Battle huge "Koju" bugs in CAVE's beautiful fantasy shooter, Mushihimesama. Experience the thrill of bullet hell from the masters of the genre as you evade visually stunning shot patterns with thousands of bullets.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (19 reviews) - 94% of the 19 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (510 reviews) - 95% of the 510 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 12, 2015

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Buy Mushihimesama Matsuri Pack

Includes 3 items: Mushihimesama, Mushihimesama V1.5, Mushihimesama OST

 

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June 9

Calling all shmup fans: Score Challenge starts today!

Shmups Skill Test Launch Week Challenge!
Think your Shmups Skills are up to the task? Grab Triangle Service's
Shmups Skill test and join in with the Launch Week Challenges!

Details here:
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April 28

It’s the Anime Weekend Sale, and Mushihimesama is part of the fun!

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Hot off of PAX East, there's still a few days left in our Legendary Loot Giveaway and to celebrate the Anime Weekend Sale, we've added a bunch more ways to win!

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Reviews

“Whether you're going at it solo or with a friend, on the highest difficulty setting or the lowest, Mushihimesama is incredibly easy to spend an afternoon with for years to come.”
9/10 – Destructoid

“The patterns of gunfire were beautifully choreographed and graceful across the screen. It was as majestic and threatening as standing inside of a firework, and I became a part of that slow and terrifying dance.”
3.5/5 – The Escapist

“Mushihimesama is an incredibly fun shooter with tight controls, a lot of challenge, great audiovisual style and astonishing bullet patterns.”
9/10 – Niche Gamer

About This Game

Mushihimesama (“Bug Princess” in English) is a vertical shooting game set in a beautiful fantasy world. Huge insect-like creatures called Koju roam the forest outside the village of Hoshifuri. When Reco's people fall to a mysterious sickness, the young princess decides to leave the village and meet the God of the Koju, who may provide a cure. Riding her faithful Golden Beetle friend Kiniro, Reco must traverse the wilds, braving the hostile landscape and the aggressive Koju beasts on her journey through the Shinju Forest.

Main Features:

  • Explore a beautiful fantasy world rendered in stunning HD sprite graphics. Battle a variety of giant "Koju" bugs across 5 stages, including a blazing desert, lush forests, and a serene cave. CAVE's trademark bullets create a stunning visual impression, with iconic patterns unfolding in every boss encounter!
  • Play the definitive shooter from the legendary developers that pioneered the "bullet hell" genre! By decreasing the size of the player hitbox, Mushihimesama is able to challenge the player with some of the most intriguing and innovative shot patterns in the shoot 'em up genre. Experience the thrill of dodging thousands of bullets at once in one of CAVE's best games!
  • Choose from several game modes: Arcade mode is designed to be as close to the original arcade game as possible. Novice mode is similar to Arcade, but balanced for new players. Arrange is a remixed version where you start with maximum firepower and defend yourself automatically. Customize further with 3 different weapon types and two different option types.
  • Mushihimesama has several different modes and difficulty settings, including a mode specifically balanced for new players. No matter your skill level, you are certain to find a favorite mode! Bold players should try the notorious "Ultra" mode, which is infamous for being one of the most difficult challenges in gaming!
  • Mushihimesama V1.5 "Matsuri" Mode is available separately as optional DLC. V1.5 is a remixed game mode with alternate music and mechanics. Crank up the multiplier by firing close to enemies, but beware, as the bullet speed will also increase! Previously, this mode was only available on an extremely limited basis, but now it is available to every player on Steam!
  • Enjoy energetic and inspiring music from composers Manabu Namiki and Masaharu Iwata. There are two soundtracks included (three with V1.5) to create an unforgettable mood for each stage. You can choose which soundtrack to play for every stage and area, so feel free to mix and match your favorite tracks!

