving his family from the evil witch in the first game, Hugo and his family are flying back home in Hugo's biplane. Little did they know, that they are in danger once again. The evil witch Scylla has somehow managed to get the possession of a very old magic book, once which allows the user to control the weather. She manages to summon a very ominously looking cloud.
Scylla sends the cloud after Hugo's biplane to re-capture Hugo's wife, Hugolina, laughing very evil-like while doing so. The cloud manages to catch up to biplane, unbeknown for Hugo that it is Scylla's old tricks at first. Hugo soon notices the cloud, but is too late to do anything about it. The cloud manages to nab Hugolina within itself and leaves back to Scylla.
Once Hugo notices that Hugolina is missing, he knows it was Scylla behind the cloud. But the kids are still on the backseat, which then Hugo gives them parachutes and tells them to jump off the plane. Right after the troll kids jump off the plane, Hugo fortunately manages to crash land at a snowy mountain. He then starts his quest to get the kids and his wife back.
Why They Suck
- Generic stories. Mainly based on the vicissitudes of the family, where soon our antagonist, or more precisely the witch called Scylla kidnaps the family. The second game is practically the same. Apparently, ITE Media put together a quickly undemanding story to release production as quick as possible.
- Lazily made game covers.
- The first one only offers the silly face of a hero who escapes from an alternative world, destroying the large white screen/wall.
- And the second one depicts a hero again with a silly expression on his face who escapes from cave along with the accompanying wagon and bags with diamonds.
- Annoying voice acting. Hugo sounds like a bum, while sitting with a beer in a village grocery store, pretending to be autistic.
- Abysmal graphics, especially in the "three-dimensional" levels.
- On a level in the mountains, from time to time you can see inefficient 3D elements that look terrible.
- Terrible looking sprites that might cause strong vomiting.
- Hugo looks like he was fried in a frying pan, put in the fridge, and spent several days in the river.
- Music is a feast for your ears (and not in a positive sense). You will only hear a cacophony compilation that you will forget faster than you're thinking.
- Ear-bleeding and cringe-worthy sound effects.
- Every time when you screw anything, you are rewarded with a cutscene where Hugo usually says something like "Something went wrong, better try again!".
- The cutscenes are terribly poor. You have the opportunity to see the artistry of graphic designers who have tried to combine several artistic styles, especially at the beginning:
- The trees, backgrounds and a house are two-dimensional.
- The trolls are three-dimensional models, which they try to combine with a cartoon-ish style.
- Unfunny cutscenes when the player screws up with something.
- The mini-games are boring and repetitive, which are randomly selected.
- The endings are unsatisfactory. In the first game, after you manage to finish all mini-games and reach into the Rope End, you have to choose which rope to pull (by pressing Square, Triangle, or Circle) in order to save Hugo's family.
- The best outcome is the ending where Scylla gets tied up, launched away from the cave via a springboard and the family is free from the cage. Afterwards, a cutscene of Hugo will plays, where he speaks to the player and congratulate them for saving the family and getting all Bonus Items (if the player did so, otherwise that cutscene won't play), and ending with the family sitting near a bonfire while Hugo tells them about his adventures in order to save them. Getting this ending will double (or even triple) the points you had, and an extra mini-game on the main menu, Magic Hands (if the player collected all Bonus Items).
- The neutral outcome is essentially the same like with the best outcome, though the differences are that Scylla escapes, you will get no point multiplier (or at least have your points doubled), and regardless if you got the Bonus Items, the bonus mini-game won't be unlocked.
- The worst outcome is Hugo getting caught in the trap, by also getting tied up, and saying "I'll be back!" before he gets launched away from the cave the same just like in the best outcome. This will cause you to lose half of the points you got, and worse, it returns you back to the start of the island. Even worse, the outcome is randomly choosen, regardless of which rope you pulled, so you might not get the one you expected, and if you're unlucky enough, you may even get the worst outcome twice, wasting even more time from you!
- The second game's ending is more unsatisfactory, as it's just Hugo escorting Hugolina. That's it. Nothing else.
- The games are extremely short. The first game can be completed in less than an hour if you manage to get the neutral or best outcome, and the second even less than half an hour.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- The games support Dutch, Portuguese and Nordic languages which is extremely rare for the PS1 standards.
The games received negative reviews. Thunderbolt gave for Hugo 2 a 1/10, summarizing: "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".
British YouTuber Pixel Pursuit gave for both games a 1/10, calling the first one worse PS1 game than Bubsy 3D and the 2nd one probably the worst game he had ever played.