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Castle of Shikigami III (Wii): where fourth stage bosses get first stage promotions!

cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm RegentBears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
edited July 2008 in Games and Technology
As an FYI, Shiki III is now available on the even cheaper.

Recently pricedropped to $19.99

Buy now, or Aksys'll send Reika after you.

Or worse, Yukari.


shikigami3-yukari_horiguchi_ver2.jpg

You wouldn't like her when she's angry.


If there was ever a series with one ugly history in the states, it would be the shmup trilogy known as Shiro no Shikigami, aka Castle Shikigami, aka Mobile Light Force, but that's another story.

51N1uwSUv6L._SL500_AA280_.jpg

It's available online, though I haven't seen it in stores anywhere. A few places like Fry's and such reportedly carry it, but until GameStop decide to be more shmup friendly, online's the best recourse.

Ideally, get it from Amazon, since Atlus works with them, who are kind of sort of connected to Aksys but not really.

Beats supporting GameStop.


Here's a trailer for the US version in the meanwhile.

The voice acting sounds appropriately ridiculous.



For once, Aksys Games is setting out to actually localize a Shikigami game proper.

If you're familiar with the series, you probably have an idea of what to expect.

mlf23.jpg

Curtain fire, and lots of it.


Since a few people seem confused about this game, some tidbits about Shikigami's gameplay:


cs2.jpg


When the character is very close to enemy fire, their shots double in power and/or speed.

Additionally, if the character uses their special attack(used by holding the fire button) to destroy enemies, the coins(or bonus points) earned from them multiply, and they're collected automatically.

Each character has their own type of fire/special/bomb(limited usages).

cs3.jpg

Stages are broken down into segments(at least in 2): the first part ends with a mini boss, the second with the true stage boss.


If I ever find out appropriate info about the cast to share, I'll update it here.



What makes Shikigami (somewhat) unique is that all the optional 'craft' to choose from are all people.

Of course, there's also the Touhou games for that, but someone's bound to want to play as a guy once in a while, right?


cs1.jpg

Shikigami III basically offers more of the same screen-filling madness that Shikigami I kicked off and Shikigami II doubled on.


This isn't the first time a relatively obscure title like CS has made it over to the states.

In fact, all of the games in the series have gotten localized.

If you can call it that.


Castle Shikigami I / "Mobile Light Force 2"

mlf22.jpg

Shamelessly taking the same cover art that they used for their PS1 localization of Gunbird, only adding a 2 on the end, this was XS Games' hack attempt at localizing Shiro no Shikigami I.

Much like their port of Gunbird, they tried to hide the fact that the game had anything to do with the east.

While it didn't get hacked quite as badly as Gunbird(changed names, anyone?), MLF2 still removed many(if not all) of Shikigami I's story segments.

mlf21.jpg

Sure, there's still curtain fire madness to be found, but it's a shadow of what the game should be.


Not ones to let a cheap license go, XS Games didn't stop there.

For what it's worth, the hack Charlie Angels' references ended with their publishing of MLF2.

Castle Shikigami II
cs21.jpg

Released as a budget title, and commonly sold for $9.99 new(far less used, even now), CSII's US version didn't try to hide its anime-esque roots like MLF2 did.

You had to look a little harder to figure out it was a shmup, but I guess they figured whoever bought this without looking into that wouldn't care until they'd already spent the money.

shikigami2-5a.jpg

Shikigami II has a varied cast, each with their own backstories and attacks(with two separate varieties), and unlike MLF2, XS Games kept all the story segments, and dubbed them all.

Considering the now infamous vocal quality of the result, they might've been better off removed.

shikigami2-7a.jpg

The voice acting for CSII is infamously bad.

Not just the dialogue; the delivery sounds like it was read by guys XS hired off the street with promises of a free meal.

It wouldn't surprise me if that was the truth.

Don't take my word for it.

Believe it or not, that site doesn't even offer all the worst lines.

shikigami2-9a.jpg

Miss Fumiko O.V.(Ozette Van Stein), my favorite character, was given the worst voice actress of all time.

I won't taint her reputation further by reciting the samples.

Rest assured, it was real, real bad.



So enough dwelling on the past. Aksys know what they're doing(they have ex-Atlus staff on their team), so CSIII will probably have a halfway competent localization behind it.

Unless of course they give it a bad dubbing on purpose, which I might actually support.


