Many SPOILERS are contained throughout these posts. You have been warned!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ganbare Goemon 2 (NES) playthrough log

Ganbare Goemon 2 screenshotThis game is amazing. It's like the first Goemon game except WAY better. This might even be one of my favorite NES games. Ganbare Goemon 2 introduces Ebisumaru. A 2nd player can play as him cooperatively alongside Goemon. They both have the same abilities. There's also a 3rd powerup, which is a sort of homing fireball, but it's kind of slow and has terrible range. Also sometimes instead of the lucky cats that appear from chests, you get feces, which downgrades your attack.

The gameplay here is a definite improvement over the first one. Same basic concept, with open ended towns, you have to find 3 passes and the exit.. but you can tell a lot more effort went into this one. The levels feel so much more varied and unique, not bland and samey like the previous game. There aren't as many hidden passages and 3D mazes, and there are more linear platformer-focused sections. And this game actually has boss battles, which the first one oddly lacked...

This game also introduces the wacky humor that the series is known for. A lot of houses have pointless dialog like:
"I bought Twinbee 2, The Goonies 2, and Gradius 2."
"Welcome back, hero of the tuna fish! To get to the next level you need... Ah, I'm in the wrong game."
"I am mystery chinese man. I tell quality joke. Straw hats past their heyday! ...You no laugh."
"I tell joke. A pun is its own reword. ... Why no laugh?"
"I tell joke no more. I am sick of life."

Also there are hot spring baths that restore your health, and if you go into the girls bath you get called a pervert, and get a towel thrown at you, lowering your health.
Ganbare Goemon 2 screenshot

Some of the end-level celebration scenes are a bit silly too..
Ganbare Goemon 2 screenshot

The story has improved as well.. Goemon is in jail at the beginning, and he meets Ebisumaru who gets thrown in jail for trying to steal the treasure from Karakuri Castle. Goemon helps him break out of jail and they start a quest to get back to that castle to treasure. Everyone in this village is saying that they hate the rich village leader and wish somebody would go and beat him up.. There's a 2D section where you jump up to the top of a castle and break in through the window, then you bust into the village leader's room and fight him. Goemon steals his money and shares it with the village.

At the 2nd level I accidentally came across a strange warp by jumping in front of a small buddha-like statue. It warped me to this hellish area that was actually pretty challenging
Ganbare Goemon 2 screenshot

I almost died getting through this section... and it had no rewards except putting me back out where I was.. I guess that's a trap and I'm supposed to avoid those statues.

The 8th level, has you go through a castle to find the "damyou", but when you get there you find out this is the wrong castle, and he tells you where to find Karakuri Castle. Goemon beats him up anyway and steals his money... The 9th level is the last one that requires passes to beat. I have to admit I did use a walkthrough for this level and some of the other pass-required levels, because the candles are much more rare in this game and don't last as long. Without a walkthrough I probably would've need to draw my own map and spend a ton of time jumping around everywhere looking for hidden stairs..

The 10th, final level is a giant castle with many doors, but most of the doors lead to a shop or a dead end, so it's actually very linear. Having the throwing attack makes this level a complete cakewalk, because of the narrow hallways you can just mash B and instantly kill any enemy in front of you. There's 5 bosses as you make your way through this level, and they are all pathetically easy... The ending is pretty hilarious.
Ganbare Goemon 2 screenshot Ganbare Goemon 2 screenshot Ganbare Goemon 2 screenshot Ganbare Goemon 2 screenshot

I was worried the series would take a while before it started to get good, but I actually liked this game enough that I even bothered to screenshot some highlights of it... If this is among the worst that the series has to offer than I'm really looking forward to playing the rest of them..

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