Chinese Association of Idaho State University (CAISU)
Title: Danmaku Unlimited 2
Genre: Action, Indie
Release Date: 18 Mar, 2014
What you get:
5stages and an extra boss( as always)
4 difficulties to play with
music fitting to stages and enemies
Everything from novices up to pure masochists can expect a lot from this game.. Danmaku Unlimited 2 is a brilliant little game, in ways that may not seem at first apparent to newbies, or non-bullet hell gamers. What it isn't is groundbreaking, or genre defining. What it is, however, is a master class training program into danmaku shoot 'em ups, and it does it so well i challenge anyone to deny they've improved their skills while playing.
You may have seen games such as Touhou Project, recent Cave titles, or general Japanese Doujin releases and thought "it looks amazing, but i would suck" - this game is for you! DU2 lets you get used to things, before making you work - something a lot of these styles of games lack. I've been playing "Danmaku" games for years and was pleasantly surprised at how configurable this title is, and how much it wants you to get better.
This game is one of the most configurable Shoot 'Em Up's on the market - it goes from easy peasy, to OMFGWTF just happened in a few clicks - catered to your needs, and all the while throwing bullet patterns at you that you will recognise in other such games. Training ;-)
Danmaku Unlimited 2 makes you a better shmupper by design, so if you are so inclined, you'd be stupid not to play it.
BTW, it has a great soundtrack too! Everytime it boots i want to kick\u2665\u2665\u2665\u2665\u2665 It tells me to. And so i do.. Given the high praise this game received, particularly as a smart phone game, I was curious to check it out on the PC. Sadly, I fell rather disappointed by this game, and consider it to be severely lacking. Even among independently developed games it can\u2019t measure up.
The game itself seems okay at first sight. You get a modifiable fighter plane with weapons \u2014 straight shot, homing shot, wide shot \u2014 that you can mix and match. There are two scoring modes, Burst and Classic, and four difficulties each. Following STG convention, the game has five stages, with mid and end bosses, and if you finish the game on one credit on at least hard\u2019, you\u2019ll face a \u2018true last boss\u2019 as well. As a bonus, there is a boss rush mode, and a free play mode for those who like to credit feed through the game.
While Danmaku Unlimited 2 follows the STG formula in broad strokes, it sadly goes awry in many, many areas. Let me describe some of the problems I\u2019ve had with it one by one:
1) The music is incredibly bland and does not synchronise with the action on screen at all.
2) There are very few sound effects, not even for basic actions like shooting.
3) The shield system is poorly thought out. If effectively acts as a life bar, meaning that you can take several hits. However, if you slip, you lose the ship. This seems needlessly punishing. As I'll describe later on, there are situations where it's easy to trip up due to design flaws of the game.
4) Bullet visibility is pretty poor. While you can tell bullets from the background, there is not enough contrast. Have you ever wondered why in Cave games the bullets have garish colours, while the backgrounds may even seem a bit washed out? Here, bullets and background are often in similar colors. This problem might have been prevented had there been actual background images instead of mostly static colors.
5) Further, I am not fond at all of how some of the bullets overlap. There are instances where smaller bullets move underneath larger ones, so while you focus on avoiding the larger ones, you may get hit by a small bullet that just emerged underneath it.
6) In many STGs, there is a dead zone around turrets, meaning that if you\u2019re getting close, they won\u2019t fire. In Danmaku Unlimited 2, this is not the case, which means that as you move past a large space ship, you may just get hit without expecting it.
7) What I also find very unfortunate is that smaller enemies don\u2019t get invincibility frames. Particularly in stage 5 it may happen that you get hit because you didn\u2019t memorise yet that you entered a part of the stage where a swarm of small enemies enters from the side. Those deaths through collision punish players who have not yet memorised a stage, and are a sign of poor game design, in my opinion. A good counter example on Steam is Crimzon Clover, by the way, where enemies that fly into the screen can\u2019t hit you for a few frames.
8) Overall, the difficulty is really uneven. Some boss patterns in later levels are laughably easy, just to be followed by much trickier ones. In a carefully balanced STG I expect something different.
9) I strongly dislike that I have to unlock game features. This means that you start out with an underpowered fighter, and have to earn in-game currency (thankfully no IAP), to unlock more lives, continues, or more powerful weapons.
10) There seems to be a bug: When you 1cc the game, you end up at the title screen, but you don\u2019t unlock any achievements, or get any of your in-game currency. However, if you then enter a new mode, and exit prematurely, then the game records your progress.
11) Minor quibble: I would have appreciated if the game let me skip the credits.
12) The high score boards are hacked, which is always unfortunate, as it shows a lack of support of the developer.
13) The scoring system is poorly thought out, since a few successful actions completely negate the entire rest of the game. Some people are upset because in Cave games it is often the case that you score more in stage 5 than in the entire rest of the game, even though stage 5 normally is a lot longer and has a lot more enemies, so it\u2019s pretty much justified. In Danmaku Unlimited 2, though, your score depends on something like a minute or two of play time in total.
*** added ***
14) The achievements with point values seem broken. I just reached 1 billion in total, but it didn't activate.
15) Some bullets, like the hexagons, are incredibly poorly designed. Those only harm you if you get hit by the center, meaning that the hitbox of your ship can safely sit on a large part of the area of those bullets. Another example are the large bullets in the last phase of the stage 5 boss. However, those have no demarcated center. Just like with the other bullets, if you don't know this, then you think those boss patterns are a lot more difficult than they are.
16) The transition from iPhone to PC should have led to changes in the control setup. On the phone, the speed of the ship is relative to the speed of your finger. In this version the ship has a relatively high default speed, and to slow it down, you have to use the burst shot. This is fine in Classic mode, since that shot is available without limit. However, in Burst mode, you can only slow down by activating a burst shot with a separate gauge that has to be filled. If the gauge isn't high enough, the ship does nothing at all. This means that some boss fights, where you have to weave though tight patterns, are incredibly tedious, and take a lot longer than they otherwise would.
Considering all those issues, some minor, some large, I simply cannot recommend Danmaku Unlimited 2. There are other STGs of much higher quality available on Steam, or on consoles. My personal recommendation on Steam is Crimzon Clover: World Ignition, which is also independently produced, and one of if not the best STG around.
I'd recommend this game to people who think that touch screens are a superior input alternative for STGs, those who think that superplayers can dodge rain, and those who consider Touhou to be the pinnacle of this genre. Danmaku Unlimited 2 is not the bullet hell you need, but the one you deserve.
2\/10. the fact that the music is made by a touhou circle makes the game good. Try imagining yourself playing dodgeball.
With 1000 ping-pong balls.
While in the rain. Without getting wet.
While tripping on acid.
Guess what? That's on EASY mode.
7\/10 would suffer epilepsy again.. A very beautiful and quit addictive bullet-hell game.If you like Bullet Hell games,i recommend this game.
10\/10. A brilliantly constructed bullet hell (that is literally what the word danmaku means in Japanese) shoot 'em up for intermediate\/advanced players. This game was born on iOS, but don't let that fool you, it is the real deal. You get classic danmaku action with interesting bullet patterns, a clever scoring system, crisp, sexy visuals and a KILLER metal soundtrack by Japanese djent outfit Blankfield. It's cheap as hell too. Unbelievable value for high score chasers.
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