Published on July 1st, 2012 | by Nichomaxwell1
A Review of Coron Land
Year: 1995 // System: Super Famicom (SNES) // Publisher: Yumedia // Developer: Aroma // Genre: Action // Atmosphere: Anime
>>> Coron Land was a Japanese-exclusive action game for the Super Famicom that takes on an explicit anime style in its core design. It plays like the traditional top-down shooters from the NES days except for the lack of an overhead scrolling screen and has your character shooting up bad guys within a fixed level. You can choose between Mega Man lookalike Hyou and female protagonist Kiyu as you try and take down the weird cast of villains, recover the statue of the Snow Goddess, and bring it back to Snowia to end the eternal winter. But if the eternal winter were to end, wouldn’t that lead to Snowia having to change its name to something less wintry?
There are six stages, each stage broken down into multiple sections. Combat plays akin to Bubble Bobble where you shoot first to en-capsule the enemy in bubble form, and then pick him up to throw him into other enemies in order to send them flying. Also, just like in Bubble Bobble, you are awarded fruit, which bolsters your overall score. The final segment in each stage features a major boss battle before allowing you to transition to the next set of frames. Despite the numerous scenarios per stage, this is an extremely simple shooter with very few rules to learn.
Because of its simplicity, Coron Land quickly becomes old after the fourth section of the first stage. I’ve tried desperately to discover another attack/signature move or a weapons toggle, but the only thing I’ve been able to do with all four buttons available to me is shoot. In this top-down view, there’s no such thing as jump and shoot…just shoot. That, and pick up enemies to hurtle them at a wall or another foe. Given the variety of moves that your adversaries can use, you may end up feeling ill-equipped using the same type of weapon over and over, especially against the monkeys in the second stage who are nearly impossible to hit in sequence.
Your avatar can pick up status boosters. For example, a “P” strengthens your blasts while “S” puts some pep in your step. But, my, wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to discover another weapon or power-up outside Hyou’s blaster and Kiyu’s wand? There is a noticeable difference between the two characters’ attacks. While Hyou doesn’t get much distance in his shots, Kiyu can cover a wider range with her projectiles, but she takes a second longer to get off her attack. In all other aspects, they’re the same character.
The ratio of enemies to your main character, as well as the ridiculous life of the stage bosses, presented to me the notion that Aroma crafted this title specifically to be a two-player game. The time it takes to win the levels on one’s own can really wear the solo player down. It’s only fun if two friends get together to take on the mighty army destined to sink Snowia into an eternal winter forever.
I can imagine this is pure, mindless entertainment for a couple of buddies willing to kick back over snacks and war stories (i.e. high school), but otherwise, there’s really not much to Coron Land. Bomberman takes on a similar approach, but utilizes strategy through bomb placement. Aroma’s cute, chibi game came across as a mash-up of Gun.Smoke and Bomberman, minus the weapons variety that both titles possess. I will say I’m glad I played Coron Land solely for the cat-like enemies that reminded me of a weird crossover between Meowth, Tai from Digimon (goggles), and Totoro.
Challenge: 6/10: This game is possible…if you’re playing with a friend, and a competent one, at that. Otherwise, you’re in for the long haul. What you have here is an arcade-style shoot-em-up with a rather strange cast of villains. Why are KITTENS the most common enemy early on?! Doesn’t that just defy universal ethical laws? It certainly would if those laws existed!
Handling: 5/10: Both characters move around decently, but the control scheme was too basic. A, B, X, and Y all had you shoot or pick up enemies to throw them. Also, your projectiles had extremely small hit boxes. Also, your shot had a specific trajectory. If the enemies came before or after that shot’s full distance, they oftentimes didn’t take damage in spite of being directly in your line of fire.
Innovation: 5/10: This type of game felt familiar, minus any neat power-ups or specific methods of taking down the foes at hand.
Core Experience: 6/10: The action was fairly quick and full of flashy animations and explosions. Also, the zany cast of villains that scream “anime” are enough of a reason to play this game.
OVERALL: 5.5/Iffy: Yet another typical action game that cannot truly be enjoyed without a second controller.