Maru's Mission is a platform shooter developed possibly by Tose and published by Jaleco and released on the Game Boy on 1990-09-28 as part of the Ninja JaJaMaru-kun series. In the game, you control Maru whose girlfriend Cori has been kidnapped. You travel to six different locations in the world and defeat monsters from the local mythology. Defeating monsters lets you collect their souls to gain more life, and the defeated minibosses give you special weapons with which to defeat the stage bosses. For the US release, the designers changed many of the graphics to make them fit better with American culture, but they kept the player controlling a ninja, despite the ridiculous cover art.
I played this game to better acquaint myself with Jaleco's library. I beat it on my first attempt on 2020-01-27.
I do not own this game, but I have beaten it.
Best Version: Game Boy
— This section contains spoilers! —
- I like the idea of capturing your enemy's souls to become stronger.
- It's pretty cool that falling down a pit sends you to hell.
- Some of the monsters are really interesting like the chimera that bursts into three smaller monsters when you hit it.
- Even though they're poorly designed, the underwater harpoon sections are a nice break from the platform shooter mechanic.
- Some of the power-ups are interesting.
- Maru's portrait in the dialogue screen is good.
- Maru can fire his stars up and down, but not diagonally, which would have been nice.
- Other than the title theme, the music is sub-par and very repetitive.
- The bosses are pretty formulaic and rarely require you to learn anything to defeat them. The only one that I found interesting was Medusa. The Sphinx could have been interesting, but the riddle is always the same, and old as the hills.
- While I like the idea that you can jump to the ceilings like in Metal Storm, it doesn't fit with the game's theme. Neither does the unlimited jump height.
- Rather than have limited energy and multiple lives, which is typical for a game of this type, you have a lot of energy and only one life for the entire game. This works for adventure platformers like Metroid, but not for stage-based games like this.
- Another rescue the princess plot. Boring.
- The game is far too easy. I beat it on my very first attempt, without dying, with nearly 999 hit points even after defeating the final boss! There are too many life bonuses, too many power-ups, and not enough challenging jumps or tough enemies.
- The US box art is god-awful! Seriously, how did they ship with that?
The Japanese art is pretty great. It features a shuriken-holding Jajamaru flanked by the demon who kidnapped his girlfriend and a bunch of the game's monsters in the background, all set in Egypt. It's expertly painted and gives a pretty good idea of what the game is about. The title could stand to be moved elsewhere, but other than that, it's great.
|Japanese||おいらじゃじゃ丸！～世界大冒険～||Oira Jajamaru! Sekai Daiboken||I'm Jajamaru! World Adventure|