My last post about Blast Works reminded me of another recent four-player experience. I don't think I'd classify it as a shoot 'em up, however. I'm not even sure if the multiplayer was actually cooperative. Frankly, I have no idea what to think about Bangai-O Spirits.
Rather than offer a linear experience, Bangai-O Spirits allows the player to select from a collection of short stages. For our one and only attempt, I selected Stage 001, which seemed like a logical enough choice at the time. The very instant the stage began, we were immediately bombarded by missiles from seemingly every direction, their origins unknown. Screen-filling flares and flashing accompanied a cacophany of explosions that seemed to last forever as the slowdown took over. Eventually, we somehow completed the stage, even though I still hadn't figured out the objective. It was honestly the most baffling experience I'd ever had with a video game.
Apparently, the tutorial mode, while not strictly mandatory, is essential to understanding the game. I might give it another shot when I'm more motivated, but I don't think I'll be able to rope anyone else into trying it with me again.