The past few #ThrowBackThursdays have been my playthrough of Final Fantasy IX, but this week marks the cut off for the current Retro Game Club title that we played throughout July. The game that was decided upon was the Parodius series, with us being able to choose any version and release that we wanted to. I was excited about this one as I thought it gave me an opportunity to get the SEGA Saturn down from the loft and play the copy I have for that, unfortunately the disc appears to be missing from its case so my next best option was loading the PSP collection onto my modded PSP and give those versions a go.
I played each of the five games on offer for about half an hour each before settling on one title to focus on, which was Sexy Parodius. Originally released in the arcades in 1996 it was also ported to the PlayStation and Saturn. For those that aren’t aware, Parodius is based upon another Konami license: Gradius, and to my untrained eye there is very little difference in either games mechanics. Visually they both differ greatly (although Gradius’ Vic Viper is a playable character in all Parodius instalments). There seems to be some sort of story attached to Sexy Parodius, but its told in title cards before each level/mission and, in this vision, is all in Japanese, which despite my best efforts on the Drops language learning app on my phone, I can’t understand the language save for a handful of words (I can say “bread”).
As you shoot your way through each level you can collect power up devices that gradually increase your characters capabilities, whilst different coloured bells give you special one use attacks (the trick is to shoot the bell before collecting it to change its colour and thus change what attack you’re rewarded with).
I’ll say now though that I’ve not made it particularly far. I’ve no idea how many levels there are but thankfully you seem to get infinite continues, however prior to sitting down to write this I’d only made it as far as the Medusa boss, which a quick Google reveals is called the “Castlevania level”, which I suppose makes sense. Each mission sets you the task of collecting something particular items, failure to do so results in different completion paths much like the branching roads in games like OutRun.
Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of SHMUPS, but the genre has never really clicked with me, I’ve tried stuff like this, Ikaruga, Giga Wing and many others, however I struggle to control my craft properly, ducking in an out of enemy waves or their fire and so my progress is often hampered. I’d have no doubt eventually reached the end of Sexy Parodius if I’d have kept at it for another few weeks but I’ve now ran out of time and we’re discussing the next game we’re going to play. I’m not saying Sexy Parodius is bad, I can see that its not, its just that its not for me.
My Final Fantasy IX playthrough will return next week.