If you've visited this humble site before then you probably know how much I love shoot 'em ups. Here, I'll take a look back at a few classics and a couple of more obscure titles so maybe you'll discover a shmup or two to add to your collection.
Ice Cream Surfer
This little Wii U eShop game is quite delightful and it has a rather silly story. You must stop an evil broccoli crown who desires to rid the world of flavour so that kids will eat their vegetables. The game itself is rather generic and comes across as unpolished but its bright colours and goofy characters make it somewhat enjoyable. Although it's extremely short, you could always play it with a friend in local cooperative multiplayer.
S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team
When it comes to classic 8-bit shoot 'em ups, S.C.A.T. is often overlooked. However, its satisfying challenge, incredible boss fights, awesome soundtrack, and unique gameplay that allows you to position satellites which provide additional fire make it an experience that any shmup fan should have in their gaming library. You and a friend can play together as characters named Arnold and Sigourney, too. Seeing as it initially released in the early '90s, I'm curious where they got those names from...
Now that we're talking classics, Konami's Axelay is an absolute gem. Originally released on Super Nintendo and now available as a Virtual Console title, this shoot 'em up combines vertical and horizontal stages with memorable boss fights to create one of the greatest campaigns in the genre's history. There may be the odd cheap death here and there and those mode 7 visuals sure don't look as good in this day and age but Axelay still remains a 16-bit shmup masterpiece.
We've discussed two retro shmups already so how about four more? Xevious 3D/G+ for the original PlayStation has an appropriate title as it features the arcade game Xevious 3D/G (which is a fantastic take on the classic formula and has cool new 3D visuals) as well as the original Xevious, Super Xevious, and Xevious Arrangement. The latter two are especially tough to find since they weren't ported to consoles so if you love Xevious as much as I do then you owe it to yourself to pick this compilation up.
Hey, it's another game with + in its title! But, enough with retro, here's a PlayStation 4 gem that feels like a long-lost Dreamcast game. Jamestown+ has everything shoot 'em up fans crave such as flashy detailed 2D graphics, amazing music, addictive gameplay mechanics, tight controls, and loads of variety. It also features four player local cooperative multiplayer so if you have a few fellow shmup fans in your life then this is one of the best games to break out for an afternoon of gaming.