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 Post subject: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:48 pm 


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Joined: 15 Aug 2009
Posts: 534
Location: 'Strailya
Top 25 Shmups of All Time (through 2017)
Code:
##. Game                                               Score  '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '12 '13 '14 '15 '16
01. DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou / Black Label (ARC/360/etc.)  7.72    *   +   +   +   +   +   +   ~   +   +   +   +   +   =
02. Ketsui ~Kizuna Jigoku Tachi~ (ARC/360/PS3)          7.09    .   *   *   *   *   *   +   +   +   +   +   +   =   +
03. Battle Garegga (ARC/SAT/PS4/XB1)                    7.06    +   +   *   +   =   +   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
04. DoDonPachi (ARC/SAT/PSX)                            6.47    -   -   -   -   -   +   -   -   +   +   +   +   +   +
05. Mushihimesama Futari / 1.5 / Black Label (ARC/360)  6.12    .   .   .   .   *   *   +   ~   ~   -   -   -   -   -
06. Armed Police Batrider (ARC)                         5.59    *   *   +   *   -   +   -   -   -   -   =   =   -   -
07. Crimzon Clover / World Ignition (PC/NESiCA)         5.34    .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   *   *   *   +   -   =
08. RayForce / Layer Section / etc. (ARC/PS2/SAT/etc.)  5.07    *   -   +   +   +   +   +   *   *   *   +   =   =   =
09. Radiant Silvergun (ARC/SAT/360)                     5.01    +   -   -   -   -   -   +   +   *   +   +   +   +   =
10. Ikaruga (ARC/DC/GC/360/PC)                          4.87    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   +   +   -   =   =
11. Gradius V (PS2)                                     4.16    .   .   -   -   -   -   -   -   +   *   =   +   +   +
12. Mars Matrix (ARC/DC)                                3.99    +   +   -   -   +   +   =   -   +   -   +   +   +   =
13. Mushihimesama / 1.5 (ARC/PS2/360/PC)                3.92    .   .   *   +   +   -   -   +   *   -   -   -   -   -
14. Batsugun / Batsugun Special (ARC/SAT)               3.42    *   +   +   *   +   -   -   +   +   -   -   -   +   +
15. Gradius Gaiden (PSX/PSP)                            3.40    +   +   -   -   -   -   *   +   *   +   *   *   +   +
16. Gunbird 2 (ARC/DC)                                  3.24    +   -   -   +   =   *   *   +   -   -   +   +   *   =
17. Dangun Feveron (ARC/PS4)                            3.22    *   *   *   *   *   *   -   -   *   *   *   *   *   +
18. Under Defeat (DC/ARC/360/PS3)                       3.19    .   .   .   *   +   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   +
19. Dragon Blaze (ARC/PS2)                              3.08    *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   -   -   *   *   +   *
20. ESPGaluda / Arrange (ARC/PS2)                       3.03    .   *   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   *
21. Progear no Arashi (ARC)                             2.96    *   *   *   *   *   -   -   *   *   *   *   *   *   -
22. Strikers 1945 II (ARC/SAT/PSX/PS2)                  2.92    -   -   -   -   *   -   -   -   -   -   +   -   +   -
23. Muchi Muchi Pork! (ARC/360)                         2.90    .   .   .   .   .   *   *   *   -   +   -   *   -   *
24. R-Type (ARC/PCE/PSX/etc.)                           2.89    -   -   -   -   *   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
25. Thunder Dragon 2 (ARC)                              2.82    *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

  • = denotes the game holds the same position now as the year indicated.
  • + denotes the game holds an improved standing compared to the year indicated.
  • - denotes the game holds a reduced standing compared to the year indicated.
  • * denotes the game was not on the list for the year indicated.
  • . denotes the game was not released or otherwise eligible for voting for the year indicated.
  • ~ denotes the game vote was classified (significantly) differently for the year indicated.


