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 Post subject: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:12 pm 


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(I hesitated making this thread, because let's face it, the '10s weren't exactly shmup-rich. But, after waffling for a couple days, I figured there was enough for perhaps not an epic, but a nice mini-thread on the topic)

After seeing "XXXXXXXXX of the Decade!" posts, tweets, and articles being dumped in the cyberworld by the bushel. I figure a shooter, shmup, STG, whatever, post needed to be somewhere. Here seemed as good of place as any.

I'll start with:
CRIMZON CLOVER (World Ignition)
Do I need to say why? It's very rare a classic presents itself on the first play-through. I wasn't even done with my first play-through when I knew I was playing an all-timer with this particular title. Just as enjoyable to cause wonton destruction as it is to buckle down and go for big scores. And twice as fun to get big scores BY causing wonton destruction. Challenging, but never feels punishing. AND it's made by one person. Many titles made by small armies don't display this much care. I know it's been a bit of an anemic decade, but you can put this one in any decade, and it would rise to the top.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:45 pm 


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"There weren't many games made by Cave, anemic decade."


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:58 pm 



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m.sniffles.esq wrote:
(I hesitated making this thread, because let's face it, the '10s weren't exactly shmup-rich.

If I were to make a top 25 list right now, roughly half would be from the last decade. I do not agree with this sentiment.


Cream of the crop, in my opinion, are ZeroRanger and Cambria Sword. They may not work for everyone but they sure work for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:48 pm 


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I honestly think the genre has seen somewhat of a renaissance over the last decade, particularly in the last 5 years. M2 ShotTriggers ports have generated a ton of buzz, and aforementioned games like ZeroRanger and Crimzon Clover have brought attention to the genre. More recent releases with higher profiles, like DariusBurst: Chronicle Saviours have helped, and other great indie shmups like Rolling Gunner continue to push the genre. There's also been a resurgence in the classic arcade shooter, with Hamster re-releasing so many on consoles, as well as newer games that mimic the classic arcade shmup feel, like Infinos Gaiden, Battle Crust, and Super Hydorah. Add to that, games like Black Bird, Freedom Finger, and others, that take a more unique approach, and I think the genre is healthier than it has been in a long while. If you're grading on a Cave curve, then yes, the last decade might have seemed somewhat anemic. But if you factor in everything, there's a healthy amount of games to play, many of which are of reasonably high quality.
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:02 pm 


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Quote:
If you're grading on a Cave curve, then yes, the last decade might have seemed somewhat anemic.


Not really. I mean, I consider the '00s to be a great shooter decade, and for the first seven or so years of it, I was primarily on a Dreamcast which has nary a Cave title.

It's that I feel the '10s was heavy on ports, and somewhat anemic on quality newly developed titles.

But why listen to me? Look at this board's latest top shooter poll. How many of the top 25 are from this decade? One? Shit, how many in the top 100? Like five? And I didn't even vote in the poll.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:03 pm 


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If you consider the soon-to-be-released Aka to Blue Type R...
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:33 pm 


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Top 25 being riddled with older games is simply a reminder that nostalgia is a powerful drug. This past decade had games like Blue Revolver, Mecha Ritz, Zeroranger, Exceed 2nd and 3rd, Neko Navy, Devil Engine, Black Bird, Super Hydorah, Battle Traverse, Rolling Gunner, etc.

Depending on taste, there is no reason any of these games should not enter into someone's personal top 25. And before you're tempted to say this list is too short, remember that the 80s and 90s had a lot of trash which time has thankfully forgotten. For every gem like Thunder Dragon 2, you'll find 3 or 5 worthless games like Asuka & Asuka. In today's environment, due to the genre being less popular, I feel the games that are being made have a much higher chance of being worth your time. Of course, there's still the occasional shit like Deep Space Waifu..... can't realistically expect all of them to be winners, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:37 pm 


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There's been a lot of ports lately, but we've still gotten a decent number of great doujin/indie shooters this decade. Some include:

Touhou 12.5 - Double Spoiler
Touhou 12.8 - Fairy Wars
(any other later Touhou game that you happen to like)
Hydorah (both Super Hydorah and the original)
Blue Revolver
ZeroRanger
ring^-27
Stellavanity
Cambria Sword
Battle Traverse
Ten and Till
IKUSAAAAAAAN!
Mecha Ritz
Momoiro Underground/Dezatopia
Graze Counter
Astebreed
Revolver360 RE:ACTOR
Akashicverse -Malicious Wake-
Alltynex Second
Infinos Gaiden
Crimzon Clover (both the original doujin version and World Ignition)

I can't think of as many non-indie/doujin releases, but there are still some. Akai Katana, Dodonpachi Saidaioujou and DFKBL, DariusBurst AC/CS, Raiden V, Strania, Eschatos...

