Review by TheSAMMIES

Reviewed: 12/17/14

Yo-Ho-Ho and a bottle of root beer

Arrgh, ye mateys! Pirate Ship Higemaru is a game about pirates from Capcom’s earlier days. We’re talking old, like before Megaman old. The game’s pretty good, though. It’s a fun action/puzzle game with a few original ideas that still hold up today. You don’t have to scour the seven seas to find some awesome and addicting fun. Pirate Ship Higemaru is a good time and worth your quarters. Or your time on MAME. I realize that PCBs are expensive. Not everyone can afford them.

Story- Higemaru, or Captain Roundbeard as his name roughly translates to, is a pirate. He’s a bad evil pirate and so is his leader, Bous. It’s up to a brave sailor named Momotaro to defeat them. Momotaro is strong but not as strong as the pirates. He has to defeat them by chucking things at them. The story is pretty simple and doesn’t deviate much from this concept. Really, it’s background more than anything. There isn’t really much story at all. A lot of arcade games from the 80s were like this though, so it’s not something that’s fair to hold against Pirate Ship Higemaru.

Presentation- The music and sound effects are all fun and upbeat. The graphics are okay for their time. You’ve got scrunched up sprites of pirates walking around a repetitive pirate ship deck filled with barrels and sandbags. Animations are limited, but that’s also to be expected. The fun atmosphere and sound effects are enough, though. They get the job done and that’s what counts.

Gameplay- Pirate Ship Higemaru is an action puzzle game. It’s all about trying to outsmart the pirates. They’ll try to get you as you wander through the mazes of barrels, trying to defeat them. Their AI is surprisingly good for a game from the 80s. It’s real satisfying to crush them with barrels, though. That’s worth some fun, right there.

A huge part of Pirate Ship Higemaru is figuring out the maps. There are certain places that are easier to hit enemies and other places where you are more vulnerable. There’s also an anchor powerup that makes you invisible and other pickups that do nothing except increase your score. While simple by today’s standards, Pirate Ship Higemaru is still fun today. If you’re into old school arcade games, then give it a try. You’ll probably like it.

Cool Fact- The character Ruby Heart from Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was loosely based on this game.

Also Try- Don’t Pull, another fun action/puzzle game that Capcom made. You can find it on Three Wonders along with a couple decent shooters as well.

Rating: 7

Product Release: Pirate Ship HigeMaru (JP, 09/30/84)

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