Ah yes, the shmup! My favorite niche (cult?) game genre. It\’s part ADHD hellhole, part doctorate level zen-like meditation camp, part army grade pattern recognition program. The thing about shmups is that they require a bit of finesse to rise above the mire and range into the pixelated night and soar. Otherwise it\’s a mess of epic proportions. So when a shmup is given the royal treatment; say, an online commercial release, full and decently written story, proper distribution and localization; it is a thing to behold.
I used to collect shmups like clouds collect rain. I\’ve played a lot of them and what it takes to make a good shmup is a proper and reasonable level of challenge (including stage length), well designed ships, thoughtful boss encounters, and a strong balance between skill and stage memorization. Jamestown delivers on all of these and more.
I started this post months ago so I\’m just going to post this as is. Crap.