Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gūfii to Makkusu - Kaizoku Shima no Daibōken (SFC) Review

Received: April 5th, 2014 / Written: October 15th-16th, 2014
Alternate Name: Goof Troop
Year: 1993, 1994 | Developed and Published by: Capcom | [|O|]
 
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here; passionate about video games, big retrophile, and fan of all things 16-bit.  =)  In 1991 and 1992 respectively Japan and the West released The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo console to a lot of praise from everyone alike.  Not only was it lauded as one of the best console adventure games of all time, but also as one of the best games of all time as well.  Since then every adventure game tried to be the next Zelda III; reportedly speaking the MegaDrive/Genesis console received their own competition by the form of Crusader of Centy.  I can't confirm that though, 'cause I haven't played that one.  =(  Stupid price tag!
 
What I'm trying to say of course is that many tried to equal it, but ultimately few succeeded.  So I ask you: have you ever wanted to play the equivalent to A Link to the Past?
Image from Wikipedia
No, no, no, no, no, no, I mean outside of the Zelda series.  Now then, have you ever wanted to play an equivalent to A Link to the Past<=|
Don't take it too seriously, this intro was made for fun.  It's a joke!  I love the game, but I had to bring up games that equated in quality to the third Zelda
Image also from Wikipedia
<=|
Perhaps I haven't been clear in my question: have you ever wanted to play the Disney equivalent to A Link to the Past?
............................
Well, you may have to keep looking for that then, for it doesn't quite exist at this moment.  In the meantime, you can always play the closest to have met Nintendo's epic competition: the lone video game adaptation of Goof Troop.
 
Image from Wikipedia
From 1992 to 1993 there was a Disney animated series called Goof Troop centering around the suburban life of Goofy and his young son Max, with hilarious hijinks ensuing during the course of seventy-eight episodes.  I liked the show a lot when I was little, and I still think it's pretty good.  It's no DuckTales, but it's a fun show in its own merit, especially in any scene that centers around good topics and neighboring Pete's crazy family.  No, I still don't know who helped Goofy conceive Max all these years later, that's still a mystery.  =\
Image from, guess where, Wikipedia
Then in 1995 first-time director Kevin Lima (Tarzan, 102 Dalmations, Enchanted) directed the second DisneyToon Studios animated movie to reach theatres, A Goofy Movie, which took place a few years after the TV series.  And for reasons I cannot fathom a lot of people don't seem to like this film, and I don't know why, as I don't really hate it all that much.  =(  Actually I don't hate it at all, as personally I think it's a good movie.  It's nowhere near the best animated fare ever, but there's a lot of nice moments in it; like the theme of father wanting to look after and spend time with son (wanting to be a part of his life), Max's love interest Roxanne was cute and charming, Jason Marsden did a great job voicing teenaged Max, and that waterfall scene is just gripping (I mean, my God, it's intense and touching at the same time).  It's a movie I don't mind watching whenever it pops up,... I just wish the widescreen DVD wasn't exclusively available outside of the US.  T_T
Image from Wikipedia again
Afterwards on February 29th, 2000 the follow-up to its theatrical predecessor, An Extremely Goofy Movie (or Another Goofy Movie in some circles) arrived on TV screens (plus VHS and DVD).  I haven't seen this movie in full since before I moved to the US in 2002, so I don't remember much about it.  All I remember about it are Goofy,... Max,... PJ,... that now bald guy who used to have crazy hair in A Goofy Movie,... Goofy and Max attending college,... Max being upset that his father is attending his college,... crazy Bradley Uppercross III,... the X-Games,... Goofy and the librarian Sylvia getting it on,... the great animation despite the small budget,... that funky disco scene,... that heavy and intense fire scene that was removed from all broadcasts out of fear that it would trigger 9/11 flashbacks........  Okay, so I do remember the movie; but what I don't know is if it holds up well.  <=(


All three images from Wikipedia
Finally Goofy and Max made partial appearances in all these media until 2004 when Max was never heard from again and Goofy became a fatherless anthropomorphic dog once more.  But before Max's permanent retirement the two did star in some video games together, the first and most notable out of the two (or more than two if you count Konami's Disney Sports series) being the only video game adaptation that was made based on the '90s TV series.
 
