PC Engine
Naxat Soft
Negaru the princess had spent her entire childhood trying to learn to fly like her best friend Coryoon the dragon. On her eighteenth birthday Negaru was ready for flight and was preparing for take-off from the palace balcony when fate struck a mighty blow. Etheffatheth (roughly translated means 'master of age and party plate spinner'), the evil sorcerer suddenly appeared and with a wave of his gnarled hands, reversed the ageing process in Negaru's body, making her only seven years old once again. Coryoon promised the princess he would track down Etheffatheth and force him to reverse his dastardly magic. Negaru cried a bit and then went to try on her Mum's make-up.

Actually I made that up. Being a Japanese game, I have no idea what Coryoon is about other than the fact that it's yet another horizontally scrolling shoot'em-up for the PC Engine. Our scaley hero flies from left to right across a series of increasingly difficult locations shooting enemies and collecting power-ups. As you would expect, the power-ups available include different types of projectile as well as friendly laser-spewing satellite creatures and so on. Enemy creatures range from the usual generic shoot'em-up baddies such as flying orbs to the more bizarre (this is Japanese remember) - such as penguins and lobsters. There are two bosses to be defeated per level - one half-way through and one at the end. Fruit unexpectedly plays a big part in the game. Every time you shoot a baddie, a piece of fruit flies out which can be collected for bonus points. The bigger the baddie, the bigger the fruit, the more bonus points rewarded.

You heard the little feller - START man, START!!

Tsk tsk - falling asleep on the job eh? Come on, there's another three levels yet

Deservedly regarded as the choice console for shoot'em-up connoisseurs, the last thing the PC Engine needs is another mediocre blaster to add to it's brimming catalogue. Lucky then that Coryoon is far from mediocre. The graphics are exquisite - big, cartoonesque sprites; deep parallax scrolling - and extremely colourful without being garish. With clear speech samples, unusual sound effects and great music, Coryoon is almost as pleasing to the ear as to the eye. The gameplay is surprisingly hectic and, as the screen fills up with more sprites than you thought the PCE could handle, there is hardly any evidence of slowdown or flicker. One nice feature is that if you are hit when in possession of a powered up weapon, you do not die but instead lose your weapon. As there are power-ups available frequently this avoids the frustration caused in other shooters when weapons are lost. There is, unfortunately, a fly in the proverbial ointment. The large volume of brightly-coloured fruit chucked out by defeated enemies often makes spotting enemy projectiles impossible and can lead to frustratingly unfair deaths. Overall, Coryoon is a flawed but highly original, tremendously playable game worthy of any shoot'em-up fan's attention.

Graphics: 87%

Sound: 85%

Gameplay: 89%

Overall: 88%
Gorgeously colourful cartoon sprites and smooth, impressive parallax scrolling. Excellent. Great music for the PC Engine, clear sampled speech and imaginative effects. Unique and very, very playable. Unfortunately marred by occasionally frustrating collisions with unseen enemy fire. A flawed but otherwise fantastically playable blast confirming once again the PC Engine's position as king console for shoot'em-up fanatics.
R E C O M M E N D E D   A L T E R N A T I V E S
Air Zonk • Gradius • Parodius • Magic Chase • R-Type • Salamander

O T H E R   F O R M A T S
Nemesis (Arcade) • Gynoug (Megadrive) • R-Type (Arcade)

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