I think this is the first Vic Tokai game I’ve finished? They’re all very weird little games. This seems to be one of the easier ones (Golgo 13 I remember being brutal)
The game does an OK job at “teaching you how to play.” For example, early on, you learn that it’s GOOD to abuse the “Shop” system, as some parts of the game even require it.
That’s a good thing, as our main character is very weak as-is. You definitely want to be using power-ups from the shop. Unlocking the “Teleport” hermit power early on is also a huge advantage, as that’s what lets you easily get HUGE amounts of money (between the hidden gold mine and the shop where you sell your gold)
I didn’t care for the controls at first but that’s possibly because I had just come off Kid Icarus. The controls on this game aren’t that bad once you get used to them, just make sure to never overestimate your jump distance. Eventually you’ll be using jetpacks to get everywhere anyway.
One annoying thing which is never really fixed by the items is the fact that enemies seem to have tiny little hitboxes, whereas your character has a MASSIVE one. It was very frustrating how many times I’d duck under an enemy thinking there’s no way I’m gonna get hit, and still got hurt.
The music is good (a couple of these songs are still stuck in my head) but there’s just not enough of it. Whoever composed this, they should have let them run wild and do several more songs.
The visuals, especially some of the color palette choices, are incredible. Every route is unique and some are especially memorable (it’ll be a long time before I forget how pretty Route 10 looks). I also really like the “80’s anime” art style.
No battery saves on this one, but the password system is good! It saves the exact spot you were in when you retrieved it. You can even use it to, e.g. save right before a tough boss and get as many tries at it as you want.
The continue system is harsh but fair. There are no extra lives. When you die, you get Game Over and are sent back to the last place you were on the overworld map. All of your items are intact, but you lose part of your Force. There does not seem to be a limit to how many Game Overs you can get.