Hey! I'm smasherimp, or you could just call me Dan. I'm currently living in Auckland, New Zealand (yes, we have internet aalllll the way over here). My two favourite genres are shmups and JRPGs. So, in true Chad Concelmo fashion I'll give you all my top ten favourite of each genre, then my top 5 consoles. Paarttaaayy.
1. Chrono Trigger (Squaresoft)
2. Persona 3: FES (ATLUS)
3. Final Fantasy IX (Squaresoft)
4. Grandia 2 (Game-Arts)
5. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria (Square-Enix)
6. Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (Game-Arts)
7. Final Fantasy X (Squaresoft)
8. Kingdom Hearts 2 (Square-Enix)
9. Secret of Mana (Squaresoft)
10. Final Fantasy VII
1. Sega Dreamcast
2. Super Nintendo
3. Nintendo Gamecube
4. Xbox 360 (NTSC-J ones ONLY)
5. Playstation 2
If you're a massive shmup fan, you own a Dreamcast. The number of quality shooters released on that white-box-of-awesome far exceeds that of any other console (with the 360 coming in a close second). Years after the console's demise, dedicated development studios continued to support the Dreamcast with commercial-quality releases, mostly of the shooter genre.
One of these, is Radirgy.
Released in arcades in 2005, Dreamcast in 2006, and in 2008 on the Gamecube/PS2 in Japan, and on the Wii in North America, Radirgy tells the story of Shizuru Kamigusa with a strange radio wave allergy. Her father developed a cure for this allergy, but his corporation has been taken over by a terrorist group. So Shizuru decides to ride in on a giant mecha suit, guns blazing, to rescue her father and save the cure.
What the game lacks in story, it makes up for in charming graphics and addictive gameplay. Before beginning the game, you choose which shot-type you would like. For shooter fans, this is very familiar territory. A-type is your focused but high damage shot, B-type is your slightly wider ranged shot, albeit average damage, and C-type is your wide shot with poor overall damage, and a slower ship speed.
You can't really go wrong with any of these, and they don't seem to make too much of a difference in terms of gameplay. What does however, is the sword/shield combo. By holding B (Dreamcast), your character will continuously swing it's sword back and forth. While weakening your shot power, it also cancels any square bullets it comes into contact with. These cancelled bullets add up on a gauge on the left hand side of the screen, which when full can be triggered, granting you 5 or so seconds of invulnerability and extra points for any enemies destroyed. This is called the ABSNET barrier.
Skilled players can then chain these ABSNET barriers together, to make themselves almost continuously invulnerable if done right. This involves triggering the barrier, charging into bullets and destroying as many enemies as possible to garner sufficient charge to retrigger the barrier as soon as your previous one deactivates. Rinse, repeat.
Also of note is the shield, which can be activated by not touching any of your weapon buttons. Your character will pull out a shield which will absorb any bullets that hit it, aswell as damage enemies.
The graphics are also top-notch, combining very clear bullets and cel-shaded graphics. Never does a death feel cheap or unfair, and the game looks great while you're getting your ass handed to you by the multitude of bright orange bullets flying towards you at all times. It's eerily reminiscient of Jet-Set Radio, which not doubt served as a graphical influence.
The feel-good, synthetic, poppy soundtrack is a nice-accompaniment and fits the graphical style perfectly. You can buy the soundtrack CD separately on ebay if you feel like having some solo late night funk parties in your basement.
Ah, now to the issue of cost. Be prepared to drop around $80 for a brand new Dreamcast copy, complete with spine card. While it's certainly worth it for some (like me), for those unsure of their enjoyment will definitely want a cheaper option. If you have a Japanese Gamecube, or PS2 (or have a 'method' to play import games), then you'll find far more reasonable prices for those two ports which are identical to the Dreamcast game. Rough prices are $35 for the PS2 version, and around $50 for the Gamecube one.
By far the best option for most of you will be to buy the Ultimate Shooting Collection for the Wii. This includes Radirgy, aswell as Karous and Chaos Field, which are by the same company and are both great. For only $10, there's really no reason not to at least try it. You'll get at least 5-10 hours out of each game, and over 30 hours out of Radirgy alone if you dedicate yourself enough to 1CC it.
A sequel called Radirgy: Noa was released on the 360 and Wii, but remains Japan only and, unfortunately, region-locked. It's great game, but it's the original I fell in love with.
Anyone can enjoy this game, and even if you're not a big fan of shooters the pick-up and play nature of the game makes it a worthwhile purchase, if only for those lazy sunday afternoons between modern releases.
For me, this would have to be the best news of the year. Being a HUGE fan of shmups, and Cave in particular, I was ecstatic when I heard that the innovative shmup "Deathsmiles" would be getting a european release.
It'll be brought over courtesy of Rising Star Games (who also gave Europe Deadly Premonition), and it seems like they're actually putting a bit of effort into the release.
For starters, it has totally rad looking cover art. It also comes with 3 discs, one being the game disc, a soundtrack CD, and a "Desktop Accessory" disc (I imagine this'll be wallpapers, sound effects, themes and the like).
The real news for this release however, is the inclusion of the Mega Black Label, free on the disc. Those in Japan and the US had to buy this separately for 1200 points as DLC. It's great to see them include it right out the box instead of pining for the extra money. A bit of a shame it doesn't come with the 360 faceplate the limited US edition on came with, but at least it's coming over in the first place. Here's what the package looks like as a whole (manual not included in the shot):
The product page at Rising Star Games includes a feature list which is as follows:
* Left/right shooting mechanic, surrounding you with enemy units and gunfire from both sides of the screen
* The player will need to employ strategy and think about enemy positioning as your shots may be blocked by obstacles
* Deathsmiles features a selectable difficulty level that allows you to choose how to proceed through the game, ensuring that newcomers are as welcome as veterans
* Different stories and conversations will appear during both single player and two-player cooperative play, depending on the character(s) chosen
* Arcade Mode - featuring the same gameplay and accuracy as the original arcade release
Xbox 360 Mode - a high resolution version of the arcade game
Version 1.1 - an original mode for the Xbox 360.
