Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bazaaru de Gozaaru no Game de Gozaaru

NEC Home Electronics / GAME FREAK
Super CD-ROM

I wanted to acquire Bazaaru de Gozaaru in part because I thought it'd be a nice collection piece, as it seems pretty darn rare, and in part because I'd long been curious about it, often wondering to myself, "What the hell is that monkey game all about?" I went in thinking that any enjoyment I'd get out of it would be gravy. Much to my surprise, I found myself addicted to it almost at once and blazed right through its eighty levels, having a great time the whole way through.

It looks like a platformer from afar, but it's really a trial-and-error-style puzzle game. In each stage, you've got to guide Bazaaru from the starting point to the goal while dealing with springs, pitfalls, and FIERCE ENEMIES... like little white puppy dogs.

Every level has a number of "action points"; your job is to select moves for Bazaaru to carry out at said points. He can jump or roll or spin... or dance or doze or do the moonwalk.

Once you've settled on your moves, you can sit back and watch the zaniness unfold, as the crazy monkey tiptoes past sleeping mutts, gobbles up bananas to extend the time he's allotted to finish his mission, and snags moneybags that are scattered about the various environs (which include a desert, an amusement park, and the moon).

There are one hundred moneybags to grab, and the fact that some of them are in out-of-the-way, tough-to-reach places adds a "sidequest" element to the proceedings. You may use the cash you collect to buy furniture for Bazaaru's house, which starts off as little more than an empty box. You can eventually have it decked out with curtains, a bed, a computer, and other such luxuriances, much to the monkey's delight.

The game isn't very challenging, which is fine with me. I enjoy tough puzzle games like Tricky Kick once in a while, but there are times when I prefer an easier ride, and Bazaaru fits the bill for those instances. Its music is decent, and its graphics are simple but nice looking. Yellowish-orange hues dominate the drawings; so, uh, be prepared for that.

This is the sort of game that definitely won't appeal to everyone, but the folks to whom it does appeal will have an awful lot of fun with it. There are those who'll have a blast solving the puzzles and those who'll get a kick out of the monkey's goofy antics. And then there's my well-off cousin Zigfriedoslov, who sure does love collecting those moneybags.

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