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 Post subject: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 1:53 am 


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I just credit fed my way through this game and it is insanely difficult! I am so bad at it!

I'd played it a few times before in Saturn mode, casually using up my credit supply within the first 4 or so bosses and feeling pretty good that I made it through so many bosses before running out of continues - "i must be like 1/3 of the way through the game"

Wrong.

I just discovered you can set the saturn version to arcade mode to credit feed your way through it. Well, I did that, and I am extremely humbled. I was probably getting through 1/10th of the game previously. This game is a boss rush, there are so many bosses I completely lost count. I must have spent at least $50 virtual dollars credit feeding through the game. I can't recall having to put in as many coins to progress in any other arcade game I've played in the last 5 years.

I'm no shmup expert, but I feel like I'm above average. I can get through most cave games on maybe 3-5 credits with the deaths only really starting once I get to the final stages. I'm out of practice now, but I used to be able to get about 75% of the way through games like Battle Garegga and Batsugun on 1 credit. I'm very well acquainted with the 3d shmups on dreamcast like Ikaruga, Zero Gunner, Psyvariar, Under Defeat and the like and can get through those relatively easily. Doing things like leading bullets and visualizing paths through masses of bullets is second nature to me. I figured Radiant Silvergun would be similar to the dreamcast shmup library...

I have to say, none of my shmup skills seemed to help in Radiant Silvergun at all. This game is not like the dreamcast shmup library at all. In fact, I'd say that there is just as much dodging of random platforms, structures and ships, many of which cannot be destroyed before you would ram into them, as there is dodging of bullets. There is also an above average amount of dodging lasers, which differs from dodging bullets in that you can cross through a stream of bullets but can't ever cross through a solid stream of laser. There is also some of what I would regard as a cardinal shmup sin - that is having ships come at you from below the screen without warning, thereby killing you without warning if you are hugging the bottom of the screen (this just clinches it that one would need to do a lot of memorization to get through the game unscathed and eliminates the thought I like to have about arcade games, which is the remote possibility that "if only one was really skilled at the dodging, fighting or shooting mechanics of the player character/ship, he or she could get far into the game without big problems"). Despite the cool 3d graphics, this game actually feels like it has more in common with early (late 80s) shmups like Armed F, because in that game, you have to avoid many solid objects that cannot be destroyed, you have to adjust your gun a lot to find shots that work better in certain locations - oh and you also have to periodically fire backwards at enemies that come at you from behind. :?

I think I heard someone describe Radiant Silvergun (or maybe it was Ikaruga) as less of a shmup and more of a puzzle game. That's sort of how I feel after credit feeding through it. I can imagine what it might take to not dye as much as I did on my first full run through, but that would come primarily from intense memorization of the attacks that will be coming against me rather than enhancing my general shmup dodging skills.

The icing on the cake was getting to the final crystal boss where I can't shoot and the stupid crystal just keeps jetting out waves and waves of bullets for me to die on for 20 seconds. That wasn't the toughest part of the game, but I did see the continue screen at least once there. To find out that was the final boss (at least for my credit feed run through) just made it feel like a final cheap quarter grab.

Beautiful graphics, great music, really impressive for the hardware, but the game is tough as nails and seems to require extensive memorization. This might be the toughest "shmup" I've ever played.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 2:26 am 


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Arcade mode requires good scoring or else your weapons won't get strong enough to take on the later bosses. Good scoring requires making chains of killing 3 like-colored enemies in a row, and then killing 3 more of that same color, and so on... (usually, it's red enemies that are the most plentiful). If you switch to a different color, you'll break the chain.

As such, this requires knowing which enemies appear where beforehand, so you have have a weapon strategy. It's very intensive.

Saturn Mode saves your progress up through the strength levels, so you can eventually beat it just by playing it enough. Use Saturn Mode to learn the game, I suppose. Arcade Mode is for when you've memorized what's coming. You have to start from scratch every time.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 2:54 am 


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Saturn Mode is also longer than Arcade Mode since you play through all 6 stages plus a bonus area. In Arcade you only play through 5 stages and the bonus area isn't there.

