Sunday, June 13, 2010
Import Surprise part 1: Star Parodier
Recently, I have been watching videos of Japanese-only games, like Ganbare Goemon 2 and a video series on thatguywiththeglasses.com that is all about Japanese import games that American gamers can easily play and obtain. The real reason I got interested was because of a guy named JewWario, who hosts the “You Can Play This” series on the site. I got inspired and decided to go get a few Virtual Console cards, and downloaded a couple of games. I decided to have my own little import review series known as Import Surprise! For the first import review, I wanted it to be special, so I decided to pick a game called Star Parodier for the PC Engine, which is an add-on for the Turbografx-16. I decided to choose this game because it’s good, and it’s simple and easy to pick up, though you will have to read this review to see what I think of it.
Even though in games like this you don’t really care about the story, I’m going to tell it to you anyway, since, well, I want to. However, I thought at first I wasn’t going to since the story is in Japanese, but I will sum it up to all you gamers who haven’t played this. Basically, a ship was flying around and saw something flying through space. Sadly, that thing was evil! It hit a planet and started to attack the planet. The planet then called out to the Bomberman planet, and the people of the Bomberman planet made a ship from Star Soldier, a giant Bomberman, and a giant PC-Engine robot thing to go out and fight the evil that has taken over the land. Yeah, I don’t know why they would make a giant PC-Engine robot to fight crime when the world has stuff like Gundam and other giant robots, but this is a video game and such, so I won’t question its logic.
The game play in Star Parodier is of a top-down 2D shooter like 1943 and Raiden 3. Like I said above, you have three different ships to control as you go through multiple levels, shooting down enemies, facing a boss in the middle of the level, and then another boss at the end of the level. There are different kinds of power-ups that are different for each character. That is something that is good in my opinion. In other games like Raiden, where no matter what ship you are, you have basically the same attacks. Star Parodier has different attacks depending on what character you are. For example, the Bomberman ship can shoot a wave of bombs, the ship shoots sonic booms all across the screen, and the giant PC Engine robot ship thing shoots CDs at the enemies. When you beat the game you can go do 2 and 5 minute challenges and see how many points you can get in those challenges.
The graphics are very bright and colorful. Not meaning that other shooters are not as bright, I mean, look at R-Types, R-Type Delta, and the Raiden games. They are fully colorful. However, Star Parodier has very colorful graphics that you would find in games that Treasure makes. The whole feel of the game is kind of out of an anime that is a satire of shooters. I think some of my favorite parts of the game are the boss fights. They are all so creative, like fighting two crabs that talk, a snake charmer, a walrus shooting a giant laser beam, and even a giant Bomberman, which is just so cool. The music is also very colorful and cheerful to listen to. Then again, a lot of games made by Hudson Soft, like on the NES and SNES, have really good, cheerful music. I also like the humor in the game. When you shoot some enemies, they wave white flags, which is just silly. It’s interesting to note that Star Parodier is actually a parody of Hudson’s shooter franchise, Star Soldier. The “paro” in the name means parody. The difficulty is rather easy, but I enjoyed playing through it. It is definitely one of those shooters, like Mobile Light Force, to get started on if you’re new to the series. I know it does get harder as you play through the game, but you can do it rather easily through a good chunk of the levels.
Now, let’s get to the bad parts of this Japanese-only game. There isn’t really much wrong with this game. The bad parts that are part of this game do come from the fact that it plays like an arcade shooter. Each time you die, you lose all your power-ups, and once you get up to this Egypt-like level, it is REQUIRED to have some power-ups. Don’t get me wrong, this game does have unlimited continues and you can change your ship, but I guess it is just a minor gripe. Other issues only come from the game being Japanese-only. Some of the power-ups actually power you down, so I guess they should be called power-downs or something. What I am trying to say is that if you don’t know which ones will power you down, then you won’t notice until you’ve realized your powere-up ship is now powered-down. I also wish there was a health bar instead of the whole one-hit death. It just gets annoying.
Overall though, as one of the first import games I have ever played in my life as a gamer, I think it’s very fun. I think it should be on everyone’s list of games to download from the Virtual Console. Now, to new people who are on the VC, import games are a little more expensive only by like 100 or 200 points (a.k.a 1 or 2 dollars). I would say get the VC version since tracking down this game along with a TurboGrafx-16 and a PC Engine would get very expensive, and being a gamer means you go by a budget, or you get some gift cards or something. Either way, this was a great game to review and I hope you all liked it.
This game gets a solid 9 out of 10