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  1. #21
    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.

  2. #22
    Lesser Hivemind Node squareking's Avatar
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    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.
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  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roufuss View Post
    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.
    Last edited by sabrage; 18-01-2012 at 10:43 PM.

  4. #24
    Lesser Hivemind Node squareking's Avatar
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    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.

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  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squareking View Post
    I also can't believe there's an audience for it.
    Well, there's not. But Cave is realizing that a bit too late.

  6. #26
    Activated Node Urthman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squareking View Post
    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 that way.)

    http://www.old-games.com/download/19...ture-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/201...-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)
    Last edited by Urthman; 21-01-2012 at 03:14 AM. Reason: to add extra details about Creature Jungle

  7. #27
    Activated Node Urthman's Avatar
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    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

  8. #28
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #29
    Activated Node Urthman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    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.

  10. #30
    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:


  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabrage View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Roufuss; 19-01-2012 at 06:53 PM.

  12. #32
    Lesser Hivemind Node squareking's Avatar
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    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:



    I suggest taking his advice an--GO PLAY MARS MATRIX
    Last edited by squareking; 12-07-2012 at 11:25 PM.
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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by squareking View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Roufuss; 19-01-2012 at 08:00 PM.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by sabrage View Post
    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.

  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman Tribe Leader View Post
    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.

  16. #36
    Lesser Hivemind Node Spacewalk's Avatar
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by squareking View Post
    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.

  17. #37
    Network Hub siegarettes's Avatar
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    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/shoot...to-2d-shooters

  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Back in the day I used to love Xenon 2 Megablast.

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  20. #40
    Network Hub siegarettes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordHuggington View Post
    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.

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