Written: 10.1.06 Acquired: 9.2.06 Status: Cart only Price: $13.51
It is very much true when one claims that the Super Nintendo lacks dark-toned titles. A large majority are of the cute variety with bright, colorful graphics. Not that there's anything wrong with these "kiddy" games (as some like to call 'em) since so many of them play so damn well
But it'd have been nice to have seen a few more grim games make their mark on this wonderful system
Here's one of 'em
MAJYUUOU could be described as "Castlevania with a gun" or "Resident Evil meets Castlevania." But more than throw out lingo's, let's delve a little deeper into this morbid action scroller
You are Abel, and your wife, Maria, and daughter Iria have been captured by your former friend Bayer who sold his soul to the devil. With them Bayer intends to revive the KING OF DEMONS. You'll do anything to save your family, even taking on various forms of a demon yourself
Your weapon in human form to open the game is a 9mm gun. Abel can:
Do a downward kick in mid-air
Fire a power shot (hold attack until the power bar flashes)
Transform into different types of demons
Majyuuou opens with you versus Bayer on the Bridge to Hell. It's basically a mere scrimmage, with Bayer eventually retreating. The door on the far right swings open, and your foray into the darkness begins...
Things start out easy. Low-entry winged demons are "one and done." A fairy helper acts much like how an "option" does in shooters
Just when you say "This is TOO easy" the earth rumbles and the ugliest biggest grub you've ever seen is quickly slithering your way!
The parasitic creature traps you into a dead end. Fortunately, or so you think, the ground collapses, sending you deep into...
Mutant frogs, gun-toting she-devil's and hordes of zombies greet you with open, decaying arms. 1 shot cleans the zombies' heads right off, 2 seals the deal. Out of the corner of your eye you can see victims pinned up against the perfidious walls like grand prizes, but there's no time for sentimentality -- you know you could very well be next! With hell's army hot on your tail, you come to a decrepit elevator. There's no choice but to enter the dank, rotting interior...
Don't just stand there quaking or you'll soon join the festive tapestry on the ceiling!
Remember to thank Ryu later for teaching you the art of HADOKEN
Coming out of the elevator you're greeted by an old friend. This time, the fight is on
Could those veins be any more gross?
You can barely stand the sight of the disgusting, bubbly parasite, but you are 'Abel-and-willing'
[Har Har Har -Ed.]
March forward and meet the Barons of Hell. These big bastards are tough requiring 12 gun shots to kill
This malpractice creature has a long purple tongue filled with venom. It'd like nothing more than to add your SKULL to its precious collection
After killing Harpy grab the orb and begin your 1st inhuman transformation
WHEW! That's only stage 1. It's all very short though, but you gotta love the assortment of mini-bosses and demonic enemies. On a system sorely lacking these such things, it's a very much welcomed sight! But can Mayjuuou keep up the pace? Let us trek on....
STAGE 2 is a plant-themed world with buildings in ruin. Green pods releases little red fairies. Kill 'em, then you can eat their fallen carcasses to regain health. Demonic, and you know you love it too
Everything's going smoothly until you cross an old abandoned building. You hear a trembling and know it's not JUST the racing of your heart, but that something BIG and BAD is moving toward you fast....
If it catches you with its iron mandible it'll literally drag you up and down the screen like a rag doll inflicting major damage
Defeat the insect mini-boss and then find yourself eye to eye (no pun intended) with yet another mid-boss!
Finally, it's the guardian of level two -- the PLANT QUEEN
The Plant Queen has several attacks but is easy. Defeat this empress and enter stage 3 which guarantees to be the "ride of your life" -- a spook-filled speeding train rolling past a cemetery. Something afoul is in the air...
Within 10 seconds this mini-boss appears. It only has 1 attack: throwing its two scythe's at you, which will spin in place for a few seconds. Just leave some room on the left and you'll be OK. Battle the rest of the minions on the train and soon you'll meet a pair of twins unlike any you've met before...
[Even better than the Synch twins I met during the summer of '89? -Ed.]
You are completely helpless as you watch the two monsters kill this innocent lass. Her banshee-like scream as she perishes is eerie. After these two you immediately face the end boss of stage 3
That sick pulsating brain mass in the center of its back is the creature's weak spot. The purple barrage of bullets are not overly difficult to avoid
Once the disgusting bubbly mass is blown to bits, the Ghost Train is rendered helpless and sent crashing through the castle walls
Level 4 begins and from here on out, I'll let you discover what horrors await. Will you be able to stop Bayer? Will the King of Demons arise? Can Abel save his family?
There are 3 different demon transformations, with stronger versions of each. Each has a unique regular / super shot. One demon form can flip, another teleports, etc. Find out which form works best for which stages
You are human only for stage 1, unless you opt to not touch an orb after the end level bosses, which would make the game more challenging (his puny slow gun shot is no match compared to the mutant's rapid crescent blades)
The beginning plot is in Japanese, but throughout the levels there is no text. Not a biggie
Unfortunately there is no options screen, a few bonus modes would have been nice as well
The helper is very useful. If you die it'll revive you for a 2nd go and you won't waste a life. Some levels contain a green aura symbolizing the helper -- touch it to gain its powers
There are health refills here and there, stand over and press down
The health bar increases as your point total goes up. You can continue forever, but you'll start at level 1 health and for the later levels, it's simply not enough
Initially, the small sprites were disappointing and in general I felt graphically it was a bit of a letdown. The game's fairly short and not too difficult. It wasn't the 9+ out of 10 masterpiece a part of me was expecting to be honest (mostly due to hype and word of mouth), but it's well worth owning. I love the strange and gruesome creatures, the mini-bosses are sweet and it kind of reminds me of Taromaru a little bit. It had that Japanese demonic tone down pat. The gameplay is reminiscent of an old 8-bit game for some reason, which is a plus for anyone keeping score at home. The different demon transformations are quite Altered Beast-esque. I like it
MAJYUUOU is a good ole fashion ghoulish romp that places itself on the small list of dark action games (worth playing) on the Super NES
Graphics: 6 Sound: 8 Gameplay: 7.5 Longevity: 6
Not quite the "Resident Evil Meets Castlevania" hit I was hoping for, but I'm happy with the game as it is. Definitely worth checking out...