That sentence right there may be the single most interesting part of this rather generic feeling shoot ’em up game with surprisingly poor controls.
So, the plot. Well, the advertisement says it is a combination of orthodox magical girl characters and story. When I got the game (the free version, not the donate version, as I assumed the free was a demo of the donate version.) I was unable to actually see if that claim was true, due to any bits being in Japanese. In fact, I sucked at easy mode at that point, as the instructions were also in Japanese. However, a recent update to the game switched most of the Japanese out for very badly translated English.
Back to the plot. Thanks to the update, I can say it is basically a magical girl series (pick any) crossed with a game. you fight other magical girls of increasing difficulty, eventually reaching the final magical girl boss. And I guess defeating her…turns her back into who she used to be? The power of beating someone to death makes them recall they were once your ally? Well, ignoring such gaping holes that reek of handwavium, the game has some stuff going for it.
First off, the gameplay isn’t entirely awful. The controls are slow and laggy. I would say it is due to the touchscreen control, but Danmaku on iPod touch/iPhone/iPad has absolutely amazing controls for a shooter-responsive and easy. It even scales-move quickly for quick motions that cover larger areas quickly, and slower for smaller slower movements. Magical Cannon Girls doesn’t get that, although a future update may bring it.
Secondly, I do believe the donate and free versions are exactly the same. You can get it for free, and I would suggest that route if it was a demo. Yes, despite me having said positive things about scans (I’ll save my thoughts on that for a future article) as you can get the same game in english, just like the free one, for a small amount of money, buy the donate version. As you have the original item in your language (if you are reading this without the use of a translator, it is in your native language because you quite obviously speak english) you may as well support the people who made it. Whoever they are.
Even better, when I managed to beat the game, entering my name into the thing completely glitched out, forcing me to try to close 10,000 windows that opened in the background. Actually, they then locked up my device, forcing me to reboot. So it does have its flaws even when you make it past all the other issues.
So, you are probably wondering how can this be recommended? Well, I can’t recommend it as a bullet hell shooter for a touchscreen device. Danmaku does a much better job and is much prettier and is, in a word, cooler, for lack of a better phrase to describe it. For fans of bullet hell, Danmaku will also be more fun for a portable game. Forget putting this on a regular computer or console-every defect would be multiplied tenfold, and computers and consoles have good games like Ikaruga, Touhou, DoDonPachi, and any other thing that shows up when you google bullet hell games.
But, this game doesn’t feel like a bullet hell, most likely because it really isn’t. It’s a regular old arcade style shooter, but with a little twist on the health mechanic and trance mechanic. In short, it works. If you are totally used to pure arcade style shooters, there will be a little adjustment. Plus, Magical Cannon Girls is one of the better 15 minutes of nothing games. Let me rephrase that-it is a very good game for very little money when you have 15 minutes of nothing better to do.
Score: 3/5 not a good example of shoot ’em ups, and has a lot of room for improvement
Pros: It is fun, simple, and entertaining/amusing. Provided you can deal with the poor controls, you will get your money’s worth out of it (you did pay for it, right?) Plus, if you have a few minutes to spare, like waiting for a bus or a friend, it is perfect for those times. The game doesn’t take a lot of time to get through on the easier modes, nor does it take a long time to get the hang of it, so you can probably beat it in 30 minutes while waiting for something.
Cons: The controls are abysmal. Slow and unresponsive guarantee that until you learn the boss attacks and move a bit before you need to, you will die often. If you beat this game through on your first try, you must be able to predict the future given how slow the controls are.