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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:30 pm 


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Perikles wrote:
I'll start with the MD, in alphabetical order:

Now onto the SFC!

Acrobat Mission: Micronics' finest hour, honestly! The porting effort itself is most assuredly not impeccable, outside of the not-so-minor circumstance that one of the two weapons is bugged (which I don't mind since the changes towards the stage design support the other weapon splendidly), most if not all of them are in the player's favour (you might kill enemies with charge shots despite the fact that they aren't anywhere close to its radius; the puissance of said charge shot is such that even larger enemies sometimes flat-out disappear), at least! I am admittedly somewhat prepossessed for this game: I love the SFC's instrumentation of the tracks, find the kitchen utensil aesthetics to be adorable and also have fond memories of vigorously trying to clear this when I started out with 16-bit shmups. Aside from all that, I frankly believe that this is a surprisingly good game: both mashing/using autofire and the charge shot have very distinct roles and allow for a variety of strategies in several situations depending on whether you trust your timing with the charge shot or rather want to get close with the regular weapon. The scoring system is perfectly suited for the console format (you can get a no continue bonus, no lives lost bonus, bomb bonus and mission cleared bonus for each and every stage; the latter denotes whether or not you killed a boss or timed it out, which is very much a valid strategy, I always used to do so against the third and fourth boss for they are dangerous fellows, only now did I dare to fight them to gain more points) not just for the purposes of achieving a score in and of itself, but also because you gain an extra live after every 100,000 points, which are immensely helpful resources against the concededly cheap last patterns of the final boss. A clear will only take about 25 minutes or so, mitigating frustration if you attempt to clear this for the first time/try to improve your score. Not entirely sure why it has such a horrendous reputation (this also applies to the arcade version).

Axelay: ever so slowly rises in my appreciation, it's been an arduous joruney, forsooth. As we've discussed elsewhere recently, I find that you have to plan the vertical stages fairly meticulously considering the overall temperate difficulty of the game. Losing a life on account of something bumping into you which visibly didn't even touch you anywhere is incredibly aggravating in a game like this, prohibiting incidents such as these drastically improves your enjoyment. If Axelay's entirety would consist of stages such as the fourth and the sixth, it would at the very least rank in my top 3 now. On top of being just mechanically sound, they also bring incredible atmosphere onto the screen. The various layers of defense in the final stage flagrantly become more and more haphazard, yet some of the more peculiar last reserves (especially those horrifying flyswatters!) are among the most lethal ones, it truly feels like you're trying to struggle against a cornered animal. Starting with Hard both cuts down the runtime and sharpens the focus early on - I would highly recommend getting familiar with the game on Normal first, getting a 3-ALL there before attempting the Hard 2-ALL, the latter is a wonderful complement afterwards.

BlaZeon: I'll probably be constantly on the mend with what this port is compared to what it could've been. Every so often, you get a glimpse of the stringent Iremesque style that makes the arcade game such a unique if not universally approachable title, as though you're watching a chiaroscuro behind a gauze veil, making out some shadowy figures from time to time. The original source material is obviously not a manic shooter either, the innate difficulty is not to be scoffed at, though, and chasing after the elusive 100% destruction rate adds a lot of agitation. Depriving the screen entirely of enemies or terrain for 10, 25 or even 45 seconds is just invidiousness, is what it is - if it weren't for the still fantastic music it'd be entirely intolerable. Doesn't help that the hitboxes are idiosyncratic in this port, either, and some of the mechs (particularly the one with the horseshoe lasers) are considerably weaker. Its couple of praiseworthy additions cannot possibly resuscitate this disfigurement of a conversion.

Darius Force: after the sobering experience with MD Darius II's Very Hard, this was a sterling counterpoise. No added resilience with enemies whatsoever as far as I can tell, they just become a lot more aggressive. While it ultimatively leads to a handful of rough difficulty spikes (concentrated waves of small enemies tend to be much more dangerous than bosses; it also took me an almost embarrassing amount of attempts to get through the first four stages, but once I did manage that, I could clear the game on my first life on the selfsame attempt) whereas the default setting is much more smooth than that, it was an appropriately tense & thrilling journey. I think this particular entry in the Darius series is regrettably overshadowed by its later cousins due to their grand scale even though it has much stronger fundamental level design. The wistful soundtrack almost gains an extradiegetical quality if you keep that in mind.

