Before I start working on an entry, I always do a bit of a research on it beforehand. I look up at the general description, the developing company and publisher/s, potential revisions, regional differences and updates. I avoid consulting manuals and I tend to check up completion rate only if I have doubts/think that I’ve done everything the game had to offer me.
What attracted me to try out “Divine Sealing” was mainly the fact that it was unlicensed game for the Sega Genesis, a console I am not very familiar with. I really do love bootlegs and unlicensed titles, probably because deep down inside me, I’ve always looked up after that which is cast away by the major human standard of quality. Maybe I feel like I’ve been given the same treatment through all the hardship I’ve went in my life, but that’s probably one heck of a big lie that I am trying to live up to as a truth. There are good and bad sides to everything, be it either people, games or whatever. Am I trying to prove this to myself by picking those kinds of games? What a dumb way of doing it! Maybe I already did and I’m trying to further solidify my statement and make it a grand part of my life? Well sir, that’s it! Also, I read that the game contains erotic themes… Oh, yeah… “Divine Sealing”… The game… Right!
After acquiring the correct ROM, I load it up via an emulator. The game shows up, the title screen shines before my glasses in the dark room, the LR19 magic is ’bout to happen! I find no further options on the screen and every button seems to start the game right away. I see a planet, which I assume is Earth, given its watery- blue color hue. There is text in Japanese, but due to my limited knowledge of the language, I can make very little of it. At a certain point, the game finally starts… YOU ARE A SPACE FIGHTER SHIP!!!
First of all, I should mention that during my research, I was spoiled about the length of the game. Regardless, I don’t feel very confident about my skills when it comes to SHMUPS! Few seconds into the game, I try the controls. I find that I am able to only move around and shoot. However, what I do regarding the shooting, is that I TAP the button constantly, rather than holding it. It’s a habit that I’ve carried over from playing a lot a certain OTHER game of the same genre. A little later I realize that not only holding down the button does a favor for my finger, it also makes dealing with incoming enemies way, way more easier. If anything, it was the intended way of playing the game “correctly”, if one is to have any sort of fun with it.
A little later into the game, I receive my first death, though I could not properly identify the case. Enemies keep swarming all over the screen and the background is kind of in the way. [Kinda!?! You just wait until later…] I eventually manage to reach the boss of the stage. What a rude guy! I’ve never [?] seen a boss lunge directly at you at the very start. The unexpected course of action from its side cause me to panic and… RAM RIGHT AT IT! However, further into the battle, I realize that the boss patterns are fairly basic and taking cover in the lower left corner of the screen is a good, safe place, as the damn thing rarely moves over there.
The battle does not last for too long, wherein I eventually find myself victorious. A lady with blue hair appears on the screen, which I assume is there to thank me for defeating the boss. I guess the girls in the game are made with the idea of looking somehow relevant to the planets that you save. [???] That’s it, as long as you follow mythological stereotypes and the code of all- around anime hair color! Anyways, I am awarded with a strip show for all my work and I am quite amused by the girl’s facial expressions, as more and more of her clothes hit the floor.
The second level introduces new enemies and at that point, I start to realize how similar the game feels to “Star Force”. I am having trouble getting used to the new enemies and I lose a lot of lives. However, I finally notice that the case for most of my deaths are the little raisin- looking enemies, who tend to chase you around, trying to collide with your ship. Losing lives is rather unfortunate, as in this game, you lose all your power- ups as well. Upgrading your ship is solely based on points, as actual power- ups are not presented anywhere in the game. As far as power- ups go though, the upgrade only does work on your shot type and damage output. Still, being underpowered puts you in a situation where it’s harder to get back on your feet, especially in later levels. Take also into consideration that score provides you with extra lives per each upgrade that you receive! As I reach the second boss of the game, I move away, with the intuition that something similar to the first boss might occur yet again. I was right! The second boss is honestly pretty much the same as the first one in terms of patterns, but rather than moving around, it just teleports instantly on the screen, without any animation or warning, whatsoever. How nice…
Despite losing a few lives in the battle, I managed to prevail! The second girl shows up and I find her to be pretty cute and sexy, unlike the first one. Alright, hands down, the second girl is the best as a whole! Something, something, strip show and I lose my last life on the next stage. I restart the game, in attempt to do a 1cc again!
The next run goes a little bit better. While I’m still dying a lot to the raisins, I manage to memorize their spawn points and I find out that it’s easier to deal with them by staying at the bottom of the screen and shooting while moving. That way most of them will die, while those who reach you will fly behind you and get despawned. OH, I AM SUCH A CLEVER- TRICKY TRICK PERSON! Sadly, you cannot always hang at the bottom of the screen. The enemies tend to cover pretty much every spot on the screen, so you need to put in some effort to dodge here and there. The shooting enemies are not all that scary, the biggest issue in this game is to avoid deaths caused by colliding into most of the flying, suicidal enemies!
Once I manage to get back to the third level, this time I am able to deal better with everything on the screen that wants me death. I reach the third boss, who yet again, resembles a similar attack pattern to the first two. It’s avoid the shield and shoot the eyeball game, but because I keep hiding in the down- left corner and move slowly to avoid its bullets, the boss is gone in no time! A girl in a jump suit appears to fuel my ship, provide me with matchboxes or gum instead of what little change she owns me and also, strip. Thanks, gas station worker on MARS! [?]
What I love about the fourth level is the fact that due to the flashy background, enemy projectiles are really hard to spot on. That being said, I had a Game Over around the middle of the stage, but this time I choose to continue, rather than restart. I wanted to do a bit of scouting and practicing, before I attempt another 1CC run. Eventually, I reach the fourth boss, who is rather different this time! Instead of moving around too much, the guy tends to be more of the stationary, shooting type. Alas, it’s not all that impressive of a shooting and he gets down pretty easily. A chick in armor shows up and strips down, because as we all know, in the age of space travel, no one will take you seriously during a conversation where you are dressed as a kettle!
On the next and FINAL stage, I get another game over, but I choose to continue, again. Honestly, I do not have much to say about this stage. It’s like the third stage, where everything got recycled from the first two, but just in larger quantity, along with no flashy background. Thank God! As always, the boss feels and moves in similar patterns that the first three bosses showed me. The fight is hilariously easy… A really sexy lady in a really sex outfit shows afterwards and starts doing really sexy poses, and then the game ends. I hit the restart button yet again…
Surprisingly, the third run was actually the 1CC! I was really not expecting it! For one thing, I managed to finish the first level without a single death! Being powered up really helps you acquire more points and clear the screens way more easily! I got to power level 2 [or 3?], but I died once to the boss on the second stage! THAT INSTANT TELEPORTATION IS SO RUDE! The rest of the game went by smoothly, wherein’ I managed to cover up for my deaths with the constant lives that I obtained through score, dodging raisins the right way and… yeah. In the fourth stage, it helps to take notice of shooting enemies and their projectiles, while dropping down the focus on most enemy fliers who try to collide with you. It’s not the best strategy ever, but it certainly helped me pull through, with only three lives lost… Anyways, I do an ending check up, take a screenshots and DONE!
The music in this game is fairly decent. The gameplay – Not all that much! It’s honestly a pretty easy game, especially once you go through all the levels and start to understand how poor of a job recycling does for the overall enhancement of a video game.
I give this game a decent strip, an open mouth and eyes tight shut. Then, the cherry blossoms bloom.