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

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ganbare Goemon: Kurofune Tou no Nazo (GB) playthrough log

Ganbare Goemon: Kurofune Tou no Nazo screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurofune Tou no Nazo screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurofune Tou no Nazo screenshot
The North American version of this game was titled "Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon", but I don't like calling it that because this game is so bad, it's an insult to the N64 game that shares the same title.

This game is entirely in top-down perspective, just like the first GB Goemon game. However, it's worse than the first GB game in pretty much every conceivable way. The platforming is almost non-existent. Some screens just have a few holes on them which you can jump over without any problem.. most of the gameplay involves killing/avoiding enemies and playing minigames.

Also, you can't enter any houses other than shops/inns. All the NPCs are just standing outside their houses. Why? The first GB game let you go inside houses, this is some lazy shit.

Here's the intro story: "A mysterious group of bandits calling themselves the Black Ship Gang appears in a black ship and begins committing indiscriminate thefts."
Goemon: "Blast that Black Ship Gang! They're committing indiscriminate thefts!"
the first NPC you talk to: "Have you heard? The Black Ship Gang comes from the Black Ship!"

...yep, we're off to a great start.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64) high playthrough log part 3/3

After beating the 2nd level, the kidnapped kids return to Folkypolk Village and Zazen Town, and everyone in these towns has something different to say, but none of it's really all that interesting or funny, just weird...
That dog at Zazen Town creek though
"Do you want to know who I really am, arf?
In fact, I come from a Dog Star far, far away! I am none other than that famous dog movie star... Quick, follow me, there is a kid stuck down a well...
Just kidding, arf!"

One of the kids who returned to Zazen Town tells me that the door to Chikogu Region has been stuck all this time because of a magical door-stopper that he put there. But now the door-stopper is out of batteries, so the door can open.. wtf is with these weird locked door explanations

The first area of Chigoku Region is [Bizen / Kurashiki] This place still looks just like a town, with buildings and walls everywhere, but none of the buildings are enterable, and instead enemies roam the area... Isn't it weird how most of this game's environments are all surrounded by walls? Like, is this what feudal era Japan was really like, with every town and road being walled in, making it feel like you're in a building with no ceiling?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64) high playthrough log part 2/3

After beating Benkei, he gives you a dead Sasuke with no batteries... The door behind Benkei leads to [Yamato], a large open area with no enemies and one of my favorite music tracks in the game:
For how big this area is, there's very little going on here. There's a tall house in the middle that you can't go in yet, an underwater tunnel that you can't go in yet, and 2 split paths leading into the forest. One of the paths leads to "Turtle Stone - Bamboo Forest", with a weird four directional rock puzzle. Pushing the rock in each of the 4 directions yields: money, a fortune doll, the key to the tall shrine in Yamato (which is a large platforming area with a couple fortune dolls in it), and a warp that leads to a tiny island out in the ocean with a fortune doll on it...

The other path in Yamato leads through the Bamboo Forest to [Kii - Awaji Island], which has another teahouse, and a travel agency that takes you to the next town by flying dragon. But the flying dragon has another of those Peach Mountain guys ontop of its head controlling it.. Beating that boss, the dragon transforms to her human form and introduces herself as Koryuuta. She says that the hot springs are where she took the children to when she was being controlled, and gives you a flute so you can call her any time to travel to any town or teahouse.

The place that you landed off the dragon is [Kompira Mountain], a huge stairway with a teahouse on the way up, and a shrine at the top.
- some guy: "I've got a really gloomy past, you see. Drifting for years, I've finally come to this place, you see.
Does that make me a nihilist?"

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64) high playthrough log part 1/3

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon screenshot Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon screenshot
This was actually one of the earliest 3D platformers I played, shortly after I finished with SM64 and before Banjo-Kazooie came out. So obviously I have a nostalgic soft spot for this game, and can easily overlook its early 3D era flaws... like for one thing, the camera control is awful, it likes to fight you all the time, and sometimes if you try to force the camera to move a certain way, it will just suddenly spaz out and circle around you constantly until you move somewhere else... I must've been used to these kind of flaws back then, but now that I've played so many other 3D games this flaw definitely sticks out now.

I can deal with the camera, though, because know mostly everything else about this game is amazing. For the most part I just try not to move the camera unless I have to, or just use the look around mode instead.

Here's the opening theme:

In the intro cutscene, a shopkeeper yells at a half-naked Ebisumaru for trying to seduce him into giving a discount. Then suddenly a giant flying peach shows up in the sky, these 2 mysterious characters talk about their ominous plan, and zap Edo Castle, and turn it into a European style castle. After that, the game starts, and the first thing you'll want to do is talk to every villager, because the NPC commentary in this game is hilarious.

- some woman: "Just now, Oedo Castle was hit by a mysterious beam, turning it into European Castle. If that beam hit me, would it turn me into a model EU citizen?"
- some old guy: "What? A UFO? What do you mean? I'm 85 years old you know!"
- some guy: "That huge peach that just came flying... What in the world was that?! Who in the world is going to eat such a huge peach!"
- some kid: "The officer's duty is to defend the peace of this town. By the way, I have no job!"

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ganbare Goemon: Kirakira Douchuu (SNES) playthrough log/review

Ganbare Goemon: Kirakira Douchuu screenshotThis game has the same world map format as the 2nd SNES game, but it's WAY harder, and a lot weirder too. It's also the first game where the main characters all get voice acting. It also carries over some things from the 3rd game, such as fortune dolls being health upgrades, and chain pipe grappling and other unique character abilities.

Story: Impact has his own planet now, and it's being invaded by a group of villains lead by Seppukumaru. Everyone agrees to help him, and the characters split off and go to each of the 4 moons of Planet Impact.

