Imagine for a second, if you will, that you are a programmer, and one day while sitting in your office, madly playing Kick Off 2 with the rest of your team, the phone rings. On the other end is Mr Ocean, he saw your last game and liked it, so he wants you to write the sequel to Rainbow Islands. For a few moments dollar signs flash before your eyes, and all you can think of are the royalties, the fame and the groupies, but after a short while you return to your senses and begin to consider your options.
Should you: a) "Sorry Mr Ocean but we have to wash our hair every night for the next year and a half." (I mean just think how universally despised you'd be if you ballsed it up); b) say: "Certainly your highness, put a whacking advance cheque in the post." then set about writing a completely new and exciting eight-
There are no prizes for guessing the route that Ocean have taken with this third installment of the ever popular Bub and Bob trilogy, but the big surprise is simply how exceptionally good this game is.
Raindrops keep falling on my head
Once again you play the role of one, or both of the unfortunate Bub and Bob brothers in the rather excellent simultaneous two-player mode. I say unfortunate because someone is forever metamor
This time around your weapon is an amazing techni
It's full of stars
Whereas Rainbow Islands had (as the name suggests) you hopping from island in your quest, Parasol Stars is fully interplanetary, and it's whole worlds you have to rid of hideous nasties.
Despite covering absolutely now new ground whatsoever, Parasol Stars manages to both captivate and delight.
Like the islands in the previous game, the worlds of Parasol Stars> are themed, and the monsters vary from planet to planet. The first world is music world and you battle with pianos, accordions, trumpets and other instruments. From here you must work your way through Woodland, Ocean, Machine, Casino, Cloud, Giant and Rainbow worlds, and the manual hints at more beyond this.
The same old surprises are still hidden in there; hurl a bunch of raindrops along a platform and it will mysteriously sprout all manner of delightfully edible pickups. Collect them by walking over them or throwing more water at them and they yield points. And we all know what points make, don't we? Yes, that's right, point make high scores. A good score is some thing that's very high to quantity in Parasol Stars, it's possible to complete the first screen with as little as 5,000 points or as many as 130,000.
Such a vast difference comes about due to the hundreds (at least) of weird pickups that appear spontaneously in the game. Some give you obvious things like invincibility, while others seem to do nothing, until the end of the level when the biggest chocolate eclair in the world will come hurtling from the sky and whack you upside the head. Fear not tough, for within that humongous cream cake lay a massive 100,000 points.
The disappointing thing about these mega power-ups, though, is that they seem so, well... random. When you get one you feel more like you've been lucky, rather than you've actually earned it. In Rainbow Islands however you had to do something stupid, like collect every silver crown, kill 24 baddies and stand on your head singing Frank Sinatra songs before you got one of the truly weird and profitable power-ups, but in Parasol Stars they just happen.
I'm forever Bubble Bobble
Rather than the action taking place on one continuously-
The Bubble Bobble similarity is confused slightly by the fact that later screens scroll. That is to say that one screen/
Is it enough to imitate a bygone and better game? Well, when the basic idea is as strong as this, and when the imitation is done as well as this, the answer is yes. Despite covering absolutely no new ground whatsoever, Parasol Stars manages to captivate and delight. I could go on praising, but I've better things to do, like improve my high score.