Shmups (pew pew)

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Squire Grooktook, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Used to be obsessed with shmups before I got into fighters. Kinda came back to them recently with college and my rekindled interest in the unrivaled depth of 2d PvE combat in general.

    For those who don't know, shmups stand for "shoot em ups" and is a label generally ascribed to scrolling shooters like Gradius, R-Type, Touhou, Dodonpachi, Raiden, etc.

    So anyway.

    I recently bought an Xbox 360 so I could import a bunch of such games. I haven't really gotten into the two Cave shooters I got (Esp Galuda and Bug Princess 2), but I really, really like Eschatos.



    Imo the game was worth the price of the xbox alone. It's a perfect example of level and gameplay design as an art form. Every thing in the game just feels so fundamentally good.

    Other then that, I own about every shmup on Steam right now. I personally recommend Exceed 2nd and Satazius. Satazius feels like a long lost Gradius game, which is a very good thing. Exceed 2nd on the other hand is basically Ikaruga if it had much better level design.

    Ether Vapor Remaster is also slowly rising in the ranks of my opinions.
     
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  2. JingooJ

    JingooJ Member

    Played Touhou 13.
    Shmups are really nice to look at but I'm terrible at playing them.
     
  3. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    I picked up Touhou 13 today and tried to 1cc normal mode blind. To my eternal shame I game over'd on the last spellcard of stage 4. Maybe I'll try again when I'm not so tired out from school. I'm also a bit out of practice with bullet hell.

    It's a pretty fun genre to die in, at least.
     
  4. YoshimitsusEspeon

    YoshimitsusEspeon 46463214 MEXIBEAM

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    I good Shmup I've been playing recently has been Flying Red Barrel, I love the art and music for it and the game can get challenging quickly.



    Also Diadra Empty is really good free roaming shmup and looks beautiful

     
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  5. DukeMagus

    DukeMagus Not A Duke; THE Duke

    Jamestown! for indie Shmup glory!

     
  6. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Yeah I definitely wanted to pick up those. I was gonna get Diadra when it was cheap, but got distracted by some other stuff.

    Rockin Android games are pretty awesome in general.

    Yeah, Jamestown is pretty good. Not quite legendary, but a great game none the less.

    I would also recommend Exceed 3rd on Steam for another shmup with a similar playstyle and level of quality to Jamestown. I think the bullet patterns are more fun and varied in Exceed 3rd, but Jamestown has a more fun scoring system.

    Jamestown definitely wins in the aesthetic department though. The setting is awesome, and the sprite art is fantastic.

    Still playing Ether Vapor Remastered right now. It's kinda like Rayforce meets Einhander, if anyone is familiar with those games. I think the first stage is a bit boring, but the game kicks into high gear later, and has some absolutely amazing boss fights.
     
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  7. Brandon Thomps

    Brandon Thomps New Member

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    Played sine mora, loved the storyline as well as the visual art itself
     
  8. DDB

    DDB Annie Train into Callie Station!

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    Does Metal Slug count?
     
  9. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Yeah, Sine Mora is pretty and has nice art.

    Unfortunately, in terms of gameplay though, it's really kinda subpar. The level design is really bland (especially compared to the many alternatives), the pacing is weird, and a lot of the gameplay mechanics are mishandled (putting your time control meter a million miles away instead of around your character like in Esp Galuda = fail). Other stuff too, but not worth going into it.

    I'm not saying you can't enjoy the game, but keep in mind that there are much more entertaining alternatives that treat the gameplay itself as a work of art, rather then just the visual art.

    Not a scrolling shooter, but close enough.

    I'm hoping to pick up a copy of the Wii collection so I can get my hands on Metal Slug 6.

    Also I love Fio.
     
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  10. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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  11. KaboomKid

    KaboomKid Sure would be nice. ...TUNA FISH!

    Shmups are a blast to play, but it usually takes me a long time just to finish one. I'm currently trying to bounce between a bunch of them, including a few mentioned here already, and it's hard. Generally, if the music and presentation are good, I'll try to stick with it till my fingers burn out. My all time favorites are definitely MUSHA, UN Squadron/Area 88, and Insector X. Oh, and Starfox, of course!

