shmup

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Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Alpha Roid (MSX1, 64K)


Lloyd Alpha (? ROID) is a great little game produced by Pony Canyon in 1986. In it you have to destroy the evil forces of the Barugosu and repair the main computer. Well that is as elaborate as the background story of this shooter is going to get.

My European copy of the game comes with a nice cassette inlay but apart from a few lines of backstory there isn't any instructions on the gameplay included. The version I play here is the bare NTSC cart I also own. The Japanese version supposedly comes with more detailed instructions on how to play the game.

In my little gameplay (I didn't really know how to play this game) I didn't go into the holes (craters) that appear on the surface. And you are supposed to do so. Fly into those and the game turns into a little fighting game where you have to hit, kick, jump around to battle against those meanies. So there's more to this game than meets the eye. Check it out for yourself.

Here's a little clip of a guy who actually knows how to play this game and it shows the subterranean battling of the robots
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQL_fWcT0Pc

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Zaxxon (IBM-PC/MS-DOS)(CGA)(1984)


Sega Enterprises released the game Zaxxon on various platforms, they also happened to release it on the old IBM-PC in 1984. I think it was best played with a joystick but as I don't happen to have one I am playing it with the keyboard. That is trying to play it with a keyboard. The ship needs repeated key-presses to move as there is quite bit of lag for it to move on its own.
Everything seems to be there, a nice isometric game that seems to be tougher than the arcade port even. A definite must have in a retro arcade PC gaming collection I say.

Check out how I did (poorly) in the video.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Centipede (IBM-PC/MS-DOS)(CGA)(1983)


Centipede on the IBM PC programmed by R.J.Grafe in 1983. It's not the official port by Atarisoft but another release sporting quite an innovative control scheme. It actually features a simulation of the trackball found on the original arcade game. It uses the space bar for firing and the cursor keys to move around the little gun-turret. Pressing a directional key is similar to giving the trackball a swirl. Pressing multiple times in rapid succesion is like giving the trackball more momentum. A bit of an indirect control scheme but it really works well. With this control scheme in place this actually makes for an excellent port.

Take a look at the video and see how I fared.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Dragon Saber (PCEngine/TG16)(NTSC)


The sequel to Dragon Spirit, a game by Namco falling into the shmup category. Released in 1991 about 3 years after the 1st game. The cool bit about this game is that it actually has a two player mode which I can't show as I can't control two controllers at the same time. It features organic end-of-level bosses that you will find in many other shmups of this golden era of the shmup.
The Wii (Virtual Console) as well as the Playstation (Namco Museum Encore) got ports of this game so it is also available on newer systems.

If you are interested in the 1st game in this 2 game series check out Dave Webster's video on the 1st game called 'Dragon Spirit'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huQBLle9nqM
This video was inspired by him as I heard him mention he didn't own the sequel so I figured I'd show my little gameplay on it.

Check out Dave Webster's channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/DaveWebster

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Tubular Worlds (PC / MS-DOS / Amiga / 1994)


I was going to play the Amiga game but that kept on crashing on me so I chose to do the PC version instead which is very similar if not identical.
A great R-type/Nemesis/Gradius like shoot'm up for PC and Amiga systems. Very nice smooth scrolling and a wonderful use of the 256 colours of the VGA palette. It spreads around 4 levels (worlds), has a nice weapons upgrade system comparable to that of Konami and Compile shooters. Nice soundtrack and great sound FX using the wonderful Sounblaster and FM synthesis. A two player mode is optional but I was unable to show you that as I didn't have a second player available to me. The game is controlled through either mouse, joystick or keyboard

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Nanotek Warrior (PSOne)


A cool little 3rd person perspective Tube shooter developed by Tetragon and published by Virgin in 1996-1997 on the original Playstation. The only platform it came out on.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Silpheed (PC / MS-DOS)

Silpheed is the name of the ship you fly in this 1988 game released on MS-DOS, it was originally developed on the PC8801 & FM-7 computer systems and later ported to MS-DOS, Apple II and the Tandy Coco (!!!). I originally encountered this game first on the SegaCD/MegaCD but that was a remake of the original shown here.

A great sequel called Silpheed: The Lost Planet came out for the PlayStation 2 and I just happen to own that game as well so another video with that will probably pop-up eventually.

There's also a Silpheed game on the xbox 360 which is called ' Project Sylpheed' .

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Gradius II - Gofer no Yab? (PCEngine)

A great game from the Gradius series, this is the Gofer Gradius II game on cd-rom running on the Duo-R/PCEngine console. There's also a port of this game on the MSX systems. One of the amazing features of this game is the giant suns and firebird on the first level. Hard as nails!

In 1985 Konami released a great game called Gradius (also known as Nemesis) in the arcades but also on home computer systems and consoles. It was heavily inspired after Scramble which was released in 1981 and is considered the precursor or start of the series. In this video I play all the MSX cartridges that I own of the series. There are more games for the MSX though and a whole plethora on other systems as well. One of my favorite shmup series.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (PC)

Written by the now gone Bizarre Creations, Geometry Wars originally could be found on the original Xbox was a mini game within the Project Gotham Racing 2. This game is the sequel to it and it was the most downloaded game on Xbox Live on the 360. For me this game was the must have game for the Xbox 360. Check it out.

The Sequel Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 was released on the 360 but also on the Wii and the DS. There's also a version out on iOS.

MIND YOU: This clip has some loud noises so you'd better not use headphones while watching this. Sound quality is not the best as the microphone had some issues that couldn't be fixed in post.

Chip Hageman's picture

Sturmwind - Dreamcast Hori Shmup for release April 24, 2013

It's been a few years since the announcement of the development of Sturmwind: Windstärke 12 by Duranik, and on Wednesday April 24th, 2013 the final game is scheduled to be released. There will be two different SKUs for the game- a limited edition version with plush Kraken boss and upgraded packaging for $129.90[USD] and a regular release jewel case version for a much more reasonable $39.90[USD] with free shipping included.
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