In the 16-bit era, shoot-em-ups were enjoying their new found technological freedom. As technology stepped up, so too did the amount of enemy ships trying to blast you out of the air. Levels lengthened, enemies took on a wide variety, and bullets split the sky in various patterns. I was in heaven.
In the 32-bit era things went decidedly differently. Perhaps this was due to the continued decline of arcades and the inherent arcade nature of shmups. Polygonal hit boxes and the commonly low budgets for shmup developers (things that are still true today) clearly had an impact as well. Most great shoot-em-ups of the 16-bit days either went dormant, or stuck with the tried and true gameplay of their past iterations. New shoot-em-up franchises you say? Maybe in Japan, but even with the PSX being the money maker it was, publishers rarely cared to put in the comparatively minimal effort needed to bring them stateside.
Then Square stepped up to the plate by releasing Einhander in the US in 1998. Perhaps feeling cocky by the release of FFVII they were translating and releasing everything they could develop searching for their next big hit. Even things that were not RPGs were getting developed by Square, practically unheard of today.
Not only did Sony bring shmups into the polygon era, they nailed it on the first swing. Large bosses, huge variety of guns and strategy to using them, great music, amazing graphics. Any criteria you could use to judge whether a shmup is good or not (meaning don’t judge it on the story whatsoever) was impressive. I still go back and play this game when I want to blast hundreds of generic enemy ships into oblivion.
I, as I am wont to assume, believed that this was the beginning of an incredible series, rather than a one off experiment. Evenually other companies dragged shoot-em-ups new and old into today, but Square was so far ahead of the curve it is truly surprising that they didn’t capitalize on it. Square never saw fit to develop a sequel, nor any other shmup game ever since. Even worse, they are too lazy to let me download the originalon PSN, even though it is available on the Japanese PSN!
Oh Square-Enix, finding the dumbest ways to try and take my money while simultaneously finding other ways to keep me from throwing money at them.
I have a problem. I can get a modded Tecmo Bowl for football, or a pot smoke filled revision of Mario Kart, but can’t get me no hacked version of any iteration of classic NBA JAM with updated NBA teams?
Listen here EA, if you make a new NBA Jam (and charge only $15 for it again) and I will buy it day one, just like the last one on PSN. Until then, gamers have to take things into their own hands.
Unfortunately they didn’t already do that, but I hope some enterprising video game hacker can hear the silent sorrow of what NBA fans that don’t play sports games must go through every season that NBA Jam rosters becomes more and more obsolete despite the long lasting arcade fun of NBA Jam in any era..
Imagine that, EA, once the greatest game company on earth and universally derided for their gluttony of yearly sequels won’t release a yearly sequel for something! They are also not the largest game company any longer. Coincidence? Yes, but I still want a new NBA Jam.
(image from this awesome video Go Clippers!)
Cybernetic limbs? Travelling to the moon? Has Suda51 been reading my dreams?
This post is a bit more about me than Killer is Dead, but don’t worry. there are plenty of Suda51/Grasshopper/Killer7/is Dead/etc ideas floating all over my brain.
Basically I wish I had a cybernetic arm, and I wish I could fly to the f-ing moon!
I have another wish, to hunt monsters/demons for a living. This wish is obviously the least likely of the three. Some more background? I am a Mexican American living in Los Angeles. Sort of like Shadows of the Damned’s Garcia Hotspur. A man who hunts demons for a living!
Holy crap Suda, how do you do it!?
I am halfway through the story mode of Persona 4 finally. So much reading. It’s been getting more and more interesting though as you play through each character’s perspective. I definitely enjoy the way that little pieces are revealed through each fighter’s story. Not to mention the way each character reacts to the same situations, large and small.
Right now I can only speculate at who’s endings are accurate, and which are not. Also got to love those alternate endings I’ve run into once or twice. I wonder if I have to see all the side endings to get 100% story completion? Well, I guess I will find out once I finish up these final storylines.
Oh, if you play Persona 4 Arena on PSN. my PSN name is ‘genoboost’ Add me and let me beat you up.