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 Post subject: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:28 pm 



Joined: 01 Sep 2018
Posts: 33
There was an excellent thread a ways back that was a chart that showed which shmups were the easiest and hardest to 1cc, the link is here viewtopic.php?f=1&t=64428

While I found the thread to be useful, I'd still like a different approach or two. Instead of piggybacking off that thread, I'd like some of you to list 5 shmups that you would recommend to a beginner for any reasons you wish (though I don't require you give an explanation of each you list). You might list a game that teaches the fundamentals the best, be it gameplay or perhaps a commonly used scoring system. To those who have 1cc'd several dozen games, which games were breakthroughs for you in grasping the nuances of what it takes to improve your skill?

You also might recommend a normally easy game on a hard difficulty setting or a normally hard game on an easy difficulty setting.

As for myself, I'm just overwhelmed with so many games at my disposal that it's hard to focus on which ones to really give a go at. So help me out here, which games should one master first according to you?


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:58 pm 


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The 5 that you enjoy playing the most.
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:10 pm 



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Shepardus wrote:
The 5 that you enjoy playing the most.


I expected that answer, and I'll accept it.

I'll ask you this though, what was the first post 80's shmup that you really cared about your score rather than just finishing a loop?


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:48 am 


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Lord British wrote:
I'll ask you this though, what was the first post 80's shmup that you really cared about your score rather than just finishing a loop?

Probably Battle Bakraid.
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:06 am 


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Galaga
Gradius II
Kingdom Grandprix
Cho Ren Sha 68K
Shikigami no Shiro III

Five highly approachable games that I think together cover a wide range of game mechanics and historic developments while teaching appreciation for the genre's game variety.

Lord British wrote:
...which games were breakthroughs for you in grasping the nuances of what it takes to improve your skill?

Galaga is one, it happened before I even knew this was a "genre". It was the best machine in my crummy '90s arcade and it's one of the first games I learned to really get a kick out of beating my own high scores on. None of the gimmicky overpriced 3D machines could compare to the simple elegance of mastering Galaga.

Another more embarrassing one would be Super R-Type. I'd say that I really only mastered that one due to a combination of youthful patience and ignorance of all the other games out there. Definitely a trial by fire that I wouldn't recommend beginners use to acquaint themselves with the satisfaction of getting good at an arcade action experience. Unless you're trying to test your ability to control your temper.

The game that sucked me back into the genre in a big way after a long hiatus was Chaos Field. I think it's got a wonderfully addictive scoring system that's extremely satisfying to master. That seems to be a bit of an acquired taste though; the number of people on this forum who've played it at the skill level I think one needs to in order to really get where I'm coming from can probably be counted on one hand. Best played on the slowdown-free Gamecube port on the highest difficulty setting.
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:17 am 



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Not very original I know, but definitely Touhou 6, 7, 8.

For 1) training the fundamental dodging skills for common bullet patterns and the ability to follow everything on the screen and 2) building the concentration and stamina necessary to last through an entire game.

In particular, these Touhous are designed fairly well and they don't have any distracting gimmicks, allowing novices to focus on training core shmups skills. Gameplay options provided (multiple difficulties all worthwhile and very-well designed, different characters markedly made for different skill levels, configurable starting lives) enable the oldest effective training methodology known to men: progressive overload. You clear the hardest mode you can tackle to begin with, and make it slightly harder with each iteration. The skills transfer to the more hardcore arcade games. (At least in my case) the excellent music and boss designs kept things interesting, and this process never felt like a grind or actual work. I still warm up with Touhou after spending a few months away from shmups.
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:33 am 


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"Focus on training core shmup skills" makes the entire genre sound like a chore. If I saw that as a newbie, I'd probably run away. My advice, play something like Soldier Blade and have fun blowing stuff up. Don't worry about scoring unless you find a game that captivates you so much you want to learn all of its subtleties.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:59 pm 


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Gradius V - a totally amazing game that's also very approachable; it teaches a lot about options, one of the staples of the horizontal shooting subgenre

R-Type Delta - another high quality title that teaches a lot about the use of the force, the other very important variant in the horizontal shooter formula imo

Raiden - methodical vertical shooter that synthetizes almost all that you need to know about similar arcade shooters of its era

Viewpoint - a quirky, elegant game that shows there's much more enjoyment to be had out of the dominant hori/vert realm

Blue Wish Resurrection / Plus - the 101 experience for those who want to get initiated in bullet hell, it covers almost all the basic mechanics of danmaku
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:45 pm 



Joined: 01 Jul 2019
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Bounce between as many games as you like until you find one that you want to 1CC, and then 1CC it. Better yet, stick with that same game until you can put up a respectable score too (you be the judge for what "respectable score" means).

Shmups are a huge time investment. Beyond surface-level credit-feeding clears, I don't see a legitimate reason to jump deeper into any shmup unless you are personally interested in mastering it. If you want to enjoy explosions, then don't waste your time playing through a list of "novice" games. Doesn't matter if it is the #1 voted "novice" shmup because if it doesn't click with you, then you won't end up putting in the requisite time to overcome its hurdles.

