Review by digitalkII
It's arrived!! Twin Bee!
Detana!! Twin Bee on the PC Engine (released on HUcard in 1992) is a vertical shoot em up and is a conversion of Konami's coin op hit. Queen Melora (also called Queen Mel) sends out a distress signal that her planet Mera is under attack by the evil forces of Iva (also called Eve). You control Twin Bee (player 1 blue ship piloted by Light) or Win Bee (player 2 pink ship piloted by Pastel). Along the way you can pick up Gwinbee (green ship piloted by Pastel's younger brother Mint) to help give you added fire arsenal.
Life of Twin Bee started way back in 1985 in Japanese arcades and then converted on Famicom/MSX in Japan to great success that Konami saw fit to release several other Twin Bee games. 1990 was kinda like a turning point to this title. Thanks to 16-bit graphics and sound, bright colourful graphics and music could now be used and so came Detana!! Twin Bee!
The Twin Bee universe now featured a full cast of extremely endearing anime characters with voice actors and a cute storyline! (This franchise is extremely popular, even today in Japan as there are music and drama CD's, model figurines to other game spin offs such as RPG's and puzzle games released on many formats)!
Detana!! Twin Bee in its simplest form of game play you just fire (which you can charge your laser cannon) at the flying enemies and use bombs to destroy ground enemies. Shoot the clouds to uncover bell power ups which give you bonus points or power-ups depending on the colour of each bell.
Although the game can be enjoyed in 1 player, Teamwork is the key in this game. If you are in a two player game (if either player) pick up Gwinbee you can send him bouncing all over the screen destroying enemies. Fly up behind your partner close enough to touch them and the words you shout will somehow gain form and these can also destroy enemies. Should both your arms get shot off (you will lose your firepower) an emergency repair pack will appear on the screen which you'll need to catch this to replace your arms!!
The graphics although they are cute and colourful, The conversion on the PC Engine again is a step down. I was extremely impressed with Konami's other PC Engine ports of Parodius and Gradius and was expecting Detana to have the same high quality production but alas the team that handled this just didn't put in the time or energy. Although some of the levels have parallax scrolling to create depth and appear almost arcade perfect, not all levels have been treated with the same care which I find baffling. This is kinda a shame since the backdrops to Detana!! Twin Bee are really colourful and varied and greatly been inspired by a famous Japanese anime movie of a floating fortress!
Strangely since this is a conversion of a coin op the PC Engine's intro and intermissions have been changed. Still the PC Engine port although the resolution has also been changed to fit our TV screens it pretty much looks close to the coin op.
The music to Detana!! Twin Bee the coin op featured some truly amazing and inspiring audio. Konami chose Michiru Yamane to create a masterpiece. (she composed the music for Castlevania Symphony of the Night) need I say more? unfortunately again the music on the PC Engine just lacks that same punch and drive you felt while playing its coin op cousin. The sound effects and sampled speech are good but I just wished the music was given the same care.
The overall atmosphere of Detana!! Twin Bee is pure cuteness and playing this you can definitely see the characters and Twin Bee world staring in their own anime. Although the coin op created a true sense of adventure that kinda seems a bit lost due to the lack of care the PC Engine version recieved. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh but I guess I'm a very harsh critic. Detana!! Twin Bee's charm certainly has a place in my heart which is probably why..
Still the PC Engine version received a good port. My complaints are obviously the audio and visual but it would have been nice if the Team that handled this also could have added some extra stages (like the extra lollipop stage found in Parodius or the extra strage created in PC Engine's Gradius conversion) as the game is a bit short and you get more entertainment if you play this game co operatively with someone. Still there is lovely sticker sheet Konami provided with this version and the packaging has great presentation.
my total score is 7/10
I think is an above average score and certainly not to be sniffed at!
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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