129/365 – Meditation Games #129 – Against All Shoot-‘Em-Up Odds
Developer: David McQuillan
Launcher Quote: “Presented in Glorious High-Definition CGA Graphics, the Scourge of Space Scotlands Summer: The Space Midgie”
Arcade-like shoot-’em-up games were a favorite of mine when I was growing up with games, and not just because of the fact that they were visually appealing or featured a lot of pleasantly satisfying explosions and challenging stages filled with automatic scrolling goodness. The genre was one that I liked to gravitate towards because without fail, most shmup games presented you, the single ace pilot and the chosen one, as one that had to fly and shoot their way through overwhelming numbers to save the day.
This entry didn’t disappoint in this vein. A lot of my favorite parts in shmup games was when you, the somewhat miniature yet scrappy pilot, had to go up against the huge ass boss in a David vs. Goliath battle for shooting supremacy. It took me a few tries to get the hang of trying to both fly, shoot, and shield myself against the ton of bullets that were flying towards me, since my reflexes aren’t really what they used to be, but finally managed to get through the boss’s many shootable parts. It was a throwback to the shmups of old and it definitely elicited that vibe that I was used to of the tiny ass ship being the last hope against the much larger, much more powerful enemy vessel.
It’s been a while since I had this feeling, because a lot of games today tend to try to make things a little easier for their heroes as far as fighting the odds. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you tend to feel a lot safer in games today because you’re a bit more chosen one and less the rebel looking to beat the overwhelming force in front of you, which might be why the shmup genre might not be as prevalent today. Thankfully, with games like NieR: Automata, who brought back that sort of “bullet hell” type shooting against massive enemies, you can kind of still feel like that it’s still got a life left in it, especially as beating the odds feels just as satisfying when the enemy has the ability to destroy you at the drop of a hat like the boss in this game. It’s a feeling I hope makes it into more games in the future.