The OPs approach works well for fighting games but I do not think there is a need for any meta-investment into "learning fundamentals" in shmups. If you're playing a shmup to build up the necessary skills to play another shmup, just play that shmup instead.

Spoiler: show
My recommendation is Daioujou WL.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:56 pm 


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I second finding one you really love and playing that. Futari Black Label was out of my skill level but I cleared it because I love it. Maybe stay away from games that are notoriously difficulty. Find out what you like by playing widely at first.

Other than that here's two articles I wrote during the last gen of consoles:

https://catstronaut.wordpress.com/2015/ ... -shooters/
https://catstronaut.wordpress.com/2013/ ... -shooters/

Otherwise, my top shmups I'd recommend for beginners are maybe...

Eschatos
Futari Black Label
Gate of Thunder
Ikaruga
Zero Ranger

Or something along those lines. But if you don't like one of those games, it don't mean shit. Find the game you like a lot, and hopefully it's easier than Daioujou or Battle Garegga!
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Last edited by Special World on Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:52 pm 



Joined: 15 Mar 2019
Posts: 19
Final Soldier - Easiest "Soldier" game

Thunder Force 3- Good starting point for hori's

Gun-Nac\Any 8 bit Compile game - easy and fun verts

Metal Torrent- Pick Accipiter and have fun with basically a tutorial to bullet-hell games

Ketsui-Death Label- See Metal Torrent.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:09 am 


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Mushihimesama Novice Mode. 1CC original, then maniac, then ultra. Novice ultra will be challenging to a beginner, but I'm of the middle/low tier of skill and I 1CCed it after about 20 hours of practice.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:18 am 


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A recent pickup, but I'd recommend Jamestown, purely because I'd imagine a novice would find the structure particular palatable. The multitude of modes on most Cave titles can be a bit daunting, this offers all the same stuff but in a far friendlier package. Heck I've found myself throwing it on when I know I've only ten minutes to spare simply because of the way it lets me pick a stage and dive right in without separating everything out across multiple play modes.
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:49 pm 


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There was a similar thread a couple years ago. I'll stick with my beginner friendly recommendations from then: Ibara and Gradius 3 (arcade). Actually don't play those.

Being serious here, If you have access to a Japanese Xbox 360 I'd focus on novice mode in the Cave shooters.

GUN Nac (NES), MUSHA (Genesis), Fire Shark on easy (Genesis) are also some of the games that I really enjoyed when first getting into shooters. It's probably best to just mess around with the difficulty settings on any shmup you're interested in.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:22 pm 


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I could never get down with the Cave novice modes. I felt like they were a snooze, and then you just died because you stopped paying attention and flailed around. I'm not good at Cave shooters, and usually stage 3 or 4 is the limit for me. But they never really seemed like a fun compromise. I always had a lot more fun with shooters that were less hardcore, which imo the TG-16 was great for. Just my 2 cents though.
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:20 pm 



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Ikaruga - you can buy and play it on whatever - no need to deal with anything extra you don't want to.

Class act that holds up in terms of presentation. Gameplay wise you've got a puzzle, dodging, chaining, several moded/difficulty game that you can get deeper and deeper into - just start with surviving.

Work out what you like from it, and build your own list of the next 4 games to play.

Yeah we can get a bit jaded about ikaruga, but it's a common point of reference for a reason... well many reasons...


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:59 pm 



Joined: 19 Oct 2013
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Suddenly this has become the recommendations for novice puzzle games thread :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:45 pm 


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Calling Ikaruga a puzzle game is so 2005.

It's a great introductory shooter and a friendly introduction to bullet hell. The bosses are great and the style is great. Most people on these forums, I think, enjoyed the game very much once upon a time. And the comparison to puzzle games is overblown. Every shmup is a puzzle, Ikaruga is just color coded.

I don't play it much anymore, but it holds a special place in my heart as the only Gamecube game I brought with me the summer my family moved into a new house. There was enough "game" there to keep me going for a very long time. The style of the game was like a cold reprieve from the summer heat. I played it hori, and to this day it still weirds me out to play it as a vert.

Better shmups? Probably a lot of them. Better beginner shmups? Not many.
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:10 pm 


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Special World wrote:
Better shmups? Probably a lot of them. Better beginner shmups? Not many.


The ability to absorb the same color bullets as your ship lends itself to that user friendliness for sure.
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:48 pm 



Joined: 19 Oct 2013
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Special World wrote:
Calling Ikaruga a puzzle game is so 2005.

I actually agree that it's a fantastic entry in this thread. I just couldn't skip the easy joke.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:42 am 


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I would call myself a novice who just started playing Ikaruga recently (picked it up a few months ago on PS4) and I'm not sure I would recommend it as a good game for novices simply because of the extreme difficulty curve. It took me MANY tries before I could even beat the second level while playing on easy mode and I'm not sure I can do it consistently yet. Maybe it's just me, but I find the game punishingly hard to make progress in.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:45 am 


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Frankly I think Ikaruga is a terrible recommendation to newcomers. You're going to strongly warp their perception of the genre and build up the wrong expectations of other games.
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:59 am 


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At its core shmups is just another genre of videogame and is first and foremost meant to be a form of entertainment/fun. Like other recommendations have said, start with games you currently find enjoyable. Have fun with the games first and enjoy them for what they are. Think about mastering them later after you are comfortable with the genre.

