Natsuki Chronicles – Review
Follow Genre: Horizontal shoot 'em up
Developer: Qute
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Platform: PC, PS4
Tested On: PS4

Natsuki Chronicles – Review

Site Score
Good: Fun gameplay, Decent difficulty curve, Many weapons, Great graphics
Bad: Can feel unfair sometimes
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

At first glance, it looks like there is a new R-Type game, yet Natsuki Chronicles has a different heritage. Both franchises have a lot in common but Natsuki Chronicles is a game that runs parallel with the events in Ginga Force, a game from the same developers. This masterpiece comes with a serious story, fast-paced gameplay and a difficulty curve that can be a bit intimidating at first. Even so, we stepped into this bullet hell and tried to make it out in one piece.


One aspect that makes Natsuki Chronicles a unique game is that it combines fast-paced horizontal shooting gameplay with a seriously crafted storyline. You follow the story of rookie pilot Natsuki in the Seventia Rapid Deployment Force while going on her many assignments. She joined the RDF to catch criminals and make Seventia a safer place, but not all cases are treated equally. Sometimes it feels like you are working for a dictatorship that doesn’t allow anyone that disagrees with their vision. The story switches back and forth between missions and Natsuki’s initial training days, allowing for some carefully planned character development along the way.

The story is amazing in this game, yet can be hard to follow as some key elements play out during the combat scenarios while you have to dodge the many attacks from enemies. If you don’t care for the story then you can always just enjoy the game as well, blasting enemies into the afterlife. If you do care and take time to notice the nicely crafted story unfolding, then you will certainly appreciate the progress. The game only has ten stages, plus a few training flashbacks. Nonetheless, as each stage gets significantly harder, it can take a while to progress through the whole story.


You will be blown away by the amazing graphics of Natsuki Chronicles. The game might only be in 2D, but sports a wide range of high-quality assets, with nicely detailed gunships, a large number of diverse enemies, and mouth-watering backgrounds. There is a lot of attention to detail and when mounting different weapons you can see where they are firing from on your ship, making the weapons feel realistic and making for some spectacular battles. The many bullets flying on the screen can feel hectic, yet it does not make for a seizure-inducing experience like in some other games.


An amazing thing about Natsuki Chronicles is that the character interactions are fully voiced in Japanese. This gives the game strong vibes to the genre’s country of origin, yet makes following the story by ear a little bit harder. During gameplay there is a wide range of different great music playing, fitting in nicely to the faster fights that you are a part of. Furthermore, there are some sound effects that play when your shield is recharged and other small sounds like gunfire, but these never become too overwhelming.


Natsuki Chronicles is a horizontal shoot ‘em up that took inspiration from classic games such as R-Type and Gradius and is linear with the developers’ other game Ginga Force. The game has two main modes, story mode and arcade mode. In story mode, you follow the daily life of rookie pilot Natsuki and how she joined and serves the RDF. The story mode has ten main stages and a few extra training stages where you can learn how to use newly acquired weapons. Before each stage you may select your loadout, invest in new technology and customize your ship with a new livery if you wish. During your time in the story mode, you will earn funds to acquire new weapons and shields, and if you use them during your battles, then you earn experience for upgrading them to more powerful versions.

Your main goal is to reach the boss at the end of the stage. Getting there won’t be easy as there is a lot of resistance along the way. You will have to defeat many enemies, dodge bullets to conserve your shields and get acquainted with the many weapons at your disposal. Not only do you need to observe your enemies, but adapt to the rapidly changing environment and dodge the many traps that the opposition has placed to keep you out.

The game has a growing difficulty curve but has a safety net in place for lesser experienced pilots. At first, the missions are easy and they allow you to get comfortable with the controls. Of course, as the game only has ten stages, it has the curve growing rather quickly. If you would fail during a mission then you gain an extra body shield, which allows the user to receive one extra hit before dying. The way how extra body shields work is that the extra ones disappear when hit, yet your regular body shield will regenerate after a while. Another great help is the ability to see bullet trajectories. This can make dodging slightly easier in all the hastiness of the bullet-hell atmosphere of Natsuki Chronicles.

It is best to first play the story mode, as the arcade mode can spoil some of the encounters that you would have in the story mode. Arcade mode is pretty straightforward; you spawn in with basic gear and you play through the stages of the story mode in rapid succession to see how far you can get. Acquiring new weaponry can be a bit tricky as they need to be found in the levels and this can also mean that you can lose them if you pick others up by accident. Arcade mode hasn’t stolen its name from old-school games. If you want to continue, then you must use credits. These credits can be adjusted in the configuration menu and just like in other games, the more times you play this mode, the more maximum credits you can accumulate.

Controlling your ship is pretty easy. The movement is very responsive and you only have to work with three attack buttons: primary, secondary and ‘shield’. The primary weapon is always pointed forward, the secondary weapon can either be one that fires backward or frontal (depending on the setting) and a moving orb that functions as a shield is a tool that can deflect incoming projectiles. You will have to plan your firepower carefully as the weapons fire at full strength when fired separately, but when trying both weapons at the same time, power will be diverted to both so you can use them at the same time but with less strength.


Natsuki Chronicles is a perfect game for those who love the older Gradius and R-Type games or even have played Ginga Force. The production quality is really high thanks to the lovely sound, music, amazing graphics and attention to detail. The gameplay itself is fluid, easy to pick up, hard to master, yet has a safety net in place so you have more chances each run that you (re)try. Thanks to the diverse weapon arsenal and the gripping story, you really want to complete the game. If you are good enough then you can make some serious progress rather quickly, but for the normal skilled players, it will take some time to get through the rather short story mode. If you prefer to just jump in and shoot some bad guys then you could always give the arcade mode a spin.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Natsuki Chronicles – 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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