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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:35 pm 



Joined: 25 Jul 2008
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I think tyrian (2000) might be up your street... verti-sontal.
Not too much more on the game controls, but some progression+options above the norm.

Bonus seems to be free on gog:
https://www.gog.com/game/tyrian_2000

(apologies - never really realised it was open source turns out there's many more ways to play this)


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:11 pm 


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komatik wrote:
screwing around with yet another piece of external software just to make a game playable is a non-starter.

It's called "turn on autofire" in the mame options man. Use mameplus.

Or buy the PS1 port of Strikers. It has an autofire button. and a normal button (because you need the charge shot to beat the game).

Quote:
Wait, I'm confused.

Capcom made the 1942 series.

Psikyo made the Strikers 1945 series. Different entirely. The only thing they share is a general WW2 theme for their early games (Capcom dropped it with 19XX, and Psikyo went 'modern' with Strikers 1999 - though its WW2 stuff was full of sci-fi mechs and aliens anyway).
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:32 pm 


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And 1945k III is a Korean game that isn't part of, but takes more than a little inspiration from, the Strikers 1945 series.
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:20 pm 


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Try Strania, Kamui, or Radirgy. Also Dragon Blaze, if you're willing to deal with slightly higher bullet counts.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:50 pm 


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That reminds me, I think Alltynex Second (by the same devs as Kamui) would also be worth checking out. There are four different attacks, and dealing good damage and scoring well is explicitly about balancing the use of those different attacks. Windows, available on Steam and the Humble Store.
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:14 pm 


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As others have mentioned, check out as many Compile developer STGs as you can. The quality is usually pretty high. MUSHA, Blazing Lazers, and Space Megaforce (aka Super Aleste) are popular choices.
-
RayForce is also a popular game though it might be tough to emulate.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:54 pm 


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scrilla4rella wrote:
As others have mentioned, check out as many Compile developer STGs as you can. The quality is usually pretty high. MUSHA, Blazing Lazers, and Space Megaforce (aka Super Aleste) are popular choices.
-
RayForce is also a popular game though it might be tough to emulate.

RayForce runs perfectly fine in MAME (though the stage 3 midboss's lasers are bugged IIRC), but the later games in the series (RayStorm, RayCrisis) may have some issues.
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:15 pm 


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Shepardus wrote:
scrilla4rella wrote:
As others have mentioned, check out as many Compile developer STGs as you can. The quality is usually pretty high. MUSHA, Blazing Lazers, and Space Megaforce (aka Super Aleste) are popular choices.
-
RayForce is also a popular game though it might be tough to emulate.

RayForce runs perfectly fine in MAME (though the stage 3 midboss's lasers are bugged IIRC), but the later games in the series (RayStorm, RayCrisis) may have some issues.


whoops, actually I meant RayStorm. But I prefer RayForce (aka Galactic Attack), fantastic game!


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:14 am 



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komatik wrote:
I really really dislike the bullet-hell/bullet-maze genre where the enemies spew a hundred bajillion projectiles at you in geometric patterns.


Wow, I thought I was alone. Bullet hells bore me to tears. Off the top of my head, I would suggest Xenon 2 (perfect for beginners because it's not too hard), Nexzr, Super Star Soldier and Soldier Blade.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:43 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
It's called "turn on autofire" in the mame options man.

I don't have any such option in my MAME, it this a relatively new feature? (I don't update my copy of MAME often because the constant rom changes are a pain)

EmperorIng wrote:
Use mameplus.

Thanks but it appears to be Windows-only, I'll look into it later if and when I get a Windows box up and running.

EmperorIng wrote:
Different entirely.

OK well not that different- they have similar naming schemes, both are vertical shooters, both are based in WWII (at least the early games I guess), both use a P-38 Lightning, and both use the 'hold fire to charge weapon' mechanic. On the surface at least they appear to be the same franchise. Maybe if I play the rest of them I'll be better at spotting the differences.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:56 am 


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glide wrote:
Bullet hells bore me to tears.

Yeah same. I just can't get into a game where the primary mechanic is memorizing dodging patterns. I feel like I'm just playing SIMON with a lot of gratuitous flashing lights and sounds.