After the success of 1992's The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse for the SNES, despite having one of the most dreadful "take me out of the game completely" endings ever, Capcom (until 1994 the only company allowed to make and release Disney games for Nintendo consoles in the West) took this is as a go-ahead to create another charming Disney game.  Their next step strayed far from the platforming genre and decided to make a top-down adventure in the vein of, you guessed it, Zelda.  Their second out of six SFC/SNES Disney-themed games was none other than Goof Troop, or as it was called in Japan: Gūfii to Makkusu - Kaizoku Shima no Daibōken.
Having come out months after the show ended, Goof Troop was first released for the SNES in 1993 for America, and this is one of those rare occasions where the West got a game before Japan did.  It was only in 1994, a year later, that the gamers of the Land of the Rising Sun would get to experience this game on the Super Famicom, and more; see, not only did Capcom release the game but they also developed more into it.  That's right!  This isn't one of those games where Japan got it first and had everything; this is one of those games where the Japanese joined the party afterward and got the most out of it.  Now what could Capcom have included that they did not have the first time around for the American release?  More on that as we delve in.
 
One day Goofy and his son Max decide to fish out in the open sea because,... fishing is fun?  Anyway, while the two are supposedly bonding and having a good time their neighbors Pete and his son PJ look up in terror as they see the faces of the captors who would swindle them right out of their own yacht:
they've been captured by sea-faring pirates, which Goofy and Max witness before their eyes.  Being the good neighbors that they are they set out to follow the pirate ship which leads them to a very secluded island, which is also packed with pirates and beasties laying about.  They will face any obstacle and stop at nothing to save Pete and PJ in this father-son adventure.
This was the first SFC/SNES Disney-themed Capcom game which could be played up to two players simultaneously if you did not want to do it alone.  When playing you have the option to play as Goofy or Max, or if you were playing with a friend you could decide whether to take the lead as either character.  It's part of the fun.  =)  And if you haven't played the game but still have doubts about it aspiring to be like the aforementioned adventure game after reading up to this point, the third stage takes place in a castle of all places!  And if that's not enough proof, than this is:
This game is modeled after The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past<=D  I never would've guessed!  <=)

"Outta my way!"
Gameplay-wise, it's a little like the third Zelda.  Goofy and Max can move in all eight directions, pick up items, use said items, and even throw objects towards enemies.  The controls are the same for both characters, but their stats and characteristics slightly differ.  Goofy, being the tall and lean one of the two, walks slowly but more than makes up for that with his strength as any time that he throws objects towards them all it takes is one hit; Max, being the youngest, is the weakest of the group (most enemies take two hits to dispose of for him) but more than makes up for that setback with his quick speed (unless he's carrying a heavy object).  I think it's quite nice that the two characters have different strengths and weakness, for if the game is being played with two players one's strengths will completely make up for the others' weaknesses.  They can even raise or lower their arms, the former being necessary should a barrel or a bomb fall on Goofy or Max's hands.

At least there's actual ice in this cavern (portion),
unlike in Arcana's ice dungeon
Unlike A Link to the Past the screen does not continually scroll, for throughout the game you'll be partaking in a series of stationary screens.  And should you step to the next screen it won't scroll towards the direction you went like it does in most Zelda games, but instead will fade from the previous screen to the next one.  Thorough investigation is a mandatory requirement in order to proceed forward in some places.  In the game you'll be finding items that will be of very good use to you, such as grappling hooks, bells, keys, candles, and shovels.  The thing about Gūfii to Makkusu?  Only two special items can be carried at a time!  But if you were to play with a friend?  Two would still be the limit, only each player can only carry one item at a time.

Puzzles aplenty pop up every now and then
It may seem like it sounds very restricting and very limited to only carry that amount of items, but it's not so much a big issue as you'll find out later on.  Some pathways will be blocked by locked doors which can only be opened with a key, and later on you'll find yourself inside dark rooms where candles are your source of major light (unless you feel confident walking the dark rooms without it).  Bells can be used to distract the pirates, grappling hooks can be used to stun and push back pirates as well as connecting one hook to another (including reaching items from afar); and if you feel lucky about getting cherries (one heart), bananas (two hearts), rubies (one life), and diamonds (one continue) quick and easy you can dig the dirt with your shovel (so long as you position yourself properly for the situation).  Some moments will require that you trade an item with the one on the ground in order to get further (sometimes you'll have to abandon a grappling hook to get a key, for example); but don't worry, the items on the ground won't go anywhere for they can be picked up at any time.

