Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. 100
    Playing Bangai-O Spirits is a pleasure. If I could, I'd play it for every waking moment. [JPN Import]
  2. A daring and ambitious shmup, reminding us of our reasons for falling in love with the genre in the first place. [Issue#22, p.70]
  3. Bangai-O Spirits is a great puzzle game, an extreme action game, a worthy notch on Treasure's belt and a discount priced experience with infinite replay.
  4. Bangai-O Spirits is one of, if not the most, fully-featured and expansive shmups ever created, but it’s absolutely unmerciful in its brutality.
  5. While certainly being Treasure's most fragmented game, there’s a sense that the lack of narrative, character and even proper framework makes this its most raw, pure and delightful. [June 2008, p.95]
  6. 90
    It's a gamers' game to be truly savoured - here to show anyone who forgot or missed it the first time, just how ridiculously good it is at what it does.
  7. You can tackle the 160, inappropriately named ‘standard levels’ in any order, so Treasure’s glorious design work is immediately on show. [May 2008, p.108]
  8. Dishing out mass destruction upon legions of enemy robots is a fun and addictive experience. With a nice variety of weapons and abilities, you’ll be able to tweak your mech’s capabilities in plenty of ways.
  9. It may initially appear to be somewhat basic and the pesky language barrier presented by this Japanese import is a shame, but Bangai-O Spirits remains an unmitigated blasting brilliance that every DS fan should indulge in, and one of the strongest DS titles we've encountered so far. [JPN Import]
  10. Crazy and varied gameplay. Bangai-O Spirits is a must-have for shooter fans on the Nintendo DS.
  11. Bangai-O Spirits is one of the toughest, craziest, most variety-packed titles you’ll ever play.
  12. But for those who are intrigued by what Bangai-O Spirits has to offer, there is a deep and rich well of truly unique gaming enjoyment to be tapped here.
  13. Overall, Bangai-O is a fantastic shooter, and the sheer customizability of it is amazing. Still, if you like shooters, or puzzles in general, it is worth your time—oh-so-worth it.
  14. Bangai-O Spirits is a hybrid shmup with brains. Tough as nails gameplay with imaginative levels makes for refreshing change amidst today's games that try to cater for everybody. [Sept 2008]
  15. In the end, this iteration of Bangai-O is a fast, intense shooter that retains the unique feel that the game has had both on the N64 and Dreamcast, with the difficulty significantly ramped up
  16. Bangai-O Spirits is one of those bizarre but extremely addictive games that we can always expect from Treasure. The difficulty can sometimes be exasperating, but behind this shoot’em up, that contains a whole lot of genres, there is a unique game for DS. [Oct 2008]
  17. This is a must buy for fans of the original Bangai-O, Treasure addicts looking for an excellent, sustained fix, and old-school shooter fans of all breeds.
  18. The most challenging and rewarding experience currently available for hardcore gamers on the DS!
  19. If it clicks with you, you'll never be able to put it down. [Oct 2008, p.82]
  20. Gives you the freedom to keep the game going indefinitely, if that's your thing. [June 2008, p.60]
  21. While this game is very insane at times with an ‘on and off again’ difficulty which humbled my poor old fingers at the best of times, it is very addictive and fun. The replay value is very high especially with the level editor which is fun and such a great addition. If the overall online Bangai-O DS community supports the level editor this is one game that will be more then worth the price you pay for it.
  22. 81
    It's a shooter that celebrates shooters. The approach certainly limits the game's audience, but if you're a fan of the genre it should please you to know that Treasure loves it just as much as us and made this game just for us.
  23. Bangai-O Spirits lacks a story mode, but it makes up for this with over 160 stages of explosive shooting action.
  24. Bangai-O Spirits is an intense, challenging shooter with terrific tools for creating and sharing your own levels.
  25. Bangai-O Spirits is, above all, an excellent community game. [Sept 2008, p.84]
  26. I can't remember a time when I've ever scored a game this high and yet warned the general public to stay away, but I suppose there's a first time for everything, and Bangai-O Spirits seems like the perfect game to cause just such an occasion.
  27. Treasure gives us exactly that, a treasure. It’s an improved version of the classic Bangai-O, originally released for the N64 and later ported to Sega Dreamcast. More than 200 levels are waiting for a solution, and believe us: this is not especially easy. Take weapons and become the new Bangai-O rider to complete one of the funniest DS games. Indeed, Spirits includes a great level editor.
  28. 80
    Although it's certainly not for everyone, Bangai-O Spirits is a well-made and extremely challenging game. It's great to see Treasure revive this title, and it works surprisingly well on the DS.
  29. 80
    It's been awhile since we've had a Nintendo DS game come along and totally kick our ass, but Bangai-O Spirits does it in a very good way.
  30. There's loads of new stuff in the DS version. The level editor is brilliant. [Sept 2008, p.98]
  31. Bangai-O Spirits is a revival of an original franchise that blends puzzle solving and action in a way few other games can. An unfair learning curve and some noticeable technical bugs haunt the title, but it’s also filled with varied content.
  32. 75
    Bangai-O Spirits is an entertaining portable shmup title that has plenty of game to offer.
  33. What's the one thing that could hose an otherwise awesome action game? Aside from removing all the weapons, it's bad performance.
  34. 75
    Despite the high challenge level, Bangai-O is most definitely a "pick-up-and-play" experience, but it's best not to try and clear large parts of the game in one sitting -- and you won't, unless you know you're awesome. But even if you're not, you'll come back to it often.
  35. 75
    It's obviously aimed squarely at the hardcore DS gamer; and while the intense action and high difficulty will probably turn off the casual crowd, it's a solid shooter for anyone who's looking for a challenge. [Sept 2008, p.84]
  36. If you like a little bit of puzzle in your shooter and have a high patience level, then be on the lookout for Bangai-O Spirits.
  37. Bangai-O is a one of a kind videogame. The only game that you can compare it with is the first installment of Bangai-O. And that's equally good as it is bad. Good, because it's totally different then anything else. Bad, because it will be hard for players to get accustomed to the series. In all fairness Bangai-O is a very good game but it gives the player litte chance to ease into the game.
  38. If Treasure's name wasn't attached to this product, I seriously doubt that it would have ever found a publisher, let alone the warm reception most other review sites have given it.

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