Kidou Soukou Dion: another example of an astutely well-designed higher difficulty setting. For the most parts, the differences aren't all that noticeable, it does become very apparent with the small enemies which will enter the screen from all directions. These will quickly fill the entire screen with bullets if left alone to their devices, thus forcing the player to use the multi-directional shurikens or perhaps the homing shot more frequently. I've said it before and gladly reiterate again, I find that Dion as an epigone triumphantly succeeds where several of the inspirational Compile games stumble: even when there is a brief respite in the action, there is a systematical reason for it, that is, you get an opportunity to build some score/experience to get back on your feet after & before a hectic onslaught of nasty critters. Most bosses (particularly the fourth) will likewise offer a great spectacle both audiovisually and gameplay-wise. Yet another criminally underappreciated SFC shmup in my opinion, how could you even dislike a game with such a bombastic soundtrack?

Kiki Kaikai: Nazo no Kuro Manto: probably always will be my favourite manually scrolling shooter. I can safely say that I love absolutely everything about this game, just as I do with the other two colluders from the Natsume triumvirate. Increased my Normal score considerably (breached the 600k mark) and also cleared this on Hard with almost 590k by applying the tried-and-true Granada strategy of milking the final stage and then finishing the final boss with a fresh life & full timer. One might want to carp about the bombs being too strong at close range (especially compared to Twinkle Tale's steadier yet less potent supply thereof) against bosses, I'd reply that this is merely the customary Natsume retaliation splendour at its finest. Whether it is the Vulcan gun in Wild Guns, the Blaster meter in TNWA or the bombs in this, it's a most gratifying example of video game violence. Those games are just as much about style as they are about hermetically tight game design, crushing opposition is not a detriment if it is earned. The walk/slide dynamic is likewise marvellous, you can dodge quite a few things simply by walking once you developed a good understanding of your speed & legerity. The midboss in the final stage is a particular standout in a game full of them, you first have to tightly dodge a few fireballs just by dauntlessly sauntering before you can go into the slide. What an amazing game.

Märchen Adventure Cotton 100%: even with the cornucopia of cute contemporaries around, it's impossible not to be enchanted by this, I find. There is so much detail put even into minor foibles (the tree midboss in stage 3 for example usually tries to track your movement with his eyes, but becomes distracted when the squirrel shows up and jumps around the branch) that the world feels lived-in and believable to a degree which is exceptionally rare. It's a bit of a shame that the scoring system is ultimately such a Manichean affair what with having to get the secret tea time bonus in every single stage to boost your score by an almost absurd amount, not that it substantially matters with it being broken in a different spot, I suppose. I'm also always thrown off by the final boss at first, who is a lot more dangerous than the rest of the game combined.

Phalanx: 'twas a trifle disappointing. I remembered the casual instance of poor bullet visibility, repressed the occasional frustration with the terrain detection which is is doubly vexing for the developers loved putting it purposefully in the way during tense boss battles. Having to play with underpowered weapons or even the default pea shooter is possible, but overwhelmingly tedious, especially when it happens late in what amounts to a 50-60 minute long credit already. Still a perfectly serviceable, average 16-bit shmup, nonetheless a missed opportunity at that.

SD Gundam 2: hybrid between a platformer with forced scrolling and shmup, although almost entirely the latter if you play as the RGM-179 robot. This is by all means an incredibly simplistic game, yet mostly competent at that - I also have a soft spot for the edulcorated sprite work (almost comical to see this in effect with the obscure arcade SD Gundam Neo Battling - it's just as cute as the rest of the series visually, but it's also harder than even Tatsujin Ou and its ilk, quite a few spots are more reminiscent of Image Fight's second penalty area than anything else) and the solemn main track of the game. As such, I had quite a bit of fun to somewhat optimize my score in the game. I would actually recommend the game in the same manner I would recommend Arrow Flash or Darius Twin: there are no particular stand-outs or sudden raptures of grandiosity to be had, it's a continuosly solid if undemanding experience all the same, elevated a notch by the charming presentation.

