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My Top 3 Shmups / Danmaku

Ciel

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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.

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Not too into schmups, but there are a few side-scrolling action platforming schmups that I have liked over the years.

 

One is Sparkster for the SNES, and the other is Gunstar Super Heroes on GBA (still need to play the original Genesis game). But if we're talking bullet-hell-types, I'm trying to remember if I've actually ever played any legit games from that genre. Do early arcade games like Galaga or Xevious count? xD

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Not too into schmups, but there are a few side-scrolling action platforming schmups that I have liked over the years.

 

One is Sparkster for the SNES, and the other is Gunstar Super Heroes on GBA (still need to play the original Genesis game). But if we're talking bullet-hell-types, I'm trying to remember if I've actually ever played any legit games from that genre. Do early arcade games like Galaga or Xevious count? xD

 

You have to play a bullet-hell. I promise they are easier than they look. I have a problem where I cannot play any of the games on 'normal.' I find it more difficult than 'hard.' The whole thing is really a means of meditation for me.

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Hmm, I haven't played too many in recent years but some ones I enjoyed off the top of my head.

 

Triggerheart Excelica - Xbox 360

 

 

Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer - PS3

 

 

Liberation Maiden - 3DS (Not really a schmup but...kinda?)

 

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I enjoyed Soldner X but it's hard to identfy my favorite. I really have to be in the mood and zone to play shmups. When I do feel in the zone and have the focus to play one, there's no genre I like more. On the other hand, if I'm not in the zone, I don't enjoy them at all. Lol.

 

I do agree with the "Normal" comment above. I tend to focus more with a higher difficulty.

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I've never really played Touhou stuff, but I've definitely heard that one is a favorite. Actually, I think I've played a few clones and fan Touhou games somehow tho...

 

I dunno, I'd probably say my favorites include Espgaluda II, Radiant Silvergun... and... a bunch of other Treasure shmups since I'm pretty partial to their games.

 

I don't think I'm particularly good at most shmups, but for some reason I find bullet-hells easier on the standard difficulty than more traditional stuff. Maybe it's because I was traumatized by stuff like Thunder force...

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Kiwi has played a Touhou before, but did not enjoy it very much. The bullet hell thing is pretty uninteresting to Kiwi. There are some shmups Kiwi enjoys, but he can't recall them off the top of his head.

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