Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dodge this!

I love Gamefly.

There are so many games out there that are excellent but only warrant a few hours of my time. OK, excellent is a bit of an exaggeration, perhaps there are lots and lots of really good games and not enough hours in the day. Who am I kidding, I have little else to do but limited funds. Regardless of the reason, Deathsmiles got its allocated three hours last night and I could not be happier with it. I always enjoy smups in small doses but never have the patience or skill to actually get good at any, so spending an evening burning continues like there is no tomorrow on a game that I will never look at again is actually a pretty good time. Deathsmiles comes from Core, famous for any number of other shooters, and while it never actually reaches true bullet hell levels, it is defiantly never a walk in the park. It would have helped if I understood at least some of the game mechanics instead of hammering at button wondering why I kept dying to the only bullet on the screen. A quick summary, and I am not making any of this up:

Choose one of four underage girls who have wings somewhere (head, back, etc).
Fly around the screen with a demon or two in tow.
Kill lots and lots of stuff.
???
Profit!

Somewhere in there hides an incredibly deep bonus system that trades the skulls of defeated enemies for extra power and a points multiplier. I don't really understand how it works, but at least once I did everything right and racked up about a billion points in just one section of one level. That is more than I managed to score, cumulatively, for the rest of the night, so some practice would really have paid off. In this way it is a lot like Ikaruga: there is surviving, and there is looking good and scoring a ton of points doing it. I never looked good, and didn't really live very long either, but it was still a lot of fun.

Once I got past one of the selectable characters being eleven years old, that is. I don't really understand the choice, but I suppose there is precedent for little girls flying around and killing things, at least in Japan-land.

For your enjoyment, this is final section and boss, played on difficulty level 999. (it goes 1, 2, 3, 999. The jump from 3 to 999 is akin to walking around the block and then deciding to circumnavigate the world without a fucking boat. I did not attempt it.)

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