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Guwange (Xbox 360) Review

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Trying to suggest a bullet-hell shooter to the general gaming public is admittedly pointless. Sure you may find one person out of a hundred who is interested in what you are offering, but they are usually already into this kind of game. Guwange is the second SHMUP developed by CAVE to release in the western world on Xbox 360. The first of which was the fantastic Deathsmiles title, though that was a full retail release. Guwange is a similar styled game but at the much lower cost of 800MSP ($10).

For the six gamers who have played Deathsmiles, no, it is not the exact same game with a new paintjob. Guwange is drastically different despite maintaining a recognizable art style. Most SHMUPS seem to consist of a main-character with the ability to fly. Think about it: Raiden, Galaga, Deathsmiles- everything could fly in those games. In most cases you play as an airplane really. Well in Guwange, you're a ninja. Cool factor and visuals aside, this changes some things gameplay wise. Since you are a ninja, albeit with the ability to shoot magical fireballs or flying swords at your enemies; you can harm your foes when you come into contact with them. This is nice as you don't have to shoot all enemies to death, and can often stab them with a sword instead.

Guwange on XBLA

Regardless, this is still a bullet-hell, and you have to move fast or you'll die. Difficulty really is the main attraction here. If you love taking on tough games and want to aim for high-scores and the hard achievements, go for it. But it simply isn't for everyone. Average gamers will at most, play through the game three times; once with each character. The addition of unlimited lives and continues can take away from the experience if you decide to stop caring. Meaning that once you die a certain amount of times the mood is gone, and reaching the finish is all that really motivates you.

I personally love a good SHMUP every now and then, but before you get into Guwange you need to experiment with the genre first. Do you get mad easily? If so, stay the hell away. Remember this was originally an arcade game at one point, it was designed to steal quarters from you! If you're willing to try an unknown genre like this, it's up to you to get your money's worth. The obvious truth is that the better you get, the more fun this will be for you. But you have to put the effort in and aim to strive, or you'll only feel ripped off.

Guwange is a great addition to the rather slim offering of SHMUPS available on the Xbox Live Arcade or Xbox 360 in general. The fact that this was released means Deathsmiles sold at least moderately well, and CAVE is interested in bringing more games stateside. If you'd like more CAVE games buy Guwange. Then go buy Deathsmiles. Then persuade three other friends to do the same. Otherwise this could very well could be the end.








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