Jump to content
IGNORED

Simple Vertical Scrolling Shoot 'Em Up Recommendations?


Recommended Posts

Hey there everyone. :)
Of all the game genres out there, one of my absolute favorites is vertically scrolling shoot 'em ups (AKA "shmups"). While there's no shortage of websites dedicated to this genre of game, I'm in a bit of an odd spot when it comes to finding new shmups to try out because I seem to have some pretty peculiar preferences when in regards to these type of games. You see, the kind of shmups I enjoy the most are vertical scrolling ones with simple gameplay mechanics, relatively low difficulty, and not too much happening on the screen at once; which is pretty much the exact opposite of what most shmup fans look for in a game.

To give you an idea of what I mean, here's a current list of my Top 9 (because I have yet to find 10 that I really like :lol:) favorite vertical scrolling shmups:

9. Star Soldier (NES)
8. Truxton (Genesis)
7. Iridion II (Game Boy Advance)
6. Project S-11 (Game Boy Color)
5. River Raid (Atari 2600)
4. 1942 (Arcade & NES)
3. Raiden Trad (Genesis)
2. Xevious (Arcade & NES)
1. Solar Striker (Game Boy)

I love all of those games for their relatively low difficulty curve, simple and approachable power-up mechanics (if they have any at power-ups at all), and the fact that none of them almost ever clutter up the screen with too many enemies/bullets/power-ups/hazards flying around at once.

I've tried playing lots of vertical scrolling shmups that get almost universal critical acclaim, such as Raidant Silvergun (Saturn), M.U.S.H.A. (Genesis), Space Megaforce (SNES), Zanac (NES), and Ikaruga (GameCube) and found all them to be either too "busy" on screen to keep track of what is happening or just plain too difficult to have fun playing them. With that in mind, I'm starting to get a little tired of wasting boatloads of money on critically acclaimed shumps that end up being not quite my cup of tea and having to resell them shortly after purchase; so I'm hoping that the fine folks here at AtariAge might be able to recommend me some simplier vertical scrolling shmups that could be a little more to my liking. For reference, the systems that I currently own are an Atari 2600, NES, Genesis, PS1, Wii, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance SP; though I'm completely open to the idea of purchasing other systems at some point if there are lots of games I might enjoy on them.

Any suggestions? :)

Edited by Jin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you willing to buy digital stuff? Are you willing to buy ridiculous stuff?

 

For the mega drive I know fire shark, that is a mix of truxton and 1942.

 

Do you know the YouTube channel ser Flash? (Bullet Heaven HD)

https://www.youtube.com/user/Serraxor

 

I think looking through their Videos you might find something.

 

If you want xbox indie games and PC games I might be able to recommend a couple...

Edited by leods
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you willing to buy digital stuff? Are you willing to buy ridiculous stuff?

 

For the mega drive I know fire shark, that is a mix of truxton and 1942.

 

Do you know the YouTube channel ser Flash? (Bullet Heaven HD)

https://www.youtube.com/user/Serraxor

 

I think looking through their Videos you might find something.

 

If you want xbox indie games and PC games I might be able to recommend a couple...

 

Digital stuff no, ridiculous stuff yes. :lol: I'm one of those weirdos who refuses to pay money for any digital games, partially because I like to collect physical media and partially because there's no way to resell a digital game if I decide that I don't like it or wouldn't want to play through it again after the first time. I'll definitely have to give Fire Shark a look, since I recall Mark on Classic Game Room giving it high praise for it's similarity to Truxton; which I did find to be a pretty enjoyable game overall, even if the last stage was insanely frustrating to beat.