So I disagree with the sentiment that this decade has been light on quality shmups, though this topic could still do good in recognizing the best of "recent" years, because nostalgia for the older games does run really strong here.
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:03 am 


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blossom wrote:
Top 25 being riddled with older games is simply a reminder that nostalgia is a powerful drug. This past decade had games like Blue Revolver, Mecha Ritz, Zeroranger, Exceed 2nd and 3rd, Neko Navy, Devil Engine, Black Bird, Super Hydorah, Battle Traverse, Rolling Gunner, etc.

Depending on taste, there is no reason any of these games should not enter into someone's personal top 25. And before you're tempted to say this list is too short, remember that the 80s and 90s had a lot of trash which time has thankfully forgotten. For every gem like Thunder Dragon 2, you'll find 3 or 5 worthless games like Asuka & Asuka. In today's environment, due to the genre being less popular, I feel the games that are being made have a much higher chance of being worth your time. Of course, there's still the occasional shit like Deep Space Waifu..... can't realistically expect all of them to be winners, though.


I don't know if it's fair to blame this on nostalgia - I think a game being well understood, researched, and written about, can have a great impact on future interest. I am willing to bet that the majority of the english-speaking STG fans didn't grow up on Battle Garegga, DoDonPachi, Thunder Dragon 2, etc., but discovered them a little later in life.
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:58 am 


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A few other cool ones I haven't seen listed yet:
Danmaku Unlimited 2/3
Jamestown+
Wolflame

Actually a "top shmups from the last 10 years" could be an interesting survey, similar to the regular 25 of all time.
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:04 am 


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Quote:
Actually a "top shmups from the last 10 years" could be an interesting survey, similar to the regular 25 of all time.


Well, that's basically what I started this thread for (in an unofficial capacity)


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:00 am 


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mikejmoffitt wrote:
If you consider the soon-to-be-released Aka to Blue Type R...

"Released"


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:40 am 


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Jeneki wrote:
Actually a "top shmups from the last 10 years" could be an interesting survey, similar to the regular 25 of all time.

My top picks would be Crimzon Clover: World Ignition, Cambria Sword, and Touhou 12.8 - Fairy Wars. I've already written extensively about Cambria Sword, and CC:WI needs no introduction in these parts, so that leaves Fairy Wars. Fairy Wars revolves around its "bullet-freezing" mechanic, which is really satisfying combined with ZUN's bullet patterns. Everything depends on freezing, from your shot power to your score to your bombs and lives, so you're really encouraged to freeze as much as you can. You take a more "active" role in interacting with these bullets than you do with most Touhou games, and that to me is refreshing. The game is fairly short and fast-paced, but also offers a lot of variety with the mechanics it experiments with in each stage, and the six different routes + an extra stage. At high levels of play there's a lot of nuance you can take advantage of; it even gets a bit Raizing-esque with suicides for bombs for more freezing (and thus more score). I admittedly have only played the game pretty casually (trying for score but not really pushing any boundaries), but it's been fun both to play and to watch.
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:19 am 


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Shepardus wrote:
I can't think of as many non-indie/doujin releases, but there are still some. Akai Katana, Dodonpachi Saidaioujou and DFKBL, DariusBurst AC/CS, Raiden V, Strania, Eschatos...

No need to make separate lists anyway, it should be kept general 'shmups games period' or m.sniffles idea of a top list will be DOA.

Tags could be added to the list if needed, like [dou] [ind] ... and what for regular commercial channels published games ? [pro] ? no tag ?

Only need is to make sure no simple ports of previous decades sneak in, only 2010's originals, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Or that there's no confusion with release dates, when I read Alltynex Second I had to check since it seems so ancient lol, also Stella Vanity which I could swear is older as it had pre-releases before the final version before 2010.

The question is do new original modes/arranges for older games brought this decade along ports, fit in such list ? :p
(that would boost the number of entries significantly I think, maybe best if not ^^)
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:56 pm 


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There's also Steel Vampire, The Hurricane of Varstray, Graze Counter, Grand Brix Shooter, Rival Megagun, Dimension Drive, Shikhondo, the recently released Remote Life, and probably others I'm forgetting. They're not all top tier games, to be sure, but it's just a random sampling of additional games from the 10's that are probably worth a look.
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:55 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
mikejmoffitt wrote:
If you consider the soon-to-be-released Aka to Blue Type R...

