What's with the lack of shmups?

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ArfredHitchcacku
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What's with the lack of shmups?

Post by ArfredHitchcacku » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:26 am

First, let me clarify something. I don't mean rail shooters or behind the ship games like Total Eclipse, Novastorm, Microcosm or Sewer Shark. I mean classic, Gradius, Life Force/Salamander, R-Type, Star Soldier, Raiden, 2D horizontal or vertical shooter.

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With all the other consoles saturated with the genre, it's hard to imagine why.

It's hard to think of another console of the era that wasn't at least decent in this area. The Genesis had MUSHA, Zero Wing and Truxton, the Super NES had Super R-Type, Gradius 3, Parodius, and tons more, the Jaguar had Raiden, the Neo Geo had Blazing Star, Pulstar, and Sonic Wings, the Turbografx 16 had Gradius 1, Parodius Da, R-Type 1, the Sega CD had Android Assault, Lords of Thunder, and Sol-Feace, the PC Engine CD had Lords of Thunder, Gates of Thunder, and Cho Aniki...Hell, even the CD-I had Alien Gate and Tetsuo Gaiden...

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Chou Aniki on 3DO anyone?

Let me explain what would make a shmup on the 3DO so amazing. The 2D capabilities of the system were fantastic, and CD music didn't hurt the power of the system either. The controller is still one of my all-time favorites, but besides that, there's a certain Japanese-y, obscure quality that draws me into the 3DO. I can't explain it, but a hidden gem of a shmup just seems right for the system. Sailor Moon was a great Fighting Game, Crayon Shin Chan a great puzzle game, Blue Forest Story a great RPG, but shmups have seemed to have gotten the short end of the stick.

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Just imagine this with a 3DO logo...

So I ask for two things...One, am I wrong? Is there one I'm missing? And two, if I'm not wrong, why were there virtually no shmups on the system? With systems similar in popularity like the Jaguar, PC Engine CD and Sega CD getting a decent amount, why doesn't the 3DO seem to have any? Perhaps there's at least one I'm missing. But believe me, I'm pretty well-informed on the system's library and I honestly can't recall one, especially considering I would have gone through the ceiling had I discovered one in the first place.

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Post by FrumpleOrz » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:21 am

What about the lobster game on Fun N Games? I loved that one as a kid. I also haven't played it since I was a kid so maybe it hasn't aged well but my nostalgia wins over logic!

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Post by Trev » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:09 am

FrumpleOrz beat me to it, but Fun N Games is the only 3DO title I can think of that has a traditional shump (and more like a mini game at that)

No idea why the console is lacking in this area ... maybe the market was oversaturated w/this style of game at the time, maybe they were really trying to emphasize 3d capabilities, etc ...? It makes me sad that we lost out on this classic genre. :(

It may be the biggest hole in 3DO's library. I know I sure wish there was a good shump ... heck I'd settle for an average one. :P
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Post by FrumpleOrz » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:41 am

It may be the biggest hole in 3DO's library. I know I sure wish there was a good shump ... heck I'd settle for an average one.
I'll just settle for the lobster. At least it's a touch of weird.

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Post by JohnnyDude » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:01 am

Huh, I never noticed the lack of shmups. Good observation.

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Post by T2KFreeker » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:08 am

Big thing is that everyone was mainly making FMV games. It was the new frontier along with 3D games. Not to say that there were no 2D games on the system, obviously, but I guarantee you that part of the reason the genre is so lacking is because of the name even; 3DO. 99% of the 3DO library is either 3D games or full of FMV. Go figure.
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Post by 3DO Experience » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:50 am

Ooooo, how about this... a side scrolling shmup with FMV as the background? the background scrolls along with tons of other things going on, outer-space battles, explosions, ect. and your ship with enemies on pixels in the foreground. Imagine the pre-rendered goodness that could be had!
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Post by sneth » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:28 am

Yeah, they weren't trying to make better versions of old games. They were trying to make the next thing. Which is why we got so many shoddy FMV games. We didn't know that realistic didn't necessarily meant better back in the day.

Who would have guessed the appeal of retro graphics?

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Post by ArfredHitchcacku » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:36 pm

T2KFreeker wrote:Big thing is that everyone was mainly making FMV games. It was the new frontier along with 3D games. Not to say that there were no 2D games on the system, obviously, but I guarantee you that part of the reason the genre is so lacking is because of the name even; 3DO. 99% of the 3DO library is either 3D games or full of FMV. Go figure.
That's correct, but keep in mind I would have never made this post if there were no traditional 2D games on the system to begin with. Street Fighter II, Sailor Moon, Samurai Shodown, Furopon the Space Mutant, Crayon Shin Chan, Puzzle Bobble, I'm sure there's more. Maybe those games follow a pattern that would explain the abscence of shmups, I don't see it.
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Post by Trev » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:39 pm

3DO Experience wrote:Ooooo, how about this... a side scrolling shmup with FMV as the background? the background scrolls along with tons of other things going on, outer-space battles, explosions, ect. and your ship with enemies on pixels in the foreground. Imagine the pre-rendered goodness that could be had!
I like this idea ... I was thinking almost the same thing actually. Old school play w/ next gen eye candy! Sounds good. :)
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Post by Austin » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:04 am

It would have been great if the 3DO had at least a couple of shmups. From what I can tell, the system can chug along pretty well when everything is in 2D.

