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Shoot 'em Ups!


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#1 Eric Dude

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 12:44 PM

This is another genre that has rekindled the flame for me recently. I honestly didn't play many of these as a kid, so now I'm really trying to catch up. They can be intimidating, because the typical learning curve is steep, but now that I'm at a semi-decent skill level, I find schmups to be extremely rewarding. Mainly because things blow up in spectacular fashion all the time. Not to mention the great music and frenetic gameplay that is almost invariably part of a good shooter.

In this thread, I'd like to take a slightly different approach to discussion, if I may. I'm going to try and direct the conversation with an initial question about a specific aspect of schmups. Once I feel we've exhausted that avenue, I'll move on to another.

What system do you think is the best for Shoot 'em Ups? Take into account graphical and audio tendencies, as well as amount of schmups published for the system (obviously, this should be the main factor, but if a system had all subpar schmups it would be devalued in this respect).

My amateur opinion is that the Sega Genesis is a HAVEN for schmup fans. First and foremost, there are a TON of great shooters that you can usually find cheap. We're talking five bucks a piece, maybe ten for the great ones. That's been my experience at least. From a system capabilities standpoint:

Controller - This is probably the only genre where I prefer the sega pad. You usually don't need many buttons for a schmup, so the nice big buttons and simplicity is perfect for blasting.

Audio Chip - FM synthesis and shooters were pretty much made for each other. It's just one of those things like peanut butter and jelly. Perfect marriage. The sound is just too appropriate. Not just the music, but the sound effects make great crunchy explosions and nice little 'pew pew's!

Graphics - Genesis is usually weak in this area because of lack of colors. For platformers this is usually a death knell because bright and vibrant is the key, but schmups tend to be in space. Therefore, dark and gritty seems to match up pretty well to what the Genny can do.

I've found just too many GREAT shoot 'em ups for this system, although I can certainly see somebody making a case for the SNES or possibly the TG16 (which I know very little about).

That's right! Go ahead, make a case!
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#2 Wizwars

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 01:06 PM

I honestly never got into these games, not from not liking them or anything but just because I never played them. But after watching a lot of these games being played last weekend, my interest in the genre has increased a little bit. Can you recommend some games?
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#3 jesse

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 01:15 PM

well, the saturn is probably the best. mainly for the imports.

the same could be said of the dreamcast, too. with the dreamcast, shooters are still being made.

the obvious choices would be:
ikaruga
under defeat
border down
trigger heart excelica
karous
chaos field
bangai-o
mars matrix
etc, etc.

the controller for the DC is a bit funky. but it works well once you get used to it.
the graphics are great, especially on some of the more recent shooters. arcade quality.
obviously, most of the shooters don't have the old-school appeal of something like gradius 3.
but if you don't mind a modern take on the genre, the dreamcast is the way to go.
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#4 Nuttz the Squirrel

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 01:21 PM

I wasn't a big fan of shooters in the past.
I never thought they were bad; on the contrary, they were fun to play.
They were always just too difficult for me.

In recent years, I have come to appreciate them a lot more.
My favorite NES shooter is Life Force.
That game is loads of fun with a second person.
That and Legendary Wings.

Gradius III and Axelay are a few shooters I managed to find recently.
I think Axelay is my favorite shooter of all.
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#5 Guest_Composist_*

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 01:31 PM

I haven't played a lot of shmups, but Life Force was a big part of growing up for me. What a great game. What a great soundtrack.
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#6 Eric Dude

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 02:54 PM

well, the saturn is probably the best. mainly for the imports.

the same could be said of the dreamcast, too. with the dreamcast, shooters are still being made.

the obvious choices would be:
ikaruga
under defeat
border down
trigger heart excelica
karous
chaos field
bangai-o
mars matrix
etc, etc.

the controller for the DC is a bit funky. but it works well once you get used to it.
the graphics are great, especially on some of the more recent shooters. arcade quality.
obviously, most of the shooters don't have the old-school appeal of something like gradius 3.
but if you don't mind a modern take on the genre, the dreamcast is the way to go.


I can't believe you brought up Dreamcast shooters and didn't mention Zero Gunner. On the other hand, I didn't know about it 'till Ashane showed me. It's an amazing way to do a shooter!
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#7 mills

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 03:23 PM

most of those shooters were ported from arcade games.

Therefore my claim is that CPS has the best shooters.
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#8 ShawnPhase

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 03:31 PM

HOT DOG STORM FOR MAME!

MAZINGER Z FOR MAME~!
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#9 Ashane

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 04:05 PM

MAME has the best shmups, hands down. i believe the Arcade versions of many shmups ported to consoles (such as Gradius/Salamander) reign supreme. Cave shooters just rule. i agree with jesse that Saturn is a very good contender, with some awesome system exclusive titles. here are some of my favorite MAME shmups (the first few somewhat in order of my tops)..

19XX
Twinkle Star Sprites
DonPachi
ESP Ra.De.
DoDonPachi
Assault Plus
Fever SOS
Macross Plus
Guwange
Thunder Cross
Thunder Cross II

and yeah, jesse mentioned some great shmups for the DC, so i won't detail that much, other than seconding Zero Gunner 2. the rotation aspect in that is amazing.
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#10 ryuhayabusa

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 04:07 PM

Sexy Parodius!
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#11 Kirk

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 04:40 PM

Unvote for Viewpoint.
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#12 MrBoglin

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 04:55 PM

1941
19xx
Battle Garegga
Cybattler
Detana Twinbee
Mahou Daisakusen
Gunbird 2
Progear
Parodius Da!
Raiden
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#13 mig50

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 04:57 PM

i do not play shoot 'em ups very often because i'm terrible at them.

bucky and i played a really sweet one at a bar a few weeks ago though. i think it was one of the raiden games.

also, calling them 'schmups' kind of makes me want to barf.
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you mean you forgot cranberries too?

#14 Alex

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 05:08 PM

Gradius Gaiden (PSX) is probably my favorite shoot 'em up ever. It's hard, but not to the point that it's cheap and frustrating. You have a limited number of continues (something I think is essential, but lacking in many games), so you really gotta be on top of your game to get through it.

Einhander (PSX) is another good one.
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#15 Ashane

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 05:13 PM

also, calling them 'schmups' kind of makes me want to barf.

OMG IT'S 'SHMUPS' N00B LOL
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