Review by Bkstunt_31
"Surprisingly only the second cutest game I've ever played..."
I'm probably pretty safe in guessing that many American gamers have just plain not played DoReMi Fantasy: Milon no DokiDoki Daibouken. In fact, it's probably pretty safe to say that most American gamers don't even know what this game is (which may also very well be why you're reading this review right now!). DoReMi Fantasy (which for my sake I'll just shorten the name to) is essentially the sequel to the NES game "Milon's Secret Castle", which came out in 1988. I haven't played Milon's Secret Castle personally, but after looking at the reviews on GameFAQs I can just tell that it WASN'T a beloved game.
DoReMi Fantasy itself was released only for the Super Famicom in Japan in 1996 (hence the extra long Japanese name). The text in it is of course all Japanese, but the game was also released on the Wii's Virtual Console in 2008 but get this! Even the Wii version is still untranslated! Crazy, right? However, the game did get a fan-translation in 2007 for the Super Famicom version which any internet-savvy person can find, meaning you could be playing this in English TODAY if you wanted to. After beating the game and even writing a guide for this game, let me tell you what you can expect out of it!
I'll be honest... the story isn't all that great. In fact, you're not going to miss much if you play through it in its native Japanese. The story features Milon who is out to play with his woodland friends and the fairy Alis. Things are all nice and peaceful until an evil wizard named Amon comes and steals Alis away! Oh the injustice! And so it's up to Milon to save her!
That's... really all there is to the story. Milon gets permission from his parents to go on the quest (which is weird since I'm guessing he's still a kid... what kind of parents does he have!?) and makes his way to Amon's castle. Along the way you'll need to find several musical instruments to progress, but each of them are cursed. To break the curse, you'll also have to find a number of stars which are conveniently spread throughout all of the levels. Once you power up the instruments you can march through the world of Milon and rescue Alis from Amon's castle. So yeah, it has a pretty generic story with little dialog. Milon will often talk to some musician in each level to uncurse his instruments and he'll also often have something to say to each of the level's bosses, but there's nothing REALLY plot-important here. Just pretty much cute banter.
The game play is also going to be familiar to anyone who's played a platformer before. Milon, being the cute little guy he is, is nowhere near as bloodthirsty as Mario. He doesn't jump on enemies heads to kill them or fry them with fireballs, no sir! He traps them in bubbles and pushes them off-screen! Yep, Milon's main attack is blowing bubbles. You CAN jump on enemies, but this often does nothing but stuns them. In order to truly get rid of an enemy you must encase it in a bubble and then touch the bubble. Additional enemies hit by the bubble flying off-screen will also die. Milon can also find power up icons to increase the range and number of bubbles he shoots. It should also be noted that Milon has no life bar. Instead, your health is displayed by the color of your outfit! When you have a red outfit you can only take one hit and then you'll die, but you can find outfit icons as you play that will give you green and blue outfits so you can take 2 and 3 hits before you die! DoReMi also has you collecting musical notes and will reward you with an extra life for every 100 you collect, although you can only have up to 9 lives unlike the Mario games.
The game is pretty simple in the beginning, having you just kill enemies and do basic platforming to survive. But as you play you'll earn new instruments that bring with them new game play elements. For example, one instrument lets you swim and opens up new pathways in levels. Another instrument lets you push blocks around which lets you jump higher. The further you get in the game, the more new things you'll be able to do. This is noteworthy because DoReMi does its levels just like Super Mario World so you can GO BACK and replay levels, and by using these new abilities you can often find things that weren't there before. The game is broken down into 7 worlds, each with 6-8 levels in it and a boss waiting for you at the end. The game play itself is pretty easy to learn, but can definitely test your skills at times. For the most part I found it to be a pretty easy and care-free game to play. There's also no reason you should ever die, given the fact that you can go back to other levels. In short, anyone who feels that Super Mario World is a classic platformer should be able to play and enjoy the more simplistic DoReMi.
The graphics in DoReMi have to be the most pleasant thing about the game! It's just... so darn cute. Seriously, the game is very colorful, the graphics are crisp and the animations are pleasant and cute. Each world has its own theme ranging from the traditional grass and ice worlds to the more bizarre worlds such as candy world. Milon is a pretty plain character design (with some VERY cute animations) but I also had to stop and admire the cute enemy designs. They were not only well designed but well animated as well. I personally think the graphics are the best part of the game, so I'm sure any gamer who's willing to put up or play with a Japanese-only game would also find the graphics to be pleasant as well. The audio in the game is pretty bland. Don't get me wrong, the title screen and first world are very well done! Things are catchy and I'm thinking this game's audio track is going to be a treat! But get past that and everything just becomes... bland. Generic. Boring. And that's when there IS audio: several levels are just devoid of music, which is a shame!
The game has some limited re-playability given the fact that you can go back and replay levels, but there's never REALLY anything worth going back for. Well, for the seasoned gamer who isn't hurting for lives there really isn't anything to go back for. You're not going to find any new or game-breaking items, but the option is there if you want to keep playing. Some levels also include different paths to take and areas to explore that often lead to bonus mini-games you can play, which is neat. To any experienced gamer though, the game IS a bit on the easy side, with only certain boss fights posing any challenge at all. You could probably beat the game in 7-8 hours easily if you tried.
Overall, DoReMi is the second cutest game I've ever played. And if you're a fan of the genre, this game is very enjoyable! It doesn't have much to offer in the way of a story, the game play can be a bit easy and the game's music and re-playability are pretty lacking but the game's charming graphics help to make it memorable. It's a perfectly fine platforming game that should likely appear in anyone's "Best SNES platformers" list.
Oh, and the cutest game I've ever played? Kirby's Epic Yarn...
Have fun and keep playing!
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 07/02/12
Game Release: DoReMi Fantasy: Milon's DokiDoki Adventure (US, 03/10/08)
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