    Right now I'm having fun playing through Hydorah. Thunder Force/Gradius fans will probably blitz this one, but the later levels have really kept me on edge. Locomalito's done a variety of awesome games btw.
    Show Spoiler


    And here's a couple more to add to the PC Indie pot:

    Cho Ren Sha 68k
    Show Spoiler


    Sylph Dragoon 0 (fun gameplay, wish I could read Japanese though)
    Show Spoiler


    And y'know, if I had to rank the quality of game music based on genres, shmups would probably be at the top of the list. Even Galaga's tiny soundtrack is catchy!
     
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  12. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Awwww shit! I didn't know there was a windows version of Cho Ren Sha. Great stuff, thanks for sharing that man.
     
  13. KaboomKid

    KaboomKid Sure would be nice. ...TUNA FISH!

    Hey, thanks for starting the thread! I didn't even know about Cho Ren Sha until a few years ago, and thankfully by then, I think the PC version was already out. It must have been rough for the people that oggled at the game from afar for all of those years.
     
  14. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    So I picked up Danmaku Unlimited 2

    http://www.desura.com/games/danmaku-unlimited-2

    Don't be fooled by the uncreative title or the visuals (which are actually really good and stylish in motion). This game is actually pretty damn good. The bullet patterns are really fun, creative, and intuitive, and the level design in general is really solid. It doesn't break new ground with bullet hell, but it's definitely a really cool one, to be sure.

    The only thing I'd note is, if you're a veteran of the genre, you probably definitely want to play on a harder difficulty. I booted up the game for the first time on the hardest difficulty, expecting a bug princess-esque DIEKILLYOU mode, but the hardest difficulty is actually more or less about as hard as a Cave shooter (I'd compare it to Ketsui or DDP: DOJ). Definitely go there first if you're into the genre.

    Also the music is really good, heavy metal is very underused in this subgenre.

     
  15. Erreip199

    Erreip199 Bounty Hunter

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    Shmups are a genre that always caught my atention but rarely had the chance to play, ill make sure to correct that once Ikaruga hits steam, and if i end up having a blast with it, ill make sure to drop by here again for recomendations on what to play in the genre next.
     
  16. Money

    Money Solo(?) Filia

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    Hmm... surprised nobody's mentioned the Gundemonium series yet. Its on Steam, and I had a blast with Recollection. Haven't had the time to try out GundeadliGne or Hitogata Happa yet.

    Another shooter which I found entertaining was Everyday Shooter. It's an arena shooter though, so it might not be strictly classified as a shmup.
     
  17. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    That's good to hear. I'm pretty well versed in shmups now so I think I could make a lot of recommendations.

    Also speaking of, this bundle is really good.

    http://www.indiegala.com/

    Satazius is basically the unofficial Gradius VI/Axelay 2. Really good game. Ether Vapor and Reflex are also great. I already have those, but I might pick this up anyway for Fairy Bloom Freesia, which a friend highly recommended to me as a brawler. Still waiting to see what those other 4 games are that unlock later.


    Oh yes, I'm a big fan of the Gundemonium series. I'm currently trying to get a hard mode 1cc of GundeadliGne myself.

    GundeadliGne is a pretty good sequel to Recollection. The biggest mechanical change is that you can now turn around and shoot behind you, which is a great addition because it allows the level design to make you move around more by having enemies switch sides and whatnot. Other than that, the biggest difference is that it's a lot more extreme and a lot more harder. Like seriously, the Rank/Phase Level in GundeadliGne is absolutely brutal. It's a much harder game.

    Hitogata Happa is good too, I haven't gotten a chance to get into it yet though.
     
  18. Money

    Money Solo(?) Filia

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    Ah nice, so GundeadliGne ripped a page off of the DeathSmiles design manual. I'll have to check that out once I'm done with eXceed 2nd.... picked up the entire eXceed series yesterday due to the Steam sale.

