Thursday, October 21, 2010

10 video games that made my life gayer (#4): Parodius

I know what you're thinking: Wait, I thought he wasn't writing about games that literally made him gayer?

Although I can understand why you might feel that way, the truth of the matter is that I'm still writing about games that, at one point or another, made my life happier and merrier. (Yes, merrier.)

In the case of Parodius (aka Parodius Da!), well, it made my young life gayer (happier) in a few ways. For starters, it was the first game I imported from Japan (back when you had to do it the hard way--by calling someone on the phone and then giving the person on the other end of the line your dad's credit card number). Second, and more importantly, it was the first shoot 'em up I really savored.

Sure, I'd played--and rather enjoyed--Gradius and R-Type and other well-regarded representatives of the genre, but they always felt a bit too serious and sterile. Parodius, on the other hand, slathered itself in silliness and absurdity.

Anyway, the game had me hook, line and sinker from the second I hit the power button on my trusty TurboGrafx-16 thanks to its silliness as well as its strange intro (see screenshot at right), insane(ly sweet) graphics and incredible tunes. Oh, and it didn't hurt that it was addictive and enjoyable and offered just the right amount challenge, too.

All that said, I wouldn't suggest picking this one up if you're a Parodius virgin, as each of its successors--especially JikkyŨ Oshaberi Parodius (available for the Super Famicom, Saturn, PlayStation and PSP) and Sexy Parodius (available for the Saturn, PlayStation and PSP)--best it in practically every area.

See also: all of the previous '10 video games that made my life gayer' posts

8 comments:

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I've never even heard of this one. Is it anything like Point Blank? That was an awesome game that didn't take itself too seriously.

Bryan Ochalla said...

No, it's not like Point Blank, Justin -- at least, not in terms of gameplay. (I've never played it, so I can't comment on how it doesn't take itself too seriously.) Parodius plays like Gradius -- in fact, it's basically an absurd/silly/wacky version of Gradius. Here's a video -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKDDcsE8HWY&feature=related

Viewtiful_Justin said...

OH! THAT kind of a shooter. Got it.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yeah, it's weird how many different kinds of games fall under the genre shooter/shoot 'em up...

Starfighter said...

For me, shoot 'em up has always been "a small vessel of some sort taking on hordes of enemies and bullet rains". I was completely confused when people said "it's a shoot 'em up" and meant a FPS. :D

Bryan Ochalla said...

I'm with you, starfighter -- shooters/shoot 'em ups have always been Gradius-like games to me. That said, the definition definitely has expanded in recent years.

Ashley A said...

Dude! Parodius is one of my favorite games too, specifically Gokujou Parodius, the prequel to Oshaberi Parodius. I had seen it looooong ago in EGM and had no idea what the hell that game was, and then once I discovered emulators about a decade later I remembered the game and checked it out/fell in love. It really is a crazy series that references a lot of cultures, art, music, even other games. It had a big influence on me as an artist too, with all its hodge podge hordes of critters and such. Good stuff.

Point Blank is also the jam. Namco nailed it with Point Blank.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Ashley! Oh, yeah, the Parodius games are great! You really need to give Sexy Parodius if you haven't already. Also, it seems I have to give Point Blank a shot soon. It's a PS1 game, right?