PDA

View Full Version : Insert coin: PC shooters and a discussion about them



squareking
18-01-2012, 05:50 AM
* WARNING: A huge post is approaching fast! *

Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed that the RPS readership has a heavy preference for RPG, strategy, turn-based tactics and similar my-brain-hurts-from-the-thinking type games. Rightfully so -- those seem to be the PC’s domain and, in my experience, those titles offer the most enjoyment per time unit spent. Unfortunately, I see neither much coverage nor discussion on a niche videogame genre close to my geeky, bespectacled heart -- the shmup.

Sure, more popular indie releases like Hydorah and Jamestown received coverage and general applause in the comments, but there’s no discourse on optimal scoring strategies, or uncovered secrets, or any of the delightful morsels that make these games unique. It it because few players find these games as engaging as I? Are your intrigueometers stuck at 0.0 when someone talks about a Gradius run? Do your eyes glaze over when bright pink bullets fill the screen? I’m curious if it’s truly a matter of disinterest or if the games’ surface difficulty is often too tough a nut to crack -- the most common complaint I’ve come across.

I wanted to establish the beginning of a discussion on and hopefully generate new interest in these games. Thankfully, the PC is the perfect starting point to access a vast library of excellent examples of the genre. The fanbase is well-established in Japan, where doujin (basically indie) shooters are released almost once a month. Many have demos, fairly high production values and even rival the huge arcade releases by arguably the most well-known developer, Cave. Then you have the seedy, dank world of arcade emulation via MAME. But we’ll get there in a bit.

For now, I’m going to break this post into three categories: background information, recommendations and resources. I’ll start with some basic concepts, philosophies and terms used in the overwhelming majority of shooters in the first section. The recommendation section will have a handful of, well, recommendations for beginning, intermediate and advanced players.

I can't display more than 4 images per post, so this won't be as exhaustive as I planned.

// Information

Part of the allure of these games is the almost uniform simplicity of the game mechanics. Quick crash course: Most often, you control some avatar -- a ship, a tank, a flying catgirl witch thing, whatever -- and you progress through a few levels of increasing difficulty, shooting the bads until they stop trying to kill you. So you have at a minimum controls for movement and attack. Most games have developed some ridiculous flexibility with this system, including toggling several firing modes (Espgaluda 2, Radiant Silvergun), holding the attack button to alter movement (Cave and Touhou titles) and activating shields, bombs and permutations of all these things (Hellsinker, Shikigami series).

The primary objective is to a) beat the game (ideally, on one credit, known as a 1CC) and b) get the highest score. The earliest examples were content to throw popcorn baddies at you, make you face off with a boss at the end of a stage, add up your score and call it a day. Most titles, however, have deeply elaborate scoring systems that require a good amount of multitasking, perfect placement of your character and a willingness to embrace a deadly risk/reward system. Jamestown, for example, gives a substantial point bonus if you destroy an enemy at a certain point in its on-screen lifecycle with a certain weapon. It’s certainly not obvious from the onset, but if you’ve played it, you’ve seen it happen. That’s really the tip of the iceburg -- games from the now-defunct Raizing (http://hardcoregaming101.net/raizing/raizing.htm) usually required suiciding in order to maintain the game’s difficulty.

This section is going to take the longest to develop, so I’ll update it over time if there’s enough interest. Horizontal vs. vertical, Japanese vs. not very Japanese, more on scoring, art styles, music, etc.

// Recommendations: Entry-level

Warning Forever (http://www.hikware.com/Prod/index.html#wf)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/zsdnM02lttNIgln0O8etXDPVKmZy5DYpqffmPPUhc8oYvToh4V 7K4CyaBppHMLVP6AhBnXN4uJ9w9uChLvnvQ6dy58b_oJHPOyb4 921jUnaE6q-wRcY

So you're fighting a single enemy that builds defensive modules onto itself based upon how you attack it. Attack the center/front only and it'll build stronger defense up front and add laser turrets. Attack at the sides and it'll fan out and add weapons. You get a lovely graph explaining why it's making these changes at the beginning of each stage. Controls are a bit strange at first -- you can rotate/spread your weapon when holding the attack button. It's been a while since I've played, but I think that's how it works. Everyone here should play this. Also check out Ray Hound and Shooter's Solitude, the latter I could never get to run.

Eden’s Aegis (http://www.vector.co.jp/download/file/winnt/game/fh514438.html)

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/afjdALzMUUtTcyd8koX-nKi8LVcdRgEg8ecH0fj80Ydmc8G9H666xgdBlINEIMRuZ40a07 LkSwWa-QcOa_pK8rSOrEHpDgT6Ty1K5JuuZMTqki-g13M

A great starting point with lots of room to grow. Fairly basic, Japanese-style vertically scrolling goodness with lots of tweaks -- don’t like pink bullets? Go with green or blue or purple. I suggest starting on easy with the other settings at default. Default shot is Z and bomb is X, I believe. Hold Z to focus your shot, slow your character and display your hitbox. ~50mb; install text is in Japanese, but anyone who knows his/her way around a computer (you lot) will know what to do. The other games (http://www004.upp.so-net.ne.jp/x_xgameroom/Works/works.html) by the same devs are worth your time, too.

Jamestown (http://store.steampowered.com/app/94200)

It’s everything you want -- great pixel art, great soundtrack, easy-to-understand scoring system. The first ship is the beginner’s best bet and it’s fairly easy to beat on the lowest difficulty setting. ~250mb and stupidly fantastic.

Tyrian (http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/tyrian_2000)

Likely the most well-known shooter on this list. Features a well-written storyline and some fairly heavy ship/weapon/shield customization. Tons of secrets in this one, too. Definitely from the 'Euroshmup' school as opposed to the hard-as-hell Japanese danmaku (bullet curtain) style. This was the first shmup I played on PC and I lost a boatload of hours to it. ~10mb & free, so get it.

CHO REN SHA 68K (http://www2.tky.3web.ne.jp/~yosshin/my_works/download.html)
http://i-saint.skr.jp/exception/


// Recommendations: Intermediate

Samidare (http://www.rebrank.org/products/smd/index.htm)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Ijn2f9SihhPua5UcgSwlCIZccIbEUvsU5yckX7TFBJXVZlz84R 0wF4Fmb7HEmSQLGcjbhFLbRuJXeV0NaE1MyeGpzejvZWMf9ewE vtyRtPuOInVCAK4

Only moderately sadistic. I recall there only being 3 stages, but they're tough. Fast bullets, insane boss battles and a nifty bullet deflect mechanic. Some of the best production values for indie stuff, too.

Patriot Dark (http://www.the2bears.com/?p=1398)

Haven't spent a lot of time with this one, but it's an enjoyable title in the Cave style of things. Difficulty ramps up fairly quickly. Not the prettiest doujin around, but a blast.

// Recommendations: Advanced

Crimzon Clover (http://indiegames.com/2010/01/indie_game_pick_crimzon_clover.html)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nAj53dC3lTjmpAW8y0B7gHKDf6nN4r_0QWTGm3yGAIvXwkZi0a v8614qTfraHjmLtx8PM9rjpWe1m0TwbMI8IWh87tyYto2jtF6O b_NpfZmfIelYx70

Personal favorite shmup for 2011. Stupidly challenging (though I am terrible at these games), incredibly rewarding and fantastic production values for a one-guy team. Probably the closest you can get to the Cave formula in Ketsui and the recent Dodonpachis on PC -- blockbuster action movie adrenaline at 600mph. Also offers unlockables like extra credits, alternate ships and a super-hard mode for fools, paid via earning points in-game.

