Reviews
Mamorukun Curse

By Jorge Figueiredo - December 27th, 2013

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If you’re looking for a fun and challenging shoot-‘em-up, look no further than UFO Interactive’s Mamorukun Curse. This cute anime-styled, free-roaming shooter is fun, frenetic, and full of neat surprises.

I would consider the main mode of this game to be the Story Mode, which involves Mamoru and friends being haunted by weird ghosts while being stuck in the netherworld. That’s really all I could glean from this – as it didn’t really make any sense to me at all. The only thing that I knew was that I was given five characters to take through the game with me. Each character is different, and has their own brand of projectile mode at their disposal. Once the game began proper, it was all about going to town on the various baddies that awaited! And believe me, there are a lot of baddies.

This undoubtedly colourful game hides a dark, malicious, player-killing streak that might take you by surprise if you’re not careful. First of all, I found out that when my main character died, the second-in-line took their place and I would continue the fight with that character. Like some kind of Manga Pez dispenser, I would go through my roster until the death of my final team member – then it was game over. I mistakenly thought that all of my characters would appear between level changes – nope. Unfortunately, dying will probably happen to you quite a lot when you first begin, as the game presents some fairly challenging scenarios to get through. The key to getting a grip on these moments, regardless of which mode you play, is to learn how to move yourself around and stick to that method.

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Watch out for the…never mind…

Controls come in two flavours: fire where you move, or dual stick (left for movement, right for fire direction). Each of these has advantages and disadvantages. For instance, I tend to favour the accuracy and ease-of-fire with dual stick – but it can affect your mobility, as it is inherently distracting (tunnel vision tends to form more easily with the first method, though). Once you get the hang of that, it’s time to play around with your Curse ability.

Gone is the normal crutch of a room-clearing explosive special attack. In Mamorukun Curse, your “special power” is the multi-purpose Curse. Tapping the Curse button causes the bullet hell on your screen to vanish instantly. Pressing the curse button for a short time creates a small field in which you can fly to beef up your damage and range (although, you can still take damage from enemy fire). You can also hold down the Curse button for a longer period to charge it up and unleash it on your enemies (rather than yourself). This aggressive Curse field will kill the small fries and cause your larger enemies to slow down and “bleed” health (which is good); however, it also gives them a faster firing rate (which is bad). You can’t double-Curse, though, so once you “empower” your enemies with their newly invigorated firing rate, you cannot Curse them again for the negation of their firepower. I’m sure you’re scratching your head as to why one would bother giving their enemies a slight advantage? Well, the reward is worth the risk (lots of extra gems)! Just remember that the various Cursing comes with cooldown that you will need to contend with.

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Giant skulls attacking you? Life got you down? Time to curse!

If you’re looking for the latest and greatest in visual wizardy, you’re looking in the wrong place. Mamorukun Curse does look to be a little bit dated in the graphics department, almost as if it was ported – which, while not the best example of pushing your hardware, has its own brand of charm and kitsch. My only ask of the devs would have been to make weapon-fire look very different from the gems that you are trying to collect – to prevent confusion (throw in exceedingly colorful backgrounds and this issue gets worse). The sound also feels displaced in time, somehow – but, again, charm is the name of the game. One does not get Mamorukun Curse to marvel at the aesthetics, anyway. It’s all about dominating the leaderboards and having a sweaty, fun time!

Different modes make this game an even better value! There are various team-based and time-limited modes that add to the overall challenge, making re-play value a sure thing. Hell, even the Story Mode can be replayed a number of times (as you’re sure to not get through it the first time you play). If you’re up for a challenge, you can grab Mamorukun Curse from the PSN.

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