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

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ganbare Goemon: That other 3D platformer that isn't as good

Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot The full title of this game is Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage

This is the 2nd 3D platformer in the series, after Mystical Ninja 64. This game pretty much pushes the PSX to its limits in order to try to look as good as the N64 game, but obviously fails and doesn't look anywhere near as good.


At least the opening looks really cool.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBRn4fq0ONg

Also the cutscenes also have full voice acting, and some of the music tracks are pretty good.

You can't instantly switch between characters any time in this, instead you have to go into a certain building in towns to switch characters. There's not much difference between each character anyway. They each have their main weapon attack plus a kick attack, and they can also learn individual combo moves later on (they are really hard to execute, I've only managed to do them by accident). Ebisumaru now has a frying pan as his weapon... I've noticed for a while now but I don't think I've mentioned it, it's kind of neat how Ebisumaru uses a different weapon every single game. He's a really indecisive ninja who can't decide on what weapon to use.

In the intro cutscene, Omitsu asks you to go get an acorn from the mountain for her.. The game starts outside Goemon's house, and then you go out to the first stage of the game.. This first stage is just a linear path with enemies and some moving block platforms across an empty blue void... The enemies now have health bars, mostly just so they take longer to kill in order to extend the game's length. But a lot of times you can just outrun the enemies and ignore them.

At the end of the first stage, you find the acorn and go back to town after a scene where Ebisumaru gets sick off a mushroom, and you meet a doctor who helps him get better. When you return, Omitsu seems to have been kidnapped. Then you leave town through the other gate, and meet this trio of bad guys who are carrying Omitsu off in a bag, and then a giant robot appears and an Impact fight starts.

The Impact battles in this game are different.. but pretty fun. You can actually move around now and look left and right with the shoulder buttons. You only have two attacks. Triangle shoots a projectile, which is more powerful the more charged up it is, and if you wait until it's fully charged you'll shoot a laser beam. Circle is the punch attack, and its strength depends on how long you hold the button. The optimal strategy involves strafing around the boss, avoiding his attacks and moving in for punches and laser shots whenever you can.

After the battle, Goemon gets sick, and the other 3 now have to find medicine for him. For some reason you have to go back to the first area and talk to that doctor again before the next area will open up. In the next area, Ebisumaru, Sasuke, and Yae each have their own stages to collect the 3 items needed for Goemon's medicine, and at the end of each stage they each fight one of the 3 bad guys in an Impact battle. Each of the characters has their OWN version of Impact now. There's Ebisumaru Impact, Sasuke Impact, and Yae Impact, they all look really weird especially Yae's.

These levels aren't hard at all. There are some tricky jumps that are mostly due to bad camera issues, and a few dead-end paths that lead to health pickups or fortune dolls or combo scrolls, but otherwise still very linear.. Then after you get the 3 items, you have to go back through that first stage AGAIN to talk to the doctor and get the medicine from him. And then you can heal Goemon and head to the next area.

Next you get to the wise man's house, and he needs you to collect 12 parts to repair Goemon Impact. The 12 parts are all in this one big stage with multiple paths. This is where I quickly realize this game is lacking a map system of any kind, and finding your way around this stage when almost every platform looks the same is a real pain... I must've combed this area 5 or 6 times before finally finding all the parts.

Then after giving the parts to wise man, you have to go back through the first stage AGAIN (this is the 4th time now) to talk to the doctor guy for some reason, and now the last area of the game becomes open. You suddenly get to a snowy area (which is right next to a non-snowy area, wtf), and ahead is the entrance to Ayashige Castle, the last stage of the game. This castle level is HUGE. It's basically a maze. The wall/floor textures here actually have some decent variation instead of everything looking the same, but the stage still feels very bland and samey... The enemies here are tougher than the rest of the game too, and usually if you can't run away the best strategy is just to knock them off into the black foggy void. The game provides plenty of health pickups that regenerate when you walk far enough away, so there's practically no danger of dying here, unless you get ambushed by several enemies and can't get them off you. There's a few spots in the stage where you can save your game and switch characters.

When you get to the 5th floor, the bad guys activate a 5 minute timer, so now you have to find the 5th floor exit AND beat the boss at the end (the only non-Impact boss battle in the game) before time runs out, otherwise something bad happens to Omitsu and you have to restart the 5th floor again... Somehow they thought this stage wasn't confusing and stressful enough, they had to add a timer as well...

The main villain seems to be some woman who is this Castle's empress.. she seems to be trying to force Omitsu to marry a younger boy (her son?).. she summons a giant robot to fight you, and Goemon summons Impact. After the battle, the doctor from the mountain stage (who we had to revisit 4 times throughout the game) comes and starts talking as if he knows this empress person. It seems like these 2 have a relationship.. that's about all I can gauge from the context of this seen.

But it's still not over.. the guy who was about to marry Omitsu still has her captive. He summons another giant robot. Then Goemon and the others all summon their own Impact robots, which combine together into a Super Impact! ...it's still just the exact same thing as all the other Impact battles, but it's pretty cool to see.

At the end, it seems like Goemon is about to propose to Omitsu in front of a cherry tree, but then chickens out.

This was an okay game. Not great or anything. Its biggest flaws are just that it's short and it lacks polish.. I can forgive the bad textures and ugly models since it's a PSX game.. I guess it's worth playing if you like simplistic/archaic 3D platformers that don't try to do anything unique or interesting.

Anyway, here's a review video that does a better job than I do of describing the game, and is the only video I could find that samples all of this game's music (which really is pretty decent)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAPNY4JLepI


Screenshots:
Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage screenshot

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