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  • 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?

Hah! I get it, it's like "Vampire King" or something, and doesn't mean at all that these

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