From the depths of the most hardcore realms of gaming comes the ∀kashicverse – Malicious Wake–, a STG developed by Endless-Shirafu. It’s one of the few original full releases of Comiket 83 and the kind of project that you don’t really see every day. Under development for the last couple of years, heavily inspired by doujin legends like Hellsinker and Radio Zonde, as well as CAVE’s classic themes (bees, bees, bees!), the ∀kashicverse is a sensory overload of the awesome variety.
The game features a mysterious fusion of the spiritual world mixed with digital and extremely high-tech machinery, all accompanied by a background of absolute madness that’s closer to an LSD trip than what you would expect from a bullet hell shooter. The great soundtrack isn’t just background music either. It amplifies this mood and becomes an active part of the experience: plenty of enemy formations, stage events and bullet patterns will react to the crazy beats or certain parts of a song, creating an excellent sensation of synchrony.
Let’s skip the fine details of the mechanics and scoring quirks and go to the essentials: the character has one basic shot function, a spread cannon that can be focus-fired when pressing the slow button. It’s a pretty standard, but multi-purpose weapon that is effective in a lot of situations. However, the meat of the mechanics is present in the Method System. The Methods are special attacks, ranging from melee energy scissors to guided laser missiles and bombs. They can be deployed using the Method gauge, which has 8 levels and is activated by using special fighting game-like directional commands.