3 Questions on my mind: (1) Is there such a thing as doing the wrong thing for the right reason?, (2) Are humans the only species that can sense or appreciate beauty and the aesthetic?, and (3) Do the best free shoot em ups come from Japan?
I don’t know about the first 2 questions, but I think the answer to the third one is a definite yes. Here are 3 shoot em ups that will prove this:
Great side scrolling shooter with excellent production qualities (see screenshot above). Though EndEffector does not feature weapons upgrades, it employs an original element in that, aside from the main laser cannon it features a secondary, “orb of energy type” weapon. What’s interesting about this orb is that it grows larger and more supercharged the longer you press the button, but in the meantime there is a trade off in that you are unable use your main weapon. Once sufficiently charged the orb has to be aimed and hurled in the appropriate direction. All in all the system is somewhat unique and works well (and is very fun). I will also mention the end of level baddies, which are really cool and menacing.
More info: unzip and run the executable to play this game; nothing to install. Use (x) and (z) for your weapons. For more info and downloading use the links at the bottom of this page.
Another great game, Deadline is an intense and fast paced vertical shooter. This game borrows a lot from Gradius, especially when it comes to the 4 color-coded weapons systems. Once familiarized with the levels and the different weapons upgrades you will be able to determine which weapons upgrades to go for that work best with your playing style as well as the terrain you are navigating.
The production qualities are excellent here as well, with large sprites that can at times occupy large swaths of the screen. Most importantly, the game has excellent playability that will keep you entertained for a long time.
More info: unzip and run the executable to play this game; nothing to install. Use (shift), (z), and (ctrl) for controls; alt+enter to toggle fullscreen. Weapons upgrades can be shot in order to change them to the appropriate color. For more info and downloading use the links at the bottom of this page.
|3- Burst Gunner||4.5|
Burst Gunner is a standard vertical scrolling shoot em up. As with EndEffector, your ship in Burst Gunner can fire the standard laser cannon type weapon as well as bombs. It has somewhat of an interesting twist in that bombs can be shot high and low (somewhat similar in concept to the high and low beams in a car). You have to be mindful of whether the opponents you are targeting are on the ground or flying.
All in all a good, robust shoot em up. Strangely, though, it seemed to require more of a powerful graphics card than my work computer had (worked fine on my laptop at home, though).
More info: unzip and run the executable to play this game; nothing to install. Use (x) and (c) for your weapons. For more info and downloading use the links at the bottom of this page.
Compatibility (all 3 games): Windows 95 or over; no info on Vista.