A shot them up (also written shot 'EM up , literally “mitraillez them! ”, or contracted in SHMUP ) is a Type of video game in which the player incarnates a character (often in the shape of a small spaceship) having to destroy hordes of enemies using increasingly powerful weapons as the play advances.
In a general way, the shoot' EM up are cut out in levels with the end of which celebrates it “boss of end of level is”, an enemy very resistant and to the capacities different from the basic units (and very destructors).
The kind has been present in the world videoludic for several decades: the first known shoot' EM up is Space Invaders . The type of scenario since then deployed hardly evolved/moved: large malicious wants to make evil, one must prevent some. The shot them up acquired its noble letters in the rooms of arcade, before extending towards the “modern” consoles (PC-Engine - itself often called " queen of shoot' EM up" , Master System, BORN, Megadrive, Neo Geo…).
Various types of shot them upApart from the type of scrolling , i.e. a horizontal displacement (like Gradius V ) or vertical (such as Gigawing ), and the rate of travel, it appeared quite precise styles of shot them up .
The manic shooter
The Manic shooter , also called Bullet Hell in English (reads. " hell of balles") and danmaku in Japanese (弾幕, reads. " curtain of balles") or Stopping shooter , is a sub-genus of the Shot them up; in these plays the globality of the screen is often almost completely filled of balls resulting from the shootings from the enemies. This style of play appeared about the middle of the years 1990, and can be regarded as an evolution of the shot them up to vertical and horizontal run. To compensate for the weak room for maneuver which a screen filled with balls imposes, the Masque of collision of the vessel controlled by the player is often tiny room to some pixels (even only one) located at the center of the vessel (zone generally clearly indicated, in particular when projectiles approach some). In spite of Ca, the plays of this type are often extremely difficult and require much time to control them.
Manic Shooter differ from the standard shmup on several points: whereas typically one finds many enemies to the screen, of the balls which cross the screen quickly, much of no-claims bonus increasing the characteristics of the vessel, and the Boss whom it is necessary to attack on their zones of weaknesses specific, the manic shooter are concentrated on a low number of enemies who draw much from balls, of the balls which move more slowly, to see any no-claims bonus little and which then do not make that to increase the firepower, and of the boss which do not have a particular weak point that it would be necessary to aim. In certain Manic, the goal of the combat against the boss is not to overcome it but survive during a certain time, with the end of which the boss is regarded as overcome.
Mainly in Manics, the screen is placed vertically, but one finds also some plays directed horizontally.
The majority of most popular Manic were developed by the Japanese company Cave which specialized in this type of video games, but one regards the play Batsugun of Toaplan (1994) as first Manic of the history of the play-video. Ce kind is also very popular in the medium of the video games makes house called Doujin.
Among the manic shooters the most known, one finds:
The cute' EM upCute' EM up (shortened cute them up) is a nice shoot' EM up in general . Here, not of enormous explosions, not of intergalactic vessels, nor of missiles with homing device. One will be rather with the control of an young girl who will destroy the enemies thanks to her magic capacities. But behind this kind of plays often a difficulty equivalent to the most difficult manic shooters hides! See for example:
The shoot' N jumpThis kind of play (also known under name run and gun ) is however not very widespread but rather known. It is a question here not of controlling a vessel, but human. Setting besides, this type of play often has all the traditional shot them up: Power-up , Boss of end of level, etc Generally the scrolling is not forced in this type of shot them up. Some examples:
History of the shot them up
Chronological list of the shot them upSee: chronological List of the shot them up
The first shot them up recognized is Space Invaders , in 1978. Control is done by horizontally moving a vessel which must destroy aliens which go down gradually from the top of the screen. This play had a success such as certain rooms of arcades were created only for him, there even was a shortage of coin to the Japan. Space Invaders founds also the first system of High score of the history of the shot them up. Then, in 1979 comes Star Fire , first shot to simulate an impression of 3D; the play functions on the principle of Asteroids . In 1980 appeared Space Invaders 2 , which makes it possible for the first time to play two: the aliens in the middle of the screen, the two players in top and bottom. Nevertheless the two players were not necessarily combined, contrary to almost all the shot them up, it was possible to destroy the vessel of its game partner.
The first horizontal play with scrolling is Defender , left in 1980. This play brings also an element which will remain engraved in the Gameplay of the kind: the Smart bomb, in French bends intelligent, because it eliminates only the enemies and their balls. One finds it in the large majority of the shot them up left thereafter. Two years later Xevious appears, which founds the Boss in the direction of a final phase of a level where one faces a particular enemy from his resistance and his offensive power. In 1984 appears 1942 , where one sees for the first time the Power up , Item that the player collects to increase the characteristics of his vessel.