Thanks everyone for all the suggestions thus far. I haven't had a lot of time recently to check stuff out but I'll hopefully be able to try a few this weekend. So far I've only played about a half hour of Pop'n Twinbee on SNES. Verdict: looks and sounds nice, can't figure out WTF I'm doing. Not being able to read Japanese probably doesn't help.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:44 pm 


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komatik wrote:
EmperorIng wrote:
It's called "turn on autofire" in the mame options man.

I don't have any such option in my MAME, it this a relatively new feature? (I don't update my copy of MAME often because the constant rom changes are a pain)


It's been in baseline MAME for a couple years now. They copy/pasted it from UIFX before it was discontinued, so it's extremely bare-bones and the hz ratings should be halved but it works.

Also you need to have cheats enabled for it to appear because the MAME team is pretty batshit about some things.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:54 pm 


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OmegaFlareX wrote:
Also you need to have cheats enabled for it to appear

Aha. That would explain things. As a rule I never bother even thinking about cheat stuff in emulators past savestates/rewind, I'll have to look into how to get that going in MAME and what the deal is. Thanks for the tip.

OmegaFlareX wrote:
because the MAME team is pretty batshit about some things.

Only some? :)


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:31 pm 


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Enabling autofire isn't anything difficult. All you need to do is go to the "Core Misc Options" in your INI file and set the "cheat" parameter to 1. The next time you press 'Tab' to bring up configuration options during gameplay, you should see an option to toggle autofire on and off under 'Cheats'.
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:20 pm 


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Unfortunately vanilla MAME's autofire doesn't get saved with the game config so you have to enable it every time you play, and it also doesn't let you bind separate buttons for autofire/non-autofire variants of the same button, like you can in MAMEPlus. If you're willing to build from source for Mac/Linux/whatever you use, I did post a patch to port MAMEPlus's autofire to vanilla MAME here. It might need a bit of adjustment to merge correctly with the most recent versions of MAME but it should just work for the most part, I was recently able to build it on Windows just fine.

komatik wrote:
glide wrote:
Bullet hells bore me to tears.

Yeah same. I just can't get into a game where the primary mechanic is memorizing dodging patterns. I feel like I'm just playing SIMON with a lot of gratuitous flashing lights and sounds.

Frankly I find bullet hells more reaction-friendly and less memorization-dependent than most other shmups due to the slow bullet speeds. At least that's what got me into Touhou initially.
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:33 pm 


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Shepardus wrote:
it also doesn't let you bind separate buttons for autofire/non-autofire variants of the same button, like you can in MAMEPlus.


Or Mednafen, for that matter.
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:32 pm 


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Shepardus wrote:
and it also doesn't let you bind separate buttons for autofire/non-autofire variants of the same button, like you can in MAMEPlus

Ergh. OK, so that negates itself as a possible solution for Strikers then since I'll never be able to use the weapon charge mechanic.

Thanks for the link to the patch, but I have never once successfully compiled my own vanilla MAME or RetroArch, much less gotten a modified version running.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:47 am 



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Can't go wrong with M.U.S.H.A.

Vertical, easy to emulate, awesome.

Spriggan is also really great if you want another game in that style. More weapon switching and combinations in that one.
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:24 pm 


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Omega Fighter. Hard to believe that's from 89. Also on Arcade Archives if you want a modern release.
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:33 pm 


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Pretty much any of the Psikyo games sounds like they fit what you want, they don't really have different weapons you can switch throughout the game, but there's different characters who all have different shots, plus a chargeable special attack.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:00 pm 


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Ps2- Silpheed The Lost Planet by treasure, one of my favorite and underrated games imo. Just put it on hard difficulty mode and have fun :)

There is also a cheat code to receive all weapons when starting if you want..


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:23 pm 



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Obscura wrote:
Try Strania, Kamui, or Radirgy. Also Dragon Blaze, if you're willing to deal with slightly higher bullet counts.


