Name: Money Idol Exchanger (90.00% in 1 votes)
Release date: 1997
Reviewed by: Bata-kun
Is "Money Idol Exchanger"/"Money Puzzle Exchanger" worth your time?
If you donâ€™t know, "Money Idol Exchanger" is a puzzle game by Face that was released for arcade cabinets and the Neo-Geo in 1997. Surprisingly, this was also released for the Game Boy and Play Station. "MIE" plays a lot like the "Magical Drop" games. If you have never played a "Magical Drop" game, hereâ€™s the routine again, if you have seen my review of it. You grab a balloon or coin in this case. You can grab one type at a time. Then you throw the coins back up. If connected correctly, they vanish.
Well, after seeing two reviews at the time: one of the reviews praised the game and the other thought the game was a disappointment, I had to try the rom out myself, since there are not many arcade places that still support SNK. Besides, a third view wouldnâ€™t hurt now, would it? So, is "MIE" really worth a try? Read on to find out.
Fun - 7
You will see Debtmizer talking to you about the modes, but hereâ€™s the deal behind them. There are three modes: â€ś1P vs. CPUâ€ť, â€śSingle Playerâ€ť and thereâ€™s the â€śVersusâ€ť mode. In 1P vs. CPU mode, you pick either Exchanger or Debtmizer and you battle against the other seven characters. In Single Player mode, you select one of the eight characters and practice. Versus mode is self-explanatory.
I like how the game works. Unlike any "Magical Drop" game, there are no catches. So, no â€śThose three balloons must be connected up and down,â€ť or rather, coins in this case. The concept is interesting in my eyes. Sure, itâ€™s a lot like "Magical Drop", but it is a good "Magical Drop" clone!
Of course, I canâ€™t end this category without saying the flaws.
First off, the concept may be a turn off to you. Thereâ€™s a good chance you will think that the fundamentals are annoying and they do take a while to perform and master. I sometimes think that the concept is a bit too long, as in, it takes too much time to make the coins vanish. Still, this is a decent challenge for me.
Second, the AI is cheap. Oh and I mean really cheap. In this game, while I play on the default difficulty, I don't go far on a consistent basis, since you see the AI make 5-connection combo often. With this in mind, most likely, you would end up losing to Everyworker, your third opponent. Hidoi. (Cruel: this is what Debtmizer says when she loses by the way.) Normally, you shouldn't have problems on the default difficulty and you should be able to go far. That's not the case here.
Finally, there are the special items. Before I talk more about them, I can say that in this game, it is quite easy to choke in a clutch situation. In other words, in a situation with a lot of pressure, you will either be lost and panic or you will easily make a mistake. Anyway, the special items can be a pain to wait for. Never mind that you have to match up. The items rarely show up overall. If you see an â€śEraseâ€ť orb, youâ€™d wait for the other one, but waiting for it is a pain in the fanny and a good amount of the time, at the moment you got what you want, you have lost.
Thatâ€™s pretty much it.
Life - 7
True, there are three modes. However, with the let downs I have mentioned, this does question you decision on whether you will love the game. I sure like the game a bit.
Control - 8
Well, we have Exchanger giving directions, but Iâ€™ll give them anyway.
A to pull down a coin, B to throw it back up, press down twice to move down a level.
You must connect coins of the same type. There are 6 types of coins. There is the 1-cent, yen--ah, Iâ€™ll use yen, just because the game is from Japan. So, there are coins worth 1 yen - blue, 5 yen - yellow, 10 yen - orange, 50 yen - green, 100 yen - silver and 500 yen - gold.
Connect 5 blue coins to get a yellow coin, 2 yellow coins to get an orange coin, 5 orange coins to get a green coin and so forth. Once you connect 2 gold coins, they disappear. There are also two pieces - ER/Erase and RU/Rise Up. In order for them to work, you must place two pieces of the same kind together. The Erase piece is obvious, but the Rise Up piece does increase the value of a certain coin. Place them on a 10-yen coin and all 10-yen coins turn into 50-yen coins.