 

And thanks for the Bullet Heaven YouTube channel recommendation! I had looked through there back when it was still on Series 6 but never subscribed since the videos rarely say what system the games are for and whether or not they're imports for normally region locked systems in title, which was a little annoying. I don't mind picking up imports for region free systems like the Game Boy/Color/Advance, or the Saturn if I get another one at some point (since it's so easy to bypass region locking with an Action Replay cart), but I'm not down for buying foreign systems or getting one of my systems modded just to bypass region encoding for a few games. Nevertheless, I'll still take a look at Bullet Heaven Series 7 and see if anything jumps out at me. :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know you didn't list the system, but since you DO have an NES...

 

The first Famicom cart I ever bought was TwinBee, and if you have a way to convert Famicom to your NES, I'd highly recommend it. It's not EASY, but it's addictive, great looking, and has a fantastic soundtrack -- as long as you don't mind the "cute 'em up" factor. Oh, and it's usually quite inexpensive. One of my most frequent "go-to" vertical shooters. It's clearly in the Xevious lineage, and has always reminded me just a little of 1942, which you also list. The aesthetic makes it more fun to deal with as it gets harder. Maybe not your cup of tea, but it might be worth looking into?

 

And props for listing Solar Striker... I always liked that one, but haven't played it in years and years.

Edited by mikey.shake
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might want to keep an eye out for ColecoVision Flashback if you don't have a ColecoVision. It has Mecha-8, programmed by Nanochess here on Atari Age. It's a scrolling shooter that has cut scenes.

 

I always forget about Solar Striker, one of my favorites for the original GameBoy.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! Thanks for all the great replies so far everyone! This morning I ended up cashing in a few eBay Bucks I had in reserve to pick up Dragon Spirit for the NES (based on Mark from Classic Game Room's review of it) and 1942 for the Game Boy Color, because I love playing 1942 on my 60-in-1 arcade machine being able to play a pretty accurate port of it on the go sounded like way too much fun. But to get to your replies...

 

 

1943 for the NES is a great game and one of my favorite shmups. It is not a one hit you die game. Your plane has a meter and when you take damage the meter lowers and it can be refilled as well. You can upgrade hit power, enemy damage, weapon power, etc. I highly reccommend it.

 

It does look like a great game! I have the arcade version of 1943 on my 60-in-1 multicade but I haven't spent much time with it due to it being one of those handful of games on the board where the sound is screamingly loud and completely distorted, plus the handful of times I did play it I never managed to live more than 30 seconds or so. :lol: The NES version looks to be much more my speed, and I'll definitely have to pick up a copy at some point.

 

 

Task Force Harrier EX for Genesis was good

 

I haven't heard of that one before, so I'll have to check it out. Based on some screenshots it looks pretty similar to Twin Cobra, which is another one I've been meaning to try but haven't been able to decide on whether to get the NES or Genesis version.

 

 

I know you didn't list the system, but since you DO have an NES...

 

The first Famicom cart I ever bought was TwinBee, and if you have a way to convert Famicom to your NES, I'd highly recommend it. It's not EASY, but it's addictive, great looking, and has a fantastic soundtrack -- as long as you don't mind the "cute 'em up" factor. Oh, and it's usually quite inexpensive. One of my most frequent "go-to" vertical shooters. It's clearly in the Xevious lineage, and has always reminded me just a little of 1942, which you also list. The aesthetic makes it more fun to deal with as it gets harder. Maybe not your cup of tea, but it might be worth looking into?

 

And props for listing Solar Striker... I always liked that one, but haven't played it in years and years.

 

I've been waiting for enough excuses to pile up to convince me to invest in a NES to Famicom adapter, and TwinBee is pretty high up there on the list (along with Yie Ar Kung-Fu). I've been hoping to track down a copy of Pop'n TwinBee for the Game Boy first to try it out the gameplay mechanics on the small screen before dropping the cash on a NES to Famicom adapter, but that's one game that has proven pretty tricky to get ahold of. Nevertheless, I do kind of owe it to myself to try some version of TwinBee in the not too distant future. :)

 

 

This be a surprise coming from me, but I recommend Blazing Lazers for the TG-16 :)

 

If I ever happen to get my hands on a TG-16 then I'll definitely have to check that one out. Thanks for the recommendation!

