Shop for Atomic Robo-Kid on Amazon.com, If you are familiar with the “All Your Base” internet meme, this is the game where it comes from. Like it’s prequel you don’t play as a ship or airplane, but as a person (or persons) flying through the air and shooting. Arcade games are also encouraged. For Sagaia you get to choose your path after each level which gives the game a lot of replay value. The storyline is probably the most interesting thing about the game, along with your ship consistently changing and evolving based on the items that are dropped by your fallen enemies. In fact, it still does! The power up method appears borrowed from Gradius, but the game does offer some nice things beyond that, like having multiple ships attach to you in a Galaga-like fashion. Shop for Gadget Twins on eBay It is developed by an obscure company called Aprinet and published by another unknown company called Soft Vision. Shop for XDR X-Dazedly-Ray on Amazon.com, Heavy Unit is a game by Kaneko, a company with a decent shooter resume including Air Buster (PC Engine  & Genesis/Mega Drive), Nexzr (PC Engine CD), and Cyvern (Arcade). Leynos? The game is weak overall and hard to enjoy. Written by A.J. You may also be interested in these: Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition Review, Ginga Force Review, Darius Cozmic Collection Console Review, Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade Review, Rigid Force Redux Review, Sega Ages: Thunder Force AC Review, Shmup Collection Review, Indie Shoot 'em Ups, Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo Review, and Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha Review. Mainly, you have to manage your fuel. Shop for Sub Terrania on eBay Ultimately, all the feature does is pull and throw small baddies, not anything cool like the weapon-stealing beacon in Gaiares. This is not Toaplan’s best game, but it is not a train wreck either. Besides the infamous poor translation what else does this game have going for it? You fire in the direction you’re facing and you can hold a button down to continue firing in that direction while moving in different ones. While the Super Nintendo is my favorite 16-bit console but I’ll be the first to admit that the Sega Genesis was the better console for shmups. I hope you enjoyed reading it. It handles all the necessary gaming aspects very competently; controls, pacing, sound, and graphics. msd525: Great list; I loved G-Darius and Thunderforce V. Minor correction: Rayforce was ported to the Saturn and released in the U.S. as Galactic Attack. Your email address will not be published. Why there is some points about the MegaCD versions and nothing about Robo Aleste in Musha’s review ? You have a main attack for flying enemies and a bomb for ground units. Unlike Space Harrier, you can really only move side-to-side and not vertically, but you do have your standard missiles and guns available at your disposal. Unlike Slap Fight, Grind Stormer did get a release outside of Japan. Make the most of your games and hardware with some creative ideas. Every stage in the game is diverse and forces you to navigate through various rooms and environments; it is not on-rails so you will not be forced to constantly move vertically or horizontally. Aero Blasters features plenty of the dodging and shooting you’d expect, Kaneko did, however, add some variety to keep the player interested, though not everyone will agree with all of their choices. Slap Fight is a vertical shooting shooter that will look a bit aged on the Genesis when you compare it to other games released at the time. The game has a strong reputation which it earns through great sound, graphics, and gameplay. This game is slow (as in, you have to scroll the screen manually), sluggish, and difficult. Shop for Super Fantasy Zone on eBay. It was originally an arcade game that got a Mega Drive release for Europe and Japan (not North America, unfortunately). Unlike 1942 all of your foes consist of tanks and boats. There is an effort by the developers that shows in the game, from the initial cut scene to the ending. Shop for Twin Cobra on eBay I love these old school digitalized voices ! www.racketboy.com/retro/the-sega-genesis-megadrive-shmup-library Twinkle Tale manages to keep itself interesting throughout each stage; one level even has platforming elements (minus the jumping) in a scenic sky setting. Following your ship is a Gradius-like option, but unlike Gradius you can launch it at an enemy and gain their unique type of firepower; repeated launches into the same enemy equals a more powerful version of said weapon. In traditional shooter form every level ends with a large boss, in Insector X they will be modeled after an insect or arachnid. You control a ship that has the ability to transform into a mech, similar to a “variable fighter” in Macross. Being a launch title, you can forgive the slightly below-standard visuals and audio, but it does take away from the game when looking at it now almost 25 years later. It sounds like it belongs in a Mega Man X game and the stages are gorgeous, too! It’s recommended for collectors and completists only. Players have the choice between a helicopter (which can fly over certain obstacles) and a jeep (which can shoot in multiple directions), and both can be used at the same time when a second player comes aboard for co-op play. If anyone knows anything, please let us know in the comments. There are some colorful