Now that's the way to go
Sometimes there will be paths that will be blocked unless you solve the puzzle, mostly requiring that all the empty slots with stars on top of them be filled with blocks (think of it as sort of like Sōkoban, except instead of pushing you kick instead).  The main thing to keep in mind whenever you're in these rooms is that they can only be sent ahead of the direction your kicking, and if you fail to solve it you can always reset the room by leaving and then reentering it.  Some solutions are simple while others may require a bit of thought and observation in order properly solve them.  And if there aren't a sufficient amount of star blocks, you can always use the explosive blocks which will start detonating the moment that you kick them (if it's red it means you have a short time before it blows up; if it's green or yellow you have some time).

Quickly, indigenous villagers who've come
out spontaneously all of a sudden; help me
defeat this fire-breathing maniac
The visuals are really good, for they've got a nice amount of polish and charm throughout the package.  One thing you could always expect from Capcom's games was for them to be pleasing to the eyes, and Gūfii to Makkusu is no exception.  =)  Even though they're just a series of solid screens they each have got their own set of details and the color-selection is fitting to boot.  The texture for the foliage is neat yet effective (and in the first stage some fish will jump out), as well as the dirt that you shovel through.  Two of my favorite areas take place in the castle and the cave; the castle because it's unlike anything else that you see throughout the game and the richness of its detail gives it an appropriately haunting look, and the cave because some segments actually change look the more you get into it (aside from color, of course).  One moment in the cave you might be in a lava-tinged room while the next you may be perusing a room where it's chilling and has got an icy floor that sparkles.  =)

No lie, but anytime I reach this segment of
the game I'm always reminded of Mole Mania;
maybe it's the fact that it involves digging  =<
The cutscenes are nice to look at, and I like how the images have got a neat treasure-map like border surrounding it, it's succinct.  Capcom did an especially good job capturing the designs of Goofy, Max, Pete, and PJ from Goof Troop, although I think they may have forgotten that Goofy doesn't wear a vest in the show, but he does appear in casual Goof Troop garb in the Player Select and Password screens.  Consistency!  ;-)  Character model-wise, they're well drawn, plus Goofy and Max (despite their differing speeds) display intricately fluid animation.  The skinny and fat pirates have solid animations, but they're not just palette swaps as they do different things; the green skinny pirate will throw swords while the red skinny pirate throws barrels, and the pink fat pirate kicks blocks while the dark green fat pirate rolls ahead the moment it sees you, to name a couple of examples.

"Yoink!"
Part of the visuals' charm are the way a character or enemy may react upon getting hit.  Just watch what happens if Goofy or Max try to a kick a block the direction of the wall even though it's already close to it.  It's cute and shows character.  I also like the enemies' over-the-top expression as they're being flown offscreen, and some of the bosses' look upon being defeated are priceless.  XD  Speaking of which, they're also well-designed; like the crazy bulked out animal who tries to attack you with fire, a pair of giant centipedes/millipedes, and even a twin set of skeletons attempting to take you down by any means.  It's not just pirates that you'll be contending with along your journey, for you'll also be dealing with sentient cannons, bats, ghosts, cursed armor, and even bees among them.

