Author Topic: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression  (Read 1244 times)

Offline eRe4s3r

  • Core Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,820
I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« on: February 04, 2018, 05:56:26 PM »
Yo there guys and girls ;) I have been stalking my games library and noticed I have absolutely no idea what shmups to get, I looked at various though, I played even more, but I don't know of any with a permanent progression element. Unlocking things by doing various feats, finding hidden things in the "area" etc... certainly that isn't such an outlandish thing to ask?

What I specifically do not want is a bullet hell that only focuses on bullet hell. Bores me to tears as it is only learning not exploration nor progression.

So anyone got any ideas? My cursory browsing brought me to Tenta Shooter, but looking at gameplay I don't feel like playing on a super tiny screen in the center of my big screen ;P Am I just too bleh to find any decent visually pleasing shmups? Also don't really care if it got japanese tentacles or whatever, but solid gameplay and progression would be something I do want.

Obviously I played NIER: Automata, so this is where I have this craving for a decent progression based shmup from (in Nier, shmup sections give you tons of XP and have various hacking minigames etc. but that's aside)

Yes yes, I know of Starward Rogue, however that is not a shmup to me, that's a dungeon crawler. I still want the normal scrolling screens with bosses at the end but progression... weird?
Proud member of the Initiative for Bigger Weapons EV. - Bringer of Additive Blended Doom - Vote for Lore, get free cookie

Offline Misery

  • Global Moderator
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,099
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 11:29:13 AM »
Good luck with that one.  To put it mildly, the concept is.... not a very popular one.  The problem with the idea in the eyes of many fans is that increasing the player's power via progression shatters the difficulty of many things.   Same reason I don't like progression in roguelikes actually.  An early game boss, normally a threat, loses it's difficulty NOT because you got better at the game, but simply because you have such good stats (that you STARTED with) that you could act like a total fool around it and still win.  In a genre that people flock to *because* it is skill based, this... usually doesnt work.  It also means that after enough runs, the early parts of the game become.... well... completely pointless.   A total waste of time, because nothing can hurt you.   Considering that shmups also not only have low focus on story, but often literally *no* story, there's no need to create progression based on that either.

Not to mention that shmups as a whole are designed to be played for score, and score + progression is a huge no-no.

Exploration elements are even more rare.  I cant think of any that do that.  You can find "hidden" things but they're usually like Dodonpachi's bees, they are there for points and they'll be in the same exact spots every time.

As for the idea of unlocking stuff, ehhh.... usually, on the very rare occaision when this is a thing, all you're unlocking is other ships to play as. There isn't anything else to unlock, you see.   Shmups don't really have items or anything to unlock, and there's typically only 5 stages or so (and locking THOSE would just anger everyone).

Hell, even games that are roguelikes + shmups, such as Steredenn, don't do this.   Heck, since it was mentioned, Starward doesn't do it either;  we have no permanent progression in that game (aside from unlocking the final two floors, but I don't know why that's even there... it probably made sense to someone at the time). 

Of all of the shmups I've experienced.... I cant think of even one that fits the bill here.    MAYBE Darius (I forget the full title, it's on Steam).  Maybe.  But even then, for everything that one has, it's probably still not the sort of progression I believe you're looking for.

Typically, if you want the bullet-hell / shmuppy sort of gameplay, but with more than the ultra-straightforward shooting, well.... yeah, you're gonna have to go for games like Isaac or Gungeon or whatever.  But even then, like Starward many of those have permanent UNLOCKS, but not permanent "progression" if that makes sense.  In Gungeon for instance your characters will never, ever get more inherent power... you'll just have more items that can appear in a run (which could be good, or could suck).



Last thing:  I looked up this "Tenta Shooter" to see what you meant by the small screen bit.    A warning here:  ALL vertically scrolling shmups, and I mean *all* of them, will do this.  No, wait, I can think of ONE exception that uses the entire screen, exactly ONE, but I cant remember what it's called.   Generally though, for scrolling shmups, what you see with Tenta there is the norm. Exceptions may exist, but they'll be very rare.  However, typically you can zoom that middle bit in somewhat, stuff like that.   But you're still going to have huge side-bars.   The genre's design comes from games that appeared in Japanese arcades that literally had vertically-aligned screens, while here we are with horizontal ones.  There is a way around this, but you need a screen capable of rotating.  Any of these games can be put into "TATE" mode, I think it's called, which basically rotates the whole thing 90 degrees.   But, yeah, you have to have a monitor that is physically capable of that.  And even then it can be a bit of a pain (I have one, it can do it, but the process is a little irritating so I often don't).

