Shikhondo : Soul Eater
Developed By : DeerFarm
Published By : Digerati
Category : Shoot-em Up, Bullet Hell
Release Date : Sep 6, 2018
Throughout all the years of gaming history, shoot-em up games have always been a tried and true way of putting your skills to the test. Can you navigate the stages while minimizing what damage you take? Are you dodging skills good enough to get your around the enemy fire, and leave openings for you to send your own shots? Shikhondo looks to be the latest face in this category on the Nintendo Switch.
Filled with enemies and art inspired by ancient Asian mythology, Shikhondo is a short and sweet shmup where you choose between one of two characters to take on your mission of destroying an army of demons known as yokai. The yokai contain souls within them that must be freed, and it is up to you to do so. Each character has it’s own unique way of attacking, but at it’s core they are both the same. There is a base attack which can be held down for a consistent slew of bullets, and a focus button which lets you slow time a bit and carve your way around your enemies shots. The latter move is key, since the closer you get to your enemies shots, the quicker it fills up your Soul Gauge. Once filled, this gauge can be triggered for a super powerful move that shoots faster, hits harder, and gives you temporary invincibility.
The game comes with five levels, and a few different play modes to stretch the playability out a bit further. However, what Shikhondo failed to account for in it’s formula, was giving a reason to replay the game. While you’re playing, everything comes up quite bland. The art that scrolls beneath the enemies in each level is very bland and repetitive, the enemies themselves don’t ever stand out as much of anything visually, or in their difficulty. Other than the bosses, the bad guys don’t ever feel like they actually want to kill you. Instead they follow a predictable pattern just waiting for their inevitable demise.
To cap it off, Shikhondo is extremely short and quick, with all the modes being easily tackled in a single sitting. Which is fine, until you factor in the lack of replay value. So while it’s fun and intense, the ride feels like it’s over before it even starts, with no potential to queue again. In a genre like this, you need that replay value and unfortunately, this title failed to hit that one key piece of gameplay value.