Coryoon (TurboGrafx-16) review
"As you progress through its eight stages, it seems near-impossible to stay alive as enemies dart onto the screen in erratic waves, spewing bullets here and there, while various indestructible obstacles such as moving statues and clapping hands also pose a serious threat to your dragon's health. And while you're trying to survive all of this, well, it's not too likely you'll be noticing how cute everything looks. You'll just be hoping you can power up your weapons enough to survive a little bit longer."
Take a look at the cute l'il dragon and the bright colors and the cartoonish enemies and it's hard to not immediately label Coryoon as a pure cute-em-up -- one of those shooters that might be lacking in difficulty, but more than makes up for it with saccharin-sweet presentation. And on one level, you'd be right. This game sure does look pretty with deposed enemies turning into pieces of fruit that can be collected for points (because, you know, actually killing and destroying things ISN'T cute).
Equally cute is watching your little dragon's visible eyeball get replaced by an "x" as it somersaults off the screen after taking an untimely hit. Which is a sight you'll see often if you make the same mistake I did of assuming that just because a title might deluge you with unrelenting cuteness, there isn't row after row of sharp, pointy teeth behind that facade.
And, yes, Coryoon's cuteness is a facade. This Turbografx-16 title is one of the more manic horizontal shooters from the 16-bit era. As you progress through its eight stages, it seems near-impossible to stay alive as enemies dart onto the screen in erratic waves, spewing bullets here and there, while various indestructible obstacles such as moving statues and clapping hands also pose a serious threat to your dragon's health. And while you're trying to survive all of this, well, it's not too likely you'll be noticing how cute everything looks. You'll just be hoping you can power up your weapons enough to survive a little bit longer.
You start off by being able to shoot tiny fireballs. If you hold down the shooting button, you'll be able to charge your shot into a more powerful attack. By shooting storks or some sort of birdie, they'll drop power-up icons that can give you a wave shot, spread shot or a short-ranged (but powerful) jet of fire depending on what color the globe is when you snag it. Getting hit by anything enemy-related while you have one of these power-ups takes it away. Getting hit while you're only in possession of that default attack costs you a life.
At least, losing a life isn't some be-all, end-all draconian punishment like it can become on many shooters. You start right where you died (no checkpoints here) and power-ups are given out frequently enough that it will only be moments until you're able to hold your own against the baddies again. Oh, and Coryoon's scoring system ensures that a reasonably skilled player will be ROLLING in one-ups, so it's likely you'll have a decent store of extra lives on hand. Simply put, your score will constantly be rising at an obscene pace in this game. There are tons of enemies to shoot and every one of them drops fruit, which just adds to the point value of each foe. Adding to the fun, bosses are worth TONS of points, with some of them giving you enough to bestow multiple one-ups upon defeating them.
Due to the hectic nature of things and the amount of things that can be on the screen at any given time, it's not that unlikely that your number of lives will be depleted at least as quickly as it rises, though. While you're zipping and darting all around the screen, you'll be visually overwhelmed by the sheer chaos. Brightly colored enemies dart onto the screen, emitting bullets or whatnot before being shot and turning into brightly colored pieces of fruit that arc towards you. Meanwhile, your eyes also have to contend with those power-up carrying birds, the power-ups themselves and some pretty sweet backgrounds that boast multiple layers scrolling at different rates. Until I got used to all this insanity going on right in front of me, it wasn't uncommon for me to lose lives at a rapid pace even on the first and most tame level. When it feels like there's about 500 bright, cartoonish things zipping around the screen at any given time, it's not easy to instinctively know what's safe to touch and what hurts.
Coryoon is a fun game, but it can be a bit of a cheap one at times, too, because of that. But one thing's for sure -- it's not as cute as it appears. The pegasus and unicorn that challenge you at the end of the first level might look like they came directly from My Pretty Pony, but I wasn't snickering when they started blasting me with various lasers and spread shots. The only thing that really made that fight easy was the small amount of damage they (and their combined form) could take. Later bosses have even more vicious forms of attack and can take a good deal of punishment, as well. No, while Coryoon might look like a Saturday morning cartoon, its manic nature is more than capable of causing arthritis in the ol' thumb joints.
Staff review by Rob Hamilton (October 09, 2008)
Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.
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