Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire is a shoot em up that’s taken a while for me to get to but I’m so glad I did. I was initially put off by its waifu sister vibes but underneath its Hyperneptunia styled humour and story, there is a solid shoot em up game here with plenty of variety.
You can play as each of the five sisters and each sister has three specific attacks that are unique to them. The first will be a shooting one and its the attack patterns of the bullets that unique to the sisters. The second is where things get interesting though – it’s a non shooting secondary attack. One has tornadoes spinning around the screen, another is a three bladed sphere you have to rotate with the analogue stick, another is an ice freeze and another is purely a block and rebound. You can move between the shooting and the secondary weapon but its entirely feasible to play with just shooting or secondary attacks. The achievements and trophies ask it of you! They are all very different and make each character feel unique and different, thus meaning two playthroughs for each potentially to really explore what each character does. The third attack is a bomb which looks and plays out slightly different for each character but does usually clear a certain amount of the screen of enemies and bullets.
Whilst the play area is narrow, everything is colourful but in a way that defines what is background or bullet. You aren’t flying in the game, you are walking forward and so walls and floors have an impact on you. You can play conservatively and avoid things fully but that won’t get you multipliers – instead you have to bullet graze. Moving close to bullets and grazing them adds a rolling multiplier that builds up your score quickly so long as you keep it going. You only have three hits though before its game over so the risk vs reward is huge.
The game sadly is short. It has five stages with two additional bosses afterwards. There are three difficulties which effects the amount of bullets on the screen but also add on additional boss phases for each battle. Normal gives you three phases, hard four and easy two. Regardless of what you choose, continues are endless. This means that you’ll finish the game so long as you just keep going. This also means if you aren’t interested in aiming for S-ranks and high scores, Sisters Royale will burn out quite quickly for you. You’ll also find that some of the sisters are more tricky to make work that others – especially the sister that relies on blocking more than attacking. I do appreciate the different gameplay styles though.
It’s a shame that the game falls down in that area because graphically, musically, control scheme wise and character wise – everything to make a fun and accessibility shoot em up is here. I just would have liked a few more options or an extra level or two to really make this a top tier recommendation. A playthrough can be done in just over 10 minutes if on easy and less than 20 on hard. Fun – but not essential. This is a good starter for the genre if you don’t mind sisters calling each other horny pigs in the dialogue.
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