Super Mario Bros. was a very influential game and would have many games try to copy it or try out the genre. JaJamaru is this weird IP that honestly I'd recommend you look up if you want history on how this series came to be. Now I thought the previous game was the first and only time to be Arcade like but this one still feels like it's trying to be a score attack game.
Sure it may have elements of a sidescroller but it has many of the elements from the previous games including enemies and just how you control. Even stuff like the items are the same. You have to get them from hitting specific blocks by jumping under them. You have to reach the end in a very short time limit but don't worry, running out of time only has a flame chase you. Nothing about the levels really stand out. It's not only ugly even by 1986 standards but it all feels not well thought out especially with the physics of your character. It's not too surprising considering the developer but it's a little disappointing how uninteresting it all is.
You also fight bosses but like the previous game, it's all just for bonus points and don't take from your lives if you die. Even the final boss where you're meant to save Princess Sakura is just for a bonus. You don't even need to win to continue. The game is only 20 stages before it loops. The music is nothing special and worse of all getting the frog or invincibility makes the screen flash red and yellow and it hurts my eyes, do not play this if you are prone to seizures!!
This might not be a bad game but no one should really be playing these days unless you're just curious about the franchise. He would get a better platformer on the Famicom later on (even if Japan seems to hate that one more but I don't agree). While it's not a bad game, it's close to being one and nothing about it really feels fun and there was better even by 1986. Konami's Ganbare Goemon! was already out by now so I hope owners of the Famicom were buying that instead even if that's not fully a platformer and also has it's own platforming issues but at least it's a fun game. Man now I wanna play Goemon...

Penguin-kun Wars originally by UPL is a very simple and somewhat shallow vs game. You throw these things call balls in a game called Dojiball which im not sure is japanese for dodgeball because that word was only associated with this game when searching for it. You'll be going tournament style fighting a harder CPU each round. The goal is to have less balls by the end of the timer or to get every ball on the opponents side. Trying to just throw them with 0 thought will get you no where, you want to hit your opponent with them. Hitting them with a ball will stun them making it possible to chain hits at them depending where the balls are placed making for an easy perfect. Just be careful as you can get stunned too so mash A and B to get out faster if possible.
Sadly outside of hazards that can bounc balls around to screw with you, that's basically the game. There's only 2 different settings and there are a couple of bonus games but it's only for points. The most you'll probably get out of the game is it supports up to 8 players for a tournament which I could see getting intense with real people. Though it should be noted you'll always have to fight a CPU but don't worry the first one is easy. Outside of that though, it's hard to recommend it unless you like fighting CPUs. The series would get a couple more games with an MSX sequel, a GB game, and even one for the Switch that has Hebereke DLC. So clearly there's still an audience for it. Oh I guess it should be noted this was the last Famicom game for 1985 so that's neat.
The last fact I have to really give is the music. It's actually an 8-bit rendition of this song called Motto Senkin Shimasho by Hidemi Ishikawa. Apparently it was popular in 1985. It's actually a nice song I won't lie maybe I should listen to more of her music.

Geimos is one of those games no one talks about here. It never came out here and most people will probably only play it on a bootleg console or multicart as it's commonly seen there. This was I believe Micronics' 2nd game on the console. It's sadly one of their better games.
It tries to be a 3D looking shmup that's pretty basic as you'll be shooting and bombing enemies through 6 rounds. Once you beat the 6th one it just loops with no endings to be seen. There's one boss that's in every stage that's pretty easy to beat even with the time limit and it's just a very simple score attack shmup.
What's interesting is Mode A & B don't determine the difficulty. Mode A has the camera stay the same with only your ship moving around while Mode B tries to simulate movement with your elevation. Honestly it's a bit disorienting for me due to the ground and background never changing as you move. It still is neat to offer two different ways to play.
I think the effect to look 3D looks alright for the time, I can't argue too much about it. My biggest gripe however has to be the sprite flickering. It must be because of Micronics and sadly it can hinder some of the gameplay. The music is also very nonexistant though the tune that plays before each level is fine for what it is. Just wishes there was literally anything for the levels.
Geimos was okay, it's not really worth playing now but it could be worse. I did only spend like 15 minutes on it so I'm sorry if that makes this review less valid. At least my controller worked the entire time which I wish it did all the time SO I COULD ACTUALLY BE DOING OTHER GAMES! Well I didn't mention the cover yet. Apparently it's really hated in Japan for being so ugly. I don't know, feel like it would look nice as a blanket. I'll probably never come back to this game but yeah it sure is an early Famicom game by Micronics, I still despise them.

This is just a Wagyan Land clone but for kids which I think Wagyan Land was already aimed at kids. It stars Sanrio's most popular character at the time. The game itself is good for kids but I doubt most will get anything out of this. For who it is for, I could see them loving this. The only real gripe I have with it is air movement kind of odd and some of the minigames are actually just luck based so you can just get unlucky. There's really no reason to come back to a game like this nowadays but at least it's not a bad game.

With the Famicom saying its final goodbyes to Rockman, it’s time to move on to greater fields. That being the Soccer fields! Yep instead of a Rockman 7 at the moment we got Rockman’s Soccer. A very weird idea for a spinoff. Like a board game I get especially in that era of gaming but why a Soccer game? Were soccer games ever popular in Japan? I wasn’t really looking forward to this game considering I’m not one to play sports games most of the time. This one was developed by Sun L though some sites say Capcom so who knows who really made it! This also will be a fairly short review this time.
The plot of Rockman’s Soccer takes place after the event of Rockman 4 which I swear is like the third or fourth game to be like this. We have Rockman, Dr Right, and Roll (yeah remember her?) watching a soccer game until Dr. Wily causes havoc with previous Robot Masters. With no other choice they turn Rock back as Rockman and he’s now ready to face every Robot Master…by playing Soccer.
So this review is going to be about the Capcom Championship mode where Rockman has to face eight teams and then do three additional moments to see the ending. A team is divided with 8 members but you start off with only Rockman. Fortunately everyone has the ability to clone themselves so you can now have an 8 Rockman team. The Robot Masters you must face are Cut Man, Elec Man, Fire Man, Wood Man, Needle Man, Skull Man, Pharaoh Man, and Dust Man. You can choose any of them in any order like the games. Once you set your positions and who will be doing what position then you’ll be ready to play a game of Soccer!
Well the gameplay sure is Soccer. If you thought this was going to be some over the top soccer game, well you’re dead wrong. It’s soccer and you got Rockman characters playing it. You pass with the Y button, you kick with the B button, and you punt with the A button. If you hold R and then kick then you can use your special move. Sadly every special move is identical to each other but it’s just a different animation. It hits however it comes into contact first and stuns them. You’ll want to hit the goalie because it’ll most of the time land in the goal giving a free point. Unless you know the exploits in this game or get lucky, you’ll be praying the AI doesn't get them and hit one of your other teammates. Most of the game consists of one team trying to reach the goal but constantly getting buggered by the other team’s defense or the goalie having the most cheater hitbox I’ve ever seen. Seriously screw the goalie it’s too good when you don’t know exploits. The best luck you’ll ever have is in hopes they stay lying on the floor for a couple of seconds to let you kick it into the goal. Games last 10 minutes but will constantly be stopped because time doesn’t go when the goalie has the ball. Once you win a match, you’ll be given a new Robot Master as a teammate to use which by the end you’ll never have any Rockman on your team because they are inferior to the Robot Masters.
There are some things left to say like how there’s a slide and shoulder push for defense, there’s an overtime where you kick five goals to see who wins the most goals, and there’s even other modes outside of the game besides this story mode that I didn’t even want to bother with. There’s even other Robot Masters in the other modes for you to use. It’s just the game is such a slog that I couldn’t care. Nothing fun is happening in this game and it feels like the same thing is happening for every match. I just felt mad playing it begging for the game to the end. Once you beat all eight Robot Masters then you can fight Enker, Blues and Wily. First off, Enker!? They brought him back again? Granted he is cool so I’ll let it slide. Second, why Blues? Why is he siding with Wily again? Enker is hard to beat because his stats are good and can ignore power shots. Same goes for Blues and Wily though Blues does lose to Enker’s special. I just don’t have much to say to be honest. I did win against Wily in overtime and now for the ending. There’s actually no ending, that’s right the ending wasn’t even put in the final release. You can use cheats to have it be viewable but it makes me wonder just how much time they had to make this game. There’s even another ending for a different mode that would have had Kalinka and Roll in it which kind of makes me sad it went unused.
Then you have the visuals and they’re okay. They don’t really impress me at all but they also don’t look bad. The sprites could be better in some areas though. When you see the introduction of each opponent, they still look like the Famicom sprites and some even worse use than usual like Dr. Wily. The cutscene in the intro looks nice at least. The music however is just not really enjoyable at all. I would say this is the worst the series has had so far but Rockman World 2 exists. I don’t know if it’s just the game irritating me or just feeling like it would never end but some of the music got on my nerves. The Cut field especially got me bad. Otherwise it’s just nothing special.
This is one of those kinds of reviews that makes me go “I just wanna get to the next game.” because Rockman’s Soccer is not a fun game for me at all. It’s slow, uninteresting and nothing about the game excites me or has me engaged. I know this game has fans and don’t say there isn’t because they do exist, even unironic ones. For me though, if it wasn’t for just having to beat every Rockman game, I would have dropped this so quickly because man this game is not fun at all. Soccer fans might like this one but for someone like me, no thanks. Honestly playing this made me not want to play Soccer games ever again for the most part so thanks Capcom. I guess before I say goodbye, there is one more thing I want to discuss. The game’s commercial in Japan used a song called “We Are Rockman” and it's full version can be listened to here if you wanna give it a listen. It’s the perfect Rockman song if you wanted to hear F*ck in your song. Well, I’ll be back to the Game Boy one more time with Rockman World 5 next time. Apologies for the short review but that’s what happens when I’m being tasked to do sports stuff. See you next time!

