Star Parodier [Japanese Release]
That Star Parodier is part of the Super Star Soldier series of shooters is evident in the gameplay and power-up system, but Star Parodier goes the way of Konami's Parodius in style. Starting from your decidedly unusual ship choices, the game takes you through an experience that might be akin to taking an LSD trip while watching cartoons. But Star Parodier isn't illegal, and it's a lot cheaper than supporting an LSD habit, so it's probably the better choice.
You get three ship choices: a fairly average looking ship that goes by the name of Paro-Ceaser, a flying Bomberman and the oddest of all, a PC Engine with arms and legs. The levels are the same for each ship, but the power-up icons are different depending on which ship you chose. The weapons power-ups are also different. Bomberman can shoot spread bomb or balloon shots and can have a tiny Bomberman as an option, while one of PC Engine's weapons has it shooting streams of CDs around the screen, and its options come in the form of a pair of circling controllers that act as shields. Your choice of ship has a real effect on how you play the game. Bomberman players can sit back and let their screen-filling bomb and balloon shots destroy everything, while PC Engine players will have to move around to kill things with their CD stream. If you're intimidated by the outrageous, you can choose Paro-Ceaser for a more straightforward shooter experience.
The game's graphics are almost sickeningly, nauseatingly cute. Anyone who has a problem with that sort of thing shouldn't even consider looking at Star Parodier, much less playing it. Everything is bright and cheerful and decorated abundantly with happy primary colors. The game's sound and music amplify that cheerfulness with a spirit of its own. Every time you collect a power up an annoyingly cute, high-pitched voice announces it, and the music is so cheerful it's like eating honey with your ear. The stages are littered with incredibly cute enemies and bosses. If you don't mind having a visual and aural experience roughly equivalent to drinking Kool-Aid over saturated with sugar, you're in for a real treat as far as gameplay is concerned.
Star Parodier's gameplay is classic, old-school shooting. Enemies of all shapes and sizes constantly come after you, keeping the game intense. Once you get power-ups, you can start filling the screen with so many shots you may actually find it difficult to locate your ship amidst the chaos. In terms of gameplay, Star Parodier doesn't offer anything you haven't seen before, but it puts everything into a thoroughly enjoyable package.
Most shooting games take themselves very seriously. It's nice to see one that throws out all the established rules. For that reason alone, Star Parodier is recommended for any shooter fan. And its excellent gameplay doesn't hurt any, either. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide
Really, really cute graphics. They look great, but if you hate cuteness they'll give you convulsions. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide
Happy, cheerful music that complements the graphics. The high-pitched announcer's voice can get annoying sometimes. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide
Fun, classic gameplay, with many interesting things to see. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide
The three ships each fire and upgrade very differently. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide
Fairly good documentation, with one page devoted to each ship. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide