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Game Review: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: Genie + the Amp

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Title- Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie & the Amp
Platform- Nintendo DS
Release Date- June 27, 2006
Developer- Sensory Sweep Studios
Publisher- D3 Publisher/Cartoon Network Interactive

Introduction:
Well, it's pretty amazing how a forgotten Cartoon Network show gets two video games. I mean that's actually more than some of the more well known properties. Johnny Bravo only has one (well in the United States, UK has a PS2 version of the same game), Courage the Cowardly Dog never got a major platform game, Cow & Chicken didn't, Samurai Jack surprisingly only had two. The only series that has multiple titles and that reflect it's popularity is Dexter's Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls, Ed, Edd, n' Eddy and Ben 10.

I just find it kind of weird how many of the majors cartoon series have had so few video game titles and a show that had lasted roughly 2 years got two full retail games...I kinda have to wonder why the US/UK Cartoon Network tried to cover this series under the rug...I mean they weren't even given a cameo during the 20th Anniversary bits they made. I mean they're on the poster but...still. Anyway, whatever, they had a decent game on the Advanced...but what about the DS?

Story:
The girls are in the middle of making an album but are losing their inspiration and nothing is sounding right to them, wanting to take a break. Kaz notices this tells them that they can not take a break. Instead, Kaz gives them a bunch of junk, hoping it will inspire the girls to do more songs. Yumi, ticked off, kicks an old amplifier in the pile and awakens a genie. The genie offers them a wish and they wish to get their inspiration back into their music, thus making the genie (Gene) take them all through time to different periods to learn other types of music.

Gameplay:
The game is a 3D side scrolling beat'em up. It's mostly made up of going constantly to the right and fighting whatever is in front of you. The objective is to get to the end of the stage and fighting a boss. That's...pretty much it.

Graphics:
Um...kinda weird. The cut scenes look good, it's just the cartoon in still frame with occasional animation with textboxes. The in game graphics are weird though. I mean it's a 2D cartoon put into 3D so it's going to be difficult. Both Ami and Yumi look okay (though Yumi now has blue hair for some reason) but the animation is just awkward. The girls seem to only have two facial expressions (no animation within these expressions) which are neutral and angry. The environments are bland but they look like they tried to create it look like the cartoon a little bit...not really that good, even in comparison to the Advance game.

Controls:
Again stiff and really, really awkward design choices. The whole game is very stiff moving. Either you barely move or you just fly across the screen. It's just you have to kinda press in the button to get some kind of response.

Attacking is a dumb process. The game prompts you to use the touch screen. On the bottom screen are four guitar strings. Each string performs a different attack and to do effective combos you need to hit all these various strings and it's stupid. Fortunately, the developers were smart and allow you to use the buttons on the side instead but the game never tells you that you can do that. Even then though, it's still pretty stiff.

Music:
Eh, again just kinda generic music associated with the stage's theme. When in certain battle situations, you hear different song that's just a heavier guitar strum.

Additional Comments:
Throughout the game you can switch between Ami and Yumi but unlike the previous game, there's not really much of an advantage choosing one over the other. At the beginning the two of them fight pretty much the same and the only advantage there is in switching for the most part is because they have separate life bars.

The fighting is completely monotonous. Yeah their are combos to be found but seriously after awhile you're not going to care. You're pretty bound to killing everything in sight. They only benefit in all this is all the money and items for later you get.

One poor design decision they made was these crowd blocks. At some points of the game fans will crowd around you make it so you can't advance further, until you kill all the enemies for that point. There are sometimes these are back to back, and trust me they get really carried away with this.

How come the money in this game looks like the US Dollar but the symbol they use is for the Yen?

There's also this weird mini game in-between all the stages. Basically you make sushi so you can improve your stats (health, strength, speed, .ect) on one of the girls. You do this by the items that some enemies drop after you kill them, along with half a vegetable and part of a type of fish. Depending on the combination of items you choose, will determine how much of a stat increase you get (alone with Kaz's approval/disapproval).

Throughout the game their are various outfits as well as different guitars. Outfits are just that but the guitars all have different abilities and some are stronger than others.

Money in this game actually does have a bit of use. There are two machines to use the money, first one is the vending machine where you can buy health power-ups, a new guitar in every stage as well as a new outfit for one of the girls. The second one is a prize grabber where you can get a second outfit for the other girl and the monsters in the level for 3D model browsing.

A number of the generic enemies are side characters from the show and one time used villains for the most part.

Most of the boss fights are the same with minor stipulations.

Surprisingly, Harmony is only seen once throughout the whole game. Edwin Blare doesn't make any kind of appearance.

There's also a couple other mini-games outside the main game. One of them is this pass the football thing with Ami and try to score as many points within a minuet...pretty boring.

Conclusion:
...this was a mess. It's like they had all these pieces to a make a fairly decent game but the main game is so repetitive and boring that you won't bother taking another look at it. The ending isn't worth it even if you are a fan of the show. The story is just as boring as the main game itself. Personally, I say just forget about this one unless you're a hardcore 'Puffy' fan.

OVERALL SCORE: 4.0
Yeah, the next gen handheld didn't pull it off unfortunately. I always did like the Game Boy Advanced more than Nintendo's other handhelds anyway.

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi belongs to Cartoon Network
Published:
© 2014 - 2020 Thunderstarwarp
Comments4
anonymous's avatar
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Sonicrules1222's avatar
Sonicrules1222Hobbyist Digital Artist
The Game would have been ported to PS3 PS2 PSP Wii Xbox 360 Xbox PC and GBA but was cancelled
cartoonfanboyone's avatar
cartoonfanboyoneHobbyist Traditional Artist
I want those Ami and Yumi dolls.
Thunderstarwarp's avatar
ThunderstarwarpStudent Writer
Hehe, yeah they are part of the Tour Bus toy set which also comes with Kaz. I considered putting him in the picture somewhere but I didn't know where, maybe on top of the game...I don't know.
cartoonfanboyone's avatar
cartoonfanboyoneHobbyist Traditional Artist
I wish I have the toy set.