"Released"


Is an arcade title not a release to you? What, was Batrider never released, then?
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:02 am 


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OF course it is, my facetious comment was simply referring to the fact that most of us will have no way of playing that.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:56 pm 


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*Clears throat*

I next nominate...

Black Bird
When this game first appeared, a friend dismissively said "Fantasy Zone gets a Limbo make-over." What he said wasn't wrong, but it fails to also describe how clever, funny, creative, engaging, and downright fun this game is. And let's face it, it's not like anyone was clamoring for a Fantasy Zone clone in 2018. Does it begin a little too much on the easy side? Absolutely. But being the holy wrath of vengeance, bloodshed, and destruction is very entertaining. And whoo-boy, does it get tough in a hurry. It's not a cute little novelty as some have written it off as, but definitely the real-deal in the challenge department.

And besides, until "serious" shooters start showing this much imagination, I'd say seriousness is pretty overrated.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:21 pm 



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FRO wrote:
I honestly think the genre has seen somewhat of a renaissance over the last decade, particularly in the last 5 years. M2 ShotTriggers ports have generated a ton of buzz, and aforementioned games like ZeroRanger and Crimzon Clover have brought attention to the genre. More recent releases with higher profiles, like DariusBurst: Chronicle Saviours have helped, and other great indie shmups like Rolling Gunner continue to push the genre. There's also been a resurgence in the classic arcade shooter, with Hamster re-releasing so many on consoles, as well as newer games that mimic the classic arcade shmup feel, like Infinos Gaiden, Battle Crust, and Super Hydorah. Add to that, games like Black Bird, Freedom Finger, and others, that take a more unique approach, and I think the genre is healthier than it has been in a long while. If you're grading on a Cave curve, then yes, the last decade might have seemed somewhat anemic. But if you factor in everything, there's a healthy amount of games to play, many of which are of reasonably high quality.


+ for this comment

would also like to add that when browsing steam I see a ton of recent games that incorporate elements of shmup/bullet hell game design, say anything from Nier to Cuphead, Shadows of the Damned to Furi. The "shmup philosophy" is definitely out there, influencing the imagination of game creators. Sure, there might not be a lot of new "pure shmup" releases, but IMHO that's just partially due to the huge backlog of excellent games that's already out there. I mean, games like Mushihimesama, Ikaruga, Dariusburst CS, Strania and the recent Raidens are like the culmination of 15-20 years experience in designing shooting games. It's pretty tough to compete with that when you're just starting out. So I guess that might be why you see a lot more "shmup-adjacent" games where designers explore new mechanics or game styles rather than trying to outcompete the classics by making a pure shmup

even so, we do get a ZeroRanger or Devil Engine every once in a while to kick up some dust :-)
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:44 pm 


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Just because it's already come up a bunch, no need to waste time in nominating:

Dariusburst CS
Again, do I really need to explain this one? I will say that I waffled about purchasing this more than a little due to it's price tag. However, about 20 seconds into my first play-through I felt I got my money's worth, because it's just that much of a fucking stunner (and later I saw how much content was packed in, thus truly giving me my money's worth...).

Anyway, this is one I pull out in front of non-shmup gamers "2D shooters? Why would you still fuck around with those? Oh, holy shit!!"

I really don't understand why Taito hasn't ported this to every platform imaginable, because it's the kind of game that makes converts out of nonbelievers.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:42 pm 



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m.sniffles.esq wrote:
Just because it's already come up a bunch, no need to waste time in nominating:

Dariusburst CS
Again, do I really need to explain this one? I will say that I waffled about purchasing this more than a little due to it's price tag. However, about 20 seconds into my first play-through I felt I got my money's worth, because it's just that much of a fucking stunner (and later I saw how much content was packed in, thus truly giving me my money's worth...).

Anyway, this is one I pull out in front of non-shmup gamers "2D shooters? Why would you still fuck around with those? Oh, holy shit!!"

I really don't understand why Taito hasn't ported this to every platform imaginable, because it's the kind of game that makes converts out of nonbelievers.


Seconded. Love CS


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:23 pm 



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Was messing around with the x360 yesterday and was reminded that Space Invaders Infinity Gene also deserves a mention in this thread, it was released in 2010
-Gameplay is fresh and varied due to the excellent level & enemy design
-Lots of levels/challenges
-Cool minimalist/monochrome aesthetic

should be on steam really, I don't know why they went with Extreme instead
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:46 pm 


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Hmmmm, I had Extreme and was quite fond of it. I actually didn't get IG because I already had Extreme which everyone was saying superior.

