It’s hard saying “Japanese Xbox 360-exclusive” without a massive amount of cognitive dissonance, but the thing managed to rack up a startling number of titles that fit into that category over the course of its lifespan.
Probably 75% of them were CAVE shooters, mind you, and that brings me to Deathsmiles II X, yet ANOTHER game I bought five years ago and am just now getting around to playing.
It’s bloody brilliant. I know it rubbed a lot of shooter fans the wrong way when it came out, and I will admit that the shift from glorious sprites to polygons robs it of some of its charm, but I play bullet hell shooters for the visual overload and this delivers beautifully. The game, particularly in its “Arrange” mode, puts thousands of glowing pink-and-blue bullets on-screen at any given time, and stuff is ALWAYS exploding.
Also, it’s Christmas-themed, so the first boss is an evil Santa Claus riding a screen-filling giant reindeer and shooting massive snowballs at you.
That’s probably enough to clue you in to the fact that it’s… not exactly a serious game. Well, it’s probably VERY serious business for the hard-core leaderboard score chasers, but it’s delightfully silly in its presentation. There aren’t many games where you fight zombies, demons, gargoyles, giant red boots with festive white trim, animated snowmen AND evil chess pieces, and I didn’t realize how much I needed a game like that to fill a hitherto unknown void in my life.
Somehow – I suspect a bet was involved – this thing actually got released, original Japanese text intact, on the US Xbox 360 “Games on Demand” service, where it can be had for a heck of a lot cheaper than I originally shelled out for it. I can’t possibly recommend it enough.
I’m not actually up on the genre, but I’d go so far as to say that Bistro Cupid is likely the premiere Restaurant Management/Dating Sim/Dungeon Crawling game, barring perhaps only its direct sequel. I can’t say much else about it, because I only played for about an hour, which was just enough time to be introduced to a good dozen cute girls, attend the grand opening of my restaurant, upgrade my kitchen, start an advertising campaign to bring in some new customers, learn how to make pudding, fight some monsters, buy a hot dog and get turned down by the first girl I asked out on a date.
I honestly think I might be able to get in to this if there was a guide, but it came out in 2002 and the English-language internet is almost completely void of any resources on it. It has a single review on Gamefaqs and is mentioned on the Xbox 360 backwards compatibility list on Wikipedia, but that’s about it. It took ages to even find a poor-quality scan of the front cover for this post.
Anyway, that finishes up my library of imported Xbox and Xbox 360 games, and I don’t think I’ll be making the pilgrimage back to Akihabara for more any time soon. Next, I’m going to try to get through the US games I have, and then I get to have a lot fewer consoles hooked up and fighting for HDMI inputs. 🙂