Shmups

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

I looked for the DDP DFK t-shirt that bearded beast was wearing on the Cave TGS stream and it's an official and very out of stock product from the old Cave Japanese online store. I got this sleek Dodonpachi number instead to wear down Arcade Club to impress the [s]ladies[/s] [s]cool[/s] uncool dads.

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I want that DFK shirt pretty bad, though. Can't imagine how many BABES I'd be getting around town wearing this:

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WARNING WARNING COOL DUDE APPROACHING

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Shmups

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Oh, it's one of those threads now.

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Re: Shmups

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Played a bit of Vasera on Switch, man that game is tough. You’re able to change settings to easy, increase lives and bombs though as well as credit feed which at least means I’ll get to see the game. But damn I don’t want to meet the folks who could 1cc this.

Also tried Steredenn. Great aesthetic, horrible in-game music (for me at least, I know others will like it!) and seems a lot of fun. I can get to the third level on a good run, meets my expectation of “Isaac but a shmup” so far. Albeit without the hooks in me just yet.

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

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hazeredmist wrote:
September 16th, 2019, 10:51 pm
Played a bit of Vasera on Switch, man that game is tough. You’re able to change settings to easy, increase lives and bombs though as well as credit feed which at least means I’ll get to see the game. But damn I don’t want to meet the folks who could 1cc this.

Also tried Steredenn. Great aesthetic, horrible in-game music (for me at least, I know others will like it!) and seems a lot of fun. I can get to the third level on a good run, meets my expectation of “Isaac but a shmup” so far. Albeit without the hooks in me just yet.
I wish Steredenn had more interactions between the weapons, and more visual variety (especially bosses), because it could have been brilliant. As it is, I really liked it but ran out of steam before I got near finishing it.

Been playing a bit more Vasara myself in handheld at bedtime. It seems that I'm using the melee attack about 90% of the time and that's my most successful approach. It's impossible to kill everything with bullets quickly enough, you get cornered really quickly. Quite enjoying it but I definitely prefer Gunbird 2, Strikers 1945 II and Dragon Blaze for these Psikyo (style) games.

I've been playing a bit of Futari again, just for the fun of it at first, but it definitely loses some intensity versus playing for score. I don't have any particular interest in just playing one credit after another. It seems...pointless. I started trying to push it for score and it's a different game, much more exciting and satisfying.

I went back to Ketsui and DaiOuJou, too, trying to learn them, and these three are head and shoulders above any other shmup to my taste. As much as I enjoyed the few days I tried to play DFK 'properly', it feels quite plasticky where DOJ and Ketsui are crunching metal. I know a big part is that I'm much more familiar with how they feel and that DFK is so similar but different enough to feel jarring. Either way, I much prefer their gritty sense of weight. I really really hope the recent Cave announcements mean that DOJ will be ported to another format in future. It's tragic that it's such an inaccessible game.

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Re: Shmups

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Meanwhile, my interest in shmups is at an all-time low, I'm afraid. I've played almost nothing else for the past several months save for the occasional puzzle game and I think I need a bit of a break. The part of me that was jumping up and down about this stuff just a few weeks ago is now languishing in a corner with a newspaper over his face, begging to be left alone.

I'm also dealing with a lot of external stuff at the moment and I don't really have the disposition to play anything that stressful and demanding for the time being. Every time I boot up DDPR, I feel like I'm just treading water without any tangible result at this point and I don't really have the energy or patience for it, quite frankly. Very sorry for not properly committing to the competition in the way I would have wanted to initially. :(


I'm not bailing out on the thread or anything, but I think a few weeks of recess are in order.

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Re: Shmups

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Ah hey ksub we all need a break from time to time! No sweat :)

I find it’s just best to go with whatever you fancy with gaming, if you fight it you end up not having fun. If you try to force yourself in a certain direction, again you end up not enjoying your time.

I certainly get down periods with shmups - they’re a bit like class A drugs at times. Exhilarating, incredible to experience, but with a cost and at some point you need to sleep for a while and recuperate. And maybe try something different when you do return.