It’s finally time. The end of the Famicom Rockman is ending. While it’s not the last 8-bit game in the series, its reign on the Famicom is almost over. We now have Rockman 6: Shijō Saidai no Tatakai!! (translated as Rockman 6: The Greatest Battle of All Time!!) This one I remember reading a lot of people disliking decades ago as just another game in the series. It feels like as time has gone by, more fans of this game have risen since and I used to think this was the best one but a few years ago I’ve started to like it less. Maybe now writing it I’ll understand it more. Let’s finally get this done!
The plot this time starts after Wily’s defeat as plans arise of a new plan and begin the World Robot Alliance in case Wily was to ever attack again. After some help around the world and with funding from the X Foundation…I hope some stupid idiot isn't in charge of that X company…well anyway they decide to then do the first annual Robot Tournament. Something not right happens though as they begin to act up as it turns out the guy in charge named Mr. X is all behind it. Wait a second, THAT’S JUST WILY! Is this a joke plot? Like were they aware of how bad the plots were getting by now? Sure he says he was manipulating Wily and stuff but nah we know this is BS. This probably was a joke but now they really aren’t hiding they just wanna pad the game out. Well anyway it’s up to Rockman and Rush to defeat Mr. X.
In this one Rockman has a new buster called the Hyper Rock Buster! It’s actually just the same. I don't even know what’s different. Seriously, does anyone know the difference between them? His slide was also changed to be like Rockman World 2 where you can’t jump during the slide. Ok why that change? That feels so random and I’m not a fan of it. Not that it’ll ever ruin a level but still I don’t get it.
Stage design in Rockman 6 has me on the positive and negative side. This game takes place in many locations around the world which means aesthetically there’s some great and creative stuff here like Yamato Man’s stage, Knight Man’s stage and Tomahawk Man’s stage. There’s even some cool ideas for levels like having oil that affects your movement but if lit aflame, it’ll be instant death fire. With the fire enemies everywhere, it makes the level make you think fast to kill enemies or tread carefully to avoid lava or even do both depending on the situation. Knight Man has this cool room where a spike ceiling moves up and down reminding me of Super Mario Bros. 3. Wind Man has fans blowing you around making for some interesting rooms regarding air movement. There’s just a good amount of good ideas here and nice set pieces that can stick in your mind like the boat in Blizzard Man’s stage. There’s even multiple paths but more on that later. That said, one problem I have is some levels don’t really have anything memorable in them besides the theming like if you ask me what’s special about Tomahawk Man’s stage I wouldn’t know what to say besides the cool enemies or look of the level. Same goes for Yamato Man. They don’t outweigh the rest but it is still there. The game is also pretty easy with Plant Man’s stage being the only somewhat exception because these past few games cannot screw off with the whole get close to pit comes out an enemy. This time being the Gabgyo. God I can’t stand it anymore. I like how more mini bosses are in this one compared to 5. That was one of my issues with that game and I’m glad they fixed it. The order I went this time was Flame -> Plant -> Tomahawk -> Yamato -> Knight -> Centaur -> Wind -> Blizzard. These stages at least do better than what Rockman 5 was doing so it can’t be all doom and gloom can it? Well about that.
Alright I’m gonna discuss something early as there are no Rush Coil or Jet in this game. After beating Flame Man you’ll get the Power Adaptor and beating Plant Man gets you the Jet adaptor. These will let you combine with Rush to use Power Rockman and Jet Rockman. Power Rockman can’t slide and can’t use his buster but now has the ability to punch blocks and hit enemies. This sounds cool but because of the short range of it, I only use it for enemies like Brown and Cyber Gabyoall. Finding blocks to hit is basically the equivalent to alright here’s an item pickup or a different path that is easier than the main path. Hope you love seeing these a lot because they do almost nothing interesting with this ability. At least the charge on it is fast. The Jet adaptor lets you fly for a small amount of time letting you reach areas you couldn’t normally or help with platforming. You can’t charge or slide with this adaptor on. This one is cooler but this one has the consequences of hurting some of the game’s design when it comes to platforming and enemies. You can just ignore stuff sometimes, maybe it’s just me but I wish this wasn’t made just to be a bonus for getting it like hey congratulations! Here’s some fun goodies and a fun platforming section, okay off you go! I wish I could have seen some level design with it in mind but since you have to unlock it, it’s used in such lame ways and never feels thoughtful with the stage design. I’m not saying you can use it everywhere but I just wish I used it for more fun level design and not just use it here for easier paths or get item. Which brings me to my next complaint.
Folks, this is the worst game so far in terms of replayability on the Famicom. Every other game I’ve never had much issue wanting to go to a different route order. Even when games had stuff to unlock, I never minded getting them early or later. Here that is not the case. I always go get the adaptor first because there’s no reason not to. What is even the benefit of doing so, beating Flame Man gives you also one of the best special weapons so it’s not like doing others gives you a better special weapon to seek first. There’s also the Beat letters in four stages that you need those two for. If you want the returning Energy Saver given by Blues then you need Power Rockman but you also need Jet Rockman to get a Beat letter. They don’t even do a cool thing with the fake Robot Master, it would be so cool to have them have less defense or be missing a move to make you go “Hmmm maybe this isn’t the right one, that was too easy!” Sure the game does leave his portrait blank instead of a Rockman 1-up icon to indicate something is up but it’s not an interesting idea. Plus not getting them early means you’re missing out on what makes the game stick out from the rest. I’m sure this doesn’t bother everyone but it’s always annoyed me and it’s easily one of the biggest complaints I have about the game. I don’t want to replay levels just because I wasn’t optimal and got the two adaptors ASAP. That’s not good design. Did Rockman 5 make me miss a letter because I got the Super Arrow last? No it did not. Look I get they had to find a way to make you wanna use these but again I would have just preferred to have had them from the start. What this also means is that the stages you get them from can’t even do anything with the gimmick since it’s impossible to have one or the other or both when entering them which limits the design ideas they had even if the levels are fun especially Flame Man’s. Maybe I’m overreacting to this complaint but it’s just something I can never accept fully.
Look here! We have Robot Masters to conquer so here’s info about all of them. Blizzard Man is quite easy as you can avoid his telegraphed spin dash wannabe very easily and his Blizzard Attack isn’t exactly threatening. Wind Man throws a fast multi projectile at you and likes to pull you in which isn’t exactly original. He also likes to land on you which again is something not very original especially considering Gyro Man had a much more interesting version of this attack. Flame Man can be tough with his Flame Blast blocking shots but his fireballs are slow and his jumps are very easily telegraphed. In a way he kind of just feels like a more interesting Wave Man with Napalm Man’s projectile attack. Plant Man is a joke fight because he just does an easy to dodge jump and throws Plant Barrier which requires 0 effort to dodge. What an awful fight. Tomahawk Man can be a bit challenging with his feathers you have to jump or slide over and his Silver Tomahawk gets thrown at a very strange angle. Be vigilant and you’ll win! Yamato Man can be a bit hard if you can’t avoid the three spears he sends out at you but his attack where he throws one makes him easy to hit. Knight Man can approach slowly or jump very high but watch out for his Knight Crush as it can be a bit tricky if you’re up close to him. He also has a shield though I forget if only Yamato Spear goes through that or not. Centaur Man likes to teleport around and throw a very weird buster shot that reminds me of Crystal Eye. He can also stop you in your place for a free hit though he rarely does it in my experience. There’s some good fights but some are a bit too easy. At least there’s some good choices to pick first…if it wasn’t for the problem I already listed!
Then we have the special weapons and they are kind of a mixed bag. Blizzard Attack from Blizzard Man sucks. It sends out some snowflakes that go at different angles but they are slow and you can’t use much of them before running out. The best use it has is that some enemies are weak to it but there are better ideas for them anyway. It’s not even fun to use for Plant Man! Wind Storm from Wind Man is just why? It’s basically just Gravity Hold again except it can hit one enemy it has contact with and has a lot more ammo. There’s already a move that clears out enemies in this game, they couldn’t just try doing a different take on Air Shooter?? Flame Blast from Flame Man is really good! It’s fast, it has a great arc, some enemies are weak to it and it leaves a little pillar for a bit for enemies to run into. Plant Barrier from Plant Man would be okay for what it is but its ammo is so pitiful that I dislike the weapon. Silver Tomahawk from Tomahawk man is good but nothing amazing. It shoots a tomahawk that flies upwards and it’s good for some enemies but otherwise it’s situational but when it works, it works. Yamato Spear from Yamato Man is a fast and shield piercing projectile that has its uses but it’s really the only time I like using it as the buster is better in a lot of other instances. Knight Crush from Knight Man is a fun projectile that moves around in very peculiar angles and even comes back and pierces enemies. Centaur Flash from Centaur Man is another screen nuke and I’m just so tired. It still doesn’t even let enemies drop pickups which makes zero sense. Overall I like some but I wish I was more positive on the good ones as only Flame Blast is pretty damn great. There’s also Beat the bird who was nerfed to have less energy and can’t hit bosses. He still can be helpful anyway since some enemies are weak to him.
We can finally arrive at Mr. X’s fortress stages and really there’s not much to say. They’re short, they have a couple of neat gimmicks and even these have shortcuts or easy sections with the adaptors. Though screw the secret for stage 1 because the timing for it is way too insane! Harder than anything else in the game. I gotta say though I do like the area where there are robot birds and you can push these blocks to block their entrance with Power Rockman. See this is the kind of shit I wish more of the game did! There’s also the bosses like Rounder II which is a very cool fight to use Power Rockman in. Probably one of my favorite bosses in the game. Power Piston is just you standing there using Silver Tomahawk until you win, nothing special. Metonger Z is just a Metall in a tank. Not much to say. Then we finally got the X Crusher with Mr. X which is also fun using Power Rockman in but too bad the hitbox for the punch isn’t good enough for it sometimes! Well you defeat him and god it really is Wily. I love how Rockman gives this overexaggerated reaction to it like bro is flabbergasted.
Here we are at the final few stages and they’re really lame in this game. Am I just being too negative right now? I just feel nothing with these stages anymore. The only parts I can remember are like that one long fall where it’s just 0 reaction time to notice the block on the wall, appearing blocks that make no sense to be here when you have Jet Rockman, and a part with fans that you can just kill with Beat. Then we got the bosses like Mechazaurus where the hurtbox is crap on it and I still don’t understand. Tank CSII is also easy because for some reason it just dies to Wind Storm like it was some paper tank! Refights with robot masters yawn yawn YAWN! God, where's the hacks to remove these parts of the game? Finally you got Wily Machine 6 and not only is it all so easy that I didn’t need an E-Tank for any of the three forms but for some reason it’s just always weak to Silver Tomahawk, why? What a lame final boss especially compared to the last game I reviewed. Anyway you beat Wily and he gets aw-WAIT HE CAPTURED HIM!? No way he actually got arrested OMG THIS ENDING IS AMAZING! Rockman actually turned the guy in! Yeah that’s what you get you dummy for having an easy final boss! Though I do wonder what this means for the World Robot Alliance, is that gonna go anywhere? Probably not.
The game looks really great presentation wise. The graphics are some of the best you can find for the Famicom color wise and there’s really cool looking areas like the famous sunset in Tomahawk Man’s stage. No slowdown either though there is still rare sprite flicker. It’s crazy just how much they keep improving in this era especially when the audience for these games were dwindling. I also really like the weapon get screen with Rockman shooting the screen with a cool looking sprite. This also goes for the music too as there’s some amazing tunes here. Anyone here a huge fan of Tomahawk Man’s theme because I love it so much. Also I don’t know if it’s just me but everytime I hear the music on the Mr. X fortress map, I just wanna dance. They also finally made a new tune for when you pick a new Robot Master for these Famicom games, took them like 3 games. If there’s one thing I can’t be negative about whatsoever, it’s this stuff. Good job Capcom!
Rockman 6 is something. It’s a game that just feels like missed potential at times. Despite all I’ve said, this is still a good game and the gameplay is still fun. I don’t wanna deny that even with the negatives and with good thought, I still like this one over Rockman 3. It could be much better, it could have been the best game of the Famicom games but it misses the mark at times and I can’t help but wonder if maybe part of it was me just nitpicking too much. Maybe I’m just asking for too much? I think another thing that disappoints me is it has none of what made Rockman World 4 so cool. No cool cutscenes, no shop or currency, and a lot of this game still feels more of just doing what made these games good. It is good but I want them to expand things a little, sure World 4 was flawed but it had things I took note of. Sadly the adaptor stuff would barely be expanded upon in later titles and feels like a what could have been moment. If anything, I’d say this is the best one to try if you want to relax and not worry about having game overs as the game showers you with 1-ups and E-tanks. In some ways despite its issues this was a good end to the series though we do have a soccer spinoff for the Super Famicom so at least Rockman can finally rest knowing it’s all over. Wait what does that say at the end? “TO BE CONTINUED” Oh, so he’s gonna be back isn’t he? Sigh, god some things just never end. Well someday we’ll get to Rockman 7 but like I already said, next time it’s a weird spinoff called Rockman’s Soccer! Thank you to anyone who read all the reviews so far, I’m glad to have finally mostly gotten most of these 8-bit games done as we’ll be heading into a new era for Rockman soon!

