Author Topic: Why do you not play shmups?  (Read 1659 times)

Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2019, 08:29:05 AM »
I keep returning to Sine Mora EX. I don't know if that counts as a real shmup or not. It's challenging but not punishingly hard and the screen isn't constantly filled with projectiles although sometimes it is. Feels like an entry point to the genre to me and it's on the switch so er check it out.

I really enjoyed this when I was first getting into the genre and it's probably due a replay. I found it really really hard but gorgeous and when I went on a little run of not dying for 30 seconds, it was pretty exhilarating. The bosses were particularly good, some creative visual flair. I know it's not especially rated by people really into the genre but I'm not really sure why.

If you like that, I'd really recommend Super Hydorah for a more retro take on a similar style, but with various power up options. I'd say it's a better game on balance and pretty cheap.

falafel

  • Yes, blue.
Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2019, 12:16:41 PM »
Shoot em ups feel like they are for people who would choose maths over literature. That's probably not true, but it's how i feel.

Kelvin

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Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2019, 12:48:59 PM »
Do mathematicians prefer good gameplay to shit videogame stories?


Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2019, 12:57:14 PM »
I keep returning to Sine Mora EX. I don't know if that counts as a real shmup or not. It's challenging but not punishingly hard and the screen isn't constantly filled with projectiles although sometimes it is. Feels like an entry point to the genre to me and it's on the switch so er check it out.

In the Xbox Easter sale at the mo for £2.50 or thereabouts.

Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2019, 01:04:49 PM »
Serious answer to the question, I just think pure arcade stuff doesn't really appeal to me. I like a game that has a lot mechanics that you can learn and get better at, but I need a reason to get better at it other than the satisfaction of simply being better at the thing.


Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2019, 02:31:13 PM »
Thurs, I can totally get that. Interesting answer. They can seem meaningless without a wider context, or rather, I can understand how they seem meaningless. I think that's why I'm much more into playing for score than survival, no matter your skill level there are always things to tweak and improve and I find that exciting and satisfying in the moment. That doesn't really address your point, of course, that's pretty much exactly what you're talking about, in fact!

For me, though, it comes down to that notion of 'in the moment'. When I'm playing a shmup and hopefully when I'm playing well, there are so many things I'm aware of on a micro and macro level, both consciously and subconsciously, and the mechanical demands are so intense and immediate, you can't hesitate or lose focus for a moment, and the rewards are so immediate, so visual and direct, that it's a constant stream of sensory and intellectual stimulation. That's the reason for me. They make me feel like very few games do, very consistently. I had a brilliant time taking down the last boss of Sekiro over a few hours of practice and improvement, but I can often tap into that feeling by simply starting a new run on Dodonpachi Resurrection or Mushihimesama Futari.

falafel

  • Yes, blue.
Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2019, 09:08:11 PM »
Do mathematicians prefer good gameplay to shit videogame stories?

Probably?
Not?

Kelvin

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Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2019, 09:09:16 PM »
Probably?
Not?

THEN I'VE MADE WHATEVER STUPID POINT I THOUGHT I WAS MAKING!

Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2019, 09:54:26 PM »
Shoot em ups feel like they are for people who would choose maths over literature. That's probably not true, but it's how i feel.

It's actually quite a interesting implied question and from following the shmup community more closely, I definitely see that there's something very very specific and microscopically focused about the genre and people who play a lot of these games. Obviously, it's a pretty reductive comment to make, though, and I think plenty of the people in the community are articulate and expressive and passionate and able to share what they love about these games in a 'literary' fashion. Yes, I would include myself in that group!

I've said it before in an 'opinion as fact' type of chat-provoking thread but there's an incredible purity and immediacy to shmups that I get from relatively few genres. Fighting games (played competitively) and puzzle games are in the same group. There's seldom a moment's respite, you're constantly being asked to make decisions with immediate impacts and medium/long-term impacts. They require tremendous amounts of adaptive strategy as well as precise execution at every single moment. Very very few games offers this. Rhythm games have the immediacy but rarely have any strategic component or adaptation. RTS played at an high level must be similar but I don't know enough about them. Competitive FPS I'm sure have a similar appeal with the added marvellous variable of human consciousness to contend with, but even they allow for plenty of respite and shared/diminished responsibility.

Shmups are the opposite of a lot of popular 'interactive' experiences which substitute meaningful agency and interaction for simple inputs and complex animations/narrative cues. Something like Red Dead 2 barely requires playing, and I did adore much of that experience for about ten hours, but the padding is the game, essentially. The hackneyed narrative elements aren't the parts which stay with you (albeit I know the later story beats are meant to be quite affecting), it's the moment to moment experience of existing in that world which is so engaging, same with Skyrim which I still adore after hundreds of hours. This is not to criticise these games, they have their own pacing and offer an enormous amount which I couldn't ever get from a shmup, I just equally feel there's so much which shmups offer that I can't really get from anything else, and I really really love that intense flow.

