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 Post subject: GD: Bullet Soul Infinite Burst System Guide
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:49 am 


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Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 2409
Location: Tokyo
GD: Bullet Soul: Infinite Burst – Burst Mode System Guide


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You may remember Bullet Soul as that boring bullet canceling game released by visual novel publisher 5pb a few years back. In a way it was an admirable first effort, quite nice visually with fun boss fights and some interesting system ideas, but the “everything bullet cancels!” idea ended up killing the game by making the stages far too passive. When you can get all the way to the stage two boss without ever moving your ship, you know there are some problems with your game.

So predictably I never ended up playing my copy of the first game much, but was intrigued enough by the ideas shown to give 5pb a second chance with Infinite Burst. My good faith was rewarded apparently, as Infinite Burst is an incredibly addictive game; fun to play for both score and survival. The survival play is well suited to shmup beginners, and the extremely risk maneuvering required for high tier scoring is challenging and satisfying even for long term fans of the genre. I'd go so far to say IB is now one of my favorite 360 shmups.

If you have any useful tips or resources you would like to share, please post and I will add them to the OP and credit you.


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Game Modes


IB features 4 modes, but only Burst Mode will be discussed in any kind of detail within this guide.


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Burst Mode

The primary mode for Infinite Burst. The powerup and bomb drops from Vanilla have been dropped completely and your ship is fully powered up from the very beginning. In place of the bomb you now have a burst that functions somewhat like the hyper system in DDP. Patterns an enemy formations have been changed drastically from Vanilla to the point that it is an almost entirely new game, just using the same graphics and art. The scoring system is also totally new, and revolves around medal chaining similar to Dangun Feveron. After the normal final boss you must defeat the true last boss in order to achieve a 1cc.


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Normal Mode

Normal mode retains the original scoring and powerup system used in Vanilla but uses the new bullet patterns and enemy formations from Burst Mode (with some tweaks). Not very interesting honestly, just play Burst instead.


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Musou Mode

Basically this is the same as Normal mode except you are constantly in burst status and there is no need to collect powerups. Seems more like a random bonus than an actual fleshed out mode. Surprisingly the extra damage from burst isn't enough to make much difference in the difficulty.


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Caravan Mode

Exactly what it sounds like. A single stage with a short time limit where you kill enemies as fast as possible. The faster you kill the more that show up.


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Burst Mode Gameplay Basics


- IB uses a simple 3 button layout: rapid, shot, and burst/bomb.

- As with most every other modern shmup, rapid will give you a wider spread while shot will be concentrated with slower movement to help with tight dodging.

- On the left side of the screen you will see two (obnoxiously large) meters. The big one is your burst gauge, and the small one is your life gauge.

- When the burst gauge fills completely you may activate burst at any time for a huge damage boost. The meter will drain and when it empties the burst ends. If you press burst again while it's activated you will force the burst to end in exchange for a screen clearing bomb. If you are hit while in burst status you will lose life and burst will end.

- The burst meter itself fills slightly with each enemy kill. The amount it fills is determined by how high up on the screen you are at the time of a kill. Meaning, kills performed at the top edge will pay out exponentially more meter than kills from the bottom edge. It may appear that the meter increase comes from point blanking, but this isn't the case, it is only related to your vertical positioning.

- Enemies killed outside of burst mode drop silver medals, while enemies killed within burst drop higher scoring red medals. The medals will float straight down to the bottom of the screen, and then bounce back up, turn an orange-ish color, and fly off of the screen completely. Collecting them as they float down yields the same score and rate payout as collecting them when the float up. The color change only indicates which medals are about to leave the screen permanently.

- The red medals dropped during burst mode will refill your burst gauge slightly, so with proper planning you can keep a single burst going for very long stretches of time.

- Rather than lives, you have a life bar in Burst mode. If you look closely you will notice it separated into segments; these represent “lives”. Eating a bullet will take one “life” worth of energy while colliding directly with an enemy will take 1.5.

- Certain enemies will drop square green life recharge items. These only refill a single “pixel” worth of life, so it takes quite a few of them to actually refill an entire life segment.

- Rather than score based extends you will be given an extra segment worth of life each for hitting the two score milestones. This will permanently lengthen your life bar and can be refilled as normal if you take a hit.

- When an enemy is killed any of its bullets currently on screen will be instantly canceled.

- Similarly, destroying a boss part or phase will cancel all of the bullets on screen.


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Scoring


The scoring in Infinite Burst is pretty easy to grasp, but difficult to master because of the need for high risk play. The enemies will drop silver medals when killed that you need to collect to build up your coin rate. A single medal will add around 50 to the coin rate, but if you miss one it will subtract 1000. This means that while missing a single medal will not ruin your run, missing a large clump of medals can bring the rate back down to zero almost instantaneously. When learning to score your first priority should simply be learning to clear the game without ever missing a significant amount of medals and breaking your coin rate.

However, the red medals dropped during burst mode are significantly more valuable, so when you are ready to take it to the next level you will want to begin planning your bursts so that you can get the highest medal payouts and burst lengths possible from a single burst. An example of a good burst point would be in stage one shortly after killing the giant golden enemy. A properly executed burst here with careful rhythm while picking up the red medals makes it possible to keep the burst going all the way to the end of the stage before the boss for a huge score payout. These are the kinds of opportunities you want to look for. And of course try to kill the bosses and their phases while in burst mode where possible.

