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 Post subject: Re: Define euroshmup...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:23 am 


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BulletMagnet wrote:
You know, I probably ought to add it. Though arriving at a "diplomatic" definition might prove difficult...

I don't think so. Just make clear that the term describes a set of characteristics commonly, but not exclusively, found in 2D shooters of European origin rather than being a derogative term based on the place of manufacture. As pointed out, there are Euroshmups that have been produced outside of Europe as well as shmups produced in Europe that don't fall into that category.

As for the characteristics that define the Euroshmup style: Twiddle gave a pretty good outline of those. Add to that the tendency to include superfluous features (shops, customization, etc.). I don't think this has much to do with a cultural inaptitude to keep things simple, though.

FrederikJurk wrote:
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.

Most developers who try to make a 2D shooter and end up making a Euroshmup are people who don't play shooters. At least not a lot. Among the ones they've played are probably a lot of Euroshmups, too. Those people honestly think that shooting action alone is too shallow, so they try to add depth through other elements. Their ignorance of the richness and possible depth of well-made shooting games is based on false basic assumptions.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:58 pm 


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I hadn't heard the term "euroshmup" until Last Hope came out...I didn't know what to think. I thought it meant one or all of 3 criteria:

1. Amiga type graphics

2. produced in Europe

3. Bad game

I got so confusing I just didn't care anymore. I'm happy this thread was made...now I have a better idea of what the term actually means.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:21 pm 


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Come to think of it, I just downloaded the PSP demo of Xyanide yesterday. Yeah, a shmup! Too bad it was some sort of railshooter instead, didn´t play it longer than 20 seconds. Those people think the important elements are "space" and "shooting". Just like Schatten said: It´s the wrong basic assumptions about the elements of the genre.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:38 pm 



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FrederikJurk wrote:
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.


You know, what I describe in my first post is not so exagerated. I've read genuine texts just like mine about console players, action movies watchers or sci-fi books readers. With the exact same explanation of their vileness.

So sometimes, games (or movies) have been made with one main idea: do something as much different as you can, and hide messages in it. In the few worst cases of all, they're things made with a heterogenous collection of tricks, in order to make it appear very deep AND argue about the despicable simplicity of everything that was made before.

See what I mean, a common attitude here in Europe (and France :D) was to write books, or make movies, or in our case develop games just hoping to read reviews like the following about it:

Killroy's new shmup. What to think about it, and why it won't export well. Our specialist wrote:
- Stage 1, first ennemy: the true humanist idea behind it.
- Stage 1, mid-boss: the hidden social satire.
- Stage 1, second screen's background: why you can't understand the drawing if you haven't read Karl Marx.
- Stage 1, music, second theme: what you didn't hear because it's not there, and why this planned absence means so much.
- Stage 1, the way the boss exploses: a very strong pacifist message. Did you notice how a part of it was still moving after you destroyed, did you understand that shooting it was not a long-term solution, and are you now convinced that war is never a good choice?

And now the game's secret:

At the end of stage 1, if you have understood that war won't lead you to a victory because stage 2 cannot be survived, you will sell all your weapons to the weapon-shop dealer. At the beginning of stage 6, the shoot button of course doesn't shoot as you don't have weapons any more. But it plays music notes: one hit for A, two for B, etc...

Now if you can play the missing part of stage 1 music (remember?), you will go to a secret diplomaty management game! And there you will be able to negociate with the ennemy. If this negociation is a success, you will play a last level where you shoot flowers to your new friend's wives and ice-cream to their kids, and then see the real ending of the game.


Of course if no journalist is well-educated enough to write this review by himself, the game's author will publish a 400 pages book explaining it. 10 pages about the game, 390 about people's dumbery and why in the end the author feels flattered to remain misunderstood.

Now when a game has been made specially so you can write reviews like this about it, do you expect a good or even consistent gameplay?

