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 Post subject: Rob's Complete list of SNES shmups.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:53 am 


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Bio Metal (9/10)
Macross Scrambled Valkyrie (7/10)
Parodius Da! (7/10)
Space Megaforce (6/10)
Axelay (6/10)
Earth Defense Force (5/10)
Gradius 3 (5/10)
Syvalion (5/10)
Dropzone (5/10)
Spriggan Powered (5/10)
Pop N Twinbee (5/10)
Flying Hero (5/10)
Super R-Type (4/10)
Imperium (4/10)
Thunder Spirits (4/10)
Cotton 100% (4/10)
Acrobat Mission (4/10)
Tekkaman Blade (3/10)
Blazeon (3/10)
Firepower 2000 (3/10)
UN Squadron (3/10)
Cosmo Gang (3/10)
Phalanx (3/10)
Fuzzy Shooting (3/10)
Raiden Trad (2/10)
Sonic Wings (2/10)
SD Gundam (2/10)
Caravan Shooting (2/10)
Darius Twin (2/10)
Super Nova (1/10)
Hunt for Red October (1/10)
D-Force (1/10)
Strike Gunner STG (1/10)
Galaxy Wars (1/10)

Alright, so it's only 90-95% complete. Let's discuss SNES shooters in this thread!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:15 am 


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Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I'm assuming the numbers next to each game are your ratings for them, yes?

And, if so,...you're rating Biometal higher than the likes of, say, Axelay, Pop N Twinbee, Cotton 100%, and Space Megaforce? And U.N. Squadron only ranks a 3 out of 10 then?

Ooooo-kay... *slowly backs away*

*runs*


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:22 am 


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Oh you bastard.

How can Bio Metal be anybody's favorite SNES shmup? And Super Earth Defense Force is higher than most of the other games?


Overall I'd have to say your scores are really low. C'mon, try out UN Squadron again. It'll be fun! :o


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:28 am 


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It looks like you dislike a lot of good games people generally like and really like some games that a lot of people dislike like Biometal. Also, I feel that 1, 2, and 3 scores are too harsh for almost any game, though they are too good for Action 52. A one out of ten for Darius Force/Super Nova, one of the most underrated games on the system, is especially harsh IMO.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:38 am 


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I'll explain Bio Metal's excellence when the time is right. To get this part out of the way, the soundtrack is much better in the original Japanese version.

Cotton 100% and Pop N Twinbee are long, tedious, and easy. But the colors, right? Not too bad. :P

LoneSage wrote:
And Super Earth Defense Force is higher than most of the other games?

Yeah, this is not a bad game. The power-up systems/weapons are above average, levels not bad, bosses pretty good. Decent, fair challenge. All in all a solid 5/10.

UN Squadron I recognize as the most harsh, but I really hate the game. The levels feel too basic, don't like having to shop for ships and parts.


Has anyone else played Fuzzy Shooting? The game seems pretty brutal. That's one I couldn't make any progress in. Does it have an ending? Is it a doujin game?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:39 am 


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BrianC wrote:
A one out of ten for Darius Force/Super Nova, one of the most underrated games on the system, is especially harsh IMO.

Maybe, I'll try this out again. The restarts feel excruciating.


Last edited by Rob on Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:49 am 


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Rob wrote:
I'll explain Bio Metal's excellence when the time is right. To get this part out of the way, the soundtrack is much better in the original Japanese version.

Being much better than the US soundtrack isn't exactly hard. :P

But in any case, methinks it can be surmised that you're not much of an SNES shooter fan...out of the batch you listed, only 5 games made above a "5", and only one made above a "7." Obviously these games are old and not as "sophisticated" as more recent stuff, but I tend to think that there has to be some provision for considering when a game was made when one rates it. Of course, IIRC, you tend to have a distaste for older shmups in general, since, IYO, they relied more on game length and less on actual gameplay to get by. In some cases I can certainly agree with that, but personally I woulda given several of those games a bit more slack. Of course, to each his own.

As for BioMetal, I definitely think that it's somewhat underappreciated, though I wouldn't have rated it as high as you did. One thing I will argue in its favor, though, is that its gameplay style was, in many ways, a good many years ahead of its time. I can see clearly how its system would appeal to a Giga Wing fan like yourself, heh.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:54 am 


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Rob wrote:
Cotton 100% and Pop N Twinbee are long, tedious, and easy. But the colors, right? Not too bad. :P


Sure, the colors...and the gameplay, graphics, craftsmanship, etc...

