Alternate Title: Cacoma Knight in Bizyland
Year: 1992 | Developed by: Affect
Published by: Datam Polystar | [ ⬤ ]
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here, passionate about video games, big retrophile, and reviewing more content from Datam Polystar. "What? Two Datam Polystar video game reviews in the same year, and it's back-to-back? Oh, StarBoy, you spoil us!" =D …is how I presume some of my followers might react; but then, there's a chance they might not react that way. Shouldn't really second guess stuff like that. ……… Anyway!
Following Jorudan's unpolished platforming misfire Gōsō Jinrai Densetsu Musya, which was Datam Polystar's first published video game for the Super Famicom in April 1992 (which saw an American SNES release under Seta's USA distribution company as Musya: The Classic Japanese Tale of Horror eight months later), the developer stopped making platformers and the publisher would seek a change in direction, and all for the better if you ask me.
One change involved a new developer to publish games for: enter Affect, a company that began making games in 1990 and whose prior credits involved the Japan-exclusive horizontal shoot'em up on the MegaDrive XDR: X-Dazedly-Ray co-developed by Unipacc followed by 1991's Super Stadium on the Super Famicom which got localized for the SNES in America over half a year later as Nolan Ryan's Baseball. Their very next game would be today's game Cacoma Knight which was released on the Super Famicom on November 1992, and would be the second game published by Datam Polystar, and like Musya before it this game would see an American SNES release by Seta's USA distribution company as Cacoma Knight in Bizyland on June 1993.
The Kingdom of Fieldland was a lively and prosperous place,
especially since it was ruled King Cacoma, who decides to choose today to partake in a game of golf. But alas, all good things must come to an end.
Meanwhile Wagamamā, the Queen of Lasyland, was extremely jealous of Fieldland's hard working style, so she began to concoct her evil scheme.
So in her impractically and impossibly designed castle she looks around in her treasure room for the very thing she needs to fulfill her plan.
Eventually she finds a magic mirror where she casts a wicked spell to trap King Cacoma's daughter Princess Ophelia in it, thereby corrupting Fieldland's inhabitants and rendering the locales gray and dismal.
The benevolent monarch searches high and low for someone, anyone, to rescue his daughter and restore Fieldland to its former glory. So, who will right these wrongs committed by Wagamamā?
That's quite the outie ya got there, Kakomaru, hope no one decides to walk up to you and poke at itThis random trio--all three of whom were unaffected by the spell. There's the girl Jin, the boy Hii, and the sentient automaton Kakomaru. King Cacoma beckons them to bring back Ophelia and restore peace to Fieldland and promises them upon foiling Wagamamā's scheme that he will reward them with anything they desire.
Yes, one of the enemies is an ocarina--
where's Link when you need him?
|Beware the large cymbals|
|"'Owl' do you do?"|
|In-game comparing and contrasting|
|Time is not always on your side|
Careful not to have your line hit by the
projectiles of the crystals
|Rotted versus fresh|
|Chocolate, chocolate everywhere|
Special presents indeed, best to make good use of themIn the mode select screen there is an almost Konami-esque code sequence where you can augment the number of lives (up to five) and continues (up to nine) to prolong your adventure: simply press up, up, down, down, right, left, right, left, B, A. If you did it right you'll be brought to a Special Presents screen where you can also choose to start from the beginning of the first round to the sixth of your choice, especially if you're picking up where you previously left off. I sincerely recommend accessing this screen any time you play it because your chances of making it to the end with the default settings in one go are slim at best.
|Restore the yellow brick road|
In the Summer of 2012 I got a Retro Duo when my desire to play games from Japan was growing intensely which opened a doorway for me as I could now play Super Famicom games; in Christmas 2015 I got a Super Famiconsole which in hindsight I wish I got from the start (had I known that they shared the same outlet plug as American products, I would've gotten it without question) because it's better made and has got an eject button. That Christmas I got Namco's Libble Rabble, which was my ninth physical Super Famicart that I got, a 1994 direct port of their 1983 16-bit arcade game and is a game I enjoy a lot. =)
On February 2013 I shared my impressions (not a proper review, but I hope to rectify that sometime in the near future) of the game which were positive. Bard Oly left a comment on there remarking that the game looked like Cacoma Knight, a game he said he liked. I can see how one would arrive at that conclusion as there are hidden treasure chests scattered about and it's a colorful game through and through; Affect must've been influenced by Namco's coin-op in some form or another when making today's game--but whereas Cacoma Knight played exactly like Qix, Libble Rabble played with the formula in a way that made it stand out.
I had heard of today's game prior to Bard Oly bringing it up, but it was afterward that I decided to browse MobyGames to look at its screenshots out of curiosity. It seemed interesting, but I was a bit uncertain of trying right away; there are only so many games to play on the Nintendo 16-bit console (I have almost two-hundred physical carts in my collection), and my go to genres were mainly platformers and RPGs and occasionally puzzlers, or sometimes a hybrid of two or three of them. Cacoma Knight, despite fitting the criteria, was not high on my curiosity list.
