There's such a thing as too much cute. The occasional amorphous cute critter is fine, even welcome in some games. But when everything from background to foreground is dripping with saccharine and starry eyed pastels.

     Above is the title screen. When I came across it the first time, I began to shake and asked, "Can we just turn back now?" Incidentally, what defines a 'story mode?' In fighting games it means you get to see a text field between fights.

     You won't run into the startlingly uninteresting title screen right away, though. First, you must endure a painful opening movie in which you're treated to the same two pictures over and over with Japanese text at the bottom. I've offered an interpretation, keeping in mind I can't read Japanese and didn't care what the girls had to say.

     For all I know, the two girls (Tomomi and Mikage) were going to school, saw their teachers and boyfriends explode, and then they themselves were blasted into a fantasy world. Once again, we see the Mario syndrome- in that everything in this delightful and cheery world wants to eat your head. Enemies include what I can only assume are moles in hardhats on pogo-jackhammersticks, rabbits with no front legs, and the floating disembodied head of your friend. I guess. If you make it past the Randomly-Dropping-Flowers section, you encounter dandelion fluff and potted ducks. I wouldn't make this kind of stuff up, trust me.

     This whole game makes me think 'Super Nemo's Dream Land.' In fact, your only weapon is throwing candy at enemies to pacify them. Of course, they only stay frozen for ten seconds because what they're really hungry for is the head of a cute schoolgirl. And guess what? YOU'RE A CUTE SCHOOLGIRL.

     The major problem I had with the game besides everything, is there's no Final Solution to the enemy problem. Your gum just distracts them a sec. You can't even hop on their heads or kick their boxers in. I can't play a nonviolent side scroller like this for more than a couple levels. Samurai Pizza Cats, for all of its multitudinous flaws, did feature hacking and slashing of chibi's. Powerups don't seem to help OR hinder you, and the thing that looks like a heart doesn't affect your heart meter thing. I can't for the life of me recall what the little "B" icon does, and one of the items makes a hologram of the other girl appear and float in front of you. Nothing helps you quite like seeing her smile down on me as the armless rabbits chew on my jugular vein, I tell ya. The actual purpose of the head is to offer some sort of guidance via telepathy (see addendum at bottom, screenshot at right) as she chirps hints at you at certain parts of the stage. These usually consist of yelling when you need to jump.

     While trapped in Candyland, the girls decide to make the most of things and help the defenseless UFO catcher-esque folk, while restoring their friends back to human form. The first boss encounter is with a rather pimpish bumblebee in shades with a tennis sun visor. If they didn't seem to be tripping alreayd, I'd swear he was offering them some rave drugs.

     The cinemas between levels add to the suspense of the plot. The burning question is: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?! After beating the bee in the tennis visor at a squirt gun match, he turns back into the male teacher and says some things in Japanese.

     Welcome to the bizzarrely named 'Clouds Island.' Where there are indeed clouds, and if you want to, you can leap off a cloud and splatter onto the island. Of course, by doing this you won't be able to finish the game, but if you played this long you might just be deranged enough to want to succeed. Once again, they happily conformed to the Platform Game cliche handbook and made a sky-themed level where you jump around on clouds. Your enemies continue to look like duck heads pasted to various things. Your little stun candies only work for around 5 seconds now and constipated Kirby clones and animate water vapor are added to your enemy list.

     The major change in this stage was the addition of numerous hot-air vents. These blow up your skirt and drop you into bottomless ravines, but unlike other obstacles in the game you can't just go around them.

     Addendum: Out of curiosity I bought a Miracle Girls manga once. Aside from having the lightest, most shojo-ey pen work I'd ever seen, it had nothing to do with feeding candy to parapalegic rabbits. As near as I could tell (picking up an issue from the middle of a story makes things a bit harder but come on, they were selling comics for 10 cents each) the story was about a couple of twin sisters with psychic powers, who engaged in typical psychic twin antics like switching places during dates and crap. Meanwhile, the creepy dark haired teacher hides in the bushes hoping to capture evidence of their powers for whatever reasons creepy dark haired teachers do such things. (See also: Mr. Crocker in The Fairly Oddparents.)



The taunting visage of Tomomi's disembodied head shouts out "Shiori! Akai!" to tell you which color flower to jump on. Or not jump on. In either case I died and she seems satisfied.

Turn down your high beams!

"Now we're lesbians-- and that's okay!"

(note, the girls are actually twin sisters. I just had to toss in the old joke because I can't look at that screenshot without thinking that.)

...too close! There must be at least five car lengths between couples!