Review: Sigi – A Fart For Melusina (Switch)

A bit of a breeze.

By Marc Deschamps. Posted 09/19/2018 18:15 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Controls are solid; old-school graphics look sharp
Poison Mushroom for...
Extremely short length; little in the way of challenge; the developer fails to embrace the game's absurdity

There are few things funnier than a well-timed fart. That said, low-brow humor just isn’t for everyone. Unfortunately, Sigi’s flatulence wasn’t all that endearing to Melusina, a lovely mermaid chased off by his vulgar display. This leads the titular star of Sigi: A Fart For Melusina to pursue the woman of his dreams, in hopes of finding her and winning her over.

In Sigi, players will traverse 20 platforming levels that draw inspiration from a number of great games. Skeletons, ghosts and other opponents evoke Capcom’s Ghosts ‘n Goblins, while the ability to snag the letters S-I-G-I for extra lives is reminiscent of Rare’s Donkey Kong Country. Sigi the knight’s design also seems to be an homage to Mario, a fact all the more glaring given the game’s Home icon and concept art.

The game might pull from a handful of classic platformers, but it never quite manages to rise to their same level of quality. While developers sometimes make platformers too unforgiving, Sigi is just the opposite: the title is far too easy. Twenty levels might sound impressive, but most stages can be completed in a minute or less, and the level of difficulty remains fairly static throughout the majority of the campaign; as a result, there really isn’t the sort of learning curve that the best platformers are known for. Boss encounters make things slightly more cerebral, but these still prove to be a minor threat as extra lives are fairly easy to come by. The final boss offers a decent challenge, but the game places three extra lives in plain sight right at the end of the level prior. Players could avoid them if they so desire, but the onus shouldn’t be on the player to make their experience more difficult.

Unfortunately, there are no options for altering the game’s difficulty level, and most players should be able to breeze through the game in about 45 minutes to an hour. Players can extend the experience a little by tracking down hidden treasures, but the game does a poor job of helping players keep track of their findings. A Fart For Melusina offers a nice overworld map, but nothing on the map screen, title screen or pause menu will let them know what they’re looking for in each stage or how much of the game has been finished. The only way to find out the percentage completed is a screen that appears after the final boss has been defeated, taking away any of the incentive there might be to plumb each level for treasures and secrets.

These issues are certainly problematic, but the game’s biggest issue stems from its humor: developer Sometimes You never truly embraces the absurdity of the premise. The word “fart” is in the game’s title yet, outside of Sigi’s short moments of celebratory flatulence at the end of each stage, farts play no actual role in the gameplay. In fact, the humor feels kind of tacked on. An equally flatulent, Hulk Hogan-inspired end boss uses fart attacks, but that only made me wonder why Sigi didn’t, as well. The game’s titular character can throw medieval-era weaponry, but those types of weapons can be found in any generic video game. It feels like the developer couldn’t commit to the game being either an homage to Ghosts ‘n Goblins or a game about fart humor, and the results never quite gel. It actually seems like the kind of absurd game the boys on South Park would play during a moment of narrative exposition, rather than a very real game you’d find on the eShop.

There are certainly a lot of flaws in A Fart For Melusina, but that isn’t to say there aren’t some upsides to the game, as well. The title’s pixelated graphics are crisp, and there isn’t a hint of slowdown, even when the screen starts to fill-up with foes. Most importantly for any platforming game, the controls are responsive, and easy to master.

If you’re a fan of fart humor, there aren’t a lot of options on the eShop, outside of South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Sigi: A Fart For Melusina doesn’t quite fully commit to the joke, but that doesn’t make it a terrible game; it’s just a hard one to recommend when Switch has so many other terrific platformers to choose from that last quite a bit longer. Still, the controls are tight and the old-school visuals are mostly charming. Some might admire the fact that Sigi doesn’t linger, but with a difficulty level that stays low and doesn’t ramp up until the very last boss fight, there just won’t be enough here for most players to justify a purchase.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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