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 Post subject: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:15 pm 



Joined: 05 May 2014
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I’m sure somebody asked a similar question like this on the main board, but talking about rail shooters instead of run and gun games. But games like Contra, Metal Slug, Gunstar Heroes, Wolf Fang, Assault Suit Leynos, Assault Suits Valken, Ranger-X, Wolf Fang, Dolphin Blue, Armored Hunter Gunhound EX, Gigantic Army, Steel Strider, Mechblaze, Super Cyborg, Blazing Chrome, Hardcore Mecha... Why aren’t they considered shmups?
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Last edited by xxx1993 on Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:35 pm 


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they're played quite differently? managing a jump and obeying a sense of gravity, being able to control the rate of scrolling, dealing with multi-directional scrolling and platforming - are these not enough to constitute a different genre? if contra is a shmup, why not rockman, too? at some point, i do think genre matters. while there are games that blur the line a little bit (top-down, multi-directional scrollers like twinkle tale, jackal, neo contra, kiki kaikai, the firemen, granada, etc. are usually considered shmups of sorts but kind of become their own things), i think regular ol' famicom contra is distinctly "not a shmup" despite its similar sensibilities and appeal.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:40 pm 


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Kitten has answered this, but if it's only one factor I would say auto scrolling vs. user controlled scrolling.

That makes In the Hunt a run n gun:)
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:22 pm 


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Kaitei Daisensou is very much a shmup.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:22 pm 


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Ooh excellent! I don't start discussions very often:)

Two questions then -

Is there another game that is considered a shmup where the player controls the scrolling? I honestly don't know of any.

Considering then if every other game with player scrolling is a run n' gun, why is In the Hunt mechanically speaking the exception to this rule?
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:25 pm 


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Armed Police Unit Gallop: scroll faster by pressing right button and slow down by press left button, Battle Formula do this as well. Top-down shooters like Gundhara also counts.

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Considering then if every other game with player scrolling is a run n' gun, why is In the Hunt mechanically speaking the exception to this rule?


Mostly it's the jump mechanic that's quite game changer.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:26 pm 


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Top down run'n'guns definitely have more in common with traditional shmups than a platforming run'n'gun, that's for sure. It's all a sliding scale based on what mechanics you think are essential/detrimental to the "core" experience. Some might argue that R-Type/Gradius style shooters with lots of (typically horizontal) terrain navigation are worthy of their own genre too - they are definitely very different from the ones that always let you move and dodge freely.

Then there's the rare example of platforming run'n'guns with actual forced scrolling, like Atomic Runner. :P


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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:33 pm 



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So, do Commando, Ikari Warriors, Jackal, and Guerrilla War count?
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:38 pm 


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xxx1993 wrote:
So, do Commando, Ikari Warriors, Jackal, and Guerrilla War count?


All of those games, going back to at least Taito's Front Line - topdown push-scrolling run/guns - are considered on-topic for Shmups discussion. Granada's had a HS thread for a decade now. The Kiki Kaikais are in there too.

Sometimes I toy with the notion of a thread for The Firemen (SFC) - it's every bit the topdown seek/destroy Granada is. A rare 16bit console original action game that's good to play for score, too! Or rather ranking. Try getting the "Fighter of Legend" rank, you'll be sporting an enviable Tom Selleck fireman stache before the day is done. Image

I wouldn't, though. Even though you seek/destroy from start to finish, the game feels like more of an "action/adventure" affair than something as aggressively shooty as Granada, SFC Kiki or MD Twinkle Tale.

It's about feels. Image

Guerrilla War is blatantly The Real Ikari III and of course should be given the same allowance. A far more interesting question is, should the mediocre topdown beat 'em up going by the blatantly misleading title "Ikari III" be Considered A Shump, too? :wink: It's not even a fuckin Ikari imho. :O
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:42 am 



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At least the NES port of Ikari III is a pretty fun game.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:48 am 



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Forced scrolling definitely isn't necessary. If, say, Radiant Silvergun had only boss encounters everybody would still call it a "shmup".


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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:03 am 


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RSG has non-boss sections?


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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:31 am 



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It does. I should have added "no scroll" to the boss encounters phrase, though, since some of them indeed make use of the forced scrolling for something else than the mere cosmetics.


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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:10 am 


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xxx1993 wrote:
At least the NES port of Ikari III is a pretty fun game.


Yeah it's dramatically better. All of the FC conversions that team handled (see also Guevara and Datsugoku) play great.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:12 pm 



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Though the less said about the first two Ikari Warriors games on the NES, the better.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:20 pm 


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Indeed, those two were by infamous shitbirds Micronics. :[ They're god-awful conversions through and through. I actually considered picking them up just for their nice FC boxarts, but sanity prevailed. Arcade Archives is the only way to go for Ikari and Dogosoken alike.

