For the last week I've been very sick with one of the nastiest colds I have ever had to endure. I swear I left half my lungs in a Five guys bathroom. So yesterday I felt I was on the mend enough to do some gaming and for some reason I found myself playing Cave's Ketsui.
A few months back I picked Ketsui up for the ungodly price of $80 off of NCSX the importer I buy from when Play-Asia takes too damn long. It is a Danmaku or BULLET HELL game and unlike the likes of Dodonpachi,Espgaluda and Mushimesama Futari it's relatively forgiving. The game is also 12 years old, but only this summer released on PS3. Most people think of the 360 as the Shmups system but thanks to a few indie games, and PS1 backwords compatibility the PS3 has a wider variety of Shmups to choose from than just the Danmaku that end up on the 360. I mostly consider Ketsui to be Cave's best game and it being the only Cave game on the PS3 (unless you have a Japanese PSN Account WINK WINK) is not a bad thing. But playing it I started to realize it's scoring system is REALLY a complete convoluted mess.
In Ketsui you score by basically going Kamikaze the closer you are to your enemies the large the cube they drop will be and this is your score multiplier this is of course easier said than done as pink and blue bullets are raining down upon you. You do have screen clearing bombs BUT BUT here's the the kicker. You want the true ending and the true final boss? This floating thing called doom? WELL FUCK USING BOMBS CUZ 1 bomb means NO URA LOOP FOR YOU! Yes to reach the true final boss Doom and get the true ending You can't die OR use bombs. There is an alternate 2nd loop and here's where it gets convoluted even more to get this Tsuujou-Loop You can die and you can use bombs but the total sum of bombs used and lives can't total more than 6 or no Tsuujou-Loop for you. WHO THINKS OF THIS SHIT? So to even master a game like ketsui you either have to be Autistic, Asian, or put in a dedicated amount of time that is equivalent to getting a Ph.D in Psychology. WHAT THE FUCK CAVE?
OH wait there is more, the Home ports of Ketsui have an alternate mode called X-Mode (probably since it first showed up on the 360) the scoring system in X-mode is totally different as your multiplier is decided by how close you are to the Pink ships that throw Pink bullets at you, Now holding down the fire button is a laser and the laser cancels those pink bullets out, but blue is DEATH! Canceling out pink bullets and shooting down pink ships is the key to a high score in X-mode which has an excellent Arranged soundtrack.
Dodonpachi Resurrection is even worse This one has alternate stage paths and fuck if I know how to get those, let alone a true ending.
I know it sounds daunting, those who want to enter the world of cave can do so pretty cheaply as Deathsmiles and Akai Katana are pretty cheap these days. But those wanting more simple shmups, you best have a PS3, Shienryu, Sonic wing special, Gaia Seed, Zanac X Zanac and indie shmups like Soldner X and Gundemonium collection can all be found as either PSN Classics or regular downloadable PSN games all of which are less of a giant cluster fuck of WTF logic than any of cave's entires. You can also get Under Defeat HD on disc it is a game simular to Ketsui but not as hellish. Mamarukun Curse is also on US PSN and that is a good entry level Danmaku shooter.
So don't be put off it's not impossible to get into gaming's oldest genre, but starting with Cave is not in your best interest. Since NONE OF US will ever see Ketsui's true final boss Doom, Here's a video:
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His all time favorite console is the Saturn. His Genres of choice or Shmups and Fighters. He HATES Nintendo.
His Holiness Pope the Rev The 28th. Is a gamer, Philosopher, Psychologist, Guilty Gear XX #Reload GOD and former cult You Tube Personality. Today he rambles on Destructoid. Forgive his spelling and Grammer, he doesn't have time to send everything he writes to his proof readers.