Review: Goof Troop (SNES)

Capcom, well known for bringing Megaman and Resident Evil into our lives, has made and published some pretty cool licensed games over the years. I don’t mean the Marvel vs. Capcom series or any of the games that have Capcom characters duking it out with other characters from a series that the publisher doesn’t own. I also don’t mean the titles that were based on an existing game series, like The Legend of Zelda.

You see where this is going.

So yes, Capcom defied the odds and made some decent games based off of television shows and movies. How? Well let’s see by taking a look at Goof Troop.

What little story there is starts out with Goofy, his son, Max, and their neighbors Pete and PJ out fishing one fine day in their boats. It’s one of those seemingly perfect days that end up being ruined by ninjas or pirates. In this case it’s the latter when a pirate ship shows up out of the blue and sails off with Pete and PJ. Unwilling to stand by and do nothing, Goofy rows his boat straight after the pirates, but can’t catch up to them before the scoundrels reach their island destination. So he and Max do the next best thing and scour the island for their friends.

Talking to loitering villagers will fill you in on why exactly the pirates took off with Pete, making the few cutscenes the game has more understandable. It’s not bad, really. Capcom could have left out a reason altogether, but the one they use is simple and the way the plot pans out makes me think that this could have been based on an actual episode of Goof Troop. In the brief space there is for story-telling, no one is out of character and the bit or two of humor is reminiscent of the cartoon series. It’s appreciated.

The gameplay, however, probably isn’t exactly what you’d expect it to be. It’s not a collectathon or a side-scroller or a beat ‘em up and the Goofs definitely don’t pick up swords to defend themselves against these thugs and brutes. Instead you choose between Goofy and Max in a top-down action/adventure game as they pick up whatever might be around – potted plants, barrels, boulders, bombs – and toss them at the pirates until the rapscallions go flying off-screen. If nothing can be picked up, then father and son kick around blocks to achieve the same result. Unfortunately, the pirates can kick those blocks, too, in addition to throwing swords, using fire, and rolling up into a ball and charging the Goofs. Just one touch and Goofy or Max will go flying off screen unless they’ve collected some fruit and gotten some hearts. If there’s no hearts, either having been injured or getting enough hearts for an extra life, then their life count will go down by one. If they go flying one too many times then you get a continue screen. You are given a couple of them and using one will give your character some lives and drop them off in whichever room they were in last. Even if you do use up all of your continues (which is bound to happen around the last boss, at least), there’s a password system to get back to the start of whatever level you were last on.

It may sound easy enough, but when it’s just you versus a dual boss you might reconsider.

Ah frick, not again!

The entire game isn’t all action, though. There are a few useful items lying around the levels like grappling hooks, keys, and planks to bridge gaps, but all of them are used for puzzles. The grappling hook can be used to stun enemies or knock them off the edge of a platform, although you can’t become too reliant on it. You’ll eventually have to use it up and settle for running around, throwing stuff at pirates. The running bit is easier with Max since he’s faster, but it takes him two hits to get rid of just one pirate. Goofy on the other hand is the complete opposite, being slower but able to take out any pirate with one well-aimed toss.

If that’s not enough, there’s a co-op available so you and a friend can cause mayhem and work together. Decide who you want and off you go. Frankly I like this mode since if one person drops to zero lives and goes flying, all the other person has to do is enter another screen and the one can come back with the press of a button. This mode also makes things a bit easier during dual boss fights.

Max, what are you doing?

With all that said, I have to say that I really like the character and level designs. The colors may be bright outside of the cavern level, but it doesn’t hurt the eyes. The sprites move fluidly with no hiccups unless, understandably, you throw something to put them out of commission.

Not a big fan of the music, but it’s okay. At least it doesn’t grate the ears.

This seems awfully familiar...

The two downsides here are that the game is easy and quite short. There are 5 levels in all, each with puzzles and a boss to thrash. The difficulty doesn’t become too noticeable outside of the block puzzles, and gamers who quickly catch on to how far barrels and the like can be thrown will find themselves breezing through the areas. It helps that there are only two important buttons on the controller: B to throw items and kick blocks and Y to use an item. The shoulder buttons switch between the two items you’re holding, but only in single player mode. Otherwise your partner is in charge of a second item.

Except when they’re gone. Then you get both.

As for why the game is so short, well it is aimed more at kids and there’s only so long you can drag out a paragraph worth of story. If it had gone on longer, Capcom would have had to make some excuse as to why Pete and PJ were being moved around or why Goofy and Max wouldn’t just stop after rescuing their friends. No need to make an overly complicated plot for a cartoon that’s not so complicated. It’s a downer there’s not more, but what Capcom gave is fun and of reasonable length considering the source material. There may not be much, if any, replayability here but it’s fun while it lasts. It’s something that, should you have a copy lying around, would be a decent game to spend an hour or so on to kill some time. Not bad, not great, but it’s amusing nonetheless.

About SmashQueen

Staff writer for ACGV.