Sine Mora is a dieselpunk shoot ‘em up that provides a unique take on the genre, where time is the ultimate factor. Mixing classic shooter sensibilities with next-gen presentation, Sine Mora is a gorgeous shmup that appeals to both hardcore and casual gamers alike.
When the game first boots up, you are treated to an aural delight in the menu music. The soundtrack doesn’t disappoint when you are diving into this adaptive shooter either. Each piece of music is designed not only to fit each elaborate scene, but to give each level a sense of purpose and meaning.
The graphics have beautiful hand crafted details that could only come from legendary anime director Mahiro Maeda. While it is your standard 2D shooter, the background is brought into the action. Stationary guns, tanks and missile launchers fire away from the scenery begging to be destroyed.
The unique take on the genre is the over all game play of this shooter. Rather than using a life bar or getting hit once equals death, time is used. The player is given a specific amount of time to complete a level. For each bullet that enters the hit box, a portion of time is subtracted. Time can be earned back by destroying enemies quickly, and picking up specific power ups.
Sine Mora offers a decent amount of replayabilty as well. As each chapter of the story mode is completed: characters, planes, and other abilities are unlocked. These are then used in the arcade mode where it’s all about getting the highest score possible.
Accessibility is also taken into consideration with this title. The adaptive difficulty works to a point. There are a few parts that can be mighty frustrating where things might seem a bit confusing. Overall it does lower the barrier and welcomes in even casual gamers that are looking to give the genre a try, or a retry in some cases.
At first, the Mature rating for the game was a little confusing. But it becomes quickly apparent why the rating was given. The dialog between characters is filled with some intense language and the over all story can be a bit strong in places as well.
The price point for this XBLA title is a little steep at 1200 Microsoft points, and the M-rating might be a bit confusing. For the hardcore shmup player, spend the points and you will not be disappointed. For the casual player, download the trial and fall in love with a shoot ‘em up all over again… Then spend the points!