Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon Review! [N64] The Game Collection

SuperDerek looks at a childhood favorite on the Nintendo 64, in this Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon Review! Get ready for a very Japanese game!

Welcome back to The Game Collection, I am SuperDerek and this is Mystical Ninja, Starring Goemon!

This game is NUTS! This game first and foremost is just completely insane! Like, Japanese insane… Which is the best kind of insane. But since it was released on the Nintendo 64 back in 1998, Nintendo of America’s strict content guidelines of the time cleaned up some of the obligatory pervy jokes. But otherwise I really appreciate the localization on this game. Back when this game came out, sailor moon’s localization was calling rice balls donuts and other similar localization aimed at concealing our cultural differences rather than embracing them. But upon its release, Mystical Ninja gave me my first real glimpse of at pure unapologetic Japanese culture. Up to this point the most Japanese culture I got was from Speed Racer and the early Bandai localizations of Dragonball Z. I Actually picked up the game for the first time because I thought Goemon on the cover looked sort of like Goku… Yeah it was a stretch.

Coincidentally, the game actually has a gag which nods to the Dragonball series later in the game when Goemon is able to perform a powerup move which doubles his strength and turns his hair golden. But gags and parodies like this are to be expected while playing through the games of the Mystical Ninja series. It’s a very self-aware game that can’t take itself too seriously for more than a couple of seconds at a time. Goemon and gang are presumably adventuring around feudal Japan but conversations with the locals often break the 4th wall with self-referencial humor and anachronisms like talking about giant robots, magazines, telephones, and pizza.