Mamorukun Curse is the latest western release by G.rev, talented developers made famous by their excellent shoot ’em ups, or as most people tend to call them – shmups. This localization is courtesy of UFO Interactive.
If you’ve never played a shmup, they tend to be either 2D side-scrollers or from a top-down perspective and they usually feature multiple playable characters that all shoot different kinds of bullets in different kinds of patterns.
One of the biggest differences between Mamorukun Curse and other shmups is that the scrolling is not forced. You can choose to move at your own pace, the screen only moves when you move.
Points in Mamorukun Curse are actually candy, enemies drop lots of candy and all you have to do to gather them quickly is stop shooting to allow your character to basically suck them in – the same goes for power ups and time extensions.
There’s something that Mamorukun Curse does that sets it apart from other shmups, that’s the curse bomb attack. We’ll talk about how the curse bomb mechanic is pretty awesome now.
The curse bomb is a risk/reward type mechanic, you can use it either on yourself or on enemies. The curse bomb works as a secondary shot alongside your main shot, you can use it in one of two ways.
The first method is pressing the curse shot button and releasing it immediately, this will leave an area that will curse your character – this actually powers them up and enhances their shots.
Using the curse shot like this also erases all bullets currently on the screen, this can be a nice break when things get really crazy and out over your head. This method is clearly the best for beginners in the game but it’s also the most punishing – using the curse shot as a power-up makes the cooldown longer than using the second method.
The second method to using the curse shot is to hold in the curse shot button and then release it, creating a huge projectile that will curse enemies. Doing this will make enemies stronger but it will also make them give you way more points when you kill them.
So there’s three main modes: netherworld adventures, story mode and arcade mode. Obviously, story mode is basically all of the levels you’ll find in arcade, only each level is prefaced with dialogue between the various characters in the game.
Netherworld Adventures is akin to arcade only you can choose different levels instead of progressing through them sequentially, so think of this as more of a challenge type mode where levels are categorized by difficulty.
Each character had a normal life that came to a sudden, crashing (literally in some cases) halt that left them waking up in the netherworld. At the time they have no idea where they are or why they’re there, to top it off they all have amnesia.
The characters in the game are taken to the netherworld by Fululu, a very upbeat and overbearing individual who tasks the various characters to help her save the netherworld from being corrupted by darkness.
The story is mostly throwaway but for what it’s worth I enjoyed it – the dialogue is all presented in non-animated 2D portraits, complete with full voice acting (with original Japanese audio). Overall the characters are all cute or silly, the entire story isn’t meant to be serious in my opinion but ultimately it’s fun.
In terms of replayability, the game offers a lot of levels to overcome and master. Between arcade and story, all of the unlockables and the trophies – it’s going to take you a long time to completely dominate this game.
Seriously, this game has 66 trophies and a bunch of them are REALLY hard to get. Some of them require you to beat arcade mode with a single credit with all of the characters, others require you to complete all challenges on max difficulty.
Oddly enough, I found arcade mode a bit easier than story mode for some reason. It’s nice to bounce back and forth between the two, especially if you’re trying to just blast through the game.
I think my only real complaint with the difficulty is that if you continue from a game over you start off with the same amount of characters you had before, meaning if you’re down to two – you’re stuck with two for that level.
While Mamorukun Curse came out on other platforms, the game did get some DLC and this version thankfully comes with all of the DLC. Some of this includes the two new playable characters: Narukami Luchino and Kinugawa Nowa.
If you’re really trying to get %100 in the game though, the DLC will now count towards the total completion needed so get prepared! Overall I think I’ll never be able to get the platinum trophy in this game, it’s extremely difficulty at times, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun.
I wanted to point out how simply awesome the visuals and music are. The game really shines in motion, I felt right at home as soon as I started playing because of how well done the environments and accompanying music are. Seriously, this music is really damn catchy and I find myself humming the melodies sometimes.
Overall I really, really love Mamorukun Curse!, it’s a superbly crafted G.Rev game and UFO Interactive did a fine job of making the translation fun and easy to follow. I’ve played a lot of shmups in my time and this is easily one of the best, I really just keep coming back for more despite being stuck on the higher difficulties.
Mamorukun Curse really is a joy to play and I highly recommend it to any fans of shmups and possibly even to fans of very Japanese-styled games in general. The game just oozes Japanese themes and style, it’s really great, especially the more historical looking regions, they really shine. Mamorukun Curse is a gem in the shoot’em up crown, so go play it if you haven’t already!