Already featured on the Weird of the Week, Guwange is a shmup with some serious weirdness, but good style. Take your pick from three heroes: Sheshin, Kamono Gensuke, or Hiirage Kosame, and head off to defeat the "Demon Leader" or Bosses at the end of each stage, eventually leading up to the fight with Guwange, the big boss demon lord whatever. The difference in this game than other shmups, you control a person who is fighting people and their machines of destruction. Think Ikari Warriors or Time Soldiers but in a shoot'em up build. Nice!
The art style is stylized Japanese, which to some gamers may be an instant turn-off, but shmup fans will pay it no mind. Your character can shoot in 8 directions instead of only forwards like most shmups (the occasional game will have different weapons that shoot in different directions, but this one you can direct your fire where you want it to go.) There is also a special weapon for each character which destroys most, if not all enemies on screen at one time, it depends how much fire you lay down on the enemies.
Each fallen enemy drops bonuses to pick up, so not only are you killing wave after wave of enemies, you'll be tasked with ring collecting, like that blue rodent or that Italian plumber guy. I can deal with that, why not? Amid the flowing blood of Guwange why not add something childish into the game like ring or coin collecting? Eh. Anyhow, this game is fantastic, at the risk of saying "fabulous!" A couple of the bosses are very disturbing. One is a cat with 8 legs, looks kinds of like a giant spider. The second starts out innocently enough, with Guwange standing on top of a hill or a stone. After defeating the first stage of that boss, the stone reveals itself to be a giant crawling baby, with festering facial soars spewing fiery puss on you. Nice.
There is one thing, though, that is really annoying about Guwange. Sometimes the path being travelled hinders your progress, as you are attacked from all sides giving you little room to maneuver. Other times, the path goes left or right, or down, but your character always points up. Sure you can change the firing direction with your extention weapon, but it moves so slow that it takes combination of luck and skill to get through some areas. Other than that, a good shmup, good style, and only $10.
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