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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:16 pm 


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This post may be of interest to you: viewtopic.php?p=1407199#p1407199

tl;dr: The ammo rebalancing sucks the fun out of the DLC, fighting the superbosses with the peashooter is boring as hell and lacks the feeling of having an epic fight like you'd get in a shmup where the superboss is a challenge even with a properly powerful looking, screen filling weapon to suit the occasion.

The ammo changes were a deliberate move by the developer, and a mistake IMO. The DLC is a more than a content pack, and the tweaks to the original game balance hurts the nearly perfect, fine-tuned game balance of the original where you could keep a weapon you enjoyed using if you had the skill to get the max-ammo refills from minibosses. I played through it a bit to beat the new superbosses, but ultimately I was just annoyed at how sloppy the rebalancing felt and ditched it. The weapon you have is largely irrelevant and if you're going after the superbosses literally the only thing you care about is piling on attack bonuses to buff your peashooter. Ick.

I haven't played Monolith in a year or so. The worst part is all the hyping of special artifact weapons the dev did on Twitter was a complete waste of time, since the ammo rebalancing means you'll barely get to hang on to any weapon you find, especially if you do the Temple. And, unlike other roguelikes like Enter The Gungeon where you can freely swap between your default weapon and any new weapons you find, Monolith does not allow you to conserve your ammo for a particular boss fight, with the new ammo system leading to frequent weapon loss that is 100% out of the player's control.

There was a brief period where I tried using cheatengine to give myself infinite ammo for weapons and it was amusing, but was clunky to use especially if you swapped weapons multiple times in a run. Even without the ammo issues, I also got annoyed at all the forced bomb usage to fully explore maps with the new "use a bomb to open this door" rooms. Some of the solid shmup design elements that rewarded player skill and encouraged good dodging and resource usage fundamentals got kinda cast aside to satisfy roguelike fans and their insatiable desire for being at the mercy of RNG for basic gameplay elements I guess. The original version's still a nearly perfect game for me, but I have no interest in replaying the DLC.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:21 pm 


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Do the updates take effect even if you don't add the DLC?

I remember reading your writeup with a bit of sadness, since I really enjoyed Monolith as one of the few roguelikes I didn't get bored of. Saving weapon ammo was a big part of the strategy in the game.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:43 pm 


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No idea how the Steam release works, but the GOG standalone release allows you to save the main game and the DLC version separately, I have both installed.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:22 am 


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Some Omega Fighter, was getting my ass kicked on ST3, but after a couple of attempts I realised it's generous enough with bombs/slowdowns to breeze through most of it. Second half with the jets can still be a bit tricky, but I'm getting there. Love this game, this is one that particularly takes me back to being a kid, seems like every pub/chippy I ever went in had one of these hiding in a corner.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:32 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
.Some of the solid shmup design elements that rewarded player skill and encouraged good dodging and resource usage fundamentals got kinda cast aside to satisfy roguelike fans and their insatiable desire for being at the mercy of RNG for basic gameplay elements I guess.


I wanted to say something along these lines but left it out.
Monolith was a rogue I played because I hate rogues. Like HATE rogues. I only like 3 including this one. But this game was my favorite. Still is. I love the game still but this issue is feeling like the games that pushed me away from this genre. Its unfortunate.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:46 am 


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Was browsing through the Pandora last night, and noticed DonPachi 2 on there. Fires up and runs OK, so I'll be giving that a go later.
Also Rezon - I played a bit of this maybe 20 years ago, all that sticks out in my mind is that's it's a complete R-Type rip. My night sorted.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:58 am 


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Missile Dancer on Nintendo Switch.
Available since yesterday at European and NA eShop.
Great little lock-on Action!


