#1 Posted by dandead (173 posts) -

I was wondering anyone here like Shmups? (shoot-em-ups) You know the old horizontal or vertical scrolling types?

I just wanted to start a general discussion about them as it's are one of my favourite gaming genres.

Lately I have been playing a lot of a unappreciated Capcom vertical scroller called Varth which is often thought to be a spiritual predecessor to the 194X series. The game can be easily obtained thanks to Capcom releasing it on Capcom Classics Collection Vol 2 both on the PSP and PS2. You can also play it through MAME with no trouble if that's your thing. (and it most likely is if you are in to these sorts of games!)

What I realy like about it is that is tough but fair. For a start the game has 30 LEVELS which is insane for a Shmup, espeically if you are trying to beat the game without continuing (which I am currently as I have 1CC'ed both 1942 and 1943) but the thing I like about this game the most is the enemy attack blocking pods. I could explain how they work or I could just show you a rad flyer I found on the internet for this game instead...

I used to use the "Auto Pods" when playing the game but I have found them to be to unreliable in heated battles. Instead I have now opted for the "Front Pod" which is very useful for blocking some of the insane bullet pasterns that appear in this game in the later stages and as the flyer states, picking the right power-up for the right stage is essential.

So what Shmups are you guys playing right now? What Shmups do you really like and dislike? Will CAVE ever release another title without it featuring really creepy fetishistic artwork of underage girls again? (and yes I am a fan, I own all of their games that can be played on a PAL Xbox 360 as well as various titles on the Sega Saturn)

Shmups... Discuss!

#2 Posted by dandead (173 posts) -

LOL just noticed I spelt Shmups wrong in the title, that will teach me for being tired while posting! XD

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@dandead said:

LOL just noticed I spelt Shmups wrong in the title

You are now on 's shit list. (His words; not mine.)

#4 Posted by dandead (173 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: HAHA Oh Dear! :P

Just finished playing Turbo Force from Video System (the creators of Sonic Wings/Aero Fighters) and yeah that game is all kinds of whacky the intro cracks me up for some reason...

So instead of just sending in an aircraft to destroy all the evil robots and enemy planes and stuff they just strap Gatling guns and rockets to what appears to be a Ferrari 308 heh.

#5 Posted by Alkaiser (366 posts) -

Raiden 2. Purple laser till the day I die.

Also I can get down with some Gigawing. It was the metric for the now universally recognized 'fun to quarter' ratio established by the great sages of Fast Karate for the Gentleman.

#6 Posted by GunstarRed (5480 posts) -

I don't know what else to say beyond - I like them! I have three of the 360 Cave ones and the first one I ever played was Gynoug which I think was called something else in the US.

#7 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

R-type series forever.  Also, Truxton, Side Arms, Forgotten Worlds and hell, everything in the 90s including the 3D ones too.  Oh and Exed Exes.

#8 Posted by dandead (173 posts) -

@Alkaiser said:

Raiden 2. Purple laser till the day I die.

Also I can get down with some Gigawing. It was the metric for the now universally recognized 'fun to quarter' ratio established by the great sages of Fast Karate for the Gentleman.

Awesome games, did you ever get in to the Raiden Fighters series? Love those games, so pissed that the 360 collection is STILL not out here in the EU and probably never will be. I also have all the Gigawing games, including the not so good third game on the PAL PS2, good shit :)

@GunstarRed said:

I don't know what else to say beyond - I like them! I have three of the 360 Cave ones and the first one I ever played was Gynoug which I think was called something else in the US.

Gynoug was called Wings of Wor in the states. I have it for my PAL Megadrive. I think the first Megadrive shmup I played was Xenon 2 by the Bitmap Brothers. So far Cave have done a great job bringing over some of their best titles to the 360 although I would still love to play Progear! ;)

@SeriouslyNow said:

R-type series forever. Also, Truxton, Side Arms, Forgotten Worlds and hell, everything in the 90s including the 3D ones too. Oh and Exed Exes.