Strike Gunner S.T.G: consistently called the worst SFC shmups together with Dimension Force, rightfully so. It never ceases to amaze that Athena turned one of the shortest insubstantial arcade shmups into a likewise insubstantial, long-winded one, supplanting ephemeral unimaginitiveness with outright cabin fever. As fascinating is the scoring system which rewards points for merely hitting larger enemies - while this is not the most peculiar concept (it works in Kiaidan 00 and, in slightly different form, even in modern games like Dodonpachi II: Bee Storm), its execution is bizarre. Fighting early bosses purposefully with just the pea shooter will boost your score by almost 1/3 of your entire score compared to actually playing well and picking up all the power-ups, with seldom a change regarding the strategies. Playing this title in a skewed manner for the last time appears to be somewhat adequate at least.

Super SWIV: as already mentioned in the Mega SWIV entry, I don't esteem either all that highly, considering them to be average only on magnanimous days. This version is undoubtedly the better of the two (albeit at the cost of privileging the jeep even further), that's still not saying much. If only bosses were more interesting from a visual or even gameplay perspective...

Thunder Spirits: with all the critical words I've indited on Thunder Force III's Haides stages, it is compulsory to assure that while it has those noticeable lapses, they are so striking for the very reason that it is a sleek, dynamic game otherwise. The Haides stages is thankfully absent in Thunder Force AC (which is no small part why this one is my favourite interpretation of the game) and thus also in Thunder Spirits, it avails the latter naught. I should also mention that I've played the SFC version (as opposed to the US version) which - I'm almost entirely positive about that - has appalingly resilient enemies which decelerates the action even further (not being able to kill them quickly results in them staying on the screen longer, therefore adding more slowdown and so on and so forth). I admit that I like some of the music renditions on the SFC, that's about the only positive aspect to note, though, as even the exclusive adaptations on the stages/bosses are decidedly below average. I even found out that the scoring in this particular version is broken, removing the last potentially redeeming quality out of the equation.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:21 am 


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Thanks for the tip about Darius II MD on v.hard Perikles. I test ran it awhile back and liked the snappy and vibrant pace, but I'd probably have been inclined to play on the harder settings when it comes time to return, had you not warned me.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:25 pm 


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Hey Perikles, can you condense your posts into a book and call it, "The Shmup Guide Vol. 1"?
I'd buy it.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:19 pm 



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blossom wrote:
Been playing Donpachi quite a bit more than I expected, although typically I lose the credit to the stage 3 boss. Not sure what it is, while I can't get into Dodonpachi, Daioujou and Donpachi are both fun as hell. I think maybe Dodonpachi feels like this game sandwiched in between "what I wish Toaplan would have done" and "Cave's idea of bullet hell taken to its logical extension."
you know what I kind of agree with you,for me it’s the music in dodonpachi I really hate the rock like music but aside from that it pretty good but donpachi is defo my fav


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:23 pm 



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Ketsui for me still keep getting smashed on stage 3 can get a no hit till I get there then die twice!!


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:10 pm 


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Perikles wrote:
Super SWIV: as already mentioned in the Mega SWIV entry, I don't esteem either all that highly,


I have a soft spot for the game as it was one of the earliest games I owned for the SNES. I think in spite of the unusually clunky starting interface and the strange designs of the levels, it's actually a refreshing change of pace from other shmups without many of the pitfalls of shmups that suffer from "euroshmup" syndrome synonymous with gigantic hitboxes and lifebars. It's a game where you're encouraged to use "bombs" almost constantly, and you get to do so even more aggressively than in a Raizing shmup! They technically come with no invulnerability, but the flame ring and homing missles are incredibly good as speedkilling dangerous targets,

I agree that the Heli is vastly underpowered though. It has genuine issues getting slammed into by popcorn and can't attack diagonally or from the sides, which in a game with only one spreadshot weapon (Plasma, Bullet has minor spread at L6 and 7 too) is a liability. Also, the best high damage weapons in the game such as Flame, Laser, and Pulse all are incredibly powerful when combined with good use of the Jeep's ability to fire in any direction. Worse, the Jeep's "disadvantage" is actually part of what makes it so fun. The platforming in the lava stage, jumping over pits and ravines, dealing with the deliberate use of inertia in the boat level or the sudden change to a jet plane in the airport level... I'm actually rather disappointed you can't have two people playing different coloured Jeeps at once. The Jeep is by far the most fun to play by a wide margin and I would've loved to see a Jeep-focused sequel.

You can get a similar feeling game out of Guardian Force, though the game's massive number of cool shot types and bomb variations (that differ per player side) is marred by an unfortunate amount of input lag.

Perikles wrote:
If Axelay's entirety would consist of stages such as the fourth and the sixth, it would at the very least rank in my top 3 now. On top of being just mechanically sound, they also bring incredible atmosphere onto the screen.


