- JP release: 23rd December 1998
- PAL release: 18th June 1999
- NA release: 15th September 1999
- Developer: Konami
- Publisher: Konami
- N64 Magazine Score: 69%
While this was called “Mystical Ninja 2 Starring Goemon”, I’ll be sticking with the US name of “Goemon’s Great Adventure” as it’s very different from the first game, being a level-based 2D platformer rather than a 3D platformer/RPG taking place across a vast connected world.
While the story is still a bit silly, it also comes across as a bit more generic, trying to stop a demon from escaping from the underworld, nothing truly as bizarre as the first game.
At first, I hated Goemon’s Great Adventure. The jumps felt needlessly difficult and I found some hidden collectibles only to find I couldn’t make it back to the main path. Eventually, I figured out the double jump (you need to press A again immediately after jumping, not at the apex of the jump) and had a ton more fun.
It’s a decent platformer that can be played in 2-player coop (or a strange 4-player coop if you fully complete everything). Some of the jump do feel a little bit off, and I occasionally found jumps not happening and falling into a put instead. The “UFO-shaped platform” that lets you change character was very common for causing this to happen.
You can swap between four characters, which have different abilities. Goemon’s jump, however, is just too vital for most of the game, so while it’s nice to see enemies get sliced apart from a sword, I only used another character for the underwater sections (as Goemon can’t swim underwater).
To progress to the next level, you just need to reach the end of the level, but you also need to keep an eye out for entry passes, as gates will block your progress without them. Some are hidden in levels, while others are done by completing missions found in the village levels (which are little explorable hubs). There’s also a day/night cycle which causes ghosts to spawn at night, making the game even more challenging.
The bosses are imaginative, but tend to just have one trick that you have to do a few too many times, so they go on a little bit too long. After these bosses, which take place at the end of long, challenging castle levels, is a fight with giant robots.
These are very similar to the ones in the first game, and I’m still not overly fond of them. Your opponent has far too much health and some attacks can’t be dodged unless you charge up your super weapon at the right moment, which requires memorising movements and activating it before they start charging up their special attack.
For me, this was a big let down after how much I loved the first N64 Goemon game. The first truly felt like a grand adventure, while this comes across as more muted. The platforming is well done and part of my issues are just that I don’t like it as much as 3D platforming, however even outside of this, everything, including the story, just doesn’t seem as grand.
Goemon 2 is not a brave attempt to ‘focus gameplay’, or a return to old-school values, it’s simply misguided, annoying and, at heart, too simplistic and too ordinary. Which is something Goemon and his friends have never been. Here’s hoping for a return to form next time around.Jes Bickham, N64 Magazine #29
Remake or Remaster?
A Goemon collection would still be great.
Official Ways to get the game
There’s no official way to play Goemon’s Great Adventure.
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