Shmups

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Chopper
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Re: Shmups

Post by Chopper »

Very interesting video and companion article, The Prison of Unpopularity. I wouldn’t get too upset about the self promotion - that’s likely just a cultural difference between the US and UK. When I worked in the US, my bosses were mad about me not taking credit for things, or saying ‘it was nothing’ when they congratulated me on a job well done. Self deprecating stuff wasn’t popular and you were encouraged to talk yourself up.

I assume there is a market for shmups that is far bigger than the 300-odd followers of any channel or twitter account? If so, where are all those people? Maybe it points towards a poisoning of the well by the established forum crowd etc? Or are most players on the casual end of the spectrum? Or are the games selling in tiny amounts too?

Here, can anyone link me to the actual run - the only ones I can find have some discord guys talking over the commentary, or are prefaced by ten minutes of guys in onesies playing air guitar in the front row. If I try and skip forward on the twitch stream it takes me to a totally different game?

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Flabyo
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Re: Shmups

Post by Flabyo »

The AGDQ runs eventually end up on YouTube as well, which makes them a little easier to find than digging around the twitch archive.

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

The dude is complaining about dwindling interest and participation and someone who actually would be really engaged in such a thing is put off/excluded because of some daft arbitrary hoops.

I toned this comment down because I was just in a mood about Futari.

I've been peppering my 343m PB all day, developed a new route for about half of the first stage, been absolutely killing it with some dangerous strats that I've got consistent but STILL not broken the 350m barrier that'd I'm aiming for and my improved PB is STILL only 345m or something. I don't get it. I really must have fluked it first time around I'm telling you. I'm cycling through several boss phases to milk/cancel the most lucrative one, as well.

It's a timing thing on the very last phase. I'm just not getting the massive points bonus that I got on my previous PB with zero understanding. In better news, I can score really well to the boss and get there probably one in three runs with a score of 230m or so. WR pace is about 250m at the same point so I'm happy with it. It's just that last massive cancel that takes the WR score to about 420m or something and only 340m for me. Still, the more I throw myself at it, the better I'll understand the nuances. That's my conclusion for the rest of the stage. I used to die on the first enemies like four out of five times. Now it's one in a thousand. Same for every section, the more you fail and learn, the more you lock it down. I need to give my subconscious some time to process it now, I think.

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Chopper
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Re: Shmups

Post by Chopper »

Thank you for the links, Clippa!

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

This is a pretty self-indulgent post about my progress towards getting the first extend at 350m in the first stage of Mushihimesama Futari Black Label God Mode.
Spoiler: show
A couple of months ago, I thought 250m on Futari God Mode stage one was the ceiling I'd never quite reach and after trying and failing for a few weeks, falling just short countless times and only even reaching the boss probably once every a couple of hundred attempts, I decided to leave it alone. Then I saw an iconoclast run in my YT recommendations and I saw that he managed to get the 350m first extend in stage one and I was blown away. I hadn't really seen much Futari God stuff because most people play Ultra and it totally opened my mind to what was possible with the scoring system in this game. There's so much more depth to it than Ultra, I'd say it's a much more interesting and fun game because of that.

Without copying, because I didn't really know what the hell he was doing in some sections, I went back and tried again for a few days and I basically fluked a 343m run by delaying killing the boss and topping up my multiplier for a bigger cancel. This gave me a real hunger to see what else I could do but try as I might, I couldn't get anywhere near that flukey run. I was lucky to break 300m and the boss especially was a total random experience every time. I probably got to the point where I reached the boss one in fifty attempts and killed it probably one in a hundred, but I didn't really know what I was doing so it was a crap shoot every time. I dropped it again to play some different fun stuff and I was mostly satisfied with the 343m PB.

