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 Post subject: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:10 am 


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Ketsui is a perennial guest at the tip top of the forum's greatest shmups of all time list. And rightly so, because it's a great game! But where I find it easy to see what's so great about Dodonpachi DOJ (i mean, it's structurally perfect, right?) Ketsui is a little more... nuanced and nebulous. Why is Ketsui so well liked?

Is it because:
- People are hot or cold on spaceships and anime girls, but everybody loves a good military themed shmup?
- The scoring is straightforward and just restrictive enough to feel satisfying but freeform?
- The patterns are wild and there are lots of aimed shots?
- Less skilled players like a hard game, but more skilled players get bored with easy games?

All that and more? Why the (cutting the bonds of) hell do you like Ketsui? Or do you think it's ~turbo overrated~???

(I admit I find the first level incredibly boring and cold, but after that it's all good, man)
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:52 am 


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The aggressive point blanking scoring that encourages you to weave in and out of close range is probably a factor. I think it does a good job of balancing both close and long range combat effectively.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:19 am 


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From the perspective of someone who sucks at shmups and this game in particular, I still find it a lot of fun. More fun than most other shmup games I've played. And I do think the atmosphere of the game has something to do with it. The military theme, the brutal story, the graphics, music, sound effects, short stages - it all adds something to the experience. Then when you go deeper into the mechanics, the chain system and lock-on are fun to use, without being overly difficult.

In short, it's cool as fck and is probably my favorite shmup - along with Raiden IV, Under Defeat and zeroranger.

Just a suggestion, but has it been rather more accessible compared to DDP? It has released on ps3, xbox 360 and now ps4. No Jtag xbox required. I don't emulate much, and since getting back into gaming during the ps3 era, I've never had the opportunity to play DDP.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:50 am 


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The Military-Art Style,Music,Level-Enemy Design,Score-Sytem(s),(unique) Bullet Patterns...
There are some shmups I don`t want to see in the Top25.But Ketsui deserved
#1 spot in the list,because it`s a near perfect shmup in every detail.

And thank you M2 for this incredible PS4 port.Ketsui will never die ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:17 am 


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The "something" is a suction cup. This is why ports will always be inferior.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:18 am 


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Ketsui has easily my favorite OST out of any other STG i've ever played, i think i even rank it over Garegga's OST. the sounds are satisfying, the bullet patterns are really interesting, and the scoring system is extremely elegant and easy to understand quickly, which also gives you a lot of freedom with how you do your runs, especially if you're a casual Ketsui player. it's just awesome -- it really feels like a companion piece to DOJ's complex, ultra-strict chaining and hyper system. the stages feel like they have a lot of momentum to them too, they feel awesome to fly through.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:47 am 


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Special World wrote:
Is it because:
- People are hot or cold on spaceships and anime girls, but everybody loves a good military themed shmup?
- The scoring is straightforward and just restrictive enough to feel satisfying but freeform?
- The patterns are wild and there are lots of aimed shots?
- Less skilled players like a hard game, but more skilled players get bored with easy games?

Nope, it's because of beep beep beep beep *beep* BIG juicy chips.
Operant conditioning.


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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:48 pm 


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For me, Ketsui and it’s mechanics have me in a loop of trying to best little chunks of levels. I’m not sure any other shmup has gripped me that way. Usually it’s a 1cc or a best high score but for me, part of the joy of the game is pushing myself to figure out “how can I milk this little area between here and there to the absolute maximum?” I’m not even concerned with the game as a whole because it’s so challenging. I’m focused on taking these little chunks almost as their own smaller games. Eventually if I’m good enough at each, I’ll have enough to extends to push further. The bullet patterns, the music and the stages (especially 3) are so good, I never have a bad time playing because it’s always giving me new ideas or ways to do things. Terrific game.


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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:31 pm 


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It's got a lot of the aesthetic appeal of DOJ, but without any of the chaining. :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:35 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
The aggressive point blanking scoring that encourages you to weave in and out of close range is probably a factor. I think it does a good job of balancing both close and long range combat effectively.


