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Space Manbow

version: jp - year: 1989 - developer: konami - publisher: konami - format: msx2, 2 mbit cartridge - condition: near mint- rarity: very

 

Space Manbow running on my Panasonic FS-A1WSX system

 

The killer application for your MSX2+

 

Konami created a stylish shooter

 

The 1st level will see you destroying a huge battle-tank before confronting the boss

 

Guess where is the weak spot...

 

Vertical scrolling is also present

 

and diagonal scrolling as well :)

 

This awesome looking boss could be mistaken for a creation of the twisted minded H.R.Giger!

Review - Space Manbow isn't about dancing Latin American beats Mambo-style in deep space but rather it is about wiping out entire alien civilizations from the galaxy.

Being a side-scrolling shooter from Konami unique to the MSX2 / MSX2+ formats, it really stimulated my curiosity and actually made me ultimately purchase a Panasonic FS-A1WSX system.

For a shooter developed in 1989, Space Manbow has a surprising modern look. The Spaceship itself looks high tech while the backgrounds sport a “clean”, essential look definitely reminiscent of Neo-Geo's Andro Dunos.

Space Manbow's graphics will maybe not make your jaw drop to the floor but visually everything is done with style. The scrolling is as smooth as it can possibly get on an MSX and the parallax works really well. Bosses are huge for the most part although to do that, Konami made sure to get backgrounds graphics out of the way for the boss fight. The trick is well done though so you won't really notice it ;)

Also for this game, Konami took advantage of the additional power of MSX2+ machines although I don't know exactly what is added compared to running the game on a regular MSX2.

The bgms and sfx are definitely above the norm and in particular the intro music is very atmospheric and gives an idea of the overall quality of the soundtrack which is one of the best I have heard in a shmup in ages.

Space Manbow gameplay is top-notch. The weapons system is original and gives an additional layer of depth to the game. Basically, there are 2 types of weapons that can be collected and upgraded up to 16 times (!). Wide vs Rapid shot and each should be used in specific situations to make quicker advances through the levels. Smart Bombs can also be collected although they can't be stocked up but instead they must be used within your next shot. Do you feel like taking some risk and dodge some enemy waves to use it when things get stickier or do you want to waste it right away? It'll depend only on you!

Although there are infinite continues, the game difficulty is well balanced making Konami's shooter a pleasure to play. To conclude, Space Manbow is an addictive side-scrolling shooter with high production values. From the great packaging (which includes a short but cool manga in the first few pages of the instructions manual) to the polished intro-outro and nice audio-visuals, this game is easy to pick up, fun to play and difficult to let go!

If you are looking for a killer application for your MSX2+ computer, don't look any further. Pick this little gem up if you can find it and its 7 levels will certainly not let you down. Just a little warning though: price could be an issue since it personally costed me an arm and a leg…Apparently, MSX supporters and collectors can be almost as fanatical as Neo-Geo fans!

Bottom line: a konami MSX2 exclusive 2D shooter, what else should I say?? 9/10

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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