Taking things a step further, Infinite Burst functions somewhat like a caravan game in that the faster you kill enemy waves the more waves that ultimately show up. This is another thing that's easy to see in stage one, where passive play will have you fight a single giant golden enemy in the middle of the stage, but speed kill oriented play will have you face two of them, one in the middle and one at the very end. More enemies = more kills = more points, so try to be as efficient as possible.

In addition to these three main factors there are a few other things that are important to scoring. You'll activate countless bonuses throughout the game for performing certain specific actions. There are far too many to list here, so you will have to experiment and find them on your own. Occasionally a floating treasure chest will show up and spit out tons of medals as you shoot it. Try to point blank them while in burst mode for maximum effect. The speed killing factors in here too, as downing enemy waves quickly enough sometimes leads to extra treasure boxes (or on occasion enemies that drop life refill pickups) spawning.

And finally, you really need to actually clear the game. The end game bonus is so significant it can almost double your score, meaning the average survival oriented 1cc will end up scoring higher than a score optimized game over at the final boss. There are a lot of risks that must be taken to maximize your score, but keep in mind all of the risks you take are weighed against damaging your chances of clearing. You must complete your mission at all costs!


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Characters


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Zenichi (Cap'n McSmirkey)

A very straightforward character with a high damage output. There's no fluff here; rapid fire for a wide spread and hold shot for more damaging concentrated fire. He's definitely the easiest character to pick up, and is well suited to a first 1cc.


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Yun (Officer Garterbelt)

Lowest damage output in the game offset by a lock-on shot. Rapid fire will get you a very wide shot, but the only the center red shots do particularly high damage. If you hold shot the green beams all focus around the center red beam, and then will lock onto anything hit by the center red shot ala Ketsui. Once locked onto something they will stay locked until their target dies or you release the shot button. Yun's low damage output can cause difficulties at times, especially in boss fights, but her lock ability gives the player far more creative options for approaching the game.


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Sadaharu (Moe Pimp Lord)

High point blank damage output offset by low speed and spread. Rapid fire is semi-wide with a flat drill in front to protect your face, while holding shot gives you a concentrated shot with a much longer drill. The damage when point blanking with the drill is quite high, but you obviously have to put yourself in a lot of danger to use it and it often isn't a huge enough boost to warrant the risk. If you aren't hitting with the drill his damage output is actually very low. The result of all this is that while he is certainly capable in the right hands Sadaharu is a difficult character to play. Low spread width and damage, and low movement speed also hurt his ability to score and keep a medal chain going.


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Loop (Plugsuit Desu)

Wide-spread-high-damage-piercing-beam-point-blanking character. Unsurprisingly she's the best character in the game because she's good in pretty much any situation. Rapid fire gives you a very wide good damage spread with a high damage blue laser in the center. Holding shot concentrates everything into a piercing high damage red laser, and the two hands floating beside you will punch forward for a close range point blanking attack. However, Loop is unique in that her burst has special properties that must be mastered to get the most out of her. In burst mode her fists will be deployed into a position where they keep punching for a few seconds even if you move away. Once they finish you can redeploy them in your current position by holding shot. The fists are hugely damaging, but you have to be willing to get into dangerous positions to deploy them effectively. With proper utilization her burst is the best in the game, however if you are too afraid to get in and use the hands her burst is significantly weaker than other characters. For this reason she may not be the best choice for a total beginner pursuing a 1cc. For scoring purposes other characters simply cannot compare to Loop, because her high damage and spread allow her to slaughter things at an unbelievably fast rate, leading to far more waves showing up to kill and score on.


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”Piece of cake desu!”
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Bullet Soul Infinite Burst System Guide
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:17 am 


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Location: Vancouver, Canada
Wow, great guide! Almost makes me wanna pick up the game...
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Bullet Soul Infinite Burst System Guide
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:41 am 


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Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 2409
Location: Tokyo
Thanks, I'm glad to see someone reading it. I was hoping a detailed explanation of the system might intrigue some of the members here.

You should really really pick it up. Games like this give me hope for the future of the genre. It's really unfortunate they hurt their reputation so badly with Vanilla, this game deserves respect from the community.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Bullet Soul Infinite Burst System Guide
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:10 pm 


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Joined: 07 Jun 2013
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
I'll finally get to play this (it is out in NA). Again, many thanks for the guide!
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Bullet Soul Infinite Burst System Guide
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:16 am 


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Joined: 29 Jul 2010
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Location: Conroe, Texas
Total necrobump but what are the extends in this game? Just at 200 million and 1 billion? I saw a replay from the original Bullet Soul, and the guy must've gotten close to 10 lives by the end of it.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Bullet Soul Infinite Burst System Guide
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:33 pm 


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Location: England
No lives, you have a life bar that can be replenished with items (in Burst mode at least).


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Bullet Soul Infinite Burst System Guide
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:37 pm 


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Also, be careful in Burst mode because while a collision with a bullet depletes one 'block' of the life bar, a collision with an enemy actually removes one block and half. (Yes it's stupid)
I recorded this little clip a while ago that coincidentally has the two types of health loss as well as the items that replenish the life points if you want to see what it looks like.
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