Shmups

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

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hazeredmist wrote:
June 21st, 2019, 6:52 pm
@clipps: my no internet plans went tits up when I got some bug from a dodgy tikka sarnie, resulting in too many visits sat on the bog and my phone in hand, in between doubled over cramps. I think I’ve been fairly reasonable. I have drunk a lot of ale, too. The boy has only tried to off himself on a few occasions, other times settling for just harassing me and screaming for something he’s already got in his hands.

Back now, tonight I’ve got the stick back. Mint. Might play another Cave classic or just fire up Neko / Danmaku
Outstanding post in every respect. :lol:

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

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A true British holiday. Well done mate.

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hazeredmist
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Re: Shmups

Post by hazeredmist »

Cheers :D I powered the switch on to find I was several stages in still on Danmaku which quickly ended as I obviously couldn’t immediately adjust. Secretly happy as now I get to quit and start again with the stick.

I just want to mention Overdriven: Reloaded again actually. It’s really decent and deserves to be played. Go for Arcade mode not Story Mode.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

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Great, now it's Blue Wish Resurrection Plus that is plagued by massive slowdowns right at the start and randomly crashes as soon as I enter basic menu options. :x

Two weeks ago it ran without a single issue! What a joke.


EDIT: This is maddening. I've turned all the options on and off one by one, I did the Windows "compatibilty troubleshoot" (as if that did anything), I've restarted my computer, I've even defragmented my HDD. And I have zero clue what's causing the game to run at 50% of its normal speed or to crash in the menu. Google has no idea either, of course.

Screw this. My stress meter is already maxed out from turning on the news, I don't need to deal with this nonsense. I'm going to do a quick RE4 replay to reinstate my busted save data and then I'm going to the park to chill with my ducks and read a nice book in the shade of an ancient beech. That's how I'm spending my Saturday.

Fuck "PC gaming".

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

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clippa wrote:
June 22nd, 2019, 6:17 pm
How would you describe your laptop? Would it be the equivalent of someone buying a rusty old vectrex at a car boot sale, one of the buttons falling off, trying to stick a nes cart in there and grumbling "fuck console gaming!"?
It most certainly would not be! :lol:

I would describe it as a mid-to-high quality range machine that stills works basically as well as it did when I first bought it and has never given me any significant trouble except for these low-rent indie games.

clippa wrote:
June 22nd, 2019, 6:17 pm
Are you using windows 10 by any chance? There's a reason they were giving that away for free.
Nope. I heard nothing but horror stories so I've remained stubborn and refused to upgrade from 8. Again, works like a charm for everything else. Crimzon Clover is perfectly playable without any major issue, for example.


Anyway, it's not that big of a deal. Sorry for the hyper-negative posts, guys. It's just super frustrating when stuff like this happens because I have absolutely no idea what's causing the issue and even though I can't rule out the possibility of it being somehow my fault, I just end up wasting precious hours on this with nothing to show for it. :(

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

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I had a day off today. First in about a month so I decided to fill it with cricket on the radio and a load of assorted gaming. Having reinstalled everything on the rejuvenated 360, I played a selection of lesser known, less well regarded shmups:

Sakura Flamingo Archives

A bizarre game which must be by the makers of Radirgy. It has about six or seven different styles/games in there all mashed up. I can't figure it out. Kind of feverish and ugly but also quite fun.


Shooting Love 10th Anniversary

It's a mini compilation of XIIZeal and ΔZEAL, two pretty obscure games which are actually good fun. The latter is especially good, with the rotating melee attack reminding me a great deal of Psyvariar Delta's grazing proximity attack. I previously bought the Shooting Love 20XX compilation and I thought it was pretty poor so I've held off on trying this for ages. It'll get some more time, for sure.


Radirgy Noa Massive


Having enjoyed some Radirgy Swag on the Switch, I decided to go back to a previous game and it seems very very similar! Decent but my main conclusion is that I shouldn't have bought the Switch game since I already have this. Ehh, if it encourages more shmups on the system...


Shikigami no Shiro 3

Another decent shmup which doesn't blow me away, especially. Made by Arc System Works, it's pretty stylish, anime kind of character designs and some story stuff (all in Japanese so I have no idea). Lots of different shot types, some score multiplier stuff. It's quite a ugly, though, in terms of the actual game. It reminds me of cheap recycled 3D assets, no identity as such. It's a shame as something similar to the anime/manga character designs would look great.


Strania

This is more like it. Kind of reminds me of Astebreed in a way but as a pure vertical scroller with the weapon options being very similar to Einhander. You collect them and swap out one of your three current options, which you can rotate at will. It's also slightly reminiscent of Radiant Silvergun in terms of the level design, tunnels and environmental hazards and the sword.


