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Goemon's Great Adventure

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Category: Action
Players: 2 players simultaneous
Release Date: Sep 01, 1999
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment

Article source: Nintendo Power

Harken back to Goemon's glory days with this side-scrolling romp. Call it "Ninja Lite."

The Goemon games have been one of Konami's rock-solid franchises, dating back to the days of the SNES. Always popular in Japan, the series has appealed to stateside players seeking a droll mix of action and adventure elements and capable of overlooking some of the games' more inscrutable cultural references.

Goemon's first N64 adventure, Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (not to be confused with the Game Boy adventure of the same name), was a one-player, fully 3D affair. Having apparently listened to players' complaints about poor camera controls in that game, Konami has completely redone the graphics for Great Adventure.

The result is a Yoshi's Story-like 2-1/2D approach. Characters, objects and backgrounds are all rendered in 3D, but, except for a few places, you cannot move toward or away from the uncustomizeable camera. Great Adventure looks more realistic than any 16-bit platformer, but for large stretches plays just like one.

The N64's graphics horsepower shines in other areas, though: the carefully composed cinema sequences, the backdrops of glimmering water, and the translucent spirits that drift upward whenever enemies -- literally -- give up the ghost. An excellent soundtrack -- always a Konami hallmark -- underscores the subtle transitions from day to night and back again.

Like Mystical Ninja, Great Adventure is fairly linear. You can buy items and upgrade your weapons, but there are no complex trading circles as in a Zelda game. The emphasis is squarely on pell-mell action, not puzzle solving.

As in their earlier adventures, Goemon and friends in Great Adventure are totally at ease roaming a medieval Japan bustling with robots, DJs, space ships and extra-hold mousse. Go figure. The riotous ronin include:

Goemon: Sporting a 'do that looks like a blue pineapple, the hot-tempered star of the show levels lowlifes with his big pipe Ebisumaru: Short and round, Ebisumaru plays a mellow R2D2 to Goemon's excitable C3PO. Suffers from a severely exaggerated view of his own sex appeal, but swings a mean hammer Sasuke: Hanging out in a Lost'n Town teahouse at story's start, the dinkiest team member is actually a robot. Sasuke's jumping ability would put His Airness to shame Yae: The last to show up but hardly the least, Yae is an accomplished ninjette who wields both swords and guns with terrifying ferocity. Just don't run into her in a dark alley

The utterly cockamamie backstory commences when a giggly Ebisumaru lookalike whisks up in a flying saucer and heists a machine designed to raise the dead. This turns Goemon livid with anger. Then Ebisumaru asks his double to bring back James Dean. Then the doppelganger takes over Goemon's giant robot. And then things get really weird.

Solid side-scrollers are hard to come by these days, and Great Adventure is an excellent example of how fun good ol' platformers can be.

Everyone: Mild Animated Violence, Mild Language.

Mild Animated Violence
Mild Language
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