Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: Kaznapped!
starts off just after the Puffy AmiYumi band has finished a mega world tour. But when their biggest fan, Harmony, comes in and wants the musical duo to take her on another world tour, they refuse. Harmony then says something to the effect of going on a world tour of her own, steals all of the band's instruments, their manager and then runs off.
So now you have to control Ami and Yumi through a series of classic platformer-like levels scattered across the world looking for your instruments and (apparently) amplifiers.
There are just a few parts of this game that left me wondering. Unfortunately, these were major story parts and left huge holes in the overall setup of the game. For instance, Ami and Yumi use their microphone and guitar (respectively) as weapons. Yet when Harmony steals "all" of their instruments, your characters still have these items. Granted, you can't go through most of the game without your major weapons, but instead of having the tutorial before the story starts, it could have been the two looking for their weapon/instruments so that you get all of the non-attack information like jumping and stuff out of the way, then you find the instruments, then you learn how to use them. Instead, there is a blatant plot hole right from the very start.
The other thing that bothered me is that as you run through a level, you may be able to find one of the lost instruments. Seeing as part of the focus of the game is to find the instruments, you would think that either you can't leave the level without the instrument, or finding the instrument ends the level. But this is not the case. Instead the lost instrument is just worth bonus points and you finish the level when you find and touch an amp box. I'm sorry, maybe I just missed the part where they said Harmony took all of their amps as well and that they are more important than the instruments. If the instruments are actually important, and you can't advance in the game without collecting them all, then I was actually able to do so (which I don't think I did), and this requirement wasn't conveyed very well in the game.
But anyway... an interesting aspect about how most of the levels are arranged. They are typically fairly large and can allow you to move up and down onto many levels. You can work your way up buildings or Mayan pyramids or keep moving in a straight left-to-right direction. You don't have to try to explore the entire map, but if you do, you can nab more points. Really you can just run from one end to the other doing as little as possible only looking for the amplifier -- once you found it you could touch it and complete the level without having to perform any other tasks. This is an interesting free-roaming aspect for the game, and I guess comes in handy if you just want to plow through the levels without wanting to stop and smell the roses.
So, you're traveling from country to country looking for your instruments and lost manager. Along the way, you can switch between Ami and Yumi to use each of their abilities. For instance, Ami can perform a triple jump and then hover for a short distance by using her mic like a helicopter, while Yumi can use her guitar to smash or move obstacles. In each level, you will find both fan boys and evil robots. You don't want to hurt fan boys (in fact, you will actually lose points for hitting them), instead you need to perform your Power Chord Attack to wow and daze them so you can get by. Robots, on the other hand, are there for the beating.
There is also the occasional Tour Bus Mini-game level that seems to be thrown in there to break up the monotony. Here you will fly your tour bus (don't think about it too much) across the screen as you go from one world location to another. Along the way, you will have to shoot flying robots that are trying to attack you and at the end of the flight, there is some larger enemy that throws fireballs or something at you. These missions are short, fleeting and only slightly break up the hum-drum platformer feel.