> Anyway, I'm just being whiny on the subject and I know that. I should just be
> glad I get to try most of these games at all thanks to MAME and other emus. But
> I do think SHMUP _gameplay_ could be expanded and experimented with more than it
> is. High score schemes are nice but don't impress me so much. Example: I recall
> posting about a freeware SHMUP last year in fact, where you basically had the
> dead ships you destroyed attach to your ship, creating this massive yet slower
> moving hunk as you kept playing. What a great concept - I'd like to see THAT
> type of innovation in commercial SHMUPs. Maybe it could revive the genre a bit
That concept was an evolution of GDarius' capture feature where you could capture enemies and have them fight alongside you.
> Ikaruga was cool at least, with the black/white switching concept. It's not a
> game that will appeal to everyone, it's not personally my favorite altho I do
> own the Gamecube version, but it's an example of at least trying something a
> little different.
There's been a lot of subtle innovation over the last few years, though most have been scoring based (chains, multipliers, etc).
Loops are nothing new but they're something that Cave really makes good use of, where you have to earn the second loop and then at the end of that get to fight the real end boss. The first loop bosses of Dodonpachi and Dodonpachi Daioujou are underwhelming, but the second loop bosses are infuckingsane.
Psyvariar's buzz system (seen in Perfect Cherry Blossom as the graze system or whatever and seen in Shikigami no Shiro) was pretty awesome. The whole game was scorebased... sure, you could just blow your way through it, but that just wasn't fun. It was way more fun to buzz every fucking thing you could, level up, and buzz some more. When you leveled up you became invincible for a short amount of time and allowed you to buzz the shit out of swarms of bullets...which allowed you to level up and....yea... it's crazy as hell and it's quite enjoyable. Psyvariar Revision and Medium Unit are both budget titles in Japan right now and the sequel is available on a variety of platforms..i recommend importing 'em since we're not likely to see the arcade counterparts emulated anytime soon.
Guwange was about much more than powering up and megabombing the boss, as well. but don't take my word for it
Gotta love the gameplay of Takumi's games, too. I love seeing how the reflect force changes between Gigawing, Mars Matrix, and Gigawing 2, not to mention the scoring system as it moves from insane to fucking insane to !$#%$%$##%@$%@%@$ (in Night Raid, it's possible to drive your score into the negatives very easilly..the game keeps track of the high scores, low scores, and closest to zero scores).
Don't forget the refinement of the dual plane gameplay from Xevious. The addition of the lock on in Rayforce was taken to a whole new level in Soukyugurentai (one of the best damn shmups on the Saturn imo)