Please, Sir, Can I Have Some Sine Mora?

When the splendid time-bending shoot ’em up Sine Mora arrived on PC after a long delay in the land of porting, I lamented the fact that the trial version wasn’t available alongside the full release. As an XBLA game, the game already had a demo so it seemed odd that it had been lost during transition. Fortunately, it wasn’t lost entirely and did in fact drift onto Steam a couple of days ago. My memory of the demo on 360 involves a tediously drawn-out story sequence before the dodging and destruction commences, but there’s enough to form an idea as to whether this is a suitable flavour of bullet hell. It’s not quite as difficult as the horror I’ve hidden below.

I wouldn’t have the volume turned up too loud before pressing play, unless you want to inflict mad, mocking laughter on everyone in your immediate vicinity. Maybe that’s exactly what you want to do though, so feel free to crank your speakers all the way to eleven.

Preposterous. Compared to that sort of thing, Sine Mora isn’t bullet hell at all – it’s bullet retirement village with spa and golf course.


  1. diamondmx says:

    There certainly seemed to be places where there was no solution.

    • cowardly says:

      there’s a link in the video description to a guy completing it in one credit. the solution is probably be standing in exactly the right spot when a bullet pattern starts or deplete a certain amount of the things health before the pattern reaches a certain point.

  2. Tuckey says:

    The demo was awful, constant barrage of annoying cutscenes. If the full game is like this then it’s utter crap.

    • Diziet Sma says:

      Then you’d be wrong and, I hope, in the minority. It’s actually rather good.

    • BlackestTea says:

      First I should say that I actually really enjoyed the story of Sine Mora, as such I had no problem with reading text and cutscences.
      Also, I have not played the demo. In the full game, however, you can fast forward or skip all story sequences and apart from the very first level (which I’m guessing is the demo) they don’t take up a lot of space (which is necessary, seeing as you will want to replay every level many times on higher difficulties and so on).

    • Dominic White says:

      If the demo is just the prologue level, then that’s a very bad demo. That’s a very slow-paced tutorial segment that isn’t really representative of the core gameplay at all. It’s a fantastic game – got some of the best reviews for a shmup in years. 9/10 scores from a lot of big sites that would normally ignore the genre outright.

      Don’t judge it based on those first couple minutes.

  3. Deathmaster says:

    Well, I tried the demo. Took the ‘intermediate’ route, and failed miserably.
    Then the ‘novice’ route was too easy again. Not a very convincing demo, imho.

  4. Dan Griliopoulos says:

    The game is packed full of cutscenes, but it’s got a nicely weird twisty plot, like a dark SF Porco Rosso. And bullet hell I can actually complete? Wow.

    • BlackestTea says:

      Yeah, I loved the story (and the Hungarian voiceacting).
      I didn’t feel like I /beat/ the game the first time though. More like it allowed me to complete it, so that I could then man up and go on to the higher difficulties.

  5. rawrty says:

    I really like Jamestown and some of the japanese indie shmups for PC, so I’m definitely interested. Hoping for a 25% off over Christmas and I’ll probably pick it up.

    • Kobest says:

      Perhaps you should try the demo first, because I expected something similar to Jamestown, Ikaruga, etc. but was left a bit disappointed. Think about it as a good horizontal shooter with lots of boss fights and an interesting story (there’s even an alternate ending in the game), that will help!

  6. Dominic White says:

    That video keeps getting rolled out as proof of the genre being insane.

    That’s a secret bonus boss on the highest possible difficulty setting – it’s like the hardest thing in the history of shmups, so don’t let it put you off anything.

  7. Hatsworth says:

    I’m glad this came to the PC eventually, but I really wish we had Cave, G.Rev and Treasure’s games… Cave in particular being available on Android and IOS stings.

    My 16:10 monitor makes SM’s aspect ratio even more of an issue, and the analogue controls was probably a bad choice… Will play it, though I doubt I’ll get anywhere near to as much out of it as I did Jamestown. If I had a Vita I’d be tempted to play on that instead, heard the port was quite good. The price for Europeans is very, very good btw.

  8. fooga44 says:

    Sine Mora is a mediocre game, it’s all that’s wrong with modern gaming. All flash, no substance. The game feels like one giant quick-time event and there’s a complete lack of freedom because the games levels are all pre-scripted and on rails. A shmup doesn’t need big ass cut-scenes it needs innovation in gameplay, and Sine mora is nothing more then bullet hell /w super easy levels for newbies. Nothing innovative here at all. Old games from the SNES era have more gameplay then Sine mora.

    • Kobest says:

      I would say that it has its ups and downs, but definitely offers more flash than substance. They made a good story (of course, don’t think too much about it, because it has some giant plotholes) and nice graphics, but ultimately the gameplay is wonky. It’s often hard to distinguish what counts as background or foreground, and this includes hardly seeing some bullets as well.

      As a comparison I loaded up Jamestown, and I was definitely more immersed and interested in the game, because of its much clearer gameplay design than that of Sine Mora.

    • Guvornator says:

      Hmmm, I’ve only played the demo, so I can’t judge fully, but the whole “lose time and power ups rather than lives” thing is a bit crap. It just doesn’t quite have that skin of the teeth feel than you need. It’s still a decent shooter, though.

  9. AltF4 says:

    The underlying problem with this game is that you only get 7 stages for $9 instead of 40 for $49.99.

    • Dominic White says:

      You do know that just a few years ago, an arcade port half this length would have set you back £40/$60, right?

  10. FRIENDLYUNIT says: