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Are horizontal run and gun games shmups?
Yes 12%  12%  [ 6 ]
No 82%  82%  [ 41 ]
It depends on the game 6%  6%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 50
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 Post subject: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:07 pm 



Joined: 20 Mar 2011
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Do you consider horizontal run and gun games (e.g. Contra, Gunstar Heroes, etc.) to be shmups?

I personally do not think that they are.


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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:15 pm 


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Agreed. It's a term of art whose extension is fixed by our community. To outsiders the distinction between shmups and run-n-guns can look rather arbitrary, but it's a useful distinction. It's no argument against the distinction that there are borderline cases. That's often true about distinctions that they admit of borderline cases.
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:38 pm 


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They're definitely scrolling shooters and if that's the definition of a "shmup" then yes. However, I think the addition of bounding by gravity and platforming is a pretty distinct addition.

It can be a sub-genre of platformer and a sub-genre of shoot 'em up both at once.
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:42 pm 



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Chelnov is the closest I can think of.
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:18 pm 



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MathU wrote:
They're definitely scrolling shooters and if that's the definition of a "shmup" then yes. However, I think the addition of bounding by gravity and platforming is a pretty distinct addition.

It can be a sub-genre of platformer and a sub-genre of shoot 'em up both at once.


That's a good way to think of it. It's the gravity that makes it feel "unshmup-like", though you're right, these games contain elements of both platformers and shmups without really being one or the other.


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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:20 pm 



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stryc9 wrote:
Chelnov is the closest I can think of.


Chelnov / Atomic Runner is very, very close to being a shmup. Heck, I'll go ahead and call it one. It's very different from most side scrolling run and gun games though, which usually tend to ape Contra or Metal Slug.


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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:15 pm 


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Nah. The platforming elements totally change how these games feel. Run and Gun is a hybrid. The genre name even contains the word "and" to make that clear.

Like any hybrid, some Run and Gun games are closer to shmups than others. Calling Contra a shmup isn't too unreasonable, but it would feel wrong to say that about Rolling Thunder, Shinobi, or Megaman.
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:24 pm 


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Depends on how the player moves, what he fires, what is fired at him, and hazards.

if you have a high-mobility low-intertia guy shooting rapid fire at enemies that fire complicated patters and no environmental hazards, it's a shmup with limited movement.
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:25 pm 


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[quote="MR_Soren"
Like any hybrid, some Run and Gun games are closer to shmups than others. Calling Contra a shmup isn't too unreasonable, but it would feel wrong to say that about Rolling Thunder, Shinobi, or Megaman.[/quote]

Personally I just call those last three "action platformers" which is distinct to me from an arcade style "run and gun" shooter.
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:33 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:49 pm 


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Everything is a sub genre of shmups. Yes. Shmups rule them all.
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:39 am 


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No, two attributes that matter:

1. Gravity
Gravity having an impact on the behaviour of the player sprite leads to a distinctive gameplay.

2. Player-controlled scrolling
This also, but there's few of them that don't feature gravity (In The Hunt, Mr. Heli, Atomic Robo Kid, ?), but still I'd argue they play differently than STGs in the strict sense, games that have autoscrolling or fixed screen.

edit: this criteria is actually important to exclude the whole top-down-view stuff like Shock Troopers. Although limiting attacks to one or two directions (like in the above mentioned games, or partly Outzone, Fixeight) brings them closer to STGs.

Then there's also stuff like Last Mission or Thunder Force 2 with forced scrolling, but controllable direction, that features a gameplay with it's own qualities.
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:07 am 


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^^^ Agreed. Some run-'n-guns have shmup levels, such as Metal Slug and Rendering Ranger. It's obvious how the gameplay changes during these levels. That change in gameplay feeling is self-evident.