Terrible analogy really but you get the point! I’m playing some other stuff and not forcing myself to cane every shmup in my list, just dipping in when I fancy it, and it’s working. Enjoy whatever you’re playing right now! The shmups will be here when you’ve reset :D

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

Post by Stanshall »

KSubzero1000 wrote:
September 20th, 2019, 10:34 pm
Meanwhile, my interest in shmups is at an all-time low, I'm afraid. I've played almost nothing else for the past several months save for the occasional puzzle game and I think I need a bit of a break. The part of me that was jumping up and down about this stuff just a few weeks ago is now languishing in a corner with a newspaper over his face, begging to be left alone.
Me too, to be honest. Certainly the last month I've played shmups less than at any time over the last couple of years. I've enjoyed playing Fire Emblem so much and part of that is that it's such a contrast to the intensity of shmups. Take my time, read the dialogue, think about my decisions, let the atmosphere sink in. It's been really 'nice'. Daemon X Machina then scratched an itch for blowing things up but in a very low-stakes way and again, it's quite easy and that's been fun, grinding away with some Japanese players online getting more weapons and gear to upgrade my Mech. I've also been playing some fighting games, puzzle games, driving, etc. It's been a lot of fun rediscovering games and genres where I'd lost interest.

It's a similar feeling to after our Ikaruga competition. I feel burned out on the level of intensity and concentration, basically. I came off a very satisfying but very draining 'achievement' with DOJ chaining and then I kind of forced myself to start DDPR when I wasn't really feeling it. After a few days, I realised I wasn't enjoying it at all and I've been happy to walk away (although I know that's not really in the spirit). It was a relief to abandon it, to be honest. I pretty much abandoned the genre over the last month, as I said.

It's only the last few days that I've started playing again and I've concluded that the three games I mentioned are so much more fun and interesting and exciting and satisfying to me than anything else in the genre, though I'd also throw in Psyvariar Delta. I know that absolutes aren't really the C&R way but I could probably just play those four and ignore the rest of the genre. I think part of the reason is the way I play. These games could take years to learn and so I'd rather go deeper with the ones I really love than scratch the surface of fifty. I understand though why the shmups forum is effectively dead, because the majority of users are in a similar boat. They've distilled the entire genre to the few titles that really push their buttons. A lot of people seem to just play one!

Anyway, I do feel where you're coming from and most importantly, I hope you're managing OK with your real life concerns. Look after yourself, we're not going anywhere mate.

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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

...Why am I not surprised to come back to heartwarming messages of support and understanding from Haze & Stan and incredulous hyperactive panicked stream of consciousness guff from clippa? :lol:

hazeredmist wrote:
September 20th, 2019, 11:47 pm
I find it’s just best to go with whatever you fancy with gaming, if you fight it you end up not having fun. If you try to force yourself in a certain direction, again you end up not enjoying your time.
Most of the time I would probably argue about the merits of perseverance, but yeah, I would have to agree in this case. There comes a point where it's just not worth it anymore.

I think I'll take the time to dive into AI: The Somnium Files and Zelda BotW next.

Stanshall wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 6:00 am
I feel burned out on the level of intensity and concentration, basically.
That's exactly it. Maybe the two of us are shooting ourselves in the foot by going about it in such a methodical fashion, but I don't have the energy and can't muster any motivation for shmups at the moment.

Stanshall wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 6:00 am
I've concluded that the three games I mentioned are so much more fun and interesting and exciting and satisfying to me than anything else in the genre, though I'd also throw in Psyvariar Delta. I know that absolutes aren't really the C&R way but I could probably just play those four and ignore the rest of the genre.
I hear you. When you get really intense about a genre, then sooner or later you end up distilling your preferences to a select few games and substitutes just can't compete with those. What looks like narrow-mindedness from the outside is actually hyper-dedication. It's the same reason why the FGC has so many players who swear on incredibly specific version of older titles and why I'm the joke of the forum with my go-to scoring game. :P

But when I feel up for it (probably in a month or two), I think I'll give Espgaluda 2 a proper shot and I hope you'll join me. That one looks worth investing time and effort into as well. ESP Ra.De. is just around the corner, too!

clippa wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 3:43 am
You're gonna be alright probably, do you reckon?
Yeah, I think so. Just family stuff and a load of 21th century administrative junk to deal with. Absolutely maddening, but I should be all right. Thanks for asking, mate.

