Zero Gunner 2 (Switch eShop)
When you consider how much the Dreamcast version of Zero Gunner 2 changes hands for on the secondary market these days, the fact that you can download a superior version on your Switch for a tiny fraction of that cost is worth celebrating; in that regard, you might want to purchase the game purely to feel smug about the amount of (hypothetical) cash you're saving. Perceived value aside, this is a refreshingly unique take on the shmup genre which has some neat ideas but also builds on Psikyo's other good work – the amazing transforming bosses the company is famous for reach their pinnacle here. The biggest problem is that Zero Gunner 2 lacks longevity, even when you take the two-player mode, multiple difficulty levels and (offline) high score table into account. With that said, it's still an essential download for shooter fans and is creative enough to be recommended to those who have a passing interest in the genre but want something a little different.
Raiden V: Director's Cut (Switch)
Raiden V: Director’s Cut feels right at home along with all the numerous other bullet hell shmups currently available on the system. It pays homage to the classic series while also introducing several welcome new features that manage to outweigh its few unfortunate shortcomings. Unfortunately, you can't (at the time of writing, at least) rotate the screen and play this TATE-orientated shooter in a Flip Grip the way nature intended, but we still recommend it for both newcomers to the franchise or the genre itself; those looking for a game to experience all the thrills that a bullet hell blaster can offer. Veteran players need not feel left out either since you can easily customise the difficulty within the game’s options and getting to fight the last true boss of the game will require a super-human level of skill. A great package for a great price; can we have the rest of the Raiden series now, please?
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Aperion Cyberstorm (Switch eShop)
As a solo experience, this indie shmup won’t win many over with its familiar twin-stick formula, but as a couchplay experience it’s one of the most fun spins on the genre we've played on Nintendo Switch. Whether in two-player or with five folks involved, Aperion Cyberstorm is another confident slice of shooter fun from Britain’s burgeoning indie dev scene.
Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax (Switch eShop)
Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax is an incredibly fun and action-packed game that you can enjoy with up to three friends and boasts plenty of options that can be tweaked to make the experience as easy or challenging as you'd like. Throw in some engaging extra modes, great presentation and a healthy dose of self-aware humour and you've got a package that will keep you entertained for quite some time.
Sky Force Reloaded (Switch eShop)
Sky Force Reloaded is a fun shmup with a good variety of dangers to deal with and one that gives you a number of options to deal with them. Stages can be tough, but when you nearly make it you'll want to dive back in and try again, certain you know how to do better this time around. Sometimes you'll be forced to replay them in order to proceed further in the game, whether that's grinding for stars or looking to achieve a medal, although that can still feel fresh due to tackling the stages a different way. The thrill of finally beating a tricky level can be dampened by the realisation you need to go pick up a handful of medals however, but it can be fun to return to a previously tricky stage and ease through thanks to an improved craft. Sky Force Reloaded may force you to spend time with it and feel like a grind as a result, but for the most part, the time invested is enjoyable.
Star Ghost (Switch eShop)
Star Ghost's pick-up-and-play sensibilities and arcade roots fit perfectly on a system you can dip into at a moment’s notice. It has a learning curve that makes for a satisfying experience, where only having one control to deal with makes it feel as if you have all the control in the world. It is a bit one note, but what it lacks in variety it makes up in giving you a game you can sink all your efforts into; you only have to focus on the what’s in front of you. Not having an online or shared leaderboards is a miss for a title like this, but it doesn’t take away from the experience as a whole. Star Ghost is one of the most enjoyable - and turbulent - trips you can take through the stars.
Aqua Kitty UDX (Switch eShop)
Aqua Kitty UDX is a simple, satisfying arcade shooter that looks as great as it plays. It takes one concept, offers a few different angles on it, and ensures it fulfils all that it sets out to do. It's a bit of a one trick pony, though, which means that those of you that aren’t big on score chasing games may want to steer clear. Even so, Aqua Kitty UDX is a game that exemplifies the concept of less is more; we’d encourage you to give this one a look.
Last Resort (Neo Geo)
Last Resort may be a little rough around the edges in places - the broken two-player mode being the most obvious example - but it's still one of the best shooters on the Neo Geo and a solid purchase for Switch-owning blaster fans. The impeccable presentation really makes the game stand out from the hordes of similar titles, and it's challenging enough to ensure that you won't have it licked in the space of an evening. Casual players may find it a little too stern a test - especially with the checkpoint system which forces you to re-play sections of the game upon death - but serious shooter addicts will be totally at home.
