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Treasure Hunter G

Traditional RPG
  • 24 May, 1996
A- 8 total ratings
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Treasure Hunter G Review

A Treasure Hunter G review Author: Jeriaska Published: May 10, 2006
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Treasure Hunter G, Square's last RPG on the Super Famicom, was released in Japan in 1996, and never received a Western localization. It is the story of several children searching for their missing father, an Indiana Jones impersonator named Brown. Along the way they are aided by a sassy elderly relative named Silver, a talking humpback whale, the mad scientist Dr. Hello, and an elf/turtle samurai combo. Their chief nemesis is the ambitiously generic, crystal ball-toting Dark Lord who wishes to destroy the world, or something, by trapping all the world's fairies in crystals and summoning up an evil dinosaur skeleton to aid in his nefarious deeds. Also, there are lots of frogs hopping about, though this scourge is not of the Lord's doing and is generally tolerated. As you may have intuited by my lack of enthusiasm, all this adds up to a whole lot of nothing much. One receives the impression while playing Treasure Hunter G that when the game's designers fell off the talent tree they didn't hit many branches on the way down.
Treasure Hunter G was Square's swan song for the Super Famicom

The game was co-developed by an outfit called Sting, the programmers who later spearheaded the Evolution series for the Dreamcast. The color palate for Treasure Hunter G makes much ado of red, yellow, and blue. Characters are named after the primary colors, a frank confession of simplicity that applies to the entire game's conceptualization. The heroes don't have personality so much as basic attributes to delineate themselves: Red is a boy with blue hair, Blue is a boy with yellow hair, Rain is a girl with blonde hair, and Ponga is a violin-playing monkey. Ponga can only say "Ooki!" and somehow, he emerges as the most expressive character.

Graphics are somewhat reminiscent of Chrono Trigger
Gameplay is an eclectic mix. Enemies are visible on the overhead map, ala Chrono Trigger. When the player encounters an enemy the perspective shifts to a screen-sized grid wherein a boxed-in manner of Arc the Lad gameplay ensues. You can land more powerful attacks by approaching baddies from behind, as well as inflicting damage to multiple foes if they are within proximity of one another.

The graphics are above par for the Super Famicom, as one would expect of a last generation game, but decidedly catering to a younger audience. The protagonists are all super-deformed, Lego-ish, somewhat cutesy, and have no personality to speak of. Much in the way of Super Mario RPG, the game adopts Donkey Kong Country's aesthetic of rendering three dimensional character models into 2D sprites. In retrospect, from our polygon-mad industry of today, hand drawn sprites look more endearing.

3D sprites presage the transition to Playstation territory
Treasure Hunter G might be largely dismissible if not for the excellent soundtrack. A Westerner by the unfortunate name of John Pee contributes some fun and imaginative tracks, and I imagine that if he had stayed with Square he could have been put to good use on sub-par OSTs like the recent Final Fantasy spin-offs. Fans of Enix' Ogre series might take note that Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata throw their hats into the ring. Tracks like Sakimoto's "Rain On The Magahaman Peninsula" and Iwata's "Shameful Daizaburou" sound much like a 16-bit prototype for the Final Fantasy Tactics score that followed soon upon, and the CD soundtrack continues in the tradition of Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre of providing enhanced quality MIDI tracks alongside the original tunes (for Iwata and Sakamoto's pieces only). The combined efforts of seven composers round out the whole, making the soundtrack something of a mixed bag. But at least half the music rises above the fray of standard game music fare.

Judging by the combined mediocrity of the plot, character, and style of the game one gets the impression that the designers of Treasure Hunter G had good intentions but little in the way of genius. Like many games whose beauty is only skin deep, this last Super Famicom RPG does not withstand the test of time and was wisely left quarantined in the land of the rising sun.
Editor's Grade
dotted line "The developers of Treasure Hunter G hit a few branches on the way down the talent tree, but the music soars"
A- dotted line Average Reader Score (Based on 8 ratings) | Rate it Now
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Endoplasmic Reticulum
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Member since October 03, 2003
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