Sailor Moon S is a Japanese only 1997 action game for the Game Gear developed and published by Bandai. It is based on the popular Manga/Anime of the same name (although I’ve never watched it).
Starting up the game you are met with the title screen which looks alright while the music is quite a decent cover of the anime’s theme song (which practically every anime fan knows even if they haven’t seen it). Always found it weird that Japanese games still had things like “Press Start Button” when everything else is as you’d expect.
Main problem of playing a Japanese game though was I didn’t know what any of the menu said but I at least worked out what 3 of the buttons did. The first and second started the game with you playing as either Sailor Moon or Sailor Chibi-Moon respectively (different people by the way) with the latter seemingly being an easy mode of sorts. The third loaded up a random minigame although I’ll give them a full explanation later.
Getting into the game I realised the graphics on a Game Gear are far better than you’d actually realise if you’d only had concentrated on how many pixels are on screen, the music was alright too. Enemies definitely seemed strange though, there was some sort of flying thing in the first level which I never worked out what it was and what seemed to be a cat girl. As for controls it turns out they aren’t as simple as jump and attack.
At first it seemed like attack was just a sort of kick button with holding down or jumping doing a different kick but to my surprise Sailor Moon sometimes used a punch to attack enemies and if she got close enough without getting hit before attacking she’d do a throw. Being a smaller character I could already tell Sailor Chibi-Moon wouldn’t be able to do throws but instead she has the ability to crawl which lets her go through pipes skipping a few enemies or merely hiding from them quickly, in fact the game was much easier with her.
At the end of each stage is a boss and while they may give more challenge on normal their patterns were a bit too predictable. In fact they were so predictable and simplistic that if you decide to play on easy (aka as Chibi Moon) you can just spam your projectile from the left side of the screen to take out at least the first 3 bosses without getting hurt at all. Not a majorly bad thing since its about time I felt I wasn’t shit at a game but I know some people won’t like it.
What I personally don’t like is the minigames after every stage, I could sit and explain them all but honestly that’d be a waste of time. Probably didn’t help that I wasn’t very good at them and the fact that they don’t seem to give you anything other than points which I honestly don’t care about it retro games (because I know tonnes of people have already played and done better than I ever will). Honestly the game would be much better, even if a lot shorter, if they weren’t included or at least kept to the menu.
Overall its an ok game but it also seems like it could be very short. You might as well give it a try anyway since its likely if you don’t know japanese either you were put off like I was.
P.S. I am trying to do a letsplay of this game as Chibi Moon so I’ll link it here at some point.