Rival Megagun (Switch eShop)
Rival Megagun may fall short of the standards set by genre masterworks like Cave's Ketsui, Seibu Kaihatsu's Raiden Fighters Jet or Raizing's Battle Garegga, but those are some of the finest pieces of game design of all time, and failing to meet their lofty standards doesn't stop Spacewave's creation being a tremendously fun and rather distinct shmup that really does offer something fresh, and serves as a great demonstration of the Switch's multiplayer prowess in the process.
Devil Engine (Switch eShop)
It seems almost customary to include the phrase 'Not for everyone' when discussing shmups, and while that certainly applies to Devil Engine, it has at least been designed in a way that encourages even the weakest players to keep trying and learn from their mistakes. The drip-feed of content is an effective incentive to pick yourself up and have just one more go, and although it is at times brutally difficult – even when compared to other tricky 2D shooters – it has the depth and variety to maintain your interest, and when you're at a competent level it's a heck of a lot of fun. The lack of online leaderboards goes against it, but if you're a fan of this style of game – and you're crying out for a title in the Thunder Force vein – then Devil Engine is well worth a look.
Hyper Sentinel (Switch eShop)
Hyper Sentinel is 'neo-retro' executed to perfection. Once you accept that the visual and audio directions are both design choices made to pay tribute to the original Commodore 64 game and sit down to take on your first Super-Dreadnought, you’ll be hooked. Every time you get a 'Game Over', the only thing on your mind will be on how to prevent whatever got the best of you in preparation of your next sortie (while, at the same, time browsing the leaderboards to see how your friends are faring in each level).
What about Sky Force Reloaded? I love all the shoot em ups on your list, but Sky Force is the one I've actually played the most on my Switch. It's so addictive and fun, and has such beautiful graphics!
currently playing through Danmaku n yep it's hypnotic n phenomenal. I found Steredenn to be a bore n had this frequent game breaking bug. Psyvariar is incoming along with R type & Darius not too far behind. shmup it up!
I bought R-Type Dimensions Ex both physically and digitally. And also Steredenn: Binary Star physically. But i haven't gotten around to playing them yet. As their still in my 40+ game backlog.
Ikaruga is really good. I also play some R-type, but that's mainly nostalgia, I think.
Ikaruga is one of the finest shmups ever made by Treasure. Although I feel Radiant Silvergun is the better game, it isn't available on Switch...yet.
Some crackers on there (any of them got demos?) but I'd say that Gunbird is a nice shooter that's certainly worth a look at too
@BacklogBlues I’ve got over 200 physical switch games and similar digital...
I think you stole my name
Zed Blade, Pulstar, Devil Engine, Overdriven Reloaded (as far as I can tell this is the only 4 player shmup that runs at 60 fps on Switch), Gunbird 1 & 2, Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection (Salamander and Gradius are great!), Neko Navy (I love this game, and it is filling in for Parodius until Konami releases it on Switch!), Hyper Sentinel (awesome game!), Aero Fighters 3, Space Dave, Super Destronaut DX, Rival Megagun, Zerogunner 2, Xenoraid, Alpha Mission 2, Star Ghost, Neon Caves, Dimension Drive, Astro Duel Deluxe, Sine Mora EX (probably the most beautiful shmup on Switch), Debris Infinity (amazing game!), Samurai Aces, and Last Resort. Um, that's a list of shoot em ups on Switch that I've enjoyed. Jeez this system is shooter heaven!!!
@Magician Yeah, it seems like at the rate Switch is going it will have pretty much the history of good shmups in it's catalog by the time the system dies. Which is awesome.
@AndrewJ Oh yeah! That's a great game! I have it on Vita and am waiting for a sale to get it on Switch.
I'd like to play some more of these, but I usually end up playing a shoot em up for a little while and then forgetting about it. The only big exception is Steredenn Binary Stars. I love that game!
@AndrewJ Yeah I have both on Switch too. I hear you about the grinding. What amazes me about those games is that once I haven't played them for awhile it is always fun to play 2 or 3 levels again. Collecting the cards and ship parts in Reloaded is a fun long term project.
Steredenn binary stars MVP
If I had to pick my favorites from the list covered in the article, right now I would pick Angerforce and Tengai. They both have that compelling loop where I just want to keep playing. I do wish Angerforce wasn't such a huge file size though.
Just because I wish I was warned... There are some shmups that I think should be avoided (they run at 30 fps!): Aces of the Luftwaffe Squadron (I've played this at 60 fps on some other system, maybe PS4, so it sucks that it's not smooth on Switch), Iro Hero, Mars Chaos Menace, Preventive Strike, and Quad Fighter K (this one has to be able to run at 60 fps, yet it doesn't ).
