DoReMi Fantasy is a colorful SNES platformer on the Virtual Console that carries the import price tag of 900 Nintendo points, seeing as it’s the first time it is being made available in North America.
You play as Milon, a little boy who stole Link’s hat, fairy, and possibly lunch money. Milon also went to Mario’s school of self-defense: he jumps on his enemies’ heads, and runs when you hold the attack button. He does distinguish himself with the fact that jumping on enemies only knocks them out, and makes it possible to use them as platforms, an unfortunately underexploited mechanic. Most of the time, you’ll be taking out baddies with his main attack: shooting bubbles. Once an enemy is trapped in a bubble, then all you have to do is touch it to send it flying outside the screen.
Milon goes through the standard 90s cliché platforming worlds: forest, water, ice, lava and, um, cakeland. These different worlds are more than mere palette swaps, however, as each new world introduces a new mechanic or focus. For instance, the ice world, aside from being slippery, also demands that you shoot bubbles at twinkling stars to make platforms appear. In the cake world, you’ll find yourself shooting at every wall to find your way through the levels, let alone find secret areas. The designers did a good job mixing things up within a same world as well. Each level is short, but distinctive: you won’t mistake one from the next. And as a welcome touch, the level maps make it clear what each level is about. You’ll look at the slope in the ice world map and instantly understand that the level at the top is the snowboarding level.
DoReMi Fantasy is a looker. The colors simply pop up of the screen. The animation is not the most fluid out there, but the attention to detail impresses: in a windy level, Milon will hold on to his hat while struggling against the wind. Fall from too high, and Milon will stare down with his eyes popping out Wily E. Coyotee-style. Even on the map screen, the artists cut no corner. Finish the aforementioned snowboarding level, and you’ll be rewarded with seeing Milon sliding down to the next level on the map.
There is a surprising amount of text in this platformer, and none of it has been localized. Not that I play platformers for the story, but it would have been nice to know exactly why a white and a black Bomberman showed up in a cutscene, what the option I chose when they showed up meant, and why the black Bomberman then proceeded to blow my ass up.
So all in all, DoReMi Fantasy is a solid SNES-era platformer. Why didn’t it score higher? Because it is quite short (it is no exaggeration to say you’ll be done after 5 hours), and not all of the game’s world are equally interesting. The game felt great (but easy) in the first 2 worlds, then got a little bit tedious, before piquing my interest again. Plus, it may feel a bit too derivative for its own good. I wish the “use enemies as platforms” mechanic were used more than it is: it’s the one thing that sets the game apart the most from other platformers, and yet I can count the number of times I had to do it on the fingers of one hand.
Still, if you’re a 2D platformer junkie looking for a "new” fix, DoReMi Fantasy should hit the spot nicely.
Thanks a lot, man! Another game to add to the list of games-to-download. Know what, maybe I'll start doing some VC reviews as well, maybe it'll keep people from whining about the VC every week (probably not). There is no multiplayer, is there? Just checking.
Yes it is, but I wonder just how much of an actual sequel it is. I've never played MSC, but after watching's the Angry Nerd's bit on it, the games don't look too similar. And apparently that's a good thing.
edit - Yeah, the game's that short. There are some timid attempts at adding replay value, for instance as you gain abilities you can go back to earlier levels and find new secrets. "Timid" is not an overstatement, however. Before you gain the ability to dive in the water world, for instance, there is one previous level with water in it you can go back to. That's simply not enough to significantly lengthen the game.
Nice review. And yes, I played Milon's Secret Castle, and I agree 100% with what the AVGN's assessment of the game. the secrets would've been nice if they weren't so damn obtuse half the time and...yeah...it's just not that great of a game. ><
I replayed this game a little last night, trying to wind down from Ninja Gaiden 2 before going to bed. I can't believe I didn't mention anywhere in the review just how fantastic the music in the game is. At least in the first world. In some of the stages of the second world, the music seemed to loop a bit more quickly was got a bit annoying. But the music of the first worl? Well, you can listen for yourself with the video.
I do not lie when I say I beat the game as a child, without nintendo power's help. Just simple trial and error got me through it. and i guess luck. and that trick where you could continue when you died without starting all over. yeah.