[Doujin Game] Ether Vapor Remaster

Not at all stolen borrowed from the official site.

Ether Vapor, by Circle Edelweiss and brought over to us by the fine folks at Nyu Media, is a game that I have a fair bit of history with. Back in the day, as it were, I applied for a job doing basically this, but for console games. My interviewer set me with a simple task, and that was to review a game I was familiar with and, given what I knew at the time, I did one for the original release of Ether Vapor. I never really thought I’d be here doing it all again, but life is funny like that.

Okay, maybe a little.

Right, onto the game itself. Ether Vapor, as far as doujin games goes, is quite focused in what it does and does it well. Veterans from the Thunder Force series of ship-based shooters will be right at home with Ether Vapor. Presenting an impressive display of visuals paired with extremely solid gameplay and vividly emotional music, Ether Vapor is quite a gem as far as doujin games go. Within the span of the first stage, you’re quickly brought into the action while enemies come in very specific patterns allowing you to learn your weapons and when they best apply. Then, as a bit of a breather from the action, you’re thrown into an Itano circus (Macross homages will always be a soft spot for me) of barrage-fired missiles that can’t actually hit you, but you can shoot them down regardless while your ship dramatically swoops through the sky for bonus points. It’s things like this that really set apart Ether Vapor from a lot of other bullet hell games, and keeps even the casual player enjoying what the game has to offer as you play.

They *are* nice screenshots.

The gameplay itself is straightforward, allowing you three weapons and a charged shot unique to each. You have your standard straight shot, a spread shot, and my favorite, homing lasers. While many situations call for the strategic use of different weapons, there’s really very little stopping you from using only one weapon, which makes for interesting solo-weapon runs (though you will need the spread shot charge at some point). As you progress (or don’t progress, even) you will unlock the ability to carry more shields (lives) and use more credits, and allow the setting of when you gain extends (extra lives) at certain point benchmarks in the style of a true arcade game. The music is 100% on theme and amazing, and frankly if I could just get CDs of Naru’s other work, I would totally buy them. The way especially the first stage’s music flows really gives the player the feeling of flying freely through the sky. It’s great for cruising down the highway too, which I recommend wholeheartedly (at acceptable speed levels).

As for Nyu Media’s role in the game, the translation is good. I mean, I’ll be frank, it’s not exactly a visual novel, but the characters keep their quirks (Daniel’s the best dude, just sayin’) and speech flows fluidly. When I first played Remaster and it probed my region settings (and subsequently gave me a whole bunch of nothing for text) I knew something was up. Glad to see that they got it, as their previous games were all pretty well done in my book. I am also glad that they got the Remaster version instead of having to put out the original first. The original version is very much the exact same game, so it’s still great, but the graphics retain the grainy polygons of the bygone PSX-era of video games. You can catch a comparison in the video below at about 45 seconds in.

Graciously provided by Edelweiss’s Nal.

So hey, cheers to Nyu Media and I look forward to their Fairy Bloom Freesia release!

Check out Nyu Media’s Ether Vapor: Remaster site!