Backlog Impressions | Ghost Blade HD

I have always had a soft spot for face melting bullet-hell shoot ’em ups, but how does Ghost Blade HD hold up against some of the titans of the genre?!

TATE For the Masses

Have you ever thought to yourself – you know what I could use right now? More chaos in my life! Especially the kind that tests the upper limits of your reflexes and taxes your audio and visual senses. Well, I don’t know about you, but sometimes a little frantic action is just what my body needs. Most notably if I have the option to subject myself to it, in TATE mode!

It’s a good thing too, because the fine and slightly sadistic folks over at Hucast have ported their hellishly manic bullet-hell shoot ‘em up, Ghost Blade HD to the Switch! And now we can all wind our way through a labyrinth of brightly colored bullets while on the go!

The Homebrew Dream

Originally finding its home on the Dreamcast after it’s initial 2015 release, Ghost Blade really only had a cult following at the time. That is until Hucast ported the game to the then modern systems. However, its meager fandom makes sense considering the Dreamcast was already treated as “retro” upon the games launch. That and it was only released in limited quantities. It probably didn’t help that danmaku (or bullet-hells) in general are an acquired taste.

But now that it’s also available on the current generation of consoles, more eager eyes have a chance to fall upon it. And maybe they’ll find a passion for this spectacle of a genre that got its start in the 80s and 90s.

Among The Titans

Ghost Blade HD does a wonderful job of showcasing why the games championed by devs such as CAVE, Seibu Kaihatsu and Toaplan where so fun! I get the same vibes from some of my favorites such as DoDonPachi and Raiden with its larger than life bosses, 3 unique ships and an unfit amount of onscreen bullets to dodge and weave around! And I appreciate the focus on positioning, memorization and execution, as opposed to brute force running and gunning! 

Honestly, it may seem intimidating when you first see the game in action, but once you dive in and start learning the enemy patterns and their timings, it becomes addicting! You’ll find yourself constantly trying to beat your personal best high scores and inevitably attempting to get that coveted 1 credit clear!

Because although it may be difficult, Ghost Blade HD is never unfair, and it presents a challenge that makes you want to come back for more! Top that off with an adrenaline pumping soundtrack and flashy colorful graphics and you have yourself a tidy little package. So if that all sounds good to you, then I’d recommend you check it out! And maybe it’ll give you that excuse you’ve been looking for, to buy yourself an arcade stick for your Switch!


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