| paleface [sys=PCE; cat=Platformer; loc=JPN] |
|Credited to Taito's "The 2nd Development Section: Talk Team." Whoever they are, they did darn good work. Coming out the year after the scrappy port of New Zealand Story (see entry 601), Parasol Stars on PCE is simply gorgeous, brimming with huge, well animated sprites, brilliant sound, and no slowdown in sight. The Japanese version is a little hard to find.|
Chubby little boys Bubby and Bobby (compare with the little dinosaurs Bub and Bob in Bubble Bobble--entry 31) can play through the game co-op, leaping and gliding around little platform levels with the aid of their multicolored umbrellas. Weird and often abstact monsters roam these levels: to defeat them, Bubby and Bobby turn yet again to their trusty umbrellas, spearing just about anything on their sharp tips and then hurling said thing against their foes at murderous speed!
The scoring in this game is insane. Fruit or sugary desserts appear when baddies are killed--or just from thin air when things fly through! In many levels, there will be platforms above which desserts continue to appear, over and over, as you throw things through the air. So you can really milk this by waiting for monsters, water globes (see also entry 586 for more on "mizubaku" water globes), lightning bolt globes, or whatever to come by, then throwing it through the air, opening up a chain of desserts, then throwing another whatever to pick up all the desserts, then another to spawn more, etc. Eventually they dry up but oh! what a feast! Also, if they are picked up in quick succession the point value escalates, so snap them up rapidly for a big score. Also, sometimes when you complete a stage (is it timing, or what--or wait, maybe you have to get a heart powerup or something first) the whole area fills with a single kind of fruit/dessert, including one gigantic one with many points indeed. And there are many more powerups for points, speed, freezing/killing enemies, etc.
It is a busy game! Certain stages even feature spawners that continually send new foes raining down on you, and again bubbles and such are always falling down from the top of the screen. Sometimes you just gotta go nuts with the umbrella until nothing is left moving. Speaking of which, you can to various tricks with it, like holding up to float down when falling, or holding the attack button to keep it in front of you while walking backwards. It can block incoming projectiles, too, or collect raindrops into a huge water globe to wash your enemies away, or collect lightning globes into a huge lightning bolt that zaps everyone in its path. All this with just your umbrella!
What a great game!