Posted: November 5
Alright, if you're here, then you probably know what the "bullet hell" subgenre is, or at least its parent genre, shoot 'em ups (from now on referred to as "shmups"), but if not, I'll briefly explain:
Shmups are generally defined as any top-down or side-scrolling shooter, such as Galaga, Space Invaders, and many others. Bullet hell games, on the other hand, take this to the EXTREME; some of the screenshots for this game should show you just how many bullets you'll have to deal with. To compensate for this, your character's hit box is extremely small, really only a couple of pixels big, so that this is at all possible.
With that out of the way, the actual review!
Generally pretty good quality sprite work; I wouldn't say it's anything outstanding, but certainly nothing to scoff at. The menus are a tad bland, but function well, and aren't boring; just simple.
It's a little hard for me to comment on this one, honestly; the story isn't really well told throughout the game. To give an example of how important the story is, there's an option to disable the pre-level "cutscenes", which are only one screen with text and some pictures anyway. I believe it has something to do with humanity doing something dumb, and that causes some evil person to attack (again? I'm not sure; I haven't played the first game), and you, being part of some millitary group, have to go and face her. Not terrible, but not super deep either. But that's probably not why you're here, is it? You're looking for...
Is fantastic. Before you start the game, you have the choice between two characters, Eryth and Earl, and another once you beat the true final boss (which, I should mention, I have not done). Now, there are two conflicting sources on the amount of characters; one (this very Steam page) says that there are two starting characters, with the unlockable third, while the games official webpage states that there are FIVE characters, along with an unlockable sixth. Neither of these are completely correct. The second character, Earl, is actually a customizable character; you can use one of four presets, or you can mix and match her three selectable abilities. These abilities, of which Eryth has as well (however, Eryth is stuck with one skillset), include your normal shots, "bombs" (which almost never actually includes using a bomb), and "Mana Action", which requires your Mana bar to be filled up; this can be done by killing enemies. The game isn't too long, probably about an hour or less if your good; but that's a pretty tall order. The first time I played through this game (playing as Eryth, Revised (normal) difficulty), it took about two hours of multiple retries to get past these five stages. Despite the difficulty (which is pretty normal for these kinds of games), I had a blast, and felt extremely satisfied once I finally conquered it. Thanks in no small part to...
Now, personally, I loved the music. It's probably one of my favorite game soundtracks, and I'm not exaggerating; I rank this up there with Cave Story, Mega Man X, BlazBlue (the collective series), all of those amazing soundtracks. And the soundtrack actually comes including in the Steam folder for the game once it's installed, so that's a huge plus. However, looking at another review, it said that the musical wasn't all that great. So who knows, I might be in the minority on this one.
Hopefully this review didn't end up being too long-winded; I don't exactly have a lot of experience with reviewing. However, I found myself having to hold back on how much I said, because I quite bluntly love this game. It's one of my favorites, and I'm pretty sure the next few days will be spent on getting the achievements. I hope you decide to pick this game up, because it's definitely worth it; I plan on buying the other games in the series at some point soon as well.