But hey, to each his own.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:59 am 


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BulletMagnet wrote:
I can see clearly how its system would appeal to a Giga Wing fan like yourself, heh.

Yes! Takumi was exactly the thing that came to mind. The shield actually makes me think more of Mars Matrix, though, since you fire it off in a direction by moving opposite. Definitely ahead of its time and a big surprise to me, since I initially thought it was pretty crappy (soundtrack did not help at all).

I wish more SNES shooters were as lean as Bio Metal. It doesn't waste time and the action is always pretty high. It gets really strategic with its shield use in the last few stages especially.

On the ten point scale I don't think 6/10 is bad (for example). Think of it as 3 stars! +1s for Macross, Megaforce, Axelay and Parodius on a sunnier day. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:05 am 


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I agree with BrianC that scores of 1 and 2 should be reserved for extreme awfulness, but on the whole I would have to agree with the general point, which Rob's scores bring out, that the SNES is on the whole rather disappointing on the shmup front. For one thing, none of these games is an obvious top 15 all-time-best candidate. Why did the TG-16 and Genny have better shmup line-ups? I've never understood why the SNES fell short.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:27 am 


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Slow processor would be a big factor.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:03 am 



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Rob wrote:
I'll explain Bio Metal's excellence when the time is right. To get this part out of the way, the soundtrack is much better in the original Japanese version.

Cotton 100% and Pop N Twinbee are long, tedious, and easy. But the colors, right? Not too bad. :P

LoneSage wrote:
And Super Earth Defense Force is higher than most of the other games?

Yeah, this is not a bad game. The power-up systems/weapons are above average, levels not bad, bosses pretty good. Decent, fair challenge. All in all a solid 5/10.

UN Squadron I recognize as the most harsh, but I really hate the game. The levels feel too basic, don't like having to shop for ships and parts.


Has anyone else played Fuzzy Shooting? The game seems pretty brutal. That's one I couldn't make any progress in. Does it have an ending? Is it a doujin game?


1. A prominent SNES-specific rom site I go to from time to time lists Fuzzy Shooting as a public domain game. I seem to recall reading somewhere (maybe on this site in the past?) that it only has two stages, but is rough as hell. I downloaded it, played it for a couple minutes and decided it wasn't my cup of tea, so that was that.....

2. While I thought Bio-Metal wasn't that great (follow my sig link and read my review --- shameless plug), I can see why someone would think it was great. Honestly, that game was as frenetic as it got on the SNES. You needed strategy, a couple of stages were GORGEOUS and it was pretty damn manic at times.

3. Overall, the SNES sucks compared to other systems of the time as far as shmup play. Still, there are some good ones and some of the ones Rob rated lowly are pretty cool, in my opinion. It's just that overall, too many games for this system put too much emphasis on Mode 7 fancyness and too little emphasis on great play. The Genny and TG-16 were as great aesthetically all the time, but they kicked ass as far as gameplay goes in comparison.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:31 am 


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overdrive wrote:
I downloaded it, played it for a couple minutes and decided it wasn't my cup of tea, so that was that.....

I tried sticking it out with this one, but only lasted about 30 minutes. Never lasted longer than a few minutes in either mode (select starts a boss rush). Assaulted from all directions and the hitbox is a bit too big for gameplay this chaotic and patterns that tight.

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While I thought Bio-Metal wasn't that great (follow my sig link and read my review --- shameless plug), I can see why someone would think it was great. Honestly, that game was as frenetic as it got on the SNES. You needed strategy, a couple of stages were GORGEOUS and it was pretty damn manic at times.

Yeah, hell yeah. Didn't see anything I could disagree with in the review, despite the score.

Quote:
And that takes us to the final level. It's a short one, but it will elicit an equal number of groans and profanities as anything else you've done in this game. First, you have to dodge tons of kamikaze critters that seem to be just a bit too durable to risk killing in most cases.

I found that if you stay in the middle and almost to the right edge of the screen you're safe for the opening section. You'll destroy less enemies, but survive with ease.

Can anyone think of any other shooters made by Athena? Or were they a one shooter wonder?

