Otomedius, Konami's attempt to lure the masses back to Gradius-style sidescrolling shooting, was on hand at this week's Tokyo Game Show, coming home as Otomedius Gorgeous! for the Xbox 360. What Otomedius Gorgeous! brings to the table, a concept only briefly explored in titles like Parodius and Sexy Parodius, is boobs. Impossibly perky, voluminous cartoon boobs.
Otomedius Gorgeous! is part of the cute-em-up sub-genre, full of missile launching penguins, deadly flying fish, super-deformed space ships and, most relevant to gamers' interests, the adorable anime girls who pilot each ship.
Anyone familiar with the Gradius series will feel right at home with Otomedius. Simply collect power ups dropped by enemies to purchase upgrades for your ship-girl. These include speed boosts, lasers, missiles, double shots, ripple shots and the satellites that follow your ship known as Options.
Otomedius Gorgeous! lets you choose your ship's weapons load out, based on which character you choose — the TGS version had about a half-dozen — then cuts you loose to scroll right and shoot whatever is in your way. The game's cup runneth over with series in-jokes and impossibly cute situations, with Gorgeous!'s difficulty more closely matching its content than that of games like Gradius V.
And while Otomedius looks nice, it's not as graphically impressive as Gradius V was on the PlayStation 2, mostly due to its visual simplicity. The demo we played didn't take advantage of the widescreen displays on hand, with bars on the right and left occupying the extra space. The game moves at a smooth clip, except when screen-filling boss explosions intentionally slow down the action.
We didn't get a chance to go hands-on with two important features: three person multiplayer and the proprietary arcade stick with touchscreen controls. It appears that for those using a stock Xbox 360 pad, you'll use the right analogue stick to replicate what the touchscreen did in the arcade version.
If Otomedius Gorgeous!'s aesthetic gets you hot and bothered and slightly derivative Gradius gameplay is cool with you, by all means, check it out. If you have an import Xbox 360 that is, and the inappropriately upper end price of the thing doesn't turn you off.
There's no word yet from Konami on whether the game will come stateside. Given Konami USA's import track record, though, we're not holding out hope here.