Honourable Mention
Code:
Game                                                    '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '12 '13 '14 '15 '16
Akai Katana (ARC/360)                                     .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   +   =   -   =   +   =
Battle Bakraid (ARC)                                      +   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   -   =   -   =   =
Border Down (DC/ARC)                                      .   +   =   -   -   -   -   =   +   +   =   =   =   =
Darius Burst: AC / EX / Chronicle Saviours (PC/etc.)      .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   +   +   +   +   -   -
Darius Gaiden (ARC/SAT/PS2/etc.)                          +   +   =   =   =   =   =   =   -   =   =   -   -   -
Deathsmiles / Mega Black Label (ARC/360)                  .   .   .   .   .   +   =   =   -   =   -   -   =   =
DoDonPachi Daifukkatsu / 1.5 / Resurrection (ARC/etc.)    .   .   .   .   .   .   +   +   =   -   =   =   =   =
DoDonPachi Saidaioujou (ARC/360)                          .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   +   -   -   =   =
ESP Ra.De. (ARC)                                          -   -   -   -   -   -   -   =   =   =   =   =   =   =
ESPGaluda II / Black Label (ARC/360)                      .   .   .   +   +   +   =   -   -   -   -   -   =   =
Flying Shark / Hishouzame / Sky Shark (ARC/NES/etc.)      +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   =   =   +   =
G-Darius (ARC/PS2/PSX)                                    +   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   +   =
Giga Wing (ARC/DC)                                        +   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   =   =   =   =
Giga Wing 2 (ARC/DC)                                      +   =   =   =   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +
Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou (ARC/SAT/FC/etc.)              +   =   =   =   +   =   +   +   =   =   +   =   =   =
Gradius / Nemesis (ARC/NES/PCE/etc.)                      =   =   =   +   +   +   +   =   =   +   =   =   +   +
Guwange (ARC/360)                                         -   -   =   -   =   -   -   -   -   =   =   =   =   =
Ibara (ARC/PS2)                                           .   .   .   =   =   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   =
Judgement Silversword (WSC/360/PC)                        .   .   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   =
Perfect Cherry Blossom [Touhou 7] (PC)                    .   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   =   =   =   =   =   =
R-Type Delta (PSX)                                        =   =   -   -   -   =   +   =   =   =   =   =   =   =
Raiden DX (ARC/PSX)                                       +   +   -   -   -   =   -   =   -   =   -   =   =   -
Raiden Fighters Jet (ARC/360)                             +   =   =   +   +   =   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
Salamander 2 (ARC/SAT/PSX)                                +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   =   +
Soukyugurentai / Terra Diver (SAT/ARC/PSX)                -   -   -   -   -   -   =   -   =   -   =   =   =   =
Strikers 1999 / Strikers 1945 III (ARC)                   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   =   =   =   +   =   =
Thunder Force IV / Lightening Force (MD/GEN/SAT)          -   -   -   -   -   -   =   +   =   =   =   =   =   =
Twinkle Star Sprites (ARC/SAT/DC/etc.)                    +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   =   +   +   =

  • = denotes the game was also on the HM list for the year indicated.
  • + denotes the game was on neither the HM list nor the top 25 for the year indicated.
  • - denotes the game was in the top 25 for the year indicated.
  • . denotes the game was not released or otherwise eligible for voting for the year indicated.



What Dropped from 2016's Top 25:
  • Darius Burst: Another Chronicle / EX / Chronicle Saviours (ARC/PC/PS4/Vita)
  • Darius Gaiden (ARC/SAT/PSX/PS2/PC)
  • Raiden DX (ARC/PSX)
  • Raiden Fighters Jet (ARC/360)

What Dropped from 2016's Honourable Mentions:
  • Cho Ren Sha 68K (PC/X68)
  • DonPachi (ARC/SAT/PSX)
  • Einhänder (PSX)
  • Eschatos (360/PC)
  • Great Fairy Wars [Touhou 12.8] (PC)
  • Kamui (PC)
  • Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream [Touhou 3] (PC-98)
  • Phantasmagoria of Flower View [Touhou 9] (PC)
  • Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive (ARC/360)
  • Twin Cobra / Kyukyoku Tiger (ARC/PCE/etc.)



