Gaming History 101

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Posts Tagged ‘xevious

Podcast: What the Shmup

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One of the oldest and most popular genres in gaming is the “shoot-em-up” or “shmup” for short.  Whether you’re a space ship, a young girl, or even a winged pod the basic goal is to navigate the screen, rack up points, and don’t die.  Fred and Jam dive into the origins of the shmup, the sub-genres that exist, and some of their personal favorites.

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Xevious (Namco)

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Xevious is one of those games that doesn’t get the credibility it deserves despite being so easy to find on almost every console.  I think it’s because it does a lot of things other shmups do, even though in many cases it did them first, and therefore gamers are drawn to the more popular titles.  Back in 1982 when Namco released it into arcades – it would be released into US arcades by Atari and have the strongest port on the NES, if you believe that – the textures were amazing for the time.  This game also had both air and ground weapon that had their own button so it was up to you to use the right armaments.  Even today many vertical shmups don’t discriminate between ground or air when you blow things up, so it added a complexity to the game.  It was also one of the first games to introduce in-level bosses with central “cores” you had to destroy.  What still turns me and probably many other gamers off is that if you die you restart the level unless you’ve completed 70 percent of the area, at which point you will move on to the next level.

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Shmuppreciation 2012

Tagged with , , , ,