Cocoto Magic Circus
does try to inject a bit of story into the game. It's the tried and true rescue mission, except this time you play as a band of imps who are trying to rescue their beloved fairy friend. The villain is an evil clown who lures the fairy to his circus and kidnaps her. That's a pretty original set of characters and story, I would say, but it seems the brainstorming department shut down right there. There are no story elements or character development points other than the beginning of the game where the fairy is captured, and the end of the game, where (ok big spoiler, sorry) you rescue her.
If it seems like I'm going on a bit too much about story in a shooter, it's because there's not too much variety in the gameplay either. The back of the box says "40 mini-games, each more original than the last!" Your hand will probably meet your forehead over the sheer silliness of this line, and it's pretty indicative of the game itself: recycle the same thing over and over. There are probably about 6 or 7 different mini-games, with enemies and themes swapped around several times. Don't get me wrong, for a shooter this can work fine. They are by nature, repetitive. But here, you can almost feel the creativity that was stifled during development.
Some of these mini-games are pretty fun. You've got a game of keep-away, where you shoot monsters before they attack your fairy friend. Shooting a matching target out of a group of spinning, moving targets is another good one. Of course there is the standard "shoot the bad guys, avoid shooting the good guys" game in there as well. There are also balloons that float in your way that have either good or bad effects. Some of the bad effects range from turning the lights out to flipping the screen upside-down. At the lower levels, the detrimental balloons are fairly easy to avoid altogether, so it doesn't affect your game too much.
Arcade mode and Training mode are the two single player options. Strangely, you can't enter Training until you've actually beaten the corresponding level in the Arcade mode. Also, for a collection of mini-games, a random level mode or other type of quick play mode might have helped at least make this a decent party game. Unfortunately, the multiplayer modes don't add much to the fun or excitement either. It's basically the single player game with an extra crosshair for your second player, or a round-robin style game where you pass one controller around and take turns. It doesn't seem like much thought was put into it to make it a different experience.