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 Post subject: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:30 am 


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Well, this is a question that came to me after i had a conversation with a friend. We were talking about unusual shmups and he said that Metal Slug is a shmup, a rare one with some bizarre rules on movement and options in the genre but the main mechanics were the same as shumps or manic shooters: Kill everyone you can and dodge the bullets they throw at you while you shoot at then with the different weapons you have.

As I'm not that convinced of his point and just for the sake of debating, what do you think? If it's not a shmup then in which genre should it be classified?


Last edited by O. Van Bruce on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:44 am 


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The appellation "run 'n' gun" usually refers to games like Metal Slug, Contra, Gunforce, Gunstar Heroes et al. It's obviously a related genre with a very similar provenance, but there's as much emphasis on platforming as shooting and dodging in a lot of run 'n' gun titles.


Last edited by Klatrymadon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:56 am, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:49 am 


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Most consider Metal Slug/Contra/Gunstar Heroes to be run and gun platformers distinct from shmups because the limitations on movement make the games play very differently. Not to mention "Kill everyone you can and dodge the bullets they throw at you while you shoot at then with the different weapons you have" is more than little vague as a genre criteria. If you get creative, that could mean Vanquish is a shmup...

Now if you want an head-haching borderliner, try Wolf Fang/Rohga: Armor Force.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:59 am 



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O. Van Bruce wrote:
Well, this is question that came to me after i had a conversation with a friend. We were talking about unusual shmups and he said that Metal Slug is a shmup, a rare one with some bizarre rules on movement and options in the genre but the main mechanics were the same as shumps or manic shooters: Kill everyone you can and dodge the bullets they throw at you while you shoot at then with the different weapons you have.

As I'm not that convinced of his point and just for the sake of debating, what do you think? If it's not a shmup then in which genre should it be classified?


I see it this way:

Shmups or Shoot 'em ups can be divided into several sub-genres.

Vertical Scrolling Shoot Shooters (Raiden, Dodonpachi, Battle Bakraid, Gunbird, Star Soldier, Batsugun)
Horizontal Scrolling Shooters (Gradius, R-Type, Darius, In The Hunt)
Fixed Shooters (Galaga, Space Invaders)
Multi-Directional Shooters (Asteroids, Geometry Wars, Bangai-O Super Stardust, Bosconian)
Rail Shooters (Panzer Dragoon, Space Harrier)
Run 'N Gun (Metal Slug, Contra, Ikari Warriors, Shock Troopers)
Isometric Shooters (Viewpoint, Zaxxon)
Tube Shooters (Gyruss, Tempest)

Run 'N Gun games like Metal Slug do indeed have platforming elements, but other than that, the game play is virtually the same. You get a single character and you collect powerups, extra weapons, and scoring items while dodging bullets and going up against a seemingly endless hoard of enemies. So yeah, as far as I'm concerned Metal Slug, Contra, Shock Troopers and the like are all shmups.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:27 pm 


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In Run 'n Guns the screen doesn't automatically scroll forward. You can stop if you like and are not forced to progress.
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:31 pm 


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1up wrote:
In Run 'n Guns the screen doesn't automatically scroll forward. You can stop if you like and are not forced to progress.


Boat n' Guns too...In the Hunt, anyone?
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:59 pm 


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No not more genre definiton war threads please nooooooo D:


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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:36 pm 


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If people really want to go through this dance again, the music is playing. There's a very similar thread from way before here, for old times' sake.

(Also, moved to Off Topic.)
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:53 pm 



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1up wrote:
In Run 'n Guns the screen doesn't automatically scroll forward. You can stop if you like and are not forced to progress.


The same can be said for In The Hunt, Galaga, Geometry Wars, and Mamoru-kun wa Norowarete Shimatta.

Whether the screen scrolls or or whether you can run and jump, the core game play is still the same.

I would call Battlefield, Call Of Duty, Warhawk, or Gears Of War shmups because the core game play is different. But whether the screen scrolls in Dodonpachi, stays fixed in Galaga, lets you move in any direction in Asteroids, or has running and jumping like Metal Slug, the core game play is the same.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:44 pm 


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apatheticTurd wrote:
Most consider Metal Slug/Contra/Gunstar Heroes to be run and gun platformers distinct from shmups because the limitations on movement make the games play very differently. Not to mention "Kill everyone you can and dodge the bullets they throw at you while you shoot at then with the different weapons you have" is more than little vague as a genre criteria. If you get creative, that could mean Vanquish is a shmup...


Vanquish is a pretty fucking rad shmup, if I do say so myself.