Triggerheart Exelica

Fairly poor. Notable for its grappling hook mechanic whereby you can grab an enemy and swing them into a crowd but it's fiddly and feels inconsistent and unreliable. I'd heard it was rather pedestrian and that's accurate. No reason to play it, though it has a cool meaningless name.


RayStorm HD

A fairly decent effort with a perspective reminiscent of Radirgy or Ginga Force, slightly angled, slightly difficult to read. It's an XBLA game so can be picked up for peanuts but it's not essential by any means. It's probably not in the top 25 shmups on the system.

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

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Damn. :o

That dodging was berserk...You got about half of her health down without a single bomb. Can't be far off now. And yeah, that laugh...Sheesh. I love the music in the latter stages of that boss, though. Those string stabs and runs, really dramatic and intense.

And yeah, BS:IB is great fun. I need to play a bit more of it but it's one that seems like a scoring kind of game rather than a survival challenge. It's very flashy and busy. I like that about it especially.

I also played some more Ginga Force which reminds me a bit of Bullet Soul. There's a kind of obscure/off-brand/French anime aesthetic which I find very charming. It's significantly better than almost all of the stuff in my post above. I've been too knackered to play anything properly but it's been a fun day of giving a range of different stuff twenty minutes or so.

(And Lapis X Labyrinth is back in rotation, perfect game for a twenty minute blast, constant pachinko stimulation. Can't believe it's been so overlooked even after Jim Sterling was raving about it.)

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Bullet Soul: Infinite Burst looks really good, but I couldn't find any trace of it on the german 360 marketplace last time I checked. It's also surprisingly difficult to find concrete release info regarding that game, so I don't know whether it got delisted at some point or if it never came out in PAL territory in the first place.

And yes, I know there's a Steam version as well.

EDIT: Oh, okay. Looks like it never came out over here. Fun!


@clippa: So close, you can do it! :o

My Futari "progress" is currently stagnating at the beginning of Stage 3, so I'm still a long way off.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

clippa wrote:
June 22nd, 2019, 10:28 pm
Goes for around 4 quid in the steam sales. You never know, the stars might allign, it could be one of the games your laptop doesn't hate. Might be worth chucking 4 quid away to find out.
Oh, the 4 quids aren't the problem. It's DRM and making yet another dumb account that's the problem. I have waaay too many games to worry about already without adding the gigantic rabbit hole of Steam sales to the list.

clippa wrote:
June 22nd, 2019, 10:28 pm
maybe you could just set up an english region account and buy it from the english marketplace. I've heard sometimes games are still region locked and you have to use a VPN to get them. Such a headache.
Well, is it on the UK marketplace? I don't think it is. My research indicates it never came out in PAL territories on Xbox 360. Unless we're talking about specific instances of BPjM-based censorship (NG2, Gears, Dead Rising, etc...), the UK and DE stores are basically the same. No region-locking whatsoever between the two countries. PAL = PAL

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

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clippa wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 6:26 am
Your laptops integrated graphics chip probably wasn't built with obscure doujin shmup engines in mind.
Yeah, you keep trotting that out as your go-to pet theory, even though BWRP ran perfectly fine two weeks ago. I don't think the Almighty decided to reach into my laptop while I was sleeping and swap out the graphic chip just to mess with me, you know. :P

Here's a crazy idea: How about making video games for machines whose primary function is to play video games as easily and reliably as possible, instead of for some which are built for typing and accounting? Hm? That'd be nice. Especially when they're supposed to be played with a controller anyway. Sounds like there's a gap in the market if you ask me.


PS: You have the weirdest taste in music imaginable.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

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I'm well aware that there are certain games and genres that are best suited to the PC architecture, like real-time strategy, point-and-click adventure, WRPGs and most first- / third-person shooters. Most of the examples in that RPS article are very much in that camp and it doesn't surprise me that they originated on PC. But there are also at least as many examples of games and genres that are more at home on a console. That quote doesn't represent console libraries in their entirety very accurately.

I would, however, argue that STGs don't belong in the aforementioned PC category, considering they aren't hardware-intensive and are best played with a controller. I don't see how Blue Revolver would have suffered from "going to die" on PS4. And it would have given me the opportunity to play it properly, at least.

