The Best of: SAILOR MOON games.
by Daxavier Josiah
In celebration of the new Sailor Moon Netflix movies, the upcoming TTL EXCLUSIVE with Amanda C. Miller (Sailor Jupiter) as well as the upcoming ReedPOP METAVERSE panel with the cast, we wanted to look back at the SM games that you may have never known about. Sailor Moon (written and created by Naoko Takeuchi) debuted on March 7, 1992, and was met with high acclaim. The show has since become a pop cultural phenomenon not only in Japan but later around the world even years later. Sailor Moon's popularity caught the attention of anime fans in the U.S. through "tape trading", as well as comic book convention and bazaar booth sales as the show at that time only aired in Japan. The show's fame only got bigger which afforded the franchise the opportunity to sell sale tons of merchandise, as well as create a community of cosplayers who would dress up like the Sailor Guardians at major events. So, it was only right that a video game be made to target the fans of both the series and the gaming community. Sailor Moon has over thirty games developed on various platforms including MEME Arcade, Super Nintendo/Famicom, Sega Mega Drive, and more. Most of these games were only developed and sold in Japan (and some to the European market as well). The only way a foreign gamer would be able to get a hold of these games at the time was from purchasing them from import merchant websites or local game stores who would order a limited amount through distributors and would charge you roughly two times the price of a normal game sold in your region. We will show you some of the best that we had the chance to check out over the years.
The first Sailor Moon game debuted on August 27, 1993, for the Super Famicom system (aka Super Nintendo in the US and Europe) and was developed by a company known as Angel and published by Bandai (now Bandai/Namco). The game was designed to be an arcade Beat-em up much like classic arcade Konami titles like TMNT, The SIMPSONS, X-MEN. While the 16-bit brawler tried to match up but lacked the processing power of an arcade system which provided more colors, pixels, audio, and framerate. The game still provided a lot of fun despite its limitations as you go through familiar stages based on the first season of the popular TV series. The one significant thing you will notice when playing the game is the lighthearted midi soundtrack playing in the background which plays into the theme of the franchise yet for an action brawler it didn't really match up. You can play as one of five Sailor Guardians (Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, and Neptune) to battle against hordes of Queen Beryl's army. Sailor Moon only released in Japan and France.
Release on December 29, 1993, and continued the story told in the TV series. This time, you not only play as your favorite Sailor Guardians but now you can play as Chibi-Moon as well. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R had many improvements from the first game in August which was impressive considering these games debuted in the same year. There is a definite contrast to the to two games when it comes to visuals and gameplay. This game was based on the TV series that introduced Chibi-Moon/Chibi-Usa(gi) to the show who dropped from the sky and onto Usagi and Mamoru while being hunted down by a powerful new threat. The game included some new features including a button that let you perform an ultimate magic attack on every enemy on the screen. It is best used when you are surrounded by multiple enemies and can't fight your way out. You only get a limited amount of them so you would have to use them sparingly. In other words, typical arcade beat-em up. Overall, the second game was a superior version compared to the first in every way from sprite and stage design to fluid controls and faster framerate. The only negative to this version would be the sound effects and soundtrack which was somewhat of a letdown as it felt diluted. It almost seemed like they sacrificed the sound for the updated visual presentation which would make sense if they only had limited memory space to work with during those days. But if I had to choose between this and the first one in August of 1993, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R gets the nod.
The Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon arcade game debuted internationally on March 22, 1995. This game was of course a major upgrade to its 16-Bit predecessors and was possibly the only Sailor Moon game to ever come to the states. This was a collaboration of Banpresto and SEGA who published the game while a development company by the name of Gazelle who created a much-improved arcade style beat-em up experience in terms of better graphics, better movement of characters (allowing the Guardians to move diagonally upward both left and right), framerate, audio, sound effects and soundtrack. Gazelle put together a terrific presentation that combined the essence of the SNES games along with some SEGA influences which gave the game Street of Rage and Moonwalker vibes. The control scheme was remarkably like the SNES/FAMICOM games where you have one attack button, jump button, super attack button (which depletes your health gauge), and an Ultimate Magic Attack which takes out (or depletes heavy amounts of energy from) enemies that are on the screen. Like the first Super Famicom game in 1993, this was based on the first season of the TV series and manga which included five hard level quarter munching stages as you fight your way through The only negative to this version was the inability to use sup weapons like you did in the first two SNES/Famicom games yet it did not take away from the overall experience. In terms of beat-em up games this is arguably the best of the Sailor Moon action games.
