Smash bugs with Reco
Cave are well known for their bullet hell antics after making a name for themselves with the arcade shooter classics Dodonpachi Resurrection and Espgaluda II. Mushihimesama Bug Panic is no exception, even if it does deviate from the template of these last two games.
The story behind this latest game is that the creatures of Shinju Forest, who normally co-exist peacefully with the people of the forest, have started to act strangely, attacking everything in their path. It's up to Insect Princess Reco to put a stop to their antics and find the source of the trouble. So sets the path of much bug squashing.
Reco can use seeds as grenades, with different seeds having different burst effects to help fight off the bugs. The game uses a control system similar to a dual stick shooter, with directional control on the left and a control to direct fire on the right.
However, because of the nature of the seeds, the fire control doesn't work the same way as in other dual stick games. Instead, you aim a reticule to where you want the seed to land and wait for it to explode. This adds an interesting element of strategy to the mix and ensures you can attempt to stay out of harms way if you don't want to get up-close and personal to the bugs.
An additional control lets you select multiple targets at once, which is certainly useful when there are so many bugs on screen. It takes a bit of getting used to, but this method is essential for progressing on later levels.
Graphically, the game uses pixel style graphics which create both a retro feel and a detailed game world at the same time. The graphical touches to the scenery and attention to detail are fantastic, but may be lost on anyone battling the ever-increasing horde of bugs.
With five worlds, each containing four levels in addition to a boss encounter, the game should keep you going for quite some time, but as with all Cave games, the score element is also important. Cave have added a Score Trial mode for this very reason, as well as an endless version that challenges you to stay alive for as long as possible.
With a recently added multiplayer mode that pits you against a friend in one of five worlds, killing bugs for gems, which then can be used to unleash a swarm of bugs against your enemy and Game Center support to compare scores and achievements, Mushihimesama Bug Panic has everything you need to appease your shooter needs and is different enough from the other twin stick shooters out there to warrant getting stuck in to the bug squashing action.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 9
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