Showing posts with label Arcade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arcade. Show all posts

Thursday, 12 November 2020

My TOP 10 Vertical SHMUPS on the Sony PlayStation / PSOne / PS1 / PSX

I am somewhat of a Sony PlayStation aficionado, and Sony PlayStation games are still played in this household at least three times as much as games on other consoles.

Being fond of retro gaming also, I often still find myself spellbound by the amount of Shmup wonderfulness that is available on Sony's grey breeze block, although at this point they are played on the my Phat PS2 with internal HDD, OPL and PopStarter.

Being in a PAL territory, I knew that there was a fair amount of shmups available for the PS1. I was then pleasantly surprised to find more from the NTSC North American PS1 game library and absolutely stunned by the amount in the NTSC Japan territory.

Having built up quite a collection of PS1 shmups, I thought it was time to list my top 10 favourites. This is a subjective list as its my top 10, so you may not agree with them, but then again, you don't have to, and maybe there is something here that you didn't know existed and will want to try.

Before I start, I will say that I am not a massive fan of 3D remakes and prefer sprite based retro shoot em ups, and if its insanely difficult, I'm also out, but as I said before, that's just me.

I also do not intend to bang on and on about what amazing games they are. I already have a high opinion of them as they are on my top ten. I will provide links so that you can read more about the game if you wish to do so.

and so in no particular order..

1. Space Invaders

Yup the granddaddy of all vertical shmups. The original and still one of the best.

And there are so many variants to chose from.

For the original arcade classic, there is:

  • Space Invaders (NTSC-J)
  • Space Invaders 2000 (NTSC-J)
  • Simple 1500 Series Vol.073 The Invaders Space Invaders 1500 (NTSC-J)

Or if you fancy an updated version / remake there is:

  • Space Invaders (PAL) (NTSC-U) (NTSC-J renamed Space Invaders X)
  • PD Ultraman Invaders (NTSC-J)

Random Fact: Space Invaders original arcade version is an unlockable in Space Invaders Pal / NTSC-U aka Space Invaders X NTSC-J and is also playable in PD Ultraman Invaders.

2. The Raiden Project (PAL) (NTSC-U) (NTSC-J but renamed Raiden Project)

3. Strikers 1945 (NTSC-J)

Strikers 1945 (NTSC-J) is the real Strikers 1945. Strikers 1945 (NTSC-U) is actually Strikers 1945 II (NTSC-J). Confused? You will be!

4. Strikers 1945 II (PAL) (NTSC-J) (NTSC-U but renamed Strikers 1945)

Whether its Strikers 1945 II (NTSC-J) and (PAL) or Strikers 1945 (NTSC-U) which is actually Strikers 1945 II, you will not be disappointed.

5. DonPachi (NTSC-J)

6. DoDonPachi (NTSC-J)

7. Sonic Wings Special (PAL and NTSC-J)

7. Gunbird (NTSC-J) aka Mobile Light Force (PAL)

8. Airgrave (NTSC-J)

9. Zanac X Zanac (NTSC-J)

10. Stahlfeder - Tetsukou Hikuudan (NTSC-J)

Some Honourable mentions for those that didn't make the Top Ten:

  • Gekioh Shooting King
  • Simple Characters 2000 Series vol.08 - Gatchaman The Shooting (NTSC-J)
  • Dezaemon Plus (NTSC-J)
  • Night Raid
  • Xevious 3DG +
  • Toaplan Shooting Battle (NTSC-J)
  • Time Bokan Series - Bokan to Ippatsu! Doronboo (NTSC-J)
  • Time Bokan Series - Bokandesuyo (NTSC-J)
  • Soukyu-Gurentai Oubushutsugeki aka Terradiver
  • Two-Tenkaku (NTSC-J)
  • Strike Force Hydra

Thursday, 24 September 2020

My Top 10 Arcade Classics - Can I Play All Of Them on the Sony PlayStation / PSOne / PS1 / PSX ??

