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Sine Mora Review

Sine Mora is a newer game based off of a genre that was thought to be dead. This side-scrolling shooter features many ways to enjoy the action. You can play the campaign mode on two difficulties, boss training mode, arcade mode, and a score attack mode for you to climb to the top of the world. The campaign itself is rather short, but it offers a very deep storyline. The Enkie race has the ability to travel through time and control it, but this is a desired skill by other races. During war, troops and bounty hunters would capture these Enkies and bring them to the Imperials. The Imperials would then drug the Enkies and harness their time control power. This allowed them to foresee crimes, natural disasters, and attacks on the Empire. Although the enslavement of two million people helped several billion, the government also had another reason to enslave these creatures. They are turning the Enkies power into a weapon.

The player follows multiple timelines through the campaign mode. Although very confusing to follow, by the end of the game it all links together and (for the most part) makes sense. Once you complete campaign mode you unlock an encyclopedia to explain the lore to your heart’s content. In campaign mode, you have the chance to go through a simple “easy” mode, or an insane difficulty that more experienced players will have a blast with. The gameplay is a throwback arcade style shoot-em-up game with a modern twist. Sine Mora revolutionizes the genre and brings it back into the gaming world.

Graphics wise, the game brings a lot of 3-D quality to a two dimensional game. Enemy planes fly into the game and out of it, through the “z” axis of the game. Cut scenes during boss fights rotate around the boss as you destroy different parts of the many machines you will face. Since you cannot compared games of this genre to top tier games such as Crisis 2, I would give the graphics quality of the game a 9/10. Sine Mora brought many classic elements form the genre while also bringing a modern feel.  The audio is another story, overall the in game gun noises and explosions are fine, but the game lacks a real soundtrack. The background music is repetitive and bland, but there are redeeming qualities to the games sound. One thing I noticed that stood out was at the start of the game it was hard to hear the dialogue over the sound of the plane’s engines. Personally, I liked the realism in the way they made the plane sounds and gun fire in comparison to radio commentary. Keeping this in mind, I would give the sound quality a 7/10.

To be honest, the difficulty of story mode is lack luster. It’s not hard to survive till a checkpoint. If you’re looking for a challenge, arcade mode (on insane) has a lot higher of a skill cap. It’s almost to the point where it’s a “one hit you are dead” scenario with a lot of enemies coming at you. One great thing about the game is its range of skill that it offers. The way the checkpoints run lets the levels offer different levels of difficulty without changing major game mechanics. Instead of life, you take a time penalty when you take “damage.” If you destroy an enemy, you gain time back, and once you reach a checkpoint your timer resets to a pre-determined time. Personally I liked this system compared to life points or another form of taking damage. Overall I would say that the range of difficulty for this game is extremely large, allowing players of all skill levels to enjoy this throwback.

Keeping all of this in mind, I would give the game an 8.5/10. Despite being disappointed when it came to the soundtrack, I was quite impressed with the video quality and game experience to this throwback. In my opinion, Sine Mora has revived the shoot-‘em-up genre that has seemed stale over the last few years.  It puts a modern take on an old game style, and executes it very well. I felt a bit of nostalgia as I played this game, while also feeling like I am playing a game that is a brand new release. If you were a fan of Gradius, you are going to love this game.

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