Another Great Platformer Based on a Cartoon: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp
Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp follows the earlier GBA game, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: Kaznapped. Like Kaznapped, The Genie and the Amp features the Japanese pop duo Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura, popularly known as Puffy or Puffy AmiYumi. The Genie and the Amp-like Kaznapped, the TV show, and AmiYumi's music-is pure candy-coated fun.
Players who enjoy overdosing on cute graphics, pastel colors, kittens, and rockin' fierceness will love The Genie and the Amp, and others may find it interesting as well. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp is designed for children 6-11. For the target market, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi is a repetitive, but fun game. For older players, the game is still fun, but only for a short time.
Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp begins like Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: Kaznapped, with AmiYumi facing a musical dilemma. This time, Ami and Yumi have lost their inspiration, and their manager brings them magical instruments to help them find it again. While working, they get frustrated and kick an amp, and a Genie pops out. The Genie is, of course, a huge fan and wants to help Ami and Yumi with their inspiration. The game starts with the Genie sending AmiYumi on a journey to find their musical inspiration and save their tour. After Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp begins, AmiYumi start on their travels to various places and times in order to reclaim their musical inspiration. They're accompanied by the Genie, Gene, and Mei Pie, a legendary guitar master.
The Genie and the Amp itself can be played as in single or cooperative multiplayer wireless modes. In either, players may choose to play as Ami or Yumi. Ami is the girlier one, with pink hair, and Yumi is her more hardcore inverse (like Batzmaru to Ami's Hello Kitty). The doubling continues with-in addition to two players and two modes-Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp can be played using either the standard DS buttons or through the touch screen. The music that plays and the overall graphics are completely AmiYumi style-super cute, fun, and ever so catchy. Even players who would want to dislike this level of cuteness may be swayed by the style with which Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp operates visually and musically.
Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp plays like a basic platformer. The gameplay is solid, fun gameplay, but it isn't terribly varied or exciting. The gameplay does have a number of innovative features, though. The use of the DS touch screen is interesting in itself, and it adds a level of interest by making the touch screen a collection of guitar strings, where playing different cords equate with different attacks and connecting the cords creates combo attacks. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp also has a number of mini-games and unlockable features, like additional clothes. Other segments include making sushi, which is a cute minor addition, and ties in with other upcoming games like Cooking Mama
.The sushi also acts as a level-up for Ami and Yumi, granting greater health, attack power, and so on.
In addition to offering minor innovations, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp draws on rather conventional non-video game girl games with references to the mall and shopping, which can be found in many "Mall Madness" styled girl-games, and with the music-making requirements, found in toy instruments and classic girl toys like Jem from Jem and the Holograms. These non-electronic girl gaming references are becoming more familiar in electronic-gaming territory with the Bratz video games. However, gaming still needs to diversify and expand, and girl games are one easy avenue for doing so.
Overall, many gamers may not enjoy Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp, but the game is designed with a younger target market in mind. Many players and the parents of many players will really enjoy and appreciate Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp because the game is easy to play, has solid graphics, can support two-player play, and has decent gameplay all around. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie and the Amp isn't for everyone, but it is a decent, enjoyable game given its goals.