Slick and enjoyable bullet-hell action
Another in a long line-up of unoriginal but fantastically enjoyable bullet-hell shooters that follows in the footsteps of the likes of Tyrian, The Reap and Raiden, Vsys Gaiden is a must play for fans of the genre. There's nothing approaching originality or innovation here, but everything is so well put together that this doesn't really matter and all you need to do is jack in and enjoy the ride. There's probably some kind of plot about evil invading aliens and with only a lone hero available to stop them but let's face it, no one really cares about that stuff and is instead only interested in the blasting action. Fortunately, there's more than enough of this to go around and over the course of several vertically scrolling levels, you'll blow the living daylights out of more aliens than you can count, while making use of an impressive arsenal of weapons. Of course, there are boss battles to enjoy and at some point, your ship even seems to transform into something more powerful (everything is in Japanese so things do get occasionally confusing) so really this has all the makings of a great shooter. The visuals are slick and impressive, with plenty of effects, explosions and nicely designed enemies to take on, while the controls are smooth and responsive. Sound too is appropriately meaty with lots of satisfying effects and some cool music to add to the atmosphere. The game does feel a bit more straightforward and easy to play than others of the genre so veterans might find it less challenging than their tastes require, but if you are new to this style of game, this is less threatening but highly enjoyable introduction.