Review Topic: Ganbare Goemon: Toukai Douchuu Ooedo Tengurigaeshi no Maki
Log Post #1 of 1
Log Post #1 | From: warpio | Posted: 7/27/2016 03:53:16 PM | Overall Rating: 7/10
|This is an isometric adventure/platformer game with really cool art design. It abandons the futuristic redesign of the previous 2 games, and goes back to the normal fuedal era designs... and the environments in this game all look like water color paintings. The gameplay is pretty standard Zelda-style action/platforming using the 4 main characters and their different attacks and abilities, as well as puzzles that involve using the touch screen to interact with the environment in certain ways.|
The game is divided into 8 chapters, with each chapter consisting of a town, and few field/dungeon areas where all of the action takes place. And sometimes there's a 2D platforming stage before the chapter's boss. It kind of plays like the more linear/modern Zelda games, where the exploration is streamlined and driven by the game's narrative, instead of having a whole big open overworld to freely explore at any time. There's a map on the upper screen, and it's very hard to get lost... The combat is decent, although Yae's attack is so short ranged she's almost useless, you practically have to take damage and stand inside an enemy before you can hit them. I mostly just stick to Goemon for his pipe attack to easily take out enemies.
Also this game has Impact battles that make really good use of the touch screen. Instead of being inside impact and controlling him in 1st person like usual, now you control both the human character and Impact in a sidescrolling view. Impact and the giant robot boss are in the background, and Goemon/whoever is in the foreground holding a DS-shaped remote to control Impact from the ground. You control Impact with touchscreen commands like "move left", "move right", "punch straight", "punch up", etc, and control the other character with the Dpad. The other character can collect ryo, health, and battery power that can give Impact special moves like super punch and mouth laser. Also certain attacks from the boss can cause your character in the foreground to drop the Impact remote, leaving Impact immobile for a while... These Impact battles are really unique a fun change of pace from the usual formula.
The non-Impact bosses aren't anything special. Some are in an isometric view and others are in a sidescrolling view, they're all pretty easy. Every chapter has a regular boss battle at the end but only every other chapter has an Impact battle.
As for optional/sidequest content, there's not much of it in this game. Almost every area has to be explored at least once in the main story.. There are these hidden white elephant things which you can find by tapping on certain parts of the environment, if you find all 30 of them in the game you unlock alternate costumes. There's also optional special abilities you can buy for each character that are all just different ways to destroy all enemies on the screen using an MP bar.
Every character also has a secondary ability that you learn throughout the game and are required for getting through the story. Goemon gets power gloves that are needed for block pushing puzzles, Ebisumaru gets a ballerina dress that lets him drill into the ground and find hidden passages, Sasuke gets a balloon attachment that lets him jump/glide a long distance, and Yae gets a fish transformation (not mermaid this time) for getting across the water... Also there's this one part where Ebisumaru eat's some other people's lunches, and turns into a big round ball, and you have to push him through the whole area, it's just as annoying as the watermelon stage from Mario Sunshine.
Some parts of the game have some really cool touch screen minigames. There's this one minigame where you have to make a pot with spinning clay, by touching the sides of it just right so that its shape matches the outline. And also there's a series of rooms where you have to draw Japanese characters on the ground, and it's very picky about it, the pen strokes have to be in the correct direction and everything.. and there's a puzzle where you have to arrange a face in several different ways using the available facial features.
The 2D stages in this game are just as gimmicky and aesthetically cool looking as the SNES games, but very short and there's not many of them. The touchscreen gimmicks in the 2D areas are just weird and pointless and only serve to slow down the pacing, but the stages themselves are good.
This was a very text-heavy game, and at some point I just stopped trying to follow the story at all. All I do know is that you start off by chasing down these 2 thieves who are impersonating Goemon and Ebisumaru, but these thieves later turn good, and the real bad guy is a tengu general wearing a mask and using mind control on people... There's a lot of random NPC errands you have to go through in order to progress through the game, which means I'm using a guide most of the time. I'd have probably really liked this game a lot if it were translated and I didn't have to deal with the tediousness of skipping through text for a large chunk of it. But the gameplay in between all the text was enjoyable.
Overall I'd say this was a solid entry in the Mystical Ninja series. It had a little bit of everything, and added some of its own unique flavor like the touchscreen based Impact battles. It was a decent length and didn't feel repetitive or boring at all. At least I'm glad the series died with this game, instead of that incredibly bland "New Age" GBA title.