A robust list of optional features are supported, including:

  • A training mode to assist with practicing individual stages.
  • Multiple options to adjust viewing windows, screen size and position, and screen orientation. Try the vertical "tate" mode to get an arcade-authentic picture!
  • An assortment of beautiful background images.
  • Support for keyboard customization and multiple controllers.
  • Online global leaderboards with replay sharing.
  • Local co-op gameplay.
  • Steam achievements.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 2GHz or higher.
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000, Geforce 9500GT, Radeon HD 3650 or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectSound-compatible sound card
    Recommended:
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (19 reviews)
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (510 reviews)
Recently Posted
Celery
( 19.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 15
Mushihimesama is a game that I went back and forth over buying for quite some time. I'd heard stories of CAVE's arcade shmups (especially DoDonPachi, Espgaluda, and Ketsui) for years, but had never actually had the opportunity to play any of them. Upon seeing Mushihimesama on Steam I was excited, but after watching the trailer I decided to hold off on it. I'm not sure exactly what it was about the trailer, but it failed to sell me the game. I'm sure the rumors I heard that it wasn't a very good port didn't help matters either. Eventually I decided to pick it up anyway, and I'm really glad that I did. Perhaps you shouldn't always judge a game by its trailer.

Although I've never played any of their other games, it's my understanding that Mushihimesama plays similarly to other CAVE games. Your “ship” in this game is actually the main character Reco riding on a golden beetle named Kiniro. Reco's hitbox is tiny, which is good, because saying, “there are a lot of bullets to avoid” would be a massive understatement. CAVE certainly lives up to their reputation. Depending on the difficulty setting, the enemy bugs will fire an astounding number of bullets, sometimes filling the majority of the screen.

Fortunately for beginners, there are quite a few different ways to adjust the difficulty. The game has three different modes: novice, normal, and arrange. Novice and normal are further broken down into original, maniac, and ultra. Arrange doesn't have any additional difficulty options but features a different soundtrack, maximum attack power and options, auto-bombing on hit, and different enemy locations. In addition to normal modes of play there is also a rather robust training mode where you can practice specific stages. There really is a difficulty mode here for everyone here.

There are three different attack modes to choose from when you start the game. The difference between the three deals with the movement speed of Reco/Kiniro and the spread of your attack (narrow to wide). All of the attack modes have the ability to perform a concentrated fire attack which heavily slows your speed. This is particularly useful for precise movement when navigating through bullet dense areas. There are also two modes for options: trace and formation. The attack mode and option mode can be changed by collecting the corresponding power up during the game. In addition to weapons and options, Reco also has screen clearing bombs at her disposal which are very useful for getting out of sticky situations.

As far as the rumors of Mushihimesama being a bad port, it's difficult for me to judge as I never played the original arcade release. The game looks and sounds great for the most part. The only issue I experienced was minor screen tearing in the slide transitions between stages. Although this is slightly bothersome, I didn't see any screen tearing during actual game play. It should also be noted that you can stretch the screen so it reaches the top and bottom of your monitor. I didn't realize this at first and spent some time playing with the default settings. As far as I can remember all the previous shmups I've played stretch it out by default.

Mushihimesama is a lot of fun, and I've ended up spending a lot more time playing it than I thought I would. It's the sort of game that validates the phrase, “practice makes perfect.” You can play casually through the game in about 30 minutes or you can spend countless hours trying to clear each difficulty mode without using a continue. This is a game that I would definitely recommend. I hope more CAVE games are brought to Steam in the future.

Click here to see my other reviews.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
vikktor
( 8.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 10
great bullet hell !!! please CAVE... next time dodonpachi ;)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shoryukenfan
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 9
This game reminds me to DoDonPachi and it is fun to play, if you are comfortable to these bullet hell shmups. If you are new to this genre, I don't recommend this game, as it is hardcore as hell. If you aren't a bullet hell gamer in this genre like me and want to try it out, then I recommend you to start with Novice mode (between Novice, Normal and Arrange) at easy setting.

+ Whats good:
It reminds me the game DoDonPachi, which is a good thing. The game feels good, the graphics are nice, explosions and sound makes feel you good to shoot enemies.


- Not that good:
I myself experience a lot of slowdowns, even with a GTX 970 and a Xeon 1230v3. I don't know if this is normal in the original game too or other ports.

I don't like that only part of the screen is used for the game itself. I understand the original game and there is probably no way than rotating my screen to get it filled. So this is not a really minus point, it just bugs me.

