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So, shmups... A dying genre?

Started by granz, December 12, 2012, 07:06:12 PM

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granz

Maybe I haven't done enough research, but I haven't noticed many shmups being developed for the current generation of consoles. In fact, I haven't found any on PS3 yet. (well, not counting online) I remember Konami supposedly working on a new Gradius title that would have appeared on PS3, but I think the project got canned. :(

In the meantime, I've been getting into some of the classics I've overlooked. There's quite a library of shmups available for PS1 and 2. So far, I've played: (or finished)

Einhander
Gradius Deluxe Pack
Salamander Deluxe Pack
Gradius III and IV
G-Darius
R-Type Final
R-Type Delta
Thunder Force V: Perfect System
Thunder Force VI
Fantasy Zone Complete Collection
Starfighter Sanvein
Viewpoint
Zanac x Zanac
Star Soldier (which I actually have for GC, but it's also available for PS2)

I'm thinking about getting Xevious 3D/G+ for PS1, but I haven't even played the original. It reminds me of the early Compile shooters, but not as detailed. I also need to look into Darius Gaiden and Gradius V.

I sometimes go as far back as '80s arcade shooters, but only when I can find them on emulated compilations. Speaking of which, I've been trying to import Jaleco Collection Vol.1 for PS1 for some time now, but it's really obscure. (and expensive) It features the arcade version of Exerion. Although it was faithfully ported to NES and MSX1, I still gawk at the idea of having the arcade original.
I'm no longer active on RHDN, but I keep coming back to troll, whee!

BRPXQZME

In the world of shmups, consoles just aren't the answer. In the arcades they still have an intensely loyal (if not large) following, enough to keep CAVE going on one or two a year, and on the PC... well, let's just say Touhou is a worldwide phenomenon.
we are in a horrible and deadly danger

FAST6191

As BRPXQZME mentioned Cave (granted rather oddly for a Japanese company they tend to favour the 360) spit out a couple a year. Several other Japanese companies try their hand at them as well.

I should also note the "twin stick shooter" is a fairly popular thing (one of the zombie modes of one of the call of duties have it and the online games marketplaces being host to many more). Going further there is also stuff like veggie world (I have mainly played the DS one thus far but amiga flashbacks when playing it and a wii version is out there).

Now I shall certainly not go so far as to say they are as abundant as they were in times past*, the Japanese ones seem to be going through something of a bullet hell fad although various combinations of "those in glass houses..." and . I should also say the handhelds are doing OK at being refuges for various styles of gameplay including this sort of thing.

*13:40 or thereabouts, the whole show is worth watching once though
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sGNidyvLVM

I shall have to ponder what the popularity was though- it has been noted many things got crowbarred into a platformer and the shmup was not that far behind (such a thing gave me NES talespin so I do not mind).

tc

Not even worth caring about PS3's situation anymore, at least for beings capable of rational thought. PS3 was nothing short of a steaming pile in the context of shmups.
Among its few packaged standalone ones are Mamoru-kun and Under Defeat. Both also available on 360 in similar form.

Most went to 360, directly to 360, did not pass go, did not collect $200.

granz

Quote from: BRPXQZME on December 12, 2012, 07:56:24 PM
In the arcades they still have an intensely loyal (if not large) following

I'd say most of that doesn't make its way to the West, though. At best, I'd be lucky to spot a Galaga cabinet at a local store or diner.

There is a mall a couple of cities over that has an actual arcade, but it's just DDR and racing. :(
I'm no longer active on RHDN, but I keep coming back to troll, whee!

Garoth Moulinoski

If you're not against playing on tablets (or phone), Cave has a bunch of shooters for at least the iOS devices. What's more surprising is that they're pretty good! They have free versions. The downside is that they cost like $12 per game, which I guess would be fine, but the "app store prices" are weird and low-like.
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Disclaimer: If it sounds wrong, I may have been posting while asleep.

