Help Appreciating Shooters

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TheEagleXIII
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Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby TheEagleXIII » February 1st, 2021, 4:16 pm

I’ve never been a fan of shooters and (not classing Space Invaders as one) I only really played two as a kid. One was Twin Hawk for Mega Drive, which I bought preowned, hated, and then sold back the next day. The other was some obscure freeware space shooter for the Atari ST, which I did like.

It’s not so much I’ve never liked them, I just never had much exposure to form an opinion either way.

I’ve tried Thunder Force 3 on the Mega Drive classic and kinda enjoyed it, but I still find myself having to force myself to persevere to play. I’ve briefly tried a few others but I’m still not really being won over.

I guess I don’t really get it. Like, I understand the concept and the genre, but I don’t see the mass appeal - and I know some of you all absolutely love shooters.

I want to, though. Even if it’s just to give it a chance. I kinda see it like music; for example I never used to get rap/hip hop. I’d listened to it before, but a few years back I finally started exploring the genre properly and something clicked and I got it. Then I started truly appreciating stuff like Run DMC, Ice Cube, Eminem etc, etc. I used to see it all as pretty much being the same but now I noticed the nuances between each artist and track.

I want that with shooters, cos right now when I try different games I’m having a hard time differentiating the experience. I know I’m missing out on some absolute classics and I’ve got stuff like MUSHA I really wanna give a chance.

So what is it y’all love about shooters? What makes one shooter different from another? What makes a shooter good or bad? Should I be playing a certain way to truly appreciate them?

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 1st, 2021, 4:29 pm

I think it's the raw simplicity that appeals to me. Kill or be killed. Big explosions. Big scores. When you get good, you can get into a zone like few other days, dodging and weaving impossible waves of projectiles. No thinking involved.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby Retro STrife » February 1st, 2021, 5:23 pm

I don't think you're alone on this. It's part of why shooters are more of a niche genre. I'm with you and have had trouble appreciating them over the years. The VGC reviews have definitely helped pique my interest in the genre and I've played my fair share as a result. Still, even when I'm playing a classic A-level game (like Lords of Thunder), I often still don't see myself having fun. But then again, every once in awhile, one will come along that grabs my attention.

I think one of my biggest complaints with shooters is the unrelenting difficulty. It's probably part of what fans love.. but for me, playing the first 2 levels over and over again gets boring fast.

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » February 1st, 2021, 5:40 pm

TheEagleXIII wrote:So what is it y’all love about shooters? What makes one shooter different from another? What makes a shooter good or bad? Should I be playing a certain way to truly appreciate them?


May I suggest playing Parodius on the easiest setting? It's got a strong identity, and the bizarre ideas give the whole thing a sense of exploration often missing from the genre.

More importantly, there's so many power-up types, that you're more likely to find something that works for you. And there's a bit of strategy to deciding when to upgrade your ship.

Plus, it's not out to kill you right away. Which should give you a chance to get a feel for finding safe zones - sometimes, shooters have a surprising amount in common with puzzle games.

I never would have known, if my friend didn't describe how her terrible sense of balance helped her play the games. In order to deal with her constant dizziness, she learned to mentally draw straight lines in 3d space to always guide her where she needed to go, and to track where other people were headed.

And that skill made 2d shooters easy for her.

Once I saw the games through her eyes, there was a streamlined elegance to weaving through enemy fire, that I just couldn't find anywhere else. And that's how I got hooked on the genre.

(I got revenge by introducing her to RPGs.)

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 1st, 2021, 6:57 pm

A 2D shooter isn't the kind of game you play for hours on end. It's something to pop it when you want a few minutes of adrenaline rush. Yes, you end up playing the same stages over and over, but you get pretty good at them.

Also this is the kind of game I can enjoy even after a few drinks.

jon
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby jon » February 1st, 2021, 7:25 pm

I would suggest Viewpoint for the Neo Geo. That's a shooter that is fantastic that would be a really good one to play.

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby Gentlegamer » February 1st, 2021, 8:38 pm

Shooters are one of the purest forms of action game from the classic era.

The best have very satisfying progression of power ups and challenge that embody the 1cc standard and arcade experience at home.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby Retro STrife » February 1st, 2021, 10:33 pm

Well, if nothing else, this topic inspired me to play Blazing Star tonight, since it was the highest-rated shooter in the VGC Neo Geo reviews. Gets too chaotic toward the end, but had a good time the first few levels.

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MSR1701
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby MSR1701 » February 2nd, 2021, 5:25 am

R-Type Dimensions on the Nintendo Switch has an option for invincibility, which would allow you to sample the game at your pace. I use this mode on occasion to enjoy both the graphic design and the soundtrack.

I also agree that Paradious is a great pickup to try out.

TheEagleXIII
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Re: Help Appreciating Shooters

Postby TheEagleXIII » February 2nd, 2021, 5:51 pm

Thanks for the great responses and game suggestions! I’ll try keep it all in mind and see if it changes my experience. :D

ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:sometimes, shooters have a surprising amount in common with puzzle games.

I never would have known, if my friend didn't describe how her terrible sense of balance helped her play the games. In order to deal with her constant dizziness, she learned to mentally draw straight lines in 3d space to always guide her where she needed to go, and to track where other people were headed.

And that skill made 2d shooters easy for her.

Once I saw the games through her eyes, there was a streamlined elegance to weaving through enemy fire, that I just couldn't find anywhere else. And that's how I got hooked on the genre.


That’s a very interesting approach! I’ll give this method a shot and see if it helps, as I kinda spend a lot of my time in game just frantically moving around the screen at random trying not to get overwhelmed by it all!


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