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Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Gaiden and G are the two locked in a neverending struggle for the claim to series-best, by most reckoning, satiating both newcomers and superfans. There is no inarguable result between the two; they simply represent two distinct peaks for the series in how it presented itself and honed its concepts.
 

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
I'm trying to look on the bright side, though - in going for these Cozmic LEs I've had to commit more to pruning my existing games and sell stuff just to pay for this absurd, decadent rubbish.
on the topic of extremely extravagant and frivolous purchases, i've kinda been eyeing that aleste collection release with the gg micro, since i ended up not trying to order any of the others (yet? did they sell out? i don't know anything). on one hand it seems more than a bit silly when i wouldn't say at all i have that level of attachment to the series, but i've certainly always been interested to check it out more and of the micros it seems like the one i'd most likely use, regardless of the absurdity of playing shmups on a 2-inch screen or whatever it is. the other thing i was thinking of buying lately in that kinda vein is a wonderswan color or crystal, which'll definitely be around in the future...though it seems to be getting more expensive all the time, so i dunno

as far as the darius collection, i find it way to amusing that it comes with a pcb-style cardboard box. those guys know their audience, truly
 

Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
Hmm, that's a tough call! I guess the micro would be a one-off treat, whereas the Wonderswan is more of a long-term investment/commitment - a lot of the good games sell for Neo-Geo money now. You've got stuff like Fire Lancer being developed for it today, though, so if you got an Everdrive it'd kinda bring the thing back to life!

Not to sway you one way or the other, but I've been hearing the micro's controls are really mushy, so even if the screen is something you can get to grips with, the d-pad might make things harder still...

Edit: keep an eye out for the Switch version of Graze Counter, if you're doing most of your shmupping on that, folks. It's very good.
 
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Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
This new Cozmic Revelation trailer shows a couple of great features: G-Darius HD has a gallery showing a list of the enemies you've captured, marking the return of the sorely-missed bestiary to the genre, and EX+ now allows you to play as the Murakumo in all modes.

Edit: there's also a Zuntata Night stream happening in about half an hour (at 11:00 GMT).
 
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Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
A game called Terra Feminarum came out in 2018. It was always sold for very little, and earlier in 2020 was made free to play into perpetuity as the developers decided they'd gotten all the monetary compensation they were interested in for it by that point, and moved on to other things. This thing was always on my radar because you can hardly concoct a more laser-targeted-at-me game concept, in theory: a Finnish mythology-themed Touhou clone. And make no mistake, every good or interesting thing this game does is lifted wholesale from that series, which is fine--more things should take after a good example others have set. How this game absolutely fumbles what it ostensibly is becomes evident when you take a closer look at its presentation, however, and I think I'll just let my own reactions from the other day tell that story because it captures the raw disappointment best:

remember terra feminarum, the finnish touhou-like that came out a few years ago and was made free to play less than a year ago? i finally booted it up, thinking it was gonna be what it seemed like, land of women, here we go etc.



fuck this i guess
what a way to miss the point

highlighted character's in-game sprite prominently shows her asscheeks

yeah yeah ok, i'm playing more of this and the mid-bosses and bosses show up and their sprites just proudly display upskirt frames immediately
this was what they wanted to make, huh

the disconnect that exists in my mind is so drastic that i actually can't even deal that this exists--but maybe for some people this is just a natural riff on stuff like touhou





like this is so bad, and so transparently "we absorbed all of our aesthetic touchstones from porn comics"
näkki are genderfluid in myth and folklore; that's a thing. but that reaction to them, in how the game phrases it, just puts it in the realm of trans fetishization and nothing else
that pose that mielikki is doing is downright a fetish meme template, derived from some yandere character or another that i forget the source of
i hate all of this lol



boobrest, "female"
holy shit i'm glad i didn't pay for this



inner thigh slip on a child-coded character



relatively ok, in the sense that you can discern the fetish angle but it's not incredibly exploitative also



lmao fuck



upskirt the living embodiment of a kantele. ok, i've given up



extra boss
the breasts are animated to sway wildly on the character sprite

I could criticize other aspects of the game: the issues with legibility of patterns and the combination of visual elements; the stilted and self-serious writing that's a bore (another way the Touhou inspiration is failed); the soundtrack that pays lip service to the purpoted cultural identity through folksy melodies as signifiers, but then leans almost entirely on a metal instrumentation to make up its caricaturish and reductive idea of what kind of music culture there exists in Finland; and so on... but it's not really on my mind much in the face of everything above. The letdown is so pronounced for me because the ingredients here should've resulted in something better, or tonally alike to the influences, and instead it's taken to the extremes of the worst parts of this niche genre, or this entire fucking industry like it's something to strive for or an inevitability of the work. It makes me frustrated beyond imagining, and this is a game hardly anyone has played or seen; this post on a small forum complaining about it probably "promotes" it more than actual critical outlets have done. And it's really sad that there's not much good to talk about--every positive quality this game might have is diluted and counteracted by its own clueless excesses. The sheer indignance elicited by naming a game showcasing an aesthetic like this after a semi-apocryphal historical account describing an eponymous Women's Land is immeasurable, and a bitter slight delivered under auspices that should've reached for more.
 

