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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - April 2020 - Steel Vampire
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:42 pm 


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I don't want to come over all "tutorial" and end up in your bad books, but I'm gonna risk my arm here and suggest that it might be worth another look if you've written it off.

Normal mode (called "very hard") feels a bit too easy, but I think that's intentional, beckoning players of all skill levels further up the screen where they belong. The later difficulties are much more interesting. You really have to watch how far you're pushing rank in those modes. You unlock different game modes and difficulties as you play.

I can't remember playing the tutorial. I don't know how in depth it goes, but picking up the red orbs raises your rank/score multiplier by 5, and collecting the green orbs lowers it by 1.
Your rank is always rising automatically, slowly at first, but then faster as it gets higher. Bombing or getting hit also makes you drop rank, so it's all about the risk/reward of pushing it as far as you can, or finding your sweet spot and riding the wave.

I did have a few gripes with it. The player ship is huge, though the hitbox seems to be a small portion at the top of the middle third of the sprite. It all seems intentional, what with the game being about all or nothing risk taking, and getting up close and personal. Everything's a lot more zoomed in than most shmups, it definitely feels like they've gone for a claustrophobic feel.

Because it's so zoomed in, the play area in some stages can be wider than the screen so the background scrolls horizontally when you move left and right and this can make trying to dodge some of the bullets in the foreground a frickin nightmare, though it does seem to become more readable the more you play.

Screenshake is a little overdone, but again, seems intentional, it's all purposefully in your face and rocking your world. I think the screenshake was toned down in a patch but with no patch notes, it might have just been my imagination.

Sorry if I'm teaching you how to suck eggs there. I know it's not for everyone but I had a great time with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - April 2020 - Steel Vampire
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:45 pm 


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Thanks for the good info, clippa! I hadn't looked too much into the game yet, because I kind of wanted to experience it on the fly, but this is good to know up front, regarding the rank. That will definitely inform how I approach the game this month :D
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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - April 2020 - Steel Vampire
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:45 pm 


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Sega is no stranger to arcade shoot-em-up games, as demonstrated by early hits, such as Zaxxon, its sequel Super Zaxxon, or the lesser known Star Jacker. Sega didn't stick with the genre that long, though, as the market had become flooded during the early 1980's arcade boom. The story goes, that someone in a position of power at Sega saw Konami's success with Gradius in Japan in 1985, and decided Sega needed to have their own, similar game. Designer Yoji Ishii was given the task, and rather than make a clone, he took the design in a very different direction, adopting a free-scrolling approach, like Williams' Defender, and giving the game a very bright, colorful look, paired with a set of very cute, whimsical characters, and a very fantastical setting, which became the game's namesake. That game, of course, is Sega's classic, Fantasy Zone.

Fantasy Zone was a success in the arcade, and appeared on many consoles and home computers during the 1980's and early 90's, including the Famicom, NES, Sega Master System, MSX, Sharp X68000, TurboGrafx-16, and more. It received an arcade-perfect port on the Sega Saturn in 1997, as well as receiving multiple iterations on the PlayStation 2. The arcade version is unlockable in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for PS3 and Xbox 360, received a 3D port on the Nintendo 3DS, and has now been given the M2 Sega Ages treatment on the Nintendo Switch. With so many ways to play, there's no excuse to sit this one out. Join the RF Generation Shmup Club as we team up with Opa-Opa, and fight off an enemy invasion on multiple planets, as we play Fantasy Zone in May 2020!

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http://www.rfgeneration.com/forum/index.php?topic=19313.0
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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - June 2020 - Cannon Spike
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 2:04 pm 


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June 2020 brings something different to the table, where the RF Generation Community Playthrough will be teaming up with the RFG Shmup Club, and tackling a game that could be considered "shmup adjacent" in many ways. From prolific STG designer Psikyo, and arcade stalwarts Capcom, comes Cannon Spike, a game descended from the twin stick shooter style, with Capcom characters in tow, and a lot of personality. Take on terrorist robots with several Capcom alum, including Charlie (SF Alpha), Cammy (SFII series), Mega Man, Red Hood (Darkstalkers), Arthur (Makaimura series), and more. This arcade and Dreamcast classic is a fun game, and will be a fun break from the more traditional shooters we typically play in the Shmup Club, and a proverbial toe dip into the outskirts of the genre, for those who typically join in with the regular community playthrough, but haven't ventured into Shmup Club territory yet. We invite everyone to come join us for this crossover event, and have some fun blasting away at all the robot enemies!

