When I was a young little hooligan, one of my favorite movies was The Goonies.
What young adventurous male could resist the tale of a bunch of friends finding
a cavern full of treasure while outwitting the idiotic adults? What fun!
My psyche was crushed when I learned that there would never be a sequel...
but Konami did a little stunt of their own and created Goonies 2 for the NES.
And better yet, it doesn't fall into the trap of horrible gaming.
First off, let me explain that the Goonies are a gang made of pre-teenagers
in a small Oregon town. While searching the Fratelli hideout, six of the members
of kidnapped. The only member left if Mikey, and its your job to control
him to help him find his friends. Starting off in the warehouse, Mikey will
descend into dark caverns, musty storage rooms, and arctic caves.
Goonies 2 is structured similar to Metroid and games of that kilt...it's
generally nonlinear, but certain areas cannot be accessed unless you have
the first items. Like, if there's a pit that's too big to be leapt, you need
to find the high jumping shoes before you can get over there. Or if there's
a hole in the ceiling, you need to find the ladder first before you can
go up. Little puzzles like this make up the game. All you have to do is
find the cages that hold the kidnapped Goonies, and find Annie the Mermaid (I
have no idea how she figured in.) There are no bosses to defeat. You get
three lives and unlimted continues, plus you start very close to where you died
when you do kick-off. You lose all of your special weapons and keys when
you go get a Game Over though.
There are two views in the game: the standard side-scroller, and a first person
exploring view. The side-scrolling view is where most of the action and
traveling take places. In a neat little twist, the mansion is not all on one
single plane...there is a "back" or alternate side to the hideout that must
be traversed as well. When you enter a door, you switch to
the first person mode. From here you move through a variety of rooms, finding
safes, picking up items and traversing between one side of the hideout to the other.
Your main weapon is a simple yo-yo, but you find two others: a boomerang
and a slingshot. There are also two special weapons, the bomb and molotov
cocktail. The special weapons can be stored in containers that you find in
the first-person views. Most enemies in the beginning take between one and
three hits to kill, but later one they take tons of hits...and your normal
weapons are just too weak to kill them (you don't get much anything stronger.)
Plus the bombs and molotov cocktails are too rare and awkward to constantly use,
so most enemies will end up overpowering Mike. You start with two life bars,
but with each Goonies rescued you get another bar. There some protection items
you can find to absorb a bit of damage.
Now, safes and cages can only be opened with keys, but keys are only dropped
by enemies...and even then, not that often. So if you run out of keys, which
happens quite often (like when you lose all your lives), you'll be stuck sitting in one place, at the enemy
respawn points, hitting enemies for several minutes before you can get
the item you want. Another annoyance: some safes just give useless information,
and some gives important items, so you can't tell whether a key will be wasted
on nothing. In the first person screen, you are required to hit the front wall,
use the hammer on the wall, floor and ceiling, plus use the glasses, in
almost all of the rooms to find items. This gets old and repetitive rather
quickly, but it's a vital part of the game. If you don't, you could miss
something and spend hours looking for it later (like how I forgot to punch
a certain wall and came to a standstill in the game.)
The graphics are pretty unremarkable..not great, but not bad either. The animated
Ma Fratelli face when you die is probably the most amusing. Each of the games locations are distinguishable
(unlike Metroid's graphics, which tend to look the same.) The music is
decent though. The most memorable is a rendition of that Cyndi Lauper
theme song that sounds pretty good, and the rest of the tunes are pretty
decent (although the underwater theme sounds like Super Mario Bros and the
arctic theme is annoying.) The control is fine, really. Mike moves kind of
slow, but you'll get used to it. The game does have plenty of backtracking,
with only one area to warp between major points, so you'll be doing a lot
of backtracking. But there are shoes that make you walk and climb faster, which
is definitely needed.
Although Goonies 2 tends to be a large, confusing game (the game has a map,
but since there's so much jumping around and no detail to the map, it's hard to use)
the game still is quite fun. The game's also damn addictive too, once you get on
the right track and start finding Goonies. It's enjoyable to track them
down and find their hidden prisons. And I still haven't found all the items,
so I'll keep playing until I do. Overall, Goonies 2 is an excellent game
worth a playing through!
A few nagging flaws keep it from getting a truly high rating, but it's still utterly