Help Appreciating Shooters

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BlasteroidAli
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby BlasteroidAli » February 15th, 2021, 12:50 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:
BlasteroidAli wrote:Vertically scrolling shooters. I used to love them. I would go into the arcade with a quarter and play for a couple of hours. That is why I used to love them.


I find that a little hard to swallow considering few vertical shooters run more than one hour - especially if you're playing on a single quarter.

Yeah.. most of them after they get to the end just repeat the game. Though it is many years since I did so. The arcades are long gone. I am pretty useless at them on Xbox but loved Under Defeat.

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BlasteroidAli
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby BlasteroidAli » February 16th, 2021, 4:31 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:
BlasteroidAli wrote:Vertically scrolling shooters. I used to love them. I would go into the arcade with a quarter and play for a couple of hours. That is why I used to love them.


I find that a little hard to swallow considering few vertical shooters run more than one hour - especially if you're playing on a single quarter.

Also, and you know this to be true, you like the bullet hell Vertically scrolling shooters. Those ones you do only last 3 minutes if you are lucky.
I remember play house of the dead and it just eating up my money. Then I could stop playing that and play slap fight and last a lot longer. I miss those day of pick up and play shooters. That you knew you were going to enjoy it and it was total fantasy. Now realism creeps in a lot more. I have simulator games to play.. it used to be there was only flight sim. Now I have mars lunar rover sim, surgeon, train, train company sim etc. They take up hours and hours of play time.

Where as I can go back to Xevious and just have a quite 10 mins, remember it has that black ball that zooms down and kills you if you play for too long?

Plus I cannot find a good home copy of blasteroids....

TheEagleXIII
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby TheEagleXIII » May 11th, 2021, 7:38 am

Since originally posting, I still haven’t spent a lot of time playing shooters. But taking on board all your comments and suggestions, I am gradually beginning to ‘get it’!

As a couple of you suggested, I tried Parodius. I can definitely appreciate what it has going on, but I find 8bit games a bit tougher to get stuck in to sometimes.

I’ve been reading a lot of retro mags lately (mostly Mean Machines Sega) and shooter reviews are super common. Reading what helps them classify the good from the bad has helped.

I shortlisted a couple and decided to try Zero Wing. Until CATS appeared on screen, I forgot this game is the infamous ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US meme, despite the preceding lines of story also being full of amusing mistranslations.

And I think I’ve found my gateway drug of shooters! The main advantage is the ability to tractor beam smaller enemies to use as a shield. That combined with my peripheral cannons also acting as shields gives me some extra insurance to focus a little more on multitasking shooting and evading, plus having more time to observe movement patterns.

The easy setting is nicely balanced too. But the crazy thing is, I still suck!! :lol: Although I’m slowly getting better. Very frequently I feel I’m doing quite well, only to notice my enemy-ship-shield is gone and I unknowingly escaped losing a life. I still haven’t progressed far into the game, like embarrassingly pathetic progress. When I do lose my shields and die, respawning in a tough section with no chances of upgrading my fire power or shielding behind an enemy ship will result in me losing my last 3 lives within 30secs-2mins of gameplay.

Since playing Zero Wing, I’ve revisited Thunder Force III - which I only originally tried cos it came with the Mega Drive Mini. And my gameplay has actually improved a little! I not only beat the first level for the first time (the forest looking planet, I forget the name) I reached the boss in the fewest attempts ever! Of course, I bombed on the next levels but progress is progress :)

The arcade comparisons and 15mins of filler action between games explanation is also a big help. I guess my main issue used to be overcoming the thought that I couldn’t imagine buying these games for £40-£50 brand new in the 90s and expecting it to keep me entertained on a Friday night - let alone a whole weekend. I woulda had to have bought another game with it to switch it up.

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MSR1701
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby MSR1701 » May 11th, 2021, 8:11 am

Aside from classics like Galaga and Defender (and Game Boy versions of R-Type), I rarely go back to 8-bit shooters, finding the 16-bit era to be a gold-mine of shooters; systems such as the Genesis have so many shooters, you usually can find a gem hidden where you least expect to find one.

And of course, the SNES where you find StarFox, Axelay and Gradius III.

The 32-bit era had some gems, though until recent years (usually as compilations or digital releases) arcade shooters became bullet-hell only type games...

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ActRaiser
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby ActRaiser » May 11th, 2021, 10:10 am

If you have access to MAME check out Progear.

