[Doujin Soft] – La Soeur de Barrage

by eternal on September 26, 2008

It’s a shmup, and it’s controlled by mouse. Isn’t that enough to pique the curiosity of any self-proclaimed bullet dodger?

Depending on how closely you follow the doujinshi scene in Japan, you may or may not have heard of this little bizarre treasure of a shmup that we call La Soeur de Barrage. Based on the popular shoujo-ai anime Maria-sama ga Miteru (which I should really get around to watching some time), this peculiar little doujin soft features one of the girls (who looks strangely like those little fairies from Touhou) on a quest to do…something or the other. From the looks of it, one of the characters was being possessed by something, and for some strange reason the main character had to fight her way through legions of mosters and fellow classmates to destroy the evil spirit thing…but you know what?

Who really cares?

Yeah, THAT’S the reason us English-speakers bother keeping up to date with Comiket and downloading the latest doujin soft: the gameplay. And while this entertaining little yuri shmup (is that even a term?) doesn’t boast elaborate spell card design or legions of stage enemies, the sheer brilliance of the gameplay lets it do things that bullet hell fans never thought possible. Navigating through a maze of bullets? Leaping across the screen in a split second to avoid a massive sword? Even the traditional danmaku-style patterns are more fun with the new control scheme…though only if you have a steady hand.

Thanks to the lack of a replay funciton in most of these doujin shmups, I was unable to get any pictures of the last boss, but trust me, it gets intense. I think I spent about two hours just trying to clear the game – and yes, this was with an endless amount of continues. Simply surviving the final attack can take forever, but I’ll let you figure that out on your own.

Some of the attacks are pretty weird creative, as you can see.

Getting chased around by a sword-wielding loli is a lot easier with a mouse, trust me.

A screenshot like this should look familiar to any danmaku fan. Don’t worry, the mouse is precise enough to let you squeeze between bullets the way you always would.

There’s the giant sword of death…and I’m pretty sure this is the first boss.

So with all of that said, just what is La Soeur de Barrage, and why should you play it? Put simply, it’s like a good (let me reemphasize, GOOD) Wii game. The gameplay is familiar to fans of the genre and the unique control scheme allows for things that would be far too impractical on a keyboard or gamepad, but even with all of the creativity backing the game, it still looks and feels like a solid shmup. Sure, it’s no eXceed or Concealed the Conclusion, but the gameplay feels a lot more “pro” than quite a lot of the doujin shmups out there, and when you combine that with the seemingly innocent, “family friendly” control scheme, you end up with a neat little buried treasure that deserves to be played by any connoisseur of doujin soft.

Oh, and let me remind you: this game gets HARD.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rin September 28, 2008 at 6:06 am

I swear, this looks a lot like Touhou for some reason…
Cool game, I might go check this out sometime later…


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