Most towns have fetch quests you need to do in order to get the character's special ability. There's this one weird part where Ebisumaru meets his rival, Obisumaru, and they have a competition where they have to collect the cute women around town while avoiding the old women. Yae's town sections are really annoying to do when you don't know Japanese.. There's a part where you have to become someone's "slave" and do his grocery shopping for him, literally impossible to do without knowing what he's saying or using a guide.

The action stages are all very challenging, mainly because of how unique and varied they are. This game just constantly throws insanely weird gimmicks at you all the time, you never know what to expect. These stages also have hidden fortune dolls, and some stages you can't get all the fortune dolls in until after you've beaten all 4 moons then you can freely switch between characters and use all the abilities.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ganbare Goemon 3 (SNES) playthrough log

Ganbare Goemon 3 screenshotThis 3rd SNES game is the first to emulate the Zelda-style overworld exploration gameplay. The game consists of two different styles, an interconnected overworld in top-down view, with towns and a maze-like path structure, similar to LttP. And 2D sidescrolling/platforming stages, but even these parts are much more non-linear and puzzle focused rather than the pure linear action style of the previous 2 games. The sidescrolling sections are more like Zelda II or Shantae-style dungeons.

You can now switch between characters on the fly, with the select button. Goemon's pipe weapon as good range, Ebisumaru is the slowest but has a hoola hoop attack that damages everyone around him, so he's the most useful to play as when there's a lot of enemies around. Sasuke is the fastest but his attacks are very short range, and his bombs are useless for offense... and now Yae is playable for the first time in this game. She's almost as fast as Sasuke and her katana has better range, so she's usually the best one to play as when exploring. She has the bazooka as her secondary weapon, but it's not as good as Goemon's coins or Ebisumaru's shurikens.

Also this game introduces the special abilities for each character that were carried onto the N64 games. Goemon has his Sudden Impact, where his hair turns gold and has increased damage. Ebisumaru has mini-Ebi for getting into small areas. Yae can turn into a mermaid... Sasuke's ability is just an attack that shoots out in all directions, which isn't really that great.

Also, this is the first game where the cat/fortune dolls are used as health upgrades, rather than weapon upgrades. The fortune dolls are well hidden in the overworld and sidescrolling section, encouraging you to explore all the side areas.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ganbare Goemon: Uchuu Kaizoku Akogingu (PSX) playthrough log part 2/2

The 2nd half of this game was unexpectly really hard. Maybe not as hard as SNES Goemon 4, but the longer stages in this made it seem harder. I kept getting gameover at the bosses, and had to redo the whole stage again after grinding for armor/rice balls.

The bosses themselves aren't that hard once you know their patterns, but they do take a lot of hits even when you're maxed out on experience. Once you learn the bosses patterns they become more of a test of endurance, just repeating the same actions over and over.

I managed to find all but 3 of the fortune dolls in the game. The walkthrough on gamefaqs doesn't even say where all of them are.. hmm that's weird, oh well.

The last stage is brutal.. especially the parts where you have to grapple with Ebisumaru and there's electric moving obstacles that make you fall if you touch them... fortunately this level actually has a save point before the boss, so I didn't have to worry about redoing the stage.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Ganbare Goemon: Uchuu Kaizoku Akogingu (PSX) playthrough log part 1/2

Ganbare Goemon: Uchuu Kaizoku Akogingu screenshotThis game is similar to Goemon 3 on SNES, overworld exploration mixed in with large sidescrolling stages. However it's a lot more straightforward, there's usually only one linear path that can be taken, with a few side paths here and there. This is definitely one of the more Zelda-like Goemon games though.

The character sprites look good, but the rest of the graphics look kind of ugly. Two of the playable characters in this are new, and I think this game is their only appearance. That green haired guy is Goruku, he punches, smashes rocks, and pushes boxes, his attack range is better than anyone else's making him the best to use against bosses. I'm not sure why he joined Goemon's party, but he's there... That old looking guy with the glasses is Baban. He's a space pirate who crash landed in Japan, and is the main focus of this story. He can hover in midair for a bit, so he's usually the best one to use for platforming.

This game starts off really easy. The fortune dolls are permanently missable, but not hard to find. There's an experience points system, that goes up as you kill enemies.. as far as I can tell, I think gaining levels makes your attacks stronger. Sometimes the bosses take a LOT of hits to kill so I'm wondering if I'm supposed to be grinding to level up first?

Ganbare Goemon 2 (SNES) playthrough log

Ganbare Goemon 2 screenshot Wow... I LOVE this game's art style. It's so vibrant and pretty. I just couldn't stop taking screenshots while I was playing. Even though I couldn't read any of the text, this game does a great job of telling its story through graphics alone.

Gameplay wise, this has a lot of improvements over the first SNES game. Here's the main things that are different.

- Goemon can now charge up coins to turn them into flaming coins.
- Goemon's pipe weapon can now get upgraded to the chain pipe, instead of the dumb yoyo.. and Ebisumaru has his own attacks now that are wider ranged.
- This game introduces various giant robot vehicles, including the village-destroying Goemon Impact! At the end of some levels is an Impact section where you rampage through a village, followed by a first-person boss battle.
- Sasuke the robot ninja is added as one of the main playable characters, he has a shorter range attack but is more mobile.
- Goemon, Ebisumaru, and Sasuke all have different play styles. Sasuke is the most agile but his weapons have lower range and attack power. Ebisumaru has the strongest attacks but can't jump very well. Goemon is the well rounded character.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou (NES) playthrough log

Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou screenshot

It's another Dragon Quest clone. Pointless to play it untranslated since there's no way of following the story, but I played through this anyway just to see all the character/enemy designs and various things that were carried over to other Goemon games from this one.