Mischief Makers

Nintendo 64

Japan - 06/27/97
NA - 09/30/97
Europe - 12/01/97

Enix (Japan)
Nintendo (NA, Europe)

Yuke Yuke Trouble Makers

Another rather imaginative game from Treasure has been released for the N64, and can easily be yours for just a few bucks. And the game is worth it too. This may not be the best thing Treasure has made, but being able to pick it up for around five bucks, why wouldn't you buy it? It's another 2D side scrolling action game, except it's a little different then everything they've made again. It involves you controlling Marina, a mechanical maid for the professor, who just keeps getting kidnapped by the bad guys, no matter how many times you save him, and the Clancer's just keep getting in your way, as well as a few boss characters.

Dynamite Headdy is probably the closest game to this that Treasure has made. Instead of tossing your head around to grab things, you simply use your hands to grab on to pretty much whatever you feel like. The whole point of the game is to grab enemies and shake them, or toss them around. There's barely any other type of action in the game. You run around grabbing, shaking and tossing things around. Sometimes it would be nice to do something else, but the boss fights are as inspired and fun as always, with all new ways to take them out, thanks to the new grabbing thing this game has going.

There's around 50 or 60 levels in the game, I think, which can consist of a single boss fight, a quick little romp through a few enemies, or a rather large and maze like puzzle. The levels are fairly varied from one another. In one level you're competing in Olympic events, while in another you get to play as one of the Clancers, who are the people on the planet that you're trying to save your master on. Some levels are rather boring, while some can actually be challenging, and offer plenty of fun.

This game looks bad. There, I said it. It's not really Treasure's fault because the N64 has this problem with making everything very blurry, and every sprite has very blurry edges which looks bad. Treasure could have done some work to clean them up, but it doesn't look like they were to concerned about it. The background graphics are all right, since they aren't as blurry around the edges as the characters, and sometimes they're made up of polygons so you can get some 3D effects happening. Other weird things with the graphics are that the screen shrinks and stretches during boss fights so that you can see more of what is going on at a time. Say you run forward while a boss stays still, the camera will zoom out, but the height of the screen will shrink. It's nothing that gets in the way of the game, but it just seems kind of odd that it happens.

Sometimes the music isn't half bad, while most of the time it isn't really that good at all. For the few tunes that I enjoyed, I liked to simply listen to them and hum along as they played in the background, which is good. For the other songs, well I basically ignored them, and just kept on playing the game. The sound effects have the same problem. Marina simply doesn't shut up. It's like Silhouette Mirage's American version, where Sheena likes to shout out everything she does, although Marina isn't nearly as bad. So the music and the sound aren't all that great, but they never are in Treasure's games.

It's guite an enjoyable game. Most of the games levels simply have you running from one end of the level to the other where you have to grab the star to finish the level off. You'll run into enemies along the way that you don't usually have to take out, but sometimes you'll have to, which is the only thing that's really wrong here. I guess I should say this now, fighting regular enemies is boring, and it gets old fast. Luckily, you rarely have to fight the enemies, and can often opt to just walk right on by them without getting hurt. All right, back to the rest of the game. Some levels have you solving simple task like finding someone’s missing children, and then there's my favorite, the boss fights. Treasure knows how to make good boss fights, and even with this very unfriendly fighting system, the boss fights are just as good as any of their other games. You'll have to be quick to dodge their attacks, and still be able to get in your own shots when you can.

What's more, the game even has a whole bunch of extra things for you to do when you beat it. The game keeps track of the time you take to beat a level and gives you a letter grade for how fast you completed it, ranging from A to D. If you're really fast, pretty much playing a level perfectly, you can get an S ranking as well, which would probably take anyone forever to get all of them. Plus, the game keeps track of all your times put together just so I can have a ranking page for how fast everyone can beat all the levels. There's more though, every level has a golden diamond for you to find. Some are obvious while other will take quite some time to finally track down. It all helps keep the game entertaining after you beat it, and it's quite a welcome addition.

It's better then the likes of Dynamite Headdy, and McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure, and it's even more fun then a lot of other games for the N64. For the price that you'll find this game for it's definitely worth it. It's fun, it actually last a while to completely beat the game, and it's one of the only 2D games for the N64. It's not Treasure's greatest accomplishment, but it's still something they should be proud of, and a great game to add to anyones collection.