Breakdown by Developer
Code:
                   Top 25         Hon.M.          Overall
Cave                  9               8              17
Psikyo                3               1              4
Raizing               2               2              4
Konami                1               3              4
Treasure              3               -              3
Taito                 1               2              3
Takumi                1               2              3
Irem                  1               1              2
G.rev                 1               1              2
Toaplan               1               1              2
Seibu Kaihatsu        -               2              2
NMK                   1               -              1
Yotsubane             1               -              1
Team Shanghai Alice   -               1              1
Qute                  -               1              1
Pyramid               -               1              1
Technosoft            -               1              1
ADK                   -               1              1



Breakdown by Original Platform
Code:
System             Top 25         Hon.M.          Overall
Arcade                22             24              46
PC/Windows             1              1               2
PlayStation            1              1               2
PlayStation 2          1              -               1
Mega Drive/Genesis     -              1               1
WonderSwan Color       -              1               1



Most Personal Honourable Mentions ([0])
Code:
Game                                                No. of appearances
Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou (ARC/SAT/FC/etc.)              5
Raiden (ARC/PSX/PCE/etc.)                                 4
Armed Police Batrider (ARC)                               3
Batsugun / Batsugun Special (ARC/SAT)                     3
Deathsmiles / Mega Black Label (ARC/360)                  3
DoDonPachi (ARC/SAT/PSX)                                  3
Dragon Blaze (ARC/PS2)                                    3
ESPGaluda (ARC/PS2)                                       3
Giga Wing (ARC/DC)                                        3
Raiden Fighters Jet (ARC/360)                             3
Soukyugurentai / Terra Diver (SAT/ARC/PSX)                3
Twinkle Star Sprites (ARC/SAT/DC/etc.)                    3
Recca [Summer Carnival '92] (FC)                          3



Miscellaneous Stats:
  • Number of Counted Voters: 66
  • Total Vote Weight: 63.5
  • Number of Games Voted For: 355
  • Number of Honourable Mentions: 28
  • Proportion of Voters who chose to use a Shortlist: 0.15 (10/66)
  • Proportion of Voters who chose to include Personal Honourable Mentions: 0.29 (19/66)
  • Proportion of Personal Honourable Mentions included where eligible: 0.34 (19/56)
  • Number of Games Receiving Only [0]'s: 20
  • Games Supported by at least half of voters (≥31.75 combined): 4
  • Games Supported by at least 1/4 of voters (≥15.9 combined): 27
  • Top 25 Score Spread: 2.815 - 7.717
  • Honourable Mention Score Spread: 1.411 - 2.800
  • Total Score Spread: 0.039 - 7.717



Random Comments:
  • Thine eyes do not deceive thee; living legend Thunder Dragon 2 has indeed claimed the final spot on the ever-evolving list of all-time greats. I really didn't believe it would be able to maintain its place after its usual strong start, but votes continued to come steadily in as never before, cementing its status even after the time extension. It's incredible to think that a game - any game - that was a niche pick only a few years ago could have grown to become a consistent standout of the early 90's era. Personally, I choose to dedicate this unprecedented success story to my wide-reaching scholarly influence and unmatched banner making skills. Onwards and upwards!
  • Interesting to note that, barring Gradius V and Mushi switching positions, places 7 through 13 are identical to what they were last year. RayForce in particular has now maintained a lock on 8th position for four years in a row. Also of interest is the spread of scores they have, which are far closer to the top than has been seen for a very long time. The extent of this movement has in turn resulted in another shrinkage cycle for the Honourable Mentions.
  • I'm kinda starting to run out of room to fit in the comparisons for all the previous years up there D: I could take an extra space between them out but that would only be delaying the problem.
  • The discussion thread for this year's poll is here.
  • The votes for this year's poll can be found here.
  • The full results have been edited in here.
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Last edited by Nifty on Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:03 pm 