As a purebred Generation-X, I was lucky enough to witness first hand the boon of video gaming from Arcade games (Space Invaders onwards) to Home computer gaming (ZX81 onwards) to home video game consoles (Atari 2600 onwards).

During those years, arcade machines were everywhere! Cafe's, Swimming pools, holiday camps, takeaways, youth clubs, pubs, clubs and of course Amusement arcades. It was almost impossible to avoid arcade games at this time.

But.. Making a top 10 list isn't always easy. There is so many beloved classic games to choose from, and trying to remember back 30 or 40 years to what were my first early favourites can be a challenge. Come to think of it, I had my first PS1 in 1995...25 Years ago!

To assist in making a list like this, it always helps to have a clear goal, and some rules.

So, the goal is to identify my favourite top 10 Arcade CLASSIC games. I will start at the beginning of my gaming life and work forwards from there. As I am looking for classics, I will only consider pre 1990s games, and as I was born in 1972, and the first arcade game I remember is Space Invaders, I won't got pre 1978.

For the game to be selected, I have to have played it a reasonable amount of times on an arcade machine at the time. I can also count additional play time if I played it on home arcade conversion. As I had an Acorn BBC Micro during the 80s, I got to play a number of spot on classic arcade conversions written by Acornsoft and other software houses. What the BBC Micro lacked in complex arcade adventure style games, it more than made up for in classic coin op conversions.

The " Is it playable on the PS1 " part will not bias my choices, and for the playable on the PS1 part, I will consider both official releases and homebrew options, although i won't include PS1 MAME as the "playable on the PS1" part should be considered as fully playable at the correct speed as you would have played it on the arcade original. I also won't include remakes, as this isn't an arcade original version.

And with the goal and rules in place, lets get on with the nostalgia trip!

1. Super Earth Invasion (Space Invaders Clone)

I played a lot of different variants of Space Invaders as a kid. I even remember one of them having the cellophane colour screen mod and even as a kid thinking "Well thats a cheat!".

I also remember playing two versions on the BBC Micro; Acornsoft's "Space Invaders" and "Super Invaders".

The specific version that sticks out to me the most had houses instead of shields. Over the years, I thought that I had imagined this but after some research, I found that the version that I remembered playing most clearly was Super Earth Invasion, a Space Invaders clone.

Can you play Super Earth Invasion or Space Invaders on the Sony PS1?... YES, in fact you can play both!

You can play Space Invaders (the original) on a number of releases for the PS1. I reviewed all of the releases on this post HERE!

But better than this, you can actually play Super Earth Invasion on the PS1 via the gift of Homebrew using Anthony Ball's excelent RetroCoder Invaders Emulator / The Space Invaders Project. There is a review of the emulator on this post HERE at the bottom of the page.

Not bad! One down, nine to go, and currently we are 1 - 0 up!

2. Pac-Man

Ah, the classic pill popping, Ghost Busting beach ball with a mouth. Hours of my childhood family holidays spent hanging around shady amusement arcades on holiday camps plugging in 10p coins in the hope of clearing at least two levels and getting the bonus animated sequence and music, or just loitering around the machine egging otehr players on.

I was also able to play the game on the BBC Micro in the form of Acornsoft's "Snapper", a Pac-Man clone. Initially Snapper was identical to Pac-Man, but after some legal threats, the graphics were reskinned to turn the ghosts into menacing looking bipeds and Pac-Man into a hat wearing walking Grapefruit... or something similar... I've never been really sure what Snapper was meant to be ?

Can you play Pac-Man on the Sony PS1?... OF BLOODY COURSE YOU CAN ! And I've banged on and on about it for quite long enough on this post HERE!

2 - 0 up, 8 to go and going strong.

3. Berzerk

Alan McNeils absolute classic robot run 'n' gun, with creepy robot speech included. This game accounted for an awful lot of my missing pocket money, and I regret nothing !