R-type is awesome. I even enjoyed R-Type final. That said have you checked out dotemu's Irem Arcade collection?It has the hard to find R-Type Leo on there as well as a couple of other decent Shmups. I think R-Type Delta (the PS1 game) was my favourite though, closely followed by R-Type 1. Forgotten Worlds is also bad ass, you tired Omega 5 on XBLA? It's pretty similar and a very good game to boot.

#9 Posted by mthe1337one (198 posts) -

I'm terrible at shoot-em-ups, but I still play them. The Touhou games on PC and DoDonPachi (Resurrection and Blissful Death on iOS since I unfortunately don't own the necessary consoles to play the equivalent versions of them on)... oh and Espgaluda 2. Cave is serious business.

#10 Posted by Alkaiser (366 posts) -

@dandead said:

@Alkaiser said:

Raiden 2. Purple laser till the day I die.

Also I can get down with some Gigawing. It was the metric for the now universally recognized 'fun to quarter' ratio established by the great sages of Fast Karate for the Gentleman.

Awesome games, did you ever get in to the Raiden Fighters series? Love those games, so pissed that the 360 collection is STILL not out here in the EU and probably never will be. I also have all the Gigawing games, including the not so good third game on the PAL PS2, good shit :)

I have the collection and 4 on 360. Don't like them as much as 2, but they're still respectable.

@dandead said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

R-type series forever. Also, Truxton, Side Arms, Forgotten Worlds and hell, everything in the 90s including the 3D ones too. Oh and Exed Exes.

R-type is awesome. I even enjoyed R-Type final. That said have you checked out dotemu's Irem Arcade collection?It has the hard to find R-Type Leo on there as well as a couple of other decent Shmups. I think R-Type Delta (the PS1 game) was my favourite though, closely followed by R-Type 1. Forgotten Worlds is also bad ass, you tired Omega 5 on XBLA? It's pretty similar and a very good game to boot.

I clicked that link and man, I completely forgot about In The Hunt! That game was great. Forgotten Worlds was pretty clutch too. I'm going to have to go find some paramecium this weekend I guess.

#11 Edited by Ducksworth (662 posts) -

The last one I played was Jamestown during the Christmas sale on Steam. I don't usually enjoy shoot em ups but there was something about that game that kept on drawing me back. Definitely wouldn't call myself a fan of the genre but I can see the appeal.

#12 Posted by InfiniteSpark (274 posts) -

I'm a fan of the genre even though I'm not good at them. I love Treasure's games: Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga, and Bangai-O. I also enjoyed R-Types I & II via R-Type Dimensions on XBLA and Jamestown recently.

#13 Posted by buzz_clik (7029 posts) -

@dandead said:

LOL just noticed I spelt Shmups wrong in the title, that will teach me for being tired while posting! XD

Didn't even notice until you said something. Also, I love 'em. That's one of the ways the MD/Genesis was superior to the SNES: it had a crapload of shooters, and a bunch of 'em were really good.

Moderator
#14 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@buzz_clik said:

@dandead said:

LOL just noticed I spelt Shmups wrong in the title, that will teach me for being tired while posting! XD

Didn't even notice until you said something. Also, I love 'em. That's one of the ways the MD/Genesis was superior to the SNES: it had a crapload of shooters, and a bunch of 'em were really good.

ooooo I dunno man.  The best Capcom shmups were on SNES.  And I say that as a Truxton fan (SEGA exclusive, not Capcom but you get the point).  UN Squadron is pretty hard to beat.   Also, SNES had Axelay! 
#15 Posted by AlexW00d (6448 posts) -

I think I played Gradius when I was a kid, but that's it. Not really my kinda fun.

#16 Posted by jimjimman (49 posts) -

I love the genre, but it is difficult to find ones that I can actually play. I have impaired mobility and can only use a mouse. Unfortunately mouse control is somewhat taboo in the SHMUP community, so games that do utilize it are rare.

