Obscure Video Games: Combat Queen


Am I buggin’ you? I don’t mean to bug you

Remember FMV games? Back in the ’90s they were briefly the hot new thing. Games like Phantasmagoria and 7th Guest were considered cutting edge adventure games. Perhaps you even bought a CD-ROM drive for your computer just to play them. Eventually people realized that FMV games were terrible. Many of them were barely even “games,” and the technique was pretty much dead well before the turn of the century. So why did Taito decide to unleash Combat Queen onto the PS2 owners of Japan in 2002?

Combat Queen is a rail shooter where you control a team of five young Japanese women with guns. Mostly you’re riding around in the back of a pink Jeep shooting giant bugs out of the sky. Occasionally you’ll be on foot, shooting giant bugs out of the sky. There are lot of giant bugs in the skies of Japan, and they all pretty much look the same. Once in a while you’ll get to a boss character, such as a large centipede-type thing. Outside of these bosses, don’t expect a lot of enemy variety.

This is not an easy game. The bugs move fast, and you have limited ammo. If you run out, you can pause the game, and transfer some of your life into your ammo. At the end of a level, you get back some of your life and some of your ammo depending on how well you did. However, because it doesn’t completely refill, it’s pretty easy to get to a point where you have to completely start over (or at least from a save where you did fairly well).

Combat Queen is extremely repetitive and bland, but it was so bizarre that I managed to get a few hours of fun out of it. I can’t fully recommend it unless you’re a huge fan of rail shooters and/or nostalgic for FMV. Even then, it’ll probably just bug you.