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 7:34 pm 


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Gunbird on Saturn. What an awesome port, I just got sucked into it for like 4 hours. Running it through an OSSC to a .5 ms delay monitor in tate, with that perfect Japanese controller, this feels like some rolls royce gaming ish. Aside from the OSSC (which is worth every penny) it's not even an expensive setup. I really wish Gunbird 2 had a home port with as little lag as this one does. At least the Saturn gave homes to Strikers 1 & 2 and Sengoku Blade. 25 years on, this system is like a low-latency life raft for games.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:11 am 


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XoPachi wrote:
BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
.Some of the solid shmup design elements that rewarded player skill and encouraged good dodging and resource usage fundamentals got kinda cast aside to satisfy roguelike fans and their insatiable desire for being at the mercy of RNG for basic gameplay elements I guess.


I wanted to say something along these lines but left it out.
Monolith was a rogue I played because I hate rogues. Like HATE rogues. I only like 3 including this one. But this game was my favorite. Still is. I love the game still but this issue is feeling like the games that pushed me away from this genre. Its unfortunate.


Monolith is the best rougelike hands down. In fact, its the only one that's ever really grabbed me. I'm not a big fan of twin stick shooters either. I've only played the DLC and updated version, so maybe I'm missing out. I'm not a huge fan of the ammo balancing but I guess it works out well enough. It's important to grab the guns that have efficient ammo consumption and that makes a lot of weapon combinations useless unfortunately.

Still, i prefer it to the current rouge like darling Hades. Hades isn't a shmup of course so I won't strat too off topic here, but while I enjoy its high quality voice acting and variety of dialog, as well as its progression, at the end of the day the gameplay is prety ho hum. And the art style is sometimes good, and sometimes its tweened a little to much and I get that offputting "made in flash" vibe. Monlith has a pretty dang solid shmup/zelda dungeon hybrid at its core with solid pixel art that is incredibly tasty.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:12 am 


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XoPachi wrote:
BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
.Some of the solid shmup design elements that rewarded player skill and encouraged good dodging and resource usage fundamentals got kinda cast aside to satisfy roguelike fans and their insatiable desire for being at the mercy of RNG for basic gameplay elements I guess.


I wanted to say something along these lines but left it out.
Monolith was a rogue I played because I hate rogues. Like HATE rogues. I only like 3 including this one. But this game was my favorite. Still is. I love the game still but this issue is feeling like the games that pushed me away from this genre. Its unfortunate.


Monolith is the best rougelike hands down. In fact, its the only one that's ever really grabbed me. I'm not a big fan of twin stick shooters either. I've only played the DLC and updated version, so maybe I'm missing out. I'm not a huge fan of the ammo balancing but I guess it works out well enough. It's important to grab the guns that have efficient ammo consumption and that makes a lot of weapon combinations useless unfortunately.

Still, i prefer it to the current rouge like darling Hades. Hades isn't a shmup of course so I won't stray too off topic here, but while I enjoy its high quality voice acting and variety of dialog, as well as its progression, at the end of the day the gameplay is prety ho hum. And the art style is sometimes good, and sometimes its tweened a little to much and I get that offputting "made in flash" vibe. Monlith has a pretty dang solid shmup/zelda dungeon hybrid at its core with solid pixel art that is incredibly tasty.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:59 pm 


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I'm working on clearing normal mode in GG Aleste 3. I have no real problems clearing any segment in training mode, but I have yet to achieve a run where I actually manage to string them all together. One time I was literally just seconds away from beating the final boss, but I lost my nerves and went under.

I can usually no-miss the first five levels, but the last two are brutal. If I die just once and only lose one level from max power, it's usually still possible to recover, but two lives and powerup levels lost mean that I can kiss my run goodbye.

My major chokepoints:

- The rotating diamonds attack of the stage 5 boss. In theory I know how to lead them to create big enough gaps to squeeze through, but sometimes I execute a move poorly and then things can get ugly fast.

- The stage 6 midboss with the laser whip. Again, in theory I know how to handle it, yet it still manages to catch me unaware more often than I like.

- The second form of the stage 6 boss. The other forms aren't too difficult, but here the RND often screws me up. I've had bullets/materializers appear right on top of me several times. On other occasions they all appeared at a distance, and I could breeze through the attack.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:03 pm 


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First impressions of Devil Engine is that it looks pretty, and is balls hard.