Agreed. I actually rather dislike Axelay, and the reason for that is almost entirely due to the wonky collision detection in the (edit: apparently fancy scaling an parallax scrolling but not actually Mode 7) vertical levels. I honestly can't stand a lot of SNES action games that used Mode 7 as a primary game element as I either think they look aesthetically unappealing (Contra's overhead levels look bad and were mostly annoying) or the use of Mode 7 made it unnecessarily difficult (Axelay's collision detection feels wonky in the (edit: apparently fancy scaling an parallax scrolling but not actually Mode 7) levels). F-Zero is just about the only game that I feel I genuinely enjoy its use of Mode 7.

The horizontal levels (which include one inside an O'Neill Cylinder, best space station aesthetic in my opinion) are genuinely solid, and there's some fun elements such as the stage 4 boss (?) that has a special attack that causes your weapons to cycle randomly. Non-killing special attacks in shmups are always neat to see and Axelay's use of it is solid.

Axelay wants desperately to emulate the success of Salamander's alternating horizontal and vertical levels, but it mars the vertical levels with a visual gimmick that looks fancy but comes at a detriment to the gameplay.
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Last edited by BareKnuckleRoo on Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:58 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
I actually rather dislike Axelay, and the reason for that is almost entirely due to the wonky collision detection in the Mode 7 vertical levels.


Axelay doesn't use Mode 7 for those vertical levels.

https://gendev.spritesmind.net/forum/vi ... php?t=1066


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:21 pm 


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Oh, interesting to know. I guess stuff like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_7 needs to update their info then, haha.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:01 pm 


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Perikles wrote:
Now onto the SFC!

Followed by a few PCE shooters:

Bouken Danshaku Don - The Lost Sunheart: exceptionally weird title even by PCE standards. Superb graphics in favour of a bizarre oculophilia, not sure whether that is explained in the manual or the cutscenes in-between stages in any way. Found out this game is actually broken in various ways at once: boss milking (which would be rather tedious), stage milking and checkpoint milking (by earning several extends from a weird creature without fail). Somewhat appropriate considering the Dalí oddness of the visuals. It's respectably tough for a console-exclusive, with a great variety of bosses that require some twitch dodging (especially the nasty final boss!), the harsh length of checkpoints (usually only one per level) seems somewhat unnecessary, though. Not all of the crystals/ship upgrades are equally useful, it's great fun switching around those that are, regardless. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a hidden gem, an inveterate 16-bit connoisseur will most likely enjoy this one quite a bit, however.

Darius Alpha: scoring higher here means to embrace the time-out cubes which is a surprisingly frightening endeavour even under the complaisant circumstances of some of the easier bosses. On paper, this game should work perfectly (just cut to the chase and present one boss after another, thus, the main appeal of the series), the lack of build-up (both regarding the progression within the game and working on your ship) nullifies that, unfortunately. It's also a shame they couldn't somehow design a Great Thing fight as it is somewhat disappointing to end with one of the less memorable final bosses in the series.

Dead Moon: another HuCard specimen with splendid graphics. It's a shame the actual gameplay is akin to a slightly more demanding Darius Twin as the fast movement of your own ship and a few (mid-)bosses seems like a promising complement to the visual splendour. Doesn't help that the scoring system is ridiculously lopsided (accurately destroy rocks in space for ~85% of your score). Would've loved to see the art direction (mainly for the backgrounds and the bosses) in a PCE X-Multiply epigone or something along those lines. Still a perfectly serviceable game, mind you, but unlikely Bouken Danshaku Don, there are no distinct traits to the gameplay whatsoever.

Deep Blue: genuine phrenesis of mine lead to me trying (and eventually succeeding) to also boost my high score in this one. I will concede that there are a small handful of other shooters on the system which I consider to be worse (Barunba and Legion immediately come to mind), that's not an endorsement for this one in the slightest. What saves it from being the worst of the worst is that with just a minimal amount of familiarity, it is very much manageable. It embarrassingly took me all this time to find out that you don't want to use autofire in this game as the purple laser without it is by far the best weapon in the game for almost every situation. I'm also still convinced it's entirely impossible to survive the final stage of loop 2.

