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Sexy Parodius

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Released: 1996

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Sega Saturn

Publisher: Konami

Submitted by: Mat Corne

For those unfamiliar with it, the Parodius series is Konami’s parody of their own Gradius shoot em ups, featuring characters from other Konami games. Several iterations of the series preceded this one, but Sexy Parodius took the insanity to a whole new level. Playable ‘ships’ include penguins, pigs, a stick man riding a paper aeroplane and even a bunny girl on a missile, while all manner of ridiculous characters await you in the bizarre scrolling levels that have a slightly risqué theme as the game’s title suggests. There are numerous nods to other Konami games, including a level based on Yie Ar Kung Fu (complete with theme music) and some of the end-of-level bosses have to be seen to be believed, from a giant corn cob, to a penguin with a toilet on his head, to a giant scantily-clad woman!

Gameplay-wise it’s classic shmup territory for the most part, with an abundance of wacky power-ups to collect and plenty of challenging enemies. It may look like a silly game but it is just as tough to play as the Gradius series it mocks! One difference from most shooters is that several levels set you a challenge aside from shooting your way through the level. For example you have to collect 300 coins on one stage, and whether you succeed or fail influences which level you play next. So there are multiple paths through the game, which combined with ten different player characters means there is plenty of replay value.

Unsurprisingly the game was never released on home consoles in the Western world – if ever a game was destined to have “Only in Japan” stamped on it, this is it! However it can be picked up for a reasonable price compared to most Saturn shmups and if you want something a little out of the ordinary to go alongside your more serious shooter collection, Sexy Parodius is the one…