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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - April 2020 - Steel Vampire
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:42 pm 


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Joined: 24 Feb 2011
Posts: 339
I don't want to come over all "tutorial" and end up in your bad books, but I'm gonna risk my arm here and suggest that it might be worth another look if you've written it off.

Normal mode (called "very hard") feels a bit too easy, but I think that's intentional, beckoning players of all skill levels further up the screen where they belong. The later difficulties are much more interesting. You really have to watch how far you're pushing rank in those modes. You unlock different game modes and difficulties as you play.

I can't remember playing the tutorial. I don't know how in depth it goes, but picking up the red orbs raises your rank/score multiplier by 5, and collecting the green orbs lowers it by 1.
Your rank is always rising automatically, slowly at first, but then faster as it gets higher. Bombing or getting hit also makes you drop rank, so it's all about the risk/reward of pushing it as far as you can, or finding your sweet spot and riding the wave.

I did have a few gripes with it. The player ship is huge, though the hitbox seems to be a small portion at the top of the middle third of the sprite. It all seems intentional, what with the game being about all or nothing risk taking, and getting up close and personal. Everything's a lot more zoomed in than most shmups, it definitely feels like they've gone for a claustrophobic feel.

Because it's so zoomed in, the play area in some stages can be wider than the screen so the background scrolls horizontally when you move left and right and this can make trying to dodge some of the bullets in the foreground a frickin nightmare, though it does seem to become more readable the more you play.

Screenshake is a little overdone, but again, seems intentional, it's all purposefully in your face and rocking your world. I think the screenshake was toned down in a patch but with no patch notes, it might have just been my imagination.

Sorry if I'm teaching you how to suck eggs there. I know it's not for everyone but I had a great time with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - April 2020 - Steel Vampire
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:45 pm 


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Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 2040
Location: Nebraska, USA
Thanks for the good info, clippa! I hadn't looked too much into the game yet, because I kind of wanted to experience it on the fly, but this is good to know up front, regarding the rank. That will definitely inform how I approach the game this month :D
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"Playing a shmup with an analog stick is like trying to fill out the New York Times crossword with a can of spray paint." - Topher Cantler
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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - April 2020 - Steel Vampire
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:45 pm 


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Sega is no stranger to arcade shoot-em-up games, as demonstrated by early hits, such as Zaxxon, its sequel Super Zaxxon, or the lesser known Star Jacker. Sega didn't stick with the genre that long, though, as the market had become flooded during the early 1980's arcade boom. The story goes, that someone in a position of power at Sega saw Konami's success with Gradius in Japan in 1985, and decided Sega needed to have their own, similar game. Designer Yoji Ishii was given the task, and rather than make a clone, he took the design in a very different direction, adopting a free-scrolling approach, like Williams' Defender, and giving the game a very bright, colorful look, paired with a set of very cute, whimsical characters, and a very fantastical setting, which became the game's namesake. That game, of course, is Sega's classic, Fantasy Zone.

Fantasy Zone was a success in the arcade, and appeared on many consoles and home computers during the 1980's and early 90's, including the Famicom, NES, Sega Master System, MSX, Sharp X68000, TurboGrafx-16, and more. It received an arcade-perfect port on the Sega Saturn in 1997, as well as receiving multiple iterations on the PlayStation 2. The arcade version is unlockable in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for PS3 and Xbox 360, received a 3D port on the Nintendo 3DS, and has now been given the M2 Sega Ages treatment on the Nintendo Switch. With so many ways to play, there's no excuse to sit this one out. Join the RF Generation Shmup Club as we team up with Opa-Opa, and fight off an enemy invasion on multiple planets, as we play Fantasy Zone in May 2020!

Sign up here to participate:
http://www.rfgeneration.com/forum/index.php?topic=19313.0
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"Playing a shmup with an analog stick is like trying to fill out the New York Times crossword with a can of spray paint." - Topher Cantler
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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - June 2020 - Cannon Spike
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 2:04 pm 


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June 2020 brings something different to the table, where the RF Generation Community Playthrough will be teaming up with the RFG Shmup Club, and tackling a game that could be considered "shmup adjacent" in many ways. From prolific STG designer Psikyo, and arcade stalwarts Capcom, comes Cannon Spike, a game descended from the twin stick shooter style, with Capcom characters in tow, and a lot of personality. Take on terrorist robots with several Capcom alum, including Charlie (SF Alpha), Cammy (SFII series), Mega Man, Red Hood (Darkstalkers), Arthur (Makaimura series), and more. This arcade and Dreamcast classic is a fun game, and will be a fun break from the more traditional shooters we typically play in the Shmup Club, and a proverbial toe dip into the outskirts of the genre, for those who typically join in with the regular community playthrough, but haven't ventured into Shmup Club territory yet. We invite everyone to come join us for this crossover event, and have some fun blasting away at all the robot enemies!

Sign up here to participate:
http://www.rfgeneration.com/forum/index.php?topic=19322.0
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"Playing a shmup with an analog stick is like trying to fill out the New York Times crossword with a can of spray paint." - Topher Cantler
YouTube | Twitter | Tumblr | Shoot the Core-cast Shmup Podcast


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