Another Game Boy game? It feels like it wasn’t too long since I did World 3. I actually had a lot of appreciation for this one. I played it only once on 3DS VC and thought it was one of the best games in the series but oddly never played it afterwards. I was very curious about replaying it. Was I gonna praise this one massively? Was I going to talk about how underlooked it was? Well I only knew the answer once I finished playing.
Seems we have a more normalish plot this time around. Months after World 3, a new expo named the World Robot Expo begins with Dr. Right attending with Rockman, Rush, and Beat on his side. It was all going well until that pesky Dr. Wily comes in with his UFO to take control of Robots from the Expo thanks to the power of Radio Waves controlling them. Beat also loses parts scattered around and as for Rockman and Rush? Well they weren’t affected thanks to having…a strong sense of justice. What? Well okay it’s up to Rockman to save the day once more and there seems to also be a real threat ready to attack very soon. Now unlike past games there actually is an intro this time if you wait on the title screen. There’s no dialogue and it doesn’t even show this expo but it looks pretty nice visually.
We do have one change for Rockman this time. Not only is he sporting the Super Rock Buster from 5 but it also has seen a nerf. When you do a fully charged buster shot you now move a tiny bit backwards. Be careful where you shoot from because this can put you in danger if you’re not thinking but it’s also not something that’ll screw you over unfairly. You can also get a better version of it that charges faster if you game over too many times. The controls in the air have also been improved a little, it’s still a tiny bit off but now I don’t even notice it while I was playing it after a while.
How’s the stage design in this game? Well it has improved a lot since Rockman World 3. No more frustrating moments here and now we have the rest of the stages from Rockman 4. There’s also half of the stages from Rockman 5. The stages this time aren’t 100% copied from the past titles. One example being the falling rocks that move bit by bit every time you step on them. I’ll be honest, it’s fine as a Pharaoh Man gimmick but they use this in like 5 more stages and it feels like a little odd to use this that many times.One stage I found very interesting was Napalm Man’s stage where it not only removed the Jungle theme from the stage but it now has a very heavy focus on running away or riding the Rolling Drills. There’s even a couple of sections of running from exploding block floors. Bright Man’s stage has these platforms you jump from while in the dark, you even pull a switch like it’s the opposite of Drill Man’s stage. Crystal Man’s stage also has these weird platforms that move as you land on them and also has way better design on the falling crystals gimmick. There’s stuff like this and I really appreciate them trying to shake things up while still feeling like old stages. That said there is one flaw with them. Now look, I’m sure it has happened in past games and I just never paid much attention but this game has a big problem with copy and pasted rooms. There were a few times I said “Wait, wasn't I here already?” and for a few stages this is actually correct and it bothered me a bit when playing. I’m also not sure if I’m used to other games but some stages feel like they go on a bit too long. For the order of Robot Masters, I went Toad -> Bright -> Pharaoh -> Ring -> Napalm -> Stone -> Charge -> Crystal. There is good stuff here and it’s a lot more solid then what World 3 was doing but it still could be better especially for a couple of the stages from 5 which are still nothing amazing.
The Robot Master fights are practically the same fights as before with pretty much nothing interesting to say. Literally the only note I wrote down for these were “I hate Charge Man please never come back” and “I hate using Charge Kick for Crystal Man, I hate everything about Charge Man and his weapon.” Not really much to say here sadly.
With the weapons I was hoping they would buff the ones from 5 but let’s discuss the ones from 4 first. Rain Flush from Toad Man was both nerfed and buffed. You can now use it more and it also solidifies the sand in Pharaoh Man’s stages and puts out fires. The problem is they made the move weaker unfortunately. Flash Stopper from Bright Man is good but I found it less useful here compared to 4. Pharaoh Shot from Pharaoh Man is still very good and it even has that bug still where hitting a big enemy with the charged shot doesn’t consume energy if hit while still charging. I actually forgot to mention that in the 4 review. Otherwise the move still has its positives from that game. Ring Boomerang from Ring Man is about the same as last time except it was given a buff. You can now grab items with it that are in walls or are far from reach. Napalm Bomb from Napalm Man is still good at what it does though it did make me miss Drill Bomb. Power Stone from Stone Man is still garbage, seriously why did we bring this back? Charge Kick from Charge Man is also still garbage and I still can’t stand using it, screw this thing and screw Charge Man! Crystal Eye from Crystal Man is still decent but I really don’t care to use it most of the time. It’s a shame they had to borrow weapons from 5 because they still are mostly not that good and make the 4 weapons look even better. I should also mention that this is the first game to actually demonstrate the weapon for you after you beat a stage though it sadly doesn’t have any text so some aren’t the best shown like Beat and Flash Stopper. Still cool to see however.
Why do these games still make me have to get Rush Coil? Well it’s still here and thankfully it’s not like how it is in 5. There’s also Rush Jet and it’s used in the most basic level design you can imagine. Beat also returns if you unlock him and works the same as he did in 5. Eddie is oddly not here but instead Blues gives you items, I think this is his first appearance in these GB games. There is one thing I haven’t mentioned though. Dr. Right holds a shop in this game. That’s right this is a new thing in the franchise. You can find P-chips dropped by enemies or lying around in the stage to spend stuff in this shop. You can press select on the stage select or press the button the game asks when beating a stage to go there. You can buy stuff like 1-ups, E-tanks, the new mini E-tanks where getting 4 forms a new E-tank, W-tanks that restore a full weapon energy for one special weapon, S-tanks to fully restore everything, and a new item called the Energy Balancer which will restore a special weapon of the lowest amount if you have nothing equipped. It’s very helpful if you forget to switch or can’t pause fast enough before grabbing it. Though there is one other thing you can buy and this will lead to a rant I have with the game.
Now I noticed this when I was playing through the stages from 5. In most Rockman games up to this point, if you beat a stage that isn’t a fortress stage, you get your weapon energy restored for the next stage. The only game to not do it was Rockman World 2 but that was probably because of how they designed the area for how you did the Rockman 3 robot masters. I’m guessing because you go through the castle halfway to fight a boss and Ballade, they decided to change the rules. Beating a stage here doesn’t restore energy which means you have to spend 80 P-chips to restore everything up to full. P-chips aren’t something you get a lot of either. In a way I feel like this discourages using special weapons a lot and I almost gave them credit for letting me use Beat more only for the game to do this. But you wanna know the worst part, getting a game over has about as much punishment as previous games meaning it’s only booting back to the beginning of the stage. They also restore all of your weapon energy so what is even the point of this mechanic when I can just die multiple times in the beginning to get them back? It feels flawed and not well thought out in my opinion.
Halfway through the game you go through a Wily fortress to fight a Satellite Cannon and the new Rockman killer named Ballade who looks pretty cool and has a nice fight albeit pretty easy once you understand his pattern. Another cool thing to add is just how amazing the cutscene is before going in, Wily actually tries to attack Rockman before he enters and you get to see him shoot back and dodging with his slide before teleporting in. It’s a really cool thing to see especially when we’ve never seen this in the series. Though eventually you’ll go through more levels with a start against Ballade once again as Wily makes his escape. However make sure you grabbed the letters in the 2nd half of the stages because you can't progress further until you do. Thankfully they are very easy to get. Ballade is stronger this time but then you unlock Ballade Cracker and omg this move is amazing! It’s fast, it has the most ammo in the game tied with Ring Boomerang, you can throw it in 7 directions, it kills almost every enemy in 1-3 hits even the huge ones, and it explodes on contact. Easily a top 5 weapon in the franchise so far. The next section has you running and breaking exploding capsules as the level is breaking apart and you can daddle around. You finally then do the fortress up in space and this one is fun. I don’t have too much to say besides the first one being pretty straight line feeling and the other stages being pretty solid and fun to use Ballade Cracker in. One really cool detail is that stages are now done as a full one. Once you beat a boss, you go further instead of just teleporting out and teleporting back in. You’ll first fight a boss named Bridge and it’s a machine that can use special weapons that you have but Beat beats it pretty easily. Then you fight two different forms of Hunter which again isn’t too hard with Pharaoh Shot but fun regardless as you’ll have to dodge lots! Then you sigh have to rematch all the Robot Masters. Whyyyy? So boring. Then you’ll be ready for the final boss. You’re given a small cutscene just to see how huge this Wily Machine is. This time it’s Wily Robo Iron Golem! The first form is hard as you’ll be dodging projectiles along with his fast giant fists that can hit you in two different ways. Then once you think it’s over, now it’s time for the head. He’ll try to suck you in and even ram you so you’ll need to use Ballade Cracker for hits and buster for his charge. Finally we have his capsule as he’ll try to destroy the floor you’re on and throw projectiles as he flees. Why he doesn’t keep destroying the floor I’ll never know. Once you hit him enough it’s all over for Wily! Until he just gets away easily wow what a shocker who could have seen that coming?! Though we have trouble, Rockman can’t escape! It might be all doom and gloom for our hero. That is until Ballade comes in and actually sacrifices himself for Rockman as he finally gets out and drives back home with Rush as once again the day is saved for now. Surprisingly a good ending compared to previous titles, the fact it even had dialogue was really cool. Honestly it makes me like Ballade the most out of all the Rockman Killers. You also get to see Rockman fight all of the bosses optimally during the credits which is cool.
The presentation in this game is pretty solid for the Game Boy. Like I said before, it’s really cool that we got some cinematic cutscenes that weren’t just the intro. Even stuff like the logo has to show up with how it stretches out first when you begin the game. The stage select screen is also one of the best I’ve seen in the series yet, they didn’t try to copy what the Famicom games did. The only real bad thing I have to say about the presentation is the slowdown is pretty bad still and I’m guessing there really is just no way to fix this as spoiler alert, the next GB game has it too. The music is nice and I like that they do try new music for stuff like the Robot Master selection tune and beating a stage with new music. It even reuses that unused tune from World 3 and I finally realized, that was supposed to be the Rockman 4 credits theme! I don’t know how I made the mistake in my World 3 review. Overall it’s mostly good stuff even if a lot of it is reused from the console games.
Rockman World 4 is such a weird entry for me. It seems like Minakuchi Engineering really wants to improve the gameplay and this is easily the best game on the handheld so far. It’s just unfortunate that it’s held back by some of the issues I’ve stated before. If they had just not used Rockman 5 stages I’d guarantee this would be an 8/10 game. Even with that, it still has weird flaws like the weapon energy problem. I do think it’s worth playing but it sadly wasn’t as good as I remember it being. I want to like it more but it is what it is. I still think you should try it if you haven’t. It’s also just impressive that this entry managed to introduce some things that the Famicom games haven’t done yet. They still got one more try to make a great game and we will be seeing that sometime soon but for now it’s time to go back to the Famicom and end it all as I’ll finally be doing Rockman 6. See you soon!