I agreed with most on the list, but not all (I have 67 shmups on Switch currently). I would easily put Devil Engine, Rolling Gunner there as well as Neko Navy, which is just pure fun (maybe not the deepest, but tons of fun!).
I found AngerForce and Graceful Explosion Machine quite average myself.
There are already so many good shmups on Switch that this list should be top 20 easily.
I love me some shooters for 42 years now! Always messing with:
Sky Force Anniversary
Star Ghost (although I wish the controls were customizable)
Aero Fighters 3
Strikers 1945 series
Prehistoric isle 2
Zero Gunner 2
& The King: the original Asteroids/Deluxe
And a few others I may have forgotten!
GEM is another amazing shooter on switch.
Enjoyed Black Bird.
Been wanting Steredenn for awhile. Its $5 this week. Will have it today.
@GFoyle I had not heard of Rolling Gunner until you mentioned it. After watching a couple videos I think it looks like a winner.
Yeah, Neko Navy is way more fun than I expected it to be!
@joey302 Nice list! Yeah, Tempest is one of the best shooters ever. I think TxK on Vita is the best game on that system and one of the best games ever. I wish they wouldn't have gotten that copyright threat so it could've been released on other systems. I wish it was on Switch! And maybe with a multiplayer mode, four player split screen. Could be interesting...
@VegasKeith Oh, I forgot about Blackbird. What a weird opera shooter! Those noodly vocals...
@HAL9000 what is that? When I Google it I can't find a shooter for Switch.
I love games like Akai Katana and Deathsmiles- I wish the companies that made those series would publish some titles on the Switch.
@GFoyle and yeah, I've been having fun playing Devil Engine recently too. It's definitely one that people should check out.
No Sky Force? No Stardust Galaxy Warriors? No Overdriven? No Rival Megagun?
These, Anger Force, Ikaruga and Steredenn, but the rest is not worth it imo
Devil Engine, Black Paradox and Super Hydorah are good too, but too expensive for what's in them.
And there are a lot more good retro shmups, but you don't need them so much like the one mentioned.
I assume RIVE: Ultimate Edition is not on this list because it combines platforming elements with shooting but...where the hell is Sine Mora EX?!
The list is full of budget shooters but Sine Mora EX is some high quality super polished stuff...yet, no mention. Why?
This list should contain some honorable mentions (including Sky Force Reloaded).
As it is, the article feels a tad incomplete.
Danmaku Unlimited 3 is a blast, highly recommend.
I feel that Dimension Drive deserves a place on the best-of list. It's a very gratifying shooter with intense challenge, banging music, and a steep-but-rewarding learning curve.
All the Psikyo shooters need to be on the list. Not just 1945, which IMO is one of the weaker games though still excellent.
I would have thrown in Blazing Star and Tengai in here.
Pretty spectacular lineup the system has already!
@Grauz Great game - terrible soundtrack
@shonenjump86 So, you didn't even scan page 2 then lol
Like some of these. Ikaruga must require some higher level functioning because I can’t do it on normal difficulty. When those 2nd level columns and colors fly towards me I get anxious and can never switch the colors in time. I know, git gud.
-Didn't jump on Ikaruga because of the missing features from the GC version (chapter select and tutorial videos, I think).
-I have the free version of Galak-Z, but haven't played.
-Bought R-Type Dimensions on PS3 (it's great).
-Didn't know Anger Force was a thing and I'm usually good about browsing the eShop weekly!
-Thunder Force IV is on my "to buy" list.
-Just bought Steredenn yesterday, $5 (normally $13).
-Psyvariar Delta is Japan only, but I know people want it over here.
-Tengai, 1945 II and Dragon Blaze are also on my "to buy" list.
-Graceful Explosion Machine is fun, but I haven't beaten it.
-Danmaku Unlimited 3 (free version) is on my phone, but it's a matter of me wanting to punish myself with a bullet hell.
-Bought Blazing Star ages ago on the phone and never regretted it.
-Darius is way too expensive for just three games (let alone the special edition), especially when Darius Burst CS on PC easily fills that void.
@GrailUK ah, no I did not. Yikes.
I'm glad you include Psyvariar Delta and Darius Cozmic Collection, because those are really the best shmups on the Switch in my opinion.
The only inclusions i disagree with are Galak-Z, Graceful Explosion Machine and Steredenn (however, i realize Steredenn is very popular).
I'd have chosen Black Bird, Sisters Royale, Omega Force or Rolling Gunner instead.
I'm waiting for Hamster to bring Sonic Wings Limited
@EmirParkreiner Wow, another one I hadn't heard of yet. Sisters Royale looks interesting
@shonenjump86 hehe. easily done
It'd be nice to have a poll at the bottom of these articles, just to see which of the games from the list are most popular with the community.