// Resources

Companies & games:
HC101: Raizing (http://hardcoregaming101.net/raizing/raizing.htm)
HC101: Cave: Ketsui (http://hardcoregaming101.net/ketsui/ketsui.htm) | Progear (http://hardcoregaming101.net/progear/progear.htm) | ESP Ra. De. (http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/esprade/esprade.htm) | more... (http://www.google.com/cse?cx=partner-pub-5230184257141993%3Axfg3mydy24k&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=cave&sa=Search&siteurl=hardcoregaming101.net%2F#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=cave&gsc.page=1)
HC101: Various Gradii (http://hardcoregaming101.net/gradius/gradius.htm)
HC101: Ikaruga/Radiant Silvergun (http://hardcoregaming101.net/rsikaruga/rsikaruga2.htm)
HC101: Toaplan (http://hardcoregaming101.net/toaplan/toaplan5.htm)
HC101: Psikyo (http://www.google.com/cse?cx=partner-pub-5230184257141993%3Axfg3mydy24k&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=psikyo&sa=Search&siteurl=hardcoregaming101.net%2F#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=psikyo&gsc.page=1)
HC101: Raiden series (http://hardcoregaming101.net/raiden/raiden.htm)

Discussion:
BulletMagnet’s excellent post (http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/BulletMagnet/the-forgotten-essentials-part-2-shmups-132683.phtml) at destructoid
Shmups.com (http://shmups.com/)

Try:
Rancor’s doujin store (http://www.tokyoshmups.com/) (free soft / demos at bottom)
Kenta Cho / ABA Games (http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~cs8k-cyu/index_e.html)

Buy:
Rancor’s doujin store (http://www.tokyoshmups.com/)

sabrage
18-01-2012, 06:07 AM
I'm frankly terrible at SHMUPS, but I have a thing for giant screen-filling sprite art so I'll always have a soft spot for them. What are some other games that have a campaign structure similar to Jamestown? I love that I can play a level, put it down and come back later to either replay that segment or move on to the next one (as opposed to the arcade-style structure of most shooters)

Snargelfargen
18-01-2012, 06:48 AM
Tyrian 2000 has a campaign structure, and some brilliantly absurd writing. It's available on GoG, I actually got a free copy as an apology after their "We're shutting down!" PR fiasco.
Edit: I forgot you will have to save before missions if you want re-play them, but it's still worth giving it a try. Fun times.

I have wasted many, many hours playing Warning Forever. The twist in this SHMUP is that you only fight bosses, but every subsequent boss changes and adapts to your play-style. Sometimes they add moving armatures with laser banks, or homing missiles but as time goes on the bosses inevitably get larger and more difficult. It's neat seeing bosses develop completely differently by altering your tactics, and if you are careful, you can "game" the system.

I'm looking forward to seeing what people have to say about the japanese shmups. They are truly weird.

sabrage
18-01-2012, 07:08 AM
Tyrian 2000 has a campaign structure, and some brilliantly absurd writing. It's available on GoG, I actually got a free copy as an apology after their "We're shutting down!" PR fiasco.
Edit: I forgot you will have to save before missions if you want re-play them, but it's still worth giving it a try. Fun times.

I have wasted many, many hours playing Warning Forever. The twist in this SHMUP is that you only fight bosses, but every subsequent boss changes and adapts to your play-style. Sometimes they add moving armatures with laser banks, or homing missiles but as time goes on the bosses inevitably get larger and more difficult. It's neat seeing bosses develop completely differently by altering your tactics, and if you are careful, you can "game" the system.

Noted. HCG101 has a pretty comprehensive article (http://hardcoregaming101.net/tyrian/tyrian.htm) on the Tyrian series, and Warning Forever is freeware (http://download.cnet.com/Warning-Forever/3000-2095_4-10298144.html) so I'm downloading that right now as well. I didn't even realize I had Tyrian 2000 sitting in my GoG library so I'm glad you mentioned it.

Snargelfargen
18-01-2012, 07:24 AM
Oops, yeah the freeware bit is important!

I will also pose a question: How do you shmup, keyboard or controller? Or uhh, joystick and arcade buttons if you have a way of doing that.

I prefer keyboard, if only because the 360 d-pad is terrible.

sabrage
18-01-2012, 07:29 AM
I have one (well, two) of these (http://www.amazon.com/Street-Fighter-FightStick-Tournament-Playstation-3/dp/B001M22WN8), but I'm usually too lazy to break it out. Planning on having a nice weekend with Tyrian, Warning Forever, Jamestown and my stick now though.

Urthman
18-01-2012, 08:44 AM
Needs a link to Kenta Cho's webpage (ABA Games), which has some fantastic freeware shmups.

rRootage, Parsec47, TUMIKI Fighters, and Torus Trooper are all highly recommended. Noiz2sa and Gunroar are also good.

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~cs8k-cyu/index_e.html

Another fun, difficult, and great-looking SHMUP on PC is Exception. I say great looking even though the enemies are just cubes and blocks, but check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7h7G3l_tQM

Game website here: http://i-saint.skr.jp/exception/

Urthman
18-01-2012, 08:51 AM
Esp Ra De is my favorite MAME shmup. I love the little 5-second vignettes each of the characters have at the beginning of their first stage. Such a marvel of economic storytelling.

Spacewalk
18-01-2012, 09:46 AM
List CHO REN SHA 68K (http://www2.tky.3web.ne.jp/~yosshin/my_works/download.html) under entry-level. It gets pretty tough on the later loops though and it's a fantastic game, great music especially. I recommend practicing the power-up trick which will allow you to nab all three if you hang around in the centre long enough until you can do it at the drop of a hat because it's very helpful.

Megagun
18-01-2012, 03:53 PM
Tyrian 2000 has a campaign structure, and some brilliantly absurd writing. It's available on GoG, I actually got a free copy as an apology after their "We're shutting down!" PR fiasco.
Funny, because it had been free and open-source even before then. http://code.google.com/p/opentyrian/
(EDIT: OpenTyrian is not equal to Tyrian 2000, apparently, because it doesn't include the fifth episode)

Tyrian is genuinely one of the SHMUPS that I actually enjoy. Perhaps that's because a single bullet hit isn't insta-death (which I hate!) and because it has these neat customizable ships.

Roufuss
18-01-2012, 04:56 PM
It's a real shame Cave didn't port their games to the PC, and have instead decided to leave shmups behind for the most part due to extremely poor sales.

I think Muchi Muchi Pork / Pink Sweets sold something like 7,000 units and that was it. Could have done so much better on the PC.

squareking
18-01-2012, 05:14 PM
Sweet, discussion! I'll add those links to the OP. I was going through my library of these things...oh god, why did I embark on this? There are so many!

Sabrage: Tyrian 2k was the first title to spring to mind. Campaigns and storylines are few and far between, but there are a handful of Japanese titles that offer something. Trouble Witches (http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/troublewitches/troublewitches.htm) and Deathsmiles (http://www.aksysgames.com/games/deathsmiles/) (TW is PC, both are on Xbox, I believe) are some options, but aesthetically might be tough to get into after the SHEER MANLY STEEL of Tyrian.

