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Cho Aniki

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Released: 1992

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: PC Eng/Turbografx-16

Publisher: NCS Corp.

Developer: Masaya

Submitted by: Lee Tatlock

I remember back in the day when I first played Parodious and thought 'I will never play anything quite as mind meltingly beautiful as this.' So now we fast forward a good few years later and I'm mooching through the list of virtual console games on my Wii – tired of re-releases of Mario and Kirby ad infinitum I have a good sniff through Turbo Grafx territory and see this. I download it. I play it. I come on here to review it, twitching because of the brain embolism I've just received.

This game is nuts, and we're not just talking singing to your shoe style nuts – no sir – this is as mad as a bag of salt and vinegar badger ankles kick stepping atop a naked aboriginal who in turn is icing a cake made of pillow cases. So it's a shmup – you blast an onslaught of enemies who are blasting back at you and slowly you amass power ups that come in the form of naked, laser-shooting body builders and weird, blue, bullet-spewing, spirits. While the enemies come in the form of appendage-equiped, self plucking harps and tumbling sumo wrestler things. You start with a steady stream of bullets and 3 bombs to fight off the ensuing psychosis but will it be enough? Only time and patience will tell!

Graphically the whole thing runs quite well but it does have it's share of flicker to keep up with its own frantic pace, however it's packed with mad details and there's always plenty to look at (but often too much to take in!). The controls are tight but please note: I've only played it with my classic controller on the Wii. Sound wise it's a mixed bag SFX are up to scratch with your usual assortment of bangs, booms and lazer blips –  but the music, sounding like a melted record played through an equally immolated grammaphone, just doesn't fit. Admittedly some levels and boss fights perk things up but it never quite gels in my humble opinion.

Well that's my review: great game if more than a tad disturbed. Right I'm off now to regroup before I head back into the asylum – See you over the cuckoo's nest!