The fan translation scene has brought us plenty of amazing treasures over the years: Without them, we'd have to learn the Japanese language to play great games like Mother 3, Policenauts, Ace Attorney Investigations 2, and literally dozens more.
Despite all they've done for us, there are times we need to call this subculture's motives into question. And the recent release of a translation patch for the craptastic 1986 Famicom RPG Ganso Saiyūki: Super Monkey Daibōken is definitely cause for condemnation. Freed from the confines of its formerly Japanese-only text, this monstrosity can now frustrate and annoy players from a whole new demographic—somewhere, its retired or (most likely) disgraced developers are smiling.
If you're out of the loop on Super Monkey Daibōken, don't worry: This just means you've led a happier life than those aware of it. While the NES certainly saw its share of lousy releases, many, many games from its Japanese counterpart mercifully never made the trip overseas. Undoubtedly, the worst games for Nintendo's 8-bit machine never strayed from their home country, meaning we dodged some pretty fatal bullets like Transformers: Convoy no Nazo and Dough Boy. But Super Monkey Daibōken is the worst of the worst, simply for how devoted it is to wasting your time with its unique brand of slow torture.
So, what does Super Monkey Daibōken get wrong? Let's go over a list of its most compelling features:
- A horribly grating soundtrack that sounds like a novelty doorbell stuck on a loop
- Garish, repetitive graphics
- Loading times on a cartridge
- Tedious, aimless gameplay
- A huge overworld where you move at a snail's pace
- Chaotic random encounters with terrible hit detection
- General ennui
Of course, there's not much text to speak of in Super Monkey Daibōken, so don't expect the translation patch to make things any more intelligible—regardless of the language you play it in, most of your actions will consist of slowly walking across a hideous landscape. And, regrettably, a secret message programmed into the game—one too filthy to copy here—didn't make it into the fan translation, though it was never meant to be displayed during play. We at USgamer don't endorse playing through all of Super Monkey Daibōken, but if you'd like to see how much worse things could have been for NES players in America, it serves as a fantastic example. Next to this abysmal RPG, something like Total Recall or Super Pitfall looks like Super Mario Bros. 3.