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Old 02-19-2003, 07:39 PM   #84
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Keio Yugekitai ~ Katsugekihen - Sega Saturn (import) - Rating 7
It's unfortunate that Victor Entertainment never brought the sequel to Keio Flying Squadron (for Sega CD) over to US shores as the game is among the Saturn's finest platformers. Featuring some of the Saturn's absolute best 2D work (and even has transparencies!) KY was released near the demise of the Sega Saturn and didn't get the recognition it deserved.
Remi is a blonde 14 year old girl dressed in bunny ears and a leotard (a bunny girl like you'd see in a cabaret). She happens to have in her immediate posession a magical ball which the 3,000 year old tanuki (racoon) Dr. Pon is after so he can revive an oni (ghost/spirit) he can use to hoard all the gold sealed in Mount Fuji so that he and his fellow tanuki can take over the world. So while Remi and her family are eating supper Dr. Pon shows up in his flying airship and throws a bomb at her house which destroys it. To make matters more strange an unfamiliar girl named Hibiko shows up and steals her magical ball, and so Remi chases after her....
The game shows all that in the opening (grainy) animated FMV, but at least it's almost full-screen. You begin the game in the forest and you'll immediately notice how good the game looks and animates. Everything is lushly animated and there's great use of colors and effects. Remi can pick up a lot of stuff (like tanuki statues and other objects) and throw them at enemies. Furthermore, she can pick up weapons (mallets, umbrellas, and bow & arrows) and while she has any weapon in her posession she can take a hit and live, though this knocks the weapon out of her hand. Make sure you pick it back up; always have a weapon in Remi's posession so that she can take a hit because if she gets hit without a weapon she'll lose a life. You must also collect as many bunny heads as possible if you want extra lives. You wind up going through the mines, and then it's on to a shooting stage against an armada of pigs (!) with Remi once again on the back of the baby green dragon Pochi. Pochi also serves as the check points in stages. After the shooting area is a sumo arena where a boss awaits. There's a tremendous varitey of stages: lava caverns, the flying airship (there's a part where Remi must grab a huge hand and use it to click a switch....), roller coaster ride, underwater (with MASSIVE sunfish and octopus), a haunted temple where she must fight an evil Kabuki mask which changes to two other heads before revealing it was a photo of a Japanese guy's head with the eyes blurred out , a Sakura blossom area where Remi is on the run from a gang of tanuki while fighting off ninjas, a strange dojo where she must run on hampster wheels to make platforms move so she can jump on them, another Pochi shooting stage in space against flying volcanoes, koalas, and the 'sexy' robot with women's legs , and on and on. As you can clearly tell, there's a tremendous varitey of stages, and there's a bit more that I haven't listed. There's a ton of stuff Remi can do: run, duck, jump, climb, pick up/throw, attack, hop on kappa heads which act like springboards, swim, use the umbrella to float or cover her head from boulders, and more.
The soundtrack is very good and, as with most of the 32-bit CD games, you can listen to the music by putting it in a CD player or in your Saturn. There are a few memorable pieces here and there, and one piece even reminded me of Legend of the Mystical Ninja on Super NES (this game as a whole reminds me of that game). I don't know if I would say that Keio is as good as Mystical Ninja but it's a bit different. The sound effects and voice acting are all wonderful, and anytime Remi picks up a 1-up she yells "LUCKY!" in the typical cute (kawaii) Japanese pronunciation of English words. There's even a small gallery you can open up which includes photos, artwork, tips and tricks.
I recommend Keio to everybody with a Saturn and a converter. You can find a copy of it on eBay or search elsewhere for it. It's worth the trek. Makes you wonder why most other Saturn 2D games don't look as good (Mega Man 8 is the most similar animation-wise, Astal uses more color but doesn't animate as well, and Castlevania.... I don't even want to get into that). The game lasts an hour or two and maybe it's not worth $60 or so because it's not high on replay. But I think it's a good game even if it was too easy for me - I beat it without continuing my first time.


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Last edited by Icarus4578; 03-13-2004 at 12:49 PM.
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