Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Great Gaymathon Review #40: Wonder Momo (PC Engine)

Game: Wonder Momo
Genre: Beat 'em up
Developer: Nacmot
Publisher: Namcot
System: PC Engine
Release date: 1989

This game's cover art is cute, as are its title and between-stage screens. Also, its main theme is appreciably jaunty, with a Mega Man-esque quality to it. Oh, and I basically got it for free (the person from whom I bought my PC Engine threw six games, including this one, into the package before shipping it). Sadly, those are the only positive things I can say about this particular HuCard. I have plenty of negative things to say about it, though. For starters, let's go back to those graphics I mentioned in the first sentence of this little write-up. Although I'd be hard-pressed to call them terrible, I have no such problem calling them antiquated and boring--especially when it comes to Wonder Momo's yawn-enducing backgrounds. As bad as the game's visuals are, though, they're works of art compared to its gameplay, which consists of the titular Momo high-kicking and jump-kicking one ambling, odd-looking enemy after another until she's beaten enough of them to be whisked off to the next, claustrophobic stage. Every once in a while, a tornado whirls its way onto the scene, and if Momo touches it she turns into, well, I guess she turns into Wonder Momo. Regardless, she puts on a helmut, a pair of boots and wields some sort of hula-hoop-like weapon--and winds up barely more powerful than she was as Regular Ol' Momo. Toss all of the above complaints into a blender and what do you get? You guessed it: A really crappy beat 'em up that only should be added to your collection if your aim is to own each and every HuCard. Everyone else should avoid it like a pixelated plague.

See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts


RetroKingSimon said...

This one was recently added to my 'to review' list actually. I haven't played it yet though and now I'm scared to :( Nice cover though, like you say :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, why was it added to your 'to review' list, if you don't mind me asking? Was it because it's a Namco game, or because the protagonist (on the cover) is cute? It can't be because of good word of mouth :(

Still, you should try it -- if only to see why it's so maligned. Really, it could and should have been a much more enjoyable game than it is...

Bryan Ochalla said...

BTW, Simon, if you want to review some more worthwhile PCE games, here are a few that I've been playing (and enjoying) as of late:

Battle Lode Runner
Bomberman '94
Jigoku Meguri (Hell Explorer)

I'd suggest my current obsession, Chuka Taisen, but I have a feeling you'll hate it, as it's one of those nasty old shmups that basically has to be beaten in one go.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I love reviews of games people didn't buy. They don't feel the need to justify a purchase, so they're WAY more honest about its drawbacks, this case...seem to be MANY.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ha ha! Yes, I think I know what you mean, Justin. It's easy to say harsh things about a game you either didn't want or didn't really pay for. Speaking of which, my upcoming review of Namco(t)'s Barunba (also for PCE, also 'free') is sure to ape this one in many ways :P

As for this game and its drawbacks: Yeah, there are many. Really, there's no reason to play it at this point. That's too bad, though, because there was some promise here. The character is appealing, and some of the spritework is OK. If only they had placed her/them into a more interesting game...

Sean said...

That is a really good point, Justin!

Nice review, Bryan. I actually love reading reviews of bad games (and movies, etc) more than good ones. They allow for much greater use of humorous devices (sarcasm, derision, etc) that make them so readable!

This one sounds awful, though ironically this makes me want to buy a copy if I find one cheap. I`m a sucker for bad games. Garfield on the Famicom is one that everyone hates, for example, but I kind of like.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yes, Sean, buy a cheap (*very* cheap) copy of this game at some point, try it out and then let me know what you think of it. I really can imagine you enjoying it -- or anyone enjoying it, for that matter -- but who knows?

You're much more likely to enjoy maligned PCE games likeTower of Druaga, Pac-Land or even Barunba (also by Namcot), IMO -- both of which are far from great games but still have qualities about them that make them interesting and/or unique.