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http://www.rfgeneration.com/forum/index.php?topic=19322.0
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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - June 2020 - Cannon Spike
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 4:13 am 


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In 1979, Kaoru Shintani debuted a manga in Japan, known as Area 88. It detailed the exploits and experiences of pilot Shin Kazama, during his time with Area 88, a mercenary military force. The manga ran for 7 years, and spawned a home video movie toward the end of its run, and a single-season anime, nearly 2 decades later. A decade after the manga began, Capcom licensed the property, and created an arcade shooting game that has since become a classic. When that was brought to the West, it was renamed UN Squadron, with the anime tie-in minimized, though keeping the art style and character names. The conversion of the game for the Super Famicom and Super NES is beloved among fans of the genre, and is often heralded as one of the best shooters on the console.

Shin Kazama has a dilemma: he's an amazing pilot, but was duped by a friend to sign up to work for the mercenary military force, Area 88. Shin's no fan of killing fellow human beings, but he's under contract now. He can either suck it up, and do his 3-year tour of duty, or earn $1.5 million and buy out his contract, so he can utilize his skills in an arena where he won't have to take another life unjustly. You can help Shin, along with Mickey Simon, and Greg Gates take on the terrorist organization Project 4, to keep them from taking over the country of Kutal. Take flight, and join the RF Generation Shmup Club, as we explore Area 88, and it's Western counterpart, UN Squadron!

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http://www.rfgeneration.com/forum/index.php?topic=19348.msg272766#msg272766
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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - July 2020 - UN Squadron/Area 88
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:25 pm 


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We've likely all heard the expression that, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." In gaming, we see that a lot. A landmark game comes out, gets rave reviews, and then other development studios rush to copy the elements from that game. It's a tried and true formula, and one that has allowed many developers and publishers to continually refine a game genre, while still adhering to the basics. What happens when a developer doesn't blatantly rip off another game, but instead, pays homage to several, while doing something unique, and yet still keeping the essence of what the genre is supposed to be? That's what happened with System Erasure, and their independently developed shmup, Zer0Ranger.

Rather than copying the formula of previous games, instead, it contains a lot of subtle references and Easter Eggs that pay tribute to many classic shooters over the years. It also brings a minimalist graphical style, and a unique look and feel. Take off in your fighter, and face off against the alien menace, ORANGE GREEN! Join the RF Generation Shmup Club in August 2020, as we take on the indie shooting game Zer0Ranger!

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http://www.rfgeneration.com/forum/index.php?topic=19364.0
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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - August 2020 - ZeroRanger
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:59 pm 


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In 1999, Japanese indie developer Siter Skain released the 1st of 3 games, loosely connected in a trilogy, and bound by a storyline revolving around the ALLTYNEX OS, a dangerous A.I. created by mankind that has laid dormant for many years. However, it now threatens to wipe out humanity. It's up to you, piloting the ship KAMUI, to attack and destroy the ALLTYNEX OS, and prevent it from destroying civilization.

Despite being the 3rd and final game in the story canon of the ALLTYNEX TRILOGY of games, Kamui was released first, and draws heavy inspiration from Taito's RayForce. Not only does it resemble Taito's double-layer shooting game, but it uses it's primary mechanic as a major driving element. Join the RF Generation Shmup Club in September 2020, as we dive into PC shmup Kamui! Use your vulcan cannon, lightning weapon, and super beam to take out enemies, and rid the galaxy once and for all, of the ALLTYNEX OS, so humanity can finally have some peace.

KAMUI is available on Steam here.

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http://www.rfgeneration.com/forum/index.php?topic=19375.0
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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Shmup Club - September 2020 - Kamui
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:34 pm 


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In 1987, Taito released Darius in the arcades, and pioneered the shooting game genre's first multi-screen game, setting up a horizontally scrolling shooter that spanned three arcade monitors. Two years later, the sequel, Darius II slimmed down the configuration somewhat, employing only two monitors. These games not only included multiple monitors, but were also very recognizable due to their excellent soundtracks, vibrant graphics, and the iconic aquatic theme of the bosses in the game. They also introduced the idea of branching paths to the shooter landscape, giving the games more replayability, and some degree of variable difficulty. In 1991, Taito shifted the focus from the arcade to the home console, with the release of Darius Twin in 1991, on Nintendo's Super Famicom. Coming just at the end of the launch window for North American consumers, it was an obvious choice for early adopters of the Super Nintendo who were still craving arcade action at home.

A thousand years ago, legendary pilots Proco and Tiat repelled the Belser forces from the planet Darius, bringing peace to their world. In the centuries since, their descendants colonized other planets in the galaxy, including the resource-rich world of Orga. They established a galactic federation, based on this planet, that would govern peaceful colonies across the galaxy. However, the Belser forces decided to expand their empire, and once again set out to conquer the galaxy. The Federation has enlisted its two best pilots to meet the Belser threat head on. Jump in the cockpit of your Silver Hawk, and join the RF Generation Shmup Club as we blast off in October 2020, and play Darius Twin!

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http://www.rfgeneration.com/forum/index.php?topic=19393.0
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