Shikhondo: Soul Eater is a ‘Bullet hell-Schmup‘ from Deer Farm Games and brings the classic shoot ’em up style of space shooter R-Type to an anime setting. Shikhondo is very unique in its art design as it boasts a gorgeous watercolour aesthetic that makes it very easy on the eyes.
The aim of the game is to blast your way through each of the games levels and defeat each beautifully designed boss. You can choose from two characters, Grim Reaper or The Girl and you gain souls by collecting them from dead enemies. The closer you can get to an enemies projectiles also grants extra souls resulting in the eventual fulfilment of your Soul Meter. Once your Soul Meter is full you can use it to clear your screen of enemies (Or heavily damage a boss) and benefit from an insane kill crazy rampage.
You have a few different modes to play around with including Boss Rush and Hardcore modes which are a nice change up from the standard formula. The extra modes and the ability to play local two-player co-op add some well needed replayability to the game. You can complete the game in an hour on your first sitting but that doesn’t mean its easy, you will be clawing your way through all five levels and only making it to the end by the skin of your teeth but as you replay the game and master the combat you will be gliding through in a god like fashion.
Like I said before Shikhondo: Soul Eater is gorgeous and you will never get tired of seeing the games haunting yet hypnotic bosses. The standard enemies do get a bit fatiguing after a while as there’ not a huge variety but they are all really well presented. The bosses are where the game shines and really do make it worthwhile playing the Boss Rush mode over and over again. The application of online leader-boards is a nice hook for the arcade game lovers as well.
Shikhondo has a brilliant soundtrack that adds atmosphere and panic to the games levels. You can definitely tell that the games dev’s have put every ounce of energy into making this game feel like your favourite Manga or anime. The whole game is a thing of beauty.
Shikondo: Soul Eater does have a few areas where it falls short of some of its contemporaries. If you play Grim Reaper you shoot purple bullets and in the middle levels these blend into the background and make it hard to keep track. The regular enemies do not have enough variation and the game will be too short for many players, replayability is there to be had though if you want it. At around £12 on the Nintendo Eshop I would say the price is a bit steep if you are not a huge ‘schmup’ fan so I would recommend picking it up on sale. If you are a fan of these games definitely give it a go.
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- Overall - 7.5/107.5/10
Shikhondo: Soul Eater is a very well presented ‘schmup’ with a unique anime twist. It is beautifully presented and a joy to play but is a bit too short in comparison to its current price tag. Fans of the genre will love it but players less familiar may find this a good jumping in point. Boss Rush mode is a must.