Finally the renowned doujin Shoot'em up trilogy "The Tale of ALLTYNEX" is getting released on Steam. Starting with RefleX the second game in the series.
Polished and intuitive, the key mechanic of the game is your ships relfecting shield. When activated the shield reflects bullets, but your ships energy is drained fast and when it gets low enough the shield stops working and even your weapons get weaker. So using the reflector-shield requires timing and strategy, mastering the game requires a lot of pattern recognition, good timing and knowing when to use the shield.
The sound design is spot-on, catchy electronic retro music. With nice sound effect feedback from explotions and hits.
Looks basically like an Arcade game from the early 90's. But with some modern effects like lensflares and transparencies. It's pretty good looking for a low resolution 2D game, but the animation is somewhat lacking. The explotions and lazer effects look however satisfying.
Impressive for a Doujin game, this could have passed as an professionally produced Arcade game in the 90's. I would recommend this game for any veteran fans of the Shoot'em up genre, the gameplay and music is top notch. But the graphics do look dated, and it is a shame that the developer did not allow making modifications to the game, so it is missing Steam achievements and leaderboards. Also the game lacks configuration options in-game, you have to find the config executable in the steamapps/common/RefleX directory.
For people completely new to the genre, out of the games available on Steam I still recommend starting out with Ikaruga. The only reason being it looks modern and has a great well polished PC port with full Steam features. However RefleX is likely more fun and easier to grasp than Ikaruga for beginners, but not everyone will accept the dated look.