The warp mechanic in Zangeki Warp revolutionizes horizontal shmups to a degree on par with what Ikaruga‘s color shifting did for vertical bullet hells. On the surface this game looks much like other horizontal shmups and the R-Type influences in particular ring loud and clear, yet the ability to warp your ship around changes everything. The warp isn’t just there to save you from close calls, the entire game is build around it.
Aside from warping away to dodge bullets, you’ll constantly be asked to use it to circumvent solid obstacles and to obliterate enemies via the warp trail which your ship’s gun can’t reach. By the end of the game I felt like I was relying on this technique more than my bullets in combat and the final stages become very demanding indeed, even on Normal! Beyond the main feature itself, Zangeki Warp earns plenty of praise with significantly varied difficulty settings, a rather nice upgrade system, and exceptional enemy designs which gradually shift from standard robots and ships to creepy body horror-style monsters which would even make Abadox proud. (more…)
In Extremis is a shmup in which you play through various genres of art and music in a rather literal sense. If that sounds weird, well, In Extremis is a very strange game. While this is an entirely competent shmup filled with secrets, unlockables, and multiple paths, its true strength lies in being a visual marvel and an auditory delight where each stage is radically different from any other. (more…)
Neko Navy is an adorable yet difficult bullet hell shmup filled with flying cats, strange locations, and even more bizarre enemies. Nothing about this game makes sense, but with online leaderboards, six playable characters, three very different difficulty settings, a deep scoring system, and a few secrets for good measure, Neko Navy has everything shmup fans (and cat lovers) could ask for. (more…)
Eden Reverse is a short cross between a platformer and a shmup without feeling entirely like either. Your character can stay in the air for quite a while before falling back down to the ground, but the main feature is hinted at by the title itself. Specifically, you can reverse gravity to walk on the ceiling. This is far from the only game to feature such a mechanic, but Eden Reverse is rather unique among these types of games in its pure focus on boss fights. With gravity controls, a jetpack that lets you remain in the air for extended periods of time, and creative boss fights within often equally creative arenas, this little game packs a big punch. (more…)