The Gynecologist’s Nightmare: Yakouga 5on January 30, 2013 by Geraint Evans
‘OH MY GOD! The boob-copters are spewing out worms!’ Now there’s something I didn’t expect to say. Ever, actually. I’m not sure what I expected from this when I first fired it up. Appearing at the end of the Comiket 83 reel it’s certainly one of the most distinctive games to come from the show, and visually speaking – it’s also one of the best.
Now, given that this is a preview of sorts (mainly because I can only go off the trial – rather than the finished game) it might be premature of me to start telling you how good it is, but from the brief time I’ve had to play it, I have to admit, I’m very taken by it.
It’s also one of the most disgusting 2D shooters I’ve ever played – but this is down to its unique visual style. How best to describe it? Kind of like Geiger meets David Cronenburg – with it’s freakishly sexual and biological themes. Fleshy lumps that allude to genitalia, soft pink tunnels and spermy spiraling worm bullets, pulsating pustules and foetus-headed organisms – it’s a carnival of the grotesque. This isn’t something that you’d expect to find your mother playing – that much is certain.
It centers around a girl called Norkundi who, after eating some mushrooms (yeah, I know!) falls very ill. Coming to her rescue is demon boy, Pierku, who, it’s revealed, is living with a human lady called Alma. Turns out this unlikely pairing are thinking of getting married – but there’s a little problem…
It seems Alma’s brother is high up in the church, and Alma needs to send a letter to her brother in order that the marriage be allowed. Norkundi promises to deliver it for them in thanks for helping her after her mushroom incident – but, unsurprisingly, it’s not going to be that easy.
Turns out church is against any kind of unholy union between Demon and Human, so Norkundi has to run the gauntlet to deliver the message. To help her in her mission, Pierku gives Norkundi a ‘Penyuton’ – a magical item that will help her on her way.
So yeah, it’s all ‘perfectly normal’ stuff. This Penyuton is actually one of the central mechanics of the game – basically, by holding down the fire button, you can charge up this big ball of magic in front of you – a bit like a bubble. This absorbs enemy attacks – working like a shield – you can also rub it against enemies to damage them, or fire it out ahead for a super powered blast.
Only snag is, your charged Penyuton shot isn’t effective against harder bone – bouncing right off. For harder substances, you have to use your basic fire power by tapping the fire button. So progress involves blasting both boney things, and fleshy things in the right way – you also have two directons of fire – one button shooting forward, the other shooting back. Success usually means fountains and fountains of gore and hearts to help replenish your life and also coins – which can be used to upgrade Norkundi.
Upgrades can be accessed via the game’s store, allowing you to expand your maximum health quota, increase the amount of health you start a level with or boost your attacking power – both for the damage your Penyuton does, as well as your standard shot. You can also buy data, or rather information on the games enemies, backstory and lore – which it seems is very extensive. Apparently, the game has a robust Story mode, though we’ve yet to experience that in full at the time of writing.
If you’d like to give the trial a go – and we strongly suggest you do! You can find it over at the Circle, Akiragoya’s, main website right here. Guaranteed, you won’t have seen anything quite like it! ; )