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 Post subject: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Thread
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:10 pm 


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Voting

Discussion Thread

Welcome to this years' Top 25 discussion thread. This is the place to talk about what you're voting for, what others are voting for or the various abstractions of the process itself. It will be continuing on in the format it has for the last few go-arounds; anyone newly interested can pop over to some of the recent events and see what the deal is. The thread for voting should be up sometime soon.

Past results:
17th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2019
16th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2018
15th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2017
14th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2016
13th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2015
12th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2014
11th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2013
10th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2012
9th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2010ish
8th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2009
7th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2008
6th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2007
5th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2006
4th Annual Top 25 Results: through 2005
3rd Annual Top 25 Results: through 2004
2nd Annual Top 25 Results: through 2003
Inaugural Top 25 Results: through 2002

Nifty wrote:
incognoscente wrote:
To link directly to your ballot (or any other post):
  1. On the post in question, look at the upper right where the date stamp is. (I hope this is consistent across all themes.)
  2. Right-click on the little sheet of paper to the left of the Posted: text and copy the link address.
  3. Make a link in your commentary post using that destination.
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Last edited by Nifty on Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:59 pm 


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I'm going to work as many PC Engine games into my list as I can justify, since that's mostly what I've been playing shmups-wise over the last couple years.
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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:59 am 


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If Psikyo gets shut out again I'm storming the Capitol.


(Note to any NSA/FBI data trawls which picked up certain flashwords: I'm absolutely not storming the Capitol).


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:39 pm 


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Sengoku Strider wrote:
If Psikyo gets shut out again I'm storming the Capitol.


We may have to coordinate to avoid this unhappy result. Please post in this thread which Psikyo games you're likely to favor. I like most Psikyo games, so I have a bit of flexibility.
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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:09 pm 


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After posting basically the same list for the past few years this time I'm going to have a new number one.


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:12 pm 


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My guess is that with the Compile collection getting out (along with a new Aleste), Compile shmups will pop up in the top25/honorable mentions more prominently.

I really need to go through Zanac and Aleste on the MSX.


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:07 pm 



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Ohh I've never had chance to put my favs together, no bullet hell yay ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:35 am 



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It will be nice to add some new games to the list this year... mainly Cho Ren Sha 68K and Sapphire.
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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:06 pm 



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As someone who only has 1ccs on around 30 different shmups (not counting easy modes) I am still a long way from being able to vote, but I hope Mecha Ritz gets some love. I slent some time getting an A rank score on the game this year and I enjoyed every minute of it. The game is blazing fast, has a great mix of macro and micro dodges, has really unique boss/midboss design, and my personal favorite rank system ever. I love that it encourages you to push your rank as much as possible instead of trying to manage it.


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:04 pm 


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WarpedByTheNHK wrote:
As someone who only has 1ccs on around 30 different shmups (not counting easy modes) I am still a long way from being able to vote

dude, 30 1cc’s is a_lot_ of 1cc’s. you are absolutely OK to vote.
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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:18 pm 



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reckon luck wrote:
WarpedByTheNHK wrote:
As someone who only has 1ccs on around 30 different shmups (not counting easy modes) I am still a long way from being able to vote

dude, 30 1cc’s is a_lot_ of 1cc’s. you are absolutely OK to vote.

thank you for the kind words, but I still feel like I am not experienced enough yet. I want to wait until I have at least 40 1ccs before I even consider voting.

However, while shmups have become my overall favorite genre, I still love to play a variety of genres so I tend to only get around 5 1ccs a year lol. It will probably be at least 2 more years before I feel ready unless I step up my game (which I might actually do this year).


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:24 pm 


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WarpedByTheNHK wrote:
reckon luck wrote:
WarpedByTheNHK wrote:
As someone who only has 1ccs on around 30 different shmups (not counting easy modes) I am still a long way from being able to vote

dude, 30 1cc’s is a_lot_ of 1cc’s. you are absolutely OK to vote.

thank you for the kind words, but I still feel like I am not experienced enough yet. I want to wait until I have at least 40 1ccs before I even consider voting.

However, while shmups have become my overall favorite genre, I still love to play a variety of genres so I tend to only get around 5 1ccs a year lol. It will probably be at least 2 more years before I feel ready unless I step up my game (which I might actually do this year).


Just post your favourite 25 (or even 15). The lower positions will barely affect the overall top 25 anyway (if any) and I'm sure you're experienced enough to influence the TOP25 with your 10 picks. Many/most people will probably have less experience than you and still vote, so voting will only help us get better results ;)

professor ganson wrote:
Sengoku Strider wrote:
If Psikyo gets shut out again I'm storming the Capitol.


