Tuesday, 10 May 2011

1CC - Cardinal Sins (Judgement Silversword - Recycle Edition)

The recent Japanese Xbox 360 release of Eschatos by developer Qute, saw additional bonus included on the disc in the way of, Judgement Silversword and Cardinal Sins. The former being the winner of the, WWGP 2001 WonderWitch programming contest. WonderWitch was a development tool for homebrew WonderSwan games.

Judgement Silversword is a fan-created vertically scrolling shooter, that was an homage to Treasure's Radiant Silvergun. A full boxed retail version was released in 2004 and fetches quite a price on Ebay these days, if it appears at all.

An update of Judgement Silversword was released called Cardinal Sins - Recycle Edition in 2005, and was to my knowledge only available via download using the WonderWitch tool. It was based on the Caravan style of Japanese shoot 'em up games of having a set time to pass a set number of enemies for score.

Cardinal Sins - The game features three difficulty modes, Trial, Normal and Marathon. The ship has two weapon shot types. A standard forward shot, which I believe seems to be more powerful in a head on situation, and a spread shot that creates a cone-shaped pattern. This comes in useful when you have a barrage of enemies on both sides of the screen. There is also a shield which becomes vital (if you remember you have it) in tight situations. This replaces the more traditional 'bomb' usually found in the genre. You pass from stage to stage with increased waves of enemies and harder bullet patterns, and given an overall hit percentage at the end of each stage, amounting to higher scores.

It is a rarity that I play a shmup long enough to reach a standard where a 1CC is in sight and often with shmups, the difficulty spikes on the later levels making it only possible for true die hards or with extreme persistence, to finally be able to finish a game on one solemn credit. I've managed a few in my time but only usually with shooters which seem to be alot easier or when playing on lower difficulty settings. The true masters aim to do it in one life.

On first try I managed to clear Cardinal Sins on Normal mode on one credit. Of course, it isn't that long a game, but it is reasonably challenging, with some tougher bullet patterns later on. Slowdown can be used to your advantage in some of the more bullet hellish moments where close quarter dodging without this slowdown could become quite impossible (*note to self - "you have a shield! use it!").

There is opportunity for picking up many extends on one particluar level, where they seem to spit out lives after every few enemies. This should be taken to full advantage and wasn't until my second playthrough that I realised what was going on. The only hinderence of this is that you can shoot the life icon making it explode and disappear. These icons can be difficult to collect whilst dodging the barrage of projectiles, often leading to losing a life rather than gaining. Once the life leaves the bottom of the screen, it is gone for good.

After finishing the game, I decided to play through again to improve score. On my three subsequent attempts I failed to get anywhere near the end, and lost all my lives rapidly in the later stages. At one point I had accumulated eight lives and yet still failed to finish.

Below is my 1CC score. I most certainly will be attempting to better my score or challenge the other modes.
"A very achievable high score to beat. On a later attempt I had hit 10 million after a few stages".


  1. Nice post!
    Thanks for the insight on this neat little game, I tried it very quickly when I opened the box. This and JSS seemed pretty fun for a quick shmup burst.
    I'll try to play one of them soon.

  2. Eschatos is a great overall package and my favourite of the 3 recent 360 releases. This was the first time I have tried to write an overview of a game on paper. I might make this a more regular thing. Found it quite enjoyable.

  3. Glad you're enjoying it too, been on the last boss a few times on a 1CC but not quite got past it yet. Quality shooting package though not a dud game amongst them

  4. @Geoff - i'm really taken back with the Eschatos package, as you may have noticed. I really hope more developers get involved with 360 shmup development. Sadly I feel there are only a few possible Cave releases left that they can port over.

  5. I agree mate, I think we might have seen our last retail release this year after Akai - Cave are bound to release something next year though. I've heard some rumblings that Milestone Collection 2 might get a physical 360 release. 5PB are possible future publishers too but not for a while. I belive they are working on a couple of games - JRPGs probably! Still can't complain so far this year we've had plenty of shmups to have a go at - I'd love to see Raiden V though!

  6. I still haven't played Raiden FA or IV.. In fact I've only ever played Raiden III from memory, and loved that. May have played some others back in the day. I'd love to see a new R-Type (as much as I suck at the series), in the same style as R-Type Final.

    I think Cave's next release will be DS III. Something would've leaked by now if they had plans to port any of their older games. I'm hoping Pro Gear gets a release but I can see it being an XBLA affair along with EspRaDe and Dangun Feveron, if these do happen.

    Also a Donpachi and DDP Double Pack would be nice. HD versions and original ports..plus alot of extra modes/scoring systems..

  7. If Marvel Vs Capcom 2 can come out on xbl (that one was a real minefield of licencing) then there's a hope for progear - the fans do really want it

  8. @Geoff - i'm really taken back with the Eschatos package, as you may have noticed. I really hope more developers get involved with 360 shmup development. Sadly I feel there are only a few possible Cave releases left that they can port over.