Yume Penguin Monogatari

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Famicom cover.

Yume Penguin Monogatari is a multi-genre action game developed and published by Konami for the Famicom on 1991-01-25. The game combines a traditional platformer, a platform shooter, and a scrolling shooter. In the game, you play Penta the penguin from earlier Konami titles like Arctic Adventure and Penguin Adventure. After binging, you've become obese and your girlfriend Penko has left you for the debonair Ginji. Penko gives Penta an ultimatum to lose weight if he wants to see her again, so you have to try and collect diet drinks and avoid food across several stages in order to slim down. The game has only ever been released in Japan in Japanese, but a translation hack for the ROM has been made.

I heard about this game from my friend Ryan who suggested it after I posted on Facebook of having just beat two penguin-themed games within a short period of time. Assuming I was purposely playing penguin games, he told me about this game. I was glad he did because it's really quite a gem that never made it to the USA. I played and beat the Japanese game on my first attempt, but, unable to read Japanese, I didn't know there was an unlockable hard mode afterward. So, I got and English translation patch to play it through again and then beat the hard mode, also on my first attempt on 2019-11-24, now being able to read the actual story.

Status

I don't own this game, but I have beat both passes and had a prefect weight at the end.

Review

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8 6 8 7 4

Best Version: 66%

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The game is quite creative. The story is certainly original, and the different settings and bosses in each stage are unique.
  • The weight mechanic is quite interesting. When Penta is chubby, he's more difficult to control and can only attack by throwing his weight around. At the medium stage, he is a little faster, and can kick enemies, and, at the slim stage, he can use his power peeps to shoot across the screen.
  • The game uses wonderful cartoon art which is very competently converted into graphics by Batten Takaki and Gonzalez Shindo and really well-drawn.
  • The music by Katsuhiko Suzuki and Atsushi Fujio is enjoyable and perfect for the game.
  • It was certainly an enjoyable change for Konami to make a game that doesn't kill you every few seconds.

Bad

  • The hit box for Penta seems to be a bit too large. I guess you could argue that he reaches out to try and grab food because he's so hungry, but it does get a bit frustrating when you're pretty sure you're going to avoid an apple only to have it hit you.
  • By showing the complete ending on the first run through, there is nothing special to show for the hard mode run. The designers should have at least kept the credits held back until the full ending.
  • Although I like the fact that "death" is just running out of time, and you have infinite continues, this means a dedicated player is pretty much guaranteed to beat the game after only a little effort. I would have liked it if there was a bit more difficulty to the game.

Ugly

  • The game is too short. You can beat it in about 20 minutes, and the second play-through only pushes it to 40, but doesn't add new content. The hard mode just weakens the power-ups and increase the damage. I would have preferred if the developers just made each of the stages longer and harder rather than require a second pass.
  • The game is unapologetic in it's fat-shaming, and that sends a pretty terrible message to children.

Media

Box Art

Videos

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
Japanese 夢ペンギン物語 Yume Penguin Monogatari Story of the Dream Penguin

Links

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