This, combined with the instant gratification of dozens of "5" chips flying at your craft when you do this successfully, is quite the dopamine rush. That's a big factor, I think. It also has a great art style, that is more "neutral" than games with anime characters, as has been pointed out. I'm not quite with Queen Charlene, in that the OST isn't my favorite, but compositionally, it's great, and very fitting for the action. Stage 2's theme is my jam. Once you understand the need to point blank, and that's how you're supposed to play the game, the level design, enemy placement, and everything else falls into place. Routing through a level becomes a very logical process, but one that's easy to see how to approach. It's not dark and drab, but bright and colorful, and it has cool bullet patterns. I've been playing and streaming Ketsui so far this month, and despite my frustration with not progressing as quickly as I'd like, it has that "one more try" pull to it that keeps me coming back. The PS4 port in particular, because I can quickly reset, and get back to grinding out the routes, and perfecting my execution, means I can just keep going back for more. I'll expound upon all this on my podcast next month, but these are some initial thoughts, after spending the last couple weeks with the game.

CloudyMusic wrote:
It's got a lot of the aesthetic appeal of DOJ, but without any of the chaining. :wink:


It has chaining, in a sense, but in very short bursts, which makes it easier to accomplish, and more appealing to someone like me, who can learn to route through a level in a less strict fashion, and recovering from dropping a chain is at least possible, even if it means a small hit to your score.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:39 pm 


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FRO wrote:
It has chaining, in a sense, but in very short bursts, which makes it easier to accomplish, and more appealing to someone like me, who can learn to route through a level in a less strict fashion, and recovering from dropping a chain is at least possible, even if it means a small hit to your score.

Yeah, I've never really personally thought of that as "chaining" in the same sense since each "chain" is usually very short-lived, but I can see what you mean.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:48 pm 


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Chaining is fun as long as it's not stage-long or game-long. :)


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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:05 pm 


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It has much more forgiving loss conditions than many games of its era. Messing up any given section, or even dying, do not destroy an entire run. Compare this with DDP or, worse, Battle Garegga, where one little misstep means you may as well start over.

Additionally, it has some of the best bullet patterns of any shmup in my eyes. It plays more like a puzzle game in some sections, especially in boss fights. Cinderella Amber, for example, creates brilliant signifiers with its grid-like waves, clearly communicating the intended movement pattern and positioning required.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:25 pm 


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Jonpachi wrote:
It has much more forgiving loss conditions than many games of its era. Messing up any given section, or even dying, do not destroy an entire run. Compare this with DDP or, worse, Battle Garegga, where one little misstep means you may as well start over.

Additionally, it has some of the best bullet patterns of any shmup in my eyes. It plays more like a puzzle game in some sections, especially in boss fights. Cinderella Amber, for example, creates brilliant signifiers with its grid-like waves, clearly communicating the intended movement pattern and positioning required.

Agreed 100% ^


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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:55 pm 


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Jonpachi wrote:
Compare this with DDP or, worse, Battle Garegga, where one little misstep means you may as well start over.

Garegga is, on anything else but very high play, a quite lenient game. So long as you keep basic (and I mean basic) rank management in mind you have a lot of leeway.

Personally, I think the experience of playing Ketsui is very visceral and hype inducing. In the right frame of mind it feels like it encourages mindful, focused and aggressive play, which is very enjoyable.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:38 pm 


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Eaglet wrote:
Jonpachi wrote:
Compare this with DDP or, worse, Battle Garegga, where one little misstep means you may as well start over.

Garegga is, on anything else but very high play, a quite lenient game. So long as you keep basic (and I mean basic) rank management in mind you have a lot of leeway.

Personally, I think the experience of playing Ketsui is very visceral and hype inducing. In the right frame of mind it feels like it encourages mindful, focused and aggressive play, which is very enjoyable.


Not sure I agree. Dropping a medal in BG means losing a ton of points, takes a long time to build back up, and messes up your ability to keep getting enough 1-ups to suicide correctly and control rank. BG is a game I will consistently restart more than others.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:11 pm 


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There are so many reasons to like Ketsui:

* It is extremely gratifying to get 5 chips. Once you figure out how to do this, you don't want to stop doing it.
* You chain enemy destruction, but you're not forced into attempting to chain an entire level, which can be quite tedious. Ketsui's chaining strikes a pretty good balance and gives you a little more freedom.
* Your fighter always feels ever-so-slightly underpowered, consequently making the game feel more manic and intense.
* I have NEVER died in Ketsui and thought "that was cheap." When you make a mistake in this game, it's your fault.
* There isn't much voice acting, which can be annoying.
* The boss explosions are so massive that they rattle the screen.
* The enemy patterns are some of the most inventive, difficult, and creative I've seen.
* The music is awesome. This is probably the most subjective point, but it evokes everything I enjoy about shmups.
* The game is difficult, but also fair and balanced. It's really in a good sweet spot that keeps you coming back for more.
* The game has a 2nd loop and also a special round; consequently, you have to earn your way into extended play.


