Fancy big boss fights do you? Do you love some high-quality anime? Was the Super Nintendo your favorite video game system? Did you answer yes to any of those questions? I’m sure you did. Well, do I have the game for you! I present with you the one and only, Riddled Corpses EX, the extended version of the PC hit, Riddled Corpses. It is a mixture of anime and 8-bit goodness wrapped in a single package, and boy is it good.
Riddled Corpses EX is a top-down shoot ‘em up developed by Diabolical Minds and published by COWCAT. It tells the story of six individuals in a world of peril and destruction, plagued by monstrosities and demons alike. Monsters are rising, and they are not holding back any punches. They have the numbers, the strength, and you know the big baddies are here too. Lucky for us, we’ve got each other and that’s all right. You must bring you ingenious wits and a whole lot of firepower if you plan on toppling this regime. It won’t be easy, but we’ve got to start somewhere, it could mean the end of the world as we know it. I hope you’ve been praying because it may take more than a miracle to get out of this mess.
The gameplay mechanics present provide a good amount of variety. With six different characters and three modes to choose from, there is something for everyone. Each character, besides Jon, also have their own special ability to add some flair to your demonic genocide. Jon is the only character available from the start with three other characters that can be purchased with gold. While he is very basic and does not have anything that makes him stand out, I found myself enjoying Jon the most. He may not get an additional ability, but his stats are off the chart and I found his damage output to be far superior to others, especially at later levels. I found myself using him throughout most of my playthrough and only switched to the others to test them out. When it comes to abilities, the range from double gold to double health and a few others that I didn’t really find useful. Fael, the one who provides you with increased health felt the most helpful and I ended up playing with her when I was not using Jon.
The other two characters require you to complete objectives before they unlock, one for reaching max level with other characters and the other to beat the story mode. I didn’t use either of them much, but their stats were in line with the others. Other than characters, Riddled Corpses EX provides two additional upgrades that cost a ridiculous amount of gold but provided an amazing advantage. These upgrades were for the MK1000 Machine and Turrets, both cost 9999 gold, which was a huge grind and unfortunately, I was not able to achieve enough coins to acquire either of these while playing.
The modes available are standard for shoot ‘em ups and are in the form of a story mode, arcade, and survival mode. The story is six levels of 8-bit greatness with crazy boss fights and a motherlode of enemies. The levels are not too long and once it is unlocked, you are able to choose it from the get-go. No need to restart at the first stage if you want to take a break or die at the hands of the horde. It has a bit of difficulty, but you can easily learn the lay of the land and level up a bit before taking the challenge. The arcade mode, on the other hand, does not hold your hand at all. It starts you out at the beginning with zero upgrades and your character is level one. To add, you need to beat all six stages without a game over. This is for the elite and if you are looking for something problematic, then this for you. While it is not as hard as arcade, the survival mode is where you will experience the bullet hell that we come to know and love with shmups these days. Fast-paced action at its finest and there is no build-up, but at least you get all your fancy toys.
The visuals and soundtrack of this game are what really makes it stand out above some of the other shmups out there. The graphics are straight out of the SNES days and is extremely retro. There are tons of games these days going this route and trying to relive older styles and not many succeed. However, Riddled Corpses EX played out very well with this style and I do not believe a modern look would have favored it as well. The soundtrack and I do not usually say this, is even better. The chiptune soundtrack that was decided for this game is utterly astonishing and I found myself listening to the music and sitting at the title screen time and time again. Soundtracks usually only stick with me when they blow me away or do something special, this game did both and I could not have been happier.
I have played a lot of shmups for this website and I mean a lot. I have played some good ones and some very, very bad ones. I proudly put this in the former category for the pure awesomeness that I felt while playing through it. Whether I was slaying monsters left and right, or trying to get to the sweet, sweet boss fight. Or I was sweating balls trying to live the endless array of projectiles coming at my face at the speed of sound, just to get my name on the leaderboard. I found myself putting more time in this game even after getting the basics down to write this review and I feel that is the best accomplishment a developer can have. The questions I asked at the beginning review were not only a collection of ideas rambling through my mind when creating an intro, but they are real questions that you could ask yourself when deciding on picking up this game. So, I urge you to reread those first couple lines, I know they are a bit cheesy, but if you are on the fence, they may make a difference.
In the end, Riddled Corpses EX is a solid shoot ‘em up with tons of potential. It is priced at $12 USD, which is a great price in my opinion. I got countless hours out of the game already and I plan on putting even more in soon. It has its flaws, but so does every other game and when my only complaint comes from it being a bit difficult or the fact that it takes an egregious amount of in-game currency to unlock something that is probably meant for endgame, then you know it must be good. Do yourself a favor and consider picking up this game, it could be only a couple questions away.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 9/10
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