Hey! It's Arle of Puyo Puyo fame, and she's in a kawaii (cute) Japanese RPG adventure......Hmm? What? "Puyo Puyo!?" You son of a...anyway, the story seems to have Arle eventually going up against a man named Satan who is going around doing various sorts of bad deeds. That's the general story. Compile, the talented group who made this game is also famous for their Aleste games as well as this (Madoh Monogatari) series. In fact, the Madoh Monogatari series is what inspired Compile to create the Puyo Puyo games in the first place and characters from the Madoh Monogatari games were put into Puyo Puyo and it became wildly popular. While the SNES only has one Madoh Monogatari game, the series was quite well received in Japan and a number of Madoh Monogatari games were made. You will encounter popular Puyo Puyo creatures including the oh-so-revered jellies themselves. Yes, you will meet puyos and they come in all sorts of flavors...
The graphics are pretty decent. Big and bold characters (although they are of the "SD" variety) greet you in every combat scene, and the simple yet effective special effects are pleasing and don't detract from the overall experience. You travel around some cool looking environments as well. The music is mostly good, at least as far as the quality. The music is...well...what bothers me is the boss theme. It sounds like it was going to be really cool and then...it just loops over and over after a certain point. Sure all music loops eventually, but it only loops one part of the song, not play the entire song over again. I'm puzzled as to why Compile would do such a thing in poor taste. Disappointing really, but the music overall is good.
The gameplay is actually mostly rudimentary. A pretty simple RPG, you navigate colorful areas and fight off some dastardly puyos that look (and probably taste) like jellybeans. You level up like an ordinary RPG and over the course of the game, Arle gains several abilities.The progression of the game is quite slow and Arle has a small spell inventory. Thankfully, she gains multiple levels of spells like Thunder, Fire, and Ice Storm. Once a spell levels up, you can no longer use the previous version of the spell. Like the
other Madoh games before it, there is no "HP". "HP" DOES exist, but it is not visible. You will only know how wounded Arle is by the silly dances and gestures she makes. You can also check your status
portrait. If Arle looks scared or looks as if she is going to cry, you should heal her.
The developers did this intentionally to add a hint of strategy. It sounds bad, but it's really easy to know when Arle will need to be healed so it doesn't hurt any. Arle has mostly infinite MP, though she can only use certain higher level spells a limited number of times. This invisible "MP" slowly recovers after battles. The biggest thing that probably sets this apart from the other Madoh Monogatari games is that the whole "First-Person" dungeon idea was ditched and replaced with the third-person method of traveling like you see below. What you can't see is the various odd map abilities she can possess, such as jumping gaps and smashing the ground, among other things.
Madoh Monogatari: HDY is not the most fantastic RPG ever made, but it does a good job at keeping all of Arle's cuteness intact, in a style of game playing I am quite familiar with.
- Written by Vyse the determined -