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Holy shit TD2 has arrived at last! :shock: :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:16 pm 


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Location: Chicago, IL
Whoa, Thunder Dragon 2! What an honor - and deserved, too. It's only through all that tournie play that enough members finally got to see how good it is. NMK is back on top baby, ha ha ha. Thanks for going through the effort on this one again, Nifty. Pretty interesting note about spots 7-13 - a large number of peoples' votes must be fairly stable over time.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:38 pm 


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Location: Joker Star Galaxy, Argentina
Another year, another no-mention of anything related to milestone :(

Anyway, thanks as usual Nifty.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:01 pm 


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KAI wrote:
Another year, another no-mention of anything related to milestone :(

Get some steam releases and you'll see the votes come in. See: DariusBurst, last year.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:20 pm 


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KAI wrote:
Another year, another no-mention of anything related to milestone :(

All is good with the world.

Garegga as 3rd place is a bit of a surprise IMO.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:26 pm 


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I love Cave's games as much as anyone, but I can't help but feel that this list spotlights a very particular kind of focused perspective that skews heavily toward them and other more "modern" stuff, without giving much credit to some of the early arcade and 8-16 bit era classics. I mean... there are NINE Cave games ranked higher than R-Type (and SEVENTEEN of them beating out Space Invaders and Galaga).

While I get that people might differ on interpretation of a top list, with one school of thought including "influential" games (see: Tetris or Super Mario Bros. or Myst on your typical "Best Video Games Ever!" lists) and another favoring the polish of a more evolved genre, some of the household name late 70s to 80s games not being listed strikes me as a bit bizarre. No Space Invaders? Galaga? Centipede? Defender? Fantasy Zone? Don't get me wrong, more niche stuff like Crimzon Clover and Progear are very good games, but like... Galaga is a game your mom probably recognizes.

Even if we're accepting that this is more of an "enthusiast" focused list... there's nothing from the PCE in the top 25 (aside from being noted as one of many ports of R-Type, where surely that's not the definitive version), no Compile games, similar lack of representation from Genesis/MD, SNES, Neo, etc.

In fairness, me and my lack of input to give some different perspective can be somewhat to blame! I pop in occasionally but didn't even see the original voting thread until these results.


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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:43 pm 


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Maybe because it's only the yearly Top 25, and tops are deceiving. If you combine all games people usually vote for there's about a hundred titles including console exclusives and doujin.

Nifty I think made an 'all titles that made it to the top' list somewhere but I can't find it.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:55 pm 


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Whether other stuff got votes to be in the top 100+ or whatever... it's just striking that 17 highest ranked Cave titles all place in the top 25 + honorable mentions. And stuff like Space Invaders, Galaga, Defender, Fantasy Zone, Zanac, Gunhed/Blazing Lazers, and MUSHA Aleste failed to even place.

I get that people probably gave those classics a smattering of votes... but are there really that many people out there that think a game that can't even crack the top 15 of the best CAVE games of all time is truly a better game of ALL TIME than these games that even super casual gamers recognize? Seems to me that the results highlight a particularly myopic POV, probably due to a combination of the voting methodology & the self-selecting audience of people who respond to this sort of post on a super niche forum.


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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:23 pm 


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Thanks for putting this together Nifty! Regarding your comment on running out of space for the comparisons, that depends on how wide your browser window is. :wink:

I think there's an error in the developer or platform breakdowns, the totals sum up to 53 games for developer but 54 for platform. The lists themselves have 53 across the two. Also I think there's three Konami games in the honorable mentions (Gradius 1, Gradius 2, Salamander 2) while the developer breakdown says there's two.

Disappointed by Cho Ren Sha 68k and Great Fairy Wars dropping out of the Honorable Mentions, and the underrepresentation of bell juggling (it's not that scary, I swear!), but TD2 in the top 25 is a nice surprise. If there's any NMK game that deserves that recognition it's TD2. Dragon Blaze (and Psikyo in general) has a strong showing this year too.

