Import the Fun Vol. 4

On to the fourth volume of this feature now, hopefully you’ve found something interesting yourself, but there’s no end in sight as there’s plenty of imported games in my collection to get through yet. Instead of doing something more recent games as before, I thought maybe I’ll go a little retro here and dig out a couple of Saturn games to add. I do have more Saturn goodies for future volumes too, but I’ll let you know now that they aren’t cheap to import these days – the golden age of decent prices is long gone which is why I don’t import myself anymore. Anyway, enough of the wallowing. Let’s see what goodies I have today.

Soreyuke! Burunyanman Portable (PlayStation Portable)

Lets start with the PSP. I’ll be honest, this one I got yonks ago and that was only because of the moe on display – at the time my shelf just needed added cuteness. This is a shmup that has you playing as one of three cat girls, with different attack patterns & attributes, as they take on an army of mice to take back tins of tuna. Story really is as daft as that. To be honest you don’t really buy a shmup for the engrossing narrative, and this one luckily pick things up with the presentation & gameplay. Plenty of cuteness is on show from the protagonists & antagonists, with the well detailed stages getting hectic once the projectiles start flying. The game does it all without dropping frames and looks pretty crisps on the PsP’s display with a punchy soundtrack thrown into the mix too.

The gameplay from Alchemists is pretty solid, getting close to enemy projectiles boosts your attack power so is key, but isn’t too challenging until you hit the latter part of its 9 stages. There is a ‘hardcore’ PC version of this game in the wild as well, but it actually isn’t too different from the portable game aside from being a bit more risqué. Unfortunately it is tough to find these days, only one I could see on Ebay was a limited edition of the game going for £349, which is way oo much. If you ever see the standard edition at a good price (20-40) as I did all that time ago, then it may be worth the blast of cuteness it provides.

Sexy Parodius (Sega Saturn)

Parodius was a long running shmup series back in the day that flourished in arcades before getting itself some console ports. I decided a while back to pick up this one as it’s often referenced as a parody to Gradius and sports several Konami crossovers that may be lost on gamers of today. What we end up with is a colourful shmup packed with plenty of laughs and risque innuendo, sexy levels & bosses, and plenty of characters to choose from that offer up various fire patterns etc that you may or may not recognise. There’s a decent level of difficulty to start with too, you’ll likely take it up a notch as there’s infinite continues in the console ports, as well as a good co-op mode |

What helps to make it feel good to play is the Saturn controller for me, often overlooked for shmups but feels great with that sumptuous Dpad. Its tough to recommend for an import nowadays though due to price. Even if sourcing from Japan as opposed to seeking out a local seller, you’re still looking at prices that bottom out around £80 – irrespective of the Saturn or PS1 version of your choosing. If you have other the Saturn releases then it may leave you on the fence if you need to finish the collection, how much for would be down to you.

PuriKura Daisakusen (Sega Saturn)

Another Saturn game to consider. It’s crazy to think that we in the west only seen a fraction of the library for the Saturn, there’s so many more games to consider when importing like this one here. PuriKura, an abbreviation of Princess Kurara from the Power Instinct game series, is an isometric style action game from Atlus that sports the same character the game is name after. It may look like a regular shooter from back then, but when playing it definitely has a bullet hell feel to it as the enemies close in and you have to dodge projectiles like there’s no tomorrow – there’s thankfully a roll you can use to help too. You can also do some cool stuff like melee attacking close enemies and powering up with a specific gem, though powering up can leave you exposed due to being unable to move when firing.

It also look fantastic, chunky detailed sprites and plenty of special effects give the Saturn a bit of a 2D workout on this arcade port. Also helps that it plays well too, amazing Saturn controller as an added bonus, with just the right difficulty and 2 player if needed. Worth an import? It is an awesome game for sure, but as always with Saturn these days it can be quite expensive. £100+ even when sourcing from Japan? Quite the jump over the old days and probably out of scope for most people outside of the most ardent Saturn collectors. A shame too as it’s really good, one of my favourite imports to play.

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Geoffrey Wright

Rocking the world of gaming since the Atari 2600, has now settled down to bask in the warmth of moe. Moe is life for a moe connoisseur.

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