Absolutely amazing selection of shmups. Still loads more that would be welcome. Hope we see a Midway Arcade Treasures compilation with Defender.
Strikers 3...where are you??
May I ask for a "The best Local WiFi multiplayer games on Nintendo Switch"? I love to play games that way and the thought of being able to do so without the need of an online connection.
Think of Diablo 3, Minecraft, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and more
Was expecting cuphead to be on the list. Lol.
So many games I haven't even heard of in the comments but I've got plenty of games to keep me busy for the time being.
@Abes3 Probably more of a run 'n gun?
I would love an arcade perfect version of Gorf. Only one I know of is then homebrew for Jag CD and it’s no longer available.
Some really great shoot 'em ups in the article and in the comments!
But although not entirely surprising, it's a shame that no one has mentioned Prehistoric Isle yet. Right now, it's only available in the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, but it's a real hidden gem and one of the best shoot 'em ups available on Switch, in my opinion. Specially great when playing with a friend.
The sequel is also avaliable on Switch as a standalone purchase in the ACA NeoGeo series, but it's a much lesser game, exchanging the original game's beautiful sprite art and fun mechanics for ugly pre-rendered graphics and much more generic gameplay.
I'm not really a shoot 'em up kinda person, they've never really interested me. However, Graceful Explosion Machine looks really interesting, maybe I'll check that out.
Shame on you guys for leaving out Sine Mora
@AndrewJ Yeah seriously. Another s*** list on Nintendo Life. Missing by far the best Shmup on Switch. They need some writers older then 30.
I have Thunder Force IV on my Switch. One of the best shmups I've played and the soundtrack is rockin'
@Baart these games need an exhilarating soundtrack to go with the excitement on screen and thats something sine mora was lacking. and do we really need an epic war story trying to be told in between of stages?
@60frames-please jeez almost forgot about TxK on the Vita. haven’t touched my Vita or 3DS since the Switch came out but TxK along with many other games would do nicely on Switch! Here’s hoping!
Strikers 1945 and Strikers II are my favorites. We need Strikers 1999 on Switch
Flying person is my favorite sub genre. Flying animals too. Which reminds me, Monkey King will break your back and humble you, just like the Iron Sheik.
So THAT’S what “shmup” means... 😂
"Nintendo Switch download version "Strikers 1999" will be released August 29, 2019."
It comes in the vol 3 psikyo collection (Korean) earlier than that, but that 29 of August date for digital was mentioned here: https://psikyo-portal.com/shootinglibrary.html#info (which is about the Japanese collections)
My favorite Switch shmups:
Konami Arcade Classics (Gradius series)
More flipgrip promotion!? You'd be crazy to use a third party accessory with your switch with all the reports of swiitches getting bricked!!!!
@GFoyle great info, you’ve made my day
Thanks for all the recommendations, even the ones that run at 30fps. Each to their own, but I could never skip out on an otherwise good game just because it at 30fps. 😂
@60frames-please Yeah, I'm playing through it now it's a great mix of reward after playing and a good working upgrade system that does make it addicting to return to the game.
In my mind i know it's not the best game (shooter even) but I also keep coming back to it for some strange reason.
Waiting for them to bring Back Shoot Em Up Construction Kit from the C64 era with upgraded functions. Remember wasting so much time on that game back in the early 90s
Oh man, I should have followed my head and not even opened this page. I don't even like shmups, yet here I am about to trot off to the eshop to take a second look at some of these.
@Kochambra Thanks for the nod to Prehistoric Isle - I have the SNK collection but don't think I've tried that one yet.
Had Steredenn on Xbox so bought it on release on switch. But just doesn't seem as tight control wise. Do love Skyforce though.
@Bunkerneath the construction kit was superb.
No love for Aqua Kitty?
Where the hell is Cave? Did they go out of business or something? Switch has been out for years, what are they waiting for? All of their shooters should be on Switch.
@xanderten50 Ha ha, I played that game, it was hilarious.
Devil Engine is such a great game which can appeal to both harecore and casual fans. If you like shoot them ups, you must check it out
Ikaruga and Thunderforce 4 are both masterpieces and must plays for everyone.
I keep trying these new indie STGs but none have worked for me yet. They all feel like tribute acts, trying desperately to capture the magic of the greats but always failing through bad art, bad music, and sloppy design. Maybe someone will nail it someday.
There a bunch of Psikyo shooters on the Switch too, with the Gunbird games standing out as being solid examples of the genre. They're worth a look.
