Top Critic Average
Devil Engine is a brutally hard, yet engaging SHMUP that simply must be played. An amazing title that takes bits and pieces from other classics, polishes them up and produces one of the best titles I've played in a while. Great visuals, good music, super tight controls and more than enough challenge, make for a SHMUP that fans of the genre are going love.
It seems almost customary to include the phrase 'Not for everyone' in any review of a niche genre game, and while that certainly applies to Devil Engine, it has at least been designed in a way that encourages even the weakest players to keep trying and learn from their mistakes. The drip-feed of content is an effective incentive to pick yourself up and have just one more go, and although it is at times brutally difficult – even when compared to other tricky 2D shooters – it has the depth and variety to maintain your interest, and when you're at a competent level it's a heck of a lot of fun. The lack of online leaderboards goes against it, but if you're a fan of this style of game – and you're crying out for a title in the Thunder Force vein – then Devil Engine is well worth a look.
Altogether, Devil Engine is an intriguing STG that's held back by rough fundamentals. Given enough tuning, it could turn out to be welcome entry in any fan's library. There's plenty of content, and the two playable ships are impressively realized. However, the weak arsenal is a constant nuisance. Attempting to destroy massive bosses or even moderately-sized foes with a pea shooter isn't fun. There are options for quickly eliminating adversity, but getting past their constant waves of fire is also an ordeal. Simply put, it feels like this is trying too hard to break its players.