Thursday, March 3, 2011

First Impressions of Muchi Muchi Pork & Pink Sweets

Cave recently released the region free two-pack, Muchi Muchi Pork and Pink Sweets. My order came in from NCSX yesterday, and last night I played through both games. I was immediately impressed by the cool hub screen that linked both games. It was designed in a cool manner with each game having it's own dedicated screen with a small arcade machine running the port beside the respective character art. I checked out the options for each game, and found plenty of wallpaper varieties and a graphic smoothing "on/off" selection.
After messing with the options, I went in and played through both games, back to back. Each game is pretty unforgiving in difficulty, and the achievements are all in Japanese; so I have no idea how to trigger them. Here is a brief rundown on other random things about each game:

Muchi Muchi Pork's graphics look like a Naomi port to Dreamcast, which isn't really a bad thing. There is alot of detail in the stages like small pigs running around and an insane amount of enemies onscreen. The music sounds happy and fun for the most part with the exception of some thumpin' boss tunes. Honestly the whimisical tunes feel slightly out of place in a crazy bullet hell shmup. As I mentioned before, the game is brutally difficult to complete so expect to die and die and die some more. It will be a long time before someone 1 credit clears this beast. It doesn't help that some of the slowdown was taken out of the game which makes thing much harder.
There was no English text in the game, which isn't surprising but it would have been nice if I could have read the boss conversations. The characters all look sorta goofy but the theme of the game is about pig people, so it is to be expected. One cool thing about the game was a DLC card came inside the case which unlocks the Matsuri version. This version allows you to face the bosses from Pink Sweets in MMP, which is a nice touch from Cave. I will play through that mode later today.

Pink Sweets had many more wallpaper options than MMP. Like MMP had ten wallpapers, and PS had around forty wallpapers. The art looks really stylish in PS, so I had a hard time choosing a cool wallpaper for the sides of the screen because I liked them all. This game looks like a Naomi port too, but I was more impressed with some of the boss sprites. They are massive and imposing monsters modeled after toy robots. The boss battles also one up MMP, because the conversations are in English. The English is pretty broken, but at least I can tell what the hell the characters are saying to one another.
The music is much better in PS. The soundtrack sounds like a crazy techno club, which is fitting considering the game's manic action. One complaint I have is about the Sky stage. It is the sixth stage, and it seems to go on forever. The background is dull and the enemies are relentless there. It isn't even the last stage either!
Overall I liked this one slightly better than MMP; I just wish there was a bomb attack, because I don't care much for the recharging laser system.

In the end, I am impressed with both games. I had only played them both briefly at Magfest two years ago, so it is nice to own a homeport. I don't understand the scoring in each game yet, but I think they explain it over on Cave Stg. The game is region free and you get two Cave danmaku for the price of one, so there is no reason not to import this title. It is available at NCSX and Play-Asia, the first print has the free DLC card included.

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