#17 Edited by Chemin (633 posts) -

Touhou, Ikaruga, Jamestown. Yeah, there are some good shmups. I mostly fancy the bullet hell variety. Or, rather, most of the shmups I've played have been bullet hells for some reason. I enjoy dodging patterns, that could be a reason for it, even though I'm no expert at it. At all.

I've not yet dared to try any Cave games out, they look fucking bananas. But one day...

#18 Posted by buzz_clik (7029 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow: Oh, don't get me wrong, there were quality shooters on the SNES... but you've named the only two I can think of!

Moderator
#20 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@buzz_clik said:

@SeriouslyNow: Oh, don't get me wrong, there were quality shooters on the SNES... but you've named the only two I can think of!

Some off the top of my head :-
 
  • Gradius
  • Salamander
  • Parodius
  • Cotton 110%
  • Pop N Twinbee
  • BioMetal (with C n C Music Factory Soundtrack!)
  • R-Tyoe 3 (of course)
  • Super R-Type (best version ever, even beats the Arcade perfect TG-16 version because that was split across two HuCards)
  • Darius Twin (popular but I never really enjoyed Darius even in the arcades on that dual monitor setup - too fishy)
and of course the sidescrolling mech games like Cybernator and Super Turrican which were kinda platformers and kinda shooters.
#21 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

I like them but I'm not very good at them.

#22 Edited by buzz_clik (7029 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow: You're right about Parodius, I totally forgot about that! If memory serves, though, doesn't Super R-Type have mad horrible slowdown? Actually, that's my problem with SNES shooters in general. I still love those games, but when you're dealing with a piece of hardware that's supposed to kick Sega's arse, I expect a little better.

For my money, here are the good shooters the MD/Genesis has:

  • Air Buster
  • Bio Hazard Battle
  • Crossfire (rubbish graphics, great game)
  • Elemental Master
  • Eliminate Down
  • Forgotten Worlds
  • Gaiares
  • Gleylancer
  • Grind Stormer (FUCK YES)
  • Gynoug
  • Hellfire
  • M.U.S.H.A.
  • Phelios (but it may just be me that has a soft spot for that game)
  • Slap Fight
  • Steel Empire
  • Truxton (which you mentioned and I totally agree with)
  • The Thunder Force games (admittedly, Thunder Spirits was on the SNES but it can be argued it's an inferior port)
  • Twin Cobra (but not Twin Hawk *wince*)
  • Xenon 2
  • Zero Wing (okay, maybe a little bit for the All Your Base quote)

And that's just the ones I really like! Sega's machine has loads more competent-but-still-very-playable shmups on top of this that I still enjoy from time to time (Arrow Flash, Atomic Robo Kid, Whip Rush et al). Can I slip Granada in there, or is that kinda cheating? Oh, and I just thought of two more shooters that appeared on both platforms: SWIV and Raiden.

EDIT: Even though the good SNES shooters definitely feel like more substantial and well-made games compared with most Mega Drive contemporaries, the MD games just have that intangible "something" for me that make them sleeker, better shmup experiences. The MD games definitely have an overall feeling of having flimsier production values, but goddamn they're good to play.

Oh, and Turrican on Mega Drive's pretty damn good, too! ;)

Moderator
#23 Edited by SpaceRunaway (873 posts) -

I like the genre, I have a ton of them, but I'm pretty awful at them. And for everyone's info, the PC-Engine is the go-to shooter console. (Actually it's the Saturn, but I don't have a Saturn.)

@buzz_clik:

I think that intangible "something" is the lack of extreme slowdown.