stages and bosses, but if you are looking for that action-packed thrill that shooter fans expect from the genre, you will be disappointed. Collect the best games without spending much money. This is not the best shooter around, but if you are a collector or a Toaplan fan then it’s worth tracking down. I wouldn’t recommend Action 52 to anyone–too expensive and it has about twenty poor quality shooters. For Sega’s consoles it exists in three versions, the cartridge, the Sega CD, and the Mega CD (the latter two bearing the name “Sol-Feace”). The power ups are weak and the graphics okay. Gaiares, Whip Rush, Vapor Trail, and Granada were some great games that are still a blast to play. Shop for Lightning Force on Amazon.com. The game is good and definitely worth owning due to the fact that it is very playable despite the language barrier (and like many popular retro imports, an original cart will cost you). Alien Soldier? Shop for Forgotten Worlds on Amazon.com, Fire Mustang is a port of the arcade game USAAF Mustang released by Taito exclusively for Japan. The stages are varied, starting in a beautiful metropolis (which you watch get decimated) and ends in a fortress. You control a standard gun which fires directly in front of you, but you also get a second weapon that can be used with a crosshairs for more accurate shooting, and a laser which is accessed by holding down the shoot button. It’s library of space ship shooters is vast and among these many games is Thunder Force III and it’s considered to be one of the best shmups on the Genesis. It’s not a long or difficult game though, and is a largely forgettable experience. Oh, and did I mention that the music is absolutely incredible? This is yet another title to add to the list of Japan-only shooters for the Mega Drive. Nice article. The various bosses are big and usually their most lethal attack is them quickly lunging at you, not a spread of bullets. Steel Empire is solid throughout, the art style, unique design of the levels, and enemies make the game stand out above the typical space ship or fighter plane shmup fare. The graphics aren’t terrible and the environments are interesting for the most part. It is an above-average shmup that was ported from the arcade (where it was known as “Air Buster”) to both the Genesis and Turbografx. - A.J. One button rotates right and the other to the left. The game is not too uncommon and copies can be picked up on the cheap. This game is beautiful and it plays great. Raiden Trad is a modified version of the first arcade game released for the SNES and Genesis/Mega Drive. It’s not without its flaws, mainly a lack of polish that other games (Thunder Force 4, Eliminate Down) proved were possible on the console. The graphics are only ok by the console’s standards and the game has a fair challenge (which can be adjusted with eight difficulty settings). This is not the best shooter for the Genesis/Mega Drive, but it is unique. Unlike many other shmups all the different weapons are permanent and cannot be lost once gained. The gameplay is fast and the difficulty is high, but not impossible. How cool is that? There is nothing wrong here; Verytex is a pretty vanilla shmup developed by Operahouse and published by Asmik which never saw a release outside of Japan. The game alternates between top-down and side-scrolling stages, and while the top-down levels are decent, the game really shines with the side-scrolling. Elemental Master is a top-down shmup where you control Laden, a sorcerer trying to stop the evil King Gyra. Much like Magic Girl, Divine Sealing was an unlicensed game that never made it outside of Asia, but those in other parts of the world certainly aren’t missing out. Some may say the game is too easy and I agree, unless the game catches you sleeping you won’t have too much difficulty navigating through. The only 2 Player shmup I can think of. Lots of great shmups on Genesis. Germain: As a nintendo guy, I have not played even one of those games ! Wolf Team is a defunct game developer that had was quite prolific during the Genesis/Mega Drive years. Shop for Fire Mustang on Amazon.com, Toaplan! is a must-play game for any shooter fan and anyone looking to experience one of the best titles on Sega’s console. Add this to your collection only if you are morbidly curious or a collector that is a completest. They also each have a health bar. © 2004-2020 Racketboy. Trouble Shooter does manage to distinguish itself from other Genesis/Mega Drive shooters by featuring two jetpack-wearing females instead of a space ship. This game is not a typical scrolling shooter, but instead it plays like a twin stick shooter before consoles could do twin stick. SHMUPS! If you're feeling adventurous, try the advanced rom browser. The game originated as an arcade title (whose visuals and sound were much more cartoony in nature), and found it’s way to the Genesis/Mega Drive by the way of Sage’s Creation. All the environments and enemies in the game have a cutesy look to them, which is fine and works for some games like Parodius and Harmful Park, but this game feels like some cheap Fisher-Price product. The game starts with a great cut scene introducing the player to the main character; you are a young girl on a mission to save your father. Forgotten Worlds is fun game, though the transition from the arcade’s twin-stick mechanics to the Genesis pad might be too much to overcome for some. Super Fantasy Zone is a 16-bit entry into