After talking with Greg K. a little while back I decided to pick up Castle Shikigami 2. I had to order it online because I couldn't find it in stores anywhere. With shipping I think it was something like $12, which is crazy when you consider that it really isn't any less of a game than most of the more expensive games on the shelf. The game isn't perfect by any means, but it's definitely a good game if you like vertically scrolling shooters.
The weirdest part of the game is the dialogue. It's completely mind blowing how terrible it is. Think of "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" and then try to imagine a conversation exclusively in those broken terms. The characters speak english, but it's so screwed up that they might as well be speaking Portugese. Here's an example of one line that I found particularly funny:
"Holy Cow! Got a clue. Now this?"
Bear in mind that there's absolutely no context for that, one of the characters just says that for some reason. Weirder still is that all of the dialogue is voiced, so you can imagine the voice actors thinking, "What the hell am I saying, this makes no sense at all!" But, apparently they didn't find it bizarre, or they just wanted to collect their food stamps and be on their way. It almost seems like the developers took existing conversations and just edited them together to get a tattered conversation that seems appropriate only in a David Lynch film or psychiatric institute of some sort.
Anyway, despite the translation, Castle Shikigami 2 is actually a really fun game, and the dialogue just gives you more incentive to play through to see what kind of bizarre exchange you'll be treated to next.
After playing for awhile and trying out a few of the characters I decided to check out the boards here to see if anyone is actually playing the game. Apparently there aren't many people playing, but I did manage to find some information on a series of shooters that I was previously completely unaware of for the PC. Apparently there's this guy who goes by the name ZUN who makes what he calls "curtain fire" shooters, where basically a mass of bullets fills the entire screen. I've played a lot of shooters, but somehow I had never heard of these games before. There are quite a few of them, and it looks like you can download them for free.
Here's a picture from one of the games, called Perfect Cherry Blossom:
The game looks completely insane. It might make a nice screensaver, but it looks a bit excessive for a shooter. Still, I think I might give it a shot sometime just for kicks.