10 Fantastic Alternatives to Espgaluda II: What to Play Next!

If you’re looking for a different shooting game to switch things up like a younger brother of the classic Espgaluda II, look no further! Here is a list of 10 games like Espgaluda II, each bringing something unique to the shooter genre with their own unique twist.

1. Mars Matrix

Mars Matrix is a great shoot ’em up from 2000 from Capcom that is sure to scratch the itch for anyone who loves Espgaluda II. The game plays similarly to Espgaluda II, but offers an interesting twist in that your score only increases if you chain together consecutive shots and shoot enemies in succession. One of the greatest aspects of Mars Matrix is the sheer amount of powerups available for the player to wield throughout their plentiful runs. This makes the game more manageable and offers more ways for the player to extend their combos and rack up more points.

2. Ikaruga

If you’re looking for something revolutionary to try, Ikaruga would be a great pick. Developed by Treasure and originally released on the Dreamcast in 2001, Ikaruga is a vertical shooter that takes the concept of powerups to the extreme. The game features enemy ships that are split into two distinct colors; white and black. When matched correctly, enemies of the same color will be destroyed instead of damaged and the player can use their shield to absorb the other color. This action-puzzle hybrid shooter is sure to challenge your skills and give you something to think about.

3. DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu

Arguably one of the most popular bullet hell shooters, Café9’s DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu is a great shooter for anyone looking for something that’s fast-paced and always exciting. The game is filled with its standard barrage of bullets as well as some unique additions such as powerups that act as currency where they can be used to purchase extra lives and continues. It also features a “Black Label” mode which ups the difficulty by adding an auto-bomb feature which will automatically detonate a bomb at regular intervals.

4. Radiant Silvergun

Radiant Silvergun is another great Bullet Hell shooter from renowned developer Treasure. It stands out from other shooters by bringing two unique mechanics with it. The first is the lack of a powerup system and the second is the incorporation of a seven-way shot. Instead of the standard three-way or straight-line shot, players will have to learn to use the seven-way shot effectively in order to survive the onslaught of bullets.

5. Razion

Razion is a 3D shooter developed by Psikyo in 2001. It is similar to Espgaluda II in many ways, with the main difference being the 3D perspective. This allows for some truly hectic and frantic gameplay as you fly through a bullet storm and dodge the onslaught of bullets while defending yourself. The game features a unique upgrading system that allows players to become more powerful as they progress through the game, making it an addictive shooter that keeps you coming back for more.

6. Giga Wing

Giga Wing is a shooter from 1989 that set a new standard for the shooter genre. It packs a unique twist in the form of a “reflect force” that causes bullets to bounce off the walls and ceiling, creating a whole new level of chaos. The game also features dynamic levels with different paths and boss battles that are nothing short of spectacular.

7. Akai Katana

Akai Katana is a vertical shooter released in 2011 that takes elements from both Espgaluda II and Ikaruga. Players have to make use of not only their ship’s weapon but also the “katana”, a powerful sword-like weapon that can be used to devastate enemies by slicing through them. The game also features a “bullet eating” mechanic, which will allow players to absorb bullets and use them to build up their katana, creating an interesting risk versus reward system.

8. Progear

If you’re looking for a game that’s sure to challenge your skills, then Progear would be a great option. Developed by Cave, this vertical shooter has many similarities to Espgaluda II but with an added layer of strategy. The game features a “weapon select” system where players can strategically choose which weapons to equip in order to obliterate the oncoming waves of enemies.

9. Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi

Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi is another great shooter from Cave. The game features a variety of weapons and strategies that the player can use to their advantage, such as using the charge shot to create bullet patterns or even using the “option” to control the flow and direction of the bullets. The game also features some unique boss battles and an interesting story mode to provide an exciting gameplay experience.

10. Shmup Love!

Shmup Love is an arcade-style shoot ’em up from 2007 that is sure to bring a smile to any fans of Espgaluda II. The game is a love letter to the genre, with its cute characters and quirky story. The game plays similarly to Espgaluda II, but with a few unique mechanics, such as being able to choose between different routes and a “guts system” which allows the player to increase their power by using items.


Shooters have come a long way since the days of Espgaluda II, but they still remain as one of the most popular genres in gaming today. If you’re looking for a change of pace or a new game to get your shooter fix, the 10 games listed here are sure to have something that’s perfect for you. Whether it’s the action-puzzle hybrid of Ikaruga or the cute and quirky Shmup Love!, there’s something here for everyone. So grab your favorite shooter and get going!