CSIII had three versions in Japan: Wii, 360, and PC.

We're only getting the Wii version, which is unfortunate(I wouldn't need to buy a console if they ported the latter), but I'll deal. It's the cheapest console of the three.

Wii | 360
csb1.jpg | csb2.jpg

PC
csb3.jpg


I'm not sure what the Aksys art's going to be, but it'll probably be unique. They had an advertisement going for it in the latest Play magazine.


English screens are hard to come by, but there's no shortage of the original ones.
cs1.jpg

cs4.jpg

If Aksys give the game an official webpage(not holding my breath), I'l try tol update with some character bios and more info.

If nothing else, the cast from CSII appear to all be in attendance.

csf1.jpg

csf2.jpg

csf3.jpg


Maybe Fumiko won't sound like a Tourette's victim this time around.


Release date is April 29th, last I heard.
Update: Or not. May 6th.




$29.99 price point.


I hope I can track down the system by that time, because CSIII is a system seller in my book.

wVEsyIc.png
cj iwakura on
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    sabyulsabyul Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Bought.

    sabyul on
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    RaslinRaslin Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Am I the only one who really can't stand shmups?

    Raslin on
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    RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Here's the PC demo for #2 - http://www.4gamer.net/patch/demo/sikigami2/sikigami2.html - It includes Stage 1-1 & 1-2 and 2 playable characters. I enjoyed the demo, but I'm not sold on Shikigami 3 simply because I'd rather have the 360 version. I enjoy the Wii, but bullet hell shmup really benefit from high definition visuals (to make it easier to see what you're doing) and leaderboards.

    RainbowDespair on
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    ArdeArde Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Raslin wrote: »
    Am I the only one who really can't stand shmups?

    Yes. That's why no one loved you.

    Arde on
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    AlienCowThatMoosAlienCowThatMoos Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Does anyone know if the 360 version is regionally protected?

    AlienCowThatMoos on
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Does anyone know if the 360 version is regionally protected?

    The 360's region protected, unfortunately. I don't have either of the consoles, so it doesn't affect me yet.

    I'm strongly considering getting a Wii by the time this comes out, but I'll probably get the game at launch either way.

    I'm not sure if Aksys games follow the Atlus 'get it at launch or don't get it at all' trend, so I'll play it safe.

    cj iwakura on
    wVEsyIc.png
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    Does anyone know if the 360 version is regionally protected?

    The 360's region protected, unfortunately. I don't have either of the consoles, so it doesn't affect me yet.

    I'm strongly considering getting a Wii by the time this comes out, but I'll probably get the game at launch either way.

    I'm not sure if Aksys games follow the Atlus 'get it at launch or don't get it at all' trend, so I'll play it safe.

    The 360 is, but whether or not a particular title is protected is up to the publisher.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I'd consider importing the 360 version (I have an Asian 360), but Play-Asia is asking $60 for it and I'm reluctant to spend that much money on a shmup.

    RainbowDespair on
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I <3 CJ Iwakura for making this thread!

    I think he and I are the two biggest Castle Shiki fans in PA G&T.


    I am really looking forward to this game. So much so it's bordering on obsession.



    I loved Castle Shiki II, it was one of my favorite shmups of last gen.


    I've been keeping up with Shiki 3 since it was announced for the 360 and Wii. I've been hassling my local Gamestop to preorder it for months now.

    But alas they do not have the preorder in their system for it, even though it shows up on their website. They keep telling me to come back later.



    I'm really looking forward to this. I need some fresh curtain fire shmupping. $30 shiki 3 on the Wii is exactly what the doctor ordered.


    Also, I like the box art, although I don't know what the US cover will look like.

    slash000 on
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    UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    So it looks like bullet hell. Is it that hard? Is this much worse than, say, Ikaruga? Sorry to bring it up, it's my reference point. That's about my limit, just hard enough.

    UncleSporky on
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    XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Random weird shmup for Wii? Probably sold. We'll see how much this costs if it gets a PAL release.

    Xagarath on
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    So it looks like bullet hell. Is it that hard? Is this much worse than, say, Ikaruga? Sorry to bring it up, it's my reference point. That's about my limit, just hard enough.

    I'm in the unfortunate situation of not owning Ikaruga, and I don't have a dreamcast or xb360. So I can't compare the two directly. I've only played Ikaruga a couple of times, not enough to get a good idea of how hard it is.


