Wednesday, August 29, 2012

VGR Kyattou Ninden Teyandee (Nes)

How I love Tatsunoko Production's series~

Did you know a video game based on Samurai Pizza Cats was released for the Japanese NES, the Famicom?
Not that version of the show, the original Japanese version. So naturally the game stayed in Japan....

Let's check out their gaming debut and only starring role!
Custom cartmodd done by my buddy Baby. Thanks! Check out my custom cover art here.

VGR: Kyattou Ninden Teyandee
From Tecmo
Played on NES
Also available on /

Type Sidescrolling action/platformer
Year 1991

Back in the mid-80s/early-90s a lot of popular franchises were turned into little action/platformer licensed games.
Most following the classic Mega Man formula and type of mechanics.
I already talked about Felix The Cat in the past, for example.

Since I'm a huge SPC-fan and felt they were sorely missing from gaming history, I just had to give this one a try at some point down the line.
*enters importing games, translating roms and cartmodding*

Developed by Tecmo (Ninja Gaiden) for the Famicom it is a pretty fun package that will both surprise and please fans alike.

Who do you call when you want some pepperoni?

The story is pretty weird, even by the show standards.
One day, the town of Little Tokyo/Edoropolis was attacked by aliens!
In this game you have to help the Samurai Pizza Cats. You can play as any of the three delivery-cats who work in a little restuarant, but are actually samurai superheroes who fight crime around the town!

Was Seymour Cheese/Kitsunezuka Ko’on-no-Kami part of this sudden attack?
What was this cunning fox planning?

No worries citizens, new threat or not, the Samurai Pizza Cats will be there to stop it and save the day once again!

The cat gets down, down with a love-hangover!

The game offers you the choice to select your stages, like I mentioned above, similar to Mega Man.
After the first obligatory introduction stage, you will have access to 3 stages, then after that 3 more upper-levels will open. The final stages are played in sequential order though.
The game is about 11 stages long. They are composed of various screens and even have some parallax scrolling in some cases.
You'll visit the city of Edoropolis, a train station, the forest, the mountain, etc... Nothing you haven't seen in your usual platformers.

There's quite a lot of variety in the enemies for an 8-bit game!
You'll face plenty of robots, creatures such as kappas, even normal birds, robot-birds and anthropomorphic cartoon bids!
The bosses are really easy though. Their patterns always easy to spot out and avoid.

It's a pretty deep and rich gameplay for such simple controls.
The controls are tight, precise. No sloppy movements or slow/slippery gameplay.
A is for the attack. B for the jump. You can run by double-pressing the direction. And your character has a special ability you can trigger with Up+A.

3-2-1, Pizza Cats are on the run

Where the game gets original is that not only you can select your level progression
but also your character.
You can select any of the three main cats, Speedy Cerviche/Yattarou, Guido Anchovy/Sukashii or Polly Esther/Pururun.
Each has his own abilities.
Basically, Speedy gives you access to the main "normal" gameplay.
Polly gives you a harder time, she takes some timing for her hits but as a stronger attack even if it is slower to execute.
Guido has a longer aim, moves faster and does higher jumps so he's the easy way out complicated levels.
You select the character before entering a stage.
There's also a Ninpo meter. Additional weapons/attacks. You start with shurikens but then you can upgrade it in-game for a 3-way special attack and finally a sort of explosive fire/bomb.

Add to that four more fully playable support characters, which are their own separate cats not just "striker" kind of aids.
They are the Rescue Team/Otasuke, ancient warriors who helped the cats on the show.
You can switch amongst these extra characters at any time during the game.
Each has his own special abilities that use a special bar on-screen.
One can go swimming, another flies, or a very strong one can break rocks on the path, and last one is able to dig underground/across blocks.

The game does a great job of capturing the spirit and tone of the series.
The story plays out in cutscenes who perfectly keeps the feel of the actual episodes.
Seymour Cheese is a fun villain to watch getting annoyed at your progress through the game.
And even Bad Bird/Karamaru is here! (ultimately, as the final boss!)

The game also introduces a mysterious new villain named Dr. Purple, who has teamed up with Ko'on-no-kami.
(Dr. Purple was going to appear on the show as a new villain  but no more seasons were produced shortly after that...)

Overall, in the end, it's a pretty good game actually.
Very fun, it offers 7 fully playable characters which allow further playthroughs to feel a bit different.

But it's kinda quick to go through this game in one sitting, it doesn't offer much difficulty.
At least the levels are open enough to reach the bosses different ways.

It's sad this never got brought overseas.
Despite the huge love and success for the series!
My theorie? The SNES had already arrived in Japan and the US. (it would be for later in Europe)
And various games got canned at the time for this reason.
The game might have been only released in Japan though there were some pirate bootlegs release outside as Ninja Cat

My final word? It's a very fun Mega Man clone. One of the good ones.
A Recommended import title!

I give it:
 2.5 / 3 Invaders!

1 comment:

  1. Great game, gets really difficult towards the end. I've completed it in both Japanese and the English translation. I own both complete DVD sets, too. So, I may be bias on my love for this game.