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 Post subject: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:13 am 


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Haven't seen a topic for this question, unless I'm just blind. I'm interested to hear if anyone considers rail shooter games fitting into the "shoot-em-up" category or if they're treated as a separate entity, much like "adventure" games and RPGs are usually considered a different thing.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:27 am 


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The Shooting Gameside magazine was full of articles about rail shooters, so i'm sure they count as a shmup sub-category.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:37 am 


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They're shooting games, but not shmups. I consider rail shooters, run-n-guns, twin-sticks/multi-directionals, and shmups to all be separate sub-genres. Some games with overlapping features can be hard to classify.


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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:55 am 


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Genuine rail shooters like House of the Dead and Rez don't have a whole lot in common with what we generally regard as "shoot 'em ups" around here. On the other hand, some other games commonly misidentified as rail shooters, such as Star Fox, have all the essential mechanics of 2D shoot 'em ups with an extra dimension of space to work with. I consider games like Star Fox to be 3D shoot 'em ups and think they have every right to be discussed here.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:18 pm 


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Yeah, by rail shooters I'm referring to stuff like Starblade or Solvalou, which feature space combat and much of the essentials for a shoot-em-up. I guess I should have been more specific in my post.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:33 pm 


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Some consider them shmups. I would consider rail shooters, run 'n gun games, and similar stuff that have scrolling and shooting, but not necessarily in the strict fashion that most games with the 'shmup' label share, to be 'shmup adjacent' in a sense. Related to the genre in some way, but not specifically a part of it. Games like Panzer Dragoon are clearly inspired by classic shooters, but obviously change up the formula, and go for a different approach.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:58 pm 


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Rail/Tube shooters where you see the craft from the outside qualify for me.
Similar "inside-the-cockpit" or free roaming titles do not.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:25 pm 


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I consider them to be, yes. I don't consider light-gun games rail-shooters though, even though they are technically shooters on rails. To me, rail-shooter is stuff like Space Harrier/PanzerDragoon/etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:33 am 


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MathU wrote:
On the other hand, some other games commonly misidentified as rail shooters, such as Star Fox, have all the essential mechanics of 2D shoot 'em ups with an extra dimension of space to work with. I consider games like Star Fox to be 3D shoot 'em ups and think they have every right to be discussed here.


Agreed, I've felt those games being considered off-topic here has always been a bit cannibalistic.


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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:03 am 


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Rail shooters are shmups just as FPS are shmups as well. They are not.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:43 am 


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MathU wrote:
On the other hand, some other games commonly misidentified as rail shooters, such as Star Fox, have all the essential mechanics of 2D shoot 'em ups with an extra dimension of space to work with. I consider games like Star Fox to be 3D shoot 'em ups and think they have every right to be discussed here.


Adding an extra dimension of space is a HUGE thing. What Plasmo said.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:49 am 



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Sure, they are... You shoot stuff...

But unless brevity is really needed you'll always tend to clarify with 'on rails' because of they are a relative minority/subset and fairly clearly defined, apart from when they're a stage within a more varied game.

You can always get more specific when categorising but I feel you could only get more general if you were to ask do these games count as an action/arcade game...


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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:21 pm 


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Kollision wrote:
Rail/Tube shooters where you see the craft from the outside qualify for me.
Similar "inside-the-cockpit" or free roaming titles do not.


I agree with this. If the screen is the target (Starblade) it isn't a shmup.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:57 am 


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I think it depends. I would consider Sin and Punishment 2 a rail shooter and a shmup. I wouldn't say there are a whole ton of rail shooters on that borderline, though.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:51 am 


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The S&P games are technically crosshair shooters with rail shooter elements.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:02 am 


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The original Sin and Punishment is quite squarely in the genre of Cabal shooter. It's not a rail shooter at all. Sin and Punishment 2 is a bit complicated since you can fly around at any time (though you get more points if you try to stay on the ground and play it as a classic Cabal shooter), but it's still closer to Cabal and Star Fox than any rail shooter.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:12 am 


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I would not consider rail-shooters to be shmups because the method of control and movement are so radically different (3d space versus 2d), plus free roaming sections add additional differences.

