Mar 21, 2012"Sine Mora" is a horizontal shoot'em up, with a "Diesel-Punk" theme (whatever is this) that has a different approach in the genre, highlighting the manipulation of time in the gameplay. The game was developed by Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. (Japan) and Digital Reality (Hungary); the former one is the same that launched "Shadows of the Damned", and was founded by Suda 51 (of "No More Heroes").
The story: Ronotra Koss is a vengeful serial killer who's blackmailing a girl and smuggling military robots, a ghost cell of rebels time travelers is determined to invade Siriad the flying fortress that keeps the peace and prosperity of your planet. Argus Pistel, the emperor's most talented mercenary attempts to reach them and for them this complex story of honor, morality and ties (a little confuse?).Graphically, the game is superbly well done, in a hand-drawn cell-shadding style, with watercolor tones: it has different design, with ships that are similar to WWII aircrafts, and other elements of the Industrial Era, that are very detailed visually, in all senses: the same applies to the enemies and even their shots, that have widely varying effects, never being boring.The design of the Bosses is a thing apart, are always very nice, being that as you fight against them, some pieces of them are destroyed systematically, with evident damages. The backgrounds of the scenarios are very well-crafted, in 3D, and the action that occurs in the background blends with the action plan, for example, enemies and bosses that are destroyed as they passes from the main plane of action, are seen behind catching fire and falling.The cut-scenes are done with the game engine. Overall the whole game has a look that holds one of the best Shoot 'Em Up, graphically, that I've ever played.
The soundtrack music is very engaging and well crafted in the game, and was composed by Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill), the sound effects are cool, consistent with what is happening on the screen such as explosions. The dubbing of the characters are good, but not show much emotional expression, and some dialogues are a bit confuse - these dialogues have the classic look of Japanese RPG: text at the bottom of the screen with a drawing of the character (the characters are anthropomorphic animals, hand-drawn, although in a strange way. The game has a 3D perspective and graphics, despite being essentially horizontal, as in classic shooters, the player controls the ship in a scenario that constantly moves in a pre-determined path, with directions that may change with decisions to be taken. The game has 07 stages with 13 bosses, and the basic difficulties in the game are Standard and Professional, being the later as hardcore as other known "hardcore" Japanese shooters. The main modes of the game are Story and Arcade, being Arcade without cut-scenes.A major factor in the game, is the time: it is set on top of the screen, and each enemy you kill, it increases again, because if it reaches zero, the game ends; another factor that decreases your time is your life, when you get hit, it decreases.
You have one main weapon that can accommodate up to 9 upgrades, that are released in the screen when you kill some enemies, but if you're hit, they are released and can be caught back. It also has a very powerful sub-weapon, but with limited number of shots, and that is the key to defeating enemies or bosses in difficult stages.There are several objects in the game to be caught, other than the bonus of a main weapon, such as a capsule of "Speed ??Up", which slows down time with the RT, ammunition for the sub-gun, etc.
At the end of each stage, you are graded according to their performance on stage, taking into account the remaining lifetime, damage taken and destroyed enemies, with grades A, B and C, where C is the initial note be improved. Other actions that increase your score is the number of shots and bonus tokens that are released by the enemies. Some activities, such as using time capsules, reduce your final score, in addition, your Grade in the phase can be seen too on the gameplay screen. The game has only one use in Xbox Live: post a Leaderboard.
The shots of the enemy, are of various colors, and you use a shield, with a color that protects you against specific shots of the same color, and you also have the ability to control the time, so it gets a decreasing speed (slow motion) or you can turn it back - between the variations of weapons, the game has more than 60 variations of the final weapons.
Overall this is an excellent shooter, one of the best I've ever played, great graphically and with some interesting and innovative features - the low points would be the characters (I found no way to see, but it is my personal opinion), some dialogs and the requirement of the timeout phase that annoys me a bit.
But disregarding this, I have no criticism (these strange things in the game are typical of Suda51) - my score: 8.8 / 10.0.… Expand
Mar 22, 2012Huge shmup fan that owns all of Cave's work and more. This game is absolutely fantastic. It's sad that a small group of fanboys will discredit it because it's not vertical and wasn't made by Cave or isn't Touhou, but it's their loss. Don't make the same mistake I almost made in underestimating this game.. This game requires you to fight the level itself, time and some pretty awesome bosses all on the same level. The story mode slightly annoyed me because I don't like cut scenes and interruptions in my shooters, nor do I care for a 'life bar", but that quickly goes away when you move onto Arcade and Score attack, which both force you into Hard and Insane modes by default. Think of the story mode as nothing but a tutorial and a introduction for non-seasoned, because you start dying to everything just like you should in a normal shmup immediately. It does away with cut scenes outside of the little camera pans and visual flair that even Einhander had. It's enough to make the game pretty but not enough to stop the action like the jarring speeches in Story mode. I've read some issues with controls being too touchy, but I believe it comes from people not understanding the ships have a hitbox that's relative to the ship chosen. This was the game's fault in making you wait till Arcade mode to really see them. I started doing a lot better with "touch" dodging once I understood where it was. Again..the story mode is just really deceptive and put-offish to people like myself that come from bullethell type games and want to jump right in but it has it's place. For that combined with the fact that I do wish a couple of the levels were longer with better pacing, I can't give it a 10, but a 9 is still amazing for a game that I finally didn't have to pay insane amounts to import.… Expand
Mar 21, 2012Wow, a great election of XBLA, I remember Nexuiz, Radiant Silvergun and other great shoot'em up titles, this game is a bigger sorprise, have amazing story, great graphics, the gameplay is amazing, this title is interesting, I love Sine Mora, is awesome.
Apr 15, 2013A seriously hardcore shooter for masochistic gamers. If you like side-scrolling shooters or games like Ikaruga you will find similar thrills here. The graphics are gorgeous with huge multi-staged bosses that fill the screen and punish you for your inadequate skills. There are lots of powerups to collect and a nice weapons system and scaleable difficulty. The dialogue is in Hungarian(?) which is great and adds to the game universe. The campaign is manageable but the real challenge comes from the other modes which don't have a 'normal' difficulty. This is where you learn the game and attempt to master this beast. I only wish it had multiplayer because then the pain could be shared. A punishingly difficult game for enthusiasts.… Expand