Goof Troop

[youtube id=”9dJ69Mlcph0″ width=”633″ height=”356″]

Goof Troop

Capcom & Disney just fit together so well. You have Disney’s memorable characters backed up by Capcom’s outstanding record of classic game after classic game. Back in the day the Super Nintendo was THE machine to own Capcom games on. It had Street Fighter 2 before anyone else, it had Mario & it had some of Capcom’s finest Disney releases, including Goof Troop & the 3 Mickey’s Magic Quest games.

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

While the 3 Mickey Mouse games were platformers, Capcom decided to make Goof Troop a Zeldaesque title. The view is similar to Zelda, the gameplay is similar to Zelda, you have some items that were in Zelda making appearances here. So why don’t we just play Zelda??? Good question.

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

Let’s answer that question with another question. What are the similarities between Zelda & Goof Troop? Here’s a list:

– Same viewpoint
– Same items such as keys, the hookshot & a candle (instead of a lamp)
– It’s just as fun

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

That third one is the clincher. It’s just as fun as playing Zelda. Yes it blatantly rips off certain parts of the A Link To The Past, but it stands on its own as a fun game that’s a lot easier than Zelda & is going to appeal to kids.

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

For this review I managed to finish this in one sitting, it really is a very easy game & extra lives are in abundance. You collect red gems for extra lives & pieces of fruit to build up your life metre. Cherries give you 1 heart & bananas give you 2. Once you have 6 hearts you get an extra life. This is both good & bad, you see, when you have no hearts & you get hit you die. When you have hearts & get hit you can continue. If you get 6 hearts & then another life, it means you have an extra life but no hearts, so whereas before you could get hit & continue you now die when hit. It’s a very strange setup.

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

The game features little cut scenes that explain the story over the course of the game. Goofy, Max, Pete & PJ were out fishing together in separate boats. All of a sudden Pete & PJ’s boat is taken by a pirate ship. Goofy & Max go to rescue them but along the way find out that Pete resembles Keelhaul Pete, the pirate’s leader hence the problem. The pirates thought they were rescuing their leader. Pete of course takes advantage of this, but when the real Keelhaul Pete returns the rescue mission kicks up a notch as Pete & PJ really are in danger now.

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

The player can control either Goofy or Max, or in 2 player mode one player controls each of them. Goofy is the slower of the 2 but doesn’t slow down when holding an item, whereas Max is quick, but does slow down when holding something. Max can sometimes take 2 goes to hit an enemy whereas Goofy only takes 1. I preferred to use Max as he’s quick to get away when you don’t have a weapon, but it’s down to personal preference.

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

The controls are simple, you walk around with the D pad, B picks up, throws objects & allows you to catch, Y uses an item selected & L changes the selected item. Strangely enough Select pauses the game instead of Start. I always find it odd when a game does this, Turtles in Time is the same. Why the different button? Who knows…

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

So what are some of the differences between this game & Zelda? Firstly when the hookshot (or rope gun as the manual calls it) is used to bridge a gap the rope stays in place & you lose the item. There’s no overworld, the game is just a series of levels, & the game tends to focus more on puzzle solving than Zelda which is more action based.

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

Also unlike Zelda you can only carry 2 items at a time, but it’s not a big issue here as you don’t need to backtrack after leaving an important item behind. The game is structured so it feels like a lazy trek through the levels. That’s the best way I can describe it really. There are no real tense moments where you’ll get stuck, or face an enemy that’s difficult to beat. If you do get stuck there are passwords for each of the worlds.

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

The music gives the game a very Disney feel & the final level music just feels right for being on a pirate ship. The sound effects fit the gameplay well, but there’s nothing really special to note about them.

If you like Zelda but have either played it to death or just want to relax a little then Goof Troop is the game for you. The levels are a walk in the park, the bosses aren’t terribly taxing & it’s just plain fun. A bit too easy & a bit short, but it does the job.

