'Big Bang Mini' Makes Bullet Warfare Only As Difficult As You Want It

One of my favorite PlayStation 2 releases was an obscure fireworks puzzle game that went overlooked, except for the mere fact that it was a launch game: "Fantavision."

There are a many games that end up looking like a fireworks show (see: "Geometry Wars," "Super Stardust HD") but few that use the idea of fireworks as a gameplay mechanic. "Fantavision" uniquely did -- and so does DS shooter "Big Bang Mini."

Furthermore, "Big Bang Mini" completely flips the shooter genre on is head, making a bullet shooter that can appeal to someone who has never liked bullet shooters.

Let me explain.

One of the reasons I'm excited for "R-Type Dimensions" is because there will be a mode with unlimited continues. I can never finish bullet-centric shooters because of their extreme difficulty. Outside of an occasional flirtation, like I had with "Ikaruga," the genre has been beyond me. There's too much to keep track of and it gives me a headache. I try to play games to have fun.

"Big Bang Mini" is only as complicated as you allow it to be. See, you shoot from the bottom screen on the DS, but any bullets that don't connect with a target on the second screen bounce back from the top as bullets that can harm you. There's unavoidable bullet mayhem if you don't stop tapping the A button. Your own bullets ensure your certain doom. Firing strategic shots quickly become the best technique.

It's an interesting shake-up, one that I've never seen before. It makes for a bizarre compromise between catering exclusively to the hardcore shooter fanatics and "R-Type Dimensions" approach to ditching difficulty altogether.

What do you make of "Big Bang Mini"'s genre twist? "Big Bang Mini" drops early next year.