Shmups Beginner Advice Tips #3

Time for another set of Shmup tips from Nick, our community manager and Shmup newbie. In our previous articles, we’ve discussed 6 small tips for beginners. Let’s look at 3 more, this time, we look at positioning and movement!

And of course, remember, these are all very basic, and just, of course from my own experiences. I’m sure some experts out there could school me on a few of these.

Tip 7: You have 4 directions to dodge!

I know this seems kind of obvious. Really. Really it does. But sometimes, when you get playing, you focus mostly on left and right (or up and down for side scrollers), and just sort of… well forget the other two directions exist.

And games like XIIZEAL give you a few more reasons to remember to move forward and backwards.

And games like XIIZEAL give you a few more reasons to remember to move forward and backwards.

Quite a few attacks are much easier to dodge by going forward or backward rather than side to side, and you can also use forward and back to throw off the “rhythm” of tracking shots.

Tip 8: Find a good default position

Usually, when I’m playing, I find the default position for my ship when I’m not being harassed or trying to target things.

Obviously, the best position during this time is halfway from each side (or top to bottom on a sidescrolling game). Some people prefer all the way to the back to have the longest time to react to things, but I personally like to be one ship length away from the back, which gives me a bit of room to dodge backwards.

This position in EXZEAL is about where I tend to hang out.

This position in EXZEAL is about where I tend to hang out.

Now, the better you know a stage, the more you’ll know where you need to be during each lull, but this position gives you a pretty good chance to get into the proper position when enemies do start coming.

Tip 9: All else being equal, dodge towards the center

If a bullet is coming for you, and you can dodge left, or dodge right. If all else is equal (not heading towards a target, there isn’t a giant laser beam on that side, etc), you should dodge towards the center.

One of the things that kills me the most in shmups isn’t missing a dodge, it is completely running out of room to dodge. And the fastest way to do that is to consistently run to one edge.

Running out of room to run in this Crimzon Clover World Ignition capture!

Running out of room to run in this Crimzon Clover World Ignition capture!

Always try to give yourself an out, and dodging towards the center gives you the most outs.

So what do you think? These tips still going the right direction? Do your expert eyes see some flaws in my strategy? Tell me in the comments below.

 

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Our Valentine’s Sale is Fluttering Away

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Valentine’s Day is passed, but there is always room for more love! And you have until Monday 10am Pacific to pick up these loving deals, and more, on Steam! So don’t be shy, take a chance. Your great love could be right around the corner!

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Nursing school is hard. Especially for a wishy washy, floating jellyfish of a student who only seems to be there because she wrote in a book as a child that she wanted to be a nurse.

Asky will have to learn about growing up, nursing, and love, in the yuri visual novel Nurse Love Addiction! Will you be there to guide here through? Buy it during the sale to get 40% off and the soundtrack for free!

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Can love survive Alternate wartorn realities? Play as Takeru, a normal high school boy, in the first two parts of the Muv-Luv Saga. First, experience a tongue in cheek high school comedy romance. But right when things are seeming to make sense. Right when everything has settled down and it is happily ever after.

It is time for war. Takeru awakens in a war-torn version of his world. Many things are the same. His friends are mostly still there, though they don’t remember him. His school is still there, though it is now a military academy… Can he figure out what to do, and how to save humanity? Buy now to get Muv-Luv for 40% off and experience this critically acclaimed visual novel today!

Check out these deals, and all of the other great deals on Degica Games, ending this Monday. Also be sure to check out the new giveaway entries to give yourself more chances to win!

And most of all. We hope you had a great Valentine’s and continue to have a lovely weekend!

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It is the time of year for Love. And we of course, have a love for a great many people and a great many games.

We, of course, love our wonderful fans, and this makes it the perfect time to share with you the splendid games we love. So, let cupid find your heart with one of the games below, or one of the many others for sale.

And be sure to check out our giveaway, and visit every day for more ways to enter!

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And if there is one thing we know we love, it is mass destruction. And with Copy Kitty, that is what you can unleash. With the ability to combine the powers of your enemies, you end up with more ways to electrocute, burn, explode, or just knock enemies silly than you can shake a stick at!

Get it now for 25% off, and be prepared to enjoy the giant new content update coming this week!

Kokurase

The boys and girls of Kokurase are prepared to swing into action for the season, discovering new and creative ways to make sure love finds the right path!