Jorpho

No deader than adventure games, I reckon.  It's a comparatively easy thing for a small, independent company to crank out, and accordingly there will always be somebody out there somewhere making new shmups.
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BRPXQZME

Quote from: granz on December 12, 2012, 09:11:46 PM
I'd say most of that doesn't make its way to the West, though. At best, I'd be lucky to spot a Galaga cabinet at a local store or diner.
Yes. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who could just, on a whim, say "hm that game sounds cool think I'll just get the board imported".

Oh! Anyone here have the Gundemonium Collection? I've gotten the normal ends on the first two (on novice), but Hitogata Happa is harder (at least it is at my level).
we are in a horrible and deadly danger

DankPanties

While I wouldn't say the genre is as mainstream and prolific as it once was, it does seem that there are still new shmups released every year.

2012 | 2011 | 2010

Zoinkity

QuoteIt's a comparatively easy thing for a small, independent company to crank out, and accordingly there will always be somebody out there somewhere making new shmups.
On that note, have they ever made a new Dezaemon title for current gen?

Personally I think an awesome variation on "twin stick shooter" would be controlling two ships simultaneously.

KingMike

Quote from: Zoinkity on December 12, 2012, 10:02:55 PM
On that note, have they ever made a new Dezaemon title for current gen?
According to GameFAQs, Athena hasn't made a console game since 2004.
"My watch says 30 chickens" Google, 2018

KaioShin

Jamestown?

The genre is just not very good for home use IMO. How many people are willing to pay 60€ for a game with 1 hour length? Granted, to master it you'll have to play that one hour dozens of times, but that's not how most gamers approach things. So the genre only lives on through cheap indie games like Jamestown or Gundemonium which people can pick up on the side for cheap if they get a shooter craving.
All my posts are merely personal opinions and not statements of fact, even if they are not explicitly prefixed by "In my opinion", "IMO", "I believe", or similar modifiers. By reading this disclaimer you agree to reply in spirit of these conditions.

Garoth Moulinoski

Quote from: KaioShin on December 13, 2012, 03:58:47 AM
The genre is just not very good for home use IMO. How many people are willing to pay 60€ for a game with 1 hour length? Granted, to master it you'll have to play that one hour dozens of times, but that's not how most gamers approach things. So the genre only lives on through cheap indie games like Jamestown or Gundemonium which people can pick up on the side for cheap if they get a shooter craving.

This is what keeps me from getting most of them. I actually get satisfied playing DonDonPachi Lite (Hell Difficulty) for iOS because I just use it to waste a meaningless, small amount of time on. The genre is great fun but only for a bit. I still know where all my quarters would go if I went to an arcade, though.
Who will quote me next?
Disclaimer: If it sounds wrong, I may have been posting while asleep.

Gideon Zhi

Quote from: FAST6191 on December 12, 2012, 08:23:34 PM
As BRPXQZME mentioned Cave (granted rather oddly for a Japanese company they tend to favour the 360) spit out a couple a year. Several other Japanese companies try their hand at them as well.

It should be noted that the console ports of these primarily come out on the 360, and MOST (but not all) of them are actually region agnostic. I managed to import the 360 versions of Mushihimesama Futrai and Espgaluda 2, and the European version of Dodonpachi Resurrection, as a result. Akai Katana Shin and DeathSmiles have come out on the 360 as well in the States, and Eschatos and the Muchi Muchi Pork/Pink Sweets compilation are importable as well. There are several XBLA-downloadable shmups available, including KOF Sky Stage, Sine Mora, DeathSmiles 2 (I think) and Excelica, and there are at least two Raiden games on the 360.

Weirdly, the Japanese shmup dev crowd has really embraced the 360, and even more weirdly, excluded the PS3. Bizarre, but there you have it!

granz

Quote from: KaioShin on December 13, 2012, 03:58:47 AM
Jamestown?

The genre is just not very good for home use IMO. How many people are willing to pay 60€ for a game with 1 hour length? Granted, to master it you'll have to play that one hour dozens of times, but that's not how most gamers approach things.

