Espgaluda II is originally a 2005 arcade game from legendary developer Cave, responsible for the already released Switch ports of Mushihimesama and Progear (via Capcom Arcade Stadium), the upcoming Deathsmiles I and II collection, and before that, a series of high-quality arcade games dating back to the ’90s – there’s an expectation for this release (essentially a direct transplant of Japan 2010) Xbox 360 port only) will not only be good but great, able to stand out from the crowd even in a format adorned with as many high-quality examples of the genre as Switch.
And it makes a positive impression from the start, players were presented with no less than six types of Espgaluda II to choose from (with a seventh bonus style as complete as the rest soon unlocked) and a total of four characters; each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and shooting quirks to master.
The differences between these modes are drastic. The direct cancellation of the red / blue bullet from ‘Arrange’ is sure to bring Treasure’s classic Ikaruga to mind, and ‘Black Label’ features a chain gauge not used anywhere else in the game. Home-exclusive beginner modes for both Normal and Black Label greatly reduce the number of bullets on screen without simplifying the special “Awakening” mechanic at the core of the game, giving those who wish to learn the ropes the opportunity to experience without fear of being blown up immediately. away or lost in a sea of blue / purple / red bullets – all the world has a realistic chance of saying “I cleaned a shmup without using a credit”.
So different are these options from each other that in terms of scoring and survivability, being good (even “Watch my replay of 1CC online”Good) in one does not make anyone even come close to being good in another; they may well be completely separate games.
Purists will be happy to know that the original arcade game has been faithfully preserved, with a high resolution alternative at hand for those who don’t like the highly pixelated look, and for once “high resolution” means exactly that, sprites Enhanced are literally the original CGI designs being re-rendered to better show more details that were already there, not “smoothed”, enhanced, or redesigned.
All types of games have access to the same wide range of screen customization options, allowing you to rotate the screen in any direction or provide customizable close-ups of important indicators, as well as detailed score trackers added to any space than another. mode would not be used alongside the game. screen. You can adjust the size or position of almost everything, and the main view window is so adjustable that if someone wanted to squish it to half the usual height while stretching horizontally to oblivion and off-center, then there’s absolutely nothing stopping them from indulging in their madness (the default vision-saving setting is thankfully just a menu option away).
Non-interactive tutorials can be accessed from the main menu to help players familiarize themselves with the many differences between Arcade / Normal, Arrange, and Black Label modes, each broken down into separate instructions covering everything from the basics plus basics (“How to shoot”) to more specialized topics involving alternate player-activated modes that depend not on one, but two different collectibles. There’s still a lot to take in – Cave’s games as a whole tend to be hilariously intricate games and Espgaluda II is complex even by his standards, but at least he makes it clear that there is a lot more to the game than shooting things without brains until the credits roll.
… Or it could have, with a little editing. The translation is often crude and inconsistent; So much so that no effort is needed to find the game’s text still written in Japanese, and some of the English sentences desperately need less practical translations. The tutorial is likely the first place a new or frustrated gamer will turn for help and clarity, and yet all good done by using correctly translated English words like “Ascension” (to refer to their time – slow special mode) undo everything else. This includes the button layout in the settings menu, opting for transliterated Japanese terms instead (“Kakusei” in this case), severing the link between what could have been really helpful advice and the rest of the game for any other than First, I don’t need a translation or explanation.
The same can be said for the inexplicable use of the term “zako” in the game – it’s the right word to describe enemies in one hit, but you won’t know it if you’re not the type of person already on the waist. -deep in imported Japanese shmups. There are, of course, many legitimate technical reasons why a full, polished translation might have been unfeasible beyond the additional cost / effort involved, but that doesn’t stop what here acts as a very real barrier for anyone wanting to submerge their toe into the depths of the genre for the first time.
Other avoidable problems lurk elsewhere. At the time of writing, online leaderboards are grayed out and non-functional, with just a simple “Getting ready for qualification! Wait until it takes place.“To serve as an explanation (yet another example of the forced translation of the game). Until this comes, the Score Attack mode, a core feature and focus of past, present, and undoubtedly future shmups, becomes completely useless. U.S assume this will be fixed sooner rather than later, but the fact is that right now people are buying a shmup that is missing a common key feature.
Luckily for the Live Wire editor, its minimal localization work and stumbling out of the gate online aren’t destructive enough to drag the excellent Espgaluda II too much, and deep down the whole game feels as fresh and well-designed as forever. The flexible risk / reward scoring system allows longtime fans to decide for themselves (to some extent) how much trouble they want to get into, while also leaving newcomers plenty of headroom to enjoy an experience of intense and visually spectacular shmup.