Lilian Fourhand – Nuclear Soeur Fighters

Posted by DiGiKerot in Doujin games at February 3, 2006 on 10:32 pm

Lilian Fourhand is an on-foot shooter featuring characters from Maria-sama ga Miteru. Its not a million-miles away from games like Konamis Contra/Probotector series in that you go from left-to-right shooting things, interrupted along the way by an assortment of bosses to take down. In Lilian Fourhand, however, the stages auto-scroll – you can’t take things at your own pace as it just keeps moving.

Rather than having a default character who picks up an assortment of weapons, you get to choose one of three Soeur pairs with fixed attacks. Each of the pairs have their own attack, but since you control both at once (and they both shoot at once) you don’t really need to worry about that other than knowing you’ll be firing two attacks at once. Complicating things further is that you get enemies walking along the background taking pot-shots at you, who can’t be taken down with regular attacks – you need to lock-on to them (there’s a choice of lock-on methods, but Auto is for wimps) making things rather more tricky than simply having to shoot. You can actually lose one of your characters down a pit. If you lose your main character, you’ll reappear with a chunk of your health missing. If you lose your petite soeur they’ll disappear for a short while, taking your lock-on skill with them. Eventually they’ll float down from the top of the screen and you’ll have to make contact with them to bring them back into action – miss them and you’ll have to wait a while longer and try again.

The game has six stages set in different surrounds you’ll recognise if you’ve seen the anime version of Marimite, and with the exception of level 6 (which is basically a boss-rush stage, pitting you against bosses you’ve thought previously before throwing you against the final boss) the levels follow the same basic pattern of having two bosses – one half way through the stage, and one end. The bosses, unsurprisingly, are all characters from the series. It’ll raise a few smiles from those who are familiar with the series, though not likely as much as a laugh.

I really like Lilian Fourhand. Its a really polished, really playable game. It looks about as nice as a game like this can, the music is suitable and pleasant, and the stages are really well done, not simply being wave after wave of the same attacks. The game itself is fairly short, though you’d have to be pretty good to get through the whole game in the “normal” difficulty in one go with only the credits you are given by the game. If you are the obsessive type, the desire to improve your game and score is there in spades. Truthfully, its just incredibly playable a game – the only possible blackmark is that having separate buttons to shoot left and right is a bit awkward, but given you need to shoot in the opposite direction to which you walk fairly often (particularly against bosses) its forgivable, particularly given you get used to it pretty quickly.

Its not going to give the upper echelon of the professional genre games much of a head-ache – it falls a little short of the likes of Contra III, though it feels a little fairer a game to me than Metal Slug (that may just be that I suck at that game) – but its definitely worth a look if you a genre obsessive or a MariMite fan boy.

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