Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire, also known as Sisters Royale: I’m Being Harassed by 5 Sisters and It Sucks (シスターズロワイヤル 5姉妹に嫌がらせを受けて困っています, Sisters Royale: 5 Shimai ni Iyagarase o Ukete Komatteimasu) is a shoot em up game developed by Alfa System and published by Chorus Worldwide for the PlayStation 4 (and also available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC). It was released in Japan in June 2018 followed by a physical release in January 2020 and was also available in the west at the same timeframe.
Alfa System have worked on a number of games throughout the past thirty years including co-operating with developers like Falcom with the older Ys games and Bandai Namco for the Tales of games, but they have also developed games of their own. Their most notable game is probably Castle Shikigami 2 (Shikigami no Shiro II) on the PlayStation 2, a shoot em up that had a so-bad-it’s-good English dub when it was released in the west, which is somewhat remembered to this date.
Other noteworthy games from their line-up include Elemental Gearbolt, a light gun shooter for PlayStation, Gunparade March, a role-playing game released only in Japan for PlayStation, Neon Genesis Evangelion 2, a role-playing game released only in Japan for PlayStation 2, and Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines, a role-playing game co-developed with Japan Studio for PlayStation Vita.
To celebrate their 30th anniversary, Alfa System released a shoot em up called Sisters Royale which was first released as a digital download title in Japan for the Nintendo Switch at ¥1,500. Eventually publisher Chorus Worldwide stepped in to offer a physical release on January 2020 for ¥5,800 for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, then released digitally for Xbox One and PC in July 2020 for $13.99 in the west.
The game offers a few options in the main menu. You can start the game on Easy, Normal or Hard mode, and have the option to select any of the five girls (or six if you downloaded the DLC character) to progress into either the Story mode or Practice mode. In the options menu, you can also customise the Maniac mode which is pretty interesting. Here you can adjust the enemies’ bullet size, bullet speed, TBS range’s distance, ability to turn off Auto Bomb, ReturnBullet quantity that adjusts the shorts fired by enemy in death throes, and slowdown time when you’re close to bullets.
There is also a tutorial that goes over the mechanics of the game. The general gist is that you press Circle to shoot and hold-down to auto-fire, X for summon attack and hold-down to keep it going, and Square to release bombs which makes you invincible for a brief moment. The game also tells you to shoot closer to the target to inflict more damage against them and doing the same with summon attacks can earn you more coins (the closer you are to the target, the more coins you can earn). Like many games, higher score points can mean more chances of replenishing more lives and ammo for your character.
European distributor Strictly Limited provided a limited physical edition in both standard (£25.99) and limited (£42.99) editions which to no one’s surprise sold out pretty fast as these publishers are known for their releases not lasting as long as others. There is some good news however, because the Japanese physical release is readily available and most importantly can be played in English as it offers full English translated menus and dialogue.
I have the Japanese physical release in this case, as it dropped in price for a total of ¥4,671 (¥2,982 for the item itself, the rest is shipping) on Amazon Japan. Despite only ordering a standard regular copy of the game, my order arrived in a pretty big box and included was the game’s artbook and physical original soundtrack CD. Unexpected but a nice surprise overall.
Distributor: Chorus Worldwide
Released: 30th January 2020
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Sisters Royale is available to download on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, Nintendo eShop and Steam for all regions. A physical release is still available in Japan for both PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch platforms.