shmup

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Chip Hageman's picture

C64 Review: Blue Max

Back in early 1984, when I was first exposed to the Commodore 64, one of the games that I had a chance to play a fair bit of was Blue Max by Synapse Software (SynSoft in the UK). In the game, you take on the role of a hot-shot World War I biplane pilot by the name of Max Chatsworth who is known affectionately to his friends as Blue Max.

The game is essentially a 3/4 perspective vertical shooter similar to Zaxxon in presentation. You have at your disposal a machine gun with unlimited ammo as well as a finite number of bombs which you can use to take out buildings, tanks, bridges, roads and boats. Overall control of the plane is very responsive, although (as with Zaxxon) keeping your altitude straight can be rather tricky. The shadow cast by your plane helps a lot in determining your horizontal location on the level (for bombing purposes) but you need to match your altitude to that of the enemy planes in order to shoot them down. You also need to mind your altitude to do strafing as well as estimate the time for a dropped bomb to reach its target.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Zanac X (PS1)

In this video I take a look at the Japanese Playstation disc with the game Zanac X which is becoming more rare by the day :( Go check it out.

Zanac is a very cool series of Shmup games created by Compile. The game originated on the MSX and NES but also found its way on many other systems like this Playstation One version. It's very similar to other Compile shmups like PowerStrike, Aleste, Super Aleste, M.U.S.H.A. All these games feature a similar weapons system.

Other good Compile shmups are Blazing Lazers on the TG16 and Gunnac on the Nes.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Space Manbow (MSX2)

Space Manbow by Konami was a great shmup that shared a lot of family resemblances to Gradius and Parodius. It featured a very similar weapons system. A great game and a must-have for any MSX2 owner who likes shmups.
Sadly this game never was released outside of Japan.

It did come out on cell-phones/mobile phones in Japan in 2006 and it came out on the Wii's Virtual Console in 2009, sadly also Japan only.

The game only comes on cartridge and it features a special SCC soundchip that greatly enhances the sound capabilities of the MSX2 platform. A great looking, sounding and playing game.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Galaga Destination Earth (PS1)

Galaga Destination Earth is a turn of the century incarnation of the well known Galaga game. But it has a twist to the gameplay making it into a bit of an all compassing shmup. It shares similarities with Gyrus, Gradius and even Panzer Dragoon Ortha. Go check it out.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays.... Super Aleste (Fail on 2nd level) (HD)

Compile is one of the great shoot'm up creators from the land of the rusing sun. Aleste / Power Strike has been one of their major series on various platforms. This game is the 16 bit incarnation on the Super Nintendo. Read more below...

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Robotron 2084 on Original Xbox (Xbox Live)

Playing a hidden gem on the original Xbox 'Robotron 2084' a port of the original arcade game on microsoft's first venture onto the online gaming market on the original Xbox.

The game has an 'enhanced' background but for the most part remains pretty true to the arcade original. It is controlled by both analog sticks on the xbox controller and the gameplay is fluid and very nice.

The game is very tough though as only 8 way shooting is possible allowing for 45 degree angles of vulnerability and lots of small objects being hurled your way. Loosing a life is easy!

GamingHistorySources comparison of various other home ports:
http://youtu.be/5vJuxdTRGQc

Intro soundtrack by Andy C. aka SynthMonkey aka ZombieAndy1979
http://www.youtube.com/user/zombieandy1979

NOTICE:
"Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use."

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Zaxxon (Arcade)

A link to a great comparison video by http://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHistorySource
http://youtu.be/a9FDaHxVrCE

Zaxxon, I believe this is one of the first isometric arcade games out there. It was developed and published by Sega in 1982 and one could call it a so called 'isometric shoot'm up'.

Many ports were created on various platforms like: Apple II, Atari 8bit home computers, MS-DOS (CGA), Atari 2600, MSX, Commodore 64, Dragon32, Colecovision, Intellivision, Sega SG-1000, TRS 80 Coco.

The 2600 and Intellivision versions didn't use the isometric viewpoint and are much unlike the others.

The Amstrad CPC, BBC micro computer and Ti/99 reveived well done but unliscensed ports.

Soundtrack intro created by
http://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieAndy1979

NOTICE:
"Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use."

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Gyruss (Arcade) - a small challenge is included

An easy challenge - beat me at Gyruss. I play the arcade version here and I show you how far I got. :P

A great example of a 'Tube Shooter' ala Tempest

The maker of this game moved on to create great games like Time Pilot, Street Fighter and 1942

Highscore to beat (easily): 72450

Diagnosis: Gyruss Infection
Remedy: Keep on playing it.

VIDEO RESPONSES:
by metaHipster
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdi8a2Um51c

by OldSchoolNYCGamer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85f1jzxt8wQ

by rednight2476
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=023Z18G0MwU

by Marcilona
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo-UUd5JtEk

by electricadventures
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83acVNEKkdM

NOTICE:
"Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use."

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Galaxy Force II (Arcade)

Telling you all just a little tidbit about the Galaxy Force II game, showing some gameplay.

Title soundtrack by ZombieAndy1979
http://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieAndy1979

NOTICE:
"Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use."

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... 19xx - the War Against Destiny (Arcade)

A little video on the Capcom shmup 19xx from the golden era of Shmups. Mind you this was totally unscripted.... it should have been a little scripted as the narration is well.... kinda rough :P

Title soundtrack by ZombieAndy1979
http://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieAndy1979

NOTICE:
"Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use."

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