When there’s something strange in your neighborhood…who you’re gonna call…Extreme Exorcists!
This arcade action platformer allows you to choose and play as one of four exorcists namely Mae Barrons, Ace Blade, Mikoto Itako and Sylvia Barrons. The task at hand exorcising the ghosts of your former self.
The Haunted House
The game is centered around what is portrayed to be a haunted house. You’ll begin by entering the intro stage which is located at the foot of the haunted house. This stage will teach you the basic mechanics or should I say the only mechanics of the game which is basically pick up a weapon and wipe out any ghosts to proceed to the next round. The house is split into 10 stages excluding the intro stage, with every stage having 5 levels and in each level an infinite number of rounds, depending on you that is.
Once you’re done with the intro you’ll move onto the first stage – The Graveyard. At the beginning of every level within a stage – round 1 – there will be a haunted chair. It isn’t really much of a challenge… OK it’s no challenge at all, kill it and you’ll move onto round 2 within the stage. Round 2 is where things start getting interesting, the chair will no longer be there but instead a ghost will appear with a crown on its head. The interesting thing is that every movement you made in the first round and every shot or weapon you fired off will be mimicked by the ghost. With every round you complete there will be an additional ghost added with each one mimicking your moves from the first rounds right up to the recent one. Hence my former statement of exorcising the ghosts of your former self. Although remember only once the ghost with the crown is defeated will you be able to move onto the next round.
There are around 20 weapons to choose from and appear throughout the level on platforms that look like teleportation devices. Your arsenal includes Bazooka’s, Ninja Stars, Grenade Launchers and Swords to name a few. A cool feature of the game is that you’ll be able to hold up to three weapons at a time and all will fire simultaneously. Keep in mind every weapon you choose and fire will come back to haunt you so choose wisely. An interesting twist however is the angel wings. It will appear as any other weapon but in this case using it will create a type of vortex that will suck in any nearby ghost and completely demolish them from existence, so much so that they won’t spawn in the next round.
Although in the single player I found myself becoming bored after a while with no real aim except trying to top my previous score, the multiplayer I thoroughly enjoyed. The exact same concept as in the single player but this time things are sure to become a lot more chaotic. With 4 players co-op you won’t need to just be careful on what actions you take but also try and monitor and track what the other’s are doing as every ghost that appears in the new round will have the actions of the player that previously took it out. I had the pleasure of playing Extreme Exorcism with a close friend of mine, my wife and his wife and the chaos just from one player going ballistic with an automatic weapon caused us a lot of trouble in the rounds after as the only way to get rid of that specific ghost and stopping it from spawning again was to acquire the angel wings and exorcise it. Another interesting thing about multiplayer is once a player dies the other players have to take out a specific number of ghosts to revive that player.
The game does have a Challenge mode when you do get a little tired of the arcade mode. The challenge mode consists of 5 tiers with each tier having 10 challenges in each of them. The challenges are basically additional content to keep you entertained for some time longer, and I have to admit this is where I spent a lot of my time on this game as some challenges in the higher tiers can become quite tricky. A rough idea on what the challenges are is basically taking out 10 ghosts in a row without being killed, surviving 7 rounds with all ghosts possessing rocket launchers and one that resets the round every 12 seconds spawning more ghosts until you complete 5 rounds successfully.
Deathmatch sets you up against your fellow exorcists and allows you to customize quite a bit in the stage such as weapons that appear, adding ghosts to the level and gravity settings to mention a few.
All in all I initially enjoyed the main game but lost the feel for it after about an hour and then found myself tackling the challenge mode. Going back to it the following day does help a little but only enough to have another hour or two. The multiplayer I found was the most enjoyable part of the game but how often does one have four other players in the same room, considering that this is a couch co-op title. I also do love retro looking games but in this case it did become a little frustrating at times, especially in the multiplayer mode when the chaos escalated but I guess that might be the intention of the game. All-in-all I found myself only being able to play in limited time periods as the lack of story to the game left me wanting more. Extreme Exorcism’s a really good arcade game but nothing more.