The BBC Micro had no real Berzerk equivalent, although I always felt that "Cybertron Mission" was heavily Berzerk infulenced.

Can you play Berzerk on the Sony PS1 ?... No. Unfortunately not.

Still.. 2-1 up, 7 to go.. Could do with popping another one in before half time though..

4. Moon Patrol

More absolute childhood magic. I bloody loved this game! I think that maybe I have a particular soft spot for this game as there was no real equivalent on my BBC Micro, and therefore it was an absolute unique experience playing it in the arcade.

The closest I could get on the BBC Micro was either "Spaceman Sid" by English Software or "BMX On The Moon" by Superior Software, but whilst both of these games were fun to play, neither of them really captured the essence of Moon Patrol.

Can you play Moon Patrol on the Sony PS1 ?... Hell YES!!

Moon Patrol is available on Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Midway Collection 2.

For a list of the games included on this compilation, take a look on this post HERE.

3 - 1 up, and still not half time. 6 to go..

5. Scramble

Another superb classic that I couldn't get enough of ! I played the cocktail cabinet version of this one so many times, eventually slipping through all of the tight passages (ooer!) and getting to the end of stage 6.

I was spoilt for choice on the BBC Micro: Both "Rocket Raid" by Acornsoft and "Moon Raider" by Micro Power (Program Power) were able conversions of this horizontal shmup coin-op original.

Can you play Scramble on the Sony PS1 ?... You bet your ass you can !

Scramble is available on Konami Arcade Classics aka Konami 80's Arcade Gallery.

For a list of the games included on this compilation, take a look on this post HERE.

Scramble is also available on Homebrew using RetroCoder Galaxian Emulator / The Galaxian Project.

For more information on this multi-arcade game emulator, take a look on this post HERE.

4 - 1 up ! I've had worse half time scores ... (Being a Pompey fan, a lot worse!)

6. Defender

I always kind of considered Defender as Scramble on acid. Fast and frantic, flipping left and right and what a trip when all your planetary wanderers die. I am pretty sure that I used to play on a clone version back in the day, as the cabinet was plain black with no decor.

The BBC Micro served up an admirable conversion in the form of "Planetoid" by Acornsoft. I also remember playing a second conversion but the name eludes me.

Can you play Defender on the Sony PS1 ?... You certainly can !

Defender is available on Williams Arcade Greatest Hits.

For a list of the games included on this compilation, take a look on this post HERE.

5 - 1 ! We are cleaning up!

7. Frogger

Well i liked ponds and what lived in them as a kid, so I was bound to be drawn to Frogger. The arcade version, the hand held version that my mate owned, the home computer conversions. It was all good amphibious fun! Throw in some crocs (or were they alligators?), some snakes, some turtles (or were they terrapins?) some dragon flies and a busy road, and you have got yourself hours and hours of arcade fun.

And on the BBC Micro, the fun continued with Acornsoft's "Hopper" and Superior Soft's "Froggy".

Can you play Frogger on the Sony PS1 ?... Nope. Not on here !

Yes there is a PS1 game released entitled "Frogger" aka "Frogger: He's Back", and yes, level 1 of this game is a low poly count 3D REMAKE of the original frogger game, however it is not Arcade Original Frogger, and Arcade Original Frogger is not an unlockable in this game or its sequel, "Frogger 2: Swampys Revenge", so the answer to this one is no.

5 - 2 ! Still a convincing lead!

8. Asteroids

Loved the game. Loved the vector graphics. (Hated the hyperspace..) Never worked out why there wasn't a Left-Right Joystick for rotation, or a four direction joystick for Left, Right, thrust and... I dunno.. Reverse Gear? (I guess buttons were cheaper). An all round fab game with many variants but as long as you can spin, shoot and thrust (ooer..) it still keeps me happy to this day.

Yet again, BBC Micro owners were spoilt for choice with piles of different ports of Asteroids, the best two probably being Acornsoft's "Meteors" and Atarisofts "Asteroids Deluxe" .

