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UN Squadron


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Also, you can play Carrier Airwing (Area 88 sequel) on CPS-I emulation. It's decent.

Oh yeah Carrier Airwing is awesome. I'd just like some new shooters in the same mould basically. IMO the shumup genre still works fine because it's so straight forward and easy to grasp. Just give me some lush art design and maybe a clever little hook like the force and I'll be all over it. Xenon 3, bring it baby! Forgotten Worlds 2, oh man! Put the RType IP in the hands of some vet indies, take all the monies..!!

For me bullet hell games differ hugely to traditional shumups in terms of gameplay simply beause they became too complicated.

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I don't think I've ever played a bad version of UN Squadron! I personally owned the SNES effort, and until a few years ago, thought it the best thing since sliced bread. I wasn't that bothered that it didn't feature a two player option, I had Mario Kart and All-Stars for that.

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I don't think its as much about bullet frequency as it about atmosphere - UN Squadron drips with evocative magic - from the music (written by the lady behind the classic Mega Man scores, I believe) to the sometimes war-of-attrition boss battles (the ones which have you doubling back on yourself to finish the job.

Maybe its something about all of the 'stealth' type war planes, and being a kid in the 80's/90's arcades playing this stuff. This series had that slightly 'believable' alternate reality thing down beautifully.

Loved it on the SNES but would have loved a slow-down-less MD version too.

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UN Squadron was the shit, and I'd happily rate it as one of my all-time favourite shooters (even if that list is woefully out of date and missing Parodius, R-Type et al.) I don't remember ever being that good at it, but it's still great fun on emulators and the presentation remains awesome (especially Sakaguchi's tunes.) XBLA/PSN remake pls. :)

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Wish there were more straight forward shooters like this. I hate the bullet hell style games which seem to have proliferated over the last 10 years or so.

Aye, as the genre dropped in popularity its core audience became the hardcore shmup fans, so they just got harder and harder. If you're a fan of more straightforward shooters you really want the 16-bit machines - Mega Drive, PC Engine and SNES, in that order - and access to their full range of titles.
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How does the snes compare to the arcade version? Heads up the Area 88 80's anime is really cool! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8t35yLIj6g (im sure the whole thing is on youtube - its like 2 ova's (well ova 1 -2 wedged into one movie and movie 2 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Area-DVD-Region-Import-NTSC/dp/B000FII248/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1382544752&sr=8-4&keywords=area+88 )

There was a 00's 12 ep series but I was too scared to try it.

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Aye, as the genre dropped in popularity its core audience became the hardcore shmup fans, so they just got harder and harder.

Hadn't thought of it like that, makes a lot of sense. Damn shame. :(

Blimey the CPC version of UN Squadron certainly looked the part! Very nice indeed. Shame about the bloody awful framerate though.

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UN Squadron was the shit, and I'd happily rate it as one of my all-time favourite shooters (even if that list is woefully out of date and missing Parodius, R-Type et al.) I don't remember ever being that good at it, but it's still great fun on emulators and the presentation remains awesome (especially Sakaguchi's tunes.) XBLA/PSN remake pls. :)

If there was any hint of remake, I'll buy whichever console it's on immediately. In addition to this I'd be exceptionally happy and will have a smile on my face.

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Hadn't thought of it like that, makes a lot of sense. Damn shame. :(

Blimey the CPC version of UN Squadron certainly looked the part! Very nice indeed. Shame about the bloody awful framerate though.

I played the CPC version... and completed it a few times, it had everything, including a good rendition of the arcade music. The problem is, it was like you were moving through treacle.

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I played the CPC version... and completed it a few times, it had everything, including a good rendition of the arcade music. The problem is, it was like you were moving through treacle.

Did you ever play P47 Thunderbolt on the CPC 464?

It looked better than UN Squadron and didn't move like treacle. The second stage was glorious.

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Did you ever play P47 Thunderbolt on the CPC 464?

It looked better than UN Squadron and didn't move like treacle. The second stage was glorious.

Look at those graphics, that sun is almost blinding haha!

I played this a lot around 1987 - 88, great game :D

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Aye, as the genre dropped in popularity its core audience became the hardcore shmup fans, so they just got harder and harder.

Did any of you tackle it on 'Gamer' difficulty? I think that supersedes quite a few bullet-hell shmups in terms of difficulty.

i think it's some sort of myth that bullet hell games are harder than old school style shooters, yeah some are, but really i think its more the different styles of play. they definitely look harder but with the tiny hitbox they are no where near as hard as they look. or maybe i just think this because i'm not completely terrible at bullet hell stuff but am completely terrible at the more old school style games.

