Friday, February 5, 2010

Youkai Douchuuki


This is one game that really shows its age. Remember that really old guy in the wheelchair in Big Trouble in Little China, the dude who had been cursed to walk the earth for all eternity or whatever? Well, this is the "really old guy in Big Trouble in Little China" of HuCards. It's absolutely ancient.

Not that I necessarily mind antiquated visuals. Mystical Fighter for the Genesis is a personal favorite of mine. But Youkai asks a lot here. It's a sidescrolling platformer that not only looks terribly primitive (especially since its playfield is scrunched down to accommodate a "map" at the top of the screen) but also fails to play well. At least it offers a handful of levels that give you multiple paths to take and objectives to complete, not to mention a few different ending scenes. And it's dirt cheap--except, of course, for the gold version, which only a complete nut would be looking to acquire.

There's something weird about the game that you might want to note. My copy didn't work when I tried it on my Duo-R, but when I gave it a go on my SuperGrafx, it worked just fine. My brother Alexei had similar issues with his own copy, which didn't work on his Kisado-equipped US systems or even on his SGX. It wasn't until he tried it on his GT that he realized it was in "working" condition. Now, I haven't heard any other reports of such problems, but that's probably because Alexei and I are the only ones who actually play stuff like this. Anyway, Youkai's apparent aversion to certain units is very weird.

And that's not the only thing that's weird about the game...

You run into a hell of a lot of weird demon-folk during your quest. The gameplay is standard run-and-pelt stuff, but the characters are anything but normal. I've always found the "hero" to be the freakiest-looking one.

Simple platforming sequences can be difficult because said hero slips around a lot and doesn't jump very well.

A boss fight! Pray, little dude, pray. You take control of a spirit fighter as the odd-looking fellow supplicates.

Save up cash so that you can acquire health restorers and power up your shot. Don't spend too much money in the shops, though; you'll need some dough to hitch a ride on the big turtle.

Said turtle introduces you to this nice, sweet princess... who puts on a strip show. Catch what you can while the spotlights zip around the screen.

After the show, the princess gives you a box. It might contain a lot of money. It also might explode in your face and transform you into an old dude.

Before you can complete the game, you have to answer a few questions thrown at you by this guy. You do know Japanese, right?

The ending you get is determined by the number of enemies you kill and the number of points you earn during the final level. "Zero" is a great number.

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