BUT, with that said, I personally think rail shooters and run and guns should be more embraced by the shmup community (with scoreboards and stuff like that), because they are fantastic genres of games and they need a home.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:27 am 


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I'm of the mindset that some "rail shooters" are shmups. Iridion 3D, Galaxy Force II, Solar Assault and games of their ilk are basically horizontal shmups that were turned 90º away from you.
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Last edited by The Coop on Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:17 pm 


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Mark_MSX wrote:
I would not consider rail-shooters to be shmups because the method of control and movement are so radically different (3d space versus 2d), plus free roaming sections add additional differences.

BUT, with that said, I personally think rail shooters and run and guns should be more embraced by the shmup community (with scoreboards and stuff like that), because they are fantastic genres of games and they need a home.

I also think the hardliner stance on run n' guns is weird. Yeah, they're a platformer/stg fusion, but they're still clearly in the same lineage. If you think of it in pure mechanics, I don't think there's such a massive difference between something like Galaga or TxK and a run n' gun. I think (?) on these forums those two games are widely embraced as being some sort of shmup, whereas Metal Slug is not.

Yes, I agree, Galaga and Tempest are very different games. But essentially the difference between them and something like Metal Slug is... what exactly? In Galaga you're stuck on a vertical line. You could say in Metal Slug terms that this is the ground. In TxK you are stuck on a vertical line, the ground, but... you can jump! So the difference between that and Metal Slug is that you control a person? That you control the screen scrolling? Both of these are done in shmups.

I know I'm pointing at distinctions that do, in the end, make Metal Slug different from a traditional shmup. And I know I'm greatly simplifying things in terms of mechanics to make a point. But there are a lot of shmups that are different from a traditional shmup. I don't think run n' guns are really so much different in the end, to the point where people say "whoa whoa whoa, we were talking about shmups here!" They're a fairly similar style of game, to the point where I would definitely consider run n' guns a subgenre of STG.

Same thing with certain rail shooters, but perhaps not others.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:39 pm 



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I think of them as such:

One focuses on movement, the other on aiming.

Rail Shooters = Usually player directly controls the "aim" of the shooting apparatus.

Shumps = Usually player directly controls "movement" of the aircraft/spacecraft/vessel/player character with "fixed weapon aim".

Obviously there is some overlap, such as "Options" in Gradius or "Force" in R-Type which allows for both control over precise ship movement and independent(semi) weapon aim.
But it seems like most ship movement in rail shooters(if any) is not in service to the aiming of the weapon, and vice-versa.


Last edited by Craft_XIII on Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:47 pm 



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The Coop wrote:
I'm of the mindset that some "rail shooters" are shmups. Iridion II, Galaxy Force II, Solar Assault and games of their ilk are basically horizontal shmups that were turned 90º away from you.


Iridion II? I think you meant "Iridion 3D".

But I kind of agree that it's just a perspective thing... as a player, you are either moving a ship or an aiming reticle to make "shoot"ing happen on th"em" until they blow-"up"

However, movement directly related to dodging/evasive maneuvers, is something often found more-so in one than the other.


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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:28 am 


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Craft_XIII wrote:
The Coop wrote:
I'm of the mindset that some "rail shooters" are shmups. Iridion II, Galaxy Force II, Solar Assault and games of their ilk are basically horizontal shmups that were turned 90º away from you.


Iridion II? I think you meant "Iridion 3D".


Ha ha, oops. Yeah, Iridion 3D. Fixed it.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:46 am 



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How about run and gun games like Contra and Metal Slug? Or light gun games like Lethal Enforcers, Virtua Cop, and Time Crisis?


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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:43 am 


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xxx1993 wrote:
How about run and gun games like Contra and Metal Slug? Or light gun games like Lethal Enforcers, Virtua Cop, and Time Crisis?

imo run n gun yes, light gun no. Light gun games are still wonderful, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:54 am 



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I always thought run and gun games counted as shmups. Or at the very least, shmups on foot.


