For those of you who like to play games that make you worry your console might melt, consider the frenetic Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury. The game, debuting here at PAX, is as calm as a Fourth of July fireworks finale.
The Xbox Live Arcade Exclusive from publisher D3 is the latest in a series of Bangai-O games developed by cult Japanese shoot-em-up development studio Treasure. When Treasure isn't being lionized for the clever yin-yang bullet hell of Ikaruga the studio is being praised for the magnificent mayhem of Sin & Punishment.
Back in the 90s they won hearts and minds with Bangai-O another shooter. The oddly-named game got a sequel on the DS and now this new Xbox version. The videos here, which I shot at PAX while watching others play, show you the basic gameplay.
Bangai-O HD puts your robot in a walled 2D level that seems to be a simple maze of potential projectile death. You move with one analog stick, fire with the other as you blast through toward the end of the level's route.
The two signature gameplay elements are a temporary invincibility dash and, most important, a charged counter-attack blast. That counter-attack is emitted with a pull and release of one of the Xbox 360's triggers. If you tap and release, not many shots fire. Instead, you want to hold, let enemy shots get close into your range — within the yellow circle surrounding your character — and then let go to emit a return blast. (Of course, if you let those enemies get too close, you die.) Depending on the number of shots you let get close to you while charging and other stats, you can emit a counter attack of up to 1000 shots. You can direct that barrage with an analog stick, tapping the direction for it fire. Without guidance, the blast will radiate a 360-degree pattern.
Players can gather health pick-ups and switch weapons, but don't think this game is easy. It appears to be Treasure-tough. You die a lot, but restarts are swift and, eventually, you figure out the patterns and best strategies for your assault.
The game will include a level editor. Whether it will have multiplayer is still up in the air, according to D3.
Bangai-O HD Missile Fury will be out in November.