I love arcade games, especially ridiculous ones that get ported to North America from Japan. Frantic shooting and aiming for that high score is something that a lot of gamers love, and is something that is sorely lacking in the current landscape of console games. Enter, Mamorukun Curse! Hopefully, this will fill the little gap between major console releases with a bit of arcade shooting fun. But, there is a chance that it will be an absurd mess of squeaky voices and nausea inducing kaleidoscope of colors. Let’s look, and hopefully not puke.

Mamorukun Curse! is a overhead arcade shoot-’em-up that debuted in Japan in 2008. The version that was just released here in North America is an enhanced port of the game that came out exclusively for the PS3 in Japan back in 2011. It doesn’t bode well for a game that was last updated back in 2011 and is just now reaching the States. But, we’ll find out if this is worth a couple bucks and some of your bandwith.

From the moment I downloaded Mamorukun Curse! I knew I was in for an assault on my eardrums. Once you finish installing it on your PS3 and hover over the icon, the most grating and upbeat music starts blasting out of your speakers. It is enough to make you jump for the volume button on the remote. Once you get the volume to a reasonable level, you’ll realize that you’re in for a very interesting game time.

It should be noted that this port from the Japanese version is as barebones as possible. Really the only aspects that were converted to English were the menus and written dialogue for the story mode. Unless you know fluent Japanese, you might find yourself a bit lost at the verbal dialogue. But, we’ve all watched subtitled movies right? It’s fine. Plus, this is an arcade game, and who bothers with story in an arcade shooter anyway?

The first thing you’ll notice when playing Mamorukun Curse are the simple controls. The left stick moves your character around and the right fires in the direction you point it. Unlike other arcade shooters, there is no auto scrolling. You can move forward at your own pace, which is a welcome deviation from the status quo. One addition to the gameplay is your ability to shoot curses. These deflect any incoming bullets and, if charged up, puts up a temporary barrier to shield you. With a quick tap, you can curse yourself and make yourself more powerful for a limited time. The simple controls are perfect for the insanity that is about to take place on your screen.

Mamorukun Curse! earns its exclamation point. It throws dozens of enemies and hundreds of bullets your way at a time. It becomes a frantic mish mosh that you are desperately trying to negotiate. In short sips, the title is extremely fun and provides even the most seasoned arcade gamers with a bit of a challenge.

The real downfall to this game are the graphics and repetition. The graphics look a bit dated even with the HD overhaul they received a few years ago. The real issue is the repetitiveness of the whole title. While arcade games thrive on and are built around repetition, they also need to keep you engaged. Sadly, Mamorukun Curse! gets a bit boring after awhile. There are a miniscule amount of different levels and all of the characters, while having different attack patterns, don’t do enough to keep the gameplay fresh and engaging. If you spend more than an hour in a sitting with this game, you may find yourself sick of squeaky voices and skulls that shoot laser bullets.

Mamorukun Curse! is a functional game, but it squirms beneath a couple years of age and a limited number of levels. It is charming for a few minutes of fun, but not much more than that. For fans of arcade shooters, it does enough to keep things fresh for a little while, but for anyone not invested in that style of play, there are so many other choices that are far better.

A retail copy of Mamorukun Curse! for the Playstation 3 was purchased for this review.


6.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating