| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=JPN] |
|Oshaberi, the middle of the three PlayStation Parodius releases, presents an interesting combination of the first and last. Oshaberi translates as "Chatting," apparently, which seems to mean that voice clips will play in the background as you fly along shooting stuff and pickup up powerups. The earlier Gokujou Parodius introduced simultaneous two-player gameplay and this gets expanded upon here in two-player as one voice is male and one female and they seem to sort of argue or spar back and forth. I can't understand what they're saying, of course, but it all adds to the crazy nature of the Parodius titles. There also appear to be certain combinations that two players can execute together, though I haven't had the chance to try these out. Parodius team would continue to develop this "team-up" concept in their later "Sexy" Parodius.|
You've got two more unique characters (with doubles for the second player) than Gokujou had, bringing the total to eight. The largest improvement is the lack of slowdown, very nice to play after the somewhat sluggish previous game. There still seems to be as much stuff going on onscreen as before, if not more, what with having weapons with upgradable levels, bell juggling as in the Twinbee vshmup, a nearly nonstop stream of enemies and powerups (I recommend using the "Auto" upgrade-buying method) and massive animated sprites all over the place. The bosses are the usual bizarre parodies, or just freakshows, including such delights as a Goemon parody, a Twinbee parody, and a couple 300-foot-high schoolgirls.
On the default difficulty the game feels a little harder than the earlier Parodius titles, perhaps thanks to lack of slowdown and to having so many colorful things onscreen that its sometimes easy to overlook incoming projectiles. You have limited continues, too, but thankfully you can save at any time, and loading this save will start you at the beginning of the stage in which you saved. Very handy.
In another nice touch, you automatically get a Speed powerup when starting a new life, thus effectively removing the silly slow default speed from the Gradius games--I guess they wanted to use this automatic gift as a bit of a parody instead of just raising the default speed a notch. If you enable the "Accident" option, you go through a short 3d section after beating a boss. I'm not too sure what the purpose of these stages could be as they're short, nasty, and devoid of powerups. They seem to have been added for the PS version.
Uh-oh, incoherence is growing. To sum up, then, you've got another parody horizontal shooter with nice gameplay, no real slowdown, and a giant Twinbee ship with fake breasts. Hard to go wrong here.