Mushihime-sama BUG PANIC! for iOS
Mushihime-sama BUG PANIC! is a 2-D action game by Cave that tries a rather different approach to the genre. The gameplay consists of locking onto enemies (up to 3 locks at a time) and throwing bombs at them. When enemies die, they explode and harm nearby enemies. With some planning, large chains of enemies can be destroyed at once. The enemies themselves shoot out bullet patterns that are typical of Cave except that they potentially come from all directions. Good:
- Nice long gameplay length: 5 stages per world and 5 worlds, plus score attack and duel modes.
- Plenty of secrets to encourage playing through every level multiple times
- The difficulty starts easy but gradually increases, making it very approachable for novices while still having classic Cave difficulty for the final boss.
- Typical Cave bullet patterns coming from all directions, and with a lot more space to work with. The closest analogues might be Robotron2084 or Bangai-O, except, with even more space.
- The controls take some getting used to: a simulated joystick is used for movement while the rest of the screen can be used to lock-on to enemies.
- The last boss is really hard. Much harder than the rest of the game up to that point. A novice to the genre might spend ten times as many as many hours practicing to defeat the final boss as might be spent on the whole rest of the game.
- Some of the secrets are really Guide Dang It
Bug Princess 2 for iOS
Cave seems to have a system of cranking out iOS ports of their arcade games. Bug Princess 2 (better known as Mushihime-sama Futari) is the latest product of this system, being an amazingly faithful port with arcade-accurate slowdown and compromising nothing in graphics and sounds compared to the original game. Much like the other cheap iOS ports, Cave has put in no special iOS content that cannot already be found in the X-box 360 version. Good:
- Runs very smoothly on an iPad 1 with no crashing! This is a marked contrast from the first Bug Princess for iOS, which practically required an iPad 2 or better.
- This game is currently the only way to see the story in English
- Much like the first Bug Princess for iOS, nothing was sacrificed in visuals. It is therefore one of the most visually-intense 2-D games on the iOS, period.
- Beautiful soundtrack by Manabu Namiki and Kimihiro Abe with audio fidelity that is at least as good as the arcade version, if not better.
- Nothing special in this port
- There are no subtitles or other translations for the voiced dialogue.
Bug Princess for iOS
This is an amazingly faithful port of the arcade game Mushihime-sama and sacrifices almost nothing in visuals and sounds. This does make it very demanding, so having an iPhone 4 or iPad 2 is recommended if you want to play this game at a speed close to the original. For those who are new to 2-D shooting games, it has a Novice difficulty option. Good:
- Visually, it is much closer to that of the original game, putting it in the same league as Espgaluda 2 HD. That means animated bullets with after-shadows, lots of transparency effects, particle effects, and other details that were left out of previous Cave games for the iOS. Yet, it somehow runs on earlier devices such as the iPad 1. The game has clearly been optimized aggressively to achieve this.
- On easier difficulty levels and modes, its framerate is quite good.
- New difficulty level, Hell, for those who thought the original arcade game on Maniac/Ultra was too easy.
- No continues - therefore this game encourages you to practice and get good at it if you want to complete the harder difficulty levels and game modes.
- Music by Manabu Namiki and Masaharu Iwata in its full glory.
- Just like the original arcade game, it is difficult to see bullets on Original mode. However, Maniac and Ultra still have more-easily-visible bullets in line with other Cave games.
- The visual fidelity comes at a cost: the game's framerate suffers greatly on earlier devices such as the iPad 1 when the screen is full of bullets.
- It occasionally crashes due to running out of memory. This is probably not a problem on newer devices.
Mushihime-sama Futari for the X-Box 360
Mushihime-sama Futari for the X-Box 360 is a good choice for anyone who likes 2-D shooting games, whether casual or hardcore. If the game is completed by simply continuing repeatedly, then it is very short, so most of the depth in this game comes from practicing to the point that you never get hit and trying to get a good score in all of the gameplay modes. For those who are new to 2-D shooting games, it has a Novice mode. Good:
- Brightly-colored, detailed, and clear visuals so that you can clearly see what is what.
- Artwork by HACCAN sets itself apart from most other anime-esque artists with its detail, usage of many different colors to create moods, and style that brings across "cuteness" without relying on the typical anime methods of doing so.
- Multiple gameplay modes, including the newbie-friendly Novice mode, providing plenty of hours of replay value for those who want to test themselves.
- Diverse music by Manabu Namiki that is good enough to listen to independently of the game.
- This game is an uncommon import, which means it may be out of stock, and it can only be gotten from certain places like play-asia.com
- One of the game modes is paid Downloadable Content