#24 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@buzz_clik: Well admittedly SNES had an 8-bit CPU which couldn't compete with the 16/32 bitness of the MC68K in the MD (call it Genesis again and I'll brain you like a Cadbury Ape doing a drum solo, we're Aussie bro...lol).  Not all SNES games had slowdown too, only those from early on the history of the machine and all SNES games had arguably better sound than MD games did because of the Wavetable and proper stereo sampling capabilities.  But let's talk about your list:-
 
  • Slap Fight is best in Arcade version
  • Forgotten Worlds as above because weird controller.  Also the Amiga version too because mouse support and higher res graphics. 
  • Xenon 2 : Amiga of course.  While the MD could do most of graphics well enough. The lack of MEGABLAST samples really hurts the game.  Also Super Nashwan doesn't look as boss on the MD version.  Worst version is the PC one which looks the best but only supports PC Speaker (WTF).  Megablast on PC Speaker is an utter grief.
  • Thunder Force is actually best on IBM JX!  I know, I had one (which I sold to a collector who run a computer museum).  That version was exclusively made for the JX and never made it anywhere else.  Best TF soundtrack ever.
  • Truxton and Hellfire are both best on MD even though they were arcade games too.   Truxton made me want a MD as soon as I played it.  DAT WINDSCREEN WIPER OF DEATH! 
  • Tiger Heli is definitely best in the arcade version (but also a fuckload harder)
 
The rest I have to totally agree with and yes Turrican was good there too.  Hell, it was even good on C64 ;)  Sadly, still no proper Turrican 3 (even though vids are still around on youtube from as recent as '09).
#25 Posted by buzz_clik (7029 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

...call it Genesis again and I'll brain you like a Cadbury Ape doing a drum solo, we're Aussie bro...lol

*laugh* Yeah, I know, I'm just doing it for the sake of the home audience.

I was strictly comparing the number of quality shooters on both MD and SNES, but you're right about a bunch of them being better on other platforms - Xenon 2 is obviously preferable with Bomb the Bass!

Man, all this talk just makes me want to fire up the 16-bit machines when I get home.

Moderator
#26 Edited by dandead (173 posts) -

Wow some nice and varied answers here...

@jimjimman said:

I love the genre, but it is difficult to find ones that I can actually play. I have impaired mobility and can only use a mouse. Unfortunately mouse control is somewhat taboo in the SHMUP community, so games that do utilize it are rare.

This is going to sound odd (and apologies if I have already mentioned this) but in MAME have you tried using just the right announce stick of a PS2/X360 pad with your thumb and using the buttons with your fingers? That would only really require you moving your thumb just a little and a couple of fingers if the controller is set down on the table right.

Marz Matrix was pretty rad and I think my favourite Treasure shooter was Gradius V which was developed by them but published by Konami. (obviously)

Being that I live in EU we got a whole bunch of awesome shooters thanks to companies like Gamestreet505 and other budget range companies. Stuff like the Gunbird Collection (not the best port) and Dragon Blaze and Samurai Aces. Some of it was crap though because they could not be bothered to include the 60hrtz mode which was bad.

Oh yeah and the PSP has a surprisingly good shump collection on it too. Sonic Wings Special, Raiden 1 and 2 as well as full retail games like the Capcom Collections and the Gradius, Twinbee, Salamander and Paridous Collections.

P.S Xenon was better on the computers at the time it was just the first place I played it.

#27 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2913 posts) -

I don't play too many shmups because I'm not great at them, but I can almost 1cc Gradius V on Normal. I really enjoyed Hydorah too. I've tried to get good at some others, like Ikaruga, but I usually suck, die a bunch and lose patience with them.

#28 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

@SuperfluousMoniker said:

I don't play too many shmups because I'm not great at them, but I can almost 1cc Gradius V on Normal. I really enjoyed Hydorah too. I've tried to get good at some others, like Ikaruga, but I usually suck, die a bunch and lose patience with them.

I've got the same mindset: I have fun until I suck then give up too easily.

I love watching other people play shmups and especially bullet-hell games well.

#29 Posted by jimjimman (49 posts) -

@dandead said:

@jimjimman said:

I love the genre, but it is difficult to find ones that I can actually play. I have impaired mobility and can only use a mouse. Unfortunately mouse control is somewhat taboo in the SHMUP community, so games that do utilize it are rare.

This is going to sound odd (and apologies if I have already mentioned this) but in MAME have you tried using just the right announce stick of a PS2/X360 pad with your thumb and using the buttons with your fingers? That would only really require you moving your thumb just a little and a couple of fingers if the controller is set down on the table right.