    The Castle Shikigami series is all bullet hell / curtain fire. It's been that way since the beginning, and is keeping in line with tradition with #3!


    Is it hard? Hm. Well, most shmups are hard.. but I would say that the Shiki games are fair, though, certainly. As with most bullet hell shmups, there are hundreds of bullets on screen, but the player character's "hit box" is not so much a box as it is a tiny pin-point in the center of the character.

    The reason this is an important distinction is because having a tiny point for a 'hit box' makes dodging the curtain fire much more fair. You can weave between and around the patterns of bullets with much more ease and fairness than if there was a larger hit box.


    Also, the Shiki games encourage weaving through patterns. The closer you get to by-passing bullets, the more powerful your own shots become. So it's a great gameplay mechanic - you trade off "playing it safe" by avoiding bullets, and playing it "risky" by immersing yourself amidst bullets to increase fire power.


    Also, while there are always a million bullets on screen, they're usually patternized. So it's not like it's impossible to dodge bullets; you can see the emerging pattern of bullets as they come down, and you can dodge them by taking advantage of the pattern as it comes over your character. It's a very fun and satisfying gameplay mechanic in curtain fire/bullet hell shmups.

    slash000 on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2008
    Raslin wrote: »
    Am I the only one who really can't stand shmups?

    Nope. I really couldn't give an arse for them. I think the only one in my collection is R-Type on the SMS and even that is balls. These wall of fire ones are just ridiculous.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Ridiculous... ridiculously awesome.

    slash000 on
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Hm.. I just read that this game controls really well using sideways-Wii-remote controls. I was kind of wondering about that. I'm assuming it supports the Classic Con, but I dunno if it does. But it's good to know the sideways-wiimote controls work well.

    Also, apparently the storylines will vary if you play in 2-player mode. That's a nice touch. Not that I much care about the story of these games, especially given the hilarious voice acting. Nice touch though. Apparenlty there are "55 story combinations."



    also, the other awesome aspect of this game is this-

    We have 10 playable characters each with their own unique weapons, alt weapons, and bombs, just as you'd expect from the series. BUT, in this game, you can switch between 2 characters on the fly. So it opens up your gameplay variety and strategy even more! Awesome! it's called "Dramatic Change Mode."

    slash000 on
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    JouleJoule Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    So the Wii version is finally coming out here.

    I'm not too big on Shiki though I haven't really given it much dedication or playtime. I wished you were faster though in Shiki 1, I prefer the faster movement concentrated fire types.

    Joule on
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    Rigor MortisRigor Mortis Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    So this and GTA IV are coming out on the same day.

    GTA can wait. This is bought.

    Rigor Mortis on
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    So this and GTA IV are coming out on the same day.

    GTA can wait. This is bought.



    :^: that's how I feel.

    Although according to gs the release has been pushed back to May 6 or something.

    :(

    slash000 on
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    Rigor MortisRigor Mortis Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    slash000 wrote: »
    So this and GTA IV are coming out on the same day.

    GTA can wait. This is bought.



    :^: that's how I feel.

    Although according to gs the release has been pushed back to May 6 or something.

    :(
    Wait, what?!?????

    KHAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!

    Rigor Mortis on
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    If it means more people get the game(which we all know won't happen, regardless), I'm okay with it.

    cj iwakura on
    wVEsyIc.png
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    Asamof the HorribleAsamof the Horrible Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I do have a hard on for these types of games, so this is probably bought for me. Especially at $30! Now my wii can get a little bit more love..

    Asamof the Horrible on
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    If it means more people get the game(which we all know won't happen, regardless), I'm okay with it.

    Yeah, i'd like this to translate into more sales for the game, but I feel like this particular genre has its niche market and that market isn't really heavily affected by major releases all that much, but maybe i'm wrong.

    Either way, this game isn't going to sell more than like 20k or something, but Aksys probably knows that.

    slash000 on
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    ThetherooThetheroo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Seriously, what is up with you and quality OPs cj? They're always well written, informative, and look really nice.

    Thetheroo on
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Well, if the cover's flashy enough, maybe kids will pick it up thinking it's based on an anime, and hilarity'll ensue when they die in six seconds.

    It was the art design of Shiki 2's cover that first got my attention.

    cj iwakura on
    wVEsyIc.png
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    Well, if the cover's flashy enough, maybe kids will pick it up thinking it's based on an anime, and hilarity'll ensue when they die in six seconds.

