"In this era of remakes and resuscitations, I suppose this game shouldn't have been a surprise — but still, Super Big Brother is one of the last series I expected to rise from the ashes... ashes formed from developer NCS-Masaya's dead, burning corpse. Point is, Legend of the Holy Protein features sexy-awesome style and its frenetic action should be enough to turn on any hardcore Psikyo shmup fan."
Let's play a game of pretend. Yes, let's pretend that you aren't already an avid homoerotic shooter fiend. I know, I know, you're down, around, and everywhere in-between with "Love! Super Big Brother" and the tale of the twin nearly-naked bodybuilders Adon and Samson. But maybe your little brother is peeking up at the screen, and he still doesn't know a transvestite from training pants. So let's pretend, and we'll treat this as an educational experience. For your little brother's sake.
To fully understand Super Big Brother: Legend of the Holy Protein demands a bit of biological background. Muscles are made up from protein, and protein is in turn composed of amino acids. I'm not just feigning intelligence here — the molecular composition of muscular mass bears an important purpose in this game. You see, unlike the second Lovely chapter of the Super Big Brother saga, you don't control the thong-threaded bodybuilder Adon (or his mustachioed sibling Samson). Rather, you are a glob of protein. Yep, that's right. A gooey glob of protein. You'll fly through this horizontal shooter flanked by two musclebound mastiffs, and you play the role of the jellylike substance shared between them.
As your protoplasmic self miraculously soars through the skies, you'll encounter a myriad of manly foes. There's the shark with arms and legs. The fireman who sprays down your hot, hot body with spurts of fluid. Ducks. Sadly, perhaps even tragically, enemy variety is one area in which Legend of the Holy Protein falters by comparison to its forebears. Yes, it features intriguing opponents (as described above). Unfortunately, many enemies are outright dull. In the cavern — bats. In the water — alligators. In the forest — birds.
Fortunately, the half-flaming, half-tepid nature of the enemy selection doesn't hamper the action! Just as that freaky fireman lays a stream of goosh-goosh upon you, so the boring birds will frenzily hurl their feathers. Does the game feature as much bulletage as Border Down or Ikaruga? No, of course not. But it's a far cry trickier than 16-bit shooters... and that includes the earlier Super Big Brother games, which will feel like child's play once you've faced the mind-boggling missile barrages of "HARD" difficulty. And hard is just the way I like it.
When faced with swathes of bullets, an important term comes into play. It's a fairly modern label, as ridiculous bullet patterns are a fairly modern development. "Hitbox". Namely, if a bullet comes near you, how likely are you to get killed? If a bullet wings your ship, do you die? Or must it slam into the cockpit? Well in Holy Protein you're not a ship, you're a fairly large glob of protein. But in the middle of that glob is an orange nucleus. So basically, bullets can harmlessly pass through the edge of your jellylike shell, but if the core is struck... YOU SCREAM AND EXPLODE! (Exploding protein? No, it really doesn't make sense.) That degree of leeway sounds nice and all, but when faced with over 60 onscreen bullets during boss battles, you're still at an extreme disadvantage.
That's where Adon and Samson come in! They're not just there for show — they've got muscles and know how to use them. Arrange the Big Brothers in any of four formations (switchable on the fly) and they'll gladly hurl themselves into the path of oncoming projectiles, taking the hits like the manly men they are.
Now, if your two men could just take it and take it all day, the game would be aphroditic but unrealistic. And believe you me, realism is key. So, with each pounding, Adon and/or Samson loses a bit of vigour. When depleted, they cry out in despair ("MOU DAME DAAAAA!!!") and retreat. A fallen comrade can be reinvigorated by acquiring one of the many power-ups (released by every vanquished enemy), which will restore their health and enhance their power, until they're back in business hurling heart-shaped Love-Love ripple waves at catgirl maids and sumo Humpty-Dumptys.
But it gets even better. Yes, yes, OHHHH YES, much better.
Drop your hand to the right thumbstick and give it a wiggle. Watch! Yes, Adon and Samson are performing pelvic gyrations! Okay, that in itself while enticing isn't too important. What's important is that through their manly dance, they build up MEN'S ENERGY. When you just can't hold it anymore, press that analog thumbstick in, press it in HARD... Adon and Samson will flip horizontal and spray the white, gushing MEN'S BEAM out of their heads! And yes, while spraying, they even shout, "MEEEEEEEEEEN'S BEEEEEEEAAAAAAAM!!!" (Or if you've barely any power, they'll merely whimper, "Meeen's beeammmm....")
The men's beam is bold and beautiful.
So, in a nutshell, we've got a nice normal action game wrapped in a conceptually glorious graphical package, accompanied by such amazing music as "New Sexy Dynamite" and "cats meowing". I made that second name up. The whole presentation rings true to the Super Big Brother tales of old... well except for Samson suddenly turning into a white man and sporting a Freddie Mercury mustache. I don't really know what's up with that. Racial diversity strikes in the strangest of places.
In this era of remakes and resuscitations, I suppose this game shouldn't have been a surprise — but still, Super Big Brother is one of the last series I expected to rise from the ashes... ashes formed from developer NCS-Masaya's dead, burning corpse. Even though it's not quite as forceful as the original, not quite as clever as the sequel, and not quite as... ummm... well it's not quite like the Saturn game either. That might be a good thing. Point is, Legend of the Holy Protein features sexy-awesome style and its frenetic action should be enough to turn on any hardcore Psikyo shmup fan.
Ummm... by the phrase "sexy-awesome" I simply mean "it's good". You know, a synonym. I have no desire to hump Adon or Samson, or any other men for that matter. The thought never even crossed my mind.
Go away. Go play with your little brother.
Staff review by Zigfried (March 13, 2004)
Zigfried likes writing about whales and angry seamen, and often does so at the local pub.
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