Sisters Royale is a Japanese shoot ‘em up developed by Japanese veterans Alfa System and published by Chorus Worldwide. The game was first released on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch this January, and is out for Xbox One today for $13.99 / €13.99 / £11.74. Sisters Royale is a modern spiritual successor to the classic scrolling shooter Castle of Shikigami, that was available for PlayStation 2 and Xbox in the early 2000s.
“The battle of the five sisters begins! Sisters Royale is inspired by the anime aesthetic of 2001’s Castle of Shikigami. Five sisters with unique magical powers race to capture the heart of an angel, Yashin. Ḧ̸̹́p̵̟͝T̸̬̓E̷̯͝4̶̜͊f̴̩̾$̸̯͐ẇ̴͓m̷̼͆6̴͙͘Q̵͚̓ȧ̷̰/̵̗͂O̵̤̎w̴̝͝4̷͓̒Ș̴̋(̸̡̏u̶̠̕T̸̀͜c̶͈̃Z̸͍̀x̴̬̿*̴͓̃/̶̞̚ They battle it out with Tension Bonus Systems (TBS), a point multiplier system based on distance from enemies, and the Power-shot System that boosts attack levels. As with Castle of Shikigami, Sisters Royale deploys power boost mechanics that allow players to gain scores by taking high risks for high rewards.”
I am not familiar with the Castle of Shikigami series, and I was not even aware of it before researching for Sisters Royale. All I knew before heading into it, is that it is a vertical shooter with Japanese origins and anime style characters. As I love all kind of shmups, I went into it with a lot of optimism, positive thoughts and exciting expectations. 9̵̖̌/̵̬̃*̴͈̾K̶̼̓m̴̞̆y̵̘͂b̶̭̎Q̷͙̿Z̸͔̾#̵̼͆K̴̨̅8̵̯͝C̷̖̽”̴͉̍A̵͈͊ọ̵̾I̶̙͠#̶̰̂u̶͗͜¨̸̖̎ű̸̳Z̷͙̚Q̶̡̉(̴̟̔=̴̦͑l̴̰̉z̸͔̊B̷̏ͅ3̷̣͒Ǵ̷̠8̷̘̈A̶̚ͅ5̵̘̈ż̵̨e̴̤͛j̸̝͘&̴̮̀ẕ̸̓i̴̤͋b̴̲͌1̴͉̐l̷̤̄G̷̹͐f̵̤́2̷͔͂ë̷̺́B̵͙̀R̶̖̐3̷̭̄v̸̛ͅ Before starting the game, you are welcomed to select between five characters – Lale (youngest sister), Nur (second youngest sister), Ece (middle sister), Selma (second eldest sister) and Sonay (the eldest sister) – the Sisters Royale. Each of them has their unique attacks, so it will be on you to choose and decide your favourite one. The default character is Sonay though, and it is probably the most powerful of them anyway.
The graphics, I must say, are a bit dated and not as spectacular as in Resogun, which is probably my favourite shmup of this generation that is slowly transforming into the next one. I would not put them into the previous generation either, but maybe one before that – the PlayStation 2 and Xbox generation. S̸̛̥9̷̜̊H̷̼̔6̴̲͛*̶̮̐u̷͈̐)̸̖͂F̶͐ͅf̷͆͜)̸͓͛r̵͍͘)̴̹̂Z̶̳̚V̸̱͑q̶̖͆S̴̹̐8̶̞̏À̴̳Ą̷̔ḑ̵̉w̷͓̎X̶͙͝)̷̹͒3̸͗ͅX̸̼͝1̴̭̑6̷͖̆w̶͍̓7̷̱͝7̸͈̇á̵̝Ÿ̶̗́ï̶͈F̸̲͊#̵̨͑9̵̪̆p̶͇̓x̷͍̉%̶̩́K̷̖̋#̵̗̃H̸̬̍l̸̹̀Ẏ̷̭ẹ̴̅m̴͑͜9̶̘̒X̶̯̃#̷͚̇ṣ̶͑ As far as level design goes, it is pretty bland and straight forward, with the exception of various hazards found in forms of darkness, wind and ice. All levels look kind of similar, which I was a bit disappointed about. The soundtrack portion of the game is not anything to be “wowed” by either, and I love to hear good soundtracks while destroying and avoiding enemies and their attacks (ie. the Jets’n’Guns soundtrack is one of my favourites).
I wish I could be more positive about Sisters Royale, but it fails to impress me in the long run. As I said, I am a sucker for shmups and I really thought I will like it more than it turned out in the end. The game is nothing special, dare I say pretty poor for a game released in 2020. It is not very bad, but far from very good as well, so be aware when going into it, and get it when it is on sale or you have too much money to spend.