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 Post subject: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:53 pm 


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I'm talking about stuff like:
-the lightning weapon in Shienryu
-the ghost who will move around the screen and kill anything that the main character has in Shikigami no Shiro 2
-the homing red laser the girl character has in Chaos Field

Do you like these or hate them? Do you feel like they break the game and/or greatly reduce the challenge of the game?

Personally I enjoy using this stuff. I was playing Shienryu for the first time a few months ago and thinking to myself "ho hum" another game that plays like Raiden with a little pea shooter gun that I have to mash the button to get it to shoot fast... and then I got the lightning weapon and I was like "awesome, with this one weapon the game has really differentiated itself in style and play mechanics and I won't need to mash the fire button for 30 minutes at a time!" I go out of my way to dodge the powerups that would give me a different weapon because of how bland that experience is.

Another aspect of these weapons is that for the most part, you can move your ship around the screen to dodge bullets and you don't need to concern yourself as much with being immediately below an enemy in order to hit them. I guess these games tend to balance these sorts of weapons sometimes by making them weaker than other main weapons available in the game, hence why the big high score runs in Chaos Field don't use the girl, but due to the "move anywhere on screen while still hitting the enemy" ability these weapons have, obviously that can make it a little easier to take down an enemy without being in the path of fire.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:02 am 


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dark wrote:
hence why the big high score runs in Chaos Field don't use the girl

I'm pretty darn good at Chaos Field and I think the game was obviously designed around Hal's as the default ship. By my own judgement, the wing layer attacks of the other two characters' ships (used for soaking up bullets to increase your score multiplayer) are too random and inconsistent to get the kind of big scores you can obtain with Hal's ship. However, the published world record score does in fact use Ifumi's ship. To this day, having seen no video footage of this claimed high score, I'm still perplexed on what sort of exploit allows her to get considerably larger scores than Hal.

Also I wouldn't really describe Ifumi's weapon in Chaos Field or the identical laser weapon in Radirgy as homing. It's "tracking", rather: once you lock onto a target with it, it stays fixed to it until the target is destroyed or you stop firing.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:51 am 


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Quote:
Shmups with main weapons that are homing
- now, thats a line! Very lyrical.

Doesn't GunHed/Blazing Lazers have a weapon of the kind?
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:51 pm 


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Sisters Royale - Nur's main shots are basically like the Hunter weapon from Thunder Force.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:00 pm 


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It's funny you mention Raiden because isn't the homing laser kind of Raiden's signature from II onwards?

There's a well animated PC-98 shmup called Flame Zapper Kotsujin that features a big purple homing laser powerup (video)
It also looks like it rips off Tatsujin-Oh's crazy screaming skull bomb:

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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:18 am 


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Surprised no one mentioned Progear or Ketsui yet, with their "homing" focus fire (in reality just auto lock-on).

Dogyuun and Grind Stormer also come to mind. Both have a weaker homing weapon that you can get if you don't feel like aiming.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:37 pm 



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I'd consider Touhou's homing Reimu variations a main shot as opposed to a support weapon. The homing pieces do the heavy lifting and their damage output is big enough to drastically change the game experience compared to other characters. I very much enjoy having her as an option.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:09 pm 


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See also Batsugun's B-Type ships (granted, they need to be powered up a bit before the homing shots are deployed). All 3 Giga Wing games feature a selectible ship with homing shot as the primary weapon. The Green power ups in DeltaZeal/G-Stream 2020 are homing shots. There's also the T-Laser in Pulstar.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:22 pm 


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Shorty's homing missiles in Batrider is just plain broken, especially on high autofire setup.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:57 pm 


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C-Type's wideshot also eventually gets a minor homing element in Batsugun at level 3 when at near max power.

R-Type Leo's main gimmick is a pair of homing pods that can be repeatedly launched at enemies to deal huge damage. You've also got a green subweapon that features angled shot homing where it fires forward then angles at 90 degrees up or down to hunt down enemies. This subweapon is seen again in the Touhou game Undefined Fantastic Object, where Sanae's A-Type fires homing snakes.

SideLine has a main weapon that sprays large bursts of homing lasers that hunt down enemies but moving at 90 degree angles. It's not overwhelmingly strong, but it can be quite handy. Also features homing weapons as a subweapon as well as homing shots on the gunpods for a few of the main weapons.

Armed Police Batrider has multiple shot types focused around homing attacks: Shorty's missiles, Strawman's lock on beams, and Tag-T's piercing homing lasers.

Judgement Silversword has an unlockable ship that has an extremely powerful homing main shot (and an even more powerful laser beam weapon for bosses).

Any Raiden game with the toothpaste laser applies, though it's often not as practical as the wideshot. Several Raiden Fighters ships have homing weapons as an available option. They're also often ignored though in favour of more focused frontal damage though (the smaller hitbox Slave ship is very popular). Check out the fangame Xeno Fighters R for a Raiden Fighters style game where the more unusual ships are more viable thanks to them all sharing an identical small hitbox (it makes the basic Raiden Mk-II ship with its wacky toothpaste laser extremely viable, and there's several other potent ships with homing shots including the Gyaraga, Zaiva, etc).

