The Twinbee series of shooters hasn't seen a lot of action outside of Japan, so it should come as no surprise that this PC Engine version of Detana!! Twinbee was never released outside of Japan and marks yet another import release for Hudson on the Wii Virtual Console. Detana!! Twinbee first appeared in Japanese arcades before finding its way to the rather shooter-friendly PC Engine console, where it's become a widely favored home console port of the arcade version over the years. So how does this pastel-infused cute 'em up hold up all these years later and is it still worth your precious Wii Points?
In Detana!! Twinbee, you have your basic cannon fire when you begin the game, but you can gradually upgrade your firepower as you collect the various-colored bells that will come floating out of the many clouds you'll encounter throughout the game. You can continue to shoot the bells until they change to the desired color before you grab them. This will allow you to choose exactly what firepower upgrades you collect. Tapping the fire button shoots off a steady flow of cannon fire, but you can also hold down the fire button to charge up your shot. This more powerful shot can be quite useful against the tougher enemies, not to mention the enormous bosses you'll encounter at the end of each level.
As if the cannon fire wasn't enough, Twinbee also has a bomb at his disposal that can be dropped on enemies on the ground below. You only need be within range of an enemy on the ground in order to drop a bomb on it. If you're close enough, Twinbee will automatically target the enemy, which can make things quite a bit easier when the action begins to intensify. These enemies on the ground are a great source of fruit, not to mention various power-ups and 1ups.
The control in Twinbee is smooth and responsive. You won't have any trouble navigating your way through the barrage of enemies and their fire. Your various firepower is always easy to make use of, even in a pinch, and the intuitive bombing allows you to focus more of your energy on the enemies in the air that are constantly swirling around you. The difficulty is also well done and features a very gradual climb that allows you to get your feet wet without being overwhelmed early on. Having said that, you'd better be ready for quite a challenge, as the game is much tougher than the cute and cuddly veneer it exudes. If you feel a bit overwhelmed, you can even bring in a second player to play the two-player cooperative mode to help you out.
The visuals in Detana!! Twinbee are about as cute as you could ask for. Even the pastel colors offer up a soft touch that makes the game even more endearing. This PC Engine port of the arcade game is fairly close and you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference most of the time. The bosses in the game are absolutely enormous, and some span the majority of the screen in size. They're also quite creative in design and show a lot of detail. There's plenty of variety in the various levels that keeps the backdrops from ever getting repetitive or tiresome and the game even mixes up the enemies quite often to add even more variety to the mix.
If you thought the visuals were sugary sweet, wait until you get a load of the musical score. The upbeat musical tracks are absolutely sticky sweet and fit the cute visuals to a tee. The sound effects are pretty much the same and feature all the happy-go-lucky charm found in the game's soundtrack. It's easily one of the better Twinbee soundtracks and shows that the developers obviously put as much time into the audio of the game as they did the visuals and it really paid off in the end.
If you can appreciate a shooter that doesn't' take itself too seriously and is just downright fun to play, you'll love Detana!! Twinbee. The game features all the vertical shooting action you could want and somehow bundles it all up into one cute and cuddly shooter package. It's great to see Hudson bringing more of their great import titles to the US and European Virtual Console services and Detana!! Twinbee is one title shooter fans should not miss.