Ads are gone. We're using Patreon to raise funds so we can grow. Please pledge support today!
Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All
Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius: Forever with Me (Saturn) artwork

Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius: Forever with Me (Saturn) review


"I feel like I'm telling a joke if I even mention those three bosses: a singing panda, a school girl with bunny ears, and a living spaceship with a giant bra walk into a bar."



Amazingly, with all the absurd and crazy stuff that occurs in a Parodius game, this incarnation, Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius: Forever with Me, has a very noticeable gimmick: commentators. Apparently a take on excitable commentators in Japanese media, the ones in this shoot-em-up immediately chat up a storm the moment you get dropped into the first stage; they'll respond to every new thing that happens, tell you to watch out for specific dangers, or make a simple comment when you grab a power-up, like "Nice catch!" These commentators never let down or tire, talking during the course of the entire game. I've lived in Japan for a few years and heard my share of wacky commentary in variety shows, yet I've never experienced something as annoying as the ones in this Parodius title. I know what the problem is, too: this is a video game, and you're trying not to get hit. The last thing you want to hear is an obnoxious voice, let alone two.

Thankfully, the voices can be shut off in the options menu, because this would have been a very different review in tone had they forced me through this ear torture with each playthrough.

With that glaring irritation gone, Forever with Me delivers by simply being a Parodius title, and then some. Like its immediate two predecessors, this game indulge us with a daily dose of insanity, mixed with a flavor of Gradius, and a side dish of Anything Goes. And what better way to start off the lunacy than to crash a disco party? What a party, too, complete with afro penguins, hula-hooping monkeys flinging bananas, and a group of Colonel Sanders in panda suits, throwing chicken legs while riding unicycles on tightropes, all which are fighting to the beat of a K.C. and the Sunshine Band tune! It's mind-blowing those last few statements are true, but they are!

The rest of the game wanted in on the mind trip, so you're in for the long run with this bullet-riddled product. The second stage is set in a Japanese school, where you'll do battle with penguins riding pencils that shoot lasers, as well as school girl moai heads on floating islands... in the restroom. Blowing away these moai heads will either reveal penguins dancing, rocking out, or, if you find the right moai head, interrupt a penguin couple in bed. And a later stage is a high-speed segment based on Lethal Enforcers! I've played a bunch of high-speed segments, and this has to be the most exciting one, so far, thanks in part to the inclusion of on-screen target cursors trying to hit my avatar. Forever with Me even continues the "interesting" tradition of pitting you against towering female bosses, which, hilariously, is done three times in a row.

I feel like I'm telling a joke if I even mention those three bosses: a singing panda, a school girl with bunny ears, and a living spaceship with a giant bra walk into a bar.

Returning also are the oddball cast of characters to select, ranging from penguins and babies, to cats and TwinBee fighters. Unlike Gokujou Parodius, though, which allowed the first player to pick one visual variation of these beings, and a different one for the second player, Forever with Me allows each player to pick anyone. The differences don't end there, as the counterparts actually have new power-up bars than the original characters, making this the biggest gathering of configurations I've seen in a Gradius-related title. They even mix around the power-up placement in some of the selection bars; color me surprised when I picked someone without paying much attention, then realizing in the heat of combat, that, instead of the Missile, the Multiples power-up is the second selection!

Unfortunately, the development team (calling themselves Stone Heads in the credits, not surprisingly), got lazy with certain characters, like the penguins, who only have differing missile power-ups. Still, there's enough variety here to have a completely new experience every time you start a playthrough: you can go for the old school laser/multiples set with the Vic Viper, do constant charge-up attacks with the comical stick figure Soitsu, or play it Darius-style with Mike the cat, unleashing a storm of laser bursts while dispensing missiles like they're going out of business. Shoot, you even gain special attacks when you're playing 2-player co-op. Hit your partner enough times, and watch as they explode in a fiery mess of bullets scattering everywhere. The second attack is pretty silly, requiring one player to get beside the other while holding the Y button. This, in turn, makes the vict... the other player spin around the field uncontrollably for a few seconds. Granted, both attacks gimp the game a bit, but screw it, this is 2-player co-op, have fun!

What's funny is that, in any other shoot-em-up, you'd just crank up the difficulty a notch if things get stale. Forever with Me has that, but there's also an option called Extra, which, if turned on, adds more enemies and even rearrange the order and appearance of old ones. Watch as previously small syringes charge in ginormous sizes, and fear the onslaught of moai head flashers as they fill up the screen, waiting till the last second to open their trench coats! Hell, you even get two extra levels at the title menu: a very tough level requiring a lot of dodging, and a high-speed level at a race track, where you fight race driver bosses and use speed power-ups to finish the race quickly.

If you haven't noticed yet, Forever with Me is a very option-oriented Parodius title, a welcomed one at that. It makes me wonder if the game would've been as good if the voices weren't mutable, not as many configurations, non-existent extras, and the absence of hunting hidden fai... the fairies! There's 70+ fairies hidden which net some nice goodies if you catch them all. Yeah, this game is a handful.

The only knock I can see people giving Forever with Me is that it doesn't have as many recognizable gags as the last two titles. There's a lot more Japanese-infused jokes in this game, mixed with spoofs of other Konami titles that aren't well-known, unless you're a super nerd. Such examples are the Xexex ball area, which is parodied as a food stage here, the Goemon/Ebisumaru boss fight, the Gundam 0079-style opening, or even the game's subtitle! But if you don't see these as issues, then Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius: Forever with Me is another fine, polished title in the Parodius series.

Rating: 8/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (August 28, 2011)

Out of context, PickHut admits the cutscene video in his Starship Damrey review looks neat, but within the setting of the game, it's just embarrassing.

More Reviews by pickhut
The Starship Damrey (3DS) artwork
Spelunker (NES) artwork
Spelunker (NES)

Oddly endearing or nightmare fuel? Take your pick.
Corporate Lifestyle Simulator (PC) artwork
Corporate Lifestyle Simulator (PC)

When seeing a title such as Corporate Lifestyle Simulator, chances are...

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius: Forever with Me review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

board icon
honestgamer posted August 28, 2011:

This game sounds great. I'll probably never play it, though. Also: when did you live in Japan?
board icon
pickhut posted August 28, 2011:

It was during the late 1980s to late 90s. I still remember the day I moved, because it was on Christmas morning of 1997.

Edit: Thanks for reading!
board icon
SamildanachEmrys posted August 28, 2011:

Another good review. I think the mention of the fairies could be improved, since it seems sort of thrown in almost at random, but otherwise good stuff. I've never played a Parodius, but these reviews are making me want to.
board icon
pickhut posted August 28, 2011:

Appreciate the read, Sam!

The problem with writing this many Gradius/Parodius reviews in a row at this point in time is not so much talking about the game, but talking about the game and making it sound fresh compared to the 9 or so games that were discussed before it. What I attempted to do here was try to spread as much of the content all over the review without trying to make it sound segmented.

You're right in thinking that was a pretty random place to throw the mention, but, even though I liked this side-questy, fetch-questy aspect, I didn't believe it deserved more than that one major sentence. You pretty much know all about it in that passing. That's why I did it that way.

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Site Policies & Ethics | Contact | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius: Forever with Me is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius: Forever with Me, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.