Game Review:Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury (360)

Treasure is a small game developer best known for crafting very challenging twitchy arcade style shooters. One of their most popular titles is Bangai-O, and it fits that bill perfectly. And now you can experience it on Xbox LIVE Arcade with Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury.

In Bangai-O, you control a robot mech who can fly around and shoot an endless barrage of missiles. Your goal in each stage is simple: shoot everything and don’t die. But reaching that goal is the challenging part as you must maneuver around waves of missiles and enemies, and use your dash moves and counter-attacks strategically to turn the tables in battle.

You move around with the left stick and aim and shoot missiles with the right stick. By pressing the trigger buttons, you can unleash your limited special attacks. Dashing lets you plow through obstacles and enemies unscathed. And when the screen is filled with projectiles and you’re cornered, unleash a counter-attack and fill the room with your own missiles. Knowing when and where to properly counter-attack is essential for a high score—and survival!

Stages are very short, but also extremely challenging. Don’t feel bad if you die within seconds even in the early levels. Luckily, if you die three times in a row, the game will let you skip to the next level. Bangai-O has a hint of quirkiness; too, as destroyed enemies leave behind fruit you collect to fill up your attack meter and add bonuses to your score, kind of like Pac-Man or Bubble Bobble.

There are also competitive and co-operative multiplayer modes as well as a level editor where you can design and show off your own stages, but it’s a bit clunky to use. If you really like twitch-style “bullet hell” shooters and haven’t played it before, you may want to give Bangai-O a try

Kid Factor:

Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence. But it’s just robots shooting missiles and lots of explosions and that’s it. I’d be OK with any kid playing it, but reading skill is a must for the tutorials and stage briefings. Plus, younger and less experienced gamers may get frustrated at the very steep difficulty level.

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