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Shikigami No Shiro II

version: jp, limited edition - year: 2004 - developer: alpha system - publisher: mediaquest - format: dreamcast, gdrom - condition: mint - rarity: hard to find

 

The PS2 limited edition comes with this cool Fumiko figure (right) but that version runs at half the speed compared to the Dreamcast version and looks way messier because of annoying jaggies around polygons.

 

The limited edition comes with a sound track and 4 cards with beautiful artwork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review - After the Game Cube and the PS2 versions, Shikigami No Shiro 2 finally lands on Dreamcast. Considering that the Arcade version ran on the Naomi board, it is safe to say that the DC version should be a pixel perfect port.

Technically, Shikigami2 has a nice visual presentation especially using the Dreamcast VGA box. Graphics are extremely sharp and colors are vivid. The backgrounds are certainly improved over the backgrounds of the 1st game although they still lack refinement. The waterfall for example isn't very impressive. It looks blocky and overall unconvincing.

As of the music, it is great and makes it worth owning the soundtrack. It features a mixture of techno and Japanese tunes that gives to the game an extra punch.

If you already played the 1st installment of the series, you'll be familiar with Shikigami2 game-play since it didn't change much. We are talking "bullet hell" at its finest here. The closer to the enemies bullets your character is, the more coins you collect. Also in these situations, your firepower will increase temporarily to great effect!

The secondary fire deals a lot of damage but when you use it, your character slows down considerably so you become an easier target. Of course, using the secondary weapon allows you to collect more coins.

Coins are useful not only because they grant you a higher ranking but also because they award you with very needed extra-lives. Try to maximize your coin-collecting then if you want to stand a chance in this game! Initially, Shikigami2 gives the player only 4 credits. You can quickly forget to complete the game in a 25 minutes gaming session like it was for the 1st game though! Here, you'll have to earn the extra credits thru the accumulation of play-time and thru the achievement of higher and higher scores. (Actually I am not sure which one of the 2 factors grants you more credits…)

I was able to complete the game on 7 credits and I actually was on my last life when I managed to destroy the last boss. The amount of bullets on screen gets exponentially higher as you progress through the game. It's hard to explain but I found myself performing best when I was so focused on the game that I was hardly conscious of what I was doing . To maximize my performances, I had to reach an almost symbiotic relationship with the game. My eye to hand coordination reached a point where I wasn't even really thinking about what to do next. I just did it, as It felt like I almost became "one" with the bullets flow.

There is no need to worry about that though because the difficulty curve has been amazingly well calibrated and this makes for a very balanced game.

This shooter provides undiluted, pure fun. Not many games have been able to provide the same kind of essential fun recently.

Bottom line: improved sequel and much better than on PS2 running at twice the speed and looking much crisper. 9/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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