Trouble Witches Neo! is notable for being one of the few doujin games that’s been granted a worldwide release (on XBLA), thanks to developer Adventure Planning Service and publisher SNK Playmore. The original game, titled Trouble Witches, was developed for the PC in 2007 by the independent Japanese team Studio Siesta, and was ported to the arcades (as Trouble Witches AC) before this new version hit XBLA earlier this year. Neo! adds two new characters to the game (one as DLC), as well as additional play modes.
The core mechanic in this cutesy danmaku shoot ‘em up is a Magic Barrier that catches bullets and slows them down. Killing the enemy that fired a caught bullet destroys the bullet and releases gold coins that you can collect for score and spend at the shops that appear twice in each of the six stages. At the shops you can purchase MP upgrades, lives, or spell cards that temporarily augment your firepower and give you even more score.
It’s a simple system that’s easy to learn and fun to play with. Xbox 360 owners who enjoy the genre should check it out, as it’s a pretty rare occurrence that a doujin game sees a release like this.