clippa wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 6:40 am
Who ... who am I gonna talk to?
You can talk to us, you goofball. This community is stronger than just this thread and we're not all abandoning you simply because some of us might have to take a little break from shmups. We'll simply have to talk about some other stuff for a little while. Or maybe, *gasp*, maybe you could try to expand your horizons for once and discover the one or the other gem outside of your area of expertise? There are plenty of masterpieces without digital controls or opaque scoring systems that are nevertheless worth playing if you can scrounge up a modicum of patience and goodwill for them. I'll make sure to hold your hand every step of the way, if you want. If you already think the world is ending, might as well go for it. :P


PS:
clippa wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 6:40 am
gooses
Even I know that's not right. :lol:

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Stanshall
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Re: Shmups

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Eyy yo, clip.

Maybe I was a bit gloomy in tone and reductive about my own tastes, but I'll expand now I've had some toast and a cuppa.

Long story short, I bloody love shmups. I really love that I've got Muchi Muchi and Under Defeat and SDOJ and Espgaluda 2 and Bullet Soul and Rolling Gunner and Gunbird 2 and so on and so on sitting there when I fancy a blast on something made with an incredible understanding of the genre and of what makes a brilliant arcade game. It's probably my favourite genre and along with the Switch really reinvigorated gaming for me after a few years of predominantly (and happily) just playing Souls games.

I also think, maybe prompted by the success of the Switch and of the various shmup ports and even exclusives on the system, the genre is getting some attention and seems to be in a pretty healthy place. I dunno, I still feel like a Johnny-come-lately so I can't comment on whether the lean years were really lean or whether this is a resurgence or whether the indie scene is where the creative heart is now because I don't have that experience. I got a taste for the genre, got hold of everything I could, absolutely gorged myself on thirty years of history and now I feel like I've found what I like best. That's not to dismiss everything else or say I don't need to play anything besides them, but it's also an acknowledgement that I've come through the honeymoon phase and I can put certain things in perspective.

To explain (and to go over some previous ground), I do tend to get the most out of these games in intense bursts. I'm talking two or three weeks of obsession and 'training' (to use the word) and restarting restarting restarting until I hit whatever arbitrary target I decided beforehand. And afterwards, I tend to feel burned out. Then I'll play a few things pretty casually and mix it up and play other stuff until I get my next burst of enthusiasm. I know you find that odd and I also understand that this approach is probably the main reason why I don't tend to get much out of dipping in and out. Where you seem to enjoy playing and you gradually learn the whole game and improve through playing, I find myself wondering what I'm doing and why if I'm not making discernible 'progress'.

Trying to force myself to play DDPR off the back of DOJ when I wasn't in the mood put me off for the last few weeks, as well as being away for ten days or so, and as well as getting into some different stuff on the Switch. Having tried to dip my toe back in, I'm still not interested in playing DDPR. Along with that shmup forum Bananamatic thread and a few other reflections on how I feel when playing shmups compared to other genres, it has made me think about what I get from these games.

There's no real enjoyment for me in getting a 1CC in Futari now, even if I were to beat my pitiful score. I've already done it. The excitement lies in trying to get 80m on the first stage. I know that in the long term this probably would take me longer because I'll burn out and drop it for months and I'll likely abandon the game long before I learn it all. In the short term though, that's how I most enjoy these games. Since it takes a lot of time and it's quite draining to play this way, I feel like I'd rather focus on the games I really love rather than playing fifty in a shallow way, for a bit of fun, bit of distraction. That might be dismissive but it's really about trying to get the most out of the games and respecting the depth they do have. It's like, is it more rewarding to get to Grade 8 piano than Grade 1 in eight instruments? For me, the former. For you? "Fuck grades, just play." :D

I'm not saying that there are only four shmups worth my time, but I am saying that if I give my 'serious' time to four shmups (and more like two) and just play the rest for a bit of fun, I get more out of them.

I'll be there for Deathsmiles and ESP.Ra.De on Switch. I'll be there for whatever else is ported from the indie scene. I'll continue to play and follow the wider genre. I'll be here talking about the genre. I'll get involved in the high score challenges as and when. At the same time, I won't be trying to really learn or commit to anything beyond my favourites because I'll be dead before I master a single one of them, and there's a lot of other stuff I've found I'm enjoying again.