It's a really fun bullet hell shooter under the Cave wheel called Progear. For a bullet hell shooter it was a lot of fun. I'm not a typical fan of these types of games but really enjoyed the art style on this one. It's got a steam punk/WWI vibe to it.
You're given a choice between two pilots and three gunners each with different characteristics to mix things up.
There's a crazy backstory that's not really told in the game but can be found online easily enough. If you haven't already tried it I'd encourage you to give it a shot.

I'm trying to get images to work but for some reason failing hard.

Image

https://images.app.goo.gl/oSJouu9GDxbtnwbRA

A much more detailed review can be found here with several screenshots to give you a feel for the game if the images above don't work.

http://www.shmups.com/reviews/progear/index.html

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » May 11th, 2021, 8:55 pm

TheEagleXIII wrote:As a couple of you suggested, I tried Parodius. I can definitely appreciate what it has going on, but I find 8bit games a bit tougher to get stuck in to sometimes.


8-bit? o.o

Why...?

The MSX original hates you and every single one of your reincarnations, in a very personal way. It's one of the hardest games ever made. The Famicom port of Parodius Da! can't handle all the on screen action, and barely counts as playable.

They're two of the worst ways to experience the genre.

Meanwhile, the GBC port of Da was graphically enhanced by an AI simulated pre-school class. Ever see a computer nearly choke to death on its crayons before? Because I swear that's the only explanation for what Konami coughed up.

The DMG Gameboy port is the only 8-bit Parodius that's worth your time, and even then, why would you choose it over the 16-bit/32-bit ports?

Please give this series another chance. And, if playing on console, spend some time in the options menu, because it's going out of its way to be user friendly.

TheEagleXIII
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby TheEagleXIII » May 12th, 2021, 6:40 am

ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:Please give this series another chance.


I definitely intend to check out the latter titles. :)

IIRC when I first looked into the game I found the series chronology a little confusing, so I just assumed you meant the NES game. What I saw wasn’t enough to put me off the series - I was still able to appreciate what it had going on thematically.

ActRaiser wrote:If you have access to MAME check out Progear.


I’ve been meaning to get MAME on my PS Classic for a while now, but I haven’t properly looked into setting it up yet. Got a bit confused with what ROM sets to use and all that.

I’ll definitely check it out once I get that sorted. :D

MSR1701 wrote:I rarely go back to 8-bit shooters, finding the 16-bit era to be a gold-mine of shooters; systems such as the Genesis have so many shooters, you usually can find a gem hidden where you least expect to find one.


Even though I’m not a shooter-guy I’ve always kinda had the same impression. I’m a big fan of the PS1 era, but trying out Einhander doesn’t appeal to me the same way as trying some of the more average looking Genesis titles, despite its reputation as one of the greatest games on the PlayStation.

I guess I should be casting my eye towards the TurboGrafx16 for more good examples too?

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MSR1701
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby MSR1701 » May 12th, 2021, 6:53 am


I guess I should be casting my eye towards the TurboGrafx16 for more good examples too?

The TG-16/PC Engine is a treasuretrove of 2D shooters. If you are able to sample the TG Mini, there are many great ones on there, including some Super CD games that were Japan only that are awesome.

And Blazing Lasers, one of my first emulated games from the late 90s and one of my fave Hu-card titles

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » May 12th, 2021, 5:21 pm

TheEagleXIII wrote:I guess I should be casting my eye towards the TurboGrafx16 for more good examples too?


Maybe. The PC Engine's a bit too proud of targeting shump veterans. Quite a few games, like Dragon Spirit, are actually harder than their arcade counterparts.

With that said, Magical Chase allows you to buy extra health and weapon upgrades, and you can simply tank a good number of hits. You should be able to at least get a fair taste of what it offers, before it breaks out its inner sadist.

IIRC when I first looked into the game I found the series chronology a little confusing, so I just assumed you meant the NES game. What I saw wasn’t enough to put me off the series - I was still able to appreciate what it had going on thematically.


At least try the first SNES port, if you're at all curious why it was recommended. It's a better representation of the insanity, and with the right difficulty settings, generally regarded by shmup fans as one of the more newbie friendly games out there. (It was the second shmup I ever beat, after Dragon Spirit on NES...a game which rewards you for dying on the first stage.)

But even if you're just ready to move on to the sequels, please avoid the MAME versions. They really want your imaginary quarters. You can probably brute force them just by feeding their addiction, but it'll be a bit of a slog that does them no favors.

I’m a big fan of the PS1 era


Gradius Gaiden is a must. It's 2d, so it aged gracefully. And you can set up the power-up bar so that you can gain your best weapons/shields almost right away.

Not to mention, there's always the Konami code.


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