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What---in your opinion, are the best SHMUPS? I've played a few over the years but realize this is a deep genre with many games I probably haven't played. What, across all classic systems, are your favorite shmups from decades past up to recent history? Thanks in advance.

 

 

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honestly the one shmup series that I keep going back to is the Parodius series. such a WEIRD set of games, but the audio and visuals i think are engaging and the gameplay is a cool take on the side-scrolling Konami stuff.

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*Everyone just pastes their top 5 from the Atari 2600 shooting voting thread*

 

Honestly, I think SHMUPS got less appealing to me over time. I feel like the addiction the older games had was lost in favor of artificial difficulty and graphics. With that said I liked me some After Burner, Thunder Force, Raiden and R-Type once in awhile but once I finished them they had little replay value.

Edited by TigerSuperman

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If you don't mind---if you mention a game, say what port/system you thought it was best on!

 

Thanks for the ideas so far!

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hehe :)

 

Sexy Parodius - Arcade/MAME

Parodius Fantastic Journey (I think this is the title, the one I played is also called 'Gokujō Parodius') - SNES

Edited by digdugnate
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I love shooters... I suck at them, but I still love them...

 

River Raid - 2600

Galaxian - 2600

Millipede - 2600

1943 - NES

Lifeforce - NES

Legendary Wings - NES

Galaga - Arcade

Galaga '90/Galaga '88 - TurboGrafx-16

R-Type - TurboGrafx-16

Blazing Lazers - TurboGrafx-16

Super Star Soldier - TurboGrafx-16

Gate of Thunder - TurboCD

Raiden - TurboGrafx-16

Thunder Force III - Genesis (and Thunder Spirits on SNES)

MUSHA - Genesis

Truxton - Genesis

Tempest 2000 - Jaguar

Einhander - PS

Panzer Dragoon - Saturn

Darius Gaiden - Saturn

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I love shooters... I suck at them, but I still love them...

 

River Raid - 2600

Galaxian - 2600

Millipede - 2600

1943 - NES

Lifeforce - NES

Legendary Wings - NES

Galaga - Arcade

Galaga '90/Galaga '88 - TurboGrafx-16

R-Type - TurboGrafx-16

Blazing Lazers - TurboGrafx-16

Super Star Soldier - TurboGrafx-16

Gate of Thunder - TurboCD

Raiden - TurboGrafx-16

Thunder Force III - Genesis (and Thunder Spirits on SNES)

MUSHA - Genesis

Truxton - Genesis

Tempest 2000 - Jaguar

Einhander - PS

Panzer Dragoon - Saturn

Darius Gaiden - Saturn

ooh, i forgot about galaga 88 / galaga 90. those were great additions to the game.

 

i thought of some more!

 

Cosmo Gang: The Video (arcade and SNES)

Attack of the Mutant Camels (C64)

Gridrunner Revolution (PC)

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I'm a big fan of:

 

Aero Fighters 2 on Neo Geo

Recca (especially the Recca Pure hack) for Famicom/NES

Raystorm on Playstation

crimzon clover world ignition on PC

Sturmwind on Dreamcast

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My favorite shooter publisher is COMPILE, makers of Zanac, Aleste, etc. My favorite game of that group is probably MUSHA, but Super Aleste for the Super Famicom, Spriggan for the Turbo CD, Power Strike II for the Master System and Zanac x Zanac for the PlayStation are right up there. I love this series, and the related cousin games such as Blazin Lazers.

 

The R-Type series is probably my second favorite shooter series. I've probably played R-Type too many times to enjoy it the same way I used to, but Delta and Final are still fun and have a lot of replay value.

 

When you hew closer to the bullet hell side of things, my favorite Game for sheer repeat play is Mars Matrix, which you can play on the Dreamcast. The chain experience/currency system is not complicated to figure out (as with many other shooters of this type) and lead to actual rewards and unlocks as opposed to just high score wankery.

 

I much prefer Parodius to Gradius. The Saturn has a great Parodius collection if you want to track it down.

 

While I'm okay at shooters, I really suck at the Darius series, but I still enjoy it. The recent Dariusburst provides almost too much in the way of customization and replay.

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I've been shooting things since I mastered Space Invaders as a 10 year old in the late 70's, but I have to say that what comes to mind as the first shmup that really brought home that fast "action" that really made me take notice? It has to be Star Force.. that game is one of the all-time greats. Next on my list is Terra Cresta.. the semi-ish sequel to Moon Cresta (another favorite). Terra Cresta had that very cool power-up mechanism with the collecting of additional ship "parts", and trying to keep them alive long enough to transform into the invincible Phoenix.. great fun. :)

 

When you get to the more modern stuff.. I dug Tiger Heli a lot.. and I think the original Raiden still holds up to this day. But really I'm a fan of the "Strikers" series of games which aren't total bullet hell style but fast paced enough to make dodging shots fun. I dunno.. it's just such a huge category :lol:

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Here is a few of my favorite's

 

Life Force-Nes

ikaruga- PC or dreamcast

Radiant Silvergun-Saturn

DoDonPachi-mame

Un Squaron-Snes

 

Battle Garegga-Saturn

Soukyugurentai-Saturn

Twinkle Star Sprites-Neo Geo

Strikers 1945 II-Mame

RayStorm/Layer Section II-Saturn

Truxton II-Mame

Air Gallet-Mame

Dogyuun -Mame

Progear-mame

Blazing Star-Neo Geo

Viewpoint-Neo Geo

 

Mame can be Arcade :)

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Too many to name.

