shoot em up

Kyotokei - Video

First Hour Review

Kyotokei CoverLast year, when I checked out 3D Dot Game Heroes, I admitted my leniency regarding game copycats. Where some saw a sly attempt to cash in on the Zelda brand, I only saw a new adventure game in the same mold. The game's tone, both parody and homage, further erased any chance of disdain.

I'm having a tougher time excusing Kyotokei, a WiiWare game that came out last week. My five minute experience with Ikaruga is enough to tell me that Kyotokei is clearly a copycat game, stealing the novel color-coded bullet hell stylings of the cult classic shmup. And unlike 3D Dot Game Heroes, I'm not getting a tributary or tongue-in-cheek vibe from Kyotokei. Instead, the game mimics the Touhou craze, which replaces the classic shmup players and enemies (spaceships and mechs and whatnot) with cute little girls for whatever reason. I guess that's not a big deal: Hello Kitty Chess is still chess, right?

Mechanical and aesthetic burglaries aside, the game looks like it might be fun. And Wii could certainly use some decent software in a time where an above-par movie-licensed game is gunning for Game of the Year. I decided to throw $5 at Kyotokei and see if I could get my money's worth out of this downloadable doppelganger.

I played for an hour. Check out this video of the first stage. Try not to blink.

Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony

Full Review

Jamestown CoverIt’s been years since I played a shoot ‘em up. I bought Ikaruga during college basically as a blind buy, and Steve and I played a ton of four player Giga Wing 2 on the Dreamcast, but since then? Well, I played the first hour of Pocky & Rocky... that’s about it. I partially blame this on my system of choice being the DS for the last few years, and also because I’m not very good at the genre. Bullet hell is a term for a reason.

But I was gifted Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony during the Steam Summer Sale (thanks Rowan Kaiser, writer at The A.V. Club), so I had the obligation to return to the shmup, essentially kicking and screaming. I knew very little about the just released indie shooter, so here are the quick details: Jamestown is an alternate history story of early American settlers on Mars. Suspension of belief required. Just imagine 17th century Europeans had spaceships and decided to settle Mars instead of North America.

Also know this: Jamestown is a great game, here’s my review.

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