Mushihimesama is a classic shooter for good reason. It’s beautiful on the surface, but a master class in how to create a challenge that varies in difficulty from completely accessible to utterly insane, leading the player down the path to acquiring the skills necessary to see how the best players manage it even if that level of ability remains out of reach.
The incredible amount of firepower on the screen is always completely visible over the background objects, leading to almost zero deaths from out of nowhere, and while the scoring mechanics may not be quite so deep as Cave’s later games, sometimes it’s nice not to need a PhD in Shooterology in order to understand how to earn a top spot on the board.
The sheer volume of content is fantastic, making it as easy to replay a mode over and over again for practice as it is to bounce from one game type to another for the shooter version of Short Attention Span Theater. Mushihimesama is a phenomenal arcade game and an indispensable addition to any shooter fan’s library.