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
new dimahoo counterstop video! this one's with chitta, the recurring witch character from the previous mahou daisakusen games (who crossed over into garegga and batrider as well). i've always played her in every game, and although the shmups thread is possibly out of date (i think most of the scores came from arcadia magazine, which ended publication a couple years ago) i don't think it's been done previously with her. (my score is still under "community record", but it's a kind of sad 4 million points. hahaha)

also, the player is WTN, a well-known player who's had records in dodonpachi for like...decades now

 
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Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
Amazing run! I love Dimahoo but I've always played it more or less like a Gamespot reviewer - routing well enough to game the armour/item collection system is still beyond me, and score depends so much on how quickly you can complete full sets, etc. Just getting to grips with it all is a serious undertaking - juggling it all so deftly and consistently that you counterstop the game is incredible.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
That all sounds like a mess.

Unrelated, I've been using my Satiator to play a lot of Batsugun on the Saturn, and Batsugun is good. A high note for Toaplan to go out on.
 

Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
Nice one! I picked up the Saturn port not long ago too, since someone in the UK was selling it for around half the usual asking price. Even though it has emulated perfectly well in MAME for years, it still feels special to be playing a Gazelle port of it on a CRT. It's beautiful and entirely lag-free. It's nice to see all of its period-specific design quirks again, too, like the boss' patterns belonging to several schools of design at once (e.g. Madzella's sparse spread patterns giving way to lengthy streams that follow you giving way to Raiden-style overlaps). It plays around with bullets to an extent you don't really see anywhere else. It's a great window onto the period just before everything started to become very codified and standardised, when shmups could still be a bit unusual and "anything goes" (to say nothing of its RPG-influenced systems).

I'd like to record some runs through both versions of the game (the port includes Batsugun Special too!) at some point - need to sort out a cheap old-school "pointing a camera at the TV" setup. :p
 
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ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
I like Special more, generally speaking. You get a smaller hitbox, there's the shield mechanic, but right now I don't love that you need to do multiple loops to get a full clear, so I went back to vanilla to work on getting a clear first there, then I'll jump back to Special.

I also need to run my Framemeister to my computer monitor for some hot tate action.

I'm also without my PVM this moment, but I'm very excited to have it back sooon.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
I was messing around in the Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection, for Arcade Archives releases of Konami stuff, and one idle playthrough of Thunder Cross (brilliant game) turned into an informal series playthrough of that particular branch of Konami shootin' lineage: Gradius to Salamander to Gradius II, and finally as an individual release, the indestructible Gradius III. Not all that much to say except that these are great ports of stellar material, and I enjoy them all for their varying appeals: the "just do it" immediacy of Gradius; the spit, gum and a prayer loose experimentation of Salamander; the honed virtuosity of Gradius II; the accessible cinematic propulsion of Thunder Cross; and even the absolute sadistic heights in shooter design of Gradius III. Makes one pine for other even slightly related games in the family, like Space Manbow or Xexex. Maybe one day we'll see them!
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
I replayed Gradius II when that collection came out, and lordy, that difficulty curve. I can honestly say that for as much as the arcade version offers, I think I prefer both the Famicom and PC Engine Super CD ports.

Also, I need to get that Gradius III arcade archive, but am I imagining that there was a rumored physical edition happening?
 

Dracula

Video Nasty
(He/His)
I absolutely adore Gradius III on SNES, and knowing how hard it was for me to finish that game, I'm pretty sure I'll never touch the arcade version!
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
That would be news to me Shakewell.

It may have well been some kind of fever dream!

Speaking of fever dreams, I thought I posted it in this thread, but maybe I forgot to save my edit? I have a video up on Kid Shoryuken's channel about Gleylancer!

 
I'm kind of disappointed that Deathsmiles is the first shmup that Cave seems to be bringing to the Switch, and we haven't had much more on the PS4. Deathsmiles is OK, but it doesn't have the Cave magic for me. For one, the music is of a lower caliber than the amazing soundtracks of the Mushihimesama, Espgaluda, and Dodonpachi games. The horizontal gameplay feels more restricted. I don't know, I just don't think it's quite as fun or attractive as most other games in their catalog.
 
I looked at some gameplay of GG Aleste 3 and immediately ordered a physical copy of the Aleste collection. It looks amazing. Anyone play this yet?

I've occasionally listened to the GG Aleste 1 and 2 soundtracks on YouTube so it should be fun to also play those games for the first time.

 
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