Join the Cupid’s Helpers club in Episode 1 for free, then pick up the entire series for half off! And don’t forget that for the 13th, this is our Giveaway’s highlighted game, so be sure to get your entries!

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And of course, be sure to join us on Thursday, at 5:30pm Pacific on Twitch for Thursday Fight Nights! You can join in with the all female fighting game Koihime Enbu, currently 50% off. Join the open lobby for this reimagining of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and play against our host Brett, as well as other fans, with more chances to win prizes in chat.

So don’t miss out on these deals, and more! Don’t save all those treats for everyone else, be sure to buy some for yourself!

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Hey DARIUSBURST fans, we’ve got two fantastic announcements to drop on you today!

First up, we have the next set of crossover DLC for DARIUSBURST Chronicle Saviours. We’ve seen Sega. We’ve seen CAVE. We’ve seen 8ing, and even ships from some of Taito’s own games.

But now, we are here to introduce, three new DLC, to be available February 16th, featuring ships from games from Capcom!

DLC TRAILER LINK HERE

Each with a new ship, new stages, and new music, remixed from the original Capcom games by Yasuhisa Watanabe, Hiroyuki Iwatsuki, and Daisuke Matsumoto.

You’ll be able to buy each individually for $4.99 USD, but you know you can’t settle for just one, go ahead and plan to buy the bundle with all three for $11.97 USD.


Alpha from Side Arms Hyper Dyne

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You won’t be alone when Alpha joins with Beta!

Features:

  • Alpha is playable in DLC mode as a ship.
  • Join Alpha and Beta for the ultimate combination.
  • All the original powerups and bonus items including Yashichi!
  • Four main weapons: Bit, Shotgun, Mega Bazooka Launcher, and 3-Way
  • Unique stages with remixes by Yasuhisa Watanabe

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Side Arms Hyper Dyne
©CAPCOM CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Saber from Varth: Operation Thunderstorm

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Planet Varth wasn’t the final battle! Saber returns!

Features:

  • Saber is playable in DLC mode as a ship.
  • Switch between two pod modes (Fuzzy or Front) to protect your ship.
  • Pods can fire homing missiles or napalm.
  • Go podless through an entire stage for a special bonus!
  • Unique stages with remixes by Hiroyuki Iwatsuki

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Varth: Operation Thunderstorm
©CAPCOM CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Gambler from Progear

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This is a gamble worth taking!

Features:

  • Gambler is playable in DLC mode as a ship.
  • Switch between the Fighter Shot and Gunner Shot.
  • Collect jewels and rings by utilizing both shots.
  • Bomb like crazy, or save them up for x2 mode!
  • Unique stages with remixes by Daisuke Matsumoto

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Progear
©CAPCOM CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


And for our second announcement: DARIUSBURST Chronicle Saviours is receiving two physical PS4 editions in English!

First, will be the regular edition, which will include the Darius Odyssey Digital Art Book (note: book text is in Japanese).

But for the true fan, we will have the Limited Edition! This version will include the Darius Odyssey Artbook, an exclusive cover design by Kanetake Ebikawa, an Original Arrange Album 2 CD, and a pair of Silver Hawk Burst Figures. We won’t judge if you decide to fly them around your desk while making your own sound effects.

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Both versions will be available exclusively from Limited Run Games.

So which of the 3 Capcom DLCs are you most looking forward to? Are you going to pick up the limited edition PS4 game? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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Samurai Sword VR, Try out your swordarm

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Unsheathe your katana, don your kabuto, and prepare your shuriken.

It is time to travel back to the land of the Samurai with the Samurai Sword VR and the HTC Vive!

Prove yourself the true samurai master as you compete for the high score across 7 different stages.

Use your sword to slice your way through every obstacle, or master ninjutsu in one of the two kunai and shuriken only stages!

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With the HTC Vive, you are part of the action. Play seated or standing like a true samurai warrior, and feel the sword respond to your motions.

Clear all six stages to unlock the final stage, featuring a challenging epic boss fight.

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Travel by through Japanese villages, bamboo forests, and fields of cherry blossoms, all backed by a traditional Japanese soundtrack.

What are you waiting for? Show your samurai spirit today!

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Shmups Beginner Advice Tips #2

So last time, I had three tips for beginners to shmups. Know your hit box. Small movements > Big Movements. When in Trouble Bomb.