 

 

You might want to keep an eye out for ColecoVision Flashback if you don't have a ColecoVision. It has Mecha-8, programmed by Nanochess here on Atari Age. It's a scrolling shooter that has cut scenes.

 

I always forget about Solar Striker, one of my favorites for the original GameBoy.

 

 

 

Thanks for reminding me of the 10th game that should have been on my list above! I do own a ColecoVision Flashback and I absolutely love Mecha-8 on it! I've played through it a good 5 or 6 times already and it's always a joy to play every time. The shooting action and difficulty level feels just right to me, and the cutscenes used to tell the story are really neat too. Mecha-8 would be the new #9 if I was to re-write my list. :)

Edited by Jin
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been waiting for enough excuses to pile up to convince me to invest in a NES to Famicom adapter, and TwinBee is pretty high up there on the list (along with Yie Ar Kung-Fu). I've been hoping to track down a copy of Pop'n TwinBee for the Game Boy first to try it out the gameplay mechanics on the small screen before dropping the cash on a NES to Famicom adapter, but that's one game that has proven pretty tricky to get ahold of. Nevertheless, I do kind of owe it to myself to try some version of TwinBee in the not too distant future. :)

An easy way to do that might be to try... Stinger! An NES game that goes for about ten bucks, it's really TwinBee 2 in disguise (shhh!). I would have mentioned it as an initial response, but the odd-numbered levels are quirky horizontal shooters, so I didn't think it would meet meet your criteria.

 

But, I'd caution that even the vertical levels in Stinger (while ostensibly the same) feel just slightly different than the original TwinBee Famicom port. They're good, though... and fun. And the horizontal levels are lots of fun, too -- but a completely different kind of thing, which is nice, but I don't like quite as much as "vertical-TwinBee" gaming, so the whole game is my least favorite of the first 3, though it's still one of my favorite games.

 

So I'd suggest it with the grain of salt that (ironically) I wouldn't NORMALLY recommend it as a first exposure to the early TwinBee games. But if you try it and like the vertical levels AT ALL... run out and get the first game.

 

Good luck... I can appreciate your taste in shooters, and I'll be interested to see what people suggest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

If I ever happen to get my hands on a TG-16 then I'll definitely have to check that one out. Thanks for the recommendation!

 

 

 

I was going to suggest Blazing Lazers, but then Blazing Lazers beat me to it. Anyway, I know you said you weren't interested in download games, but Blazing Lazers was available on the Wii Virtual Console if you have one. Not sure what the status of the VC is now with the WiiU being out and all, but if you don't have a TurboGrafx, it's a good option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PS2 has a bunch of cool games.

 

Psyvariar, Dragon Blaze, Castle Shikigami 2, Gunbird, Samurai Aces.

 

I don't like it, but silpheed on PS2 is quite eay and a tiny bit unique. It's just too slow and boring to my taste, and the 3d kinda Looks like ass, but that you can see for yourself. MArk did Review it, and I have a Review on my channel also (channel is called Leo ds)

 

PS1 has Sonic Wings Special, Castle shikigami (mobile lite force.)

 

I think in the US it's to too hard to get Raiden III for PS2...

 

There are so many...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to add Life Force (or Salamandar in original Japanese). Available on many platforms and it's one of the few shmups that has both vertical and horizontal scrolling. Life Force alternates between orientation at each level.