Goof Troop - Disney - Capcom - SNES

 

I give this one 80%. It’s a lot of fun, but way too easy.

Ufouria: The Saga

Ufouria-The Saga

Ufouria: The Saga

I’ve been known in the past to complain about games & systems that Australia never got & how much better the Americans (& the Europeans in some respects) have it than us. Yes I am somewhat of a whinger, but let’s look at the history. When I think of games that never made it to Australia I think of:

Final Fantasy 2 & 3 – SNES
Megaman Collection – GC
Cubivore – GC
Megaman 64 – Nintendo 64
Hey You Pickachu – Nintendo 64…

Ufouria-The Saga

… actually that last one isn’t a bad thing… My girlfriend still has nightmares about yelling into that microphone & having the little electric puffball do either nothing or something else. ANYWAY, let’s save that for another review. As it happens, there were a few English releases Australia did get that the American’s did in fact NOT get. Sounds strange I know. Traditionally games come out in Japan first, then get translated for North America, then if they feel like it we might see a PAL release. That was not the case for Ufouria, which for some unknown reason was released in Europe & Australia, but not the US.

Ufouria-The Saga

Ufouria is a platformer that is similar to Wonderboy 3. It offers one big world to play in rather than individual levels & includes different areas that only certain characters can access. Seeing the similarities so far? The only real difference is that Ufouria features 4 seperate characters & Wonderboy 3 features changes to the 1 character, but from a gameplay perspective that hardly matters. For those not familiar with Wonderboy 3, let’s have a look at what makes this a great game.

Ufouria-The Saga

The game starts with Bop Louie (I’ll get to the names later) who has been transported from his homeworld of Ufouria to this mysterious world with 3 of his friends who he has been seperated from. Bop Louie has the ability to bop his head into enemies to defeat them. All the characters start off with one ability, but upgrades for each character are available. For example, later in the game Louie can gain the ability to climb calls.

Ufouria-The Saga

The first thing Louie needs to do is to rescue his friends. The problem is that when you find one of Louie’s friends they start to attack you. I’m probably giving away part of the storyline here, but each of Louie’s friends has been brainwashed & must be defeated to knock some sense into them & have them join your party. Freeon Leon is the first candidate for some brain wash bashing. He has the ability to swim on top of the water & walk on ice, which will lead you to Shades who can float, then Gill who can swim underwater. You can change characters are any point in the game which you will need to do on a regular basis.

Ufouria-The Saga

Aside from battling your friends, there are also bosses in the game who each offer a different challenge. While they can be difficult (particularly the one in the submarine) you never feel like they’re impossible to beat.

Ufouria-The Saga

The music is very boppy & enjoyable. At the recent Ultracade event I got to hear a remix of the main tune which surprised me as I didn’t think the game was popular enough for that sort of attention. Sound effects are your standard Nintendo platform affair, so there’s nothing that really stands out.

Ufouria-The Saga

The controls are brilliant. One thing Nintendo systems are good at is platform games & this is no exception. All the characters move just as they should. You feel the bump as a character slips on the ice & falls over. You feel the inertia as you slowly start moving in the water & progressively speed up.

Ufouria-The Saga

Now onto the names. In Japan there is a series of games based on a character called Hebereke. Ufouria is one of the Hebereke games rebadged for the Western market. Not only the names have changed, but the character sprites have been modified from the Japanese original for some strange reason. Bop Louie is actually the “Westernised” version of Hebereke himself. This doesn’t affect the gameplay in any way shape or form however.

Ufouria-The Saga

To make things even wierder, the Australian & European versions differ slightly. The main character sprites look the same, but the health status & a few other minor things were changed. The bulk of the game is the same, which begs the question: why?

Ufouria-The Saga

If you have difficulty the handy password option is there to allow you to continue your game. The only problem with this is you always start in the same spot, so if the boss is a fair distance away you have to go all the way back to them, but everything you’ve done up to that point is unlocked.