For me, the game is too hard to complete without continue. But I bet this game is for hardcores only.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kob
( 9.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 3
Originally released for Arcade in 2004 and later ported to other systems such as PS2 and Xbox 360, Mushihimesama is a shoot 'em up (shmup) game belonging to a sub-genre called danmaku aka bullet hell developed by japanese company Cave which is one of the experts in producing this type of game. For those not familiar with danmakus, I usually define as a type of shmup characterized by gameplay fast, intense and frantic with the enemies "urinating" bullets all the time, defying dexterity and motor skills of the player who often have millimetric spaces to dodge the bullets and hit your enemies. Mushihimesama has excellent quality with top gameplay, great music, excellent controls and a particular thing that I find really cool about this game is its thematic involving the natural world and insects (enemies), because you control a princess named Reco using as "craft" a large golden beetle called Kiniro in the fight against insects, just remember that most often in the shmups the environment is set to futuristic times with high-tech ships, so Mushihimesama has a differential. To see me playing this game, please check the videos below:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=716491726
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=716491731
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=716491724
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Johnny
( 5.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 2
A must have for any bullet hell fan
Helpful? Yes No Funny
オリエ
( 24.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
no more flirting with this game with youtube videos. finally I can play this crazyness of a bullet hell.
I so hope Cave release some more of theur games on steam.
I finally got this game, and I am dad seroiu saying it was one of the best games I ever bought. :D
If shmup style i snot your thing....don't touch this game. if you are curious, go ahead, please do!!!
I avdvise getting the Matsuri pack.
The game is just perfect in everything, The Awesome Music, original and arrange, and the game itself....
I just love this damn thing!!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
A5TR4L
( 2.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
Who remembers ESP Ra.de ?

This is pretty much a port of that game. The mechanics, graphics and feel are virtually identical.... a well put together vertical scrolling bullet hell shooter. Albeit a very short game its a lot of fun and it can get pretty messy on screen. The hitbox is quite forgiving, which is welcomed due to the sheer amount of bullet chaos on the screen, however at times i think too forgiving as i should have died way more times than i did.

If your an old skool shooter addict like me, this is worth picking up, good fun.....plenty achievements to get and quite a challenge on ultra difficulty. However this isnt worth the full asking price, wait for a sale......£14.99 for a game youll complete in under 30 mins is not worth it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
soma
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
I've played this on PS2, Xbox360 and the Arcade so I knew what I was getting.

Solid PC port, very well done with clean beatiful visuals, and none of that annoying flickering that haunts some of the ports.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ashram363
( 4.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Product received for free
One of the best and most renowned Shoot 'Em Up of all times,available on Steam for your enjoyment.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sausage.dog
( 1.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
A fantastic version of the seminal Cave classic. In addition to the normal and arrange modes (and v1.5 mode if you bought the DLC), the game includes a novice mode and infinite continues for people who are as terrible as I am at bullet hell shooters.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Product received for free
One of the best and most renowned Shoot 'Em Up of all times,available on Steam for your enjoyment.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
I've played this on PS2, Xbox360 and the Arcade so I knew what I was getting.

Solid PC port, very well done with clean beatiful visuals, and none of that annoying flickering that haunts some of the ports.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
Who remembers ESP Ra.de ?

This is pretty much a port of that game. The mechanics, graphics and feel are virtually identical.... a well put together vertical scrolling bullet hell shooter. Albeit a very short game its a lot of fun and it can get pretty messy on screen. The hitbox is quite forgiving, which is welcomed due to the sheer amount of bullet chaos on the screen, however at times i think too forgiving as i should have died way more times than i did.

