Oct 11, 2017 Sine Mora EX is a fairly traditional side-scrolling shooter without a lot of bells and whistles. You pilot a ship on a horizontally scrolling level while shooting and avoiding enemy ships.
Let me preface this review with a confession – I didn’t finish Sine Mora EX for reasons (well, reason actually) that I’ll come to shortly. It’s a game I may never finish, truth be told. However, allow me to say that there also aren’t many games I’ve played in 2017 that I would recommend more.An extended version of 2012’s Sine Mora, Sine Mora EX is, on the face of it, a fairly standard side-scrolling shoot-em-up.
Still, Saints Row 2 does do some interesting things in character creation. Players have the ability to customize the appearance of their avatar, changing body type, facial features, race, and even gender. It would have been nice to play as a character with just a hint of scruples. Their only driving force is personal gain and the growth of their gang. Saints row 2 ps4.
Lots of enemies, lots (and I mean LOTS) of projectiles and plenty of power-ups. It does the basics very well – enemy types are varied, controls are responsive and collision detection is on point.However, whilst its rock-solid basics put it in the conversation, it’s Sine Mora’s unique selling point – its time-based mechanics – that puts it over the top. Each level sees you start out with a set amount of time that begins ticking down as soon as it begins. That clock basically acts as your health bar – you gain time by killing enemies and lose time by taking hits. You also have the limited-power ability to slow down time by pressing. This proves to be especially handy during boss battles, where the sheer number of projectiles can be overwhelming.In many ways, the modern bullet hell shmup feels almost defensive in nature – less about the shooting and more about the surviving.
By utilising this time mechanic (as well as the ability to reclaim your power-ups after taking a hit, if you’re quick enough), Sine Mora EX flips the script a little by rewarding playing on the front foot. As someone who’s never had the greatest of reflexes, I really appreciated being able to brute force my way through some of the early boss battles and some of the tighter areas, knowing that I was essentially given a second chance.Elsewhere, Sine Mora’s story is an odd one, being that there actually is one beyond the standard “stop the alien/evil human invasion”. Some voiced-over flavour text between missions fills in the background of the major players. Kudos to the devs for trying something a little different, but I’d be lying if I said that I paid major attention to the storyline.
There are also some short in-engine cutscenes. However, in a neat extension of the time motif, these can be fast-forwarded to quickly get you back in the action.Speaking of the game’s engine, Sine Mora EX is a real looker. With what could be described as a shiny cartoon look, there’s a great deal of variety. Backgrounds and sprites contain a great amount of detail to pore over, during the brief moments of respite. However, the real highlight of is in the design of the bosses. Matching levels of scale with equal levels of intricacy, they’re truly unique. Rather than your standard Lovecraftian or Eldritchian monstrosities, Sine Mora’s bosses all take their cues from a modern take on the Industrial Revolution.
This gives everything a steampunk look that fits perfectly with the game’s overall vibe.And nowto the elephant in the room – my inability to complete this game. With Sine Mora being an arcade-style shmup, it works with continues rather than lives. You’re provided with nine and once those nine are done, you are done. And I mean done. You’re not just kicked back to the start of the previous mission.
Oh no, you’re kicked back to the start of the game. For shmup savants, this probably isn’t much of an issue. Hell, they’ll probably not even require one continue, let alone nine. For average Joes like me? THIS IS ABSOLUTELY INSANE. I have made my peace with the fact that I’m unlikely to ever finish Sine Mora EX.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind before you make that investment.Having said that, I’d absolutely still recommend that many make that investment. Difficulty aside, it’s a unique and fun experience that sits memorable amongst the plethora of cookie cutter shmups.
More importantly, it’s just a genuinely good game in its own right. If you didn’t play it in 2012, you should definitely play it now.
Sine Mora EX (PS4) – ease yourself into bullet hellA 2D shooter by the creator of No More Heroes doesn’t sound that promising, but this new remaster is perfect for shmup newbies.As much as we’re fans of the 2D shooter, we must admit it’s not the easiest genre to get into if you’re not familiar with it. Its relentlessly old school approach, and, more often than not, difficulty can be immediately off-putting for anyone that didn’t grow up with the games. That and there’s never really been an easier, more accessible example to point people towards. 2012’s Sine Mora did come closer than most to filling that role though. And now it’s back, in slightly altered form.The original Sine Mora was a collaboration between Let It Die and No More Heroes developer Grasshopper Manufacture and Hungarian studio Digital Reality – who are best known, if they are known at all, for hardcore strategy games like Imperium Galactica. A stranger team-up we’ve never heard of, but the end result speaks for itself.
Even if they don’t seem to be involved in this current gen remaster. AdvertisementIt’s a neat idea, and ties into the plot’s time travel motif – as does the other main gimmick of a bullet time style slow motion effect. As commonplace as this is in many other action games it’s rare to see it in a 2D shooter. But it’s the perfect way for less experienced players to become acclimatised to the action, especially when enemies start filling the screen with an apparently unavoidable flood of bullets.Although it’s harder difficultly levels will more than satisfy genre fans much of the game is focused towards attracting new players. The Story mode is easier than Arcade and Score Attack no matter what setting you play it on, and the scoring system is much simpler than many similar games: basically don’t get hit and your score multiplayer will keep rising.The upgrades for your default weapons are similarly straightforward, although you do drop them if you’re hit and have to chase across the screen to retrieve them. Each character also gets their own limited use sub-weapon (the use of which also resets your score multiplayer). These range from a giant laser beam, to a huge spread of luminous mines and a double-bladed sword straight out of Radiant Silvergun.Although it’s an excellent example of the genre, and perfect for newer players, the game’s imagination does falter somewhat in the quieter periods between bosses.
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It’s nothing too serious, but it’s the uneven pacing that is the difference between a good 2D shooter and a great one. This EX version doesn’t add too much other than touch up the graphics (including native 4K and 60 frames per second on PS4 Pro), but there’s three new versus modes and new challenge levels. Although the best new feature is two-player local co-op for Story mode.We’ve always loved 2D shooters but we often end our reviews of them in the sad resignation that they are probably too niche in appeal for most people. But Sine Mora is different, and although we don’t think it was particularly successful the first time around we do hope this remaster can give it an extra life. In Short: One of the best-looking 2D shooters of recent years is remastered for the current gen, and offers a fun way in for gamers new to the genre.Pros: Superb presentation, with great visuals, art design and soundtrack.
Excellent level variety and some memorable boss battles. Wide range of difficultly levels and new story mode co-op.Cons: Bizarrely inappropriate story. Some pacing issues between set pieces.Score: 8/10Formats: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PCPrice: £15.99Publisher: THQ NordicDeveloper: Gyroscope Games, Digital Reality and Grasshopper ManufactureRelease Date: 8th August 2017 (Switch TBA)Age Rating: 16.