<div class=header> <div class=headerrow> <div class=headercell> <div class=headerlogo> <p class=image><a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/logo/hg101logo.png" alt="Logo by MP83"></a></p> </div> <div class=headerad> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "pub-5230184257141993"; /* HG101 */ google_ad_slot = "4961941287"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </div> </div> </div> <div class=headerrow> <div class=headercell> <div class=headermenu> <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/alpha.htm" target="_parent">Articles</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/features.htm" target="_parent">Features</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/books.htm" target="_parent">Books</a> | <a href="http://blog.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent">Blog</a> | <a href="http://hg101.proboards.com/" target="_parent">Forums</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/about.htm" target="_parent">About</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hardcore-Gaming-101/109837535712670" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/facebook.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/HG_101" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/twitter.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://ask.fm/hg_101" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/askfm.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.patreon.com/hg101" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/supportsmalla.png"></a> </div> <div class=searchbox> <form action="http://www.google.com/cse" id="cse-search-box" target="_parent"> <div> <input type="hidden" name="cx" value="partner-pub-5230184257141993:xfg3mydy24k"> <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="ISO-8859-1"> <input type="text" name="q" size="30"> <input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search"> </div> </form> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/coop/cse/brand?form=cse-search-box&amp;lang=en"></script> </div> </div> </div> </div>

<<< 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


Twinbee Da!! (ツインビーだ!!) / Pop'n Twinbee - Game Boy, PSP (1990)

Cover

Five versions of this game exist: the original Japanese released in 1990; the European version renamed Pop'n Twinbee; the Super Game Boy enhanced version included in the Japanese Konami GB collection vol.2 (1997); the Game Boy Color version included in the European Konami GB Collection vol.3 (2000); and a full color, completely redrawn, entirely enhanced version for the PSP, released as part of the TwinBee Portable compilation. In its initial form, TwinBee Da!! is little more than a Game Boy port of the original TwinBee. Being made in 1990 though, the graphics are much nicer than the Famicom port, closer to TwinBee 3. As with many GB ports, all the graphics were redrawn to be adjusted to the small screen. The result looks quite detailed, maybe too much: you'd wish for something more basic looking but faster. The problem is, TwinBee is really the last game you'd want to play in shades of grey. The TwinBee world must be colorful, and distinguishing the bells in this game is a pain. Besides this, the port mimics the original arcade game, even the bad points: there are only six stages to play. The standalone releases included a two player mode to use with the Game Boy link cable, but both GB Collections removed that.

TwinBee Da!! (Game Boy Color)

The game was released in Europe very late in 1994, to capitalize on Pop'n Twinbee's popularity on the SNES, even though the two games are nothing alike. Thankfully, the PSP version with its crisp, lush graphics, makes up for any transgressions of the original Game Boy versions.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Genre:

Themes:


TwinBee Da!! (Game Boy Color)

TwinBee Da!! (Game Boy Color)

TwinBee Da!! (Game Boy Color)


Detana!! TwinBee (出たな!! ツインビー) / Bells & Whistles - Arcade, PC Engine, X68000, PlayStation, Saturn, PSP, Wii (1991)

Arcade Flyer

PC Engine Cover

This is the single most important TwinBee game ever. It's literally a rebirth of the series. The most interesting thing is, the game is quite the traditional vertical shooter. Seven stages of the cutest hell ever seen. The TwinBees now have a chargeable beam shot (which apparently became mandatory after R-Type), but that's about the only gameplay difference from the 1985 original, along with some new power-up bells. The change in Detana!! TwinBee is by all means a cosmetic one.

The idea behind TwinBee had ever been to do an anime themed shooter. In 1991, Konami could finally realize that aspiration to the fullest thanks to 16-bit graphics. So Konami hired Shuzilow H.A., a very gifted guy who had an impressive curriculum in anime. He is the creator of the heroes, the pilots of TwinBee and WinBee, as well as other unforgettable characters in the universe.

Detana Twinbee (PC Engine)

With so much effort spent on the conceptual graphics and overall design, it would have been a shame if the sound department wouldn't have been on par. Thankfully Konami chose Michiru Yamane to realized her first truly recognized masterpiece. You can't go wrong with who's probably the best composer at Konami (Symphony of the Night says more than thousand words here), and in fact Detana!! TwinBee shines for its music even today.