In 1985 leaves Gradius , and with him the concept of Option S: by collecting special Power up , appear indestructibles spheres revolving around the vessel of the player, which inflict damage while drawing and by touching the enemies. Thereafter in 1987 R-Type arrives, which brings many innovations to the kind. First of all, this play founds the Beam (which one can translate by gun with load ), which makes it possible to make an attack inflicting of large damage by letting the vessel take care during a certain time. The vessel of R-Type has also a Module of force, a indestructible sphere which could as well be used to protect the vessel as to inflict damage.
In 1989 leaves Darius 2 , on Borne of arcade, which offers, in addition to many graphic innovations, the possibility of playing on 2, even 3 screens aligned in its version Japan ease. Darius 2 also makes it possible to the player to choose 2 destinations at the end of each level, opening to this manner a large panel of possible courses. End 1989, SNK leaves the Neo-Geo, the console of arcade by definition. Thanks to the performances at the time incredible of this console a new wave of shot them up arrives, with particularly detailed sprite S. The first shmup to be born on this console is Alpha Mission 2 in 1991, with a very pointed management of the Power up S.
Then in 1992 always appears Aero Fighters on Neo-Geo, and with him the first steps of the manic shooter , followed Viewpoint , a shot them up in isometric 3D. At this time there of the history of the shmups, almost all the elements of the kind are appeared, the developers especially concentrated to improve what had already been made: destructible elements in the decoration, Gameplay of dodgings, operation of the Boss and acquisition of the armament. In the foultitude of shmups left during this period, one can in particular retain:
Batsugun , in 1993 which can be regarded as the first manic shooter.
- Star Fox , also in 1993 on Super BORN, one of the first plays in 3D polygonal.
- Aero Fighter 2 in 1994 on Neo-Geo and Gunbird the same year on Terminal of arcade, two plays which are used incontestably as references.
On MegadriveBetween 1989 and 1994 the Megadrive knows a big number of conversions of shot them up of original arcade and some plays, in particular thanks to the processor of the Megadrive which manages well the sprites in great number, contrary to that of the Super Nintendo (which knew conversions of the arcade all the same, especially in its beginnings). The most voted by plebiscite Megadrive plays were, inter alia:
M.U.S.H.A. in 1990.
- Thunder Forces III (1990) and IV (1992).
- Gynoug in 1991.
- Eliminate Down in 1993.
- Gunstar Heroes in 1993.
- Alien Soldier in 1994.
the beginnings of the kind on the console 16 bits of Nintendo were hardly favourable, the hardware of the console proving to be insufficient to suitably manage many the sprites with the screen. The first shot them up on this support showed broad technical gaps, from where them limited enough interest. however, after some tests, the developers learned how to suppress these weaknesses with amplified programmings and thus, Super Nintendo also had its batch of large shot them up.
Two of them accepted the praises of criticism unanimously:
Other titles were also well accommodated:
U.N.Squadron of Capcom in 1992
- Phalanx of Kemco in 1991
- R-Type III of Irem in 1993
- Parodius DA of Konami in 1992
- BioMetal in 1993.
The third vagueness (1995-2005)
It is in 1995 that Cave leaves on Borne arcade a shot them up which will be used as a basis for enormously of shmups recent: Donpachi . It is in particular the Gameplay which will make the difference with its predecessors: only one key for several actions, a Mask of collision (or “ hitbox ”) tiny, a fast scrolling and much of projectiles to the screen. One can also quote Pulstar (Neo-Geo) the same year, like Panzer Dragoon on Saturn, where one does not control the vessel (which is actually a dragon) but a sight which makes it possible to target the enemies.
- In 1996, Twinklestar Sprites is published by ADK on Neo-Geo; it is the mixture of a shot them up and of a Jeu of puzzle, which announces the end of the shmup known as Old school .
- Cave continues on its impetus and leaves in 1997 DoDonpachi , which remains anchored like the definition even of the manic shooter . The same year, Square leaves: Einhänder , on PlayStation. The play innovates from its management of the very particular armament: the balls are not infinite, one must thus pay attention to its stock; moreover, the player can change the mode of his weapon in the course of play without using Power up.
