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 Post subject: Define euroshmup...
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:13 am 


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I see this term used all the time, but I can't find
a clear definition anywhere. Maybe this could be
added to the glossary.

However I get the impression that it is
not a positive word...

rtw
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:32 am 


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two or more of the following:

level design ranging from mediocre to catastrophic
enemies typically take too long to kill
if the game is too easy it's too easy in all the worst ways
if the game is too hard it's too hard in all the worst ways
(namely, horribly broken difficulty balance and learning curve)
life bar often employed to mask bad level or game design

these traits were typical of shoot-em-ups produced in europe, thus the derogatory term "euroshmup" was coined

euroshmups not originating from europe include:

darius entries before g-darius
tyrian
raptor
whatever the guys who did raptor made
a ton of other pc shmups
a lot of the worst ranked entries of this thread
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:01 am 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:10 am 


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"Euro-shmup" to me centers more along the lines of various visual traits that many games of this nature have. Things like slower scrolling speeds, a life bar, graphics that use A LOT of gradation on everything to the point of looking more CGI-ish than hand drawn (even some of the older ones like Xenon 2)... stuff like that.

A few examples are Xenon 2: Megablast, Jets 'n Guns, and X2.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:18 am 


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:23 am 


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Oh, and a healthy relying on rotating entire large objects like bosses and big obstacles during stages (big ships, asteroids, etc). The boss of stage 1 in X2 is a good example of what I mean.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:24 am 


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I think the tern Euroshmuip was originally just meant to apply to shmups produced in Europe. The recurring issues that seem to be common to Euroshmuips are things that have emerged as a pattern over time. Some of the common traits of Euroshmuips that I've seen

-Health bars (especially in conjunction with undodgable bullet patterns);
-"shiny" rendered 3D graphics that look like they were made by an Amiga demo coder;
-underpowered weapons;
-The addition of extraneous gameplay elements (weapon buying, money collecting, etc.);
-More time spent on the backgrounds than the game engine.

I'm sure other members have other observations here. This isn't to say all Euroshmups are bad (I happened to like Jets & Guns, even though it exhibits many of these issues, and Pixelships is another one that is fairly decent, although it uses low-res pixel graphics rather than the usual shiny 3D.)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:35 am 


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Tyrian is awesome.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:44 am 


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The names. Iridion, Uridium, Tyrian all sound a lot like typical Amiga or C64 games (kinda like Turrican). Not all of them, though, but these names really remind me of that era.

Iridion 2 for the GBA is an example for a very well made shmup that feel pretty "euro" still. The music has something to do with that, too, with a lot of Huelsbeck/Vangelis/Jean-Michel Jarre vibe to it. I really like that.

Another typical euro trademark to me is stuff like mouse control, overpowered or weird weapons that don´t quite fit the gameplay, and especially things like gravity, limited ammo or floaty controls (when your ship still drifts a little after you let go of the button).

Most euroshmups are on other platforms than the usual consoles, mostly computers. I have the feeling that modern euroshmups have a lot of "retro"-ness about them; it almost feels as if the programmers stopped paying attention to the genre after 1990.

And yeah, it isn´t a very positive term, however, not every bad shmup feels like it´s a euro. Also, not all bad and cheesy dance music is eurodance per se. There has to be AT LEAST a women that sings and a black dude that raps stuff that makes no sense. :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:02 am 


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Twiddle wrote:
two or more of the following:

level design ranging from mediocre to catastrophic
enemies typically take too long to kill
if the game is too easy it's too easy in all the worst ways
if the game is too hard it's too hard in all the worst ways
(namely, horribly broken difficulty balance and learning curve)
life bar often employed to mask bad level or game design

these traits were typical of shoot-em-ups produced in europe, thus the derogatory term "euroshmup" was coined

euroshmups not originating from europe include:

darius entries before g-darius


Ugh. Darius labeled as a euroshmup again. NONE of the Darius games have those traits. Tar-Plantiar even has tips for beating the trickier bosses without getting hit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:11 am 


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Example

Quote:
Ugh. Darius labeled as a euroshmup again. NONE of the Darius games have those traits. Tar-Plantiar even has tips for beating the trickier bosses without getting hit.
Darius games had thoughful enemy placement, so no Euroshmup.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:34 am 


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I'd say euroshmup needs one or more of following:
-Per-pixel collisions (as opposed to hitboxes)
-Customizable weapons (ie. shops between stages)
-Health bar.
-Inertia.

and western origin of course

And whether it has negative meaning or not depends on player's preference (IMO Tyrian and J'n'G kick ass)
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:12 am 


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But Shin'En shmups are Euroshmups, but they aren't bad. Those definately have room for improvements, but...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:24 am 


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Don't forget "borrow heavily from non-euroshmups," "weapon designs based on look."
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:52 am 


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A euroshmup to me is:

floaty controls
crazy colors
way too many levels
way too many weapons
no fun =)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:44 am 


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euroshmups are no different from other eurogenres.

often great looking visuals (quite often with poor artdirection tho), great sound fx and music.
gameplay completely lacking or extremely simple/repetitive.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:37 pm 


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fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK, I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SEE SIRIUS 7 AGAIN.

