Tag Archives: Parasol Stars

I don’t plan on publishing any more posts on this particular blog, but …

… that doesn’t mean I’m finished writing and publishing PC Engine-focused posts altogether.

In fact, I’ve regularly published PC Engine-focused posts on my other, more general, gaming blog, The Gay Gamer, since I stopped doing so here late last year.

Sorry, I’m only telling you about it now. I would have done so sooner, but I honestly thought I’d continue to publish posts on this blog for some time to come.

Trying to maintain two blogs at once, though, has become more than I can handle, so I’ve decided to put all of my energy into The Gay Gamer, which not only regularly features posts about the PC Engine and its games but also features posts about pretty much every other “retro”–as well as current–game system under the sun.

Don’t believe me that the PC Engine gets plenty of attention on my other blog? Here are just a few recent examples:

* “Bubble Bobble + Chack’n Pop + Parasol Stars = single-screen platformer perfection
* “Manual Stimulation: PC Genjin (PC Engine)
* “My kind of art
* “Second Chances: Pop’n Magic

I’m sure some of you will balk at visiting The Gay Gamer because of its name. Just know that it welcomes people of all colors, genders and sexual orientations and that a good percentage of the folks who visit and comment on the site are not, in fact, members of the LGBT community.

Anyway, I sincerely hope some of you will check it out at some point, especially if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read here. And if not? Thank you for supporting this blog during its far-too-short (in my opinion) existence. I’ve greatly appreciate it.

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You don’t look a day over 20, PC Engine

The PC Engine is celebrating its 24th birthday today.

For those of you who are a bit mathematically challenged, that means the sleek little system was “born” on Oct. 30, 1987.

I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but in case I haven’t: I’ve been interested in (some would say obsessed with) this console ever since I laid eyes on it in an early issue of either Electronic Gaming Monthly or GamePro magazine.

Although I acquired a TurboGrafx-16 shortly after it was released, I didn’t add a PC Engine to my collection until two years ago.

It should go without saying that the system is now one of my most-treasured pieces of gaming paraphernalia.

Anyway, please join me in raising an imaginary glass of bubbly to the “little white wonder,” as I like to call the PC Engine, for surviving its awkward teen years and for blossoming into the beautiful 24-year-old we know and love today.

Also, join me in playing a few of its most noteworthy games. Some of the ones I’m planning to spend time with this afternoon: Air Zonk (aka PC Denjin), Bomberman ’94Final Match Tennis and Parasol Stars.

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So, now what?

First, there were four–games at the top of my “to buy” list, that is. After I bought Mizubaku Daibouken, the list shrank to three. Then I bought Rainbow Islands and Gekisha Boy and it was down to two and then one.

Well, the list is no more thanks to my recent acquisition of Parasol Stars.

Which, I guess, begs the question asked in this post’s headline: So, now what? The answer, of course, is to add more games to my “to buy” list.

As of now, that list includes a few cheap-ish HuCards (Don Doko Don, The New Zealand Story and PC Denjin), a considerably more expensive HuCard (Coryoon) and a similarly pricey Arcade CD-ROM release (Madou Monogatari).

Although I’d love to run out and buy the last two games mentioned above as soon as possible, the more likely scenario involves me buying Don Doko Don, The New Zealand Story and PC Denjin over the next few months and then waiting until the end of the year to buy Madou Monogatari and Coryoon.

In the meantime, I’ll busy myself with the brazenly plucky Parasol Stars.

Note: check out this Flickr set for more photos of my PC Engine collection.

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Five favorites: HuCard cover art

Hundreds of games were released during the PC Engine’s lifetime, so it’s no simple task to come up with a list of the system’s best HuCard cover (or box) art.

As a result, it took more than a bit of hemming and hawing before I was able to settle on my five favorites:

Hany in the Sky (Face, 1989)–It could be argued that one of Face’s other bizarro releases, Hany on the Road, is just as deserving of a place on this list, but I went with Hany in the Sky because of its daring use of color–you don’t often see pink and teal box art–and its abstract nature.

Makyo Densetsu (Victor Musical Industries, 1988)–Don’t hold the following admission against me: I’ve never been a big fan of this game, better known as Legendary Axe in North America. I am a big fan of the game’s box art, though, in part because it brings to mind classics like Castlevania, Golden Axe and The Legend of Zelda.

PC Genjin (Hudson Soft/Red, 1989)–This piece of cover art is the polar opposite of the one above. Whereas Makyo Densetsu‘s cover art is dark and moody, PC Genjin‘s is bright, cheerful and, well, cute. (I especially like the blue dino in the background.) That’s not the only reason this game’s cover art is among my favorites, though; I’m also a big fan of its mixed-media sheen, for instance.

