Review Topic: Ganbare Goemon: Kurunara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage
Log Post #1 of 1
Log Post #1 | From: warpio | Posted: 7/27/2016 02:14:10 PM | Overall Rating: 6/10Updated: 7/27/2016 02:14:30 PM
|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 falls short and doesn't look anywhere near as good. At least the opening looks really cool.|
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.
The 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. The later stages get a bit more open and non-linear, but nothing too complex. The platforming itself isn't very 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, at least the early stages anyway...
The Impact battles in this game are very different... You can actually move around 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. It's not as good as the stationary style of Impact fights from other games, but still fun. Also, 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.
The adventure elements in this game aren't very good, but it could be partly because the game is untranslated so I can't really follow the story. It involves a lot of backtracking. I think I've had to go all the way back and forth through the first stage at least 4 times throughout the game to get some item or talk to an NPC to progress the story.
There's this one part later on where Wise Man needs you to collect 12 items to repair Goemon Impact. These 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.
This problem of lacking a map is even more annoying when you get to the last stage of the game. This stage is literally a maze of samey-looking Japanese castle rooms separated by moving platforms/bridges with various arrangements of enemies in the way. Some of the textures of the floors and walls are different, so you have to pay attention to that as well as the enemy arrangements between rooms in order to memorize where you've been and where you haven't been. 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. I must've wandered around in this level for a couple hours before finally finding the exit and getting to the stage boss.
This was an okay game. Not great or anything. Its biggest flaws are just that it's short and the game mechanics are very unpolished. 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, you can check out my log post of this game if you want a more in-depth, spoiler-filled write up of my experience with this game.
Also, 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)