Checking out Vorpal (Xbox 360)

A bit of a surprise, but I thought i’d cover a more modern title for a change to highlight.  Of course it has a very retro feel to it, which is why I ended up playing the game in the first place!

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Vorpal is a Indie developed Xbox 360 game which was highlighted by my friend Jason Kelk from Old School Gaming when meeting up for a chat the other week.  The game is best described as a “Bullet hell” based title where you essentially have mesmerizing patterns of bullets hurled towards you which you must avoid whilst destroying enemies.

As Jason indicated to me, “Bullet hell” doesn’t just mean randomly chucking as many bullets at you as possible, although the screen is full of bullets – they are generally in pattern formations which can be avoided with skill.  In comparison to standard shooters, movement is through a minimal space due to the influx of bullets.  A more common example you might be familiar with is Ikaruga on the Dreamcast/PS2 (or Xbox 360 Live more recently).

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Although not as flash or complex as Ikaruga, with game play pretty much being based on a single screen, the game is very playable and consists of you doing battle against various bosses and a series of complex bullet waves from each.  You cannot really rest for a moment,  however as you build up a “stress level” bar, you can unleash this power through a large stream of bullets to help to get quickly past a particular wave.

I’ve still got plenty to practice to get in – not being particularly great in this genre, but for a measly 80 points (Roughly £1), this has been very worthwhile grabbing.  If you like your bullet hell shooters, then you can do little wrong in checking this one out!

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