HEY LOOK OUT: all kinds of image intensive


Thanks to the more innovative control styles of recent consoles and how more games are being targeted at non-gamers, their subject matter is now much broader and perhaps even sensible now, which only helps in kind of demolishing the term "genres", as where on Earth does a cooking game fit into the ever popular selection? It could be Puzzle, but it could be Action depending on how low your standards are for that sort of thing. An hour of Animal Crossing helps in achieving that, from my experience.

While these games are often pretty fun, sometimes it kind of ruins things, slightly. One of the reasons I got into gaming is because you couldn't really do those things in any other media. A simple platformer could possibly be achieved if you had some physics-defying magnet making skills and automated code to get them running, and your traditional RPG really is little more than streamlining the process of a pen and paper one, only now you can't play as a space bounty hunter who travels with an elf medic, Judge Dredd and walking paradox young Merlin and become King of England at the beginning of your quest. That space bounty hunter missed out on like three adventures so I wasn't having the greatest of times.

To make a video game of Monopoly, all you're doing is removing the need for those little steel units, brightly-coloured plastic houses and feeling like a millionaire as you throw paper money over yourself. Sometimes they'll show houses being on top of trees or something, but it's really just the same thing with less charm, and when gaming resorts to such lows, where's it meant to go? The standards of fighters and FPS games has been driven higher over the years, but when you've played one good game that makes everything else pale in comparison even years later, why not do something new? Even something simple like having a flail in an FPS (flails are badass) or a fighting game with no special moves would be mildly interesting if done right.

This is just fancy-pants talk for the real question: What game makes you urinate on a bomb fuse to save yourself from an explosive demise?

Ganbare Ginkun - Action Minigame Shuu


One of them arcade mini-game compilations, you're thrust into the role of Giso, Player 1...


...and Hamu, Player 2.

(I can translate! Badly!)


Judging simply from the pretty pictures, they've got an enemy in the form of Gatu Gatu...

...who initially starts off as some kind of prize awarding contest host, and then starts popping up everywhere to ask questions and club them over the head if they're wrong, even popping up in army bases to foil whatever it is our heroes are up to.

Despite being a mini-game compilation, before every stage is a little story scene that features the characters getting up to such wacky antics are hitting each other with bats before accidentally breaking a window, sitting in a jet and being thrown out of a bank, at the end of which Gatu Gatu shows up and asks our heroes a question. Guess rightly and you get off A-OK, but get it wrong and you'll either get laughed at or treated to physical harm.

This doesn't appear to to have any effect on the actual gameplay, and for all I know they could contain biting social commentary in every text box, but to my heathen eyes they are merely intermissions between having Giso's head explode.

As for the game itself, there really is barely much to say about it beyond "it's a mini-game compilation." You have to complete a certain amount from a choice of four before progressing to the next stage, and at the beginning of the game you can choose what number of stages you want from four, six and eight; naturally, things are more difficult as you progress further, but there's no big boss at the end. After the last stage, your characters get a reward and you're booted onto the next number of stages. Thus, you could say that there's nothing at all interesting about the game.

But I haven't even said anything about the mini-games, have I?

Bombed Head

This is what defines the game. Every mini-game has a border featuring a silly animation of a top-heavy female jogger, a muscle man who flexes until he explodes and a teddy bear with piranha jaws, but screw them; having your head blown off and trying to connect with it again is what makes Ganbare Ginkun what it is.
After Gatu Gatu uses a detonator connected to your foot to blast your head off your body, you've got to align the head with the body indicator below; land safely and an angel will grow out of your head while happy music plays. Miss, and a headless jogger will run by and kick your head away.

Harsh. But fair.

Cock Race

It should go without saying that I'm making up all these titles myself.
Presumably in an attempt to impress some lady types, Giso and Hamu get on the back of some motorcycles styled are farmyard cockerels and play a game of chicken with Gatu Gatu, who's not taking part, the dirty swine. Stop anywhere before the STOP!! strip and one of the models will punch you into a sky with a coy look; going anywhere past the strip will plunk you into the ocean...

Where you will drown in an unceremonious death. If you actually succeed, Gatu Gatu will be battered into oblivion while your character celebrates with a smooth, relaxing cigarette. Aw yeah.

Circle for the Holy Grail

Perhaps this is one of those cultural things that makes no sense to anyone outside of the game's home country, but Circle for the Holy Grail is remarkably mundane in comparison to others. Your goal is to float in circles around the big floating thing with glowing liquid in it's cranium while avoiding birds that are downright lethal thanks to dodgy collision detection. Succeed in your task and you'll get a drink of the glowing liquid that's apparently spicy while a captive young madam appears and expresses frustration. Or bondage joy. Wacky!

Do The Creep

Giso and Hamu, acting as valiant warriors, must creepy warily towards two Daruma as they spell out Japanese text; they must stop before the whole text is spelt out or else they will be ZAPPED DEAD and be TURNED INTO DARUMA; take too long and THE SAME FATE IS IMPOSED. If they get close enough to the vile beasties, they'll make use of their badly drawn blades to decapitate them and spank their asses in victory.

Bull Taunting.

This mini-game sucks enough for me not to give it a humourous title. Seriously.
What more is there to say about bull taunting? You dress in a silly hat and hold a red cape while a bull runs towards you; fail badly and you block will be knocked off. Managing to not fail badly is impossible because even if it passes you safely, it'll often come at you again and require yet another whip of the cape. And come on, why would you want to taunt a bull when you can blow up someone with a cannon?

