I would like to review today is a game called "Cardinal Sins"
available only on the Bandai's Handheld console: the "Wonderswan".
game is based on another M-Kai's Wonderswan game called "Judgement
Silversword" a more traditional shmup with stunning graphics
and "total-destruction" gameplay. I will try to write
a review of this one too (I hope with some help from other users
at shmups.com forum that are playing this game too).
game is based on the tradition of japanese Caravan games in wich
you have to try to beat highscores in a limited amount of time but
Cardinal Sin is also adding something new to the genre: infact in
every stage you have particular objectives to reach if you would
like to improve your score. Since all the text in the game is in
Japanese you have to try new tactics to understand what to do, sometimes
is easy sometimes not, but after a few hours of play you will be
able to understand what to do.
of all the bad news: this game has not been released as a commercial
product, it's freeware but to play "Cardinal Sins" you
need the Wonderswan Development Kit called "WonderWitch".
The kit is quite expensive and it's very difficult to find outside
Japan. The only way to buy it is on Yahoo Auctions Japan(where I
bought mine for 150$+shipping). Good news are that with this kit
you will be able to play a freeware version of "Judgement Silversword"(that
is different from the commercial edition, graphics are not as good
as the commercial version),"Cardinal Sins" and "E-Force"(another
shmup from M-Kai) and a lot of other homebrew titles.
this game is really the only manic shmup available on an handheld
system and thanks to the possibility to play it in Tate mode(with
the screen in vertical) it's clear that all the shmups fans will
go crazy for "Cardinal Sins", in particolar I think that
if you loved "Judgement Silversword:Rebirth Edition" you
will love this one too. The gameplay is very very difficult, there're
really an incredible amount of bullets and enemies onscreen and
sometimes seems impossible to escape, but as always with a few hours,days
or months(depends on your skills) you will be able to finish the
game, but trust me when I say that "Cardinal Sins" is
one of the hardest shmup I ever played. I think its difficulty level
is due to the fact that this game is created for players with a
lot of experience on "Judgement Silversword" and are in
search of new challenges. As in their first games M-Kai put a lot
of hard work in level design and gameplay, also consider that the
game could receive improvements in a near future due to the fact
that it's a freeware game available for download from its official
website. Bullets and enemies are always clear to see thanks to dark
backgrounds, bullets color and to the good quality of the Wonderswan
are quite on the same quality with "JSS Rebirth Edition"
with the difference that here the amount of bullets onscreen is
higher. As you can see from these screenshots the game has also
nice designed backgrounds and enemies. Like in most modern shmups
when there are a large amount of bullets on screen the game slows
down, this is not a defect but a way to improve the gameplay. Last
levels of "Cardinal Sins" are very difficult and could
be frustrating for occasional gamers but if you're an hardcore shmup
player you will be simply delighted.
and music are really incredible: most are remixes of the original
"Judgement Silversword" music. In particular one is simply
addictive and reminds me of some tunes from the classic Nes shmup