Powerpuff Girls: Mojo Jojo-A-Go-Go
By: Jared Black
If you were in
charge of producing the latest Powerpuff Girls game, what kind of
game would you make it? A platform game? What about a puzzle game (Super
Hyper Turbo Powerpuff Girls Puzzle)? How about an old-school
shooter in the vein of Life Force and Gradius? That’s
right, developer Sennari has forged an seemingly odd pairing in
combining the Powerpuff Girls license with an old-school
shooter reminiscent of the glorious 8-bit days of gaming (back when
everything was Pure and Good). Despite the apparent mismatch, it
nevertheless works pretty well as Sennari has created a
side-scrolling shooter that would make the boys over at Konami
In case you aren’t
familiar with the genre, it’s basically a horizontally-scrolling
game that forces you to kill or be killed. This results in an
action-filled and hectic gaming experience as you’re forced to
continue moving forward at all times. In this game, the Powerpuff
Girls all work together to take out Mojo Jojo and his army of
assorted baddies. All three girls fly together, with only one being
controlled by the player at any one time. While waiting for their
turn, the other two girls will fly behind and toss a ball in
boredom, bring out pompoms and cheer the lead girl on, etc. Each
girl has her own health bar, and at any time the player can switch
control from one to another. If all three girls die, it’s game
expect from a shooter, there are several different power-ups the
girls can acquire. These include things like Chemical X, various
laser beam (they shoot ‘em out their eyes) upgrades, punch
upgrades, and Super Attacks (dependent on which girl is in the lead
and must have all three girls to use). In addition to their laser
eyes, they can also punch. The punch button is also used to pick up
various items in the environment (clearly marked with an X) such as
mailboxes and trees, which can then be thrown to whack several
baddies at once.
The graphics are
rather simple, but that’s exactly how they should be as the
cartoon itself is drawn in a simple manner. The game is very
colorful, with lots of vibrant primary colors filling up the screen.
Everything in the game is animated well, from the girls themselves
(with the previously mentioned various idle animations) to the
baddies to people in the background. It all comes together for a
pleasurable viewing experience that, while not impressing you with
it’s technical excellence, does a good job of recreating the feel
of the cartoon series. My only real complaint with the graphics is
that things can get a bit repetitious at times. The levels are so
long that background art is often used several different times, and
it makes the game often seem like an old Scooby-Doo chase scene (you
know, the ones where Shaggy and Scooby pass the same flowerpot about
The sound is
passable. The music (aside from the show’s theme song) is fairly
generic, and doesn’t really add or detract from the experience.
The sound effects are the same way, with some pretty basic
shooter-type effects. It does however include some minor voice
acting from the narrator of the show, and that goes a long way
towards making it feel like a true Powerpuff Girls game.
All of this is
great, but the game’s real problem is that it plays exactly like
those old-school shooters. You know the old ones with INSANE
degrees of difficulty? While it isn’t quite as bad as some of
those, it’s really too hard for it’s intended audience. I sat
down fully expecting to clear at least the first couple of levels
without problem and several tries later I was still working on the
first level. I can’t see my niece having the patience to fight
through it, nor having the skills to do so in the first place.
- Gameplay is
tight, and on par with those old classic shooters you remember
- The graphics
are simple, but ooze style and personality.
- Progress is
saved automatically to battery-backup, which is very important
given the target audience.
difficulty level is set way too high for younger gamers.
all gets repetitive fairly quickly.
- Having an
option to choose from five different languages at the start of
the game is great, but I shouldn’t have to do it every single
time I start the game up. There is a battery in there…use it!
difficulty being set too high for the typical Powerpuff Girls
fan, this game is still one of the best shooters on the GBA.
Recommended for exceptionally gifted younger gamers, or adult gamers
who have a secret fondness for Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles.