エスプガルーダII 〜覚聖せよ。生まれし第三の輝石〜 ($8.99) by CAVE CO.,LTD. is another classic bullet hell shmup game for your iPhone.
This game is very similar to the other game I covered, Dodonpachi Resurrection. Although one can say that DDPR is a bit more on the technical side. ESPGALUDA II is less little less of that technical stuff but also more challenging and enjoyable.
Instead of piloting a ship, you control one of three characters: Asagi, Ageha, or Tateha. Asagi is the youngest and the weakest character in overall power, but she has the most powerful Awakening form. Ageha is like the middle character in terms of power - he focuses on high attack power but only directly in front of him. Tateha has the pretty strong attack power (though not as strong a Ageha) but also covers a wide range in front of her.
Like DDPR, there are two modes of gameplay: iPhone and Arcade mode. The modes are almost the same, with the exception of how the Awakening state is.
In the iPhone mode, the Awakening state will render your character immobile when it's active, but it will turn all enemy bullets on the screen into gold points. Time it right for huge point bonuses.
In the Arcade mode, the Awakening state slows down enemy bullets and you deal more damage to the enemies as you are free to move around the screen. You can also achieve 'Max overdrive' if you continue to remain in the state long after you are out of gems. If you get hit while in max overdrive though, you will lose the increased attack power and revert back to normal.
As you destroy enemies, they will release green gems that automatically go to you - these are spirit gems. As you collect them, you can go into the Awakening state mentioned earlier. The duration of the Awakening state lasts as long as you continue to have spirit gems. The cap of spirit gems is 300 in the iPhone mode and 500 in Arcade mode.
There are only power-up orbs every now and then to increase your attack power. But unlike DDPR, there are no lasers, bombs, or hyper cannons (or Awakening state in Arcade mode is kind of like that), so that makes this game a bit more challenging and rewarding than DDPR.
There's a story behind the game as well, but I was too busy enjoying the shoot-em-up action to pay close attention to it.
And for those that don't know, ESPGALUDA II on the iPhone is simply a port of the XBox Live title and imported Japanese XBox 360 game, which can run you up to over $80, so $8.99 for this perfect iPhone port is a steal.
If you're a fan of bullet hell games, then definitely make sure to check this out. It's was in the App Store's 'Hardcore Games' Essentials Collection for a reason (this collection no longer is around).
Want to try it out before plunking down your cash? There's a free Lite version, but is limited to Stage 1 and with Asagi only. But iPhone and Arcade mode is accessible.
Go get your 'pew-pew' on!