Of course this pure caricature. But I'll take the bet that at least a part of the nauseus feeling you have with the worsts euroshmups (the worst ones of course) does come from that. From a vague feel to see a pretentious game with no real interest, and to somehow be taken for a moron by a the authors.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:08 pm 


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Great post Hibou. :)
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:13 pm 


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Ixmucane wrote:
I also enjoy the modern essential Japanese style (Fraxy, Warning Forever, ABA Games)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:53 pm 


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Euroshmup=A word often used incorrectly by Cave fanboys who pretend to know how the scoring system in Guwange works, but don't even know how to buy weapons in Tyrian.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:28 pm 


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You don't actually need to buy weapons in Tyrian.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:32 pm 


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:37 pm 


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Tyrian sucks anyway.


"Oooh, we made such a nice big, metalic brownish ship sprite!"
"But the player kills it too quickly, you can barely see it"
"Ok then, so let's make the player weapon weaker"
"Hmm, now everything stays too long at screen, there are too many unavoidable deaths"
"Oh, come on, just add a shield energy bar that regenerates automatically"
"Ow... the came is too easy now"
"Whatever, put a shop here, put 150+ different weapons, and people aren't even going to notice it."
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:53 pm 


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worstplayer:
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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.



Well, Terra Galactica will have two of those: shops and shield/energy bars. The hitbox is kinda big, but the playing field is wide and well balanced.
Thank God there's no inertia: X2 nearly drove me nuts. And, the pace of the game is actually faster than any shmup I've seen on the GBA. I think there will be a few noticeable but dismissable "euroshmup" traits in TG. The game engine is tight!

Oh, and the music/sound is freakin' phenomenal!

The world will see...soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Define euroshmup...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:25 am 


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Herr Schatten wrote:
I don't think so. Just make clear that the term describes a set of characteristics commonly, but not exclusively, found in 2D shooters of European origin rather than being a derogative term based on the place of manufacture. As pointed out, there are Euroshmups that have been produced outside of Europe as well as shmups produced in Europe that don't fall into that category*.

As for the characteristics that define the Euroshmup style: Twiddle gave a pretty good outline of those**. Add to that the tendency to include superfluous features (shops, customization, etc.). I don't think this has much to do with a cultural inaptitude to keep things simple, though.


*therefore the terrible "euroshump" term is completely inadequate to describe them;

** I too like Twiddle's outline, but for a generical term like "bad shmups". Regardless of their origin.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:35 pm 


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Where the heck did this come out from?
I know that shmups are mostly jap and that people here got used to this kind of gameplay, thus thinking that anything different is crap but... it isn't.

Look, some of us (mostly, well... Europeans) started shmupping with Home Computers. C64, Amiga. I started with IO and stuff like that, therefore I got acquainted with euro computer shmups before the jap ones, and I still think they're great.
European shmups are NOT crap. Europe produced every possible kind of shmup that wasn't necessarily overintellectual, inertia-driven, renderized and so on. Maybe most of you didn't play home computer shmups and talk just by rumours?

I don't think Project X is really that intellectual. No life bar in Apidya. No multiple weapons in Agony. No horizontal scrolling in Xenon 2 (well ok that's a longshot, most euroshmups are hori and anyway I love hori shmups. They're still shmups right?). No shops in Fantastic Voyage. No life bar in Carcharodon. And I'm just mentioning the most famous for the stereotypical japan-only console freak oaf out there, but there are gazillions of nice euroshmups, considering that it has always been a borderline genre in the '90s EU (not as borderline as in the US anyway).

I'm frankly appalled by all this stupid hate towards a genre that has spawned really great games in terms of graphis and music as well. Most of you are totally sucked up by the japanese conception of shmups that everything that is not a trillion bullets, flashy graphics, massive explosions and stupid names is crap. Like rpg freaks, most shmup freaks are just too japanofile to apprecciate what was produced 10-15 years ago in the old world. Of course now some of those games look bulky, slow and too complex to tackle, but I can think of millions of shmups out there that would've been hated by everyone if they weren't jap. There's a million shmups on the C64 and Amiga that feel and play like R-Type and Darius without being clones, but they're just stupid euro trash on a disk and it doesn't compute :) right?
Pah. I enjoy both jap and euro shmups, I think that both have wonderful and absolutely crap games and thank g0dz I experienced the best of both.
To all those people that have written that "the distinctive feature of an euroshmup is that it's crap" I'll say that I've never seen such a biased and ignorant reply in my recent life :D

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:57 pm 


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Ixmucane wrote:
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.)