Ack, reminds me, Wolflame might well be what you want.
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Kamui / alltynex / alltynex second (bit more frenetic) --- all three can be gotten as a bundle

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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:24 am 


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OK, had a chance to try out some of the suggestions.


Space Megaforce (SNES): I think I might be getting too old to pick up new games. This was a mess of sounds and shapes, I cannot for the life of me figure out wtf is going on or what I'm supposed to be doing. There is no rhyme or reason as to what damages/kills you when or why. I rewind-scummed my way through the first few levels up until I got to the part with inflatable beachball planets(???) that had one random animation frame of instant death where the rest don't matter, and that's about where I gave up.

Pop'n Twinbee(SNES) / Twinbee Yahho (MAME): I do like the art style on these. Yahho in particular has a really strong 90's anime thing going for it that's really nostalgic. The gameplay I'm not sure about... the SNES version doesn't seem all that engaging, the arcade might be but it doesn't run well for me. I might try more tweaking later. I can't quite figure out the bell system though- shooting them a bunch sometimes changes their colors which appears to be linked to what powerup you get, but not in a way that's obvious to me (maybe because I keep accidentally shooting them again at the last second trying to hit an enemy). On the arcade version the bells have word bubbles I'm having trouble translating (which I assume give clues), but on the SNES version there's nothing.

MUSHA (GEN): The Gundam+Feudal Japan aesthetic is an interesting idea, but nothing else about this did anything for me. Much like Space Megaforce I had a hard time figuring out what I'm doing. Similar to Twinbee there are Japanese lantern things you can shoot and collect but I dunno what it's supposed to give me. The A button cycles between 'forms' which doesn't appear to make any difference, and the B button doesn't seem to do anything at all.

Thunder Force 2 (GEN): I like the idea and novelty of the freeform scrolling in this but not the way it was implemented. The forced 4-way directional and not-whole-number tile alignment made it obnoxiously difficult to line up your gun to hit stuff. There also wasn't any clear goal or objective either... I flew around for a while shooting at infinitely-respawning enemies and trying to figure out what the deal was with the floating white walls, but I was never able to complete the first level. I'll try playing this again at some point.

Thunder Force 3&4 (GEN): Not my thing at all. Generic 90's horz shooters much like the many others I tried.

Capcom 194X series: Most of these didn't do anything for me, although I haven't tried Loopmaster yet. I did kinda like some aspects of 1942 though (which I'll explain after this list).

Mystic Riders: This is a really cute game and thus far the only horizontal whose aesthetic I actually kinda like. Initial impression of the gameplay is merely "eh" but I'll try messing with it some more before I decide on a final opinion.

Dragon Breed: The idea of a squishy human riding an invincible dragon is a unique take, but something about the way this games plays made it super difficult for me and I could never make it even 2 minutes in. Doesn't help that there are no checkpoints and I can't even rewind-scumm since RA+FBA doesn't support it for this title. I'll maybe try again once or twice later when I have more time.

Slap Fight: I cannot get any version of this game working. Two different Genesis roms on two different emulators both lock up on the title screen. There are two arcade versions, one doesn't work in any version of MAME, the other only boots in one of them and instantly freezes. Etc.




So, based on playing these titles, the big takeaway for me here is that I made a mistake using 'multiple weapons' as the example in my third item. What I'm looking for is some flavor of variety or puzzle strategy, something more than "line up with bad guy and shoot" which is what these titles pretty much all were. When I wrote 'multiple weapons' I was referring specifically to situations where there was a REASON for having more than one, as in only certain weapons worked in certain places and you had to figure out when and where, or something to that effect. Multiple weapons that are just a question of personal style (where it doesn't really matter which you use because they all pretty much have the same ultimate effect) isn't what I'm looking for. I think people are getting hung up on the 'weapons' part and missing the forest for the trees.

As I wrote in another post, a game where you only had one normal blaster but you had to figure out how to bounce shots off walls or something would also fit the bill, likewise a game where you don't even have a gun but like a mirror that bounces enemy shots back at them. It doesn't even really have to be about weapons at all. I mentioned playing 1942- in that game early on there's a section where you're basically bombing a shipping yard, which also counts towards variety to some extent since it makes you switch up your movement and objectives, if only for a sec.

