Raiden Developer Makes Bullet Hell Shooters More Accessible With Caladrius

By Spencer . March 21, 2013 . 10:40pm

BErOEZwCQAAeEKgCaladrius an upcoming shooter from Raiden developer Moss is trying to cater to diehard fans of the genre and newcomers. Caladrius is story heavy with visual novel-like cutscenes where you see Alex, Kei, and Maria talk. If you just want to play through the story you can select "No Damage" mode which makes your ship invincible.


Enemy bullets, boss laser beams, and crashing into stuff won’t destroy your ship in this mode. However, a damage counter underneath your score lets you know how many times you would have died. Caladrius has online leaderboards, but won’t have one for No Damage mode. And if you’re a shooter fan you can select "very hard" mode, one of the six difficulty settings in the game.


We talked about Caladrius’ elemental shot system before and if you haven’t seen it check out the opening movie. Caladrius is slated for release on April 25.

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  • Suicunesol

    Oh, come on! Go ahead and make an easy mode, but do you really have to make an INVINCIBILITY mode on top of that? That is not accessibility! At all! Where has the principle of making the player earn their game completion gone?!!!

    …well, it is a VN. Even so, this whole casual-mode game thing has been going too far. -_-

    • No

      How dare they give the player a CHOICE on how to play the game, especially if they just want to go over the story and pretty artwork unhindered. The fiends!

      • Suicunesol

        You guys keep throwing the “freedom” card whenever this argument is started. “A player should be allowed to play however he/she wants!” Sure, choose whatever mode you want! Easy-mode! Super-mode! Super-super easy mode! Fine by me.

        But an out-and-out no-damage mode–you don’t think that just totally defeats the purpose of having the player play through?

        • No

          They have a story in there for the purpose of the player to enjoy, if the other modes are too difficult he/she can enjoy the story in the no damage mode. It’s a nice option for that. Also, keep in mind that this mode does not let you upload your score, and score is the main course of shoot em ups, not clears or full playthroughs. You can have a run where you beat the game but the score is nowhere near as good as you may have done on a previous one where you ended your continue on stage 4 for example. After you “beat” the game, all that’s left is you and your drive to improve your score.

          Why are you so bothered over devs giving players choices on what they want to do?

          • Suicunesol

            I’m bothered because it’s a direction I personally don’t want to see games go, even if the mass majority wants it that way.

            The only business excuse I can accept that this kind of no-damage mode is okay is that this game is primarily a VN, and many VN players might be turned away by intimidating danmaku. But even then, they could still have made a beginners mode or something even easier. Or not make it a danmaku game at all.

            To have a game where you don’t have to press any buttons at all–that just goes against all game design principles. That you can play the game by not playing the game is just not the reason video games were invented.

          • No

            They made a shooter with a VN-like story. The shooter portion requires you to press buttons, and they added one where you don’t have to press buttons. Nowhere does it say it was made with no button pressing in mind and the rest of the game designed around that concept, it’s an optional mode and in no way reflects the way games are going at all.

          • Kevadu

            You still have to shoot. Those bosses aren’t going to kill themselves.

            Did you freak out this much when the existence of cheat codes was pretty much the norm back in the 90s?

          • Suicunesol

            No, I’m just looking for something controversial to talk about on Siliconera tonight. :P I was annoyed by cheat codes whenever I found out about them, but that’s only because I couldn’t stop myself from using them.

            Alright, the bosses. Can’t argue with that,

          • Anonymous

            Totally different stuff

          • Wappuli

            Bosses in these games usually have a timer, so they basically kill themselves without you needing to shoot at all.

          • neo_firenze

            iddqd for life.

        • Indeed. There’s this thing called Youtube, for people that don’t want to “play” the game.

        • Not when it’s just to play through the story. Let them have that mode while others play normally. Nobody did (nor should have) complained when games like Ninja Gaiden 3 and Metal Gear Rising have a super easy, hand-holding mode like this.

          Not that I don’t see where you’re coming from. Playing a challenging game only on the super-easy mode is not something one easily admits.

          • Suicunesol

            Well, that’s not entirely my point. Super-easy hand-holding is fine as long as there is some kind of player interaction. Ninja Gaiden 3 and Metal Gear Rising, as easy as they might be, still required the player to play.

            This mode, as I read it, lets you stand back and watch if you want to. Play the game without playing. Homerun without running. Playing the game on easy and not playing at all are different.

          • And you would be right. Though boss fights may be the only thing the player would have to interact with. If you ask me, the game should go the troll route with Touhou and never have the player make it towards the very end (and maybe not even the latter half) because they played on such a hand-holding mode like this. You’ll want to earn your happy ending, VN or no.

