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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

D3

 

Developer

Treasure

 

ESRB

E10+ (Everyone 10 and up)

 

Released

Q4 2008

 

 

- Fast action

- True to original Bangai-O

- Nifty level editor

 

 

- Some will be turned off by the game's high level of difficulty

 

 

Review: Kirby Canvas Curse (DS)

Classic Review: Truxton (Genesis)

Review: Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)

 

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Bangai-O Spirits

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

bangai-o-spirits-1.jpg (27937 bytes) bangai-o-spirits-2.jpg (22207 bytes) bangai-o-spirits-3.jpg (19626 bytes)

 

Being a fan of Bangai-O on the Dreamcast, I have been looking forward to this DS iteration of the game for some time.  The simple, arcade-like qualities of the original game were quite engrossing, and exemplified the whole notion of less being more.  Now with this handheld version of the game, this core philosophy still holds true.

 

Right from the get-go, players will notice that Bangai-O Spirits is not a forgiving game.  The difficulty is cranked up from the start, and doesn’t let up over its 150 levels.  Granted, players are given the option to choose any level that they want to play, but many will still find themselves needing to take a break now and again from the intense challenge that this game provides.

 

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However, if you can get past the unrelenting challenge, the game is quite fun.  This is one of those shooters where bullet and missile fire fill the entire screen in a massive orgy of blasting stuff.  With that, the experience proves to be quite visceral.  The spectacle reminds me of some of my favorite anime growing up where mechas would be fighting one another with

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a ridiculous amount of laser fire and streams of missiles filling the battlefield.  One neat feature that Bangai-O Spirits has in regards to these weapons is that players can choose their weapons before going into a level.  Here one chooses two regular weapons, and two special weapons that can be used on their own or in combination.  Sometimes specific weapon combinations are required to defeat the enemies on a given stage, so some experimentation is required.

 

A couple of other spiffy features present in the game are a 4-player coop mode, and a level editor.  The editor is particularly interesting, as it gives players a lot of options for making levels however they like, and then being able to share them with friends, helping to add longevity to Bangai-O Spirits.

 

In the end, this iteration of Bangai-O is a fast, intense shooter that retains the unique feel that the game has had both on the N64 and Dreamcast, with the difficulty significantly ramped up.  If you can get past the challenge, the game will provide hours and hours of fun.

 

Mr. Nash
January 4, 2009

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