I guess..... my problem with most shmups is that they all seem ultimately based around the spray-and-pray design where the tactic for basically everything is to hold/mash the shoot button. It's like before when I mentioned Mario. What do you do in Mario when you come to a new area? "Jump over the pits and jump on the bad guys' heads." It's always the same answer no matter what, there's nothing to figure out. I'm looking for a game that mixes it up a little or has some kind of nominal puzzle to it.

tldr; When I wrote "multiple weapons" it seems everyone kinda jumped in the direction of Doom/Wolfenstein, but what I meant was Zelda/Metroid. Are there any shmups out there in that direction?


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:37 am 


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About TwinBee - Yes, different colors of bells are different powerups. In addition to the text when you pick up the bells, the attract sequence in TwinBee Yahho! also demonstrates all the bells (leave the game running at the title screen and it'll appear). The most important ones to know are yellow = score, blue = speed, green = options (the helpers that follow you and clone your shots), red = shield. Some of the entries in the series have bells exclusive to them (e.g. black bell in Detana! that slows you down, pink bell in Yahho! that gives you back your arms if you lost them). Green and red are incompatible with each other in most of the games (but not Detana!). TwinBee Yahho! in practice mode and Pop'n TwinBee are more forgiving with their color cycling than the other arcade entries because the colored (non-yellow) bells don't go away from a single hit (it takes a couple hits to cycle them back to yellow). Also Pop'n TwinBee has a lifebar system that doesn't reset your powerups to zero when you take a hit (though if you ask me, scrambling to power up is part of the fun :P). I do find Pop'n TwinBee a bit long and drawn out compared to the arcade games - it's probably better on higher difficulty levels, but it's been a while since I've bothered setting up an SNES emulator to try.

On a side note, the Parodius series features a similar bell system, except instead of powerups like speed up they grant temporary superpowers like a giant screen-clearing bomb or turning giant and invulnerable.

About Mystic Riders - There are a couple offensive and defensive options available to you that may not be immediately obvious. In addition to the charge-shot and regular shot (setting up autofire may be helpful...), pressing button 2 will throw your broom in the direction opposite your movement, useful for attacking in different angles, and pressing down then up will perform a twirl on your broom that makes you invulnerable for a short period. Try balancing the use of these different abilities and figure out what works best for each situation.

komatik wrote:
I guess..... my problem with most shmups is that they all seem ultimately based around the spray-and-pray design where the tactic for basically everything is to hold/mash the shoot button. It's like before when I mentioned Mario. What do you do in Mario when you come to a new area? "Jump over the pits and jump on the bad guys' heads." It's always the same answer no matter what, there's nothing to figure out. I'm looking for a game that mixes it up a little or has some kind of nominal puzzle to it.

Not too much I can think of, honestly. Ikaruga maybe, but you've already expressed your distaste for bullet hell. Plenty of games have multiple attack options (especially in the form of different powerups, or in the form of a rapid shot + charge shot), but fewer of them enforce efficient use of them in a puzzle-like manner (i.e. certain weapons may happen to work better in certain situations, but that alone doesn't really sound like what you're looking for). Irem's games and Radiant Silvergun are the best I can think of in this regard.

Efficient use of your tools beyond "spray and pray" becomes more important when shooting for optimal scores, though. For example, in a game like Battle Garegga, bombs may be used as a panic button to clear bullets, but if you're trying to score well you'll want to use them in places where they can get you a lot of points, for example by bombing certain structures to uncover a cache of score medals (and since scoring gives you more lives, it may be worth it even if you're only trying to survive...). Many shmups have scoring systems, some more esoteric than others, that distinguish them from each other in ways that their "base" mechanics don't. This becomes increasingly common from the 90s onwards, though it's not entirely devoid from earlier games either.
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:54 am 


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Shepardus wrote:
bells / Mystic Riders

OK thanks, that helps. I'll take a look at Yahho's attract, I always forget that sometimes games do more than just show a random level.

Shepardus wrote:
Ikaruga maybe, but you've already expressed your distaste for bullet hell.

