Three for the Road: February 6th, 2011

Chip Hageman's picture
Three for the Road[ FEB . 06 . 2011 ]

Three for the Road: 02.06.2011Greetings folks! Welcome to the February 6th, 2011 edition of Three for the Road. This week we are going to take a look at three great doujin shooters by the one man powerhouse that is Kenta Cho.

First we take a look at one of his early bullet barrage shooters, then we explore his shoot'em up meets Katamari Damacy mash-up, and finally we take a gander at his homage to one of the greatest fixed screen shooters ever made.

BTW: This is only a sampling of Kenta Cho's work, so be sure to check out his website for some more great shoot'em up action.

rRootage is one of his earlier games. The game is essentially a boss-rush shooter where you battle against procedurally generated opponents in futuristic tron style environments (read: glowy vectors). This was also one of his first productions to use his bullet barrage modeling language bulletML, which has since been used in a number of indie titles.

As to the game itself, there's not too much to say. Battle through various levels of "boss" style encounters and ultimately win the game.. which kind of holds true for most shooters, but this game was always more of a technology test bed (my words) than a fully fleshed out shooter (with articulated levels, power-up's, back story, etc). Still, it's loads of fun to play.. and an excellent training-ground for those who want to practice bullet-dodging.

TUMIKI Fighters is a horizontal scrolling shooter where you play as a toy airplane flying through a cartoon landscape. Your opponents are made up of toy blocks, and as you shoot them they blast apart into pieces. The games "gimmick" is that you can actually catch the falling debris and graft it onto your ship (à la Katamari Damacy). This does a few things.. 1) It gives you more firepower, 2) It makes you slower, 3) You can use the extra ship pieces as armor. This opens up a world of gameplay styles and adds some nice variety to what some are calling an aging genre. (Innovation.. TUMIKI Fighters has it.)

The game was also recreated for the Wii as Blast Works by Budcat Creations and was published by Majesco in 2008. Cho claims he didn't receive any money for the port, but allowed his game to be used for free.

Titanion is Kenta Cho's take on one of my favorite games of all time- Galaga. According to Cho's own description: "Strike down super high-velocity swooping insects."... That's pretty much the game in a nutshell.

Titanion is a fast-action fixed-screen shooter. Enemies swoop in on Sine/Cosine generated flight paths (like the good old days) and start dealing death from the moment you see them. The game has three modes of play: Classic, Basic and Modern. The main difference between the modes is the functionality of your beam weapon. Depending on the game mode, your beam weapon functions as either a Capture Beam, Repulsion Beam or Agitation Beam. There are also a few other differences that you can check the docs or the website for.

Anyway, be sure to give this one a go, It's quite fun to play and very well executed.

-Chip <Shmuptacular>