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Lupin the 3rd is the famous anime thief. Lupin is probably most well known by the movie The Castle of Cagliostro, which was Hayao Miyazaki's first movie he directed. The third TV series was released in the USA domestically by Pioneer, which later became Geneon. Unfortunately, the other series were never released.
Naturally, you play as Lupin in this platformer game. Jigen and Zenigata take a back seat to the action of this game. Lupin's lover, Fujiko, has been abducted and Lupin is blackmailed into breaking into a fortified building in order to get her back.
This is an action platformer, although while Lupin is armed with his fists, kicks, and his pistol, the focus is not so much on the violence but on the problem solving. The game reminds me a bit of the game Impossible Mission for the Commodore 64. (There was a port of Impossible Mission for the Atari 7800 which was totally impossible: they forgot to program the part of the game in which you access computer terminals). You must leap over trap floors, avoid electric walls, defeat robots, and solve puzzles. Each level of the game poses a more difficult set of problem solving than the last. (Hint: sometimes the best way to subdue a computer is to just blast it with your gun!) And being a true thief, Lupin can crawl through ventilation shafts to break into new rooms. Lupin starts out with all the tools he will need, such as bullets for the gun, dynamite, a medicine bottle for replenishing health, a pair of springy boots that allows you to jump super high, and a flash bomb that stuns the robots momentarily. But the coolest item is the wire that Lupin uses to swing. Your wire can latch onto the ceiling to allow you to swing and haul yourself up to ledges above. Not only does this mean swinging Indiana Jones-style, but more like Spider-Man in that you can continue to swing from one object to the next if you time it right. It's fun! Along the way you will acquire powerups to replenish your supplies.
This game has excellent graphics and animation, from the intro sequence to the animated sequences between levels, to the actual in-game graphics.
The music is awesome! The intro title animated sequence is like a recreation of sorts of the TV show's intro. The Lupin theme song is recreated very well, complete with the chorus singing "Lupin the Third!" The in-game music is great, and adds to the sneaky ambience of Lupin himself. Every few levels, the BGM changes, so it does not become monotonous.
The sound effects are adequate. Nothing flashy like voice acting samples during the in-game part or anything, but it gets the job done.
Challenge and replay:
The difficulty gradually increases with each level, yet the challenge never becomes daunting. The most difficult time I had with the game was fighting that green-skinned Incredible Hulk-wannabe for the second time. Very hard! But this is a game that is fun to play over and over again.
Holy crap, this game is super fun. This is an incredible Lupin-based game! Even without the Lupin character to drive the sale of this game, it stands on its own as a solid puzzle game.
The controls can take a little bit to get used to, like doing a running jump and using the whip to swing across an obstacle. After awhile, though, you get used to the gameplay and while it never really became second nature to me, I did get used to it.
I have had a lot of fun playing this game. This is a well-made, thoughtful platformer game. A reader of Anime Super Famicom mailed me this game as a gift, which was an awesome and thoughtful thing to do. This game is great fun and I definitely recommend this game to all you anime/import gamers out there.
A brief FAQ on the game.
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