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guitarmas

Newbie to Sega CD games and collecting

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For cartridge shooters, I'm going to recommend some stuff that not everyone talks about: Gleylancer, Slap Fight MD, Thunder Force II, Herzog Zwei (not 100% truly just a shooter, but worth mentioning), and the Strike series. Those first two never got released outside of Japan and apparently Korea and they are both rare and expensive, but both are extremely good games and I recommend both of them. I do not think Japanese Mega Drive carts fit in the US Genesis or EU MD so be careful or use a flash cart so you don't have to pay $500 for each and then not be able to play them!

 

Gleylancer is almost perfectly balanced; it's not particularly easy or insanely difficult, you'll get a code to unlock a harder difficulty after you beat the game on hard, and unlike lots of other shooters I have played, you're not totally screwed if you die and lose all of your stuff because there really isn't much to lose at all. There is a bit of customization you can do, and the mover select screen is in surprisingly good English for the time if you consider that it only got released in Japan and Korea. This game has beautiful graphics, awesome music, and a high production value and everyone should play it. It was available on the Wii shop, but that's gone now and it's never been ported to any other system, so it's still an exclusive. It also has super intense parallax scrolling, so if you like parallax scrolling, you'll love the first two stages! I talk about this game a lot, but it's my favourite shooter on the system. This game is both excellent and pretty rare, so expect to pay a big amount of cash for it if you want a real one.

 

Slap Fight MD is a super awesome game where you shoot at Roombas. This game has no distinct levels and just scrolls infinitely. It has 2 separate games on the same cart, and there is an important choice in the options menu that lets you change between normal and special modes. Normal mode is a slightly reworked port of the arcade game Slap Fight. Special mode lets you play Slap Fight MD, which is a totally different game with awesome new music by Yuzo Koshiro, the same dude who did the music in Streets of Rage, ActRaiser, and a bunch of other quality titles. If you press A, B, and C at the same time in the options menu, you will enable Toaplan mode, which makes the difficulty in both modes a little bit closer to the original arcade version by making the shield go away after a while even if you take no damage and also acts as a sort of level select. You can make your ship have little ships attach to it to power up your weapons, and in the MD mode you can press C to blow these small ships up to create a massive explosion that damages enemies and deflects enemy shots. If you do it when there are no ships attached, it still causes the explosion and stuff but then your ship becomes super tiny! There's also a dude in the MD mode who says "TERMINATE THE FLAGSHIP!!!", which is pretty cool. Definitely worth trying, and is exclusive to the system if you count the Slap Fight MD game mode. They only made about 5000 copies, so aside from being a high-quality game, it's pretty rare and priced accordingly.

 

Everybody always talks about Thunder Force, as I mentioned preciously, but it's always Thunder Force III and IV and usually not II. They are all good, but Thunder Force II is probably not given the attention that it deserves. I think people do not like the overhead stages and just want the side scrolling stages, but I find both to be fun. I don't think it's very expensive, so play this one if you can! This one is also on the X68000. Like all Thunder Force games, it has awesome music and it definitely is not easy, but it is definitely a great game.

 

Herzog Zwei (it's German, so please don't destroy the pronunciation like everyone on Youtube!) is an early RTS/shooter hybrid thing that was inspired by the overhead stages in Thunder Force II, and if you compare the US covers for both games with each other, you'll notice something interesting! This is the sequel to Herzog on the MSX and PC-88. You're a VTOL thing that can fly around and shoot stuff and also transform into a mech to shoot stuff on the ground. You also create a robot army and give them orders to destroy the enemy base, so it's not just a shooter, but it's kind of close, and you can definitely blow stuff up yourself, so I guess it sort of counts. You DEFINITELY, ABSOLUTELY need to read the manual or use a tutorial for this game and you will have absolutely no idea how to play this game if you don't, but it's extremely fun when you know how to play it and it even has multiplayer! Great music in this game, too. This is another exclusive and has never been ported, but it will be getting a release on Switch eventually. This game is cheap, though, so pick it up if you can!

 

Strike series started with Desert Strike before continuing with Jungle Strike and then Urban Strike and then some PS1 games that I have never played. This is an isometric helicopter shooter, but there are times when you use other vehicles and Urban Strike has some on-foot sections. There are a bunch of objectives for you to complete and you have to pick up ammo so you don't run out and also fuel so your helicopter doesn't fall out of the sky. These games are all pretty difficult, but they are also a lot of fun if you like a challenge. No music during gameplay, so I hope you like 16-bit helicopter sounds, but I can forgive that given that these games are all pretty good and I don't think they are very expensive. These are available on a few different systems, but I've only played the Genesis and SNES versions and prefer Genesis.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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On 3/16/2020 at 2:04 AM, Austin said:

Lords of Thunder is the best shmup on Sega CD. Rockin' soundtrack, great gameplay, least amount of downtime (there are very few spots with dead air), great visuals, and it's not too long. 👍

 

For Megadrive shmups, may as well make a new thread for that. :lol:

Ah yes, forgot all about Lords of Thunder, I need to sink more time into that one. 

 

As for Genesis Shmups we can watch the archive of your excellent live stream on the topic Austin 😉 (Dessan01 from YT here by the way). 

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I own a full North American Sega CD set.  Tons of great games that are not available anywhere else.  Keio Flying Squadron is the best shooter on the system.

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The Sega CD had good SHMUPS.  I mean, the worst one of the lot is Sol Feace, and even that's pretty damn OK.

 

Silpheed

Lords of Thunder

Android Assault

Sol Feace

Robo Aleste

Keio Flying Squadron

 

(Obviously, I don't consider rail shooters the same genre, although I admit that Silpheed does start blurring that line.)

 

Robo Aleste is probably the least accessible of the lot.  I find that one hard as hell.  I don't think I've ever been past the 5th level.

 

Silpheed is the one I've played the most.  I used to be able to get to the final boss without dying, but I never could beat the thing.  Actually played it just last night, and it took me all 5 of my continues just to wipe out on level 5.

 

I'm not sure I'd say Lords of Thunder is the best SHMUP on the system.  Nostalgia for Silpheed gives it major competition.  But I'd definitely say Lords of Thunder is the coolest on the system.

 

I've never thought much about Keio Flying Squadron.  Historically, I've considered it a wildly overpriced blandly average cute'em'up.  But I was playing it last night and was having more fun that I'd had before, so I'm re-evaluating my opinion.  Still think it's ludicrously overpriced tho.

 

Sol Feace... Well, Sol Feace was pretty neat when I first got my SegaCD back in early 93.  Now it's just sort of quaint.  It's kind of like the dumb, ugly kid of the lot.  It's not spectacular, but it's hard for me not to feel some level of fondness for it.

 

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