Today, CAVE sent over some details for the first major update to their latest iOS bullet-hell shooter Deathsmiles [$11.99/Lite]. In case you missed it, we reviewed Deathsmiles earlier this month and found it to be quite the bee’s knees. Really, my biggest negative about the game wasn’t even something that was the fault of the game itself. By nature, controlling your character causes you to block part of the screen with your thumb or finger, and with enemies approaching from either side of the screen, this can create some problems.

There are 3 screen size options already which do a good job of alleviating this issue for some folks, but CAVE is trying to take it a step further with this update. You’ll now be able to push the screen to the right or left, giving a much wider border edge for placing your digit to control the game. You can see an example of this in the screen below to the left.

Another new feature coming in this update, seen in the above right screen, will be the ability to unlock different costumes for the main character of the iPhone mode, Tiara. These costumes will become available by completing specific tasks in the game. Pretty much sounds like another form of achievements, but with a tangible reward for completing them. CAVE hints that some of the costumes will look familiar to fans of their other games, so it will be interesting to see just what that means.

Speaking of CAVE’s other games, one of the coolest new features in the update is the addition of new weapons based off of their previous titles Guwange and Dodonpachi Resurrection [$11.99/Lite]. These new weapons will be available as paid downloadable content, which based on a screen from their press release look to be about $2.99 apiece. The pricing has yet to be confirmed, though, so we might just have to wait and see.

Other items in this impending update include a brand new BGM track that is only unlockable using a special trick. CAVE can be devious with their secrets, and for this one they only offer up the hint: “Flash flash? Tap tap!”. There is also a new mini-game being added that has you earn jigsaw puzzle pieces by completing armor sets (not including DLC items), and then putting the pieces together to form an illustration by one of the game’s artists. Finally, they’ve added new items that will increase the drop rate in the game, which right now is fairly infrequent, which should make collecting items quite a bit easier.

There really is a number of cool new things getting tossed into this upcoming Deathsmiles update. The plan is to release the update a week from tomorrow, on August 6th, but you can get an early preview if you check out CAVE’s UStream channel on August 5th at 11am GMT. They also note that they might give away a few tricks during the stream, like how to unlock the hidden BGM, and tease that another surprise announcement could go down too. Whether you’re waking up at the crack of dawn (in the US anyway) to check out the live stream or not, be on the lookout for the new Deathsmiles update hitting next weekend.

  • Duffman

    Their game cost 12$ each and those bastards give only update for in-app purchase ???

    WTF, their applications are not even universal and doesn't support retina display. Are they kidding ?

    I bought all their games because I like Japan's game but this is just crap.

    It's not like the game was big, only 8 stages that are really short. I already finished the game multiple times as it's too short.

    More free content for update please. It will be a one star game for me until CAVE is taking seriously its customers ...

    • Real Hero

      More free contents? Huh? They are doing business not charity. And I hope they will never release free contents but IAP so that only rich people like me can buy.

      • duffman

        On my side, I hope that Lodsys will sue all developers that use in-app purchase and make them bankrupt ahahah.

        I bought so much game less expensive and adding free content at each upgrade.
        Last on date: Plant VS Zombie added retina support, and the game is half the price and with a really good game life...

      • shmup fan

        Last time I checked, "Plants vs Zombies" doesn't have 1,000's of sprites on screen at a time, moving independently with a scrolling background.

        There are a couple bullet hell shooters that claim to have retina display support, but they have significantly less happening on the screen at one time and everything in the game has a lot less detail than the Cave games.

        Look at the PS3 and Xbox 360.  Both are capable of 1080i, yet both consoles have a number of games that are only 720p.  The reason for this is that they can not achieve acceptable frame rates with the higher resolutions in some of the games.  

        Another good example was DOOM 3.  While many people were impressed with the graphics while the game was in beta, they were wondering why the game had so many less enemies than previous iD games.  They stated that in order to achieve that level of graphics, they had to greatly reduce the number of characters on screen.  Of course, this is also the reason why "Infinity Blade" and "Rage" both are on rails.  The games both look great, and it is not possible to achieve that level of graphics and resolution without limiting the game with rails.

        So yes, Cave could take "Death Smiles", remove 3/4 of the enemies and 3/4 of the bullets while slowing the scroll speed, and then up the resolution of the game, but that would defeat the purpose of the game and it would not longer be a bullet hell shooter.

    • shump fan

      Cave has stated that the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 do not have enough ram to make their games with a higher resolution.  They said it might be possible if the next iPhone gets 1 GB of ram.  It takes an awful lot of ram to move all those sprites around.

      Yes, bullet hell shooters are normally not very long.  If you only desire to "beat" a game, then bullet hell shooters will appear to be too short.  However, if you enjoy competing on leader boards for high scores, bullet hell shooters are quite wonderful.  While "DeathSmiles" iPhone mode on the easiest setting is ridiculously easy, both modes are infinitely more challenging on the hardest setting.

      If you want to buy a game and only play through it one time on the easiest setting, bullet hell shooters are not for you.  If you appreciate a quality product and like a challenge, Cave games are excellent.  One of the nice things with their games is that they are skill based.  When you die, it is not because the game is cheap or the controls don't work, it is because you lack skill.  That being said, the Cave games are not exactly the most relaxing of games. 


  • Dave

    Wow...The guy above is so cheap and ignorant.

  • Count Rackula

    I agree with Duffman. I own all of previous CAVE's releases, but am not going to shell out $12 for this one.

    It is quite frankly ridiculous that with the amount of work that is going into porting these to iOS that they are not making these universal apps. They look "okay" on an iPhone but terrible at 2x on an iPad.

    11.99 is the price point for an iPad app, and a good one at that. Heck, you can buy the xbox version of Deathsmiles for $20.

    • Koffoka

      Can i play this xbox version on a pocket device that's always with me?

      • Count Rackula

        No, the xbox code is too heavy for a pocket device.

  • shmup fan

    I think it is awesome that an old school arcade developer is actually making iOS games.  It is even more awesome that they actually update their iOS games.  I was perfectly happy with "Mushihimesama Bug Panic" when it launched and I was truly shocked when they added online multiplayer a few months in.  I wish more of the traditional developers would bother to update their games after launch.  EA won't even bother to support GameCenter...

    All too often I see reviews on iTunes that are asking the developers to fix the controls on a new game and the posts are 6 months old and the game has yet to be updated.  

  • Chris Trejo

    I'm glad they are changing the space on the left and right to help move, it does make it difficult to have your thumb in the way. Not too keen on the IAPs, but it is a choice at least.

    I just wish they'd throw in iCade support for all of their shmups! They are arcade ports; what better way to play them?

    And a JB iPad running RetinaPad is the bee's knees!

  • x x

    I am seeing highly positive reviews of the game popping up everywhere. But i hate japanese anime drawing especially with girls. Should i still consider buying it or not?

    • guest

      You need to figure out what your problem is with "Japanese anime drawing especially with girls".  If you can't get over that, then don't buy the game.