In 1998 leaves Blazing Star on Neo-Geo, to be on the level graphically, the play simulates the 3D but uses sprites the Gameplay uses only one button for the various attacks. Always in 1998 arrives a play that the very great majority regards as best shot them up: Radiant Silvergun . Published by Treasure Co. Ltd and left on the Saturn, the play combines action, reflection, puzzle and Roleplay thanks to a progressive and adapted system of increase of the weapons, a system of Chain extremely worked, a complete scenario illustrated in Japanimation by the Studio Gonzo; the musics of the play were composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, from Square; the play invents the system of scratch , which consists in passing very close to the balls to gain points. Complexity, the realization, a Gameplay completely innovating and perfectly adjusted make of this play a monument of the kind.
the year 1999 sees some imposing titles such as R-Type Delta , on PlayStation, which respects the pointed Gameplay of the remainder of the series, while passing in 3D real-time. By founding the principle of bulletproof shield, Gigawing of Capcom sets up a new kind where the Timing is the key of the success. Indeed, the player can use a shield (called reflect force ) which will return the balls on the enemies. Usable infinitely, this one on the other hand spends a certain time to be reloaded, where it will be necessary to survive the floods projectiles (cf Motif of shooting). One can also quote Guwange , where the player controls a Ninja, in a medieval universe Fantastique Japanese. The play proposes to control by alternation either the ninja or its guardian angel, which can collect the Power up S and slow down the enemy projectiles.
Thereafter, in 2000, leaves Mars Matrix , a manic shooter with shield, in the kind of Gigawing . It innovates by proposing a Gameplay very rich all while using one button. Dimahoo , published by Raizing, leaves the same year. It is him also a manic shooter , kind from now on dominating in the shot them up . It integrates nevertheless some elements of Roleplay and some innovations in the gameplay . One can also announce the exit of Gunbird 2 by Psikyo the same year.
- the Dreamcast is the console which will lodge the most shot them up in this generation. In particular Gigawing 2 , in 2001, which makes it possible to play to four players into simultaneous. Then Zero Gunner 2 , with a Gameplay completely innovating leaves the same year: it is possible to make rotate the vessel, and thus to direct it in the desired direction. One can also announce the exit of Rez , always on Dreamcast, by United Game Artist, a musical shot them up in the kind of Panzer Dragoon.
Treasure Co. Ltd, in 2002, leaves Ikaruga (or project Radiant Silvergun 2 ) on Dreamcast (it will be adapted on Gamecube thereafter). Once more the play is adulated by the community. The play functions on the principle of two colors, the player being vulnerable to the one while it can absorb the other, knowing that it is possible to pass from one color to the other by simple pressure of a button.
- In 2003 leaves Final R-Type on PlayStation 2, the last of the series. The Gameplay of the play is finally rather close to the first opus, but the play proposes detailed graphics, in 3D real-time, a score of levels and a hundred vessels having each one their system of armament. The same year, Border Down is born on Dreamcast. It is a rather traditional shot them up apart from the fact that the levels change according to the number of lives which it remains with the player.
Gradius V leaves in 2004 on Playstation 2. The system of increase particular to the series is always used (the selected player him even which no-claims bonus it activates) and the realization exploits well the capacities of the console. The Dreamcast sees also one of its last play leaving: Psyvariar 2, which uses like principal Gameplay the system of scratch.
Beginning 2005, BlackSmith Studios leaves Solterra, a shot them up in 3D for Dell x51v and x50v (they are PC of Pocket with a graphic socket of 16Mo). For some time, the play is free.
- In July 2005 leaves on Nintendo DS to the United States the play Nanostray . Developed by German of Shin' in, this shot them up is rather traditional in its unfolding: various weapons and capacities which one can select thanks to the touchscreen, futuristic environment, levels filled of enemies with at the end a boss having several points weak, etc Graphiquement, the title posts a 3D impressive enough for the support in spite of some decelerations.
Dōjin and freewareThe universe of the shmups partly made up of is impassioned (even of Otaku S) which carry out often free programs proposing plays containing engagements against Boss and enemies with the reasons for complex shooting. One names these programs Dōjin (or doujin ). Certain companies they also created free plays, sometimes even Open-source, such as ABA Games. Siter Skain, which is at the origin of “Reflex camera” and “Kamui”, forms also part of the elite of the kind. See the article on the döjins.
- Shmup.com a site of reference containing of the encyclopedic sections
- tests of Emunova
- Shmups and Amiga on Amiga Chapter One
- KLOV: Many test and information on the plays of arcade
- Shoot EM Up Games: Shot EM Up Online Ranges
- Shot the core: articles on the shmups, very complete site
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