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Intro
TwinBee
Moero TwinBee
TwinBee 3

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TwinBee Da!
Detana TwinBee!
Pop'n TwinBee
Rainbow Bell Adventure

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Taisen Puzzle Dama
TwinBee Yahho!
TwinBee RPG
Cameos

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TwinBee Taisen Puzzle Dama (ツインビー対戦ぱずるだま) - PlayStation (1994)

Cover

Taisen Puzzle Dama was a quite popular Konami coin-op in the vein of Puyo Puyo. It featured a bunch of weird characters, like the unforgettable purple penguin or the creepy laughing dog. Later, Taisen Puzzle games were produced featuring characters from Konami's classic franchises (like the Tokimemo Memorial girls) in place of the original ones. So in 1994, Twinbee Taisen Puzzle Dama was released as a very early PlayStation exclusive.

The setting is the peaceful Donburi island. Each character has its own stage, and each battle is preceded by a little talk with the opponent. Due to the PlayStation CD media, the game contains plenty of voice acting. It stars TwinBee, Light, Pastel, Madoka, Warumon and Apple as selectable characters, while WinBee, Mardock, EvilBee and Melora show up as opponents only. One could think Apple is a brand new character: actually she was seen/heard previously on some drama CDs: She's a typical anime school teacher that loves to undress herself during fights.

TwinBee Taisen Puzzle Dama (PlayStation)

If you played the world renowned Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, you pretty much know what to expect from Taisen Puzzle Dama: just replace "gems" with "bells." The main difference is that you only need to connect three bells to make them disappear. When you form a combo, "counter bells" are tossed onto your opponents sides. If you form a combo next to them, they'll burst from their bubble and then become actual bells. That said, Taisen Puzzle Dama is a lot less fun to play: bells don't merge like Puzzle Fighter's gems do, and there's no sign of the useful diamond which destroyed all gems of one color in Capcom's game, making the outcome of battles unpredictable until the very end. Perhaps even more annoying, the "counter bells" your opponent throws at you are "freezed" permanently, while in Puzzle Fighter they did turn into normal gems after the counter went to 0. This basically means the gameplay is a lot more boring, since you have to destroy freezed bells one by one, and your combo possibilities are greatly reduced. Still, if you like Puyo Puyo, then you'll probably get some fun out of this. If you manage to reach the end you'll have to face Princess Melora as the final boss; so you'll finally taste her power as the ruler of the universe.

To complete the disappointing picture, in 1994 Konami was nowhere near the expert with the PlayStation hardware it would become a few years later, and so the game is quite unpolished. Loading times are painful, and It's extremely irritating to discover you have to go through all the game with the same background music, which changes only if you set different difficulty levels. In the end, this game is nice just for the novelty to see TwinBee heroes in it (and fighting Melora is definitely cool), but it is surpassed in every way by Capcom's Puzzle Fighter.

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TwinBee Taisen Puzzle Dama (PlayStation)

TwinBee Taisen Puzzle Dama (PlayStation)

TwinBee Taisen Puzzle Dama (PlayStation)

TwinBee Taisen Puzzle Dama (PlayStation)


TwinBee Yahho! (ツインビー ヤッホ!) - Arcade, PlayStation, Saturn, PSP (1995)

Arcade Flyer

PlayStation Deluxe Pack Cover

Saturn Deluxe Pack Cover

Twinbee Yahho! was released in 1995 in the arcades to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the saga, and ported the same year to PlayStation and Saturn in a Deluxe Pack along with Detana! Twinbee. This, too, never came in the west.

Apparently the heroes are involved in an adventure outside of Melora's kingdom, their usual homeland. A nicely animated intro shows Queen Melody imprisoned, and her loyal soldier Ace helpless. It seems that the evil prince Nonsense has teamed up with Warumon to remove her from the throne. Luckily Flute, a tiny fairy attendant, escapes from the prison and finds help outside. TwinBee and WinBee, our usual do-gooders are ready for the rescue! And during their quest they'll have to face again the evil hordes of Dr. Warumon, as well as a confused Ace (he doesn't realize you're on his side until the end).

The intro is gorgeous, and it features a vocal theme song with karaoke subtitles. The overall look of the games seems to pop out from an eighties' anime: the feeling is even further increased when you discover than the story is told in-game by voice actors. Pastel will warn Light of any immediate danger and comment the situation; Ace, Warumon, and every boss you face will have at least a line of speech.

As a game, Yahho! hails back to the old days, so the difficulty is comarable to Detana! Still, it manages to feel fresh in gameplay for one or two good ideas. The best news here is that TwinBee & WinBee are able to pick up some instant power-ups (a vulcan, a bazooka, a flamethrower, a four way spreadshot, a massive bomb) that pop up below them when bombing the ground. These are not scarce extras like the rare GwinBee (which returns to its power-up form), but appear on a regular basis and are your primary source of fire power; it sure is better to get a ready-to-use flamethrower than to wait four or five white bells to increase your ridiculous main shot. The only downside is that the ships hold these weapons in their arms, so any slight contact with the enemy and they lose them. Also, having a straight weapon in each hand is dangerous as that doesn't leave any free hands to destroy the ground enemies. Don't worry though, the bells are still there, carrying the most important tools for survival, like the shield.

