It was bound to happen. Sure I’ve barely dipped my feet into the PCE/TG16 pool but I didn’t think I’d run into a stinker this fast. I have been pleasantly surprised so far in my journey but lets face it, they all can’t be zingers! Legend of Hero Tonma is one infuriating game! Even the name is odd. I have to stop myself every time from calling it “Legend of THE Hero Tonma”. There should be a”The” after of. It just sounds better, at least to me but that is the least of this games problems.
Right from the get go you’ll soon discover that Tonma dies only after taking one hit. Now this doesn’t always lead to a bad game. I have played many games with a one hit KO and didn’t have any issues. It boils down to difficulty. If you’re making a game that you know is going to be hard, you should NOT be able to die in one hit. Could you imagine if Ninja Gaiden took this route? I don’t even want to think about that!
When I first started playing I didn’t think it was that bad. It seemed like your typical action-platformer that was all the rage in the 90s. Tonma can jump on enemies but his real means of attacking is his fireballs. Sounds awfully familiar doesn’t it? Tonma can’t however kill enemies with one stomp on their head. It takes three stomps which is kind of odd. You can upgrade Tonma’s fireballs by collecting P-orbs. You start off with 2 fireballs but you’ll soon have a swarm of criss-crossing fireballs complete with homing and even a bomb that randomly plops out. That is assuming you live long enough to collect enough P-orbs.
All of this may not make the game seem that bad but mix the one hit deaths with horrible enemy respawns and you’ll soon find yourself cussing with frustration. Sure some enemies don’t respawn. Not as bad as say Ninja Gaiden but enough do to make the game bad. I guess it is forgiving in some areas. There are check points in the stages and you do have infinite continues. If you lose all of your lives but reach a checkpoint, you’ll be able to continue at the checkpoint so there’s a plus. If you stick with the game enough and learn enemy patterns you can get further but I was unable to beat the game. I let frustration get the best of me with this one.
Overall, Legend of Hero Tonma is a bad game, but it is not the worst game out there. Judging by the world map it’s not even a long game. Six levels tops and I was only able to make it to the fourth level before I had enough. The music is easily forgettable and enemy placement is horrible. If you come across these pink things with a long tongue in a tunnel, my advice for you is to keep running or else you’ll be killed by enemies respawning behind you. Another tip: pressing up will cause Tonma to float slowly down to the ground. Use this to your advantage to float by troublesome areas.
Legend of Hero Tonma is a rare card here in the US due to it coming out near the end of the TurboGrafx’s life. Unless you’re a hardcore collector of the console, I’d say go with emulating this one. It’s not even nothing really special. The story is bad and oddly translated. All you do is find keys that open up doors in the levels to eventually meet up with a boss. Honestly, with how frustrating and forgettable it is, I’d say go ahead and skip Tonma altogether.
- One hit deaths
- Horrible enemy placement and almost constant enemy respawn
- Infinite continues
- Levels do have checkpoints
- Odd translation