Gundemonium Collection Review
Gundemonium Collection is a collection of three games, Gundemonium Recollection, GundeadliGne, and Hitogata Happa that Rockin’ Android has released recently. Developed by Platine Depositif, this collection is a classic bullet hell shooters that hardcore fans and masochists alike will dig. If you enjoy scraping by a wall of bullets by that one tiny pixel of a gap, read on.
The three titles are your basic bullet hell shooters that put players’ maneuvering skills to the limit. Walls of bullets will come flying the players’ way, some of which will leave only pixels of room for error. Luckily for players who aren’t skilled enough, the game offers unlimited continues. To casual players’ dismay, these will start players off back at the beginning of the level rather than where they lose. Skill, not hardheaded perseverance, is still essential. With this, players should be able to navigate through the levels (eventually). The first two games, Gundemonium Recollection and GundeadliGne are horizontal shooters, while Hitogata Happa is a vertical shooter. Each game in this collection has their own individual twists that make them unique.
The first game, Gundemonium Recollection, gives the player several basic actions: shoot, a special attack that uses up the mana bar, and bombs which are limited by ammo. While the system is pretty basic, different “dolls” and their unique abilities allow players to have a variety of different experiences, playing through the same stage but with different dolls. Sadly, the weapons don’t have upgrades, so it feels somewhat monotonous compared to other shooters.
GundeadliGne builds upon Gundemonium Recollection, adding a flip feature to face and shoot in the opposite direction. Seemingly negligible, this addition allowed for new bullet patterns that force players to be much more mobile. While in Gundemonium Recollection, players can stay at the far left side of the screen, strafing just enough to skid by bullets, the patterns in GundeadliGne force players to continuously move about to all four corners of the screen. These same patterns would have placed players behind the enemies in Gundemonium Recollection, making them unable to shoot; the flip feature fixes that and allows players to constantly move and attack at the same time. As a result, the game moves at a faster pace. In addition, bombs are not rationed in this iteration, but have to be charged up over time and will reset if the player is hit. Overall, it also raises the difficulty level, because players cannot save up multiple bombs for a boss anymore.
Present in both Gundemonium Recollection and GundeadliGne, the phase level system is a dynamic system that will continually make the game harder for players who are up to the challenge. The rules are simple: phases start at level one, getting hit or using a bomb decreases the phase level, while shooting down enemies will slowly bring the level up. To ease players into this system, creators limit the phase level based on the difficulty chosen – Novice and Revised limit it to two and five respectively, while Unlimited sets no such limit and Demonic will keep it set at the highest level possible.
Hitogata Happa is the final game. The biggest change is the perspective from a horizontal view to a vertical view. Gameplay-wise, Hitogata Happa is almost unrecognizable from its predecessors. It retains the mana system and adds a new way to use bombs. The bomb system in this game can best be described as kamikaze attacks. Players will fill up their flow charge by attacking enemies and dodging bullets; by ramming straight into an enemy, players will set off an explosion that deals big damage. If the player fails and is hit by an attack instead, there will be no explosion and the next doll will come into play. For bullet hell shooters, it’s definitely counter intuitive to fly directly into the enemy, making this an interesting and risky play mechanic. It still incorporates old bullet hell strategies, such as memorizing patterns, which will be necessary to flying through the walls of bullet and ramming into bosses.
The other interesting gameplay aspect of Hitogata Happa is the Zone of Control, represented by circles surrounding certain enemies. When the player enters this range, time will slow down, bullets become easily avoidable, and the flow charge will slowly fill up. Because players will be so close to enemies, they’ll also have to react more quickly to avoid death and losing the precious flow charge meter. This definitely adds to the risk vs. reward gameplay that Hitogata Happa is built around, making it the most exciting game of the trio.
Since Gundemonium Collection is a doujin game, players would assume subpar graphics and 8 bit music. Instead, this game is an outstanding example of how doujin games can look good. With a style that can best be described as moe, these games will instantly appeal to most anime fans. At the same time, however, general gamers may feel that the game is too catered towards otaku and too niche as a result.
In addition, the game’s visuals are filled with details as well. While most of it will get lost in the myriad of bullets that will fill the screen, during the quiet moments in between stages, players can see the careful detail that the creators put into animating this. As Eryth, the main character in both Gundemonium Recollection and GundeadliGne, fires off her pistols, rounds begin to fly in the opposite direction. It’s a shame that these get lost in the hail of enemy bullets, because players will likely miss out on these fine nuances.
The music is upbeat and matches the tone of this bullet hell shooter. The nostalgic music is reminiscent of old school arcade games, which only adds to the tone that the creators wanted to set for this bullet hell shooter. However, younger gamers may find the music corny and a bit old fashioned for their tastes. It’s another one of the hit-or-miss appeals of this game.
Bottom Line: Intended Audience Rating
Bullet hell shooter fans will love the first two games for the phase level system; nothing will be more rewarding than playing through this game on demonic and getting bragging rights for doing so. Hitogata Happa will definitely stand out for its risk vs. reward gameplay systems, which makes it the standout game amongst the three. Sadly, the moe style characters will be a hit-or-miss amongst gamers, while the music will be a turn off to anybody who didn’t play video games in the 90’s. Overall, though, if players can get past both of these aspects, they’ll find a worthwhile bullet hell shooter.
4 out of 5 Dolls
Bottom Line: Overall Rating
While the presentation will appeal to general anime fans, the insane difficulty will be a turn-off to most gamers. Most players will be relegated to the Novice difficulty, which will surely be a disappointment. The game employs several interesting features; the turn function in GundeadliGne, Zone of Control in Hitogata Happa, and bomb system in Hitogata Happa will be a breath of fresh air for anyone who’s tired of the old formulas in shmups that only involve dodging a barrage of bullets, shooting, and bombs. The unlimited continues should be a godsend for casual gamers who wish to finish the game without starting over from scratch, which is the case for most arcade bullet hell shooters. Although more intimidating than previous Rockin’ Android titles like Suguri, Gundemonium Collection is a fun title to pick up.
3 out of 5 Dolls