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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:38 pm 


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The term "shmup" is a highly specific term that is rooted in a tradition more or less started in the late '90s, an attempt to get away from the FPSes that were then flooding the market at the direct expense of traditional shooting games. It is reactionary, and because of that it does not quite mean "shooting game" in the way that Japan uses it, and this is both bad and good. It should be noted that while FPSes are (or at least were) considered to be STG, Japan still makes the necessary distinctions to the point where the use of "STG" is typically accompanied by Dodonpachi etc.

FPSes probably aren't in the same spirit as shmups, for example. Run 'n' guns, though they are basically "horizontal shmups on foot" in spirit, are also dangerous to debate on because eventually you get the very valid "but Mario is a run 'n' gun" argument, and then you have to have the very lengthy discussion about the balance between shooting and platforming for a given game. But games like StarFox, Cabal, or Tempest absolutely are of the same genus as shmups, and should absolutely be talked about in the same breath as Dodonpachi or whatever. This is important because there are some who believe that games like Out Zone are Guwange are "borderliners" or "vertical run 'n' guns" and should be treated with suspicion, and I would hope most would see that as ridiculous.

At the same time, people in this community need to obsess over shmups a little less, and give the other "arcade" genres more respect. People used to. I don't know what happened. But I do know that maybe a handful of people in the history of this community have ever considered the idea of an off-topic high scores subforum.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:17 pm 


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Despatche wrote:
At the same time, people in this community need to obsess over shmups a little less, and give the other "arcade" genres more respect. People used to. I don't know what happened. But I do know that maybe a handful of people in the history of this community have ever considered the idea of an off-topic high scores subforum.


I've never seen really any topics about rail shooters on here (besides this one), which I found pretty odd. This also ties in to the reason I even made this topic as I wanted to know if this community even counts rail shooters as shoot-em-ups, which would explain why I haven't found many topics about rail shooters.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:21 pm 


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Pretty much. Some understand that StarFox adhere to the same standards as a lot of the greats in this genre, but most care more about the tradition and relegate StarFox to a second-class status. Tempest was able to escape this due to a weird "grandfather" clause, but that series has Tempest 2000 to worry about...

If you were to post a topic about StarFox in this subforum, I'd be there posting like that's where it belongs, because it does. Whatever I'm worth, anyway.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:35 pm 


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Despatche wrote:
Pretty much. Some understand that StarFox adhere to the same standards as a lot of the greats in this genre, but most care more about the tradition and relegate StarFox to a second-class status. Tempest was able to escape this due to a weird "grandfather" clause, but that series has Tempest 2000 to worry about...

If you were to post a topic about StarFox in this subforum, I'd be there posting like that's where it belongs, because it does. Whatever I'm worth, anyway.

I think tube shooters, including Tempest and Gyruss, have every right to be here, and I don't really understand people putting them in the off topic section.
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 Post subject: Re: Would rail shooters be considered shoot-em-ups?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:21 am 


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namcokid47 wrote:
I've never seen really any topics about rail shooters on here (besides this one), which I found pretty odd. This also ties in to the reason I even made this topic as I wanted to know if this community even counts rail shooters as shoot-em-ups, which would explain why I haven't found many topics about rail shooters.


I made a thread about 3D shooters/shmups years ago, arguing in favor of their inclusion into the world of shmups for the old Top 25 lists and whatnot. I'd only been on the site for three years at the time, so I was butting heads with what other more long-time members on this forum had decided on; that Galaxy Force II and its ilk weren't shmups because of their use of the Z-axis. The main argument that I saw a lot was that only the X and Y axis could be used in a "true" shmup. Anything beyond that bumped that game out of contention. I think rail shooters fall into the same area for some, as they too use the Z-axis. I'm sure other arguments would be made against them, but the Z-axis usage would be one of the main sticking points for some.

Edit: Found my old thread :D

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=25657
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