I agree with this sentiment. I could see the problem with most European made shmups, but I'm not particularly a "weeaboo" as to say everything Japan makes is superior. There is a particular trend of narrowmindedness that players seem to develop as they play more of the eligible shmups, and that seems to make them more confined of looking for the more purer principles of dodging and shooting. But the problem is when those are the only options and nothing more.

I like what they had going for Iridion II, for example. The concept of using aquired upgrades as "reserves" for life, as well as stocking up on them. At the same time, you will still need to dodge obstacles and other fire lest you want to be immediately killed or run out of your reserves. I don't mind that at all. It makes it more accessible but it doesn't escape the principles of a good shmup. Perhaps if they turned it into a 5-bar or 3bar health system, it would be pretty familiar to Gradius' implementation of the force field...

Fenrir wrote:
I know that shmups are mostly jap and that people here got used to this kind of gameplay, thus thinking that anything different is crap but... it isn't.

Eaxcatly.

Why should experimentation be wrong? Euroshmups are known to experiment, and they should eventually figure out which works and which doesn't. Oddly enough, certain systems (like shops, customizable) do work when implemented correctly.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:34 pm 


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Forgotten Worlds and Area 88/Carrier Air Wing got the shop thing down really well.

sfried wrote:
Why should experimentation be wrong? Euroshmups are known to experiment, and they should eventually figure out which works and which doesn't.

The fact they haven't yet is a bit glaring, and there are western releases that are actually pretty excellent (Geometry Wars and Total Carnage come to mind here.) Yet all the coherent defenses of euroshmup consist of "they have awesome music" which, by itself, is nice, but do not carry a game; and/or "I liked them when I started off with them" in which the poster has a serious nostalgia problem.

Also, not having one particular trait while having all/most of others != good game. Please note that there are also a swarth of Eastern and console releases that are abhorrent in these ways, as well.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:01 pm 


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When someone says Euroshmup, nothing good comes to my mind. That's how I define them.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:42 pm 


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It's sorry to hear that someone is trying to reduce the arguments of every european shmup fan to the ramblings of a nostalgia freak, or accurately selecting some of their features, ignoring all the others, just to prove some weak and overbiased points ;)

Everything can only be reduced to the fact that most of the people that are now bearing the flag of japanese shmups - that are cool just because they're japanese and they're addicted to the jap way of intending and playing shmups - have never tried euro shmups, and many who did, tried some of them for a couple of minutes on an emu just to have a few laughs with other japanese shmups freaks. Mobbing has always been a big hobby in human history, and what I see in this thread is mostly biased mobbing.

What defines a good shmup? Playability? Bullet patterns? Graphics? Interesting gameplay? Originality? The Cave logo? I find a lot of euroshmups awesomely interesting in every compartment, taking them for what they are and the context they were released in, of course. Guess what, there HAVE BEEN playable games, with interesting bullet patterns, interesting ideas, interesting physics in Europe too.
I've been playing euroshmups for nearly 20 years, spending countless hours on them, therefore I know what I'm talking about.
I would eagerly accept criticism on whatever euroshmup from someone who knows what the hell he's talking about, and not from some kid who simply watched a few youtube movies and/or just played X2 at a friend's home.
Mind you, I'm not saying that euro shmups are better than jap shmups. I know my chickens well enough. I'm just saying that mindless mobbing in "haw haw- euroshmups are crap!!!11!lol" style are, as I said, just ignorant and overbiased ;)
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:59 pm 