Gradius II: finally tried its "Professional" difficulty. The default setting is obviously a finely calibrated affair already, being very similar to the arcade game, with higher loops having the problematic tendency to produce massive flicker during particularly demanding spots. Professional is an excellent remedy if you just want a meaner variety from the get-go without any technical issues. The additional enemy speed can lead to some frightening situations in the final stage when duckers start to dash across the screen in an instant, the PCE-exclusive stage is likewise prone to create a complication or two if you don't position your options just right. I definitely wouldn't want to play more loops on this setting, but it's definitely a worthy addition for the superb default settings if the mood arises.

Image Fight II: started out just to dabble a bit with it again, then proceeded to exert the most venerable of Irem scoring techniques: checkpoint milking. I'm usually not the most excitable person when it comes to that, the nature of this particular checkpoint as well as the fact that you don't have that many lives to burn while also boosting your score significantly elevated the dreary premise into something decidedly fun - doubly so as I've managed to breach the 1,000,000 points barrier. I furthermore used the black hole blaster armament all the way to the end after picking it up in stage 8, I wasn't even aware it could kill every single boss in less than a second! Really liked the game afore, my appreciation still only improved - after the drama that is PCE Image Fight's Brobdingnagian hitbox handling in what feels like a postage stamp of a playing field, the small hitbox in this one was the one and proper way to address the issue. And unlike Rayxanber II a bit further down, this game has a steady difficulty level: it starts out pretty tough for a console-exclusive, yet never becomes all that much harder. My only real complaint in this game is that some of the proximity bombs in stage 8 are deliberately placed within the black background so that you can't see them before it's too late. I love the idea and most of the execution, but I hate being fooled by charlatanry like that.

Nexzr: decided to tackle Hard difficulty on a whim, loved it while it lasted. This time, I used the little option guys for most of the game after first receiving them, to great effect. It's really interesting how the typical Soldier template of ceaseless action becomes so exalted with just a minimal embellishment of Irem level design and reasonable checkpoints (instead of being overpowered one moment and then essentially in a game over state after the first death in defiance of having tons of lives left). I'm not sure why it took me so long to truly appreciate this game, it's simply phenomenal, a true highlight of the 16-bit shmup realm.

Rayxanber II: was a fierce challenge while it lasted, as usual. The first three stages are trivial once you know the entire layout, but even getting here can take a couple of attempts (always the case for me when I return after a while). Those pretty much serve for building your cushion of lives for when the real game starts with stage 4. I found that the best available option here is to go along with the technical deficiencies: once the parasitic worms arive and then the multitudes of enemies, your autofire will just fail after a while. Instead of switching to manual mashing as I did before, I decided to attempt an irenic method; it pleasantly surprised me with how well it worked. Since enemies will linger around for quite a while before they eventually leave or die on their own, you can induce massive slowdown if you play it like so, effectively reducing the difficulty considerably. Using the upwards blue shot to instantly kill the fifth boss and murdering the final one in its first cycle was supremely satisfying as usual. The uneven difficulty progression is definitively a flaw in this game, despite that I tremendously enjoy it once I get accustomed to it (some of the idiosyncracies can be frustrating at first, for sure). For all its minor foibles, it has an applaudably fair checkpoint system, the pithy length of the game likewise alleviates frustration. Also love the lugubrious theme - at first, its your preposed dirge, then, it's the naenia for this somber alien race. There is an implied tragedy when these giants ghastly howl upon their demise, leaving behind decuman husks.

Tenseiryuu - Saint Dragon: pathetic port of a rather odious arcade original. The primogenitor actually embodies what a lot of people merely ascribe to Irem games: it's almost entirely memorization, with barely any deviations allowed. As a result, it's incredibly frustrating to play with a naturalistic approach (i.e. without watching replays and/or using savestate practice) and not particularly fulfilling even once you've figured it out. The port maintains a phenotypical semblance (albeit severely attenuated), yet removes all of the challenge, and adds horrifically unbalanced sound effects that drown out everything else. It's tricky to say which version is worse - I'm going to go with the arcade version since the port "only" has outright broken scoring whereas the original has one of the most idiotic design choices (surplus lives are converted into millions of points, but at the same time random as hell).



