Acceleration of Suguri X Edition Review
It doesn't happen often, but every now and again I'll get the opportunity to review a game that is completely unfamiliar to me. Usually I've at least heard a game's name in passing before it comes my way, so most of the time I know what to expect. The PSN release Acceleration of Suguri: X Edition was a complete mystery to me until my download finished and I started playing, and what I found was borderline insane: a mashup of the 1 on 1 fighting game and the "bullet hell" shooter that the Japanese (and one of my coworkers) seem to be so fond of. Acceleration of Suguri is definitely a bizarre and unique title, but does that alone make it worth a download?
Acceleration of Suguri: X Edition may take two of the more complex genres in gaming and smash them into one, but the end product isn't as intricate as its parts should have made it. You are made to choose from seven fighters and take on opponents one by one, fighting game style, until you reach the final boss. But the battles don't have much in common with Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. Instead, they more closely resemble the Cave shooters I've recently become fond of, with bullets and lasers occupying most of the screen. It sounds weird, but it does work pretty well. I suggest checking out a gameplay video online to see the game in action, as reading through the last paragraph has proven to me that I can't really do the insanity justice with mere words.
As much as I instantly loved the concept, the game has some pretty serious issues. First and foremost is there just isn't much content in the overall title. All the requisite modes are present, but the fighters themselves leave much to be desired. There are no unlocklable moves, no special finishers, nothing; the characters you start with are completely static. To be fair, this makes finding the fighter most suited to your style extremely easy, but upgradable attacks could have added some depth and replay, and you'll find almost none of that here. I was able to breeze through the entire main mode several times over the period of just an hour or two, and the lack of things to do made it hard to love the game as much as I felt like I should.
A lesser offense is the game's presentation. It's always commendable when "bullet hell" shooters manage to avoid graphical slowdown with so much going on, but that's about the only positive I've got in store for Acceleration of Suguri: X Edition. The character models and portraits are about on par with Super Nintendo-era graphical excellence, and the backgrounds are simply atrocious. There is no detail found behind the action, aside from assuming the color green means you are near some trees and blue means water is close by. The speed and projectiles all look fantastic, but everything else is about as bland as a mayonnaise sandwich on white bread. It doesn't help matters that the menus are equally boring, but that isn't nearly as much of a sticking point as the rest of it.
Really, though, at $5.99, I can ignore the game's problems and enjoy it for what it is: a unique idea with some fun "bullet hell" action and a heavy dose of Japanese flair. It isn't the prettiest or the longest game, but I had fun with Acceleration of Suguri: X Edition. If any of this sounds like it might be up your alley, then by all means give it a try.
Final Rating: 78%.