But how to expand the appeal without disemboweling what made the genre - heavy in complex flight patterns and bullet storms - both unique and dizzyingly satisfying?
After soaring through the skies this week ahead of the game's launch today, we're deeply appreciative as to how both companies managed to retain both philosophies.
But first, the view.
On a purely technical point, the game looks wondrous. Cascades of colours, and smaller details like expelled shells falling from your ship, and the switch of light and shadow as you move between open areas to caves is amazing.
From the elegance and simplicity of the menus to the complex exaggeration of the bosses, there's a great artistic balance, despite radically different elements. Inspiration comes from many quarters, and communal participation provides stimulating scenarios and enemies at every level.
But best of all is when these art ideas play into game mechanics.
It happens in trap-filled corridors, environmental changes, or in the various parts that make up each boss, forcing you to change the strategy. In one level you're soaring through the clouds one minute and plunge into the sea the next, ship turned submersible, attackers altering to fit the new environment.
And now, the mechanics.
Each downed enemy adds valuable extra seconds to move on, so sometimes in addition to dodging, it's essential to gun for glory and knock out enemies. The fallen leave behind colourful collectables that add to the game system.
Some give a few extra seconds, some bonus score support (in addition to the combo multipliers), others activate a shield..then there are tokens that improve your arsenal by a multiple of nine.
Time's important on two counts. One, you're chasing the clock countdown, and two, pressing RT will kick in a bullet time effect to dodge barrages. That coupled with the fire button keeps things simple, but they're mechanics that keep you constantly thinking beyond the next shot.
Finally, those fearing the difficulty can remain calm. The difference between the settings is snug, always suggesting that with a little more effort anything is possible. In addition, working behind the scenes constantly curious dynamic category system which marks player performance throughout the level.
The experts will want to stay as long as possible in the highest category, get the real ending and demonstrate mastery in Arcade mode, try out Score Attack or Boss Rush.
First signs suggested a decent but generic shooter. Sine Mora has found the key to be fun and challenging for everyone. It may not go down in history as, for example, Radiant Silvergun, but looks great as part of your Arcade catalogue and it'll please many types of players.
It's a very special shooter, a work that has certainly taken advantage of the cultural mix of its creators. It speaks Hungarian, challenges you in Japanese. It's as juicy as goulash, and stylistically as spicy as paprika and katsu-don. Try it now.
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