MMT, doujin game review

MMT or the oddly translated full name (deep breath) incredibly bad relationship where there once upon a time Thanks for coming for the princess and the twin tail. Which as you can guess I wont be saying again, is a cutesy platformer that uses the pick up and throw mechanic of Doki doki panic or Super Mario Bros 2 in the west. But where as before we had a fat plumer and his crew or a family of turbin wearers in MMT, doujin been doujin, you will control a cute girl who fights lots of other cute girls by pulling even more cute girls out of the ground and like in Doki Doki Mario throw said cute girl and enemy cute girl. As I said this is doujin and males in these games are an endangered species.

 Since the game has a intro and generic before boss battle cut scenes there must also be a story and a plot but since its all in Japanese I cant read squat. From what I can gather you are a princess or witch that lives in a land where people have planted themselves into the ground (weird I know), and you’re fighting against your twin sister and later on another magical girl. As to why your fighting your guess is as good as mine. Luckly for us the story is unimportant and you not knowing how to read kanji has no bearing on you playing the game as normal.


 Gameplay is quite simple you walk from left to right jumping on to differing platforms or using a second button to pick up plant people or enemies and lob them at other enemies. If you hold down the pick up/ throw button you can throw a charged shot which depending on what you’re throwing will make various attacks. The different types of girls you can pull out of the ground all have special charge attacks: Green girls are normal striaght shots, red girls will propel you forwards destroying most things you attack with that single hit, blue girls will make a simlar attack but propel you upwards. There are more plant girls but they’re pritty rare until the later stages so you will mostly be using those 3 basic charged attacks. The later 2 been great for getting to platforms you otherwise could’nt reach.

 The game has 5 long stages that are ok to play though but for me the best parts of MMT are the end of stage boss battles. The bosses on your 1st attempt are quite hard to beat, I found I had to continue the game once or twice to get past them, with the last boss by far the hardest nut to crack imo.

 Another good aspect of MMT is there are lots of secrets to find, with many hearts and lives hidden behind false walls or seemingly out of reach platforms. MMT does have a lot of replay value if you’re into finding secrets. The best items to find are keys. Each stage has a key that is hidden, if you manage to find one the game will always remember how many you’ve collected in total, plus will show you in the main menu. I havn’t collected every key but I’m guessing that if you collect all of them, the hidden option in the main menu will be unlocked. What that option does is a mistery, although I’ve seen a video called Neo MMT, a demo that is in hard mode. Since there is no option available to change difficulty then the hidden option may have something to do with it.

Negative Aspects

 Playing on Win XP with the Japanese Language Pack installed I came across only 1 bug, that is when you’re fighting the bosses and you keep on dieing, for some strange reason the timer isn’t reset. So that for every 3 or 4 lives lost fighting a boss you’ll lose a life to time out. After which you will restart with a imo lowly 150 seconds. Its not a too big a pain in the arse though since you can amass lots of lives and you do get unlimted continues aswell.

 Compared to other platformers the game is a little too simple especially playing the earlly stages. Things definatly pick up half way through the game when you reach the castle, stage 1 on the other hand is very boreing and you’ll find yourself racing to get to the end of level boss and the fun. Although ive seen many worse examples then this, a major design flaw many bedroom game makers do is to have the stage 1 gameplay way to simple and boring and expect the player to be still playing the game when the good parts starts. This might have been ok 10 years ago but todays gamers including me are less willing to put up with shit game design.

 As I said the stages do pick up when you reach the castle but this is mostly to do with the host of stronger enemies that you face and generally not because the platforming aspects of the game are done better. Infact if you were expecting jumping / platforming to be on par with Doki Doki Mario you will be disapointed. MMT more of a beat em up with some platforming added on. Treating the game as such makes for a much more enjoyable game.


 For what it is, MMT isn't a bad game just not a great game either. Many people will only complete it once (or possibly give up at the last boss) and never pick it up again. Still if you want to try to collect all the hidden keys and unlock that option, then MMT looks a much better prospect. The game was released by the doujin circle Daisessen at C72. If you look around you might be able to grab hold of a copy. 3.1 out of 5


Arcanacra ver 0.4.3 Black Label

I dont usually play that many flash games and if I do they rarely hold my intrest longer then a hour. Arcanacra Black Label is an exeption, made by Keim the chap who made Nomltest, so if you've played that game you'll know that he knows how to make an addictive shmup. Basically he has made the impossible possible, that is to make a flash shmup play just aswell as a normal shmup that you keep on your hard drive. Personally I think Keim is a master at programming to be able to make such a thing. Ok graphics with no jerkiness, no good awfull mouse control scieme (keyboard only like all flash games so Xpadder is a must to use a pad). No kindergarden level gameplay with no pointless achievements to make up for the lack of good gameplay. Keim has managed the unthinkable and actually made a flash shmup that is fit to be called a shoot 'em up and he did this in 2007. Personally i think he will be going to hell when he dies because he has sold his soul to the devil. How else could there be a game such as this?

