Mushihimesama – Review
Follow Genre: Bullet Hell, Arcade
Developer: CAVE Interactive CO.,LTD.
Publisher: Degica
Platform: PC, Switch, PS2, Xbox 360, iOS
Tested on: Switch

Mushihimesama – Review

Site Score
Good: It’s fun for a while, Nice graphics and sounds, A bullet hell for everyone
Bad: No story explanation, Not that special
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The original Mushihimesama came out all the way back in 2004 and the 1.5 version got released on arcades in 2011. Over the years, there have been ports to both PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 and iOS. Now ten years later, we get a compilation of both the original and 1.5 versions for your trusty Switch. The game looks and feels like a real blast from the past, as the graphics and hectic gameplay take you back to the glory days of arcade game, and simpler times   


Players will notice that a story seems absent from the game until the very end. You just blast your way through the various levels without really knowing what your goal is. In the end, it seems that you meet someone, but the text scrolls so fast that it can be hard to read. Looking up the Wikipedia for the game, it states that the world is inhabited by huge insects that ensure the cycle of life. But, due to their presence, it has become very toxic for humans to live there and they need to sacrifice a fifteen-year-old every 200 years, and next in line is the daughter of the royal family.

She was given a special bracelet when she once got lost in the forest and the day she turned fifteen, the miasma poison contaminated the village where she lives. Now she has to ride on her giant beetle to meet the Koujuu god himself and save her people. After meeting the god, it turns out that the bracelet protects her from the poison, and one day, humans might be able to use that energy to counter the miasma in the forest.

It would have been nice to see or read an intro to the game, so you are not mindlessly clearing levels one by one. Even other bullet hell games have had a short intro to give you a certain drive to clear the game. When you beat the game after 40-50 minutes, the ending text goes so fast that it’s hard to understand, and in combination with the absence of the backstory, this makes for some confusing moments.


Being an arcade game retrofitted on newer consoles, the developers have adjusted the way the game is displayed. There is only a small screen in the center where the gameplay takes place, and this has been done so you could still have the nice arcade screen ratio without stretching the game into ugly proportions. The rest of the screen is filled with nice wallpapers or can be used to display extra parts of the screen, such as a small zoomed-in area around your ship. The latter can be used to ‘pixel dodge’ incoming bullets.

The game, despite its age, has really nice graphics. You will notice that the backgrounds have aged quite a bit, but as they are 2D, it has this certain hand-drawn charm that is quite common for older games. The enemies on screen are all 3D in a very typical retro style. There will be a lot going on during the game, so your screen is filled with enemies and bullets. The hectic on-screen action may cause a dip in the game’s frames per second, which may actually be used in your favor to properly dodge incoming projectiles. Even though this compilation included both the original and the 1.5 versions of the game, there’s only a slight difference between the two. The 1.5 version of the game has more animations and these are also smoother.


In true arcade fashion, the game benefits from simple yet effective sound effects. The game has a few voiced lines that are heard throughout the levels, but these are very simplistic. All voices are in Japanese, which gives it a nice authentic touch. The soundtrack on the other hand is pleasant to listen to and gives the perfect Japanese arcade vibe.


Mushihimesama is a top-down bullet hell shooter where you must clear each level while dodging a large number of projectiles. In this collection, you have a broad range of different settings and modes to play with. At its base, you can choose between Novice, Normal, Arrange, and Ver 1.5. Each mode, except for Arrange, has the difficulty selection of Original, Maniac, and Ultra. In Arrange mode, however, you start out with maxed-out weapons and focus more on getting a higher score. Every other mode is the arcade game where you want to complete the story. During the setup, you have the choice between three different weapons, with each weapon having a different bullet spread. As a last-ditch effort, you can always throw a bomb, this damages enemies and clears the screen of bullets.

Each level is pretty simple; as you fight your way through different waves of enemies and defeat the boss at the end of each level. Later levels will have mini-bosses that seem to be recycled from earlier encounters. The game takes around 40-45 minutes to beat, and the goal is to beat it with the highest possible end score. With the game having many different settings, you can always try to clear the game in each mode, but it can get boring pretty soon as it is always exactly the same.

Controlling the game is pretty easy, as it only uses a few buttons to perform your attacks and the stick to move. On the Switch, you have a few unique buttons for using rapid-fire, and these can be fine-tuned in the options menu to fire even faster.


Mushihimesama is a real blast from the past. Even after so long, the game still looks good on modern consoles, whilst keeping the retro visuals and sounds intact. The game is very pleasant for short bursts, but those looking for a lot of variation thanks to the different modes will be left wanting more. Those looking for an authentic arcade experience will certainly enjoy this one, especially with all the different difficulty settings.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Mushihimesama - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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