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Review: Retro/Grade
By: | August 27th, 2012

A great deal has changed for the rhythm genre over the past decade. After experiencing a period of outrageous boom, things have been moving rather decidedly in the opposite direction for the past few years. A precipitous drop-off occurred in 2009, when the market reached the point of saturation, things have plodded along since but few releases have managed to capture community’s imagination, much less steal Guitar Hero‘s crown.

From that seemingly exhausted soil, however, emerges a PlayStation Network exclusive that is certain to provide a breath of fresh air for a genre that has become a tad stagnant. So, dust off those plastic guitars and read on to find out more Retro/Grade, a game that blurs the lines between music games and shmups to provide one of the standout PSN releases of the summer.

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Back when the Gundemonium Collection landed on the PlayStation Network last year, we gave it high marks for providing three great games at a value price. Now, the Rockin’ Android is bringing this collection of Japanese indie shooters to Steam. GundeadliGne (my personal favorite of the bunch) will be receiving support for online co-operative play. Hopefully that will make that game’s “Demonic” difficulty setting more manageable.

In addition to that, all three titles will be receiving Steam achievements and remixed soundtracks. The Gundemonium Collection will be landing on steam on September 27th for $9.99. Alternatively, you can pick up each title individually for $3.99.

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From the makers of Zombie Tycoon and Young Thor comes … A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! This PlayStation minis title is making its way to PS3 and PSP via the PlayStation Network for the low, low price of – yes, that’s right, $1.99. For PlayStation Plus subscribers the title will be absolutely free when the game launches next week.

The game is pretty much what you would expect, which is entirely fine by me. The PlayStation Network really could use some more good shmups. So if you could use a little more alien blasting in your life, be on the lookout for A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! on December 21st.

[Via PlayStation Blog]

It’s that time of year again when most gamers are spending their hard-earned cash on Christmas presents rather than full-priced titles. But while you may not be able to splurge on all the latest AAA releases this month, at least you can rest easy in the knowledge that there are plenty of Mini and indie games out there to while away the time.

Mediatonic has already staked its claim on the market with the surprisingly enjoyable Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess, and they are up to their old tricks again with the new PSN Mini release, Who’s That Flying?!

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Bit.Trip FATE! Bit.Trip FATE is here! The fifth entry into Gaijin Games’ impressive Wii-Ware series is now ready and available for download on your Wii console.

Hit the jump for the rest of this week’s downloadable titles.

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Nintendo DLC Update: 27/9/10
By: | September 27th, 2010

Hey, Nintendo fans! It’s Monday and that means new downloadable titles on a console near you. So, if you look forward to new digital releases every week, here they are. Luckily, most of the titles this week actually look pretty decent.

This week’s update has it all – puzzlers, shmups, RPGs…lawn darts. Okay, three out of four ain’t bad. Hit the jump for more on this week’s games.

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It’s Monday again and I’m here with another week of “fun” and “innovative” things for you to play on your Wii an DSi. This week it’s your usual assortment of things you, honestly, probably won’t want to give a second look. However, a cool little shmup called Cosmos X2 just hit the DSiWare store and it definitely looks promising.

Hit the jump for the scoop on this week’s update and a Cosmos X2 trailer.

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Last month’s North American release of Deathsmiles on the Xbox 360 has provided a sign that shmup fans may no longer have to deal with expensive Japanese imports to experience Cave shooters. Following the recent iPhone release of Espgaluda 2, Cave has announced that it is planning a full English localization and worldwide release of Guwange on Xbox Live Arcade.

Cave has recently revealed a trailer for their next vertical bullet hell shmup, Akai Katana (or Red Katana in English). Unfortunately, the trailer does not show any gameplay footage, but does show off some nice character art and narrative. Read more… »

There used to be a genre type that had everyone’s hearts pounding, their veins coursing with adrenaline.  A genre that required absolute precision and lightening fast reactions.  Follow me on a brief jaunt in gaming history.

It’s the late 80′s / early 90′s and everyone who wants to blow something up is hammering coins into arcade cabinets housing titles like Twinbee, Salamander, Flying Shark, R-Type and a hundred others.  Home versions of those and other great shooters like Thunder Force IV, Apidya and Project X all light up the charts.  These were the glory days of the shoot’em up.

Then along game a rather talent Uber-Geek and he coded a fancy thing called a 3D game engine – shooters changed overnight and the rest is gaming history.

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Taito is at it again: as if you couldn’t get enough shmups, Darius Burst is hitting PSPs on December 24th in Japan. Honestly, the graphics are looking pretty slick, and the trailer shows a good balance between mild bullet hell and power-up based combat.

For more information on the shoot ‘em up genre (shmup), feel free to check out one of our past articles!

shatter

Every once in a while, a special arcade game makes its way onto the digital distribution highway. As a huge shmup fan, I can’t tell you how excited I am by the ability of the developers of Shatter to take classic shoot ‘em up gameplay and mesh it with a fresh, modern brick breaking style.

Excited? Hit the break to watch a trailer that shifts from puzzle-based gameplay, to boss fights, to the style of classic shooters all in the blink of an eye.

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PCByukari140

Shoot ‘em up games started innocently enough. Spacewar shot it’s way onto PCs back in the 1960s, and after Space Invaders was released, the rest was history. Galaga and Galaxian would go on to further popularize the genre, and R-Type and Gradius would modernize it.

Most people won’t believe it, but Shoot ‘em ups started as casual games. I mean, who hasn’t played Galaga?! That wouldn’t last long, however, because once Eastern game studios got their hands on the genre, they changed it forever. Shoot ‘em ups were no longer heaven; they were absolute hell.

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