Guwange

Guwange

Guwange

Bullet heaven.

There's something oddly poetic about the fact that, on the same day that Microsoft cast its arms wide to embrace a new audience of casual players and non-gamers, its console witnessed the release of one of the most ferociously challenging games it's ever likely to host.

Cave's 1999 arcade shooter Guwange has been buffed up very slightly for its Xbox Live Arcade debut, with three distinct game modes and an array of options but it's still the same dizzyingly difficult bullet hell blast it was eleven years ago. Put it this way: it's not likely to get a Kinect control patch any time soon.

As with Cave's other maniac shooters, the screen is filled with a curtain of bullets 95 per cent of the time, and it's up to you to find the gaps. Absolute precision is required to navigate through these increasingly complex patterns and that's before you take the topography of the play area into consideration. Unlike DoDonPachi, you're not flying above the environment but walking across it, and so you've got to negotiate the bridges, hills and winding pathways of feudal Japan as you try to concentrate on the never-ending swarm of projectiles headed your way.

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