Cool Cannon

It's just you, Gatu Gatu and a referee (or two Gatu Gatus if you're doing 2-Player), and the referee is the most important character. See, you can't blow up the bastard without the command of "GO" which the referee will give, but he's also a dickhead and will throw in other words such as COOL, COW, GOD and GOOD which will just make the cannon blow up in your face if you fire it then.

Thankfully, you're given more than enough time to react for an explosive discharge in Gatu's ugly mug, especially with the power of emulation pausing, so it's an easy victory.

Sealy & Giso: Crime Busters of the Sea

Being mighty fine citizens, our heroes are delivering a seal cub or two back to it's sleeping parents until SHARK ATTACK. Lacking the balls to do anything about it, you must make use of their iron lungs to blow the cub across to the parents and alarm them of the sharks, doing so in the ever realistic rising gauge that resets to zero when it reaches the top tactic. Take too long and the seals leave of their own accord and get you munched upon, but succeeding allows the sharks to be chased off and the opportunity to party with some seals.

One of which has breasts. Oh, Japan!

Wet The Fuse

Gatu Gatu has planted a bomb in a trench with a comically long fuse; no one else is there to detonate it but Giso and Hamu. Giso and Hamu have no means of putting out a lit fuse on their person. Except for one way. Which isn't exactly polite to do in public.

Quite kindly, they turn into cherubs when they let loose some of that sweet, life-saving urine, which is thoughtful.

On the downside, letting the bomb explode wakes up a number of sleeping crocodiles, which is self-explanatory.

And the way our heroes celebrate is barely pleasant on the bladder.


One of two mini-games where innocent bears are your foe, your goal is to simply ski down the mountain to victory. A simple task, no doubt about it, were it not for those goddamned bears making snowmen in the middle of your skiing path. Messing up their hard work will cause you to snowball down the cliff with a bear chasing after with murderous intent.

Winning actually gets your a celebratory kiss, at the expense of Giso or Hamu melting. Poor sod?


For reason beyond my comprehension, this mini-game puts Giso and Hamu in command of six circus bears, rolling around on balls for the amusement of an unseen audience. Your role in this highly intricate act is to keep them disciplined and in line; if one starts floundering and becoming a harsh yellow, you've got to whip them into shape before they fall or else they'll gobble you good.

However, as an act of kindness for making their show a success, they put on a show for you on your victory. Aw.


Baby Baddie

A careless parent strolls by on the beach with a pram full of infants, all of which lead off without her knowing. There's a child prowler in the waters with a rattle while you've got an iced lolly. WHAT DO U DO

You gotta lure those babies back, that's what! Gatu Gatu barrels up and down the ocean and lures the infants to their doom while you've got to rescue them by luring them back, which is easier said than done.

If you fail, the parent will return to slam you into the ground using her child as a brick, and then walk off dribbling the infant like a basketball. Keep them safe long enough and she'll make off with them, rewarding you minimally for your troubles.

Sometimes you just can't win.

Heels of Doom

A giant, high-heel wearing foot appears from above and is stomping all over the place. Armed with a fedora and infinite supply of rockets, you must thwart this menace by blasting it until it decides it's had enough of your shit.

I'd like to remind you this is badass.

Sadly, despite being one of the best mini-games there is, both for playability and downright wackiness, there's no epic conclusion. You just give a thumbs-up if you succeed and get squished if you don't. Barely Shakespearian.

Hop, Shit and Jump

Provoked by Gatu Gatu, you've got to turn and turn that joystick in a feeble attempt to imitate prepping up for a long jump along with perhaps a bit of button mashing, and then pressing the button at the right time to leap over a steaming pile of manure. I think it goes without saying that it's rare to leave this one freshly-scented and crystal clean.

Explosive Munch

Giso and Hamu are forced to eat only one type of food for health reasons. Not for your typical blood pressure or high calorie reasons, but because eating the wrong one makes them ROCKET AROUND THE ROOM UNTIL THEY EXPLODE.

Choose wisely, padawan.

And naturally, food slides by with no hint of slowness, sometimes with a crowd obscuring what there is and what food type you must eat changes with every bite, so the going ain't easy.


You're fishing.
You must rotate the stick to reel in your catch.
Sometimes you have to hammer buttons.
You die a lot.
I hate it.

The Monster Mash

And finally, our last mini-game is completely different from what the image portrays, which is nothing new by now. A three by four parade of dancing monsters are boogieing the night away, but one will always be screwing up; bash him on the noggin to set him straight, but hit the wrong one and you'll be devoured alive while not a single beat is missed. Fix their choreographed dance enough times and they'll return to their graves, which is in my view seems rather selfish; they could at least put on a bigger show for an audience consisting of more than two people.

After you complete the 8-stage mode, you're treated to a little epilogue showing where Giso and Hamu went next.

The moon, evidently, judging by the image. Gatu Gatu is nowhere to be seen, probably dead, and for all I know that text could be reciting a recipe for some damn good soup instead of telling the player to hold onto their hopes and dreams, strive for a better future and always fight against The Man.

And then the credits roll, featuring a man harassing a crocodile. Fair play.

So is there any good reason to play Ganbare Ginkun instead of the likes of Trauma Center and all those deep, involving games that demand skill and precision? Well, not exactly. Trauma Center actually looks like an actual game instead of something cooked up in an hour to drag people in with it's goofiness and then spitting them out after eating all their quarters. Or what the Japanese equivalent of quarters are. Or what the British equivalent of the Japanese equivalent of American quarters are. It's not a fair game, let's put it like that.

Shooting rockets at a giant high-heeled shoe is still awesome, though, so check it out.

And if you don't heed my command, here's some stupid images that will hopefully be persuading and also cause this page to take longer to load.