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Thread: Run'n Gun games: Get you the hot bullets of shotgun to die!!

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Default Run'n Gun games: Get you the hot bullets of shotgun to die!!

    This is an ambitious topic, but I'm working on a rather ambitious project - the Contra H.Q. is going to expand into other game series as well. The criteria for inclusion, loosely defined, is that it has to be a single character, on foot or flying (because we don't want to exclude Battle Mania), and the focus has to be on shooting (and sometimes throwing, 'cuz that'd knock out some legitimate shooters as well such as Toki or Mystic Warriors), though Ghosts'n Goblins would be excluded as it's already got its own fansite.

    If it's a spaceship, I can't count it for the same reasons. Kinda strange way to classify things, but this should give coverage to a wide selection of games that have gone relatively uncovered up to now (aside from the occasional classic gaming plug or what have you).

    Edit: Yes, that's rather vague, isn't it? Well, it might help to think of it this way: It should have gameplay very much similar to a gameplay style seen in Contra. That means sidescrolling run and gun games are in; top down (Commando style) games count, and third person ones as well (not just because of the PlayStation Contras - think of the corridor sequences from the first Contra).

    Here's a number of shooters, and my thoughts on them:

    Contra (NES vs. arcade): The arcade version is awesome. For one, the bridge is easy to get across...The more time I spend with it the more tricks and patterns I learn. Its shortcoming is that it's far too short, especially in the later stages - the Ice Field is roughly a football field away from the end. Too short! I haven't tried out the higher difficulty levels, however. There's also an MSX2 version of the game, notable for its excellent manual with detailed diagrams of the weapons, drawings of enemies, and a map of the entire island from two perspectives (top-down, and from the side)!

    Super Contra (arcade): Currently a favorite. Contra did well not because it was such an original concept - though the omnidirectional shooting was pretty new, even that had been done before - but because it was polished - and the graphics! The hodgepodge of weapon icons and silly looking weapons from the first arcade game are totally gone, and every weapon now gets its own sleek looking item drop. Shot animations are amazing, and I like the little flashing lights affixed here and there to the characters and their weapons (see the Super Contra flyer for this idea gone awry).

    Battle Mania/Battle Mania 2: TS Vintage: One of my other favorite series of all time, but unfortunately limited to only two games. The control scheme is not nearly as unwieldly as it could've been, and lets you direct fire in two different directions at the same time with relative easy. You'll indirectly control up to three characters in the first title when a hostage becomes an ally! The sequel sports a rockin' soundtrack and much improved visuals along with one of the most humorous sound test interfaces I've seen yet Lots of humor (even silly gaijin like me will pick up on a lot of it) and all the action you could want.

    Toki/JuJu Densetsu: I don't think it fair to discriminate against apes simply because they throw stone axes. Toki's a cult classic (I actually followed an eBay auction for the PCB a few days back, so I feel that's a fair statement) with great, if quirky, gameplay. It's vaguely like Chelnov, which is to say vaguely like playing Super Mario Bros. with a fire flower. Here the emphasis is on hitting everything that moves enough to knock it out. Remember: You must keep playing or I'll die [not ME, Toki's girlfriend, silly]!!! Most pathetic continue feature ever. Got a port to the Mega Drive and Genesis as "Toki: Going Ape Spit" in the western hemisphere; the Japanese version is simply "JuJu Densetsu." One of TAD's best games.

    Chelnov: What's there not to like about this game? It's got the hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union right there with the Statue of Liberty, for cryin' out loud! A cheesy (but well-done) comic book intro gets you into the arcade game. The Genesis port suffers a bit from its rather ugly cinematic intro, but sports some nifty background graphics. Racing pyramids! Chelnov (Nuclear Man, The Fighter!) should please both platforming and shooting fans.

    Xain'd Sleena: Very pretty Sammy game, with a nice control scheme that allows double jumps and shooting crouched or prone quite a while before Contra did it. It does suffer a bit from the straight-forward shooting only, as even with options such as an arcing grenade launcher enemies will tend to hover just out of reach of your weapons. I don't much care for the secondary shooter mode, but all said this is a great game.