Also, does anyone think Acrobat Mission seems a bit like XII Stag? I get a real kick out of seeing traces of modern shooters in old school games.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:37 am 


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Hey what happened to R-Type 3?

And I agree with your ratings except for UN Squadron. I actually like the SNES better than the arcade version, believe it or not.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:43 am 


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tehkao wrote:
Hey what happened to R-Type 3?

Haven't played it enough. I'm sure it would rank highly, though. Also missing the other two Parodius games, which I don't like as much as Da.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:34 am 



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The only Parodius I played extensively was Jikkyou Oshibari Parodius. I found it to be a very fun game with a few levels having unbelievably amazing personality (just thinking about the part on the second level where the "hood" penguins chase down the nerdish one and throw it at you still brings a smile to my face). And, it was the most customizable shooter of it's time, as you could tweek the difficulty in so many ways. While I admit that the last few levels weren't as clever as the first few (if I rewrite my review, I might take a point off the score because of that), but I look at it as an awesome game.

As to a couple of other things.....

I'm not familiar with XII Stag, but Acrobat Mission was a decent game until the final stage, which was nothing more than you hovering above a fan while being assaulted. I LOVED the first boss, which was the toughest L1 boss I've ever fought, but as the game went on, I really wanted a bit more balance. The first two bosses were tougher than all but the final one, which I thought was weird.

I'm tempted to go through Bio Metal again and possibly re-work my review (by playing the Japanese version). American dance music notwithstanding, I really only remember some of the positives and I remember the strategy with the shield, I remember the second and third stages were among the most beautiful 16-bit shmup stages I've ever seen. The only gameplay thing I remember hating off the top of my head was that enemy bullets tended to blend into the L1 clouds, which really aggravated me. Yeah, I might have to give this one another shot in the future.

With UN Squadron, I'm not sure yet if I agree with how low you rated it, but I can understand where you're coming from. The levels are short and with the graphical style used, they kinda seem flat. It's hard to explain off the top of my head, but I think this game's a bit overrated.

As far as Syvalion goes, what exactly are the things you liked about it? I'm just wondering because I've played both the SNES and arcade versions briefly and it just initially rubbed me the wrong way.

As for the company Athena, they did a few others, including Strike Gunner (SNES --- one of the low-rated ones you listed) and the Dezaemon games which were Japanese build-your-own shmups, weren't they? The only other games they've made that I've ever paid any attention to were a couple of NES and/or Arcade sword-slashing action games (Castle of Dragon and Sword Master).
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 6:20 am 


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professor ganson wrote:
I agree with BrianC that scores of 1 and 2 should be reserved for extreme awfulness, but on the whole I would have to agree with the general point, which Rob's scores bring out, that the SNES is on the whole rather disappointing on the shmup front. For one thing, none of these games is an obvious top 15 all-time-best candidate. Why did the TG-16 and Genny have better shmup line-ups? I've never understood why the SNES fell short.


Well, I disagree with every score that Rob has given and Pop 'n Twinbee is one of my all time favorite shmups. The thing is many of the shmups are slower paced, but some people really dislike slower paced games, no matter how well designed they are. What's with the comments like "none of these is an obvious top 15 all-time-best candidate"? Pop 'n Twinbee is one of my favorite shmups of all time and, from what I heard and played of them, the Parodius games might very well be too. Yes, the Genny and TG-16 have better shmup lineups, but I really don't know where are this dislike of the better SNES shmups comes from.


Last edited by BrianC on Fri Apr 15, 2005 6:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 6:37 am 


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One thing I'll never understand is why people rave about Axelay.

Besides the pretty graphics, that game sucks. The weird Mode 7 stages look like crap, the weapons suck, and it's SLOW SLOW SLOW....

At least with Super Aleste it held my interest long enough to beat it...I couldn't even bother to get past stage 2 of Axelay before I turned it off...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:05 am 


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tehkao wrote:
One thing I'll never understand is why people rave about Axelay.

Besides the pretty graphics, that game sucks. The weird Mode 7 stages look like crap, the weapons suck, and it's SLOW SLOW SLOW....

At least with Super Aleste it held my interest long enough to beat it...I couldn't even bother to get past stage 2 of Axelay before I turned it off...