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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:07 am 


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This might be an uncommon opinion, but I don't get a lot of enjoyment out of just blasting stuff mindlessly for survival in Ketsui like I do in games like Esprade or Dodonpachi. Ketsui really feels like a game that was meant to be played 100% for score, with the way the enemy patterns are laid out and how your firepower works.

I do find its scoring to be both supremely satisfying and exhilarating and I think that's the big draw of the game for a lot of players. Someone else made a great point too about the scoring not being ridiculously strict. I'm not as drawn to scoring systems where one mess-up means restarting the whole run, and Ketsui offers a lot of flexibility there.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:42 am 


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Jonpachi wrote:
Not sure I agree. Dropping a medal in BG means losing a ton of points, takes a long time to build back up, and messes up your ability to keep getting enough 1-ups to suicide correctly and control rank. BG is a game I will consistently restart more than others.

I raise you this.
Even if medals are a total disaster from stage 6 and onwards I still manage to clear with a score not too far from my prior PB.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:09 am 


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I never got fully into Garegga, but I spent a lot of time with its brother, Ibara, and the moment to moment on-the-fly decisions is exactly what makes it so appealing to me.

Another Cave game with "mini chains" that I really enjoy is Futari Maniac. It and Ketsui are definitely two of my favourite scoring systems they've made.


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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:00 pm 


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Eaglet wrote:
Jonpachi wrote:
Not sure I agree. Dropping a medal in BG means losing a ton of points, takes a long time to build back up, and messes up your ability to keep getting enough 1-ups to suicide correctly and control rank. BG is a game I will consistently restart more than others.

I raise you this.
Even if medals are a total disaster from stage 6 and onwards I still manage to clear with a score not too far from my prior PB.


Haha ok. Not sure how a high-level run with a perfect medal chain up to level 6 proves your point. I'm talking about dropping one in level 2 or 3 and knowing it's stupid to not just start over. That's the pain of BG for me. I still love the game and have put tons of hours on it.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:19 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
I never got fully into Garegga, but I spent a lot of time with its brother, Ibara, and the moment to moment on-the-fly decisions is exactly what makes it so appealing to me.

Another Cave game with "mini chains" that I really enjoy is Futari Maniac. It and Ketsui are definitely two of my favourite scoring systems they've made.

Really enjoying Esp ra.de for this reason. Every cluster of enemies is its own joy.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:21 pm 


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Jonpachi wrote:
Haha ok. Not sure how a high-level run with a perfect medal chain up to level 6 proves your point. I'm talking about dropping one in level 2 or 3 and knowing it's stupid to not just start over. That's the pain of BG for me. I still love the game and have put tons of hours on it.

The point is that no matter if you drop medals a bunch of times you can still get a good score and most definitely clear.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:42 pm 


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Ketsui is nice on super easy mode.
Very short i like garegga better.

Time based i play garegga more, also on arcade mode.


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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:20 pm 


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Eaglet wrote:
Jonpachi wrote:
Haha ok. Not sure how a high-level run with a perfect medal chain up to level 6 proves your point. I'm talking about dropping one in level 2 or 3 and knowing it's stupid to not just start over. That's the pain of BG for me. I still love the game and have put tons of hours on it.

The point is that no matter if you drop medals a bunch of times you can still get a good score and most definitely clear.

For anything but a Yagawa game i would find it absolutely absurd to say "well of course you can clear if you mess up your score run!"
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:20 pm 


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If you've ever been to a shmups meet without hearing a constant "bip bip bip bip bip" and "your mission starts now, are you ready" at all times, I feel sorry for you.
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:32 pm 


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It's the helicopters, obviously.


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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:03 pm 


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emphatic wrote:
If you've ever been to a shmups meet


:o


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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:06 am 


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Sumez wrote:
emphatic wrote:
If you've ever been to a shmups meet


:o


You've never been in a room full of win?
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 Post subject: Re: There's something about KETSUI
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:09 am 


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Lol no. Denmark is pretty barren in this regard.


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