After a 12 year hiatus, Alfa System has teamed up with Chorus Worldwide to create the new “cute-em-up” Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire. These companies are known for delivering over-the-top action and a bevvy of bullets – does this title do the same?

Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire Review

The story begins with a prophecy, one that tells of five sisters coming together to defeat the evil Seytan. However, these ladies have said nuts to that, and are at each others’ throats over the dreamy Lord Yashin. To prove their fealty for this fellow, the girls take to defeating one another until one reigns supreme.

It’s a goofy tale, one that has countless shade thrown at every happenstance. The broken English, still images caught mid-frame, and odd spacing do take away from the story and make it hard to follow, but almost anybody can understand banter like “goldfish poop” and “old hag.”

To rise the ranks among the different ladies, one must first choose which heroine will come out on top. Each character has their own unique shot pattern, power shot pattern (which is activated when close to enemy fire), summon, and bomb. Most of the mechanics are pretty straightforward – you press the shot button to fire bullets, and a bomb deals out massive damage while also clearing out enemy fire.

However, one could argue that the summon mechanic makes things too easy. Though it does limit maneuverability, we found that the sheer convenience and availability that comes with having the summon out almost breaks the game. Our initial playthrough with Sonay had her summon rushing out to enemies and bosses almost instantly, dealing out plenty of damage and racking up a high score. This can be ignored, mind you, but we found it to be a little too overpowered for our liking.

Of course, for those looking to one credit clear the title, they will need all the help that they can get. Each stage has a different gimmick to it, from the Cave of Ice’s slippery floor to the Dungeon of the Soul’s darkness. Sisters Royale uses a TATE format, so the limited real estate makes certain sections tricky. The title does try to alleviate things by putting notifications near enemy spawn points, but only memorization can help with the trickier parts.

Along the way, players will be able to collect coins. Though players are allowed three hits before being forced to continue, a single hit causes all coins to explode onto the screen. It’s a welcome mechanic, one that encourages players to act defensively rather than offensively.

Just be warned that this title is a bit on the short side, with just a paltry five levels. There is a ranking system, online leaderboards, and a practice mode to sink your teeth into, but the variety comes from the different sisters’ playstyles, rather than the layout of each stage. Arcade aficionados are all too familiar with this song and dance, but more casual players might be looking for something more when the credits start rolling.

Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire is a solid shmup, albeit one that plays things a little too safe. The power shot mechanic has merit, but the inclusion of summons makes the overall package far too easy.

This review of Sisters Royale was done on the PlayStation 4. A digital code was provided by the publisher.
Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire Review

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