Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban –

Developer: Sunsoft   Publisher: Sunsoft   Release: 03/31/95   Genre: Action

These days the West receives most titles released in Japan. Even the quirky stuff has found a niche in the market. But back in the days of expensive cartridges only the safest bets crossed the pond. You can pick up any issue of EGM or Gamepro and see previews of truly odd titles like Chou Aniki and Gourmet Sentai Barayaro. Probably the strangest of all is Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban, a top down shooter whose subject matter ensures it will never see an English release. While the theme is a bit out there the question is the game any good?

My interest in Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban stems from its lone English preview in EGM. Apparently some brave soul planned to localize the game in 1995 but it never materialized. Methinks someone finally questioned what the hell they were doing and pulled the plug. The game’s plot stars Baka-dono and Baka-ouji two morons who are called upon by their ancestors to protect the world from a mysterious force that plans to conquer the planet. The only problem is these effeminate men would rather laze about than fight bad guys. Their beefy ancestors decide to lend them their strength in this endeavor for the good of mankind.

Deae Tonosama 002 Deae Tonosama 003 Deae Tonosama 004

What initially caught my eye with Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban was its art. The game’s color palette is muted but does little to hide its detailed art. As you wander the Japanese countryside the environments look fantastic. The game throws around a lot of sprites and special effects such as transparency and color cycling which look incredibly cool. Combined with the massive boss sprites and you have an at times striking title. Unfortunately it comes at the cost of performance. Deae Tonosama slows down more than the worst first generation SNES titles but came out in 1995. There is heavy flickering as well that does affect gameplay. There is no excuse for this as similar titles have none of these issues.

In their base forms both characters are weak with a meager move set. Basic attacks vary between the two with Baka-dono being the better of the two. His roses are distance attacks and the range makes up for their lacking power. He also hovers a little when he jumps which helps tremendously with the extensive platforming throughout the game. You select one of four elemental spells at the start and the game is fairly generous with ninja magic. Even though everything I have outlined sounds robust you will spend very little time in your base form.

As you defeat enemies they drop percentage power-ups. These fill the TGR (Tonosoma Great) gauge. At 50% or more you can transform into your beefcake ancestor. These hulked out old men are built like a brick shithouse with the power to match. Every blow leaves devastation in its wake. A single punch will take out multiple enemies in a row and even the sliding attack runs through enemies. They are so strong in fact that you can defeat most mini-bosses in a single punch! They try to balance it out by depleting the gauge with every attack. But TGR power-ups drop so frequently you will rarely change back.

Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban is a strange game, both in its theme and structure. There are four main stages with various sub levels. Tradition dictates that you would work your way through each to the eventual end boss. However you can go directly to each level’s final confrontation immediately with the caveat being you face each of the mini-bosses in a boss rush first. If you do so you will miss out on the general weirdness the game has to offer. It reminds me of Twin Bee or Parodius in that they throw everything but the kitchen sink in your path from zombies to angels and even aliens. While the gameplay might be lacking somewhat it is not for lack of effort. If the difficulty were not so lopsided it could have been great. The pieces are there they just do not arrange them in a way that is compelling.

Even though the slowdown can be a problem Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban still remains an incredibly easy title. The heroes can take a lot of punishment before death and later stages shower you in food and elemental bombs. But what truly breaks the game TGR gauge. Once you transform any hits subtract from your TGR percentage rather than health. Enemies drop so much TGR refill you can almost permanently stay in that form. Your transformed state is completely broken: you can defeat many end level bosses with a single punch! The game is so easy in fact I do not know if there are unlimited continues or passwords as they were not necessary. Bravo to the designers for selling the power fantasy but it ruins the game in my opinion.

In Closing

Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban is decent for what it is but that’s it. Considering most titles of its ilk try to coast on their novelty the fact that this one has good mechanics works in its favor. The lack of any challenge leaves it a curio you play once and never again.

6 out of 10

Post Author: lordmrw

I’m just a dude who has been playing video games for over 30 years and want to share my extensive knowledge with the masses.

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