Overall I would say this is a pretty good game for this period, although it had the potential to be a great game if the designers had been less tied down by old NES-era standards.
The story and characters are fun; Momotaro doesn’t talk and none of them have huge depth, but if you’re familiar with the Japanese folktales it’s fun to get all the people on your team. There are a lot of optional side characters to get too, although most of them aren’t very useful. There are other optional things too like adding services to your castle. The animals that follow Momotaro can also be developed. I didn’t do this much but I think they can be more useful if you take the time to feed them and such.
The battles are only so-so. With a few exceptions it’s pretty standard AMID, and with this plus the slow walking I think a speedup key helps a lot. I absolutely hate the “main character hits 0 hp = game over” system that I’ve seen several times in previous games. This game is not as bad as some others about instant kill things, but the final boss takes some luck because of this system. If Momotaro gets hit by 3 attacks in a row he’s gone unless you’ve done some serious overlevelling.
The enemies have a lot of variety and it’s not just a bunch of palette swapped enemies. The graphics are serviceable — the sprites are tiny NES type, but I guess that fits the somewhat cutesy mood of the game (despite the rather dark storyline at points).
The real downside is the interface. It’s too cumbersome to do things like heal, trade items, or equip things. Final Fantasy VI is coming out in 4 months so it’s annoying to see companies still clinging to the old ways.
On the whole I did enjoy the game and it’s definitely one of the better games I’ve played on this blog so far.
Next week I’ll post a list of games I’ll be playing and skipping in the first half of 1994.