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Old 11th June 2012, 8:27 PM   #1
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Default Shmups!

Let's talk about shmups!

Shmups = "Shoot 'em ups". Or if you're in Japan, more likely an "STG" (ShooTing Game). Not a first person shooter. They're loosely broken into a few different types, and the following is a bit of a universal vocab people use when describing the different types, so you know what they're talking about:

* Overhead scrolling, typically vertical ("tate" - pronounced tah-tey, when referred to by Japanese developers) or horizontal ("yoko"). Sometimes free roaming in both axes.

* Arena - A static arena where the player moves around shooting stuff. It all started with Space Invaders and Asteroids!

* Rail - you move along a predefined path, as if "on rails", and shoot things.

* 3D - Similar to the viewpoint of an FPS, but still with the usual flying ship with lasers and bombs semantics in typical shmups.

* Run and gun - Ground based person/vehicle that has to run around and shoot stuff. Often with a gun. Hence the name.

* Bullet hell / Bullet curtain / Danmaku - small hitbox (the part of your ship susceptible to damage), with lots of enemy bullets often shot out in mathematical patterns. Bombs in these are often less about dealing damage, and more about clearing the screen of bullets. Often feature "popcorn" enemies that are easy to kill, but in large numbers, followed up with a huge end of level boss.

* Euroshmup - The complete inverse of bullet hell - large hitboxes, fewer enemies shooting fewer bullets (but aiming directly for you), bombs that do lots of damage. Many also feature "life bars" rather than just the standard "one hit and you're dead".

Share your favourites, old and new!
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Old 11th June 2012, 8:50 PM   #2
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DoDonPachi
Platform - Arcade (MAME), Playstation, Saturn
Style - Vertical, Bullet Hell
Manufacturer - Cave




My all time favourite shmup by my all time favourite shmup developer. This is the sequel to DonPachi, which was released years earlier and is much simpler by comparison. DoDonPachi introduces a slightly more complex score chaining system, and some kick arse music. If you're playing this via MAME, do yourself a favour and don't "credit feed" it. Stick to your three lives only, and see how far you can get. Several sequels are available too, with a few making it to XBox 360 courtesy of the awesome games publisher Rising Star Games.

Raiden
Platform - Arcade (MAME), Atari Jaguar and Lynx, MS-DOS, PC-Engine, Megadrive, Playstation
Style - Vertical
Manufacturer - Seibu Kaihatsu




Hard as nails arcade shooter that was probably in every arcade around the country. It spawned a bunch of sequels that are all worth playing as well. Raiden III made it to PS2 and PC, Raiden IV to XBox 360 and PC.

Armed Police Batrider
Platform - Arcade (MAME)
Style - Vertical
Manufacturer - 8ing/Raizing



8ing/Raizing make a boatload of great shooters, and this one is one of their best.

Metal Slug
Platform - Arcade (MAME), Neo Geo, Playstation, Saturn, Wii-VC, PSN, XBLA
Style - Run and gun
Manufacturer - Nazca Corporation




Probably the most popular run and gun shooter in fish and chip shops everywhere. Amazingly fluid graphics and crazy in game humour. It's got a bucketload of sequels too that appeared on heaps of platforms including PS2 and NintendoDS, which are all worth playing too.

Bangai-O
Platform - Dreamcast, N64, Nintendo DS, XBLA
Style - Arena / Scrolling
Manufacturer - Treasure




Sometimes arena, sometimes scrolling. Guide your mech around blowing stuff up. You also get missiles galore that can be "rebounded" at your enemies. They can "rebound" them back too, which makes for some interesting battles. In the Nintendo DS and XBLA versions, missiles get bigger and bigger on each rebound, which makes for some hilarious battles. The DS version features all sorts of interesting weapons, from traditional lasers and bullets, to soccer balls and baseball bats!

Last edited by elvis; 11th June 2012 at 9:40 PM.
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Old 11th June 2012, 9:05 PM   #3
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raiden and metal slug i have played. those brings back memories of playing in the arcade.

here is the other that i have seen played a lot back in those arcade days.

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Old 11th June 2012, 9:30 PM   #4
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Gigawing
Platform - Arcade (MAME), Dreamcast
Style - vertical bullet hell
Manufacturer - Takumi




Horizontal play field, vertical gameplay. Awesome graphics and audio, and features a "reflect" mechanic where you attempt to suck in enemy bullets and reflect them back. The sequel (Arcade and Dreamcast) uses 3D graphics, and is just as fun (and somewhat busier). There's a pseudo-sequel called "Mars Matrix" (Arcade and Dreamcast) that borrows many of the mechanics, and adds a few new ones too. Also worth playing.

