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CONSOLE: Xbox 360 DEVELOPER: Konami PUBLISHER: Konami
RELEASE DATE (NA): November 1, 2011 GENRE: Space Shooter
// review by Matt

More like Otomediocre... uh, Excrement.

Konami's Gradius series is a well-known arcade staple but it's as overrated as they come. Otomedius is a spin-off of said series, and it suffers from one minor flaw... it is shite. We're not talking just a bad game, or a let-down, but it is actual shite. An actual real shite, in a DVD case, passed off as a game. This is no exaggeration. I have actually had a shite that was more of a game and more entertaining that Otomedius X Excellent, and it even left me more satisfied for having passed it than I was for having passed Otomedius Excellent.

If Otomedius were a television program, it would be the most vapid, boring and horrendous reality TV show ever filmed... about shite. It would be Big Brother's Little Shite, a spin-off show discussing the Big Brother contestants' bowel movements and the contents within. And this would still be more entertaining and watchable (even if only for some kind of weird cringe factor) than the entirety of Otomedius Excellent. This game does not have the Otomedius "X Factor".

If Otomedius were a holiday package, it would be a 1-star hotel slap bang in the middle of a warzone. You wake up to your lukewarm eggs and bacon, just to watch the hotel assistant slaughtered in front of you by enemy militia, who tie you up and interrogate you, then take you as a hostage. Your folks at home think you to be dead, they mourn for you and hold a funeral in your name and memory... and even that would be a better outcome than anything you can achieve in Otomedius Excellent.

If Otomedius were your pet dog, you'd one day come home to find him unable to move his legs. It's a neurological failure, and the only choice is to put him down. That's a bit worse than Otomedius Excellent, but you get the idea.


Screenshits. I mean shots. Screenshots.

In all seriousness, Otomedius Excellent is a slow, sluggish and ugly game with little to offer. The stages are all over the place, the bosses are very poorly designed (in my humble-pie eating opinion) and the soundtrack is unmemorable. For this game to register any kind of sympathy or respect, it should have refrained from designing bosses that require pin-point shooting in a game engine where pin-point shooting is practically impossible.

The card equipping and levelling mechanic takes endless playthroughs of story mode to develop, and quite frankly, no person with a shred of decency or self-respect would put themselves through this. This is the same Gradius game we've played time and time again, but even less intuitive, even less fun and even more a chore. I've played some bad games since I got my Japanese Xbox 360 but Otomedius Excellent takes the proverbial biscuit.

Each boss has attacks that will hit you the first time, and the second time, and the third time, and the fourth time, and the fifth time. How are you meant to know that green light means the enemy's attack will fan out in all directions? While each boss's movements are practically just a repeating pattern, learning said patterns takes multiple runs through the game. If you haven't grabbed all the speed powerups by the time the boss fight rolls around, you cannot move out of the way of some of the boss's mad and sudden rushes towards you. When you die, which to be fair takes quite a lot longer than in most other shooters, all your power-ups are lost.

When this happens in a boss battle, you're left hurting and with no true method of protecting yourself. Sitting duck, just waiting there, for a world of pain you couldn't possibly imagine. Hold down shoot, spray and pray, miss the boss, die, repeat.

It's like watching someone fall apart... Kogi Igarashi made this, oh how the mighty have fallen. Well, not so mighty. IGA = Ignorant Giant Ass?

When you beat the game, which feels like a lifetime of anguish and sorrow, you are rewarded with the usual junk you see in all Japanese shooters; the robot girls who pilot these space ships are ordinary girls with ordinary lives, look at them at a school sports festival, look at them at a Christmas party, look at them at the hot springs, et cetera. Relying on sex to sell, but forgetting the general rule most other games follow - the game has to actually be good, also. Or functional.

I imported this game because the localization for Europe was never completed (due to an act of God). I spent many years being upset about the lack of a translated release in my neck of the woods, but after playing, I'm glad it didn't come out over here. However, having bought this game online and having had it delivered, I have still been harmed by it. The damage has been done.

Liberate yourself from Hell.


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