Sine Mora EX Nintendo Switch review - Bullet hell or heaven?
| Sine Mora EX

Sine Mora EX is a beefed up version of the gorgeous bullet hell shooter that originally launched in 2012, back when Xbox Live Arcade was big news.

It's the same game as you played back then, just with fancier visuals, a Switch-essential couch co-op mode, and a few additional challenges.

Of course, the Switch version also has the added benefit of both TV and handheld gameplay.

But is this worth once again forking out your hard-earned cash for? I'm not so sure.

Sine Mora EX-actly as it was?

If you've played a bullet hell shooter before, you'll know exactly what you're getting yourself into with Sine Mora EX.

Control a flying machine through auto-scrolling levels, fire your laser weapons at anything that moves, and try and avoid an impossible barrage of returning enemy fire.

It does have a few unique mechanics that still feel quite fresh by today's standards. It's absolutely gorgeous, you can slow down time to help dodge incoming threats, and there's no health bar.

Instead, there's a timer constantly ticking down. Destroy enemies and you gain more time, get hit and you lose time. It's simple, yet effective.

There's also a plot, which is told mostly in narrated paragraphs before you play one of the eight levels. It's not the most intriguing story in the world, but it's enough to keep you interested while you wait for the next level to load.

Aside from that, the rest of the experience feels noticeably dated. You can only shoot forward in a straight line, forcing you to put yourself in uncomfortable situations to kill enemies, and your secondary abilities like slow down and sub weapons are limited.

That means you have to pick up enemy drops to regain them, and they don't appear as often as you'd like.

It leads to frustration that's a little jarring in 2017. It's surprising that your slow ability in particular doesn't recharge over time, as it's a vital part of the experience. You can easily run out even when using it sparingly.

Sine Mora EX-tra?

So far, so Sine Mora, but what about the extra content that the EX is so eager to point towards? Well, aside from the extra visual polish, which is admittedly a solid job, the rest of it isn't really worth it.

Couch co-op is entirely up to you. If you really wanted to play Sine Mora with friends the first time around, and that urge hasn't been quelled yet. Go for it.

But the extra challenges are poor, and feel tacked on. They're also frustratingly difficult, and you need to complete each one to unlock the next one.

It's entirely feasible that you'll never see the vast bulk of this content as a result, either through disinterest or difficulty.

Then there's the versus challenges, which pit you against another real opponent. There's a race, survival, and straight up kill each other mode, and while there's some small fun to be had, they're certainly not worth the cost of entry.

Who's really going to pick these shallow minigames over the wealth of couch co-op the Switch offers elsewhere?

Sine Mora EX-cellent?

It's undeniable that Sine Mora remains an interesting bullet hell shooter even five years after its initial launch. The time changing mechanic and time-based health bar still provide some fun thrills today.

Elsewhere, the experience feels a little dated, so it's a little too frustrating at times for its own good.

But the real complaint with Sine Mora EX, is that extra content. It's so poor and tacked on that it's really not worth putting into consideration when you weigh up whether or not to get it.

If you haven't played it, really crave playing it again, or simply want a co-op bullet hell to play, then you've got a case. Everyone else should probably steer clear.

Sine Mora EX Nintendo Switch review - Bullet hell or heaven?

Sine Mora EX remains an interesting bullet hell shooter that's only improved by fancier visuals and couch co-op, but the extra content isn't worth it
Chris James
Chris James
A footy game fanatic and experienced editor of numerous computing and game titles, lively Chris is up for anything - including running Steel Media! (Madman!)