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Japan Review Check: Xbox 360 schmup extravaganza

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A quick look at the highlights among the games coming out in Japan this coming week, courtesy the review pages of Famitsu magazine. Not a very busy week, but one that very oddly features not one, but two Xbox 360 shooters on sale:

Dodonpachi Saidaioujou (9/8/8/8, 33 out of 40 points): Famitsu had a lot of praise for this port, the latest from Cave to hit the Xbox 360. "The 'New Xbox 360' mode features tons of conversation between characters, so there's a lot more of a story element here making things fresh," wrote editor Ranbu Yoshida. "You have 50 missions to try out in HD mode, and there's also strategy video included, which is great. I like the unique stuff you can buy in the shop, too, including AI controls for your ship."

"The stage layouts are largely the same," writer Urara Honma added, "but there are new story elements to flesh out the arcade game, making this seem like a pretty good deal nonetheless. There's also a lot more strategy here, from the new life-based system to figuring out how to use Hyper Mode. Overall, though, there's not a lot of explanation provided; I would have liked more details on the rules."

Shooting Love 10th Anniversary (7/7/6/6, 26 points): This package of two shooters — XIIZeal and ΔZeal, which both hit arcades in 2002 — was somewhat less well received. "Both games have simple gameplay systems but are packed with the raw joy that good shooters exude, making them still fun to play today," Yoshida wrote. "All the same, though, these are pretty basic ports, and I think the package could stand to be (more than) a little bit cheaper." [The game costs 6090 yen.]

"XIIZeal, in particular, still feels innovative," Honma added, "what with how you can attack from the sides and use your jet exhaust to strike from the rear. Still, it's a shame that the menu screens look pretty barren and lack basic features like setting up how many continues you have."