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KOLIBRI / Sega / 32x
Looking at screens of Kolibri, I thought it was going to be some hippie abstract games-as-art thing, so I actually had a good laugh when true nature of the game was revealed in the second area -- pick up power-ups to shoot the shit out of bees, wasps and yellowjackets that are competing for the delicious nectar that you crave!
Seriously, you're basically a hummingbird equipped with Contra's arsenal. Each screen has a number of flowers that the hummingbird tribe wants at, but the evil flying, stinging insects are guarding and monopolizing. So you find some magic crystal that spews out sonic waves, rapid-fire machine gun bullets, or lasers, and then use those to shoot the shit out of the insects until they're all dead and the flowers are yours. As the game progresses, a few new obstacles are introduced, like gales of wind that push you around. The structure of the game is more like Fantasy Zone than a scrolling shooter; each level is just one big screen that you move freely about in all directions, and the flowers are tucked away in various parts of it.
In spite of the hippie look of the game, it's really kinda hard since enemies appear suddenly on screen and swarm right at you. Your firepower, even when upgraded, also is never really all that great and it takes multiple shots just to bring down the weakest enemies, even with the cool heat-seeking laser.
I think the game itself is kind of tedious and not all that much fun, but it's an example of what could have been done with the 32x if Sega had focused on awesome 2D games rather than crappy half-assed polygonal 3D. Given the quality of the graphics and sound you get the sense that a game like Dracula X could have been ported to it without having to cut much other than maybe the FMV cinematics/voice acting. Instead it went down as another step in Sega's Fail At Hardware history leading eventually to their becoming Nintendo's bitch. Oh well. Anyway, Kolibri really isn't that great, but if you have a 32x and see it for cheap it might be worth grabbing just for the uniqueness of it.
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