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Otomedius Excellent 360 delivers the terrifying prospect of Manga school girls in a hardcore side-scrolling shoot'em up. Konami's classic Gradius was one of the games that defined the genre and its success has lead to many tired remakes of that formula.
Otomedius Excellent is another example that retains that core idea, but without any innovation, it gives us another scarily familiar experience.
Based on a framework over twenty years old it should come as no surprise that the whole experience felt dated. With a power-up system lifted straight from Gradius and geometrically shaped enemies advancing in predictable patterns, Otomedius Excellent feels depressingly uninspired. Of course it is hard to judge a shoot'um up from a single level of play, especially when the level is the traditional first level uneventful-blue-sky affair.
As the game progresses though, there may be more variety and innovation on offer, but during my play through, Otomedius Excellent did nothing to endear itself.
As a gamer who wants my pastime to be viewed as acceptable for adults, this can only serve to set back the cause.
To add to its shortcomings there are also my personal issues with the bizarre way you experience the game. You play the Lolita/Moe protagonist who appears to be wearing their aircraft.
Now, as a gamer who wants my pastime to be viewed as acceptable for adults, this can only serve to set back the cause. It is depressing that the designers either like this style or feel this is what their dedicated fan base wants.
Both heroines speak depressing volumes about how some corners of the industry still view the medium. Is it any surprise gaming is still viewed as something you will grow out of, with these sorts of themes perptuating.
It is true that Otomedius Excellent could still prove a competent and enjoyable shooter if later levels show more imagination than the early offering I experienced. Unfortunately though, with the general aesthetic dissuading me from enjoying it, Otomedius Excellent is going to have to do something pretty special to convince me it is worth a purchase, especially when I already own Gradius. Currently it scares me for all the wrong reasons.
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