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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:28 pm 


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The aesthetic in Strania is certainly more varied than Under Defeat is. Under Defeat probably won't be everyone's cup of tea in terms of it sticking to its guns and delivering on its gritty, military aesthetic (which it does a very good job of, imo), but Under Defeat is probably the better game overall if you had to pick one. It's mechanically simpler, but it all feels like it works a lot better and the core gameplay is more enjoyable than Strania. The twin stick New Order mode obviously will have some appeal for people looking for more control, but I think the original arcade as well as New Order both felt just fine once you got used to the default controls (Reverse functions better than Normal in my opinion for keeping your sights on enemies in the middle of the screen). The bombs also feel super satisfying to use defensively in a way Strania's O.D. is not.

I agree that "dodge the powerups" is often a mechanic that ends up being to the game's detriment, and something like Ibara Black Kuro where you "store" the weapons you collect and cycle through them via selection is probably better overall. I don't think "dodge the powerups" is always fatal to a game though, and there's several shmups like that I play. It depends on how it's implemented (Mushihimesama always starts the powerups at your current weapon before they cycle, Under Defeat doesn't let powerups go below a certain point on the screen where you can dodge without worrying about collecting one, etc). Strania's weapon placement and how they fall is such that it's rarely a matter of dodging them and more of knowing what to pick when, I think.

Nex Machina also deserves mention, it's an impressive top-down action shmup.

ChoRenSha 68k wasn't made in the last decade but it's worth a mention in that the developer released an update patch for the Windows version to ensure it works with modern operating systems in 2017. ;)
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:02 pm 



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 110
Location: amsterdam
BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
The aesthetic in Strania is certainly more varied than Under Defeat is. Under Defeat probably won't be everyone's cup of tea in terms of it sticking to its guns and delivering on its gritty, military aesthetic (which it does a very good job of, imo), but Under Defeat is probably the better game overall if you had to pick one. It's mechanically simpler, but it all feels like it works a lot better and the core gameplay is more enjoyable than Strania. The twin stick New Order mode obviously will have some appeal for people looking for more control, but I think the original arcade as well as New Order both felt just fine once you got used to the default controls (Reverse functions better than Normal in my opinion for keeping your sights on enemies in the middle of the screen). The bombs also feel super satisfying to use defensively in a way Strania's O.D. is not.

I agree that "dodge the powerups" is often a mechanic that ends up being to the game's detriment, and something like Ibara Black Kuro where you "store" the weapons you collect and cycle through them via selection is probably better overall. I don't think "dodge the powerups" is always fatal to a game though, and there's several shmups like that I play. It depends on how it's implemented (Mushihimesama always starts the powerups at your current weapon before they cycle, Under Defeat doesn't let powerups go below a certain point on the screen where you can dodge without worrying about collecting one, etc). Strania's weapon placement and how they fall is such that it's rarely a matter of dodging them and more of knowing what to pick when, I think.


You know I never consciously noted/remembered that about Under Defeat's powerups (it's been a while since I've played) but you're right, that's a nifty compromise. It's also true there's not a huge rain of weapons in Strania (like those friggin machine guns in Ibara) but I recall a tight spot in level 2 (but don't quote me on this) somewhere where it gives me the sword and I don't want the sword but I can't dodge it and now I've got two swords and I need a gun and all I got is the m*****f***ing reflect and...

Other than that, well, I also prefer Under Defeat. I agree it's less varied visually but it REALLY nails the super heavy military hardware aesthetic. Even though it's pretty old by now and graphically retrograde compared to modern AAA stuff, the models still look neat and the visceral sense of destruction still comes through perfectly. The billowing smoke, the way the grenades/rockets slam into the bosses and of course the bomb! LOL, it's the only shmup bomb that actually makes me question how *I* actually survived it. UD's presentation is kind of timeless really, it does exactly what is needed, nothing superfluous.

Twin Stick controls... yeah I can't tate my living room TV cause it's a plasma so I've been mostly playing New Order. I do remember playing the original TATE game on a dreamcast emulator way back when and getting pretty into it. But for New Order now I definitely prefer twin stick, I think it makes sense with the widescreen and dammit the game is hard enough already for me LOL!

Nex Machina, got it but have yet to sit down with it. Loved previous housemarque games, though.
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:57 pm 


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Quote:
The billowing smoke, the way the grenades/rockets slam into the bosses and of course the bomb! LOL, it's the only shmup bomb that actually makes me question how *I* actually survived it.


There's also that super satisfying scream/howl as your helicopter launches those blue lasers all around to cancel bullets right before the bombing run happens. It hits all the right notes in terms of visual and auditory appeal for a shmup bomb.
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:26 pm 



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 110
Location: amsterdam
BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
There's also that super satisfying scream/howl as your helicopter launches those blue lasers all around to cancel bullets right before the bombing run happens. It hits all the right notes in terms of visual and auditory appeal for a shmup bomb.


It would probably rank #2 a shmups GOAT bomba vote, having to yield only to "bouncing penguin hula girls annihilation" from *insert random obscure shmup here*

Anyway, I haven't seen Steredenn - Binary Stars mentioned and I think it deserves a shout out as well. Classic shmup gameplay + roguelite elements: semi-randomized stages, random drops of weapons, random upgrades and abilities at the end of each level, multiple boss variations, etc. Also has a pretty dry sense of humour. The rogue stuff is well implemented and really does help with the monotony of replaying the early stages, so it's successful in that respect. There's some pretty fun and creative weapons too e.g. a pretty powerful machine gun that becomes more erratic the longer you fire it so you have to stop shooting periodically to "focus" it again.

