Sunday, November 6, 2011

What is the age of consent in Japan, anyway?

I am quite sure that playing Otomedies Excellent puts me on a list that I do not want to be on. The kind of list that keeps you from getting jobs where you interact with children or need a security clearance beyond 'random guy off of the street.' It certainly does have that skeevy, only in Japan look and feel to it, but so few shmups make it state side that it has to be played. The pervy coating doesn't really make any sense; this is a Gradius game, right down to the music, enemies, and level design. Weapons are still gained by destroying red enemies and collecting the power ups they leave behind. There is more variety now, with different weapon cards collected as the game progresses that be fitted to the different ships, though if you get a better version of the same weapon you are using you can't actually equip without starting completely over. If the game were longer this would be an issue, but with only eight levels that can be pushed through (with unlimited continues, mind you) in under an hour, starting over isn't that big of a deal.

After I had pushed through the game once, though, I understood the nonsequiter of giant boobed girls in ships: as a shmup it is rather plain. It doesn't have the same depth as Ikaruga or the more recent Deathsmiles, both of which contain incredibly deep score mechanics that you don't even discover until you can make it through a whole level without dying. Otomedius Excellent is such a throwback that without the tarting up it would be unremarkable at best, just plain boring at worst. Of course it is obnoxiously hard, as it should be, but it is not a creative obnoxiousness. Bosses that take up the whole screen will simply corner you, crushing your ship against the immovable edge of your TV. Most bosses have only one or two attacks that repeat over and over, and some of the later one I am convinced there is no way to avoid.

Gah, who buys this stuff?

I don't understand the target audience, thought the collectors edition including a two sided pillowcase gives me a pretty good clue, but I am clearly not it. Don't get me wrong, I love being terrible at the few shmups that manage to make it out here. I just don't like feeling so dirty playing them.

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