    It was the art design of Shiki 2's cover that first got my attention.


    the cover on Shiki 2 made it look like some kind of weird RPG or something. :P

    slash000 on
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Well, I tried to preorder it today... no dice. I was told it's not in the system.
    It might not even be possible. I guess just be there whenever it comes out... if that's possible.

    cj iwakura on
    wVEsyIc.png
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    Well, I tried to preorder it today... no dice. I was told it's not in the system.
    It might not even be possible. I guess just be there whenever it comes out... if that's possible.

    I've been asking to preorder this game since February. I get this response every single time.


    Last time, the clerk said to just "show up" when the game is released. I have 2 problems with this:

    1. I have no idea when they'll actually get the game in
    2. Last time I just "showed up" was for Raiden 3, and guess how many copies the store got in? Zero. Know why? Because there were no preorders, and gamestop deemed that particular store had no 'demand' for the game.



    So Shiki3 comes around and I think to myself, "Gosh, last time the store had no preorders, and it's a niche, unhyped shmup; as a result, the store got no copies for fear of not selling them (i guess). So now that Shiki 3, another small niche shmup with no hype is upcoming, I should probably preorder it in order to let GS know to order copies for the store so I can get a copy of the game."

    Yeah, now they aren't taking preorders on it.


    It's a self fulfilling prophecy.

    slash000 on
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    Rigor MortisRigor Mortis Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    slash000 wrote: »
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    Well, I tried to preorder it today... no dice. I was told it's not in the system.
    It might not even be possible. I guess just be there whenever it comes out... if that's possible.

    I've been asking to preorder this game since February. I get this response every single time.


    Last time, the clerk said to just "show up" when the game is released. I have 2 problems with this:

    1. I have no idea when they'll actually get the game in
    2. Last time I just "showed up" was for Raiden 3, and guess how many copies the store got in? Zero. Know why? Because there were no preorders, and gamestop deemed that particular store had no 'demand' for the game.



    So Shiki3 comes around and I think to myself, "Gosh, last time the store had no preorders, and it's a niche, unhyped shmup; as a result, the store got no copies for fear of not selling them (i guess). So now that Shiki 3, another small niche shmup with no hype is upcoming, I should probably preorder it in order to let GS know to order copies for the store so I can get a copy of the game."

    Yeah, now they aren't taking preorders on it.


    It's a self fulfilling prophecy.
    Two months of "not in the system" crap? Why don't you preorder online?

    Rigor Mortis on
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I don't like buying stuff online. I might make an exception for this though. Besides, those times I asked about it, were times I was going in to buy a game anyway, so it's not like I went out of my way to do that. Each time, though, I was hoping that they would have the game 'in the system.' Even though I'm pretty sure that not having an actual release date hasn't stopped EBStop from taking preorders on certain games before..

    slash000 on
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    l_gl_g Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    First I'd like to say that if you really, really liked Castle Shikigami 2, the third one is a disappointment. The level design does not feel as good, nor do the visuals feel as inspired. The second one has cooler bosses. The final boss of the third one looks... ugly, and not because it was meant to be ugly; it just looks low-rent.

    Of course, the third one adds TIME STOP, so that leaves you with a good feeling for quite a while.

    Also, the EU version of Shikigami 2 has BY FAR the best cover art:
    919402_70777_front.jpg
    WAR OF THE WORLDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    l_g on
    Cole's Law: "Thinly sliced cabbage."
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    Rigor MortisRigor Mortis Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    l_g wrote: »
    First I'd like to say that if you really, really liked Castle Shikigami 2, the third one is a disappointment. The level design does not feel as good, nor do the visuals feel as inspired. The second one has cooler bosses. The final boss of the third one looks... ugly, and not because it was meant to be ugly; it just looks low-rent.

    Of course, the third one adds TIME STOP, so that leaves you with a good feeling for quite a while.

    Also, the EU version of Shikigami 2 has BY FAR the best cover art:
    919402_70777_front.jpg
    WAR OF THE WORLDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Considering the localization of the first two, the fact that #2 occasionally crashes on my PS3 during story segments, and #3 crashes on my PC before the game even starts, every time... a disappointment would be quite difficult to pull off :P

    And regarding #2's bosses let me just say - FUCK the "break with shikigami" boxes. FUCK THEM.