We may have to coordinate to avoid this unhappy result. Please post in this thread which Psikyo games you're likely to favor. I like most Psikyo games, so I have a bit of flexibility.


I will give some love to Psikyo this year, especially the 4 games on the collection Vol.2


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:46 pm 



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Worrying about being "qualified" is creating an endless problem. Your appreciation is inevitably going to change in time; if now isn't good enough, what's to say your standards won't change later and delay you more? Relative appreciation of things doesn't stop when you reach a certain level either. Even among highly experienced players I can't imagine many claiming they have an in-depth understanding of a full 25 games. Maybe none of them do. Their achievements may look broad, but relative to their skill level, a lot of it's casual stuff. If everyone was required to make an objective judgement we'd have no vote - nobody has time to know every game and ultimately people only know what they like.

Besides, this is a popularity contest. Reading the individual lists is always going to be better than looking at the overall results. Reading voters' comments about the games on their lists is even better. Then I get to hear about the standout parts of a game which I might not have been able to understand, or the connections between drastically different games that were put together. That's the valuable part of these threads IMO... nobody should be fretting over the actual contents of the top 25 (although I get that the Psikyo situation is egregious in this case).


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:59 am 


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reckon luck wrote:
WarpedByTheNHK wrote:
As someone who only has 1ccs on around 30 different shmups (not counting easy modes) I am still a long way from being able to vote

dude, 30 1cc’s is a_lot_ of 1cc’s. you are absolutely OK to vote.


I bet there are plenty of games on the list or that deserve to be on the list that were made by devs that haven't gotten more than 30 1CCs. Plenty of devs of great shmups could probably not even 1cc their own game let alone get a great high score.

I'd say you're being way too precious about this. Opinions of newer players are just as valid as those from seasoned vets. They just come from different perspectives.


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:58 am 



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I've been playing a lot of Gradius Gaiden. I honestly think it's better than 5 and deserves a very high spot on the list. Hoping ZeroRanger climbs again. And I still think Blazing Star is criminally underrated, as well as Giga Wing 2. I have no problem with Cave games, they are high quality imo but I would really like to see fewer on the top 25. Not all of them are worthy, imo.


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:44 am 


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professor ganson wrote:
We may have to coordinate to avoid this unhappy result. Please post in this thread which Psikyo games you're likely to favor. I like most Psikyo games, so I have a bit of flexibility.


Vote for whatever you like. But Gunbird 2 is the game I ride or die for, with Tengai not too far behind. I've only put serious time into the first Strikers 1945, but the second seems to be more popular. Lately I've been seeing a lot of people mentioning Dragon Blaze as their favourite. I've put a couple of hours into it, but I wouldn't say I really understand its mechanics yet.

donluca wrote:
My guess is that with the Compile collection getting out (along with a new Aleste), Compile shmups will pop up in the top25/honorable mentions more prominently.

I really need to go through Zanac and Aleste on the MSX.


Compile's the other name criminally excluded from the top 25. Super Aleste is my game, but any among that, Blazing Lazers or MUSHA is worthy of being up there.

I'd love to comment on GG Aleste III, Mark MSX gave it his game of the year, but despite shipping the day before the release date, my copy's still stuck in customs :/

But anyway, all I'm saying is maybe 10 of the top 25 don't need to be Cave games.


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:02 am 



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GG Aleste 3 is just a flawlessly executed game. After playing the first two GG Aleste games it's apparent how thoughtfully designed 3 is. I feel the first two lacked variety and good pacing, but 3 handles both perfectly. Also the increase in difficulty from beginning to end transitions super smoothly, and the game feels epic down the final stretch. Plus the game has amazing 8-bit art. I love 16-bit art, but GG Aleste 3 has some of the most pleasing 8-bit art I've ever seen.


Last edited by Acid on Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:57 am 


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Sengoku Strider wrote:
professor ganson wrote:
We may have to coordinate to avoid this unhappy result. Please post in this thread which Psikyo games you're likely to favor. I like most Psikyo games, so I have a bit of flexibility.


Vote for whatever you like. But Gunbird 2 is the game I ride or die for, with Tengai not too far behind. I've only put serious time into the first Strikers 1945, but the second seems to be more popular. Lately I've been seeing a lot of people mentioning Dragon Blaze as their favourite. I've put a couple of hours into it, but I wouldn't say I really understand its mechanics yet.

Agreed on Gunbird 2. Additionally, I put Strikers 1999 on my list as my second late-era Psikyo game, because Dragon Blaze is far too technical for me. Strikers 1945 II is kind of a transitional game between oldschool and more modern bullet hell, so it tends to end up on a lot of lists, including mine. Even though I like them, I don't have any early Psikyo games on there. Sonic Wings Special acts as a stand-in for those instead.