About the "open platform" argument: Yes, I agree with you and I think one of the biggest advantages of the PC platform is how it allows smaller developers to get started at the lowest possible barrier of entry. But there is a great middle-ground between low-budget indies and hugely expensive AAA titles that have been homogenized and focus-tested within an inch of their life, you know. Something a lot of consumers and publishers seem to forget nowadays. I also think it's important not to conflate Sony and Microsoft's recent business decisions and/or currently prevalent AAA design trends with console gaming in general. My GameCube is just as functional and valid as my PS4.

clippa wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 7:52 am
Keep it simple and plug and play so little Timmy doesn't get a headache.
...You say that like it's a bad thing. Why wouldn't I want to keep it simple? Why would I want to have to deal with compatibility issues, drivers, sub-par control methods, constant crashes, third-party emulators, individual hardware components, operating systems, DRM, or maybe even viruses when I could just insert the disc or cartridge into my dedicated machine and play?

clippa wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 7:52 am
I've heard the argument before that consoles are made to do one thing, play games, while pc's are a jack of all trades, master of none. If that were true then consoles would be the optimal way to play games, even if they didn't let you tailor the experience to your own personal preference.
Well as far as I'm concerned, consoles are definitely the optimal way to play the games I care about the most. The vast majority of my all-time favorite games were developed as console games first and foremost. It's not just about convenience. It's about reliability. I would buy Crimzon Clover again in a heartbeat if it came out on PS4, so maybe I'm little Timmy after all.

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

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I would buy Crimzon Clover, Blue Revolver and ZeroRanger the moment they appeared on the Switch. They would even give me reason to turn on my PS4 again.

After an early start and a couple of hours of grunt, I've been having a break with the fantastic Raiden Fighters Aces on the 360, and particularly with RF Jet. It's a compilation of three RF games and they're all damn good. I'm not particularly familiar with the Raiden games but of those I've played, these are comfortably my favourites.

Raiden Fighters Jet reminds me of the Psikyo games like Strikers 1945 and Aero Fighters but with some added Ketsui muscle. Fast bullets, twitchy dodging, military aesthetic, chunky explosions, massive warplanes, hi-tech weaponry, earthy destruction, a faded poster of a soccer mom in a Stars and Stripes bikini firing an M60 in the back yard kinda game.

It's up there with the very best non-Cave shmups I've played. Easy to pick up, tough to master and damn good fun. I'll be chasing high scores in my survivalist bunker long after the radioactive cockroaches have inherited the Earth. Yee haw!

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

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Lamentably, 'grunt' here refers to the back-breaking blood, sweat and tears of cross-referencing paper trails and rewriting policy. It is these diabolical associations and others which make me reject the PC as a source of anything besides torment.

Also, there's no easy way for me to use a mouse in my gaming room.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

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clippa wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 10:18 am
How's about all games are better on pc?
...If you're gonna make a bold statement like that, it'd be nice if you followed it up with a precise explanation of the metrics of quality you are using instead of a cute story of you wasting your time and that of Sony's customer support.

According to my metrics of quality, such as ease of access, design integrity or ergonomics (for handhelds, in particular), I would very much disagree with such a blanket statement. There are plenty of games that are better on PC, but the opposite is true as well. How exactly are OG Tetris, Soul Calibur 2, REmake or Metroid Prime 3: Corruption "better" when being played on a PC as opposed to their native platform(s)?

clippa wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 10:18 am
How about every input device you can dream of being useable, at higher polling rates, every button being reconfigurable?
This perfectly encapsulates my philosophical differences with PC players. Quantity of options isn't the same as the quality of said options. Just because I "can" use two dozen different controllers to play a game if I feel like it one day doesn't mean that it would make sense to do so. It shouldn't be the job of the player to decide which input methods are best suited for the game they're playing. It should be the job of the developer, during development. Controllers aren't just randomly interchangeable! Who cares whether or not I "could" play Super Mario Galaxy on PC with a flight stick and a pair of DK bongos if I wanted to waste 15 hours tinkering on it when I could just play it perfectly well right out of the box with the one and only input method it was completely designed around?!

The idea that random consumers can just dive into a game's code after its release and start modifying everything to suit their half-baked pre-conceptions of how it should work is completely inane to me. How about trusting professionals to deliver polished games that make the best out of their native platform and respecting their decisions instead?

Hardware is a means to an end. Software should be king. That's how I look at it.

clippa wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 10:18 am
KSubzero1000 wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 8:57 am
My GameCube is just as functional and valid as my PS4.
Is it, mate? but, is it?
We all know about nintendo pulling the plug on the wii servers. I mean, I know everything moves at a fair clip these days but it still seems a little too soon. You can't play online or download any of the digital wii and ds games you bought.
...Yes, which is why:

1. I specifically mentioned the GameCube, and not the Wii or NDS, since it came from what I believe to be the golden era of console gaming in many respects.

