Classic shooter fans need to mark January 25th on their calendar as Konami is set to release three shooter collections for the Sony PSP system based on three of their hit classic shoot em' up series in Japan. Twinbee Portable, Salamander Portable, and Parodius Portable will each contain 5 games from each series as well as a special edition skin to attach to your PSP system. Each game will retail for $39.99 and they're all available for preorder at Play-Asia.
Below is a screenshot of each game as well as a listing of all of the games found on each collection.
TwinBee Portable: - TwinBee (1985)
- Deta na Twinbee (1991)
- Twinbee Yahho! Fushigi no Kuni de Ooabare (1995)
- Pop n' Twinbee (1996)
- Twinbee DA! (1990)
Many shooter fans like to compare the TwinBee series of shooters with the Parodius series. While they share the same silly over-the-top audio and visual styles, TwinBee games are vertical shooters whereas the Parodius series are horizontal shooters. The TwinBee games are typically a lot easier than most vertical shooters, and focus more on enemy and boss fighting than the careful navigation of each level that most shooters require. The soundtracks of the games are as outrageous as the visuals in the games and make for a nice change of pace from the normal "outer space" themes found in most other shooters. The TwinBee games are more suited for shooter fans that like their shoot em' ups a little toned down and slightly easier.
Salamander Portable: - Salamander (1986)
- Life Force (1987)
- Salamander 2 (1996)
- Xexex (1991)
- Gradius 2 (1992)
Salamander was originally a spin-off of the Gradius series with simplified controls and a slightly lower difficulty setting than the one found in previous Gradius games. The series eventually took on a life of its' own with various releases in both Japanese arcades and home console systems. The game is generally characterized as a hybrid-shooter as the games normally featured both vertical and horizontal scrolling levels, something not normally seen in other shooters that typically adhered to either vertical or horizontal modes of scrolling only. Although the Salamander games were generally not as difficult as the Gradius titles, they were still quite challenging in and of themselves.
The Parodius series of games are basically spoofs or "parodies" of the Gradius series of shooters. Those familiar with the control system of the Gradius games will immediately feel at home with a Parodius game as the control systems are virtually identical in both series of games. Parodius games feature silly cartoon-like enemies and bosses and also sport one of the most original and over-the-top circus-style soundtracks you're ever likely to hear in a video game. While Parodius normally sticks to making fun of the Gradius series, Konami has never been shy about spoofing many other Konami releases as well, including the Castlevania series of games. The Parodius games are not quite as difficult as the Gradius titles, but they're still a lot tougher than they look. Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius even sports a Japanese game show announcer who spends the entire game shouting out silly phrases at the player garnering the nickname "Chatting Parodius" because of this constant vocal bombardment.
We've got all three titles coming and as soon as we get a chance to play through the games we'll post some impressions on here, so check back around January 25th. If you're a shooter fan, you've got to be excited about these outstanding shooter collections. Hopefully Konami will bring these titles to the US, but at least with no PSP region protection on games importing is still an option. You can take a look below at the Parodius skin. Each game will come with its own matching skin.