If you are getting wrecked by the games you do find enjoyable, consider going back to basics. I recommend starting with the 8-bit console era to do so. Life Force and Dragon Spirit on NES are extremely easy games to play through and learn, but are also satisfying experiences on their own (decent visuals, tight gameplay, memorable soundtracks). Abadox on NES is another good one to get into if you want to get used to being brutalized by checkpoints and the loss of power-ups, something you will eventually have to learn to tolerate in the genre.

For the 16-bit era, on Genesis I'd do Musha and Thunder Force IV (Lightening Force). Musha is a pretty laid back game overall and has very few difficulty spikes on the normal difficulty (Stage 5 and 7 primarily). Thunder Force IV will teach you optimal positioning and figuring out a specific route through stages. You will learn this one by trial and error and memorization is key, much like many other shooters. On the SNES side, its port of Gradius III is a lot more welcoming to newcomers than any arcade Gradius title. Super Aleste/Space Megaforce also has a pretty smooth difficulty curve on the default setting and I find a lot of newcomers/less experienced with the genre really enjoy it.

Re: Ikaruga. I agree that it's not a good starting point for a beginner. There's a lot of tricky dodging and the color switching mechanic can make it difficult to get comfortable with the game. If you enjoy playing it then keep playing it, but I wouldn't start with it if you haven't done so already.
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:59 pm 


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MathU wrote:
Frankly I think Ikaruga is a terrible recommendation to newcomers. You're going to strongly warp their perception of the genre and build up the wrong expectations of other games.

Possibly correct, but I think that's more of a case of it being the only shmup that gamers will have heard of. Anyone who has casually browsed this site will know that there's a much richer genre than Ikaruga And The Shit Games

Maybe a weird recommendation, but Mars Matrix on the Dreamcast was one of my first shmups and I loved it to death. It's hard as a bastard, but it gives you fun tools to play with and a ton of unlockable content in the shop to work for. Plus it's just a banger of a game.
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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:00 pm 



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I think Ikaruga is fine if we're going with the thread topic and playing around with five different games to start. As one of a handful it's certainly worth playing around with when you're new. As a solo recommendation it may not be as strong though.

I'll toss in Gigawing. Fun throw the bullets back at the enemy mechanic that acts both as a frequently replenished oh no button, or as you get better, a scoring mechanic that rewards good timing.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:16 am 



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DejahThoris wrote:
I'll toss in Gigawing. Fun throw the bullets back at the enemy mechanic that acts both as a frequently replenished oh no button, or as you get better, a scoring mechanic that rewards good timing.

I would also recommend Espgaluda or Espgaluda II under the same criteria: rechargeable slo-mo meter that acts as an oh no button or as a way scoring mechanic once you get better.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:27 am 


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Star Parodier ~ fun and whimsical, easy difficulty.
Galaga '88 ~ Fundamentals, great presentation and rhythm to the shooting.
Strikers 1945 Part II or Gunbird 2 ~ set to Monkey difficulty. Intro to charge mechanic and chaining coin pick-ups.
1942 ~ again, fundamentals. The Loop.
Zanac or Space Megaforce ~ Compile flavor, plentiful weapon power-ups to play around with, lots of bonus lives

honorable mention
Aero Fighters II ~ satisfying power-ups and easy to make progress


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:54 pm 


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Musha Aleste MD, its fairly forgiving, beautiful and one of the best video games ever made.
Varth CPS1, easy, comfy and relaxing.
Raiden Densetsu MD: easy and immense fun, despite its graphical flaws.
Dariusburst, pretty easy too.
Twinkle Tale MD: maybe its not that easy at first, but its one of those rare cases where keeping playing awards you instantly with new found skill. Thus having you progress more and more, step by step, till the final end boss falls. Best learning curve/progression mechanics i have seen.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 Recommendations For Novice Shmuppers
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:27 pm 


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Lord British wrote:
There was an excellent thread a ways back that was a chart that showed which shmups were the easiest and hardest to 1cc, the link is here viewtopic.php?f=1&t=64428

While I found the thread to be useful, I'd still like a different approach or two. Instead of piggybacking off that thread, I'd like some of you to list 5 shmups that you would recommend to a beginner for any reasons you wish (though I don't require you give an explanation of each you list). You might list a game that teaches the fundamentals the best, be it gameplay or perhaps a commonly used scoring system. To those who have 1cc'd several dozen games, which games were breakthroughs for you in grasping the nuances of what it takes to improve your skill?

You also might recommend a normally easy game on a hard difficulty setting or a normally hard game on an easy difficulty setting.

As for myself, I'm just overwhelmed with so many games at my disposal that it's hard to focus on which ones to really give a go at. So help me out here, which games should one master first according to you?


Gradius II
Thundercross
Thundercross II
Batsugun
Galaga


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