Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mushihimesama Futari 1.5 XBox 360 preview

Rarely do I post something like this, but it got me pretty excited to say the least. I owned the pcb for a while - my first full kit in fact - but never really connected with it at the time and I reallly have wanted to go back and see if it clicks.

It's old news to the shmup community that this is comming (late November) to the XBox 360 in Japan, but the gameplay and graphics look so stunning as to make me want to get a JP 360 to play this on - crappy hardware and importation costs be damned.

It doesn't hurt that the Deathsmiles port is stellar on the 360 or that ESPGaluda II is also coming with DFK an almost certain 2010 title and a possibility of Guwange (!!) hitting LiveArcade.

Check out this preview and see what awesomeness Cave is unleashing on us STG-crazed gamers. Follow the link to watch it in HD as well.

Steve Wiebe on Attack of the Show

So this was on a while back, but thanks to the goodness that is Hulu, you can watch it again! It's a pretty good interview for those of you who want a bit more Wiebe after The King of Kong, which I just watched again for like the tenth time.

Also - he's from Washington - got to rep my hometown - Seattle in the hizzy!

Fun Fact: Mark Alpiger, who appears quite a few times in the film is a friend and on last watching of this, he happened to call me during my screening of it, which is when we decided that Classic Arcade Gaming DC would sponsor the Midnight Scoring Competition of the Chicagoland Autumn Carnival '09.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thunder Dragon 2 high score #1


I never understood why some guys on the shmups board really dug NMK developed STG's. They always seemed sub-par and without much inspiration. Dave_K from shmups is an avid lover of all things NMK and when I saw this game listed on the 2009 STGT high score chart, I decided to give it a whirl, hoping that Dave_K's love for this little known developer was not just for the rarity of the pcb's alone.

On first playthrough, there's not much there. The music is totally forgetable, the graphics lack some sort of good visual connection and the gameplay is just average. Once you get going, its a whole 'nother story.

The game play very, very similarly to Twin Cobra and Sky Shark, but with only one shot type. There are loads of secrets in the game, like hidden sub-bosses when you destroy all of a series of enemies quick, much like Alzadick and some other caravan titles.

I got hooked and have just started to make it over a million regularly. It's not the worlds best shmup by any means, but it is a solid 7.5 out of ten and deserves a look in, especially for fans of Toaplan or early Cave titles. Dave_K's definately onto something here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Canabalt (Flash game) high score #1


I checked this out after seeing a thread on it in the "Off Topic" section of shmups and I am hopelessly addicted. It's a fun game, a platformer with one button (jump) and no directional necessary. You run and jump over buildings, through plate glass windows, avoiding quickly dropping atom bombs and boxes. It required some good twitch skills and like a lot of flash games, it starts quickly, so you keep wanting to play when you die.

The soundtrack and in game sound effects are excellent and perfectly atmospheric, driving you on your adventure across the rooftops. There's even good background animation of giant alien beings tearing up the city and at around 4-5K, a spaceship appears ominously in the background.

Each play through is a randomly generated level design and the real skil comes from hitting boxes to slow down at the right times and being able to time your jumps in and out of windows. There doesn't seem to be an end to the game, so your distance is all that really matters.

I hit 10K a few days after playing and then 11K, 13K an finally got this 17,296 score, which is pretty good, if I do say so myself.

The game is not without its faults and there are impossible jumps to be had, like running off a building to break through a window that's too low to actually get to and smacking into the side of a building instead, but you forgive those moments.

Do yourself a favor and go check this out: . It's a seriously fun game and for once, I'm excited about a flash developer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blast Off high score #1


Namco System 1 games are pretty awesome in general with so many great titles like Galaga '88, Pacmania, Marchen Maze, Dangerous Seed and may fav of them all - Blast Off.

It's a vertical scrolling shmup, similar to Dangerous Seed but with the graphics and feel of Galaga. It's so unique, however, that it pretty much blows Galaga and its brethren out of the water.

There are three different stages of each of the levels - a lead up to the space station, a fight to get into the space station and then, the fight through the space station and boss fight. The last stage sees your ship sprite blown up on screen as if the camera zoomed in. It makes the fighting feel more intimate and the close quarters are suitably claustrophobic, but very, very cool nonetheless.

Andi from the shmups forum stopped by last weekend and we played a bunch of stuff for something like 7 hours and spent a good deal of time on Blast Off. We finally made it to the 5th stage, which is where I set this first high score.

Like many good old school titles there is a simple shooting system (four different types of shots selectable with the B button, fire with A) and really fun gameplay. The OST is good, but not really amazing. It does fit the game and make the whole package a good vintage shmup worth a look in.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Twin Cobra II 1CC + high score #1 (and probably final)


If you have ever read this blog, you know I'm: A) a fan of old school games and B) a fan of Toaplan. I knew that Takumi, one of the few companies to start up with ex-Toaplan employees after they shut their doors in 1994 had created a sequel to Toaplan's Twin Cobra, but I didn't get into it the first time I played it and just left it sitting to the side.

Going back through some of the titles I have on my new NEC + PC gaming system, I found Twin Cobra II and decided to give it a try and while its pretty fun, it might just be the easiest game I have ever played.

That's not to say its a bad game. It's actually pretty fun, feeling more like a Raiden title than a traditional Toaplan one, but one that feels like a good, old school shmup. The soundtrack is incredibly forgetable, with weak stage music similar to that of the Gigawing titles. The sound effects are ok, but lack that solid feeling of Toaplan's better efforts.


It took me about ten or fifteen play throughs and I 1CC'd it with an end score of 7,830,040. Pretty weak, but I'm not sure when I'll get back to playing it. Like I said, its not bad, but it lacks excitement and a good driving soundtrack. It's kind hard to die after a while and it almost seems like the game is too easy when you have a few sections memorized. You also get a crazy amount of bombs, which can double in strength once you fill your bomb counter full to five.

One of the best parts of the game is one of the sound effects when the game rotates the attract screen to the high score board - it sounds vaguely like Tron and Tron is good.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Out Zone high score #1


Such a fun game. Toaplan didn't make many bad games and Out Zone is one of the very good ones. Dave and I set out to see how far we could get and after a few days of playing seriously, I made it past the halfway point and set a new high score for myself at 771,090.

For a run-and-gun / shmup hybrid, its amazingly fun and well-put together, with good stages and a good, if slightly dated sounding (for today) soundtrack. All of the the hallmarks of Toaplan are here - fun scoring system, few hidden things, good special weapons and well-thought out stage design and graphics.

It's a pcb I'd love to own (like many Toaplan titles) but I think I need to get myself an autofire pcb first. This game, like Tatsujin and Batsugun, is better with autofire by a long margin.