In all things a balance. I don't like bullet hells, but I may be able to put up with it if the rest of the game offers me something. No game is perfect and ultimately the overall package is what I judge by. Ikaruga is a game I have on my to-try list when I have some time to try and get it working.

Shepardus wrote:
but fewer of them enforce efficient use of them in a puzzle-like manner

Well, I mean I still feel like my words are being taken too literally here. It doesn't have to follow the strict definition of "puzzle". To mention Zelda and Metroid again: in Zelda you have like the boomerang and the hookshot and the arrows and such. Figuring out where and how to use them isn't really a "puzzle" in the classical sense, but neither is the game a simple case of walking around bashing everything on the head with your sword. Likewise in Metroid there's figuring out that certain doors can only be opened with certain missiles and certain places you can only get to by bouncing around as a morph ball, and that sometimes you need to freeze-ray an enemy instead of killing them. I don't think most gamers would classify any of the Metroids under the label of "puzzle platformer", but yet they're a damn sight more a thinking man's game than something like Contra. I just want something more than "bash enemy on head" is all.


Shepardus wrote:
becomes more important when shooting for optimal scores, though.

Yeah......... that's another thing that will separate me from everyone else on this forum. Score has never meant anything to me, it's just a number. I understand that getting a high score is supposed to be the point of these types of games (and many older games in general), but that whole concept does absolutely nothing for me. The enjoyment I get from games comes from their aesthetic, how they move, the flow, the plot, the art, the humor..... For me, playing a game for a high score is like reading a book to see how many pages you can turn. I know I'll always be the odd-man-out on this.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:27 am 


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Lemme try asking this question from a different angle.

Way back when there were two shmups for classic Macintosh, Mars Rising and Deimos Rising. They weren't much to write home about, but both featured a strong land-target-bombing mechanic besides the typical air-target-shooting fare. It wasn't a huge thing but it did freshen up the standard gameplay a touch. I kinda liked the parts in Capcom 1941 where you attacked the shipyard. Are there any vert shmups in that vein where they shuffle up the targets a bit and you have to swap between shooting and bombing or something?

I'm just looking for a game that offers something, anything, more than just mindlessly blasting enemies in the face.


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:27 am 


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I remember playing Deimos Rising on school computers a long time ago. :) The bombing mechanic originates from Xevious, and is also featured in TwinBee and RayForce, the latter of which makes particularly excellent use of the crosshair-targeting gameplay, if you ask me.

komatik wrote:
Shepardus wrote:
becomes more important when shooting for optimal scores, though.

Yeah......... that's another thing that will separate me from everyone else on this forum. Score has never meant anything to me, it's just a number. I understand that getting a high score is supposed to be the point of these types of games (and many older games in general), but that whole concept does absolutely nothing for me. The enjoyment I get from games comes from their aesthetic, how they move, the flow, the plot, the art, the humor..... For me, playing a game for a high score is like reading a book to see how many pages you can turn. I know I'll always be the odd-man-out on this.

For me it depends on the game; I feel similar about scoring in general, but there are nonetheless some games where I have found the scoring system to be a lot of fun to engage with.

Here are some other games I thought of, though most of them are bullet hells because I'm too tired to think of anything else:

