Sine Mora Review

Sine Mora Review

The shoot-'em-up genre, otherwise more commonly know as the "bullet hell" genre by its fans, has been mostly relegated to PC releases, muted Xbox 360 releases and mobile devices, with only a sliver of the games actually skipping over the ocean to Western territories. With the videogames industry focusing on trying to appeal to everybody at once, the time-tested genre hasn't ventured out too much to appeal to anyone besides its fans.

There is something to be said about a game which knows its audience, however, and that's most definitely the case with Suda 51's Grasshopper Manufacture and Digital Reality's Sine Mora, a shoot-'em-up that takes everything fans know and love about the genre and mixes it with the HD graphics that the home consoles are known for. The question remains: Does Sine Mora have what it takes to appeal to those outside the genre or is this just a prettier version of what fans have already come to expect?

True to form, Sine Mora plays and controls much like you'd expect from a normal shoot-'em-up title. You fly from left-to-right (and occasionally right-to-left depending on the stage) shooting down enemies as you try evading their attacks and picking up the various bonuses they drop using either rapid-fire lasers or a limited special wide-range attack.

The catch is that unlike most games in the genre where you have a set amount of health to work with, you are fighting against the clock during each stage. Get hit, you lose time --- run of of time and you fail the level. Following this motif, Sine Mora gives you a special time-based ability which lets you slow down time temporarily to evade enemy attacks. Initially it doesn't seem too useful, but once you get to the game's bosses this ability becomes paramount as the bosses don't spare any time in spamming the screen in a hellfire of bullets from time to time. There's something refreshing to be said about feverishly trying to shoot anything that moves on the screen when you have only a few seconds left on the screen. It makes it even more frantic wen you're trying to dodge the bullets that will send you to your death and it raises the game above the generic bullet dodging shoot-'em-ups that have been the standard for the genre recently.

This ability is the main draw of the game's story mode which focuses around an initially convoluted story of a man looking for revenge after his son is murdered by the military for refusing to carry out their orders. Generally shoot-'em-ups aren't known for their stories if they even have one at all, so having a decently competent story with fully-voiced dialogue (spoken in native Hungarian, developer Digital Reality's native tongue) is an especially nice bonus. Sadly there are some minor plot issues that arise and the fact that the story doesn't really come together until near the end of the game, but these aren't a huge detriment to the mode in the slightest.


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