Ghostblade HD (Review) Nintendo Switch

Ghostblade HD (Review) Nintendo Switch
Review Score:

Developed by Hucast and released for the Sega Dreamcast back in 2015, Ghostblade HD is a 2D top-down Bullet-Hell shooter that replicates the knuckle-whitening action of most Cave shooters. Every level is packed full of enemies; large, colorful explosions; and giant, end level bosses, who occupy a good portion of the screen. Ghostblade HD for Nintendo Switch is essentially the same game as the Dreamcast version, but with improved graphics to enhance the experience.

On the surface, Ghost Blade HD’s gameplay seems very traditional in its design. But once the action starts, it becomes very clear that Developer Cave – and its many Hell Bullet shooters – were the inspiration for this title. Each level is packed full of enemies, all varying in size. The playfield is constantly inundated with bullets and explosions, making it difficult for the player to navigate. Luckily the game provides three ‘battle ships’ equipped with their own firing patterns and weapons. These ships – despite handling differently from one another – all provide something unique that will no doubt resonate with the player. 

Like most shooters, Ghost Blade HD’s gameplay is primarily about destroying everything on-screen and gaining a high-score in the process. When enemy ships and objects in the environment explode, gold stars appear for the player to collect. These ‘stars’ increase the player’s score. In addition, the player can collect ‘power-ups’ to increase the firepower of their battle ship. While nothing substantial, these enhancements do widen and/or focus the bullets being fired by the player’s ship.

As the game progresses, the player will find themselves being quickly overwhelmed by the enemy. Due to the intensity of the action, the player has no choice but to navigate between the small, maze-like openings that are being carved out by the enemy’s bullets. This requires good reflexes and a lot of patience to survive.

In addition to the main game, Ghost Blade HD also includes a ‘Score Attack’ mode (which is self-explanatory) and a ‘Training’ mode. Where Training Mode is concerned, the player can ‘train’ themselves by battling end level bosses or repeating levels from the game’s 5 stages. Since Ghost Blade HD doesn’t come with an actual tutorial, the available Training mode is the only way to become familiar with the controls and game mechanics. Moreover, there is an online Leaderboard that keeps track of both Local and Global hi-scores. While online co-op play would have been appreciated, at least the Leaderboard exists to add a competitive edge to the game.

Ghost Blade HD’s graphics are a stunning collection of 2D sprites; enormously colorful explosions; and gorgeously designed backgrounds. The amount of detail seen throughout the game is impressive, especially where the larger enemy spaceships are concerned. In fact, the entire presentation looks incredible on the Switch (especially in Portable Mode).

Ghost Blade HD for Nintendo Switch is a great game that does everything right. It’s fun to play; it provides a solid challenge; and when the game is over, the Online Leaderboard is there to entice the player into trying ‘one more time’. It’s addictive qualities like these that make Hucast’s shooter an instant classic.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Also available for PS4)
Developer: Hucast
Publisher: eastasiasoft
ESRB: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
Price: $14.99

Ghost Blade HD Official Website:

Review Score
The graphics are simply stunning for a 2D shooter.
Arcade-style explosions and a memorable soundtrack enhance the experience.
While challenging, the gameplay is fun and rewarding.
Ghost Blade HD is a must-have title for the Nintendo Switch.
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