Sunday, February 18, 2024

600 1CCed shmups!

Time to break the blog flow once again to quickly talk about the milestone of 600 shmups beaten in a single credit and, as a bonus, dabble about the state of affairs in my neck of the woods.

This last hundred took me almost 4 years, which means things have slowed down to an average of two shmups a month, sometimes more and occasionally less. At least I haven't failed a single month and was always able to write about at least one game, which is a good number during those hectic months where work and real life decide to unite and give us a hard time.

Speaking of which, real life has brought about a new aspect that's kinda bugging me as of late. I don't know if all readers are aware of this, but I own every single game I play and write about in physical form (bar the digital-only of course). I have always thought of myself as a player above all and secondly a collector, but unfortunately the collecting part has taken a hit in the latest months thanks to the inexplicable policy adopted by Brazilian customs, which is a complete mess of an organization and has always worked with no standards whatsoever. This lack of standards has worsened as of late, to the point of denying entry to the country of many of my recent purchases and is making importing impossible.

Before anyone throws out the question, it's important to mention that the blockade to imports is a real lottery. I have friends who are getting their packages normally, the same packages that have bounced back for me. "Bounce back" is a soft way to put it though, since there's no guarantee the packages will go back to their origin or just get lost in thin air, which has also happened in the past but very, very scarcely.

If this keeps going on I'll seriously contemplate abandoning collecting. I'm pushing 48 this year, perhaps it's the way the universe found to not so politely tell me "hey, bud, how about moving on and focusing on other ventures?".

In the meantime, shmupping continues. 

Top 5 hardest 1CCs in the last hundred, in no particular order:

Honorable mentions are Dodonpachi Daioujou Black Label Extra on the XBox 360, which in my opinion is just as hard as White Label, and gravity arena Terra Lander on the Playstation 4, a game with a couple of insanely tricky levels.

Top 5 easiest 1CCs in the last hundred, in no particular order:

Honorable mentions in the easy category are 1942 on the NES, Twinkle Star Sprites - La Petite Princesse on the Playstation 2 and Red Death on the Playstation 4.

There was one shmup I could not beat during this last cycle: Iro Hero for the PS4. Not because I was incompetent, but because there's a bug that makes the last boss invincible and doesn't allow you to complete the game. I contacted Red Art Games (retail publisher), eastasiasoft (publisher) and Artax Games (developer) a few times already, but they all disagree about which company is supposed to come up with a patch. A few other shmup enthusiasts have also tried, unfortunately to no avail. I even got to the point of reaching out to Sony, but as expected they don't give a s#%t about it either.

Total number of console shmups beaten by system:

Total number of console shmups beaten by genre:

During the last hundred blog entries, at 19 posts the NES beat both the Playstation 2 and the Playstation 4 by one game only. It's just normal to see the NES getting ahead as the most played console due to its extensive library, but my feeling is that it's just a matter of time for one of the Sony systems to take the lead. As for the Mega Drive, there are only a few shmups left for 1CC attempts. Which one should I target next, I wonder?

No love was given to the Sega 32X (understandable), the FM Towns (impossible, my Towns is dead) and the Neo Geo (inexcusable). It is my intention to play Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000 and another Neo Geo shmup soon, I just haven't decided which one yet.

Other prospects for the future include moving on to a few old acquaintances I've yet to actually try to beat, such as Battle Garegga, Border Down and R-Type Final. You can never take for granted any available time you get to play, and a classic example of this is how a week at home ~ on vacation ~ helped me practice and quickly get the loop on Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Ver 1.5, which had been on my radar for months but remained pretty much untouched until the last couple of weeks.

And I didn't forget the requests received many years ago, such as Kingdom Grandprix. It seems however that my dream of having Mahou Daisakusen / Sorcer Striker released in physical form won't come true any time soon. I probably won't get through the series in order, at least not the way i'd like to.

As always, thank you all for keeping up with me and my shmup rants notes. Hopefully some of you might still be here if by any chance I'm able to make to 700 hundred 1CCs!

.

PS. It just seems I won't escape the fate of owning a Nintendo Switch. Pokémon has become quite a big thing at home as of late, if you know what I mean.

17 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the 600 clears!

    It's always nice to read this kind of meta rants/notes. I'm rooting for you to reach 700 and for me to be able to read them!

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  2. Congrats, Edward! I’m glad there are still a few big targets to take down. I’m genuinely surprised Garegga is still standing - will like to read your impression when you get around to it. To the next hundred!

