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D3 Publisher  
Bangai-O Spirits
From: D3 Publisher
For: Nintendo DS
Genre: Action, Retro, Shooter
ESRB Rating: Everyone (10+)
Bangai-O Spirits
If you enjoy freakishly difficult games as you whittle away at your down time on your Nintendo DS, by all means, check out Bangai-O Spirits.
Posted August 18, 2008
Bangai-O Spirits has all the ever-lovin' trappings of old school, side-scrolling Anime; a classic shoot- slice- & smash-o-rama with a giant robot, replete with way too many thing going at once, most of it swaddled in excessive pyrotechnics.

What sets Bangai-O Spirits apart, however, is the fact that where most games like it end with some ridiculously overwhelming boss battle, this one simply starts there and then ramps up progressively; missiles and lasers and bullets and bombs flying in from all angles, all the time -- it's doubtful you've played a game quite this difficult (excepting maybe Geometry Wars).

But as unlikely as it sounds, Bangai-O Spirits is not just a twitch game; there's a fairly elaborate role-playing game (RPG) element in there where you're upgrading and/or swapping melee and projectile weapon load-outs on the fly, or learning new skills like how to use your giant robot as a body-slamming weapon itself, all of which is an almost impossible task considering the aforementioned flat-out mayhem you're enduring all the while.

Though it may sound like something you could pass on in favor of more cerebral or at least less arduous gameplay, Bangai-O Spirits is destined to be a cult hit with an included editor mode and upload feature that lets you create and share your own customized levels o' mayhem with like-minded masochists by way of a decidedly antiquated screeching audio file (shared via that newfangled interweb thingy) blasted into the DS mic, like a fax, which retro-cool all by itself.

All told, Bangai-O Spirits may be tougher than case-hardened nails, but it's an absolute riot through and through.

    Bangai-O Spirits TIP: If you want to take a step back just to see all that's really happening during those intense, sensory overloading battles in Bangai-O Spirits, hold down the Start button during gameplay until the word "slow" appears. You are now in "Slow Mode" and each subsequent press of the Start button will advance the action frame by frame. Press and hold the Start Button again to return normal speed.

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Bang for your buck:
Great New Purchase 
Great Pre-played 
Excellent Bargain-bin Buy 

Score:  4.25  (out of 5)