    The first eXceed seems to be....subpar. I have this annoying screen flicker, and it's got a Shikigami no Shiro feel to it, except done worse. The second eXceed seems a lot more fun....almost an Ikaruga clone. Neither works with my fight stick though. :(
     
  19. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    The first Exceed is pretty bad. Terrible level design.

    After that game, the original development team merged with another circle of more experienced programmers to create Exceed 2nd and 3rd.

    Exceed 2nd is absolutely brilliant. It's an Ikaruga clone, but I'd say it's even better than Ikaruga, and feels like a true sequel to that game. It has a number of very subtle level and gameplay design tweaks to the Ikaruga formula that make it a much more flexible and vibrant experience imo.

    I particularly like the sense of aggression it has. The game encourages you to use your bomb/giant laser (recharged by absorbing same colored bulletse) as an offensive measure to kill bosses early, and you also receive a bonus for killing bosses faster. So to get a high score you have to blast bosses every chance you get, while continuously go for risky bullet chains. At the same time, you're also encouraged to destroy bosses quickly from a survival stand point as well, since some of the patterns are really brutal and get worse the longer they go, which can be a while if you bomb or point blank them enough (like Ketsui, your gun is stronger the closer you are). So it has a really nice risk/reward offense/defense balance going on. Do I use my bomb as soon as I get them (you can only hold one at a time, once you're charged) and be agressive, or do I save it for when the invulnerability might save my life?

    It also has a lot of emphasis on getting close to normal enemies, since you do a LOT of damage by ramming them, and it works well since you can do that with the whole color switching mechanic. It's a really aggressive game.


    Exceed 3rd is good also, but it's not quite as brilliant. It's more your standard bullet hell game.
     
  20. Duckator

    Duckator Well-Known Member Evo Champ '12 & '13

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    The first excced was meant to be a bonus in the excced pack on steam. Not really worth playing but there's an english patch floating around if you're interested in the story.
    2ndVR and 3rdBP are actually remakes by different guys than the originals which explains why there's a huge gap in quality between the first and 2nd/3rd games.
     
  21. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Actually, doing a bit more research on it, Tennen Sozai (the guys who did the later games) were actually "spun off" from the original dev team, so it's kinda sorts the same guys. Kinda.

    The remake of Exceed 2nd (Vampire Rex) is pretty much the same game as the original from what I've heard and seen, with a few additional tweaks and some remixed music tracks. The remake of the third game (Black Package) is actually a completely different game though (and I've heard a few people argue it's just as good or better). A shame the Steam version doesn't include it.

    Also you don't need to play with the english patch to get the story on Exceed 1, Nyu Media has all the dialogue for each stage translated on their site for the game.

    http://exceedseries.com/exceed-gbc_main/script

    Although it's worth noting that Exceed 2nd retcons the whole first game story while being much better as well.
     
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  22. Money

    Money Solo(?) Filia

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    Did not know that ramming an enemy in eXceed 2 will kill the enemy and not you. Good to know....

    Also, has any of you been able to get the FightStick to work with eXceed? It seems to recognize a typical XBox controller, but not the FightStick. :(
     
  23. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    I beat a hard end game boss blind in a hard game.

    Fun stuff.

    Also this is Esp Galuda 2 by Cave, I imported it for my birthday earlier this year. It has a pretty neat mechanic where you can use gems obtained from killing enemies to slow down time (which also switches your characters gender for "visual impact" quoth one of the developers). Using it too much (past when you run out of gems) actually speeds up time though (turning bullets red and of course making them go faster). It's really fun.

    Also at 2:31 I believe she says "Father, forgive me" or something along those lines.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
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  24. DawnHibiki

    DawnHibiki Dog Lover & Idol

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    Ether Vapor Remaster. It's such a nice doujin shoot'em up game to me. Not too hard.

     
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  25. SanoBaron

    SanoBaron Delicious chewable Hubba-Bella

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    A pretty good shmup is Shienryu.
     
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  26. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    I just spent 140 dollars to import Dodonpachi SOJ and Ginga Force. Can't wait till they arrive. Dodonpachi is the game that convinced me that bullet hell is awesome, and I hear SOJ is on par with the original DDP and DOJ as one of the series best games. I also loved Eschatos and how it perfectly blended bullet hell with a more oldschool style, and Ginga Force has me hyped as a bigger and better sequel. I'm especially looking forward to the greater number of boss encounters.