This week, I have 3 new beginner tips for you. Along with three more shameless plugs for our own shmups!


Tip #4: Know Your Tools

This one may seem like common sense, but every time you start a new shmup, the most important thing is to learn your tools.

Sometimes, a game just has a couple of different types of fire and a bomb. This is pretty easy to pick up. But more complicated games, it is super easy to forget that you have some of the tricks up your sleeve.

RefRain ~prism memories~ has a very unique set of tools that feed into each other.

RefRain ~prism memories~ has a very unique set of tools that feed into each other.

I know when playing some games, I just completely forget in the heat of the moment to hit some buttons, because I forget they exist. Learn all the tools you are given, and drill them into your mind.


Tip #5: Focus on Survival First

At high level play, scoring is a big deal. But you are just starting. Don’t worry about your score. Just focus on getting through the game. Focus on getting a little bit farther. Survivalplay is much more straightforward and generally doesn’t require knowing a bunch of little tricks. Did that move keep me alive? Then good.

Deathsmiles is generally considered an easy game to 1cc.

Deathsmiles is generally considered an easy game to 1cc.

Try and get a 1cc (1 credit clear) on a game before you start trying to play it for score. Playing for score is more complicated of a goal, and it’s best to just keep it simple when starting.


Tip #6: Pick a Game and Stick to It.

Sometimes, I get impatient. Ok, most of the time I get impatient. I’m not a patient man. I get frustrated with a part and move on to something else.

But to get good at shmups, you HAVE to focus on one game until you know it back to front. You need to know the stage, the enemy patterns, the order they come out in, where the power ups are.

I probably have more hours in Shmups Skill Test than all the other shmups we have combined.

I probably have more hours in Shmups Skill Test than all the other shmups we have combined.

Getting good at shmups is practice and repetition. If you are jumping back and forth between different games, you never have the opportunity to get really good at any single game. You’ll just stagnate as “OK”. So pick one game, and stick with it for a while. Your survivability, and eventually score, will rise as a result.


And that is three more tips for the starting Shmupper (does anyone call themselves a shmupper? it doesn’t sound very complimentary does it.)

What do you think of these tips? What games do you think are good for a beginner to jump in on and learn? What games have tools that you have a bit of trouble remembering all the ins and outs of. Tell us in the comments below.

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Hey, everyone! Our Holiday Giveaway was a big success, and we have wrapped it all up. Now, the only thing left is to tell you who won!

Thanks to everyone who entered, shared the word about Degica Games, and/or just checked out a few of our games during the Steam Winter Sale. So now, without any more delay, here are the winners!

Grand Prize Winner

  • $250 in Steam Credit
  • 1 RPG Maker Poster
  • 2 Degica Game Titles of their choice.

A big shout out to our grand prize winner Viktor C!

Runner Up Winners

  • $50 in Steam Credit
  1. Tuxerito
  2. Staci W
  3. Jeffrey D
  4. Ariel P
  5. Daniel M

2nd Runner Up Winners

  • RPG Maker Poster
  1. Jaluna R
  2. Serena R
  3. Kelly C
  4. Wendy T
  5. Zachary A

3rd Runner Up Winners

  • Degica Games title of their choice
  1. Tim C
  2. Jason B
  3. Tim C
  4. Mellowage
  5. Feier S

Congratulations to all of our winners and thanks again to everyone who participated! We’ll be back with another giveaway in the next few months so stay tuned.

Cheers,

The Degica Games Team

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Shmups Beginner Advice Tips #1

Hi there, Nick Palmer, Community Manager again. And as I’ve mentioned several times before in the past, I have really just started learning shmups this year. I’ve got about a half a year of casual shmup playing under my belt now, and I decided that the best thing to do is to tell other beginners some of the little tips and strategies I felt have helped the most.

Now, of course, I’m not amazing myself. I still don’t have a 1cc on any games. I’m not exactly breaking down the doors in the scoring department, but I can see myself getting better and better. And maybe these tips can help you, too. This series will run once a week, 3 tips a week, until I run out of things to say (which if you know me, might be a while.)


Tip 1: Know Your Hitbox!

Your hitbox describes the part of your ship that actually counts as being hit if a bullet collides with it. Now, in some games, it may be identical to the art of your ship. But in a lot of games, especially bullet hells, it is actually smaller than that.