Parasol Stars (Taito, 1991)–Well, this particular piece of box art sure is colorful, isn’t it? It’s also more than a bit busy. Still, I like it. A lot. Not only does it do a great job of mirroring the game’s content, but it does so using a rather groovy and retro-tastic style.

War of the Dead (Victor Musical Industries, 1989)–I’ve never played this game, so I don’t know if it’s great or if it’s crap, but I want to play it regardless simply because of its cover art–which reminds me, in more ways than one, of some sort of long-lost Resident Evil spin-off (or maybe knock-off?). I think that about says it all, don’t you think?

Contenders: Columns, Deep Blue, Dungeon ExplorerGekisha Boy, Kato & Ken Chan, The Kung Fu and Power League.

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One down, three to go …

It’s been a while since I last bought a PC Engine game. In fact, I don’t think I’ve added to my (still small) HuCard and CD collection since early this summer.

Well, the drought ended yesterday afternoon when a well-cared-for copy of Mizubaku Daibouken (aka Liquid Kids) arrived on my doorstep. I’ve wanted the PC Engine port of this Taito platformer for a while, but I held off on buying it until a few weeks ago because of high price it tends to command on eBay.

PC Engine 'Mizubaku Daibouken' (aka 'Liquid Kids')

What changed a few weeks ago? I found a cheap-ish copy, that’s what. Actually, I wouldn’t call it cheap, but it certainly was cheaper than the other complete copies of the game that have appeared on the popular auction site in the last year or so.

Anyway, now that I’ve checked that game off of my to-buy list I can turn my obsession–er, attention–toward the other titles included on said list, namely, Gekisha Boy, Parasol Stars and Rainbow Islands.

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The PC Engine’s five fruitiest games

Here’s an admission you won’t come across on just any gaming blog: I love fruity games.

Now, when I say “fruity games,” I’m not talking about Cho Aniki or its ilk; I’m talking about games that are packed with so much actual fruit they should accompany every Edible Arrangements® order.

Anyway, the PC Engine was home to a good number of “fruity” games during its lifetime, with the following five being my favorites:

Coryoon–Naxat’s crazy cute ’em up would be well worth the price of admission even if fruit didn’t pop out of defeated enemies like they were the world’s healthiest piñatas (see screenshot below) thanks to its crisp, colorful graphics, cheerful music and tight controls. Plus, it stars a baby dragon!

Monster Lair (aka Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair)–Is there anything more satisfying than coming across certain pieces of fruit in this game and then shooting them until they erupt into even more pieces of fruit? OK, so I’m sure there are many more satisfying experiences in all of video game-dom, but I’m not sure there are in this particular title.

The New Zealand Story–I have to admit, the fruit in Taito’s cute-but-challenging platformer pales in comparison to its cool bosses, inflatable ducks and laser guns. Still, the apples, grapes and melons (no, not those kinds of melons) eradicated enemies leave behind serve to make this already sweet game even sweeter.

Parasol Stars–Like its predecessors, Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands, Parasol Stars (below) throws more than just fruit at players; it throws jewelry, pastries and vegetables at them, too. Is that more enticing and exciting than the title’s frantic gameplay? Actually, sometimes it is.

Rainbow Islands–What does Rainbow Islands offer gamers that Parasol Stars doesn’t? Rainbows, for starters. Oh, and stars! That’s not to say it’s a prissy pushover–in fact, it packs quite a punch in terms of bosses, enemies and levels. Just think of the fruit–and treats and veggies–you collect along the way as sweet rewards for your troubles.

Honorable mention: Don Doko Don, PC Genjin and PC Genjin 2.

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Something old or something new?

Well, it’s that time of year again–the time of year when I waste way too much time pondering how I’m going to spend the birthday and Christmas money I receive from my parents.

So, what am I hoping to buy with this presumed windfall? Here are the top three possibilities:

1. A slew of PC Engine platformers–Specifically: Gekisha Boy (right), Mizubaku Daibouken, Parasol Stars and Rainbow Islands. How much can four old PC Engine games cost, you ask? Quite a bit if you’re anal retentive (like yours truly) and you only buy games that come with boxes and instruction manuals.

2. A red Twin Famicom–My desire for Sharp’s toaster-esque console–its eject button causes cartridges to pop out of the system like toast pops out of the aforementioned appliance–seems to bloom and fade like the blossoms of a cherry tree. Apparently it’s blooming again, as I can’t stop thinking about the damn thing.

3. A PS3–Surprise, surprise: I’m actually open to buying something current. Of course, the problem with this choice is that it’s the most costly. That said, it would be awfully nice to (finally) be able to play games like 3D Dot Game Heroes, Demon’s Souls, Katamari Forever, LittleBigPlanet and Valkyria Chronicles.

I honestly have no idea which of the above options I’ll blow my money on at the end of the year, but you can bet your butt I’ll post all the gory details here.

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