    FixEight: You can check out the bootleg in MAME, but the processor is only running at 5/8 the speed of the real unit, and it's missing a yamaha sound chip. It's a testament to the game's design that despite these shortcomings the bootleg is pretty enjoyable. Fixeight is Toaplan's successor to Out Zone, and while I don't believe the locations to be quite as interesting as Out Zone's, they're pretty close. There's some fantastic enemy mech design to see here, and the eight selectable players all are worth a shot. I never knew robots could scream until I played this game

    Out Zone is amazing as well, and here's a great link for it: click. Great site, even if he does call Out Zone the "Sci-Fi version of the popular "Ikari Warriors" from SNK."I've found a Japanese FixEight fansite, as well, but don't have the URL handy.

    Speaking of Ikari Warriors - you're familiar with SAR - Search and Rescue by now, right? I've always liked this game, but to be honest it's too easy and the whole thing's a bit of an ugly mess (especially non-human enemies). Despite the too-powerful weapon system (powering up shots annoys me, however), it's still a blast to play.

    Ninja Emaki: One of my favorite games. MAME describes it best: think Commando, with a more interesting playfield.

    There's many, many more games, but that's just a sampling of what's on my mind. Some other games to look out for:

    Ninja Commando (Neo Geo, MVS/AES/CD)
    Ninja Spirit (I wonder, Legend of Kage is a near fit as well)
    Cyber-Lip (and, of course, the Metal Slug series)
    Psycho-Niks Oscar (inspiration for the Turrican series!)
    Soldier (Game King; see Brian Provinciano's site for a review and screenshots)
    ...and many more.

    I'm still wondering whether the Dynamite Duke/NAM 1975/GI Joe/Cabal style game could be counted as having gameplay similar to the isometric corridor sequences from Contra...if I have my way they'll be :P

    Feel free to add your thoughts!

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    Banana (Level 7) klausien's Avatar
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    Gunstar!

    Both of them. Obvious though.

    I don't know if Ninja Spirit really fits though. If so, you need to mention Shinobi and Shadow Dancer, both arcade.

    Irem's GunForce games also fit this mold.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klausien
    Gunstar!

    Both of them. Obvious though.
    Good choice! While I might be able to think of everything I've played if I sat here for twelve hours, I just wanted to give some obscure games that were on my mind a bit of spotlight. Gunstar Heroes was the farthest thing from my mind, though.

    I don't know if Ninja Spirit really fits though. If so, you need to mention Shinobi and Shadow Dancer, both arcade.
    Ninja Spirit is basically Contra with doubles that hang in the air, a selection of weapons you can scroll through at any time, and shurikens instead of a gun. It fits as much as anything; the setting is just different.

    The old Shinobi games (including the Genesis version of Shadow Dancer - I played that last night too) gave you a bonus for not throwing any shuriken (or firing that strange gun Joe gets in the original Shinobi), so they don't really count.

    Irem's GunForce games also fit this mold.
    Great games, vaguely similar graphically to Metal Slug. Kid Fenris makes a reference on his site to some people on the Undercover Cops (also by Irem) team eventually working on Metal Slug, and perhaps some people on Gun Force worked there too. I should look into that! So many game credits to check... :O

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    Keeper of the Terror Mask Dire 51's Avatar
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    Don't forget Midnight Resistance and Forgotten Worlds!

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dire 51
    Don't forget Midnight Resistance and Forgotten Worlds!
    'course not. If anybody's interested, there's actually a Midnight Resistance kit (PCB + awful, awful Romstar art) up on eBay. Personally, I'm a bit done with the game. The Genesis version's controls are unique, but not in a good way - automatic autofire feels wrong, somehow. Aside from the great music, that port feels pretty underproduced - they even cut out the poster from the first level! Even so, I'm not about to part with my shiny, shiny import copy any time soon, or my arcade flyer

    Forgotten Worlds I like much better. Still need to find the special PC-Engine version boxed up with a controller.

