Just finished the sequel. They improved on pretty much everything compared to the first game. Music and levels are less repetitive, you have world maps like Mario which gives you a better idea of where you are and where you’re going, and Momotaro feels way less stiff to control. There are new mini-games and also a new outfit (besides the usual cat/monkey/bird) allowing you to swim faster. My only complaint about this new outfit is just how unimaginative it is. It’s pretty much just a white speedo. They should’ve followed with the animal theme for the outfits and made it as a fish or something. Overall is a much more solid game than the first one.
Monster design is not as good imo though. Here they took animals and made into enemies, so you have birds, wolves, bears and sharks as enemies for the majority of the game, with skeletons and demons only at the later levels. That said, the enemies from the last map are really cool to look at.
Some levels really push the GB hardware and you get some lag (when you have 3 enemies on screen or when 2 projectiles flies across screen). It just happens a couple of times on later levels so it’s not a big deal. It’s also a much easier game than the first, thanks to the possibility of getting your powers back. It’s pretty much like when an enemy hits Racoon Mario and you have the chance of getting your leaf back if you’re quick enough. Same deal here and it’s really easy to get it back, making you close to invincible most of the time.
The biggest problem I feel is how this game aggravates the problem of Momotaro’s powers. He can use 3 different outfits (the 4th one, the white speedo, you only use in specific water levels so I’m not including it here) which gives you different powers. Cat, monkey and bird. Cat makes you run fast, monkey makes you jump higher and bird makes you glide. The problem is the way the levels are designed, there’s absolutely no reason to not pick bird every time. I know they realized this and tried to fix it by making some levels where you can do cool stuff as monkey or cat. At a certain point you go through a bamboo forest and as a monkey you can climb bamboos for example. Still, even in those levels, bird is the best option.
While I was writing this post I checked to see if there’s a wikipedia article for this series. There is and apparently there’s a rumor Nintendo acquired the rights for Momotaro last year. I hope this is true, I feel Momotaro is perfect for a Nintendo game. It’s cute, endearing, you can come up with interesting gameplay for the animal forms, etc. Let’s hope it’s not just a rumor.
I think I’ll be playing Super Bikkuriman next.