|Titel||Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi Extra|
M! Games 10/2013 86%
Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi Extra (Xbox 360)|
Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi Extra -JP-
At first look, Ketsui looks similar to many other shmups out there. Helicopters firing a non-stop barrage of screen filling firepower? Check. Zillions of colorful bullets that need to be dodged? Check. Point items to collect and increase your score? Check. Huge bosses with enough guns to level a city? Check. But its real brilliance is in the game mechanics and level design.
Playing Ketsui is all about aggression. Destroying enemies up close awards higher point cubes, which are used to score. Shoot an enemy from afar for a "1" cube, or point-blank them for a "5" cube. Once you collect some cubes, you can switch to a lock-shot mode (hold down the fire button), which locks in that cube's value for a set amount of time. Thus, you can to bum rush a few enemies to generate high cube values, then use the lock-shot to maximize gains on everything else in sight. There are a few other variables to take into account, however that's the simplest way of explaining it.
The level design is very well thought out with this scoring system in mind. Often against a tougher opponent, a few tanks will work their way down the screen just before that enemy is defeated. You can either concentrate firepower to take out that threat quickly, or break your lock to point-blank those tanks, then return to the tough enemy, and be rewarded with a shower of 5 cubes. Careful planning is very rewarding, and the levels are perfectly balanced for those skillful enough to take advantage of them.
Enemy bullet patterns get vastly more interesting as you progress through the game. Late in the game they start to take a life of their own as they weave and track you in unusual ways.
In addition to the main game, an arrangement or "X-mode" is also included. This changes up the gameplay by adding bullet cancelling and suicide bullets when enemies are destroyed. It seems to be more about pushing your luck to fill the screen with bullets before cancelling them out, which leads to different strategies in how quickly you defeat certain enemies. It's a different take on the game, but it's still really great.
I can't say enough praise for how much fun Ketsui is to play. And at the end of the day, that's the only thing that really matters.
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