Then in the Summer of 2016 my Datam Polystar kick began when I imported Success' Super Famiport of their charming 1993 Sharp X68000 block pushing puzzler Keeper which I was curious about for years and absolutely adored it upon playing it, then weeks later I imported Success' colorful cute'em up Märchen Adventure Cotton 100% which was the most I spent on a Super Famicart and was worth every penny as I enjoyed it a lot. =) These two games made me want to explore more Datam Polystar games on the Super Famicom, and this game turned out to be among them.
Early that December I caught up with Jorudan's Gōsō Jinrai Densetsu Musya which had a genuinely creepy atmosphere but was a bit of a struggle to play because the main character was so slow and his jumps so awkward that it contributed to its unpolished structure; not impossible, but not very fun either; at best, it was average fare. That Christmas in 2016 I got Affect's Makeruna! Makendō, among other games, inside with the manual in the box which in my opinion was solid feel-good entertainment and was cathartic to play after Musya.
Yes, I am in the mood for a Frogger game
If you can't tell, there are frogs riding the bottom edge
Let's just get this out of the way to set the record straight, it's above the quality of Jorudan's Gōsō Jinrai Densetsu Musya; but that wasn't hard. That game was in desperate need of polish and was frustrating at points due to its deliberate pacing,
The only thing more horrific than its atmosphere is the prospect of playing through itnot to mention its tone was very dour, dreary, and grim; sure, it had a creepy atmosphere and was replete with horror elements, but that's about it as far as positives go. Yeah, I admit there are certain games I like based purely on an atmospheric level (like Software Creations' Solstice II/Equinox and Team Cherry's recent indie hit Hollow Knight to name a couple examples), but at least those were backed up by good, solid gameplay and a fair structure which Musya simply lacked.
|I got a mirror|
|Mechanisms and DIP switches galore|
|More comparing and contrasting|
|Magnetism, to be utilized further in Phix|
Disappointingly, though, there is no ending on Expert mode like I'd think there would be for if you eventually manage to beat it you'll be treated to "Try the other level"; what "other level"? It's over!I much enjoyed Capcom's 1992 Super Famiport of Mitchell Corporation's 1990 coin-op Super Pang a lot more in terms of action puzzling arcade fun, and it felt more wholesome in and out of comparison. =) Why am I not playing that game instead?
To be honest, I felt that Affect put their heart into Makeruna! Makendō more than they did for Cacoma Knight; no, it wasn't perfect either, but it was playable and had a good dose of challenge and replay value and had a reasonable thirty to forty minute length and above all was a lot of random, silly fun and was the closest the Nintendo 16-bit got to having a proper Valis game, the very series by Telenet Japan that it was lampooning and poking fun of that came before it. Basically, it was feel-good entertainment.
And when you think about, Datam Polystar and the public that played it must've felt somewhat similarly or pretty much the same. Consider the following: Makeruna! Makendō had franchise potential and it spawned one after it came out (a short-lived one, but it spawned a franchise nonetheless) in Japan only for it got two sequels (each a different genre than the last each done by a different developer), an OVA series,
and in Success' Keeper both Mai Tsurugino (as "Makendō") and Maririn would turn up as playable characters courtesy of Ano Shimizu apart from just the highly adorable eponymous creature. That should speak volumes about how much of an impact Affect's platformer made on release compared to their previous venue Cacoma Knight which made little to no impact and lacked franchise potential.
I feel I should reiterate that this game is no better than Makeruna! Makendō in my opinion, but it is an improvement over Jorudan's Gōsō Jinrai Densetsu Musya that came before it, but not by much I'm sorry to say.
|Elegant versus not so elegant|
When it comes to games that have different characters I'd personally like most if not all of them be fun or decent to take control of, and if that doesn't end up being the case then there's a problem: Hii's steady movements make him tolerable to a point, but Jin's swiftness makes her the ultimate go to character here and is practically the only one worth playing as.
Different genres, I know, but my point standsAs far as games with the word "Knight" in the title go, I personally had more enjoyment and satisfaction playing Yacht Club Games' Shovel Knight and Team Cherry's Hollow Knight. They are also better both subjectively and objectively speaking.
Chalk this one up in the okay department
My Personal Score: 6.0/10
d(^-^)bTO EACH THEIR OWNd(^-^)b
P.S. For the first time year I reviewed a game not made in the year that ends final digit 3 or 8, so no anniversary ribbon this time.
P.S. 2 In irrelevant news, the award for the most unexpected way to end a chapter in a video game goes to: Chapter 1 of Deltarune! My God, that was so genuinely creepy, I did not see it coming one iota. O_O When is the second chapter coming out, Toby Fox? I MUST KNOW!!!!!! =O
P.S. 3 Stan Lee passed away, aww. =( Man, we lost an amazing legend. Rest in peace, man.
Thank you for reading my review, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think (neither spam nor NSFW comments are allowed); hope you have a great day, take care!