The ending 60 seconds or Radiant Silvergun are no different than the ending 60 seconds of Ikaruga. The requirement is simply to dodge. The patterns aren't that difficult, although it certainly helps if you understand the location of the ship's hitbox.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 3:31 am 


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Have you ever heard the phrase "the better you are at something, the easier it gets"? As cheesy as it sounds, it's kind of true in Radiant Silvergun. Dying resets the score chain and makes it harder to raise weapon levels, thus frequent use of continues actually does make the game harder.

However it should be mentioned that big chains aren't the only way to get your weapons up. If you find chaining too difficult or annoying, try focusing on getting 100% destruction rates on bosses; basically destroying every part of the boss before killing the "main" part that is indicated by the life bar. This gives a nice boost to all three weapon levels.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 12:17 pm 


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Silvergun does take some getting used to, but once you do it is phenomenal, one of my favourite SHMUPS of all time. I think the biggest learning curb for me was getting used to the crazy amount of weapons, and the right time to use them (and the right button combos from them) it is a lot easier to play with an arcade stick. I'm lucky enough to own a beautiful complete copy of this for the Saturn - it will pay for my Saturn Satiator when the time comes, but I'll be quite conflicted when it goes on eBay.

That said try as I might I cannot get into Ikaruga - it's a beautiful game but I've never got to grips with the gameplay, every time I fire it up I got ten minutes and quit with annoyance - that is probably the reason I'm not very good at it to be fair!


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 4:25 pm 


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Any decent shmup *should* destroy you at first if you're not familiar with it. Complaining about the difficulty before you even make a half-decent effort to "git gud" is pointless.

First learn the level layouts and enemy placement. The Saturn/Story mode is a good way to do this. Get used to how all the weapons work. *ALL* of them.

Second, learn the basic chaining system. Shoot as many *red* as you want, then *one* blue, then as many *yellow* as you can. Big points. The first stage is great for learning this, as you can get one of these chains in literally the first 20 seconds of playing.

Third, experiment with chaining only a single color--*red* is usually the preferred, and the first stage again is a great place to practice this. The points will snowball like crazy by the end of the level.

Combine those tips with solid stage/boss strategies and you're good to go.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 5:26 pm 



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I've only dabbled a little bit into Radiant Silvergun but it isn't my cup of tea. I like shmups to be mechanically simple with maybe a new wrinkle to separate it from the rest (like R-Type's force pod or Giga Wing's reflect barrier). Radiant Silvergun throws everything but the kitchen sink at you with all those weapon combos, leveling up, 3 colors to chain, etc.

I like Ikaruga a lot better since it goes all in on the polarity mechanic and trims the fat.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 5:52 pm 


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Quote:
Any decent shmup *should* destroy you at first if you're not familiar with it. Complaining about the difficulty before you even make a half-decent effort to "git gud" is pointless.


That's a nice thing to say, but RS is basically the only shmup I've played where my accumulated shmup skills didn't result in me being at least proficient in the game. I feel like if you're good at the donpachi series, you're also going to do above average on everything Takumi, Toplan, Rizing and Xevious and Galaga games. That was really the basis for the rant, I must have played 50+ shmups over the years, including non-bullet hell stuff like Euroshmups and horizontal stuff, and RS is the only one that's completely pwned me when I came in as a newbie (ok ok blazing star kicked my ass too but didn't feel as if it would rely so much on level and attack pattern memorization to get good).

Rant aside, after sleeping the night and hearing about the ability to level up your weapons, I am intrigued to play the game again. I'd probably be picking this up periodically anyway just because the graphics and music are really cool and I haven't played it to death like so many other shmups in my collection (its a fairly recent addition).


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 2:25 am 


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I really just don't enjoy the chaining system in RS; it feels so forced and arbitrary. Tying it to the weapon levels really killed the game for me, because it makes it impossible to even just enjoy survival play while ignoring score play. In a way I really respect that the scoring is an integral element of the game, but it just doesn't do anything for me. If they got rid of the weapon leveling system or revamped it, and just tied scoring to extends as per usual I think I would have enjoyed RS a lot more.

I also think the game's mainstream popularity mostly comes from credit feeders who would be unaffected by scoring systems. They are therefore only judging it on the general epicness of the game, which RS definitely has. I would wager among the 1cc chasing crowd you would find a lot more (though probably still a small minority) people who couldn't enjoy it no matter how badass most other things about the game are.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 8:16 am 


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I hate to ask what is probably a newbie question after having frequented these forums for nearly five years, but since higher scores yield more extends in most arcade games, and extends by definition help you survive longer, couldn't you argue that score can be considered a real priority in survival play anyway?

