When’s the last time you had to close your DS because your friends walked in on you playing Pokemon? Have you ever been caught by your girlfriend playing a particularly racy anime game? Guilty Gaming is a new feature that chronicles my sometimes guilty-pleasure related gaming habits, which could include anything from games that are universally hated by critics and gamers alike, or titles that most people wouldn’t be caught dead playing.
Say hello to Hello Kitty in: Sanrio Smash Ball.
Everyone who’s in younger than the age of thirty remembers going to primary school and seeing their female classmates with a host of Sanrio/Hello Kitty merchandise. I remember in 4th grade some girl gave me a ton of Badtz-Maru stickers and I loved them; secretly. Sanrio, if I may so say myself, is the definition of cute. I’ve had the experience of going into an actual Sanrio Store (yes they exist), and it literally blew my mind.
Since I know a lot of you guys are home alone, have a secret crush on Sanrio products, and feel like this would be the perfect time to go find this game, I have some bad news: It’s an SNES Japanese release only. luckily when I was a kid, my friend had an import cartridge for the SNES. Now, when we found this game, we were extremely ecstatic. I’ll get to why the game was so good later, but one thing’s for sure: we weren’t going to tell anyone about it. If word got out that we loved a Sanrio game, we would immediately be emasculated in the eyes of our school.
To all you Sanrio fans out there, you’re probably excited to know that Keroppi, the world’s most adorable frog, has finally been featured in a video game. Of course, you’ll find a few of his obscure friends as playable characters (no Chococat though!), including a Sanrio boy, a Sanrio Fish, and a Sanrio Racoon (I think they were retired a while ago, or never marketed), with extra special guest Hello Kitty starring as the referee.
The rules are pretty simple:
- It’s a 1v1 soccer game
- You can’t cross the middle
- You can kick left or right, or hold the button to charge up a super kick.
So why did my friend and I secretly play this game? Because it was incredibly fun, and the gameplay was frantic! It’s literally one of the fastest games you’ll ever encounter. The more goal guards you destroy, the more powerups pop-up, allowing you to increase the ball’s speed, or run faster. Eventually, you’ll be blazing across the screen at lightning speed, and have no idea what’s going on! When you hold either kick button and charge the power meter up all the way, you can charge up a super kick that literally skips frames.
The replay value was also limitless. There are whole host of stages (I don’t think we ever played them all), that range from grassy plains to underwater fields. Some levels even have mazes, twists, and turns that add a whole new perspective to the soccer/sports genre. Ever wanted to play soccer underwater, with giant fans blowing your ball away; now you can! As an added perk, in versus mode, everything was unlocked from the start. Ultimately, you play it the way you want to play i.
Keroppi looks pissed
Sanrio Smash Ball was amazing, and my friend and I kept it a secret for years. We weren’t about to go start a middle school lunch conversation with “so we played this new Hello Kitty game, and…”. If you’re not ashamed to get out there and play a “kiddie title”, this is a game for you! For everyone else, lock your door…