The rocketing jump in quality from FC Ikari I/II to Ikari III/Guevara can also be seen in Famicom 1942 vs 1943, the latter handled by Capcom themselves. Shame how many great licenses Micronics managed to gobble up before - apparently - somebody got tired of their shit.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:33 am 


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Is this thread the reason for the off topic / other gaming split?
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:41 am 


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No. Better do yourself a favor, and don't dig any further :D


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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:06 pm 


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It's that bad, huh? :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:25 pm 



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Should Sin & Punishment be considered a run and gun series? Because I see people compare it to Contra due to it being from the same team as Contra III: The Alien Wars...
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:59 pm 


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Contra 3 (and other SNES Konami games) aren't actually really from the teams that went on to form Treasure; that's just a common misconception. I think the Konami games with the greatest concentration of future Treasure staffers are, like, the GB Castlevanias and maybe NES Bucky O'Hare.

I wouldn't put Contra and Sin and Punishment the same label just because, on a fundamental level, they don't play very similarly. Contra games are mostly sidescrolling platformers with major emphasis on projectile attacks, and Sin and Punishment games are gallery shooters with sidescroller-like movement but very different combat (with focus on attacking enemies who exist in a different plane than you).
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:15 pm 



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I see... So why do people keep comparing Sin & Punishment to Contra III: The Alien Wars, then? Not helping much is that the tutorial stage in Star Successor has direct references to Contra.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:03 pm 


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Is KiKi KaiKai a run-n-gun, or a shmup? Wikipedia says it's a shoot-em-up...
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:58 pm 


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Run 'n Guns is a term for 2D sidescrolling platformers like Contra or Sunset Riders, where jumping is how you navigate levels or avoid attacks and where (usually) gravity is a game mechanic/hazard to contend with.

KiKi KaiKai/Pocky & Rocky are top down shmups, ones that do not have autoscrolling but rather feature scroll at your-own-pace style scrolling (with a time limit to prevent dawdling). Other shmups of this style include Jackal, Outzone, FixEight, and Nex Machina.

Games like Smash TV or Monolith where each area is a single room are also shmups, ones where each fight takes place in a single room rather than having smooth scrolling through a level.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:05 pm 


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yeah, i usually call games like kiki kaikai "top down shooters." some games bend or stretch genre boundaries and sometimes sub-classifications are useful. i like bil's terminology of "seek 'n destroy" for stuff like the firemen, granada, metal stoker, etc. genres are meant to classify stuff for convenience, what one strictly belongs to doesn't necessarily really matter that much so long as you're able to communicate what it is.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:46 pm 


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xxx1993 wrote:
I see... So why do people keep comparing Sin & Punishment to Contra III: The Alien Wars, then? Not helping much is that the tutorial stage in Star Successor has direct references to Contra.


There is a spiritual through-line from FC Bucky O'Hare to Contra III to Alien Soldier to S&P, as setpieces and minibosses gained favour over straight run/gunning. (lately, I've thought of Sunset Riders as The Other Contra III, it hewing nearer to the original's action/platforming than Super, Spirits, Hard Corps or Shin)

But as far as S&P actually plays, I'd suggest Wild Guns' on-foot shooting gallery via Panzer Dragoon's 3D rail shooter. Among sidescrollers, Alien Soldier is nearer on the Mid-90s Miniboss & Setpiece Blitzkrieg Scale™, and has far more in common mechanically. Double-jump, i-frame dodge, a close-up slash that cancels/reflects, triggered by double-tapping... also, the juxtaposition of generous HP with a harshly demanding Max HP bonus. None of this remotely applies to Contra III. (all but the HP describes Wild Guns)

TLDR: S&P is like Panzer Dragoon starring the Wild Guns after snorting a monstrous line of Alien Soldier's miniboss/setpiece blitzkrieg crank, which is the weapons-grade version of Contra III's Jolt cola. /obligatory Star Blade and Cabal nods
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:35 am 



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Ah. I'm a fan of both Contra and Sin and Punishment anyway. I still hope one day Treasure gets off their lazy butts and finally makes Sin and Punishment 3, especially since this year marks the 20th anniversary of the franchise, not to mention Star Successor ended on a bit of a cliffhanger if you beat the game using both Isa and Kachi.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:56 am 


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Long time ago they were averse to the very concept of direct sequel...
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:23 pm 



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Used to be. But they already changed that with Silpheed: The Lost Planet, Advance Guardian Heroes, Gunstar Super Heroes, Gradius V, Bangai-O Spirits and now Sin & Punishment: Star Successor. And Ikaruga as well, if you think it's a sequel to Radiant Silvergun.
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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't run and gun games not considered shmups?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:18 pm 


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xxx1993 wrote:
Used to be. But they already changed that with Silpheed: The Lost Planet, Advance Guardian Heroes, Gunstar Super Heroes, Gradius V, Bangai-O Spirits and now Sin & Punishment: Star Successor. And Ikaruga as well, if you think it's a sequel to Radiant Silvergun.


Well, Silpheed as well as Gradius V are more their "take" on a external ip than "sequels". But of course you're right that they spammed sequels of everything like everyone else at some point.
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