Lead Doraemon into his battle against misery over seven levels. Negotiate the many pitfalls and shoot enemies for bonus points and bonus items.
He's already a cult cartoon hero in the Far East but little is known of him over here - yet! His name is Doraemon, he's a cat and he represents everything that's fun, so it's about time that he let us share in his joyous existence on Sega's hottest console! Nothing, it seems, may cause a frown to blemish Doraemon's radiant features. However, the arrival of a red faced, alien wolf-man looks set to do just that as this nasty invader is convincing the world's children that life isn't so great after all. He's sucking all their happy hopes into seven magic globes and placed them in the custody of seven of his most trusted, but nevertheless evil, minions.
Now it is Doraemon's not-so-joyful manga-style mission to bring back the smiles! So this he attempts, across the seven strange and magical worlds that these masters of misery occupy. With his pistol-a-popping and the occasional game of scissor-paper-stone, Doraemon is aiming to bring all the happiness back in time for tea. Though it's only a game for one player, the living room's the limit for crowding around the TV as Doraemon entertains in his first, platform-type adventure for the Megadrive.
Doraemon's got hundreds of friends but prefers his own company. This is on the grounds that he knows a mega star when he sees one, and see one he does each morning in the bathroom mirror! Whenever Doraemon collects a rag doll he has the pleasure of another Doraemon's company for a limited time period. This means double the fun of twice the enemy annihilating excitement!
His happy blueness is something of a superstar so it is only fitting that the collection of stars concerns him the most at times of trouble. The collection of seven golden stars rewards him with an extra life which is nothing to stick his tail up at!
However, it is the Super Stars that are the source of the most happiness for this small blue cat. Super Stars are obtained by Doraemon jumping at one of the large glass stars. Each time that his Super Star meter reaches 77 Doraemon is whisked off to a bonus screen where even more extra lives are available!
Nine lives? He'd have lives coming out of his ears... if he had any!
Of the many possible and terrible things that Doraemon expects from Wolfman's assistants a game of scissor-paper-stone isn't one of them! Yet this most harmless of olden school-yard pastimes is resurrected for the battles to free portions of the world's happiness!
Doraemon's adventure comes packaged in a huge box set which explains the rather high asking price of sixty sponds. For the extra twenty quid you get a Doraemon pencil case with three pencils and a rubber!
This game really reminds you of what you can do on a Megadrive. The presentation is impeccable and the graphics are absolutely great. The use of colour is very bold and combines with the strong characterisation to produce a very involving atmosphere.
This atmosphere makes the game itself much more enjoyable, there's a compulsion to play on just to see what happens to the earless cat next. The levels are full of new ideas and original features and generally there's never a dull moment. Well, for about an hour anyway, after which any player of merit should have complated the game. The problem lies in the amount of extra lives available.
Every half a second an easy-to-reach bonus room makes itself known, or Doraemon finds another life star, 1-Up or grabs the requisite number of Super Stars to grant him a lives beanfeast of epic proportions. As a result it's a piece of cake to stroll through the game with nary a care in the world.
Whilst Doraemon is a lot of fun while it lasts, and the packaging including the pencil case and school set makes it seem really cool there just isn't enough to keep the majority of gamers occupied for long. Certainly one for younger, less experienced Megadrive owners, but a disappointing waste of a good game for anyone else.
It's great to see the Megadrive welcome Doraemon on board as he is such a versatile little animal. I've seen his image on many Japanese products performing an assortment of visual gags and so the scope for this video game is enormous!
Sega has used the licence well and this earless cat turns the Megadrive into his very own playground - as soon as the machine is powered up, Doraemon appears beneath the Sega logo and cheekily drawls the word 'Saay gaah'. This stands as a good indication of what is to come, which is a very playable and often amusing, small but perfectly formed cart stocked with variety.
The screenshots themselves illustrate to anyone who is familiar with Doraemon that the graphics represent him down to a tee and he's animated perfectly too. Though there are seven stages they are only one screen long and, once that all of Doraemon's moves are mastered, very obvious in layout.
The bonus rooms are practically laid on a saucer for his exploration and milking the surprises behind them for all they're worth - another stack of 1-Ups no less - is easy too, even for a cakka gibbon!
What this amounts to is the player stocking up with about fifty extra chances, not to mention the continues, and the absolute certainty of completing the game within a couple of hours! It's a great little game but hardly the cat's whiskers.
P. Amusing snippets of Doraemon feature of the front end and between levels. There is a comprehensive options screen. N. Unfortunately it's all in Japanese and, therefore, gibberish to most of us.
P. Large sprites move smoothly against bold, impressive backdrops. Doraemon is a real star. N. The enemy sprites don't vary much. There are too many chickens for our liking!
P. Joyful tunes and lots of cutesy Doraemon speech! N. The music is very samey.
P. Excellent fun due to Doraemon's lively personality. There is a hilarious variation on 'musical chairs' at the end of the game.
P. It's always a laugh. N. The game takes only a couple of hours to play through as it is very easy indeed.
A very enjoyable, beautifully presented little cart that is too short-lived because of easy gameplay and a plentiful supply of extra lives.