Famicom World

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There are not enough games that celebrate chiptune music, and it was quite refreshing when I popped in Otocky and found the music was front and center.


Intro (Storyline) 3.0

It's not very often that I find something new when shopping for retro games. I don't often pop in a retro game and think "why hasn't anyone done this before?". This was the first thought that entered my mind when I slid the Otocky disk into the drive, (well, after I waited, flipped the disk over, waited again and fumbled through the Japanese menus).

Otocky is a musical shooter. The basic premise behind the game is to make music while plowing your way through a barrage of enemies. Each time you fire a shot it makes a different note in time with the music depending on what direction you are firing.

I found this game to be a bit reminiscent of the more recent bit.trip games (which I had played prior), but instead of following along with the music, it follows you.

In terms of the story, there is a nice big book that comes with the game. Unfortunately, it's in Japanese and I can't read it. It does have a story section. I'm sure it's very nice!

There is no story intro to the game in any language, it jumps right into the action.

Graphics 2.0

My first thought about the graphics in Otocky is that they are very utilitarian. The background is mostly either a solid colour, checkered, or broken by very simple geometric shapes.

The graphics are meant to be clear and obvious, but this game is certainly not meant to wow people with the graphics. That being said, while some of the sprites for the enemies are simple, some are more interesting. It's as interesting mix.

There are no cut-scenes or the like in the game.

Most of the time, the simplicity of the graphics does not take away from the game-play, but I really would have liked to see some more interesting bosses at the end of the levels. The end bosses of all the levels are just giant, simplistic looking musical notes.

Audio 4.0

Well, the audio is basically the foundation for the whole game, and it works well. The melody for the most part is up to the player, you have to make the music for the game, but you are given backdrop music that is quite good and lends itself well to this sort of game-play.

As you pick up power-ups in the game you are given different instruments to play with such as guitar, brass and oboe. There are 15 different instruments and they each have a distinct sound.

Gameplay 3.0

The objective of each level is to collect floating musical notes. Once you have collected enough music notes, you will face the boss for the level, and then continue on to the next level. I should say this is part of the objective, the other part is to enjoy the music that is made with your shots and try not to get too distracted and get yourself killed.

There are various power-ups in the game, and most of them have an effect on both your weapon and the note that is played when you fire. Many of the power-ups give you a different instrument such as organ or clarinet and also make your weapon fire further, or faster or change its size. There are also power-ups that provide you with the bomb-like B weapons.

Controls 3.0

The basic controls in this game are:

  • movement using the directional pad
  • regular fire using the A button
  • special fire using the B button

When you press A, you will fire in the direction you were last pushing on the directional pad. You can also hold A and move the directional and Otocky will fire in that direction.

This control scheme work relatively well, but with a regular gamepad your hands will likely become sore quickly as mine certainly did. I would recommend using an ASCII stick turbo JR (or at least a NES Advantage).

Frustrations 4.5

Generally this game is not too frustrating and the difficulty of the levels is relatively tame for a shooter. I did not run into any bugs or quirks that would detract from the gameplay. There is a save feature so you are never forced to restart.

One thing that can be a bit frustrating is that it can be tough to balance making the music sound how you want it to and dealing with the enemies at the same time. This is not a big deal as it adds a funky randomizing factor to the music. Otocky also includes a "B.G.M." mode that is unlocked after you defeat each level and allows you to play through the level with the enemies neutered so you can experiment musically.

Fun Factor 3.5

This game is very fun in a very different sort of way than most famicom games I have played. It's not very challenging, nor is it very rewarding. It's just fun to play. I found Otocky to be better in short burst, and I got tired of it after a short while. Later, it was fun to go back again.

Overall 4.0

What can I say, the concept is genius and Otocky is a hidden gem. It's not a polished classic, it's something fresh and unexpected yet at the same time is a celebration of retro gaming. Plus what other licensed game comes with a porn star mascot?

I think had I played this game when it was released, it would not have the same affect on me as it had when I discovered it in 2011. There are not enough games that celebrate chiptune music, and it was quite refreshing when I popped in Otocky and found the music was front and center.





Platform Famicom Disk System
Developer ASCII 
Publisher ASCII 
Players 1 Player 
Genre Shooter / Music 
Release Date 03/27/1987 
Retail Price  
Current Value  
Saving Option disk 

Disk-kun Ratings

Storyline [][][] 3.0 / 5.0
Graphics [][] 2.0 / 5.0
Audio [][][][] 4.0 / 5.0
Gameplay [][][] 3.0 / 5.0
Controls [][][] 3.0 / 5.0
Frustrations [][][][][ 4.5 / 5.0
Fun Factor [][][][ 3.5 / 5.0
Overall [][][][] 4.0 / 5.0


Title screen
Title screen

Bland graphics, but not as bad as it looks.
Bland graphics, but not as bad as it looks.

The graphics are colorful, but unimressive.
The graphics are colorful, but unimressive.

Starting to get difficult...
Starting to get difficult...

One of the bosses: the dreaded sixteenth note
One of the bosses: the dreaded sixteenth note


The story from the manual.
The story from the manual.

Natsuki Ozawa pack-in poster.  She would later become an AV idol.
Natsuki Ozawa pack-in poster. She would later become an AV idol.