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First Impressions: Sora o Kakeru Shōjyo Shooting

Posted by Sean Aaron

Pretty girls and shooting action: a recipe for success

If you weren't already jealous of the number of old-fashioned shooting games available in the Japanese DSi Shop thanks to the G.G. Series, now you have another one courtesy of I.T.L.

Roughly translated as Shooting Space Girls, this is a side-scroller with a difference, though what that difference is won't be immediately apparent. You have an initial selection of one of three titular teenaged anime girls (all 17, so you know it's legal – in Japan, the UK and most territories, anyway) who command a space ship and fly around blasting waves of enemy fighters, sub-bosses (including other space girls) and end stage bosses. There are four stages in all and some decent action that becomes "bullet-hellish" at the boss level.

The gameplay is pretty good and wouldn't have been out of place in an arcade of the past 10-15 years. Your ship can transform from a standard looking Vic-Viper clone with forward auto-lasers to a funky multi-limbed robo-critter of some kind that can fire in multiple directions, but is less manoeuvrable. You also have the standard screen-clearing bombs and a multi-hit life gauge in lieu of extra lives. Enemies drop the occasional bomb, extra life point and a couple of upgrades to your basic gun (these aren't lost if you die and continue) as well as lots of bonus point multipliers to collect.

Whilst you have a score and a limited number of continues your goal really isn't to get to the end (though the game does end after the fourth stage with a different little end sequence for each character), to unlock the other two characters (though you will after one playthrough and they play differently for variety), or even to get the high score (there's no initials and no leader boards, which is rather disappointing). No, instead you're accumulating a total score in order to unlock gallery photos of the girls and the enemies – though it's the girls that really get the focus.

Yes, this is a game for anime-pervs – though we hasten to note that this is in no way an "H" title and therefore not something you'll get busted for having on your DSi (well, not by the authorities, anyway). Put enough time in with the game and you'll soon be able to display photos of all three girls in bathing suits, provacative poses with their spacecraft (wearing their flight suits, of course – what are you people thinking?) and then other assorted poses (again, fully clothed sigh – get your minds out of the gutter!) in nicely-detailed, full colour images that are big enough to fill the top screen on your DSi whilst you browse thumbnails in the touchscreen below. There are 96 in all and it will take 10s of millions of points to get them all unlocked which means lots of play and lots of gallery browsing.

The game isn't brilliant, but it is a competent shooter and we certainly don't have enough of those on DSiWare yet. The cheesecake gallery offering is, well, the icing on the – oh, you know! So if you have an import DSi and like old-school shooting action (and teenage anime girls) it's worth your 500 Points.

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User Comments (26)

Maxsh

#1

Maxsh said:

"old-school shooting action (and teenage anime girls)"
Yep, this game sure is Japanese. Anime and nostalgia.

irken004

#3

irken004 said:

"Your ship can transform from a standard looking Vic-Viper clone with forward auto-lasers to a funky multi-limbed robo-critter of some kind that can fire in multiple directions, but is less manoeuvrable."

ROBOT IN DISGUISE!

Also, TYPO!

Sean_Aaron

#4

Sean_Aaron said:

Well, it's not a TYPO in the land of steak and ale pies: the spelling does tend to be more French for the imported words ya know.

I want to add a disclaimer that I had NO IDEA there were cheesecake photos in this, I just figured it was a shooter with anime girls, so seeing them in bikinis after finishing the game was a (welcome) surprise.

I don't have any plans to buy that "witch finding" game for the DS either (you know the one I mean).

Slapshot

#6

Slapshot said:

@Sean..... you seriously have got me itching to buy a Japan DSi pretty soon, especially is the SMUPS don't end up here in the states. Great review and putting previews with the Japanese games on DSiWare Games is a great addition to this site. Great Job again my friend.

Sean_Aaron

#7

Sean_Aaron said:

@slapshot82: You're very welcome, I figured it was the least I could do after the Japanese LL was given to me by the site bosses. I'm also hoping that any people representing publishers outside of Japan might see these things and decide to bring them overseas - after all they have no chance of being published if people don't know they exist, right?

Mizore

#9

Mizore said:

I dunno what to say, lol...

....WHY IS JAPAN KEEPING ALL OF THESE GAMES OVER THERE?! XD

BlueFlameBat

#10

BlueFlameBat said:

Too bad shooters like this almost never make it to the U.S.
Then again, Triggerheart Exelica did. This has a roughly 30% chance.

Rerun

#13

Rerun said:

I'll get this on Day 1 if it ever comes out in NA. I support SHMUPs since I'm a big fan of the genre. Most of them being budget priced helps too!

Rerun

#14

Rerun said:

@Sean Aaron
You're doing a great service for all the SHMUPs fans by bringing obscure JPN games to our attention. Excellent work!

KDR_11k

#16

KDR_11k said:

It's a licensed game, Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl Who Lept Through Space) is a TV series. It's comedy and many of the important characters are the AIs of entire colonies, makes their fights even more crazy (a regular tube-shaped colony using its giant mirrors like swords against a star shaped colony with a gigantic chainsaw arm? A worm like colony suplexing another colony into the surface of a moon?).

Slapshot

#19

Slapshot said:

@S Aaron.... I'm going to look into importing one soon. I have a guy I import all my anime and movies from and see if he can keep me from paying the higher prices some importers want. I doubt we will get all of the games here so it should be worth it.

Capt_N

#21

Capt_N said:

Sexy Poker wannabe for DSi...

Not interested. But as always, these reviews seem to do well on explaining any given game's concept. Good review. :)

nix

#23

nix said:

Sean thanks for that another shmup review never to cross japans borders how many is it now. I wish you would'nt keep bringing all these games to my attention and not be able to get them, yeah you can look but not touch, i know! keep them coming mate

gabikun

#25

gabikun said:

I found a second-hand japanese dsi and the previous user didn't connect to the shop, so I had 1.000 free points to spare.... I downloaded this game because of your preview and I don't regret it. Maybe a little short in levels, but it's well developed. I will probably play from time to time, to unlock the rest of the gallery :P.

The other games I downloaded were:

  • G.G series: Throw Out, a futuristic hand-ball game I enjoyed very much... There are only 4 selectable teams (plus 1 hidden) and it's easy when you know how to score goals, but I liked the retro-arcade gameplay and it was only 200 points.
  • At Enta: Taisen Mahjong 2. There are already many mahjong titles in the japanese dsi-ware, but I wanted a basic game and this one covers what I need to play on the go. It's well developed and the AI is challenging. Plus, it has download play (if I find a friend with a DS and want to play mahjong with me) and it costs 200 points too.

I'm planning to invest some more points, what games would you recommend me, Sean Aaron?

Sean_Aaron

#26

Sean_Aaron said:

By pure chance I happened to check these comments again. Well gabikun, I'm glad to see you've taken the plunge.

Needless to say I've previewed A LOT of DSiWare here. If you want a quick and easy way to find all the Japanese DSiWare I've checked out, you can find a listing on my blog with links to the articles here: http://www.seanswiiworld.co.uk/2010/04/ds-corner.html

My DSiWare Backloggery page is a list of all the DSiWare I keep available on my system, so that's probably as good a recommendation list as you're going to get from me. It's pretty big though!

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