What was it about IG that you liked better?

(this, of course, has nothing to do with shooters of the decade since Extreme was released in '08. I'm just curious as a Space Invaders fan)

IG is also being neglected in the upcoming collection in favor of Extreme. Ugh! Now I'm wondering what I'm missing out on (did I mention I'm a Space Invaders fan?)


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:14 pm 



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m.sniffles.esq wrote:
Hmmmm, I had Extreme and was quite fond of it. I actually didn't get IG because I already had Extreme which everyone was saying superior.

What was it about IG that you liked better?

(this, of course, has nothing to do with shooters of the decade since Extreme was released in '08. I'm just curious as a Space Invaders fan)

IG is also being neglected in the upcoming collection in favor of Extreme. Ugh! Now I'm wondering what I'm missing out on (did I mention I'm a Space Invaders fan?)


Hmm well let me preface this by saying if you're a purist or a score chaser then Extreme might suit you better. Extreme is much closer in terms of gameplay to original space invaders. I found it a bit too monotonous.
IG has a lot more variation in terms of levels and enemy design. It takes the blocky monochrome style of the original and evolves it into a 3d vector and raster filled shooter which manages to be both twitchy and cerebral. The later levels and bosses have environmental hazards and puzzle/strategy elements that put me in the mind of radiant silvergun. Presentation-wise it's part shmup and part minimalist art installation, complete with weird pretentious boss names like "Vanity", "Mandala" and "The Moon". Safe to say that if you have a beard you will stroke it often ;-)

BTW this is offtopic but since you're a fan... I seem to remember playing a space invaders game on the Amiga back in the day where you had to protect cows from being abducted. Any idea what version that is?
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:10 pm 


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Quote:
BTW this is offtopic but since you're a fan... I seem to remember playing a space invaders game on the Amiga back in the day where you had to protect cows from being abducted. Any idea what version that is?


Super Space Invaders ('91)


The cows were a bonus stage (about at 2:50). It will be included in the new collection, and it's awesome ( :D )

Man, IG sounds very interesting. I don't know why they seem to want to sweep it under the rug and if not release a stand alone port, than at least include it on their upcoming mega-collection/celebration.

Edit: Hmmm, it's actually available for Android for $5. I don't really play games on my phone (I have a Switch for that, which includes an actual controller) but I'm intrigued enough to make an exception.


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:13 pm 


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Strania
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:42 pm 



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m.sniffles.esq wrote:
Super Space Invaders ('91)


The cows were a bonus stage (about at 2:50). It will be included in the new collection, and it's awesome ( :D )

Man, IG sounds very interesting. I don't know why they seem to want to sweep it under the rug and if not release a stand alone port, than at least include it on their upcoming mega-collection/celebration.

Edit: Hmmm, it's actually available for Android for $5. I don't really play games on my phone (I have a Switch for that, which includes an actual controller) but I'm intrigued enough to make an exception.


Hey thanks, that's the one! Cattle mutilation stage, not mincing words there, LOL. The Amiga version had this fun little animated intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYtHvDpgsk4

Android version of IG? Wow, weird, they made it TATE when the X360 version is widescreen Yoko. Anyway, I recommend to put on some headphones, turn down the sfx by 50% for best experience!

edit: BTW I do hope the visual style holds up on the small screen. Over here on the big screen TV all the sudden. stark contrasts and glitchy fx make the game a bit jarring/intimidating to play (kind of like that RYM9000 game was shooting for?) which adds to the experience for me.
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:48 pm 


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Strania


Man, I really wish I could agree with this. If ever there was a game I wanted knocked out of the fucking park, it was this one. I really, really (really) like Border Down, and fucking love Under Defeat, so I wanted g.Rev's introduction to the west to be of that caliber, thus cementing them up there with the Treasures, Caves, and Psikyos.

So it's safe to say I gave Strania every chance I could, and then some. But at the end of the day, it's good, solid, very okay... Pretty unremarkable.

And I fucking hate saying that. But not only would it not make my 'best of decade' list. It probably would only make a 'honorable mention' list if I was forced to list 25 titles or something. It just wasn't very fun. And it isn't like there's anything really wrong with it, it's just that there's nothing really right about it either.