I think I shall end my little 16-bit tour with revisiting Dennin Aleste again, it's been too long. :)

Edit: had a quick go at Winds of Thunder (MCD) beforehand. I actually enjoy the overpowered sword in this version (compared to the PCE CD original where the sword is hardly useful at all), I'm a bit miffed at some of the hit detection (in both versions, that is) nonetheless. The "small man" aesthetics should be imbedded in an appropriate gameplay surrounding, yet in some of the environments, it's clearly not the case. Most of the dodging and moving around is just fine, some sections (e.g. almost the entirety of the final stage, including the boss) dangerously border on Euroshmup territory with how you are at odds with the massive hitbox of your warrior, though. Still an eminently delectable game, it stands out all the more of it, regrettably.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:39 am 


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Played some Radirgy on Dreamcast recently, that game is pretty fun and it has a crazy cool aesthetic, but I'm not sure I 100% get the mechanics.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:41 am 


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Great choice! Radirgy is the embodiment of fun~ :D

The mechanics are as follows.
-You have four tools : a shot, a sword, a rechargeable bullet-cancelling bomb (it's more of a force field actually), and a bullet-cancelling shield. The shield is deployed in front of you when you don't fire for a second.
-You have two jauges : the blue one and the green one. The blue one is for the bomb, the green one is for the score multiplier (and it constantly decreases).
-To refill the blue jauge : destroy enemies or inflict damage in general. The sword can give more jauge refill than the shot.
-To refill the green jauge : cancel bullets with the bomb and/or by using the shield.

So the general game loop in Radirgy is to destroy as many enemies as possible to refill the bomb, then use the bomb and the shield to increase the multiplier. (up to x16) It's also possible to have another bomb ready while the current one is active if you kill enough enemies during the bomb duration. Also keep in mind that the faster you destroy a wave, the faster you'll get the next one so you are encouraged to play very aggressively for high scores.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:08 am 


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Been playing some Battle Bakraid, just casually. I wouldn't mind learning to play for score eventually, though. It's funny how Raizing games at first seem like a broken mess, and the more I dip my toes into various games in the genre... that's still my impression, yet now they're quite an interesting broken mess. Never been a fan of shooters that punish you for bombing, and Bakraid is essentially Bombing: The Video Game.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:36 am 



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I've been playing a lot of Futari BL God Mode, inspired by watching Gus's Ultra runs recently. This seemed insurmountable a few months ago when I first started playing the game on BL Original but I'm really pleased with my progress over the last week or so and got some consistency with stage one. Planning to go for a 1CC but learning to score each stage along the way and break it down a bit, rather than feeding my way through to get familiar with the later stages. I don't know if this is the best strategy or not but it gives me shorter term goals and it's such a fun game to learn.

Here's my stage one, 249m.

https://youtu.be/FLukhOxX2M8


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:09 pm 


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I'm playing Raiden 1. It's very good, but I find that the ship moves a bit slower than it should. It also really stings whenever you die. I never thought that dying in Gradius or R-Type was as bad as people make it out to be, but here it's an absolute gut punch. I don't consider that a flaw, as that's just how the game was designed to be.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:40 pm 


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blossom wrote:
Been playing some Battle Bakraid, just casually. I wouldn't mind learning to play for score eventually, though. It's funny how Raizing games at first seem like a broken mess, and the more I dip my toes into various games in the genre... that's still my impression, yet now they're quite an interesting broken mess.

Yagawa games first seem like a broken mess. All the other Raizing shmups are more straight-forward... Though maybe Dimahoo can be considered a mess. :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:22 pm 



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tomwhite2004 wrote:
BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
I actually rather dislike Axelay, and the reason for that is almost entirely due to the wonky collision detection in the Mode 7 vertical levels.


Axelay doesn't use Mode 7 for those vertical levels.

https://gendev.spritesmind.net/forum/vi ... php?t=1066


I 1cced it a few years ago and I personally loved it. Didn't notice any collision detection issues whatsoever. I thought the game was very polished.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:59 am 


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tomwhite2004 wrote:
BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
I actually rather dislike Axelay, and the reason for that is almost entirely due to the wonky collision detection in the Mode 7 vertical levels.


Axelay doesn't use Mode 7 for those vertical levels.

https://gendev.spritesmind.net/forum/vi ... php?t=1066

Yeah. In fact, because Mode 7 only allows one background layer on the scanlines it's enabled on, you can't actually do the high/low plane parallax used in Axelay.
Also, if Mode 7 was used there, I suspect that they'd use some horizontal scaling on the background for a better "3D" like effect.

