Greatest Shoot Em Up Handheld! Ketsui Death Label (Nintendo DS) Review!

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Greatest Shoot Em Up Handheld! Ketsui Death Label (Nintendo DS) Review! In today’s video I cover hidden gem that is hardly talked about, Ketsui Deathlabel, that I feel came up with a lot of innovative ideas for how virticle shmups (especially bullet hell) could have been adapted to handheld consoles back in the day. Unfortunately, due to the decline of the traditional handheld, I’m not sure if we’ll ever see another release like Death Label.

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43 COMMENTS

  1. Quick note: I may have been mistaken on the scoring meta of the game where perhaps you do want to bomb during certain patterns for multiplier, rather then cashing out your bombs like in the original game. Honestly it's kinda hard to tell because there isn't much footage of high level score play of the game ha.

  2. Watching this in 2023 really hurts. Knowing the game was going for near $150 brand new around 2 years ago, I would've paid that. Now you can't even get the game used for that much XD Also, speaking of shoot 'em ups that used both DS screens, there is Contra 4 that did it, and the travel time of the bullets even accounted for the gap between the screens.

  3. Hey MSX whats the easiest way I can play this game I've been hunting for region free Nintendo DS systems and im coming up short i think this might be the hardest game to get in my Shmup collection is there a easier way to enjoy this experience

  4. I play this all the time on a 2ds. I’ve been playing today . Finally cleared very hard mode today , That is how I came back to this video Searching for replays. It’s great having a doom trainer in your pocket and it’s cool watching the replays in the Ikeda section. Highly recommended game and well worth the high price it commands now or just play on an R4 card.

  5. I thought I discovered you through your Crimzon Clover documentary but it was actually back when I looked up this DS game! Wouldn't it be cool if they had a shmup that controlled the ship using the lower touch screen but with all the visuals on the top screen? It would at least be very refreshing

  6. A shame it couldn't handle that backwards scrolling on the Battleship 1UP level or we'd have a full port ;_; There is a secret level where they have a hidden level or two with popcorn enemies so you could get an idea of what it would be like (you have to beat DOOM loads or something?). Still great, I got a "backup" card to play it. It's been uber expensive for years. I defo recommend playing on the DS, multi card or legit, I've always wanted to know what the guys are saying though, so got to check the English ROM out (nice work whoever did that!!).

  7. Without a doubt one of the best to see the best shmup (bullet hell) of all time. However, it's not available to everyone, at least on PS3. Other than arcade mode, there is no easier mode that allows less seasoned players to learn the paterns smoothly. How difficult it is after the first 3 stages (the third is far from obvious already) in arcade mode. Suddenly, I will repurchase the M2 version of the PS4.

  8. I wanted this game for a really long time and picked it up on holiday and played it most of the day back home on the plane. I bought my copy in Japan and I have the say the scores saved on the game are pretty insane Im not sure ill ever beat some of the scores on the higher difficulty but thanks to this review I'll go back and try again.
    another great video thanks

  9. Man I would have LOVED this game back in the day since I always felt the DS SHMUP library was a bit lacking. I played games like Nanostray 1 & 2 but they were just OK.
    I'll have to check this one out some time.

  10. This review came outta nowhere. This game, together with the two Nanostray games (which are actually pretty good despite some very mild euroshmuppy stuff) were the shit as far as DS shmups go, made me look into shmups more closely.

  11. There's an unofficial port/emulation of the arcade game mr do that did split the vertical screen over both screens of the DS. Worked quite well to be honest.
    Cool to hear that there's an English translation for Ketsui DS, though I remember that it wasn't 100% finished…

  12. Mihara-san coded this while in the hospital recovering from stomach surgery. Being bedridden for a couple of weeks, he wanted to have a pocket version of Ketsui to play to keep preoccupied. While he may have done this project completely from the ground up, it's entirely possible that this features retooled code from the unreleased PS2 port. IIRC, initially, this wasn't intended for commercial release… but after Ikeda-san saw it, he was impressed enough to offer up some additional content ideas and that's how this game got published.

  13. I have this rom on a programmable card for my 3ds and for some reason I always only get one boss I believe. I wonder if it’s on easy mode. I’ll have to use google translate and use my phone on the screen. There is a translated rom available you said? Can I just downloaded it straight to the gold card for my 3DS/DS systems?

  14. I really appreciate how often you put out content! My only hope is that once r type final 2 is all said and done you'll re-review it. Please keep up the great content, your channel is awesome!

  15. This probably was my original introduction to Cave if I think back. I just remember reading in a forum looking for a Treasure like experience of crazy 2d system pushing boss fights and this came up. Not quite the same thing but I enjoyed the recommendation regardless!

  16. We all know it could not be as good as playing the arcade original in Tate, but it is really good at what it is. The movement is superb, the bullet patterns are really close to the arcade and the 4:3 aspect ratio does not make things worse. It is clearly a work of passion, even though most purists would call it a heresy. Played only in real hardware and the small screen is not an issue at all.

  17. I own this game for the DS (along with a DS) but never started that DS up and thus never played it… How sad is that? Guess I need to clear out my attic for that DS now and find the game.

  18. great review. I have it on ds. it has even more modes than you suggest. there are 2 more modes you get if you beat very hard and doom mode. it gets pretty challenging. if you die during a bossfight you also lose out on the 4th bomb on the next bossfight so you are encouraged to beat the boss without dying. it is the only way for me to play ketsui without the other consoles. haven't played it on mame yet.

  19. Oddly enough the whole weekend I thought to drag out my DS and find the Ketsui rom for it. I had forgotten the port even exists until it randomly popped into my head. Just when I stopped thinking of it, this video drops. Guess I have to play it now 🙂

  20. I used to play it on my DS, lol. Like, okay, Ketsui Death Label is cool and all, but who is this digitized IKD guy, I thought. Like, going this far is like he has more ego than Hideo Kojima. I think since this game onward his face got more and more prominent including becoming the official Twitter account mascot.

  21. Definitely a neat rework of the game. It's awesome how much they managed to get the feel of the original arcade version intact despite the compromise with stages, and as you mentioned the bosses are really fun in Ketsui so a boss rush is a nice concept by itself. DOOM Mode too is great and brutal lol. It would had been easy to do a lazy handheld port where it's just a mess performance wise and cutdown everything about the game by a lot, but they went the extra mile in pushing every little drop of horsepower they can get out of the DS with some neat extras on top.

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