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Star Parodier is not only one of the best cute'em-ups ever created, it's also one of the best shooters ever made as well. Combining sugary sweet visuals, a stunning musical score, and some of the most responsive play control ever found in a shooter, Star Parodier proves that video game spoofs can be every bit as good, if not better, than the games they're spoofing.

Since Star Parodier is basically a play on the Star Soldier titles, it too is a vertical shooter. You take control of one of three ships. You can choose to pilot the Paro Ceaser from the Star Soldier series, Bomberman, or even an actual PC Engine console. Each ship has its own unique set of firepower, some types more effective than others. To show you how insane the game is, the PC Engine shoots out PC Engine Hucards, CD-Roms, and even small homing joystick knobs.

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You can increase your firepower by collecting power-ups that will come floating across the screen as you take out enemies in the game. In an effort to stick with the light-hearted theme of the game, the violence is kept to a minimum. Many of the enemies you take out aren't even actually destroyed, they instead begin waving a white surrender flag. It's little silly touches like this that manage to add even more charm to the game.

At the midpoint of each level you'll take on a smaller mini-boss, and then at the end of the level you'll get to take on the real boss, which is generally quite a bit tougher to take down. The good news is that the control system in Star Parodier is spot-on perfect and provides more than enough of a quick response to maneuver your way through each of the game's levels. You can even change the sensitivity of your ship's movements to suit your playing style. You simply won't find a better-controlling shooter anywhere out there.

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The visuals in Star Parodier look like they just stepped out of a Candyland game and have to be some of the most vivid graphics ever seen in a shooter. Even the bosses in the game are insanely colorful and further push the sticky sweet image the game employs. There are also some really gorgeous cut scenes in between stages to add a little more eye candy to what is an already visually impressive title.

As amazing as the visuals in the game are, it's the soundtrack that really shines. The upbeat musical tracks are some of the most catchy tunes ever heard in a video game and they keep getting better the further into the game you get. There's honestly not a bad track in the entire bunch and the game even throws in some really interesting sound effects and Japanese speech to liven things up even more. You'll definitely catch yourself humming these tunes long after you've put the controller down.


Whether you're a shooter fan or not, you really owe it to yourself to give Star Parodier a try. It's one of the most charming and entertaining shooters ever made and the type of game that will remind you why you love video games in the first place.