Tag Archive: doujin

Fraxy – Sky Leopard 42k by Metarex Master

Boss Download
Music: Aerobotics by Just Coffee of OverClocked Remix

Size: 360 x 480
Mode: Fixed

Starting off the fight with a deadly rush across the screen, this boss provides a consistently fun and fast-paced challenge. One of the first things players are bound to notice is the addition of two twining frontal turrets for the player’s own ship, which serves as a an early sign of the flashy aesthetics at play here. While most small, fixed arena fights have fairly static bosses, the Sky Leopard 42k is rather dynamic, launching attacks from the top, middle, and bottom of the screen, which adds to both the challenge and the aesthetic appeal of the fight. Most of this boss’s attack patterns consist of either bombarding the player with aimed shots or using lasers and lines of bullets to limit mobility, though it is generally easy to find safe spots. This boss doesn’t have an excessive amount of health and, between the additional turrets and the fact that damage is dealt to the boss regardless of which piece of its body is hit, this fight definitely doesn’t overstay its welcome, but the first phase does last a bit too long and the boss doesn’t really gain any new attacks until it is down to about a third of its initial health bar.

Defeating the ship leads to a second, humanoid form which moves around frequently while staying near the top of the screen. This second form has the opposite issue of the first phase as it goes down so quickly that it may not get a chance to use all of its attacks, but it otherwise feels like a nice continuation of the first part of the fight with aesthetically-pleasing attacks which are challenging without being quite as dangerous as they may initially appear to be. Overall, this fight feels like it falls into a sweet spot in terms of balance, offering up a good challenge with plenty of visual flair and nothing in the way of frustration or tedium.


Freem Page

Pyromancer is the newest shmup from the creator of Giant Cutter and it certainly shows in more ways than one. Utterly bizarre and profoundly alien environments and enemies are found in nearly all of the games developed by Minami* and this game certainly doesn’t disappoint as the designs and the unique artstyle make it immediately stand out from other shmups. The freeroaming sections from Giant Cutter are gone, making this a more pure, and certainly more polished, shmup experience spread across four levels, which are each in turn divided into three distinct segments. While the freeroaming sections may be a thing of the past, the unusual emphasis on close-range combat remains as, in addition to a standard forward-facing gun, your ship is armed with two small flamethrowers on its top and bottom as well as an enormous jet of fire directly behind it.

*The developer’s name on Freem is 南カラス, which can be read as Minami Karasu or, in English, South Crow. Since the copyright on the title screen in the game itself is simply attributed to “Minami” I will be referring to the developer by that name for this article.

Tower of Victory

Freem Game Page

Tower of Victory doesn’t take any risks with the action platformer genre and the difficulty is on the easy side of things, but it packs in plenty of platforming variety. With four enemy types, a boss fight, and a total duration from beginning to end of just over five minutes, this game changes up its layout constantly. From single-screen rooms to larger vertical and horizontal platforming challenges and even a few vertical autoscrolling rooms, you never know what to expect each time you go through a new door. The protagonist’s gun can be fired quickly, but it does have a slightly limited range so players can’t hit enemies from all the way across the screen. On top of the limited range on the gun, the enemies themselves encourage players to take up a more cautious and observant approach because they can ambush players from many stealthy positions; giant cat heads will fall down from suspicious holes in the ceiling, certain flowers will reveal themselves to be worm enemies in disguise, and nearly any screen outside of the tower will have birds attempt to sideswipe the protagonist into pits. Overall, Tower of Victory serves as a great example of how to keep things short and simple without sacrificing polish or entertainment value.

Blast Force

Official Site || Vector Download Page

Blast Force is a one-button game to an unusually literal degree and it pulls off this minimalistic control scheme remarkably well. Attacking, charging your laser, moving, and even choosing to use a continue are all tied to a single button. This is a short game even by shmup standards, but its polished and creatively unique gameplay make it a great game to play and go back to.