Overall if you owned a NES but loved Wonderboy 3, this was a great alternative. The controls are outstanding, there is minimal sprite flicker with the graphics & the music is brilliant. So it’s time to be patriotic people. Put your hand on your heart & declare to the world just how proud to be Australian. After all, we got Ufouria & the US didn’t.

5/5

 

Super Bomberman 4

Super Bomberman 4

Super Bomberman 4

There are 5 Super Bomberman games on the SNES/SFC. Not many people know this as in the Western world only the first 3 were released. The problem is that Super Bomberman 4 was released in 1996 which was around the time the SNES had started to drop in popularity. The world was anticipating the next generation of systems, & the 16 bit machines were being abandoned. Not in Japan however, where SNES games were made well into the year 2000. On a side note, recently a Bomberman article featured in Retrogamer magazine where they claim that number 5 was the only one never released outside Japan, but I can’t find any evidence to suggest 4 was so we’ll put that down to being a mistake.

So let’s have a look at the game. A very nice intro starts us off with Shiro & Kuro (another little known fact is that the 2 Bombers actually have names) asleep on a rocket ship which is attacked by a group of 5 evil bombers.

Super Bomberman 4

The guys are then awoken from their sleep & they are sent into a world full of clocks for some reason with a little girl dressed in cowboy clothes. Hey, it’s Japanese, I don’t speak it, so that’s the best I can give you. The manual has a little comic at the start which explains the story, but as it too is in Japanese I can’t refer to that for plot points I’m afraid. Does the plot of a Bomberman game REALLY matter though? We all know what we’re here for. BLOWING THINGS UP!!!

As you can see by the title screen at the top of the page you have your typical 3 options of “Normal Game”, “Battle Game” & “Password” for the normal game. If you’ve ever played a Bomberman game you’ll be pretty familiar with these options. If not I’ll explain as we go along. How does Bomberman 4 differ from the others? Well I’m glad you asked…

Here’s the first stage:

Super Bomberman 4

Not a lot in it, is there? Looks like Bomberman 1, Bomberman 2 & Bomberman 3. Bomberman 5 had a massive graphics overhaul which will be covered in another review later on. But here we are, typical Bomberman play. For the uninitiated, You play as Shiro (the white bomber) or Kuro (the black bomber) & using an infinite supply of bombs (though initially you can only use 1 at a time) you must blow up boxes blocking your path to the enemies, collect any powerups that may appear from those blocks, then blow up the enemies, then an exit will appear. You go to that exit & it’s level over. It really is the simplest of concepts.

Super Bomberman 4

Each Bomberman game has little things which differentiate it from the one previous. Bomberman 3 was quite innovative in that it had the Louies (Rooies), who were kangaroo type characters that you could ride. When blown up, some of the blocks in the level would reveal an egg you could collect. It would hatch into a Louie & you could ride it. Each Louie has its own special ability. Yes, it’s Bomberman’s version of Yoshi, but we won’t dwell on that as the Louies aren’t in this game. They do come back in Bomberman 5 however.

Super Bomberman 4

Bomberman 4 expands on this feature by allowing you to defeat enemies & use their special abilities. Some enemies when blown up will become green spotted, or metallic eggs. You collect the eggs, they hatch back into that enemy you blew up & they become your pets, allowing you to ride them & use their special abilities.

Unlike Bomberman 3 you can stockpile these guys allowing you to ride one & carry 2 eggs behind you in reserve. The problem with this is when you lay a bomb you must get those eggs out the way or they WILL be destroyed, even if you’re clear of the bomb yourself. If you are in a 2 player game your ally can come & pinch one of the eggs. This can be a problem in Battle Mode which we’ll cover later.

Super Bomberman 4

Another new idea introduced in this game is the idea of imprisoned Bombers who you can free. In some levels you will see a rattling cage such as the one pictured below. It’s along the left. side of the image.

