KAMUI is an arcade styled vertical shoot 'em up and is the second chapter in the ALLTYNEX Trilogy. This game starts up with a story telling about a great mysterious device that hangs above the Earth and how people worship it like a God. Sadly, for the people that worship it, it is not a God but a giant man-made doomsday machine and this doomsday machine has been re-activated. All hope is not lost as that is not the only thing that has been re-activated as a little ship has been re-activated as well. This little ship is just as mysterious and is on a mission to destroy the doomsday device and save everyone. (Click on "Read More" to read the full review).
The story in this game was very mysterious and they only give you a smidgen of what the story is about during the intro. The story will also put you in the mood to where you are unsure what you are getting yourself into as you have no idea what this machine is capable of. In order to get the full story, you'll have to beat the game as the ending explains it all and it was very satisfying and answers a lot of questions. If this was any kind of game other than an arcade styled game, I probably wouldn't have found the story to be as interesting but the story is that in the style of an old school arcade game and so it works really well here.
The gameplay style is that of a bullet hell shoot 'em up, so you'll be bombarded with firepower from the enemies from all sides. Lucky for you, this is a more forgiving bullet hell game as you are given a shield that can take quite a beating and it can be refilled. If that's not enough, you have infinite credits, so you can beat this game no matter how bad you are at these kinds of games.
Gameplay itself is very simple and easy to figure out and is also very tight, where it won't be the game's fault for if you die. One thing I dig about the gameplay is that the action goes beyond just fighting what is in front and behind your ship, you will have to fight enemies that attack from above and below you. This style will leave you feeling surrounded by gunners at every angle and makes for some intense action and reminds me of a modern day Xevious (1982).
Attacking in this game is very simple and varied as you get three type of attacks. The first attack is just a standard spread shot that shoots at incoming enemies. The second attack is an energy shot that locks onto enemies on the higher and lower plains. Third attack is an ultra powerful beam that completely obliterates what's in front of you, just be careful though, the powerful beam will overheat, so you'll have to let it cool down if you've used it too much. Using all of the weapons is a very satisfying experience, it makes you feel like a complete bad-ass who can't be stopped. I did feel a bit silly as with my first few playthroughs of this game I was unaware of the lock-on beam attack that attacks enemies from the other plains, thankfully that move wasn't necessary to beat the game, however it does make it easier.
The game is not very long as it runs for six levels and can be beat in around half an hour. Don't let the shortness turn you away, this game is full of replay value as the gameplay is very fun and addicting to where you won't wanna stop playing this game (Nyu Media has a good streak of releasing games like that). The controls in this game are very simple, you only use the direction keys to move around, the Z and X keys to attack, and the A or Esc key to pause the game. The way that I recommend controlling this game is with an USB arcade stick as it feels very natural playing this game that way.
Graphics in this game used an awesome 2D style that is very reminiscent to arcade shmups from the mid-to-late-1990's. The designs are darkly colored but are full of very nice details and you can't help but to fall victim to its charm and personality. Animation in this game is very smooth and very awesome to look at as there is a lot going on with the enemies and the backgrounds.
This game has three different options for the music, the first being PCM. The PCM soundtrack has a modern rock soundtrack that sounds awesome and goes with all of the action very well. The second option is for a MIDI soundtrack and this gives the game more of an 1990's arcade game sound to it and it is just awesome. The third option is for a custom soundtrack and to get this to work you must have a music CD in your disc drive. The custom soundtrack option is very functional but it feels very weird having to have an CD in the drive at all time. This feature will also vary in how well the sound goes with the game and that's just depends on the CD you use.
For me, I used the album, Around the Fur by Deftones, it worked okay but not all tracks went with the game. I also used the Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack and it felt very, very weird hearing some of those tracks playing over this game. The custom soundtrack option also doesn't play each track in order and has the tracks set on random instead. I did enjoy that as it made each playthrough feel very different as it wasn't the same old stuff playing over and over.
Overall, Kamui is a very fun game that is sure to please the fans of arcade games and fans of fast pace space shooters as well. This game is easily a game that I can recommend as I enjoyed it a lot and so you will to. I just wish that this game got a proper arcade release with its own deluxe arcade cabinet, I'd drop gold coins into that at full speed. C'mon, make that happen. Fun game.
System: PC (Reviewing Steam version)
Developer: SITER SKAIN
Price: $11.99 (by itself)/ $19.99 (As part of Alltynex collection)/ $29.99 (As part of Alltynex deluxe collection)