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Damn, I thought this was something we could all agree on.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:55 pm 


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fenrir: euroshmup #1 fan
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:11 am 


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There's a rich heritage of unqiue, highly accomplished shmups that were developed in Europe (mostly prior to the Amiga) so it's a shame that this term inclines that all shmups developed in Europe are/were bad.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:51 am 


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euroshmups :

games developed by people that think they can outdo a game from ten years ago but still fail.

contain incredibly dated tangerine dream wannabe music that went out of fashion with the amiga MOD scene.

usually contain japanese text , even though the people that make it come from fucking croatia.

no concept of a difficulty curve or level planning.

overdetailed spiky , shiny graphics

overembellished gameplay, because "more" is equated to "better"

developed by people that haven't realised that shooters have evolved since fucking R-type.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:03 am 


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:12 am 



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Fenrir wrote:
Where the heck did this come out from?
I know that shmups are mostly jap and that people here got used to this kind of gameplay, thus thinking that anything different is crap but... it isn't.

European shmups are NOT crap.

sfried wrote:
I could see the problem with most European made shmups, but I'm not particularly a "weeaboo" as to say everything Japan makes is superior.


Apart form the very beginning of the discussion, we're not speaking about euroshmus overall quality anymore. We're speaking about what is eurshmups' nemesis, and about what the common mistake is which make them sometimes appear pretentious or pointless to an authorized mind.

For example, what I tried (with not so much success) to caricature is a point of vue that can be discussed between people who whish to see intellectualized games, but also wish these games would be complex for a reason (so of course no place for cave fanboys there).

I don't care if euroshmups do or do not fit the jap or viet or whatever taste. After all, which european man would? But I DO care A LOT when an euroshmup is just a dishonest collection of poor tricks which only intends to lure snobs! And that, as a french man, is for me the common euroshmup (or euromovie, or euro-sci-fi-book) nemesis: too often they're just attempts to impress the vulgar with some faked deep. Too often they're in the end empty, and far more ridiculous than the things they try to overcome.

Maybe one day we will agree there's no real contest between euro and japs/viets/whatever games. After all they're just not the same thing. Games on one side, ideas on the other side. But for now I've mostly met so-so ideas from people more interested in doing something strange and snob than in doing something good.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:12 am 


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Fenrir wrote:
I'm frankly appalled by all this stupid hate towards a genre that has spawned really great games in terms of graphis and music as well.


I LOVE the graphics and music of a lot of Amiga/Euroshmups; it's the gameplay that I think most people are complaining about here...

Fenrir wrote:
Like rpg freaks, most shmup freaks are just too japanofile to apprecciate what was produced 10-15 years ago in the old world...


I think the irony here is that the developers of Euroshmups 10-15 years ago were incredible japanophiles!
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Twiddle wrote:
Forgotten Worlds and Area 88/Carrier Air Wing got the shop thing down really well.

The fact they haven't yet is a bit glaring, and there are western releases that are actually pretty excellent (Geometry Wars and Total Carnage come to mind here.) Yet all the coherent defenses of euroshmup consist of "they have awesome music" which, by itself, is nice, but do not carry a game; and/or "I liked them when I started off with them" in which the poster has a serious nostalgia problem.

Also, not having one particular trait while having all/most of others != good game. Please note that there are also a swarth of Eastern and console releases that are abhorrent in these ways, as well.
But Euroshmups do not have to be = bad. That would be a hasty generalization on the terms behalf.

I don't care about the music. Some Euroshmups play solidly, even with lifebars and "all that crap". They shouldn't be snobbed at for at least trying and doing well. It's like people suddenly became prejudiced against Euro devs or something...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:25 am 


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Really, there is loads of superb shooters on Amiga. They are just not 'arcade style' and that is why so many people in this forum hate them.