In terms of the scoring comp, I also think that we picked a dud in DDPR, despite pushing for it myself. There's too much variety of ships and mechanics for us to all be starting from the same position. It's a pretty underwhelming mode compared to Black Label. In terms of the competition, there's some disparity in that you've done a previous HS comp with the game and I've done a good ten or fifteen hours with BL, whereas most people hadn't touched it before. That might sound like sour grapes bad loser crybaby on my part, but I'm thinking more about getting other people involved and feeling there's a point to it or some relativity when we've already had a proper head start (albeit I still won't come 2nd :mrgreen:). The scoring is also quite unintuitive and requires extra knowledge of esoteric systems. That shit appeals to me but I can see how it's demotivating to anyone who just wants to play and expects that further progress means a bigger score. I say next time we go for something more straightforward.

And that's all the shmups!

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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

clippa wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 9:15 am
owly would have pecked me to death if I didn't buy her an ice cream.
The only pecking I'll be doing is if you ever go back on that rock solid totes serious resolution of yours. :P

:roll:

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Re: Shmups

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Nah, it's not anti-fun at all. I have more fun with these games than almost any other when I get properly into one. It's more that when I'm not playing that way, or when a game doesn't really excite me, after a while I find them a bit pointless and I wonder why I'm bothering.

I play plenty of shmups casually, from the actual great stuff like Rolling Gunner or Progear or Mushihimesama HD to the slightly shit like Shikhondo or Azure Reflections or Sisters Royale and tonnes of other stuff in-between. I do really enjoy them but they're largely distraction or something to unwind with. They're 'fun' as an alternative to 'being at work' or 'doing jobs' rather than 'all-consuming blood pumping euphoria'. Same as Goose or Sayonara Wild Hearts or Battlefield or Forza Horizon or Uncharted or Mario Maker or whatever good fun games you might name. They're great in moderation and in rotation. Balanced diet and all. Games are better than ever probably. Certainly replaced TV for me, almost completely. I love em, love the hobby and a lot of them are just passing the time.

Futari, Ketsui, Dodonpachi DOJ and Psyvariar Delta are something beyond that level of enjoyment, though, the absolute top tier for me. They are far more exciting and mechanically and intellectually stimulating and challenging and push my buttons like little else. I just can't play them all the time, though, because I would totally burn out. If I played them without any purpose, just putting time in, I feel almost like I'd be shitting on them and wasting my time and devaluing what they are. It's like, I've watched The New World by Terrence Malick twice in my life, and both times it absolutely slayed me, crying my eyes out with happiness and hope and despair and much more in-between but it's like sticking it on with a pizza and a few tinnies while checking my phone and listening to a podcast at the same time.

Likewise, trying to play just anything now in the way I play my favourite stuff is very likely an exercise in frustration because there's so little on that level. It's like trying to kid myself that playing Blade Strangers and trying to learn it properly is somehow going to be as satisfying and rewarding as doing the same with SF4. In fact, fuck it, it's like trying to do the same with SFV! It's just not as good - to me - and doesn't excite me in anywhere near the same way, no matter how I approach it. My response is to enjoy Blade Strangers for what it is and to recognise its limits, and the limits of my interest in it. Same goes for MMP or DDPR or Radirgy Swag or Eschatos or Raiden Fighters Jet or Gunbird or Danmaku Unlimited 3 or whatever.

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Re: Shmups

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clippa wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 11:42 am
Stanshall wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 11:13 am
I've watched The New World by Terrence Malick twice in my life
Fucks sake, is this essential Stanshall fandom homework? That's like 3 hours I'm not gonna get back otherwise. It looks like some elfy kissing thing.


It's about what human civilisation could have been, why that door is closed forever, and whether what's left is worth living for. Not one cunting elf.
clippa wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 11:42 am
I suppose what I'm getting at is, do you reckon some of these games have "inner circle" potential? If you were to push through various barriers. Let's say there was some sort of score competition where you felt obliged to make some sort of cunting effort :lol:
Soz, I forgot to clarify my shmups forum point before. That's exactly what I meant about it being dead, everyone has reduced the genre to their own very narrow preferred experience and so there's fuck all to talk about or look forward to. Why would I want a new Dodonpachi game when the best one is DOJ? (not my actual opinion, rather a rhetorical example of that mentality). Yours is a fair question.

