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Shogun: Bullet Hell Shooter is, well… a great new bullet hell shooter! It combines frantic and chaotic bullet hell gameplay with unique mechanics and mixed aesthetics to create something that is hard to forget. It’s a rather simple game with only a few levels, but more of a focus on arcade style leaderboard climbing and high score wars. It’s definitely an interesting new title that does a lot of things right.
The story is just as generic, ridiculous, and over the top as any good bullet hell shooter should be, but I’ll just skip the potatoes and move on to the meat of the game, a.k.a. the gameplay. You control a lone ship and face down hordes of enemy bogies. By touching the screen, you move your ship and activate its weapons at the same time. Any time you let go of the screen, time slows down a bit, and you can select a new weapon. That’s right! Rather than make you pick between different ships with different load outs, all of them are available in this one ship. You can use the wide spread shot, the focused laser, or the homing missiles, You can also use part of your shield, which is like your health bar, to send out an EMP that cancels out all fire on the screen, or you can add drones to the sides of your ship you increase your firepower.
There are only four levels to speak of, and the focus of this game is really on maximizing your score on those levels. The whole game is supposed to be a tribute to Japanese arcade games of days gone by. The unique visual design mixes 3D rendered backgrounds with bright and colorful 2D pixelated sprites and bullets for a look that really stands out. The soundtrack and other aspects of the design are all top notch. There are plenty of options to tweak, from scrolling sensitivity to various other features. Make sure to mess with the controls until everything suits you better. You can download this game for two and a half dollars at the time of this review, and there’s a free demo version which I definitely recommend you check out, at the very least. This is a simple and solid game that might not be for everyone, but it’s worth your time to find out.