SEGA - 32X
Reviewed by Wanker99

In their continuing tradition of taking strange animals and placing them in defined genres (see the excellent Ecco the Dolphin for an example) , Sega has brought us Kolibri, a shooter where the main character is, of all things, a hummingbird. No big ass ships with gobs of weapons. A hummingbird. In this hummer (pardon the bad pun) of a game, you pilot Kolibri, who was contacted by a good crystal to fight an evil crystal.

Why a hummingbird anyway, sure they're aggressive, but yeesh, why not a bear or wolf (the manual has instructions on how to build a hummingbird feeder, interesting facts about hummingbirds and books to read and movies to see about hummingbirds) Yeah, the story is lame, but in the world of shmups, what game has a good story? You start off flying around in a nice pretty little forest, trying to get nectar, but all the other birds are hogging the flowers, so you have to fly to this lonely little flower to feed your tiny body.

Next thing you know, the world behind you turns grey, and a wee crystal starts sending these pellet looking things into your body. Here, your adventure begins. The game has the standard shmups play of shooting the hell out of everything you see. This includes wasps, bees and other such insects. Kolibri also has a somewhat unique scrolling method. Instead of the standard horizontal or vertical scrolling, you can go both ways.The basic premise in most of the levels I've played so far is to clear out flowers planted about in the game world. Shoot all the bees etc. away from the flowers, and they turn from grey to purples and oranges, and other hummingbirds flock around to drink nectar.

This game also has some weird sight gags that I'm sure weren't supposed to be as funny as they look. One example is the weapon power ups. It's odd enough to see this bird shooting little pellets at dragonflies and other insects (who also fire pellets) but when you get a power up, it gets weirder. Some of the weapons I've seen so far include a homing missle like weapon that flies out like a ribbon, a scatter bomb type thing, weird looking rings (there's also a power up that protects you from an enemy hit that is a ring that circles your body ala Sonic the Hedgehog). It's also funny to see our hero getting devoured by a frog or chameleon. Fly up to one, and the frog's tongue will dart out and swallow you whole. This brings me to Kolibri's somewhat strange energy "bar". When you get hit, a small flurry of birds flies out, circling you. When you get hit, you lose a bird. When you pick up a health ball, you gain a bird. At first this is quite confusing, because you're like "What the hell are all these birds doing here?", bit you'll eventually get used to it.

I don't see why Sega felt that this was appropriate for the 32X however, while the game boasts a relatively high color palette, I don't see why this couldn't be done on the Genesis. Some of the graphical tricks are pretty cool, like the colors changing on the flowers, and it has some good parallax scrolling however, but the music is far from intresting. If this would have been a 32X/Sega CD game, this might have been helped, but oh well. Kolibri's not a bad game, but it's not extremly good either. If you have kids, it may be good for them (I'm not a father yet) and it's a bit interesting for a little while, but if you're in the market for a shooter for the 32X, I'd have to recommend Space Harrier (which is an exact port of the arcade version), Doom or perhaps Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000 (I don't own that....yet).

However, if you have $5.00 to spare and feel the need to blast the hell out of swarms of bees with a hummingbird, Kolibri will do the job for you. Lastly, and most unfortunately, there is no 32X emulator at the time of this writing, so therefore, if you want to play this game, you're going to have to get the real thing. Oh the horror : )

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Aw, look at the lovely wee hummingbird. Not your standard intro screen for a shmup, that's certain. If you want to bet on the outcome of this, my money's on the snake..

Cheers very much for that, Wanker99. Not your given name I suppose? If it is, well, I'd have a word with my parents if I were you:)

Nearly forgot, here's a nice wee movie file: KOLI01.MOV
Ah yes, the old hula-hooping hummingbird gag.

Pics and vid nabbed from Sega's site


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