Some of my favorites:

  • Radiant Silvergun (arcade, Xbox 360, Saturn)
  • Strikers 1945 II (arcade, PS1, Saturn, Switch, etc)
  • R-Type Delta (PS1)
  • Raiden (arcade and PS1 versions specifically)
  • Giga Wing (arcade, Dreamcast)
  • Espgaluda (arcade, PS2)
  • Gradius series (too many platforms to name)
  • MUSHA (Genesis)
  • Thunder Force IV/Lightening Force (Genesis)
  • UN Squadron (both the arcade and SNES versions, similar yet pretty different at the same time)
  • Rayforce (arcade, Saturn as Galactic Attack/Layer Section)
  • Raystorm (arcade, PS1, 360 for HD version, PS2 via the Taito Legends 2 pack)
  • Mushihimesama Futari (arcade, Xbox 360, PC)
  • Esprade (arcade)
  • Darius Gaiden (arcade, Saturn, PS1, PS2 via Taito Legends 2 pack)
  • Darius Burst Chronicles (PC and PS4 specifically)
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Boogie Wings aka The Great Ragtime Show (Arcade)
Parodius (Arcade, Game Boy, SNES)
Most shmups made by Toaplan

R-Type (Turbografx-16)

Cosmo Gang: The Video (Arcade, SNES)

Gradius (Arcade, NES)
Gridrunner 2 (C64)

Gyruss (Arcade, C64)

Galaga (Arcade)

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Blazing Lazers, of course!

 

Also, Blazing Star, Gradius Collection on PSP, Prehistoric Isle 2, Strikers 1945, Viewpoint, Air Gallet, UN Squadron, Einhander, Vector Pilot, Time Pilot, Galaga, and a bunch more I can't call to mind.

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I'm like my shmups a little more on the simple side than most, so this will be a highly subjective list, but my favorites are...

 

Dragon Spirit: The New Legend (NES)

Project S-11 (Game Boy Color)

Raiden Trad (Sega Genesis)

Silpheed (Sega CD)

Solar Striker (Game Boy)

Summer Carnival '92: RECCA (Famicom)

Thunder Force III (Sega Genesis)

Xenon 2 (Game Boy)

Xevious (Atari 7800)

Zanac (NES)

Edited by Jin

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So many good ones. I was never into Shmups until about 2001, when a friend made me play Gradius III on the SNES. I hated it. I was so bad and he was so good. But after a few months, I got the urge to give it another shot, and from then on, I was hooked.

 

I'm still terrible at Shmups. My only 1CCs are Nemesis on the Gameboy and the original Gradius on the PC Engine. But I love the genre and easily own more Shmups than any other genre. Still, I'm not sure I'm qualified to rate the best.

 

That said, I would go with something like:

Gradius Gaiden (PSX)

Giga Wing (Dreamcast)

DoDonPachi (Arcade)

R-Type (Arcade)

Radiant Silvergun (Saturn)

Ikaruga (Xbox 360)

 

My personal favorites are:

Gradius Gaiden (PSX)

Raiden (PSX)

G Darius (PSX)

Shikigami no Shiro 2 (PS2)

Lords of Thunder (PC Engine)

Gunbird 2 (Dreamcast)

Sol Deace (Genesis)

1942 (Arcade)

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Are Metal Slug and Contra considered SHMUPS because I know a lot of sites change the rules on whether SHMUPS are games only involving vehicles or people with guns.

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You gotta limit yourself because let's face it the vast majority of video games have you shooting shit up/down/left/right/ and forward and every which way. :lol: People will debate it all day long but for my own sanity I limit it to the two basic gametypes of 1, horizontal and 2. vertical shooters, and call it a day.

 

Of course even within that you have endless variations (e.g. Contra vs. R-Type, vs. Pocky & Rocky vs. Commando, vs. Vanguard, etc.) .. but hey you gotta start somewhere. I wouldn't classify my favorite game of all time, Robotron, for example, as a shmup.

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Often to me the best ones start at anything but bullet hell style for starters. Those games are just obscenely annoying as they basically dumb down the shooter experience to a rote memorization of pattern game as you have these tiny windows to move into or shield/color/barrier shift into so you're not blown to bits again and again in short order. I prefer stuff spawned of the 80s and 90s from the Galaga and Gradius types to things with a little more nice art style to it like the Capcom arcade games shoveled on the Dreamcast and Einhander on PS1. Games you find on the Neo Geo like either Aero Fighters(Sonic Wings), Blazing Star, Andro Dunos, Captain Tomaday, and Strikers 1945 Plus. Not all of that era I like, R-TYpe and it's clones like Pulstar I find aggravating, cheap and downright not fun pretty much at all.

 

Outside of the space shooter stuff like that though, cute ones which walk you about in a path or just open like your Pocky and Rocky types or Shock Troopers 1/2 I really enjoy those too.

 

Format really doesn't limit it either as Jin pointed out GBC's Project S-11 is stunning good stuff right there, just as much as the varying goofy games from the Parodius and Twinbee family of shooters.

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Delta on C64 for it's time was often a substantial audio/visual experience, thanks in no small part to Rob Hubbards in game music.

 

But the actual gameplay was little more than a memory test of learning the attack waves.

 

Then there was I.O, C64 again, stunning looking bosses to fight,but an absurd difficulty level rendered it nigh on unplayable with out entering cheats.

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