>> PennOaks.net > Archive 64 > Review House

Goemon's Great Adventure

Rated E for Everyone


Nintendo 64 (N64)






September 1999

ROM Size:

128 megabits


One to Two Simultaneous


2D Action/Adventure


Controller Pak (7 pages)


Rumble Pak



> Final Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0


Following up to Konami's sleeper hit of 1998, Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, is Goemon's Great Adventure. This marks the third time a Goemon game has appeared on an American home console, with The Legend of the Mystical Ninja for Super NES being the first. While the first N64 Goemon adventure went 3D, this version has gone back to its 2D roots. With classic-style 2D games almost non-existent on N64, Goemon's Great Adventure is a treat that's surprisingly good.


If you're not familiar with the Mystical Ninja/Goemon series of games, the first thing you should know is that it has a decided Japanese feel with a lot of bad translated humor.  That, of course, is part of the fun. But if you can tolerate the weird storyline, the cheesy humor, and the Japanese voices, which are subtitled, then the beauty of the game design will start to shine through.


As the story goes, which is conveyed in real-time, three-dimensional cut scenes, the Wiseman has summoned Goemon and Ebisumaru. He shows them a device called the "Ultra, Gorgeous, Electro Ghost Return Machine." Yeah. Basically, it has the ability to bring back the dead. They test it out, but something goes wrong. Sister Bismaru appears, steals the machine, and tells the guys she wants to transfer the world into a "lover's playground." In fact, this evil time-traveling nun has summoned Dochuki, a demon prince, to take over Earth—except she wants to marry him first. So it's up to Goemon and company to save feudal Japan once again.

Gameplay & Control

This action/adventure game, which can be played by one or two players simultaneously, will take you on a quest to save feudal Japan. Your characters start out with three strength bars, three lives, and three continues. Goemon and Ebisumaru are only available at first, but Sasuke and Yae, both returning characters from the first N64 game, become playable shortly after.


Action sequences include romping through road and castle areas. You'll get entry passes for clearing stages that will enable you to pass through gates. With deadly tricks and traps, multitudes of enemies, and huge bosses abound, this won't be a light-hearted affair. Despite the 2D nature of the gameplay, the third dimension is a factor. Think of levels as "2 1/2-D" like Yoshi's Story.


Town sequences, on the other hand, are 3D, much like in the first N64 game. This is where the adventure portion becomes relevant. You'll find plenty of people from which to get information, different shops from which to purchase items, and several mini-quests that you can go on.


Items in Goemon's Great Adventure are purchased with coins, which are dropped by defeated enemies. You can purchase food, such as rice balls, to replenish your health during an action sequence whenever necessary. Armor also can be purchased for additional enemy protection. Other items can be bought for immediate consumption, and items in the battlefield exist, too. Most importantly, you can increase your weapon's strength and range with a cat-like-looking fortune doll.


Control in Goemon's Great Adventure is tight. Either the Control Pad or Control Stick can be used, although I highly recommend the former. The A button jumps, the B button is your main attack, the Z button throws your subweapon (e.g., shurikens or coins), and the R button is a special attack. Each character also has the ability to pull and push objects, to jump on a "ride" (a horse, for example), and to double jump. Moreover, a "piggyback" option exists for two players. The player on top attacks and the bottom player moves. This enables a stronger attack.


The Huge Robot Impact stage, first introduced to American players in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, also has returned. A first-person cockpit view is used to battle a boss. You can use Impact's punch and kick attacks to fill a meter to use a blast beam. Player 1 controls Goemon Impact and Player 2 controls Miss Impact. Whoever has the "baton" gets the cockpit view, whereas the other player appears in the playing field behind the boss with limited attack abilities.

Graphics & Sound

Visually, Goemon's Great Adventure is decent but not incredible. Since levels scroll somewhat like Pandemonium! for PlayStation, you can discern that the playing planes are polygonal. Some of the graphics, therefore, don't have a smoothed, textured look. The parallax scrolling of the backgrounds is a nice effect to have back. And speaking of the backgrounds, they range from painted mural-like images to distant areas that you might reach to just basic designs. Character design isn't as impressive as it could be, because animation is limited and everything has a jagged look. Some of the game's special effects and bosses are amazing enough, however, to put this game above average.


Aurally, you'll find Goemon's Great Adventure to be strange. The Japanese songs have been cut from the American version this time, but expect full spoken text in Japanese in the game's introduction. The speech is subtitled, the rest of the game only has text-based conversation. Expect some Japanese-esque grunts and hollers, too.


If you've never heard the music in a Mystical Ninja/Goemon game before, then you'll be treated to well-composed Japanese tunes for the first time. It's stereotypical Japanese music with flair—light wind instruments and strings with drumbeats. Numerous, varied sound effects exist and add to the game's flavor as well.


Compared to Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, which tried too hard to be like Super Mario 64, Goemon's Great Adventure plays more like a traditional Mystical Ninja/Goemon game. Nevermind the heavy Japanese flavor and the weird story. The game, especially with its two-player simultaneous mode, is better than either Mischief Makers or Yoshi's Story. If you're yearning for 2D gameplay on the 3D fun machine, Goemon's Great Adventure is your best choice.
















Not available.


Review by: Scott McCall

First Reviewed: March 27, 2000

Appendix Added: N/A




>> PennOaks.net > Archive 64 > Review House