TwinBee Yahho! lets you choose between four charge beams: there's the usual fire bullet from Detana! TwinBee (still ugly, yet the most effective), a flurry of fists (with the punch gloves the heroes wear in Parodius games), an unlimited Option generator that lets you throw them at enemies (you'll never need the green bell, but it's weak) and finally a homing ground bomb, useful when your arms are broken. Despite this variety, Yahho!'s arcade nature results in a less balanced game than Pop'n TwinBee. The energy bar and better control over the Options are sorely missed.

TwinBee Yahho!

The six stages are bright and colorful as usual, and more detailed than ever. Some include very good pseudo 3D effects that may give you a vertigo. The music is nothing less than exceptional, a true work of art, and suits the action perfectly. This is Yamane at her best! Near the end of the game, the debt the series always had with Lewis Carroll's nonsense masterpiece Alice in Wonderland is revealed in all its extent... You have to take down a giant mecha Alice piloted by Nonsense himself! However, it's not the end yet, although the real final stage is once again somewhat of an anti-climax.

The game's biggest flaw is its length: it's really short. You'll blaze through the stages (even while losing tons of lives) in a flash; it feels shorter than the "Ohh, it was so short!" Salamander 2 that many lamented about. Because of this, like Salamander 2, TwinBee Yahho! could be considered a case of "style over substance" - it clearly lacks the quantity of Oshaberi or Sexy Parodius - yet it accomplishes perfectly the creators' goal, to realize the ultimate anime shooter.

TwinBee Yahho!

Yahho! sort of feels like a melancholic goodbye, a final departure from the series. It's also the last TwinBee made by the Detana! staff, including Shuzilow and Yamane, so in a sense it closes an era. This is also included on the TwinBee Portable pack for the PSP.

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TwinBee Yahho!

TwinBee Yahho!

TwinBee Yahho!

TwinBee Yahho!

TwinBee Yahho!


Twinbee RPG (ツインビーRPG) - PlayStation (1998)

Cover

Considering that TwinBee has a colorful variety of characters who really couldn't shine in the midst of a shoot-em-up, it almost makes sense to move everything into the world of a role-playing game. The final game in the franchise, Twinbee RPG, is a 3D game for the PlayStation. It's obviously not one of the best looking titles on the platform - the character models are all super deformed and look acceptable, although the terrain textures have very low quality. It still maintains the bright and cheery feel of the rest of the series, though.

The game begins as the main character watches the latest episode of TwinBee on TV - until something goes horribly wrong and you're zapped into the show by Princess Melora. Finding a baffled TwinBee (sans his pilot, Light) at the side of the road, it's up to you to gather together the rest of the TwinBee crew, find out just what happened to Light, and defeat Warumon once again. Other than the primary characters like WinBee, GwinBee and Madoka, you'll also meet Molte and Firen, two sisters who can mysteriously use magic, as well as the new villains Jeeze and Saryut, who pilot sinister Black TwinBee mechas.

In its mechanics, TwinBee is almost exactly like the SNES RPG classic Chrono Trigger. You can see enemies on the field before you fight them (though they often jump out of hiding to surprise you, and can be hard to dodge), has the same active-time battle system, and even includes combination attacks. Everything is pretty simplistic, though, as there's not much in the way of equipment outside of gathering accessories. It's clear that TwinBee RPG is aimed at a younger audience, but this simplicity also makes it easier for non-Japanese speakers to play through and enjoy the game (although since you play as what seems to be a twelve year old guy, it's a little bit weird that the game gives you the opportunity to blantantly flirt with the female cast, all of whom are barely out of middle school age.)

While technically it's a middle-of-the line RPG, it's nice, breezy fun for fans of the franchise, and a nice change from the usual melodramatics in most Japanese RPGs. Say the humorous feel and tone has a lot in common with the Mega Man Legends series, so if you like those, you'll probably enjoy this as well.

TwinBee RPG (PlayStation)

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TwinBee RPG (PlayStation)

TwinBee RPG (PlayStation)


Cameos

Konami's Wai Wai World games for the Famicom included a lot of characters from different games. The second title included not only two TwinBee style levels, but a 3D Space Harrier-esque bonus stage, too. The first Ganbare Goemon OVA also feels more like a Konami all-stars deal, as Goemon and Ebisumaru get teleported into several other game universes, including the world of TwinBee, complete with a vertically scrolling shooting sequence.

The Parodius series is linked heavily with TwinBee, even adopting the bell power up system. TwinBee and WinBee are playable in the first two games, although TwinBee is pink in the first game. Ace and the Shooting Star, from Twinbee Yahho!, are also in Sexy Parodius. Additionally, WinBee shows up in the Game Boy Advance game Konami Krazy Racers.

Konami Krazy Racers (Game Boy Advance)

The dating sim Tokimeki Memorial has lots of mini-games, amongst them a TwinBee Time Attack mode. And Konami's little known 3D fighting game Battle Tryst (only released in the arcades on the ill-fated 3DO M2 hardware) featured a few TwinBee heroes as hidden characters, including Pastel and Princess Melody. The TwinBee theme song is even featured in DDR Extreme, under the title "Twinbee Generation X." While playing this song, images from the shooter flash up in the background.

Ganbare Goemon (OVA)

Battle Tryst



Related Articles


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro
TwinBee
Moero TwinBee
TwinBee 3

Page 2:
TwinBee Da!
Detana TwinBee!
Pop'n TwinBee
Rainbow Bell Adventure

Page 3:
Taisen Puzzle Dama
TwinBee Yahho!
TwinBee RPG
Cameos

Back to the Index