Xyga wrote:
Nifty I think made an 'all titles that made it to the top' list somewhere but I can't find it.

There's a list of that in the voting thread every year.

hamfighterx wrote:
Whether other stuff got votes to be in the top 100+ or whatever... it's just striking that 17 highest ranked Cave titles all place in the top 25 + honorable mentions. And stuff like Space Invaders, Galaga, Defender, Fantasy Zone, Zanac, Gunhed/Blazing Lazers, and MUSHA Aleste failed to even place.

I get that people probably gave those classics a smattering of votes... but are there really that many people out there that think a game that can't even crack the top 15 of the best CAVE games of all time is truly a better game of ALL TIME than these games that even super casual gamers recognize? Seems to me that the results highlight a particularly myopic POV, probably due to a combination of the voting methodology & the self-selecting audience of people who respond to this sort of post on a super niche forum.

It's a niche list for people currently participating in the niche, which should tell you a lot. Other games may have broader appeal but I don't think that's the point of the survey (I don't think that would be any more useful or feasible than those general "greatest games of all time" lists mainstream sites put together), nor would I take this to be a definitive list of the greatest shmups "of ALL TIME" either way. It's a reflection of the times and current tastes, which is why it's important for it to be annual.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:12 pm 



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hamfighterx wrote:
Whether other stuff got votes to be in the top 100+ or whatever... it's just striking that 17 highest ranked Cave titles all place in the top 25 + honorable mentions. And stuff like Space Invaders, Galaga, Defender, Fantasy Zone, Zanac, Gunhed/Blazing Lazers, and MUSHA Aleste failed to even place.


If it was worded "most influential titles of all time", then I should imagine almost, if not all your titles would be very high on the list; you left out Robotron btw.

However, I took "Top 25 Shmups of all time" to mean best rather than most influential or important - I didn't vote either, but can you really argue that any of your named games (perhaps defender excluded) are better than than the top 25 named?

Space Invaders and Galaga were groundbreaking, but would you rather play them than any of the others in the top 25?


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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:30 pm 


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@hamfighterx: you have the wrong idea about the Top and the community, but it seems every year there are more and more people like that and I've begun to think that talking about the reasons the top ends up like this and why so much cave, is useless.

But to your credit guys I think Nifty should rename the top, because it is partly confusing yes.

@remedial_gash: in any case most influential or important shmups can't be a top, only a list.

@Shepardus; I'm not thinking about the year's ful results Nifty always posts after a while but a simple list of all titles ever to make it to the Top, I remember it but really can't find it. Maybe he posts it every year but edits it out every time as well, dunno.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:37 pm 


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Xyga wrote:
@Shepardus; I'm not thinking about the year's ful results Nifty always posts after a while but a simple list of all titles ever to make it to the Top, I remember it but really can't find it. Maybe he posts it every year but edits it out every time as well, dunno.

I'm referring to the list here. Is this what you're looking for?
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:51 pm 


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Like many other genres, I see the shmup genre as a failry progressive genre, meaning that it generally gets progressively better with age. I feel like a lot of people on here feel this way and that is why many Cave titles made within the last 20-years are on this list and in the honorable mentions every year. Not only that, but they have contributed more to the genre than any other company in terms of the amount of games they have contributed to it.

Do I think Cave is overrated; a little. Do I think there are much better titles than Dai Ou Jo or Ketsui, absolutely, but I do understand why many feel like they are the best or among the best.

At least for me I can appreciate the classics, but in terms of gameplay, mechanics, graphics, and just fun I feel like most have been easily beat out by many titles that have come out during the past 25-years. Personally I feel like the mid-90s to the mid to late 2000s was the best period period for the shmup genre and produced hands down the best titles in the genre. Games like Space Invaders, Galaxian, MUSHA, Truxton, and even Thunder Force IV just can't compete with some newer titles in the genre. That isn't to say they are bad, just that they've been bested by newer offerings.