That was one of the most horrible shmups I ever played, the memories of it was dead in some obscure place of brain.

JoshF , thanx for bringing such horrible memories back...

But yeah, pretty good example of euroshmup, it just lacks the health bar to be the perfect example.


X2 is maybe the most perfectly game to fit the description and is also well known. Tyrian, even though I am not sure it's european, has exactly the same problems of X2.

And I don't know if every shmup made in Europe should be called an "Euroshmup". Uridium 2, Apidya and Battle Squadron were all made on Europe, and they all have excellent design, spot-on controls and no health bar.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:51 pm 


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FrederikJurk wrote:
Another typical euro trademark to me is stuff like mouse control, overpowered or weird weapons that don´t quite fit the gameplay, and especially things like gravity, limited ammo or floaty controls (when your ship still drifts a little after you let go of the button).


Don't forget being able to save between levels. Lots of euroshmups have that. And having to buy weapons, often with whatever passes for your 'score'. (ex. Jets'n'Guns, Raptor, Tyrian)
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 Post subject: Re: Define euroshmup...
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:54 pm 


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rtw wrote:
I see this term used all the time, but I can't find
a clear definition anywhere. Maybe this could be
added to the glossary.

You know, I probably ought to add it. Though arriving at a "diplomatic" definition might prove difficult...
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:58 pm 


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horizontal + lifebar

Those are the only characteristics you need to look for. The other characteristics are always present if you can find these.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:26 pm 


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Euroshmups usually leave pain and frustration reminiscent of the toilet seat falling on your weener. I hate the tiny unavoidable bullets personally.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:28 pm 



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For me, euroshmups are most of all a kind of gaming spirit. In fact, all the specificies of euroshmups come from what pedant people would call a "cultural thing".

The real point is that somehow, a shmup is mostly a game where you shoot things and dodge bullets.

This definition is far too vulgar for any european mind. I mean, no real european man can enjoy a simple thing like that AND keep looking into a mirror with some respect for himself. Because it's a definition that makes the game a matter of agility, and not of intelligence and strategy. And this, for a genuine european mind, is the most despicable thing of all.

So euroshmups are a (missed) attempt to level-up the intellectual interest of the genre. So to say, a desperate attempt to turn poker into chess.

This was achieved by adding to shmups the most possible unexpected elements, and basically three ways were used to do this:

- adding difficulties to destroy ennemies (limited ammo, weapon management, etc...)
- adding difficulties to control the ship (ship control taking care of gravity or inertia, etc...)
- adding difficulties in the level design and gameplay (traps and everything that requires a complete anti-natural behavior)

So euroshmups are basically games that tend to give the bigger possible malus to players who rely on skill. They usually are insanely difficult and frustrating for who tries to beat the game by playing it like an action game.

Euroshmups are NOT fun for any normal member of the human kind. But in the end, if you're really looking for a definition, they have only two real caracteritics:
1. They try to fight for some artistic value by being original and prettily drawn.
2. They are designed so anyone who's not a chess grandmaster will not pass level 2.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:52 pm 



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The text you just wrote was a very amusing way to fellate europeans, but unfortunately, most of it didn't make sense or just contradicted itself.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:03 am 



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Euroshmup is dying at the beginning of the first level from the very first enemy because it came up from behind you.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:01 am 


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ccovell wrote:
Euroshmup is dying at the beginning of the first level from the very first enemy because it came up from behind you.


I think you're confusing euroshmups and memorizers. Euroshmup is getting killed by first enemy because you bought ineffective weapons, which is equally lame.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:03 am 



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moozooh wrote:
The text you just wrote was a very amusing way to fellate europeans, but unfortunately, most of it didn't make sense or just contradicted itself.


Well, I do not revendicate the euroshmup desing as a good idea, do I ? :D

Perhaps my english is not accurate enough, and it my text was not clear enough. If you prefer, you can see it like this: very often euroshmups try to be borderliners, but not because the game designers had good original ideas. Just because they felt like they had to do a borderliner to get for their game some consideration.

