[Doujin Game] ∀kashicverse -Malicious Wake-

Calling all bullet hell fanatics. ∀kashicverse is a very flashy, and very frantic bullet hell game from the circle Endless Shirafu who, as far as I can tell, primarily did visual novels before this. The circle seems to have been around since 2009, with ∀kashicverse an ongoing project since the beginning of 2011 (Okay 12/29/2010 but that’s so 2011). I can’t say I’ve been following this one for that long, but if it took them this long to perfect the game to this point then good on them. Circles taking their time on games is not something I’m unfamiliar with (I’m looking at you, RebRank). So with that info dump out of the way, let’s get to discussing the game itself.

My playing would be terrible, so here’s lte7’s replays. The guy has a lot of other bullet hell and doujin game videos up, so go and subscribe to him.

∀kashicverse at first glance gives off a very techno-electronic feel much similar to a cross between RebRank’s RefRain -prism memories- and Ruminant’s Whimper’s Hellsinker, both very worthwhile games in their own right. The game sticks to this theme and everything about it, the effects, graphics, and music stay very true to it. All in all this makes for a very polished product and a fun shmup with interesting mechanics.

The basic idea of the mechanics is that through grazing bullets you gain meter, up to a maximum of 8. You can then shift into an input mode and use super attacks (Called Method in this game) that do a variety of things, from decoys to the traditional screen-clearing bomb to shot slowing/trajectory plotting to TURNING INTO A GIANT ROBOT. This makes for a game where you not only have to worry about being shot up, but also need to figure what the best tool in your disposal is best for any situation. On top of this, there’s also two modes for your shield, which is what affects your meter gain. The first mode keeps the shield around you, allowing you to even take a couple of hits and having a small radius for your graze. The second mode, a pair of extended wings, allows you to easily collect meter from grazing, however if you get hit once you’re dead. Since the game is generous with your super meter, some diehards may find ∀kashicverse a bit on the gimmicky side, but I find that it adds enough of a twist to the game to keep it interesting and allows for multiple solutions to otherwise tricky situations. I am particularly fond of “Menace Rejector”, a continuous shot that pushes back enemy bullets, and “Eliminator” which turns you into a boss and lets you ruin everything.

The music is a style I’m not extremely fond of, but it fits the overall theme of the game and they manage to do some neat tricks with it, like on a particular boss fight the speed of the bullets slow when the song does. That kind of integration between what you hear, what you see, and how you need to react is a pretty awesome experience. Likewise, when a boss fight is hectic, you can be sure the music is right on cue with it. This, I feel is one of ∀kashicverse’s strongest points, and if they keep it up for the other stages they’re planning then they’re definitely on the right track to making something awesome.

So all in all, go give ∀kashicverse a try. There’s currently a three stage web trial out at Endless Shirafu’s website. There’s also a variant version that gives you a slightly different stage layout and a different set of Methods to play with, so that’s pretty cool. You can find more information on lte7’s channel, but for simplicity’s sake, here’s a Alternative Arguments no-miss clear video with link to the demo in question.