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Keio Flying Squadron

version: jp, special edition - year: 1993 - developer: jvc musical industries - publisher: victor entertainment - format: mega-cd, cdrom - condition: good - rarity: hard to find

This is the Special Edition which is identical to the regular version (and it comes with a spine as well) but it also comes with an outer cardboard box. It might have been bundled with the AIWA Mega CD but I could be wrong...

 

I love the sea waves, they remind me of some of the crazier PCE shooters

 

Ok a robot with no head and red nipples? WTF?!

 

Bosses are often very inspired

 

This is one of the best bosses in the entire game and it's a blast to play!

Review - Reminiscent of many other parodic side-scrolling shooters like Cotton, Parodius and Cho Aniki, Keio Flying Squadron is a fairly straightforward game which was developed specifically for the Mega CD / Sega CD.

Keio takes advantage of the CD format by including some grainy FMV (Full Motion Video) intro and outro sequences, quality in-between levels cut-scenes, red book audio and speech but other than that, the in-game graphics look decent but nothing that a regular Mega Drive cartridge couldn't have handled.

Some levels are really nicely characterized and have a very original style. I am thinking about the naïve artwork sprinkled throughout, like ocean waves for instance, which look like Japanese paintings from the 19th century.

To be honest, the cosmetics tend to suffer a bit because of the limited color palette used and this is a bit of a shame. Luckily, the bizarre enemies and bosses will compensate for the general lack of color, and they will often put a smile on your face even in the most tense moments.

But don't let the cartoony graphics fool you because Keio is actually a fairly challenging shooter also because the sprite you control is big, so it will be harder to dodge enemy fire. In the option menu, you can set a smaller or larger hit-box so this will certainly help to circumnavigate the problem.

The only real issue I actually had was with the options menu itself...the damn thing is all written in japanese, so you'll have a hard time even setting the number of guys or the difficulty level! Take a look at this god-sent page here for the English manual (Options Menu)!

In the end, Keio is certainly a game to keep track of if you own a Mega CD. Its humor, its original art style and its wacky bosses deserve to be seen but don't get a Mega CD just for it, because it's good but not that good!

Bottom line: a quality parodic side-scrolling shooter available only here. 7,5/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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