I believe 3DOkid has a review of Flopon World, another mini-game collection by Warp. Supposedly there's a tiny shmup on that. Also, that one cancelled game that was talked about here recently, that looks like it would have been one as well. Shame that one wasn't released.

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Post by 3DOKid » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:21 pm

I love shoot 'em ups. When i was rummaging around the PS1 and Neo Geo CD back catalogue in recent times, things like R-Type Delta and Sonic Wings kept me going.

Why the 3DO had none to speak of? i have no idea. Darius, Gradius, Daiden, Space invaders, anything would have been pretty easy, and would have looked pretty good on the 3DO.

I guess it's because of the 3D's and the next-gen thing, 3DO had the time.

Total Eclipse, 3DO UK launch title, is essentially Space Invaders in 3D. It's a good shooter too to be honest.

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Post by Trev » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:43 am

I think Off World Interceptor has shump qualities ... not neccesarily good ones mind you, but they are there. :wink:
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Post by Martin III » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:28 pm

Very interesting; I never noticed this either.

I suspect the thinking at the time was that the 2D shmup genre had become antiquated. I myself find it hard if not impossible to see anything in the genre that isn't retained or improved by the rail shooter perspective.

Even 3DO Experience's suggestion doesn't really help the genre, since the same feature can be applied to better effect in rail shooters (as they did with games like Microcosm). FMV backgrounds in side-scrolling games tend to become just that: background. In first person, they become part of your environment, because you're heading right towards them.

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Post by Trev » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:02 pm

Martin III wrote: Even 3DO Experience's suggestion doesn't really help the genre, since the same feature can be applied to better effect in rail shooters (as they did with games like Microcosm). FMV backgrounds in side-scrolling games tend to become just that: background. In first person, they become part of your environment, because you're heading right towards them.


It isn't so much helping the genre as it is matter of preference. Whether fmv backgrounds are better for one style or the other it's really just a matter of opinion. I'd pick the shump type, if for no other reason than 3DO already has enough Microcosm type games. Actually, I think I prefer a Starblade or Burning Soldier type game where control is cursor only ... no fear of not being able to distinguish distance, depth, etc ... smacking the scenery no more. :wink:
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Post by Austin » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:26 am

I don't think I've played a shmup that uses FMV backdrops asides from Silpheed on the Sega CD. Tetsuo Gaiden does it (CD-i), but I haven't played it personally and it's more of a Galaga/Space Invaders type of shooter anyway.

I can't imagine the combination of 2D sprites and FMV for a shmup being very good. Stylistically, 2D sprites on top of FMV has been shown to not mesh very well (or at least, very few games have done it well). Silpheed is interesting in that it looks like it uses low-polygon objects for the main elements like the player's ship and enemies. Everything else is FMV, but it meshes well because the background video is rendered in a similar flat/shaded look (for 90% of the game anyway). Starblade is another that does this, and it works very well, but it's not a shmup in the way we are aiming at in this conversation.

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Post by 3DOKid » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:54 pm

Starblade does it best, if i'm honest.

The backgrounds, right up to the last level, in Novastorm are very good. Pyramid Intruder isn't all that bad either. Or, indeed, Burning Soldier.

Austin wrote:I don't think I've played a shmup that uses FMV backdrops asides from Silpheed on the Sega CD. Tetsuo Gaiden does it (CD-i), but I haven't played it personally and it's more of a Galaga/Space Invaders type of shooter anyway.

I can't imagine the combination of 2D sprites and FMV for a shmup being very good. Stylistically, 2D sprites on top of FMV has been shown to not mesh very well (or at least, very few games have done it well). Silpheed is interesting in that it looks like it uses low-polygon objects for the main elements like the player's ship and enemies. Everything else is FMV, but it meshes well because the background video is rendered in a similar flat/shaded look (for 90% of the game anyway). Starblade is another that does this, and it works very well, but it's not a shmup in the way we are aiming at in this conversation.

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Post by Austin » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:31 pm

Yeah, it definitely works well enough in the rail shooters like Novastorm and Pyramid Intruder. Then awesome for Starblade, because of it using polygonal objects on top of the FMV playfield, so nothing looks flat. Not quite so much for Microcosm. ;D

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