The shoot 'em up genre is the very definition of ‘easy to learn, hard to master’. At its core it's probably easier to explain than any other type of game: move around and shoot things, job done. Despite this, most shoot 'em ups tend to be extremely difficult. Whether it's because their roots are based in the arcades – where...
8-16-Nintendo 64. Set… Hut-Hut-FUMBLE!?
American Football! We don’t ‘get it’ on this side of the pond, but that’s okay because we do know that the sport translates to excellent video games. However, translating the action of gridiron to the hardware available in 1983 was no easy feat. Irem took on this task and the end result was the very...
The bright side of the moon
Irem’s Moon Patrol is a simple game across two auto-scrolling levels. Control is limited to adjusting the speed of your vehicle (forwards to accelerate, back to decelerate) as it trundles along the surprisingly colourful surface of the moon. There are two cannons that fire upon pressing this button (one vertical, one...
HAMSTER may not release titles in its Arcade Archives series as frequently as with its ACA Neo Geo one, but it does similarly seem determined to release whatever it can. R-Type is on the way, but before then there’s this lesser-known Irem title. Originally released in Japan as Yōjūden, Arcade Archives Heroic Episode puts you...
A basic but fun highscore chaser
The Switch may still lack a Virtual Console, but HAMSTER is keen to fill that void. Having released many Neo Geo titles (with more appearing regularly), the company has now started to bring other retro delights to the system. It's already released one of Nintendo's own games and now here’s the first offering from...
Wii U eShop / TG-16
More like our type
You can't have a conversation about shoot-'em-ups, or shmups, without mentioning R-Type. Back in the late '80s and early '90s the game was synonymous with the genre. Unfortunately for Nintendo fans at the time one of the best ports of the arcade classic was on the TurboGrafx-16, an also-ran console that never found its place in...
3DS eShop / NES
Go back to your cave and stay there
Ask a few western gamers about Spelunker and it's likely that barely any of them will have heard of the game, despite it being originally developed by an American company. Ask Japanese gamers, though, and it's a completely different story — the game is very well known to them and is joked about online all the...
Wii U eShop / NES
Ask a few western gamers about Spelunker and it's likely that barely any of them will have heard of the game, despite it being originally developed by an American company. Ask Japanese gamers, though, and it's a completely different story — the game is very well known to them and is joked about online all the time, though not...
R-Lite: cut-down, but still a cracker
Following its original 1987 arcade release, Irem's highly regarded R-Type was ported to numerous home systems, with this Game Boy version appearing in 1991. For those not in the know (estimates range from 2-5 people living under a rock) the aim of the game is to take your space fighter and blast your way through...
Virtual Console / Master System
Blast off and attack the evil Bydo Empire once again in 8-bit!
While we applaud Sega for bringing some of its most fondly remembered Master System games to the Virtual Console, we can’t help feeling that on this occasion it is a little bit pointless. After all, we’ve had a near arcade perfect port of R-Type on the TurboGrafx-16 since 2006, which...
Wii Virtual Console / NES
Spelunker is a blast from the past. It started out life on home computers such as the Commodore 64 and was eventually ported to the NES. The game’s protagonist is tasked with working their way down a giant cave to find the great treasure that is rumoured to be hidden within the depths. Along the way, perils such as water, uneven...
Virtual Console / Super Nintendo
The BYDO Empire is back!
That naughty Bydo Empire! You would have thought they would have learnt their lesson last time when a solitary R-9 craft kicked their butt so badly. Alas, they are back and wreaking havoc wherever they go. Time for you to save the universe, again! Super R-Type was one of the earlier games released on the Super Nintendo. It...
Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16
Fight your way through seven stages using Tonma's jump ability and shot power.
What happens when you cross Ninja Spirit and a shoot 'em up? This. Unsurprisingly, it's a game by Irem, who made both Ninja Spirit and quite a few shoot 'em ups! Also not surprising is that it’s a port of the arcade game of the same name; again, just like Ninja Spirit!...
Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16
Ninja Spirit is a side-scrolling action game that amazed the gaming world with its precision graphics and quality game play.
While it would be easy for someone to dismiss any ninja action title that doesn't have the name Ninja Gaiden or Shinobi in the title, doing that would cause you to miss a little-known, but outstanding ninja action title...
Brave the streets of New York City in this side-scrolling beat-'em-up
Essentially Vigilante is a modernised version of Irem's classic Kung-Fu Master. It's the usual damsel in distress routine. Your gal Madonna is thrown in the back of the baddies truck and whisked away. It is your job to go through various stages to finally rescue her from her...
The Bydo Empire is back! More powerful and deadlier than ever, the Bydo are en-route to Earth.
R-Type III is an interesting title in many ways. Firstly, it was a console exclusive, which generated quite a stir when it was first published. Secondly it takes advantage of the Super NES 'Mode 7' graphics to bring rotating backgrounds into play. Thirdly, it's one of the few decent 2D side-scrolling..
Wii Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16
This is R type of game!
R-Type is widely considered one of, if not the greatest shooters every created. But kick off any conversation with a shooter fan about R-Type and you're likely to get a 10 minute rant on how excruciatingly difficult the game is. Over the years, shooters have come and gone. Some have been good and some have been bad, but in...