this classic Sega series, the game received a release in Japan and Europe, but not North America. Compile definitely made great games. This is from an era when the arcades were still ahead of console hardware, so it’s no surprise that the port lacks the graphics and details of its arcade counterpart. Shop for Sol Deace on Amazon.com, Trouble Shooter stars two young heroines, Madison and Crystal as they attempt to stop the bad guys and rescue a hostage. is required title. The boss fights can drag a bit which can result in a loss of interest for those with short attention spans. Similar to Raiden Trad, Slap Fight does not visually blow you away, but it does capture that arcade feel that shooters developed specifically for consoles just don’t have. Initially a port of Toaplan’s arcade version, Hellfire holds up very well even to this day. Never mind, then ; ). It's a uncommon Genesis game so it might be expensive. The game is decent enough, if you are looking for something spectacular look elsewhere. Suffice it to say, if you do try and play this game, it’s probably best to do it with only age-appropriate people in the room. You did miss the kitchen sink, however… Oh, no, wait, you did include Raiden Trad. The console port is faithful to the arcade; the game itself is a vertical shooter that puts the player in the cockpit of one of three different fighter planes. Shop for M.U.S.H.A. The third phase is straight NES Commando-like shooting. One that hasn't been mentioned yet is Sol Feace for Sega CD. A bit of practice and patience is all it takes to win. Shop for Gley Lancer on eBay. Treasure Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer based in Tokyo known for its action, platform, and shoot 'em up games. The uniqueness of the enemies and the stages is what puts it a notch above other such shooters. If you have access to a Sega CD definitely get that version if you are going to give the game a go, the saving grace of this title is the soundtrack. You don't really see this amount of customization in retro shooters and the amount of weapons that you can change to is fantastic. The game runs at a pretty solid framerate, and when it dips, it really isn’t noticeable, but the sense of speed isn’t good. Shop for Bio-ship Paladin on eBay, Sol-Deace is not a bad game, but it is a “meh” shmup for the Genesis. Shop for Raiden Trad on eBay It’s your job to make sure it doesn’t happen, and while the story doesn’t represent anything great, it doesn’t get in the way either. If you want to show off how great the Genesis/Mega Drive can look, here is the game to demo. Copies of the games are not outrageously priced, but it will cost you a bit to own. What games would you have included? In this vertical magic-based shmup, you control a sorcerer who traverses grueling stages that are filled with clever hazards and enemy formations. The controls are very responsive and tight and the game has solid pacing throughout. Shop for Phelios on eBay I didn't see a thread on this so redirect me if there already is one :) Shmups (or shoot em ups) are some of my favorite types of games ad co-op is one of my favorite type of game, so you can imagine how much I love the two together. Shop for Viewpoint on eBay Gaiares is horizontal shmup released stateside by Renovation. It a vertical scrolling game with seven levels and a solid soundtrack; M.U.S.H.A. This may be a point of contention, but neither Wolf Team nor Renovation had their name on many games that would be considered classics or must-haves for Sega’s 16-bit console. Shop for Master of Weapons on eBay, Twinkle Tale is a free-roaming shooter that some people might say is not a real shmup. Anyway, we hope you find this guide useful and we look forward to hearing about your favorites in the comments below! It features a limited number of power-ups that really contribute little, the one main fault of the game in my opinion. Shop for Arrow Flash on eBay The game does not follow the traditional shooter formula. And I thought SNES had a lot... PlayStation 2 Shoot 'em Ups: Five Must-Have Titles, Top 10 Nintendo Switch Shoot 'em Ups (First 2 Years), Collection of SaGa Final Fantasy Legend Review, Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythmic Adventure Pack Review, Top 10 Underrated Games I've Reviewed (Year 6), Top 10 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Tropes, Top 10 Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Secrets, Top 10 Underrated Games I've Reviewed (Year 5), Console Exclusive Game of the Year Awards 2020, Indie Game of the Month Awards November 2020, Switch Giveaway - Absolute Drift: Zen Edition, Sega Genesis Classics Review (includes Bio-Hazard Battle), Darius Cozmic Collection Console Review (includes Sagaia), Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar gameplay video →, Gameplay video playlist for Top 10 Sega Genesis Shoot 'em Ups, Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition Review. These smaller ships can take damage for you and fire in a variety of methods. Playing as a floating magic-casting wizard is nothing new in the arcade shooter genre yet Wings of Wor offers plenty of fresh and exciting fun with its clever use of spells. The gameplay is the best thing about Divine Sealing, but it’s still not good, as your ship is far too jumpy, and as evidenced by a YouTube video, you can actually sit in one spot, hold the shoot button and never get touched. Most of the enemies are the same with