I'd love to see a port of Treasure's other STG masterpiece to the Switch - Radiant Silvergun. It received an X360 port years back but has been forgotten ever since. I still play it often on my Saturn.
Where is Danmaku 3?
EDIT: Doh! Just noticed page 2...
@KryptoniteKrunch If you're going to get a 30 fps shooter I'd recommend Aces of the Luftwaffe. It's got 4 player, and is pretty good. Also, I think it was on my phone that I played a 60 fps version of Luftwaffe, which just makes the 30 fps Switch version look more pathetic (of course there's no 4 player mode on cell phone). I mean, at least make the single player mode run at 60!
Well I guess This is the first time I ever seen all games with guns..
SkyForce Reloaded is #1 in my book. And RXN Raixin deserves mention; both are NEW games and use THE FULL SCREEN. And both far superior to AngerForce.
Einhander please... yeah I know it’ll never happen
Rival Megagun is really good. It is kinda like Twinkle Star Sprites, but more understandable and it seems like more fun overall. It also has some nice music tracks. For reference I like the music in Sine Mora and love the music in Battle Garegga.
Also, Stardust Galaxy Warriors has 4 player 60 fps gameplay (it appears to drop some frames, but not too bad). It's also really fun!
It would be awesome to get Battle Garegga and Armed Police Batrider on Switch. And Parodius. And Bangai-O, Radiant Silvergun, Silpheed, Gradius V, some Cotton games, Soukyugurentai/Terra Diver(with an easy mode!), DoDonPachi, Game Paradise 1 & 2, Cho Aniki, Thunderforce 5 and others too, Tempest 2000 or similar game, Galactic Attack, a Mushihime game, a Deathsmiles game, and Harmful Park! Just a couple requests!
@bluedogrulez Yeah Skyforce Reloaded is so good. It has so much longevity, so much stuff to unlock, such perfect graphics, and really fun two player coop. I haven't tried RXN yet, but it's on my list.
@ForminaSage Yes, I forgot Einhander. That would be an incredible addition to the Switch library. I'd love to play that game on Switch!
I wish we have more of these coming to the Switch as I am currently collecting classic shmups. They are so good for killing time. Love it on the go.
Sky Force Reloaded
The best shmup ever and it's on the Switch.
I bought Steredenn from this list. I don't like it. Weapons feel weak, or so terrible they're unusable. Game feels unfair.
I don't like shmups, but Steredenn is really really fun.
Still leaving out Sine Mora, shame!
I reeeeally want a Flip Grip... but I have so many non-Tate games on my backlog that I can't justify it. However, if they decide to finally release Radiant Silvergun for Switch, I will finally buy a Flip Grip and every game on this list. Especially just the horizontal-scrolling games that it doesn't work with.
@60frames-please They skipped it on this list and they skipped it on the last one. GREAT GAME . . . aerial rescues have never been so much fun : )
Meanwhile, AngerForce really failed to impress me....
Glad to see this list was updated to include the new king of shmups on the Switch, Rolling Gunner.
However, NintendoLife should really also give some attention to Quad Fighter K and the 2 excellent japanese eShop exclusives Sisters Royale and Radirgy Swag.
Feels like someone was paid to make that list.
A screenshot would help. I remember a similar list here.
I somewhat like shmups, but I hate bullet hell. It holds zero interest to me.
Could someone be so kind and advise me a list of good shmups where not too much s*** is going on at once?
Shoot-em-up shoot-em-up shoot-em-up shoot-em-up
No Sky Force and no Super Hydorah and no Rival Megagun and no Stardust Galaxy? Ikaruga, Darius Cozmic Collection, Steredenn are great, but the rest on the list are nothing compared to the one I mentioned.
The best genre EVER!!!
Sky Force: Reloaded should be on this list. It is the best schmup I have ever played on the Switch. I love this game so much.
@EmirParkreiner thanks for mentioning those lesser-discussed titles. I’m curious about Sisters Royale, given how little coverage it has received.
By the way, a few weeks ago I read that Radirgy Swag is getting a Western release — IIRC, later this year.
Devil Engine, Rolling Gunner and Danmaku Unlimited 3 are my favorite.
I have all of these games, I guess you can call me a classic arcade gaming enthusiast lol.
Steereden is terrible. Just look good. The best shrump is not even in the list. It's Black Paradox. This one, Ikaruga and another one not in the list (I am not rememberi the name right now) are the good ones.
I bought X-Multiply the other day and I'm loving it. Plays, looks and sounds superb. Highly recommended.
@Aneira 6 months later...... I can't recommend Tengai enough, fantastic shoot em up.
You guys suck, can't even put screenshots for each game.
@60frames-please I agree. Sky Force Reloaded is the shmup I play the most. Love it.
