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Hebereke's Popoon

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Hebereke's Popoon
HPopoonBoxArt.jpg
ATTACK! This game needs to pop into pieces!
Protagonist(s): Hebe
Oh-Chan
Jennifer
Sukezaemon
Genre(s): Puzzle
Platform(s): SNES

Arcade[note 1]
Mobile phones

Release: SNES

JP: December 22, 1993
EU: 1994
Arcade
JP: June 1994
Mobile phones
JP: 2000s

Developer(s): Sunsoft[note 2]
Publisher(s): Sunsoft[note 3]
Country: Japan
Series: Hebereke
Successor: Hebereke's Popoitto
Sugoi Hebereke

Hebereke's Popoon (へべれけのぽぷーん, Hebereke no Popūn) is a puzzle game developed and published by Sunsoft.[note 2][note 3] It was first released in the SNES on December 22, 1993 in Japan, and in Europe the next year.[1] An arcade version of the game was released in June 1994 exclusively in Japan, but even then, the arcade version was rare and became a collector's item.[2] The game was never released in America in any form.

Bad Qualities

  1. The character selection music is ear grunting, as they put in random voice lines of characters (e.g. "Oh-Chan Konichiwa" and "Sukezaemon"). It almost sounds like a child's first attempt at using a tracker.
  2. When the game was bought over to Europe, They still kept the following things:
    • Hebe and Oh-Chan weren't changed to Bop-Louie and Freeon-Leon, respectively, though the other characters are left unchanged in Ufouria as well, albeit with their names being changed. This would lead to some people thinking that the characters were either new or that they are ripoffs of their Ufouria counterparts.
    • The voice clips are left unchanged, likely to save localization costs. In fact, some lines can be misheard, for example, "Oh-Chan Konichiwa" could be misheard as "Oh-Chan Noir" (lit. "Black Oh-Chan"),[note 4] which could face legal issues against Le Chat Noir.
  3. The Arcade version removed the elimination mode and the 1-player VS mode. The soundtrack was also poorly arranged in this version.
    • The SNES version, on the other hand, does the opposite, as this version lacked the story mode character selection that was later added in the Arcade version.
  4. In some instances, the game can lag, which is even worse in the European version due to the slightly lower frame rate (the European version runs at 50fps, while the Japanese version runs at 60fps).
  5. In the prototype, losing a match resets the game, rather than taking you to the VS mode menu, which is very frustrating. This was thankfully fixed upon the game's release.
  6. False advertising: While the game claims it supports up to 8 players, it actually supports up to 2 players. Even the elimination mode could support up to 8 players, but that actually takes turns between the 2 players.
  7. Some of the music is a little repetitive.
  8. The Japanese-exclusive Project EGG version is just an emulated version of the SNES version, just like in other games.
    1. Not to mention, that version costs 440 yen (roughly almost $4), while you can get a copy of the SNES version in good condition for a bit cheaper, at only $3. We aren't even kidding!

Good Qualities

  1. Most of the soundtrack is memorable, especially the story mode battle themes.
  2. The visuals are often good and even feature anti-aliasing (something that some SNES games lacked).
  3. There's a patch that disables the annoying voices. It could be downloaded here.
  4. In case the game is too easy, you could change the difficulty settings which is very useful if you want a challenge.
  5. You could also remap the controls, in case you aren't familiar with how you play puzzle games.

Trivia

  • This is one of the most popular Hebereke games in Latin America (despite not being released there), due to its references in TV channel anti-piracy screens.
  • The track "Here's Mister Unyohn" was unused, despite being present in the game's sound test.
  • The European version removed the controller in the options menu, despite the European SNES controller being almost identical to its Japanese counterpart.
  • A ROM of a supposed American prototype was floating around in the internet, only to be revealed as a hoax.
  • The arcade version has an unused sprite of Roy Koopa from the Super Mario series, most likely intended as a placeholder for the cutscene sprites.
  • The Japanese version was faster than the European version, due to differences between the PAL/SECAM and NTSC standards.
  • The European version is region-locked. The Japanese version lacked this measure, thus making the game import-friendly.
  • Two removed tracks from the SNES version ("Wobbling Pen-Chan" and "Bobodori's Forest") were added in the Arcade version (though unfortunately, the former goes unused). That version also added new tracks never heard before.
  • "Popoon" is an onomatopoeia for an flexible object exploding into pieces.
  • The kanji written in the "One down!" and "Victory!" half-screens are actually literal translations, being "一本" (Ippon) and "勝利" (Shōri).
  • The mobile port of this game remained lost as of January 2022.

Reception

The game received mixed reviews. The German magazine Total! gave it a score of 2.75 out of 6.

Notes

  1. Based on Sunsoft's Shanghai III' hardware.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Arcade version developed by Success and SNES version co-developed by Falcon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Arcade version co-published by Atlus.
  4. This is because the "Konichi" part is quiet, which can rarely be heard.

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