Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Top Ten Most Wanted 30/10/2013

Just want to list my current long term collecting "Most Wanted" list, damn I've been after some of these titles at a decent price for years.
1 Harmful Park PS1
2 Bioship Paladin Megadrive
3 Musha Aleste Megadrive
4 Shinobi 3 Megadrive
5 Alien Soldier Megadrive
6 Earthbound SNES
7 Demon's Blazon SNES
8 Ketsui DS
9 Gaia Seed PS1
10 V-V Megadrive

Bubbling Under

11 Fist of the Northstar Ken's Rage Treasure Box PS3
12 Contra Megadrive
13 Hagane SNES
14 Image Fight/X-Multiply Saturn
15 Okami Zekkeiban PS3

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Today's Post 25/10/13

Shooting Gameside Vol0. This amazing Japanese magazine focussing on the history of shooting games is truly gorgeous. I know I've got a ton of catching up to secure all the issues, It's all written in Japanese but it's still of interest to shooting fans!


Monday, 28 October 2013

Stuff I've Bought Recently Series 3 Episode 1

Megadrive Special #1:

Today's Post 24/10/13

Dragon's Crown - PsVita US. With bonus artworks, picked this up before I found out the art book was coming with UK preorders too. An awesome few months for Vita owners finally with the recent release of Killzone Mercenary and this. Links up perfectly with the PS3 version, completely sublime.
Super Strike Eagle - Super Famicom. Bought it for the ridiculous cover and it was dirt cheap, can't wait to see what this mode 7 arcade flight sim is like.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Trouble with Darius

This post stems from a bigger conversation I've been having with my friend on Facebook (lets call him David) about the Darius shooter series

                                                            A good Darius game yesterday

My problem with the series really stems from playing certain bad titles over the years and only relatively recently playing some of the more accomplished games. I think Darius 2 has been an especially guilty party in my perception of the series - the ok 3 screen arcade cab (which I was lucky enough to play in the wild) really didn't transfer to home systems very well and both the Megadrive and Saturn ports try valiantly to accomplish that strange screen ratio on a home system. A guess the Saturn port is the definitive version and whilst certainly being the most accomplished version it is far from being great. Similarly the Megadrive version really struggles for me to stand up generally as a decent shooter and can be a frustrating beast at the best of times. Now onto the really offensive Darius game for me Sagaia on the Master System, now fair play to the developers it was always going to be a tall order to covert the arcade game to Sega's 8-bit system and graphically they nearly do it - the game is technically impressive. Unfortunately the game shares the same fate as Xenon 2 on the system, flickery as hell and a spaceship that handles like it's crawling through a sea of treacle. Many deaths occur because of dodgy collision detection and uncertainty as to where enemies and bullets are, for me an entirely frustrating proposition.

Other games that clouded my view were Darius Twin which I found completely boring and Darius Advance. Darius Advance is a Japanese exclusive promises so much, the cover artwork is some of the nicest I've seen on a Japanese release but ultimately falls flat on its face due to lack of variation in the levels and what feels like an underpowered weapons system. There are definite balance issues with the game which is a real shame because those boss battles are still damn good fun.

So then as a conclusion to the story Geoff hates Darius.... well that's not strictly true either.

Thanks to David and other Darius maniacs who have a wider view of the series and have urged me to give certain titles a try, I've started to see what they mean. I guess my journey to Darius redemption began with a video one of my YouTube buddies put up showing a compilation video of the crazy boss battles in Darius Gaiden, not only did the enemy designs look original and beautiful the game looked really playable. On the back of this video I scored a copy and was very happy with what I played, I always admired the uniqueness of the weird enemy and level designs in the games but finally I had a title that I actually wanted to play!

The accomplished G-Darius followed next which reminded me a little of R-Type Delta, not in content but graphically the 2.5 modelling has a similar feel.

And now finally onto what I feel is the pinnacle of the series, Darius Burst, words can't describe how impressive this title is. To me it feels like a shooter you can speak of in the same company as Border Down, Ikaruga, and Gradius 5. It has all the classic components of greatness; being well balanced, full of interesting set-pieces, a pounding soundtrack, a feeling of pace, epic boss battles, and most of all is fun to play. I feel I'm almost doing the game a disservice by not going into an in-depth review about why it's so good (honestly pay the daft money it's starting to command and get it).

I thought I'd like to chart my history with the series and explain why I'm left with mixed emotions about the games. Currently I now have an active interest in picking some of the other titles after spending years dismissing the series, I can honestly say that good or bad no other shoot-em-up series solicits such a conflict in my mind.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Today's Post 23/10/13

SCI - PC Engine. Currently my PC Engine collection is expanding and this joins Chase HQ which I picked up years ago.
Sonic Wings Special - Saturn. Another shmup for the Saturn collection, I'm rapidly running out of titles to pick up. I've been loathe to get this because I'm not a fan. But the price I picked this up for with the soundtrack CD made it worthwhile.

A Couple of 360 Imports......

Hello, it's been a while since I posted anything on here due to a new arrival in the house.

I'm finding it tough at the moment to find any spare time to have even a few pints at the moment let alone write a blog or shoot YouTube vids. Rest assured that both my shmup and regular collection are still expending and I'll be back on a slightly irregular basis from here on in.

I'm specifically looking at a couple of recent 360 imports I've purchased recently:

Sneak King - US. One of three games available from Burger King for a limited time in the US at a budget price when bought with a value meal. Not rare and bought just as a curiousity for £3 on ebay, I intend to get all three at some point.

Instant Brain Limited Edition - Japan. Finally picked this up for a non stupid price I'm sure Cave fans will know the reason why I bought this this glorified dating sim, it contains a port of arcade DoDonpachi. A real shame I've got to grind through the main game to unlock the shmup goodness, but I've heard it's quite a painless process