Shmups |OT| DoDonMuchihimetruxton Arrange v1.5

#1

Are you ready to be prosecuted to the full extent of the jam?

Welcome to the hardest (yes, really) videogame genre on Planet Earth! Post your triumphs and defeats here. Discuss the shmups you love and the ones you despise.

I will try to keep this OT updated with upcoming shmup news, too.

RECENT AND UPCOMING SHMUP RELEASES (please post if I've omitted something):

Shikhondo (Switch, PS4) -- "releasing Q4, 2018"
Psyvariar Delta (Switch, PS4) -- Oct. 23rd, 2018
Darius Cozmic Collection (Switch) -- Feb. 28th, 2019
RXN Raijin (Switch) -- "September, 2018"
PSiKYO Collection Vol.1 (Switch) -- Sept. 21st, 2018
PSiKYO Collection Vol.2 (Switch) -- Nov. 22nd, 2018
Ketsui Deathtiny (PS4) -- Nov. 29th, 2018
Game Tengoku: Cruisin Mix Special (PS4) -- Nov. 29th, 2018
R-Type Dimensions -- TBD
ZeroRanger (Steam) -- Sept. 28th, 2018
Devil's Engine (PC, Switch, PS4) -- Winter 2018
Black Bird (Steam, Switch) -- Oct. 2018
Sengoku Cannon (Switch) -- Oct. 18th, 2018
Fast Striker (PS4, PS Vita) -- Nov. 2018
Squadron 51 (?) -- Q1, 2019





New to the world of shmups?

The Shoot 'em up genre (or shmups for short, or STG if you're a weeaboo) is one of the oldest in videogames. Beginning with Space Invaders, Defender, Asteroids, and Galaga, there are now hundreds of shmups on the market across numerous platforms. There are hundreds more that have remained arcade-only and Japan-only. The high challenge and dwindling popular interest in shmups resulted in an ever-shrinking fanbase since the mid-90s.

Difficult videogames have surged in popularity in the last 10 years. Gamers are paying attention to shmups again. However, extreme challenge, obscurity, and in some cases rarity all present a high barrier-to-entry for many gamers who are hoping to try them out.

That shouldn't stop you, though! Read on.



"Shoot 'em up" is a misnomer. A better term would be "dodge 'em up" since your priority is avoiding enemy bullets. Shooting enemies merely makes the incoming bullet patterns easier to deal with. Survive to the end and you've won! Survive to the end using just one credit and you've accomplished a 1cc! This is a rare feat, something that takes significant skill and concentration.

But that is merely scratching the surface. Die-hard shmup fans also "play for score" which entails learning advanced techniques and exploits to master the game's scoring.

"Arena shooters", "twin-stick shooters", and "fixed-screen shooters" like Geometry Wars, Super Stardust, Nex Machina, and Space Invaders are sometimes excluded from the "shmup" moniker, but they're all a part of the same family. Play what suits you, friend.

Shmups have a lot in common with the puzzle genre, in that you need to recognize and react to complex patterns. The spatial awareness earned in games like Tetris will help you here. And like rhythm games, shmups reward players who "learn their route" and execute it perfectly. The downward-scrolling of Guitar Hero icons doesn't feel much different than dodging in Mushihimesama:


If you are truly new to the genre, I recommend this video by Regdren (Regdren C. on the shmups.system11 forums)



Controller equipment:
I prefer arcade sticks. Specifically, I use a Seimitsu LS-40 and standard Sanwa buttons. Whether you use a controller, a stick, Kinect, or a DDR pad, you'll want something that feels comfortable and allows you to make short, precise movements. Many shmup players default to the D-Pad if they do not have the option of using a stick.

Display:
Low-lag panel displays, a consumer-grade CRT, or a VGA CRT monitor are your best bet. If there is lag between your controller input and your ship movement, it makes the game significantly harder than they need to be. I suppose that is true for most games, though.

Videogame hardware:
Numerous videogame consoles have ports of shmups. Some ports are exceptional (like Arika's PS2 port of DoDonPachi Daioujou) and some ports are terrible (Salamander on MSX).

PC owners are in luck. Many shmups are available for purchase on Steam. Degica is an even better source for certain doujin shmups.

Arcade PCBs are wonderful, but they aren't ideal for practicing. Plus, they're hella expensive. If you insist on genuine arcade hardware, consider buying or building a Supergun to play on your TV.

