Sisters Royale – Nintendo Switch Review

Writer’s Note: This article was written in January 2020, an updated version of this review is in the works to be completed in the near future. The Xbox One version has been released and details can be found (HERE)

Overview – Developed by Alfa System and published by Chorus Worldwide Games, Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire is a new vertical shooter from the developer behind the legendary Castle of Shikigami series, featuring beautiful anime styled visuals, frantic bullet hell gameplay and imposing boss battles. This title is available for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. Support for PC and Xbox One has also been announced via the official website. (check the announcement, linked HERE)

Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank the representative for Alfa System and Chorus Worldwide, they have provided me with the Nintendo Switch Version of Sisters Royale that was used for this review. The provision of this title has not influenced the contents of this article, all content featured within this piece are mine and mine alone.

With the introduction out of the way, lets get into the review, starting with the story of Sisters Royale.

Story – the focus of the story for Sisters Royale is fairly simple, five sisters each profess their love for the Angel Yashin, as only one may claim the hand of the angel, a competitive battle takes place with the sisters taking each other on in intense magical combat. When the last sister is standing, she takes on the angel in a heated battle of “love” with the winner getting their wish fulfilled.

Gameplay – Sisters Royale feels like a spiritual successor to the Castle of Shikigami series of vertical shooters, the chaos of bullet hell mixed with thematic stages for each character, the character chosen walks up the stage, dodging attacks and enemies.

During gameplay in the stage, the player collects coins by eliminating enemies, the coins and enemies collected add to a multiplier score, there is system in place that allows players to recharge special attacks and lives by wiping out chains of enemies, with attack bonuses to the basic powers by taking risks and dodging enemy fire.

 At certain points when fulfilling special requirements a fairy will appear adding a special multiplier, the multiplier doubles all the scores and the mechanics are a little confusing, but if the player has enough skill they can really elevate themselves on the global leaderboards.

Each character has their own stage based on a thematic trait, with each stage containing a sub boss battle and end boss, the end boss being the sister that corresponds to the theme of the stage, with the conscience of the chosen character acting as a doppelganger for their stage.

The five sisters are as follows;

  • Sonay – the Eldest sister, she appears mature and strong willed but is easily flustered when discussing lewd subjects. Her power is rapid line fire and her magic is centered on fire to wipe out her enemies, her stage is the Flaming Graveyard.
  • Selma – the second Eldest sister, she is blunt and forthright with an element of perversion to her personality. Her power is wide shots and she utilizes ice magic to clear out her opposition, her stage is the Ice Cave.
  • Ece – the middle sister, she has a touch of theatricality to her personality, being interrupted during eloquent speaches by her sisters. She uses diagonal shots that move to her targets and her magic is light beams that control the battlefield, her stage is the Chapel of Light.
  • Nur – the second youngest sister, she has a tomboyish attitude to the world, wanting to prove how much she has grown. This sister has the power of homing shots that target enemies and she uses wind for her magical attacks, her stage is the Temple of Wind.
  • Lale – the youngest of the five, her personality is abrasive and insulting, using harsh words when talking to the other sisters. The power she uses is piercing shot and the theme of her magic is spirits, her stage is the Dungeon of Souls.

Sisters Royale may seem short but each stage has a high level of challenge, the stages are different depending on the difficulty chosen, with a special maniac setting, this allows the various elements to be modified which includes the size and scope of attacks that the enemy can use.

Please note: during the time taken to write this review, the maniac setting was unavailable so I am unable to talk more about it, there is also an additional DLC character by the name of ODE that was not available to use, so unfortunately I was unable to cover these elements during playtime.

Now with the gameplay and story covered let’s get into the other aspects of the game, starting with the accessibility of the game.

Controls – the controls for Sisters Royale are simple and intuitive, using the left control stick and D-Pad for movement with the face buttons for all attacks, when playing the game in all system styles. The best way to play is using an arcade stick, although if that isn’t available the other control methods are more than adequate.

Difficulty – the difficulty curve is fair and balanced, giving all players an accessible level to play the game, with the difficulty setting altering the way that the game functions, increasing the number of projectiles on screen and adding additional phases to boss battles.

The use of difficulty settings can be a good introduction to those new to the bullet hell genre, more experienced players of this style of game will find the normal and hard a worthwhile challenge. The maniac settings will also make the game more accessible/challenging, however I am unable to test this out at this time as the feature hasn’t been released yet.

Visuals – the graphical style for Sisters Royale is heavily inspired by anime using the art style for character portraits, elements of the user interface and during the story segments. In game the assets are made up of cutesy super deformed 3d models of the girls and enemies, the stages are vibrant and each theme is expertly crafted with the color pallets used.

The best part of this being a vertical shooter on the Nintendo Switch is that there is the inclusion of the vertical TATE mode, this rotates the screen to fill the entire screen, making it perfect to be played in tabletop mode on the Switch system. If the user has a rotatable monitor or television, then the experience will be even more immersive as the larger screen adds to the overall experience.

Sound – the music for this title is bright and happy, using jazzy compositions that mesh well with the visual style and way that the characters have been created. There is no voice acting during this game, which isn’t a bad thing as I feel it adds to the arcade styled experience that Alfa System became famous for, with the simple sound effects complimenting the bright and happy soundtrack.

Final thoughts – I feel this is an excellent title and a wonderful addition to the Alfa Systems lineup of vertical shooters, making it a wonderful spiritual successor to the Castle of Shikigami series. This is a triumphant return for the company after their hiatus from bullet hell shooters, while they have been working on other games during this time, Sisters Royale is their first arcade game since 2007.

I cannot recommend this game enough, I loved every moment of it and it was so much fun to play, the way that the characters were written adds more depth to the overall presentation, with the humorous interactions of the sisters as they fight and argue with each other. Having played this in all modes, I recommend playing the game with an Arcade Stick if possible, although the pro-controller and Joy-Cons work perfectly for this too.

So in the end, there is no downside I could find during the time I was playing the game for this review. I give Sisters Royale a score of 5/5, a perfect introduction to bullet hell and a great challenge for all players, links to purchase the game below.

Link to Nintendo Switch Version (HERE)

Link to PlayStation 4 Version (HERE)

One thought on “Sisters Royale – Nintendo Switch Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: