Bullets, spaceships, and mayhem!
Ghost Blade HD is another amazing release from homebrew developer Hucast Games. I have been following this team for a few years now and have yet to be disappointed with any of their releases. Hucast is famous in the Dreamcast homebrew scene with a small catalogue of excellent games.
Being a Dreamcast owner, it’s a special treat for me to review this game on a current console. Hucast does it again with stunning HD visuals, bright colors, and some great techno beats to complement the gameplay. That being said, this game lives up to the bullet hell genre. It is not for the faint of heart or those of little patience! However, on an up note, the developer has made some awesome enhancements over the D.C. version that make gameplay a little easier for novices, like built-in software slow motion. The software slows down the game, giving the player a little edge, (lol, a very little edge) to get out of those tight spots. This game also has a challenge mode for those who like to beat high scores with a time crunch. Another great draw is two player co-op mode where you can team up with a friend to take on Evil Shira! Some other nice features include a training mode where you can take time to master the levels on different difficulty settings so you can beat those grueling levels of doom! There are 3 different difficulty levels to choose your insanity: Easy, Normal, and Hard.
Easy says it all … sort of. I’m not sure but I think easy has a one pixel hit radius. I swear I shouldn’t have made some of those moves and survived. This mode also has a hit protection system whereby if you have any bombs stored, and a hit is detected, the game will auto bomb to destroy all incoming attacks on the screen to save you. Warning: on the later levels this will chew through your bombs. And lastly, this mode gives maximum firepower to your ship right from the start. Normal, like easy mode, gives increased firepower, however, it takes away the auto bomb, leaving you to practice honing your piloting skills. Also with increased difficulty comes … you guessed it, a dramatic increase in the enemy’s numbers and bullets. Hard mode should be called the 7th Circle of hell. Why do you ask? If you can’t guess, more bad guys, way more bullets, and if you breathe too close to a bullet, you’re dead. Oh, and let me mention that you’re given a weapon that’s about as effective as a spitball from a straw! This mode takes forever to increase your power; and if you die, you lose it, making it super difficult to stay alive, never mind actually defeating the bad guys.
You’re given 3 ships to choose from that have different strengths and weaknesses. Ghost has a widespread pattern weapon and high-damage output, slow when using a focused shot. Rekka has a dense spread pattern, not as powerful as Ghost but more maneuverable. Lastly, Milan has super narrow spread pattern, low damage output with super high maneuvering abilities and superb handling while using focus shot.
Ghost Blade HD has the feel of a polished big company game, with tight controls, stunning visuals, and a fantastic musical score. Hucast and 2 Dream corporation have done an outstanding job with this port to the Wii U. So if you like an impossible challenge this game is going to keep you coming back again and again to punish you. I’m giving this an overall 10 out of 10 for this genre! Great job Hucast; I hope to see an RPG from this team.