Lastly (and unfortunately), you may have to resort to emulation. Finalburn Alpha, MAME, shmupMAME, groovyMAME, and Retroarch are just words that I am stringing together. They are by no means words you could search for in order to learn more about emulating shmups.



1-credit, 1cc, 1-ALL: completing the game on standard settings using only one credit. A difficult task.
2-ALL: some games have a second loop. A 2-ALL would be completing both loops on one credit.
Credit: an arcade term; typically consists of three lives.
Extend: generic term for "1up" or "extra life" or "extra ship".
Hori: horizontal shmup. Examples are Gradius series, Thunderforce series, Darius series, R-Type series
Leading: attracting bullets toward your ship for the purpose of dodging
Micrododging/tap-dodging: a technique that dodges a pattern by weaving through it without being hit
Macrododging: a technique that dodges a large pattern entirely
No-miss: completing the game without dying once.
Score: the ultimate deciding factor of skill in the shmup genre.
Superplay: a high-skill playthrough of the game, usually setting a top score for the player's region or World.
Tate: vertical 3:4 aspect ratio, like a portrait. Your TV set is sitting on its side. The ideal way to play most vertical shmups.
Vert: vertical shmup. Examples are DoDonPachi series, Rayforce series, Raiden series
Yoko: horizontal 4:3 aspect ratio, like a landscape. Your TV set is sitting normally.


Choosing which shmup to play depends on how you want to play shmups. If you are unfamiliar with what the genre offers, my advice for getting into shmups would be to watch footage and try a handful of different ones. Once you've found a game that clicks with you, settle down with that and start practicing for a 1-credit clear (1cc, 1-ALL).

Try to focus on that game and practice once a day (if possible). Even a 10-minute session each day will result in a huge leap in skill over 1 week. Getting a 1 credit clear is a great way to enjoy a game.

Alternatively, you can play for score. This emphasizes scoring techniques over clearing the game (although you'll end up clearing it anyway as you pursue higher and higher scores). This is how yours truly prefers to play. Playing for score involves learning the chaining, combo, and/or medal system, as well as attentively learning the layout of enemies.

The hardest of hardcore will play for score. The techniques, memorization, and reflexes required are beyond what is usually required to "merely" 1cc a game. Playing for score is -- without question -- the most entertaining way to play these games.

Some players prefer to be a "shmup tourist" by playing everything that's out there, which is fine as well. However, the issue with this is you will have a tough time improving when you hop from game to game. I would not recommend constantly hopping from shmup to shmup until you've 1CCd at least one or two.

Don't be afraid to watch footage to learn the game. This can help you learn better routes and techniques against bosses. On the flip side, it's a lot of fun improving your skills and discovering little tricks on your own.

Jonny Blitzer has compiled quite a few videos of shmup footage in 1080p, offering comprehensive overviews of each console's shmup library. I highly recommend taking a look.



HEY POOR PLAYER! Below are links to help you on your journey:

hiscores.shmup.com -- French site. Although it doesn't have all the world-records, it's a great resource for posting your scores
Full Extent of the Jam -- an introduction to practicing shmups
shmups.system11.org -- ancient shmup forum full of knowledge
Hardcore Gaming 101 -- not shmup-specific, but a good resource for reviews and screenshots
Racketboy -- several articles about shmups that are geared toward newer players
Youtube channel STG Weekly
Youtube channel Studio Mudprints (hosts of Bullet Heaven)
Youtube channel Jonny Blitzer
Podcast channel Electric Underground
 
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#2
Awesome thread. I'm trying to 1CC Saidaioujou at the moment and I keep switching back and forth between a 1.5 regular shot/laser clear and playing Novice Expert. Yeah I know, novice... but novice expert in this game is a pretty sweet spot for me. I doubt I'd ever get close to regular expert anyhow.

These days I generally just play for the clear, score enough for the extends, that's about it.
 
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#3
Awesome thread. I'm trying to 1CC Saidaioujou at the moment and I keep switching back and forth between a 1.5 regular shot/laser clear and playing Novice Expert. Yeah I know, novice... but novice expert in this game is a pretty sweet spot for me. I doubt I'd ever get close to regular expert anyhow.

These days I generally just play for the clear, score enough for the extends, that's about it.
I think SDOJ is one of the hardest in the series, so I wouldn't feel bad as long as you're enjoying your sessions. Good luck on the 1cc!
 

Mr Nash

square pies = communism
#4
Glad to see a new shmup OT. :pie_smfaceyes: I was actually trying to find the old one the other day and had no luck.

