Anyone looking for some quality arcade style puzzle action?...Then get ready, because Irem's arcade classic can also be played in the comfort of your own home thanks to Banpresto. Titled "Super Gussun Oyoyo", the game deals with the pro treasure hunters, Gussun and Oyoyo, who were heading to a dungeon to look for treasure but then...the ground beneath them gets weak and they fall to the bottom of the dungeon by accident and find lost friends who are trapped inside as well as mystical goodies. A man named George tells Emily (a good friend of the duo) what happened and she begins to worry and prays for their safe return. Thankfully, with help from Emily during the in-game tutorial prior to the accident, the two kids are fully prepared to explore the mysterious depths of the dungeon! After every four stages, you will see a brief intermission where you see the protagonist or Emily say different things as you get closer to escaping from the dungeon.
Emily actually used to look similar to Gussun and Oyoyo (with female clothes and a ribbon of course), but over some time, she had undergone a transformation and her appearance has changed from her fellow peers. Therefore, since Emily and George/Georgie have a different physical appearance from others in Gussun and Oyoyo's tribe, they have become idols of the treasure hunting duo and everyone else. Gussun and Oyoyo better come back from the dungeon alive or you'll have a heartbroken Emily on your hands! With cute and lovable characters as well as a simple storyline, Super Gussun Oyoyo manages to have a little more "personality" than some other mundane action puzzlers of today and yesterday. The sad part? Few have even heard of this gem, especially western gamers.
The moment you turn the game on, SGO throws its "Three C's" at you; Cute, Clean and Colorful. The game is filled with nicely animated characters and more colors than you can shake a stick at. The game uses a few anime stills and the like and the game looks pretty good for an action puzzle title. It looks just as good as the arcade game did and you can play it on the great SNES/SFC. To add to this, the music is also catchy and uplifting. The game doesn't have too many different tracks, but makes up for this by switching the tune that plays after every four stages...which was a smart move to keep the groove of the game consistent. It would get pretty boring if it only changed after ten levels or so. The variety is fair with a blend of different themes (Carribean, Haunting-type music, etc) and the visuals and music of the game are good.
So you're probably wondering...how does the game play? Have you ever played Lemmings, Tetris and S.O.S: Sink or Swim? SGO has certain elements from all three of those games. The Lemmings aspect of the game is that you must guide Gussun (as well as Oyoyo in 2 player mode) to the exit door placed on the level. You can't exactly control Gussun directly...you must create stairs that he can climb on top of to get higher until he reaches the exit (some stages have 2 exits) and Gussun will automatically move to the left and right of the screen at his own pace. This is where the Tetris aspect comes in; you must use falling blocks (that can be rotated) that come in various different patterns to make the stairs to help Gussun. Gussun can climb on top of a block that is placed in front of his path, so long as it is only one block high. If you drop a block on top of another block, Gussun won't be able to proceed and will walk off in the opposite direction. If you make a mistake as far as setting the blocks up properly, don't lose hope...thankfully, Irem was merciful enough to give you bombs that can blow up blocks to help fix your mistakes. The S.O.S. aspects comes into play if you take too long...water will begin to rise from the bottom of the screen and Gussun will drown if he gets in too deep since he can't swim.
That's just the basic view of the game though. You can also use blocks to speed Gussun up if you drop a block down fast next to him, but don't crush him with a block or he'll die. You can speed up blocks by pressing and holding down on the directional pad and slow down a block by holding up. Gussun can even ride on top of your blocks (or bombs) before you set them down which can be used to move Gussun around quickly and make it easy to reach the exit on certain stages. Strangely enough, bombs don't kill Gussun when they explode (they scare him stiff for a second), but they can also crush Gussun if you let them. Bombs can be detonated with the push of a button, so you can use that to your advantage. Of course, Gussun will also meet some goofy enemies in the dungeon that will slow down your progress. Each enemy moves and behaves differently. One enemy can move along walls and ceilings...another can act as a bomb...yet another can rise from random blocks you set down...but all of them can kill with a single touch. You can use blocks to crush most enemies (or trap them instead) or use a bomb to blow them away. There are also spikes set on certain levels that can thrust out and stab Gussun if he approaches them and if your blocks stack too high (to the point where you can't place down another one), you also lose a life.
You can also find various items scattered across the 40 main stages. You can grab a potion for temporary invincibility, air bubbles so Gussun can survive underwater for a short period of time, a stopwatch to stop everything on-screen except for Gussun, food items for points (why would Gussun eat something just lying on the ground?), and a water gem that will lower the water level back to the bottom of the screen. You will also find Mini-Gussuns that you can lead to the exit with you. If you collect 10 of them, you can gain an extra life. The main game allows you to play a training level if you want, or you can start from stage 1, 9 or 21...though you will miss the story intro if you play from 9 or 21. You have an options mode that presents you with typical options such as changing difficulty and listening to music. However, you can also unlock a bonus feature once you complete the main game and it will also appear in the options mode. You can go head-to-head in versus mode (or play co-op in the main game) and the game has an edit mode where you can make and play stages that you have created yourself.
SGO is pretty challenging, especially near the end, so if you don't like pulling your hair out, this game may not be for you. However, it's a fun action/puzzle hybrid with few notable flaws. It provides hours of fun alone or with a friend and if you get tired of playing the main game, you can make your own stages. The game also has two (technically four) different endings and I feel that it is a Super Famicom title that no import gamer should live without. SGO is a well-balanced title that deserves a spot in anyone's collection and proves that Irem is capable of producing more than just shooters.- Written by Vyse the determined -