* Mega Black Label - an expanded version of the game included on the disc and features:
New playable character Sakura
New stage Ice Palace
More challenging scoring system
New difficulty setting, level 999
* Play with a friend via Xbox LIVE, where the player can also measure up their success by submitting their scores to the online ranking service
You can pre-order it now from hmv or play. It's proposed release date is 18th of February 2011, so fingers crossed for a clean port and no delays!
EDIT: The American version of Deathsmiles did come with the Mega Black Label on the disc. The japanese version didn't.
I've recently been taking a bit of time outta my not-too-busy schedule to learn how to create games for the Atari 2600. Since I love Destructoid so much, I've decided this site of awesome deserves it's own (semi) official game. Since I'm new to programming in general, I'll take the time to get it right instead of rushing out shit (which caused the downfall of the 2600 in the first place).
I've got a few ideas floating around, and quite a decent amount of code down already, so this is slightly beyond pre-production phase already. Here's the proposed title screen, running fully coded in a 2600 emulator:
I've also got a hero character, villain character, and both of them moving around and shooting in a small environment. Here's the cool part though. It'll actually be put into cartridge form. This won't be no "Hey! Let's share the ROM around and all have like, 20 seconds of fun with it!!" I have enough money to get a high quality copy made, in an actual Atari 2600 (mint condition) cartridge, with a professionally printed glossy label. Here's a quick idea of what the label could look like:
This single (or potentially multiple) copy(ies) will then be available to win through a competition I'll make. It won't be for sale or anything, and I'd pay for shipping etc.
I won't show any actual gameplay yet, since everything is so liable to (and will) change. I'm basically only learning 2600 homebrew for this project, and I'm still quite the novice, so if you have any knowledge at all, and wouldn't mind answering a few questions or even helping out, that'd be much appreciated.
You heard right. Treasure have combined forces with Hori to make an arcade stick specifically designed (but perhaps not exclusively) for the upcoming release of Radiant Silvergun on XBLA.
Not only is this good news unto itself, but it also signals that Radiant Silvergun may not be too far away. All we've got so far is a TBA 2011, but considering they've already announced (and possibly released) this totally awesome bit of gear, the game itself could only be a few months away. Personally I'm hoping for the first half of 2011.
Oh, and pics
As you can see, it's a really great looking piece of hardware. They've certainly put quite a bit of effort into the presentation, and it shows. If you're familiar with the gameplay of Radiant Silvergun, you'll know exactly what all those buttons are for. If not, I'll give you a quick rundown. Every button has it's own attack, which you level up as you kill more ships. Unlike in other shmups, however, your experience is kept and saved, so an experienced player who's put countless hours into the game will be able to have highly upgraded weapons right from the get go.
The player is also equipped with a sword, which can swipe away certain types of bullets. As these bullets are swiped away, a bar on-screen fills up. When the bar is full and the sword is used, it clears the screen of enemies and causes huge damage: it's basically the game's bomb, but it's so well done because it makes you work for your invincibility and huge damage output.
So, how much will this fine object of pure win cost you? Naturally, these will be in extremely high demand, and unfortunately, Treasure and Hori both know it. It'll set you back about $161 USD (as of December 23). It's 13500 Yen. Though if you are the collector type, love Radiant Silvergun (that's basically all of us), hate the 360 d-pad (also all of us) and have a bit of spare cash lying about then you should by all means find yourself one of these. How much actual awesome will you be getting with your purchase? About this much:
2.6 frickin' KG's of actual awesome, in fact. No doubt it'll feel solid, and be a absolute blast to play with. It's also a decent size, coming in at 16.2 inches long, 9.5 wide and 4.9 high. Expect prices to skyrocket after they're all sold out (which'll happen FAST), so if you want your piece of the action at a reasonable price, get in QUICK!
EDIT: All images sourced from the Hori website, linked to directly from the Treasure homepage
RedSpotGames, an independant publisher for indie commercial Dreamcast games, has announced a new Dreamcast shmup, and is to be available via their store sometime in 2011.
The shop page has a decent list of features, aswell as an interview with one of the developers from Duranik (who are developing the game)
* 16 Levels
* 3 selectable difficulty levels
* configurable controls
* adjustable screen position
* different weapons selectable
* More than 20 large bossenemies
* Hundreds of different enemies
* FMV intro sequence
* Hybrid 2d/3d game engine
* Resolution 640x480
* PAL50, PAL60, NTSC and VGA (with Adapter) compatible
* Region Free
* Works with any MIL-CD compatible Dreamcast
* CDDA Sound
* Supports: Joypad, Arcade Stick (Analog/Digital), VMU, Rumble Pack
* Internet WEBcode Hiscore Tables
* Award Trophy System with unlockable content
While features such as configurable controls, and 3 selectable difficulty levels have obviously become standard, it's great to see VGA support, aswell as what seems to be a rather large selection of levels. It'll be interesting to see what kind of system they use for the level playability. A Darius-esque multiple paths option is welcome, but personally I'm hoping for some real creativity when it comes to level selection. An FMV intro sequence, and extra unlockable content is just icing on the cake.
A few screenshots have already been released (courtesy of RedSpotGames), and so far it's looking great, You can preorder from the site, and they won't actually charge you until the game ships. If you have a Dreamcast, please support this small company. The more it sells, the more awesome indie Dreamcast games we get in the future. 'Nuff said