The bulk of Spriggan Mark 2's manual isn't used to describe the stages to come, or show off some of the intimidating enemies ahead, or even spend any more time than it absolutely has to with something as ordinary and essential as basic instruction. Instead this full colour booklet's densely-packed pages are used to pass on … Continue reading Speak ’em shmup
Unlike Monaco GP, which took a truly old game even by my retro-leaning standards and then made an honest attempt to update its fast-paced formula while still staying true to the spirit of the original, this remake of Sega's System 16 arcade hit Fantasy Zone - the one that first caught everyone's attention in 1986 with … Continue reading Sega Ages 2500 Vol.3: Fantasy Zone
The back of Parodius Da!'s box promises 1991's idea of gaming perfection - the arcade experience at home. This was always an eye-catching boast thirty years ago (if not necessarily as accurate as the excitable text implied), but it was even more so here as this particular release appeared on computer shop selves only about a … Continue reading A non-sense fantasy
Gall Force: Eternal Story, HAL's Famicom Disk System vertical shmup, is technically based on the 1986 movie of the same name, although the similarities between the two are minimal. There are many benefits to this loose approach to the source material: Nobody interested in playing a Disk System shmup has to feel left out because they've not seen … Continue reading HAL-GAL
Gradius V's staff roll reads like a fan's happy daydream, bringing Treasure, G.rev, and Konami (with none other than Hitoshi Sakimoto on soundtrack duties to boot) together to work on an all-new entry in the legendary shmup series. As far as the genre's concerned this melting pot of talent is easily on a par with Sega's sublime … Continue reading Shoot the core!
Shmups occupy a strange space in gaming: They "should" be cheap because they're short and because they're shmups - ancient games where you shoot whatever scrolls into view until you die or there's nothing left to shoot - and yet in spite of this mindset following the genre around like a bad smell since forever … Continue reading Review: Sol Cresta
I can remember only three things about Raizing's celebrated/feared arcade shmup Battle Garegga: It's rank-based, which means the difficulty dynamically alters depending on your actions as you play, it's really hard even at the best of times, and counterintuitively to established genre rules you're supposed to kill yourself off at several points due to the aforementioned rank-related shenanigans and other … Continue reading 1UPs for rent
Originally a 1992 Japanese PC Engine exclusive before being finally gifted to the world in 2008 via the Wii's Virtual Console service (the same year it appeared on the PSP's now painfully expensive Soldier Collection) and again over a decade later as part of the PC Engine/CoreGrafx/TurboGrafx-16 Mini line up, Star Parodier is - yep, you've guessed it … Continue reading A PC Engine parody
As someone who was introduced to the PC Engine via a string of Duos and vanilla PC Engines firmly attached to briefcase-like CD attachments (do have a quick look, they're beautiful things) - a world of CD-stored speech, stunning cutscenes, and Nineties anime tie-ins - I always thought HuCards were a bit disappointing. They were the basic … Continue reading A shining Super Star
Silkworm began its overlooked life as a 1988 arcade shmup by Tecmo but I've always known it better as an Amiga game, one of those mostly forgotten home ports that, like Rodland, seemed to be more popular on grey-shelled computers in Europe than it ever was in its native environment. If this was released today … Continue reading One game, two ways to play!