Anyway, fast forward to Gus' insane AGDQ run and it gave me that little itch again about hitting the first extend of 350m. It seemed so close but because I wasn't consistent and didn't really get the boss patterns or scoring, it was miles off. Over the last couple of evenings though, I have gone full shmup and started playing YOLO and then trying to make that consistent. I completely changed certain routes to squeeze more out of the stage before the boss and through experimentation, and getting more of a feel for the key moments, I started getting pretty decent and consistent with the stage. I basically felt like I had to get over the excitement and nerves and break the back of it, so I could have as many chances as possible at the boss, as consistently as possible. I had some great runs which I threw away. I had one that was going better than the Cave demonstration DVD. I had a few that were up there with icono. I had one where instead of cancelling the bullets into points at the very last second of the boss, I pressed the wrong shot button and topped up my multiplier. I have experienced terrible lows and several exciting, satisfying light bulb moments. Mostly I have experienced narrow failure at the last moment with mistimed cancels and nerves getting the better of me and stupid deaths. I genuinely felt ill yesterday from playing too much and I could see patterns when I was trying to sleep and I could feel my muscle memory twitching in my left hand. Really weird feeling.

I've got work to do today and I want to spend the afternoon and evening with my wife so I decided to give myself five runs this morning, play safe, clean and make the big moments count. I had three runs of 340m+, felt pretty good but didn't want to burn through them too quickly. I had a crap, had some toast with peanut butter and a black coffee and then I did it. At the very very last second, but I did it. I didn't quite get the maximum multiplier cancel during the boss, but I did it. 355m. That extend sound when the score is adding up at the end of the stage. I've been wanting to hear that for a long time. Now I'm going to dismantle my arcade stick, slide the components down a fucking grid and never play this bastard from hell game ever again.
I can finally be at peace.


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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

I am in awe.

Both at that run as well as at Stan's seemingly unwavering ability to craft these novels of technical effervescence out of thin air. Just whips 'em up like it's nothing, Scrustle style.

Game looks all kinds of brilliant. I'm kinda mad at myself / the universe for not being able to get into my 360 shmups properly on account of my issues with the controller. I've kinda given up on them as a result. I probably need to step up and pull the trigger on a proper arcade stick already...


PS: Oh and I sincerely hope you aren't hung up on our Ikaruga competition any more, because this right here is several leagues above what I might be able to put together at the moment.

Image


Congrats. Looking forward to what you have in store next. :P

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

Hehe, thanks. Too kind, too kind. I do miss you playing more of these games but I totally get it. Without a stick, I find it really hard these days. The Hori D-pad for my Switch is far better than most but it's still nothing like as good as the stick.

That said, I spotted this on eBay a couple of days ago:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3280178001

Hori RAP EX-SE, same one that clippa has. It's meant to be the best in the business for shmups, rare as hen's teeth. Seimitsu stick and parts built in so no need to mod it. I'm very tempted myself but can't justify it given I have the same components in an identical, different coloured case! It looks very attractive, though.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

The difference between RAP EX and RAP EX-SE are the Seimitsu parts, I presume?

And also, would there be a reliable way to use it on modern systems like PS4 or Switch?

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

That's right. They do an EX-SA with Sanwa parts, as well.

The most straightforward way would be to use a Brooks USB converter. I have a Mayflash converter for the Switch which works great and is half the price, but I hear Brooks give the best possible performance.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Okay.

And the regular Real Arcade Pro EX is completely unusable in comparison? Because I found one of those NEW CIB for a few euros more. :|

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

It's very usable! That's what I have, in fact! The black one? I don't know the difference between that and the EX-SA because it also had a Sanwa JLF stick as stock. Oh, I remember. I think the stock buttons are Hori rather than Sanwa. I think the Sanwa stick was absolutely fine, to be honest. It's whatever you get used to. The buttons were a bit squeaky and felt a tiny bit loose so they were worth replacing, I think with the Sanwa OBSF-30 off the top of my head. Cost maybe a Euro per button or something. Just realised I'm a Sanwa button and Seimitsu stick man. Maybe I'll get some Seimitsu buttons one day but these are absolutely perfect as they are.

I use a Seimitsu LS-32 stick, for what it's worth. That's the one in the EX-SE. It wasn't hard at all to mod it in. Just screwdriver and trimming the wires, no soldering or drilling.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

See, that's why I don't like going down this rabbit hole because I always end up with a bunch of less-than-ideal options and my brain goes cray-cray. Currently, I could either:


1. Buy the RAP EX-SE you linked to.

Pros: Built-in Seimitsu parts, comparatively cheap.

Cons: Used condition with busted cable, tied to a dead and unsupported platform, might run into compatibility issues / additional costs if I want to use it on other platforms.


2. Buy this regular RAP EX (german ebay, does the link work?).

Pros: NEW, comparatively cheap.

