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Stanshall

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  1. Having broken my 'one new game per month in 2020' resolution at the first hurdle, I thought it was worth a thread for the game responsible. I'd personally never played Fantasy Zone for more than a couple of credits on emulation, and I'd found it rather simplistic, so much so that I had no great curiosity to try it again. My main exposure to this style of gameplay was actually with a game called Black Bird, a distinctly odd and unique Japanese indie shmup which I know picked up a few fans around these parts. I would say that I like rather than love Black Bird but I'd always recommend it if asked. I think it's an accessible game for those new to the genre and the music and art are weird and fun. Now I also know that in terms of gameplay, and specifically game feel, it is a pretty accurate homage to Fantasy Zone. For the three people who don't know, like Defender, this horizontal shmup allows you to turn your ship to face and fire left or right and enables you to loop around the scrolling map once you travel to the edge. Your goal is primarily to destroy the ten bases scattered across the map, which will prompt a boss battle. In destroying bases and enemies, you will also spawn coins which you can collect to power up speed, firepower and/or bombs at the floating shop. In addition, you can farm the stages for more dough by holding off on the bases, destroying waves of enemies and so delaying the boss arrivals. I expect this is the key to high scores. The last level is a boss rush but I've not yet beaten it to find out what if anything comes after the ending. It's notably one of the first 'cute em ups' and the gorgeous, cartoonish, psychedelic backgrounds are perfectly complemented by the cheery, slightly manic, tropicalia soundtrack. My favourite track is the nagging, catchy, insanely repetitive Don't Stop: The most famous track is the probably the Shop theme, which was used in a number of other SEGA games, such as Super Hang On. It just instantly makes me think of being in the arcade. Anyway, this game has been ported to the Switch by M2 and I will generally buy anything they've touched. This is yet another labour of love and just feels like a fantastic little package, like with Out Run, Space Harrier and pretty much anything else they've they laid their hands on. It features the now-familiar M2 'gadgets' with lots of info about weapons, scoring and an extended map. It has several modes and plenty of display options including a very nice and subtle CRT mode which isn't usually my thing. I think it's probably a very clearable game with a bit of practice and I intend to do so, but that's not my main concern. It's just immediately so much fun and so easy to understand. There's a simplicity to it which is very appealing but there's also a fair bit of strategy with the shopping, farming and time-limited power ups. It costs about six quid. It's a steal. In terms of excitement, depth and spectacle, it's not up there with ESP Ra.De. Psy, Rolling Gunner or Psyvariar Delta, but it's a slice of 80s arcade perfection which still very much has a lot to offer.
  2. I would say I game 99% on the Switch relative to my One X and Pro, but probably match that Switch time on my 360 playing Cave games. Largely, though, I turn on my other consoles, flick through the library and turn them off. For all their heft, there's very little which compares to a lot of my Switch library.
  3. Mad to think that the January Direct is only three days away.
  4. I've just read that it's on the Japanese eShop for ¥1200, I believe. I'd expect it to come to the EU eShop given that everything else has but not heard anything. I'm in a similar boat to you. I also like rather than love Psikyo stuff so I'm not desperate to play it, but at the same time, it's often cited as their best game so I feel like I ought to try it out and complete the collection. I'm doing pretty well though with my moderation so I'll wait.
  5. The MAME cabinets are simply a bad idea if they're planning on appealing to the likes of us but it was pretty busy with a lot of kids and families and besides that stuff, there was a lot of great stuff I've never seen anywhere else. The ground floor is fairly shit but it gets much better on the other two floors.
  6. Awesome stuff. Wish I'd been here back then. Amazing times.
  7. I probably played Mushihimesama Futari God Mode for 50 hours before I beat the stage one boss with the maximum multiplier. The chime that sounds when I'm collecting the gems as it blows up is the first extend at 350 million. I waited for that sound for a long time.
  8. Stanshall

    Shmups

    @Pockets Just experiment a bit with the fire rate. I think I have it on 15 but I don't have any particular reason. You also can turn on the hitbox in the menu, as well, but it disqualifies you from uploading your score. It's probably the only thing that bugs me about the game. The animation when you move does screw your hitbox perception.
  9. Stanshall

    Shmups

    Yep, it's X on Switch to set the auto fire rate for Shot.
  10. Stanshall

    Shmups

    I'd double check your controls, as well. I have two 'Shot' settings. I have Shot with auto fire on one button, and Shot without auto on another. That will give you your slower movement. Then I have special weapon on a third button and whatever the shield is on the fourth. It's a bit awkward on an arcade stick to me but on a Pro Controller, I go for ZR for auto fire Shot and ZL for shield. Y for special and B for non auto Shot.
  11. I would love to play the Jonathan Livingston Seagull Game, an airborne open world 'walking simulator' where you play as the eponymous bird on a non-conformist quest for self-perfection. There would be skill trees to unlock special moves such as loop-de-loop, pulling up to a slow roll and transcending the material plane. It would have a RDR-style epilogue where you play as Fletcher Lynd Seagull and the Anthony Gull episode would be single-player DLC released forty-three years later.
  12. ZL + ZR brings up the menu where you can select to go back to the game list.
  13. It's got nothing to do with the limitations of the lists for me, it's the mechanical limitations of the game and the degree of 'experimentation' available. I pissed around off-piste and found it paper thin. Dekay's point about it being more like a toy makes perfect sense but a cardboard box doesn't have any inherent gameplay value simply because 'people with imaginations' are entertained by it. I get that people find it fun and I can understand why, to a degree, but it's a bit rum to suggest that people who don't enjoy it lack imagination or are just trying to dunk on other people's fun. I've consciously held off raising even the mildest criticism for that very reason. In turn, I wouldn't suggest that people who like it are easily amused or Colin Hunt types trying to geg in on a wacky meme. I think it probably comes down to the subjectivity of comedy. It's impossible to dissect the proverbial frog. Anyway, thanks also from me for the replies.
  14. @Mugman I will happily take your word for it but it seemed to me that there was very little freedom at all. The idea of 'role playing as a goose' and 'creating your own stories' is completely alien to my experience of the game. It has no apparent depth either mechanically or in terms of 'emergent gameplay', to use that old term. That said, if you really enjoyed the humour and atmosphere of the thing, I can see how you would be more engaged in 'filling in the blanks'. It's one where the tone does a lot of the heavy lifting and if you're amused by the premise, it doesn't necessarily need much more in the way of mechanics, etc. I would genuinely be interested though if I knew there were depths I'd not noticed or reached.
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