Received: December 1st, 2016 / Written: May 30th-June 2nd, 2017
Alternate Title: Musya: The Classic Japanese Tale of Horror
Year: 1992 | Developed by: Jorudan
Published by: Datam Polystar | [ ⬤ ]
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here; passionate about video games and big retrophile, and I love to import games from Japan (namely for the Super Famicom). =)
Today I'll talk about a game from a little-known video game developer named Jorudan, who got their start with their 1990 Game Boy title Battle Bull published by Seta and afterwards graduated to the Nintendo 16-bit console to create games like the system's first turn-based RPG Gdleen in 1991 (again published by Seta) based on the seven-volume light novel series Jikō Wakusei Gdleen that lasted two years from 1989 to 1991 which remained in Japan followed by a March 1992 Super Famicom release of the action-oriented platformer Chōkō Gasshin Xardion courtesy of Azmik (which did come out the following month for the NTSC SNES as simply Xardion) which had mecha designs from Moriki Yasuhiro and Gundam's Hajime Katoki.
During the month of April 1992 when America was experiencing Xardion Japan received yet another Super Famicom offering from Jorudan in the form of Gōsō Jinrai Densetsu Musya which roughly translates to "Brave Spearman Jinrai's Legend - Warrior", and it was the first game published there by Datam Polystar (as well as the only Jorudan fare they released); when it came to the American release it was localized by Seta's USA division that December as Musya: The Classic Japanese Tale of Horror. So, what do we have here today?
After a long hard-fought battle where the spearman Jinrai winds up being the sole survivor he decides to go to Tengumura Village where he collapses from his sustained injuries.
After resting up a bit there the village mayor greets Jinrai and informs him that the maiden Shizuka has been taken away from monsters and must be saved.
Heading down the deep and dark abyss to find her Jinrai will venture to Kihōshōnyūdō in order to rescue her from harm, but it won't be easy (it never is).
|Heading towards danger|
I mean look at this: absolutely striking stuff!also the final stage is the most visually arresting in terms of setting design and color choices and shading (especially the final boss room, holy crap).
|Keep attacking it so it doesn't replicate itself|
During the intro, ending, and after the third stage are sepia-toned anime stills that are beautifully and effectively drawn; they really set the tone for the game and add to the atmosphere. =)
|Keep your eyes peeled for anything suspicious|
Now I know what you're thinking: shades of Chōmakaimura/Super Ghouls'n Ghosts? Um, not really--it might seem like it at first but it doesn't take long to discover the difference: unlike the 1991 Capcom classic where the stages have the same amount of enemies per visit, in Gōsō Jinrai Densetsu Musya's case the second time you visit the first three stages there are more enemies to contend with than before, not to mention that the bosses in the first two stages revisited are completely different. Also since it's only the initial three stages that are revisited (with a different warp point in the third one) as opposed to seven of them like in the aforementioned title you're not required to look for a special item to head to the final stage, for there are a couple extra stages you didn't explore before in the latter half.
|No, not this boss! =(|
|Thrust all the way|
As a result you're going to see this a lot for you might go through many lives and continues (thank God the number of continues are unlimited and there's the option to use a password).
|Going deeper and deeper still|
I realize how I'm making this sound, but Gōsō Jinrai Densetsu Musya is not impossible... it's definitely manageable if you stick with it and persevere to the end, but it could've really benefited from polish to make it more playable and fun for me.
As far as Datam Polystar-published platformers are concerned I find Affect's 1993 game Makeruna! Makendō (which did come out in America courtesy of Seta's USA division as Kendo Rage) to be superior. Not without flaws either, I personally feel that one edges out today's game on account that when you get its gameplay and structure down pat then it becomes very solid fun while it lasts; it also does one better in that you could also attack enemies from above you as opposed to just ahead of and below you. Not to mention it's really lighthearted with a ridiculously goofy sense of humor about itself that makes it very endearing; kendo sword over spearing action any day! =)
My Personal Score: 5.5/10
<( -_-)>TO EACH THEIR OWN<(-_- )>
P.S. Between this and Chōkō Gasshin Xardion I'm not impressed with Jorudan's work, there are things about them that impress me but not as a whole; I do hope that when I get to play Battle Bull, Gdleen, or Imperium that I might find something decent or at least solid.
P.S. 2 If it seems like I'm struggling with the writing it's a combination of being kept busy in real life, not having gotten a chance to get images in the past few weeks and playing lots of games, and I might be getting a bit rusty(?); it has been over a month since my last review, after all.
You know, I always wanted to know what a more serious take on Pocky and Rocky would look like, Jorudan, thanks! =)
Never mind that today's game precedes Natsume's first contribution to Taito's KiKi KaiKai series by eight months, but you get the idea.
Happy 25th Anniversary, Musya
(Whether you deserve it or not)
Thank you for reading my review, please leave me a comment (spam will not be tolerated) and let me know what you think; hope you have a great Summer, take care!