- DOJ was my first and, like with Souls, coincidentally my favourite. It's also regarded as one of the very best so it probably is in the circle for reasons beyond first cut is the deepest.

- Futari was the one which blew me away with the visuals and overload and the music and the patterns and stuff. I waited and waited to play it so I was invested even before I eventually got a copy from Japan. Then I played it and it was even better. Again, though, in the circle for several reasons.

- Psyvariar Delta blindsided me, I'd never played anything like it. Maybe I hadn't played much proper stuff at that point so it hit hard. After leaving it for a long while though, I went back to it after hammering Cave and it was just as amazing as ever, ifs not better because I could push it further.

- Ketsui is another I have to attribute to Arcade Club for getting me started, but it's one which basically broke its way into the circle through pure brilliance once I played for an hour on the 360. No fuss, no complicated systems, no chains, no nothin but blast everything at point blank range and watch the 5s tumble like so many dice on a death slide.

So, Ketsui is the one which answers the question, really. Yes, it's perfectly possible for something else to make the top tier cut but I don't need to play for 70 hours to know whether it will hit the spot. Rolling Gunner I love but it's not as good as the above. DU3 but less so. Ikaruga was an obsession for a while but it's too rigid for me to truly love. Mushihimesama HD? Amazing game but too kinda Psikyo in parts for me. Gunbird 2? Too hard, too actually Psikyo.

DFK BL? Possibly. Esp 2 BL? Possibly. Garegga? Possibly. Batrider? Possibly. I need more time with them. Crimzon Clover? Possibly. Blue Revolver? ZeroRanger? I may never know.

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Re: Shmups

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And sometimes, just sometimes, it's the most annoying piece of shit genre ever invented.

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Re: Shmups

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clippa wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 7:48 pm
What was it? Did ketsui spit you out? Ketsui is so hard, I still don't think I'm ready for it. I don't think I'm masochistic and self loathing enough to say I love ketsui. I don't know if I ever will. Maybe it just hasn't clicked yet.
Futari in fact. The point blanking approach leads to so many deaths by stray point blank bullets. I guess it's karma. Smashed my stick through my telly and stamped on the pieces and threw them out the window. Felt a bit better after that.

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Re: Shmups

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Clippa still around? :|

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Re: Shmups

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Not been active for a few days and I've not seen him at the shmups forum. Might just be a bit busy this week. Hope all is well.

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Re: Shmups

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I just had a quick go at Ketsui again and made it all the way through to the penultimate boss at the end of Stage 5. Which isn't too bad considering I haven't played the game since June. It was on Deathtiny mode though, is that one significantly easier or something?

It was fun. I really think my issues with DDP can be traced back to the time-based combo system. The multiplier just keeps breaking for no discernible reason which always leads to a lot of frustration and discomfort on my part. I find it much easier to get into combo systems that don't have such a stressful time element. Ikaruga is good, Ketsui is good, I imagine Psyvariar would also be good. Skill? Sure. Positioning? Sure. Strategy? Sure. Constantly micro-managing fractions of a second at the risk of completing ruining all high-scoring potential? No thanks.

I think I'll give SDOJ another shot at some point since I've heard that the combo system is supposed to be much more lax and forgiving in that one but if it doesn't work for me either, I think I might be done with DDP, at least in terms of playing it seriously for score. My instinctive play style doesn't allow for that specific kind of stress, I'm afraid.

It's unfortunate that Stan and I are playing different versions of Ketsui, though. He's all about that last gen Ketsui X whereas I really dig Deathtiny. Isn't technology supposed to bring people together? More like keeping them apart since the fucking wheel.