If your an old skool shooter addict like me, this is worth picking up, good fun.....plenty achievements to get and quite a challenge on ultra difficulty. However this isnt worth the full asking price, wait for a sale......£14.99 for a game youll complete in under 30 mins is not worth it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
Originally released for Arcade in 2004 and later ported to other systems such as PS2 and Xbox 360, Mushihimesama is a shoot 'em up (shmup) game belonging to a sub-genre called danmaku aka bullet hell developed by japanese company Cave which is one of the experts in producing this type of game. For those not familiar with danmakus, I usually define as a type of shmup characterized by gameplay fast, intense and frantic with the enemies "urinating" bullets all the time, defying dexterity and motor skills of the player who often have millimetric spaces to dodge the bullets and hit your enemies. Mushihimesama has excellent quality with top gameplay, great music, excellent controls and a particular thing that I find really cool about this game is its thematic involving the natural world and insects (enemies), because you control a princess named Reco using as "craft" a large golden beetle called Kiniro in the fight against insects, just remember that most often in the shmups the environment is set to futuristic times with high-tech ships, so Mushihimesama has a differential. To see me playing this game, please check the videos below:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=716491726
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=716491731
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=716491724
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
367 of 417 people (88%) found this review helpful
18 people found this review funny
Recommended
16.1 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: November 5, 2015
While my money was on Dodonpachi, I have to admit that Mushihimesama is the best choice for Cave's first game on Steam. Before you start asking what a "Dowhatawhat" is, allow me to explain. Cave is an STG* developer commonly known for their "bullet-hell" games. The foundation of STGs is the prevalence of tiny instant-death orbs, so a barrage of them is a truly fearful sight.

In a way, Mushihimesama was conceived to be an "Anti-Cave" shooter. Like a number of STG companies in the mid-90s, Cave was born from the ashes of Toaplan. Before declaring bankruptcy in 1994, Toaplan was a giant in the STG world. Their games were often high-quality, and relied mostly on traditional mechanics and scoring systems. When playing a Toaplan shooter, you weren't concerned about "medal-chains", you were struggling to survive. As intimidating as the average danmaku spread is; faster, more focused shots can be just as threatening. In Dodonpachi you'll easily cut through battalions of tanks, but in Twin Cobra, one tank is usually enough to spell your doom.

Reco is just your ordinary princess in an extraordinary world. Atop Kiniro, her trusty beetle, she must face innumerable dangers in order to rescue her homeland from a deadly force. You have an odyssey of your own to undertake, because Cave has put two generations of STGs into one tight package. While you may or may not be a veteran of the genre, you always have to consider the basics. In the age of danmaku, we see plenty of bullets, but all too often, we forget where they came from. For the most part, all we know is that we'll stay alive as long as we continue dodging them.

To really grasp what makes a 2D shooter work, we have to consider the origins of the bullet, hence "Original" mode. In this mode, the bullets are minimal, quick, and very direct. Your first instinct will always be to stay as far away as possible. This means hiding out at the bottom of the screen. A very important aspect of STGs that we tend to ignore, is that enemies are shooting to kill. They aren't spreading bullets all over the screen for their health, they're aiming for you. This is subtle, but if you pay attention in between the waves of projectiles, you'll see cannons turning in your direction, and the eyes of adversity following your movements. Staying far away merely to give yourself the most reaction time, probably isn't the best idea.

The maneuvers that you perform before the bullets are fired, are just as if not more important, than maneuvers made after bullets appear on-screen. Every enemy in this game has their own attack-pattern. When a stage begins, you might see one or two creatures perform this attack, but by the end of the stage, their numbers increase substantially. These foes will combine their efforts with others (also introduced earlier) to make your life miserable. By memorizing their patterns and locations, you've got an advantage, which is a very rare occurence in the STG world. With this knowledge, you can "lead" enemies into firing at where you were, instead of your current position. Eventually this will minimalize those frantic situations where you're trying to dodge everything at once. Don't get me wrong, that's always fun, but not really conducive to survival.

You also have to consider the psychological aspect. All it takes to die in this game is one bullet, and even Original mode throws out hundreds of thousands. When the situation becomes desparate, you can throw out a bullet-clearing bomb. Bombs in a Cave shooter tend to penalize the player's score, but they also carry more insidious aspects. In short, bombs are a weapon that is used against you. In a genre where life and death are measured in pixels, do you ever really need to bomb? Even thinking about the "B" button on your joystick is drawing focus away from the action. Oft-times, you "panic-bomb", which mentally shakes you. Shortly afterwards you're liable to exhaust your stock, and your lives aren't far behind. This is all the more reason to learn enemies, their patterns, and how to lure their fire away.

