Caladrius Blaze came out on PS3 a few years ago, PS4 last summer, and overall has done pretty ok for itself. The original version was simply Caladrius, but the Blaze update added new characters and levels to the base game. It’s a big, clever shooter with several characters to play as, each with their own shot style, and while it didn’t set the shooting community on fire in the way a new Cave game might have it was still well received. Its main quirk is an element system that allows you to level up the characters in different ways, tweaking the power shot’s abilities to work as either offense or defense.
Which, it should be noted, it fairly hard to tell from the outside. While the game has a reputation as a deep shooter, you’d be forgiven for thinking of it as a pervy VN based on its marketing. I know more about the character art getting its clothes ripped off during boss fights than specifics on the shooter mechanics, although to be fair it’s probably effective. The shooter fan community is already aware of the game, and if a publisher wants to reach beyond that some kind of hook is necessary. Fighting schoolgirls in skin-tight flightsuits spouting dialogue such as “There’s no need to show my true self to someone like you.” (in the entire history of the world, nobody has ever said this line in conversation) is a system that works, so in the immortal words of MST3K “Just repeat to yourself it’s just a show; I should really just relax.” Caladrius Blaze is looking pretty good behind all the silliness and fan service, and that’s the important thing.
Caladrius Blaze launches on Steam on January 12.