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Akai Katana Shin and the unsung genre of horizontal bullet hell shmups

VGEsoterica

Member
Vertical bullet hell shmups are clearly the KING of the bullet hell genre...for every 10 vertical or TATE games you get...maybe one horizontal variant gets released. But thankfully CAVE still loves the format! because while Akai Katana Shin might not get the same level of love as Progear or Deathsmiles...it's one hell of a fun game! Plus you don't have to explain to people when they see you playing Deathsmiles what it's all about...because its odd for sure lol

Akai Katana def has some major Progear vibes too...almost feeling like a spiritual successor to the CPS 2 classic. So if you like shmups and you haven't played Akai Katana yet...why not?

but the shmup genre is DEEP so who has some recommendations of other awesome horizontal bullet hell shmups?I am sure there is some obscure amazing fan game out of Japan I have yet to hear about

or just your fav horizontal shmup! I always love hearing what people love the most and why :)

 

kurisu_1974

is on perm warning for being a low level troll
I love schmups but I never learned to appreciate the bullet hell subgenre. I'm really curious about the new Aleste game that's been in the pipeline since forever. How I wish Compile was still a thing.

 
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Holammer

Member
The game is beautiful, but the artists really went nuts with weird perspective tricks. It looks like top-down one at a glance, but then you see it switch between isometric and cavalier elements which really screws with my brain when I look at it. Plus, there's way too much visual clutter.

 

VGEsoterica

Member
The game is beautiful, but the artists really went nuts with weird perspective tricks. It looks like top-down one at a glance, but then you see it switch between isometric and cavalier elements which really screws with my brain when I look at it. Plus, there's way too much visual clutter.

the visual clutter is just a CAVE look
 

midnightAI

Gold Member
As an artist and developer myself (and one who is currently making a 2d horizontal scrolling shoot em up)... the perspective in this game is doing my head in, its all over the place
 

SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
I love schmups but I never learned to appreciate the bullet hell subgenre. I'm really curious about the new Aleste game that's been in the pipeline since forever. How I wish Compile was still a thing.

There are also two other Aleste games that were released recently, GG Aleste 3 released as part of the Aleste collection and is as close as you can get to vintage Compile. It's actually fantastic, and developed on real GG hardware. The other one is Sen-Xin Aleste, and feels a little less traditional, but nonetheless quite a good game once you get into it. M2 has really been going ham on this franchise since obtaining the rights.
 

Dev1lXYZ

Member
I have been enjoying revisiting Deathsmiles 1 and 2 on Switch. Back in the day, I imported DS2 on DC, blindly based on being a CAVE game. It was my first CAVE game and I was very excited to see the hyped company flex on the DC. Welp, ya gotta start somewhere. The theme is alright, but the graphics, even back then were ugly. I still enjoy playing through it from time to time as the more streamlined gameplay is easy to jump back into.
 

Pejo

Gold Member
Man that game is gorgeous. Wish I could get into bullet hell shmups. I max out my gamer power level at stuff like R-Type and Gradius. I just don't find the screen spam and micro movements fun, and I'm especially no good at them (which I'm sure is part of the reason I don't find them fun).
 

VGEsoterica

Member
I have been enjoying revisiting Deathsmiles 1 and 2 on Switch. Back in the day, I imported DS2 on DC, blindly based on being a CAVE game. It was my first CAVE game and I was very excited to see the hyped company flex on the DC. Welp, ya gotta start somewhere. The theme is alright, but the graphics, even back then were ugly. I still enjoy playing through it from time to time as the more streamlined gameplay is easy to jump back into.
Deathsmiles II is honestly the weakest of the entire library IMO. I is legit though
 

BossLackey

Gold Member
I love me a good Shmup, but I have to admit that I do enjoy vertical better.

Also, something about going full TATE and rotating a monitor makes it feel so much bigger!
 

Holammer

Member
As an artist and developer myself (and one who is currently making a 2d horizontal scrolling shoot em up)... the perspective in this game is doing my head in, its all over the place
My man, is the project under wraps or can we get a sneekth peekth?

Man that game is gorgeous. Wish I could get into bullet hell shmups. I max out my gamer power level at stuff like R-Type and Gradius. I just don't find the screen spam and micro movements fun, and I'm especially no good at them (which I'm sure is part of the reason I don't find them fun).
Shmup developer scene today is like a mental asylum run by the patients. Nobody does normie friendly shooters anymore, they only do new systems and bullet hell.
Most of my friends enjoyed Tiger Heli, R-type, Gradius or even Raiden, but nobody except me try the recent fare.
 

KAOS

Member
Was hoping Akai was bc on xbox but don't mind checking it out again. I'm looking forward to hearing more about Cygni.

 

Fredrik

Gold Member
Not sure what defines bullet hell but I do love horizontal (and vertical) shmups. One of my favorites is IO on the C64 since it’s so tight. Enemies die from one bullet and you die from one bullet. It’s 100% about memoration and reactions. No sponges anywhere except bosses.


And for vertical shmups, Truxton.
 

midnightAI

Gold Member
My man, is the project under wraps or can we get a sneekth peekth?


Shmup developer scene today is like a mental asylum run by the patients. Nobody does normie friendly shooters anymore, they only do new systems and bullet hell.
Most of my friends enjoyed Tiger Heli, R-type, Gradius or even Raiden, but nobody except me try the recent fare.
Mine is a normie shooter :)
I havent updated any videos for years and so its really out of date(this is just a hobby project as I work full time) and the quality is a bit crappy but you can have a look anyway.
Its a remake of a mobile game I was involved with years back called Eclipse: First Wave, heavily inspired by my fave shoot em ups Darius, Zero Wing, R-Type etc.

 
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Mr Rawnch

Neo Member
Vertical bullet hell shmups are clearly the KING of the bullet hell genre...for every 10 vertical or TATE games you get...maybe one horizontal variant gets released. But thankfully CAVE still loves the format! because while Akai Katana Shin might not get the same level of love as Progear or Deathsmiles...it's one hell of a fun game! Plus you don't have to explain to people when they see you playing Deathsmiles what it's all about...because its odd for sure lol

Akai Katana def has some major Progear vibes too...almost feeling like a spiritual successor to the CPS 2 classic. So if you like shmups and you haven't played Akai Katana yet...why not?

but the shmup genre is DEEP so who has some recommendations of other awesome horizontal bullet hell shmups?I am sure there is some obscure amazing fan game out of Japan I have yet to hear about

or just your fav horizontal shmup! I always love hearing what people love the most and why :)

Good luck on Akai Katana.
I remember buying this game for $19 sealed from Amazon back in 2019. Now, you can't touch the game for under $80.
 

Manji Uzuki

Member
I have it on the 360 and its an awesome game like most Cave stuff. Very good game for people to get into horizontal shmups.

Very happy with the shmup resurgence this last few years, its awesome to see this many re-releases and new games being launched. Here is my hope for Mushihimesama Futari and Dodonpachi Saidaioujou next!
 
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What's a good entry-level bullet hell? Recently got a CRT and am working on getting all my old consoles RGB modded. Maybe I need to look into the MisterFPGA stuff for arcade emulation? Is that right?

I always enjoyed the normal shmups. Your Gradius and R-Types of the world.

My skill level is "Can get S ranks on the Cuphead shmup levels but cried and gave up when I tried Ikaruga back when it came out on XBLA"
 
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