It's true that high-level score play can and does look markedly different from regular gameplay (few Space Invaders newbies would think to immediately clear a space in the middle and wait for the UFO), but I don't see that as a valid reason for a newbie to ignore scoring completely.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 9:29 am 


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You are definitely right, score based extends do make scoring relevant, but it isn't nearly as integral to basic survival play as scoring in RS.

It depends a lot on the game. There are some games that don't even have score based extends and scoring becomes completely extrinsically meaningless. Other games like Gradius hand out extends like candy whether you are making any attempt to score or not which is equally meaningless.

But then you have something like DFK where you won't reach the extends if you don't try, but they also aren't difficult to reach with just a little effort from an average player. It strikes a really great balance if you ask me, and might motivate up and coming players to at least try out score play to see if they like it without saying to the player "score or GTFO" (the Yagawa method lol).

Anyhow I just feel like high tier scoring is an intrinsically motivated pursuit, and it exists separately from survival play. I love survival in just about any shmups, but I won't dedicate myself to score play unless I really love the system (for me Caladrius, Bullet Soul Infinite Burst). If you gatekeep survival play behind a scoring system you will inevitably alienate players who don't enjoy the system, which is definitely the case for me with RS. Interestingly I also don't enjoy chaining in DDP, yet I do love the games and play them often because it's possible to do so whether you chain or not.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 3:15 pm 


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Credit feed ?, you only hear katsjing katsjing when i play this game.
Chaining is not my thing, totally unplayable game.
I like how its made, very inspiring transitions.

ZacharyB wrote:
Arcade mode requires good scoring or else your weapons won't get strong enough to take on the later bosses.


I did not even know that the weapons getting better.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 4:10 pm 


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heli wrote:
Chaining is not my thing, totally unplayable game.
I like how its made, very inspiring transitions.


I'm not entirely sure which part of my post you are referring to, or even if you are referring to it at all.

If you are talking about DFK, what I'm saying is that the way score and survival are interconnected is well designed. I could not enjoy chaining but still be able to enjoy the survival aspects of DFK.

RS is a situation where survival cannot be enjoyed without committing to the chaining. I find that unfortunate given how much else the game has to offer.

I have my reasons for why I dislike RS chaining, but I wouldn't say my opinion on that matter is any more relevant than someone who absolutely loves it. The point is that I don't think score play should be absolutely required to enjoy the base game.

---

On a side note I got drunk and sunk a good amount of time into RS tonight for the first time in many years. Went into it with the express intention of focusing on chaining. I didn't have much trouble doing it, but it's not for me.

I love so many other aspects of it though, even more than I remember. It surprises me how much in common it has with Caladrius and yet still falls so flat for me. The game's have a very similar weapon/progression/bullet-cancelling system but polar opposite scoring systems, where RS encourages pacifist strategies and precision while Caladrius favors total genocide of the enemies.

There's something about a shooting game where you aren't supposed to shoot half the enemies that just doesn't work for me. Too much bloodlust I guess.
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Last edited by ACSeraph on Sat May 16, 2020 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 4:17 pm 


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ACSeraph wrote:
The point is that I don't think score play should be absolutely required to enjoy the base game.


I feel like Ikaruga as a game also makes no sense if you ignore scoring / chaining even if it doesnt kill you for it. The enemy patterns seem nonsensical and many non threatening if you just blow them up. On the flipside the chains in Ikaruga are exponentially harder than RSG as there is much more room for optimization and the game keeps throwing bonus waves on you.

In RSG its a similar feeling but the chains are easy to pull off. This is still assuming you have a route or copy a replay. Though as a general rule you can just only shoot red enemies and avoid attacking (skip enemies) if situation is unsure: that level of complexity itself gives decent weapon levels. But I'm assuming most people don't want to be restricted to the only shoot red approach either and find it annoying.
There's an interesting balance with having to use weapons as precision instruments during stage portions, but having freedom to use them wildly on boss fights (which are common enough).