Remember to use those pieces wisely. Also, remember when to move down a level.
The controls are responsive, although there is the occasional mess up. Many puzzle fans, especially "Magical Drop" fans, will love this game, though the concept can be a turn off.
Audio - 8
Well, the music is decent, but itâ€™s not as good as "Magical Drop III's" for example. I just wish the game had more music though. I didnâ€™t hear many themes, since some people share themes like Exchanger and Everyworker. I like Debtmizerâ€™s theme. Itâ€™s mellow and it makes you lay back.
The voice acting is great. Although itâ€™s mostly Japanese, there is some English in the game. If you are a "Card Captor Sakura" fan, hereâ€™s something that will catch your attention.
Tange Sakura, the same person who played as "CCS's" title character, plays as Exchanger. Side note - as far as I know, sheâ€™s the only seiyuu I know of who has played as characters in an anime and a video game that have her own name. Debtmizer is played by Nogami Yukana, the same person who played as Mei Lin. They play as rivals in "Card Captor Sakura" and they played as rivals here as well. Omoshiroi, ne? (Interesting, huh?) *lol*
Of course, there was one problem. I hated the Mightdealerâ€™s laugh. It did bother me quite a bit. Well, it bothers me if I play against her, not when I use her though.
The sound effects: I have no complaints here. You have your rings and such. Fine, fine, fine.
Art - 9
"MIE" has an anime introduction to start off the game. I was really amazed. You know what my first reaction to the intro was? "Is this 'Money Idol Exchanger', or am I seeing 'To Heart' here?"
There are 8 characters: Exchanger, Debtmizer, Everyworker, Cherrybaiter, Eldiraver, Mightdealer, Coquetry and Macker.
What to say? The girls look great! The guys? Iâ€™m assuming some of the artists at the time did drink a bit too much sake. *lol*
Exchanger/Sakura, the blond-brownish hair girl is the genki, kawaii girl. Debtmizer/Asahi, the purple haired girl, is Sakuraâ€™s friend/rival. Sheâ€™s the quiet, shy type of girl.
Everyworker is my personal favorite. Sheâ€™s the athletic type of girl. Her design reminds me of a sassier Hinata. Cherrybaiter is another cheery girl. She has pink hair.
Eldiraver looks like Lady Une of "Gundam Wing". Mightdealer looks like the rich type of woman. She has blonde hair.
The guys: theyâ€™re lame! Lame! Coquetry is in a dog suit and Macker looks like he is some kind of science fiction otaku.
The backgrounds are full of color and they really stand out. As you play the game, you will see a chibi version of yourself, which is really nice. Itâ€™s better than having the jester in the "Magical Drop" series. You can also see yourself in the playing field. There is a lot of animation seen in the characters. Whether it would be Eldiraver taking her glasses off and looking hot after a victory or Exchanger looking like a mess after a loss, thereâ€™s some nice animation overall. Thereâ€™s even animation in your chibi selves.
The coins look nice as well. You can see them very clearly.
As much as I would love to give the graphics a perfect, I canâ€™t. Thereâ€™s a good amount of Engrish, which is kind of silly, but itâ€™s not good when thatâ€™s overly seen. Also, the guys look lame, as I have said earlier. There should be a guy that looks somewhat like Kyou. We also could use a guy that looks like Kagami or Roy or maybe Ougami. Other than that, thatâ€™s it.
Story - N/A
As far as I know, there isnâ€™t much of a story. Maybe the story could be about minimizing a personâ€™s debt and having the money being organized, which does kind of work. Yeah. So, until I find out its true story, I can't give a grade here.
Overall - 8
Hereâ€™s my very own view of "MIE". Why not give the game a try? This game deserves a sequel in my opinion. ^_^
The positives include, graphics, especially the girls, the audio department, the controls, the gameplay and the long life span. Oh and did I mention the girls? *lol*
The guys look lame, thereâ€™s a good amount of Engrish, thereâ€™s not much music, and there are the flaws I said in the Fun section.
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