Also saw Revolver360 Reactor mentioned... this is an amazing game presentation wise, the wireframe inside-the-matrix look is really well done (except it's all in blue instead of green... is there some kind of blue pill analogy here?). The revolving mechanic takes some getting used to and is hella disorienting, but it does add something genuinely fresh to the experience. You can use it to dodge bullets, but the level design is such that you also have to keep track of what's around you and (once the game starts scrolling screen inward) what's ahead of you, because you will need to eliminate obstacles at some points. There are only 4 levels, but they have branching paths and secret sections. A lot of attention to detail went into this. It can be confusing what can actually hit you, but the game is pretty forgiving and has health pickups. So the gameplay isn't super tight, but it's still very enjoyable.
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:56 pm 



Joined: 24 Nov 2019
Posts: 3
Hi! My first post, even if i follow the forum from ages :)
I'll like to give prizes for 3 categories, giving how the STG gaming scene evolved in the '10:

Major developer: Dariuburst CS+DLCs
Indie: Zero Ranger
Port: Battle Garegga rev. 2016

While this decade was surely a downgrade from the 00's years, It is nice to see how the STG genre is resurging fast. In the first two years of the next decade we will likely get a new Aleste game (Aleste Branch), a new R-Type (FINAL 2), a new Iuchi-san game (Ubusuga) and hopefully M2 can port one or two great classics under the Shot Trigger moniker.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:44 pm 


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One of my choices will be somewhat controversial, but here are those from the last 10 years i love:

Eschatos
It has simple mechanics, but not too simple. Also it has kinda an emergency button, which i need because i am not a very good shmup player. Also i like unlocking stuff.
Main reason though is the feel of story that is told. I mean there isnt really much, just aliens invading. There is no dialogue or text. But still the story is told just by the camera of the game. You are right in the middle of the invasion, the camera shows the context, like the masses of enemies released by those gigantic boss ufos, then you go into space and see the moon and everything.
The two points i want to make are that the story is told without a single word, which is just superb storytelling, and at the same time it gives you a feel of reality of the invasion while playing that i cant recall from any other game in the genre.
On top of that it is a good game in itself, but that is something i am more trusting the experts than seeing the finer stuff myself, because i am kinda limited by pretty much exclusively playing on steam and looking through top X lists like on this forum here.

Caladrius Blaze
Yeah i can see the experts here immediately getting all like "what?", but hear me out:
You could argue it is kinda a Raiden clone with a bunch of stuff thrown in or something like that. But that exactly is what i love about this game.
As much as i like the Raiden games, i cant see myself ever getting a legit 1cc on normal on these games. I want to love them and i kinda do, but that is mostly because of the feel and look. They are just too hard for me i think. Along comes Caladrius Blaze with a similar feel and look, and throws a bunch of emergency buttons at me that i can even increase by one or two when i customize my elemental shots.
That makes it the Raiden game for me i always wanted. This collective forum might rank it only at #100 of all time (which is still good company), but in this decade and with my limited options (steam), i rank it absurdly high. And even in an all-time list, i would rank it in my top 5 along with Hellsinker, Deathsmiles and Mushihimesama. (still keep in mind my limited options and my limited experience with the classics. I always loved those games, but between the age of SNES and now i played too much AAA-crap).


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:07 am 


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Joined: 31 Jan 2019
Posts: 104
I dig Caladrius Blaze, it has cool weaponry, great space-gothic-medieval enemy/boss design, and is just a top-flight all-around effort. Is it best of the decade material? I'm not real sure, because the soft-core porn aspect is too prominent to ignore and icky enough to keep me from playing all that often. Sadly yes, I hate it that much.

I guess you can turn it way down/off in the Switch version? I'm unable to find this option in the PC version. I'm able to reduce it a great deal by playing the one male character (for some reason, large amounts of his clothing isn't tore off whenever he's hit...), but sadly, the bosses still have inserts of them screaming in pain while being stripped of their clothing which I guess I'm supposed to feel good about. I mean, if it works for you, cheers. I'm not going to try and stop you. Personally. I find it pretty vile.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:19 am 


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m.sniffles.esq wrote:
I'm unable to find this option in the PC version.


options -> game settings -> illust

There you can get rid of the sidebars and/or the shame break pics, all that is left then is the result screen when you make it through a level without losing a life.

I am aware that Caladrius Blaze might not be best of the decade material material in kinda an objective sense, but that is more a personal choice. For me it is the version of Raiden in a sense that otherwise never existed, just not with contemporary/sci fi stuff. The Raiden type game that is possible to beat for me 1cc. That is why i like it that much.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:30 pm 


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Quote:
options -> game settings -> illust

There you can get rid of the sidebars and/or the shame break pics, all that is left then is the result screen when you make it through a level without losing a life.


Oh okay, thank you.
I didn't put together that illust = images of sexualized violence in my head.

And don't get me wrong, I have no problem with harmless titillation. Hell, I've played a ton of Deathsmiles and the like. It's just the whole images of clothing being torn off matched with sound effects of screams of pain, just crosses the line with me.


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