Spacewalk: CRS68k is indeed a thing of beauty. Easy to get into, tough to master. A similar and super-excellent Flash version is Arcanacra (http://www.yomogi.sakura.ne.jp/~si/SolidImage/cml/arcanacra_bl/v04_e.html).

Snargel: Yes! Warning Forever is so excellent and possibly the definitive entry to shmuppery. As for controls, I'm perfectly fine with keyboard, but never the mouse. I built a USB stick with decent parts are few years back, though. My score went up by a sizable margin.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/jimihalen/th_DSC01490.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/jimihalen/DSC01490.jpg)

Urthman: I never really got along with Kenta Cho's stuff, except for Tumuki Fighters. I'd still recommend them to newcomers, though. And Exception is great too, though it's less of a traditional shooter and more...conceptual, I guess. Fantastic nonetheless. ESPRade is superb, one of Cave's best.

Roufuss: It is a shame, though it means getting all those 360 ports to PC would be pretty damn easy. I know Cave is more focused on arcade and iStuff at the moment and PC gaming isn't huge there, so chances are slim.

ColOfNature
18-01-2012, 06:09 PM
Super Crossfire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAopm4VFc_w) (as featured in the New Year's Indie Royale bundle) and Really Big Sky (http://bossbaddie.co.uk/bigsky/) have done much to rekindle my affection for shmups. Super Crossfire's addition of simply jumping between top and bottom adds a much needed tactical edge to the Space Invaders concept. And Really Big Sky will melt your eyeballs to the back of your skull.

Urthman
18-01-2012, 07:50 PM
Urthman: I never really got along with Kenta Cho's stuff, except for Tumuki Fighters. I'd still recommend them to newcomers, though. And Exception is great too, though it's less of a traditional shooter and more...conceptual, I guess. Fantastic nonetheless. ESPRade is superb, one of Cave's best.

Have you tried Parsec47? It's the most Cave-like of his games. Reminds me of Dangun Feveron.

Other truly great PC Shmups:

Kamui: http://www.siterskain.com/products/data/kamui/index.html
Crimzon Clover: http://www.vector.co.jp/soft/winnt/game/se481428.html
Samidare: http://www.rebrank.org/products/smd/index.htm

squareking
18-01-2012, 07:59 PM
Have you tried Parsec47? It's the most Cave-like of his games. Reminds me of Dangun Feveron.

But there is nothing like FEVER with its FLOATING DISCO MEN. Chances are I've tried it, but I don't remember much about it. Might give it another shot soon.


Other truly great PC Shmups:

Kamui: http://www.siterskain.com/products/data/kamui/index.html
Crimzon Clover: http://www.vector.co.jp/soft/winnt/game/se481428.html
Samidare: http://www.rebrank.org/products/smd/index.htm

Kamui and Samidare are stellar. Fit snugly between beginner/intermediate and they're remarkably well-made. CC makes my top 5 all-time faves list (OP is updated with some info on it). I recommend those three for serious and/or experienced fans.

Urthman
18-01-2012, 08:26 PM
I've also had some good times with Demolition Gunner which is sort of like Under Defeat but with sweet SNES-style graphics. It's not deep or anything, but it feels really good.

http://www.interq.or.jp/saturn/takuhama/Shooting6.html

I'm not sure I recommend it, but I thought I'd mention Storm Calibur, which for some reason was the first shmup I really put time into learning the scoring system. It's a nice beginner shump, not too hard, has a shield that lets you take more than one hit, and features offensive bullet grazing (grazing bullets turns sends them back at enemies as homing shots which raises your combo multiplier). It's pretty old so the graphics are primitive. The author has also done some "Gaiden" remixes that I haven't tried.

http://www.ssp.x0.com/scv3/index.html

Another one of my all-time favorites is Raystorm. I have the Playstation disc, but it looks so much better in high res on the PC using the ePSXe emulator that I've always played it that way.

Urthman
18-01-2012, 08:38 PM
Parsec47 has the crazy speed of Dangun Feveron and the falling score balls that you have to catch before they bounce back up to the screen to keep your combo going. But it definitely would be better with disco music and a dude shouting "CAN YOU FEEL IT?"

My top 3 Cave games are Esp Ra De, Progear, and Dangun Feveron. I love Progear's rhythm of going back and forth between rings and gems (also SHINY DIAMONDS!) and the artwork is just fantastic.

SirKicksalot
18-01-2012, 08:47 PM
The only one I've been OK-ish at is Gridrunner Revolution.
I recently tried to play Jamestown and I can't even beat the second level, although I'd love to. Renegade Ops was insanely hard. I have fond memories of Raptor: Call of the Shadows, but I'm quite sure I never got too far in the one either.

I strongly dislike limited lives and strongly hate the idea of locking upgrades and options on lower difficulties. Why are developers not catering to chumps like me? Just give me the option to enjoy the full game while being rubbish at it...

arathain
18-01-2012, 09:11 PM
I do loves me some shmups. I'm pretty bad, but I don't let that stop me. I've had a good time this year introducing Jamestown to a couple of people in co-op- it's ideal because it's so intuitive, and because two people and one screen never stopped being fun.

Speaking of Jamestown, what am I not getting about the Bomber? It seems vastly inferior to all the other ships.

squareking
18-01-2012, 09:48 PM
I've also had some good times with Demolition Gunner which is sort of like Under Defeat but with sweet SNES-style graphics. It's not deep or anything, but it feels really good.

http://www.interq.or.jp/saturn/takuhama/Shooting6.html

Astro Port has made some awesome lo-fi shooters. They've recently released Satazius (http://store.steampowered.com/app/203990/) on Steam, too. I wanna say they also created some creepy Giger-esque horror shmups a while ago under a different name.


I'm not sure I recommend it, but I thought I'd mention Storm Calibur, which for some reason was the first shmup I really put time into learning the scoring system. It's a nice beginner shump, not too hard, has a shield that lets you take more than one hit, and features offensive bullet grazing (grazing bullets turns sends them back at enemies as homing shots which raises your combo multiplier). It's pretty old so the graphics are primitive. The author has also done some "Gaiden" remixes that I haven't tried.

http://www.ssp.x0.com/scv3/index.html

Wow, there's one I haven't played. Looks decent enough.


Another one of my all-time favorites is Raystorm. I have the Playstation disc, but it looks so much better in high res on the PC using the ePSXe emulator that I've always played it that way.

Another classic, but I never fell in love with it. I think there was a recent reboot on Xbox? The dual shot/lockon thing was wonderful, though. Ether Vapor is sort of an evolution of that idea.


I do loves me some shmups. I'm pretty bad, but I don't let that stop me. I've had a good time this year introducing Jamestown to a couple of people in co-op- it's ideal because it's so intuitive, and because two people and one screen never stopped being fun.

Speaking of Jamestown, what am I not getting about the Bomber? It seems vastly inferior to all the other ships.

Yeah. It's very powerful and decent against bosses, but it's pretty awkward and seems to be a better support fighter for co-op than a solo run. I wish we could get online or at least LAN co-op action in Jamestown.

