Sine Mora Review
Leave it to Grasshopper Manufacture and developer Suda 51, the only people left embracing the inherent insanity of video games, to create a title like Sine Mora. The company's past gems include Killer 7 and No More Heroes, and with this newest now available, it doesn't look like Grasshopper will be changing their trademark style anytime soon.
Sine Mora is a beautiful side-scrolling shooter that, for lack of a better explanation, makes absolutely zero sense. The story unfolds through vocal exchanges and narrated segments peppered throughout the game, but get this: The spoken language used seems to have been created specifically for this game. Even weirder, all the game's characters are anthropomorphic zoo animals who apparently have developed the ability to pilot aircraft. The underlying story has something to do with a few fictional nations in a constant war, but the characters are shuffled around so much it's tough to keep track of who's who. Once you've given up on trying to follow the plot, it's much easier to sit back and passively let the craziness wash over you. That's what I recommend, anyway.
Sine Mora successfully backs up it's off-the-wall tale with some seriously great gameplay. If you are at all familiar with Cave's bullet hell shooters, you'll be right at home here. If not, I'll explain: Sine Mora plays like a side-scroller shooter in the vein of R-Type or Gradius - with a twist. Suda 51's title adds an amazing fold to the mix: the ability to slow down time. When the screen is packed with hundreds of death-bringing bullets, a slowdown is more than appreciated. The mechanic single-handedly adds a whole new dimension to the genre, and it's inclusion is more than welcome.
Like most bullet hell shooters, Sine Mora's centerpiece is it's boss fights. Screen-filling monstrosities cap off nearly every level, and these encounters easily eclipse the entire rest of the game. There are some seriously good ideas at work here, and if you don't try this one for any other reason than the boss fights, you'll probably still be pleased.
Before I got the assignment to review Sine Mora, I admit I'd never even heard of it. Now that I've finished off the final boss, I'm relieved I didn't miss it.
Final Rating: 91%. Grasshopper Manfacture and Suda 51 have dropped a true gem onto Xbox Live, and it's one that is well worth your time and money.