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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:06 am 


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@Shepardus: Yes thank you! Gah I wasn't scrolling down enough. ^^

Well that's it, I think that non-ranked 'all past' list is the one that matters the most (it's even better to join both) and the actual achievement of the Top over the years.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:59 am 


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Shepardus wrote:
I think there's an error in the developer or platform breakdowns, the totals sum up to 53 games for developer but 54 for platform. The lists themselves have 53 across the two. Also I think there's three Konami games in the honorable mentions (Gradius 1, Gradius 2, Salamander 2) while the developer breakdown says there's two.
Looks like I forgot to remove the 360 entry from platform and left Toaplan with an extra point. Fix has been fix'd.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:09 am 


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Now that you pointed it out, I never realized so many people loved Salamander 2 to get it to be a consistent honorable mention. I mean, I like the game quite a bit and have 1ALL'd it, but it's no Life Force! I wonder what draws people in so much (not to say that the people who vote Salamander 2 don't often have other Konami shmups on their ballots).
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:16 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
Now that you pointed it out, I never realized so many people loved Salamander 2 to get it to be a consistent honorable mention. I mean, I like the game quite a bit and have 1ALL'd it, but it's no Life Force! I wonder what draws people in so much (not to say that the people who vote Salamander 2 don't often have other Konami shmups on their ballots).

I think you read the chart wrong, it says that Salamander 2 only made it to the Honorable Mentions once before this year. But I'm surprised to see it there too, not that I think it's bad, but I didn't think it would get enough attention for that.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:25 am 



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Nice to see TD2 on the top 8)
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:02 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
I mean, I like the game quite a bit and have 1ALL'd it, but it's no Life Force!

A rejoicing hosanna on that! While arcade Life Force is marginally more polished than arcade Salamander, it is still stricken with horrible hit detection, an unbalanced difficulty curve (there are e.g. stretches in stage 4 where you don't have to do anything at all but holding down the shot button, whereas stages 3 & 5 have some hazards you have to memorize) and horrendous conditions upon looping - I'd agree that the first loop is a splendid little diversion, later loops are congeries of caliginous, nay, sinister neglects of duty. You do earn extends which means that you might limp through the end of a loop by dint of the selfsame bolster, you're never going to recover in the more difficult spots, however. Add the aforementioned horrid hit detection with specious amounts of suicide bullets and you'll understand why it's in dire need of emendation.

Salamander 2 on the other hand is a sterling game over the course of both of its loops. It has a sharper focus on scoring (there are two main tricks per loop, one boss you can properly milk as well as countless other small opportunities to boost your score here and there), indulges in frantic, fast dodging (which coalesces well with suicide bullets, unlike Life Force's more methodical approach), has much better conditions upon dying thanks to the rank system and overall better balance, offers considerably better crafted environmental hazards as well as open space in the vertical stages (for the aforementioned action purposes), a great final boss and a spectacular soundtrack. Where Life Force is crepuscular at best, Salamander 2 is a ray of dazzling light, exonerating Konami from its earlier missteps.


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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:58 pm 


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Xyga wrote:

Nifty I think made an 'all titles that made it to the top' list somewhere but I can't find it.


You are correct sir. It's in the voting thread:D

Via Nifty:

Spoiler: show
All Past Top 25 Games (60 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 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 (56 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
Thunder Dragon 2
Triggerheart Exelica
Twin Cobra / Kyukyoku Tiger
Twinkle Star Sprites
U.N. Squadron / Area 88 (SNES)
Undefined Fantastic Object
Zanac (NES) / Zanac EX


This list should be in a sticky thread.

As always - thanks for taking the time to compile the results sir.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:10 am 


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Hey Stevens, do you mind putting that big list in a spoiler? Makes it easier to scroll. :wink:

@Shephardus:
You're right, I did read it wrong, whoops. Still surprised nonetheless. I guess it has been easy to emulate Salamander 2 for some time now - not like a decade ago when the only way to play it was to dole out money for a Saturn/PS1 Deluxe Pack. On the plus side, it's one more game that people ought to potentially familiarize themselves with as they try to suss up their eligibility to vote.