That's just the fundamentals. There are still three more modes to test your abilities on. Maniac is about what you'd expect from a Cave shooter. The bullets fly a little slower, but they're far more plentiful, and much more ornate. Still, what you learned in Original will help you here. A lot of enemy-fire can still be led away, and even though every bullet is similarly-shaped and colored, you'll know exactly what is firing from where, so hopefully you can avoid terrible situations. Unlike Original mode, where the bulk of your points comes from remaining lives at the end of the game (if you get that far), Maniac has a complicated scoring system. It involves something called counter-banking and...uh...in the interest of sanity (and character limits), I recommend looking up a guide or watching replays. One of the handy features this game offers is the option to turn on an "input window". Basically this shows exactly what joystick movements and button-presses are being made. When you watch a replay off of the online leaderboards, you can get an idea of what the top players are doing to get their hi-scores.

Unfortunately there's only so much that can prepare you for Ultra mode. Just to give an example of just how difficult things get, I'll share my experience with this port. The last time I played Mushihime-sama was nearly a decade ago. When I started this port, I managed to reach the 4th stage on Original and Maniac, on my first attempt. Ultra? I couldn't even get past stage 1. It'll take a herculean amount of effort to figure this nasty mode out. So feel free to give Arrange mode a look. I really like this mode, because getting high scores require that you get close to everything. Point-blanking an enemy in a 2D shooter is a very dangerous idea, but it can also be extremely thrilling. It's especially rewarding, when you discover those hidden safe-spots. Once you get accustomed to point-blanking, the other modes are going to seem a bit easier. You'll find yourself taking risks you never would have before, making subsequent attempts all the more interesting. The only complaint I have about Arrange is that the True Last Boss makes an appearance. In Ultra Mode, he's substantially more difficult than anything else in the game, which is saying a lot. Arrange mode is a little easier than Maniac, but when the TLB shows up, everything goes out of whack.

Regardless, this game is best experienced by spending time with every mode. You might think that you have to be able to master Original before you can move onto Maniac, but what's the that old saying? Rome wasn't 1CCed in a day? Ehh.. What I meant to say is that all these different modes exist for a reason. They're there to teach you about 2D shooters, and experience you gain in one mode can be shared with others. Yes, there are more bullets, and Maniac/Ultra/Arrange have scoring methods to consider, but stage layouts and fundamentals remain the same. There's also Novice and Training modes to help with your practice sessions.

All in all, Mushihimesama gets my highest recommendation, because it explains so much about how STGs work, without using a single word. The more you play the game, and its various modes, the more details you notice. Your play-style slowly evolves to fit the nature of the genre, and you begin to do things your past self could never even imagine. The gorgeous aesthetics and great soundtrack are icing on the cake. Oh and you'll definitely want to get the v1.5 add-on as well.

*2D shooters, Shmups, etc.

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review, a key was provided by the publisher.

If you liked this review or want to see more recommended games, be sure to follow our curator group: Follow Original Curator Group
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
229 of 310 people (74%) found this review helpful
304 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2015
Her palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's bullets on her bug already, Aki's spamhetti
She's nervous, but on the surface she looks calm and ready
To throw bombs, but she keeps on forgettin'
What she dodged now, the whole stage goes so loud
She tosses her bombs, but they won't save her now
She's dyin', how, bullets flyin' now
The lives run out, times up, GAME OVER, BLAOW!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
65 of 81 people (80%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2015
It's responsive, quick and smooth, the Arrange and Matsuri modes are a treat, and it sounds/looks wonderful. Finally, a better shmup than Crimzon Clover is on Steam! Highly, highly recommended.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
45 of 55 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2015
I knew I'd find a few things to get annoyed with right away, but this is a PC port of a CAVE game that runs fine at first glance and offers all the content available in the 360 versions. Such a thing was a pipe dream for a long time but here we go, Mushihimesama on Steam. What a big day. Buy this game immediately if you've never played Mushihimesama. You've been missing out for years and so have I. On to some ratings and complaints:

10/10 Original game
9/10 Supplementary content
9/10 Port job
7/10 Conversion for PC audience
9.5/10 Post-release support


Sound/music for some modes pretty lofi quality. They've worked on some of that (1.5) post-release, this is of course an old arcade came from a board with terrible sound to begin with. Fixing/arranging more of the music would definitely make it a better arcade conversion to the home audience.

