Remember the good ol’ days? Wasting all of your quarters at the arcade, playing Space Invaders or Galaga. The searing rage that accompanies seeing your high score toppled by some random jerk. The adrenaline-fueled thrill of beating their high score and reclaiming your hard earned throne on your favorite arcade game. Back then, gaming was far more competitive; instead of playing to complete a game, gamers played to master them. Replaying levels endlessly trying to beat their personal, or friends’, high score. This is the feeling Hangeki brings back. The wanting to master each bite-sized level, finishing it faster and faster to beat out all other players on the global leader boards.
On the surface, Hangeki appears to be much like the classic games Space Invaders and Galaga. It looks to have the same row-reducing, alien massacring gameplay ingrained in arcade culture. But as everyone knows, appearances can be deceiving and writing off Hangeki as another Galaga clone would be doing this game disservice. Instead of the classic points-from-kills system of these classic arcade games, this game has a speed-to-point system; the faster you complete a level the higher your score. This forces the player to figure out the fastest way to fill the meter for their Hangeki counter attack, which clears all enemies on screen. The meter can be filled by sustained chained shots and by effectively using the unique weapons the game has to offer.
Hangeki boasts an impressive arsenal of 50 unique weapons. The weapons range from a piercing missile that blasts through all enemies in a vertical row, to a row of fire that incinerates all in its path, to a brief moment of invincibility to save you in the hardest of times. Each weapon is flashy, with solid animations that make using them a treat. The player can take any four of these weapons into battle, giving a strategic element to the basic gameplay. Deciding which weapons to take is crucial in the effectiveness of your run and replaying levels with newly unlocked weapons adds an insane amount of replayability.
But, not all is well with Hangeki. Although the overall experience itself is quite good, there is one major issue holding it back from being great: the awkward user interface during gameplay. Each unique weapon needs time to recharge after its use. The recharge meter for each weapon can be found in the lower left hand corner in the screen, in a place that forces the player to take their eyes off the frantic on-screen action. The game asks the player to constantly shift their center of focus which can be disorienting when there is so much happening on-screen. This could have easily been remedied by making the unique weapon boxes slightly larger.
Overall, this is quite a good game. It definitely brings back the spirit of the arcade, online leaderboards for each level created a competitive atmosphere of people trying to best each other. If you love arcade shooters or are just an insanely competitive person, Hangeki is the game for you.
[+Seizure inducing gameplay] [+Stupidly fun] [+Good use of leaderboards][-Awkward user interface] [-Only ten levels]