Perikles wrote:
EmperorIng wrote:
I mean, I like the game quite a bit and have 1ALL'd it, but it's no Life Force!

A rejoicing hosanna on that! While arcade Life Force is marginally more polished than arcade Salamander...


Ha ha ha, how can I argue with the expert, right? :mrgreen: I don't know how to fully articulate it but Life Force I found more appealing than Salamander 2 when I was going through trying to clear all three Salamander games (and giving up on Salamander AC, which was too far gone for me to put up with its faults). I think I felt at the time -at least for 1 loop for both- that Life Force possessed a more focused level design, whereas Salamander 2 felt a little meandering in some of its levels. Perhaps the shorter (?) length of Life Force makes it feel more focused - and maybe the presence of Gradius style power-ups and checkpoints made recovery feel a little tighter.

No arguments on the great boss fights of Salamander 2, including the teeth-clenching final bout that made me feel fear like I never felt fear before.

I still want to own a copy of PCE Salamander based on your recommendations - maybe it's even better than AC Life Force in your eyes, voice samples [sadly] notwithstanding? :D
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:22 am 


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2 in the top 25 and 3 Honorable mention.

We're super happy to have published so many games on this list on PC. The more people who can play them the better :)


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 Post subject: Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Presented by CAVE
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:37 am 


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I have my gripes about both versions of Daioujou, but ultimately, I haven't played another game in the genre that's as satisfying to learn. It deserves that #1 spot.

Hopefully M2 will give Black Label the port it deserves some day.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:50 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
I still want to own a copy of PCE Salamander based on your recommendations - maybe it's even better than AC Life Force in your eyes, voice samples [sadly] notwithstanding? :D

Much better, in fact. While both arcade Salamander and arcade Life Force are splendid games for their time of nascency, they were obviously rushed, which tremendously ruins the enjoyment you might get out of them. PCE Salamander on the other hand remedies all of those things:

- The hit detection is immaculate, as it should be. You don't die if a bullet misses you by several pixels, you can actually trust the information as it is conveyed on the screen.

- No inexplicable sudden deaths for no reason either. It's not uncommon in the arcade game that one dies in the final stage due to one of the flame pillars from below (at least that's what I think happens) which aren't even displayed on account of sprite overload or something to that effect.

- The shield actually works! It doesn't deteriorate when you touch other power-ups, it's only deadened when something lethal hits it.

- The difficulty curve upon looping is much smoother, now striking a fantastic balance between the tweaking of old parameters (faster bullets, for example) and the novel concepts like the added organic walls in stage 1 or the altered behaviour of the solar flares in stage 3.

- The fourth boss isn't such a massive spike in difficulty anymore. Neither do you have to fear the fifth boss during particularly high loops where it is nigh invincible and assuredly deadly if you don't use specific savespots in the arcade games. On the other hand, you have to dodge the Big Cores in stage 6 since they removed the savespot behind them, which is also an astute change. The same is true for deactivating otherwise indestructible enemy hitboxes with missiles, which was always remarkably silly.

- You earn extends (not in a parsimonious manner, I might add) and have to work with checkpoints instead of instant respawns. Every checkpoint in every loop is feasible by virtue of the power-up system and the superb rank adaptations; later loops have a handful of satisfyingly tough recoveries which are nonetheless not nearly as absurd as, say, stage 4 of the original arcade Gradius from loop 3 onwards.


To me, PCE Salamander is an almost flawless game within its niche of consolized arcade ports. More than that, it is an intercessory offer from Konami to finally relish this game in a form they probably envisioned from the start.


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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:43 pm 


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I would still say those 9 CAVE games are better than R-Type.

I'm very happy to see DOJ and Ketsui above Battle Garegga. Batsugun above the Psikyo stuff is really sad though, I like Batsugun, but I think it's not a very polished game, it's only well known for its contribution to the bullet hell subgenre. I still have hope that Strikers 1999 will make it to the top 25 one year.

