Bangai-O Spirits Circumvents DS Codes, Blows Minds

I stopped by D3Publisher's hotel suite yesterday to check out some of their stuff. I hadn't heard much about Bangai-O Spirits (remember, Dreamcast fans?) which has been out in Japan since March and is hitting here sometime in the fourth quarter, but that's because I generally don't follow shooters.

Even I sat up and took notice, though. Bangai-O Spirits, developed by Ikaruga creator Treasure, is hardcore oldschool, from what I could tell by looking, with richly-detailed 2D sprites and both horizontal and vertical scrolling. The awesome thing about it is the full realtime level editor - if you're having a hard time, you can build yourself a little wall, or plow yourself a new path.

You can also build your own levels from scratch, but even that's not the best part. The best part is the way you can share levels with your friends. No need for Nintendo Wi-Fi. No need for DS codes. Okay, so I'm easily impressed by science and technology, but I think you guys will think this is very, very cool.

You can save the levels you make as sound files, just like the way old data cassettes used to do. When you save a level, it makes a sort of rush-and-whirr sound the way a modem does. You can record it to your PC, save it as a Windows media file or whatever you want, and then put it on a website or email it to a buddy. Anyone who downloads the sound file simply plays it into their DS microphone, and voilà - your friend now has the level you made.

If your friend is with you, of course, you just play your sound file on your DS directly into your friend's mic. I know that this is actually ancient technology, but I was totally dazzled to see it repurposed like this. The wonders of human advancement!