Battle Programmer Spike
18-01-2012, 10:38 PM
I love the SHMUP genre, specially the "sub-genre" Bullet Hell/Danmaku as Touhou. One of my favourites was the vs mode from Touhou 9 (Phantasmagoria of Flower View) and Touhou 9.5 (Shoot the Bullet) itself, which was fun as hell since you had to go around dodging everything (as you can't shoot or use bombs) and taking photos to defeat the enemy.

squareking
18-01-2012, 11:28 PM
Shoot the Bullet is a great example of awesomely off-the-wall things you can do with a simple formula. Waiting for just the right moment and enough junk on screen to snap the pic never fails to feel like a rollercoaster ride, heh.

sabrage
18-01-2012, 11:40 PM
It's a real shame Cave didn't port their games to the PC, and have instead decided to leave shmups behind for the most part due to extremely poor sales.

I think Muchi Muchi Pork / Pink Sweets sold something like 7,000 units and that was it. Could have done so much better on the PC.
I think Cave's real problem is making bullet hell shooters aimed squarely at pre-pubescent Japanophiles. It's like a nexus of my least favorite things.

This music makes my ears bleed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ckkng-FKEs

squareking
19-01-2012, 12:45 AM
I can't believe one of my favorite developers made those games. I also can't believe there's an audience for it. But then I play Dodonpachi and I feel better.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Tj2VRmWYDVY#t=6s

sabrage
19-01-2012, 01:01 AM
I also can't believe there's an audience for it.
Well, there's not. But Cave is realizing that a bit too late.

Urthman
19-01-2012, 05:23 AM
Wow, there's one I haven't played. Looks decent enough.

Ohhh. So you wanted some more obscure recommendations?

Creature Jungle 16 has a sort of twin "napalm" shots (in addition to the regular gun) that always explode a certain distance in front of your ship, which is used for chains as well as creating a nice positioning and timing mechanism. And it's pretty good overall.

Oh and I can't believe I forgot. The best part of the napalm shots is that any enemy hit by the napalm shots explodes and if another enemy is caught in the explosion the second enemy also explodes and so on. So it's possible with a single shot to cause a chain reaction that keeps killing enemies as they appear on screen. (It's a bit like the fantastic little game Every Extend (http://db.tigsource.com/games/every-extend) that way.)

http://www.old-games.com/download/1970/creature-jungle-16

Trapezohedron of Darkness isn't great, but it has a nifty mechanic where your ship can leave brief trails of fire behind it, allowing you to sort of draw circles of fire on the screen to create traps for enemy ships to run into and die.
http://thegeishaboy.blogspot.com/2011/04/trapezohedron-of-darkness.html

IntensityXS is a mouse-controlled Gradius-style horizontal shmup which is about the only shmup with mouse control I've tried that actually works.
http://www.midnightsynergy.com/intensity/

(Although maybe I should mention here that Charlie of Scoregasm fame is working on a mouse-controlled sequel to his shmup Irukandji which is not bad. The Irukandji games are kind of basic / generic, but they look real pretty: http://www.charliesgames.com/wordpress/?page_id=11)

Urthman
19-01-2012, 05:27 AM
Squareking, you might also add to your main post mention of the Raiden series and the Shikigami no Shiro series, which have both had high-quality PC versions released. I haven't really gotten into those games, but Raiden 3 and the Shiki games look really great on PC.

http://www.alfasystem.net/game/shiki/main.html

squirrel
19-01-2012, 02:21 PM
Horizontal shooter seems to be one of very few genres dominated by Japanese these days. My friends who used to play a lot of those games in arcade games suggested that those games have no AI to speak of.

Urthman
19-01-2012, 07:03 PM
Horizontal shooter seems to be one of very few genres dominated by Japanese these days. My friends who used to play a lot of those games in arcade games suggested that those games have no AI to speak of.

That's a category error, like complaining about the AI in Portal or Braid or Sonic the Hedgehog or Peggle or Myst or Aaa...aAA! a Reckless Disregard of Gravity or Super Meat Boy or Katamari Damacy or Tetris or Plants vs. Zombies or Grim Fandango ...

Not every game uses AI.

LordHuggington
19-01-2012, 07:08 PM
Picked up Satazius a little while ago as I was curious about the indie games Capcom has in the works. Not bad, but a lot of similarities to Gradius, so take that as you will.

Also, the Gundemonium games are awesome if you like merciless bullet hell shooters. Here's the final boss for the first game in the series:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDAYlA4pEls

Roufuss
19-01-2012, 07:48 PM
Well, there's not. But Cave is realizing that a bit too late.

There definitely is an audience, though -- Deathsmiles did well in all regions (well enough to prompt a sequel) and Mushihimesama did quite well for itself. If there was no audience for that sort of thing Cave would have gone under in 2004 or so when they first started adding lolis and other bizarre things to their games (and hell, it always existed in Cave's style -- ESP Ra. De. featured underage protagonists, Progear featured lolis as the co-pilots, Mushihimesama was about some underage girl shooting bugs.) Graphical style aside, both Muchi Muchi Pork and Pink Sweets are really good (and region free, at that.)

Cave's problem is they backed the 360, and most people in Japan either a) didn't buy the 360 or b) have gotten rid of it, at this point. I believe I read an article awhile ago that some stores are not even stocking the system / games anymore due to such poor sales. Before that, they backed the PS2 and did great (and it was also far easier to mod a PS2 to import those games.)

They also, for whatever reason, had a hell of a time trying to break into the US market because of publisher issues. Deathsmiles II actually did really well on Xbox 360's Games on Demand service (Deathsmiles did pretty well also, from what I remember) but I think they don't have the money to continue to self publish in the US. Who knows why they didn't make all of their games region free like Espgaluda 2 or Futari.

If they didn't have an audience for games like Deathsmiles, it wouldn't have done so good on the iOS, so the problem is definitely Cave just backed the wrong system.

Though it seems they are preparing to back the Vita, which isn't doing that hot in Japan, so I don't think they will ever learn.

They honestly need to take one of their games and port it to Steam just to test the waters. I think they'll be surprised at the sales they get, but unfortunately most Japanese developers don't mess with the PC at all. I was hoping Jamestown would catch their eye as I recall it selling quite well and they would think "Huh, it seems PC players like shmups too."

Just as an FYI also, for anyone who has a 360 and is in the US, Rising Star Games in Europe made Dodonpachi Resurrection region free, and they did a really good job on the port imo.

squareking
19-01-2012, 08:29 PM
The great irony is I believe Cave knows about the PC's potential and how many fans are PC players...and they must be aware of the doujin scene's popularity. They've actively railed against the MAME crowd who are unlocking their latest arcade releases and, big point here, emulation is how I and pretty much everyone else discovered Cave and Raizing and Psikyo many years ago. So they're doing themselves a massive disservice not taking the time to either self-publish/distribute on Steam or finding someone to do the heavy lifting for them. Heck, they've done the majority of the work getting a few of their games on Xbox.

I've shown my support by buying copies of Futari and Galuda 2 and Deathsmiles, hopefully showing Cave there's interest outside Japan (but on the 360, unfortunately). Like you said, if they'd just test the waters with Steam or any other service, I think they'd be pleasantly surprised. If we get good, tweakable ports (even more than what emulation offers), they'd offer a great alternative to the iffy emulation thing and make some cash in the process.

Didn't know that about DDP Resurrection; I thought it was locked to Europe last time I heard about it. Might grab a copy someday.

