Highly recommended, especially if you're a SHMUP fan. I definitely enjoyed my time with this. ^,^
-There are a total of 6 chapters, with a boss encounter for each. Early stages can be pretty easy, but it can get difficult later on, especially during some boss encounters. It can take you a few attempts during later boss encounters before you figure out their attack pattern and come up with a strategy to take them down!
-The visuals are pretty good for a SHMUP; I really liked the fantastic art aesthetics. Also, there are full Japanese voice overs for all of the characters (it's actually pretty good!) Subtitles are available, but you won't be reading much of it during intense fights.
-3 attacks are available to you (4 of you count the EX special which has 3 variants) and each attack has a secondary function. Scatter shots can lock on enemies around you, focus shots lock on enemies in a targeted direction and blade attacks can be used to dash across the screen. Destroying enemy shots with the blade will charge the EX meter faster.
-You'll end up using your full arsenal instead of just spamming one attack. You'll use blade attacks against tougher foes, switch between shots depending on your position, destroy certain enemy bullets with your blade, line up foes and dash across the screen with the blade dash to destroy them or avoid danger, and find the perfect moment to unleash your EX special to annihilate your foes.
-You can take some punishment before you die. Your "health" is your shields which recharges over time depending on which difficulty you're playing on.
-The camera perspective will change during combat keeping each encounter fresh. It switches between side-scrolling, top-down and 3D perspectives.
-Astebreed definitely has replayability. Hard mode is extremely challenging. You also have the option to turn on scoring to test your skills and compete against other player's scores on the online leaderboards. Feel the arcade goodness!
-There are unlockables! Hard mode (for you crazy SHMUP lovers) and other content becomes available after beating the game (not gonna spoil anything!)