Blow up the cage & you get yourself an ally for the remainder of the level. Here he is in the top left corner of the screen.

Why is he up there for seemingly no reason? Well the problem is these Bombers aren’t too bright, just seeming to lay bombs at random. This can cause problems as they don’t seem to care where you are when they place them. You don’t HAVE to free them to pass the level, so if you want to leave them to rot in their tiny cages go right ahead. They deserve it!!

Super Bomberman 4

I haven’t touched on the powerups yet. Upon destroying blocks you may find one of the following:

Skates for speed
Wooden sandals to slow you down
Additional bombs
Additional blast power
Viruses that cause random negative affects
Remote control bombs
Protection vest
The ability to kick bombs out of your way
The ability to punch bombs
The ability to be hit once & still remain in the game
Extra lives
Spikey bombs that go through blocks
Clock that freezes enemies
The ability to go through walls
The ability to pick up other Bombermen & throw them
The ability to push other Bombermen
2 others I can’t understand from the manual. One has a picture of a question mark & another as a normal human face. I never saw this item while playing the game, so I don’t know what it is.

Super Bomberman 4

The single player mode showcases some impressive bosses. The guys at Hudson really have a good imagination when it comes to designing some of these.

Not much to say here. Hit them 8 times with a bomb blast & they’re history.

Music is fun as always with variations on Bomberman themes featured in the earlier games. In Bomberman 3 as soon as you turned the console on you would hear a voice saying “By Hudsonsoft”. This voice is back but it’s slightly slower & less high pitched. The little Bombers will speak occasionally, but as it’s in Japanese I don’t really know what they’re saying.

Super Bomberman 4

Let’s move on to Battle Mode. Bomberman 4 gives us a little more yet keeps the improvements introduced in Bomberman 3. You can either choose a generic Bomber or one of the 5 enemies.

Now these guys aren’t just new sprites that look different. Each of the Bombers has their own special ability which can be used to cause problems for the opposition. For example, one of them can swing a ball & chain over their heads knocking items off anyone they hit & scattering them across the screen for other players to pick up. Another one can shoot fire destroying anyone it hits, but he loses all his powerup abilities for a short time afterwards. Now you & all of your friends will want to play Battle mode over & over trying all 6 of them… presumably that was the idea anyway…

Super Bomberman 4

When a Bomber gets blown up you can switch on an option that will allow them to come back & exact revenge on the players still in the play field. They pilot little ships that hover on the outside of the play field & can lob bombs into it. If a player is hit on the head with one of these bombs they get stunned & lose some of their items which will scatter around the screen, so if you blow someone up watch out!!! They may come back & hunt you down.

Super Bomberman 4

Summary.

This is without a doubt my favourite Bomberman game & it’s a shame it was never released outside Japan. What makes it my favourite? I personally think it’s the most innovative of the 5 games. Lots of new ideas which expand on an old favourite. It’s got to be 5/5. Sheer Hudsonsoft brilliance.

SNK vs Capcom: Match of the Millennium

SNK vs Capcom: Match of the Millennium

Released 1999

System: Neo Geo Pocket

Review done by Paul Monopoli

SNK vs Capcom

SNK vs Capcom: Match of the Millennium (from here on referred to as MOTM) is the first in the SNK & Capcom vs games. Being a fan of both franchises I purchased this game on release, & I didn’t even own a Neo Geo Pocket!!! It took another 6 months to get that, which means MOTM was sitting in the top of my cupboard eagerly awaiting it’s first play. So 6 months of waiting… it’s a long time. Was it worth it? In a word YES. WAIT, don’t leave the review yet. Don’t you want to know why it was worth it? Thought so…
This game is just so much fun. The game box promises “… the best of both worlds…” & it delivers.

