Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury
's core mechanics are easy to grasp, especially if you are familiar with other dual-stick shooters, like Geometry Wars
. You navigate levels using the left stick, while the right stick lets you shoot in multiple directions around your mech. Two rings surround your mech, determining weapons damage. Enemies in the outer ring take double damage, while those in the inner ring take triple damage. The setup offers an interesting trade-off; increased damage for less protection.
Just moving and shooting will only get you through the first level. To get any further, you'll need to master your mech's advanced moves. Dashes grant temporary invincibility, allowing you to crash into enemies, while a Freeze attack stops anything around you. As you blast through enemies, you'll slowly charge up an EX meter, granting use of a devastating Counter Attack that surrounds your mech in a ring of missiles.
Just knowing how to use weapons is a sure way to a quick death; it's more important to know when to use certain abilities. Both the Dash and Freeze draw from the same bar, so you can't spam the two moves constantly. Additionally, some levels will tweak your abilities. Sometimes your EX gauge refills at twice the speed, while other times you're cut off from certain abilities. The switch-ups add a deeper level of strategy, causing the game to feel more like a puzzle game than a shooter.
Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury is a great example of the challenge missing from many games. It's hard - almost too hard - which will scare away a lot of players. At the same time, if you're up for the challenge (and patient), Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury is an incredibly rewarding experience.