When a games console is coming to the end of its life, the output of the games can seem odd, as if the creators are just trying to cash in one last time before taking the console out back and humanely laying it to rest. One would assume that the last few games would be the ones that really push the console to its limits, highlighting the need to move to a more powerful machine. However, it seems that some creators delve into the depths of their rejected titles to see if they can use up the last of their stockpile before moving on to pastures new. Mitsume ga Tooru (The Third-Eyed One) was one such game.
This week’s review, is Mitsume ga Tooru (The Third-Eyed One) an action-platformer based on the manga and anime series of the same name. It was developed by Natsume and published by Tomy for the NES in 1992.
Hosuke Sharaku is the last Three-Eyed Man. He must rescue his friend Wato Chiyoko who has been captured by Prince Godaru.
The game contains five levels with a boss at the end of each level. The levels are:
Level 1 – The City, where Hosuke searches for his girlfriend.
Level 2 – Forest and Caves
Level 3 – Ancient Pyramid and Catacombs
Level 4 – Abandoned Ship
Level 5 – Sodom
The backgrounds and sprites are really nice (if a little limited in variety) and are just as good as other games released on the NES c.1992 like Felix the Cat and Joe & Mac, and are better than others like The Simpsons: Bartman Meets Radioactive Man, Hudson Hawk, and The Blues Brothers.
For me, the gameplay just feels very lacklustre. You can jump and shoot (from your third eye), and summon a red condor (which can be used as a platform), but that is about it. You cannot crouch, or shoot in any direction other than forward, which is annoying to say the least. Occasionally, you need to use a spear to help you jump over tall walls or large gaps. When you throw the spear, it only goes a short distance before turning and coming back toward you. You need to jump and land on it for it to stop and become a platform for you.
You also only run at one speed, which is lucky because there is no time limit to race against. The controls are tight and there is practically no slide when you come to a stop. Jumping is easy to control too.
You have six bars of life in your life meter which deplete by one whenever you get hit. If you fall off the edge into a hole, your red condor swoops down to save you but you still lose one bar of life. If you lose all your lives, you can continue but will be taken back to the beginning of the stage.
When you destroy an enemy, they will drop coins for you to collect. These coins can be used to buy special weapons and bonuses from your girlfirend. These include:
Wave – It allows you to curve your shot up and down, handy for enemies attacking at higher and lower altitudes.
Sonic – Three consecutive shots (High Middle and low)
High – Fires three laser blasts straight at the enemy
Spear – I’m not entirely sure what this one does as the language of the game is in Japanese.
You can also buy medikits to increase health, and extra lives. In order to select the different weapons, you need to pause the game. However, you will lose those weapons if you die.
The issue I have with the gameplay is that one expects more from a game released in 1992, even from the outdated (by 1992 the NES was outdated) NES. You’ve only got to look at other titles such as Vice: Project Doom (1991), Duck Tales (1989), and even Jackie Chan’s Action Kung-Fu (1990) to see how fun and interesting gameplay can be on the NES.
At least the fact that there are two difficulty settings offers the gamer some replay value.
Did I complete the game:
I lost all my lives on stage 3. Although you can continue, I didn’t enjoy this game that much to warrant continuing to play.
What the critics said:
At present, I have been unable to find a contemporary review of this game.
“This game looks great and has tight controls…but there just isn’t that much to it. This game could have been awesome but it just felt half-arsed. By all means, play it if a friend has it or you can find a cheap copy, but you won’t be losing sleep if you never play this game. I feel this game is aimed toward a younger audience and so is not a game I shall be returning to anytime soon.”
What are your memories of Mitsume ga Tooru (The Third-Eyed One)? I would love to hear your thoughts, and don’t for get to follow and subscribe so that you don’t miss my latest reviews! You can also find me on Instagram: @nicklovestogame.