Unfortunately, even that is too much. I had to give up on console gaming right around the time the current generation of systems came out because my fingers are not strong or dexterous enough to use a controller anymore. I use one of those super light weight/cheap mini-mice.

Now, some companies do make special adaptive controllers for the physically impaired, but that stuff is outrageously expensive.

#30 Edited by Icemael (6364 posts) -

Love 'em! Cave, Raizing, Toaplan and Seibu Kaihatsu are great. I generally dislike horizontal shoot 'em ups, but there are exceptions: In The Hunt, Progear, Omega Five and Deathsmiles come to mind. Espgaluda II is my favourite game of all time. Recently I've primarily been playing Armed Police Batrider (WELCOME TO VIOLENT CITY) and Dangun Feveron (HEAVEN IS HERE INSIDE MY SOUL), which are both kickass.

@Chemin said: 

I've not yet dared to try any Cave games out, they look fucking bananas. But one day...

Not all of Cave's games are super hard. Espgaluda, Deathsmiles with low difficulty levels, Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu with Strong style, Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label with Bomb style and autobomb turned off, Mushihime-sama Futari 1.5 Arrange -- these are all relatively easy (certainly easier than Ikaruga, I'd say). Deathsmiles II and Akai Katana are also supposed to be really easy, though I haven't played them myself. Oh, and let's not forget the Novice modes included in many of the ports.

Also, in general, Cave games aren't quite as hard as they seem. I mean, many of them are fucking brutal and will take you years to 1CC, but once you realize how small the hitboxes are and move from the the "HOLY SHIT BULLETS EVERYWHERE I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON" phase to the phase where you're actually reading patterns, which doesn't take that long, you're going to think back to when you were too afraid to give the games a shot and laugh at how silly you were.
Online
#31 Posted by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -
#32 Posted by dandead (173 posts) -

Speaking of sillyness I picked up WarTech: Senko no Ronde for the Xbox 360 today at my local "soon to be closed down" high street game retailer for £1.50 which would normally buy me a can of Red Bull heh.

When this game first came out it cost £50 because it was a "luxurious oddity", so strange to see it in the same shop now for not even a tenth of the price.

Was never a huge fan of the game though, the character move way to slowly across the screen making dodging way too hard. I guess for the price I paid for it, it's worth giving it another shot...

#33 Posted by dandead (173 posts) -

@Icemael: Oh APB is a freaking amazing game, shame it never got the console port that is deserved!

#34 Posted by Chemin (633 posts) -

@Icemael said:

Love 'em! Cave, Raizing, Toaplan and Seibu Kaihatsu are great. I generally dislike horizontal shoot 'em ups, but there are exceptions: In The Hunt, Progear, Omega Five and Deathsmiles come to mind. Espgaluda II is my favourite game of all time. Recently I've primarily been playing Armed Police Batrider (WELCOME TO VIOLENT CITY) and Dangun Feveron (HEAVEN IS HERE INSIDE MY SOUL), which are both kickass.

@Chemin said:

I've not yet dared to try any Cave games out, they look fucking bananas. But one day...

Not all of Cave's games are super hard. Espgaluda, Deathsmiles with low difficulty levels, Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu with Strong style, Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label with Bomb style and autobomb turned off, Mushihime-sama Futari 1.5 Arrange -- these are all relatively easy (certainly easier than Ikaruga, I'd say). Deathsmiles II and Akai Katana are also supposed to be really easy, though I haven't played them myself. Oh, and let's not forget the Novice modes included in many of the ports.Also, in general, Cave games aren't quite as hard as they seem. I mean, many of them are fucking brutal and will take you years to 1CC, but once you realize how small the hitboxes are and move from the the "HOLY SHIT BULLETS EVERYWHERE I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON" phase to the phase where you're actually reading patterns, which doesn't take that long, you're going to think back to when you were too afraid to give the games a shot and laugh at how silly you were.

Perhaps I do dare then. Thanks for the tips, duder. Oh, yeah, Omega Five was pretty good. I'd forgotten about that.