Kyukyoku Tiger - Taito

Kyukyoku Tiger

Reviewed by Clam

I must admit I've never liked shmups where you fly a helicopter instead of some fanciful "aeroplane". As a matter of fact, I don't like helicopters period. They fly by spinning real fast - that's one step above flapping your arms.

My personal biases aside, however, I really enjoyed this particular helicopter shooty. I still don't like the helicopter, though. The hit detection is extremely unforgiving, and adds to the biggest drawback of the game: the difficulty. I've been playing for two hours straight and only just now got past the first level. I was beginning to think there might only be one level, because no one in their right mind would possibly make you go through one of these death traps more than once.

Someone is not in his or her right mind, because there are more levels than I can count. The pilots of the enemy helicopters must not have much going for them because they don't think twice about using themselves and their vehicles as secondary weapons. Each enemy offers a never-ending barrage of bullets, which are sometimes impossible to dodge with the sluggish helicopter. Even the power-ups will turn against you. The helicopter and the power-up are like two magnets facing each other with the same poles - every time you get close it just moves away and lures you into enemy fire.  It happens in almost every shooter, it's just more annoying than usual here.

The American version, Twin Cobra, eases the difficulty a bit by not making you start back at a certain point whenever you die.  You just pick up right where you left off.  For some reason the color of the helicopter was also changed from gray to red.  Hooray.

In the end, however, not a one of these things detract from the overall quality of the game.  It is shooting in its purest form.  The whole point is to build up your weapons with power-ups so that the game is not as impossible as it first seems.  And best of all, you get to blow lots of things up really fast.

Score 9/10


Flashy flashy flashy!

(Ooer, Vertical-o-Rama vision. My fave! - Akira)


Ah, the launch sequence. I think that carrier is arguably one of the coolest launch-ships in any shooter.


The power-up death trap. Note the bullet about to hit me.


This is where everybody starts committing suicide.


They will make sure you die, no matter how many bullets it takes.


Hey, looks like I got some power-ups after all. Look at me go!

(I can see you have quite a lot of bombs as well... - Akira)


This is where they really start to dish out the pain.

(Hey Clam, where did the bombs go? Getting desperate? =) - Akira)


I can see the boss! If only these high scores weren't in my way...


This boss doesn't seem too bad, but then he gets so close to you that you have no time to react to his shots. He smothers you!


Level 2! I am the king! (Note: I died two seconds after this screen was taken.)


Nice review Clam! He even took the job to Shmuppetize the whole thing in HTML, thus easing my work =) Thanks for that mate!

I don't like helicopter shmups that much either. I can only remember a few that I did like: Choplifter (not as shmuppy as this game, but quite shmuppy anyway) and Helikopter Jagd on the C64, Apocalypse for the Amiga, and Kyukyoku Tiger 2 on the arcades. And that last one was the first one I really enjoyed as much as any other "plane" shmup.

- Akira


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie