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Eh, Lum looked nicer in the manga.

Urusei Yatsura - Lum No Wedding Bell/Those Crazy Aliens!

For those of you unfamiliar with Urusei Yatsura, it's a comic by the author of Ranma 1/2 and InuYasha. It centers around the efforts of Lum, an alien princess, to win and keep the affections of Ataru, a Japanese high-school student/ladies' man. For those of you unfamiliar with Urusei Yatsura: Lum no Wedding Bell, it's a perfect example of why licensed games suck.

Plot

You start out as Young Lum With Blue Hair and get older as the game progresses. Huh?
The plot of Urusei Yatsura is humorous: Aliens invade Earth, but offer to leave if a randomly selected Earthling can beat their princess in a game of tag. The contestant picked is one Ataru Moroboshi, a high-school student with a semi-girlfriend and a roving eye. Now, Ataru's a pretty fast guy, but the game takes a turn for the worse when it turns out that the alien princess, Lum, can fly. For most of the ten-day contest, Ataru is left just barely keeping up with Lum. On the last day of the contest, Ataru, inspired by his girlfriend Shinobu's promise to marry him if he wins, manages to latch onto Lum. In the thrill of victory, he shouts, "Now I can marry her!" ...while still holding onto Lum. Lum, of course, interprets this as a proposal and accepts. Hilarity ensues.

Now forget everything that I just told you, except that Lum is on Earth and in love with Ataru, because none of the other stuff will even be alluded to. Now imagine that every school building in Tomobiki is on fire. Now imagine that everything and everyone besides Ataru, Kitsune, and Jaruten is trying to kill Lum. Now imagine that Lum somehow winds up in Tomobiki's preschool, one floor above the flames. You have the premise for Urusei Yatsura:Lum no Wedding Bell.

Gameplay

Get to the top of the building to be rescued by your spaceship so that you can risk your neck in another burning school. Huh?
Oh joy. As everyone knows, the only solution to making a NES game based on a licensed property is a sidescroller. So this game is...surprise! A sidescroller. And an awful one at that. No, I take that back; "awful" doesn't begin to describe this game. You must make your way to the roof of the school to be rescued by your flying saucer, while avoiding instant death at the hands of everything from Mendo's octopi to Kurama's crows to the cat that runs the vending counter in the school (can't remember if it has a name or not) to schoolteachers armed with rifles. And winning this game is purely a matter of luck, because enemy spawning is completely random. The only place enemies do not appear is right on top of you, a small mercy at best. The only (and I mean only) redeeming feature of the game is that you get to use Onsen-Mark as a human shield and have Jaruten drop in and breathe some flames at your adversaries. And if and when you do get to the top, you get dropped off in another burning school. Huh? Why? I could understand if Lum was saving students or something, but there are no students left in the school and everything else in the building wants your head. And of course the controls suck. Lum can't fly. Let's see: we have a sidescroller built around a character who spent the majority of the first chapter of the comic eight feet off the ground, and because it's a sidescroller instead of, say, an RPG or adventure game, where we might get some Rumiko Takahashi-style humorous dialogue and character development, she can't fly.

Music/Sound

Everything tries to kill you in this game. Including the teachers. Huh?
Ugh. What music? This game contains precisely three songs and one jingle: the title theme, the main theme, a bad rendition of "Here Comes The Bride," and the game-over jingle, all of which are terribly obnoxious. And of course there's the standard awful-sidescroller-sound-effects. This game is a brutal assault on the eardrums.

Graphics

Lum somehow manages to get Ataru in the general vicinity of an altar. Huh? (gotta love that 50s white tux, though.)
Rumiko Takahashi is an excellent comic artist. She has wonderful character designs and draws great action scenes. The only possible explanation I can think of for how a Takahashi game looks this bad is that Takahashi herself was not on the project, but since we never see any credits we'll never know. This is all I need to say: the screenshots speak for themselves.

Conclusion

To quote Arfenhouse: Teh Movie Too!:

"DIZ GAYM SUX!!!1"

It's just that awful. The graphics are awful, the sound is awful, the gameplay is awful, and the plot is nonexistent. Unless you are a video-game masochist, avoid this piece of crap like the plague.

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