Mushihimesama Futari 1.5 + Black Label (Xbox 360)
Mushihimesama Futari Ver. 1.5
Xbox 360 (Region Free)
One of the genres of video games very close to my heart is the shooting game, or SHMUP (SHoot ‘eM UP)
One of the greatest companies to ever make shmups is Cave, a Japanese arcade game manufacturer.
The game that really put them on the map was Dodonpachi – a game commonly understood to be one of the hardest games ever created.
Cave games can be either horizontally scrolling (Deathsmiles, ProGear) or vertical scrolling (Dodonpachi, Mushihimesama, Espgaluda, etc…)
Cave games are mostly considered “danmaku“, which translates basically to “bullet curtain” or “curtain fire”. At higher levels of play, the screen is often 90% COVERED with enemy fire.
Mushihimesama Futari 1.5 is a vertically scrolling game, the sequel to Cave’s awesome Mushihimesama.
You control one of two character “ships”, in this case your character rides on the back of an insect or a dragon.
From the top of the screen, enemies and bullets rain down on you. Points are scored by destroying enemies, more points for how close your proximity to the enemy is when you destroy it.
Upon said destruction, the enemy explodes – releasing different colored gems, small medium and large , green or Blue-green. The point is to collect these gems, destroy enemies, and NOT DIE.
Easier said than done.
The game has several modes available:
Arcade mode: A perfect port of the arcade cabinet version of the game – scoring is straight up destroy enemies, collect gems.
Xbox Mode: A mode made special for the Xbox release of the game. Graphics are crisper and there is less slowdown on screen when it is FULL of bullets and enemies.
Arrange Mode: Special mode of play where scoring changes, the music is different, and enemies \ enemy fire patterns are thicker . Scoring involves switching between both characters and strategically destroying enemies AND reflecting bullets.
Novice Mode: AWESOME feature for newcomers to the genre. This mode has the same enemy patterns, but enemy fire is greatly reduced and slowed down. A great way to introduce yourself to the game.
Each mode of play has 3 difficulty levels, pretty much self explanatory : Normal, Maniac, and God \ULTRA
Mushihimesama is a great game for shooter fans, and newbies (due to the forgiving Novice mode). Today’s modern games are highly complicated , heavily produced works – and not to take away from games like Modern Warfare 2, but those games are played for the overall experience and in my opinion have very little replay value aside from multiplayer. The draw to SHMUPS is endless replay value, constant drive to beat your highest score, or survive ONE MORE LEVEL, or just to beat the first boss without dying. Eventually you improve – and feel yourself improving. You can see your score jack higher and higher…eventually you die less often and score more. Soon you beat the game’s 5 levels of bullet hell! It’s quite a feeling.
Perhaps my favorite feature is the ability to upload your game replays to the Xbox LIVE leaderboards, to see how you rank among the world’s players. Conversely, you can download replays that others have uploaded. YOU HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN THE NUMBER ONE PLAYER’S REPLAY. It is absolutely mind-boggling watching someone beat the game on Ultra Mode without dying a single time. Watching scores lurch into the BILLIONS is a sight to behold.
Check it out…screenshots below and the game’s official Tokyo Game Show trailer (you really have to see this game in motion)