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A Closer Look at Nintendo's DSi Ware Shmup

This 500 DSi Ware point app could be heaven for bullet hell fans.

I have no idea what the name means.

Earlier, I posted details on Nintendo's upcoming DSi Ware lineup. Of those four games, shooter Aa Mujou Setsuna warrants special attention, and Nintendo was thankfully good enough to distribute screenshots and share more details with the press today.

Developed by Arika, Aa Mujou Setsuna, is a vertical shooter with 3D visuals. This is one of those "bullet hell" style shooters, where you're forced to avoid masses of bullets as you shoot down targets.

You have access to two ship types.

Type A offers a wide basic shot along with a bomb as a special weapon. The bomb does damage to all enemies on the screen and temporarily makes you invincible, but also clears one third of your special gauge. This gauge recovers with time and as you defeat enemies and collect the cubes that they leave behind.

Type B offers a narrower shot, but a high powered laser as a special weapon. When the laser is being fired, a barrier forms around your ship, depleting your special gauge gradually. Enemy bullets that enter this barrier slow down. Additionally, bullets that have entered the barrier turn to cubes when you use the laser to destroy their source enemies. This allows you to earn big points.

The cubes that enemies leave behind are your chief method of getting points, adding to your ship stock, and recovering your special gauge. Collect a bunch of cubes in one pass, and the cubes will change color, meaning that they've risen in level and can earn you even bigger point totals. The cubes will stay at this level until all cubes have disappeared from the screen, meaning the key to a high score is to keep on destroying enemies.

For those who like to keep track of their shooting stats and show their skills off to others, Aa Mujou Setsuna looks like it will offer a lot. The game has a records mode which keeps track of, among other things, total play time, number of plays, and data about which enemies managed to kill you off. When you reach your own personal top score, the game stores a replay if your play session for future viewing.

The replays are used in a network ranking mode. The top 10 players will have their replay data available for all to download and view.

At just 500 DSi Points, this sounds like a good deal for shooting fans. Look for Aa Mujou Setsuna on September 2.

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