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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:36 pm 


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komatik wrote:
Herr Schatten wrote:
You have already expressed dislike for such a wide variety of styles within the niche

.... such as? So far I've only mentioned three: horizontal, complex bullet pattern memorization, and simplistic gameplay. And in all three cases my opinion is that I don't like the dozen I've tried so far, not that it's impossible for me to like them.

I actually meant the dozen or so you have tried and dismissed. They cover a large variety of playing styles within the genre, so if you don't find anything you like among them, there's hardly anything left.

komatik wrote:
Herr Schatten wrote:
Why not try some of those so-called euroshmups?

So prior to WelshMegalodon mentioning them upthread yesterday I've never heard that term before. I'm always leery when I get into a situation along the lines of "you don't like what we like, that must mean you like what we hate" because it's usually just more black and white thinking ("the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend: they could just be another enemy" and all that). Usually if everyone hates something there's a reason for that, but I'll try and take a look at least. Is there a site/thread out there that goes into the history and what the overall themes are?

I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. Like a lot of us I grew up with euroshmups and enjoyed them quite a bit back in the day. In fact, my very first 1CC was Xenon II, my second one was Wings of Death. The thing with them is, though, that a lot of them are flawed in one way or another, simply because they were usually made by demo coders who were mainly interested in showing off their coding skills and often knew jack about game design. However, that doesn't mean that euroshmups are completely worthless. Some of the ideas their creators inserted were definitely interesting. It's just that I, and I think I speak for a lot of the forum members here, found out after a while that I wasn't necessarily looking for additional things to enhance the shooting and dodging, I was looking for better shooting and dodging.

You seem to be in the other camp, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's just that it's difficult to find games that add additional features to the basic formula and are competent games at the same time. Still, I suggest you try the games I mentioned in my previous post. There's definitely much to enjoy about them if you happen to be part of the target audience. Uridium 2 in particular is actually quite excellent.

komatik wrote:
Herr Schatten wrote:
I know it can be a bit fiddly to set up an Amiga emulator

Oh ick, no kidding. Is the entire genre all Amiga? That might suck.

As said before, the subgenre was dominated by demo coders, so the games are mostly on Amiga and C64, with a few more on the Atari ST. If you have trouble with emulating the Amiga, you can try X-Out on the C64, although the graphics may be too crude for your taste. The gameplay is largely identical to the Amiga version, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:42 pm 


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Xenon II is on the Mega Drive as well, IIRC.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:57 pm 


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OP, you should try:
Super Mario Land
Metal Slug 3
Batman Return of the Joker NES
Game Boy Battletoads
Gunstar Heroes
Dynamite Headdy
Rocket Knight Adventures
etc.

All of these aren't shmups, so you'll probably like them. They have maybe one shmup level though, so you can still pretend that you like shmups.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:36 am 


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Shepardus wrote:
There's definitely more than that, I think there are six stages

You're totally right, I misremembered.

Herr Schatten wrote:
I actually meant the dozen or so you have tried and dismissed. They cover a large variety of playing styles within the genre

They kinda didn't though which was my issue. Everyone got hung up on the multiple-weapons thing and the suggestions all pretty much played the same way just with a different art style. As for the stuff I tried before starting this thread, they were all pretty similar to each other too which is why I came asking for help.

Herr Schatten wrote:
The thing with them is, though, that a lot of them are flawed in one way or another, simply because they were usually made by demo coders who were mainly interested in showing off their coding skills and often knew jack about game design.

Oh ok. That could be a fair assessment I guess.

Herr Schatten wrote:
I wasn't necessarily looking for additional things to enhance the shooting and dodging, I was looking for better shooting and dodging. You seem to be in the other camp,

Yeah pretty much.

Herr Schatten wrote:
If you have trouble with emulating the Amiga,

I honestly don't know because I haven't tried yet, but I'm not looking forward to it. Amigas were super heavily graphics oriented and did all sorts of quirky and non-standard things that the IBM PC architecture and even Macs shunned. To make matters worse, being a home computer meant developers had much more freedom to stretch the hardware in weird ways. Amigas were in a way a sort of professional demoscene, and trying to run old demoscene stuff is always a nightmare. I can't imagine that emulating this is easy so it'll probably be a long road ahead for me.

donluca wrote:
Xenon II is on the Mega Drive as well, IIRC.

That will certainly be a damn sight easier to deal with. Do you know how close it is to the Amiga version? (I mean gameplay wise, graphics will obviously be different)


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:47 am 


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Anyway, this thread is slowly going off the rails here. I don't want to drag this on forever so I'll try one last time to approach from a different angle.

Ignoring whether a game is horizontal, bullet hell, or has multiple weapons, can anyone come up with suggestions that feature innovative and non-standard gameplay mechanics that mix up the typical formula? Things like Ikaruga and Dimension Drive.

