Sine Mora Review
Extra Features: Leaderboards
Sine Mora is a side-scrolling shoot'em up co-developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and Digital Reality. The game is available for $9.99 on the PS Store or 800 points on the Xbox LIVE marketplace. This shooter features 3D environments and still retains the familiar 2D gameplay of many other shooters. The game has a cast of anthromorphic characters that serve as the main characters.
Sine Mora's gameplay is much like a standard shooter, but the game has a feature that allows a player to slow down time to avoid on-screen bullets. The game is a literal bullet hell at times. Bosses will often spray the entire screen with bullets that you'll need to carefully dodge. Just about all enemy ships take multiple shots to destroy and your ship has health that is based on a timer in the center of the screen. If you get hit, you get a time penalty that lowers time. If you shoot enemy ships, you will get a time bonus to extend your time. Once your time runs out, your ship is destroyed.
Speaking of bosses, Sine Mora has several bosses throughout its stages. All bosses have multiple weak points and phases that you will have to battle through. Some bosses actually have instant kill attacks and all bosses litter the screen with bullets that your ship will have to carefully navigate through in order to avoid damage.
Throughout the course of the story, you will take control of several different ships piloted by different characters. Each ship has its own unique bullet pattern and hitbox. Power-ups can be gained by shooting enemies in order to increase the number of bullets your ship can shoot out. Power-ups are scattered once your ship is hit, so you'll have to carefully retrieve them after being hit - this sometimes lead to my ship getting hit even more while trying to chase down my lost power-ups through narrow corridors (hitting walls to retrieve them). Each of the characters has their own unique special attack that can be used while piloting each ship. These range from homing missiles to laser beams. These attacks take off a tremendous amount of damage from bosses and other enemies, but they are limited.
The backgrounds of Sine Mora look fantastic in many of its stages. The game has several layers of background that creates a sense of depth that is much deeper than many other shooters that I have played. City backgrounds have buildings with other buildings behind them along with other structures to go along with them. There is one beautiful underwater stage as well. The backgrounds really stand out well in this game.
The story to Sine Mora is very detailed, but I feel it's so detailed that it gets confusing for a shooter. It's SO very easy to lose interest in the story since it is so rich. The game's narrator does not speak English, so you are forced to read through the on-screen text. The game is quite text heavy before each stage also.
The characters all speak a different language during gameplay, so you'll need to read their phrases - this isn't much of a big deal, but the text before each stage is way too long so I often skipped it or read through it and felt even more confused. The game tosses around several odd names that you have to keep track of and it's hard to follow the overall plot if you're not fully involved. The game's soundtrack is filled with techno tracks and some very soft melodies at times. Character speech is all in another language. The character speech sounds great, but a player is forced to read through a whole screen full of text very often throughout the game in order to understand the story.
Besides the story mode, the game offers an Arcade, Score Attack, Boss Training and Challenge mode. Arcade is a much harder story difficulty basically. Score Attack is just as hard as Arcade mode and makes the player play through each stage to try to get a high score. Story mode has a Normal and Challenging difficulty mode and Arcade and Score Attack both have Hard and Insane difficulty modes. Boss Training allows you to choose each stage boss and fight the boss to practice. Challenge mode has a total of 15 challenges that can be played. The problem with Challenge mode is that each challenge is quite hard and the starting challenge must be completed in order to unlock other challenges, so a player is locked out from the rest of the challenges if the first one cannot be completed - and the first challenge is quite hard!
Sine Mora is a great shooter while the game lasts. The game can easily be beaten in about 2-3 hours on your first time through. The game is very replayable if you're a shooter fan. There are many extra modes to play, but only hardcore shooter fans will enjoy them the most. Sine Mora is a hard game overall and only the most hardcore of shooter fans will get the most out of it. If you're like me and don't care as much for shooters, you most likely will be done with Sine Mora after the first play-through.
+ Addicting shooter gameplay
+ Many ships and characters to control
- The game is too text heavy at times
- The story mode is very short
Final Rating: 73%. Sine Mora is an addicting shooter the first time through, but it's very short and only the most hardcore shooter fans will get the most out of it.