In general, I don't really like shoot'em up games, I've always found them boring and I know that many people like them and it was one of the most played genres of video games some years ago, but for me it was never a type of game that I liked very much. I've played a few, the more classic ones and the occasional pretty random one, but at the end of the day, I always left them uncompleted. But a week ago, I played a game that graphically is spectacular, a platform game, which is the sequel of another game, however, it is of a totally different genre and yes, it is a shoot'em up, but since I liked Keio 2 so much, I decided to play its prequel and, being very honest, I liked it quite a lot.
Again... Keio Flying Squadron is a game with a simple story, but thanks to its cinematics made entirely in anime style and like its sequel, were made by Studio Pierrot, it helps a lot to tell the story in an entertaining and above all humorous way. Like its sequel, the protagonist of this game is Rami, who along with his grandparents, are the protectors of a magic key which serves to open a treasure chest, which is of great value. But one day, while Rami was away from home, the key is stolen by Dr. Pon, a very clever raccoon, who stole the key in order to fulfill a personal purpose. Now Rama, along with his faithful pet Dragon, Spot, must take to the skies in search of this key, as he will not be able to return home to eat until he gets it back. Keio Flying Squadron, like its sequel, has a lot of humor, a very Japanese humor, but easy to understand. With a simple story, but with charismatic and very funny characters, Rami and Spot's adventure is about to begin.
In terms of graphics, Keio Flying Squadron is still spectacular. In the review I did last week about its sequel, I forgot to mention the many elements of Japanese culture in the game, but in this prequel, those elements are much more presented. Keio Flying Squadron is a game with a very marked Japanese contrast, many elements of Japanese culture and many elements of Japanese religion, which fit very well due to its excellent graphic quality. Similarly as in the 2nd game, in this prequel, anime scenes will be present, and once again they were made by Studio Pierrot, something I had already mentioned before. These scenes give a lot of charisma and personality to the game, due to the high quality with which they were made (considering the age of this game). As I mentioned before, Studio Pierrot was the studio in charge of Naruto and Bleach anime, and it is a studio that has its ups and downs, but when it sets out to do a great job, it results in this kind of projects.
Keio Flying Squadron is a game that keeps the line of humor of its sequel, the characters are very expressive and have really funny animations, and this is something that gives a lot of life to the game in general. In terms of quality, if compared to its sequel, Keio Flying Squadron presents a slightly lower level, but it is not far behind in terms of quality with its sequel, as it is still a pretty good game graphically.
The Japanese element designs are spectacular, with many details and very original, it really gives a lot of personality to this game. Similarly, the scenarios have very varied designs, there are several scenarios to go through and each one has a quite successful atmosphere and decoration. But as I said before, in terms of design quality, its sequel presents a superior quality, since the sprites of the characters do not have the same sharpness or fluidity as its sequel. Neither a level of detail, nor coloring as good as Keio 2, but to some extent it is a good thing, since you can see the evolution and the great change that has a game from another. But despite that, Keio Flying Squadron is still a game that, in terms of graphic quality, is far superior to many other games of its time, and by far.
The music of this game is great, each melody conveys the word "fun" and "adventure" also has that style so characteristic of the anime of the 90's, I do not know how to explain it, but it is something that just listening to it I get memories and nostalgia of many anime I saw many years ago. It also presents in its soundtrack many Japanese elements, logically, having melodies that fit very well with the situation and the scenery through which we are traveling. I think one of the best melodies is Track 05, since it is the melody that has the most elements of what I just mentioned. It also has very well performed voices by the actors, although this is not surprising since Japanese voice actors are some of the best in the industry.
In this section I will not extend much, because, as I have said several times, the shoot'em up games are not my favorite genre, I do not like much, but I gave this particular game a chance because its sequel, which is of the genre of platform / action, has one of the best graphic styles of the Sega Saturn, and I was quite curious to play its prequel despite being a genre of video games that I do not like.
In terms of gameplay I didn't see many variations with respect to the other shoot'em up games I've played, which are few, but Keio Flying Squadron keeps the basic characteristics of this kind of games. I think there is not much to explain the mechanics of a shoot'em up, but basically it is a side scrolling game (in this case), in which we can control a girl who is on top of her pet dragon, which shoots fireballs towards her enemies to eliminate them, as simple as that.
Throughout the scenarios we will obtain the classic items of power-ups for attacks and special attacks, as well as items to recover the life bar of our character. The control is quite easy and intuitive, in general, Keio Flying Squadron is quite conventional, but what distinguishes it from other games of the same genre, in addition to its excellent graphic style and its spectacular artistic level with its Japanese elements, is its humor, since like its sequel, Keio Flying Squadron has a lot of humor, Keio Flying Squadron has a lot of humor, from beginning to end, and this is an element that adds quite a few points to its gameplay and game experience, so much so, that a person like me, who does not like shoot'em up, in the end, it was a game that entertained me.
I think it's going to take me a long time to start liking games of this genre, but with Keio Flying Squadron it took a step that I thought I wouldn't have. Without a doubt this is a very entertaining game and with just its art style and humor, it's worth playing.