This is a trailer for an upcoming horizontal shoot ‘em up called Heaven Variant, by the three-man team at Zanrai Interactive. Zanrai has made it clear on their FAQ that the game will not be bullet hell, but nonetheless aims to appease both hardcore and casual players. It currently has no release date.
Note: this video was released in February, and since then the developers have made some changes to the basic game mechanics, including dropping mouse control for precise 360-degree aiming. In the latest trailer you can see that weapons now lock to a few set angles:
This is a video that mashes up quite a few trailers for doujin games that will be available at this year’s Comiket (Comic Market), a Japanese self-published comic book festival (and the largest in the world, with half a million attendees last year). The video was put together by Edelweiss, a doujin game developer that created Ether Vapor and is attending Comiket 82 with a new shoot ‘em up called Astebreed. The festival is taking place this weekend on August 10-12.
Links to each of the games featured in the video are available here on Edelweiss’s website.
Despite (because of?) being a pretty dense and esoteric doujin bullet hell shoot ‘em up, Hellsinker has enjoyed a cult success over the years. But now that an English translation patch has been finished, perhaps more people can enjoy its unique flavor of shooting. Thanks to Noah! from the forums for posting enthusiastically about it a few months ago.
Like most shoot ‘em ups, the goal of the game is to advance through the stages and earn a high score (called “spirit” in HS). However, Hellsinker also has a unique meter called “terra” that can deplete to send you to the Shrine of Farewell, a special boss rush level that resets your spirit counter but can end up doubling it if you’re good enough. There are many other quirks to the game, and the numerous ship types ensure that there’s a lot to understand here, whether you’re playing it in your native language or not.
Beyond that, if you’re interested in learning more about Hellsinker, you’re probably best off exploring it yourself or looking through the various guides that I’ve posted below along with the download/purchase links:
Booting up Bloodlands, you’re met with a warning screen that indicates the level of action the title is aiming for – the screen that greets you is a tribute to Cave’s famous shoot ‘em up DonPachi. It’s a tall order for any game, but especially one that’s made in the ANSI-based game creation tool Megazeux! But Maxim, who developed Bloodlands over the course of two years, has managed to squeeze a lot out of the aging engine, offering some pretty intense “dual stick” arena shooting with a full complement of cutscenes and special effects.
Classic 80′s arcade games like Galaga and Centipede were the inspiration for Verminest, the latest release from the prolific Spanish developer Locomalito. The game features a simple scoring system that offers bonuses for killing enemies up close or taking out wave leaders early on. Large bosses and scrolling sections are also welcome additions to the Galaga formula.
The original release in February was black and white (with an optional “3d mode” for viewing with 3d glasses), but recently Locomalito put up a colored version called Verminest ’83 (pictured above). The gameplay remains exactly the same as before.
Also, now you can receive boxed versions of the Locomalito games for donating over a certain amount (~30 euros for each game or ~90 euros for all five). It’s not clear from the website whether the boxes include a printed version of the games’ PDF instruction manuals, however.
TIGdb: Entry for Verminest
Hyper Princess Pitch, the latest game from Daniel Remar (Hero Core, Iji), is a top-down arena shoot ‘em up. A remake of Beaucomm Interactive’s Operation Carnage (DOS, 1996), Pitch seems like it plays more like the faster-paced Smash TV (Arcade, 1990), with lots of enemies streaming in quickly from the walls and sides of the screen. It’s quite short, having only 4 stages, and an average player shouldn’t have too much trouble completing it on the medium difficulty settings. However, the highest difficulty setting is no joke, as the bullets are much more prodigious and the bosses are given an extra attack pattern after they would normally die. You also only start with one extra life.
The scoring system is quite simple: playing at higher difficulty settings grants you a bigger score multiplier. By completing a level you not only get an extra life, but you also get bonuses for each room that you beat without taking damage. It’s worth noting that enemies do drop pickups randomly in this game, making luck a factor in scoring.
Pitch is set in the same world as Garden Gnome Carnage, and as such, it’s very light-hearted. The main character, the princess, fights an assortment of Christmas-themed baddies, from elves to ornaments. As for her arsenal, she has piledriver special attacks (see screenshot), uses black cats as options, and holsters two versatile secondary weapons: an ice shot that destroys yellow bullets and a bouncy rainbow shot.
Fans of Remar know he puts out fun games – this one is no exception. Happy Holidays!
The alpha version of Joseph White’s voxel-based top-down shooter Voxatron was released today through the Humble Indie Bundle site (although, as you can see by the title, it’s a “humble indie debut”, and not a bundle). As with previous humble offers, you can pay what you want for the game and all future updates, including the awesome built-in model and level editors. Payment can be split as you see fit between the developer, two charities (Child’s Play and the EFF), and the Humble Bundle guys.
For more information on Voxatron’s release and its future development, check out Joseph’s blog.
Scoregasm is the latest from Charlie, creator of Space Phallus, Irukandji, and Bullet Candy Perfect. It’s an arena shoot ‘em up where the goal is to keep your combo number up by destroying enemies repeatedly. This also replenishes a Close Range Attack that earns double combo points and also turns bullets into high-value hearts. If you maintain your combo count toward the end of the level, you may qualify for an extra-intense “Scoregasm Frenzy” (cough) that offers up big scoring opportunities and opens up alternate level paths.
Presentation-wise, Scoregasm doesn’t seem to distinguish itself from the other glowy arena shoot ‘em ups out there (aside from the moaning!), but the Close Range Attack is fun. Check out the demo, which features roughly a third of the game’s levels.
TIGdb: Entry for Scoregasm