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RELEASE DATE (NA): 1984 GENRE: Platformer
// review by Meow

Magic Son SonSon!

This certainly is a game. Another one of the titles included in Capcom's arcade classics collection, Son Son is another one of those super simplistic games from the arcade days where the backgrounds were a sheet of black and the objective was to get as many points as possible before you have to chuck in more quarters.

When you boot up the game, some creepy guys on clouds kidnap Son Son and Ton Ton's friends and carry them away to never be seen ever again. Then you're put on a scrolling platform screen with six layers of platforms you hop between by pressing up or down. You can shoot with a button, and you better be good at mashing the button like mad for an hour straight because if you're not good enough or you're getting on in years like I am, it can get rather painful and you'll be dying a lot. Waves of enemies will wash upon the screen continuously, all the while little food items will spawn here and there that will give you bonus points. Collecting six will spawn a big food item that will give big points. Failing to collect the big food will cause some random creature to run across the screen, but I don't know if they do anything at all. Periodically, you'll encounter these fortress things that stand in your way, changing up the music, and presenting a gaggle of guys that come out of the doors on the fort to attack you. Wipe them all out, and you can continue on. Fail to wipe them out after a set time, and you just carry on anyway.

Son Son, brother game of Daughter Daughter.

The game does have a technical end, though. If you notice signs with numbers on them, they're counting down, and the lower the number the more frequent the forts will spawn, and getting to 1 will be like "Heaven" or something. I assume it's Heaven, since the characters in this game are based on the famous Journey to the West story of old. At the end of Heaven is a statue of Buddha that has some scroll on its hand for you to nab for phat points, but you don't need to nab it if you don't want. Take long enough, and the game will just continue on anyway. It'll go to a "congrats!" screen and start over with a harder difficulty where things start giving more points, even more foes spawn, and food worth larger values start spawning more often.

Overall, I felt this game spammed enemies way too much to be truly enjoyable, and yes, my old-man-hands started to hurt from playing this. I died repeatedly, as is to be expected in an old arcade game, but I hardly ever felt it was because I did something stupid (other than play this game). That said, this isn't a bad time, but it isn't one I'd say to run out and play now. It's more of "take a look if you have the chance. Once you've played a few seconds of it, you've played the whole thing." Recommended for the curious retro enthusiast and game historian only.

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