Ether Vapor Remaster: A Lesson In Old-School Ass-Whomping

None of them actually hit you, but you get the idea.

Slowly but surely doujin localizing company Nyu Media has been rising up in fame, finding its niche nicely in the download scene. Releasing indie games from Japan that would otherwise fly over most U.S. publishers heads, Nyu Media has brought over shmup game The eXceed Collection and adventure game Cherry Tree High Comedy Club. And so a new release dawns, Ether Vapor Remaster, an enhanced port of a shmup game originally released back in 2007 in Japan. I tried the game out… and (after some futzing with my shitty-ass computer to get it to work. I’ll talk about this some other time.), I was issued a pure ass beating only an old-school game can dish out.

I’ll have a review at some point this week, but I just wanted to speak up about this game, especially for hardcore shmup fans. Now throughout my life, particularly my college life, I’ve grown accustomed to space shooters and was introduced to bullet hell shooters like Touhou and Triggerheart Exelica. Gaining a sort of iron will from playing games like those, I bought Gate of Thunder on the Wii’s Virtual Console. I got good enough to make it to Dark City there, but never got passed that. From there on I’d watch footage and reviews of other shoot ’em up games, along with the consistently kickass music from a lot of them. I’d also play a lot of Star Prince from Retro Game Challenge.

And so from the review copy we got, I dipped my toes even more into the game. Like the demo, I received an ass whooping the likes of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Gate of Thunder. The game is decidedly old-school, with only two lives (Shields in this case) and two continues. After that, it’s game over. As you play the game and lose, the game opens up a bit, giving you more continues at the start and more lives. In other words, the game makes itself easier for you. So here I was thinking I’d be good at this, only to get a wake-up call. “Play more shmups again. You suck pretty bad” is something that rung in my head with every Game Over. To put simply, my reflexes have gotten soft. But who knows, maybe by the end of Ether Vapor Remaster, I’ll gain back that iron will and actually beat Gate of Thunder. Maybe I’ll finally probably beat Triggerheart Exelica in one life!

Expect a review of this shortly. You can try out the demo on the game’s homepage.

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