As a genre, shmups remain largely unchanged since their inception. I've never believed this to be a bad thing, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it, but a little variety now and then to keep things fresh is always welcome. In fact, some of the best shooters out there are ones that more or less keep the traditional framework and introduce just a little something new that changes the way the game is played.
Big Bang Mini attempts to achieve this by utilizing the unique hardware of the DS, making the most of the touch screen in order to add some new spice to an old recipe. How does it fare? Hit the jump for my full review.
Big Bang Mini (Nintendo DS)
The first thing you'll notice about Big Bang Mini, (aside from its incredibly awesome, Slurpee coin-esque lenticular box art), is that there's no Dpad involved. Right off the bat, this is something you've never done before, and I've often wondered out loud what it would be like to play a shooter with a stylus. It's about time somebody got around to trying it.
"It's a lemon wedge! ... Oh, it's the Golden Gate Bridge ... Wait, what?"
These minigames seem painfully useless in the earlier worlds, and while their challenge and variety increase as you progress, (later levels have you clearing debris from the screen or repeating a pattern), they still feel like more of a chore than anything else. I can appreciate wanting to mix things up with a "break" between levels, but I could have completely done without these, and would have, if it weren't for the fact that successfully completing them all unlocks a new mode.
Score: 8.5 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)
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