Review: Go for it Goemon - The Freaky Trip with Extra Ghosts!
Ganbare Goemon! The weirdest video game series ever to bolt out of the Japanese Stables! One of the more popular Video Game Series, Goemon has spawned games on the NES, SNES, GBC, N64, and even the PSX. This latest edition, Ganbare Goemon: Dero Dero Douchuu Obake Tenkomori, known in the English Speaking world as Goemon's Great Adventure, follows the Goemon and Ebisumaru have been summoned to the Wiseman's house to check out his latest invention, the Ultra Gorgeous.... Revive the Dead Machine Unfortunately, Bisumaru, a nun who looks suspiciously like Ebisumaru, drops in and steals the machine, and starts her plans to dominate ancient Japan. A totally wacky storyline, you'll experience surprise characters and unexpected plot changes. Unlike the first Goemon game on the N64, GGA has gone back to the 2D format we all know Goemon for. Being a hardcore Goemon fan, I knew I was in for a gaming treat. I was right.
The visuals in GGA look fantastic. Sure it doesn't use the 4mb Expansion Pak, but it still manages to shine. The dramatic light changes from day to night looked great, and the towns were well structured and detailed. The characters themselves were detailed, and were animated brilliantly with their facial expressions, and their movements. The bosses were huge, and just outstanding. The stages never failed to please. They were well designed, and multi-layered. For example, take the path into the foreground, and you can see the other path in the background, enemies, items, and all. Sometimes you would run around a mountain, and the camera would pan around following you, and it just looks great. The framerate is smooth and there is no slowdown whatsoever, even with the 4-player co-op mode.
If it's a Konami Game, you know the game's audio is going to be great. Sound effects are clear, and sound excellent. In the Day, A rooster crows to signify morning, and typical Goemon-Japanese hip-hop music blasts from your speakers, and keeps you in an uppy mood. As days falls into night, the music fades, and a wolf howls to signify night. There are Voice Samples aplenty in the game, from when you enter a stage, when you choose your characters...but the great thing is, that the entire intro and ending are completely voiced in Japanese, and it sounds fantastic. Over 10 min of Voice Acting! The only thing that really pissed me off about the game's sound is that Konami of America had the nerve to take out the Japanese-Vocal track cut scenes from the beginning of the game, and from the intro to the Impact Giant Robot Stages. But, the sound is still great without them.
GGA has the most awesome gameplay. The controls are easy to learn and master. It's easily addictive you start off with the 2 characters, Goemon and Ebisumaru, but later on find Sasuke and Yae, and add their abilities to your teams. Each character is unique, and you need their skills for certain levels. There are 5 types of levels, the normal stage levels, the town levels, the checkpoints, the castles, and the boss levels. For the normal and castle levels, you take on the 2D approach, heading right to your goal, beating up anything in your way. But GGA could be described as being 2.5D, seeing as you can travel into the foreground and the background. When you enter a town, this converts into 3d, where you are free to roam around in full 3D. Very nice! Then there are the boss stages, first you take on the on-foot boss where you're still in 2D, and the boss attacks in 3D. Then you're transferred to the Impact giant Robot stages, where you're in the cockpit of Impact, a giant robot and you beat up other huge bots in 1st person perspective. GGA really is, fun to play. Another great thing about GGA is the side quests. Run around town gathering information about how to obtain Entry passes to get through the game, or visit houses to take on jobs to earn them. One of the great ones is where Yae takes on a part time job at a child counseling/phone-sex service, (same thing) with many possible hilarious outcomes.
The features presented in GGA are the memory pack to save your progress, and it also takes advantage of the rumble pack. The 2-player co-op mode is excellent, with the possibility of piggybacking to increase firepower and jumping height. That's all well and good, but the real fun is when you unlock the secret 4-player co-op mode. It's just crazy and fun at the same time.
GGA's replay does well in keeping you from putting the game down so fast. Getting through the game is hard enough, and then you're on the quest to unlock all the secret options, the 4-player co-op, the secret costumes for each characters, and find the legendary creep village. Can you unlock the Yae's Playboy bunny outfit? And once you've finished all that, you'll want to do it all again just for the thrill of it. GGA is a great game to play over and over again.