Jokes aside, Arcanacra is a fun game and unlike other flash offerings is made for a gamer who plays alot of shmups and has some skills in playing them. Aside from the graphics been abit on the plain side and there been no joystick support (I wouldn't know were I would be without the trusty Xpadder), Keim's game is a hell of alot of fun if I would say alittle hard in places. I think this might have more to do with just finishing playing Recca and Kairuga which are have completely different styles of play to a normal shmup of which Arcanacra is. Keim says his insperations for the game were Cho Ren Sha 68K, Warning Forever and Kenta Cho's P47. The simalarites are there especially Cho Ren Sha, which is what first came to mind when I played it well before I read Keim's comments.


 You control a spaceship with the usual small (cockpit only) bullet hell sized hit box through 6 stages where you will battle a mixture of popcorn enemies and larger ships that depending on the type will eather throw out a spray of bullets in a simple pattern or shoot aimed shots at you. The weapons at your desposable come under 4 categories: A standard forward faced shot which is paired with a side shot that increases the arc of your firepower, A stack of 3 bombs per life of which you can have 5 at maximum, they damage everything on the screen including wiping out the enemies bullets making them both offensive and good for defence. Although I find the bombs to be abit on the weak side with just one bomb not enough to destroy some of the larger enemies out right so expierienced gamers will be using bombs for last ditch defence only and will otherwise hoard them for points at the end of the level score tally. Arcanacra's fourth weapon is a Rayforce-eske lock on weapon. If you hold shift a target infront of your ship will apear and any ship under its cross-hair will automatically get hit by missiles and the longer you hold a ship over the crosshair will be hit by more and more missiles up to a certain maxiumum. As long as shift is held down you can then move the crosshair off the enemy and the missiles will continue to fire, this makes the lock on the first choice of many a gamer when tackling the end of level boss since it allows you to dodge while still lay down fire. Lock on will also slow your ship down which is handy for dodging tight spaces like in stage 2 where you have walls and blocks to crash into. Using the lock on will also stop your side shot from firing so that you will only have your forward fire to rely on.

 This creates an extra twist to the strategy since on many on the stages you can't be focused on destroying those large ships for too long as soon the screen will be full of popcorn enemies making the game harder if you arn't selective in what you destroy first to get the enemies back to a managable level. Do you go for the groups of popcorn baddies or takle the larger ships that shoot out waves of screen filling shots that make dodging the smaller ships that shoot aimed shots. Just Like Cho Ren Sha there are bonuses for you to shoot which will then desplay 3 or 4 power ups aranged in a circle that spins[, and as a joke to CRS if you manage to stay in the middle for a length of time you will instead of get all 3 power ups the screen will say Item Break and you'll get nothing hehe. You are able to power up each of you weapons to 3 with one weapon of choice to 4. What do you charge up is a matter of choice but its imo best to charge your forward facing weapon up to full asap as that weapon will allways be firing. After thats at full you can choose to power up your side weapon (great for stage 2 and killling waves of popcorn. Or your lock on (for large ships and boss fights). On those item spheres you can pick up a shield of which you can only have one at a time. Extra bombs or if you have scored enough, extra lives are awarded on the next item sphere you come across aswell.

 The game has another mode for you to play which is simler to normal mode but with lots more bullets. Skilled shmuppers only need apply. A pratice mode is also included so you can pratice a single stage as long as youve reached it in main game. There is also an online leaderboard with has a few familier names (from the shmups.com forum) at the top. You can also watch replays of your last play or your highest scoring run also you can watch replays of the top 10 players on the leaderboard. (MrMonkeyMan as always is at the top and watching hes replays hes a damn good gamer) It is good to note that everything is saved and when you return all the settings are as they were last time you played.


