Monday, February 08, 2016

Nice Package! (KiKi KaiKai, PC Engine)

Those of you who use Twitter and who follow me may have caught this tweet I sent out a few days ago: "After a bit of a dry spell, I recently bought a ton of Famicom, PC Engine and PlayStation games."

The focus of today's post, Taito's KiKi KaiKai, is one of those games.

To be honest, I've been on the fence about picking up a copy of this title for a while now. Although it's a top-shelf port of the arcade game of the same name--also made by Taito and released in 1986--the simple truth is I absolutely suck at it.

Normally, that wouldn't be a problem. I buy plenty of games that seemingly enjoy pointing out to me that my reflexes aren't as sharp as they were when I was a kid.

The problem with this game, though, was that copies of KiKi KaiKai's PC Engine port tend to be pricey.

As a result, I've hemmed and hawed for a good year or so as to whether I should bite the bullet and buy the damn thing despite my issues or use my hard-earned cash on a couple of other PC Engine classics--ones that would have a less negative impact on my ego--instead.

Obviously I decided to go with the former in the end. And I can't say I regret that decision one bit. After all, just look at this title's beautiful packaging. From the cover of its instruction manual to the labels on the back of its case, it's pretty much perfect, wouldn't you agree?

I especially like the interior of KiKi KaiKai's instruction manual. The illustrations it offers up are the definition of lovely, in my humble opinion.

Of course, that shouldn't surprise me. Pretty much every Taito manual I've come across over the years makes me swoon. Two noteworthy examples from the PC Engine era: Don Doko Don and Mizubaku Daibouken. (Sadly, I'm not sure I'd say Parasol Star's booklet is quite up to snuff.)

If you'd like to sneak a peek at more of KiKi KaiKai's manual, you're in luck. I'm going to publish another installment of my long-running "Manual Stimulation" series devoted to this game's pamphlet later this week.

In the meantime, have any of you played any iteration of this top-down, push-scrolling shmup?

I'm especially curious to hear opinions of the arcade original or the PC Engine port discussed here, but feel free to sound off on the curious reimagining released for the Famicom Disk System or the follow-ups that hit the Super Famicom in 1992 and 1994, respectively.

See also: previous 'Nice Package!' and 'Manual Stimulation' posts

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