Sengoku Strider wrote:
Super Aleste is my game, but any among that, Blazing Lazers or MUSHA is worthy of being up there.

I'd love to comment on GG Aleste III, Mark MSX gave it his game of the year, but despite shipping the day before the release date, my copy's still stuck in customs :/

Thankfully, mine arrived this week. I only had time to play a couple of credits, but I can already tell that GG Aleste 3 is an exceptional game. It might be the best 8-bit shmup I've ever played. I hope I can give it enough playtime to feel comfortable putting it on my list.

The Aleste collection also finally gave me the chance to play Power Strike II at the correct speed again. I do have an original cart, but my Master System is permanently stuck in 60 Hz mode after a botched attempt at installing a speed switch. I had almost forgotten how good that game was. Definitely my favourite Compile shmup.


Also, people, get your act together and vote for Shiki II again. Its continued absence from the Top 25 in recent years is nothing short of embarassing.


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:28 am 


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I love Compile but I didn't even know about GG Aleste 3! Must look into this....

As for Power Strike II (SMS), it's made my list many times . . . will probably make my list again this year.

So much Psikyo . . . could never get into that company, though I do like Zero Gunner 2....


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:46 pm 


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Y'all remember you need the [value] AND the [game name] in brackets. There's already a few lists missing the latter.


Also Aleste Collection is really really great, I'm sure one or two of them will make my list next year.
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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:17 pm 


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My list are pretty much same as last year (just some different rank placement because taste change over years) with one huge drop: DFK has descend to honorable mention and now Cho Ren Sha 68k joined the top 5 gang! Game is truly a masterclass and addicting. Also putting Gradius IV and Night Striker on honorable mention.
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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:19 pm 


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Nifty wrote:
No voting for:
    First-person perspective shooters (Doom, Solvalou)
      including Lightgun Shooters (House of the Dead, Rail Chase)
    Platform Shooters (Contra, Metal Slug)
    Rail Shooters (Rez, Panzer Dragoon)
    Gallery/Carnival Shooters (NAM-1975, Cabal)
    Action-Adventure Games (Alien Breed, Gauntlet, Legend of Zelda)

You may vote for games in any of the following categories:
    Non-scrolling playfield
      Fixed Shooters (Space Invaders, Galaga)
      Maze Shooters (Berserk, Tank Battalion)
      Field Shooters (Robotron 2084, Smash TV, Geometry Wars)
        including those set on a cylinder or torus (Asteroids, Star Castle)
    Scrolling playfield
      Automatically scrolling shooters
        Vertically scrolling shooters (Xevious, Cybattler)
          including those set on a cylinder (Scion)
        Horizontally scrolling shooters (Gradius, R-Type)
          including those set on a cylinder (Fantasy Zone)
        Isometrically scrolling shooters (Zaxxon, Viewpoint)
      Multi-directional auto-scrolling shooters set on a torus (Bosconian, Time Pilot '84)
    Manually advancing ("push-scroll") shooters
      Manually advancing horizontally scrolling shooters (In The Hunt, Mr. Heli no Daibouken)
        including those set on a cylinder (Defender)
      Manually advancing vertically scrolling shooters (OutZone, Ikari Warriors)
      Manually advancing multi-directional shooters (Granada, KiKi KaiKai, Bangai-O)
        including those set on a torus or infinite plane (Sinistar)
    Outliers or Grandfathered titles:
      Every Extend series
      Gyruss and clones
      Tempest, clones, and sequels


Does "The Bug Butcher" qualify as a shmup? It's a Pang-like game without platforming (ladders and such), you only move horizontally and have a fixed shooting angle (upwards). Gravity affects enemies à la Pang though...

And "Rive"? It starts as a shmup and goes back to it a lot but has some run 'n' gun sections as well...

I love these two but they may not fit in here

EDIT: And... Enter the Gungeon??


