Bought a copy of DeathSmiles NA, and it is awesome. At first I didn’t know if I wanted to pay $50 for a shmup, but then I heard how the game comes with the OST a Deathsmiles faceplate and the limited edition box, and the game is still $50. Not only is that an amazing deal, but I also wanted to show Aksys support for what they are doing by releasing these special editions that can cost $100 normally and releasing for around half the price. That’s part of the reason why I bought Record of Agarest War also (that and the b3wbs! Lol)
The game is all sorts of fun. I mean really, if you want to play an easy shmup that can help you get better at them, this is the game. One of the gameplay features that helps you learn is that every character has a small golden ball right in their middle. That is the characters target point, thus the game teaches you that your character sprite itself can get hit without taking damage, as long as your target point itself doesn’t get hit. It’s a really good way to teach people about avoiding bullets and dodging patterns. Also, another good thing is that enemy bullets are played with what seems like a different graphical filter from the rest of the stage, so it makes it easier for you to see what you have to avoid. Aksys really chose the best possible game of the Cave lineup to bring over, because this game is easy enough for anyone interested in the shmup genre to learn the basics.
The game includes the original arcade mode, a remixed 360 mode with better graphics, and Ver.1.1, which changed certain game mechanics around. Then there’s also the included Mega Black Label, which adds an extra stage and character. This mode also has an arcade, 360 and 1.1 version. Then each stage can be customized with 4 different categories. Then there are four characters (five in MBL) each with their own different specialties, like scoring and survival. Add this up, this means with 6 different modes, 4 different difficulties, five different characters, 2 ways of playing, plus online, there are more than 200 different ways to play the game. Like shmup fans like to say: “A good shmup is forever”.
I feel real sad about the reviews for the game however. A lot of people are complaining that the game is really short, that you can beat it in an hour, and that it should have been a downloadable game. These are obviously missing the entire point of a shmup. With all the modes you can play through, all the stuff you can do with it, you’re really going to complain about that? I give the game a solid 10, just because of how much you can do with the game and how much there is to learn with it. Anyway this is just a short review of the game, I will probably post more as I play.