Mimi in the Sky, with Diamonds

Review of みみ いんざ すかい on XBLIG: Try
A twin-stick shooter that proves sometimes small changes have a big impact.

I’m not quite sure what to call みみ いんざ すかい.  Google Translate returns “In The Ear Do you mat” which is probably not correct.  The Romanization is “Mi mi in za su kai” and in searching the web for a better translation I’ve found a few places call the game “Mimi in the Sky”.  Mimi, I’ve learned, can mean “ears” but in this case is a proper name.  This kind of makes sense; Mimi has big puppy ears.  Kind of makes sense is all we can really hope for – this is a Japanese game through and through.

Mimi is a basic twin-stick shooter.  One stick to move, one stick to shoot, shoot while avoiding enemies.  There are no levels or game modes, just a high score and timer to provide a self challenge in subsequent games.   Enemies include green-eared bunnies, pudgy ghosts, squirrels with flaming tales, and… I said this was a Japanese game right?  Higher level enemies shoot back and take multiple hits to destroy.

Mimi makes one small change from the typical twin-stick shooter format.  Points are earned not when destroying an enemy, but when collecting the score tiles left behind.  To collect the score tiles, stop shooting.  Only a breaif pause is needed to collect all tiles on a screen.  The tiles quickly rush toward Mimi when she stops firing.  The closer Mimi is to an enemy when it is destroyed, the more points the score tiles are worth.

I must confess, I was taken in by Mimi’s scoring system.  I’m generally not impressed with games that rely on a high score board for replay value.  I want more reason than numbers to continue playing a game.  But Mimi’s score tiles made scoring tangible.  Fill the screen with 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s then watch them all rush to Mimi is addicting.   To get the larger score tiles I cannot stay back where it is safe, and must rush into enemy fire to boost my numbers.

The graphics in Mimi are cute without being kawaii, and the music is an up beat tune that fits well with the action.  The music is repetitive if played for longer periods, but Mimi in the Sky isn’t meant to be played except in short bursts.  This is the downside to Mimi, there isn’t much here.  I really wanted some levels with background changes and maybe a boss fight.

Mimi in the Sky is a Try.  Fans of twin-stick shooters will want to check out the scoring system, but may find the game lacking in content.  Younger kids might also enjoy an approachable twin-stick shooter.  Most gamers however, my find themselves wanting more from the game.

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