|Sort of like the later GG: Ooedo Daikaiten except that in between the tough 2d platformer levels you've got to wade through semi-3d isometric areas. These parts sort of remind me of NES Zelda, except that they're generally a bit more linear.|
There's at least one town to visit and people there to talk to--hoo boy, do they talk! No idea what they're saying, which is unfortunate because the very first puzzle you encounter pretty much requires you to have understood a conversational hint. Well, this is what walkthroughs are for. No two-player, according to the back of the case.
You get multiple characters though and can switch between them at will by pressing the Select button--and you'll have to do this frequently, of course, since each has unique skills necessary to pass certain obstacles. Each character also has two attacks: a hand-to-hand attack and a longer-ranged attack. Instead of having these on separate buttons you have to toggle between them by hitting a shoulder button, which is a lot less efficient. Ranged attacks use coins, though, which kind of sucks because at some point you might need to use a ranged attack to hit a certain enemy but wouldn't be able to use it because you didn't have any coins left.
Of course, to accomodate this eventuality, enemies respawn as soon as you scroll their location off the screen, so there's never a shortage of enemies to loot. Fighting the same guy over and over because you scrolled the screen forward and back a bit gets a bit frustrating, at least to me, especially when a few sections are designed to make you do just that. In fact there seems to be a lot of backtracking through previously-visited areas. That, plus the character and weapon switching slows the action down somewhat.
Wacky art and sound, oh, and mini-games, still keep things pretty lively, though I could have done without the hint-based puzzles and the isometric parts.