Oh, and I picked up Zed Blade while it's on sale. It's OK I guess? Kind of mid-tier P47 / EDF shooting. Enjoyable enough, apart from that horrible, horrible soundtrack.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:31 am 



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Playing Xexex.

Aesthetics are a mix of state of the art, height of popularity, 1991 boundary pushing AAA arcade shooter and eroge bootleg for yakuza operated pachinko bars. Even the music, which is a mix of Gradius space adventure and 80s porno funk.

It is super fun to play. While I don't have more than 10 hours experience with either series, it's obvious the play is a mix of Gradius and R-type, leaning more heavily towards Gradius despite the presence of the force-like "flintlock". It has two very frantic and fun levels with looping vertical push scrolling, something I love and strongly associate with Gradius. Gets more memorizery towards the end, especially the final stage. I haven't played the second loop, so I can't comment there.

I find the flintlock fun to tactically deploy; you can employ it both offensively and defensively. Important to note that you can launch it forward by cancelling a charge shot, and that the tentacles (which grow from 1 to 3 as you power up the flint) cancel bullets. However, I do find it difficult to get it to reliably latch onto bosses. Might be because I'm currently playing on multiple credits, so it's almost always powered down. In any case, if you do get it to latch on to a boss, they go down quickly. Even if you don't, they're not very difficult on the first loop. Most of the difficulty comes from the brilliantly constructed stages, which you can clinically cut through with good routing and flint placement, or if you don't yet know what you're doing, scrape through relying on improvisation and skill.

The checkpoints are very fair on the first loop, and recovery is almost never a problem. This makes credit feeding through the game a good way to learn it. You can't just auto-win, because there are checkpoints, but it's not a grueling experience either with recoveries that require arcane and weird routing.

Was it the Einhander thread that someone pointed out that the dev team is shared, and the ships are designed similarly? The games play quite differently, IMO, but I love them both.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 4:37 pm 


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Just beat Super Star Soldier.

My christ that last stage is a bitch. One the most intense boss fights I've ever had! I was at one hit left and no instant revive(still don't know how that mechanic works exactly) Luckily I had the green laser weapon otherwise I don't think I would have beaten it. They just had to shove a boss rush right before the final boss. That boss with the little drones can be hard to predict.

All in all solid game. I don't know if I'll play it on the harder difficulties. Maybe one day.

How would SSS compare to Soldier Blade in terms of difficulty?


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:47 pm 


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Not sure but Soldier Blade is fantatic.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:52 pm 


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Myketosis wrote:
Just beat Super Star Soldier.

My christ that last stage is a bitch. One the most intense boss fights I've ever had! I was at one hit left and no instant revive(still don't know how that mechanic works exactly) Luckily I had the green laser weapon otherwise I don't think I would have beaten it. They just had to shove a boss rush right before the final boss. That boss with the little drones can be hard to predict.

All in all solid game. I don't know if I'll play it on the harder difficulties. Maybe one day.

How would SSS compare to Soldier Blade in terms of difficulty?


Nice! Super Star Soldier gets crazy hard at the end. I think last boss is impossible if you only have the peashooter since he multiplies too fast. I want to love Super Star Soldier but there are couple of dumb little things like that. It is a cool game though.

Soldier Blade is quite a bit easier. It shares a lot of the strengths of SSS, with imo, better game design and balance, making it pretty much the peak "compile-like" shmup on the PCE. A few attempts should see you through it without much issue. SSS is quite hard for a console exclusive 16 bit shmup, up there with tough games like Thunderforce IV.

Soldier Blade made my Top 25 this year and SSS was an honorable mention.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:56 pm 


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Myketosis wrote:
Just beat Super Star Soldier.

My christ that last stage is a bitch. One the most intense boss fights I've ever had! I was at one hit left and no instant revive(still don't know how that mechanic works exactly) Luckily I had the green laser weapon otherwise I don't think I would have beaten it. They just had to shove a boss rush right before the final boss. That boss with the little drones can be hard to predict.

All in all solid game. I don't know if I'll play it on the harder difficulties. Maybe one day.

How would SSS compare to Soldier Blade in terms of difficulty?