I'll second that! I used to love it as a kid but in a time where 3 out of 4 magazine reviews seemed to correlate the use of mode 7 with 90%+ scores it was kinda hard to be objective.
I played it again recently, and apart from the wonderful music which IMO has to rank as some of the best ever in a videogame, the rest of the game-in particular the weapons- seemed strangely archaic.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:07 am 


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Quote:
I'm tempted to go through Bio Metal again and possibly re-work my review (by playing the Japanese version). American dance music notwithstanding, I really only remember some of the positives and I remember the strategy with the shield

Soundtrack is much more R-Type-ish, which fits the style much better. I figure you're playing with an emulator too, so I'd definitely recommend saving at the beginning of the last few stages and practicing a number of times. Took me about 10 plays through stage 5 to get a decent plan worked out. Working out stuff like that is rewarding to me. Not many 16-bit shooters offer that, especially outside of sluggish "memory shooters." I think the regular weaponry is kind of weak on its own, and the power of the shield is nearly worthless without knowing when to have a full charge and how to use it. Clears enemies out fast.

Quote:
As far as Syvalion goes, what exactly are the things you liked about it? I'm just wondering because I've played both the SNES and arcade versions briefly and it just initially rubbed me the wrong way.

I think the concept is unique and its got style with nice small touches (story sequences are all readable, Tiat/Darius cameo). Racing through the tunnel, swinging fire around - sure as hell beats Phalanx. I haven't got a perfect handle on controlling the dragon and sometimes speed into sections where enemies spontaneously appear, which are both frustrating. But I chalk both up to inexperience and credit the game at least on a novelty level. Definitely takes a bit of getting used to.

Quote:
As for the company Athena, they did a few others, including Strike Gunner (SNES --- one of the low-rated ones you listed)

Oh wow, that's a shame. Must be the same company, different folks or they were on a two week schedule. Game is paper thin.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:14 am 


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adam76 wrote:
tehkao wrote:
One thing I'll never understand is why people rave about Axelay.

Besides the pretty graphics, that game sucks. The weird Mode 7 stages look like crap, the weapons suck, and it's SLOW SLOW SLOW....

At least with Super Aleste it held my interest long enough to beat it...I couldn't even bother to get past stage 2 of Axelay before I turned it off...


I'll second that! I used to love it as a kid but in a time where 3 out of 4 magazine reviews seemed to correlate the use of mode 7 with 90%+ scores it was kinda hard to be objective.
I played it again recently, and apart from the wonderful music which IMO has to rank as some of the best ever in a videogame, the rest of the game-in particular the weapons- seemed strangely archaic.



Sheesh. The mode 7 graphics were not the only reason people liked the game. It has great control (IMO), well designed levels, and some very cool bosses. I didn't find the game to be that slow either.


Last edited by BrianC on Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:44 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:18 am 


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BrianC wrote:
It has great control,

Debatable point on the vertical stages. Best described as awkward. Still enjoyed them all, though.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:49 am 


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These "why do people like the game", "people shouldn't like these games", and "the SNES shooter lineup sucks, that's a fact" posts are getting old. The fact is though, the SNES has about 15-20 shooters and about 12 of them are well designed, though they may not be everyone's cup of tea. Honestly, how good any lineup is is just a matter of opinion, so I think we need to let this rest and stop inturrepting everytime we disgree.


I still think the SNES has some pretty good shmups (Macross for example), I just don't think Axelay was one of them.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:53 am 


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EARTH DEFENSE FORCE IS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME

(first shmup I can remember playing for more than two seconds, though I haven't played it since gradeschool... I should really hunt down a copy of this sometime)

P.S. it's probably nothing stellar, but I remember having a lot of fun with it, plus the SNES controller is amazing


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:53 am 


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tehkao wrote:
Quote:
These "why do people like the game", "people shouldn't like these games", and "the SNES shooter lineup sucks, that's a fact" posts are getting old. The fact is though, the SNES has about 15-20 shooters and about 12 of them are well designed, though they may not be everyone's cup of tea. Honestly, how good any lineup is is just a matter of opinion, so I think we need to let this rest and stop inturrepting everytime we disgree.


I still think the SNES has some pretty good shmups (Macross for example), I just don't think Axelay was one of them.


oh ok. I really wanted to keep that part edited out. I thought I was too harsh.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:31 am 


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Bio Metal is great...if you wanna play a fucked up shmup!
Maybe its at least a 5 outa 10, but thats really pushing it.

