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Ghost Blade

version: collectors edition - year: 2015 - developer: hucast - publisher: hucast - format: dreamcast - condition: mint - rarity: hard to find

The collectors edition of the game was supposed to be limited to 300 copies but after a Facebook survey, the limit was increased first to 500 and finally (and unilaterally) to 600 units. Small note of comfort: The first 300 pre-orders got their name in the credits (in-game and in the manual). This CE includes the game, the OST, a small artbook and a superplay DVD, everything bound into a cardboard slipcase.

Review - Developed by Hucast, the company behind Dux and Redux, Ghost Blade is a tribute to Donpachi and the Japanese bullet hell scene of the mid 2000s.

I preordered Ghost Blade back in March 2013 and the CE eventually shipped at the end of November 2015, after many delays, including the main programmer quitting mid-project for personal reasons which lead to partial re-coding of the game.

After all the tribulations, how did Ghost Blade turn out to be?

The graphics are generally well done with a neat ships design, varied backgrounds sometimes also including parallax scrolling, and vibrant colors.
On the down side, the occasional slowdown can be annoying.

The soundtrack courtesy of Rafael Dyll is atmospheric, and fits the game perfectly, as usual with works from this artist.

Gameplay is very basic but fulfilling and the bullet hell action is in fact very accessible. You can choose between a wide shot to cover a wider area of the screen or a narrow shot to deal more focused damage.
Smart bombs can be detonated to get you out of trouble so really, what we have here is a competent effort in the genre and a welcome addition to the ever expanding shooting library of the Dreamcast.

Bottom line: With only 5 stages to go through, and a formula which retreads tried and tested territory, Ghost Blade will not keep you playing for long, but what is there is entertaining and pleasant. 8/10










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