Brand New, You're Retro!
August 10, 2003 2:26 PM   Subscribe

ABA games makes some of the coolest free games available. I especially like rRootage and Noiz2sa [OS X ports], whose wireframe graphics initially remind you of oldies like Tempest and Asteroids, but whose gameplay is much closer to recent twitch classics like Raiden and Ikaruga. If you want a little preview of how these games play without making the commitment to download a ZIP file, you can check out a slightly simplified Noiz2 in your browser [java].
posted by britain (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Also check out Warning Forever, which is sort of an endless boss battle in the vein of rRootage (I think there's some cross-breeding between these. WF might be by the rRootage guy). Also check out Shooter's Solitude on that page, which is more of a "classic" shooter.

There's also Bullet Philharmonic Orchestra, which is based on ABA games' BulletML (yes, an XML language designed for the purpose of defining bullet patterns in a shooter). The interesting thing about BPO is that you give it an mp3, and it generates the patterns based on the music. It's pretty brand beyond that, though.

I love this genre of games, and it's alive and thriving with indie game devs (unsurprisingly, a lot of them Japanese).
posted by mkn at 2:49 PM on August 10, 2003

Pretty 'bland', not 'brand'. sigh.
posted by mkn at 2:50 PM on August 10, 2003

It kind of looks like these games are inspired by Rez. No fancy 3d graphics, but similarity musicality and shooterness.
posted by Nelson at 3:01 PM on August 10, 2003

Pretty 'bland', not 'brand'. sigh.

I get it! 'Cause they're Japanese games. Racist.
posted by jonson at 3:57 PM on August 10, 2003

Wow, those a pretty damn cool. I think Warning Forever is probably my favourite. The multi-directional / multi-spread mechanics on the second gun especially.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:01 PM on August 10, 2003

I want to play Rez something fierce, Nelson. I've found several, um, archival backups of the Dreamcast version [never released in the US], but I can't, um, archive any of them with my Mac in a format my DC can read.

I would pick up the PS2 version if I could find it around here, but it's apparently only available on eBay for the price of a kidney
posted by britain at 8:50 PM on August 10, 2003

britain: IIRC, I used to burn my Dreamcast "archival backups" with Toast. Here's an old how-to.
posted by Fofer at 6:29 AM on August 11, 2003

I wouldn't bother restoring your 'backup'. The almighty Rez is improved tremendously by the rumble pack in the PS2's Dual Shock controller, which kicks to the game's permutating beat. That little extra really makes the experience for me. I'm turning up copies on Ebay for ~$10, which is worthwhile. It's only super expensive if you get it with the Trance Vibrator, a device intended to *ahem* up the sensory experience a bit.

Ikaruga is brilliant. Switching the color of your ship to absorb enemy fire is a simple idea, but the gameplay experience you get is unique. You know how you start to see falling blocks on the backs of your eyelids after you play Tetris for way too long? Ikaruga is like that.
posted by amery at 10:24 AM on August 11, 2003

I would pick up the PS2 version if I could find it around here, but it's apparently only available on eBay for the price of a kidney

$60 is pretty cheap for a kidney, and thats the average price for the version with the vibrator. The hype seems to have died down now, and the price of the normal version has pretty much collapsed.

The PS2 version is almost identical to the DC version.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 1:54 PM on August 11, 2003

rRootage is awesome. I feel like a nerd, but not a good enough nerd. I know IKA Mode is Ikaruga and GW Mode is Giga Wing, but what's PSY?
posted by kevspace at 7:54 PM on August 11, 2003

posted by mkn at 9:17 PM on August 11, 2003

If you like shmups like this and have a PC, the mother lode can be found here.

My favorites (in addition to Warning Forever, rRootage, and Noiz2sa) are Cho Ren Sha, Perfect Cherry Blossom, Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Power Shooter, Storm Calibur, Strayfire, Creature Jungle, Excess Fraction, Another Zero, Rally Raid, Blue Sabers.

Then there's all the horizontal-scrolling shooters...

(Most of these games are Japanese. When in doubt, move with the arrow keys and fire with Z or X or SPACE or LSHIFT.)
posted by straight at 6:31 AM on August 12, 2003

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