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Keio Flying Squadron

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Released: 1994

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Sega CD/Mega CD

Publisher: JVC

Developer: JVC

Submitted by: Tim Stoddard

I am a shmup fan, whether you are in a ship, on your feet holding a gun or flying in that thing in Fantasy Zone, as long as you shoot a whole load of enemies with unique and diverse power ups and special attacks, I love it. Keio Flying Squadron is a shmup that otakus should cry for; right from the box art which looks like the cover of a Studio Ghibli film, no kidding. Actually, looking at the box art, you’ll see that this was drawn in the anime style, very rare for a mid nineties game, you’ll also see a girl riding a dragon in a bunny suit. She is Rami, the main character. You’ll be shocked to find that she is 13, the game may say that she’s in her twenties but the fact is she’s born in 1853 and the Keio era ended 1866. Anyway, the story of the game is that Rami and her grandparents are keepers who protect a mystical key that unlocks a secret treasure, and one day while Rami is out, the home of the key is attack and it’s taken by Dr Pon, a racoon with an impossibly high IQ (1400) who’s reason for the key is revealed in the final levels of the game. Because Rami won’t have dinner until she gets the key back, she flies on Spot to get it back. The game is your basic horizontal scrolling shoot ‘em up, you move from left to right (and occasionally up and down) while shooting enemies and bizarre bosses that come towards you while dodging there firepower, there are these weird men on carpets which you shoot in order to get your power up and projectiles. Your power ups are an upgrading singular shot or a spread shot, and your projectiles include shurikens, homing birds and bombs. You can also not fire for a moment of time in order to get mini dragons to increase the amount of firepower. The music and voice acting is great and humorous respectively. Fans of shmups should play this now!