Having totally dodged the last two instalments of Danmaku Unlimited (mainly due to the fact that I’m not a PC or mobile gamer), the 3rd instalment comes as a fresh and new experience to me. Danmaku Unlimited 3 is a vertically scrolling shoot’em up that brings a modern, original take on the classic Japanese arcade genre. It’s also sent my Switch into turmoil. Why you may ask? Well, if you’re into shoot’em ups then the Switch has knocked out another must own title. Deciding on what to play next is becoming an increasingly hard decision over on planet Switch.
Jumping in, the game comes with four different types of difficulty and you’re immediately thrown into bullet-hell chaos. Bullet patterns looks crazy good and challenging to avoid. The action on show is all centre staged with fancy borders either side. The main firing button is ‘X’, but hold down ‘Y’ at the same time and it sends out a powerful beam that slices though mechanical steel enemies with ease. While enjoying rinsing through the opposition like this, the beam does affect the speed of your craft, so mixing up the different weapons systems is imperative to survive. Slicing and dicing helps earn gems that load up the score, and ‘grazing’ (i.e. dodging bullets) by a hair’s breadth earns big points too. The two game modes of Spirit and Grazing are explained in the quick fire tutorial, along with the Trance feature too but the most of it is this – getting close to bullets will “graze” and build a score multiplier. The longer the graze chain, the higher the player’s scoring potential. Converting the bullets of defeated enemies into harmless “Spirit Bullets” can also be added to the chain, which adds to a meter. Fill the Trance metre and it rains gold gems and scores go through the roof.
The core of your ship is the most vulnerable area so when you’re up against it, letting off a bomb and defending yourself is a life saver. A handy feature you can opt for is the automatic deployment of such an attack. As a bullet gets too close to your core, bang – you live to fight another day.
Danmaku Unlimited 3 is a bright and intense shooter that explodes out of the Switch. Played in handheld mode it’s a true dazzler, spitting out face fulls of bright, crisp colours close up. Seriously this thing oozes a classic Japanese style, and to think this shooter has been developed by one man is pretty astounding. Sunny Tam is the game designer, programmer and artist. This guy knows his stuff. I also love how he’s opted for the heavy guitar riffing by BLANKFIELD, and avoiding the electro synth path. Later levels do throw out some mellow moments, but either way this guy’s a legend on guitar.
Within Danmaku Unlimited 3 provides an excellent challenge. The five levels and menacing boss battles give ample of oppurtunity to prove yourself. Additionally with the two systems of Sprit and Graze, Danmaku Unlimited 3 offers different playing styles to keep the action fresh. Throw in unlockable features and different firing combinations, and this is one shooter to be enjoyed by newcomers and veterans alike.
Buckle up, Danmaku Unlimited 3 is fast, slick and cool. Finally Nintendo Switch has a classic shmup and at a giveaway price too. Pure class.
Lizard Rating: 8.5/10