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Yam Yam [ヤムヤム] Game Sample - SNES/SFC

Vysethedetermined2 Follow
  • Video description
  • 3 years ago
Have you ever wanted to play a game where Molemen protect the peace and serenity of the world while riding giant duck-things who run around the planet blasting evil-doers and otherworldly creatures with energy wails and magic? What if I told you that your moleman-boy protagonist was a bit of a ladies' manboy-mole who dabbles in a few interspecies relationships with cute surface dwellers and does his own little victory dance when he succeeds at difficult tasks to elate his ego? What if I told you "none" of this stuff actually happens? Sounds like your game, right? Of course it does... it's every serious gamer's dream.


Jokes aside, "Yam Yam" is a weird collaboration between Tetsuhiro Koshita (a popular mangaka best known for his work on "Dodge Danpei", "Bakusou Kyoudai - Let's & Go!!" and "Inazuma Eleven"), the dev. team at Pandora Box (best known for their "Oni" series, "Burai" games and "Traverse: Starlight & Prairie") and Bandai, who usually published games with major licenses and affiliates (they have some notable exceptions). This game is significant for two reasons. The first is that it's crazy... from the name to its characters, worldview and unconventional gameplay. The second reason is that there is a variant of the game that is literally ONE OF THE RAREST GAMES IN THE KNOWN WORLD; it's dubbed "Yam Yam Gold" and only one copy of the game has ever surfaced and is enshrined at the famous video game market, Mandarake Nakano, in Japan. This variant was supposedly given away during an event back in the mid 90s, but actual details are scarce and even the one in Mandarake is treated as something of a local myth because collectors debate its authenticity. The game came in the standard retail version's box and was a shiny gimmicky gold cart that wasn't so unheard of during the 80s and 90s, but it came with four telephone cards, a promotional piece of artwork signed by Tetsuhiro himself, and a congratulatory note... it's a very curious item that, if nothing else, has gained them free publicity over the years.

Now that you have that juicy info, I gotta say that while the yams are yammy and whatnot, it's not as yammy or as yummy as those slow-cooked Thanksgiving yams with the brown sugar, syrup and melted marshmallows... deeelish. YY, at its core, is a rail shooter in the vein of recognizable greats like Space Harrier, Galaxy Force, and Panorama Cotton... BUT, there's a few twists and light RPG elements. Playing as Mag Mag (a brave and cute Mole Boy from the kingdom of the Inner Earth, Assault Land) and Yam Yam (Mag's buddy and titular character who only says "Kueh"), you are tasked with finding true peace by going from town to town solving the problems of the local citizens which play out as short stories or "scenarios" with their own short endings, and there are almost thirty in all. Once you talk to a particular NPC and agree to help them, you are "locked" to that scenario until its completion, though you can initiate almost all of them in any order. While some scenarios are unique and require money or dealing with certain criteria, most scenarios involve traveling between the various food-named areas (Cranberry Town, Mint Candy Town, Vanilla Ice Town, Salt & Pepper Forest, etc.) repeatedly, which is where the rails come in.

Most of your time is spent on the ground running and jumping like in SquareSoft's "3-D WorldRunner" game; you CAN fly, but only through relatively rare power-ups on certain "routes" and on bosses who randomly drop them. "Routes" are determined by where you are currently on the map and where you're going; the further away the area you want to reach or the closer you are to your main objective, the more dangerous the enemies and the longer the stage is. However, this also means greater rewards; more money to purchase upgrades at shops (Three weapons which have auto-fire capabilities you don't start with, several armors and two spells that cost HP to wipe out all enemies or do big damage to bosses), more exp. to level up and raise your HP, and a chance to cut down overall travel time.

The major problem with the game is in the sheer repetition of the levels and the really uninspired bosses. A good 70% of the game involves running along the same green/brown stretch of roads fighting weird enemies who each have unique attack and movement patterns, but the bosses all die from attacking in a circle, and when you're talking about playing ~100 stages like this, the game overstays its welcome. It's also odd that the game resets the player back to the start at the end of each scenario, but this is part of the story -- At the end of each scenario, Mag realizes it was just a dream and starts the day over again expecting a different result... talk about INSANITY... or "Groundhog Day", take your pick. The game keeps a log of all the scenarios you've completed and some of them are genuinely interesting, but this game is just strange and unique as a whole.

Here's some Yamtacular footage. Enjoy.
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