And yes, I know that whole bit is a little stupid.  You'd think that a game of this genre developed for a device that ISNT a freaking arcade machine could, you know, try a different approach with the screen, but.... nooooo, that'd make too much sense, right?  Gotta just do it the TRADITIONAL way.   Bah.   So everyone just does the super-restricted-screen even when the game in question is not an arcade port.  I've always thought that was a bit silly, but.... I don't get to make the rules here, do I....

Obviously, horizontal-scoll shmups don't really have this issue..... usually.   They sometimes still do.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 11:33:59 AM by Misery »

Offline Logorouge

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 510
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 12:18:53 PM »
The closest thing I could think of is Raptor: Call of the Shadows. Not sure it's exactly what you're looking for though.

Offline eRe4s3r

  • Core Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,820
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 12:40:20 PM »
Man I played Raptor: Call of the Shadows to death ;) Well, a decade ago.... it's really not what I want now though

Obviously Misery is the resident Shmup expert so this reply really dismays me.

What is permanent progression? Game modifiers, bullet speed, movement speed, "bullet counter" area, weapons, modifiers to enemy ships (twice as many +10 fire-rate, half as many -5 fire-rate etc.) and exploration -> Various sub-areas to enter and "explore" by forgoing one weapon slot for a scanner. Also equipment and items, visual unlocks (Different character portrait) different enemy sounds, patterns, etc.

I wanna have a Diablo Shmup, basically. And yeah, Isaac but Isaac is a rogue lite, I don't want rogue lite elements ;) When I die I want to get to keep what I attained. Bonus points -> Endless mode where every wave every primary stat increases by 1 but also for the enemies (Bullet speed, fire-rate, dmg, amount of enemies, amount of bullets per shot patterns)

Ps.: Tenta shooter runs at 480x360 apparently, that's a bit .. uhm, how about.. no? I play 2560x1440 ;p So I am not joking when I say the game screen is tiny (Well you can scale it of course, but that really doesn't give you more pixels, only larger ones, so it makes the game harder... since everything gets blurry.. MEEEEEH.

So nobody EVER made a game merge of Diablo and Shmup? How?????? Was Nier Automata really the first one to do this (and merge it with hackn slash too ;p) ? That would be utterly baffling.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 12:59:36 PM by eRe4s3r »
Proud member of the Initiative for Bigger Weapons EV. - Bringer of Additive Blended Doom - Vote for Lore, get free cookie

Offline TheVampire100

  • Master Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,368
  • Ordinary Vampire
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 01:04:26 PM »
This maybe? http://store.steampowered.com/app/654050/JYDGE/
I still haven't played it, I pre-ordered it on my phone but forgot about it, when it finally came out. It looks liek some sort of SHMUP RPG and it's from the people who created Crimsonland, a very popular SHMUP.

Leap of Fate has some sort of progression but it's very limited. If you play with specific characters, you can unlock new abilites for the character or unlock even new characters. However, it's still rogue-like, it's dungeon-crawler (to some sort) and you have to redo everything if you die unless you buy an extra life. There is a special currency, that pesists between runs and can be spent on special shops and if you die (for the extra life I mentioned) but besides that, the progression is per run.

Another Dungeon Crawl Thingy would be Fresh Body but the game is still in development and has many issues like a misplaced UI and translation errors. It is liek Isaac if Isaac would concentrate on progression instead of having to redo. You play a guy who is on an island full of zombies, monsters, mutants, you name it. He looks for his sister but the monsters are too much for him, so he has to adapt and uses the body parts of the killed monsters to constantly improve himself.
You get some base of operations and after each level you return there, improve the base with new materials, upgrade your body parts and other stuff. If it wouldn't be so bugged, I would play it a lot more actually.

To soem sort, the Mega Man games are this. You beat a boss, you get his power, you get better in soem way. The later Mega Man games introduced a lot of secret goodies like heatlh enhancements, that help you on the long run if you explore the levels. This applies to Azure Striker Gunvolt, which was inspired by these games.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/432950/Orange_Moon/
Orange Moon is a SHMUP with sideview. There is not a boss at each level and it is not the best game but it has lots of progression and secrets, you find resource deposits and you can then unlock new weapons and upgrades.