Quote:
weird, they made it TATE when the X360 version is widescreen Yoko


Okay, I even said to myself "Wow, it fits on a phone really well" but it's rejiggered to accommodate. And I see what you mean with the free-scrolling stages and whatnot, but I'm not a purist, in fact, those inclusions look really cool. But I can also kind of see why they left it off of 'Invincible' as it deviates pretty far from the 'classic' Space Invaders format. It's not just the "Tempest 2000" treatment that Extreme is (Although, I still have no idea why they're not including Galaxian).


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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:51 pm 


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Monolith. It's a roguelike shmup that feels much more polished and refined in terms of precise gameplay than other similar games out there struggled with nailing (Binding of Isaac, Gungeon, Shoot First, etc). It is fair to say it is arguably the best top-down roguelike action game on the market, with the caveat that it is exclusively single-player.

m.sniffles.esq wrote:
So it's safe to say I gave Strania every chance I could, and then some. But at the end of the day, it's good, solid, very okay... Pretty unremarkable.

It just wasn't very fun. And it isn't like there's anything really wrong with it, it's just that there's nothing really right about it either.


Pretty vague description of your feelings on Strania. How can it be good if it's not very fun? A game doesn't have to be revolutionary or groundbreakingly remarkable to be fun either.

Strania's a good game, and is genuinely fun to play I think, but I agree it's probably not game of the decade. It's got some great visuals, some fun bosses with gimmicks such as blinding status effects that are classic G.Rev style, and it had an extremely cheap DLC pack that was essentially a brand new game, with completely new levels and bosses. You could essentially get two complete games for only an extra eight bucks or so.

Its weaknesses are in the relatively lackluster O.D. system that replaces traditional bombs, giving you a few seconds of invulnerability that also ties into scoring, or can provide an autoguard if you get hit while not shooting, but it's not terribly exciting or intuitive to use I find. The weapon system, where switching weapons often to boost score, is an interesting idea, but whatever combination you use it always feels like you're just a bit lacking in damage output, coverage, or both. There's no real general purpose weapons that feel useful all-around and there's a big element in learning what weapon combinations work well. It often feels like the weapon system is working against you, rather than for you, which can hamper some of the fun until you get comfortable with weapon switching and knowing what weapons are optimal where.

The melee weapon system also feels under-realized - single sword is pretty quick and powerful, but I would have preferred it I think being on its own button rather than having to trade a weapon slot for it. Going double Sword seems often less effective, being slower, with only a small bullet cancel every 3rd swing to show for it.

Strania's a cool game with some experimentation in its mechanics, but one that doesn't always feel like it quite hit the mark, so it's fair to question if it deserves a game of the decade label.
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 Post subject: Re: Shooters of the Decade
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:15 pm 



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 110
Location: amsterdam
BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Its weaknesses are in the relatively lackluster O.D. system that replaces traditional bombs, giving you a few seconds of invulnerability that also ties into scoring, or can provide an autoguard if you get hit while not shooting, but it's not terribly exciting or intuitive to use I find. The weapon system, where switching weapons often to boost score, is an interesting idea, but whatever combination you use it always feels like you're just a bit lacking in damage output, coverage, or both. There's no real general purpose weapons that feel useful all-around and there's a big element in learning what weapon combinations work well. It often feels like the weapon system is working against you, rather than for you, which can hamper some of the fun until you get comfortable with weapon switching and knowing what weapons are optimal where.

The melee weapon system also feels under-realized - single sword is pretty quick and powerful, but I would have preferred it I think being on its own button rather than having to trade a weapon slot for it. Going double Sword seems often less effective, being slower, with only a small bullet cancel every 3rd swing to show for it.


I also feel like Strania's biggest weakness was its weapon system. It's just pointlessly cluncky and often serves as a handicap rather than a utility. I really dislike it when you end up dodging weak or inappropriate weapons in addition to bullets (see also: what I hate about Ibara). I think a selectable 3-weapon loadout + sword would have been better... well... now that I think about it, both Mamoro-kun and Under Defeat on 360 have a twin-stick mode which I must confess I enjoyed more than the original control scheme, maybe that would have been an interesting addition to Strania. It would broaden the appeal of the game for sure.

The rest of the game is fine, graphics look great and I find the game's clean style is visually easier to comprehend than for example Astebreed (which has a similar theme). It's just that the "generic mecha shooter" aesthetic is a bit bland and lacks enough personality to be memorable. Music is also fine but generic and doesn't really modulate much with the action onscreen, which is a shame.

Still have to try Monolith, BTW.
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