If that were the case, I wouldn't think games like Metroid would be popular neither. Metroid games can typically be completed in under 2 hours. You've pretty much seen the entire game world by then. For replay value, you can unlock new difficulty modes, features or artwork by completing the game within a certain time limit, or by collecting a certain percentage of pickups. Shmups sometimes apply the same concept - earn a high score or clear certain objectives to unlock stuff. In some cases, shmups also have dynamic levels. Darius is a good example. When you complete a stage, you have to choose between branching paths. You can't actually explore every route through a single playthrough since whatever choice you make means you skip the other. (like in Castlevania III)

Unlockables are sometimes more than just omake content or artwork too. I've played a few shmups in which you can unlock new ships and new stages. In the 3D Ages version of Fantasy Zone, for instance, you collect gold dropped by defeated enemies, which can then by used to purchase new weapons and powerups for your ship, new stages and new options in the configuration menu. (such as rapid fire or the ability to continue) I'm not even half-way through that content. Some options are pretty expensive and require hours of gold farming.
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SargeSmash

Well, but to complete Metroid for a noob, it usually takes far longer than that.  So a person would either have to be preternaturally skilled, or have prior knowledge to finish it that fast.  A lot of the old NES games were that way, too.  Yeah, Contra can be finished in less than 30 minutes, but how many people are good enough to do so, without the code, the first time they play?  Not many.

It is a dying genre, but then again, it's been dying for a long, long time.  It's fallen a long way from the olden days where scrolling shooters were where it was at.  First, beat-'em-ups stepped in, then tournament fighters, and...  well, the death of the arcade is the real dagger in the heart.

Now, I still think there are things that can be done with the genre, but unless you're a hardcore shmup fanatic, you're going to balk at paying $60 for what appears to most to be an archaic experience.  (And we know these games can't cost that much to make anymore, the indie scene is filled with them.)  I know I balk at the idea.  (But then, I'm not a fanatic in the genre, I merely enjoy them from time to time.)
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36

Garoth Moulinoski

Quote from: SargeSmash on December 13, 2012, 12:36:17 PM
Well, but to complete Metroid for a noob, it usually takes far longer than that.  So a person would either have to be preternaturally skilled, or have prior knowledge to finish it that fast.  A lot of the old NES games were that way, too.  Yeah, Contra can be finished in less than 30 minutes, but how many people are good enough to do so, without the code, the first time they play?  Not many.

Well, the same could be said about shoot 'em ups. You will probably take a while trying to master the game until you finally can beat it in under an hour or two.

The thing about most shoot 'em ups that I have a problem with is that usually, once you go through the first stage, the rest of the game just starts to feel the same. I guess you could say the same for a lot of other games, but for some reason, it's so much more pronounced in shoot 'em ups. For me, at least.

Also, "noob" is generally used for people who are new and don't want to learn, while "newb" is used to refer to a person who just picked up a game and is inexperienced but is willing to learn. See here. And it's slang, so I have no qualms to linking to Urban Dictionary.
Who will quote me next?
Disclaimer: If it sounds wrong, I may have been posting while asleep.

SargeSmash

Yeah, you're right.  Brain...  not...  engaging.  Shoot-'em-ups are definitely much like Contra.  There's more there than it seems, assuming the difficulty is tuned right.  It's still a niche genre at this point, for better or worse.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36

granz

Maybe I'm just a sucker for the arcade experience, but the duration of a game never really bothered me. I mean, I still play classics like Millipede or Gauntlet just to beat my previous high score.
I'm no longer active on RHDN, but I keep coming back to troll, whee!

WeebeeGeebee

I miss the website "ShootTheCore," that place had some pretty interesting stuff...
Ones that really stuck out for me were Sorceria Angel, a game that reminded me
a lot of 'Brave Blade' with the added mechanic of knocking back specific colored
shots with a specific colored melee weapon and Trapezohedron of Darkness,
a short game with a really nifty mechanic of using the stick and a button to
make laser circles of varying size, depending on the radius of your move.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJoYDlqmmQo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrMVt-Zex4I