Sisters Royale is an upward scrolling shooter in the style of many favourite such games; Angel Force, Vertical Flight, Ikaruga etc.
This is the first new game in around 12 years from the team that released the "Castle of Shikigami III" in the "Castle of Shikigami" series.
The Sisters live in the Land of Pultima which was under siege by the evil Lord Seytan, and nobody has the power to defeat Seytan except perhaps the Five Sisters with their magical abilities.
Unfortunately for Pultima the Sisters have no interest in the land and instead, after another of their hysterically loud and violent arguments, the five parted ways and declaring their intense dislike for each other they separately dispersed.
Then, some time later, the Sisters returned, and the people of Pultima hoped that the rule of Seytan was about to be over, but instead the quarrelling become more fierce amongst the magical teenagers as they discovered they all had loving feelings for the same man; Yashin, aka Lord Yashin, aka Yashikins. So as Pultima continues to suffer under Seytan, the Sisters continue to squabble over Yashin.
This is all one giant excuse for a series of fast, crazy, manic, up-scrolling, rapid-fire, combat battles. You select one of the Sisters as your Champion and she, in turn (as long as she continues to win - with your help of course), takes on each of her Sisters as well as her own Conscience, in which fight she is basically up against herself.
There are three levels of Difficulty, Easy, Medium and Hard, and as usual I personally found that 'Easy' was hard enough for me (wuss that I am when it comes to dexterity based action). Your character floats up firing various arcane bolts and magical flames towards the creatures and fiery arrows etc coming their way down-screen. You can fire straight-forward, column style or/and close range and/or wide range spread fire. The more of these you can prevent getting through to you the stronger you are when your 'Sister' arrives on the scene and the Battle Royale begins for real.
Each of the Sisters has a different magical ability or abilities but they are all fairly similar in their results. They are each fairly well balanced so it's just up to your skill at using the magic available to you against the power of the Artificial Intelligence of the PS4. Their main attacks being:
Sonay - Narrow beams of Rapid Fire.
Nur - Rapid beams of fire spread out like the fingers of an open, stretched hand.
Selma - Piercing Powerful Ice Spears.
Ece - Can quickly aim shots to the Left and Right.
Lale - Power piercer shots in a straight-forward block.
The Sisters can also seal themselves in a protective, defensive bubble which deflects many of the shots aimed at them.
There is a fair bit of chatter between the Sisters in static scenes that can be heard/read and then clicked on to change from one character in the conversation to the next. The Sisters are quite disruptive towards each other with barely a good word for any of them passing through the chatter. They are all positive that Yashin/Yashikins is going to marry them, each believing it to be her. Their dislike of each other often comes out in the form of sarcasm, sometimes mild, sometimes quite aggressive or provocative, but generally (for the player) highly amusing. It is definitely worth, at least once, not skipping these passages when you play as they are all part of the fun the game offers.
This is a game you play against yourself, always trying to beat your last score. Higher points are scored for being closer to the enemies and enemy missiles heading your way, a sort of reward for bravery and courage, though I generally prefer to fire from afar and, as the saying goes, dodge the bullet.
As you blow things up or defeat enemies coins rain down on you. They all add to your scoring and the good thing is you don't have to collect them, they will find their way to you automatically. You can see from the screenshot below how coins assist your scoring. Also automatic is the save game mechanism as well as the scoring for speed, time consumed during play.
Side-scrollers are more difficult, at least for me, so even though I am pretty pathetic at dexterity games this being a vertical scroller did at least give me more of a chance for success. It certainly gave me a lot more enjoyable playing than I had reckoned on when I discovered the type of game it was, mainly one I would usually keep away from. Arthritis in the thumbs and forefingers is no fun and game console controllers generally rely on you being able to manipulate the buttons and mini-sticks, so they aren't particularly designed for old folk like me. Luckily I found that I could play SISTERS ROYALE by barely moving my character and simply relying on the weapons associated with the AXYO buttons, thus allowing me to enjoy playing and watching the mini explosions on the screen.
I happily recommend this game to anyone who enjoys fast moving, scrolling shooters and also who has a penchant for manga-style animated BESM characters.
From 30th January 2020 Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire (to give it its full name) was released for the Nintendo Switch system, priced at £11.69 on the Nintendo eShop (inc. VAT); Download version.