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i think it's some sort of myth that bullet hell games are harder than old school style shooters, yeah some are, but really i think its more the different styles of play. they definitely look harder but with the tiny hitbox they are no where near as hard as they look. or maybe i just think this because i'm not completely terrible at bullet hell stuff but am completely terrible at the more old school style games.

You must be some kind of mutant then! ;) I've never heard of people finding bullet hell games less complicated over traditional shmups!

Talking of my longing for new titles, check this out.

What I don't understand is how these guys are making money?? Is the Neo Geo and Dreamcast sector really able to support development like this still!? These are the guys that tried to ks their other game Gunlord for the 3ds and failed woefully. How they could finance neo geo and dc versions and not 3ds I've no idea at all..! I'd buy both games in a shot if they were available on the 3ds and look at the size of the market they'd have access to.

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Presumably its to do with the Dreamcast and Neo Geo being old, defunct consoles and so a) not requiring a prohibitively expensive license to develop for the machine (because nobody's going to sue them for it, and the systems set up to prevent unlicensed titles on both systems are easy to bypass), and b) they're old, relatively simple systems to program for with a decade+ worth of knowledge base to work on, whereas the modern systems may not be quite as straightforward/comfortable for a team who've been developing for those two systems since 2001.

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Seriously, I don't think either of those 2 reasons are believeable. Getting the go to dev for consoles is very easy nowadays and any competant team (and both of those teams are certainly that) can dev on newer consoles. For me it comes down to money, which makes it all the more perplexing in this case. How they've managed to finance those titles I've no idea. Maybe they're vanity projects!

Actually this is just the type of thing I'd like retrogamer to report on. I'm sure others would like to know more about devs like these. And it might bring them to a wider audience.

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Maybe there's a massive hardcore of mvs nuts out there though??

It wouldn't need to be a "massive" hardcore to fund a two man team* for over a year at €400 a pop; producing an MVS cartridge is simple (EPROMS are relatively cheap and easy to install and program; doner shells wouldn't be too hard to find for the casing), and the physical production cost of each cart is unlikely to exceed €50; they've no licensing fees to pay, they already have the tools they need for the production so there are no upfront costs, so assume each sale to be €350 pure profit; split two ways that's €175, so every ten sales is a comfortable month of production cost. At 120 copies they'd already have a year of funding; extra sales can then go towards hiring contractors for the art and sound, making the game larger, and, well, having more money! Hell, considering their (failed) Indiegogo campaign for the 3DS and Vita version of Gunlord was asking for a grand total of €40,000 (before IG's cut all costs), they reach that with MVS sales after only 100 copies are sold.

In short: you don't need a lot of wealthy MVS collectors** to cover that cost, whereas 3DS and Vita owners are likely to generally expect to pay less for their games, so you need to win over a lot more of them over - which in the now-niche genre in which they're working, is a harder ask. Particularly when you then add in the cost of devkits (about a grand for a 3DS kit, two grand for a Vita) and there's more upfront costs. And then, when you actually sell your games, Nintendo/Sony take a significant bite,*** so you really need that upfront kickstarter/indiegogo cash in a way you don't when self-distributing your game on a defunct platform.

So, yeah, those are what I'd guess to be some of the reasons they can publish to DC and MVS easily, but struggle to make headway onto the more modern machines.

*NG:TEAM are Timm and Rene Hellwig, who do all the programming, game design and art direction between them; they then hire in pixel artists and composers [four and one respectively, in the case of Gunlord] for the spritework and music/sfx, which takes some upfront cash but doesn't require regular monthly payment as with a larger in-house team

**and, to be frank, if you're into collecting MVS games you're probably reasonably well off/used to paying astronomical sums for your games

***Nintendo haven't been open about their 3DS system, but with the DS they wouldn't pay a cent until a certain threshold of sales had been reached, so releasing a niche game which only sold a thousand copies or so could well see you get not a penny, and that may well still be the case

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Wiper, you're doing a good job there of convincing me to about turn and dev for MVS instead! ;)

I certainly see what you're saying, even though it still baffles me why so many people would shell out €400 for a new game on a old system. :wacko:

Still they're obviously able to make money. It's just a shame a wider audience can't appreciate their games. I'd love to see an interview with them.

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