Another shmup niche title arrived in the Nintendo 3DS eShop, thanks to Circle Entertainment. Regardless of what gamble the publisher took, I believe this game, called Karous – Beast of Re:Eden, would attract anyone who loves the genre. Shoot ‘em up, or shmup for short, is an old genre started from the arcade era. From the classic Xevious to newest Touhou title, shmup has small but enthusiastic audiences.
But before getting into the game, let me share some information regarding to Karous. The game itself was developed by a company game named Milestone for Sega Dreamcast, but after Milestone was closed, another game publisher, Klon, brought the game to the Japanese Nintendo 3DS as a port. Circle Entertainment is famous for bringing niche titles overseas, and while I expected Karous to be great game, I am not sure that it would make a good hit.
Karous is problematic for various reasons. What did hit me really hard was that I failed to grasp the story the game offers, thanks to the random, nonsense sentences the characters say in the dialogue box. You did see interesting characters, but instead of having dialogues between them as a story, we did not get anything except unconnected sayings, that are randomly mixed up with tips. I was hoping for something like Weapon Shop de Omasse’s timeline, but I got nothing like that in Karous.
But indeed shmup genre has been particularly focused on gameplay, not the story. At this sense, Karous did the job pretty well, and the game is tuned for fair difficulty. Looking for tips is recommended, since certain weapons are more effective against some enemies. You will get a humanoid-shaped aircraft to fly, and different weapons come in very handy, from bullet shots, shield and bomb to eliminate enemies’ shots, and also sword to slay. You will get upgrades periodically, since every battle will gain you some EXP point for your aircraft and the weapons you use. And though without colorful scheme, the 3D model of the aircraft is pretty unique.
The second problem in Karous is not technical, but rather by design. The gameplay is actually pretty nice with different missions – or challenges, precisely – to take, but the real problem is that those missions are short-lived. To clear stages, you are given one minute time to complete the objectives, such as defeating 50 enemies with shot, using bomb 5 times, or reaching the end of the stage (means surviving within the time). One minute is considered too short for a mission, and that is why Karous is problematic, since I want to fly and shoot enemies longer.
Those two problems would make Karous less interesting, though the game has beautiful user interface and pretty good music I want to listen more. A bit uneven it is, and unless you are a shmup veteran or enthusiast, I do not really recommend Karous – Beast of Re:Eden for your game library. The game costs $6.99 in the Nintendo 3DS eShop for download.