Review by Tachibana Ukyo
Death to nude midgets
The first thing that youre going to notice about this game, and this is neither good or bad but merely a fact, is that its full of naked men.
Buff, burly men.
Tiny, limber men.
Men singing classical opera.
Its like an action-packed parade being held in honor of oiled-up musclemen throughout the galaxy! Oh, and theyd all be completely in the nude if it werent for those itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bikini briefs girding their loins. So if you dont think you could enjoy a quality horizontal shoot em up simply because its practically bulging with unclothed men then I guess youd better stay far, far away from this game.
Go on, shoo!
But make no mistake, Love! Super Big Brother is indeed a quality shooter. Did you know that this is just the second installment in a beloved series of games stretching all the way from the Turbo CD to the PlayStation 2? Yes, theres obviously little shortage of gamers who know a good thing when they see it; the masculine mastiffs of ChoAniki are an eagerly embraced part of Japanese pop culture! Dont act so surprised. Its not as if scantily-clad studs hurt Final Fantasy VII any, and that one had a whole hot tub full of them in addition to a protagonist who liked to put on womens clothing and hang around in bars.
Samson and his brother Adon dont hang around in bars. Well of course not theyre far too busy saving the universe from the clammy grasp of evil, pumping iron at the gym, and putting each other in headlocks. Thats because the heroes of this game are REAL MEN, not some wussy starship that loses all its power-ups the minute you graze a bullet. Who wants to control something dumb like that when you could have two totally shaved and totally ripped bodybuilder bros who dont sport anything on their bronzed, perfectly sculpted flesh except those tightly-packed loincloths and beaming grins of unabashed (fraternal) affection for each other?
Whoa whoa whoa, hold on a minute! You cant just gaze at chiseled pectorals all day or youll never even make it past the first stage! Even without the waves of gyrating weirdoes all over the screen youd still find that this isnt going to be your run of the mill blastathon, oh good heavens no. For one thing you dont have lives in the traditional sense note the row of hourglasses at the top of the screen, the ones that the naked flexing midget up there is casually heaving over his brawny shoulders. With every second being vital, your lack of remaining time is constantly bearing down on you. Youre always in a rush to destroy all the enemies as quickly as you can; running out the clock instantly ends the game, and every time you lose all your health youll be violently stripped of an entire hourglass just like that!
And while Benten (the chick from the first game) will sometimes swoop down to replenish your health and time, there arent any standard power-ups to be found either. Your basic attack is a tiny glowing ball of white . . . light . . . that shoots out from Samson or Adons crotch and automatically homes in on the nearest enemy. Occasionally useful, sure but not very manly. And that, my friends, is why you can mash the d-pad using simple Street Fighter-esque combinations while firing for super secret FLEX attacks, inspiring our heroes to arch their muscular bods in all directions and bust out searing rays of cream-colored might or sprinkle pinches of pixie dust! Hey, its just like Cotton 2! . . . except that Cotton 2 didnt expose the main characters tightly-toned buttocks in the process, and you werent aiming at swarthy male fairies with butterfly wings and giant antennae.
Take that, bare-assed cherubs!
Kiss fairy dust, you bug-eyed fish with beefy arms!
Choke down my gushing beam of justice, giant guy in a hollowed-out asteroid bowl!
Just imagine, if you will, that youre soaring down the local street corner to fend off winged vials of poison and midgets hiding behind gigantic devil masks . . . when suddenly a locomotive with a towering platform (not to mention a bulbous nose) comes chugging along into view. Its cargo? A pack of tiny men in speedos thats right, its time for everybody to come aboard the MANTRAIN! Higher and higher the little men climb until finally these pint-sized villains leap off the edge and bounce off a strategically-placed trampoline to fling themselves through the air and force you to dodge their furious barrage of the MANAPULT. Thats about when a giant cannon sprouts up to splurt out a steady stream of midget ballast, who then proceed to rain down from the heavens but dont worry, most of your encounters wont be this pedestrian.
Dont worry about wasting your money, either. Even if you dont particularly care for naked men youll still think the soundtrack is burning hot AWESOME. Seriously, even on a system famous for outstanding CD soundtracks, this one ranks with the best of them thanks to an inspired fusion of techno, traditional Japanese flutes, ridiculous carnival medleys, and grinding dance beats not to mention a healthy amount of perfectly timed percussion in the form of grunts and groans and its all in glorious redbook audio. Lords of Thunder might have its thrashing guitar chords, but youll be amazed at the upbeat energy of infectious steel drums backed up by bassoons, chanting, and of course BOIOIOING! Even Square had to sit up and take notice of composer Koji Hayama, never again merely to be known as that male porn guy.
The music is totally sweet even just by itself, but its even better in its proper context like the MAMBO OF MANLINESS that plays as youre tangling with the Massive Bush of Doom. Theres only four stages to the entire game and its not too difficult either especially the bosses, who quickly succumb to your outrageous assaults. But while you really cant play without wishing that it could be longer and harder, at least each of those four levels is nice and girthy, not to mention broken up into a wildly diverse range of settings that all have their own minibosses and songs! One minute youre floating through a pastel garden of temptation avoiding the snaking vines and the humongous hulks wearing construction cones atop their bald heads and sporting equally humongous bulges between their legs . . . the next youre deep under the sea braving the perils of two rather flexible individuals locked in a dubious wrestling hold. Im not sure how they can aim properly considering that their faces are clearly buried in each others jockstraps, but youd better watch out for those lasers emanating from the meaty union of their waving legs!
And unlike our heroes, things are pretty hairy in the later levels, which is why youll have to summon up your majestic SPIN POWER to avoid danger. Youre completely invincible as your glistening body glides through the air, so spin your way through to safety with all the grace of a dainty 250-pound ballerina! Unusual as it may seem to twirl past anything a shooter can throw at you with total impunity, itll certainly come in handy considering the massive size of many of your foes and their many man-eating projectiles. And dont let the timer run out on its own while youre occupied with conserving health via pretty pirouettes, or its the Game Over screen for you a heart-breaking shot of the Brothers Buff pressed close in a tearful embrace of shame!
You may have already picked up on this despite my characteristic subtlety and tact, but this game is completely INSANE. Its impossible to go for more than a few seconds at a time without something incredibly bizarre happening, and somehow each new freak of nature manages to be even stranger than the last. Such a boldly beautiful display of male nudity is like traveling back to the golden days of Ancient Greece, when statuesque male models would regularly tear off their robes and grapple with the many-headed Hydra. This is more than just a mere oddity, though its a legitimately fun game with equally unconventional mechanics beneath all that wanton depravity. But mostly depravity.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
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