Could use an FPS counter.
I'd like to have an option to get rid of the xbox360 button graphics in menu dialogs etc.
Would be nice if the CAVE bootscreen and 1st title screen were shown in a vertical orientation in TATE mode.

The screen zoom settings are applied per mode rather than globally which may require you to set this up 4 times in a row the first time you play the game, but on the other hand, this lets you set different wallpapers for each mode, which some players might like a lot, so I think changing this on the setup side, you'd still want to let people change some things per mode. It's not really a big deal.

Obviously I'd love to see a new Arrange mode as DLC in the future but I'm sure they will be too busy priming more old games for release in general to take such a long look back into the game code. I'd love to see an Arrange from any of the CAVE devs who didn't work on the original game, but I'd love to see what some random hacker did with it too. Pipe dreams, again.

This is an absolute must buy for any STG fan who hasn't been fortunate enough to import Japanese region-locked games. Thank you so much Blackbird and Degica for this.

If you have any problems with the game please contact Degica support and I'm sure they will get most of it sorted out. This is certainly worlds better than any DotEmu wrapped emulator rerelease and Degica have rapidly become a godsend to bullet chasers worldwide. This will almost certainly become the definitive version of Mushihimesama.

Please excuse any errors on my part as I'm just now playing the game and I have never played the original port or arcade board.
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25 of 26 people (96%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2015
Mushihimesama is a vertical Bullet Hell in where you play as a girl riding a giant beetle and shooting other giant bugs into oblivion. The reason why is explained at the end of the game but even then you will be left confused as to what happened and be left feeling like you just walked in to the ending of a movie with no context as to what it was about. Very few people go into a bullet hell expecting a engrossing story though I found it funny to be greeted with what was supposed to be a tear-jerking ending when the game didn't even so much as tell me the main character's name before that scene. It may sound weird to start off a review talking about the ending but this is a very short game and you will “beat it” in about half an hour or less, regardless of your skill level. This game features unlimited continues so everyone will be able to get through it if they are persistent enough. However the feature allowing you to save a replay of your play-through will cut off at the point you first lost all lives and had to use a continue.

There are three modes to play here, them being Novice, Normal and Arrange. Novice is exactly what it sounds like and makes the game considerably easier by having less projectiles and simpler bullet curtains compared to Normal mode. This is definitely the mode to start with if you are new or out of practice to the genre. Arrange is a remix of the game that tweaks with certain aspects of the game that I will cover more thoroughly in a bit. Each mode minus Arrange has both score attack in which you compete with your friends and “play”. While in either mode you will have the option of either picking “Original”, “Maniac” for higher scores as well as more challenge and finally “Ultra”, for when you want to throw your controller/keyboard across the room in utter frustration at the real last boss wiping the floor with you. You will also be able to change the amount of lives you have and at what score you get more. Finally you will be able to pick which one of the three bullet formations you want to have, S-Power for a stream of condensed bullets for heavy damage, W-Power for a screen filling low damage attack and M-Power that is a mix of both. There are quite a bit of options for you to mess around with to say the least.

Now that you are finally in the game and shooting bugs you will notice that this is pretty much what you would expect from a bullet hell. Bombs to clear the screen of projectiles, a counter to keep track of your score and a ton of enemies wanting nothing more than to shoot you out of the air. It does all of this very well and keeps you in a trance like state as you splatter all the bugs and collect all the yellow gems they drop to rake in a high score. Black enemy beetles carry power-ups so you will want to shoot these buggers down. The power-ups are either a small ally beetle that will shoot beams whenever you press the fire button, an upgrade to your projectiles or if you are about to fight a boss, a couple of bombs. A neat thing about the upgrade projectile power-up is that you can let its timer count down and it will change into a different type of shot. So say that you are shooting condensed projectiles but this part of the level is filled with a ton of enemies, simply wait for the power-up to change into a wide-shot formation and you will now have a much more suitable, screen filling projectile attack. This is a really neat system that makes it beneficial to learning the three projectile types instead of always sticking with what you know.

