Posted: November 22, 2013
The third (and so far final) game in the eXceed series, Jade Penetrate Black Package is 100% fan service. From the outrageous number of bullets that fill the screen, to the cute girls wearing compromising clothing, it knows what it is and who it's targeted to, and that is actually a good thing.
Opting to refine not redefine it's basic gameplay, eXceed 3rd ditches the 2nd game's color swapping mechanic in favor of simple raw shoot-em-up action. There is some depth to be found in utilizing a lock on move that cuts down your movement speed, but generally speaking you'll be holding down the shoot button and just trying to stay alive through the torrent of blue and read particles blowing up around you.
Despite being simpler than its immediate predecessor, this is easily the most enjoyable and satisfying of the series. The overly dramatic story proves unintentionally hilarious, the graphics 16-bit eye candy, and the soundtrack once again setting the bar for games in this genre (really, it's incredible). The one downside is that it's quite short even for a bullet-hell game, but given the high difficulty even on easy, there's the potential for lots of replayability as you improve and take on the higher levels.
If you've enjoyed either of the prior eXceed games, or just like bullet-hell shooters in general you can't go wrong with Jade. This is the culmination of everything the developer has worked toward with the eXceed games, and as far as I'm concerned the best of the lot. It might be traditional in design, and perhaps even exploitative in nature, but taken for what it is I'd find it hard not to recommend it for fans. Because again that's what it is: pure unadulterated fan service of the best kind!