Oh, and via the shmups forum:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbts2qTrbAg

I suggest taking his advice an--GO PLAY MARS MATRIX

Roufuss
19-01-2012, 08:57 PM
The great irony is I believe Cave knows about the PC's potential and how many fans are PC players...and they must be aware of the doujin scene's popularity. They've actively railed against the MAME crowd who are unlocking their latest arcade releases and, big point here, emulation is how I and pretty much everyone else discovered Cave and Raizing and Psikyo many years ago. So they're doing themselves a massive disservice not taking the time to either self-publish/distribute on Steam or finding someone to do the heavy lifting for them. Heck, they've done the majority of the work getting a few of their games on Xbox.

I've shown my support by buying copies of Futuri and Galuda 2 and Deathsmiles, hopefully showing Cave there's interest outside Japan (but on the 360, unfortunately). Like you said, if they'd just test the waters with Steam or any other service, I think they'd be pleasantly surprised. If we get good, tweakable ports (even more than what emulation offers), they'd offer a great alternative to the iffy emulation thing and make some cash in the process.

Didn't know that about DDP Resurrection; I thought it was locked to Europe last time I heard about it. Might grab a copy someday.


Yea, in addition to DDP Resurrection being region free in Europe for US consoles (but not Asian ones, oddly) Muchi Muchi Pork / Pink Sweets is also region free (but already out of print and expensive) and Deathsmiles II is a $30 download on the 360. Guwange is $10 on the Xbox Live Arcade, too. I've heard Akai Katana when it releases in Europe might be region free also, but Rising Star Games is still "considering" it.

I did read about Cave stopping the MAME stuff, which boggled my mind because if fans are going through that sort of effort, they want to play your games -- make them available. I realize its not that easy but Cave has always made it incredibly difficult to get their shmups in the US. Take something like Progear, make a quick and dirty Steam port and see what happens, but it seems like they decided to just move wholesale onto the Vita. I really thought Jamestown would have opened some eyes.

Cave knows they have fans in the US but decide to just toy around with them constantly -- some games are region free, some aren't. Some get ports to Europe, and are sometimes region free. Sometimes, Cave's games aren't region free but are download only in the US. Sometimes, a publisher picks up one of their games. There is no consistency here and it hurts them because its a hassle and a half for your average gamer to pick up one of their games after finding Deathsmiles.

For example, when Deathsmiles was released a lot of gaming forums I went to were really into it -- "Cave is awesome" and "What other games are like this??" I thought for sure Cave, Aksys or some other publisher would continue to strike while the iron is hot and release a few more games but nope, nothing for almost a year until Deathsmiles II was download only. Cave went onto say it was a good success and that "maybe we'll release more games in the future." Maybe? This is why your company is your tanking.

The problem with Cave is every time they've built momentum in the west and introduced a new generation to shmups, they've dropped the ball keeping it rolling. They had the potential to reignite the genre and, imo, were the genre's last great hope, but they squandered it.

Birdman Tribe Leader
22-01-2012, 12:45 AM
I'm frankly terrible at SHMUPS, but I have a thing for giant screen-filling sprite art so I'll always have a soft spot for them.

This is how I feel about shmups as well. I also find having a million pink bullets on the screen really aesthetically displeasing and not fun. But I do love intricate pixel art of space and I enjoy upgrading a ship.

Can anyone recommend shmups not of the "bullet hell" variety? Ones from the 90s, especially.

sabrage
22-01-2012, 01:50 AM
This is how I feel about shmups as well. I also find having a million pink bullets on the screen really aesthetically displeasing and not fun. But I do love intricate pixel art of space and I enjoy upgrading a ship.

Can anyone recommend shmups not of the "bullet hell" variety? Ones from the 90s, especially.
My experience is largely on consoles, but Raiden, Axelay, R-Type and Gradius are all great and easy enough to get running on emulators. I'm also a big Xevious fan, but that's largely just for nostalgic reasons.

Spacewalk
22-01-2012, 03:24 AM
I've seen a few PC ports of arcade games on the shelves back in the nineties along with shareware standards like Tyrian which everyone mentions and the less mentioned Raptor and DemonStar. That's probably more along the lines that you want. Darius Gaiden, G. Darius, In the Hunt, Raiden II and Galactic Attack in some places for budget prices too but if you get interested in those now you're going to need a degree in archaeology if you're going to unearth any of them but there has to be a few copies left somewhere. If I had to make a choice I'd probably go for either of the Darius games because I get a raging stiffy whenever I look at the ship design. I guess it's emulation to the rescue again.


I suggest taking his advice an--GO PLAY MARS MATRIX
This is solid advice. Don't be put off by all of those bullets it's an easier game than it looks, easier than Gigawing at least which is its closest neighbour.

siegarettes
22-01-2012, 06:19 AM
Like sabrage, I have a soft spot for SHMUPs while not being great at them. I love the mechanics and immediacy of them but can't concentrate enough most of the time to navigate bullets as effectively as I should.

Gradius and its offshoots are a favorite of mine, as well as Darius Gaiden and G-Darius. All of which of incredible soundtracks. I'd recommend them for someone who wants an intense and challenging experience, but not a bullet hell SHMUP. Gradius Gaiden in particular, since the variety of ships and powerups is overwhelmingly good.

I'd also like to submit Racketboy's SHMUPs 101 to the links:

http://www.racketboy.com/retro/shooters/shmups-101-a-beginners-guide-to-2d-shooters

alms
23-01-2012, 03:44 AM
Back in the day I used to love Xenon 2 Megablast (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenon_2_Megablast).

tracymicgredy
23-01-2012, 05:08 AM
I like cartoon shooter game Brick Force (http://www.dotmmo.com/brick-force-6238.html), looks nice.. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/01/17/brick-force-is-also-made-of-cubes/

siegarettes
23-01-2012, 10:13 AM
Picked up Satazius a little while ago as I was curious about the indie games Capcom has in the works. Not bad, but a lot of similarities to Gradius, so take that as you will.

Also, the Gundemonium games are awesome if you like merciless bullet hell shooters. Here's the final boss for the first game in the series:


Actually Satuzis was made by a doujin group and simply translated and published by Capcom. Wish is all well and good. Although I may have been confused on what you were saying. And yes the Gundemonium series is quite good, but will beat the shit out of you. I'm especially intrigued by the mechanics of Hirogatta Happa.

Another thing to note about SHMUPs, many SHMUPs, especially bullet hell shmups, are way more satisfying to play for score. Guwange, and especially the Ray series (Rayforce, Raystorm, Raycrisis) are not very exciting to simply "beat" but when you are trying to score high they are intense experiences.

On that note, I've been playing Alien Zombie Megadeath, and while it can't strictly be classified as a SHMUP it definitely plays like one. Once you get the UFO upgrade and start playing for score it starts giving you the same feeling. Basically the whole collecting score items while timing kills and charting a scoring line through the level.

siegarettes
23-01-2012, 10:16 AM
I've seen a few PC ports of arcade games on the shelves back in the nineties along with shareware standards like Tyrian which everyone mentions and the less mentioned Raptor and DemonStar. That's probably more along the lines that you want. Darius Gaiden, G. Darius, In the Hunt, Raiden II and Galactic Attack in some places for budget prices too but if you get interested in those now you're going to need a degree in archaeology if you're going to unearth any of them but there has to be a few copies left somewhere. If I had to make a choice I'd probably go for either of the Darius games because I get a raging stiffy whenever I look at the ship design. I guess it's emulation to the rescue again.