 

I should warn ya you need damned fast reflex to get through the last part of final level after defeating that giant red ball of hell. Or abuse the 30-lives code. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Love the shmups, I like the horizontal a little better but it seems we have similar tastes, only because the busier they are the more I suck at them. I doubt I'll be of much help but I'd recommend -

Twinbee - Famicom

Pop'n Twinbee - SNES

Mission X - Intellivision

Silpheed - Sega CD

Sky Jaguar - Colecovision (Opcode homebrew)

I'd also like to recommend Dodonpachi for the PSX. it's pretty busy but there's 5 levels of difficulty, kids, easy, normal, hard, & very hard. There's a lot of stuff going on but once you get some powerups most the stuff going on is from you. Annihilation mode is pretty easy to achieve but almost makes the game no fun since you start wiping out everything. It sure is pretty to look at tho.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This might be walking a fine line between Shmup and Bullet Hell. But Trigger Heart Exelica is a pretty neat one for DC.

 

Tyrian 2000 is the classic DOS vertical shmup. Free on GOG.

 

Can't underline this gem enough, played this all the time back in the day and still do to this day. Great shmup with lots of levels, weapon combinations and other ship customizations.

On top of that you have a really neat artstyle and a amazing soundtrack too :)

 

Edited by robotwo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh god, Solar Striker is such a good game. A year or so ago there was a Game Boy High Score Club going on and that was one of the games we played. It was dynamite.

 

Life Force (NES) - An utter classic. I'll actually be surprised if you tell us you haven't played it. It's a classic staple of the genre

 

Sol-Feace on Sega CD. Here's a ringing endorsement from the Angry Video Game Nerd himself:

 

"Well I've gotta admit this one reminds me of Life Force on the Nintendo and that's pretty good" (paraphrased)

 

It has a cartridge port to the Genesis that was renamed Sol-Deace. It's excellent.

 

The (in)famous Zero Wing, which only got a Euro release is excellent but also quite easy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Can't underline this gem enough, played this all the time back in the day and still do to this day. Great shmup with lots of levels, weapon combinations and other ship customizations.

On top of that you have a really neat artstyle and a amazing soundtrack too :)

Glad you agree. If this game were on the SNES or Genesis, it would be one of the most beloved games of all time.

 

My favorite soundtrack of any DOS game.

 

Also, ever played a shmup with an optical mouse? Feels like cheating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad you agree. If this game were on the SNES or Genesis, it would be one of the most beloved games of all time.

 

My favorite soundtrack of any DOS game.

 

Also, ever played a shmup with an optical mouse? Feels like cheating.

 

Tyrian was definitely meant to be played with a mouse. Some of the later difficulties are essentially impossible to dodge without the mouse :B

 

And yes, I can definitely see Tyrian being released on the Genesis/ Mega Drive. Saw THIS a while back and definitely made me consider it even further.

 

OT: I see no mention of either Crisis Force or Recca on the NES in this thread? Quite surprising

 

 

Edited by robotwo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tyrian was definitely meant to be played with a mouse. Some of the later difficulties are essentially impossible to dodge without the mouse :B

 

And yes, I can definitely see Tyrian being released on the Genesis/ Mega Drive. Saw THIS a while back and definitely made me consider it even further.

 

Thanks for that link -- really cool. I just set up an AWE32 with a quality 28MB soundfont and enjoyed the Tyrian music through General Midi. I even like it a lot as FM synth.

 

I just had an idea for the RVGS reboot. Mike Kennedy needs to license Tyrian for the RVGS and put it on a cartridge as an exclusive. If Tyrian can't save it, nothing can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Usually with the simple end of vertical shmups, the worst crime they have is that some have me dodging undesirable weapon "power ups" in some way. I don't like willfully dodging things that should be designed to make me better--at least not when I'm in the 'simple shmup' mood.

 

The one I keep going back to is Aero Fighters 2. It's got nice style, random level order (to some extent), and if you get far enough, it goes a bit crazy--perhaps to match the personality of somebody who gets far enough to see that. ;) It's generally considered to be a bit mediocre, but I don't think there's ever a time when I don't want to drop a credit or two into it.

 

I've never played the first one (maybe I'll fix that today), which can be found on snes--but it looks to scratch the same itch almost as well. Aero Fighters 3 is best avoided, IMO.

Edited by Reaperman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...