But I think Misery said it the best, it simply is very difficult to find something in that exact genre beause people are generally not interested in that kind of thing.

Offline Misery

  • Global Moderator
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,099
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 01:37:19 PM »
Man I played Raptor: Call of the Shadows to death ;) Well, a decade ago.... it's really not what I want now though

Obviously Misery is the resident Shmup expert so this reply really dismays me.

What is permanent progression? Game modifiers, bullet speed, movement speed, "bullet counter" area, weapons, modifiers to enemy ships (twice as many +10 fire-rate, half as many -5 fire-rate etc.) and exploration -> Various sub-areas to enter and "explore" by forgoing one weapon slot for a scanner. Also equipment and items, visual unlocks (Different character portrait) different enemy sounds, patterns, etc.

I wanna have a Diablo Shmup, basically. And yeah, Isaac but Isaac is a rogue lite, I don't want rogue lite elements ;) When I die I want to get to keep what I attained. Bonus points -> Endless mode where every wave every primary stat increases by 1 but also for the enemies (Bullet speed, fire-rate, dmg, amount of enemies, amount of bullets per shot patterns)

Ps.: Tenta shooter runs at 480x360 apparently, that's a bit .. uhm, how about.. no? I play 2560x1440 ;p So I am not joking when I say the game screen is tiny (Well you can scale it of course, but that really doesn't give you more pixels, only larger ones, so it makes the game harder... since everything gets blurry.. MEEEEEH.

So nobody EVER made a game merge of Diablo and Shmup? How?????? Was Nier Automata really the first one to do this (and merge it with hackn slash too ;p) ? That would be utterly baffling.

There IS actually something I can think of that's sort of Diablo + shmup.  I'm not QUITE sure if it's what you're thinking of... and I have to go look it up (name isn't coming to me, what a surprise... ugh).  I'll try to do that in a bit here... right now I have to go to an appointment (posting this now mostly so it'll remind me).  But yes, there is one thing I can think of that *might* be like it.  I could be wrong though, my memory is such a mess, but yeah, I'll try to look it up.

I do agree though actually:  The concept of a shmup + a loot-based RPG-ish thing is actually an interesting one.  The idea has occurred to me a few times, and yeah, I think there MIGHT be the one that can do it, but....

You know, it's odd:  The Diablo formula itself.... all that crazy loot you can find, building up your character with all sorts of random swords and armor and whatever.... is it just me, or does this formula in general just seem very rare?  I mean, even among more "traditional" games I can think of very, very few that use it.  Grim Dawn, PoE, uhhhh......  err..... I cant even think of any others.  That's all I've got. 

I know it doesnt quite have anything to do with this topic but I'm still rather curious as to why this particular style of gameplay just seems so rare.  There's all sorts of ways you could apply this to all sorts of genres.


As for that Tenta game, hm, to put it mildly, a resolution THAT freaking low is.... not exactly common.  I cant imagine what that developer must have been even thinking there.



This maybe? http://store.steampowered.com/app/654050/JYDGE/
I still haven't played it, I pre-ordered it on my phone but forgot about it, when it finally came out. It looks liek some sort of SHMUP RPG and it's from the people who created Crimsonland, a very popular SHMUP.

Leap of Fate has some sort of progression but it's very limited. If you play with specific characters, you can unlock new abilites for the character or unlock even new characters. However, it's still rogue-like, it's dungeon-crawler (to some sort) and you have to redo everything if you die unless you buy an extra life. There is a special currency, that pesists between runs and can be spent on special shops and if you die (for the extra life I mentioned) but besides that, the progression is per run.

Another Dungeon Crawl Thingy would be Fresh Body but the game is still in development and has many issues like a misplaced UI and translation errors. It is liek Isaac if Isaac would concentrate on progression instead of having to redo. You play a guy who is on an island full of zombies, monsters, mutants, you name it. He looks for his sister but the monsters are too much for him, so he has to adapt and uses the body parts of the killed monsters to constantly improve himself.
You get some base of operations and after each level you return there, improve the base with new materials, upgrade your body parts and other stuff. If it wouldn't be so bugged, I would play it a lot more actually.