As an aside, I don't actually recall particularly wonky collision in the vertical stages. The perspective [or lack thereof -- the horizontal axis is still orthographic] is really weird though.
I think the effect looks cool as all hell, but it's also still really, really screwy looking, and that fucks me up a bit when playing.
but really, even knowing that it makes the game a bit awkward to play, were I there at Konami working on Axelay, I don't think I'd have changed the vertical stages to be honest :lol:
Seriously, they're really cool.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:04 pm 


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Been sifting through dozens of arcade games lately, trying to determine what's interesting enough (for me personally) to clear and/or to score. Not really into the idea of looping, so I'm looking at games that are just one and done. The games I've had the most fun with, even though I am bad at them, are 19XX, Rayforce, and Thunder Dragon 2. Giga Wing is kinda fun, not entirely sure how I feel about that game yet. Also, I really wish I could find a horizontal shooter with scoring beyond killing everything. Prehistoric Isle 2 seems like a possibility?


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:53 am 


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blossom wrote:
Also, I really wish I could find a horizontal shooter with scoring beyond killing everything.

Besides doujin games and the obvious examples from CAVE, there are the Parodius games, Choujikuu Yousai Macross II, G.Darius, and Border Down.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:22 am 


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Sadly, I don't have a Dreamcast to play Border Down and I'm not a fan of Cave's complex scoring systems. I guess I like when scoring is just one small component on top of killing everything. As you can imagine, Hellsinker terrifies me.

What exactly is the scoring like in Parodius? Are you talking about the bells?


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:37 am 


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Macross II (AC) is a good time, as Shep mentions. The scoring is superficially "kill 'em all" but the time attack ethos gives a fairly different spin, getting everything to spawn and killing it when it does while nabbing bonuses. Super-concise with a selection of short courses too, so it's no great time investment.

R-Type Delta (PS1) has some interesting scoreplay. x2 bonus for killing stuff with your Force while a bomb is readied. Even if you hate IREM's signature creeping death, I'd say it's worth a go just to see if the shift from raw survival improves things. It may have the absolute opposite effect, of course. Image Only one loop, and it gives no extends whatsoever, so checkpoint milking is heavily curtailed. Although it's a console original, its upper difficulty and pace is absolutely in the arcade ballpark.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:46 am 


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Shepardus wrote:
blossom wrote:
Also, I really wish I could find a horizontal shooter with scoring beyond killing everything.

Besides doujin games and the obvious examples from CAVE, there are the Parodius games, Choujikuu Yousai Macross II, G.Darius, and Border Down.


Rolling Gunner too.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:58 am 


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@BIL

I am 100% fine with console games, in fact that's where I started with the genre. Just been trying to explore what arcade games I might enjoy. You do make R-type Delta sound a little more involved for score than I expected. I wonder if there is any reason to use that bomb for score? I know you can get the DOSE ready again rather quickly. I need to return to Delta, now that you remind me. Still not made it past stage 4. Perikles also tells me Einhander is a good score game.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:27 am 


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blossom wrote:
What exactly is the scoring like in Parodius? Are you talking about the bells?

Mainly the bells, yes. Parodius Da! is pretty straightforward "get yellow bells," like the TwinBee games it originates from, or Yagawa medals if you haven't played TwinBee. Gokujou Parodius and Sexy Parodius add the purple "capsule" bell, which you can exploit in certain places to get more bells than you normally would, but that's a pretty advanced technique (the purple bell turns enemies on the screen into powerup capsules, and since bells are spawned every few powerup capsules, if you do this with enough enemies on the screen you can get more bells than you started with). Sexy Parodius also has coins for you to collect in some stages, which are primarily for the missions but also contribute a bit towards score.

Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius has hidden fairies to uncover (which give score and are also used for unlocks), and I recall there being some targets you could bomb with the blue bells for bonus points, though that's an infinitely looping game anyway so I don't know how much you would want to focus on scoring in that. Its omake stage is a lot of fun though, and notable in my opinion for having bonus coins and bells inaccessible by normal means, so you actually need bells other than yellow for once.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:35 pm 


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Obscenely late here, up dabbling with the Arcade Archives releases of Gradius II and Omega Fighter Special. One old-ass favourite and one I've long meant to try out.

THE OLD STONE AGE (PART 1) ♫
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MAXIMUM SPEEDO ♫ (NOT CHOANIKI)
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Beautiful work on Gradius II: GOFER's Big Day Out. Image Control response is pin-sharp even on my lame-ass Maury tv.