When you first start the game you’re treated to a slide show of clips featuring the characters in the game in chibi form. Don’t let this put you off, it’s actually one of the best features of the game & makes it fit in a lot better than the main console versions. Let’s jump to the main menu:

SNK vs Capcom
So here are our options:

Tourney is the main game. Get in there & start fighting.

VS Mode. Do I need to explain this one? I probably should point out the obvious, being that you’ll need 2 Neo Geo Pockets, 2 versions of the game & the link cable. I don’t know if the wireless linkup device works on this game. Yes the Neo Geo Pocket had a wireless linkup device well before the Gameboy Advance ever did.

Olympic features side games which we’ll cover a bit later.

Entry allows you to customise you own character. I wasn’t very big on this feature. All you can do is create custom music & cheesy tag lines for the characters. Meh…

Sparring is just a non stop practice mode.

Record let’s you view your… well records. Win/Loss & all the rest of it. Let’s jump into Tourney, because this is where you’ll be spending most of your time:

SNK vs Capcom

This is where it REALLY starts to get impressive. SNK & Capcom fans are well & truly covered here. You can battle it alone, with a partner in a Capcom “vs style” match or in an SNK style 3 on 3 team. Let’s have a look at the characters:

SNK vs Capcom

Here’s the lineup. SNK on the left, Capcom on the right but HOLD ON. 4 blank spaces per side… Could there maybe be some HIDDEN characters? Why yes there are thanks for asking, & yes it’s 4 additional characters per side. I’ll get to unlocking them a bit later, as the review has been positive so far. I don’t want to ruin it. On this screen I’ve chosen Capcom “tag” mode, hence the 2 character boxes per side.

In both the TAG & TEAM modes you’re given the option of choosing who goes first, or in the case of TEAM who goes first & second.

SNK vs Capcom

The gameplay looks excellent. Sure we’re let down by 2 colour characters, but this is more a limitation of the Neo Geo Pocket than it is the game itself. The attention to details is amazing. Rivalries are all covered at the start of battles. Each Capcom character has an SNK rival & of course you have the original rivalries of Ken vs Ryu, Kyo vs Iori, Terry vs Geese (oops, did I just give away a hidden character??). They all interact & say things that highlight that maybe these 2 characters have a history. If the characters aren’t rivals then you get your generic statement & away you go.

Sound is great with every character getting their own background music. Music from Fatal Fury, Street Fighter 2, Samuari Shodown is all present. Hits feel like hits & while you’re not going to get an almighty HADOUKEN!! out of the little Neo Geo Pocket, you get suitable sound effects for every occasion.

The developers DIMPS are obviously fans. You tell me how many programmers would go into such minute details about making sure Ryu & Ken have different fireballs a la Street Fighter Alpha?

SNK vs Capcom

All the supers are there. From the Capcom vs games, to the King Of Fighters games, they’re all here

SNK vs Capcom
There’s Ryu doing his super Hadoken.

 

So the main game gets a 10 out of 10 from me. Superb playability. Yes the characters are chibi, but this makes them FEEL like they’re a part of the same universe, which is something I had problems with with the main console versions. Punches & kicks feel like they’re hitting, Massive fists & feet actually don’t feel out of place.

On a side note: The Neo Geo Pocket joystick is without a doubt the finest fighting controller used on a portable system, & after a few minutes of playing you can tell that SNK designed this little baby for fighters.

So it’s been all pretty good so far. Let’s move on…

Olympic mode is the other part of the game you’re going to be spending some time in. The only problem is that it’s really average. The olympic events are hosted by SNK & Capcom Characters. Rimururu will take you through the SNK section while Sakura’s rival Karin is your Capcom guide. Here’s Rimururu with a list of options:

SNK vs Capcom

Entry is obviously to enter an event.

Record is to check your records in the events

Master Skill is why you’re putting yourself through this. You can unlock new techniques for the characters in the main game.

Talk is to have a chat to either Rimururu or Karin… pretty uninteresting though their replies are mildly amusing.

Exit… I won’t insult you by explaining this one.