Well folks we finally got a spinoff game for the Rockman series. It took us 9 entries to get one but in 1993 AKA the final full year for the Famicom, we would get Wily & Right no RockBoard: That's Paradise. Board games were still very much a thing games were doing and this one tries to copy Itadaki Street which was also a Famicom game. I have never really had interest in this title in the past mostly because I don’t really play these kinds of games but I knew if I skipped it people would have been mad. So I played it a bit and I got a bit to say about it.
There really isn’t a plot to RockBoard besides the goals of each playable character. There’s five in total. The first is Dr. Wily who wants to build evil laboratories for world domination, Dr. Right, who is basically the opposite of Wily and wants to achieve world peace, Dr. Cossack just wants to do more experiments by making labs, Kalinka wants a castle to become a princess, and finally the last character is Roll who wants to build a hospital to save all the good people in the world. There’s no playable Rockman in this game, he’s actually only in a few places like in the beginning where you choose players and the rules and he asks each question for it. I have to assume he’s not playable because I guess he’s never wanted any facility? Blues is also not in this game outside of a card with his face on it. Honestly Roll being playable is probably the biggest oddity since unlike everyone else, she’s practically had no significance on the franchise in the past 8 games, only showing up in the endings of 1 and 4.
When you begin there’s four maps you can choose from which are Green Continent, Cold Island, Continent of Sand, and Megalopolis. Each map represents an actual real life continent of our world. Interesting since the last Famicom Rockman game will have Rockman traveling the world. The goal of each map is to get a certain amount of Zenny and get a certain amount of buildings built. There are two different rules being Bankrupt and Battle Royale but I could not figure out what was different besides you can get an ending on the last map with the 2nd option on. You’ll move using a roulette that goes up to 8 spaces. The way you purchase land is weird, when it’s empty you can buy it for the price listed and you’ll see it’s now owned by you but this also doesn’t stop players from building on that spot, they’ll just have to give the owner of the land money and they’ll also share the money for whoever lands on it. The buildings themselves can go up to three levels and you can also upgrade any place you have if you land on a building that’s maxed out. This also means the only other way to upgrade buildings is to actually land on them. You can also take someone’s land by paying a big fee on it. It’s all dependent on the value of it, same goes for upgrading one. Landing on a property can also very rarely activate someone’s ability. Wily’s takes 300 Zenny from the player, Right involves drawing a card though I’m unsure if it means for him or the player, Cossack makes you roll the roulette again, Kalinka forces you to transform into one of the three Robot Masters for a turn, and Roll makes you lose a turn
Many different spaces also exist in this game like The E-Tank which is where you start but passing it gives you free Zenny. You also get a random reward for landing on it like double the amount of Zenny. The Rush space will have Rush use Rush Coil and land you on the other space adjacent to it. The lottery space lets you pay Zenny in hopes of winning more of it but I sadly never saw anyone win so I never bothered with it. The entertainment space is a property you can buy and once someone lands on it, you can do a betting race with multiple Metalls trying to get to the end. The tunnel space offers either good or bad luck but with my experience it was mostly bad luck. The under construction space makes you lose a turn so try not to land on it if possible. Then there are the transformation and card spaces which I’ll go over in their own sections.
Cards are one of the bigger game changers as you’ll have to select from three cards that you won’t know what has what until you pick. The first group is the Eddie cards which always give benefits mostly involving Zenny, you should usually be happy if you flip one over. Rush cards usually involve movement like moving twice in a row or moving to any spot you want. The Blues and Rockman cards help you defend against hurtful cards though the Rockman card helps with one extra benefit which are the Reggae cards. Those cards give harmful benefits like destroying a building or even getting rid of all Zenny you have! You don’t want him. You might be wondering who even is Reggae? Well he’s a new character who is Dr. Wily’s bird and we sadly barely even see him in the franchise after this. Finally there are the boss cards which do many different things ranging from Robot Masters up to Rockman 4. I never saw all of them, there’s apparently an Enker and Quint card which were bosses from the World games. They can range from stuff like cursing a player to only move 1 space for multiple turns to burning all of their cards or allowing you to pick another card. Use them strategically! Also why is one of them the Pickelman Bull enemy from Rockman 3? He was never a hard enemy.
The transformation space will let you become either Guts Man, Shadow Man, and Dust Man. Oddly the Quick Man one was scrapped. You’ll have to use one for a full lap unless you have a card to stop the transformation. Guts Man can destroy buildings, Shadow Man can steal cards, and Dust Man can take money. While it can be helpful, it can hurt you as you can’t get any Zenny from the E-Tank, can’t do any activities or even buy land or build. This feels like a very bad design flaw as it can actually hurt you if you get this at the beginning, it happened to me the first time playing and I could never catch up.
That’s all you really need to know about RockBoard when it comes to the mechanics. Now is the game fun at all? Well it’s hard to say. I should note I had to do this alone as I always say, I have no friends so I fought against the CPU. I always played as Roll and my goal was to at least get one win. When it comes to the boards themselves they feel fine but I do think the game feels a bit flawed when it comes to ones with multiple paths. IDK if it was because of luck or what but it always felt like it was easier to win depending on where you settle land first at. I dominated on the 2nd board because I was setting up so much on the right side that it made for easy money. Surprisingly I won twice though Kalinka won the first and fourth boards. I actually didn’t play on the last one because I wanted to see the AI go for a round and it felt like it took forever. It’s hard to really say much that wasn’t just it was decent. A lot of the game seems to be luck based. I’ve always had this big thought in my mind that makes me wonder what makes this work so much for people. I’d say I enjoyed it but that probably was because I used speed up on my emulator when it wasn’t my turn.
Now I’m going to say something that might get me hated but I’m not happy with the fan translation for this game. Now I’m glad there is an easy way for people who don’t know Japanese to play the game but the translation is rough. The readme file does warn you it’s not 100% accurate as they had a limit of text they could do but I do wonder if they could have fixed a few things. I think the biggest one I saw is Fire Man’s ability to burn cards, the text made me think it was one random card but no it’s all of them. A lot of the sentences also read out very poorly like one conversation with Roll and Right going “Roll: Yeah,sorry. Dr Right: What’s…!” Granted it is funny but still I feel like it could be a little better. There also was one time Kalinka’s dialogue glitch. Still it’s playable but I hope there’s a possibility it could be refined someday.
Graphically it works, it’s got the Rockman feel to it and there’s not much to complain about especially since it’s a board game. I do think the sprites could look better, it’s weird because some of it is from the previous Famicom games but sometimes it looks kind of off for the standards of the series. The portraits especially feel off though some are better than others. The music is fine but I feel like it kind of reaches this weird area of sounding like music from Rockman 5 but going for a more chillful vibe to it. It’s all just decent and nothing amazing but it was probably never meant to be anything outstanding.
RockBoard is a game I find to be very overhated on this site. Granted not many people have talked about this game or even rated it but at worst it’s boring. The game feels very inoffensive and I do think it’s better than some other board games on the Famicom that I’ve seen but I could probably see more of the flaws if I were to play it more. I wish I could play it with other people but that’s just impossible. I probably won’t ever play it again but at least it’s not the worst game in the series so far. I probably wouldn’t recommend this game nowadays but if you really wanna play something different with friends for once, this wouldn’t hurt to do one game. Decent game and hey at least I won multiple times so at least I got something positive after being done with the game. Next time we’ll be back on the Game Boy with Rockman World 4. They really make these games fast don’t they? See you soon with that!
One interesting fact about this game was that it was supposed to get a US release under the name Mega Board but sadly was canceled and we probably will never know why that was the case. If I had to guess, it probably was due to it being released in 1993 and probably wasn’t going to make much money so just pulled the plug early. It was also considered to be in the Legacy Collection but that also never happened. I remember there being a story about why it didn’t happen but I can’t remember why exactly. There should be some Youtube video talking about it if you look hard enough.
A Game Boy version was planned but was canceled and we only have an unfinished version of it thanks to it getting leaked a couple years back. It seems to have been made by a company named Dual. Idk if they mean Dual Corporation but we know it wasn’t the same developer. The game however is pretty much the same just being on a Game Boy. It’s not surprising this was canceled as I can’t really see much appeal in this for a Game Boy game.

