Tag Archives: Parasol Stars

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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Oh, and by the way, this is ‘The Story of Bubble Bobble III’

You know, I’ve always wondered why the folks at Taito (and, later, Working Designs) didn’t do more to play up the fact that Parasol Stars, one of my all-time favorite PC Engine games, was supposed to be the third game in the famed Bubble Bobble series.

Sure, they mentioned that fact in a subtitle (as seen in the ad, which appeared in an old issue of the American TurboPlay magazine, below), but said subtitle is so small and subtle that it’s all but lost in the cacophony that surrounds it.

Maybe the brass at Taito decided against trumpeting Parasol Star‘s connection to that classic series because it wasn’t created by Fukio Mitsuji, the man behind both Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands (aka “The Story of Bubble Bobble 2”)? I guess we’ll never know.

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