Sweet Home
Reviewed 6/21/00

Every now and then a game will come along and truly surprise you. It seems to come along just when you think you've played and seen it all. Sweet Home was one such game for me.

For those of you that don't know the background, Sweet Home is the Famicom game hailed as the precursor to the Resident Evil series. You can see many similarities between Sweet Home and RE, such as the now-famous 'door opening scene', and more than enough zombies jumping out of you, swords flying at you and lamps mysteriously able to fall on your head. However, the similarities end at the setting, Sweet Home plays nothing like it's new age spin-off. It is a masterful collaboration of different genres, although it is an RPG more than anything else. Also, Sweet Home is the first game I've played since I was a child that has, if only sparsely, utterly SCARED me. I am not talking about your cheap RE-style "uh oh, a zombie is jumping out at me" scare (though it has plenty of that too), what I am talking about is blood curdling "oh shit there's a fucking baby in the furnace!" type scare. But the game certainly doesn't rely on these parts for it's quality.

The game takes place in the mansion of Mamiya Ichorou, famous painter. A team of 5 adventurers are heading inside in search of one of Mamiya's famous frescos. Though the plot may seem shallow and typical at first, as you get deeper into the hell-house you find a very maticulously crafted plot brought forth by diary entries, various frescos and notes scattered about, by mansion residents and other treasure-seekers. The game is not your ordinary RPG, yo u can team and divide your party members as you choose, with up to 3 people in a party at any one time. Also, each member has thier own special item needed to pass certain parts and solve puzzles, not unlike in Maniac Mansion. In fact the puzzle solving in this game is very much like Maniac Mansion, you will usually need to find some kind of item to get past a certain part, although the game is ALWAYS FAIR, it never racks your brain too much, and obvious clues can always be found alluding to what you're supposed to be doing next. Between the teaming system and the excellent puzzles, the game can be pretty damn addicting. But it does have it's downsides...

Teaming and splitting up can be rigorous and tedious when you're in a tight spot, although that seems to be really prying to find a negative aspect. Also, the battles are very elementric, with you basically having an attack command, run command and a 'pray' command (which is pretty innovative actually) but the latter 2 will hardly be used. In fact I didn't use anything BUT the attack command until I got to the final boss. One great thing about battles, you can "call" your other teammates when you're having trouble, in this way you can fight with all 5 characters at once. There is an overall lack of bosses in this game, there are none, besides the last boss which is more of a Shadowgate-esque puzzle to solve than a boss. However this paragraph is really nitpicking, the good side outweighs the bad by about 98-2.

Final word: Play Sweet Home. If you are alive and play videogames I KNOW you will like it. You can't possibly 'not like' this game, once you give it it's fair chance.

Graphics 9
Sweet graphics perfect for the setting, never too grainy
Reminds me of Castlevania 2 :)
Sound 9
Very nice. I still have every tune stuck in my head!
Too tense and nerve-racking at times
Innovation 10
A genre-mixing MASTERPIECE
Gameplay 10
It's Resident Evil meets Dragon Warrior meets Maniac Mansion with a pinch of Shadowgate
Replay Value 7
It's an RPG, and it's puzzle based...
But it's just so damn fun! I'm replayin for sure!

Overall Score

Emulating Sweet Home

First Have NESticle of course, I don't know about compatibility with other emus

1) Download the English translation patch, http://gaijin.romhacking.com/Sweethome.htm

2) Download the Sweet Home ROM, http://members.xoom.com/mariomadness/Sweet%20Home%20(Japanese).zip

3) Now download a patcher, preferably snestool, http://www.zophar.net/utilities/download/snestl12.zip

4) I suggest putting the patch and ROM in the same folder as the snestool

5) Open snestool, choose 'use ips patch' (you have to use the arrow keys and enter), now choose the english patch, then choose the rom, and when you press enter you just applied it!

If you get stuck with all of that jazz, you could email me and I could send you my translated ROM.