Sad to not see some well loved doujins like Eden's Aegis, Akashicverse, and Hellsinker here. Probably because they don't have too high of a playerbase here compared to arcade games.


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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:35 pm 


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Thanks again for the list, Nifty! Image

Code:
16. Gunbird 2 (ARC/DC)
19. Dragon Blaze (ARC/PS2)
22. Strikers 1945 II (ARC/SAT/PSX/PS2)

  • It's nice to see Gunbird 2 and Dragon Blaze end up pretty high on the list, even above the obligatory Strikers 1945 II.
  • TD2 finally making the list is a surprise indeed. A deserving addition to the top 25.
  • Dangun Feveron and Mars Matrix holding on to their spots is cool, maybe one year they might even break the top 10.


  • The standard Cave bias is disappointing but to be expected. It's rare for someone to produce a list without a single Cave game due to how popular and diverse their library is.
  • Cho Ren Sha 68K, Great Fairy Wars, and Eschatos all falling off the Honorable mentions is tragic. RIP, dear friends. Image

bikingjahuty wrote:
Like many other genres, I see the shmup genre as a failry progressive genre, meaning that it generally gets progressively better with age.

While I see your point, I don't think the list shows the proper ratio, it's very skewed in Cave's favor due to popularity. While I see shmups as generally shedding the excesses of the past over time, that doesn't mean that marvelous games haven't been made in 80's or that new excesses haven't arrived with modern shmups.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:16 pm 


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^Mars Matrix is as high as it's been since 2012 looks like. Unfortunately I don't really see it going up at all unless it gets some kind of rerelease treatment (preferably of the DC version), which is unlikely. I could see Dangun going up, maybe.

Indeed kind of sad about those non AC games. Eschatos I kind of understand, as JSS seems to have taken its place. The two games are pretty similar. I think I narrowly prefer Eschatos because it doesn't have annoying button mashing based strategy, but otherwise I might actually like JSS better. It's a little faster moving.

Hopefully CRS and GFW will fare better next year. I'll take this as grounds to seriously revisit them some time soon.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:03 pm 


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hamfighterx wrote:
And stuff like Space Invaders, Galaga, Defender, Fantasy Zone, Zanac, Gunhed/Blazing Lazers, and MUSHA Aleste failed to even place.

The original Space Invaders isn't really playable outside of 1978. Galaga and Defender are played by the golden age crowd, not so much the shmups crowd. Fantasy Zone is surprisingly niche. Zanac, Gunhed, and Musha are just like nearly every Compile title: overly long, mostly boring, idiotic on whatever "highest difficulty" a particular game has, and arguably pointless at the end of the day. Musha's inanity crosses a certain line that very little can match; strangely, it's also one of the most beloved.

A lot of newer games are just so far above and beyond this. They're built with actual design and longevity in mind. Sure, there are some key older titles that get sacrificed, but it's a lot harder to advertise Gate of Thunder to someone than it is to advertise Mushihimesama Futari.

It's great that the community cares more about actual gameplay than spectacle. If this list was littered with Compile garbage like some people seem to want, it'd be totally uninformative. If you're gonna rep a console shmup, rep something like Gate of Thunder, please.
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 Post subject: Re: 15th Annual Top 25 Shmups of All Time - Results
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:42 am 


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Despatche wrote:
Fantasy Zone is surprisingly niche.

This is too bad, though admittedly Fantasy Zone offers a very idiosyncratic take on the genre (from its 'Defender' roots). Most people prefer more straight-forward shootemups: Move right/up, fight waves, fight boss, etc.

Frankly I'm surprised at the amount of love for Judgment Silversword on enough ballots to get an honorable mention. I haven't played it so I wouldn't know, but I always just considered it as some fun novelty someone made for the Wonderswan.

If people wanna rep console shooters they should rep Technosoft, first and foremost. 8)
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