More than anything else, it was Shuzilow's incredible high quality work on the characters that shaped the series future: in a sense, Pastel, Light & company became more popular than the game they "happened" to star in. Japan was experiencing another example of those multimedia projects that only reached the West with the likes of Pokemon or The Matrix. The heroes became protagonist of an impressive range of different products: from radio drama to an OVA series, to end with the idol career of Pastel's voice actress, who did several audio CDs. This is probably the most interesting and obscure part of the TwinBeeverse. Sadly, we have only very slight information about these products.

Detana Twinbee (PC Engine)

Detana! Twinbee was originally released in the arcades, and even got an English release called Bells & Whistles, which was probably only released in Europe. The English version was the exact same, except for the removal of some voice samples. As for ports, it received a pretty much perfect version for the X68000. The PC Engine version changed the resolution to fit on a 4:3 screen and added a status bar at the bottom. The graphics suffer a bit, as does the music, but it's an otherwise pretty good port. Both the PlayStation and Saturn got arcade perfect versions on the TwinBee Deluxe Pack. Unfortunately, neither of these versions includes a "tate" mode for Detana!! Twinbee - the closest you get is a stretched mode that pixellates the graphics. It is also included on the TwinBee Portable pack for the PSP. The PC Engine version also appeared on the Wii Virtual Console.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Genre:

Themes:


Detana!! TwinBee (Arcade)

Detana!! TwinBee (Arcade)

Detana!! TwinBee (Arcade)

Detana!! TwinBee (PC Engine)


Pop'n TwinBee (ポップンツインビー) - SNES, PSP (1993)

Japanese Super Famicom Cover

Japanese PSP Compilation Cover

Strangely the SNES was left without a version of Detana!! Twinbee; but in 1993 it was chosen to host a sequel, rather than another port. After setting up the formula, only some refinement was needed. Pop'n Twinbee managed to become the most entertaining and polished of the series.

At the beginning, the heroes are patrolling the islands as usual when they are reached by an help request from Madoka, a cute purple-dressed anime girl. Her grandfather is the famous scientist Mardock, usually a good person; only, he hit his head on a pole and now plans to conquer the world, using his Donguri army (donguri means acorn, those little orange guys you'll blast through the game are supposed to be acorns). Sounds just the kind of job for TwinBee & WinBee (and besides, Light can't really deny his help to an imploring babe).

Pop'n Twinbee has a great advantage over Detana: being born on console, it isn't designed to suck quarters out of its players. Therefore, the ships come equipped for their first time with an useful energy bar to prevent instant death. The bell power-up system was made easier and better: the "Options" (Suun-ki!) are now more Gradius-like (you get one per bell, but already solid and fire-capable). Two shots, a powerful straight bullet and a three-way weapon aren't exactly what you'd call a varied arsenal, but it's at least better than the measly fire increase in Detana!! TwinBee The shield is still pretty large, but a lot smaller than before, and better looking. In the option menu you can choose between eight difficulty levels, a "couple mode" that makes the enemies focus on player 1 (useful to play with a less skilled pal), and three different formations for the Options (actually six, since they differ for TwinBee and WinBee).

The Bees don't lose their arms anymore; moreover, they gained the ability to use their fists to deliver powerful blows to the nearby enemies. And the interaction between the two is funnier than ever, as you literally throw your buddy against enemies, making him bouncing all over the screen! Don't worry, he's invincible while doing this.

Even the aesthetic changes are for the better: the massive and so serious-looking fire charge beam was replaced by a "kawaii" cluster bomb of "suun-ki!" Other than making the game more interesting to play, all these little animations really do a great job in depicting the two Bees as the alive, sentient and funny characters they are intended to be.

By 1993 Konami already knew what were SNES' strongest features (all sort of transparencies effects are in the game, for example) and biggest flaws (the slow CPU). So it doesn't come as surprise that they created a rather slow-paced shoot-em-up to fit the SNES. TwinBee is the perfect franchise for this after all, since it puts great care into detailed background graphics that require more time to be appreciated. It's a choice for atmosphere over frenzy: surely Cave's worshippers won't love this one. At least the game is almost without slowdowns, unlike the previous Axelay. And it's not without its crazy moments, especially at harder settings.

