At a Glance: First, let me get something off my chest. My first two reviews evoked a lot of emails telling me how much I sucked at playing games because I couldn't get past the first one or two levels. Well guess what: I don't care! I suck at console games, especially NES games. As a matter of fact, I've never beaten any game for the Nintendo "Entertainment" System ever! I don't give a rat's ass, because I play games to enjoy them, not be tortured until they're beaten. Well, being a not-so-professional game reviewer I figured it would be only right that I beat at least one damned Nintendo game. Enter Hello Kitty. I figured that I could at least master a cutesy game geared towards five year-olds... I was wrong. Although, in all fairness, the cutesy wutesy huggy wubby feel of the game immediately made me disoriented to the point that I had motor skills equal to the that of an average five year-old.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 67k
Game Plot: After the initial wave of cuteness-induced nausea washed over, I slowly began to realize that a majority of text in this (US Version) game was, in fact, in Japanese. Luckily, I've got a trump card. I called my friend Daigo Hatsimoshikumo to come over. The post-title screen intro looked remarkably like a simple tutorial of how to play the game, but Daigo assured me that it was actually a detailed and elaborate plot which takes place in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo, where humanity has been wiped out by atomic war and the only intelligent life left consists of bizarre mutants who are struggling for control of the Neo Earth. Another funny thing is that I could swear I played a cute little kitten that floated around and avoided danger by hanging onto a pair of balloons.
Once again, my ignorant American eyes had deceived me. Daigo revealed that the main character was actually a huge, mutant, humanoid death cat, and it hovered around menacingly with the help of its Ki orbs (in case you were wondering, "Ki" is a complex and mysterious energy that only the most enlightened philosopher or avid Dragonball Z watcher could even begin to understand). So after I bravely pressed start, I was thrown into this strange and barren new world. Actually, it really wasn't all that barren. There were lots of birds that flew around, but instead of touching them and dying, I just bounced off of them. Everything's happy bouncy non-violent fun in the land of Hello Kitty! That's not to say that you can't be killed though; there's actually a good two or three things that can kill you. So your mission is to float around the level by hanging on to your balloons - I mean Ki orbs, and avoid anything that's dangerous. Hooray!
Weapons: I couldn't find any weapons in the game, but that's not to say there aren't any. There's probably a root beer rocket or something completely nonsensical and ignorant like that, which I missed. Also, Daigo claims that there's a Rocket Launcher, Rail Gun, and Sniper Rifle in the game, and I'm just too fat and lazy to find them. Daigo also claims to have a girlfriend back in Japan, but I think his mountains of DVD anime porn suggest otherwise.
Enemies: This is where Hello Kitty really shines! There's a plethora of cute little beanie baby enemies that you have to avoid. There are birds, ants, crabs, bees, wasps, spikes, walking fire, and some weird, floating star-shaped thingies. The last three are the only things that can actually kill you, but you can't kill them, so the entire basis of the game is just floating around and avoiding them. That's not what I call a video game. That's more like a carnival game. Although on the plus side, I don't have to keep forking over dollar bills to try and knock enough bottles over to win my skanky girlfriend an Eric Cartman doll.
Number of Levels: Well it's really hard to tell for two reasons. The first is that instead of assigning numbers or names to levels, they assign pictures. So, instead of being on level "7" you would instead be on level "Cat." I suspect that there were numbers in the Japanese version, but they figured that most Americans had trouble counting. Oh yeah, the second reason I don't know how many levels there are is that somewhere around level "pizza" I died. And no, I didn't keep retrying the game. That's right, I never finished it! C'mon, fire up your Hotmail accounts and tell me what a shitty reviewer I am! I dare ya! So of all the levels I actually played there was: fire, airplane, whale, dinosaur, lightning, rock, paper, scissors, Rich Japanese Business Executive, and Fat American. That makes seven. (Daigo's Note: HA! Stupid American can not be counting right! Or beating Hello kitty! My nephew Kenji beat it when he is five!)
Number of Bosses: You'd think that in a game where you had no weapons wouldn't have bosses, but leave it to the Japanese to find a way. The first boss I encountered was a dog type thing& I think. The process for defeating a boss (or "Evil Mutant Hell Hound" as Daigo claims it to be) is a very complex one. There are two platforms on either side of the boss. You stand on one, and let your balloons go. You then jump on the bosses head, bounce back onto one of the platforms, and repeat over and over until the boss passes out or whatever stupid substitution for death they use in cutesy games like this. A few levels later I encountered another boss, which was a Giant Leaping Shrimp. To defeat it, I jumped on its head and repeated until I had a seizure. Then I got killed before I could get to another boss, and I still don't care.
Defining Moment: This game really didn't have a climax of pain like the others I've reviewed, but the moment that really sums it up would have to be when I had been playing the game for about a half an hour and still hadn't died once. I then proceeded to spend every one of my lives on the same spot, and in thirty seconds my flawless game had gone straight down the toilet because I couldn't successfully avoid a bunch of floating metal star-shaped things. The way the game went from mildly easy to "Super Hard Japanese Game of Skill" in the blink of an eye really makes me appreciate Hello Kitty. After I threw down the controller in disgust, Daigo picked it up and beat the game in 8.7 seconds and left to go buy some Pokemon cards. He truly is a better man than I.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).