Time Bokan Series: Bokandesuyo
Bokandesuyo is the sequel to Bokan To Ippatsu! Doronboo Kanpekiban, which was released on both PSone and saturn, unlike this game, which only came out on the PSone.
It's a vertical scrolling shootemup that's based on the Time Bokan anime series.
Unlike most other games, here you play as the bad guys. Who, besides always seem to have bad luck, also happen to be not too smart, to put it mildly. ^__-
You will have to battle a host of superheroes from the 70s Tv series, like Yatterman, Itadakiman, Ippatsuman, Zendaman, etc.
At the start of each level you get to choose between 9 very strange looking vehicles. Each of these comes equipped with custom weapons and has various strong, but also weak points.
The main weapon can be powered up to 4 levels. Besides the regular weapon power up there are also speed up items, shield recharges, bonus diamonds, skulls and even items which decrease your weapons strength.
As a backup to your main weapon, you also have the ability to throw bombs.(or missiles, depending on the vehicle you pick) These can also be powered up so they can cause more damage.
You don't have to be afraid of running out of bombs because there is no bomb limit. This unlimited number of bombs is compensated by the fact that these bombs have to be loaded onto your vehicle one by one, which takes bit of time before they are ready to be fired.
You can power up a bomb by simply holding onto it for about 5 seconds, at which point it transforms into an extremely powerful weapon. As a drawback your vehicle will become very slow when carrying such a special bomb.
Any kind of bombs can be used to create chain reactions. These are easy to pull off when lots of enemies are packed together, but background items and structures can also count towards chains.
For chaining you receive besides combo points also a multitude of bonus items and possibly power up items.
Your final weapon is a transformation into an enormous robot. You have to collect as much skulls throughout the levels to be able to use this. Ones your yellow meter at the bottom of the screen gets to a certain level, this attack becomes available.
It pays of to try and shoot everything you come across, from palm trees to statues, to just about anything that you think might hide something of value.
The levels are very colorful and bright. They range from deserts, to vast water levels and even outer space.
Bokandesuyo isn't one of those serious style shooters, the game is completely off the wall in a Parodius or Harmful Park kind of way, with little gags happening all the time.
The levels are pretty long compared to the average shooter, with most levels having 2 mid-bosses and an end boss.
These bosses, but also the many enemies that will cross your path vary from funny or hilarious to the point where you will just throw up your arms and say: "what the hell".
Honestly, I've seen many, many crazy things in shooting games, but some of these enemies are just plain weird.
An abundance of pigs in pink dresses or otherwise, exploding pudding, mechanical frogs that lay bombs with their tongues, missile launching hippo's and many many other completely insane characters that I simply can't describe.
The graphics are great in the way that enemies swirl, rotate and zoom all over the place. The bosses are very varied and so is their arsenal and attacks strategies. A single boss can have as much as 8 different attacks.
As an example of the humor in this game, there's this special stage, which is a great parody of games like Ikari Warriors, Mercs and Commando.
You are in this "realistic" war setting and then, all of a sudden, the mid boss appears on the bridge.
It turns out to be a pig climbing a palm tree! 0__o He starts shooting laser beams at you from the top of the palm tree and throwing coconut bombs at you.
So much for guerilla warfare. (^o^)
Bosses and minibosses will use every trick in the book against you. Missiles, lasers, rockets, mines, grappling hooks, swords. You name it they got it. Even small robots alligators which emerge out of a seemingly defeated boss, then pack together to make some kind of flying dinosaur creature.
Some of the greatest effects won't be noticed when when playing this game for the first few times. Like when the first boss shoots his transparent laser beam at you, there are these little particles floating and dancing in and around the beam. So simple, yet so beautiful.
Or the second bosses flaming breath, which is a mix of transparency effects coupled with rotating sprites.
When destroying bigger enemies, they explode into dozens upon dozens of little pieces which spin and fly all over the screen and towards the camera.
It's these little touches, combined with it's humor and originality that give this game it's distinct personality and appeal.
There is also this one boss encounter that I personally love.
When coming upon the battle screen for the 2nd boss of level 3 (the space level), the whole thing just screams Lords Of Thunder. ^__^
This part looks like it has been torn straight out of the PC Engine designers manual, which only can mean good things. ^__^
Combine all of this with a very memorable soundtrack and some hilarious animated scenes and you've got one sweet package.
Andy De Wilde