こんにちは! Good afternoon everyone! Tonight I’m watching a Studio Ghibli movie called Pom Poko which features a bunch of tanukis (aka Japanese Raccoon Dogs) who are threatened by gigantic suburban development project called New Tama. Anyways, enough of the movie plot, the movie has got me thinking about raccoons and tanukis and games that feature them. The most obvious answer is Super Mario Brothers 3 with Mario when he eats the leaf and becomes a Tanuki, but I’m thinking something a little more unknown.
This game I came across by fluke on Youtube from watching random SuFami gameplay videos. Yes it’s sad but true, I fill up a lot of my spare time watching random game videos lol. As soon as I saw the raccoon I knew I had to get this game, he is so cute! So after a lot of searching I found a copy on eBay (for a decent price and complete in box too!), the game we are going to look at is called Araiguma Rascal (aka Raccoon Rascal).
Araiguma Rascal is based on an anime show put out by Nippon Animation of the same name. Then that show was based on a book by Sterling North called Rascal, A Memoir of a Better Era where a young boy captures a baby raccoon and it chronicles the ensuing adventures they go on. This game isn’t really about that, but it features Rascal in a puzzle type game.
The idea is you play as Rascal (or Sterling if it’s 2 player co op) and you wait for a squirrel to bring a jar of sweets or fruit, or a crate (which is useless cause you can only move them not get rid of them) and its up to you to sort them and try to line up 3 identical jars. As you get rid of jars a meter will fill up in the bottom of your screen then once it is full the squirrel will give you a crystal, then you just have to use that crystal in any line and get rid of it to clear the level. Our raccoon buddy has a wide range of movements, you are able to pick up jars or boxes on two levels, ones on the ground or the item right above that. You can jump then you can catch items placed even higher on two additional levels (levels 3 and 4 from the floor) each of the columns reaches a max height of 6. Rascal can run up columns and push blocks around which is really helpful with all the sorting you will be doing as the squirrel gives you more jars. This is the normal game.
There is also a vs mode available for you to play. One person controls the Raccoon Rascal and the other is Sterling the human. The idea is still the same, trying to clear as many jars as possible, but you want to get a higher score than your opponent.
The last mode for this game is kind of an obstacle course type game that is similar to the Kirby Gourmet Race that you will find in the Super Star game. This game is split screen and can be played single player or 2 player. You choose one of 12 courses then you race to the finish. Thing is there will be obstacles in your way, like jars and boxes that you will have to move or clear before you can get past them.
As soon as I saw the beautiful artwork and the amazing animations of the raccoon movement I fell in love. It’s not very often when you see a game that has such realistic and fluid moving animations! Plus with 3 different game modes to choose from it will be keeping you busy for a while at least. There aren’t many games with this much charm and whimsy. :)
If you want to see some gameplay from the first level, check out my Youtube page (I’m retrogamergirlAlana ) and please excuse my poor playing, this is from my first time trying it out!
I really hope you give this game a chance! If you do get a chance to play it let me know what you think of it! That’s it for today’s entry of It Came From Japan! さようなら!