Over the last few weeks I have been dying to return to my beloved Shmups and Danmaku (bullet-hell). It is not secret to some folks that I have been longing for the arrival of Galak-Z: The Dimensional on the PS4. Seriously, where is this game? Come on already... anyway! The good news is the PS4 will soon be saturated with other like games so I cannot complain. People often ask, "Joe how do you play those games, man, aren't they hard and stressful?" To which I respond, "How do I play them? One bullet at a time." (Get it? Seriously I said this...)
Now there are certainly a lot of I have not played. Here is looking at you Xbox 360 and PS3. Sigh, one day. Probably not actually. I have also yet to play the eXceed games so if someone wants to gift me some cheap games on Steam... that be great.
What follow is in no order and one game per franchise. I could list more, but I've got stuff to do. What are your favorite shoot-em-ups, bullet-hells, whatever?
Touhou 08: Imperishable Night (PC)
No doubt there are a lot of Tohou games and they all have their own merits. As such choosing one over the other is pretty tough. I binged 7-14 last night and I honestly had the most fun with 08, 10, and 14 respectively. There is really not much to say here. Tohou is the epitome of bullet-hell. They are punishing and I love them for it.
Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie (SNES)
Just look at that stupid long title! As far as horizontal shoot-em-ups go this is probably one of the most nuanced. You can change your ship into different forms--on the fly (pun!)--each of which has three unique different bullet spreads depending on the amount of power you have collected. Different situations call for different ships and the whole thing is really engaging. Plus the sprites, backgrounds, and the music are all great; the artwork is gorgeous.
Bullet Soul Infinite Burst (Xbox 360)
My heart broke a little when my Xbox 360 broke because I could no longer play this game. I don't want to talk about it... honestly shut up.