Platine Dispositif has been making enjoyable shoot 'em ups for years so here's my review of their remake of Gundemonium Recollection.
Back in 2010, Gundemonium Recollection released for PlayStation 3 and it was one enjoyable and tough shmup. Gundemoniums (who names these things?) is a remake of this cool shooter featuring new music, graphics, and content. For the purposes of this review, I booted up the PS3 version and this game on 2 different TVs side-by-side and played between them for a while. Thankfully, I can easily say that Gundemoniums is miles better than Gundemonium Recollection. The most noticeable change is the graphics and sound. Now, the visuals are refined to the point where everything really pops. The 2D sprites are just perfect with beautiful animations and detailed designs. Meanwhile, the soundtrack is awesome and makes gameplay all the more enjoyable with its upbeat melodies that are clearly inspired by arcade game music from the early '00s. In short, it's a huge improvement.
For the unfamiliar, Gundemoniums is a horizontal shoot 'em up that features a ton of mechanics which take quite a while to learn how to use effectively. For starters, your basic controls allow you to unleash normal shots, rapid shots, Mana spells, bombs, and a nifty move known as a Shift or Burst. The latter move basically consumes one of your hearts in order to temporarily increase the difficulty (AKA Phase Level) or stop the stage from progressing so you can fight more of the currently deployed enemies. Honestly, unless you're a shmup pro, I wouldn't recommend even trying out any Shifts or Bursts. Anyway, you can also slow your movement by holding a shoulder button to weave through tricky clouds of projectiles. As you do, you'll graze past bullets which increases your Friction number and can result in a Friction Burst and your Phase Level will increase upon certain actions. It's complicated stuff, that's for sure.
Although it is complex, the core gameplay of Gundemoniums is still tight and exhilarating. One aspect that it accomplishes exceptionally well is provide a wealth of customization options. First of all, you can choose from 2 characters: Eryth Millfall or Earl who can be customized with 64 possible configurations or "Earl Types". Doing so changes her appearance and abilities so tinkering around with the options is quite fun. Plus, you can change the size of her boobs which I thought was pretty funny. I managed to unlock Eryth FSB as well which is a much more powerful variation. Anyway, there are some other options such as different difficulty settings but one of the neatest implementations is the Signet system. With that, you can purchase upgrades that are basically cheats although using them blocks you from the leaderboards. In the end, it's great to see so many ways to configure your experience.
Gundemoniums isn't a perfect shoot 'em up. Firstly, it has a steep learning curve with all its mechanics and it can feel quite cumbersome even after you get used to how everything works. Also, even with all its bells and whistles, the campaign still only consists of 5 stages that you can easily complete within a brief gaming session. Sure, there's replay value in that you can aim for certain challenges and trophies as you play it again but you'll still go through the same handful of stages. Finally, considering it's called "Gundemoniums", I thought that it may have included GundeadliGne and Hitogata Happa but it doesn't. It's a fantastic remake of Gundemonium Recollection but including the other 2 Platine Dispositif PS3 shooters even in their original forms would have been a great addition.
Gundemoniums is a huge improvement over Platine Dispositif's classic shmup Gundemonium Recollection. That being said, I can't help but wish more content was included because at its core, it's still a very short-lived game.
- + Tight shmup gameplay with loads of mechanics and abilities to master
- + Awesome 2D graphics and music
- + Loads of customization options
- - The amount of mechanics can be quite overwhelming to juggle
- - Fairly short five stage campaign
- - I miss GundeadliGne and Hitogata Happa