 The score mechanics are nothing too out of the ordenary. During play every thing is simple with the added bonus of double points for quickly destroying the largest ship types plus text will flash upon the screen to let you know you got a 'fast break'. Other then the fast break it is the end of stage score tally that awards you with extra points for each ship and bomb you have left. Points are awarded for what percentage of enemies you kill. Get a 100% kill rate and you will get a bonus of 40k making a total of 50,000. There is also a extra award of 20k for what the game describes as a secret. Im pritty sure that you have to keep shift held down for the lock on but make sure that your missiles dont fire, only use the forward fixed gun to destroy the enemies. You'll need to do this non stop for most or all of the stage, depending on the stage it can be very hard to keep this up, Imo stage 4 is the easiest since ive only maged to do it on that level.

 Other points are awarded for how much damage you layed upon the boss. Since unlike any other game ive played the boss will always blowup after a set about of time, how much you damaged it doesn't matter for progressing to the level only score. But if you manage to damage the boss alot, the warning text will flash on the screen again plus the boss will go into a frenzy shooting alot more bullets at you and if you arn't on top of your game you wont last long under the amount of hurt its sending your way. You will also be awarded an extra 20k for achieving this. In total if you play well the end of stage score arward screen will give you about as much as you can get during normal play. So like all the best shmups if you play like a pro ie hoard bombs, dont die and most of all get a 100% kill rate, your score will be alot higher then an average run where you don't manage this.

Negetive Aspects

 Onto Arcanacra Black Labels faults which are as usual for a freeware game based on the usual things that is partly to do with the limitations of the program it is programmed and run on instead of faulty game design. Like I said before there is no joystick support, making Xpadder your best friend yet again. If you like me and use an utility like Logitech Profiller you will find it wont support the game due to it been browser based and having no .exe file that the utility needs to beable to work. By far the worst aspects of Arcanacra is the fact it is slightly old and Keim hasnt been upgrading the game to work with the latest versions of the browsers. The latest vesion of Internet Explorer wont work with the game, for some reason the main menu wont show on screen. The other browser I have on my PC is Mozilla Firefox which does work. But even thats without its own hick ups. For everytime I get a new highscore and it's worthy of been on the leaderboard, the game will ask for my name and a comment. If I enter anything in and select ok the game freezes, forcing me to reload the page. All records of my highscore are lost, no saved replay and worse of all no name on the online leader board. The best solution is to select decline and no send any info to the leaderboard. Atleast this way your replay and highscore are saved for you alone. Wether this happens in a different browser I cant say but this is a really big shame as the main reason many people will play a flash shmup even one as good as Arcanacra is to see if you can beat your fellow shmuppers on the online leaderboards. Still me and a couple of others have left comments on the games comments section so that Keim will read them and hopefully fix the problem, fingers crossed.

 There are in my opinon a couple of gameplay aspects which some may find unsavory. First is that the the difficult curve of the bosses is off. The stage 2 boss is lot more harder then stages 3 and 4 bosses. This is negated to some extent for gamers just playing for suvival, because with the boss will blowing up after a certain time it's possible to just bomb your way through the boss and use the invunalbilty you get from picking up power ups to cheese your way through it. Wether you see this as a good or bad thing will depend on how good a player you are since a gamer who is finding the game too difficult may see this as a blessing.

 If you like Cho Ren Sha 68K or any other normal average shmup that doesn't try to be too different then you will enjoy this game. Sure there are alot of other doujin and commercial shmups that are better then this game. But the main thing Arcanacra has going for it is that its totally online so you can play it when you're not on your home PC but somewhere else like at work. Even though it hasnt many bells and whistles its still a solid game that is hard enough to challenge anyone, especially those playing for score who dont bomb their way past a boss. For those wanting to achieve a score worthy of the leader board he will probably need to get to atleast the last stage with decent scores in each of the stages. Even if you find you can't put your scores on the online leader board there's always the highscoring shmuppers best friend You Tube. And the game having replays makes this so much easier to make a video.

 If you find the Black Label too easy there is a slightly harder version of the game which raises the score threshold for extends and only allows 3 bombs max. If there are other differences between versions it's unknown since i've not spent any time with the game. The same bugs evident in version 0.4.3 Black Label are apparent in version 0.4.1 including the leaderboard bug. Which is a shame because the scores on the older version arn't as high as the later game, thus allowing unskilled plebs like me more of a chance of greatness. Ah well. Both version can be accessed at keim's website. But why dont you just visit here instead. If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see Black Label there for you to play. You can play the game in between reading articles ive posted, Ive given you true bliss :-).


 For a freeware flash shmup Arcanacra Black Label is the best example there is on the web today that's even despite it's bugs, If Keim ever sorts out the bugs it would be a 4.4 out of 5. As it is now I give it a slightly lower 4.1 out of 5.