Well now we are at the final classic Twinbee game. Twinbee Da!! for the Game Boy. This is the only game in the series that landed on a handheld. At this point in the franchise it feels like Twinbee was finally hitting the good spot for me and now we’re on a handheld known for downgraded entries. Even Konami was guilty of this with their game Dracula Densetsu. Is Twinbee Da!! any good? Well the answer may surprise you.
The plot is once again only in the Manual where we find the Twinbees relaxing until a new threat named Dr. Nikki challenges them after seeing his past failures be defeated by them. Yes we find out all the main threats from the past three games were made by him which okay that doesn’t even make sense. We also learn that Dr. Nikki was Dr. Cinnamon's childhood rival! Their destination was the Puka Puka Island and Gwinbee is just on guard duty for Cinnamon once again leaving him out of the game. Now despite what I said this game later got retconned to take place in between Twinbee 1 and Moero so I guess he only made King Spice? It’s confusing.
This game really doesn’t do much to change up the formula besides being on a handheld so stages are what you’d expect and this goes for bells. Though due to the monochrome screen, bells had to be changed. The black bells give speed for up to 3 levels this time, white bells still give double shot, the patterned bells give the shadow ships, and striped ones give the barrier. The shadow ships can also be improved by now being 2 ½ length as they will basically form a line if you stand still. You’ll have to pause the game and do the Konami code but be warned it can only be used once per game. The laser has been removed in this title meaning the shadow ships are probably the way to go for this one. The first game where I preferred it over the barrier. Twinbee angels are still a thing when you die though due to the screen size, it’s easy to have it go off screen but it does work like Twinbee 3 where it comes out after every death. The ambulance is also here but it only shows up once per life. It should be noted the arms being destroyed are like the Arcade and 3 where it takes two hits to lose both. You can also find items once more from bombing enemies like fruit for points, stars to kill any enemy on screen, milk for a 1-up, and candy to give you the 3 way spread which is the best weapon to have. There was also an icon for a Dr. Cinnamon head but it doesn’t take you to a bonus stage and the wiki doesn’t mention it so maybe it’s just points? If you also collect the candy again, you get a baseball item that bounces on screen. Finally I can use that item I could never get in the Arcade game.
Here’s the usual where I say it has co-op in it. You’ll need to use the link cable for this one. It seems you can share a shadow ship in this one? If that was in other games I wasn’t aware. There’s also a special shot that’s to be expected. The wiki didn’t even list anything for co-op so thank god someone did a playthrough on Youtube.
Stages in the game are quite enjoyable and start out as a nice homage to the first game. This game is for some reason listed as a sequel on this site but that is not true. Only some things come back from the first game. One cool thing they brought back was the option to change the level order though you can’t change stage 5 due to the bosses they have in that stage. There’s some cool ideas here like the water that pushes you. There’s even these islands that can kill you via touch damage in stage 5 which I think is a first for the franchise but honestly I kind of didn’t like that part of the level. When it comes to difficulty, I’d say it’s easier than the first two but not easier than 3. Another odd thing I found was in stage 3 where the clouds are replaced with bubbles, they still pretty much act the same but quite interesting to see a different graphic for just one stage. They even come from the rocks used in the area. While the game isn’t anything innovative for stage design, it’s pretty enjoyable for the Game Boy and the screen size being smaller doesn’t really affect the action. Though I did find myself dying more from just running into the enemy so maybe it does affect the action hehe. While lives can’t be changed this time, it’s easy to obtain them from getting bells and beating bosses. Keep in mind that even though lives won’t display above 9, you can get more than that.
Bosses in this game are like an inbetween of Moero and 3 in terms of challenge. You definitely will still have to try and they do have some creativity even if it’s nowhere the same extreme as 3. That said, they can be pretty easy if you have the shadow ships and the spread. They’re actually quite the challenge at times without shadow ships. You’ll be fighting stuff like a giant turtle named Kameron and a Queen Bee that’s huge. When you get to the end of stage 5, you’ll be facing off against all of the bosses from Twinbee 1 and while they still aren’t too hard, they were given a lot more health so that’s nice at least. This does make me wonder if that’s why the game was retconned to be after the first. Stage 6 is not even a stage as you’ll just be fighting the final boss. I do gotta give them credit for making a menacing impression as you’ll get text telling you that you won’t be able to survive his wrath and tells you to try to stand a chance against the new great foe named Cyber Poppo. Even the music is very intense. Sadly he’s pretty bad as a final boss as he has one attack and can die in about 30 seconds. The only way he’ll kill you is if he gets too close and uses his attack at that distance. Once you beat him, you fly away as his place gets blown up and then credits. There’s not even a second loop in this game, how odd.
For a Game Boy game, it looks nice but the lack of color does hurt the game since Twinbee has always had nice colors. The locations and sprite art are all very good and are even better than what the first two games were doing. While 3 does have better graphics that’s probably because it has more unique looking levels of the series so far. Still for the time, this was pretty impressive and I’d argue it was one of the better looking games you could find for the handheld in 1990. The music is also pretty damn good, I always love GB audio when done right. The boss theme for stages 1-4 is really excellent and each stage has a different power up theme which is great. Give it a listen if you have the chance, it’s great stuff. At least listen to the credits named Recollections
Twinbee Da!! is a decent game for the Game Boy. I’d argue it’s probably good for what it was meant to be but I don’t know if I’d recommend it nowadays if you were looking for shmups. I wish it had color, I’d probably like it a little more. With that being said though, I do appreciate it a lot more than I used to. I thought it was a nothing special Game Boy game but with my journey through the series, I found a lot more appreciation for something like this. Twinbee 3 is still the better game but I’d play this over the first two games. Give this one a try if you’re curious because for what’s here, it’s a neat little game that’ll take you less than 30 minutes to beat. Next time on Twinbee, we will be heading into a new era. This is when the series changes a bit and we’ll be seeing the most popular game in the series, Detana!! Twinbee for Arcade.
You might be wondering what’s up with the title? Well that’s because many years later, Konami would release this game in the PAL region as Pop’n Twinbee. That’s the same cover and name as the Super Famicom game. I really don’t know why Konami did this besides maybe hoping to fool people because it’s most certainly not a port of that game. I don’t even know why Backloggd uses that name and cover anyway considering it’s just deceiving to people who don’t know the series much. I wonder if anyone back then felt scammed?
In 1997, TOSE would put this game in a collection on the GB called Konami GB Collection Vol. 2. It’s nothing different outside of removing the 2 player mode (though maybe they just removed the option when in SGB mode). The game is now depicted in a blue color scheme but it’s still basically monochrome. There’s also a really cool border for the game which is nice. The menu for selecting the games even has a Tokimeki Memorial girl on it. Though I’m sorry I don’t know her name.
In 2000, there would be a Europe only GBC version of the collection though it’s now the 3rd collection. The cover art now depicts a different piece of art from the series though it’s still very inaccurate to the game sadly. Though this is the best version of the game because it now has full on color. Now it’s not anything outstanding, it uses a lot of blues and greens but this really does make the graphics look better to me. I will probably play this version for now on and I’d argue you should try it too if you can get the chance. I still hate that it uses the name of the Super Famicom game though. It should also be noted it lacks the borders due to not having SGB support.
Also don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about something, I’ll be saving the other things related to this game until the very end of this review series. You probably already know what it is.

