April 12th, 2012 | By Former Staff
Shogun takes your average bullet-hell shooter and kicks it up a notch. The game itself isn’t on par with ESPGALUDA II, but it certainly makes itself comfortable in my new iCADE. I took into consideration how ESPGALUDA II was about four times the price of Shogun, and the game does play very consistently. Bullet-hell games have been around for a while, dating back in the arcade days with games like Raiden and DonPachi. We all know that CAVE’s specialty is danmaku (弾幕, meaning bullet curtain), but coming from an indie developer, this game is actually quite entertaining.
Shoot’em ups (or bullet-hell shooters) are undoubtedly some of the best retro game genres. Essentially, a shoot’em up is where the player takes control of a space/aircraft and they shoot down large amounts of enemies coming down on the screen, while also simultaneously dodging their attacks. General attacks usually encompass bullets, laser beams, or energy orbs. The attacks mostly come in memorable patterns, inducing memorization. Some games like Jamestown (PC) will allow multiple players to control many ships on the playing field at the same time.
Shogun has many great qualities that popular bullet-hells have, including a great variety of weapons, and a decent plot. There are many great pros hidden in Shogun, and it takes a bit of playing to realize the game’s potential. Firstly, there is a “risk-reward” element, where you get rewarded for flying dangerously close to the bullets. You get bonus shield power that allows you to take more hits, and spend the capsules you earn on wingmen and weapon upgrades. Secondly, there is adaptive difficulty, where the bullet patterns form more complicated waves as you manage to dodge them all. Meaning, the better you do, the harder the game will become. Thirdly, there is strategic weapon switching, where you have to switch the weapons to defeat the enemies effectively. Use the spread for small swarms and missiles, laser for large enemies and big targets, and homing when dodging the bullets. While using touch controls, switching is easy and the slo-mo during the swap menu is both impressive and practical. The controls are easier when on the iCADE, making a button-push easily switch between weapons.
Lastly, Shogun definitely polished their game, quite a bit. Shogun has stunning visuals, as well as extraordinary SFX & GFX. The graphics are sharp, vibrant, and concise. The artwork is just gorgeous. There is no clear lag or slowdown, even during the intense action. The 16-bit music is pleasing and simply adds to the adrenaline-pumped action, and not to mention the backgrounds. The controls work and they are minimalistic, but not only that, there is iCADE support, which really enhances the gameplay. Shogun proved that it was an excellent shoot’em up, and I believe that even casual gamers will enjoy this game.
For more information on Shogun visit their official website. The iOS version can be found at the App Store, universal for iPhone and iPad for free (plus $1.99 – $2.99 of IAP for full game). The Android version can be found on the Play Store for $2.49.