Armed Seven Review

Armed Seven Featured

Armed Seven Boxart

Developer: Astro Port
Publisher: Nyu Media
Platform: PC – Desura

Are you a fan of shooters? Although there are still many coming out in the modern era, it feels like many have lost touch with the classics. Now, there’s an increased focus on the moe (or cute-ified) shooter, which often sacrifices quality for style. But there are still developers out there who have been making serious sidescrolling shooters. Many of them just happen to be from Japan. Astro Port is one quality shmup developer and their game, Armed Seven, has finally released in the West thanks to Nyu Media.

Armed Seven is basically just like all those retro shooters that were cool, difficult, and always able to tempt a player into extra rounds. However, it also has some neat flourishes which keep the game from feeling stale. Before each stage, players can choose their main weapon, sub weapon, and charge weapon. Main and sub fire whenever you fire, but of course charge only activates after it has received a proper charge. Interestingly, your mech’s gun is not completely static. If the mech flies upward, the gun will shift to face that direction as well, and vice versa. This leads to increased complexity but also possibility for players to take down opponents from safer angles.

Probably the biggest sticking point with growing the audience for shmups is their high difficulty. Now, don’t get me wrong, Armed Seven is not a bullet hell game. Those are where the screen is filled to the brim with complex patterns that take a lot of practice to dodge. Here you’ve got much more manageable enemies and bullets but only one life. After your life bar is depleted, it’s game over! Thankfully, it’s always possible to return to the furthest stage you’ve played via the stage select. There are also a variety of difficulties to select from which were a tremendous help for mostly unskilled players such as myself.

Armed Seven Screenshot

In regards to the graphics it seems like a game that could have easily been a hidden retro gem. It has nicely detailed art, even if the enemies aren’t hugely different from existing games. Really though, how much variety do you need? There need to be cool mechs, big bosses, and a soundtrack to get you pumped! While I don’t think the music is a standout soundtrack for a shooter, it is still exciting. Of course, it doesn’t help that the genre has some of the most incredible soundtracks in all of gaming history.

Playing Armed Seven is an entertaining challenge. If you’re a pro, then the game can totally be finished in half an hour, but the majority of players will be required to spend a lot more time to make it through even once. Those later stages (while still not classified as bullet hell) are killer! My best tip is to try out a variety of weapon loadouts and see which best fits your style. From there, go forth dodging bullets and taking down everything in your path!

Score: 3

3 out of 5 alpacas

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