Exceed is a brutal vertical shoot em up that will test your skills to the limit. You start off by picking one of the three anime girls, each one having different ways of firing. First one has scatter shots, second one has narrow shots and the last one has a giant beam. The first level starts off pretty difficultly and is definitely not a game that will ease new players of the genre into the experience. That's all well and good but controllers don't work for it. Which means leaves only the keyboard and that is not an ideal way to play these games. It is manageable don't get me wrong but they don't even bother to tell you what keys do what. When I have to Google what keys are used and what they do then that is simply bad game design.
As you can see on the Steam page, the English language is not supported so you will not understand the story unless you speak Japanese. There are no English subtitles either so you may as well play on Arcade mode which removes the in game cutscenes. It doesn't really effect the game negatively for those of us that don't really care about story in a bullet hell. What does effect it negatively is that the UI is broken. There seems to be a hud with info in the black borders but it quickly glitches out and disappears. No clue what info there is supposed to be there but one vital piece of information that you don't know is how many lives you have left. This is an extremely poor port that doesn't allow key rebinding, no controller support, alt tabbing breaks the game and the escape key exits the game.
Graphics are nothing special and are pretty funky looking but they get the job done. I love the soundtrack to Exceed. It has a very upbeat techno vibe to it but it is a shame that the soundtrack costs twice the amount of the game. The amount of bullets on screen is pretty insane which really makes you wish for a proper way to control your character instead of a keyboard. Your hitbox is rather strange and you can get away with some shots that look like they should have hit you. Not necessarily a bad thing considering how difficult the game is but you will have to learn where exactly a bullet can actually hit your character model. One shot and you will lose a life.
You also have a button that makes your character slow down to be more precise when dodging and one that unleashes a special attack. Buttons are as follows: Z to fire, X to slow movements, C to pause game, V for special attack and ctrl to be forced back to the main menu. There are bosses and they are as brutal as you would expect from a game like this. The battles can go on far too long though as they have a lot of hit-points and shooting them doesn't really feel like it has any impact. After looking up some gameplay on Youtube, I noticed that the game is supposed to be far slower than what I was playing. It run far faster on my machine which explains why it is so brutal and I have been unable to resolve the issue. Not sure if it is a rare problem but considering how bad the port is I highly doubt it.
There is a decent game underneath it all but it is ruined by being ported poorly to the PC. Being out since 2012 it is highly unlikely they will patch it. From my small amount of research Exceed appears to be a PC exclusive game which I find shocking given it's state. Anyways, this is the type of game that would benefit greatly from a small demo to see how it will run on your PC. As it is I can't really recommend it to anyone. This is a safe pass, there are a lot of better made shoot em ups on Steam to keep you occupied.