I hope everyone is having a good weekend. When I first started to put this post together I was thinking there wasn’t much to discuss but it quickly snowballed into a larger post. There’s an unusual amount of news about shmups all of the sudden, not that that is a bad thing.
On Gamasutra, here’s a long and good read about the origin of shmups(link via The Stinger Report), AKA shoot-em-ups by a guy who played around 3500 games to get to the bottom of the subject. Of course arcades played a huge role in the evolution of the genre and it wasn’t just Space Invaders that contributed a great deal to it either.
Along those lines, NG:DEVTEAM has launched a trailer for their upcoming shmup/STG game NEO XYX. This is coming to the NeoGeo MVS in April 2013 and to the Sega Dreamcast in June.
On the same subject of shmups, a couple more will be seen in Japan at the JAEPO Expo as Taito brings Crimson Clover to their NESiCA system and Sega brings a new MOSS shooter (the company who did Raiden III and IV) called Caladrius to their ALL.NET+ Multi platform. The latter is a new “goth/horror” sort of themed game that was initially just known to be coming to consoles but Sega will help give it some arcade love.
Speaking of JAEPO, Konami has added two more games to their list of titles that will be there. Future Tom Tom and Sound Voltex II: Infinite Infection.
Namco is wasting no time when it comes to the new Mario Kart GP DX game announced earlier this week. They already are holding an active location test for it in Japan(Source: AM-Net Blog) that ends on Monday. We will have to keep an eye out for any US location tests as who knows, perhaps those might be taking place soon but they are generally held in secret.
Now for some redemption stuff.
Earlier this week I received a mail about a new videmption game that was seen at EAG 2013 called Can Knockdown 2 Arcade. This is the latest example of the portability of mobile games to the arcade space as this game is available for smartphones. It was originally developed by a company called iDreams. The arcade version offers a much larger screen and does the ticket payout thing, not sure if it has a video-only option like some of these games do. It is being handled by a European company called Magic Play, whose website you can visit here if interested.
Also in terms of redemption games, which we don’t often cover here, UNIS sent out a press release for a new colorful ball-throwing redemption game that they have just released called Astro Invasion. You can read the release here (DOCX file): Astro-invasion-unis-US.
I really wish shmups would come back to the arcades in the west like they used to do. I know I can play them on iPods and iPads but I prefer the actual buttons that you use to control. I’m just so surprised that no one has made new shmups with a new twist such as using the traditional control (joystick and buttons) with touch screen input e.g. Drag finger on various ships to lock on and blast etc.
Nintendo and namco would be completely stupid not to release mariokart 3 in the rest of the world, with how things are for Nintendo at the moment with the wiiu not gaining momentum just yet and 3DS barely just making a profit for them you’d think they’d be desperate, providing they make the arcade version of MK even better than the previous 2 of course
I doubt it will happen, especially in the West. They’re just not as lucrative as before; these days all anybody wants are extravagant gun and racing games as well as fighting games. I feel sorry for the DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou cab at GameCenter because nobody is playing it for more than five minutes.
Maybe they just need more practise, those sorts of games are hard though. The last time I saw a shmup was in tennerife nearly 8 years (although not a bullet hell as such) called aero fighters 2 running on neo geo hardware. They just need to make them look more appealing especially to kids who like the more recognisable characters like angry birds. It’s like I preferred playing sonic as a child but some insisted playing another game which was just as good but I still preferred sonic. I do wish they would bring back shmups still to the west as touch screen is not the same and with automatic shooting, it’s ok for iPod/iPhone but I prefer the original or at least proper buttons
There’s a number of reasons most people find shmups unappealing: Lack of a compelling storyline or even just characters, lack of direct competition (even when you’re score attacking, you have no direct influence on other players’ performances), and of course the daunting difficulty. Most players just see shmups, especially modern danmaku ones, as crazy insane Japanese things and nothing more, while at least with fighting games you don’t have to tackle the average all-ass-kicking arcade regular if you don’t want to.
Don’t get me wrong, I love shooting games too, but they’re just not fit for Western arcades anymore.
Don’t forget Dariusburst Another Chronicle. Unfortunately because Taito doesn’t have a lot of support outside of Japan this didn’t get out to very many places but it is not only a great STG, its also one of the best arcade games around period. It does have the issues you mentioned – no characters, no real story presentation and the cabinet is too expensive brand new for operators to consider. Still, for those interested in such games, they can find a lot to enjoy from it (even though on occasion I have heard kids’ first reaction be “oh look its Star Fox/Star Wars or even once, Halo)
I would add to the problems for a ‘Shoot-em-up’ (Shmup) in the modern market – the bullet hell games are not going to fly outside of the hardcore – the need for ‘impulse play’ is to offer familiar package not just for n00bs but also for the operator/venue.
I feel like Adam – that the missed opportunity of Darius is a shame full period of the amusement scene. A missed chance that could have revitalized the market – like the missed opportunity of WAVENet or the whole situation that surrounds the greed of the distribution chain.
I expect we will see another move towards the ‘forgotten genres’ like Shmup, platformers, puzzle and music games – but they may not come from the traditional amusement business!
Looking forward to NEO XYX, and I wish I could play SDVX. I don’t care much for Mario Kart AGP DX since us Americans will most likely get screwed out of cards again.