This review contains spoilers

Bomberman was one of those franchises that I didn’t get into until I think the beginning of 2017. I always knew of the dude but never really sat down to play his games. Since then I’ve played a decent amount of them but nothing amazing. Some of the games I really enjoy like Bomberman 94 but Super Bomberman R was a weird one for me. I’d only had the first Super Famicom game beaten for the series so I wasn’t really aware of what it got wrong in fact it took me until playing more games to realize what it did do wrong. I still have it as a 7/10 and idk if that’ll ever change because I don’t feel like replaying it. When the sequel was announced via a Nintendo Direct, I was disappointed and it made me say something that didn’t age well but I’ll save that till the end. I just wanted something brand new and not more of the same. I wasn’t going to buy it at first but I like Bomberman so I thought why not, surely it’ll be good!
Now it should be noted this review will mostly be about the story mode. I’m going to get the story out of the way because the story itself is decent and I’d argue it’s better than the story of the previous game. I do like the new villain but my only gripe is the story is very been there, done that when it comes to what happens in the later half. The game also decides to not really give much until a big lore dump by the end. There are logs you can read but I’m dumb and didn’t read them. Maybe it was because of the actual story mode that’ll go over but I didn’t really feel much watching the cutscenes. I’m also sick of the whole, most of the team is bad at saving the day besides White Bomber they keep doing. They also feel very oddly placed at times like they weren’t sure where to place them all. While new characters are great, it’s a shame there’s no Dastardly Bombers because I saw them on the box art wondering what they’d be doing. They’re also in the credits for some reason. Pretty Bomber is also just gone entirely from the story, what happened to her?
The story mode in this game has you traveling through 3 worlds as White Bomber to rescue a species called the Ellon. The rooms are structured similar to a normal level but to be more open. You also no longer collect power ups as it’s now given to you via level ups. Grab EXP from enemies or soft blocks to level up to 15 times. You even can get more parts to use for the Castle mode and more extra lives. Be warned that you’ll start back at level 1 at the start of each world. Sometimes you’ll also need Ellons to open up warps for the area or to go to challenges to get more Ellons. The challenges are okay but there’s many of the ones where you just have to place bombs in the right spot. I think having these be more like how Bomberman levels used to be or maybe having battles would have been a cooler idea. That’s really all there is to this mode when doing each 3 worlds as besides the gimmicks here and there, you’ll be doing the same thing everytime. Even the enemy variety is probably one of the lowest I’ve seen in the franchise, even doing a couple of variants despite again the very low enemy count. Fighting enemies also just isn’t that fun when they are in the more open areas. Another disappointing thing is there’s no way to get new bombs so the only non stat rising powerups you get are the punch glove, the kick, and the throw glove.
Sometimes when you reach a new room, you’ll be reported to come back as these species called Lugion have come to steal an item you found earlier that’s needed for the Ellons. This is where the new Castle Mode comes in where you need to protect the treasure from the Lugion. They need to collect keys to obtain them and you need to fend them off for about 3 minutes. You’ll also be given a special weapon, the first being a laser, second being a sword, and lastly a barrier that can prevent going through a pathway or even the treasure. Now you may think that sounds hectic and entertaining but sadly the AI for the Lugion is so horrible that you don’t have to try for any of them meaning they can feel like a slog to get through. You know you’re gonna win but it just feels like it takes forever. They eventually have like 18 people on their team and they still can’t play confidently. You can customize your castle to make it optimal to stop them but I only ever used it once in each world because again, there’s really no reason to get experimental with it. What’s worse is if you’re just going ahead to maybe get an Ellon to backtrack to open a warp, you’ll be alerted and have to return, you can’t explore when this happens and I wish they gave you a warning, I got screwed over by it so many times.
You also sometimes have to be the attacker and get the treasure from the Lugions. You’ll work with the other Bomberman Brothers to get it. These are very easy as again, the AI is stupid. I could finish the very last one and show the whole thing in a clip which can only go up to 30 seconds on Switch. I’m sure it’s more fun with real people but it just feels nothing to me here.I never wanted to play it again afterwards, especially with AI. Also why can’t the other people on my team get the treasure, if you let one of them get to it, you lose! What is it because White Bomber said he needed to do it himself and feels ashamed? Also you actually get warned for these ones before entering making me wonder why doesn’t the other ones do this!
You’ll also fight bosses at the end of each world. They are awful. They’re not only boring but they take forever and have such simple and easy patterns that you’re more likely to die from scattered enemies. You want to hit them a bunch and then grab Ellons to put them into a cannon to attack the boss. This wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t feel so uninteresting. They have attacks that I’m not sure who would avoid dodging them, especially the 2nd time around. Even worse, the game makes you refight them all at the end of the game with a boss rush, WHY!? Even the final boss is painfully easy. I only died once because I didn’t realize the size of his hitbox when it started. Probably some of the worst bosses I’ve seen in the series so far.
The single player at best is just boring, it’s not the worst thing but I don’t feel much from it. You then got multiplayer which I didn’t do much of where you can do the modes from the first and second game along with the battle mode from Online that’s now been taken down. Sadly they didn’t fix the Rooey problem where it’s only the green one and no additional abilities. For god's sake, they did this back in their debut game, how do the team not fix this. The roster is also mostly Konami guest stars and I couldn't care less and some of them are just awful. Who the hell even is Old Snake? Is that a thing? Does anyone know? I don’t care enough to look it up. Seeing Richter Belmont Bomber just made me wish I was playing Rondo of Blood again. We don’t even have Max back which is such a shame, I’m not the biggest lore person when it comes to Bomberman but it’s a shame to still see it be so ignored. It’s especially jarring when Bombergirl doesn’t do this and that’s a degenerate fanservice waifu game. Also why the hell is there a Bean Bomber from Fall Guys? Really Konami? This is so lame.
There’s also Online which I didn’t even do because I don’t have my ethernet connected at the moment and I don’t wanna lie about the online being ass because it could just be my fault. I did notice there’s a thing called a Season? Idk what that means, I think Fortnite does stuff like that. I also noticed modes go through hourly rotations so when I was doing battles, I couldn’t even do normal online battles. Also I know Steam reviews aren’t the highest caliber of quality but some said there’s actually bots in the Online meaning there’s barely anyone playing this game! It even has crossplay which shocked the hell out of me. You can’t even do public lobbies, couldn’t you do that in the first game? I can’t remember. You can also buy tons of outfits and stuff at the shop but I ain’t bothering with that, Bomberman looks stupid in Richter’s outfit from Symphony of the Night anyway.
The game looks awful for a 2023 game. It still looks like it was made the same year as the first one which was 6 years ago! Also do not get this on the Switch as it looks even worse and the framerate isn’t even good. Ok idk if my switch is broken or something but for the first half of the game, it was running horribly. Like we’re talking maybe choppy 20 FPS. It was even giving me a headache but then by the 2nd half it never did it again even in the areas where it was that bad. What happened? It still doesn’t run that well anyway but still, it made me have to play Smash Ultimate just to see if maybe it was my Switch which I still don’t know because that still ran fine like usual. Loading can also take forever sometimes like almost 30 seconds. The shop when buying characters I swear runs at like 15 FPS. It even crashed after I finished shopping! The music is once again just sounds like noise to me because I still don’t feel anything from it like the previous game. It’s not bad but I wouldn’t listen to it outside of the game. They also for some reason reuse the same vocal theme for the credits that was in the previous game. The mix for it was different but it pretty much is the same song which is lame and I just wanna point out there was a section in the shop for music and one of the only Bomberman songs from a past game was the main theme from Bomber King. WHO EVEN REMEMBERS THAT GAME BESIDES ME!? The voice acting is also atrocious once again. How the hell has the guy who voiced X and Flame Hyenard in X7 still can’t voice Bomberman well at all in the year 2023!? I really hope it’s just bad voice direction. The voice acting in general got so bad I had to switch to Japanese which thankfully you can just switch the voices and it still isn’t good. It’s like really generic Japanese voice acting to me but I’m not a good opinion for stuff like that. The presentation is just a mess and the Switch version only makes it worse.
Super Bomberman R 2 is a disappointment. Do I have buyer’s remorse for this game? Maybe, I’m not really sure. It’s not the worst example of it I’ve had before but the game is nothing special. At best, it’s decent but at its worst, it’s really boring. I can’t in good faith recommend the game unless you’re just a big Bomberman fan. Really the game just makes me sad thinking about it. You know what I called this game before it came out, when they announced it? I called it the “Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 of Bomberman” , a safe sequel that barely does anything to improve on its predecessor because it sold a lot on the Switch. Look I do think this one warrants being a sequel a little more over PPT2 now that I’ve played it but it annoys me that these companies do not realize why it even sold in the first place. I’m going to say it, it only sold well before because there was barely anything out on the Switch. I get Bomberman is not some super niche series but Konami should have seen this coming with this title. It was dead on arrival, it got barely any advertisements and most people were just saying how no one is talking about it or not even knowing it existed. Super Bomberman R 2 might live down as the game to show Konami isn’t listening and probably never will. I’d say wait for a price drop if you can, some may like this game and for the record that’s 100% OK I won’t shame you but to me all it does is painfully remind me how much I despise Konami.
F*ck you Konami, I hope karma hits you hard someday for doing this series disservice!

After the mixed things going for Moero Twinbee, what was next for the flying machines to do? Well instead of going on the FDS, this time we are back on a Famicom cartridge. Still no Arcade game. TwinBee 3: Poko Poko Daimaō (translated as TwinBee 3: The Aimless Demon King via the fan translation) would be the next entry and I had not played this one before despite always having interest in it. I played it a couple of times and there won’t be too much to discuss with this one.
The plot this time is not given in the game itself unlike last time. The plot has Dr. Cinnamon asked Mellow to run an errand for him but mysteriously never came back. With suspicions raised, the Demon King Poko Poko comes to tell the Doctor Gwinbee has been kidnapped. It’s up to Twinbee and Winbee to save the day. It should be addressed that the game never actually mentions the pilots from Moero, not even in the manual. It wasn’t till a rerelease of future games I’ll talk about where they mention this probably to make it less confusing about wtf happened to them.
Horizontal stages have been cut and we are back to being a pure vertical shmup once again. There are five stages total this time like the original game and this time you can pick between Twinbee or Winbee. Winbee is the easy mode of the game letting you fire four shots on screen at a time and having a barrier that can take up to 15 hits while Twinbee’s lasts only 10. You now lose one arm at a time just like the original Arcade game which is a very welcome change to bring back. The first four stages can also be played in any order to help you pick what stages you are best tackling in a specific order.
Bells are pretty much the same here as they were in Moero but there is one change that makes the game a lot easier. The shadow ships and barrier can now be combined and the barrier can even be regenerated to full when you still have one so don’t try to follow the previous game’s rules for bells. Speed also has a cap of seven this time around. Ground enemies can once again drop items like points now featuring the fruit from the first game and money bags from Moero. The ? either does nothing or kills all enemies. The milk bottle gives you a 1-up like before. The candy gives a 3-way spread shot which sadly isn’t as good in this game and the 5-way spread shot is also missing in this one. The fire match lights up bells and when collected will give you invincibility until you reach the boss, that may sound broken but they’re usually given close to the end of the stage. Dr. Cinnamon’s face can also be collected once again for a bonus stage to get more points. Now I have to say the most optimal weapon has to be the laser. I found it a lot more useful in this one especially since bosses are more of a threat than they ever were before. The Twinbee angel also returns when you die in this game but unlike last time, you can collect it everytime you die instead of it only being the first death meaning you’ll never have a dead run like previous games.
The game is back to being a 2 player co-op game and once again you have special things you can do together that I wasn’t able to do. One notable one I found interesting was if you both have the barrier, you can join together to form an umbrella barrier which sounds really cool. Man, sometimes I wish I had friends.
Stages this time are at their most creative here! We have some really cool locations like fighting musical instruments like cymbals on the Air Island, scary banana creatures along with whales at Wanana Bani, a medieval stage with dragons and grasslands called Castle Land, a mining place with minecarts and cannons called the Dungeon, and then the Final stage with many magic acts on a generic checkerboard okay they could have been a little better there. Stages are pretty short in this one which is a little shocking considering the stage amount. In fact I should address that this game can be pretty easy, it’s usually cited as being too easy as well. I would argue it’s a good game for beginners but some might scoff at this one for its lack of challenge. I will say had it not been for the barrier, I’d absolutely hate the last stage with how much it throws at you near the end of the stage, it’s ridiculous. I think of three games, this one I liked the levels the most but I do think that’s because it lacks what Moero faltered in. This game feels like if Moero had only vertical stages and even a little better than that.
Then you got those bosses and oh boy they are something. At first I was mixed on them when I got to Crystal Jizo where he took way too many hits and felt too repetitive. The bosses have a lot more health in this one and also love to do this thing where you have to destroy multiple things to have the boss be dead. Take the Ukulele Band for example, you need to kill all the band players but then the main one comes back and you have to destroy her again and it can take a lot of firepower so try not to zone out! The fourth boss named Unadon is just tedious especially since his placement can just be annoying and drag out the fight. The Demon King himself also isn’t too hard especially on the easy difficulty. Look if you have a lot of lives, you’re gonna win so don’t even bother dodging if you don’t feel like it. Regardless of some of the iffy bits, this is still the best ones in the series because at least they feel like a threat this time and plus they ooze a lot of charm. The dragon isn’t even gonna fight you, he just wants the pests out of his teeth to make sure his teeth are clean. It’s good to decentish stuff but could be better. Once you beat that pesky King then you save Gwinbee and you’ll go back home and the credits and viewpoint changes depending on the difficulty. It even has fake names on the hard mode credits!
Graphically this is the best Twinbee has ever looked, even more so than that first Arcade game. It’s great to see Konami improving it with each entry we see of the series on the Famicom. While there is some flicker and I swear I saw a couple of screen glitches during my playthroughs, it doesn’t stop the charming visuals. The music is also quite nice and there’s a lot more of it finally. They even did the thing the final stage in Moero did where each stage has its own powerup theme which is great. If you’re someone who likes hearing Konami music on the system then you owe yourself to give it a listen. The game even has some voice samples though not that many but still neat to see!
Twinbee 3 was a nice game to play after playing the previous games to just see how they got better and better with these entries. While there are better Konami shmups on the console and I’d argue even Crisis Force is a better co-op shmup, you can’t go wrong with this one. That said, idk if I would go back to this one much because well, later games as we’ll see will greatly improve the formula making this one a good but just another sequel for the series. I’d still recommend playing it at least once unless you really just don’t like easy games. It sadly has never gotten a port on a collection or even one of Nintendo’s retro services like VC or NSO so stick with the real deal or an emulator if you choose to play it. While it’s not the last classic Twinbee game, I’d argue it’s the last one in terms of trying to improve what’s there as next time we will be on the Game Boy with Twinbee Da!! The final game in the classic Twinbee saga, we’re almost through it all already folks. I’ll try to go through that one sometime soon. See you soon!

This game starts kind of neat and fun and then nosedives into being tedious, not well thought out and frustrating. If there is one thing you don't want in your puzzle like game is bad controls. It's a shame the game isn't well refined because I could see it being decent especially for an early Game Gear game.
I do like how you can choose what position you want the gun and the intermission graphic looks really pleasing. Though I swear this game has a girl on it just to sell you on the game though I guess you could argue even good games do that. Either way it's best you just don't bother with this one. Wish I could give it more love but I'd be lying if I did.