Last edited by SPM on Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:12 pm 



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SPM wrote:
Nifty wrote:
No voting for:
    First-person perspective shooters (Doom, Solvalou)
      including Lightgun Shooters (House of the Dead, Rail Chase)
    Platform Shooters (Contra, Metal Slug)
    Rail Shooters (Rez, Panzer Dragoon)
    Gallery/Carnival Shooters (NAM-1975, Cabal)
    Action-Adventure Games (Alien Breed, Gauntlet, Legend of Zelda)

You may vote for games in any of the following categories:
    Non-scrolling playfield
      Fixed Shooters (Space Invaders, Galaga)
      Maze Shooters (Berserk, Tank Battalion)
      Field Shooters (Robotron 2084, Smash TV, Geometry Wars)
        including those set on a cylinder or torus (Asteroids, Star Castle)
    Scrolling playfield
      Automatically scrolling shooters
        Vertically scrolling shooters (Xevious, Cybattler)
          including those set on a cylinder (Scion)
        Horizontally scrolling shooters (Gradius, R-Type)
          including those set on a cylinder (Fantasy Zone)
        Isometrically scrolling shooters (Zaxxon, Viewpoint)
      Multi-directional auto-scrolling shooters set on a torus (Bosconian, Time Pilot '84)
    Manually advancing ("push-scroll") shooters
      Manually advancing horizontally scrolling shooters (In The Hunt, Mr. Heli no Daibouken)
        including those set on a cylinder (Defender)
      Manually advancing vertically scrolling shooters (OutZone, Ikari Warriors)
      Manually advancing multi-directional shooters (Granada, KiKi KaiKai, Bangai-O)
        including those set on a torus or infinite plane (Sinistar)
    Outliers or Grandfathered titles:
      Every Extend series
      Gyruss and clones
      Tempest, clones, and sequels


Does "The Bug Butcher" qualify as a shmup? It's a Pang-like game without platforming (ladders and such), you only move horizontally and have a fixed shooting angle (upwards). Gravity affects enemies à la Pang though...

And "Rive"? It starts as a shmup and goes back to it a lot but has some run 'n' gun sections as well...

I love these two but they may not fit in here
I like rive to

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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:08 pm 



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Playing some shmups as reminder, wow how good is pc engine mini??
Superb,surely best mini rerelease?

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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:02 pm 


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this is the year of hellsinker. ride or die.


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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:55 pm 


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Calling it now, Dimahoo's making Top 25 this year
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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:36 am 



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I was able to get Soldier Blade into my list this year which felt right. It's one of, if not the best "compile-like" games ever made. I did consider puting Super Star Soldier in its place. Ultimately, I went with Soldier Blade due to the much better game balance. I do prefer the music in Super Star Soldier a little more (though Soldier Blade's music is supurb as well) and its a much harder game, but Soldier Blade absolutely nails what it sets out to do. It is a little too easy, but not so easy that you can clear it with no effort.

Other additions include Cho Ren Sha 68K which is an absolute must play, and Sapphire which is an incredibly well made game as well.

I also got R-Type Leo into the list this year. That game has stuck with me for years and I think it deserves a spot, even if its maybe the third or fourth best game in its own franchise.

The rest of the changes were mostly shuffling some rankings around. Overall I'm pretty happy with it.
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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:06 am 


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ZPScissors wrote:
Calling it now, Dimahoo's making Top 25 this year

This would be a pleasant surprise, even though I don't play the game seriously. I'm not gunna vote for it but I think it's really cool!

I thought maybe we were shaking up how the vote was done this year but maybe not.

I'll continue to shill for my usual suspects. I think if we look at the major port releases over the past year you can have a clue as to what will get the 'bump.' Same too maybe of the piggy-backing (LOL) on Aquas' awesome GDQ run of Muchi Muchi Pork a few weeks ago, though that has less of that 'broad appeal' than something like Futari (though MMP looks way more fun than futari to me, imo).

Though to tell the truth I think I am going to add some Alfa System love to this year's ballot as I cast off some games I've voted for but haven't played in years. Not that I don't still love them but it's best to recognize games that have given me a lot of enjoyment and excitement during a year filled with quarantine.

No Psikyo on last year's list was a disgrace folks, so you had best apply yourselves!
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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:52 am 


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There are only two significant differences from my previous ballot, most of the other changes are simply from a reflection on my opinions and reconsideration of weighting caused by my desire to put P-47 Aces at 25 points.

P-47 Aces: 14 -> 25
Having gotten very very familiar with this game in the past year, my opinion of it has solidified as probably the best game of all time. The scoring is esoteric but there's something very satisfying about arcane frame button tricks to manipulate pixel positions for bumping strategies. There's not much I can say beyond what I said last year, but wow what a great great game.

Thunder Dragon 2: 25 -> 20
Admittedly, my appreciation of this game has somewhat dwindled, mostly due to the unfortunately limited soundtrack. It's really a nearly flawless game otherwise, and I still hold it in extremely high regard, so it's still only down 1 placement.
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 Post subject: Re: 18th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Discussion Threa
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:21 pm 


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The only new entry in my list this year is GG Aleste 3, which absolutely blew me away. Gynoug got demoted to honorable mention as a consequence.


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