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While not for everyone, it’s my current favorite modern SHMUP. As a bonus, the recent U.S. release has made it far easier (and cheaper) for you to check out.
The Video Game Critic
Deathsmiles is the kind of game you rarely see for the Xbox 360, and it feels like a breath of fresh air.
Retro Spirit Games
An excellent and suitably manic 'bullet hell' shoot-em-up from Cave, Deathsmiles allows to to choose from a selection of inappropriately attired young witches, before flying through multiple stages of Halloween themed environments, blasting waves of monsters while avoiding a bazillion projectiles.
While hitting the maximum magic level of 1000 and unleashing all manner of hell, any moment my Xbox was going to pop at any moment, smoke bellowing out the back. It simply becomes too much. Then again, this is part of why Deathsmiles works. It’s no-hold barred old-school shmup action. If stripped of its additional content, Deathsmiles could have been an XBLA title. Instead Rising Star Games have created a niche product – a well presented old-school shmup with plenty of additional material to bring you back.