Bangai-O Spirits does not focus on
classroom facts. A minimap is present in the corner of the screen at all times
and shows players the layout of the current stage. While many stages are simple
open rooms, others are lengthy and maze-like, and in these the map can be very
Bangai-O HD's level editor is robust enough to allow players to
create any level found in the main game - in fact, players can choose any level
that they've cleared as a starting point when firing up the editor. While the
game seems like a simple twin-stick shooter at first, a couple hours with the
included levels will show players that the range of ideas that Bangai-O's
tools can implement is incredibly wide. While unfortunately there is no
built-in method for sharing stages with a wider audience, players can still
share with their friends.
The game's included levels also require plenty of creative thinking on the
player's part. Figuring out which weapons and abilities to use to complete any
given level is a little puzzle in itself. Many levels that will seem flat-out
impossible at first can be easily completed by players that are willing to
By the Developer:
Bangai-O's most impressive aspect is easily its level design. It
consistently undercuts the player's expectations, forcing them to use an
established set of weapons and techniques in entirely new ways at every turn.
The game's base mechanics sound simple, but they were all designed with plenty
of different uses in mind. For the most part the weapons return from previous Bangai-O
games - some have been tweaked - but the levels in HD all stand on
their own, and are for the most part just as frantic, surprising and clever as
those in previous entries.
The game has a
straightforward visual style that manages to keep things clear even when dozens
of enemies and hundreds of projectiles are on the screen, a quirky professor
that gives cryptic clues about the solutions to each stage, and an
appropriately subtle soundtrack that all contribute style, which ops for a
careful simplicity in contrast to the game’s psychotic action.
Business skills are not a factor, except perhaps in the moment-to-moment
conservation of charge attacks and health.
People skills can
be important when playing Bangai-O HD multiplayer. Many stages can
provide significant challenges, and working together with players that know
what they're doing can be helpful. However Bangai-O's multiplayer is not
necessarily focused on cooperation. The focus is more on struggling to survive
the Xbox 360-increasing chaos that takes over the screen. Players are also free
to create their own levels, and designing levels that require multiple players
in order to succeed is always an options.
varies widely from stage to stage. Many stages are long, winding mazes that
challenge players to defend against a multitude of attacks, while others start
the player in the center of a wide-open arena with hundreds of missiles flying
at them immediately. In a way, though, this description undersells the
unstoppably clever level design. One early maze-like level is an enormous
anthill, and enemy spawners begin spitting out dozens of ants, which players
can only cut through using the explosive napalm shot. Another starts players
underneath a pair of blocks that begin to fall as soon as a shot is fired;
players must destroy all of the enemies in the area and manage to slip into a
tiny hole at the bottom before the blocks cover it up.
Players have a specific set of interesting tools to use when handling these
radically different challenges. A variety of weapons are available from level
to level, including a bouncing shot, a laser that cuts through enemies,
slow-firing explosives, homing missiles and more. Regardless of weapons players
have three other distinct abilities. One is a charge move, that allows players
to move forward quickly and invincibly past groups of enemies or clouds of
missiles. The second is a freezing attack, which freezes all enemies and
projectiles in a certain proximity for a few seconds. The last and most
important is Bangai-O's charge shot. Players stay still and charge up before
releasing a wave of missiles, which increase in number and size depending on
how many enemies and projectiles are close to the player. Players must keep all
of these tools in mind and experiment with them in order to find the solutions
to the game's many varied challenges.
Bangai-O HD is not a simulation
discussed the game's frantic action and highly challenging nature, for the most
part in a flattering light. Some reviews criticized the game for not being
friendly towards new players. Many also praised the game for offering such high
value at its relatively low price point.
Bangai-O HD includes a small number of standard audio and visual
Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury was rated Everyone
10+ by the ESRB with a descriptor for Fantasy Violence.