April 22, 2016

[Game 058] Adventures of Musashi (NES - 1990)

Translation by MadHacker & Gaijin Productions

Whenever a new genre of vidja comes out and becomes popular, droves of clones inevitably follow.  Some bring an exciting new game mechanic or a funky fresh story; others are content to just slap a new paint job on the original and call it a day.  Adventures of Musashi falls heavily into the latter category.  Right from da giddy up, I smelled a Dragon Quest clone when I heard familiar sounds when navigating the menus and walking into towns.  These sound effects are exactly the same as DQ's; others are close to DQ's but have been run through some kind of shitty filter.  Unlike DQ, however, the player cannot name themselves, instead bring forced to be the titular Musashi.  At first this put me off somewhat, but then I realized that Musashi and I have pretty similar personalities.

Welp, he's got my daily mantra down pat.

The parallels to my own life continued as soon as I left the starting house and the first two people I talked to were girls who were all up ons.

I even got a kiss from one — that's
the same as getting laid, right?

Y'all know the drill at this point — get some MacGuffies, explore a dungeon or two, kill a mini-boss, unlock the next area, and repeat until done.  Combat is the typical button-mashing affair, complete with an almost carbon-copy DQ spell list, which is added to as levels are gained.  The list also pays tribute to its originator with damage spells, such as Bolt and Fire, which do the same (or less) damage then a standard weapon attack.  Status ailment spells seem to have a decent success rate, through I've only been using those on the mini-bosses.  99% of the time, MP is funnelled directly into the classic Cure spell.

Now, when I first found out that I was going to have to do translated Japanese games in addition to my native English, I had mentally prepared myself for the onslaught of mediocrity I knew was in store for me.  I figured that I'd just grit my teeth and barrel on through as best I could.  Maybe I'm just mellowing in my old age, or maybe it's the eight bong hits I chased with a fifth of vodka and handful of Xanax, but I'm finding this game to be quite comfy in its plainness.  It's so close to the original Dragon Quest that it feels more like an expansion campaign than its own thing.  I can just go through the motions and I barely even have to concentrate, freeing up processing threads to focus on other things, ranging from porn to... okay, well, just porn but lots of different kinds of porn.  So, though it may sound like I'm complaining, I only sorta am.

Adventures of Noshenshi does have some great things going for it in the visuals department.  Each terrain type has its own gorgeous background when battles occur and the monster sprites themselves are also quite dashing.  Here's a compilation of all the overworld terrains at the beginning, featuring the first ridiculous enemy I fought.

Yeah, that's right, I even hung out in the
poison swamp so I could get the full set.

The difficulty was pretty easy at the start and I figured that would continue after I crossed a river via an underground tunnel and entered the Next Area™.  The first baddie I encountered quickly changed my mind after it stunned me for eight rounds and took me from maximum health down to zero health.

And might I add... fiddlesticks!

This set the stage for the next few areas and ensured lots of grinding to make things even more comfy.  I got to know some of the monsters really well and soon were getting rather comfortable with each other.  Some of them, however, starting getting a little too comfy.

"Mmmm, this grass is so soft and sensual.
Hey there, hero, why don't you come
have a little lie-down?" *pat pat*

A slight deviation from the standard formula saw me gain a tanuki companion, who ended up being part MacGuffin and part pugnacious sidekick.

But only when he feels like it, which
is about 10% of the time.

I also had the classic getting stuck thing that I like to do so much, complete with running all the way back to the first town and talking with everybody again.  Even this sent waves of comfiness washing o'er my neural network.  I usually rage at myself when I discover what easy thing I missed, but this time I just gave myself my best "Oh, you!" and basked in the knowledge that at least I had a bunch of extra levels now.  The thing I missed?  Oh, it was some guy who was in a room off to the right of what I thought was a single room hut.

Hey, I thought the protagonist was suppose
to be mute in these kinds of games!

So, yeah, short of some earth-shaking changes, expect the next posting to also be fairly short, but I can tantalize your tits with promises of a sweet monstage or two.