Gradius (aka Nemesis)
Platform - Arcade (MAME), NES, MSX, PC-Engine. Sequels on almost everything.
Style - Horizontal
Manufacturer - Konami




Before Konami fell to the depths of pachinko games, they made awesome shmups. Gradius is their posterchild, and the entire series is worth playing. Gradius V is the final version, and Konami called on Treasure (made up of ex-Konami staff who all fled when their arcade business went under) to do the final version justice. Gradius introduced a selectable weapon upgrade path, and featured tough gameplay with huge bosses.

Parodius
Platform - Arcade (MAME), PC-Engine, SNES, Saturn, Playstation
Style - Horizontal
Manufacturer - Konami




Parodius = Parody of Gradius. Konami took the piss out of their own game and created a series of insane games using mascots from across many of their franchises. Insanity and wacky Japanese humour aside, they're really fun games in their own right.

Darius
Platform - Arcade (MAME), Atari ST, Amiga, PC-Engine. Sequels on SNES, Saturn and PS2.
Style - Horizontal
Manufacturer - Taito




Horizontal shooter from Taito (makers of Space Invaders), with an interesting fish/oceanic theme running though it. The arcade original was interesting in that it used three screens connected together to have one very long playfield (this was shortened on console ports, although some allowed for some clever panning and scaling). Sequels included G-Darius, which added a "capture ball" that allowed you to capture enemy fighters and use them as shields, battering rams, or weapons. You could then absorb them into your fighter and use them as a giant laser. Bosses could do the same, and you could laser batter - the victor being rewarded with an even bigger laser blast.
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Old 11th June 2012, 9:34 PM   #5
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This list is incomplete without Ikarugu and Radiant Silvergun.

Odd, I've never seen Metal Slug classed as a shmup. I'd call it a platformer.
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Old 11th June 2012, 9:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnappy View Post
This list is incomplete without Ikarugu and Radiant Silvergun.
I'll be honest, I personally think both are over rated. But I can see why many find them appealing. Either way, I'll get around to adding a blurb soon (or you can add your own ).

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Odd, I've never seen Metal Slug classed as a shmup. I'd call it a platformer.
These is what we call "Run and gun" shmups. I'll be documenting many more good ones over the coming weeks.
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Old 11th June 2012, 9:52 PM   #7
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Big fan of the Raiden and 1942 series - many hours of fun in those games.
Its a pity I never found out there were so many great ones on the Dreamcast until after I'd already gotten rid of mine.

Baker - out of curiosity is there any all in one jamma boards available with with a bigger range of shmups other than the Happy Fish 2 ?
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Old 12th June 2012, 4:17 PM   #8
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thanks to your suggestions in the other thread, i found Jets 'n' Guns
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Old 12th June 2012, 6:36 PM   #9
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No love for Contra (Probotector) ? The original NES installment was a favourite with me and my friends The third in the series, Alien Wars, floored me when I finally played it for the first time last year. Couldn't put it down until I beat it. Then it told me to come back and play it for real on Hard mode

Also, Sin and Punishment! Picked up the Wii sequel recently; it looks k'rad.
While we're on the subject of Treasure developed titles I should also add Gunstar Heroes, Gunstar Future Heroes, Alien Soldier and Astro Boy.
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Old 12th June 2012, 6:53 PM   #10
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First love:



Favourite:



Honourable mention:

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Old 12th June 2012, 8:45 PM   #11
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good to see no touhou metioned yet

One fairly fun indie shmup is Jamestown, it's been apart of the Humble indie bundle before.



if you're into bullet hell shmups i'd keep an eye on Nyu Media as they've localised Satazius and the eXceed collection. Currently backed by capcom, they're bringing over a bunch of indie games from japan.
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Old 12th June 2012, 9:43 PM   #12
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These two games shaped my childhood.
Raiden Fighters (Arcade)
Raiden, but hyperactive! The Raiden Fighters series (1, 2, Jet) were made by a different team to the originals and are much faster. The arcade pcb runs a 386!


IO: Into Oblivion (C64)
Oldschool side scroller. Challenging, good fun. Sold on a cassette.
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Old 12th June 2012, 10:17 PM   #13
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I think the highway hunter series was the first of this type I can remember playing.
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Old 12th June 2012, 11:19 PM   #14
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I always liked these games but could never finish one. Simply lacked the skills :/
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Old 13th June 2012, 9:25 AM   #15
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Good choices appearing in this thread. Very happy to see fellow shmuppers hidden in these forums.

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I always liked these games but could never finish one. Simply lacked the skills :/
Shmups are all about practice. They're fantastic for OCD gamers.
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