MetalFRO's Blog

Posted on Sep 9th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Shmups, Shoot em up, genre, video games, comeback

In the beginning, there was Pong. And people saw it, and it was good. And the medium of Video Games was born. And people liked it, and many games came, and people played them. And they were good. Arcades were created, and they were good.

And it came to pass, that in the Year of our Lord 1978, Taito did release Space Invaders. And in 1979, Namco did release Galaxian, and in 1981, Galaga, and Konami released Scramble. And in 1982, Namco released Xevious. And they were good. And the shmup was born. And the shmup was good.

And during the 1980's, the shmup did dominate arcades, until 1991, when Capcom released Street Fighter II, and the arcade changed. The shoot-em-up was no longer the king. The fighting game was now king, and the shooter became one of its subjects. But the shooter did not die; it grew stronger through dedicated fans and developers. And though fewer people played the shooting games, they were loved.

That was before the dark times. Before the death of arcades. Suddenly, the arcade disappeared. And the shooters seemed to disappear. But the shooter was merely hiding from the forces that sought to destroy it. The game critics were bored with shooters. Gamers began to fall away from the shoot-em-up, and only the devoted fans continued to keep the genre alive. The shooter fed on the mere scraps, left by the rest of the games, when people stopped playing them, but continued to grow strong. Developers made better shooters. Shooting games that gave more, and did more. Shmups like Battle Garegga, DoDonPachi, Armed Police Batrider, and Einhander. But very few shooters saw the light. Many shooters were left in the dark, never to see the light of day, outside of Japan.

The darkness continued, and shooting games became more scarce. Some shooters were brought to the masses, but they were few. Japan still saw more shooting games than others, but they were still few. Believers in the shmup waned, but their zealotry grew, and the Church of Yagawa (1) flourished, despite the pagan rejection of the shoot-em-up. And the followers of CAVE saw that it was good.

Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning across the horizon, a light broke. Not a mere glimmer of hope, but a brilliant flash, as the arcades in Japan refused to die, and the followers of CAVE had a new vessel: the Xbox 360. But many 360 shooters still did not leave Japan. Many 360 shmups remain locked away. And so, the brilliant flash faded, having lit the sky, but unable to keep the horizon aflame with the passion of the shooting game.

But hark! On the horizon, the light did break once more. And out from the shadows, the shmup emerged, basking in the warm glow. For the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Personal Computer were all reveling in the return of the shooting games. Many games came, and many more were promised. No more would shooters be ignored, and back into the hearts and minds of gamers would the shooter remain. The shooter may never be king again, but it would still take its rightful place alongside its gaming brethren, restoring its legitimacy in the pantheon of games.

For no more would the shoot-em-up be relegated to the shadows! No longer would they be cast aside! The shooter would be played. The shooter would be enjoyed. The shooter would be celebrated. Truly, the shmup would be given life anew.

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I see you're posting a lot about shooters, my favorite genre. You have a youtube or anything?
@Black Lotus: I do have a YouTube!

Also, make sure you check out the Community Playthrough section of the forum, because we're doing the monthly Shmup Club, which we then podcast about. This month is Warning Forever, which is a freeware game. Thanks for reading!
Am I fashionably late? This was a great read!
@Noir XIV: Thank you very much! I enjoyed writing it, and thought it would be fun to do something a little different than the usual serious article.
Realized I never clicked the verification email when I initially signed up. Excellent article indeed.

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