In DoDonPachi Resurrection for instance, the Hitbox only encompasses the glowing dot on your ship. Knowing your hitbox is that small means that in a hail of fire, you can slip more easily between them, or at least know better where you can.

Tip #2: Small Movements > Big Movements

One of the simplest mistakes a lot of people make playing shmups is to overdodge. A bullet is coming for you, so you steer clear to the other side of the stage.

This. Is. A. Mistake. Unless the bullet actually covers all that area on the screen. Shmups are more about small, precise movements than large movements. Those large dodges? They aren’t thought through. They take you off target for shooting, they may make you run out of room to dodge other things. If you dodge large, it should be because the shot was large.

SmallDodge

This shot from Judgement Silversword exemplifies why you want a small dodge. With the shots on the left and right hemming you in, and the center shots tracking, you can very easily run out of room to dodge to either side. Yes, you’ll eventually have to scoot through two of the tracking shots, but small dodges mean you only have to do it about once for each time this pattern shows up.

Tip #3: When in Trouble: Bomb!

This tip is short and a LITTLE more game dependent, but more games than not have bombs, so let’s go with it. If you are in trouble. You’ve run out of room to dodge. You don’t have the speed to dodge. The pattern has you hemmed in. It is time to drop the bomb.

Yes, you have limited bombs. Yes, you can run out. But running out of bombs > Running out of lives.

BombDrop

As you can see, I’d worked myself into a spot with no escape in Trizeal Remix above, but that bomb can cover for a multitude of small mistakes that landed me there.


These three tips alone I think have helped me a lot. Knowing my hit box, knowing how to dodge subtly, and knowing that it is OK to bomb to save myself, these are all common sense to the shmup veteran, but they are the basic foundation of knowledge that can help you escape noobness, to doing sort of ok.

What tips do you have for fans new to the genre?

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OneShot Fanart Contest Winners!

Thanks everyone who entered the OneShot Fanart Contest! It was a huge success thanks to your participation. We had OVER 9000 entries and 210 fanart submissions! There was so much incredible fan art that we decided to pick 5 Runner Up Winners in addition to the Grand Prize Winner. These talented artists will receive the same prizes as the randomly selected Runner Up Winners.

We also want to thank everyone that helped spread the word about OneShot! The community response has been overwhelming and we are so grateful for all your support.

You can find the full list of winners at the contest page HERE. Winners will be contacted directly with instructions on how to redeem their prizes. Below are the Fan Art Winners!

GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Daniel Root

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RUNNER UP: Ellen Kramer

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RUNNER UP: Megan A

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RUNNER UP: Me

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RUNNER UP: 13thcat

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RUNNER UP: CB

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Steam Winter Sale, Last Chance for Degica Games Deals!

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Winter may not be winding down, but the Steam Winter Sale is! You’ll need games to get you through the long cold months indoors, so act now to get the best prices on Degica Games on Steam! The sale ends at 10:00 AM Pacific January 2nd, so the time to buy is NOW!

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Do you like Visual Novels? Do you like long, intricate stories, that take some strange, but incredibly interesting turns? Then Muv-Luv is the game for you! Muv-Luv takes place over three parts, with this game covering the first two, Extra and Unlimited. What starts as a teen romance comedy will morph into wartorn mecha action, and then, in the third act, still to be released, it will go even farther.

Get into the epic and twisting tale of Muv-Luv today at 25% off!

phantom-breaker

Not in the mood for reading, and just want to bash some heads? Then take a look at Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds! Starring cute pixel characters, this is a straight up beat’em up, you and up to 3 friends, against hordes and hordes of enemies.

Punch, kick, and slice your way through, upgrade your characters, and conquer the boss, all for 80% off!

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Or maybe you just really need to shoot something. Dive into RefRain ~prism memories~ and join 3 hackers as they dive deep into corporate systems using bullet hell mechanics. Featuring some of the most mesmerizing patterns and a unique system of mechanics that encourages being constantly on the offense, RefRain is unlike any other shooter out there!

You can get it for 35% off, but remember, the clock is ticking!

Just like it is ticking on all of these deals! You only have until 10 AM Pacific to buy these games, and many, many more, at these excellent discounted prices, so don’t wait, or you’ll miss out! Buy Today!

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