    Rigor Mortis on
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    jeddy leejeddy lee Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Am I the only one who can't tell what the hell is going on in those pics?

    jeddy lee on
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    l_g wrote: »
    First I'd like to say that if you really, really liked Castle Shikigami 2, the third one is a disappointment. The level design does not feel as good, nor do the visuals feel as inspired. The second one has cooler bosses. The final boss of the third one looks... ugly, and not because it was meant to be ugly; it just looks low-rent.


    Well, is the overall gameplay still intact? It seems to be.

    All I really ask for is tons of bullets, intentional slowdown, and similar characters with a variety of attacks.


    Even if this game isn't as good as Shiki 2, the world needs more bullet hell shmups.
    And regarding #2's bosses let me just say - FUCK the "break with shikigami" boxes. FUCK THEM.

    Eh, you get used to them. :P

    I got pretty awesome at that level... actually, at the whole game in general. In fact, I think i'll go play it through right now. Such an awesome shmup.
    jack eddy wrote: »
    Am I the only one who can't tell what the hell is going on in those pics?

    It's only confusing if you've never played a bullet hell / curtain fire shmup before..

    slash000 on
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I hate the final boss of Shiki 2 more than anything.

    At that point, it's not a question of dodging, it's how many lives and bombs you have left.


    Certain characters' specials make the block level a joke.

    Mostly the guy with the shades.

    This game has some interesting characters(just with terrible voices), so I'll try to post some bios if I can find the right(re: any) info.


    And judging from the US trailer I found, the gameplay and music seem exactly the same to me.
    I added it to the OP.

    cj iwakura on
    wVEsyIc.png
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    JouleJoule Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    I hate the final boss of Shiki 2 more than anything.

    At that point, it's not a question of dodging, it's how many lives and bombs you have left.

    We talking like Mushihime's true last boss sort of thing? Maybe I should put some time into the Shikis so I can play along you guys.

    Joule on
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Well, there's two final bosses that are an extreme pain. The first was bad enough.
    She has cards that block attacks, and generate all kinds of sickness.

    I don't remember much about the second. I only managed to beat him with one character, and it wasn't Fumiko. I couldn't get past the first final boss with her; her super isn't powerful enough.

    I think I pulled it off with the shrine maiden character.

    cj iwakura on
    wVEsyIc.png
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    l_gl_g Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Yes, the gameplay is exactly the same as before. Some characters are tweaked, some have been "removed" (but not really, because there's somebody else taking their place that is very very similar).

    Basically, if you've never played a Shikigami game before, and want to try one out, I recommend Shikigami 2, but if you loved Shikigami and can't get enough, then 3 is fine because it's about as more of the same as you can get.

    If you want to hear a girl shout "TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME STOP!!!!!!!!" and freeze time during which you can destroy normally indestructible enemy bullets, then Shikigami 3 is also great.

    If you want to hear some of the most amazing voice acting ever, you should get the English release of Shikigami 2.

    l_g on
    Cole's Law: "Thinly sliced cabbage."
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    JouleJoule Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    l_g wrote: »
    If you want to hear some of the most amazing voice acting ever, you should get the English release of Shikigami 2.

    You're as crooked as the castle.

    Joule on
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    It was just my luck that my very first experience with this game was the worst piece of dialogue ever recorded by a human being.

    I can't believe it's not recorded for the Audio Atrocities section.

    Emphasis is Fumiko's.
    Crooked... CASTLE? I SEE.
    New world, new ORDER. Guess the rest FAILED.

    I may fight...

    That's all she says in the opening.

    Great, now I'm playing 2 again.


    Oh man, the instruction book's contents are beautiful.
    Enemy Characters

    STAGE 01

    ARALA CRAN
    She is a long hair ghost of warrior.

    She is waiting for someone who saves her soul.

    Did XS localize this game, or did Babelfish?

    cj iwakura on
    wVEsyIc.png
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I just saw a week-old Micro Center ad --

    In the Games section, it showed Shiki 3. It said, "Available in stores 4/17!"

    ...

    I don't think they have it yet, but I haven't checked.. maybe I can call... I bet that ad was printed under the mis-assumption that the game would actually be out that day. edit: just called, they don't have it.



    in other news,

    Gamestop's website has changed their expected release of this game from May 6 to May 13.


    :(

    slash000 on
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