I've got a bone to pick with these guys
How do I put this?  *inhales* *sighs* ............  I'm not a big fan of Gūfii to Makkusu's music.  =(  I just want to clarify that it's not horrible, but considering the previous Capcom-made Disney title you'd expect better.  Great visuals are a given whenever a 16-bit Capcom game is in question, but music?  That's give and take.  I guess my biggest qualm with the soundtrack is that its themes are short, and I wouldn't mind that so much if the tunes weren't so bombastic in their composition.  And the annoying part is that they're easy to get stuck in your head despite being obnoxious music.  The only songs that I felt were genuinely good were the ranging ones in the cutscenes (whether it be laidback bounciness or thrilling mystery), the music that takes place inside the cave stage (I love it for its mysterious yet ambient quality, its relaxing softness, and its eerie sense of atmosphere), and the calypso music that plays during that extra conditional ending.  Everything else in this regard was just meh to me, though I did find it curious that the first boss' music was completely different from the common boss theme which also dominated the final one (when usually it's the other way around).  The sound effects are all pretty solid, and I like the flute-like sound that played whenever you or an enemy flew out of the screen.

Look out!  Giant boulders which are conveniently
rolling down and ricocheting in the direction that
I'm running to!  D8
At the end of each stage there is a boss that will be waiting to do combat with you.  If the lack of real strategy to defeat them sounds like it lacks challenge value (just throw objects at them until they're done with) then the situation which will have you be careful and move around often makes up for that.  In the battle against the twin skeletons you must throw their own bones towards them, but you have to be careful not to get damaged by their own bones that they throw or by the decapitated head which will float towards you.  In the caves you'll be facing a centipede/millipede/whatever-it-is-pede which has to be damaged from the front after rocks fall from the ceiling, and it's the only boss battle where the only other threat is falling down if you don't watch your step.  Regardless of how many hearts you have they will be gone by the time you get hit, and if you sustain damage when you do not have any hearts you'll lose a life.

"Ice try, man!"
Someone must've thought that The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse was too hard, because from Gūfii to Makkusu to Mickey & Donald: Magical Adventure 3 Capcom had implemented a password system.  The Magical Quest had to be beaten in one sitting, but considering that Capcom's Disney games are very manageable it's really nothing to worry about.  To be sure the password system is a welcome addition for those that don't feel confident in beating it in one sitting, but for the rest it won't be necessary.  On the other hand, someone must've thought that The Magical Quest was too easy because while that platformer had an unlimited set of continues, this adventure game has a small number of continues (each of which can only be gathered by collecting the cyan diamond).  Funny how things work sometimes.  =|

You know how I mentioned the change between regions earlier?  When Goof Troop was first made in 1993 it was initially made as is, which Capcom wisely decided didn't have to remain that way for the Japanese release (not too certain about Europe, though).  If you look at the guides on GameFAQs or watch the video playthroughs on YouTube, you'll notice that the solutions are the same (no sign of a guide for the Japanese version).  The American version, simply put, only had one difficulty setting; whilst the Japanese version the following year had three.  Don't believe me?  Here's proof!
Depending on the difficulty some puzzle rooms will be made either easy or hard.  The top left is Game Type 1, the top right is Game Type 2 (the version that the US cart was), and this big fellow right here is Game Type 3.  Every puzzle solution is manageable, but the ones on Game Type 3 will take a lot of time and challenge (and frustration too) to fulfill.

[Insert Goofy yell here]
So how is Gūfii to Makkusu?  For the most part, I honestly thought the game was really, really good.  =)  As a contender against Zelda I thought Capcom did a good job laying out the structure of the game, and its nonlinear nature during the course of the stages really helps flesh out the game a little.  For the majority of it I believed that the puzzles in various rooms were well-thought out, and I liked how Capcom tried to challenge gamers in certain moments (in particular with the detonating blocks).  If there's anything which prevents the game from reaching the highest point is its brevity.  By yourself depending on how you play it'll take about fifty or sixty minutes to beat it, slightly less if you played it with a friend.  Still, while it lasts it's fun, and as the only game to be based on Goof Troop, I thought it did a good job at living up to the show's name.