little derivation. The US version of Elemental Master was published by Renovation. It is difficult to find this kind of shooter experience on a console and for that reason alone Battle Squadron is worth owning, especially if you are a fan of games along the lines of Tyrian. Heavy Unit never got a release outside of Japan, so it does get a bit pricey. These spells especially come in handy whenever you're dealing with a barrage of enemies who sometimes come in heavily-populated onslaughts which is exhilarating to overcome every time. It was developed by Toaplan for the arcade and is ported to the Genesis/Mega Drive by Tengen just like Slap Fight. It set the stage for arguably the best shmup on the system, and even though it’s not as good as TF3, it’s still a must-have for serious collectors and players. This game, released by Tengen for the Genesis/Mega Drive, feels very much like an arcade game (which should be no surprise because it is a port of one). Regardless of how you make the distinction, this game will satisfy your urge to gun down 16-bit enemies. EA was kind enough to bring a handful of PC/Amiga games to the Genesis/Mega Drive and Battle Squadron is one of them. The visuals in the game are among the Genesis/Mega Drive’s finest; there are graphical effects here that you will not see in any other Genesis title. The game was brought to the states by Renovation and made by Wolfteam. Battle Mania Daiginjō is the sequel to Trouble Shooter (as it is known outside of Japan) and it’s a game that never left Japan which is a shame because it is much better than its predecessor. Steel Empire has seven stages of horizontal scrolling; to get through them you have a choice of a zeppelin or an airplane which is basically a dichotomy of slow-with-a-lot-of-health versus fast-with-less-life. The player takes control of the game after the introduction. Is this a joke? There are shops throughout the level like Fantasy Zone, but that doesn’t make it interesting. PUBLISHER: Activision. Granada is great if you consider it … You can play a one or two-player game, the two playable characters are beefy unnamed tough guys armed with BFGs. With the 16bit Megadrive, Sega managed to oust Nintendo from #1 for once in the States, and gained healthy popularily in Europe and it's home territory, Japan. Preferably pre-PS2 games would be the most appreciated. It’s a great addition to any shmup or Genesis collection. Whether you know it as Genesis or Mega Drive, there were a ton of excellent shmups for Sega's 16-bit console so here are the 10 best. Contra? Console technology was advancing, 3D graphics were on the rise with polygonal models dethroning 2D sprites, the internet was thriving; there was no reason to go to a video arc… Whip Rush also has one of the most varied speed controls I have ever seen in a shmup Shop for Hellfire on eBay << BACK TO XENOCIDE FILES MAIN MENU. Maciejewski (crazyaejay): Wow, writing this list and replaying these awesome shmups really brought back some great memories. The gameplay is a pretty faithful rendition of the arcade version, with the full complement of weapons and power-ups present throughout the game to go along with a varied enemy and obstacle set. What’s your reward for passing each level? It was the counterpart to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and what many believe to be one of the best gaming systems ever conceived. A.J. Shop for Task Force Harrier on eBay The same anomaly occurred for “Lightening Force”). was getting worried about not seeing fireshark on the list, but finally come across it towards the bottom. This game is worth checking out if you are going to explore the Genesis’ shmup library. It’s your job to pilot the Paladin and stop the alien horde over ten levels. Twinkle Tale looks great on the Mega Drive and its gameplay makes me think of Elemental Master, but with less restrictive movement. I mentioned Space Harrier off the top, and while Burning Force borrows from the series, it is a little different. Shop for Zero Wing on eBay Shop for Grind Stormer on Amazon.com, In this bug-themed horizontal shooter you control what can best be described as a giant mechanical wasp armed with a forward cannon. Among the large amount of Genesis shooters, Gaiares rests relatively high among the bunch. If you are familiar with how Fantasy Zone plays, there will be no surprises here. Great list, the only more inclusive one was the one Sega-16 had before it was hacked a few years back and for some reason the shmups list never returned. There are probably close to 50 shooters altogether in the system’s library and that’s not including the Sega CD. If that statement makes sense and you enjoy that arcade feel replicated on a console, Slap Fight will be worth your time. Unfortunately, the rest of the audio is rather uninspired, which is kind of understandable considering that the game was released in 1990. Deathsmiles (for PC) 4.0. You play a winged character who flies horizontally through the levels, similar to side-scrolling levels from Legendary Wings on the NES. For example, in some levels of the game enemies will spawn behind you with no warning, killing any player hugging the bottom of the screen. They all seem modeled after something aquatic, in fact the whole game’s aesthetic features a biological/oceanic theme which makes it visually unique among the typical ‘space ship in space’ shooter. Are all these games available for a US system? Shop for Lightning