GAME REVIEWS

Friday, February 20, 2009

Coryoon

~ CORYOON ~
Naxat Soft
HuCard
1991

The tiny dragon who stars in this sidescrolling shooter is one of the most immediately appealing underdog-type characters I've ever come across. The "little guy against the odds" element combined with cute voices and beautiful parallax endeared the title to me right off the bat. Things got even better when I became acquainted with the young fire-breather's enemies, which include gorgeous, fantastical creatures like unicorns and hippogriffs along with blue-collar types like giant snakes and furious lobsters. There's also a cutesy mini-stegosaur and a disgruntled turtle with a detachable crystal shell.

But there are things that people might take issue with too. Like most "chunky sprite" shooters, Coryoon can feel sloppy, a feeling that's frequently exacerbated by the screen being overloaded with icons, enemies, and projectiles. Despite the sprite spattering, your foes have almost no chance to win, as the game is beyond generous with the amount of extra lives it hands out. The graphics, while heavy on scrolling effects, are fairly basic in spots and fail to match the level of detail found in the visuals of Coryoon's close cousin, Air Zonk. The music also falls into the "nice, but not in AZ's league" category.

But while I'm certainly not one to excuse sloppy gameplay or lack of difficulty, I honestly feel that to bemoan those issues in this case would be to miss the point. I've played through the game many, many times, as its wonderful charm that so engaged me initially has actually held up through subsequent visits. Its bosses have proven to be enjoyable sparring partners, and its flood of fruits and flashy adversaries always keeps me on the move and eager to accumulate as many points as possible while preserving my capped-out stock of lives. It feels like a chaotic blast of fun rather than a clunky slopfest or an overly easy jaunt. And while Coryoon may be inferior aesthetically to HuCard-marvel Air Zonk, I still enjoy visiting its orange skies and lavender caverns and listening to its pleasant tunes (a few of which have quite an edge to them and remind me of certain Thunder Force III tracks). In fact, the game has proven to be even more enjoyable than AZ for me.

Whether or not there's enough enjoyment to be had with this chip for folks to shell out ninety bucks for it is another issue entirely. But this does seem to be a game that prospective buyers can find a nice deal on if they're patient; mine cost a tidy thirty dollars, and honestly, if I had paid more than that, I believe I'd still feel that it was money well spent. If people are willing to cough up hundreds for crap like Magical Chase, surely they should reserve a place in their budget for this little gem. Highly recommended!


This bum plays a pretty mean trick on you.


Now it's one little dude against the universe.


Explore blue ocean depths while slaying grinning serpents and angry lobster guys...


...and then take to bright orange skies to face maniacal birds and magnificent hippogriffs.

Not every strip is remarkable visually, but each maintains a high level of onscreen activity.

The turtle is my favorite, but the other boss creatures are pretty cool too.

Some mini-bosses are a lot more aggressive than others.


It's that mean bum again. Now, take your revenge...

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