    Also I should have mentioned this before, but here's an absolutely fantastic channel and resource for these types of games

    http://www.youtube.com/user/STGWeekly/videos

    For each video, they usually talk about the game and its mechanics/history/whatnot for about 10-30 minutes, than dive into a pretty high level replay while doing some casual commentary over it. It's a great way to get a feel for some great games, and the host (Aqua) is a really fun guy. They occasionally do live runs too (like for Guwange).
     
  27. SanoBaron

    SanoBaron Delicious chewable Hubba-Bella

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    I also have Deathsmiles. pretty much the only 360 game I own. my little brother owns the 360 and refuses to get a new controller because the left stick on his is broken. (it sometimes sticks upwards and in deathsmiles its a death sentence)
     
  28. DawnHibiki

    DawnHibiki Dog Lover & Idol

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    Einhander! My personal favorite shmup I've played!

    6:16 The boss on this stage can't block overheads.

     
  29. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Oh yes, Einhander is definitely one of the best shmups of all time. There's no other game like it. Einhander, Rayforce, and Gradius are probably my favorite non bullet hell shooters by far.

    Also I added Raiden III and the Gradius III and IV collection to the games I ordered for Christmas. At last I'll finally be able to say that I own every numbered Gradius game!

    Oh wait, II came out only in Japan...damnit...
     
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  30. DawnHibiki

    DawnHibiki Dog Lover & Idol

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    Here is another doujin shmup that I played almost 2 years ago:

     
  31. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    I really wanna play Vacant Ark and Iwanaga, but unfortunately there's a bug for playing them on a 64 bit windows 7 system where you can't play the full screen version (windows 7 apparently can't full screen 640x480 sized screens). I can play the windowed version but...damn that's a tiny screen. Currently looking for a solution, but haven't found any yet.
     
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  32. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    It's just been announced that the incredibly well regarded doujin shmup, Crimzon Clover, is finally receiving a pc port AND localization of it's nesica arcade version (game was so good and professional it ended up in actual arcades!).

    I love Doujin Shmups, but this one is generally considered on a whole other level from most due to the utterly insane amount of polish and professionalism that went into it, which is amazing considering it was basically made by one guy who started programming it midway through college (only other person involved with the project was music composer, otherwise solo).

    It's also just a really good game with fantastic level design and some really cool mechanics, not to mention a ton of depth.

    Apparently a Steam version is planned. I highly recommend everyone who has even a fleeting interest in the genre to pick it up when it comes out, because this is probably one of the best pc shmups in existence and the developer definitely needs to be rewarded.
     
  33. Genericaster

    Genericaster Stupid Newbie

    Just a reminder that Raiden IV Overkill was released on PSN last Tuesday, for twenty bones. And I think you can grab Mamoru-kun Curse! (released by UFO Interactive) and Under Defeat HD (released by Rising Star Games) for ten bucks, each.

    I mean, unless you hate the shootans on PS3.
     
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  34. Rizil

    Rizil Scrub for all eternity

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    So not realizing this was a thing and just briefly scrolling through, I was highly disappointed nobody mentioned U.N. Squadron/Area 88


    This...this was my childhood (also fuck the cave stage, that shit was borderline impossible)
     
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  35. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Okay I got a question for peeps.

    I'd like to make a shmup one day, and I have a bunch of ideas floating around for how to make it feel unique and different while still being a pure bread arcade shmup. I think shmups have become a little more niche than they need to be these days, with even utterly generic 8-bit indie platformers seemingly outselling legitimately well crafted and inspired games. So, one thing I wanted to ask, preferably for more casual fans:

    What would you like to see in a new shmup that would get you interested in playing it? Any mechanic or playstyle or aesthetic or selling point that would make you want to try it out?

    Only caveat is that it still has to be basically an arcade game (so 70 hours of side quests are out, heheheh).

    Been asking a lot of friends this, and so far what I've heard back syncs up with exactly what I expected, so I think I'm on the right track.
     
