Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Import Surprise part 2: DoReMi Fantasy: Milon's Doki Doki Adventure for the Super Famicom
It’s a shame that a lot of franchises are popular in Japan, but not popular here in America. A very good example is one of my favorite franchises, the Mystical Ninja series, or how it is known in Japan, the Ganbare Goemon series. Another series that a lot of people seem to like is the series of games a character known as Milon is from. I mean a lot of people do hate the first game, but there happens to be a few games in the series that are from Japan that are liked here in America by import collectors. This little sequel title is called DoReMi Fantasy: Milon’s Doki Doki Adventure, or as it is translated in America, DoReMi Fantasy: Milon’s Heart Pounding Great Adventure for the Super Famicom. Of course, if people don’t know for some reason, the Super Famicom is the Japanese name of the Super Nintendo.
The main story of this game is rather cute, but it fits the whole feel of the game. Milon is running through the forest with his brother as they go meet his friend, a fairy named Alis. Suddenly out of nowhere, an evil wizard named Amon captures her, and takes the music of the world away also. It is up to Milon to find the fairy and save the land! Yeah, it’s a light story and if you’re not Japanese, you won’t get the text in the game, but it’s very simple and easy to pick up and play the game.
The game play featured in DoReMi Fantasy is a 2D side-scrolling plat forming game, where you play as Milon as you go through 7 worlds with sublevels within those worlds, kind of like Super Mario World, Wario World, and Kirby’s Dreamland 3. Your main form of attack is shooting bubbles at enemies, trapping them inside the bubble. Sadly, that won’t kill them. Instead, you have to trap them inside the bubble, and then push the bubble making them go flying. A cool thing is that if you push an enemy that is inside a bubble and they hit another enemy, they get launched inside a bubble also. There are several power-ups that you can get during the game. You can get stuff like bubble gum, which will let you float out of a pit if you ever fall into one, wing shoes that allow you to float downwards slower, and power-ups for your bubbles. The main gimmick in the game is exploration, since there are power-ups and bonus levels within each level, and since you don’t have a timer to go by, you can get to them if you just explore around a bit. Another gimmick after world 1 is that you need to find stars with a musical note inside them. You need to do this to get to the bosses, and they are mostly hidden easily in the levels, but it gets trickier when you go through the later levels.
The graphics in the game are top-notch for a game that came out in 1994. The colors are bright and beautiful, and the areas and enemies are well detailed and designed. The thing with music back then is that it would loop over and over again and would basically want to make you smash your brain in. However, they fix this in DoReMi Fantasy by making music subtler, and sometimes just using environmental sounds like the wind blowing in the forest levels or sparkling noise in the church levels. All I have to say is that it is one of the best soundtracks on the SNES or Famicom. The challenge is well-rounded with it steadily getting more difficult as you progress through the game, but most new gamers or old gamers shouldn’t be having trouble playing through this game. I also like the little cut scene in the beginning, and another one where you talk to the musicians. They are very well animated, and are fun to watch. I like the cover art for the game, too. It gives it a cartoon/anime feel and I like it.
Sadly, though, this game does have a few things that are annoying. During the swimming areas when you want to use a powered-up version of your bubble and you shoot bubbles everywhere, you float, which ends up with you taking damage. I find that annoying since I should be on the ground when I do this. Another thing that annoys me is that health system. I don’t mind it as much as most health bars in games, but it takes the Super Mario route, and you have to upgrade with different colored outfits. What is wrong with a health bar and the enemies taking one bar off? I also do not and I mean DO NOT like the blue birds in the fourth world. In some areas of the level, you can’t see them coming, and it ends up with you getting hit.
Overall, DoReMi Fantasy: Milon’s Doki Doki Adventure is a very fun platformer that should have come out in the states. If you are a collector of import games, I see no better game that would fit you collection. It will cost you some coin, but you can get it off the Wii’s Virtual Console, where it is a little cheaper. I don’t know of anything else to say except to go check this game out!
This game gets a 9.6 out of 10.