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    Bell (Level 8) CosmicMonkey's Avatar
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    Gunners Heaven / Rapid Reload on the PSone, and of course the greatest run n' gun series ever: Metal Slug!

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    I wasn't aware that Rapid Reload was Gunner Heaven's name in Europe. Thanks!

    I really need to hunt that title down - I know Shou has (or had) a copy, but a few other games are just a wee bit higher on my list of titles to get right now.

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    Kirby (Level 13) diskoboy's Avatar
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    Could Bangai-O! for DC and N64 be included in this category?

    It's one of my faves.

    That and all the Williams dual-joystick games (Robotron, Smash TV, Total Carnage)

    EDIT: Oh, and more of a recent gen game - but I've been playing the hell out of Geometry Wars Evolved.

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    Peach (Level 3) NeoZeedeater's Avatar
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    I think the underrated Hewson Commodore 64 game Zamzara deserves a mention. It's European so it's a lot different than the Japanese style games already talked about but still part of the genre.
    http://www.lemon64.com/index.php?mai...php%3Fid%3D497

    Also, for overhead view action games Time Soldiers was awesome back then.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diskoboy
    Could Bangai-O! for DC and N64 be included in this category?

    It's one of my faves.
    Wouldn't that do better over @ shmups.com? I don't actually own the game, but I understand there to be a spaceship, and I gotta limit the list somehow

    That and all the Williams dual-joystick games (Robotron, Smash TV, Total Carnage)
    All very good. I like the NES port of Smash TV a bit, very flexible control setup. Get two NES Advantage sticks, and you're all set! Even the one-pad controls are good, which is nice.

    EDIT: Oh, and more of a recent gen game - but I've been playing the hell out of Geometry Wars Evolved.
    Not sure where that falls; I'll look into it.

    NeoZeedeater: Hillarious title screen, it's a guy in a rubber suit. I'll give it a fair shake, though

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    Pear (Level 6) Xexyz's Avatar
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    Don't forget about Mercs and Granada (although they could also be classified as 360 degree shmups)

    Also, I don't think Battle Mania should be considered a run 'n gun. It has nothing remotely familiar to the genre. It's a shmup, which is an already well covered genre over at shmups.com. Also, Atomic Runner was a good choice. Really hard to classify this one though. A platformer/run 'n gun/shmup all in one. I personally like it, but it's a little hard to get used to. As far as the Genesis version goes, the default controlls are horrendous. Pressing a direction along with C to change what way your facing is ridiculous. I usualy switch the controls so that I can change direction by just pressing C.

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    Kirby (Level 13) diskoboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro
    Quote Originally Posted by diskoboy
    Could Bangai-O! for DC and N64 be included in this category?

    It's one of my faves.
    Wouldn't that do better over @ shmups.com? I don't actually own the game, but I understand there to be a spaceship, and I gotta limit the list somehow

    That and all the Williams dual-joystick games (Robotron, Smash TV, Total Carnage)
    All very good. I like the NES port of Smash TV a bit, very flexible control setup. Get two NES Advantage sticks, and you're all set! Even the one-pad controls are good, which is nice.

    EDIT: Oh, and more of a recent gen game - but I've been playing the hell out of Geometry Wars Evolved.
    Not sure where that falls; I'll look into it.

