Danmaku Unlimited 2 is a bullet hell shooter that recently made its way to Steam. Developed by Doragon Entertainment, the game was originally a mobile game found on iOS and Android. It is by no means a complex game; there is something of a narrative going on in the background, but it is entirely unimportant and most players will not even realize it exists. For a game such as this, the truly important things are gameplay mechanics and aesthetics.
Indeed, Danmaku Unlimited 2 has the aesthetic appeal of a young Brad Pitt, which is to say it’s beautiful. The art design is crisply drawn and the colors are absolutely bursting with energy. Lines, contours, backgrounds, and small map details are all expertly animated and are definitely a treat to behold. Even the font of the scores and numbers at the top of the screen are cool to look at. Everything truly comes together to really engross you in the sci-fi atmosphere of the game.
Similarly, the game sounds amazing. The soundtrack boasts some strong, though not gut-wrenching, hard rock that really helps you feel the intensity of the gameplay. The game’s soundtrack isn’t very far off from being something you’d load up into your mp3 player and hit the gym with for motivation. Still, all the songs have a nice balance between the intensity of the hard rock and then some softer, smoother electric segments. Similar to the effect of the animations, the music really helps solidify this uniquely encompassing sci-fi experience.
Ultimately, however, Danmaku Unlimited 2 is a bullet hell shooter, making gameplay its most important feature. The game feels very smooth, almost as smooth as the recent Playstation exclusive Resogun (which is saying a lot, as Resogun was amazing). Both navigation and shooting are streamlined processes that feel very natural and are wonderfully remiss of any awkwardness or clunkiness.
While gameplay is fairly simple, players do have some neat tricks up their sleeves in Danmaku Unlimited 2. The primary offensive tactic is shooting out an innumerable amount of laser-bullets that you will constantly be generating. However, players do have two other special tactics at their disposal. As you destroy enemies, you will collect blue orbs that go towards filling your beam gauge. Once enough of the bar is filled, you are free to activate your burst beam, which fires a strong vertical blast that obliterates absolutely everything in your path. Additionally, players can also utilize Trance Mode; a special mode where everything just goes wild. Seriously. When activated, your ship will become invulnerable and gain some ridiculous firepower. This craziness is amplified by the change in the visuals, where negative colors take over and there is a glowing, almost celestial white hue to everything. You can liken Trance Mode to obtaining a Star in Mario Kart, the only difference being that you feel like you may be on an acid trip.
Unfortunately, one of the issues with Danmaku Unlimited 2, and maybe the entire bullet hell genre as a whole, is just how chaotic it is. Most players will likely never get a grip on what exactly is going on in Danmaku Unlimited 2, as the amount of objects, blasts, and colors on screen at any given moment is complete and total sensory overload. Because of all the chaos going on at any instant, you will die. Sometimes players may not even realize how they died because there is just so much happening on-screen that pinpointing a single, particular problem would be like pulling a grain of salt out of all the sand on a beach. So many things going on at once make it hard to formulate any sort of strategy, which ultimately boils the game down to players just haphazardly navigating while holding the shooting key down and basking in the music and the colors.
Cool and exciting as everything Danmaku Unlimited 2 has to offer, all the lights, colors, and chaos get old a bit quickly. All of it has that initial “WHOA” factor, but this excitement fades once you realize that once you’ve played the game for ten minutes, you have explored just about everything it has to offer. Without a doubt, almost everything Danmaku Unlimited 2 does, it does well. The game’s primary problem is that it simply does not have a lasting appeal, making it a game you play once or twice and then just forget about. For avid fans of the bullet hell genre, this game will serve your interests much justice. But for others not as interested, it is a bit of a forgettable title.
[+Amazing visuals] [+Great soundtrack] [+Smooth controls] [-Incredibly chaotic] [-Ephemeral, fleeting appeal]