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Trouble Witches Neo! is a horizontal shoot 'em up being published by SNK Playmore for the Xbox 360. The game allows players to, with magic, slow down bullets within a restricted area, and then convert the slowed bullets to score-boosting coins by killing the enemies that fired them.

Gameplay

The bullet hell shooter lives up to its name.

The game features 8 different characters available from the start to the player with 2 unlockable characters. Their stories are seperated from each other but the same levels are used for every character. The difference between the characters is how they fire their projectiles; some characters are more focused at targeting bigger areas rather than single enemies while other characters use fewer attacks which are more powerful. Every character comes with their own companion. Similar to the main characters, the companions differ in combat as well. It should also be noted that as long as the center of your character isn't hit by enemy attacks, you're fine. The center of your character is marked with a star and helps you navigate your way through enemy attacks.

Three difficulties are available: Very Easy, Easy and Hard. It should be noted that Easy is a misleading name since it is by no means easy at all, so expect to die a lot. The harder the difficulty the more enemies spawn and it takes more time for your magical power to recharge. There are two modes available to the player: The Original Arcade mode(AC) and the Xbox 360 renewed mode(Neo). The main difference between the two modes are that Arcade mode features a more arcadish look by having the game field not being in viewed in widescreen and the graphic differ a little from the Neo mode. Single Play is the only game mode that is available within the Original Arcade Mode. In arcade mode you are able to switch between characters every time you game over.

The Story Mode consists of 6 different levels, featuring various themes such as wild jungles, cold mountains and burning lava. The Story Mode offer full voice dialogue available in either English or Japanese. Single Play consists of the same levels as Story Mode but there is no story being told during the gameplay and you are able to save Replays of yourself playing throught the levels of the game. In addition to the Story Mode and the Single Play mode there is a Challenge Mode, where the player can choose to play the time-based Score Attack or fight the bosses of the game in Boss Attack.

MULTIPLAYER

Trouble Witches Neo! offers both local multiplayer and online multiplayer through Xbox Live. Players can work together in a co-op fashioned mode or compete with each other to see who can gather the most points.

Items and Abilities

THE MAGIC BARRIER

A well-timed Magic Barrier protecting the player from harm.

Each and every character of the game comes with a faithful companion, aiding the player to progress through the game by casting their own magic on enemies and give the player access to the very useful ability called Magic Barier. The Magic Barrier turns incoming projectiles red and greatly decreases their speed, allowing it to kind of act as a shield against incoming attacks. When the barrier is up it drains your magical power displayed as a bar on the screen and when the barrier is down your magical powers will recharge. Projectiles caught in the barrier will also be converted to either copper, silver or gold when the enemy who fired it is defeated, making the magic barrier a great way to obtain points and money to buy new abilities with. Using the magic barrier also disables your companion's regular attack since it will be busy protecting you from harm. However, absorbing too many enemy projectiles in your barrier could result in the player becoming trapped once the barrier ends and the enemies haven't been defeated. Keeping enemys projectiles trapped in your barrier for too long without the player being able to kill whoever conjured it can also alter the projectiles direction, making it possible for them to backfire and head straight for you.

Using the Magic Barrier will also slow down the movement speed of your character, allowing players to accurately avoid enemies and projectiles. When things start to get tough, the Magic Barrier is your greatest utility in order to stay alive. Stronger attacks used by larger enemies and bosses are however uneffected by the barrier and will continue to move at maximum speed when they enter the barrier area, these attacks will have to be dodged manually.

MAGIC CARDS

Other than the Magic Barrier and your companion, you can use Magic Cards to increase your strenght and defense in battle. Magic Cards can be bought from the shop which appears several times for every level in the form of a pumpkin-shaped blimp. A maximum of three cards can be held at one time and everytime a card is bought in the shop the cost of it is incresed upon your next visit. The Magic Cards are however limited in supply and you cannot have two of the same card in your inventory at once. There are different types of cards: some cards give you access to special abilites for a short period of time while other cards give your character an increase in health or magical power.

In the shop you pay a visit to a girl named Autumn who's willing to give you magic cards in exchange for your gold . As you progress through the game, more cards become available. Once you activate a Magic Card, enemies will also drop Star Coins instead of regular coins, which are pulled towards you automatically, increasing your score greatly. Below is a list of all the cards in the game:

  • Swing - (Ability) Allows you to aim up and down using the D-pad.
  • Arrows - (Ability) Projectiles fired are concentrated into a single area but are much more powerful.
  • Bubbles - (Ability) Your attacks turn into bubbles that will exlode upon impact, damaging enemies near them.
  • Roll Card - (Ability) Generates a sphere around you which will protect you from enemies and their attacks.
  • Decoy Card - (Ability) Creates a magic-casting clone of your character which will distract enemies , making them attack your clone instead of you.
  • Wave Card - (Ability) Your attacks take on the shape of a wave as your move around, increasing the power of your attacks.
  • 7 Stars - (Ability) Significantly increases the width of your attacks and slightly increases its power.
  • Tail Card - (Ability) Allows you to fire your projectiles to the left, taking down enemies coming from behind.
  • Fire Bomb - (Ability) When you hit enemies with your attacks you create a giant fireball, destroying enemies and their projectiles.
  • Spear Card - (Ability) Adds penetrating force to your attacks, allowing you to hit multiple enemies with one attack.
  • Bounce Card - (Ability) You fire a round of magic projectiles which will bounce of the edge of the screen, clearing the gamefield from enemies.
  • Potion Card - (Upgrade) Permanently increases your Magical Power(MP) by 10.
  • Heart Vessel - (Consumable) Increases your HP by 1.

Notes

There is no penalty for getting game over. When you run out of health you can simply choose to continue, or accept the game over.

Players can choose to use english or japanese voicing. There are also multiple subtitles available, including japanese.

Only high scores achieved on the Easy difficulty are published to the Xbox Live Leaderboard.

Trivia

While visiting Authum's shop, player can see several Xbox 360 consoles on the shelves, one of which is displaying the famous Red Ring of Death(RRoD) error.

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