If you want a deep scoring game or something like that obviously Amiga games is not where you'd look.
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I'm a fan #1 of both shmups styles. That's why I have fun since 1985!
As long as I still hear empty banters with no examples whatsoever from people who obviously haven't played any euro shmups... I don't really care ;) but this thread shows how bad it is to speak without knowing what you're talking about :D twitwi!


sfried wrote:
I don't care about the music. Some Euroshmups play solidly, even with lifebars and "all that crap". They shouldn't be snobbed at for at least trying and doing well. It's like people suddenly became prejudiced against Euro devs or something...


It's as easy as that. Go figure... :roll:

ccovell wrote:
I think the irony here is that the developers of Euroshmups 10-15 years ago were incredible japanophiles!


Damn straight. They even invented "fake" supposedly japanese game lineups to get as much japanese as they could (Apidya anyone? And Gem X, and stuff). But then again, as good as Apidya gets, and it's probably the most japanese euroshmup of all, I would never say that it plays and feels like a jap shmup. Even at the time, when there were rumours that it was a conversion of an obscure FM Towns title. I thought - that's not possible. It's great, yet it plays too... 'original' to be a conversion. Being japanophiles helped them to try and reach a higher standard, because at the time everybody thought that jap consoles were the shit and home computers were the boo. Just because. I sense history repeating :idea:
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:48 pm 



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Ok, here goes my opinion.

I see euroshmups as an example of western developers' try to make a somewhat different type of shmups that would represent the typical — and inherent to the point of psychological development — western maximalism (yes, mere maximalism, not intellectualization or trying to avoid "despicable mindless shooting", or some other crap like that) better, which is why I think all euroshmups have quantitative advantages over traditional shmups as a whole. The reason this maximalism is inherently and inevitably present in pretty much everything western civilization creates lie in something entirely different and disconnected from game development whatsoever (I can elaborate if there is anyone who cares), and I, being born and raised in by western culture, can see it really clear, especially in comparison to eastern culture (Japan being the prime example since it has also been the most secluded eastern nation due to its geographical location).

However, what I'm trying to point out here is that, while most traditional shmups have stable and studied gameplay mechanics revolving around one-two distinct features and more often than not come out balanced (at least in regards to those features), western shmups try to encompass much more than that, and the gameplay (again, more often than not) becomes dispersed between the multitude of features that actually steal the focus from what a shmup is supposed to be: shooting and dodging bullets. This is further illustrated by the fact that even relatively small Japanese developers (like Cave) can produce 1-2 shmups a year that would have some different twist to them, and westerners basically try hard not to repeat what they already did several times.

Apparently, it wouldn't really be a wild guess that the reason most of them weren't successful because it was really hard to concentrate on polishing the actual gameplay when you had all this stuff to consider and balance. It is also the reason the modern game development fails so badly these days (see: about 80-90% of the current gen console lineup); it requires quite much more effort to make really good gameplay when you want to stuff a game full with ten thousand "unique" features, and there's a deadline coming, and then you have to work on other game also full of everything (and for that reason, ironically, coming out so generic as a whole). This, and milking money out of established franchises, is what I also consider examples of western influence over video game market as a whole.

Coming to think of it recently, I came to a somewhat odd conclusion that Radiant Silvergun, however cliched it may have been as a point of reference, could have been a damn good euroshmup, since it apparently had a lot of features important for your average euroshmup, which are: good orchestrated music, pretty graphics and level design, powerful and visually impressive weapons that get stronger the more you use them (what a treat!), large amounts of bullets without fixating on patterns or depriving player of movement freedom, lots of wall dodging, relatively simple scoring, and 4:3 aspect ratio. Basically, the only thing that separates it from being an ideal euroshmup in my opinion is its nut-twisting difficulty. :)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:29 pm 


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the reason people hate Euroshmups

That and a lot of them tend to be broken. The brokenness is on par with the brokenness of doujins imo.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:56 pm 


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Yet good doujins exist. Good euroshmup also exist. Crappy "japshmups" exist also (allot of them). N00bzorz who claim otherwise can go away and try to figure out how to tate their calculators or something.
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