2D Shooters Invade
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Favorite Shooters

by LoneCynic Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:44 pm

Having built a small, amateur shooter collection as of late, I have dabbled in a handful of the games in this genre. In wanted to take a moment to discuss my favorites, what makes them my favorites, and also hear some insights of a similar nature from my friends here. Hopefully I can get some feedback on what games to pursue next for my collection.

My cousin came to visit again this past weekend. Among all the things we did, a great deal of time was spent playing video games. Not the current generation gaming that one might expect, no, the two of us went through half my shooter library together and had an absolute blast. After extensive playing of nearly every two player vertical shooter I own, we settled on the fact that a very old retro shooter was our favorite by far. That gem was Raiden II. We had more fun with that one than any other game in my collection. While Do Don Pachi: Dai Ou Jou, Espgaluda, Castle Shikigami II, RayStorm, Raiden, Raiden III and others were on the playlist, the classic challenge and style presented in Raiden II won us over and has become our overall favorite.

The music, sprite based graphics, difficulty balance and lasting appeal of Raiden II kept us coming back for more. We played it three times during the course of the weekend, and every playthrough was a fun experience like none other. The nostalgia, joking around, and caffiene induced highs ran through us, and I can't remember the last time I had so much fun.

We also opted for some MegaMan action, which was fun as always. Trying to go to sleep was difficult, as Raiden II's themes played in my head, and all I saw were bullet patterns to dodge when I closed my eyes. One thing is for sure, and my cousin summed it up, "They don't make 'em like they used to."

What are your favorite shooters? Why are they your favorite? What experiences made them your favorite? I think maybe next time we'll try to play through Blast Works and Castle Shikigami III together, since we didn't get to those this go around. I know for a fact, however, that there will be time for some more Raiden II next visit.
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by Bootaaay Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:56 am

My favourite shooters probably Mushihime-sama - i'm a big fan of bullet-hell games, I like traditional shooters too but find the challenge is very different from bullet hells. Alot of old shooters (especially pre-Saturn horizontal-shmups) require quite a bit of memorization, whereas in bullet-hell shooters I have a harder time memorizing patterns and play the game in a more reactionary way. I've been playing Mushihime-sama a few times a week for over 6 months now, and i'm edging closer and closer to completing it on 1 credit - I chose Mushihime-sama to 1cc because of the beatiful stage design and the art style (which is reminicent of one of my favourite films, Hiyao Miyazaki's 'Nausicaa') but also I prefer Mushihime's plasma blossom/carpet bullet-pattern style to the more sparse but harder-to-see bullet-patterns of Raizing inspired shooters like Ibara.
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by NebachadnezzaR Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:27 pm

One of my favourite shooters is DoDonPachi, for various reasons. The graphics are lovely and the gameplay is just sublime. Despite the screen being almost completely filled with enemy bullets you almost never think that it's completely impossible to dodge them, and most of the times when you die you know that it's your fault, either for not being quick enough or putting yourself in a situation where you're completely surrounded by incoming bullets. Either way you know what was your mistake and how to do better next time.

Another favourite is Batsugun. It's basically DoDonPachi with a few tweaks, and anyone who loved that game will probably like this one too, not to mention the uber-powerful weapons we pick up.

When it comes to more recent shooters the Shikigami no Shiro series is a favourite of mine. I started with SnS 2 on the Dreamcast and it was just a blast. The graphics are awesome and the gameplay is not only somewhat original, but it's pretty addictive too.

Oh, and I was almost forgetting Sengoku Blade on the Saturn! I'm a fan of vertical shooters and never quite liked horizontal ones, but this game is the exception to that rule, because it essentially plays like a vertical shmup, only tilted sideways. It's hard to explain, but everyone who has played both kinds of games knows each has certain features unique to them, but this game somewhat twists that in the way that it technically is a horizontal shooter but has more in common with vertical ones. Anyway, I think it was the only game I beat 6 times with different characters, not so much to unlock anything, but because it was just so damn addictive, and this is really rare because I usually just beat them once, twice if they're really good, but never 6 times!

BTW, right now I'm playing Raiden and so far I think it's pretty cool, but haven't finished it yet.
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by GSZX1337 Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:01 pm

I don't play too many shmups, I usually play Run 'n' Gun games and Platformers. I do have some shmups that I keep coming back to, though.

Truxton: I played this game with my Dad alot when I was a small kid back in our apartment in Germany. This is one of the few games that were just as great as I remembered it.
Gradius Galaxies: I was looking for a new game for my GBA, and this was the cheapest one. I also bought because I remembered that I like Gradius 3. It's a pretty fun shmup for the bus ride.
Platypus: I love independent games, always have. I can't remember when I heard of it, but when I got word of a claymation shmup, I jumped at the chance to play it. I'd buy it, but it's only for Windows. :(
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by ott0bot Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:52 pm

I don't know if I have a favorite....but I really enjoy the Aleste series.

MUSHA on the genesis is awesome. Great gameplay, good weapons, amazing and creative enemies! Robo Aleste for sega cd is great too. I love the bizzare Feudal Japanese mech story with cheesy cut scenes. Space Megaforce for snes is another part of the series, but not as good but still a stellar game.

R-Type III is right up there too. Just so many great things in this game, especially the boss fights. A classic, and my favorite hori.

The Thunder Force Series, espcially III & IV(Lightening Force). Ya'll probably know all about these great games. If you don't you must play them.

Really enjoy DoDonpachi and other cave games, especially Guwange & Progear.

Trigger Heart Excelica & Mars Matrix for the DC.

ugh...so many more.
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by peace4myheart Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:01 pm

One of my all time favorite is Raiden II/DX. It's has some of the best stage and enemy design I have ever seen. Graphics is still awesome, even by today's standard. One of only a few old games that I still play regularly on my on my PS3.

Of course, R-Type, R-Type III, R-Type Delta are all "classics". Enough said.

Einhander is another great game. So innovative and a refreshing take on shmups by Squaresoft. Still waiting for Einhander II Square, you hear me!?!? :P

Newer shmups, I would have to say I really dig Ikaruga for its simplicity and innovative light/dark system and Under Defeat because it is an old school shooters that is reminiscent of the like of Raiden II. BTW, UD has the best Explosion visually and acoustically in any shmups!!!
"You're just given the illusion that your decisions can actually make a difference when in the end all has been decided by the programmers." NebachadnezzaR
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by HeavyMetalMe Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:17 pm

Talk yer shit, but I like Karous. The excellent d'n'b/breakcore soundtrack keeps me comin' back.
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by otaku Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:52 pm

By system:

Genesis: Musha
Sega CD: robo aleste
Saturn: Radiant silvergun (tons of others!)
Dreamcast: ikaruga (gunbird series and many others are good to)
Wii: ikaruga

I liked karous.
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by aisforaquabat Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:46 pm

I enjoy playing Torus Trooper (PC), Bio-Hazard Battle (GEN), Blast Works (Wii), Warning Forever (PC), Tyrian 2000 (PC), Major Stryker (PC), and Raptor (PC). Major Stryker has some killller music.
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by Doctor Fugue Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:24 am

Mars Matrix, DoDonPachi, Radiant Silvergun, Soukyugurentai, Perfect Cherry Blossom, MUSHA and Battle Garegga. 8)
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