Nintendo followers could also be conversant in Good-Really feel, a Japanese developer that collaborated with the Massive N to provide titles reminiscent of Wario Land: Shake It!, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and Yoshi’s Woolly and Crafted Worlds. But regardless of its work with Nintendo, Good Really feel continues to be an impartial firm and infrequently produces new video games with its personal IP, and on the very finish of November 2023 the studio launched Swap-exclusive Otogi Katsugeki Mameda no Bakeru: Oracle Saitarou no Sainan!!.
Taking strongly after the Ganbare Goemon video games (Etsunobu Ebisu labored at Konami earlier than founding Good-Really feel in 2005 and was a key determine behind the Mystical Ninja sequence), this new launch mixes 3D platforming with some mild beat-’em-up parts to make for an impressively satisfying expertise. The one catch is that it’s solely out there in Japan on the time of writing, however don’t let that deter you from attempting this worthwhile platformer.
The story of Mameda no Bakeru is… effectively, we don’t really know as a result of we don’t converse Japanese both. From what we are able to collect, the titular hero units out to avoid wasting Japan from some form of demonic Yokai power that’s been unleashed upon the land. Or one thing like that. The plot is primarily informed by a sequence of properly animated, comedian book-esque cutscenes, and whereas these story bits are actually incomprehensible to non-Japanese audio system, the artwork continues to be good to have a look at. Plus, when you’ve had sufficient, you’ll be able to simply skip the cutscenes and simply leap straight into the motion.
Gameplay takes the form of a large linear 3D platformer, form of like Super Mario 3D Land or Kirby and the Forgotten Land. Ranges are accessed one after one other on the world map and every one duties you with discovering and breaking three rainbow lamps so to unlock the end-of-level drum. These lamps are normally conspicuously positioned alongside the trail, and there are sometimes greater than three of them in a degree to account for gamers who could miss one alongside the best way, so clearing a stage is usually a simple endeavor.
Alongside the best way, there are a number of enemies and obstacles that stand in your approach, and that is the place the beat-‘em-up parts are available in. Bakeru has two drumsticks he can use to beat his foes simply as arduous as his drums, and fight is surprisingly snappy. He’ll sometimes lock on to the closest enemy, and has a small number of combos and cost assaults he can depend on to dispatch the hordes. If enemies are getting too aggressive, you could have a dodge roll and a block, the latter of which could be triggered on the final second for a parry that negates all injury and stuns the attacker. Skirmishes are normally only some seconds lengthy and most foes go down in a single or two hits, however there’s a deeply satisfying Dynasty Warriors-esque feeling to mowing down teams of enemies and gathering their spoils.
To maintain fight from getting too stale, you’re additionally granted a sequence of transformations as you defeat bosses by regular progress. These are ruled on a cooldown by an vitality meter you refill through pickups and defeating enemies, and every one considerably powers up Bakeru in fight whereas altering his moveset in some key methods. Our favourite transformation offers him a magical fishing rod—Bakeru can use the lure to defeat enemies from afar and it completely shreds giant teams. Our solely grievance right here is that the transformations can really feel like overkill; that is already an easy sport clearly geared toward younger gamers and the alternate kinds get rid of the barest hint of issue.
Should you someway really feel you’re nonetheless struggling an excessive amount of, most ranges characteristic a cute character with an merchandise store the place you’ll be able to spend the cash which are scattered generously all through every stage. Many of the gadgets on supply listed here are consumables that’ll do issues like high up your well being or bolster your injury output, and whereas these, too, really feel like they make a straightforward sport even simpler, it may well nonetheless be enjoyable to simply let ‘er rip now and again by speeding a stage with a very juiced Bakeru.
For completionists, every stage additionally hides a small sequence of collectibles to encourage you to scour each nook and teleporter. The primary collectibles are the three gachapon containers holding numerous snacks and trinkets, whereas there are additionally 5 little critters you could find who offers you some type of journal entry. Clearly, this latter class of collectible was much less engaging to us given that every one the textual content is in Japanese, however it’s nonetheless enjoyable to ferret them out in every stage and a few of them show to be impressively effectively hidden.
We additionally appreciated how Good-Really feel fully mixes up the gameplay now and again with a degree centered round a brand new minigame. You’ll be able to take part in ranges that job you with issues like a waterski race or a Space Harrier-style 3D shooter. None of those overstay their welcome, they usually supply up some enjoyable palate cleansers each few ranges.
Visually, Mameda no Bakeru adheres to an impressively sharp and ultra-colorful artwork fashion that makes each stage a deal with to absorb. Whether or not you’re scaling an autumnal-themed mountain rife with crisp leaves and heat colours or rocketing down a water slide on an enormous cruise ship bursting with seaside balls and dance performances, every stage options distinctive theming and simply the correct quantity of graphical spectacle to stay persistently participating.
The draw back to those nice visuals, nonetheless, is that it comes at the price of constant efficiency. There are fleeting moments the place Mameda no Bakeru manages to muster the 60fps goal it goals for and these moments are great once they happen, however more often than not the body price shall be oscillating fairly a bit across the 30fps mark. The issue is low sufficient that this doesn’t actually result in unfair errors, however it may well nonetheless be tough while you pan the digicam over a extra open a part of a degree and watch every little thing get immediately uneven.
We’d like to spotlight that, regardless of being totally in Japanese, Mameda no Bakeru continues to be a superbly playable expertise for the typical English-speaking participant for those who’re seeking to import or obtain on the Japanese Swap eShop. Clearly, you’re fully dropping out on the story, and it may be initially a bit robust to navigate the menus, however general this can be a very gameplay-first expertise that’s all about getting you proper into the motion. We’d wager that this sport has a really low likelihood of receiving a full official English localization (there may be, nonetheless, an ongoing fan translation effort), however all the identical, we’d encourage you to not be scared off by the dearth of English language assist, as that is actually satisfying even with out it.
Mameda no Bakeru is a candy, snappy, and satisfying linear 3D platformer that looks like a beautiful callback to a style that doesn’t get a ton of illustration nowadays. Though it’s actually simple and has some efficiency issues, the gameplay selection, snappy fight, oodles of collectibles, and lovely artwork fashion all come collectively to make for an journey that you simply gained’t need to miss out on. So long as you don’t thoughts trawling by a little bit of Japanese, we’d advocate you give this one a shot for those who’re prepared to import it.