The Nardio Review
Is Xmas Shooting – Scramble!! Worth Your Time?
Sort of…not really
What Should You Play it On?
How it Plays and Why it drives me insane:
Xmas Shooting – Scramble!! is a soul crushing and maddeningly frustrating short bullet hell game. This is a tough a nails short game that I have yet to beat and even wonder if it’s actually possible to beat. Yet I keep trying. Hating it. Hating myself. Rage quitting. Then trying again.
Xmas Shooting – Scramble!! is a bullet hell game that has you controlling a cute lil anime girl that has to get through several stages shooting her way though tons of enemies and thousands of bullets. This sort of game has a huge cult following. I used to love bullet hell games. Somewhere along the way I just stopped playing them. Maybe it was the high price of games, maybe it’s because I was ok at them but not great. I dunno, but I stopped really playing them. It wasn’t until I got an iPad that I jumped back into the genre and found myself loving it again. When I finally got into Steam and say screenshots of the bullet hell games there one thought constantly went through my head: Hell no.
They looked impossible. How can people play those things? They were also pretty darn pricey and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to plunker down some cash for what might turn out to be a memorization twitch game hell. Any who while looking for some holiday games to review I came across Xmas Shooting – Scramble!! and said what the hell. It was cheap, it promised to be short and it seemed doable. Well hours later I still can’t seem to beat the final damned level on easy mode.
The final level of Xmas Shooting – Scramble!! has a mini boss before I assume the final boss whose attacks are just too darned hard for me to see and dodge. It’s bullets hide the main guns that shoot larger bullets that also blend into the background. This is just a huge design fail in my opinion. Making matters worse is this is one of those really annoying old school like games with no check points or continues. So as I try to learn this bosses attacks I have to replay the whole level every time I die. It’s pretty maddening to die to things I can’t see. There is an option to save your runs as a video replay to help you see where you went wrong, but urrrg! Sometimes I still can’t see where I went wrong on the replay. I think hit detection is just kinda broken in this game overall as there have been plenty of times I know I got hit and it didn’t register and other times I have no idea what hit be and I die. Replays again help me relive the fails.
Xmas Shooting – Scramble!! has a store that you can use to buy new bullet attack patterns to use in game. In my experience most of the attacks you get are pretty useless. Some are totally useless and feel like broken lazy filler. To make matters worse the store is gated so that you aren’t able to see all of what is available to work up to until you buy the some of the previous attack patterns. The new attack patterns also seem to open up randomly. To make matters even worse the price for these patterns gets more and more insanely expensive requiring seemingly hours upon hours of grinding in these three short levels. The frustrating thing is some of the attack patterns are really, really useful. Orbit for example makes the game a hell of a lot easier and lets me focus more on flying and dodging than having to do both.
The higher the difficulty you select to do the campaign in the more in game credits you get, but not really. The abilty to earn currency in game is painfully slow. This gets really stale really fast because even at the higher rates the credits earning progress is painfully slow. The final slap in the face with this is the store won’t even let you preview the attacks until you have enough money to buy them. It sucks to find out that cool sounding attack you were saving up for is totally useless and then knowing that you need to buy it anyway if you want to hopefully get a better attack later on down the line.
This makes me dislike Xmas Shooting – Scramble!! because if the developer wanted to make this horrible store grind then there should have been more levels added into the game. At least 5 more shorter levels that mix things up and ease you into the game. A few different modes wouldn’t have hurt. Sure it’s available and on sale now for $4.49, but that is still over priced for what you get and the grind it asks of you with it’s limited content. It’s full asking price of $4.99 isn’t much more but again horrible overpriced for what you are paying for.
It’s a shame because the first few times I played the game it was fun and challenging and really pushed me. I loved learning the level and understanding the levels. I loved learning the bosses attacks and figuring out how to counter them. But the game just ramps up to darned fast with not enough content to make it seem worth while. After a short while it’s just boring and frustrating trying to earn more powerful attacks and only good for the occasional bullet hell itch. Even then I found myself not wanting to go back to it. I have almost four hours of playtime on this game and honestly most of that was for this review. Also because for some damn reason every Steam review on the store page for Xmas Shooting – Scramble!! says this game is an easy entry game for the series… Yea, no.
I can go on and on, but I cannot recommend this game. Xmas Shooting – Scramble!! is a short yet brutally difficult bullet hell game that desperately needs a price chop on the Steam store. The game also needs a few more levels and modes to make the grind worthwhile. Earning in game currency needs a huge buff. As is it’s painfully slow and punishing. It’s just not fun and makes me want to delete the game instead of trying again and again.
Agree? Disagree? Write your comments below
- Single player
- Controller Support
- Xmas Shooting – Scramble!! On Steam
- Publisher FruitBat Factory Website
- Publisher FruitBat Factory YouTube