  • Eschatos and Judgement Silversword feature a wide shot / narrow shot / shield system where different weapons are suited for different areas (e.g. there may be a bunch of enemies flying at you and it's best to put up your shield instead of firing and let them ram into the shield). Also, Cardinal Sins, which is kind of the "other half" of Judgement Silversword, has a different set of almost minigame-like challenges to fulfill each stage, spicing things up.
  • Tumiki Fighters lets you collect the pieces of enemies you destroy and smash them together into an unholy ball of death firing bullets every which way. The shooting itself is very basic, which leaves the focus on building up your ball of parts. Surrounding yourself with parts protects your vulnerable core, but each part is also vulnerable to bullets and can be destroyed individually.
  • Guwange has this odd mechanic where you have your normal attack but you have another attack where you control the movement of a familiar instead of your own movement, and the familiar damages enemies and slows bullets around it. Note that if you try this game, you can enable a dedicated autofire button from the service menu, which (in MAME) is accessed by holding F2 as the game starts up.
  • Mars Matrix somehow crams four different weapons into one button, where tapping quickly is your run-of-the-mill rapid fire, tapping more slowly is this short-range piercing shot, holding the button is a shield that captures and reflects bullets, and holding the button until your energy drains is a big bomb attack. Competent play involves balanced use of all these attacks (well, at least the first three). Note: I do not play this game competently. Giga Wing, by the same developer, is more conventional but also has a reflective shield system where you need to learn when and where to use the shield in order to not get caught without it when a big wall of bullets approaches.
  • Murasaki Tsurugi (and its predecessor Murasaki) - I actually haven't played this and have no idea what's going on when I watch videos of it, but it looks interesting. Zaarock might be able to say more about this.
  • Great Fairy Wars has a chargeable attack that lets you "freeze" (eliminate) clusters of bullets; gameplay revolves around figuring out how to lead bullets into favorable clusters and freeze them.
  • Shoot the Bullet and Double Spoiler have you literally charging up a camera to take pictures of the bullet patterns. The games are divided into short, almost puzzle-like "scenes" where you figure out when to snap pictures (which clears bullets in the area of the picture) and when you can charge your camera safely (the fastest charging method severely limits your movement speed). One of the more clever takes on bullet hell/danmaku in my opinion.
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Last edited by Shepardus on Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:09 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:58 am 


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Posts: 6582
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Layer Section (aka Rayforce, aka GunLock)
Not that it's much scripted, it is repetitive like most shmups are in essence, but to survive you have to mind how quick and in what order you dispose of the enemies in the background, while minding the ones in front of you.

GigaWing while more bullets-busy requires you to think the timing and placement of the reflect shield.


Anyway typically the puzzle-like mechanics are to be found in the scoring mechanics, which are typically more developed in manic/bullet-hell shmups...

If you seek less conventional types of gameplay and not much the bullet-hell~y scoring-focused type, you might have to explore games that are more ancient than the typically popular around here (see the Top 25), and the vast now rather ill-documented world of doujins.

Around here popular console and arcade shmups might be the most regarded either for their looks/feel and/or scoring refinement, but most titles we like -whether oldschool or more bullety- don't deviate much if any from the basic traditional definition of shmups; shoot what comes in front of you, try to clear without dying and eventually study the game more in depht to inflate your score, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Not that there are no amateurs of anything else different/innovative here, there were always a number around, yet in majority this is a rather dusty genre-conservative community (there are other shmups/arcade communities and trust me they're all the same because they were born from demographics who had an interest in sharing on the topic like 20 years ago, really). So if you were looking for extensive advice on out-of-the-ordinary stuff, well sorry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

To illustrate what this community is about (roughly 100 games) you only need to have a look at the 'all past' list which speaks for itself:
Spoiler: show
All Past Top 25 Games (61 total)
Akai Katana
Armed Police Batrider
Axelay
Batsugun
Battle Bakraid
Battle Garegga
Border Down
Crimzon Clover / World Ignition
Dangun Feveron
Darius Burst: Another Chronicle / EX / Chronicle Saviours
Darius Gaiden
Deathsmiles
DoDonPachi
DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu 1.5
DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou
DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou
DonPachi
Dragon Blaze
Einhänder
Eschatos
ESPGaluda
ESPGaluda II
ESP Ra.De.
Gate of Thunder
Giga Wing
Gradius III (SNES)
Gradius Gaiden
Gradius V
Gunbird
Gunbird 2
Gunhed / Blazing Lazers
Guwange
Ibara
Ikaruga
Ketsui
Mars Matrix
Muchi Much Pork!
MUSHA Aleste
Mushihimesama
Mushihimesama Futari
Progear no Arashi
Radiant Silvergun
Raiden DX
Raiden Fighters Jet
RayForce / Layer Section / Gunlock / Galactic Attack
R-Type
R-Type Delta
Salamander / Life Force (ARC)
Sengoku Blade
Shikigami no Shiro II
Soldier Blade
Soukyugurentai
Strikers 1945 II
Thunder Dragon 2
Thunder Force III
Thunder Force IV / Lightening Force
Thunder Force V
Under Defeat
Winds of Thunder / Lords of Thunder
Zanac Neo
Zero Gunner 2