To soem sort, the Mega Man games are this. You beat a boss, you get his power, you get better in soem way. The later Mega Man games introduced a lot of secret goodies like heatlh enhancements, that help you on the long run if you explore the levels. This applies to Azure Striker Gunvolt, which was inspired by these games.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/432950/Orange_Moon/
Orange Moon is a SHMUP with sideview. There is not a boss at each level and it is not the best game but it has lots of progression and secrets, you find resource deposits and you can then unlock new weapons and upgrades.

But I think Misery said it the best, it simply is very difficult to find something in that exact genre beause people are generally not interested in that kind of thing.

JYDGE isn't really the sort of thing being searched for here, I don't think.  It's very similar to Neon Chrome though, that one.  Pretty sure it's from the same developer.

At the same time though, alternate concepts are MUCH more likely to work with ideas such as twin-stick shmups (or whatever you want to call them), rather than traditional auto-scroll shmups.  It's the auto-scrolls that have the "stuck in a rut" problem, really.

Hell, I remember one game, that was on the Dreamcast, it was like a combination of a "scroll-in-any-direction" shmup and an open world RPG.... I wish I could remember the name of it, there wasn't (and still isn't) anything else really like it.  It had a lot of differences from traditional shmups though (twin-stick wasn't a thing yet, so your ship controlled like the one from Asteroids, but that just made the combat that much more interesting).

Wait, no:  I CAN think of one other game, one OLD game, that really did something different:  The Guardian Legend, on the original NES.  There's nothing else like that one, much to my annoyance.  But it was glorious.

Offline Misery

  • Global Moderator
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,099
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 02:02:15 PM »
Quick one that occurred to me:  Look up Steel Rain on Steam.  Scrolling shmup (horizontal!), but very definitely not traditional.  Stuff to do between missions (and it doesn't have only 5 missions), techs you can research, a variety of things... I see some people in the reviews with ALOT of hours in this one.  It's not a scoring-focused game, however it does have a "daily single mission" mode for those that like that sort of thing.  Among a variety of other features.

Note, I have not played this one myself; it's been on my wishlist for awhile, but like many things on my wishlist I keep forgetting it exists or I probably would have bought it by now.  Brings up the question of why I add things to the list.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 02:03:52 PM by Misery »

Offline eRe4s3r

  • Core Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,820
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2018, 03:09:05 PM »
I grabbed Steel Rain now (Nothing to lose, put my timer to 1h 46 minutes so keeping refund possibility open ,p) but yeah, there is a distinct lack of diablo esque shmups, and I don't get why. It's literally the first thing that came to my mind after playing Tenta Shooter which I only even got because someone gave me a copy from some japanese site. Mind you, it's a great game and all and I guess there is a steam version too, bullet countering mechanism is imo another one of these things I really like. (The closer bullets are to you, when you trigger counter, they rebound as deadly laser beams killing enemies and giving you multiplier for how many bullets you countered this way, really makes you search out the dense bullet patterns and creep close to enemies instead of avoiding them.

Either way, let's say what Steel Rain does or doesn't.....

Proud member of the Initiative for Bigger Weapons EV. - Bringer of Additive Blended Doom - Vote for Lore, get free cookie

Offline Oralordos

  • Sr. Member Mark III
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
  • Suffering from Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2018, 03:15:53 PM »
You might take a look at Bullet Heaven 2. It has alternate character and weapon types available using a between runs currency. Also various challenges for things like adjusting enemy hp and stuff.

Offline Pepisolo

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,493
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2018, 04:19:43 PM »
Quote
Hell, I remember one game, that was on the Dreamcast, it was like a combination of a "scroll-in-any-direction" shmup and an open world RPG.... I wish I could remember the name of it, there wasn't (and still isn't) anything else really like it.  It had a lot of differences from traditional shmups though (twin-stick wasn't a thing yet, so your ship controlled like the one from Asteroids, but that just made the combat that much more interesting).

That sounds like Armada?

https://youtu.be/ijaDqaPtNTs

Offline Misery

  • Global Moderator
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,099
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2018, 04:29:32 PM »
Yes!  Armada!   That's the one.  I loved that game, I haven't played it in years.  Really should just get a bloody emulator.

But anyway, back to the topic at hand,

I present to you, this:   http://store.steampowered.com/app/322750/Drifting_Lands/

Right there in the store page:  Diablo + shmup! It's even got things like bullet cancelling/absorption.  I love bullet-cancel systems; very similar to reflection mechanics in terms of just why they're fun.   I'm going to buy this myself for that matter.  I love the idea of these two particular game types coming together.  Particularly when it means the items/skills inherant in Diablo games, yet with an alternative to all the clicking.   Not that I dont like Diablo, mind you.  But sometimes the combat can wear on you a bit.

