|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Treasure||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: D3 Publisher||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 12, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
If you don't want to keep all your level creations to yourself, don't worry. Bangai-O Spirits has several ways for you to share your creations with others. And the data transfer process is actually quite noteworthy. Instead of using the Nintendo WFC, it uses "sound load", which basically takes all your level data and turns it into a sound that plays through your DS speakers and can be decoded by other DS' microphones. And if you want to go global, you can insert a double-ended audio plug into your DS headphone jack and your computer's headphone jack and upload a level onto the internet. It's a really cool process, and although I have no real clue how it works, it's actually pretty amazing.
Controls in this title are fairly simple, which is definitely a good thing considering the game's sharp difficulty level. You move around with the control pad, and each of the DS' face buttons controls a programmable weapon with the exception of the boost button. The two shoulder buttons control special attacks and can be held and released to increase strength.
The overall look of the game is fairly simple, but there is so much happening on screen, that the developer had to keep it fairly simple. The tutorial even addresses the DS' limitations by telling you that even though you might fire 100 missiles at once using a special attack, not all of them may appear on screen due to hardware limitations. It's funny to see a game admit limitations due to hardware, but I guess Bangai-O Spirits is not your traditional game.
After I spent some serious time with Bangai-O Spirits, I had to take a step back. It was difficult not to give this title a poor score, just because it was so maddeningly difficult. But when you take a minute to appreciate what the game is trying to do and who it is appealing to, then you can really applaud its efforts. It sets out to be an impossible shooter, and trust me, it does its job well. So, if you are up for a serious challenge, then you definitely want to check out Bangai-O Spirits, as it is the most challenging and rewarding experience currently available for hardcore gamers on the DS!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor