I could not finish the tutorial of Treasure’s puzzle shooter Bangai-O Spirits without a trip down to GameFAQs.
This is a brutal game. If you do not succeed at a level, you typically die within a couple of seconds, the screen so full of missile fire that your DS chugs along at a sad framerate. Then you hit retry and change one or more of your four weapons to try a new loadout. You take a deep breath and go in again. There are 160 levels and a level editor. You can transfer levels by recording them as music you can play back to another DS’s microphone.
You are a giant robot, although very tiny on the screen, and make your way through small levels of ingenious death traps, wielding plasma missiles and power swords and baseball bats and bouncing balls of death. Ninja robots and buildings fall in your two-dimensional barrage. Then a screen-sized enemy robot closes in and swipes the whole screen in the span of perhaps half a second, whacking you to within an inch of your life. You freeze time and bombard it with plasma missiles, closing in to bounce now stationary enemies at it with your baseball bat. It’s not enough, and you die, and the game laughs at you.
I picked this now rare game up on the same trip to the US west coast as Demon’s Souls (which is pretty much sublime and worth a post in the near future, once I’m in a little deeper). Surely that’s enough self-punishment to buy me some good karma down the road.