Shmup Love Boom is a vertical bullet hell in where you play as some anime teenager who is the last hope to fight off the aliens. Your character has no name and you will be able to give him a name after completing the first mission. You will be accompanied by one of the two AI women of your choice and together you will fight your way through hordes of enemies. Your first choice is a purple haired girl that gives your ship missiles that fire randomly and the second is a brown haired girl that fires laser beams randomly. Each are dressed differently and will strip off more of their clothes each time you lose a life. True to the visual novel genre there is a lot of talking, mostly about uninteresting stuff like how you were the ace pilot of Earth even though you appear to be a 13 year old emo looking kid. There are tons of spelling mistakes in the game and is a rather uninteresting tale from what I have seen so far. I have not finished this game or played more than an hour for reasons I will state throughout the “review”.
To start off there is no full screen and when you try to alt+enter into it you will only see the upper left of the game. That means you will have to play on a tiny window. Okay, fine, I could live with that but you will soon discover that you control this game solely with the mouse. That is already a big mark against the game as most prefer using a controller or an arcade stick for this genre but due having to play on a tiny window with your ship being at the bottom, your mouse cursor will frequently go outside of the bounds of that window, causing you to lose control of your ship. In a genre where the slightest distraction will spell your doom that is a fatal flaw. Even if that were not a problem the controls feel floaty and delayed, it feels like you are dragging your ship around instead of being in full control. Your ship will automatically fire when you move around and it does remind you of a phone game though done much worse. Enemies are bullet spongey as well so there is no real sense of impact when you shoot them.
That lack of impact is also due to there being no sound effects. From you dying to projectiles being fired there are no sound effects to be found anywhere making the game feel drowned out by the music. Unfortunately the music is not all that great and gets old fast. So far we have terrible controls, no sound effects and are forced to play in a tiny window. Surely it can’t get worse right? Wrong. Once you lose all of your 5 lives you will be thrown all the way back to the start of the game. While not uncommon for bullet hells (even though most feature continues) that is a terrible idea for visual novels as you have to go through all the text again and again. There is nothing interesting to be read the first time around so you can imagine how tiresome that would get. While fighting enemies they drop blue items that when enough are collected will upgrade your firing speed as well as other benefits. Sadly even collecting them is a pain, the range that you have to be to attract them is very low and even when you are in range it takes a long time for them to zoom into you which means a lot of them will be dropped as you are forced to dodge projectiles.
There is so very much wrong with this title. It may actually be less time consuming to list the positives of the game. The graphics are okay. That’s pretty much it. Though they do not do a good job at distinguishing the projectiles and often times found myself killed by something I didn’t see coming. At this point it really does feel like I am just picking on the title but it is not beyond redemption if more work is put into it. Fullscreen, savepoints, controller support and some other tweaks may make this title worth a play-through at such a low price. As it is right now there is no way I can suggest this title to anybody, it feels like a prototype of a game by people that don’t understand how to make a bullet hell. I truly can’t speak of it’s worth as a Visual Novel given the low amount of time I put into this title but given it’s uninteresting opening and common grammatical errors, it wasn’t a compelling reason to force yourself to start from the very beginning every time you fail at the terrible bullet hell sections. The bullet hell sections add nothing to the visual novel and the visual novel adds nothing to the bullet hell gameplay. It is a Frankenstein of a game that will appeal to neither of the genre’s fans.