eXceed - Gun Bullet Children is a bullet hell shooter by Flat Software and Nyu Media. This shooter features a trio of girls who belong to the Church. They are Chinatsu Kagaya, Sowel Devosiana and Miyabi Housen. Chinatsu, Sowel and Miyabi are employed by the Church as the Gun Bullet Children to fight off the vampires that terrorize Tokyo. Over 5 levels, the three Gun Bullet Children will fight through hordes of enemies and a boss in each level.
As a doujin (independent self-published work) bullet hell shooter, it has great artwork in the character sprites, character special move names in Japanese flashing across the screen which resembles an action manga, game and soundtrack album covers, Steam badges, emoticons and profile backgrounds which make it attractive to showcase on profile. The game also has fast catchy pop background music to keep players excited in the game as an arcade shooter, great voice acting and variable dialogue lines that are different depending on the character being chosen to play in the game. The game is also forgiving for casual players with an unlimited number of continues.
Sadly, the dated graphics and game engine (as a game that is released back in 2005) has brought with it, a lot of problems with the Steam version of the game. First, the take screenshot feature in the Steam version doesn't work, neither is there any feature to pause the game or to play the game in windowed mode to take screenshots. Pressing the Esc button will immediately exit and close the game instead of pausing it.
Secondly, when the game is downloaded and installed vanilla, all the dialogue in the story part of the game is very likely to be in garbled text unless the user's operating system is set at Japanese. A translation for the game to English is available from published Steam community guides, however it still has errors in the display on some punctuation symbols unless the user's operating system is set specifically to English for non-Unicode programs which poses a lot of inconvenience when setting up the game for the first time.
Thirdly, there may also be significant frame rate drops in the form of lagging and stuttering especially during graphic intensive segments when a lot of bullets are being thrown about and a character is doing a special move. The game is also unresponsive if played on a gamepad controller.
After spending a few hours to troubleshoot the problems with the game and to play through all three characters in the story part of the game, eXceed - Gun Bullet Children is a short arcade bullet hell shooter that offers a few hours of arcade shooter gameplay with attractive anime graphics, voice acting, background music, artwork and casual gameplay as an introduction to the eXceed series, with options to play at harder difficulty settings. At the same time, it also suffers from display and technical problems as a game that is released more than 5 years ago, as well as limited variety in the level designs. For those who can overlook these faults with the game, I can recommend this game only when it is at a very attractive discounted price or bundle offer of a few dollars for the game and soundtrack DLC.
Full gameplay video with English translation patch on YouTube by Снеж Кристальный