    NeoZeedeater: Hillarious title screen, it's a guy in a rubber suit. I'll give it a fair shake, though
    Bangai-O's gameplay would fall between the shmup and run & gun. But I think it's more run & gun. You have a dual contoller style setup (again, think Robotron) and dozens of enimies attacking you at once from all different directions, and the gameplay could be considered classic Williams. But you wanna talk about a weird game!! Typical Japanese weirdness abound in Bangai. I'm glad I bought this game when it came out on the DC. It was so overlooked.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xexyz
    Don't forget about Mercs and Granada (although they could also be classified as 360 degree shmups)

    Also, I don't think Battle Mania should be considered a run 'n gun. It has nothing remotely familiar to the genre. It's a shmup, which is an already well covered genre over at shmups.com.
    Yes, I'm consciously trying to expand the genre to cover games without spaceships. It may seem an odd way to discriminate, but I think it works, because I want it to

    Granada is a mech game, but hey, it fits. Mercs definitely counts. I haven't really explained what "categories" I'm grouping games by, but that's not really an issue Mercs is a classic Commando-style game (hell, it's Commando's sequel!) and plays very much like the top-down sequences from Super Contra/Super C.

    Also, Atomic Runner was a good choice. Really hard to classify this one though. A platformer/run 'n gun/shmup all in one.
    See? It's easy! It's a platforming/run'n gun hybrid.

    As far as the Genesis version goes, the default controlls are horrendous. Pressing a direction along with C to change what way your facing is ridiculous. I usualy switch the controls so that I can change direction by just pressing C.
    I didn't have problems with the controls, though I don't remember if I customized it myself

    I'll put more detail into how I'm "including" or "excluding" games in a short while.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Hmm, just woke up from a nap, and the first thing I thought of was that Battle Mania does not have omnidirectional shooting. All it has in common with the run'n gun genre is that the characters are humans, and that you can run on the ground (sometimes), but Rabio Lepus can do that, too.

    And I'm not about to call Rabio Lepus a run'n gun. Well, who knows, I'd like to fit the game in sometime, but not at the expense of my honesty

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    ServBot (Level 11) Iron Draggon's Avatar
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    I second Chelnov/Atomic Runner!

    So do 2D mech games qualify? If so, then I have a list:

    Assault Suit Leynos/Target Earth
    Assault Suit Leynos 2
    Assault Suits Valken/Cybernator
    Metal Warriors
    Gun Force
    You can't run with the big dogs if you pee like a puppy!

    Get BIT!

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Draggon
    I second Chelnov/Atomic Runner!

    So do 2D mech games qualify? If so, then I have a list:

    Assault Suit Leynos/Target Earth
    Assault Suit Leynos 2
    Assault Suits Valken/Cybernator
    Metal Warriors
    Gun Force
    Yep, that reads like a list of one of my sub-series that needs to be collected! Remember that Front Mission: Gun Hazard fits into that series, as well (possibly some of the same developers for Cybernator/ASV worked on it).

    Also, I'm listening to the Zamzara SID from the High Voltage SID Collection...I'm embarassed to say I'd never listened to this before, instead opting to listen to Rob Hubbard's Commando mix or the Last Ninja games for the umteenth time! This is an amazing piece of work, which isn't surprising that it came from Maniacs of Noise. Wow!

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    gunsmoke--
    bad dudes (maybe too DD-like tho)
    Quote Originally Posted by frankie_says_relax
    With all the recent "Imagine" series (which are pretty much VERY sexist representations of what "young girls" should "enjoy" doing - Imagine Cooking, Imagine Fashion, Imagine Babiez) I was thinking that they should just combine them all into one title. It would be much more fun ...
    http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b3...kingBabies.jpg

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teknik_SE-R
    gunsmoke--
    Yup, it's a Commando-alike (roughly speaking).

    bad dudes (maybe too DD-like tho)
    This is an old-fashioned beat-em-up. As I said the emphasis has to be on shooting. I'm pretty sure you don't even get a gun in this one. I was just thinking of it though - specifically Steve Martin's quote from Parenthood, when his kid loses at the game: "Maybe that's why they're called Bad Dudes."

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    Insert Coin (Level 0)
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    Don't forget about the underrated western game Sunset Riders. All three versions are very good games.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshmannes
    Don't forget about the underrated western game Sunset Riders. All three versions are very good games.
    Yep, mentioned those in another thread just minutes before I posted this one. If you want something similar, try Mystic Warriors (the first stage even has a drive-in theater with scenes from the Sunset Riders intro playing on the screen!)

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