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Japanese Shmup Steel Vampire is Beautifully Bonkers

If you enjoy (a) classic shoot’em up games and (b) the feeling of sheer confusion, then Steel Vampire may just be the game for you.

I knew from the trailer that this was going to be fun. From Japanese developer Henteko Doujin, Steel Vampire‘s trailer is filled with delightful English rough translations that only help to emphasise the craziness of the game. Look:

Its existence too dangerous to humanity’s serenity! The core principles of shmups’s core essence now solved!

Oh, but some of it just sounds beautifully poetic too:

Crushing destruction awaits in the abandoned capital draped in smog.

Fantastic. I just had to try this out for myself.

Steel Vampire plays like your typical bullet hell shooter; you take control of your ship, avoid oncoming projectiles and destroy the crap out of everything on screen. It’s mental, but it’s fun. However, the game distinguishes itself from others by claiming that defeating enemies at close range is key.

On starting the game, I had two options: “tutorial”, or “very hard”. Very hard?! No easy? What about medium? Or plain ol’ regular-hard? Nope. Steel Vampire takes no prisoners. It’s go (very) hard or go home.

I’m not very good at shmups I admit, but I do enjoy flying around and causing mayhem while ever I survive. And despite its old-fashioned presentation, Steel Vampire is a lot of fun. It’s clearly aimed at a more hardcore shoot’em up player and not a filthy casual like me, but hey, I can still appreciate it. It’s like art. If art was made of bullets and was all about BLOWING STUFF UP.

You can give it a go yourself; it’s available on Steam for just £7.19/$9.99. And there’s currently 20% off thanks to the Autumn sale. Bargain!

Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.