RSG was the first shmup I played while learning stick, navigating walls was a humbling experience for sure but maybe a good way to learn as well


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 4:30 pm 


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Now see, as usual I didn't get into chaining in Ikaruga but I totally enjoyed the game. It's the perfect example of a game that has an incredibly deep scoring system for those interested and yet still accessible and fun for survival play.

I can definitely see and respect the depth in RS' scoring btw, it's just not for me.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 7:17 pm 


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Very interesting perspectives here that help me understand why I haven't instantly enjoyed and been good at the game.

I am very much a survival player when it comes to shmups rather than someone who figures out and pursues the intricacies of shmup score systems. There are certain (non shmup) games where I focus on scoring, but that's typically after I've mastered the game and focusing on scoring is a way to further the pursuit of getting better at the game if I'm already at a spot where I can get through the game relatively easily. In other words, because I've never reached the level of getting 1CCs in shmups, I've never been that interested in focusing on getting a high score, becuse its a challenge enough just to survive.

But as has been pointed out, you need to focus on scoring in RS in order to level up your weapons in order to survive! You can't just hope to survive for a good while from bullet dodging and shooting standard weapons alone.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 9:30 pm 



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Quote:
RS is basically the only shmup I've played where my accumulated shmup skills didn't result in me being at least proficient in the game. I feel like if you're good at the donpachi series, you're also going to do above average on everything Takumi, Toplan, Rizing and Xevious and Galaga games.


It's 'cause it's not a pure bullet hell, it's got a lot of traditional hori style mixed in. It's like if R-Type and DDP had a baby.

Quote:
However it should be mentioned that big chains aren't the only way to get your weapons up. If you find chaining too difficult or annoying, try focusing on getting 100% destruction rates on bosses; basically destroying every part of the boss before killing the "main" part that is indicated by the life bar. This gives a nice boost to all three weapon levels.


Quoted for truth. It's mostly a myth that chaining is mandatory. Destroying every piece of a boss gets you 100,000 points and that dwarfs every other source except for very skilled chaining. Buzzing a wall might get you 10 points or sloppy chaining might score you a few thousand here or there. Never miss that 100% bonus for each boss, it will carry you. I play without chaining and don't feel like my weapons are underpowered.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 9:40 pm 


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ACSeraph wrote:
Now see, as usual I didn't get into chaining in Ikaruga but I totally enjoyed the game. It's the perfect example of a game that has an incredibly deep scoring system for those interested and yet still accessible and fun for survival play.

I can definitely see and respect the depth in RS' scoring btw, it's just not for me.


I see. I have trouble picking up Ikaruga since especially in the first two stages I get a constant feeling of many popcorn enemies / enemy layouts not meant to be threatening survival wise (they shoot nothing etc), but the game expecting me to do something more to amp up those early stages. And that idea is hard to get out of your head. Start a strive for perfectionism and it's easy to fail your routes constantly :P

In RSG I remember the very first part of Stage 4 having a gigantic chain to boost your forward shot and wide shot weapon levels. If you want a few easy levels it might be worth just learning that one. Since it's a short section the practice shouldn't be overwhelming, might be easier than learning to deal with Penta and Stage 5 at lower level. Give it a shot and if it's too annoying then drop it I guess. I found individual RSG chains easier to do than they first look on video, unlike most shmup scoring routes.
(A lot of the high level optimization isn't in chains being tough to pull off to be worth anything, but weapon bonuses and grazing etc.)


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 10:40 am 


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So in an attempt to ultimately gain some enjoyment out of this game I've thrown out my usual arbitrary rules and just decided to play through the story mode saving my weapon levels with each attempt. The "casual" way of playing I guess, but after doing this along with making some actual effort to learn chains in the early stages of the game I'm finally starting to enjoy Radiant Silvergun.

I would really recommend other new players start with this kind of clear if you are finding arcade mode and story score attack unenjoyable. I feel like if you started here and earned your first clear you would be a lot better prepared when/if you decide you want to tackle score play in arcade mode. Story mode with saves is definitely the way to enjoy pure survival RS.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 11:24 am 


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Yeah, that's why I tell people to play Story/Saturn mode first. For myself personally, I hated the game initially. Something just felt "off" and I couldn't get a handle on things. It wasn't until I did the Saturn mode that it finally started to click and I started to appreciate it. Then learning the basic red-blue-yellow chaining system added more depth to it, and I eventually moved on to only playing arcade mode.

