Also available on Switch and Windows
Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 01/30/2022 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Like Armed 7 and Salazius Next, the last two games I reviewed, Wolflame is a truly excellent Dreamcast shmup made by the genius team at Astro Port. Unlike those two games, it’s not included in Shmup Collection on Wii U, but it, fortunately, is included in the Shmup Collection on Switch. Real OGs, however, will play this on Dreamcast. As a disclaimer, the screenshots here are taken from the Switch port so as to avoid having to borrow someone else’s screenshots as I don’t have the ability at the moment to capture screenshots from Dreamcast hardware.
Unlike Armed 7 and Salazius Next, Wolflame is a vertically scrolling shooter. Personally, I much prefer vertical scrolling to horizontal scrolling, so this was a great change of pace for me after playing two horizontally scrolling shooters. Like the two aforementioned games, Astro Port did a fantastic job with every aspect of this game. The sprite art, as always, is fantastic, and I personally think that this has the best music of any of their games to date (at least the ones that I’ve played). As always, tight controls bring an exceptionally fun and responsive shooter, and when you die, you always know it’s your fault. You won’t find any cheap or BS deaths here.
The only thing really keeping Wolflame from perfection is the lack of multiplayer. The difficulty curve is extremely fair, the bosses are tough but not insurmountable, and each of the three weapon pick-up types is totally distinct and have their own roles. It would have been cool to see some environmental hazards in the level design like with Salazius Next, but as a more traditional vertical shmup, Wolflame is hard to beat. Being on the Dreamcast is yet another check in its column.