Oddball developer Treasure occupies a special space in the hearts of many hardcore gamers. The likes of Gunstar Heroes and Radiant Silvergun had already earned it in the '90s, but the company's 1999 Nintendo 64 shooter Bangai-O cemented it. Now the developer is back on a Nintendo platform to follow it up with Bangai-O Spirits. Not quite a sequel, but not a port either, this 2008 offering features a mix of old and new content.
First off, the plot. There isn't really one, as such. Don't worry about it. The tutorial mode is made up of 17 levels presented with slick anime cut-scenes, but after that, it's all about making bullets fly.
The game features frenetic top-down, 2D shooter gameplay. It comes with puzzling elements mixed in - in some of the 150-something levels, the key to winning the day will be combining the right regular gun with special EX weapon.
Oh yes, the weapons. Expect to come across the likes of Napalm Missiles, Homing Missiles, Bounce Missiles, Break Missiles, Direct Missiles, Freeze, Reflect, Sword, Bat and Shields.
The game also features a four-player ad-hoc mode to keep things interesting after you've missioned your way through each of the levels. If that isn't enough, the game comes with a bells and whistles level editor. Once you've built a few masterpieces of level design, you can save them as audio files. Yes, audio files. Playing them through the DS's speaker to another DS with the game in will allow you to transfer your level to the other machine. Similarly, they can be stored on PCs and other storage devices too. Nifty, eh?