Mushihimesama Futari 1.5 has Palm Abnormal, whose laser fires a thin electric burst in front. Any time it hits something, it summons homing lighting that do massive damage and can wipe the screen. As long as you're hitting something in front, the homing lightning can wipe the screen. Also applies to the Black Label version. Reco in Black Label is quite possibly the most insane shot type in any shmup ever, and the only reason she's not outright overpowered is because the game is designed in such a way that enemies can fire off most of their shots before you can actually kill them. Her laser causes her helper bugs to latch on to enemies aggressively, and her shot in general has insane spread, making her a kind of superpowered lock-on shot akin to Ketsui.

Under Defeat has a Cannon weapon that aggressively hunts down enemies for you, and one of the helicopters available in newer releases fires homing missiles repeatedly.

Raiga: Strato Fighter has very powerful useful helpers that aggressively fire auto-aimed shots for you with one of the powerups. It also happens to be the rarest powerup, found once in stage 1, once in stage 3, and then again if you're lucky much later in the game. You won't get to use it for long if you get killed frequently, but it's very fun.

Blue Wish Resurrection has Blue Peace, the highest scoring ship in the game. It has a very fast movement focused firing rapid shot, combined with a slow movement homing laser that fires 6 beams of homing shots (in a way that resembles Palm from Mushihimesama Futari but without needing to hit with a central beam). The homing laser is weak, but is fantastic for rapidly mopping up enemies across the screen, and is crucial to scoring due to how many points you can get from milking bosses with it instead of using the stronger shot.

Cyvern's got a wideshot dragon that has a lightning special attack that's very spammable and fills the screen with lightning that automatically locks onto enemies.

Crisis Force for the NES has one when using the orange weapon. One of the ship types fires out lasers to the sides that automatically travel upward when an enemy is in front of them, functioning as an autotargetting shot. It's quite a good shot type.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:12 pm 


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At this point it sounds like an easier question might be 'shmups without main weapons that are homing'!
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:56 am 


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dark wrote:
Do you like these or hate them? Do you feel like they break the game and/or greatly reduce the challenge of the game?


Depends entirely on the game in question. Homing/spread/focus/etc weapons aren't inherently good or bad, just another tool at the game designer's disposal. It's up to them to ensure a homing attack isn't a win button or cause of stagnation. Plenty of STGs and related action games (several listed above) do this just fine, typically by trading off damage for ease of targeting. Sitting still's a bad idea when the enemies you're hitting can collectively barge through your shots and/or survive them long enough to retaliate, or when a boss survives twice as long as it would've under manual targeting.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:39 pm 


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laurabuzz wrote:
At this point it sounds like an easier question might be 'shmups without main weapons that are homing'!

If you want to count both shmups with multiple playable characters and those with changeable powerups, as the OP seems to do, yeah, there's almost certainly going to be at least one homing weapon in there someplace.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:49 pm 


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The character Nur in Alfa System's new-ish shmup Sisters Royale has her main shot as a homing shot with no other ways of fire (excepting her summon/familiar, a la Shikigami no Shiro fashion). Another character, Ece, has some form of tracking to her shot, but that's not explicitly homing. All of the other characters have some variation of a straight or spread shot as their main firing method.

Devil Engine has three collectible weapons, one of which being a homing weapon (green shot), but it frankly sucks and you will not be killing anything with it other than the weakest popcorn. I think the dev said he wanted to "make up for how overpowered Hunter is in Thunder Force" or something to that effect.

Quote:
Do you like these or hate them? Do you feel like they break the game and/or greatly reduce the challenge of the game?


Done right a homing weapon can be lots of fun to use, and make the player feel powerful while they use it. I too like the lightning attack in Shienryu (a similar weapon exists in the game's antecedent, Daioh). I think Shienryu in general is an amazing game (a more-than-solid Toaplan clone or epigone) and imo the lightning attack is a nice evolution of the tracking laser of Tatsujin.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:03 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
I too like the lightning attack in Shienryu (a similar weapon exists in the game's antecedent, Daioh). I think Shienryu in general is an amazing game (a more-than-solid Toaplan clone or epigone) and imo the lightning attack is a nice evolution of the tracking laser of Tatsujin.

Just thought about this one. Isn't the lightning attack in Shienryu effectively Raiden II's toothpaste laser reskinned? Now I seem to recall homing weapon of GunHed looking similar to Shienryu's (obviously, GunHed is an earlier game).
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 Post subject: Re: Shmups with main weapons that are homing
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:47 am 


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Incidentally, currently grappling with Konami's excellent Toaplanesque Trigon, which features a homing bomb aka DRAGONLAZOR. The beast has an aesthetically germane volatility, requiring careful placement for specific targeting. In that example, you wanna unleash him near the bottom-center of the screen, so he'll wipe out the sniper tanks who'll otherwise spoil your safespot. Put him too near the boss, and he'll nom on it leaving you to dodge the tanks.

Particularly interesting with the other bomb type being the shorter-lived but surgically-precise GODLAZOR. They're freely mix/matchable en-route, but you're forced to use them in newest/oldest order, creating a nice tactical consideration.
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