Switches ahoy!
It's not as great as the best the Zelda series has to offer or even as perfect as Tenchi Sōzō (Terranigma) is, but there's a lot of good in it to recommend.  The Disney charm is fully abundant, the gameplay is really fun, and visually it's a very enjoyable game to look at.  The castle stage (3) is thoroughly designed and has got secret rooms to discover, and the cave stage (4) has got several routes that help you reach your destination.  I got to play this game on my twenty-third birthday back in April 5th, and I liked it from the minute I played it; and as fun as the game is to play while you're solo, you'll actually get the most out of it when playing with another gamer.  Shortly after I got Gūfii to Makkusu I got a chance to play it alongside one of my cousins, and we both had a lot of fun playing Game Type 2.  =)

Awww, he thinks he's Bionic Captain Hook
from Ukyotei's SNES adaptation of
Hoo------WAIT!!!  O_0
As I said, though, it's not flawless as there are a few things that are holding it back; like the largely obnoxious music (the cave theme was good).  The game is short but still fun along the way, and I wasn't too bothered by the easy difficulty in the first two Game Types as there were some moments that tried to lend challenge.  The boss fights lack in real strategy but the fact that you don't have to go Rambo on them gives it a plus.  And as nice as it is to see Pete and PJ I was disappointed that Peg and Pistol did not make an appearance.  But for what I got, I thought it was really good.  I brought up the secondary extra ending (introducing the enemies and characters), but it's conditional.  Conditions being that you see it on Game Type 2, and on Game Type 1 you must beat it on one sitting without losing a continue, et al.  Would I have liked this game had I played the one difficulty setting American original?  Yeah, I probably would have, but I would have been very offput by the lack of replay value, which the Japanese version is full of.

Word of mouth was generally positive at the time of release, and a lot of gamers look kindly toward it, admitting that while it was short it was a lot of fun.  But because of the initial American version that had only one difficulty mode it didn't receive the highest of acclaim.
Out of the two Disney SFC/SNES games that Capcom made by mid-'93, The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse was received more favorably, but if I have to be honest I actually like Gūfii to Makkusu slightly more.
 
Both games may be very short and lacking in challenge when it comes to certain moments, but this game one-ups The Magical Quest due to the fact that its puzzle-solving rooms were thought-provoking and the fact that its ending was funny, charming, and rewarding... that, and the fact that THE GAME WASN'T A FREAKIN' DREAM!!!!!!!  >O<

As fun as it is to play this by yourself, it deserves
to be played with two people  =)
If you were curious to know how the one and only video game adaptation of Goof Troop fared, Gūfii to Makkusu - Kaizoku Shima no Daibōken is a well-developed game that's worth a look; however due to the revelation I shared I recommend you seek out the Super Famicom version of the game over the localized Super Nintendo cart.  If you wanted to see the closest a Disney game came to meeting the standards of a The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past competitor, then look no further than this one.  It's got the charm and likability you expect from a Disney game, and more.  Capcom did a very good job with this title, and if you have a friend with you, the better the experience will be.  =)
8.0/10
<(^o^)^TO EACH THEIR OWN^(^o^)>
 
P.S. If not for the fact that an online user by the name of KingMike brought up the differences between Goof Troop and Gūfii to Makkusu - Kaizoku Shima no Daibōken in one website, I never would've considered playing the Japanese version.  Thank you.
 
P.S. 2 Since I brought up Arcana, I'll be giving my newest perspective on that game next.  The 9 I gave it in the past has been haunting me for years now, so I figured it was time to nip it in the bud once and for all.
 
P.S. 3 I hate it when few movies that were made in widescreen don't receive a proper widescreen DVD on all sides of the world, instead turning into a pan-and-scan fare for Region 1!  From what I hear, The Witches, Richard Rich's L'incantesimo del Lago (no, I'm not saying the English title), and A Goofy Movie all have widescreen DVDs preserving their theatrical aspect ratio in Europe (Region 2).  Good thing my laptop is region-free; but that doesn't excuse cropping movies here in America!  >=(  I despise pan-and-scan with a strong passion; it should be outlawed.
 
P.S. 4 I haven't seen the Game Grumps review of the game yet, but I really feel the need to one of these days.

P.S. 5 Resident Evil fans will recognize this as one of the first games that Shinji Mikami was involved in; several elements that appeared here would resurface in the series.
 
Thank you for reading my review, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought!  I hope you have a great day, my reader, take care!  =)

2 comments:

  1. Nice review. I did not know that the SNES and SFC versions of this game were different. I ought to try to get a copy of the SFC version. My boys and I already love this game. Despite its brevity, it really is a great game!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's really good too, and I'm glad you liked my review. Thank you. =)

      Delete