After reviewing editions of the old school games Bubble Bobble and its sequel Rainbow Islands, I would like to believe that I'm some kind of Bubble Bobble expert. And what better fit for the self proclaimed Bubble Bobble expert than to review the third and final game of the original trilogy: 'Parasol Stars: The Story of Bubble Bobble III'. The game was released on a number of platforms, including for the Amiga, NES and, in the case of this review, the TurboGrafx-16.
In Parasol Stars the player once again assumes the role of the ginger kid from Rainbow Islands. Now he's equipped with an umbrella, which is actually a parasol considering the title. He can use it to take out enemies which will turn into some kind of ghost shape, with which he can shoot other enemies. Enemies vary from trumpets to pianos to clams. Such variety is nice but at times it's a little hard to make out if something is an enemy or some kind of bonus element or power-up.
Parasol Stars takes some of the best elements from Bubble Bobble, which were mostly ignored by Rainbow Islands. Most important, there is a simultaneous 2-player mode again which adds a lot to the fun. Also, the levels aren't vertical anymore, instead they are just like in Bubble Bobble you're going from one room to the next and moving between them automatically.
The graphics are very bright and colorful (just like the original Rainbow Islands) and the music is a catchy (albeit repetitive) tune like in Bub & Bob's original adventure. Actually, that's the biggest problem of this whole game: it's quite fun, colorful and works good, and it's way better than Rainbow Islands ... but it's just not Bubble Bobble. The original is still the best in the trilogy. It has better instant gameplay, a catchier tune and the tiny green and blue dinosaurs look a lot cuter than the dumb ass ginger kids.
Overall, Parasol Stars is a good game. It's just not Bubble Bobble. I sure miss those little dinosaurs.