Author: Dany Argueta, D.G. Anders
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Sunday, February 27th, 2011
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Reviews/acceleration_of_suguri/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
Mixing genres can be a challenging prospect, which Acceleration of Suguri X-Edition meets head-on. The idea of a hybrid fighter/shoot-'em-up sounds interesting (if not a tad chaotic) at first but several issues prevent Suguri from being an outstanding title.
Suguri's battles take place in circular arenas where two fighters fly around while firing off literal salvos of projectiles at each other until only one is left standing. The fights are fast paced with bullets, lasers, and rockets deployed in semi-random “bullet hell” style patterns, which you’ll have to dodge in a precise fashion or you’ll quickly lose chunks of your health bar. Quick victories earn you a bigger score and a higher spot on the leaderboards.
Each character has their own distinct firing pattern; some fire directly at the opponent, others spread out their shots, and yet another can cover the arena in a thin layer of bullets. Every fighter only knows five attacks so finding a preferred shooting style can be accomplished within minutes. There are no combos or upgrades to unlock so your arsenal is there from the start but the lack of customization is rather disappointing. Two of Suguri’s unlockables are slight reskins of one character yet they handle completely differently compared to the original. Why not do this for each character?
Figuring out Suguri took some trial and error due to there being no tutorial or instructions. A few matches in, I was baffled to see the CPU lob all sorts of shots at me while I could barely manage with three attacks. It was only by accident that I found out tapping and holding down the attack buttons shot off different bullets. It’s also unclear as to how you build up energy for your special attack; I can only assume that it has to deal with successfully landing attacks and dodging bullets but don’t quote me on that. There’s also a heat meter that builds up when dashing around but if there was supposed to be some effect from this, I never noticed it. A screen or some tips in the button configuration would have been much appreciated.
Any semblance of a story is immediately thrown out the window when playing any of the single-player modes. Two story-driven modes replace the melodramatic backstory with silly situations you’d likely find in some slice-of-life anime; in a bit of strangness, the developers opted not to use all characters. And Arcade Mode flat out disregards the storyline and bumps epilogues to a post-game reward. The very jist of these stories at least involves the cast (all of whom are androids though they look like stereotypical anime girls) being friends with each other but will start a fight in an instant just to see who's the best.
Outside of the story modes, there’s not much to do. You can try exhibition matches against the CPU or buddy and check out the leaderboards, but that’s about it. You’re pretty much going to try for higher scores when playing alone.
Suguri could use a boost in the graphics department, namely with the backgrounds. You can make out what're supposed to be oceans, forests, cliffs, patterns, and other terrain just by scrolling through the background but they look so bland that you’ll most likely glance right over. Character sprites don’t fare well either with mostly static appearances. At least these trade-off to make all those bullets stand out and easy to see.
In its current state, Acceleration of Suguri X-Edition comes off as simple but has its fair share of problems. I think the game lends itself well as a PSP Mini title, which would let both PSP and PS3 owners enjoy the game, but overall, the game has little to offer with its uninspired gameplay and visuals. Suguri is still quite playable, and if you're looking to try something different, Suguri might be able to keep you entertained for a few short hours. If you're still hoping to pick this up and give it a shot, be sure to pace yourself -- or risk losing interest.
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