To intellectualize things for nothing so they miss their primary goal a is common european mistake, and you can see it in a bunch of other domains. For example it's pretty visible in many french movies, and in a bunch of 1960-1990 novels too.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:38 am 


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Hibou wrote:
To intellectualize things for nothing so they miss their primary goal a is common european mistake, and you can see it in a bunch of other domains. For example it's pretty visible in many french movies, and in a bunch of 1960-1990 novels too.


Not to go too much off topic here, but I´d like to hear more on that. I am not sure if this really hits the heart of the problem why we feel that euroshmups are so weak compared to their asian counterparts, but it is an interesting theory.

And your English is a lot better than that of some native speakers here. :wink:


Last edited by Frederik on Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:39 am 



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I've been an affectionate European player of Tyrian and Tyrian 2000 for about 15 years and I have played 3 or 4 loops of Jets'n'Guns Gold, which is an "euroshmup" by everyone's definition. I also enjoy the modern essential Japanese style (Fraxy, Warning Forever, ABA Games) and arcade classics like Raiden.

I don't think adding complexity to a shoot'em up is a bad thing, especially when it doesn't disturb the basic dodging and shooting because it remains outside the levels (stage selection, ship building and loadout, intermissions) or when it adds variety and purpose to the action (secrets and score items, memorization of hazards, etc.); it is not cheap or inappropriate, such games are simply a hybrid of dodging/aiming action with other game types (exploration by trial and error, twitch shooting, management, real time strategy, etc.)

Some don't like such "impurities" and some prefer other kinds of more profound complications(drastic state changes in Dragon Breed, Ikaruga, R-Type, 2 or 3 button combinations in Radiant Silvergun, choosing from a menu in the Gradius family, changing option formations on the fly), but it is a matter of taste.

The real problem of many euroshmups it the attitude that privileges coolnessor humour and nice graphics at the expense of gameplay. If the author doesn't care but the players do, embarassing defects are the only possible result.

For example, Jets'n'Guns has a very expensive close attack weapon that surrounds the ship with a whirlwind; shooting weapons can be forfeited in favour of one or two of these plus extra cooling (to eliminate the cooldown pauses in which you don't shoot), and the player can act as a pencil eraser, ramming everything in sight without skill. The huge spinning clouds of blue death look gorgeous, of course.
I don't think this weapon has been playtested, or possibly it has been playtested assuming a secondary use at low power and ROF in the role of a quasi-shield that was probably intended. This means expecting the end user to play to appreciate the designer's clever content, not to win.

Cheap enemies are a similar problem: the designer treats them as a nice idea and doesn't realize they suck.
Presumably, many developers are bad or mediocre players and/or assume their "hardcore" audience will be able to beat anything. In the case of euroshmups, it can be easily assumed that the managed and quality-conscious studios behind most arcade and commercial games are less common than runaway amateurs that are first and foremost coders competing with other coders for the best music, graphics and effects.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:44 am 


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You mentioned Gradius, and while I learned to kinda like the series, the power-up bar is pretty cheesy, really, not much better than most of the stuff in euroshmups. People would bash the hell out of it for leaving you defenseless and slow like a slug in the middle of a Moai stage if it was a modern game. It just causes a lot of balance problems. :? But well, it´s a classic and the rest makes up for it. (Also, Gaiden made things considerably easier with a arrangeable bar.)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:17 am 


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Hibou wrote:
For me, euroshmups are most of all a kind of gaming spirit. In fact, all the specificies of euroshmups come from what pedant people would call a "cultural thing".

The real point is that somehow, a shmup is mostly a game where you shoot things and dodge bullets.

This definition is far too vulgar for any european mind. I mean, no real european man can enjoy a simple thing like that AND keep looking into a mirror with some respect for himself. Because it's a definition that makes the game a matter of agility, and not of intelligence and strategy. And this, for a genuine european mind, is the most despicable thing of all.

So euroshmups are a (missed) attempt to level-up the intellectual interest of the genre. So to say, a desperate attempt to turn poker into chess.

This was achieved by adding to shmups the most possible unexpected elements, and basically three ways were used to do this:

- adding difficulties to destroy ennemies (limited ammo, weapon management, etc...)
- adding difficulties to control the ship (ship control taking care of gravity or inertia, etc...)
- adding difficulties in the level design and gameplay (traps and everything that requires a complete anti-natural behavior)

So euroshmups are basically games that tend to give the bigger possible malus to players who rely on skill. They usually are insanely difficult and frustrating for who tries to beat the game by playing it like an action game.

Euroshmups are NOT fun for any normal member of the human kind. But in the end, if you're really looking for a definition, they have only two real caracteritics:
1. They try to fight for some artistic value by being original and prettily drawn.
2. They are designed so anyone who's not a chess grandmaster will not pass level 2.


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