A decent vertical shmup done by developer Sting. Despite its colorful visuals, it never really strives to do anything the genre hadn't already done by 1992. Acts for the most part are decent to good outside of Act 5 which was a pretty bad one. The weapon system is small in fact the game also only uses 2 buttons with one being a bomb that is surprisingly bad for what's it's meant to be used for. There's only three weapons that level up three times but they keep the levels even when you switch to one and then back. This is also a shmup where you can take multiple hits before death.
Bosses feel kind of rudimentary? Like none of them feel like they're unique even in this game in a vaccuum. I just felt very unimpressed with them in this game, maybe it's because a lot of their projectiles can be beaten out by yours? There was one boss that I swear is impossible unless you have your homing helpers. This game also has controllable speeds by hitting select, up to 3 levels. Honestly it's not the worse I've seen this implemented but it could be better, I only had to use the slowest speed once. The game does look nice but nothing about enemy designs are that outstanding, same goes for the environments. Maybe I'm just spoiled by something like Twinbee.
Flying Hero is decent but you could also find much better in this era. I wouldn't say you should avoid it but just don't go in expecting something amazing.

Angel_Arle Twinbee reviews
Part 1: TwinBee for Arcade
Part 3: TwinBee 3: Poko Poko Daimaō for Famicom
Part 4: TwinBee Da!! for GB
Twinbee on the Famicom was a success at the time though granted many Famicom games in that era were making bank but with fans in the Arcades and Famicom, it was time to take the next step. Konami made some FDS games early in the console's life and one of them was Moero TwinBee: Cinnamon Hakase o Sukue! (translated as Burnin’ Twinbee: The Rescue of Dr. Cinnamon!) made 11 months after Twinbee made its Famicom debut. This one stayed on consoles so it’s time now to see what Konami did to improve on the formula with a different market on their hands.
While this is a sequel, the plot takes place a hundred years after the original game now starring the grandchildren of the protagonists of the previous game. The three are named Squash, Whip, and Mellow. Sadly not only heroes can exist as the grandchild of King Spice named Gattlantis seeks a plan to kidnap Dr. Cinnamon and succeeds with doing so. It’s up to the three to pilot Twinbee, Winbee, and the new Gwinbee and save Dr. Cinnamon and keep Donburi Island and the entire universe from safety. Now you might be wondering how the hell did Dr. Cinnamon stayed alive for 100 years, well the wiki states he was placed in a cryogenic sleep after the first game, okay. That’s oddly specific to do after your Island got saved.It should be noted this game does actually have an intro showing Dr. Cinnamon getting kidnapped along with dialogue from the three pilots.
Right off the bat you’ll recognize something new starting the game and that is the game is part horizontal shmup. For three of the stages, you’ll be going through them horizontally instead of vertically. It’s very similar to how Gradius’ spinoff game Salamander did the same thing for its game having both horizontal and vertical. Vertically scrolling stages work like how they did in the previous Twinbee game where you’ll be shooting and bombing many targets and grabbing bells from clouds you shoot. There’s a boss at the end of each stage and you’ll be going through 7 stages in total this time. Before we go over the two types of stages in deep, I’ll explain the more basic stuff that both sections go through.
Bells have returned and are almost identical to last time. Blue bells are speed ups and you can grab up to 16 of them, white bells give you a double shot, a flashing pink one gives you those shadow ships that follow your movement, and the flashing blue one gives you a barrier. New to the bells are the pink ones which give you a new laser weapon which has good firepower but can be hard to hit bells with at times at least for me. There’s also items to collect on the ground from bombing enemies. The first are money bags which give points. There’s also hidden items that give more points with some even referencing other Konami properties like Goemon, Akumajou Dracula, and Antarctic Adventure. A cross will give you an extra life though why is it a cross? The L and R item add another bullet to your shot, it can go left or right for the vertical stages and up or down for the horizontal stages. Collect both to now obtain a shot that shoots behind you. The Moon gives you a 3-way spread shot while the star gives you a 5-way spread shot. Be mindful that those shots can’t be obtained if you have the shadow ships. You can find an icon of Dr. Cinnamon’s head that takes you to a bonus stage that helps you get more points meaning more extra lives. There’s also the ? which contains many possible outcomes. The first is a skull meaning it did nothing, all enemies can be destroyed or turned into bells. Best one to get is the invincibility which lets you hit any enemies to gain points though enemies sometimes will be afraid of you and try to flee. Also one tip is try to back off before the song is about to end because for some reason it ends before the song actually ends which is stupid.
Like the previous game you can do co-op with a friend but even better is that the game now supports 3 player action. What’s more fun than 2 players? Well 3 players of course! Sadly though, as per usual, I don’t have anyone to play with so I couldn’t experience it myself but it still does have a unique attack if you pair up with one of your friends like the previous game. I’m not sure if all three though have one unique attack as I couldn’t find an answer. There’s also a cheat for the players to steal lives from each other so you can use that if one player is not as good as someone else to keep everyone alive as like the first game, no continues.
Let’s begin the discussion on those horizontally scrolling stages first. First off is the shot and bomb are now on the same button and bombing now lacks a target reticle. I’m not really keen on how bombing works in this mode because a lot of times I’m not even realizing I’m hitting things until I look down. You also now have a new heart projectile that goes up and can’t hurt any enemies. You might wonder what’s the point but that’s where the bells come in. You see, bells still bounce upwards meaning it can be hard to hit them without this weapon but this also becomes a big problem if you want to also collect said bells as you’ll likely have to go in and get them quickly while enemies are coming at you. You also can’t lose your arms in these levels or at least it never happened to me so one hit is bye bye without a barrier. Honestly the biggest problem with these levels is just that they aren’t that interesting especially with the big blue or black background accompanying them. The reason something like Gradius works was because it had obstacles and stuff that wasn’t even just enemies like tight spaces, volcanoes and even moai statues spitting projectiles. In this it’s just fighting enemies and while it’s okay, it just isn’t as fun. Only stage 3 even has the enemies you bomb shooting at you too which means there isn’t too much to worry about. Stage 7 in general is also too easy and lacks the bombing part all together, though at least Konami Man makes a cool appearance helping you by giving bells. I also haven’t mentioned yet that if you die once, a Twinbee angel will appear and you can collect it to grab all of your power ups which is great especially since you’ll want to have everything for the last few levels but since it goes up, it’s easy to not get on these levels. This game really just needed a 2nd draft for ideas on these stages because they are less interesting then the vertically scrolling stages and even have big game design flaws in them that can really ruin your run.
Now we get to those vertically scrolling ones and these are some good stages. These are the ones that not only have the better challenge but improve on the formula. What makes it shine are the new environments as you are not only on Donduri Island this time in fact none of the stages take place there, only the first horizontal one does. You’ll be going through places like the Urarufusuku Country which is a snow country and the Zamabi Kingdom which takes place in a country in South America and features some nice bluish colors and even water. While the horizontal stages had unique ones too like the church setting and desert, the vertical ones make them shine better. It’s a big improvement over what the first game on Famicom was doing. While mechanically they are about the same and do have the same mechanics as the Famicom game meaning stuff like losing both arms in one hit is a thing again. The only complaint I really have is, the weapons and items aren’t too balanced as it felt the most optimal to use the spread weapons and a barrier. The game becomes a lot easier once you have both of those as I only lost my barrier one time in one of my playthroughs of the game. Still though thanks to the new visuals and the still creative enemy designs, it does feel like a step up from the first game. I do find it odd though that at first they do these stages in turns like horizontal -> vertical -> horizontal, but then they just throw the rest of the vertical stages at you in a row and it doesn’t help that last horizontal stage is a lot less challenging then stage 6 which is easily the hardest stage in the game especially if you don’t have the best setup. I will add that I do really love how the last section of stage 6 has you going into space as that’s where the final stage is located. Great way to transition into how you got there.
Bosses are a lot better in this game because they feel like they have a lot more thought put into them. They have very wacky designs like a watermelon, an octopus, a faucet, and even the literal sun. While they are still easy to kill if you have the right set up, they have better patterns and it just has more thought put into them. There isn’t too much to say about them but just don’t get too reckless and also remember that a barrier will not protect you from contact damage. Even Gattlantis himself is pretty easy as long as you keep a safe enough distance and play it a little safe, he goes down in like 10 seconds. Makes me wonder how easy they would be if you did multiplayer. It should also be said that once Gattlantis is dead and the ending is over, you can do a 2nd loop with some new enemies and a tougher journey to save the doctor. I didn’t do this 2nd loop so I can’t say how hard it is but nothing changes ending wise if you manage to do it.
The game looks pretty good for a 1986 game and I’d argue it still looks good to this day. My only real gripe with it is it can be hard to see what’s what with the backgrounds and sprites sharing similar colors. Though I did eventually get used to it as I got better at the game. The game does have to load levels but they’re not long. The game’s performance is also pretty good even if it has some sprite flickering at times but it’s nothing I really noticed or cared about. It might be worse in multiplayer but I wouldn’t know, sorry. The music by Kiyohiro Sada is good but there’s only a couple songs once again and most of the time I got to hear the power up music which sounds good but I wish there was more. I do like how the final stage not only has a unique theme but even a power up theme that sounds similar to it. It’s like the game is telling you this is the last power up so get over there and defeat Gattlantis! I also love the music that plays before you arrive at a boss, it’s really addicting and gets in my head.
Moero Twinbee is an oddity in the franchise. It tried to be different by doing what some of Konami’s other shmups did…which was going right. Now despite what I’ve all said, I do in some ways like this one more than the first game. It’s weird, I think it falters but I don’t think it should ignore what it tried to do to advance the franchise forward. They could have played it safe but like many games of the era it tried to be different. If the horizontal stuff was better I’d probably say it’s good but at best it’s a game with good vertical levels and boring horizontal levels. Don’t let its negatives remove the fact it did have some feats like finally having a story in the game itself, new additions like new power ups and bonus stages, a lot more varied locations and even a 3 player mode that no other game even tried doing after this. For that I respect it even if it’s barely above what I think of the first game. There was one more attempt for the series on the Famicom and I’ll be looking at that next time so look forward to that!
While we’re here, how about I talk about the US release and the later Famicom cartridge release of this game. So, in the US we barely ever got Twinbee but the most notable one had to be the NES version renamed to Stinger. The game is mostly the same but now a couple of things have changed. Since it’s a cartridge game you don’t have to worry about changing sides or loading times. The intro and ending text with the three characters has been removed but the other story bits like Cinnamon getting kidnapped and thanking you have been kept. The ending was rewritten so you can be called the greatest stinger, wow I’m so cool. I noticed the scrolling in the vertical at the very bottom looks a little glitchy and I don’t think it’s my ROM this time. It wasn’t there in the FDS version. The money bags also aren’t the right color in some stages which again is a very weird error, maybe it’s some limitation going to cartridge I’m unaware of. Again if it’s just my ROM, my apologies for the misinfo. The biggest change was the game now only supports two players and Winbee was cut from the game. Oddly all three are still on the cover. The reason was this was because at the time, an adapter to play with more than 2 people didn’t exist in the US yet. Otherwise though it’s the same game in pretty much every way, they didn’t even remove the Konami characters that never got games over here. If you have an NES, this isn’t a bad way to play the game but if you’re playing on emulators, it’s probably best to play what I’m gonna talk about next.
In 1993, Konami rereleased three of their FDS games onto cartridge format. One of them being this game and it marked the final game Konami ever released for the Famicom. The game is mostly the same compared to the NES version with them adding back the stuff removed like the story and 3 player mode. The game also now has an easy mode. I couldn’t find every change listed but from what I saw you now have 5 lives from the start, enemies are less aggressive and the ground enemies don’t shoot at you until stage 5. This means you never have to worry about the ground enemies on horizontal stages. That said though, I’m surprised it’s not more generous with something like more ambulances or having the Twinbee angel always spawn upon death. You still do need to try though I should point out I had a barrier the whole game and never lost it once so this might be the difficulty for you if you’re not great at the game. Otherwise it’s basically the same thing, this release was probably meant for people who had the Famicom as a hand me down or got one for cheap in those late years. I would say it’s probably best to play this version nowadays if you’re using an emulator. It even has a fan translation for those wanting to read the small amount of dialogue. The last thing I have to add is did you know this came out the same day as Pop’n Twinbee for the Super Famicom? It’s crazy to think about.