This is solid advice. Don't be put off by all of those bullets it's an easier game than it looks, easier than Gigawing at least which is its closest neighbour.

Demonstar and Raptor are both great. Demonstar gives off a bit of Raiden and the upgrade system of Raptor is quite compelling. As I said, I love the Darius games. The aquatic based ships are serious business. I'd actually take a look at Metal Black while you are at it, shares a lot of elements with the later games. Laser dueling with bosses and aquatic ships:

http://hardcoregaming101.net/darius/metalblack2.png

Mars Matrix is also solid. Play it with a friend and you can cover each other's asses with the vortex bombs.

siegarettes
23-01-2012, 10:22 AM
The problem with Cave is every time they've built momentum in the west and introduced a new generation to shmups, they've dropped the ball keeping it rolling. They had the potential to reignite the genre and, imo, were the genre's last great hope, but they squandered it.

I've gone to a few anime conventions and its really disappointing when they have import copies of CAVE shooters but they are region locked. In addition, I'd like to get Deathsmiles II, but the art style isn't as great as the first and I'm pretty sure its untranslated, at least dialogue-wise on the Games on Demand for the Xbox. I bought the first Deathsmiles for 30 and honestly I could buy a physical import copy for about the same price they are charging for GoD, which is really off putting.

Hell, I'd love DoDonPachi on something other than my iPod. I mean, the port is good an all, but I prefer a big screen with a gamepad. That and the game always depletes my battery very fast.

Winehouse
23-01-2012, 11:16 AM
This information is really useful..

DaftPunk
23-01-2012, 11:29 AM
Ah i though we're going to talk about pc shooters,as FPS/TPS.. xP

Caleb367
23-01-2012, 12:13 PM
WUT! No Jets'n'Guns Gold? It has everything: good graphics, fast gameplay, a bazillion weapons, HUGE laser beams, and a kickass soundtrack.

Memph
23-01-2012, 02:22 PM
This is how I feel about shmups as well. I also find having a million pink bullets on the screen really aesthetically displeasing and not fun.

Can anyone recommend shmups not of the "bullet hell" variety? Ones from the 90s, especially.

Yup, same thing here. To me it feels like i'm playing more defensively than offensively, having to cower in a corner and hit my special whenever the screen got too full of crap. This is the only way i could get anywhere in Jamestown's hard mode and it got old fast.

Really good shmups i can recommend not of the trillion pink dot variety:

Blazing Star
Pulstar
Biohazard Battle - megadrive/genesis title. available on steam. the other 2 are neogeo titles so you'd need some Rod/m and Emu. (sod it i can't do strikethroughs)

Bytheby, how in blazes did a shmup thread get to 3 pages with no mention of Metal Slug? Sure it's not all shaceshippery, but I don't think much pixel art and animation has ever been more beautifully done than in that series. It just drips with style and character. And RAWKET LAWNCHER!

sabrage
23-01-2012, 02:50 PM
Bytheby, how in blazes did a shmup thread get to 3 pages with no mention of Metal Slug? Sure it's not all shaceshippery, but I don't think much pixel art and animation has ever been more beautifully done than in that series. It just drips with style and character. And RAWKET LAWNCHER!
Well, it did start as a PC shmupdiscussion, but I think we pretty much covered everything of note and moved on to MAME/Console shmups. And I hate talking about Neo-Geo games because it reminds me of how damn badly I want a CMVS (http://www.analogueinteractive.com/productintro1.php), and that abominable price makes me sad..

Anyways, I just downloaded Exed Exes/Attack of the Savage Bees. Just listen to that soundtrack!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc5lDrXV1pk

TailSwallower
23-01-2012, 04:41 PM
Demonstar and Raptor are both great.

I grabbed Raptor from GOG as soon as they released it because I had fond memories of playing the shareware section as a kid. Found it too hard though, and not in a fun way - got to the point where I just couldn't make enough money on the missions to kit myself out well enough to be able to defeat the bosses at the end.

Any tips for me?

Other than that, really enjoyed Jamestown, thought Really Big Sky was beautiful and great fun, got Tyrion 2000 free from GOG too, but tired of it after a couple of hours, and... that about sums up my SHMUP experience I think.

Where do games like Geometry Wars and Scoregasm come into it? They play like shmups in a lot of ways, but the limited arenas also mean they play very differently.

Are the 3D-graphics shmups taking off in a big way? Seems to me that if RBS is anything to go by, they need better systems to run on than you would expect, and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people got put off by the lag when there are a lot of things going on on screen. RBS had major performance issues - this was on a laptop that runs New Vegas, Starcraft II, Deus Ex: HR, etc at medium-to-high settings just fine. Could be the fact that it's an indie game though, and might not be optimized as much as a game from a bigger/more-experienced team.

sabrage
23-01-2012, 04:46 PM
Are the 3D-graphics shmups taking off in a big way?
There's always Einhander, the best game Square ever made. Guaranteed not to tax your system.

Here's the first half of a great (if somewhat indulgent) review:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILpea4iBU2g

squareking
23-01-2012, 07:39 PM
Glad to see this thread's taking off. BulletMagnet's racketboy post is super comprehensive; I don't think I'll finish the OP the way I wanted, so just refer to his post.

@ siegarettes: Hitogata Happa is an odd one. Each character or "doll" has a radically different playstyle/mechanic for earning max points. Confusing but a blast to figure out. Also, if you're a fan of Metal Black, check out Border Down on the Dreamcast.

@ Caleb: Euroshmup alert! Nah, it's not bad at all. I wouldn't go out of my way to play it, but it's decent.

@ Memph: MS is technically a run & gun and/or platformer, similar to Contra or Turrican or what have you, though there are very similar mechanics in the end. MS is one of my favorite series ever.

@ TailSwallower: Geometry Wars and Scoregasm are shooters of the twin-stick or arena variety, a la Robotron and others. It's kind of a shmup and kind of not, similar in my mind to Tempest.

As for 3D graphics shmups, they're certainly out there, though bullets are generally rendered in 2D and made to fit within the style, as in Ikaruga. I'm trying to think of a fully-polygonal shooter and I'm coming up blank, but I know some exist. I think RBS has some additional and procedural eyecandy effects going on, which might explain the slowdown. Another thing to mention -- many of these games will simulate hardware slowdown in rough/bullet-heavy areas. Arcade PCBs of old often couldn't do the calculations quickly enough for so much crap on-screen at once. The slowdown actually helps the player navigate through the bullet torrent, so it's a pretty neat mechanic.

@ Sabrage: Exed Exes!

TailSwallower
23-01-2012, 10:49 PM
Another thing to mention -- many of these games will simulate hardware slowdown in rough/bullet-heavy areas. Arcade PCBs of old often couldn't do the calculations quickly enough for so much crap on-screen at once. The slowdown actually helps the player navigate through the bullet torrent, so it's a pretty neat mechanic.

Whilst it certainly makes sense (and has even helped me pull through some tough fights [including in Jamestown on my little netbook]), it still seems strange, and I can't help but be irked by it. Seems like there should be better or more elegant ways to deal with, either by reducing the amount of stuff allowed on screen at one time, or having the slowdown be a power-up or special weapon.
But, I'm not a hardcore and/or oldschool SHMUPER and never would have even thought the slow down was deliberate and also a reference to "Arcade PCBs of old", so I'm not the right person to be listening to.