But really, yeah, run 'n guns. Move and shoot on platforms. The scoring in Metal Slug is ridiculous anyway, what with the time limit and destructible missiles and whatnot. You can farm those games for hours, if memory serves me correctly.
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:17 pm 


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No, it's a run n' gun. I don't see why people get so confused by this.
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:30 pm 


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apatheticTurd wrote:
Wolf Fang/Rohga: Armor Force.


Amazing game.
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:28 pm 


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wataru330 wrote:
Boat n' Guns too...

Float n' Gun?

What about Tank n' Gun? There's actually a bunch of them and quite fun, too.
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:36 pm 



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evil_ash_xero wrote:
No, it's a run n' gun. I don't see why people get so confused by this.


There's no confusion at all. Whether you move about the screen by flying or by running and jumping, there are no differences in the core game play.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:46 pm 


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Nasirosuchus wrote:
There's no confusion at all. Whether you move about the screen by flying or by running and jumping, there are no differences in the core game play.


I'd say a serious change in movement ability is a defining factor when it comes to game mechanics. Hell, by this logic Gears of War is a euroshm-WAIT A SECOND.
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:24 pm 


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1up wrote:
In Run 'n Guns the screen doesn't automatically scroll forward. You can stop if you like and are not forced to progress.


Neither will Galaga, Centipede, and Gyruss 8)

Commando has no platforming elements 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:43 pm 


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The difference is purely definitional. Game either has gravity or it doesn't. Contra feels more like a traditional shmup to me than GeoWars does, but eh. Doesn't matter does it?
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:53 am 


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Moniker wrote:
The difference is purely definitional. Game either has gravity or it doesn't. Contra feels more like a traditional shmup to me than GeoWars does, but eh. Doesn't matter does it?


This.
For me, gravity is what defines a shooting-based game as a shmup or a run-and-gun. Shock Troopers, Mercs, Guwanage: all shmups to me. Contra, Metal Slug, etc: run-and-guns.

Forced scrolling isn't a consideration [e.g, that would leave out nearly every twin-stick/arena shmup].
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:08 am 


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If gravity is the defining factor then that means OutZone is still a run 'n gun.
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:27 am 


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Udderdude wrote:
No not more genre definiton war threads please nooooooo D:

the undersigned

well, actually, there's just one thing that I was wondering about...
ChainsawGuitarSP wrote:
If gravity is the defining factor then that means OutZone is still a run 'n gun.

No, it would mean that Axelay isn't a shmup.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:22 am 


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Ha, can't argue with you on that one.
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:24 am 


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Run n gun games like Metal Slug are platformers, not shooters.

On the other hand, games like Ikari are shooters, not run n gun, or platformers at all.

Gravity alone can't be the defining factor of a platformer, because Sub-Terrania definitely is a shooter. I thought jumping + gravity could be it, but then, where do we put Robocop for the NES? It's pretty much a platformer, but you can't jump.
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 Post subject: Re: Metal Slug... a shmup?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:10 pm 


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I gave this a bizarre amount of thought last night as I was going to bed.

So let's take Robotron 2084. It's a straight up arena shooter. One of the first, predated by Berzerk and nothing else notable, as far as I know. Its core mechanics are eight-way movement and eight-way shooting. There are points items in the form of human NPC's, which can be killed by enemies, all of whom exhibit specific behavior. After all killable enemies are down the player moves on to the next level.

Next up is Super Smash TV, Robotron 2084's successor. It's practically Robotron 2084 with a number of upgrades. Its core mechanics are eight-way movement and eight-way shooting. There are points items in the form of presents, which could be a toaster or a TV. Said presents disappear after a fixed amount of time. Enemies are unique, if a bit more plentiful. Additionally, not all enemies are spawned at once, but like Robotron 2084 you need to kill them all to proceed to the next room. After going through enough rooms, the player fights a boss and moves on to the next level. Despite the number of changes, it's still an arena shooter, I'd say.

Then there's Total Carnage, Super Smash TV's successor. Eight-way movement, eight-way shooting, now adds bombs. In addition to fixed room arenas there are sequences where the player scrolls up or sideways to proceed. So those parts are clearly like Ikari Warriors or the top-down parts of Contra or any number of other games. So it's a mix. It's not strictly arena any more. Do we call it an arena shooter due to its legacy and largely similar mechanics or do we call it just a "shooter?"

So really we need to make shooter database of games where they are organized by mechanics at work. Movement style, shooting style, switchable weapons, powerups, and the like. These games really start to cross over more than I realize.
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