I am not a major shoot-em-up player. I would even go as far as to admit I dislike bullet hell games. Too often I come upon a game that has a really cool box art, only to find it’s a shmup with almost no full-blown representation of the florid art on its cover. I mostly look past the sea of these games that have become a bit more prominent in the indie scene these days (shmups have probably always been a staple of indie PC games). But I gotta say, a handful have caught my attention despite all this. One such game that’s on the way is Blue Revolver.
To me, it basically feels like a Capcom arcade game. The developers say it’s inspired by games from CAVE and Eighting, but I’ve yet to play any of CAVE’s games and the only thing I’ve played from Eighting is Bloody Roar. I guess we can go with just “arcade game” for the description here. The point is, for their first shmup, the team behind Blue Revolver has put together something that feels fast and frantic with weapons that feel suitably satisfying.
The game is your basic balance between a fast normal weapon and a slow-moving beam as you scroll up a vertical top-down screen, but there’s a scoring system to set it apart. You have a limited special weapon too that racks up extra points once you max out a kill multiplier. Like I said, I’m not too experienced with shmups so I’m still working out how to not suck, but it definitely feels like something that takes skill in not only dodging the bullet hell, but rationing special ammo. (which you refill with pickups some enemies drop).
What first drew me to Blue Revolver is honestly how it looks. The main artist, “woof,” seems to be an extremely talented guy who lends a style to the team’s games that reminds me a little bit of the look Toru Nakayama brought to the Mega Man Zero series. There’s color everywhere in Blue Revolver, and its pixels even remind me of Game Boy Advance games.
The full game promises five levels with a higher difficulty mode, a daily challenge mode, post-game analysis to go beyond the replay and scoreboard, and a novice mode for people like me.
See when it comes to shmups almost all my experience is with Taito’s Darius series. From my point of view it looks like the kind of shmup that caught on these days is the top-down vertical screen bullet hell game, but my preference is for side scrollers. I always thought about messing with Gradius and R-Type but never found the time and can’t figure out which editions of the games to get. Another difference I noticed is the shmups I was all about deal heavily in powerups, which I don’t see a whole lot in today’s bullet hell games. I’m probably gonna have to read a guide from some shmup expert to look deeper on this.
Anyway, Blue Revolver seems like a great first-attempt at an arcade shooter for a team that includes a stand-out artist. Its current release window is this summer but you know how these games always slip. I’m probably gonna try out the team’s other games too.
- A new Castle Vidcons. http://www.castle-vidcons.com/2015/04/27/comic-138-corrupters-of-the-earth/
- Solarix is coming. http://store.steampowered.com/app/284990
- 2010 Edge Magazine article on emergent gameplay. https://web.archive.org/web/20110108081204/http://www.next-gen.biz/blogs/the-zen-of-emergence