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Re: Shmups

Post by hazeredmist »

Had a go on Rayforce last night on MAME on my Shield, after listening to a podcast talk about Galactic Attack. Didn't run amazingly well but it was passable, I'm gonna try it on the Pi and see how that goes - I think I need an arcade stick for this one. Definitely has Crimzon Clover similarities with the lock-on stuff. Excited to play more

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Re: Shmups

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KSubzero1000 wrote:
September 26th, 2019, 9:00 pm
I just had a quick go at Ketsui again and made it all the way through to the penultimate boss at the end of Stage 5. Which isn't too bad considering I haven't played the game since June. It was on Deathtiny mode though, is that one significantly easier or something?

It was fun. I really think my issues with DDP can be traced back to the time-based combo system. The multiplier just keeps breaking for no discernible reason which always leads to a lot of frustration and discomfort on my part. I find it much easier to get into combo systems that don't have such a stressful time element. Ikaruga is good, Ketsui is good, I imagine Psyvariar would also be good. Skill? Sure. Positioning? Sure. Strategy? Sure. Constantly micro-managing fractions of a second at the risk of completing ruining all high-scoring potential? No thanks.

I think I'll give SDOJ another shot at some point since I've heard that the combo system is supposed to be much more lax and forgiving in that one but if it doesn't work for me either, I think I might be done with DDP, at least in terms of playing it seriously for score. My instinctive play style doesn't allow for that specific kind of stress, I'm afraid.

It's unfortunate that Stan and I are playing different versions of Ketsui, though. He's all about that last gen Ketsui X whereas I really dig Deathtiny. Isn't technology supposed to bring people together? More like keeping them apart since the fucking wheel.
Let's just play actual regular old Ketsui, Cool Original, Ready Salted flavour. I'm ditching Ketsui X Mode because it's hard for me to compare it to anything or put my progress in context. Hardly anyone plays it. If you're getting to the stage 5 boss after months off, bravo. I've never got past the stage four boss in original mode and I most often die at or before the stage 3 midboss.

As for DDP, I would say don't give up on the entire series forever. The original DDP and DOJ are head and shoulders above DFK and SDOJ, although they are certainly very strict with the chaining if you want to play that way. It's not necessary, though. DOJ for survival is simply one of the best shmups ever made. The music, aesthetic, crunchy impact, the sense of destruction and firepower, the stage designs and bullet patterns, the pacing. I'd also say that while its chaining is a lot harder than DFK, it feels like it makes more sense and is much more rewarding. Obviously, I'm biased, but DFK is a take it or leave it thing for me. DOJ is all timer.

And yeah, if and when you get to it, Psyvariar is very lenient and accessible and rewarding but also has a mental skill ceiling once you get into it. You don't feel like a broken chain ruins the run or the fun, though. You just pick it back up, it feels more cumulative like Ikaruga kind of thing. You can only add to it. Amazing game and very different, even to any other grazing shmup I've played. A total rush.

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Re: Shmups

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Stanshall wrote:
September 28th, 2019, 9:19 am
Let's just play actual regular old Ketsui, Cool Original, Ready Salted flavour. I'm ditching Ketsui X Mode because it's hard for me to compare it to anything or put my progress in context.
Cool, I'll have a go at Normal mode one of these days and see how I get on.

The main thing that's putting me off Ketsui are the japanese menus, really. Always get confused with all the modes and options. It's really unfortunate that for all the effort M2 puts into their games, they somehow never patched any english language support.

Stanshall wrote:
September 28th, 2019, 9:19 am
As for DDP, I would say don't give up on the entire series forever. The original DDP and DOJ are head and shoulders above DFK and SDOJ, although they are certainly very strict with the chaining if you want to play that way. It's not necessary, though. DOJ for survival is simply one of the best shmups ever made. The music, aesthetic, crunchy impact, the sense of destruction and firepower, the stage designs and bullet patterns, the pacing. I'd also say that while its chaining is a lot harder than DFK, it feels like it makes more sense and is much more rewarding. Obviously, I'm biased, but DFK is a take it or leave it thing for me. DOJ is all timer.
The part that weirds me out is how quick you are to throw SDOJ under the DFK bus. I totally get your issues with DFK, but as far as I can tell, SDOJ is basically "DOJ with easy chaining - Anime Edition". Where's all this hate coming from? :P

Anyway, DOJ ShotTriggers can't come soon enough. Really want to try it at some point.

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