Can you play Asteroids on the Sony PS1 ?... Yes. Yes you can.

And I banged on about this very fact on this post HERE! Have a read.

6 - 2 ! C'mon Ref, Blow the whistle!

9. Time Pilot

Yay lets travel back in time, meet interesting people from that time period, and then shoot them down! I was never brilliant at this. I could get to the jet planes level, but I saw people get to the flying saucers level and was always envious..

BBC Micro owners were treated to the rip off that was Superior Softwares "Space Pilot". An admirable conversion of the arcade treat.

Can you play Time Pilot on the Sony PS1 ?... Thats an affirmative.

Time Pilot is available on Konami Arcade Classics aka Konami 80's Arcade Gallery.

For a list of the games included on this compilation, take a look on this post HERE.

7 - 2.. and into stoppage time

10. Phoenix

Ha! Space Eagles ?! AS IF !! But all the while that Space Eagles can create this much frantic shoot em up fun, then they are welcome in this fantasy world, including the annoying ones that perch just under your ship and need to be dispatched using your shield.

I had "Eagle Empire" by Alligata Software. It was an OK conversion up until the mothership level where you were fighting just the mothership, not the mothership and a wave of space eagles. It was still pretty good for the time.

Can you play Phoenix on the Sony PS1 ?... Yes! In all of its original arcade glory!

Phoenix can be played on PS1 homebrew using RetroCoder Phoenix/Pleiads Emulator / The Phoenix Project.

For more information on this multi-arcade game emulator, take a look on this post HERE.

So full time, and the final score is 8 - 2. (and that 9th one was never offside!)

But, I couldn't leave without giving some honourable mentions to the games that just missed out on the top 10 spots..

BBC Micro
Available on
Sony PS1?
Galaxian Acornsoft
Namco Museum Volume 3
Mini version on Ridge Racer
Star Wars Domark
"Star Wars"
Galaga Aardvark Software
Namco Museum Volume 1
Mini version on Tekken
Star Castle None No
Crystal Castles US Gold
"Crystal Castles"
MRM Software
"Castle Of Gems"
Arcade Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 2
Space Duel None Atari Anniversary Edition Redux
Tempest Superior Software
Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 2
Atari Anniversary Edition Redux
Pole Position Atarisoft
"Pole Position"
Namco Museum Volume 1
Donkey Kong Micropower
"Killer Gorilla"
Solar Soft
"Zany Kong"
No. Read More HERE !
Donkey Kong Jr Superior Software
"Killer Gorilla 2"
"Donkey Kong Jnr"
Time Pilot '84 None No
Uniwars None No
Mr. Do! Superior Software
"Mr. Wiz!"
Micro Power
"Mr. Ee"
8-Bit Software
"Mr. Do"
Gorf Doctor Soft
Amidar Acornsoft
"Crazy Tracer"
Superior Software
"Crazy Painter"
Battlezone Software Invasion
"3D Tank Zone"
Superior Software
"Battle Tank"
Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1
Bombjack None No.
Bubble Bobble None Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands
Centipede Bloody Loads! Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1
Centipede (Remake)
Donkey Kong 3 None No
Gaplus / Galaga 3 None Namco Museum Volume 2
Millipede A whole bunch! Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 2
Halleys Comet None No
Missile Command Loads and Loads! Arcade Greatest Hits - The Atari Collection 1
Atari Anniversary Edition Redux
Missile Command (Remake)
Moon Cresta Alternative Software
"Moon Cresta"
Superior Software
"Star Striker"
Nichibutsu Arcade Classics
Ms Pac-Man None Namco Museum Volume 3
Ms Pac-Man Maze Madness (Remake)
Qbert Loads and Loads! Qbert (Remake)
Sinistar Superior Software
"Death Star"
Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits
Xevious Superior Software
Namco Museum Volume 2
Xevious 3D/G+