Lately, I've been gravitating towards older ones from the late 80s and early 90s (Gaiares, Zero Wing, random acts of Darius). After bingeing on bullet hells for the last few years, I've been craving a change of pace.
 
#5
Thanks for dropping by!

Those old shmups are something else. I love me some Gaiares! It is nice to enjoy a shmup that doesn't throw thick patterns at you, but then again I'm not a fan of those huge hitboxes in older games...
 
#6
Oooh nice OT! :) I love the shmups (even if I'm not very good at playing them lol), I bought a very good chunk of these on Steam, GOG and DLSite for PC and, in the past, I had some cool nice Raiden and Gradius for Playstation!

My favorites are Crimzon Clover and Einhander!
 
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#7
Are things like alienation and deadnation considered shmups? or is twin stick shooter a genre? I don't like the retro look of a lot of these (pixel based), but there doesn't seem to be a decent variety on consoles. I really enjoyed resogun though and I had a look at the two you recommended in the OT OT. Still searching for one that hits impulse buy levels though.
 

blu

Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
#8
I'm a brown cow and I approve this thread ; )

Let me be of some service an say that some shmup gems existed outside the Japanese realm -- on the amiga and pc there were quite a few shmups that helped progress the genre in the west:
  • Xenon2 by Bitmap Brothers -- while the first Xenon was a first-attempt-at-a-genre game (literally BB's first videogame), Xenon2 Megablast was an absolute tour de force of a master developer on both the amiga and the pc.
  • Raptor: Call of the Shadows by Cygnus Studios -- mid-90's shooter that took pcs by storm.
  • Tyrian by Epic Megagames -- another 90s shooter that greatly popularized the genre on pcs.
Last but not least, let me mention that the genre is alive and kicking today -- titles like Sky Force across a gazillion platforms (incl smarphones) is a genuinely good game (tm) when played with sticks.
 
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#9
Great OT! Some people might roll their eyes but my "gateway" drug into STGs was Geometry Wars. And I mean the version of Geometry Wars you could play on an arcade machine in your garage in Project Gotham Racing 2 on the original Xbox. I played that more than the actual game (which was good also!). I'm looking to tackle the ESP games by Cave next.
 
#11
Are things like alienation and deadnation considered shmups? or is twin stick shooter a genre
Great OT! Some people might roll their eyes but my "gateway" drug into STGs was Geometry Wars
Sure, they're all in the same family.

I'm looking to tackle the ESP games by Cave next.
Going in any order? I've been casually messing around with ESPgaluda. I can get the first extend and can get to Stage 4. I'll probably shoot for a 1cc before the end of the year since I'm already pretty familiar with the game.
 
#12
Going in any order? I've been casually messing around with ESPgaluda. I can get the first extend and can get to Stage 4. I'll probably shoot for a 1cc before the end of the year since I'm already pretty familiar with the game.
Haven't decided on an order but I was thinking to start with ESPgaluda II: Black Label. Mainly because it's the easiest for me to get access to (at the moment). I would've prefered to start with ESP Ra.De., but I don't own it...
 

Mr Nash

square pies = communism
#13
Haven't decided on an order but I was thinking to start with ESPgaluda II: Black Label. Mainly because it's the easiest for me to get access to (at the moment). I would've prefered to start with ESP Ra.De., but I don't own it...
Is there anyway to get it other than arcade board or MAME? I thought it was published by Atlus and basically in limbo like Progear since Cave doesn't fully have the rights to it.
 
#16
I visited Galloping Ghost Arcade yesterday and O.D.'d on a bunch of shmups. 7 1/2 hours of straight gaming! They had quite a few of my favorites and quite a few that I haven't played in years like Mars Matrix, R-Type II, and Progear.

However, what I enjoyed the most was playing some shmups for the very first time (on the merit that they are either hella expensive or unavailable on consoles). One in particular called 'Chimera Beast' was very cool. It took R-Type's Force Pod idea and allowed you shoot out your mouth to eat your enemies. This would upgrade your body with extra eyes, extra appendages, etc. Another one called 'Bioship Paladin' had a similar mechanic wherein your ship grew bigger as you got upgrades.


My favorite new-to-me was Xexex! Finally got the chance to play it. Very fun sequel to X-Multiply (another rare, obscure shmup in its own right). The charge-shot was so cool. I'm a huge fanboy of Salamader's and R-Type's creepy bio-horror style so Xexex was right up my alley.