Nice! Super Star Soldier gets crazy hard at the end. I think last boss is impossible if you only have the peashooter since he multiplies too fast. I want to love Super Star Soldier but there are a couple of dumb little things like that. It is a cool game though.

Soldier Blade is quite a bit easier. It shares a lot of the strengths of SSS, with imo, better game design and balance, making it pretty much the peak "compile-like" shmup on the PCE. A few attempts should see you through it without much issue. SSS is quite hard for a console exclusive 16 bit shmup, up there with other tough games like Thunderforce IV.

Soldier Blade made my Top 25 this year and SSS was an honorable mention.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:37 am 


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Myketosis wrote:
How would SSS compare to Soldier Blade in terms of difficulty?

Soldier Blade is noticeably easier and the difficulty curve is much better balanced overall.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:56 pm 


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Moose Life on PS4. Only had a quick mess around last night, if you like Minter, you'll like this. Polybius, except speed is user-controlled and you're fixed to the floor or ceiling. VR compatible of course, which I'll try out with a few beers tomorrow.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:58 am 


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Whip Rush on the Mega Drive. It has been on my list since forever, not least because of the cute player ship that looks like a superdeformed R9. I got a slightly battered copy off ebay for a decent price. It's the japanese version, so it includes the brilliant backcover art.

The game is surprisingly tough. I went in it expecting an easy cruise comparable to its contemporary Arrow Flash. Instead, I got my ass handed quickly. Even the first stage requires strategic use of powerups and options. If you're just flailing about, the game doesn't hesitate to murder you with cruel efficiency. The farthest I've gotten so far is the stage 2 boss.

The game seems to have a reputation of being fairly mediocre. I don't really understand why. What I've seen so far is more than solid. I, for one, look forward to spending more time with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:00 am 


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Incidentally, the Whip Rush ship cameos in Vic Tokai's Battle Mania games, as the powerup drop-ship. :3

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Pretty sure those are crateloads of their FC Rockmanesque Magical Doropi in the foreground... interesting outfit, were Vic Tokai. That interview is hilarious, btw!

Takayan wrote:
...so when I told them I wanted to make a sequel they said “No”, I asked why and they replied "Just no”.


:lol:

Super solid console hori, with great music too - Rob's positive review turned me onto it a while back.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:00 am 


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Herr Schatten wrote:
Whip Rush on the Mega Drive. It has been on my list since forever, not least because of the cute player ship that looks like a superdeformed R9. I got a slightly battered copy off ebay for a decent price. It's the japanese version, so it includes the brilliant backcover art.

The game is surprisingly tough. I went in it expecting an easy cruise comparable to its contemporary Arrow Flash. Instead, I got my ass handed quickly. Even the first stage requires strategic use of powerups and options. If you're just flailing about, the game doesn't hesitate to murder you with cruel efficiency. The farthest I've gotten so far is the stage 2 boss.

The game seems to have a reputation of being fairly mediocre. I don't really understand why. What I've seen so far is more than solid. I, for one, look forward to spending more time with it.


Whip Rush sits in my personal MD/Genesis top 5 shmup list. It doesn't really do anything flashy aside from the take-off sequence, but what it does do is consistently solid. It has a bright, vibrant colour palette, pretty good music (not TechnoSoft tier, but still decent) and a fairly straightforward power-up system. I think doing well in the game comes down to 2 things: understanding the Option functionality and realizing just how versatile the Fire weapon is.

The Options can be rotated 90 degrees at a time so long as the player isn't firing but when the player is firing, holding down both Shot and Option launches the pods up/down or forward/backward. It may seem goofy at first, but you can get the pods buried inside some boss weak points to do increased damage. Plus using this in key locations can help take care of enemies at the edges of the playfield without having to make any risky maneuvers.

The Fire weapon has 8-way direction shot (it fires in the opposite direction of the ship movement) making it the go to weapon considering the number of stages in the game that scroll in multiple directions.


As for me, I've been suffering through the recent Capcom Collection version of Giga Wing on Switch. I'm determined to get an all clear with Isya. I've only been getting to stage 6 thus far.

