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Horizontal Shooter

Media Entertainment


SLPS-00214 SLPS-02628

Kyuiin (pronounced "Keeen") was created by a small company called Media Entertainment which specializes for the most part in pachinko and slot simulation games. Kyuiin a very cute looking 2D horizontal shooter, something which basically goes against just about everything the industry stands for today.
The game might not have state of the art technology gong for it, but what it does have is lots of personality and creativity. Innovative game play and a great scoring system are some other factors which speak in favor of it, but more on those later.

This isn't the prettiest game in the world. The graphics, especially the backgrounds can look basic at times, also the characters as which you play are pre-rendered and sometimes look a bit out of place.
But that's the bad news. The good news is that all the enemies, bullets, explosions and everything else that the game throws at you are beautifully designed sprites, which constantly scale, rotate and pulsate, giving the game a very lively feel.
I would also like to add that for some reason the screen grabs make this game look very bland and washed out. I can assure you that Kyuiin, when actually played looks much better and a whole lot more lively then these shots make it out to be.


Now on to the game play. You play as a boy or a girl who flies around on a vacuum cleaner. You have a choice between 4 standard weapons: Vulcan, laser, homing and rapid shot. These can all be powered up 3 times by collecting flying orbs.
Another vital part of your arsenal is your vacuum hose, which plays a very important part in the game. You can suck up certain types of enemies like birds, paper planes and angels. Besides enemies you can also suck up bullets, arrows and such.
You can't suck up knives, armored enemies, or enemies that are bigger than yourself. Sucking up enemies this way will also reward you with more points then if you would simply shoot them with your normal weapons.

Whenever you suck something inside your vacuum, a meter will build up. The purpose of this is to use the sucked up enemies as a desperation attack against your foes when you find yourself in a hairy position.

When this weapon is used, all the collected enemies and items that are in the bag are spit out again in a destructive light beam that destroys everything in it's path.
However, when making use of the desperation attack, you won't receive any points for the enemies that are defeated, making it a two-edged sword.


One last unique feature that should be mentioned is your backfire weapon. This is an extension cord that shoots out of the back of your vacuum. Since this power cord isn't very long, trying to hit enemies with it can be very risky.
You have to get very close to one to be able to defeat him this way.
On the other hand, this technique has the advantage that it lets you earn big bonus points from enemies, and even bosses!

As an example of how the score system works, shooting down a bird in the first level earns you 100 points, but when sucking that same bird into your vacuum, it will account for 800 points.
Using the backfire cord on this bird you will only receive 300 points for it. Shooting down the first boss will only give you 2000 points. But use your backfire and you will receive 6000 points for defeating her.

All of this adds to a very balanced score system, one which urges you to learn enemy patterns and take risks so you can improve your scoring technique.
Looking for which enemies are best defeated with what technique and then trying to apply that knowledge while being bombarded by incoming fire, you will start to notice this isn't the simple game it appeared to be in the fist place.

This game is much lesser known then others in it's genre, like Gradius Gaiden for example, or even Harmful Park. Therefore it doesn't get the recognition it deserves. It's sometimes easier to go for the more familiar games, ones which are less of a risk. But in doing so, one might miss out on some of the hidden gems that are out there, and this is certainly one of those gems.

Another forgotten classic.

Andy De Wilde

Japanese - English