Danmaku Unlimited 2 is a fantastic game that has provided dozens of hours of enjoyment (prior to the Steam release) and which has acted to kindle a massive surge in my interest of the incredible shmup genre. In the course of gaming for nearly three decades, I've played many shmups since Space Invaders on the Atari, but have only begun to truly appreciate them in the last year - better late than never! With developers like Cave, Treasure, Raizing, Seibu Kaihatsu, and many more - there is an enormous wealth of quality titles to experience and yet, Danmaku Unlimited 2 holds an important position within the genre in my estimation as a relatively "new" player. While those many other games are awe-inspiring on a number of levels, they are largely geared toward the very practised player and require a level of skill that can be offputting to somebody who is trying to gauge their interest.
Danmaku 2 has the perfect balance of accessibility and ramping difficulty. The mechanics of the game are very clear, and the hitbox of the player ship is obvious and visible. The visuals are crisp, clean, and colourful, without creating any visual confusion, and the music is fanastic and sets a great atmosphere. I feel that Danmaku Unlimited 2 is the perfect "training course" to the greater arena of shmups, and by investing time into this game, my skill level has increased by leaps and bounds in the other games. Still, it's plenty challenging in its own right, and I've yet to 1-continue complete the game on any skill level above normal. I find it a sublime rush to play on the hardest difficulty - with the excellent soundtrack blaring on full blast through my headphones, the screen rotated vertically (Tate) and my arcade joystick sat on my desktop, I often experience a feeling while playing DmkU2 that may resemble so-called "battle calm" - a tranquil trance-like state of absolute focus and heightened response where time seems to slow down and greater reflexes allow dodging through seemingly impossible bullet-hell situations. I can't honestly say I've really experienced anything similar in other gaming genres, and it feels awesome - that's why I find myself becoming avid about shmups! Danmaku Unlimited 2 is a brilliant game, and it blows me away that it's developed by a one-man development studio - I recommend that you pick it up straight away!