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    1. Yep, I'm anxiously waiting for the time to tackle Garegga.
      Another one in a vast ocean of fun ahead.

      Thanks for the comment!

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  3. Hi Edward, huge congrats on yet another milestone! All the best for the future :)

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  4. Congratulations on the milestone!! I just 1cc'ed Cotton Fantasy on PS4 a few days ago on Normal (VERY FIRST 1cc), then turned around and beat it on Hard for a 1cc 2 days ago!! Man I'm hooked on shmups now lol, I definitely get the appeal of getting the 1cc.

    My question to you is when you get you 1cc's, are they mainly for the default difficulty (Normal)? Or are you completing them all on a harder difficulty?

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    1. First of all, congrats on your very first 1CC ! Also great to know you're "hooked" on shmups now, I guess you already have your own thoughts on the particular thrills this genre is capable of offering.
      And I still have to check Cotton Fantasy myself!

      My goal is to beat the games in their default difficulty, which in 95% of the cases is Normal. In specific situations I might go straight to the Hard setting (when there's only Easy and Hard, for example).
      There are also cases of ports where you have a setting above Normal that replicates the arcade difficulty, such as in Soukyugurentai and some of the Raiden or Neo Geo games (MVS setting). In these instances I always choose to play in these special settings.

      While I see the appeal of beating games on higher difficulties, I'd rather move on to a new challenge once I consider the mission accomplished. Available time for gaming has become really precious over the years, and there are still some hard hitters I intend to beat before I get too old to do it.

      Thanks for the comment and keep shmupping!

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    2. Thanks man!! Yeah I definitely "get it" now 😁.

      And ahh ok, that definitely makes sense. I've kinda adopted something similar with other genres of games that I play, and on rare occasions, I'll go for extra difficulties if I'm ready to experience pass default difficulty and see how far the system mechanics can be pushed.

      That is definitely some good insight and words of wisdom that I will adapt for myself.

      And hell yeah man!! You definitely got to check out Cotton Fantasy! They put a huge amount of content in that game. Worth every penny!!

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  5. Edward, out of all 600 what were the most personally rewarding clears and why? Curious to know which games truly stand out after toppling so, so many.

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    1. That's a very interesting question.

      Off the top of my head one that still gives me the shivers is Raystorm, which in my opinion is one of the most evil shmups ever designed. You absolutely can't blink when playing this bastard.

      Other nice clears/loops for me were DDP DOJ, Judgement Silversword and Gradius V. DOJ frightened me when I started my journey, it's one of those games you consider downright impossible at first contact, and the same happened with JSS. I played Gradius V to death when it came out, it's certainly one of the most fulfilling experiences in the genre in my opinion, and the final stage is absolutely no pushover despite the fact that as a whole the game is easier than parts III and IV.

      Other sweet clears for several different reasons: Under Defeat, Air Buster, Deathsmiles, Gradius III arcade, Mars Matrix, Mushihimesama, Chaos Field.

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  6. Congratulations! Over the years, I have really enjoyed reading many of your shoot-'em-up reviews, especially your SNES & TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine reviews, as those are my favorite systems. I look forward to reading many more!

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    1. Much appreciated and thanks for the continued support, mate!

      As soon as my PCE gets back from console hospital I'll try to drop some more stuff for it.

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  7. I didn't know there were even 600 shooters in existence. And I don't know if I've even completed 600 video games in my life. I do know there are zero arcade games that I've completed on one coin. On PC Engine I can think of two shooters that I 1CC'd. Maybe three. That's all. Sounds like you are having a good time with this stuff. Curious to see what equipment you play on.

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    1. oh yes, even if you disregard cross-platform ports of the same game there are many, many more still.

      my equipment?
      real hardware with stock controllers, except for the Neo Geo, where I'll use adapters and play with Saturn or PS2 controllers. I play on a 29" flat CRT, a 20" curvy CRT (for TATE) and an old 43" HD TV for the newest systems.
      All games I own are originals except for a few NG repros (TSS, Last Hope) or conversions (Zed Blade, PH2).

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    2. Nice. That's the proper way to play. I'm a little surprised you don't use an arcade stick.

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    3. I never felt comfortable with arcade sticks, Tom.

      Even during the glory old days of the hype on Street Fighter II... If I was thrown to the right side of the screen I was pretty much screwed because I just couldn't make a hadouken or a shouruyken. Hahahaha
      I did manage to beath some titles with the NG stock stick though, but as soon as I got my adapters I never looked back.

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