 

Mr Nash

square pies = communism
#17
I wish Konami would release a compilation of their shooters. They have so many that are so good. It's a shame they aren't interesting in making games anymore.
 
#18
I wish Konami would release a compilation of their shooters. They have so many that are so good. It's a shame they aren't interesting in making games anymore.
They were churning them out on the PSP of all systems, but yeah it's a shame they're more interested in pachinko and DLC models.
 
#19
Going from CRT TVs to LCD TVs has killed the genre for me. I simply can't play this on any LCD TV I had in my life. Way too much blur.
 
#20
Fantastic OP dude. I need to get more into shmups as I love everything about the genre. I haven't played many for a weird reason. My brother didn't like "starship games" and as such my parents wouldn't buy him any. For whatever reason, they thought I didn't like them too so I never owned any shmup. I would only play them at arcades and while I liked them, I was more into run and gun stuff like Metal Slug. The whole thing snowballed from that and now I have a gigantic backlog that feels daunting lol.
 

Mr Nash

square pies = communism
#21
Man, I was looking at what shmups are on sale on Steam this week and saw Senko no Ronde 2. It got my hopes up, but then I noticed it was only 10% off. It's not a bad game, but I'm not spending more that $20 on it. =\ I did wind up grabbing Anger Force when it was on sale last week, though, and it's shaping up to be a pretty nifty euro shooter. =)
 
#22
Just waned to say good job on the thread! I dont love shmups really, but my favorite due to the memories and nostalgia is UN squadron - not sure if you saw how communities will be handled in the near future, but this thread seema like a good candidate for a shmup community with OP running it!
 
#26
I can't read shit like this without rolling my eyes.

"Horii reveals that actual porting work for several games that ranked in the poll such as Truxton II/Tatsujin Oh and Armed Police Batrider has been completed, as part of research and development on emulation."

In other words, they looked at MAME's source code like they did for everything else they've ever done. Give me a break. Stop pretending that you're more impressive than you really are, guys. No one with a brain is buying it.

Along the same lines:

"The Outfoxies is one title that Horii says they’d like to work on as soon as Bandai Namco gives them the go-ahead to do so"

Guarantee you it won't happen because MAME's emulation of this game sucks, and these guys don't know anything about actually reverse engineering hardware that isn't already well understood. There isn't a single arcade game emulator that a company has released commercially that covers hardware that wasn't already well emulated by MAME. Gee, what a shocker. It must just be an amazing coincidence.



These guys are a joke. They're profiting off the R&D, the real work, done by people who are actually passionate about these games and preserving them for the entire planet, for free, in their spare time. Not for money.

"While their releases work decently on Windows 7, as soon as it hits Windows 10 slowdown occurs, and they haven’t found an acceptable solution yet."

That makes absolutely no sense. If you have software that runs on Windows 7 and doesn't work on Windows 10, something is deeply, horribly wrong with your code. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the real reason they don't want to do PC releases is because they don't want people to poke around in the game files and find out that they're actually just using MAME.
 
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#27
Love my shmups. Something about a good bullet hell is just magical. I treasure my Sega Saturn and xbox360 most for the shmups alone. I would put Radiant Silvergun and Battle Garegga in my top 10 all time videogame list.

Xbox one is surprisingly my go to shmup machine these days. I use the hori 6 button pad. Constant rotation of Radiant Silvergun, Battle Garegga, Bullet Soul, Strania, Guwange, and Dangun. A low key bullet hell came out this week on xb1 called Shikihondo. Its pretty cool of what ive played so far.
 
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#28
I can't read shit like this without rolling my eyes.

"Horii reveals that actual porting work for several games that ranked in the poll such as Truxton II/Tatsujin Oh and Armed Police Batrider has been completed, as part of research and development on emulation."

In other words, they looked at MAME's source code like they did for everything else they've ever done. Give me a break. Stop pretending that you're more impressive than you really are, guys. No one with a brain is buying it.

Along the same lines:

"The Outfoxies is one title that Horii says they’d like to work on as soon as Bandai Namco gives them the go-ahead to do so"

Guarantee you it won't happen because MAME's emulation of this game sucks, and these guys don't know anything about actually reverse engineering hardware that isn't already well understood. There isn't a single arcade game emulator that a company has released commercially that covers hardware that wasn't already well emulated by MAME. Gee, what a shocker. It must just be an amazing coincidence.