Aside from that, StarCreator was kind enough to lend me his EXA Label unit so I now have Aka & Blue running in my Taito Excelina. I freely admit to be total garbage at this game... furthest I've made it is the stage 3 boss. Hoping to at least get to stage 4 in the next couple of weeks.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 1:53 am 



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After reading Kanzaki's comments I tried out D-Force.2 - no not that D-Force. This has got to be one of the most confusing experiences I've had with any game. On the one hand, it's yet another high-quality one-developer doujin full of passion and enthusiasm, with some impressive production quality for a project of its kind originating from the early/mid 2000s, a cool game system with freely rotatable options and Shikigami no Shiro style grazing, and tons of references to other games (the developer's Cho Ren Sha obsession is evident). On the other hand, it's a game where you shoot giant sprites of anime girls to knock their clothes off, but only on three (3) occasions, and everywhere else it's totally indistinguishable from any other shmup. "Undressing" games like this don't seem to be that uncommon, but the extremely high overall quality of this one contrasting with the sudden appearance and absence of said elements is really bizarre. It also has an atrocious letdown ending due to an unfinished final boss.

The developer's site is down but the game has been uploaded in this thread; it's also still accessible on archival crawlers. WineD3D is enough to get it to run properly (it probably won't natively on recent systems).


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:40 am 


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Varth. Enjoying it, but just found out there are 30 stages...... :shock:
Yeah, I know they're a bit shorter than the average, but considering my best at the moment is the ST7 boss - I think I'll probably exhaust this one long before seeing the last half.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:30 am 


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I forgot I own ESPGaluda 2 on the 360 and decided to play it again after a decade. I usually avoid uh..."character STG's" but Cave's ESP series was an exception and this one was a personal highlight for me. I always thought this game was just really cool. I love the abundance of aesthetic choices at play. High fantasy, a very brisk sharply drawn anime style, what appears to be a small touch of Steampunk. and Victorian architecture. But at the same time it's clearly crazy futuristic. The machine designs are brutal. The rail mounted battle drone in stage 3 is one of my favorites in this game and that one guy who shows up again in stage 4 has a ridiculous monstrosity to fight in. Honestly, I'd watch a show of this to get an understanding of what's going on in this game.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:59 pm 



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Playing Radiant Silvergun. This one is going to take me *quite* some time to get an arcade mode 1CC on, but I like how I can familiarize myself with the game in Saturn mode, and also work my way up with the difficulty and lives settings. I'll try progress naturally for some time before applying the save state practice hammer to the clear nail.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:39 pm 


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Recently I was able to get my hands on Soukyugurentai (Saturn ofc) and it's pretty much what I've exclusively ended up playing for the past few weeks. I especially love the weapons of the blue ship. The ALLRANGE (circle) weapon is really fun to use and can kill enemies from all sides which makes it a bit easier to survive.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:36 am 


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I've played Terra Force for the past couple of nights and getting close to the 1CC. Think I was on the last level last night, but oh my eyes, that pulsating brown background...... In fact it's pretty much a flaw all the way through - I spent a couple of games dodging foreground scenery before I realised it's exactly that. Also seems to have weird streaks of not wanting to give you power-up waves of a certain colour, unless there's a way to manipulate it that I'm unaware of.

I also can't work out the switch between viewpoints - after the first two-three minutes, all the game really seems interested in is kicking you back to the side-scrolling levels ASAP?

Scoring sucks in that you're pretty much forced to power up speed-up all the way in order to force waves to drop screen-clearing bombs, which makes control a nightmare.

Over-busy visually, and nothing special play-wise, but I'm enjoying it and will continue up until the 1CC.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:53 pm 


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Amazon.co.jp had a timesale on Aleste Collection so I grabbed it. Actually enjoying it more than I expected (not normally a fan of shooters before the 16-bit era). I definitely get the Power Strike II hype, so glad it got republished so I can own a copy without breaking the bank.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:00 am 


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Giga Wing coop is fun for casual relaxing and shooting, but I got distracted at one point while chatting, and thought I died.

Except I didn't. Thank you tiny hitbox.
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