Wednesday, 18 January 2012

AVSG Series 1 Challenge 1: Ketsui

This long and waffling post (as I know it will be at the beginning of writing this) could also have been titled "How Geoff found his way back to shmups" or "Geoff loves shmups again". I'm conscious over the last year that whilst bolstering my collection with quality shooters I've enjoyed the chase collecting these games rather than dusting off the consoles and playing them. In a way I've been unfair to these games and the genre I love so much, all this is changing. I felt at the beginning of the year the pull of blasting and weaving my way through hoardes of alien scum - I blame the PAL release of Dodonpachi Resurrection for this. Why does DDR have the distinction of reigniting the engines? Well being an owner of the Japanese version I picked up the PAL version as an afterthought because it was cheap, I could skim off some cheap achievements, and also because I wanted it for the 360 collection. As always when i pick up a new game it gets a test before it goes onto the shelf to be played at some future date - this was a fatal mistake. Thinking "I'll have just one go I might as well" led me to an hours worth of gaming and an urge to play more shooters.
So on a fateful night (13/01/11) whilst playing DDR my good friend AmidstStorm popped up online and a frustrating 20 mins trying to get a two player online game working (we still don't know how to do it) turned into a shmup challenge of epic proportions! Myself and AmidstStorm have decided to conduct a monthly shmup competition with each participant choosing a game to decide the king of shmups!! Well it's for fun really weve both admitted that we're average shmup players but for both of us it's an opportunity to play some of the games in our collection and have a friendly competition at the same time.

We set up a few rules that have been expalined very eloquently by AmidstStorm here: and on a basic level there are 2 laws to stick to

1> Default settings
2> 1 Credit

So the first choice in the series is Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi EXTRA X-Mode on the 360, I must admit that I've not played the game that much. When it was originally released I really wondered what all the fuss was about becuase the game is held in such high regard by Cave fans, I'm starting to see why this is when playing for a score rather than survival. The game is set up to get as close to the enemies as possible in order to score higher. The levels and enemy patterns are set up maximise scoring potential and theres a great risk and reward structure to gameplay. There's nothing nicer than pulling of a big showboating chain successfully.

Personally so far I've enjoyed comparing gaming experiences with the stormy one and challenging myself to beat that last score, something that's sadly missing from more modern games.

Announcement Video:

First Run Video:


  1. A nice little post here mate. I honestly think this is going to be a really fulfilling experience to both of us. We both seem to buy more games than any of us will ever play in our lives, to the extent they deserve anyhow. Just returning to Ketsui, for what has been perhaps 5 hours of play and less than a week of the challenge.. has made me realise not just how much I love the game and Cave, but how much I love the genre, as average I am at the games in comparison to the hardcore crowd. I have even put my epic 85 hour skyrim (too good for words) game save to one side to give the small amount of time I get to play games a day, towards Ketsui and updating my blog, researching shmups, etc.

    I think at the end of this game's challenge, I think we will both be at reasonable scores and be glad we started this. Having set myself the target of breaking the 100 million mark by the end, seemed such a big ask at the time, now I'm pretty confident I will pass that at some point soon, if not by the end of the challenge time.

    I've got a few games in mind for game 2. Just need a list really of what you own if you have time to do one. I'd like to play all physical copies really and only venture to emulation for arcade exclusives if need be.

    I will be doing an AvsG update at the half way point. My stat screen is looking ridiculous already compared to what it was when I started. I love stats. All shmups should have them as standard.

    1. Aye I'm seriosly enjoying this challenge, it's the first game from Cave I've really enjoyed since I became addicted to Deathsmiles on it's Pal release. There's no denying the greatness of their games!! I've been amazed by the progress we've both made in about a week and a half, it just goes to show that with a bit of practice what you can achieve! I know there's a huge scoring run in me somewhere! I'll pull that list of shmups together for you.