NEEDLES & PINS ♫
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Made the boss rush before getting bonked on the head by Covered Core, typical when it's been a while. Friggin tail-fin collision is a tad suspect, exactly as God and Jesus intended (it's been half a decade, but I could swear I remember the beautiful PCE-CD version tightening this up).

ROVE ON THE ROCKS ♫
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Big splosion SFX is nutting as fuck via my big speakers, *BOOF* OST is in utterly glorious form, as ever this is an STG to blast at high volume. WTF I love Hamster now! Ain't ever parting with the lovely PS1 Deluxe Pack but it can safely retire now, methinks.

I've never played Omega Fighter Special before, but I can only assume it's controlling fine as well, because it too handles as sharp as the monofilament ninja wire in one of my Japanese animes. Image Got some RTFM to do here, I don't know WTF I'm doing. Feels good though, MULTIPLIERS all over the shop. That main shot, god damn does it shred. Like DDP x Star Force. I looove the concept of a game-length Huge Battleship fight, too. Image UPL had some cool cats in their art department.

EDIT: oh hell yes, it's an enemy-buzzing system. :shock: Yo, this is my ol' METAL BLACK jam. Image

Except now, I GOTS PAID Image
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Also, this game's style is unbelievably rad, with a galvanic OST to match.

Drive this planet-killing behemoth back, somehow, or else pay blue's respects. Image
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The tug-of-war focus/wide shot seems expertly-judged, and a smart application of the classic Compilesque "dropoff schedule." Felt immediately intuitive, tempering the shot on the fly for wave suppression and hard target demolition.
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Last edited by BIL on Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:39 am 


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Funny thing is reviews at the time said Omega Fighter had poor graphics. Maybe on a technical level, because I've certainly seen better from 1989, yet there's something appealing about that game's colors as well as its sprites.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:23 am 


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It's got an ethos I'm particularly fond of: old-gen looks powered by next-gen oomph. The way shards of mothership, trifling to the whole but massive from player POV, get sheared away to reveal the hurtling cosmos beneath encapsulates.

I do hope this shit will burn up on entry!
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Their Ninja-kun II does similarly - its cute little sprites and flat-shaded BGs could pass for a game five years older, until you run into your first enormous midboss... although objectively not too big a sprite, it's titanic in context, dwarfing all known lifeforms and juddering the screen with butt-slams before it's even visible.

Jesus Christ how horrifying
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The juxtaposition of old and new has an exponential effect. Special's maximum wave shot is about on par with Kyuukyoku Tiger's red equivalent, nice n' chunky, but feels like a goddamn Daioujou chainsaw of the gods in this more Slap Fight setting. Image Like WWII technology turned loose on dark ages battlefield.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:15 pm 


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Twin Cobra F2P
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... .TwinCobra

Apart from slightly smaller aspect ratio and ads, the game is very playable.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:23 am 


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Raiden III on PS2. Playing it TATE-ed (arcade A).

I simply can't manage that bullet speed. Probably my age (>50). At least that's my excuse.

So I have had to swallow my pride and put it down to Easy. This is the only game I've ever had to do that with to get some enjoyment out of it. The visibility of the bullets at times doesn't help either.

Can get to level 5 on a credit but usually left with 1 life. Just too many silly mistakes. The 1up on level 3 is easy to get. The level 6 one is probably worth bombing for but I've been able to get it with the blue laser alone. My best run was to level 6 scoring 10.4m.

Using score attack to practice 6 and 7. That level 7 boss really needs some bombs for the earlier phases though...

Most annoying sniper is the wee bast that sneaks on during the final phase of the level 3 boss. :)

Is rank linked to powerups? Was wondering what the optimal level is. But a main problem with this game is not picking the tokens up at times!! I have noticed rank dropping after a life loss - but not sure if that is because of the life loss or the power down.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:06 pm 


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Played a demo version of the indie game Star Hunter (from the Space Moth DX devs) today. It was in a cabinet at Heart of Gaming in Croydon. Only had a chance to play a couple of credits but it was fun and seemed to have some interesting mechanics going on - something like Espgaluda's Kakusei tied to a bullet cancelling/jewel collecting system. I couldn't hear a thing but it was pretty, too.

Also had a quick go on DDP, possibly the first time I've played it on a cab with a 29" monitor. It felt luxurious - miles of manoeuvring room between the bullets. :p


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