This is actually NOT the game I was looking for.  That one still escapes me.  I just... cant... remem- I REMEMBERED IT WHILE TYPING THIS SENTENCE. Not normally how this goes, but I"ll take it.

The one I was originally thinking of is Drox Operative.   That one might not be quite what you're looking for;  like Armada there it's a free-roam sort, not a forced-scrolling sort.  But it's pretty darned good and there are lots of things to do in it, complete with Diablo's loot hoarding and optimization of gear and stuff like that. 


All of this does bring up another annoying thing:  Steam itself.  Drifting Lands there?  I'd never freaking heard of it.  I only found it because I knew the right places to look.  But it's been sitting there, buried, all this time and I NEVER KNEW ABOUT IT.   Steam has been making it very, very hard for games of all sorts to get noticed, so who knows how many creative and unique gems I've missed in this genre?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 04:31:25 PM by Misery »

Offline Toranth

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,237
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2018, 04:30:30 PM »
Quote
Hell, I remember one game, that was on the Dreamcast, it was like a combination of a "scroll-in-any-direction" shmup and an open world RPG.... I wish I could remember the name of it, there wasn't (and still isn't) anything else really like it.  It had a lot of differences from traditional shmups though (twin-stick wasn't a thing yet, so your ship controlled like the one from Asteroids, but that just made the combat that much more interesting).
That sounds like Armada?

https://youtu.be/ijaDqaPtNTs
That looks kind of like Drox Operative, too.  I don't know if you'd really call it a SHMUP (I wouldn't) but it is fly-a-ship-around-and-shoot-stuff with random loot and RPG elements.

Offline eRe4s3r

  • Core Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,820
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2018, 05:47:43 PM »
So steel rain is definitely what I wanted ;) Graphics are SUUUUUPER meh but it has some gameplay elements, though it definitely does not have the staying power of a diablo shmups

You do get equipment, can upgrade planets you capture and defend them too, it's a neat game ;)
Proud member of the Initiative for Bigger Weapons EV. - Bringer of Additive Blended Doom - Vote for Lore, get free cookie

Offline Misery

  • Global Moderator
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,099
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2018, 05:59:29 PM »
So steel rain is definitely what I wanted ;) Graphics are SUUUUUPER meh but it has some gameplay elements, though it definitely does not have the staying power of a diablo shmups

You do get equipment, can upgrade planets you capture and defend them too, it's a neat game ;)

Aye, Drifting Lands is probably going to be better for that.  Has the Diablo stuff, and it also frankly looks better.


Offline Misery

  • Global Moderator
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,099
Re: I crave.. for SHMUPS with permanent progression
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2018, 08:17:18 PM »
Spent some time with Drifting Lands.   Yep.  This is exactly what I hoped for after hearing the "Diablo + Shmup" concept.   Loads of loot (same sort of somewhat-randomized stats and things as Diablo, and tiers), active and passive skills of various sort divided into skill trees (you can have 4 active and 2 passive at once), lots of ship stats and ways to upgrade, different elements, different base ship types (means different amounts of slots of various sorts), and the actual gameplay is fantastic.  The game is gorgeous, the skills are versatile and fun, and enemies are interesting in that a given foe that looks the same as another one will have similar capabilities, but wont necessarily act the same.  There's enough bullets to provide a challenge (though if you're having trouble, load up on various defensive skills) yet not so many that it's going to drive new players crazy.  Unlike traditional shmups you don't die instantly if you get hit.  You have a health bar, as well as shielding, and an energy meter to power your skills.  All sorts of shiny things drop from enemies, as you'd expect with something that has "Diablo" anywhere in the description.

The one thing that's different from Diablo is that you *can* have equipment destroyed (or your entire ship, but it's forgiving about that one and you have a retreat function) but there are various mechanics in place to help with that (copying items into shop blueprints, for instance, so you can re-buy the same item if it's destroyed, or even reroll it if you want), and the game has a second totally separate mode that effectively turns this aspect off for players that don't like it.

Also the music is fantastic.

I'm honestly surprised at just how high-quality this is.


Steel Rain I'll probably buy a bit later, as I'm still intrigued by that one as well.