by July 31, 2022 @ 5:45 pm
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
A quick glance at Hell Pages is all it takes for you to know what you’re in store for. The game, an arcade bullet hell shoot ‘em up, isn’t going to win any awards or achieve GOTY status, but it is going to provide you with a couple hours of entertainment. And really, there are worse ways to spend nine bucks.
Save the World So You Can Rule It
In Hell Pages, you play as a demon whose purpose is to save humanity… so he can rule it at some point… or something? Interestingly, the game references other works of horror, and a lot of the game’s setup seems based on The Evil Dead as you’ll see references to the pages of a demonic book being read in a secluded cabin in 1981, the film’s original release date. Overall, the plot works as a basic background story for what is an otherwise fairly standard shmup.
The thing is, for as basic as Hell Pages is — and it’s pretty darn basic — it’s still a good deal of fun. Enemies fill the screen, launching projectiles (and sometimes just launching themselves) at you, and it’s your job to avoid the incoming fire while dishing out hellish pain of your own. Things can get pretty hectic as Hell Pages relishes in the intensity of that familiar old school shoot ‘em up style.
The game is pretty tough, too, and by default it challenges you to attempt the highest difficulty. Even on the lowest setting, though, you’re still going to struggle from time to time. It only took a few minutes of playing on the normal difficulty setting for me to realize that I was going to get destroyed more often than I’d like. As such, I played the entire game on the easy setting, and I was still satisfied with the level of challenge each of the 10 levels posed.
At the end of each level in Hell Pages, you’ll face off against a demonic boss. These battles can get a little extreme at times, and they can even border on frustrating. Yes, I played on the easy difficulty setting and still had a hard time with a few of these. Thankfully, by the end of each battle, I felt like I’d accomplished something, and there was never a dull moment.
As enjoyable as Hell Pages can be, it’s definitely a little bare bones. Though you’ll upgrade your rate of fire and gain the ability to shoot in multiple directions at once, there are no real weapon upgrades to be found. You’ll basically use the same weapon from the start of the game up until the very end, which creates a little monotony despite the mostly pleasant arcade-like nature of the game.
An Intense Shmup That’s Flawed but Fun
Visually, Hell Pages reminds me a little bit of Weapon of Choice DX. The game utilizes this weird collage-like art style to create its dark, post-apocalyptic worlds. There’s also some pointless nudity, which is kind of strange, but hey, demons like to indulge, so I guess it makes sense.
There’s a lot of metal music playing in the background as you battle hell’s legions. It’s serviceable, if a bit cliche. Other than that, you’ll hear demonic moans and groans that fit the game, even if they sound pretty stock.
Admittedly, Hell Pages isn’t the type of game you play and then gush over, even if you enjoy it. Instead, it’s something to do if you’re specifically looking for a functional and fun arcade shooter that’ll keep you properly entertained for the better part of two hours.
Score: 6 out of 10
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