Ther best shoot-em-up on switch is Radiant Silvergun and that's not even out yet.
Added Shmup Collection and a bunch of others to this big chunky list
No Rigid Force Redux? I mean: this list is great, but the best Shmup on Switch is not on it.
Gradius on Nintendo Switch Online, Darius Collection, now playing Raiden on Arcade Archives... would love it if Axelay made it to the Super Nintendo Switch Online.
Thanks for the list, a lot of these I hadn't heard of.
I really want the Darius collection, but haven't bitten yet due to the high price.
Thunderforce AC should be on here. I like it a lot more than TFIV. And the new stereo soundtrack is superb.
1. Will Strikers 1945 III ever be made available in the North American eShop? Any idea why it's not available as a standalone download if you're not in Japan?
2. Why has the original AeroFighters never been uploaded and made available for purchase? I find it odd that 2 & 3 are available and not the original...
The article is so bad, that forget even the best game of the genre in the switch: Black Paradox.
But was a valiant effort. Maybe, bext time, they remember put thw 2 best switch shmups in the list.
Sky Force Reloaded has been a lot of fun. So much replayability. Probably the best value game for me on the switch.
No OG Raiden. How am I supposed to take these recommendations seriously.
R-Type is one of my favourites since playing it on my Seccy back in the day and Thundeforce IV is one of my favs from the Mega Drive. Having them both, and enhanced, on Switch is 😙👌
I know it's not a popular opinion at all - but I really like Sine Mora Ex. I had more fun with it than any of the other highly regarded Shmups on the list. My perfect game would be a Sine Mora Ex style vertical shooter.
You can jump to page 4. The awesome gems of shmups on Switch
What about non shmup games? :/ Why do shmup games get their own page? Is this some kind of virtue signalling agenda? I don't mind shmup people having games but why make an entire article just about this other than to virtue signal to them? Kind of alienating to non shmup players even though we also play games you know.
Only one of these games, that I have on the Nintendo Switch, is Raiden V, which I really enjoyed played. I should definitely, look into checking a couple more of these game out, see if anything else catches my interest.
@Lony85 If you liked Raiden V you should definately try out Raiden IV
@Lony85 if you liked raiden v you should try hamster ACA Raiden
This article and list is incredible to me, it feels like a bunch of games from a different planet!!! I think I have heard of maybe 4 of them?
But the one shmup I've actually played on the console is surprisingly absent? I loved Sine Mora Ex (which was my first foray in the genre) but is it actually not good?
Ikaruga is definitely my #1 on Switch. What a classic.
Geometry Wars is probably series in the genre but not found on the Switch. I thing GW3 Retro evolved is fantastic and would love a handheld version
I'm a little surprised to find I have 11 of the games on this list, and I'm buying Raiden IV Mikado and Cotton Reboot very soon. This is one of the genres I really like to collect.
I can vouch for Steredenn and R-Type Dimensions 100%. Steredenn is in my top five games on the Switch, and R-Type is a game I buy on every platform. It's a stone cold timeless classic. I can do the first stage in my sleep at this point.
I'm currently into R-Type Final 2. I don't know that it's a top shmup, but it's very fun for now.
I don't get into the bullet hell games, so I'm very picky about what shmups I bother to play, I really enjoyed Steredenn (despite being unable to actually beat it) and Sky Force Reloaded.
An honorable mention that I don't hear anyone talking about is Jets 'n Guns 2...an amazing shmup with lots of replay value, tight visuals and incredible music. It's a little short and linear, but the gameplay and customization are excellent for a really fair price. And there's also Black Paradox, a simple but enjoyable shmup with upgrades, great pixel visuals and great music too.
@60frames-please have you found any other game like sky force where you can gradually upgrade your ship etc?
@glympe I've recently enjoyed Shenandoah 1993 which has purchasable upgrades. Not quite like Sky Force, but it's a fun game that just a different kind of shooter. I hope they're working on a third Sky Force game...
I run a weekly Reddit poll on retro games. 20 of the top 50 games voted in from 1984 or earlier were shooters. These are the 8 (in voting order) available on Switch:
As someone who isnt very good at the fast paced shoot em ups, i really enjoyed skyforce reloaded on the switch. I like the progress level of being a 1 ahot kill low powered ship to upgrading armour, guns, bombs, lazers etc to then be able to clear levels without taking damage. Any other games that wont fry my brain with a barrage of bullets? Im open to suggestions.
