The sequel to the wonderful Konami hit, Legend of the Mystical Ninja, Ganbare Goemon 2: Kiteretsu Shougun Magginesu (translated title being: Goemon 2: The Strange General McGuinness) was released in 1993, but only in Japan.
A brilliant fan translation was released just this year – February 2020 to be precise – which now makes this fantastic game more accessible to Western audiences.
As you might expect: Ganbare Goemon 2 follows the same path as its illustrious predecessor, with one or simultaneous two-player, side-scrolling, platform action sections, interspersed with a variety of other gameplay styles and minigames.
You start out on an overhead map and must complete each stage to unlock the next level. Sometimes the route on the map splits, giving you a choice of stages, some more difficult than others, but all different, and all full of surprises.
Neat new additions to the series in this game include: a number of different vehicles to ride, which you have to knock an opponent off, before commandeering. These vary from giant fish (that flounder on land, but move quickly in water), to bubble-blowing jeeps, to even mechanical sumo suits. Another interesting new addition is the giant mecha suit, which can be piloted one or two-player and features in side-scrolling sections, and even in first-person mode in a sort of crazy (but fun) boss battle beat ’em up. Actually, there are lots of new features in this sequel, from new playable characters, new enemies, to the way you deal with friendly people in towns (the idea is to NOT hit them this time, otherwise the local law enforcement start attacking you). Ganbare Goemon 2 is awash with new ideas and features…
Graphically, Ganbare Goemon 2 is similar to Mystical Ninja, although it has had a more ‘modern’ make-over (yes, I am aware that this game is over 27 years old now, but it does look more modern than its predecessor).
Musically, Ganbare Goemon 2 is also similar to before, with a huge variety of Japanese-sounding tunes, and although they are not quite as memorable as those heard in Mystical Ninja they are still very befitting of this game.
I was overjoyed to see that Ganbare Goemon 2 had finally been translated into English. The translation is wonderful too (well done DDS Translations), and is not to be missed. If you liked Legend of the Mystical Ninja (surely everyone does?), this is a must-play game!