Spacewalk
23-01-2012, 11:50 PM
I'd actually take a look at Metal Black while you are at it, shares a lot of elements with the later games. Laser dueling with bosses and aquatic ships:

http://hardcoregaming101.net/darius/metalblack2.png

It's on Taito Legends 2 (also on PC!). It's pretty swell though I wish that there was a way to skip those awkward bonus stages. They are just awkward. Darius Gaiden and Galactic Attack (as RayForce) are on there too although if you've only got it on the PS2 like I do the latter is replaced by Ray Storm. At least we got G Darius as a bonus to make up for it.

squareking
24-01-2012, 06:25 PM
This is how I feel about shmups as well. I also find having a million pink bullets on the screen really aesthetically displeasing and not fun. But I do love intricate pixel art of space and I enjoy upgrading a ship.

Can anyone recommend shmups not of the "bullet hell" variety? Ones from the 90s, especially.

The majority of shooters in this era you'll find in arcades or consoles, so if you're OK with emulation or consolification, I have some recs.

Arcade:

Twin Cobra II
V-V -- aka V-Five or Grind Stormer (although this is more proto-modern bullet hell, it doesn't get too wild)
Truxton -- not many bullets on screen, but enemies and projectiles are fast
Raiden series -- snipers!
Air Gallet
Star Soldier series
Sexy Parodius
Xexex

PS2/PS1:

Gradius V
R-Type Delta and Final
Einhander
Darius series (via Taito collections) and Darius G
In The Hunt

siegarettes
24-01-2012, 09:22 PM
Bytheby, how in blazes did a shmup thread get to 3 pages with no mention of Metal Slug? Sure it's not all shaceshippery, but I don't think much pixel art and animation has ever been more beautifully done than in that series. It just drips with style and character. And RAWKET LAWNCHER!

I guess its more of the run n gun variety and doesn't immediately spring to mind in this context. But the game is gold. Detailed pixel art, expressive animation, and gun crates full of humor.

HEAVY MACHINE GUN! ION LIZARD!

Don't forget about the part where you turn into a zombie and your grenades become streams of bloody projectile vomit.


It's on Taito Legends 2 (also on PC!). It's pretty swell though I wish that there was a way to skip those awkward bonus stages. They are just awkward. Darius Gaiden and Galactic Attack (as RayForce) are on there too although if you've only got it on the PS2 like I do the latter is replaced by Ray Storm. At least we got G Darius as a bonus to make up for it.

That's actually how I've played it! You have no idea how jealous I am that the PS2 has G Darius. Contemplating buying another copy just because of that. Its not the same as playing it on an emulator (okay technically its exactly the same, but you get what I mean.)

Scoregasm, Jamestown and Hirogatta Happa all have incredibly scoring systems. Once you realize how awesome the insane risk taking is rewarded you can't help but take stupid risks and get yourself killed in the process.

For example, in Hirogatta Happa there is a "zone of control" around every enemy, even bosses. If you get in close it activates and slows down all bullets in the area. Then when the enemy is destroyed all the bullets become gems that reward you with score. So basically, by getting in point blank range you can cripple opponents and score big.

sabrage
25-01-2012, 08:35 AM
@ Sabrage: Exed Exes!
Oops, fixed it now.

squareking
25-01-2012, 04:01 PM
Oops, fixed it now.

Did I point out something wrong? I didn't even notice. I was just exclaiming the name of an indisputably bonkers-awesome game.

sabrage
25-01-2012, 04:33 PM
Did I point out something wrong? I didn't even notice. I was just exclaiming the name of an indisputably bonkers-awesome game.
I originally put "Exed Eyes." Awesome game indeed though.

Roufuss
25-01-2012, 06:39 PM
I've gone to a few anime conventions and its really disappointing when they have import copies of CAVE shooters but they are region locked. In addition, I'd like to get Deathsmiles II, but the art style isn't as great as the first and I'm pretty sure its untranslated, at least dialogue-wise on the Games on Demand for the Xbox. I bought the first Deathsmiles for 30 and honestly I could buy a physical import copy for about the same price they are charging for GoD, which is really off putting.

Hell, I'd love DoDonPachi on something other than my iPod. I mean, the port is good an all, but I prefer a big screen with a gamepad. That and the game always depletes my battery very fast.

I don't know which region you're in, but if you're in the US those Cave shooters they are selling might be region free. Here is the whole list of region free shooters for the 360:

ESPGaluda 2
Mushihimesame Futari
Mochi Mochi Pork / Pink Sweets
Dodonpachi Resurrection -- But you need to get the European one by Rising Star games. Its only like $30 if you buy it from a European website as its a budget release. Don't get it from an import store like NCSX as they are overcharging a ton for it.

Other than Mochi Mochi, all of the other games are $30 in Japan (er... but prices seem to be going up, upon double checking, as a lot of them are now going out of print) as they have been re-released as a Platinum Hits.

And to contribute to the thread, while its not on the PC Rayman Origins had some pretty awesome shmup levels... entire levels dedicated to flying on a mosquito's back in levels patterned a lot like Gradius.

siegarettes
26-01-2012, 12:19 AM
I don't know which region you're in, but if you're in the US those Cave shooters they are selling might be region free. Here is the whole list of region free shooters for the 360:

ESPGaluda 2
Mushihimesame Futari
Mochi Mochi Pork / Pink Sweets
Dodonpachi Resurrection -- But you need to get the European one by Rising Star games. Its only like $30 if you buy it from a European website as its a budget release. Don't get it from an import store like NCSX as they are overcharging a ton for it.

Other than Mochi Mochi, all of the other games are $30 in Japan (er... but prices seem to be going up, upon double checking, as a lot of them are now going out of print) as they have been re-released as a Platinum Hits.

And to contribute to the thread, while its not on the PC Rayman Origins had some pretty awesome shmup levels... entire levels dedicated to flying on a mosquito's back in levels patterned a lot like Gradius.

That's pretty cool. With shipping however the cost does get up there.

And yea, I played the Rayman demo and the shooting sections were pretty Gradius, right down to bonuses coming out with you shoot a row of enemies.

sabrage
26-01-2012, 01:38 AM
And to contribute to the thread, while its not on the PC Rayman Origins had some pretty awesome shmup levels... entire levels dedicated to flying on a mosquito's back in levels patterned a lot like Gradius.
Wow, next time I see this game at $20 I might not be able to resist.

siegarettes
26-01-2012, 03:42 AM
Wow, next time I see this game at $20 I might not be able to resist.

Man don't remind me. It was 20 over on toysrus online and i didnt buy it cause im working my backlog. It was so damn tempting.

sabrage
26-01-2012, 07:07 PM
Man don't remind me. It was 20 over on toysrus online and i didnt buy it cause im working my backlog. It was so damn tempting.
Yeah, I saw that too, but I'm glad I held out (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/01/26/rayman-origins-coming-to-pc-drm-free/) now.

siegarettes
26-01-2012, 08:56 PM
Yeah, I saw that too, but I'm glad I held out (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/01/26/rayman-origins-coming-to-pc-drm-free/) now.