All Past Honorable-Mention-Only Games (55 total)
19XX: The War Against Destiny
Blazing Star
Cho Ren Sha 68K
Cyvern
Deathsmiles II
Dimahoo / Great Mahou Daisakusen
DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu Black Label
Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
Fire Shark / Same! Same! Same!
Flying Shark / Hishouzame
G.Darius
Gaiares
Galaga
Giga Wing 2
Ginga Force
Gokujou Parodius
Gradius / Nemesis
Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou / Vulcan Venture
Hellfire
Hellsinker
Imperishable Night
Judgement Silversword
Kamui
Metal Black
Mountain of Faith
Parodius / Parodius-Da!
Parsec47
Perfect Cherry Blossom
Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream
Phantasmagoria of Flower View
Pink Sweets
Psyvariar 2
Pulstar
Raiden
Raiden II
Raiden IV
Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive
Recca
R-Type III: The Third Lightning
R-Type Final
Salamander / Life Force (NES)
Salamander 2
Sexy Parodius
Shienryu / Shienryu Gekioh / Gekioh: Shooting King
Stargate / Defender II
Strikers 1945
Strikers 1999 / Strikers 1945 III
Super Aleste / Space Megaforce (SNES)
Tatsujin / Truxton
Triggerheart Exelica
Twin Cobra / Kyukyoku Tiger
Twinkle Star Sprites
U.N. Squadron / Area 88 (SNES)
Undefined Fantastic Object
Zanac (NES) / Zanac EX
[/quote]
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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:54 pm 



Joined: 20 May 2018
Posts: 52
IMO these games are generally so hard that figuring out how to survive and/or get decent score is often a kind of puzzle in itself. What enemies needs to be killed fast, what is the priority, figuring out best way to redirect aimed bullets to create room elsewhere, figuring out best routes for scoring etc. It's not usually enough just to memorise and have good reactions, especially when playing for score!


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 Post subject: Re: Any good not-bullet-hell vertical games?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:34 pm 


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Joined: 15 Feb 2012
Posts: 1805
komatik wrote:
So, based on playing these titles, the big takeaway for me here is that I made a mistake using 'multiple weapons' as the example in my third item. What I'm looking for is some flavor of variety or puzzle strategy, something more than "line up with bad guy and shoot" which is what these titles pretty much all were. When I wrote 'multiple weapons' I was referring specifically to situations where there was a REASON for having more than one, as in only certain weapons worked in certain places and you had to figure out when and where, or something to that effect. Multiple weapons that are just a question of personal style (where it doesn't really matter which you use because they all pretty much have the same ultimate effect) isn't what I'm looking for. I think people are getting hung up on the 'weapons' part and missing the forest for the trees.

As I wrote in another post, a game where you only had one normal blaster but you had to figure out how to bounce shots off walls or something would also fit the bill, likewise a game where you don't even have a gun but like a mirror that bounces enemy shots back at them. It doesn't even really have to be about weapons at all. I mentioned playing 1942- in that game early on there's a section where you're basically bombing a shipping yard, which also counts towards variety to some extent since it makes you switch up your movement and objectives, if only for a sec.

I guess..... my problem with most shmups is that they all seem ultimately based around the spray-and-pray design where the tactic for basically everything is to hold/mash the shoot button. It's like before when I mentioned Mario. What do you do in Mario when you come to a new area? "Jump over the pits and jump on the bad guys' heads." It's always the same answer no matter what, there's nothing to figure out. I'm looking for a game that mixes it up a little or has some kind of nominal puzzle to it.

tldr; When I wrote "multiple weapons" it seems everyone kinda jumped in the direction of Doom/Wolfenstein, but what I meant was Zelda/Metroid. Are there any shmups out there in that direction?

This really makes it sound like you're looking for Strania, Radiant Silvergun, Radirgy, or Dragon Blaze.


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