These guys are a joke. They're profiting off the R&D, the real work, done by people who are actually passionate about these games and preserving them for the entire planet, for free, in their spare time. Not for money.

"While their releases work decently on Windows 7, as soon as it hits Windows 10 slowdown occurs, and they haven’t found an acceptable solution yet."

That makes absolutely no sense. If you have software that runs on Windows 7 and doesn't work on Windows 10, something is deeply, horribly wrong with your code. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the real reason they don't want to do PC releases is because they don't want people to poke around in the game files and find out that they're actually just using MAME.
Heh heh I can understand distaste for a company that only does sloppy MAME ports. M2 doesn't fit that description, though. I've played Garegga on original PCB as well as the Saturn version and M2's conversion on PS4 is better than both. Absolutely crammed with options, especially practice options (which is what matters to shmup players anyway). If I'm not mistaken, you can even pick between original PCB (which has more lag) or the more responsive version instead. SO I guess I don't understand the complaints about laziness when they are far superior to the PSiKYO ports (for instance) in terms of options and accuracy. Haven't played M2's versions of Mahou or Dangun Feveron yet, though I am excited for Ketsui.
 
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#29
Game Paradise: Cruisin Mix is getting a slightly-updated version on PS4 in Japan soon:


If you already imported the previous version, you could probably pass on it since it's not a huge overhaul. However, if you've been waiting to get it, this version would probably be better since it incorporates English menus.

Source at Siliconera.
 
#30
Game Paradise: Cruisin Mix is getting a slightly-updated version on PS4 in Japan soon:

If you already imported the previous version, you could probably pass on it since it's not a huge overhaul. However, if you've been waiting to get it, this version would probably be better since it incorporates English menus.

Source at Siliconera.
I hope they also include the short anime video in the Steam version too and with subtitles.
 
#33
@ dirthead. They ported Futari for Cave. It's probably Cave's most accurate port with regards to slowdowns teen options and frame delay. Plus it wasn't emulated back then.

I think M2 are the best at porting these games because they actually enjoy them.
 

Mr Nash

square pies = communism
#38
Looks like R-Type Dimensions is headed to the Switch / Steam later this year. It's a compilation of the first 2 R-Type games with the ability to hop between 2D and 3D graphics instantaneously, and they're including a co-op mode.

 
#39
Straight out of nowhere (at least to me): Rolling Gunner. Released on a DVD during the most recent Comic Market in Japan, a PC indie sidescroller bullethell which reminds me a lot of Akai Katana Shin. Hopefully this gets picked up for release in the west by Playism, Degica or anyone.

Ser gave it a 5/5, there's a trial out there, very worth checking it out.

 
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#40
Straight out of nowhere (at least to me): Rolling Gunner. Released on a DVD during the most recent Comic Market in Japan, a PC indie sidescroller bullethell which reminds me a lot of Akai Katana Shin. Hopefully this gets picked up for release in the west by Playism, Degica or anyone.

Ser gave it a 5/5, there's a trial out there, very worth checking it out.

Super cool! I love me some AK and I agree that this looks similar.

This game, Crimzon Clover, and RefRain are my most-wanted doujins on console.
 
#46
Two good pieces of news:

Psyvariar Delta has been confirmed for PC and arcades (no specific platform announced for the latter, but I'm assuming EXA-Arcadia).

And to celebrate the game selling well after launching on PS4 and Switch, the developers are adding free content!

in order to celebrate 10,000 copies sold on the first week of the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 versions’ release, several rounds of updates are planned to be added to the game. These will include new options and functions, as well as new stages. All this will be free to owners of the game.

http://www.siliconera.com/2018/09/20/psyvariar-delta-is-also-coming-to-steam-and-arcades/
 
#47
I wish Konami would release a compilation of their shooters. They have so many that are so good. It's a shame they aren't interesting in making games anymore.
I hate quoting a post this old but I've really been itching to play Gradius V.

Also if the PS Classic includes Einhander then I just might go ahead and get it.
 
#48
Astebreed (a hybrid between 2D-plane shmup and Star Fox-esque rail sections) will arrive on Switch. No release date yet, unfortunately.

I have the PS4 version and it's a solid game. Some shmup fans poo-poo'd it because it wasn't "pure" enough and for the rest it just fell under the radar.

I had no idea this even existed but at $19 I'll prob grab the PS4 ver to mess with over the weekend. Thanks for the quasi-heads up.