MYSTICAL NINJA STARRING GOEMON (N64)
reviewed by n64stalker

If anyone wants proof that some Japanese programmers and designers are just plain nutty sometimes, have I got some proof for you. Welcome to the world of Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, where gigantic robots travel by rollerskate, fat blue-haired people can shrink in size, and people can transform into dragons. This is one of the few Goemon games that managed to sneak onto American shores, and by golly that sure is a good thing!

Anyway, a group of alien evil-doers known as the "Peach Mountain Shoguns" have come to Goemon's town of Oedo in a flying Peach spaceship and have attacked Oedo Castle! Oh no! So, now our hero Goemon (who was once named Kid Ying in "Legend of the Mystical Ninja (SNES)" -- yuk!) and his blue-haired pudgy friend Ebisumaru must find out what's going on! You'll also meet up with Agent Yae and the mechanical ninja Sasuke, both of whom will assist you on your travels by joining the party.

The game plays like Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie does. You walk around (and crawl if you hold down the Z button -- and if you want to see something funny, watch Ebisumaru crawl), destroying enemies with your pipe (or mallet or whatever), collecting money, and finding out what's going on and solving any problems that may arise. You will eventually each get magic spells too. Ebisumaru, for example, gets to become Mini-Ebisu! Way cool. However, the walk-and-whack isn't the only type of game action you'll see. In certain parts of the game, you'll need to summon your giant Goemon-lookalike robot buddy, Impact! He's HUGE! Put Goemon in the cockpit and you've got a mean fighting machine here! You'll have a view through the eyes of Impact during battle scenes (your second boss battle in the game is this, but it's quite difficult actually -- expect true challenge here). You can use your orbish hands to punch, a chainlink to clasp to your opponent to swing him around, and more. Gameplay is always a key factor, and so it delivers.

Graphically, you can expect nothing REALLY special (aside from a few expressions on faces which are funny). The scenery is bright most of the time, and you shouldn't have trouble seeing anything important. You WILL however, get lost in towns often. Anyway, all of the characters in the game are well-animated, especially Ebisumaru crawling (on his back, however unlikely it may look or seem)! Goemon still has strange spiky hair, and now with some new polygon hair gel, it's spikier than ever!

Sound...now that's funny funny schtuff. There are a few songs with actual sung lyrics, but unfortunately for us, the lyrics remain in Japanese...with English subtitles though. There ARE a few English phrases in there, but they feel out of place. Anyway, many songs are quite decent, and worth getting up and dancing to. Can't explain why, but that's how it is.

In any case, this game features a huge amount of Japanese stereotypical jabberwocky and settings. They (whoever they may be, is a mystery to thee) say that games like this would make no sense to American players, but it is actually to the contrary! We think that the humor is corny in a funny way! So make your way to your local game renting service and rent Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, or its N64 sequel, Goemon's Great Adventure. I haven't play GGA, but if it's like this game, it should be good. Enjoy watching Ebisumaru crawl!

FINAL SCORE: 8.5 out of 10