Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire is for all intents and purposes the new “Castle of Shikigami” title, was it worth the wait? Read on to find out.
Sisters Royale is the tale of 5 sisters fighting over who gets to marry the Angel Yashin. Each of the sisters are very powerful and it’s down to you to pick one and take on the Royale gauntlet.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I don’t care for stories in Shmups, its window dressing, thankfully Sisters Royale let me press start and skip all these story segments. While I viewed a few and they were quite amusingly written I’m not here for talk, I’m here to shmup.
Graphically, Sisters Royale has a chibi colourful look, certainly ticks the Box to be called a Cute Em Up. The enemies all have amusing faces and even the most menacing of foes has some goofy animations.
The stages and varied and vibrant and the character art is well done. The bullets for the most part remain visible but in the chaos, some do tend to blend which can lead to some untimely deaths.
The music is goofy and cutesy, it’s not the usual pumping electric soundtrack and it certainly isn’t touching on Deathsmiles more gothic leanings. The soundtrack works for the game but the music that plays during cutscenes feels like it came from a new ring of hell.
So what makes Sisters Royale different from the other legions of shmup games?. Aside from the cutesy art style its how the “ship” reacts with the level.
Rather than flying as you would in 90% of shmups your character is boots on the ground. While initially, this doesn’t make too much of a difference you’ll soon come to realize that obstacles such as trees now act not only as cover, but force you to plan ahead where you’ll move when dodging bullets, ice patches in stage 2 are another prime example making your ship slip across the stage.
There are 5 Sisters to choose from, these are your “ships”, the sprite is bigger than the hitbox which is the glowing sprite in the middle of the character. Each Sister not only has a different shot style but also a magic attack, these are all completely different from each other and range from homing attacks, melee attacks to even a shield you have to recharge with enemy shots.
Each stage ends with a fight against your “love rival”, one of the sisters of a clone of yourself. The stages also have mini bosses too and the scoring system employs the “closer you are, the higher the score” style from most shmups nowadays.
There are three difficulties and a practice mode to help you get through the games 5 stages and see those credits roll. Sadly there aren’t any options outside of this aside from uploading to an online leader board for score chasers.
One glaring issue I had with the game was the lack of feedback. Often I’d get hit and not even realize, it wouldn’t be until I glanced at the health bar I would find out I’d been hit!.
The Game would on occasion refuse to boot up or take long enough for me to quit and reload the game also confusingly asks for permissions on your LIVE account which is something I haven’t seen before.
Issues aside, Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire isn’t a terrible game, it’s not one that I would suggest everyone picks up but for fans of the “Shikigami” games this may be one that you couldn’t pass up but for casual fans it’s a far cry from a must buy.
It’s not great, it’s not terrible, it’s Sisters Royale carefully treading the middle ground of the Shmup genre.
A middle of the road shmup title with a few interesting twists on the genre make it a curiosity for genre fans but not an essential for anyone but the die-hards.