Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hah! I get it, it's like "Vampire King" or something, and doesn't mean at all that these vampires have vestigial hands and arms. Not that they'd need it anyway, because this is BULLET HELL and obviously the dinosaur... erm... vampires would just fire massive energy blasts at things using MIND BULLETS. Y'know, the kind that can kill a yak from 200 yards away. THAT'S TELEKINESIS, DEREK. And it's also Ikaruga, apparently. No, seriously. You show this to most folks on the street and they'll go, "Man, what's with that weird skin on Ikaruga?" Well, correction, most of them will just stare at the huge patterns of bullets on screen, become mesmerized, and just kinda stare at you like stunned carp. Yes, the color-toggling bullet hell action hits PCs with this doujin title, the second in the eXceed series, which turns the entire premise on its head! In the first game, you were one of three girls, hell-bent on protecting humanity from the vampire scum what's trying to take over the city (if you could make even that out through the utter lack of translation). In eXceed 2nd, though, you are... a cute vampire girl, floating around on a mandala of some sort, tasked with proving your loyalty to your master and finally landing that promotion you've had your eyes on for some time now, by taking down... well, the cast from the first game. Only now, it's actually in English, thanks to the efforts of Nyu Media! Yes, the tables have turned, and so have a majority of the mechanics. You've still got the intense, bullet-slaloming action that the genre is known for, you've still got interstitial dialogue that makes you feel like you're just filling the holes in what would otherwise be a visual novel, and you've still got a seriously freakin' awesome soundtrack that does its own part to boost the intensity until you get a nosebleed from the action. Or maybe that was just an aneurysm. Who knows! But, yeah, I can still hear those of you out there in Letter People Land shouting "BUT IT'S JUST AN IKARUGA KNOCKOFF!" And yeah, you're kinda right. The "Soak up fire of one color, avoid fire from the other" mechanic, the "Hitting mobs with the wrong color does double damage and bonus points" mechanic, the "Absorbing fire charges super-ultra-big-shot-mindblow" mechanic... it's exactly like Ikaruga, only significantly faster and with more intense firing patterns. That said, I was about to sacrifice a lamb to try to get more Ikaruga-style fast-twitch color-toggling action in my life, and now I don't have to do that! There's more than enough room in this world for two good bullet hell shooters that happen to agree on a particular mechanic, and they are more than welcome to get friendly on my hard drive and reproduce. Now. Who wants gyros?