The popularity of fighting games in the 90's was no stranger to the Sailor Moon franchise as they developed their own fighter for the Super Famicom entitled Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon S: Jōgai Rantōu?! Shuyaku Sōdatsusen" (Translated as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S: Brawl?! Champions Battle.). This game was developed once again by Angel and Bandai who wanted a change of scenery sort of speak where they wanted to create a fighting game featuring the current roster of Sailor Guardians fighting in a traditional Street Fighter style one on one battle. The story of this game consists of an original narrative that has the Guardians fighting to determine who would be the new leader of the Sailor Guardians. Along with the story mode the game also had other modes such as:
While this game will never be considered a deep or tournament level fighter it provided just enough fanfare to the Sailor Moon fanbase to satisfy while providing some level of replay value.
This JRPG was release on September 22, 1995, and was developed and published by (you guessed it!) Angel for the Super Famicom system. The story of the game is based upon the third and fourth season of the TV series as well as the third and fourth story arc of the manga series. Many fans have said that the gameplay matches that of classic RPGs like Lunar, Secrets of Mana, and others which included a top-down view to see your characters face off against the enemy. Much like tradition JRPG's the characters are Super Deformed design which consist of characters with enlarged heads and small bodies. In this case it helps with the layout of the game's large 2D maps and stages in order to fit multiple characters at once. This game had a lot going for it in terms of storytelling and gameplay for fans of both JRPG and Sailor Moon fans. Although the game was only released in Japan, fans of the series have gone out of their way to create an emulator modified version of it which includes an entire English translation of the game. Of all the Sailor Moon games out there, Another Story is one of the most well received of the bunch.
Out of the thirty games that were released, these were among the best that we felt gave you the most of your Sailor Moon Fandom. Here is the full list of Sailor Moon games that were released:
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
Quiz Sailor Moon - Chiryoku Tairyoku Toki no Un
Sailor Moon (Nintendo Game Boy)
Sailor Moon R (Nintendo Game Boy)
Sailor Moon (Super Famicom)
Sailor Moon R (Super Famicom)
Sailor Moon S: Jougai Rantou!? Shuyaku Soudatsusen (Super Famicom)
Sailor Moon S Kurukkurin (Super Famicom)
Sailor Moon S: Kondo wa Puzzle de Oshiokiyo! (Super Famicom)
Sailor Moon: Another Story (Super Famicom)
Sailor Moon SuperS: Fuwa Fuwa Panic (Super Famicom)
Sailor Moon SuperS: Zenin Sanka!! Shuyaku Soudatsusen (Super Famicom)
Sailor Moon Sailor Stars: Fuwa Fuwa Panic 2 (Super Famicom)
Sailor Moon La Luna Splende (Nintendo DS)
Sailor Moon S (Sega Pico)
Sailor Moon SuperS (Sega Pico)
Sailor Moon Sailor Stars (Sega Pico)
Sailor Moon (Mega Drive)
Sailor Moon S (Game Gear)
Sailor Moon SuperS - Various Emotion (Sega Saturn)
Sailor Moon SuperS: Shin Shuyaku Soudatsusen
Sailor Moon: Happy Chibiusa World
Sailor Moon Collection
Sailor Moon S: Quiz Taiketsu! Sailor Power Ketsushuu
Sailor Moon SuperS: Sailor Moon to Hajimete no Eigo
Sailor Moon SuperS: Sailor Moon to Hiragana Lesson!
Sailor Moon SuperS: Youkoso! Sailor Youchien
The 3D Adventures of Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon and Her Sailor Scouts Computer Fun Set
Sailor Moon Horoskop and Games
Sailor Moon SuperS (Design Master)
Sailor Moon S (3DO)
Sailor Moon S - Kotaete Moon Call (Telebikko)
Sailor Moon Drops (Mobile)
Non-Sailor Moon Games Featuring Sailor Moon Characters
Panic in Nakayoshi World (Nintendo Super Famicom)
Nakayoshi to Issho (Nintendo Famicom)
Welcome Nakayoshi Park (Nintendo Game Boy)