Thursday, 11 June 2015

JuJu Densetsu (Toki) - Arcade


It's Toki


I know, I know. It's Toki and this is the Japanese release of the game but given the other games beginning with J I leapt at the chance to go over this one on the grounds that most of the others were just shat or simply so obscure and esoteric that looking over them would have been too far of a reach to expect any reader to reasonably consider. That and Joust is just crap, Judge Dredd was a nightmare and Jr. Pac-Man speaks for itself before I even begin.

Looks a bit like Capcom's start for Ghosts 'n Goblins

Juju Densetsu however, is a lovely little platform game where some muscle bound Adonis goes through hell and back to rescue his significant other from an odd looking alien creature. Except that the alien creature looking thing turned you into a small monkey/ape looking thing with a large head. That can also spit death and destruction to the rampaging hordes the last boss has to readily hurl your way.

Mini bosses, bosses and large monsters around colourful landscapes. Nice.

So you're to set off, with a lovely intro screen not so far removed from Ghoul's 'N' Ghosts, showing how far we have to go and run our little simian arse off through the fun that is Juju Densetus, while spitting, expectorating and gobbing at everything that comes our way and a few piles of spiked dung that explode slowly. You, the One Hit Wonder, will be charged to take down bats, demons, ghosts, monsters, mutants and some very VERY odd bosses.

I'm not sure I can legally say anything here.

Left, Right, Up, Down, shooting and jumping is Juju Densetsu's preferred way to navigate levels. Be it leaping over lava, onto moving bridges, across rope swings or swimming through seas and oceans of sharks, turtles, trident-carrying-sea-serpents and a whole lot more. You're not alone, you have a myriad of different ways to attack enemies. Ranging from gobbing BIG spits, helixing spits, spread spits, flame throwers (One of these things is not like the others) and charged up super spits. Usually they appear in places that will really benefit the player, except if there's a boss involved.

The ultimate in weaponry: Underwater Flame Thrower.

On top of that, there's also sneakers/trainers that let you leap a lot higher while there's also an American Football helmet for SOME added protection. Juju Densetsu has the lovely idea that just because you HAVE the helmet, means you should also be looking AT the threat directly (not facing away) and be on the same level as the attack which means you can still be hit in the legs and die while wearing the helmet. A picky and rather finicky little bonus but if you can use it well, it can really be a boon to your progression through the levels.

Eye see what you did there... Sorry readers.

The levels themselves are very diverse. Jungles, snowcaps, lava caves, underground and oceans and industrial complexes, complete a very strange spectrum of levels but each one feels and looks unique while the bosses are just about as unique as the levels themselves. Giant ... um... Odd looking monsters... Yeah let's go with that... A knock-off of the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man, Giant burping buboe, Hands Feet and Heart monster (and NOTHING ELSE), and a Crystal Mammoth (Could also be an elephant). There's also a few mini-bosses that require a bit of thinking and shooting to get past but mostly shooting if I had to be honest.

I died, this room was too awesome for me to handle at first.

Musically, there's a few memorable tunes that, while repeated, aren't done ad nauseam and as such you'll likely learn the first and third level worth of music in Juju Densetsu (Yeah... ok, Toki). The sounds however are fairly clear with only a slightly odd muffle behind some of the sampling but everything is clear, hits sound very distinct to deflections so it's clear to work out what's doing damage and what's wasting time until you get killed or beat the enemy facing you at that moment in time.

You will see this a lot on the 6th level.

It's certainly worth a few credits, though the progression can be a little slow as our hero does move along at a bit of a crawl, but there's not much here that's really unfair and what does kill you likely can be overcome with a little patience and not trying to rush through things. Certainly worth a play.