(edit: also the "Shoot the Bullet" and "Double Spoiler" that Shepardus mentioned sound interesting but I'm having trouble finding a good review or YouTube video that explains the gameplay properly. (This is assuming they're the Touhou games that keep popping up in the search results and not something else)).


Last edited by komatik on Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:54 am 


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komatik wrote:
I honestly don't know because I haven't tried yet, but I'm not looking forward to it. Amigas were super heavily graphics oriented and did all sorts of quirky and non-standard things that the IBM PC architecture and even Macs shunned. To make matters worse, being a home computer meant developers had much more freedom to stretch the hardware in weird ways. Amigas were in a way a sort of professional demoscene, and trying to run old demoscene stuff is always a nightmare. I can't imagine that emulating this is easy so it'll probably be a long road ahead for me.


I haven't had much experience with FS-UAE myself, but if I recall correctly it offers a handy preset for emulating an Amiga 500, which was the most popular model and the target platform for most of the big-name Amiga titles. So it shouldn't be too hard. Going to the trouble of setting up an Amiga emulator has the added benefit of allowing you to play non-shmups Midwinter and Hunter, which sound like they'd be more your thing.

komatik wrote:
Ignoring whether a game is horizontal, bullet hell, or has multiple weapons, can anyone come up with suggestions that feature innovative and non-standard gameplay mechanics that mix up the typical formula? Things like Ikaruga and Dimension Drive.


Star Wars: TIE Fighter is a space combat sim and has objectives that eventually become much more involved than "destroy the enemy".
Herzog Zwei is an early RTS where your ship transports the units you build and allows you the option of providing cover fire.
Guardic Gaiden is a Zelda-like/shooter hybrid.
Gravitar is Asteroids, but with terrain.
G-Darius features branching paths and is all about capturing enemy ships.
Fantasy Zone is Defender with bosses, enemy bases, a shop system, and no people to save.
CUBE - Gradius 3 Cube Simulation is a doujin game where you play the cube rush from Gradius III.
Choplifter is sort of a military-themed Defender where you're rescuing people from bases rather than from them plummeting to their deaths.
Biometal is a shooter where you kill everything by throwing your shield at it.

Have you tried Ikaruga yet? It should run in Dolphin without any problems.

Xyga wrote:
We have time to waste, but I'm starting to think there's something fishy going on here anyway. Not the first time we've seen a newcomer asking ppl to find what he likes in his place though, usually they dont last long. As someone said recently its a case of "your genre is in another castle"


Honestly, I think OP's attitude is the problem more than anything. What he's been doing to comparable to proclaiming that you don't give two shits about chess setups and then complaining that the gameplay isn't deep enough, or not caring how food tastes and then complaining that cooking is boring because it's just waiting for things to heat up. One might even go so far as to say OP is vehemently Against the "Metagame" and believes that Mini-games are for mini-gamers.
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Last edited by WelshMegalodon on Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:02 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:07 am 


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I didn't read much of this aside from the opening post, but I think my beloved Caladrius would fit what you are describing quite well. It can be quite complicated to get the most out of it, but also rewarding. You can check out ST Caladrius to learn more about it.
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:38 am 


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Maybe check out Sora and/or its predecessor Suguri? It's not way out there, but the movement (dashing, etc.) gives it a different feel from most shmups.

Also, I found out that Murasaki Tsurugi was covered on STGWeekly so there should be more info there than what I can provide myself: https://youtu.be/FDgFDCG0kjw

Apparently nobody's mentioned Zangeki Warp yet? I haven't played the game myself, but I figure the eponymous warp mechanic would interest you.

komatik wrote:
(edit: also the "Shoot the Bullet" and "Double Spoiler" that Shepardus mentioned sound interesting but I'm having trouble finding a good review or YouTube video that explains the gameplay properly. (This is assuming they're the Touhou games that keep popping up in the search results and not something else)).

Yes, the Touhou games. Try the Touhou wiki.
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Last edited by Shepardus on Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:53 am 


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komatik wrote:
donluca wrote:
Xenon II is on the Mega Drive as well, IIRC.

That will certainly be a damn sight easier to deal with. Do you know how close it is to the Amiga version? (I mean gameplay wise, graphics will obviously be different)

The Mega Drive port is severely downgraded and has numerous technical issues. When the screen is crowded, the movement gets choppy. Surprisingly, graphics and sound are a lot worse, too. Additionally, the Mega Drive version is missing the fifth and most interesting level. It just ends after the fourth. Avoid.

Just thought of another game for you to try: Mr. Heli no Daibouken. It‘s quirky and it definitely does a lot of things in unique ways. The arcade version can be quite unforgiving, so you might enjoy the excellent PC-Engine port more.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:41 am 


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Herr Schatten wrote:
Just thought of another game for you to try: Mr. Heli no Daibouken. It‘s quirky and it definitely does a lot of things in unique ways. The arcade version can be quite unforgiving, so you might enjoy the excellent PC-Engine port more.


