| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Platformer; loc=JPN] |
|Yuke's makes interesting games--I never feel completely comfortable with them, but there's always something about them that somehow makes me want to play them more.|
Hermie the red-dreaded hero hops along accompanied by baby animals whom he encounters as eggs in the big, colorful platform levels. He can have up to three eggs and hatches them by spending stars he collects. Normally the eggs just follow Hermie around, copying his movements exactly, but if he "frees" them they'll go running around picking up stars and jumping on bad guys for him. Very nice to have a little animal army at your beck and call and the ragtimey background music is refreshing... for an hour or so. New track please!
The game seems to be huge, with tons of hidden paths in each level, the sprites are well animated and bouncy and the challenge level, which comes in managing your little travelling menagerie, is quite high. It's kind of a pain that if you want to leash in your animals after sending them on the attack, which is necessary to guide them past obstacles, you have to track each of them down and touch them. And some, like the turtle, don't take out enemies actively--you have to boot him at them. After a few frustrating rounds of animal management I sometimes feel like just letting them rot and cruising through on my own.
Maybe I should try that. At any rate, the nice thing is the way in which the game gives you the option, though certainly you'll need help from your helpers to get to certain bonus spots and I suspect there are levels you cannot pass without animal help later on, but I'm only 4% through according to the world-map information.