Shutshimi (shoot-she-me) is something of a shoot’em up crossed with Wario Ware. In it you take control of a muscular fish armed with a bullet-morphing shotgun and a severe memory problem. This leads to waves and upgrade cycles limited to just ten seconds a piece. There’s always something happening and new upgrades to choose from. Going Super Salmon and blasting away sharks with glasses is never not fun.
Combat waves play out just like any other shoot’em up. (With the exception that these only last for ten seconds of course.) A variety of enemies (sharks, octopus, jellyfish, cats, butts…) move in from the right and it’s up to you to take them down. Between waves the game presents you with three randomized upgrades to choose from and ten seconds to do it. Each upgrade has a description that hints at what the effect might be, but typically it’s a guessing game. (Though the beginning of each round will tell you what the new upgrade is. “Round # … and you now you’re tiny.”)
Some upgrades will stick around while others are only good for a single round. There’s also a number of ‘upgrades’ that can potentially make things harder. There’s a lot of fun in finding new abilities, unlocking hats, and just seeing what crazy new thing is going to happen. The first time I entered a stage with butts flying around in the background and butt enemies (with sunglasses!) is a moment I won’t soon forget.
Every fifth stage is a boss encounter. There are three bosses in the game and each have a second form that’s much harder for those that can make it that far. Each boss is unique and requires different tactics to take down. Managing to take it down in the first round (Quick Kill) will net you bonus points and feels really good when you can pull it off. There’s also a Boss Rush mode if you’d like to stick strictly to boss fights.
Shutshimi allows for up to four player co-op. Everyone shares the same upgrade (many exclusively appearing in co-op) and work together to take down oncoming enemies. Co-op gets hectic as players bounce off each other and are sometimes tied together. If one player loses their lives they can control a ghost fish to slow down enemies/players and can be revived in certain circumstances. I played a bit of two player and had a good time though I didn’t get a chance to play with three others. (I imagine four players would be kind of insane.)
Shutshimi is a lot of fun and genuinely funny. Item/hat descriptions and the Boss Rush stats for each fish made me laugh. Most of the weapon effects and aesthetic changes are the right kind of ridiculous for my tastes. I love that you can potentially forgo an entire round and just bounce around in an inflatable bouncy gym. I do wish there were more upgrades that changed actual gameplay elements. It felt like a lot of things changed something visually and didn’t really have an impact on the actual gameplay. Also it’d be cool if you could choose your own upgrade in co-op rather than sharing one. That said Shutshimi is pretty great and never fails to make me laugh.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- 10 second rounds ensures the game never gets dull
- Lots of interesting power-ups
- Funny writing
- Going Super Salmon
What I Dislike:
- Wish more upgrades had an impact on gameplay rather than just aesthetics
- Would be cool to choose separate upgrades in co-op