It’s the start of another series of reviews (along with a couple of others you’ll see this month). Here’s the Twinbee series, an iconic series by Konami but was mostly only known in Japan due to most of the games never getting a US release. Known for its cutesy art style and plenty of memorable characters in the later entries. Twinbee is one of those shmup series I wish got more recognition over here and while it’s gotten more over the years, I thought to play most of the games in the series to give it some love. So it’s about time I start and talk about the first game made for Arcades!
Twinbee doesn’t really have much of a plot here, not even an intro so I’m just going to have to follow the most trustworthy site ever made, the Twinbee Wiki! Hmm so this game has a villain named King Spice as he travels through a vast array of space, he finds a place called Donburi Island and invades it. The land was then divided into 5 and were shared by his generals to make sure no one could defeat them. Unbeknownst to the King, a Doctor by the name of Doctor Cinnamon was building two airship fighters named Twinbee and Winbee. They would be piloted by his two sons, Annamon and Donnamon as it’s up to them to save the Island. Now despite what I just said, this seems to have never been what the plot was in the first place. In fact those pilots I named off weren’t even mentioned to have existed until a radio drama called Twinbee Paradise. Back then it was basically two ships named Twinbee and Winbee so I will just be using those names for now.
So, have you ever played Xevious? It was a popular Arcade game by Namco. Many games at the time tried to be like it and to no surprise Twinbee does borrow ideas from it. It’s a vertical shmup as you go through 5 stages (though technically 10). You can shoot with one button and throw bombs down to the ground below you with the other. You want to shoot the enemies flying around while bombing enemies at the ground. Bombing them also can give out bonus points from apples and peaches. They can also drop a star that destroys any enemy on screen. There’s also a bell item that can give you a multi shot but god I could not find this thing ever in my playthrough. I even tried looking at longplays and I saw one get it after a full loop of the game. Apparently if you get another you’re supposed to get a baseball but I surely won’t ever get it which is a shame. If there’s an easier way to get it then I don’t know how.
What makes Twinbee popular outside of its presentation is the co-op! You see, I mentioned two airship fighters and they don’t take turns playing. Co-op is what you want to do if you have the chance to do so as you not only fight on each level together to defeat enemies and bosses but you even have an exclusive attack. Join together by touching each other's ships to perform powerful attacks that Twinbee/Winbee could never do alone! Just be careful as this can make you an easy target so try to keep in mind your safety as staying alive is more important. Though don’t feel too sad if you can’t play with a friend as being alone won’t make the game not fun for you. Please keep in mind that despite the different appearances, Twinbee and Winbee play identical so no fighting over who gets who you got that?
Well with a fun shmup, obviously you’ll need some power ups right? Well Twinbee has you covered, albeit in a very controversial mechanic. Here we have bells! Hit a cloud and a bell could pop out that is yellow. Collecting it will get you points which may not seem anything special outside of getting you bonus lives for getting enough points. Try hitting the bell and it’ll bounce up and eventually it’ll change color. Collect it and you’ll get a power up! The blue bell gives you a speed boost and goes up to 5 different levels of speed. Try not to collect too many as you’ll lose control like crazy if you grab too many. The white bell will upgrade your shot to a twin cannon giving you more firepower. The green bell will add shadow versions of Twinbee/Winbee that will let you throw even more bombs and shots at a time. They also drag a little behind you though they’ll stay in the same place you are if you stand still. The red bell gives you a barrier that protects you from many hits and is good if you aren’t too good at dodging yet but it is the hardest one to obtain. Keep in mind you can’t grab a green bell and then a red bell probably for balance reasons. If you’re skilled though, try to spawn a red and green bell and collect them both before they go off screen and you get the benefit of both. I’m not sure if it was ever intentional though.
So just because the stages are colorful and nice and even enemies with a food theme, the game won’t let you win so easily. Twinbee/Winbee can only take one hit before death like many shmups. You can take two hits but it comes at a cost, you’ll lose your arms meaning you lose the ability to bomb. Even losing one arm can be bad as it worsens your rate of fire for bombs. Don’t fret though because if you lose both, the ambulance will come in to repair your arms but just don’t hope for more medical insurance because it’ll come once per life. This game also suffers from what many other shmups have where if you die late in the game, you might as well just give up because it’s very hard to recover. You start off very slow and have very poor shots and considering how powerups work, you will not get them fast enough.
In fact let’s just get this over with, this game is hard as hell. I think I’d have an easier time playing Gradius, that’s how hard this feels to me. Enemies and bullets get insane by the 2nd half of the game. Which is crazy considering none of the bosses are even close to being challenging. You don’t even have continues though with how it feels impossible to recover anyway, it’s probably for the better. You’d think they would be hard considering the little wait with the music or siren playing before the boss shows up but they go down very quickly making me wonder how any of them got anywhere in life. Though to be fair, they do feel almost impossible if you don’t have power ups but that’s like everything in this game. Even King Spice himself isn’t too hard.
So once you beat him you think the game is over but you do technically have another 5 stages that are similar but focus on a different set of enemies and are very challenging. The bosses however will stay the same. Personally, by this point it does get a bit tiring for me despite Twinbee’s low playtime. In fact I think Twinbee, while a good game in many ways even from a historical standpoint, just isn’t all that fun for me. It’s a weird feeling as I like it, I think it has good ideas but maybe it’s just because of later games in the series but I just can’t see myself ever wanting to go back to this one. Even the aesthetic of it, while pretty for 1985, can be a bit samey feeling at times and there isn’t much music to enjoy either but what it is here is pretty nice. It’s hard to explain but I really like how the music sounds in this, I’m not sure what Konami was using but I like it a lot! There’s even some voice but not very much of it.
Twinbee is a good start to a series that would do so much more after this title, while my score might be a bit harsh, it’s impressive something like this still is fun and packs charm. It’s a shame Twinbee never made it to the states because I could have seen it being successful but maybe America was too boring for fun colorful shmups. Though it should be noted it would eventually see a port on the DS in a collection called Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits by M2. Oddly though it’s called Rainbow Bell in that collection which confuses me. Why even bother with a name change? Though nowadays you can play it on Switch and PS4 and as for most Arcade Archives releases, it’s perfect for anyone wanting to play Twinbee. If you want to see how the series started off then give the first game a try, you might like it!
Just for fun, let’s talk about the Famicom version of Twinbee. This port would come out January 4th 1986. In fact it was the first game that year for the system. Konami wasn’t there yet with their iconic early games but Twinbee is still a fairly good effort. The port looks good for the time, the framerate is solid, music sounds nice and the scrolling is fantastic too! They even kept the 2 player mode with minimal technical problems and even kept what made co-op fun! There are some changes here and there like the green bell becoming a flashing red one. They also made it so if you hit the bell too much, it becomes an enemy so don’t collect him! He can give points but he’s not optimal for a high score run. It’s also a lot easier to get the multi shot in this one as now you can find it as candy and it’s even in the first level. If you want a different multi shot, try holding select before picking it up, it’ll change where the shots go. There’s also a bottle of milk and I think these give you an extra life? It makes the same noise as getting one via points so maybe it is that.
There are some interesting changes with this port. For one thing, the game is pretty easy until you get to the final stage which makes it a lot friendlier for less experienced shmup players. I still do wish stage 5 was better balanced though like if you don’t have a barrier by that point, pray. There’s also two different cheats to give you more lives but they don’t really help much when being underpowered hurts you so badly by the end. In case you still want 10 lives though, hold upright and A and then press start. It’ll still say 3 lives before the game begins but trust me, you have 10. You now lose both of your arms when getting hit once meaning it’s very easy to lose your ability to bomb in this version. You also now can only throw one bomb no matter what and I swear the aiming for it is worse, not even getting the blinking red bell can help as the shadows don’t throw bombs. There’s also still no ending or credits since it loops but that’s fine and to be expected for this kind of game. But the worst change of all that can’t be accepted, they changed the peaches to cherries, HOW DARE THEY!
This version of the game would be ported to the GBA via the Famicom Mini series. It’s about the same quality of any other release in that series but I did notice it lacks two players. Maybe the link cable supports it? The game would get the usual Virtual Console support outside of the 3DS for reasons I’ll go over another time. It would also land on NSO by the third update along with Mighty Bomb Jack and Metroid. What’s cool is that they even brought it over here making it the first time US players can try it besides again that 3DS thing but again LATER! It would also later get an SP version that lets you play on the 2nd loop immediately. Though I do wonder why it’s just the first game still on NSO but whatever I’ll never understand Konami. In the end it’s a good port but it’s still not the best game in the world. This probably made a great game back then if you had a friend too. Certainly one of the better games to come out compared to stuff like idk, Ikari. Could you imagine if Micronics made this port? Good thing Konami wasn’t stupid!
Oh and to wrap things up, I just wanna say I’m thankful it was on NSO because when I first tried to play this on an emulator, the graphics in stage 4 and 5 glitched up and started using the Twinbee logo for many things. Why of all games in my pack was Twinbee the one to be a bad dump?