Enemies in this game are huge and their size does matter as they will fire larger projectiles the bigger they are. That's not to say you shouldn't be cautious of the smaller enemies as well, since they fire tiny projectiles it can be easy for them to shoot you when you are focusing on a gigantic enemy. Remember that you are flying, you will be able to pass over some ground enemies when the amount of projectiles get intense and it seems there is nowhere to go. Projectiles are bright purple and very easy to spot, so if you get hit it will always feel like your fault. All of the five stages have a mid-boss that you will have to face and will leave if you take too much time with them. Bosses are where you will be most tempted to use your bombs as they will shower you with intricate bullet patterns. These moments are when you will most likely experience slowdown that will bring the action down to a crawl. The developers have stated that these are on purpose to give you a chance to react to all that is happening on screen though it would be nice to have an option to toggle the slow down on or off nonetheless.

That finally brings us to Arrange mode. This is only a mode you'd want to play if you are already familiar with the game, it only has the ultra difficulty meaning the game is at its most brutal and you will have to face the aforementioned real last boss. She is the most shump/bullet hell boss I have ever encountered by far. It is an extremely difficult fight and to top it off she has an absurd amount of health. It will takes longer to whittle down her health and defeat her than it does to play through most of the game. Now with that out of the way onto what makes Arrange mode different from the other two modes. For one you start the game fully powered up and are able to kill the earlier enemies much easier than usual. You will also have a feature most other games call “auto-bomb” which causes your character to automatically toss a bomb, clearing the screen when you are about to get hit. In this case she will throw all your bombs if you get hit, making your rate of survival much lower so you will not want to rely on that feature over your instinct of when to use them. The final thing that makes this mode much different is the ability to change your form of projectiles on the whim, to any of the three types available.

Music in this game is a calm and soothing strangely enough. Stranger still is that it somehow fits in with the whole shooting giant bugs theme of the game. That is mostly due to the nice environments that range from flying over the water, across deserts and through giant trees. You will also be able to mix and match the music to play stages with either of the two soundtracks available. If you are playing this game horizontally you will be able to pick from 12 backgrounds to cover the parts of the screen that goes unused. Vertically is how this game was meant to be played, so if you have a monitor that can pivot that would be the ideal way to play this, though you can't go wrong either way. Annoyingly enough you will have to tweak the screen settings and the background in each of the three modes separately. One global setting would have been much preferred instead of having to tweak the game to our liking in all three modes. At the end of the day however, that is a minor complaint that will hopefully be fixed in a patch. This is a blast to play and due to its length won't take up much of your time in your attempts to master the game. Mushihimesama is an excellent bullet hell with plenty of content to keep you coming back and is hopefully the first in many of developer Cave's games to be released on the PC.
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18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
18.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2015
I won't write a review for the game itself, you can already find countless of them on steam and over the internet. I'll just review the port. I've waited for some time and observed how things were going before either bashing or praising the port. After 2 months, much has happened, things are more or less settled so I think it's the right moment.

At release, let's be honest, game was in a clumsy state: crash problems, leaderboards problems, rendering problems and what not. It was far from the Batman disaster hopefully, but it could definitely have been better. Since it was CAVE first PC release, I think it would have been wiser from them to do like SNKP with KoF XIII and let users pre-purchase the game in beta so they could benefit from their feedback and bug reports. Which is more or less what happened here, except it is not what we expected, and thus, not paid for.

But we can't go back in time so let's look forward instead : since the 6th november (so in less than 2 months when I write this review), they have released no less than 6 patches, most issues have been addressed and they still listen to players for the few issues remaining. They work hard, and fast. They acknowledge their mistakes and do their best to fix them.

I wouldn't have recommended Mushihimesama at its release. Frankly. But now, there's no reason to keep your wallet closed for this game. CAVE devs proved that they are concerned and dedicated to the quality of their ports. They have proved it was more than a mere cash grab. Now we can wait for their future releases with an optimistic state of mind.
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