QP Shooting – Dangerous is a vertical Bullet Hell shooter where we play as a dog girl named QP on a quest to save pudding. Pudding the food, not an actual character. It seems all of it has disappeared and only QP remembers its existence and it’s up to her to get to bottom of why her favorite food suddenly vanished. As you might have gathered by now the plot for this game is absurd and all the situations you will be in are equally as odd. Throughout your journey you will be fighting street lights, trees, trains and anything else the devs happened to see while gazing out of their window. There are 5 stages in total and it should last under an hour to beat them all if you are skilled enough to beat them on your first try. A neat little feature is that even if you lose it will let you save a replay of your playthrough to see what you did wrong or to simply show off.
Starting off the game you will have the choice of picking one of four difficulty modes. It is a pretty “easy” game compared to most others of the genre so my suggestion would be to start on a higher difficulty for those accustomed to these type of games. You will then have the choice of choosing one of the three fighting styles this game offers. Aggressive which causes your hyper attack to do plenty of damage but lasts a short while, Defensive is the opposite and allows you to use your hyper attack for far longer but causes little damage and Orthodox which is a mix of the two. There is even more customization, you will then be able to choose three projectile formations for your playthrough, but starting off you only have three anyways so it doesn’t feel as overwhelming as it sounds. With that out of the way, onto the actual game.
First thing you will notice is how cutesy the art style is with everything having a colorful, light hearted vibe. Regardless of the theme, the game can be quite brutal on higher difficulties and with the game not having any continues you do not have much room for mistakes. In addition to just shooting, you will be able to slow QP down to easier avoid tightly spaced projectiles and the ability to change your bullet formations. Bullet formations play a crucial role in QP Shooting as enemies will attack you from the back, as well as the sides which means that if you only have front firing formations you will be unable to defend yourself and have to avoid their projectiles and hope they leave the screen before they manage to shoot you down. It offers the game a on your feet, tactical feel to it and with 28 formations to unlock there is a ton of ways to play the game and experiment. You buy more formations from the main menu using Rbit points, currency received from play.
To further aid you, you have the aforementioned Hyper Attack that fills up by causing damage to enemies and are able to overcharge it up to 150% for a longer use. You can’t see how far it has filled before reaching 100% charge to know how long until you can use it annoyingly enough. When it is filled you will have a giant circles with its percentage spinning around your character and that can be distracting until you get used to it. Once the hyper attack is activated, the projectiles near you will disintegrate, though this is effect will not take place again and you will still be able to get hit. The main purpose of the hyper attack is to output more damage than normal, as your projectiles grow in size and fill up most of the screen for the duration of your hyper attack. If you get hit during a hyper attack its effects will immediately end but you will not lose a life. It’s a pretty useful feature and if used properly can save you from two fatal blows. The damage output is not really a huge difference from your normal projectiles, even on “Aggressive”, so you may end up using that skill as a defensive measure more likely than not.
Enemies are pretty varied and you will pretty much never see the same enemy in another stage as they all have a certain theme to it. Some enemies are pretty weird and you will have no idea where from its body it will shoot the projectiles so it’s best to keep your distance until you know how it attacks, that is a flaw though a pretty minor one. Though it may be in your best interest to let the enemy fire first, as when you kill an enemy all of its projectiles will disappear and turn into points. It offers a risk and reward type of mechanic though with the lack of online leaderboards it is very hard to care about points or high scores unless you more than one person plays this game on your PC. One other problem I would like to mention is that QP Shooting does not support the D Pad on your controller so you are stuck using the analog stick which is a pain. Moving back to the enemies each level has a unique screen filling mid-boss that will try to destroy you. These are rather fun to fight and break up the pace from fighting regular enemies all throughout and really helps to avoid it feeling repetitive.
Fighting actual bosses is where the real fun begins and where all of the dialogue happens. Before each fight QP and the boss of that stage will talk about pudding and make various jokes, it can be funny the first time around but they do go a bit overboard with the amount of text, making you unlikely to want to read all of it again on other playthroughs. Thankfully the option to turn off all dialogue is available. Bosses can take quite a beating and throw much more intricate projectile patterns at you so that is where you are likely to die a few times. When you whittle down their health bars they will change their fighting styles and go back to max health. All those are typical bullet hell features but what is a bit different is that each boss has a familiar like a baby chick, a roulette wheel or a toy lion. These will also shoot projectiles at you and don’t stay dead for long. Bosses all have over three forms so they are pretty lengthy fights and finishing off their health bar with a special attack nets some big points. They get progressively harder and harder, by the fourth stage you will need some decent skills or formations to make it through.
There is a multiplier for killing enemies and will deplete if you spend too long without destroying anything. It is in your best interest to gather up points as you will be rewarded with more lives and extra Rbits that will increase your firepower. The music you’ll be hearing is very hit or miss, as the soundtrack starts off pretty mediocre but gets progressively better and better the further you get into the game. No voice acting is in this game and it’s all text based. Graphics do their job, though this being a vertical bullet hell, it would have been nice to be able to rotate the screen for those of us that can pivot our monitors. As it is we are stuck looking at a vertical game with most of the screen unused. Not game breaking but it is a significant annoyance. There is an option to darken the background to make enemies and projectiles far easier to differentiate and it’s a nice feature for those easily distracted by the bright colorful backgrounds. Everything runs smoothly and I’ve noticed no slowdowns except for when the stages start.
QP Shooting Dangerous is a really good title for people wanting to bridge the gap between the Shmup and Bullet Hell genre. It is far slower paced than most Bullet Hells and with all the customization available it will prepare you for any type of gameplay other games may have. In addition there is a “Conquest” mode that allows you to save after each stage. Even if you load the game you will have the same amount of lives you had the first time you played that stage so you can’t simply breeze through the game without learning how to play. If you can’t beat a certain stage, it may be best to start over and choose different formations that may be of better use for that situation. Overall this isn’t a great ‘must play’ type of game but it is both a charming and fun title.