I mean c'mon, the whole game suffers from serious slowdown AND flicker...it simply plays like a poorly emulated game on MAME.
Total "chop" city man. (framerate SUCKS!)
Gradius III even dogs it in comparison to "hardware issues"!

Nice list otherwise though...
My ratings will differ however.
Example...U.N Squadron is at the top of my list, whereas you claim it "sucks".

Oh, and Axelay ain't slower than any R-Type you Shmup-o's claim to love. Get over it...and enjoy it. Axelay gets my vote for coolness AND playability.

But then again, what makes a great shmup means something different to everyone.
I mean really... Rob, Bio Metal a 9 out of a 10!! :shock: :?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:38 pm 


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I wasn't aware Bio Metal was thought of as such a mediocre shooter by everyone. Odd, we're both looking at each other funny now. It seems people can see what I like about it: Takumi-ish, fast paced, the shield strategy, etc., but don't like it themselves. About flicker and slowdown, I've only played it in emulation, but one thing I noticed about it is its lack of slowdown in comparison to the average SNES shooter. Especially considering the general speed of it all. Can't say I noticed any flicker. Oh wait, maybe a little bit. Gradius 3, there's a slowdown and flicker fest, but I played that one on the system. Hmm, does anyone know if Bio Metal is running better in emu?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:12 pm 


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When it comes to Axelay I'd be tempted to give it a 7, possibly pushing an 8 for it's horizontal stages (I think stage 4 is perhaps the most atmospheric shooter stage I've encountered anywhere) which I find varied, (fairly) well designed and do encourage proper weapon usage.

The vert sections though I find utterly appalling, bad control, primitive attack patterns (feels like a PCE shooter), sprite flicker.. I'd give them a 2, based on the very low scorings Rob is handing out ;)

I can't agree on UN Squadron though. To me it takes the best of the arcade games (Area 88 & Carrier Airwing) and makes the actual stages much more interesting.

The thing it has for me over other shooters of the period (like the TF series) is that rarely does it just throw something at you such as a lava explosion (Looking at you TF III) that'll outright kill you without giving you a chance, the stages are in general quite fair, you can survive through persistance rather than memory, I think the stages are designed much better than any previous horizontal shooter - remember this did come out very early in the SNES' life.

Other than that, I think most Athena shooters are attrocious, uninspired boring messes. I don't see how Bio Metal raises itself in anyway out of the mire. It may be fast but that's about all that can be said about it.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:24 pm 


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BrianC wrote:
professor ganson wrote:
I agree with BrianC that scores of 1 and 2 should be reserved for extreme awfulness, but on the whole I would have to agree with the general point, which Rob's scores bring out, that the SNES is on the whole rather disappointing on the shmup front. For one thing, none of these games is an obvious top 15 all-time-best candidate. Why did the TG-16 and Genny have better shmup line-ups? I've never understood why the SNES fell short.


Well, I disagree with every score that Rob has given and Pop 'n Twinbee is one of my all time favorite shmups. The thing is many of the shmups are slower paced, but some people really dislike slower paced games, no matter how well designed they are. What's with the comments like "none of these is an obvious top 15 all-time-best candidate"? Pop 'n Twinbee is one of my favorite shmups of all time and, from what I heard and played of them, the Parodius games might very well be too. Yes, the Genny and TG-16 have better shmup lineups, but I really don't know where are this dislike of the better SNES shmups comes from.


I haven't played Pop 'n Twinbee, so I probably shouldn't have spoken about what I don't know. Still, I'll be a bit surprised if an SNES shmup cracks the top 15 in nullstar's much anticipated top-25 list. I notice that Axelay was 9th in 2003, but surely that's not an accurate assessment and I somehow doubt that it will remain so high on the list this year.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:45 pm 


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Tychom wrote:
I don't see how Bio Metal raises itself in anyway out of the mire. It may be fast but that's about all that can be said about it.

Fast and furious. I'm going to record a replay via ZSNES for at least stage 5. So if anyone wants a BIO METAL REPLAY I'll have the file uploaded. These zmv files are really small so it shouldn't be hard to distribute. In them the inherent beauty of Bio Metal should be revealed, as well as numerous Protips.

How about a no shield replay? :P


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