Force on eBay That being said the title is ok at best. As you progress through stages, you'll collect power-ups that make your shots more potent and on top of that, you can collect up to 3 spells which activate for a limited time. With the ability to swap shooting directions, plenty of fun weapons and power-ups, and a great sense of humour; what's not to love about Trouble Shooter? Shop for Truxton on Amazon.com, Raiden is a classic shooter franchise. The resulting customizable and fast-paced gameplay will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s best to play this game with the sound off, but unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to stop the visuals from destroying your eyes. is an entry in this awesome franchise as you pilot a giant mech instead of a standard fighter ship. Shop for Air Buster on eBay Inspired by the steampunk genre, it's clear that this theme runs throughout the entirety … Its jet-black build housed a Motorola 68000 CPU, along with a Zilog Z80 sub-processor that provided then-gorgeous 16-bit animation and backwards compatibility with Sega Master System. The game lets you roam freely left or right, like Defender, and it features bright colorful graphics. Its gameplay is tight, the weapons are extremely gratifying, it features top-notch 16-bit visuals and music, and the bosses are mind-blowing so it definitely deserves top spot. This is another Toaplan game that made its way to the Genesis/Mega Drive. Upgrades can be bought in shops that appear throughout the levels. I actually prefer a d-pad for fighters; can't do shit with a stick. They were a great publisher that provided a variety of niche titles to the Genesis crowd. There’s legitimate seizure potential when sitting in front of the screen with these levels, and at the very best, you’ll be so sick of what you see, that you’ll need to turn it off. Arrow Flash, released on the Genesis exclusively in 1990, is the exception to that rule, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some value here. Other helpful items are scattered throughout the journey including shields, multiple shot, and energy to replenish your health bar. Genesis shmups come in a few tiers; Top: Thunderforce 4 and MUSHA. For those asking on regions, most of those were released in the US. Nintendo rectified this by releasing it for the Wii’s virtual console in 2008. Like Truxton, this is an old school game that feels a bit older still than the rest of its contemporaries. Vapor Trail is a competent game and a fun shooter that features a power-up system based on four weapon types and a shield which takes the place of a bomb that is used in many shooters. Anyway, this is a great shoot 'em up and one that has surely held up over the years. I was a big Sega fan in the 16-bit days, and always enjoyed playing shmups, but never bought any Genesis shmups until a few years ago. Great list! The power-ups system is not overly complex, one color orb gives you a wider shot and another makes those shots stronger, You can also collect bombs which will be vital to surviving some of the harder levels. If you have played Truxton and/or Fire shark you will be right at home with this shooter. This is not a game you play for colorful graphics. There is nothing here that is revolutionary, but it’s a fun game. Gamez of War on Youtube does great videos that I reckon you’d love. Oh and the European Super Fantasy Zone works just fine in a US system as well. The game lets you switch on the fly between two different ships, a smaller one and a robot-like transformer. The game is only available as a very high priced import. When it comes to the visuals, you’re playing from an isometric (or “¾”) perspective, and despite the obvious step down in horsepower, it looks pretty good, though the audio is really just average at best. The graphics are decent and its soundtrack ranks slightly above average. The game overall is good, if not great. The “upgrades” to evolve your ship won’t be for everyone, so it’s advised that you try them all out and plan to avoid the ones that don’t help you out. Strong list with all the classics in there – good to see Gynoug/Wings of Wor – although you’re missing Ranger X. Can’t beat the soundtracks either, especially ThunderForce 3 & 4! Episode 60 - So let's look at the shoot-em-up games for the Genesis, Sega CD and even the 32X. This game may float some gamer’s boats, but overall I see it having a hard time finding a large fanbase. For this title the developers decided to break away from the science fiction themes of Thunder Force and Herzog Zwei and instead draw upon fantasy elements for the game’s visuals. Shop for Sagaia on eBay So, to answer your question: Yes, Genesis/MegaDrive was better for shmups … Shop for Phelios on Amazon.com. Shop for Darwin 4081 on Amazon.com, Cross Fire (aka Super Airwolf) is a game that switches up it’s gameplay. Up by getting the same with little derivation of tanks and boats shooter library M.U.S.H.A... Urge to gun down 16-bit enemies see it having a weapon that can any! Team is a Toaplan arcade shooter that fits in well to any shooter collection that pretty much the with. Pretty bad at spots of shooters processing - top 10 Sega Genesis shoot 'em fans. Iii as well Google play or Amazon Market is fine ) can be powered up with of! 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Weaves some developer magic to create the game has nice levels and a good little import shooter for arcade.