| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=JPN] |
|It's Parodius with sex. Brilliant! Don't get too excited mind you, you'll find nothing here that you couldn't see in a PG-13 movie (or PG maybe by this time, what with the rampant degeneracy of morals today and all that) and besides, its all super cutesy colorful cartoon stuff.|
Cruise your flying pig (or other bizarre craft/creature of your choice) amidst herds of flying farm animals, maidens floating by in bathtubs, or giant corncobs popping their kernels at you. Fast load times, gorgeous colors, over-the-top weaponry (once powered up) and a surprisingly snappy framerate make this all breathlessly fun... well, assuming that you put yourself on "Auto" so you don't have to worry about the silly old Gradius-style powerup purchasing scheme while you're flying for your life. Juggling bells from the "Twinbee" shooters (but falling sideways) only make things all the more hectic.
Aside from the occassional cheesecake imagery, the "Sexy" part manifests itself in relationships between certain playable characters: a chart in the back of the manual shows how the characters get along with each other, and if you and a fellow player pick two compatible creatures, when you maneuver them close together on-screen they will gain extra firepower depending on how well they like each other.
Fun as it may be, I would encourage you not to cruise through with continue after continue or it may all end too quickly, and there are no alternative gameplay modes to be found here. In fact each level comes with a "mission" in the final boss fight--if you meet the challenge, you get the "good" girly picture ending; if you don't meet the challenge, you get the "bad" ending, which is generally a picture of something less pleasant. You won't be able to understand the goal unless you can read Japanese (and quickly) but a glance at a FAQ will fill you in.
It's good goofy crazy fun, perhaps too crazy for some, and of course the old Gradius frustration of dying, losing all your powerups, and then being completely helpless rears its hoary head here in all its inexplicable glory. Now me, I definitely go in for crazy cute action shooting stuff, and cheesecake graphics here and there doesn't particularly hurt my enjoyment of it, but I'm not going to pretend that it's the sort of thing I can take for hours on end. Frivolous might be a good word for it, with all the fun, holiday, and waste that the word implies.