Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pocket Zaurus: Juu Ouken no Nazo (Nintendo Famicom)

Pocket Zaurus: Juu Ouken no Nazo
Bandai, 1987

One of the things that I enjoy about the Famicom is the sheer amount of games that are available for the console. Many of these games can be purchased for just a few dollars and even if you're buying them from an overseas seller the shipping usually isn't too bad since the carts are small and light.

From time to time I'll take a chance on a game, especially if I'm already buying something else as another game doesn't usally effect shipping too much. Enter Bandai's Pocket Zaurus: Juu Ouken no Nazo.

Going into this game I knew nothing about it, only that it was a side scrolling action game. I grabbed this quite awhile ago and it was shelved immediately, only to recently be played for the first time. Judging from the art on the cart's front label I was looking forward to playing the game. Seeing the little dude holding a large boomerang I thought may this could be Power Blade-esque? 

Nope. The game plays nothing like Power Blade, one of my favs on the NES. You control what appears to be some type of green dinosaur boy. You walk left to right and can attack with a short range projectile attack. You'll notice at the bottom of the screen is a large black area that lists your lives, health and score. Throughout the game other words will appear here, but since I can't read Japanese I have no idea what it half the text is saying. 

After doing a little research it appears that the words that pop up are a type of quiz. I think it may effect the story (which I still can't figure out) and you can earn power up items with correct answers.

I played for about a half hour and while it wasn't boring, I couldn't quite get in a groove. It just seemed like your mediocre NES era action game. Nothing special to stand out in a crowed library for the system.

The 2nd level started off as a side scrolling shmup and instantly I thought maybe the game had potential. This part of the game felt a little like Fantasy Zone, however the shooting part was short lived as it wasn't long before I was flying over the ground and my character jumped out of his round little ship. I tried to keep playing the game and figure it out, but after continuing a few times I just lost interest. I'll revisit the game again at a later date to see if I can get any further, but for my first playthrough let's just say the grade I give the game is "I" for Incomplete.

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