Rimururu & Karin’s event lists are the same save for 2 each side. Here are the girls with their event lists:

SNK vs Capcom SNK vs Capcom

First are the 3 first challenges. Survival is just 100 fights on one health bar which gets slightly replentished every so many battles. Time Attack is beating as many people as possible in the given time limit of 7 minutes. First Blast consists of 2 characters with 1 hit point on the health bar each trying to get that first hit in. Now onto the special events for each side.

I’ll cover Rimururu’s list first. Target 9 is based on Metal Slug whereby you pay Marcus & have to destroy all the Mars people. Blade Arts is where you play Jubei from Samurai Shodown & have to destroy straw dummies. It sounds more exciting than it is, trust me! Well if you don’t trust me, trust the screenshots.

SNK vs Capcom SNK vs Capcom

Now Karin has Ghost Trick & Cat Walk in her list. Ghost Trick involves you collecting gold while avoiding Red Arremer & Cat Trick is just a Dance Dance Revolution style game.

SNK vs Capcom SNK vs Capcom

Again, VERY ordinary single screen games. So why are we doing this again? Oh that’s right… secret fighting moves. Everyone has one more move that needs to be unlocked by doing events & earning points.

SNK vs Capcom

I thought I would show you this move in the screenshot above. I’ve actually got Leona highlighted, it’s just not showing on the pic. Apparently Leona can make you happy while you die. Quite how she does this… well I’ll keep it clean & suggest she might kill you softly with his song. Apologies for the obscure musical reference.

Now the rant I promised you. Unlocking secret characters is a PAIN. After you complete tournament mode you are presented with a box made up of 9 squares. One of the squares in this box is removed at random to slowly reveal the hidden character. So you need to clock the game at least 9 times to reveal 1 character, BUT take note of the previous sentence. I’ll repeat it with the bit I want to highlight in bold:

“One of the squares in this box is removed at random to slowly reveal the hidden character”

RANDOM. Yes this means even if a square has been removed the random thingy that removes the squares can land on that spot again. So you could be stuck with one or two squares left & the game just keeps going to over boxes. I played over 30 times before I unlocked Akuma. It is worth it however just to see Geese vs Bison. Firstly Billy Kane & Vega come out & square up, then they step aside to let their bosses duke it out. So frustrating, but worth it in the long run.

So that’s the game. Before ending the review I’d like to comment on the manual. Capcom characters are normally drawn quite mangaey (is that a word?) while SNK characters are more true to life. The artwork in this manual & on the box art should please both parties as it’s a very well done even mix. Sort of a half & half mix. Again this makes everyone feel like they’re part of the same game & the same world. Move lists are included for all but the hidden characters but hey, if they told you in the manual who was in the game they wouldn’t be hidden.

Finally a list of characters per side:

SNK                                    Capcom

Kyo Kusanagi                            Ryu
Terry Bogard                            Ken Masters
Iori Yagami                            Chun Li
Ryo Sakazaki                            Morrigan
Mai Shiranui                            Felicia
Haohmaru                            Zangief
Nakoruru                                Sakura
Athena Asamiya                        Dan
Leona                                Guile

Hidden characters per side:

Akari Ichijou                            Akuma
Yuri Sakazaki                            B. B. Hood
Geese Howard                            M. Bison
Orochi Iori                                Evil Ryu

The last 2 characters per side are INSANELY powerful, but as you’ve already unlocked them I guess there isn’t much else to do except unlock any special moves you missed from the olympic section.

 SNK-vs-Capcom

Summary:

I go back to this game VERY regularly for a quick bash. I’ve unlocked everyone & everything, but it’s still fun. If you’ve played other fighters for the Neo Geo Pocket such as Gal’s Fighters, Fatal Fury or King of Fighters you will notice the game looks & plays the same. This is still an essential purchase, particularly if you’re a fan of both franchises.

I give this a VERY easy 5/5