Also, again, because Malc says no. ;)
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:12 am 


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player-controlled scrolling has had little to do with the "new" definition of shmup for a while

out zone, fixeight, senjou, shock troopers et al are shmups; as is tempest et al; as is space invaders et al

as is guwange et al
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:40 am 



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I'd not bother arguing if someone really wanted to called it a shmup - hell there's a lot of shooting in something like metal slug for example. However, 'run and gun' or even 'platformer' do seem better descriptions imho - despite a [likely] commonality in shooting, I think the point of view, running, and jumping aspects still have an overriding distinction in terms of genre classification.


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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:09 pm 


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If "bullet hell" deserves to be its own seperate sub-genre, I don't see why Run and Gun can't be one to shmups as a whole as well.
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:39 pm 



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Perhaps in from your point of view, but with the greatest respect I think your personal considered definitions are a lot more distinct than casual conversation may allow:

Squire Grooktook wrote:
MR_Soren wrote:
Like any hybrid, some Run and Gun games are closer to shmups than others. Calling Contra a shmup isn't too unreasonable, but it would feel wrong to say that about Rolling Thunder, Shinobi, or Megaman.


Personally I just call those last three "action platformers" which is distinct to me from an arcade style "run and gun" shooter.


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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:43 pm 


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I've looked at it like this:

STG = Shmup + Run'n'Gun
That is:
Code:
STG = games in which gameplay focuses on shooting enemies and shooting mechanics are mainly based on 2 dimensions.

Exclusions: FPS, rail shooters (e.g., panzer dragoon, space harrier), and light gun games are not STGs because game mechanics are based on 3 dimensions.
Borderline cases: Some STGs like Layer Section have 3d elements in gameplay, but main shots and your own hitbox are sensitive to 2d only so I still think it is mainly a 2d game, with some 3d additions (that could even be argued to be two separate 2d layers rather than a 3d conitnuum).

What separates shmups and run'n'gun is like imhotep said, Gravity. So
Code:
Run'n'Gun = STGs in which you move in 2d platform environments and movement is substantially limited in one of the two dimensions, such as the vertical dimension as caused by gravity. This is often depicted by having the character taken the appearance of a horizontally running/walking protagonist which moves in the vertical dimension by using a jump button.

And then basically, the negation gives you shmup definition.
Code:
Shmups = STGs that are not Run'n'Guns. That is, games that focus on shooting enemies and are based mainly on 2d mechanics and if you move in 2D, movement is not substantially more limited in one of the two dimensions.

Shmups include for instance outzone, robotron 2084 according to this definition.

I don't think it is appropriate to define shmups in terms of scrolling.
Games without scrolling can be shmups, e.g., Space Invaders
Games with manual scrolling can be shmups, e.g., William's Defender
and, of course, games with automatic scrolling can be shmups.

Maybe the label STG is common to use more broadly though, to incorporate any game with shooting elements even 3d games, but this is at least how I distinguish shmups and run'n'guns from other games.


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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:06 pm 


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pretty much all the above, though i'd argue that most 2d-based lightgun games are sufficiently 2d.

i mean in a way even rayforce could be said to utilize "depth"... but it's not even two layers really, it's just that certain targets only take damage from certain weapons, and that you can collide into one but not the other; tons of games have the latter at least. likewise, 2d-based lightgun games don't really use "depth" like that, especially not in games that don't have projectiles.

bit of a stretch i suppose, but oh well.
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 Post subject: Re: ....but is it a shmup? - Horizontal Run and Guns
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:24 pm 


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Dolphin Blue for the Sammy atomiswave is another run and gun that beckons questions about where the genre ends. The under water levels are effectively shmups and the on land levels are also seriously bullet hell packed metal slug similarly borders on the genre, but I do feel a shooter depends more on the mechanics and Metal Slug involves a little platforming and the centering of the character makes the bullet hell all the more unsettling. It does make me wonder if the shoot and run endless runners on the iPhone like the hunger games endless runner might come closer to qualifying, but I think a horizontal shooter could qualify, but it would need to deal with bullets and mechanics in a way currently missing from the run and gun genre.


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