Well that is fantastic news!

squareking
31-01-2012, 06:29 PM
Bump with some non-newsy-words (http://www.siliconera.com/2012/01/30/cave-still-hope-to-release-their-shooters-on-pc-in-the-future/) from Cave regarding PC releases.

Kodeen
04-11-2012, 09:34 PM
So I'm just now really getting into this genre, I got Fast Striker on Dreamcast and it just kind of got the ball rolling. Currently playing Jamestown, I saw a mention of the Gundemonium series on Steam but not the Exceed series. Are those any good?

sabrage
04-11-2012, 10:24 PM
Gundemonium and Exceed demos here (http://www.sk8tokyo.com/shmup/free.htm).

Kodeen
04-11-2012, 11:00 PM
Gundemonium and Exceed demos here (http://www.sk8tokyo.com/shmup/free.htm).

Awesome link, I'll have to check out quite a few titles on there. Thanks!

sabrage
04-11-2012, 11:26 PM
That same site (http://www.sk8tokyo.com/shmup/) is also very good for imports, with prices a fair deal better than most Ebay listings. I can't comment on most of the games from that list, but Warning Forever is a good bit of fun. Sort of like a twin stick boss rush without the second stick (a description I can only hope will make more sense upon playing)

victory
05-11-2012, 04:02 AM
Kodeen: The best stuff you can play on PC is arcade ports via MAME, but you should play Tumiki Fighters. It's really good. Pretty much the only PC native shooter I have put a decent amount of time into.
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~cs8k-cyu/windows/tf_e.html
One interesting thing about it is how much your playstyle and tactics change once you get better, and how they change again once you get a feel of how the scoring works and spot some subtle details of how the mechanics work. I remember still getting "aha!" moments after having played the game for 10+ hours. It's a really fun game to figure out, so don't watch a youtube video and deprive yourself part of that pleasure.

mashakos
05-11-2012, 06:47 AM
I grew up when shmups were all the rage, so I always have a soft spot for them. Muscle memory is a strange thing; I keep hearing about how these Cave shooters are so hard. Yet almost 20 years since I last played R-Type I could beat Dodonpachi on my iphone in one setting (on medium arcade admittedly).

The Dreamcast really impressed me with the quality and variety of it's shmup collection. Since I didn't own one at the time, I'd occasionally see an amazing in-game photo of a 3d shooter online and pause to reconsider getting one. Now that Dreamcast emulation has reached a level where you get perfect response times and no glitches in most games, I've located and collected two (used) great titles which I thought might be relevant here:

Ikaruga

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZEGyrEnXrk
Best shmup ever.

Border Down
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_DVk9mdbbGNI/TPpf4k_2OuI/AAAAAAAAAqw/uzhnxOpnA80/s1600/borderplay.jpg
video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyQZu-teHN8)
Very innovative game progression mechanic where instead of continues you get separate level paths every time you die.

mashakos
05-11-2012, 06:56 AM
Back in the day I used to love Xenon 2 Megablast (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenon_2_Megablast).
R-Type, Xenon 2, SWIV, Walker, Project X ...
Those were the days!

Mohorovicic
05-11-2012, 07:26 AM
Best shmup is Audiosurf.

mashakos
05-11-2012, 07:27 AM
Well, it did start as a PC shmupdiscussion, but I think we pretty much covered everything of note and moved on to MAME/Console shmups. And I hate talking about Neo-Geo games because it reminds me of how damn badly I want a CMVS (http://www.analogueinteractive.com/productintro1.php), and that abominable price makes me sad..

lol, you're getting the authentic Neo Geo experience right there. I remember getting heart palpitations back when I was 10 or 11, a buddy at the school yard was telling me that Neo Geo would be releasing a console. The heart palpitations? That was because I heard how much a cartridge cost...

mashakos
05-11-2012, 09:13 AM
I've seen a few PC ports of arcade games on the shelves back in the nineties along with shareware standards like Tyrian which everyone mentions and the less mentioned Raptor and DemonStar.
I got DemonStar Secret Missions 2 bundled free with a Saitek joystick.
In addition to the game being very well made (it's more xenon than Jap bullet hell), the game supports force feedback! It's a novel approach and actually quite enjoyable with a FF joystick.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY6XsgQlT-0&feature=relmfu

mashakos
05-11-2012, 09:26 AM
Just saw this:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/11/01/sine-posted-sine-mora-coming-to-pc-next-week/

Exciting news! I love the aethsetic of this game, was not expecting a PC port.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CCc3XLX9_0

Kodeen
05-11-2012, 02:30 PM
I grew up when shmups were all the rage, so I always have a soft spot for them. Muscle memory is a strange thing; I keep hearing about how these Cave shooters are so hard. Yet almost 20 years since I last played R-Type I could beat Dodonpachi on my iphone in one setting (on medium arcade admittedly).

The Dreamcast really impressed me with the quality and variety of it's shmup collection. Since I didn't own one at the time, I'd occasionally see an amazing in-game photo of a 3d shooter online and pause to reconsider getting one. Now that Dreamcast emulation has reached a level where you get perfect response times and no glitches in most games, I've located and collected two (used) great titles which I thought might be relevant here:

Ikaruga

Best shmup ever.

Border Down

Very innovative game progression mechanic where instead of continues you get separate level paths every time you die.

I'm currently collecting for Dreamcast which is how I started getting into these. I'll get these eventually, but both (Border Down in particular) are quite expensive.

On Wii there is a disc called 'Ultimate Shooting Collection', which has Karous, Radio Allergy and Chaos Field. It costs about $15 for a new copy, whereas those three games would cost $200-$300 for the Dreamcast versions.

Anyway, PC games. I was looking at Steam and noticed that Capcom has published a few of these as well. I'll have to look into those as well.

squareking
21-02-2014, 05:02 AM
Bump since Ikaruga (and Jets n' Guns!) was released this week.

Ikaruga is great and I'd recommend it to anyone looking to get into the genre. There's a lot to learn and the art style is absolutely stunning. I found the replay value to be fairly limited, though, and at its heart it's more of a twitchy puzzle game.

Jets n' Guns...well, nostalgia. That's about all I can say.

siegarettes
21-02-2014, 05:20 AM
Bump since Ikaruga (and Jets n' Guns!) was released this week.

Ikaruga is great and I'd recommend it to anyone looking to get into the genre. There's a lot to learn and the art style is absolutely stunning. I found the replay value to be fairly limited, though, and at its heart it's more of a twitchy puzzle game.

Jets n' Guns...well, nostalgia. That's about all I can say.

Ikaruga's really only replayable if you care about score and chaining, since like you said, it's almost a puzzle game. Still, I might actually rebuy for the PC just to support Treasure and hopefully have them bring more to PC.

squareking
23-05-2014, 12:22 AM
I trust everyone will buy Crimzon Clover (http://store.steampowered.com/app/285440/?snr=1_4_4__105_3) on June 6.

rockman29
23-05-2014, 12:37 AM
Sine Mora is really awesome, I highly recommend it.

It has a cool time-based mechanic. The more you get hit, the more time you lose, and you also lose weapons. When the timer goes to zero that's when you lose basically.

It might sound weird because of the timer, but it's not. It more just pushes the player to play even better.

Visuals are incredibly well done as well, tons of great art and beautiful colours.

Suprisingly also has a nice story. Wish I knew more about shmups to share, I've seen a lot of nice looking ones but I haven't played many that much.