Cons: Tied to a dead and unsupported platform, might run into compatibility issues / additional costs if I want to use it on other platforms, Sanwa stick is apparently worse than Seimitsu for shmups, default buttons are apparently hot garbage so I would have to mod it and I'd rather not.


3. Buy the Mayflash F500 Elite I've had my eyes on for a while.

Pros: NEW, universally compatible right out of the box (big plus for me!!), comes with built-in Sanwa stick & buttons.

Cons: Comparatively expensive for a second-rate company like Mayflash, Sanwa stick is apparently worse than Seimitsu for shmups, currently unavailable.


4. Buy nothing, continue to complain about the busted 360 controller and give up on the handful of (amazing!) shmups I have on that platform.

Pros: Save money, don't have to suffer the indignation of learning any new stuff.

Cons: Miss out on some cool shit.


:|

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

To be honest, there are plenty of people who prefer Sanwa sticks for shmups so that in itself isn't a con, necessarily. I think it's more what you get used to. Seimitsu is probably better for tap dodging because it's a bit stiffer but it took me a good few days to 'prefer' my Seimitsu to the stock Sanwa JLF. Even then, did I prefer it or did I just learn to use it? Impossible to say.

In your position, given that you have some great PS4 stuff as well, and maybe you'll pick up a Switch in the future, and you're not a total lunatic full shmup alleged dog troubler kind of guy, the Mayflash Elite seems to hit the sweetest spot there. Also, the Elite is supposed to be really good for modding so if you do get the urge one day, you'll have a really good platform for it.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Stanshall wrote:
January 12th, 2020, 3:09 pm
In your position, given that you have some great PS4 stuff as well, and maybe you'll pick up a Switch in the future, [..] the Mayflash Elite seems to hit the sweetest spot there. Also, the Elite is supposed to be really good for modding so if you do get the urge one day, you'll have a really good platform for it.
See, that's the conclusion I arrived at as well but now this godforsaken thing is impossible to find.

*grumble*

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

Oh, sorry, mate. I did see the 'currently unavailable' but momentarily forgot in the excitement of considering getting one for myself!

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Stanshall wrote:
January 12th, 2020, 3:30 pm
considering getting one for myself!
Tell you what. I'll keep an eye out to see if it ever becomes available again and I'll notify you if/when it does.

But... It's still a lot of money and I'm afraid it would just end up in a cupboard being all pretty and useless.

Decisions, decisions...

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

It's funny, though, because we had a hell of a lot of fun with Ikaruga just using the pad, so it's certainly possible. It's just...not quite as good, and depending on the temperamental peculiarities of 360 D-pad, it can be a hindrance to fun, too.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Mate, I love controllers. I'm not trying to bad-mouth controllers in general. GameCube, WiiU Pro, Switch Pro, DS4: Upper tier quality products. DS4 in particular has truly excellent analogue sticks, that's the only one I use to play shmups with these days. I hear the XBO controller is really good as well.

But it's the 360 one that is garbage. The analogue sticks have a massive deadzone and are incredibly imprecise as a result. I find it impossible to do any sort of precision movement with that thing. And the D-pad is obviously an abomination.

If all of those 360 shmups somehow found their way over to PS4 (or any other modern platform, really), then I wouldn't even consider buying an arcade stick.

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

KSubzero1000 wrote:
January 12th, 2020, 4:14 pm
Mate, I love controllers. I'm not trying to bad-mouth controllers in general.
No, I appreciate that. It's more from my side that I find I'm so used to the stick now, I really struggle with any other option. I just had a few runs of Darius 2 on the Switch with stock Joycons and it's almost unplayable for me. Not that someone else couldn't play it well and enjoy it, but I'm just completely out of practice at using the Joycon sticks for that kind of precise movement. I switched the Hori Pads back in and I'm much better with that D but I'm still really crap compared to stick.

Clippa, I did feel completely shunned but I can accept it given you haven't seen the vid or read that massive post. That seems fair.

Also, crying that your EX-SE is sitting there getting rusty.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

EDIT: [REDACTED] due to strong language.
clippa wrote:
January 12th, 2020, 4:18 pm
Why not install mame
Please take a hint and stop asking the same questions over and over again. Thanks in advance.

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