@60frames-please nice find! I’ll give it a try. For some reason, this reminded me the xenon 2: megablast - which would also be great for switch
Just checked out Raiden IV and it looks way too fast for me. I couldnt even see some of those bullets coming that the guy was dodging. Maybe im just too long in the tooth for these fast paced games😂
Because it's a genre that, at one point, seemed it danger of dying out almost completely, that is currently having a massive resurgence? I'd say that makes it worth an article.
Still waiting patiently for M2's Toaplan conversions. Flying Shark is one of my all-time favourites, can't wait to own that on Switch. Getting my ass kicked by Raiden at the moment, an absolutely brilliant game. Got R-Type Final paid up for my birthday in a few weeks.
A little lesser-known, but Konami fans should give the Thunder Cross titles a spin. Whenever someone brings up Konami shooters, talk inevitably centres around Gradius / Salamander / Parodius, but there two are up there with them.
Yeah the /s was for sarcasm
Ah, sorry man!
No Jamestown+? This is a crime. Great shooter with a ton of personality.
Man... this is like a dream come true. My GameCube/Wii era self would have flipped at all these scrolling shooters on a Nintendo platform. I mean Cotton Reboot!? AND a new Cotton sequel!?!? WHAT!? So spoiled, I love it! (Now give me Guxt and, as long as I’m here dreaming... GUXT 2!!)
God help the Switch if these are the best it has to offer. There's 2 Megadrive SHMUPS on there, and neither would even get in to my own top 10 SHMUPS on that system. It's a right B-grade selection.
And my personal favorite, all time most played, is not on my switch. Geometry wars galaxies for the Wii. I wish we just had retro evolved if we didn’t get a full on game.
Terra Cresta is awesome too. I can't wait for Sol Cresta!!! (Not too proud to say I fell for it's April Fool's joke...but I guess it doesn't count anymore hehe)
You MUST add R-Type Final 2, Project Starship X, Eschatos.
Another reminder that I need to sell some of my Gamecube collection. Got two copies of Ikaruga on it, Cubivore, some others, just lying there, while I could use some money for my camper. Also have Ikaruga on Switch, physical, with a metal model I didn't even put together. My collecting days are over, clearly. But not may days of appreciating a good game or a beautiful release of one. Also, I really kind of expected Sine Mora on this list. It's not old school like those here, but it's at least something slightly different. Admitted that I didn't play most of these games, so my opinion isn't that valid I suppose. It's just... It looks like if I played five random ones on here, I'd have played the same game five times. No offense, it's just a genre I sometimes like, individual games, a couple of levels, but never really got into as a genre. I did play a lot of Tale Spin on the Game Boy though
@Donutman ah yes, Geometry Wars on Wii was an absolute blast. I also enjoyed that one which I can't find the name of right now, where you could create levels, and destroyed ships stuck to yours. On DS there was Big Bang Mini that I really loved. And on Wii U I enjoyed Nano Assault I think it was, with the 3d Mario Galaxy style movement.
(edit: the Wii one is Blast Works. And Sin and Punishment on Wii was also great!)
As an experienced Shmup fan...MY personal top 3 are:
1 Caladrius Blaze
3 Cotton Rock and Roll
The Switch is actually a feast of quality shmups delicacies and the best console to play them on. Ikaruga is my fav but there are so, so many good ones it's a bit dizzying. I think I have most on the list but not sure as a few will be in the backlog
y'all left out XEXEX(orius)SMDH:(
I've always felt Ikaruga is ULTRA overrated. Oh sure it's pretty and has good music, but the actual gameplay? It's a real love or hate type game, almost just as much as a puzzler as a shmup.
Great article. I'd encourage anybody who hasn't played it before to check out the new Gleylancer release on Switch.
This is a very fine list. But it lacks one true gem. I mean the recently released Eschatos. It's absolutely a top notch shmup, up there with the best ones! Great graphics, super dynamic gameplay with some original mechanics and a very solid port including two earlier versions of the game. It's a real treat for all of you, shmup lovers! Go and give it a try, you won't regret it!
Same here! Terra Cresta was one of my favourite shmups on my Speccy in the 80's. Then I played it on mame and now on my Switch. I really want the modern sequel so bad. And these delays are so annoying.
I highly recommend Death Ray Manta SE, particularly if you have a Switch OLED. It pops like crazy. Wonderfully addictive twin stick shooter perfect for short burst play.
It's crazy with just how many incredible shmups there are on the Switch that we still haven't gotten a port of ZeroRanger. That game could've really gotten the exposure and success it deserves if the more casual Switch audience got a chance to hear about it.
I wasn't expecting the list to be so big. I didn't like the look of Graceful Explosion Machine but when I played it I was hooked.
No Razion EX? Not even in the comments section?
