Cute, violent and sickly sweet.

Yup, its Roger again... with Parodius!!

Konami has sure proven that they can make a whiz-bang, thumb-buster, drool over shooter. Just look at Axelay and the Gradius series, for example. But what happens when the gang at Konami decide to let their hair down and get a little bit silly? You get the Parodius (parody of Gradius) series, a very laughable, very playable shump in the exact format of Gradius, and none the easier. Parodius is chocked full of humorous characters and events, most of all which have been in previous Konami games (so I've heard).

The gameplay is exactly like Gradius, with the power-up bar at the bottom except with these cute enemies substituted in for monsterous spaceships. You can even select from four different characters this time around: the Vic Viper, Octopus, Twin Bee, or Pentarou the penguin. Konami has added a new feature called bell power: when some enemies die, they leave yellow bells behind. Grabbing a yellow bell increases score (ugh...) but shooting the bell changes its color. Different bells have different powers; one puts a megaphone on your ship, which helps destroy enemies, one is a megacrush bomb, and the best is INVINCIBILITY! (in a Gradius game??) where your ship grows to twice normal size (all pixelly too...) and can even go through walls. This comes in very handy.

I had to laugh out loud a couple of times while playing this game. The music fits the style perfectly also, keeping some familiar Gradius tunes but changing them just enough to be funny. Parodius is available for just about every system there is. I think even the Atari 2600 has a version of Parodius... I based this review mainly on the PC Engine version, which I think is the best, including a few Gameboy and SNES shots, as some of the levels have been modified or new levels added. I have to admit that when I first played Parodius, I didn't want to play it, because it was too far off the norm-I was so used to space themes that this was just too weird.

But I am extremely glad to have tried the series all the way through, and if you have played the Gradius series, DEFINITELY play Parodius, it will be like a huge inside joke.

Thanks a bunch Roger, sorry it took so long to get this done, guys:) Now, if you want to have a look at some of the versions of the original Parodius, click on those links below.


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie