Continuing the collaboration between Sony and Rockin’ Android, Acceleration of Suguri X Edition is the latest Japanese doujin title to be released on the PlayStation Network. In AoSXE, two players fight each other from top-down and isometric perspectives, attacking with a combination of long-range danmaku (bullet hell) patterns and close-range melee attacks, whittling each other’s life bar until the battle ends. It’s similar to G.rev’s Wartech: Senko no Ronde in execution, only with 2D visuals instead of 3D models.
As part of the SUGURI series, there is a bit of a disconnect in the game’s plot for players who only buy Acceleration of Suguri X Edition. Suguri, the series’ main character, is an android created to protect the Earth from an alien invasion that takes place during the first game, SUGURI, which is as of writing only available on PC. AoSXE takes place after that game, so it’s easy to get lost in the narrative with the characters talking about events that people assume we already know about. Most characters have an “Extra Story” that can be unlocked by clearing Arcade mode with each respective person, which shows a little extra back story on what each character does after the events of SUGURI.
The gameplay itself is rather fun. Each character has a varied play style and move set, ranging from close-ranged melee barrages to long-range ice barriers and shards which really mixes up the combat. You can dash around which prevents you from taking damage by projectiles, but this raises a heat % that makes you take more damage when you do get hit. Each character has multiple super attacks that are performed after you fill up a charge meter, which grows as you dodge attacks, perform attacks, etc. The stages themselves aren’t exactly varied, as they’re just a big circle with changing background environments depending on.
Visually, the game is pretty hit-or-miss. People who dislike the “cute anime” look best look elsewhere, as everything from the portraits to the in-game sprites are done with that style in mind. Even then, the art takes some getting used to and is rather off-putting at first glance. The story mode portraits do leave a little to be desired though, as they aren’t done as well as the main character shots.
Overall, the game is worth the low asking price. It’ll provide a few hours’ worth of entertainment for those into the whole arcade bullet hell genre, more so if you have a few local friends to play with. People looking for more substance and longevity should look elsewhere though, as the game’s story mode only really lasts for an hour or two. Acceleration of Suguri X-Edition really works best as a play once in a while type game, though at $6 you can’t go wrong getting involved in this “strange little war”.