GBAtemp Recommends #61: Parasol Stars: The Story of Bubble Bobble III

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Hadrian, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    Welcome to the 60th issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This project is a weekly feature where we share our favourite games and applications with you. The titles we recommend may be "old school" games, a piece of Homebrew, a ROM hack, sleeper hits, an application, etc, but one thing's for certain, we think they are fantastic and deserve your attention!​
    Sorry for the lateness, I've been busy with work and studying...and lolcats.​
    GBAtemp Recommends!

    There is nothing more manlier than being a fat kid in dungarees walking around with a parasol and lifting up clams only to violently throw them against a wall...NOTHING!

    Parasol Stars is the 3rd game in the epic story of Bubble Bobble, and the first to have not been released in the arcades first. Following on from the events of Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble II, you play as Bub or Bub in their human form on a quest across eight worlds to uncover the mystery of the Parasol Stars.

    The game kinda reverts the series back to the gameplay of the first Bubble Bobble game. Enemies enter the stage and the only way to get off the level is by killing it's pretty much Bubble Bobble! The way you defeat them is with your parasol. You can either simple whack them, pick them up and throw them or pick them up and throw them at another baddie (which in turns kills them). When they die they leave behind some nice items which then adds points to your score. As well as being used for killing, your parosol can also help protect you by acting as a shield and also you can use it as a parachute although falling from any height doesn't actually damage you.

    Like in a lot of platformers, the worlds are separated by certain themes such as music, forest, underwater, space etc. These are very colourful worlds with enemies to suit the theme of the planet that your are on. The levels are very similar to Bubble Bobble single screen style, only the stages will become larger you are still in one "arena", I guess you could call it, unlike in the previous game where the levels scrolled upwards. The levels will also have little droplets that drip and float around the stages. These can be used as projectiles to kill the baddies or you can collect several to create a larger, more devastating attack that'll kill enemies in its path. Water drops will unleash a flood to wash away all in it's path, electric drops will fire out a large bolt of lightning and fire will unleash larger flames. This varied way to attack enemies does help make the game quite varied and interesting in how you approach certain levels. At the end of the world you come across the usual boss battle where you are up against a foe who is much larger than you.

    Graphically it is incredibly bright and colourful. The designs of the characters are very nicely done, there is no laziness in enemy design and they all suit the world they live in. Soundwise the effects are quite nice and charming and the music is pretty damn catchy and chirpy, however as it reuses the same ones over and over they may get lodged into your skull weeks after playing.

    Most seasoned retro gamers will find this a nice little arcade game to wasted a couple of hours on, it can be challenging at times but nothing too difficult.

    The best versions are the PC Engine and the TurboGrafx-16 versions, both sound and look great and control like a charm, however all versions play just as well. In my opinion I do feel that the Amiga version looks better mainly due to the colours as they are a bit deeper for me. The NES one doesn't cut it graphically as the colour scheme is a bit messed up and soundwise it's basic. Atari ST looks the part but amazingly despite of the ST's sound chip it doesn't sound very good. The Gameboy version is pretty nice for the limitations and actually sounds a ton better than the NES version though the gameplay is less smooth as the other versions. Still whichever version you pick, it'll be a lot of fun.

    All in all this is yet another solid entry in the Bubble Bobble series, a series that continued to have great games such as Bubble Bobble Part II, Bubble Symphony & Bubble Memories (confusingly also has the "Story of Bubble Bobble III" as it's sub-title) and for me, this is a very underrated and overlooked franchise.

    Genre: Platformer
    Release Year: 1991
    Developer: Taito (PC Engine) / Ocean (Other Formats)
    Published by: Taito (PC Engine) / Working Design (TurboGrapx-16) / Ocean (Other Formats)
    Released For: PC Engine/TurboGraphx-16/Amiga/NES/Gameboy/Atari ST
    Also known as: Parasol Stars: Rainbow Islands 2

    If you enjoyed this weeks edition of GBAtemp Recommends! please leave a comment in the thread. This helps us monitor feedback and ensures we keep posting these articles in the future.

    We are always looking for community members who wish to get more involved. If you would like to write a GBAtemp Recommends! article, let us know.
    gloweyjoey and BortzANATOR like this.
  2. raulpica

    raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!

    Former Staff
    Oct 23, 2007
    PowerLevel: 9001
    I've always played only the Amiga version, I wonder how the PC Engine one does compare? Most certainly I can expect CDDA Audio from it.
  3. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

    GBAtemp Patron
    The Real Jdbye is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Mar 17, 2010
    I have played Rainbow Islands briefly but I was not aware of this one. The sequels to the original lack the cute characters though so they don't appeal to me as much.
  4. raistlin77it

    raistlin77it Newbie

    Sep 14, 2009
    parasol stars is my favourite bubble bobble sequel.

    the pce version is almost identical to the amiga version,(by the way the amiga/st versions are port of the pce version), it has more animated tiles on the background and is more colourfull , but the amiga version has 2 more hidden worlds :D
  5. gumgod

    gumgod GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 12, 2009
    United States
    I love this game. It is one of my favorite TurboGrafx games. :) Also definitely my favorite of the bubble bobble series.
  6. BlueStar

    BlueStar GBAtemp Psycho!

    Jan 10, 2006
    It's a hu-card game, not CD. I've got it on my Japanese pc engine and it's one of the best games on the system, lots of fun.
  7. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    I prefer the PCE version purely for the controls. While this game was something I grew up with on my Amiga, years of console gaming since has conditioned me want to press a button to jump rather than push up of a joystick.
  8. buyme3
    This message by buyme3 has been removed from public view by Depravo, Dec 26, 2012.
    Dec 26, 2012
  9. Pleng

    Pleng GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Sep 14, 2011
    Atari ST had awful sound capabilities!

    Thanks for this review though. I didn't like rainbow at all so never bothered trying this. Looks like it's closer to the original, so might be worth a look next time I fire me up some emulation.
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