Indie Corner: Graceful Explosion Machine
This little eShop game, GEM for short, is by any means a pure hard-hitting shooter!
When I first saw the review of this game, I immediately had the feeling that I wanted to play this game. Having recently purchased a physical copy of Aqua Kitty, a similar game on the PS Vita, I saw some clear similarities, but Graceful Explosion Machine goes the extra mile in creativity!
Where Aqua Kitty revolved around protecting your base, this game is all about good ol’ survival. At first, the levels are obviously easy and fun, but boy, this gets very hard, really quick! To be honest, this is what is attractive about this game, the desire to keep shooting and just improving the way you play.
The entire premise of the game is to pass levels and then explore new worlds, levels often being more than just 1 set of enemies, but multiple waves even. I love the intensity of the enemies, some are killed by 1 shot, some need 3 shots, some even need a specific weapon to destroy the. The variety throughout the levels improves greatly, adding to the fun of this game.
The levels themselves are usually repeating itself whether you keep flying left or right, making this mostly endless levels, where you need to destroy all enemies to advance. I did encounter 1 small “bubble” level, which felt like I was playing a Bulletstorm shooter, surprisingly enough, this level was one of my favorites so far.
Graceful Explosion Machine is also a very visual game, incredibly beautiful and the audio is a great match for this game. Every enemy has their own attack pattern, some are stuck to walls and when you destroy them, they explode, shooting off flares in your direction, so you got to be careful about not destroying them up close, … Throughout the entire game, strategy is your best friend!
Another part where strategy comes to mind, the way you handle your ammo, unlike many other games in this genre, the ammo is limited, so you got to be careful, use the right gun for the right enemy. Luckily, the ammo gauge does refill and it will not block you from finishing the level. Your basic shooter, that one can overheat, causing you to run from enemies or spread fire with the other guns until it cools down, a variety of ways to play but at the same time you could get stuck with a bad weapon for a while…
In conclusion, when I was playing this game, I thought it was near perfect for a side scrolling/endless scrolling shooter, which sometimes feels like a Bulletstorm shooter. The appeal to keep playing this game is very high and trying to beat high scores can be addictive! The high value and fun justify the price and I am rating it at 90%.