Glad I put time into it because really, this is probably the most "elegant"--that's the best I can describe it-- shmup I've played over the years, from the OST, to the bullet patterns, to how smooth the gameplay feels when you get a handle on its mechanics, etc., etc. There's nothing quite like it. Not to mention it's got just the right intensity when you're going for a clear, particularly when you're aiming for those 100% boss kills. It's not the toughest thing out there, but it's hardly a pushover either, particularly the last two bosses.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 9:47 pm 


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dark wrote:
That's a nice thing to say, but RS is basically the only shmup I've played where my accumulated shmup skills didn't result in me being at least proficient in the game. I feel like if you're good at the donpachi series, you're also going to do above average on everything Takumi, Toplan, Rizing and Xevious and Galaga games. That was really the basis for the rant, I must have played 50+ shmups over the years, including non-bullet hell stuff like Euroshmups and horizontal stuff, and RS is the only one that's completely pwned me when I came in as a newbie (ok ok blazing star kicked my ass too but didn't feel as if it would rely so much on level and attack pattern memorization to get good).


RSG is more like Garegga, where you have to study the game mechanics and have a very deliberate approach to playing it or you quickly get to a point where you're drowning and there's no life raft. In Garegga it's learning the delicate balance between scoring and suiciding to keep rank in control. In RSG it's learning which color to chain on each stage and how to effectively milk bosses to level up your weapons. You just have to look at it from a different perspective in order to get good at it.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 12:04 pm 


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I've been playing RSG a bit every day since this thread came up, just trying to do a basic clear of story with a powered up ship. Still haven't gone all the way, but I'm getting there. I've made it to 5B, but it's tough doing all the extra story content blind. Gonna be a bit of a slow grind I think as I open up the late game training mode stages one run at a time.

I really have fallen for this game though, lame (to me) scoring system or not. I might try to get a legit arcade clear when I'm done with Story Mode (Leveled).

Glad this thread showed up to make me give the game another chance, because I haven't been this engaged with a shmup in a long time.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 3:28 pm 


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Yeah, I remember playing this game on 360 and to this day I still don't get the hype. I've known so many people say that Ikaruga is overrated and garbage because Silvergun exists.
Silvergun to me always felt like it was throwing a jumbled mess of controls, mechanics, and just...stuff at me even more than a typical Raizing game. Just found a lot of it to feel excessive.
I'm sure that'll make me seem like a smooth brain, lesser STG player or something to some folks, but that's just how I felt about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 3:30 pm 


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I changed difficulty to very easy, lives from 3 to 5, and have been playing saturn mode with my upgraded weapons. I'm not getting through the entire game yet, but I'm getting like 75% of the way through, which puts it on par with other shmups that I casually play. With these changes I'm no longer dying every 15 seconds, which is helping me enjoy the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 11:41 pm 


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dark wrote:
I changed difficulty to very easy, lives from 3 to 5, and have been playing saturn mode with my upgraded weapons.


Hopefully you'll get a 1CC this way quite fast. However you may get bad habits of being overpowered. So if you intend to get your ass handed back to you the way Treasure had planned, I recommend going back to Arcade mode immediatly.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 9:51 pm 


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Just play Alltynex Second instead.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 3:53 am 


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If you do not score well it makes the game harder. I think it is fun that getting a higher score essentially makes it easier. I wanted to say more since it is my favorite, but most don't seem to like it in this thread, and I feel there isn't much more to talk about. The boss rush feeling in later parts feels great too for me.

I will admit I wasn't able to get very far on my own strategies. I eventually just watched and copied ben shinobi runs.

Also I only bought Ikaruga on steam in hopes that radiant silver gun was around the corner with the extra mode from xbox360. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 10:31 am 


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STGAlmond wrote:
.. but most don't seem to like it in this thread ...


I guess a vast majority of the community loves RSG for what it is. But hey, one of them shmups has to be the one everyone loves to hate. Looks like the case for RSG and Ikaruga.
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 Post subject: Re: Radiant Silvergun rant
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 2:28 pm 



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Radiant Silvergun AND Ikaruga have a habit of getting WILD really quickly and suddenly, so the split on them doesn't surprise me.


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