Pop'n Twinbee never went stateside, that's a damn shame; instead it was brought to Europe by Palcom (Konami's division deputed to such PAL conversions). To this day, one can only suppose what the Konami guys were thinking, but they probably guessed Europe was more willing to accept anime-like games at that point. This is also included on the TwinBee Portable pack for the PSP.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Genre:

Themes:


Pop'n TwinBee (SNES)

Pop'n TwinBee (SNES)

Pop'n TwinBee (SNES)

Pop'n TwinBee (SNES)

Pop'n TwinBee (SNES)

Pop'n TwinBee (SNES)


TwinBee Rainbow Bell Adventure (ツインビー レインボーベルアドベンチャー) - SNES (1993)

Cover

Rainbow Bell Adventure takes an unexpected turn for the series. Shoot-em-up ships as heroes in a platformer hadn't been seen before. Still, TwinBee was probably the best candidate for such an experiment, given the anthropomorphic look of TwinBee and WinBee (they didn't even had to add any legs!), and the extraordinary effort spent on overall character design. Someone at Konami must have thought that Shuzilow's popular characters were wasted on shooters only, as Rainbow Bell Adventure is just the first of several incursions into other genres - and the best one at that.

One couldn't go wrong with platform games back then. Just like Street Fighter clones, no matter how many were released each month, people kept buying them. More or less like today with first person shooters. Of course, Mario & Sonic were the supreme kings among a glut of mediocre games. Thankfully, TwinBee RBA is much better than your average platformer; not outstanding, but nice nonetheless. The premise is classic: seven magic bells keep balance in the universe, but the evil scientist Warumon steals them in order to conquer the world; so you have to get them back and save princess Melora once again. Hey, What else did you expect?

You can chose between TwinBee, WinBee and GwinBee, and also play simultaneously with a friend. In most two player games, the players are usually constrained in the same screen, that means that you can't ever go too far away from your partner. Rainbow Bell Adventure instead opts for an unusual solution. Both players run through the screen, and the camera follows the one taking the lead: if the other player is left behind, his position is indicated with an arrow at the border of the screen. He can then force the screen to switch back to him with select button, or teleport himself near the first player with the Y button. Sounds unfriendly, but it works well: since each stage is quite huge in dimensions, each player can start to explore it going to left or to right. So it's like Donkey Kong Country, except you have much more freedom and aren't limited only to the standard left-to-right path.

The gameplay follows the genre's rules that were set up by Super Mario Bros. from the "stomp on enemies" down to the "collect 100 small bells to earn an extra life." TwinBee and friends have an impressive array of actions: they can fly with their jets, run, swim, punch enemies, charge power blows to break walls, collect several weapons and even carry keys and other small objects. The flying mechanics work similarly to Rocket Knight Adventures, where you can bounce off walls and ceilings chaotically. The characters also play quite differently to each other: WinBee is built for speed and can use a whip-like ribbon; GwinBee is the powerful type and throws rattles(!), and TwinBee of course is the balanced type, equipped with a short-range hammer. All three can collect the powerful revolver that could be seen in Detana's cutscenes. Other bonuses include the classic shield, the invincibility time, shoes to stomp harder, the Options(!), homing missiles... All this weaponry gives the game a lot of variety. Interestingly enough, you can collect sprites to regain health: these little fairies are a recurring theme, they are also in Oshaberi Parodius and in TwinBee Yahoo!

Apart from the standard quest, you can also play a "battle mode" in which you must fight a friend. The screen goes into split screen mode a la Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and some deadly weapons were designed expressly for this mode. Stomping and shooting a friend is fun for a few tries, but don't expect to spend an afternoon with this, it grows old fast.

The game does have its flaws. It could have used more enemy variety: always fighting the same type of Warumon's evil Bees gets boring quickly. The bosses aren't very imaginative, either. There are 24 or so stages, but only six different area types, and some of them look rather bland. The biggest disappointment is the music, which aside from some nice tunes is nowhere as high-quality as Pop'n Twinbee one (no Yamane this time, sorry).

Rainbow Bell Adventures (SNES)

Still, it's easy to love this game for its many nice little touches. The main sprites are wonderfully animated: you'll love stumbling on a rock while running at full speed. Another neat thing is the ability to fly over the stratosphere. Pointless, but fun. Unlike the TwinBee shooters, playing the game alone means missing the point here, but if you find a willing and cooperative friend you'll most likely be charmed by Rainbow Bell Adventure.

The Japanese version of the game has a battery backup that keeps track of your progress and data (best time for each stage, percentage of bells collected etc.) and a map screen from which you can choose stages in a non-linear way. The European version is pretty screwed, with just a password system and a linear structure. Either way, the game isn't that difficult, except for some nasty bosses at the end.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Genre:

Themes:


Rainbow Bell Adventures (SNES)

Rainbow Bell Adventures (SNES)

Rainbow Bell Adventures (SNES)

Rainbow Bell Adventures (SNES)

Rainbow Bell Adventures (SNES)

Rainbow Bell Adventures (SNES)


<<< 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