Great list. My top 10 are:
Sky Force Reloaded
I haven't got round to buying Eschatos, Ikaruga, Darius or Espgaluda 2 yet but from what I have heard, they may deserve a place on the list.
@Kumite Thanks for reminding me about this game. They screwed up by having sick a limited physical release. They fixed that by releasing it digitally but it would have sold so much more of they released thos all on day one.
No Progear? For shame!
@Tisteg80 if only thje switch had a download pack mode like the DS....
@120frames-please still playing this one today. It mixes shmup and roguelike genres in a fantastic way, and it's so hard to collect all medals that makes me keeping coming back. The Anniversary Edition is also very good IMHO.
@Kumite Meant to reply sooner. Great shout. I'll heed the call and second, third and fourth, Razion X.
Easy recommend to anyone after clean, chunky old school Neo Geo arcade style visuals, a pounding soundtrack and interesting game mechanic. Now its on e-shop, it deserves more recognition and eye balls.
Admittedly its a chunky price to match those glorious chunky visuals - but you can always wish list it ready for a sale.
The BEST shmup game on nitnendo switch is:
Runner up: Raiden IV Mikado Remix: this game is wonderful. Raiden is my favorite shmup franshise ever and this version is this great.
Does velocity (&2x) count? Not a schmup fan, but I enjoyed those two games.
No Raging Blasters? You scored it 9/10 even on import - though it should make it to the west this year. Missile Dancer and Gemini Arms (same developer) are also worth checking out.
Project Starship X, Space Moth DX, Grand Brix Shooter and Blackbird all deserve some consideration.
I've played everything in this list and ESP Ra.De rules them all.
Only shmup I've played on the switch is Black Paradox. I really liked to play it. Yet, I have not tried other shmups.
What are you guys recommendations for a shmup closer to the aesthetics and sound of Black Paradox?
Andro Dunos 2 should/could be on this list.
Hyper sentinel is excellent also managed to pick up G Darius hd for £15 physical it’s tough as nails but been really enjoying it
"All of em".
Doesn't include Velocity 2x...
While not a pure shmup, it's hybrid take between blazing fast shmup gameplay and 2d platform puzzle blasting makes it by far one of the more unique experiences and a ton of fun.
@Aneira I'm in the same boat as you, I don't care for endless amounts of colored blobs, it just isn't fun. See above though.
@mrjingles75 yep ESP Ra.De is No.1.
A great list but with some notable omissions. Raging Blasters, Ultimate Tiger Heli and Andro Dunos 2 being the most obvious ones. Some recent Arcade Archives releases have been really good too, Gunnail, Dangerous Seed, Thunder Dragon 2,XEXEX. Capcom Arcade Stadium has several that are worthy too. 19XX, Progear, Giga Wing.
With so much quality shmups now on Switch, some of the early additions to this list like Earth Atlantis and Aces of the Luftwaffe don't really deserve their place among the best the console has to offer.
@OorWullie did you try that game boy pixel one? Can’t remember the name..
@Pupuplatter ikaruga isnt for me either.
I wish ZeroRanger would come to Switch. My favourite shoot 'em up by far.
@NinChocolate I know the game you're meaning can't remember the name either. I don't have it.
@KoopaTheGamer I'd love to play that. Hopefully it'll make its way to Switch.
@Pupuplatter Yeah, I could never get into Ikaraga. That game should come with a disclaimer: "Either you love it or hate it."
@Falksi I agree that the selection on the Mega Drive is a lot better. But to be fair, the Mega Drive probably has the best shoot 'em up selection of any console, the only ones that can compare are the Saturn, the PlayStation and the PC Engine.
But for a modern console this is actually quite impressive.
In my opinion the old classic 16 and 8-bit shoot 'em ups from the consoles and arcades are much superior to modern shooters in the Cave style.
Bullet-hell shoot 'em ups can be fun to play once in a while, but their gimmicks gets old fast, and the atmosphere in the classic shooters are just so much better than the overtly busy soundscape and playing fields in Cave-style games, with tons of annoying pickups and flying anime-girls.
I'm not saying those games are not well designed, or that it was bad that some invention happened in the stagnant genre, but bullet-hell shooters just doesn't stand up to classics like Gradius, Gradius 2, Axelay, Bio-Hazard Battle, Thunderforce 4, Eliminate Down, Gaiares, Truxton or 1943 for me.
@Perpetual_Change Top post mate, and totally agree. Did you see the SHMUP Junkie's Megadrive special earlier? Fantastic!...
Haven't seen it, but going to have a look at it later. Rankings are fun.
Are no a Shmup similar to it. I no tried all Cotton series that is sided shrump like it. Wainting for the price get lower.
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