That's a fine recommendation. There's nothing else like Mr. Heli -- and he's my avatar! Also, I very much agree with the PCE recommendation; the original ARC version is brutally hard.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:41 am 


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Herr Schatten wrote:
The Mega Drive port is severely downgraded and has numerous technical issues. When the screen is crowded, the movement gets choppy. Surprisingly, graphics and sound are a lot worse, too. Additionally, the Mega Drive version is missing the fifth and most interesting level. It just ends after the fourth. Avoid.


Yup, but he asked for an easy way to play it, so there's that.

Oh, and it was also on PC, it run on my father's 286 computer :D

I'm pretty sure you'll find it for free on some abandonware sites, just set up a DOSbox and you should be good.

...or you can play it online right now here :P

https://archive.org/details/msdos_Xenon ... blast_1990


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:48 am 


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Herr Schatten wrote:
X-Out
Instead of picking up extra lives and powerups, you buy additional ships and weapons for them between levels. You pay for them with your score which in return gives you an incentive to score well

I somehow missed this when you posted it before. This description is extremely interesting to me because I was thinking just last week about what I would do if I was designing my own shmup and I came to this EXACT idea. I'm not looking forward to mucking about with an Amiga emulator but this gives me a greater incentive. (This was originally an Amiga game with a C64 port, right?)

ACSeraph wrote:
Caladrius

I'm not 100% certain on the different editions of this game. In searching I found your other thread from 2013 that mentions three, but none of them are called "ST: Caladrius" so I don't know what "ST" refers to.

Shepardus wrote:
Also, I found out that Murasaki Tsurugi was covered on STGWeekly

Ack, almost a two hour video. I'll try and watch this sometime this weekend.

donluca wrote:
Yup, but he asked for an easy way to play it, so there's that.

Well yeah easier to pick up is great but there's not much point in playing a messed up port. Same goes for any of those "PLAY NOW ONLINE!!!!!11" websites, they always run like crap. I'll have to wait until I get the emulator up and running.


Anyway, there have been a bunch of suggestions this week since the last batch I tried last weekend. I'll try to get through as many as I can tomorrow or Sunday and report back. Thanks to everyone who's helping so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:29 am 


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Homura is a cool game that's a little different. I don't think of that as bullet hell, trizeal is another one.

Blast Wind was my recommendation. (before my edit) but on second thought I don't think it would be found to be that different than all the rest.
Easy game with a few branching paths, varied player ships, and signature Technosoft sounds. I always enjoyed picking it up, playing right through, relaxed and taking-in the graphics and BGM.


Last edited by Koa Zo on Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:38 am 


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komatik wrote:
but none of them are called "ST: Caladrius" so I don't know what "ST" refers to.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=188
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:45 am 


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Shepardus wrote:
https://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=188

OK so it's just a special term this board uses to describe a writeup?

Also:
Quote:
- blazing lazers
- soldier blade
- super star soldier

I'm surprised at how good these games look. I was always under the impression that the PCE was a glorified NES.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:57 pm 


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komatik wrote:
I'm surprised at how good these games look. I was always under the impression that the PCE was a glorified NES.


It kinda is? The PCE uses dual HuC6280s (developed by Hudson/NEC specifically for the console) which, I think, has some register compatibility with the 6502 (VCS, C64, NES), just with 5x the clock speed. It also has a decently beefy VDP/GPU which gives the graphics their 16-bit look. While it can't move sprites around as well as the MD/Genesis (and has only a tiny fraction of its main RAM), the PCE has far better color capability (482 on-screen vs 64). The sound is an on-CPU 6-channel waveform generator, which is sort-of as if every PCE game has Konami's NES VRC6 chip in it.

Then you get into the CD stuff where the bios cards add a crapton of RAM (the arcade card has as much RAM as a PS1), ADPCM audio, and virtually unlimited ROM storage (comapred to HuCards).

It's clearly a next-gen system when compared to NES/FC. It also has a ton of shmups (including a lot of exclusives), but they're all pretty simple, so I don't know if you'd like them. Some of my favorites are GunHed/Blazing Lazers, Soldier Blade, Spriggan (CD), the HuCard Toaplan ports (Kyukyoku Tiger, Tatsujin, Daisenpu), R-Type, Coryoon, Sapphire (CD), the IGS games (Cyber Core and Violent Soldier/Sinistron), Salamander, etc etc

Try Daisenpu sometime. Its main gimmick is that the 2nd button releases a squadron of helper planes that you can move left/right minimally, but they kamikaze targets if hit by fire. Or you can kamikaze them all at once by pressing the button again. Additionally there's also a bomb by pressing the squadron button twice quickly when you have no helpers present. So there's some strategy involved in how you utilize the squadron. Also, all enemy targets in this game are ground-based, which I find to be an interesting design decision. Watch out for sniper tanks/boats, this game is chock full of them. There's the arcade original, and it was ported to both PCE (as mentioned above) and MD.


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