          • Suicunesol

            See, now there’s a good example! If not a consequence, there needs to be some kind of incentive to better yourself at playing the game. Otherwise~

        • neo_firenze

          I don’t think no-damage mode entirely defeats the purpose. You can still use it to learn enemy placement and get a sense of the levels while reducing the stress of surviving, then put that knowledge to use in actual game modes.

          The 360 Dodonpachi Daioujou port (a notably difficult game) had a no bullet mode, and I actually did use that to learn the positions of the hidden bees so I could go back and get them when I played for “real”.

          • Suicunesol

            Fair enough. That’s a good enough reason, actually. However, I think you and I both know that this mode wasn’t really created for that purpose. The non-player players are the ones who will be playing it to get to the end rather than using it as a sort of practice. And I seriously doubt they would revert to the mode that has a penalty after getting used to invincibility mode.

      • Andrew A

        “We want the Fate/Stay Night audience for our manic shooter”

        • If tht got the VN fans to try more of bullet hell shooters, why not? More fans=more $$$.

      • 60hz

        hmm… who buys a shmup for the story???? This will almost guarantee super low review scores (especially here in the west) where folks think the value of the game is in how long it takes to beat not how well you beat it.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, If you want to see the story play the game, Not Invincible mode through it

    • Aoshi00

      I don’t know why you would have beef w/ this. This is essentially free play w/ infinite lives and continues from the get go, some games just make you spend at least 10hrs to unlock it, time which some people don’t have.

      Let’s face it, “easy” for shmups aren’t particularly easy.. as for no interaction, you really think some people would just put their controllers on the table? They would still be shooting stuffs, just don’t have to hit a roadblock of constantly dying or starting from the beginning over and over. I like games w/ a wide range of difficulty, from super easy or super hard, just let the player choose. People still get to experience the game themselves, different from just watching on youtube. I don’t see why some would complain about any game being too easy as an option. I’m playing Ginga Force now, easy’s not easy at all, you have to die a lot and keep practicing and buy upgrades, even though lives are extended for each stage as you play more. As some mentioned, it’s like Konami’s cheatcode, you were basically invincible too since one won’t die, did that make playing Contra any less fun? Not really.

  • No

    I wonder if this will be brought over. MOSS already has a number of their games on Xbox 360 and Live so I hope so. This looks like it will be really good, and isn’t from Cave!

  • I kinda see why you’d want an invincible mode to show off the storyline to casuals – and don’t get me wrong, I’m completely useless as shmups in general.

    However, what I don’t get is why people can’t be bothered to watch someone play this through on youtube (or so) if they just want to read the storyline ’cause they’d wipe out all the continues in a matter of… say, 3 stages out of 6 for example. That’s what I’d personally do…

    In that respect, it may have been better to just let the game play itself while the player reads the story dialogues as it goes through.

    some Asian-British who’s useless at bullet hells but enjoys stories in vidya.

    • Aoshi00

      I’m definitely not an expert on shmups either but I love playing them. watching on YouTube is different though, like if u watch someone play bayonetta or pull off the crazy chain combos on super easy on your own. It’s automatic but still a satisfying experience for the less skilled, it just won’t unlock achievements. Like I said this is not much different from instant freeplay. I doubt anyone would just put down their controller on the sofa, they just won’t constantly die.

  • FetusZero

    It’s not all that accessible if no one outside Japan can play it! Hopefully they’ll bring it over here, I’ve been really interested in this shmup.

    • Pope The Rev XXVIII

      It could be region free

      • FetusZero

        I’d love to say that you’re right, but Moss confirmed that it was region-locked. You can find it on the shmup forums.

  • TrevHead

    Well I guess there’s no difference in playing No Damage mode and spamming unlimited credits to see the story.

    I feel strange saying this but if Japanese devs want to know a good way of making an accessible shmup they should emulate Jamestown. How they go about it atm is really short sighted and won’t keep those ppl buying STGs in the long run.

  • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

    I love it , they give me a God-mode and let me know how many times I would have died if I was a mere mortal just so I can enjoy their artwork and story.

    Honestly, I like this! However, I would still want to experience the game with all the bells and whistles of VN cut scenes. I hope this gets brought over to the West somehow.

  • Kurow Akutenshi

    You know what would make bullet hell more accessible? PUTTING IT SOMEWHERE ELSE.

  • 60hz

    um bullet hells ARE NOT accesible… plus taking out the difficulty pretty much takes out the whole point in playing the game in the 1st place… i mean who buys shmups for story anyway? hell why buy a game for story when you can just get the story in a youtube playthrough for free…

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