  36. Erreip199

    Erreip199 Bounty Hunter

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    Games now a day have hooks besides the gameplay itself to keep players interested: Levels, Loot, Points to unlock cosmetics/ characters, rogue likes, free to play, comeptitive multyplayers etc. High scores barely mean shit anymore, specially with how easy they are to hack and the lack of interactivity with other players.

    Unless something revolutionary happens, Shmups will remain a niche Genre.
     
  37. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    No argument here. I do agree shmups will always be niche, however I feel that they have not just become niche, but super niche.

    Shmups are single player competitive games. A somewhat strange concept by todays standards, but even the most strange casual and short games seem to make money these days. 2 hour long retro indie platformers with zero effort 8-bit graphics sell well while even Cave games on the XBLA market seem to struggle for nearly the same prices. Based on this, I believe that the genre has drifted into a niche even beyond the niche of platformers, "casual" single player titles, "hardcore" gamer focused titles, and retro style games. And IMO there's really no reason for that, because if you approach them on a more casual level they aren't (or shouldn't) be that much different than any of those games.

    I think there are a number of reasons for this (games are extremely expensive and often require importing, genre saturation of bullet hell shooters, overwhelming focus on appealing to players who are already invested in the genre, lack of any kind of online co op which needs to change, etc. etc.), but that's another discussion for another time.

    Anyway, regardless of profitability or whatever. What would you find interesting enough to be interested or open to a game as opposed to danmaku shooter #20,0587?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  38. obregon

    obregon Active Member

    Is there a manic style shooter that's as easy/forgiving as UN Squadron? I don't want to put in time and effort to 1CC hard Cave level stuff but I do enjoy the first 2-3 easier stages in those.
     
  39. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Off the top of my head:

    Crimzon Clover (the original doujin version)
    -Allows you to choose between a power up, a score item, and an extra life at the end of each stage. Still hard but allows you to focus entirely on survival if you want and clear the game much easier

    Crimzon Clover: World Ignition (re-release on Steam and arcades)
    -Normal game is MUCH harder but has a novice mode that's easier than the originals normal mode. Also has 3 modes with unique play styles, each of which are playable in normal and novice.

    Any console port by Cave
    -Usually has a novice mode as well as "arrange" modes that have different mechanics and are sometimes easier. For example in their latest game, there was an arrange where you have a lifebar and there's an adaptive difficulty mechanic.

    Any mainline Touhou game
    -Normal mode is very forgiving, and also gives you tons of extra lives and whatnot. Also the later games allow infinite recoveries but boot you back to the beginning of a stage when you game over.
     
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  40. KaboomKid

    KaboomKid Sure would be nice. ...TUNA FISH!

    Yeah, I concur that getting a shmup out of the niche will be an uphill effort, so obviously your number one goal should be to stick to whatever ideas you feel most passionate about. Make the game you wanna make, and usually hard work will speak for itself. You might not be a huge success, but you can be proud of what you've done.

    Having said that, here are a couple ideas!
    two cents (open)
    How about a shmup more centered around the stage environments? Like, a vertical scroller where the player attacks along the rocks and tunnel walls, and/or maybe even has to use the environment to fight (toss boulders/summon vines or geysers/etc.)? The enemy's attacks could also have an effect on the environment that changes how you need to play.

    Or, maybe a shmup where your ship can possess enemy ships? Games like BlaZeon & Enemy Mind have a similar idea, but I'm thinking more like a shmup Katamari, where you might attach to multiple enemies or control them remotely, and they progressively add to your arsenal. You could nab waves of cannonfodder to shield yourself, possess a strong enemy so it adds to your firepower, or even control the detached "phase-1" parts of a boss and nail it with its own missiles. Sounds like it'd be a hard game to balance, but that might be the fun of it.

    (Obviously there's hundreds of shmups out there that I haven't played, so these ideas might not be that original. Don't forget this is a thread where you can link to stuff that we haven't heard of yet! :P)


    And if nobody's ideas work out, maybe you could just rip the assets from the Heaven Variant guys and finish that game for them. I'm still salty they canceled it without releasing a demo or anything!
     

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