Sin Agog

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Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2019, 10:58:14 PM »
Used to know a Swedish dude obsessed with that loli shmup thing...Touhou or something.  Had posters all around his bedsit and everything.

But the reason why I don't play them is because inching around millions of pink dots isn't my idea of fun.

falafel

  • Yes, blue.
Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2019, 07:26:03 AM »
Obviously, it's a pretty reductive comment to make, though

Oh, yeah, egregiously so, really. I was half-interested in the statement itself and half in exposing my own prejudice. I've always been somewhat afraid of activities that offer their reward in what you might call a non-teleological way. A bit like going for a walk without a destination. I know many of these games have ends but that isn't really the point, is it? It's more about an incremental, endless self-bettering and overcoming of consciously constructed escalating goals or milestones, and once you've beaten the game you construct more onerous goals to continue that process. It acknowledges the eternal.

Dressing up the gameplay with a shit narrative gives me an excuse to walk away with the illusion of having finished something. That's not how the universe works though. I'm an atheist. I understand in principle that all is transient, all now, no future, no past. Accepting that reality is a daily struggle. My frustration with schmups is a symptom of that malaise. Bad game narratives are the opiates that numb my terror at the benign indifference of the universe.

Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2019, 05:14:00 PM »
Just to say, good reply and apologies for this weak reply from my end. I do know where you're coming from, not least in terms of the existential nature of it. I should say that after a week hammering Cave shmups and Sekiro, I'm actually looking forward to dipping back into Red Dead and AC Odyssey and trying Persona 5 again and spending some more time with FF7. My brain feels a bit battered from all the intensity of late and I do also miss the sense of adventure and atmosphere that you can never get from a shmup. Might also help with my sleep and attention span.

Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #42 on: April 15, 2019, 10:55:53 PM »
The last hour is a great example of how I play shmups and what I get out of them.

I just received Mushihimesama Futari in the a few days ago, I've been waiting for it for about seven weeks now. It's one of Cave's most iconic games, cheerful music, goofy bug kinda theme, masses and masses of gold gems and an immense flood of pink bullets. It looks barely more sinister than Pop 'n' Twinbee on the surface but it's incredibly intense, both in playing for survival and much more so for score.

After a few hours or so, I was able to 'no miss no bomb' the first couple of stages and I set about trying to get through the second half of stage three - a notorious difficulty spike. I had a flick through some high level play vids and noticed that not only were they twatting stage three, they were making stages one and two look like a different game. My high score for stage one was about 32 million, destroying pretty much everything and absorbing a high percentage of the gems they dropped. The vids I was watching nearly doubled that. What the fuck was going on? Turns out that if you point blank enemies you get more gems and greater value gems. Also, crucially, you can point blank stuff which is off screen to get gems from it before it has a hitbox and before you destroy it, thereby exhausting its supply. This means that if you're in the right place early enough, you can generate a shit load of points by 'milking' certain larger enemies before you can even damage them.

So I then spent an hour in training mode hammering the stage section by section. Die, restart. Die, restart. Die, restart. And little by little, I started to see my execution get tighter and my scores accelerate. I experimented with different routes and found some strats I hadn't seen on the vids which suited me better and which I could nail more consistently. I eventually put together three or four runs which took me past the midboss, having absolutely rinsed the stage so far. That moment to moment challenge and the feeling of figuring out a puzzle which requires both skill and strategy and focus and nerve is something I don't really get from anything but shmups (and actual sport, but I'm not as good at football as I am shmups, nor will I ever see the same improvements). I need to get some kip now but I'll be running through the route in my mind (and maybe in my sleep) and when I pick it up again for an hour after work, I know it will have started to kick lock into muscle memory and I'll have a few really satisfying runs and then it'll be time to work on the second half of the stage and then finally the boss. Then I'll spend who knows how long trying to optimise the route before thoroughly killing my own enthusiasm by overplaying it.

Aaaaahhhh. Feels good.

PlanktonSideburns

  • Our love can destroy this whole fucking world
Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2019, 09:56:25 PM »
Bosto, you've made me get shootem up games. Good job

Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2019, 07:06:40 AM »
Great stuff, literally my only reason for starting this thread. If you want any recommendations, give me a shout!

PlanktonSideburns

  • Our love can destroy this whole fucking world
Re: Why do you not play shmups?
« Reply #45 on: April 19, 2019, 06:50:49 PM »
Great stuff, literally my only reason for starting this thread. If you want any recommendations, give me a shout!

I'll have a word when I've got this super aleste one bummed. Got a couple of snes suggestions said here, aleste was the one that really resonated with me first. It escalates into mayhem so seamlessly!

What's with all the weird diffuculty options tho? It goes something like

WILD

TRICKY

NORMAL

EXTRA NORMAL

DYNAROD

I cant figure out if wild or tricky mode are harder than normal or not. Is this some sort of Shooting Up Things standard?