2. I continuously like to remind people of the inherent advantages of physical media over digital media.

I stand by my statement. The GameCube under my TV is just as functional and arguably more reliable than the PS4 right next to it, or even than your precious PC. I could insert my Super Monkey Ball disc and plug the one and only compatible controller into it, boot it up, and already be playing 30 seconds later without having to worry about anything except the game itself. I don't see how a PC could possibly improve upon that in any meaningful way.

clippa wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 10:18 am
I don't doubt that there are people who keep all their old consoles, but you can't deny that you're encouraged to throw them out and buy the next iteration. [...] You can buy ikaruga on pc right now, it's a shite game, but it's a good port, it'll last you a lifetime, you don't have to rebuy it every generation. You don't have to rebuy it when the ps5 or the xbtwo comes out.
I can and I am denying this. Phil Spencer can go down his list of dumb marketing bullet points as much as he wants, but just because mindless consumers decide to engage in mindless consumer behaviour doesn't mean that said behaviour is officially the right thing to do. Newer generation consoles very rarely improve upon their predecessors in every way to the point of rendering them obsolete. Stan and I are currently having a whale of a time playing "old" shmups on our 360s for the simple reason that those aren't available on XBO. The NDS Lite is still my preferred model of the NDS/3DS lineup due to its lack of region-locking and (in my opinion) superior form factor over the 3DS. There are plenty of reasons to hold onto a WiiU even if you own a Switch. Etc.

And I don't see why I would "have" to rebuy Ikaruga every generation save for collection's purposes. Although I take your point about a lot of modern AAA games privileging graphics over performance and representing better value for money with their souped-up next-gen ports.

clippa wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 10:18 am
You try playing blue revolver on your haunted laptop, it'll at least cough up some flickering sprites and make your mouse vomit one long continuous strand of nasal hair, you try playing a ps2 game on your ps1 and you'll have no such luck.
...This is a bit of a disingenuous argument considering how BR and my laptop came out within one year of one another. Yes obviously, forward compatibility isn't a thing on console. It's also not really a thing on PC considering the amount of "minimum operating system"-requirements I've been reading over the past month or so. BR isn't gonna run on Windows 98 either, I don't think.

Stanshall wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 10:23 am
I'll be chasing high scores in my survivalist bunker long after the radioactive cockroaches have inherited the Earth.
Sign me up, mate! :P

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ratsoalbion
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Re: Shmups

Post by ratsoalbion »

We’ve steadfastly managed to avoid pointless PC v console (and console v other console) debates on here for over seven years, I’d really rather we kept it that way.

Every platform has its pros and cons, and everyone has their own preferences. That’s all anyone needs to know.

In particular, can we keep this thread as a discussion/celebration of a beloved, stalwart genre please?

Much appreciated, folks.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

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Of course, my bad.

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

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To get back on track, I've been playing Futari for score again. It's such a fantastic game, and the most exciting way to play it. Point blanking bigger enemies before they appear on screen and have a hurt box, so the little gems start tumbling before you even start to do damage and get the big gems. The level design is beautifully balanced to encourage you to switch between shots at the right time and it's just even more exciting playing in the top third of the screen and watching your score rocket.

I've been consistently hitting the first 100m extend on the stage 2 boss which means I've crushed my 1-All high score of 140m by the end of stage 3. It's not actually that much harder in terms of the bullet speed, it's more that playing so aggressively means you need to know exactly what's coming or you get point blanked in return. On the other hand, it's helped me find a number of safer routes up and around the screen rather than micrododging through the overlapping waves. I've kind of started again from scratch in terms of my progress but I'm looking forward to hopefully developing some strategies to overcome stage three, and then it's a roll of the dice and fingers crossed my resources last.

Also, gone back to DDP DOJ to try to chain stage one. I've had a couple of decent efforts but I feel like I'm probably weeks of practice away. Such an amazing game but totally unforgiving.

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Re: Shmups

Post by hazeredmist »

Back from holiday. Hello fellow shmuppers! Agree with Ratso, platform battles are pointless. Everyone knows consoles are the best :D

On-topic queries:

- Are the Psikyo games (Gunbird, Tengai etc) on Switch adjusted at all or just straight arcade ports? Difficulty in MAME is high, I wonder if it's due to wanting more of your quarters, or if home ports kept the same level of difficulty / introduce any QOL at all...

- When did you change from just doing runs and experiencing games, to chasing scores / 1cc? Is 1cc the most important thing to you now?

- How did you "git good" at shmups - just repeat play on or seeking advice / guides? Are there any general tips you can offer on how you progressed from just darting about like a maniac on coke to something more considered and strategic with bullet evasion?

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ratsoalbion
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Re: Shmups

Post by ratsoalbion »

The Psikyo/ZeroDiv games are fairly much straight emulations, but you have a choice to play on one of about seven (?) difficultly settings before you start every single game, which I believe correlate to DIP switches found on the original boards (and therefore in MAME).

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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

No time to reply properly but that really made me laugh. Bravo.

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