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A “shoot ’em up”, also known as a “shmup”,is a game in which the protagonist combats a large number of enemies by shooting at them while dodging their fire. The controlling player must rely primarily on reaction times to succeed. Beyond this, critics differ on exactly which design elements constitute a shoot ’em up. Some restrict the genre to games featuring some kind of craft, using fixed or scrolling movement. Others widen the scope to include games featuring such protagonists as robots or humans on foot, as well as including games featuring “on-rails” (or “into the screen”) and “run and gun” movement. Formerly, critics described any game where the primary design element was shooting as a “shoot ’em up”, but later shoot ’em ups became a specific, inward-looking genre based on design conventions established in those shooting games of the 1980s. -from the Wikipedia entry on “Shoot ’em up”
Welcome, friends, to Intergalatic Shmuppreciation Month 2010!
Once again, it’s going to be a great month of celebrating one of our favorite genres that rewards the skillful and revels in it’s unforgiving old school aesthetic! During the month of March, we’ll be celebrating the shmup (or shoot-em-up) along with a whole bunch of other podcasters and friends. Before we get too far into it, however, I suppose there are some of you wondering what this whole celebration is all about.
ISM is, at it’s most basic, a month set aside to devote at least a little of your precious gaming time to a shooter of your choice. The idea is to celebrate by playing. For some, this means a casual credit feed of a shmup that’s been sitting in your pile of games or XBLA/PSN list gather dust. For others, it’s a time to focus in on that goal of the illusive 1CC. However you choose to celebrate the genre is completely up to you. The main idea is to play shmups in March!
For may of you, this may be your first ISM or even your first attempt at playing a shmup at all. Well, March is a fantastic time to jump in! There are plenty of resources available for you to check out. First off, visit our own Shmuppreciation Category where you can find links to free shmups on the net, reviews of great shmups to play and even some tips on how to play shmups better.
Another great resource is the Shmups.com Forums where all kinds of great shmup players share their wisdom. It’s one of the best places to read up on the genre and learn how to play these games at a high level.
You should also visit the Intergalactic Shmuppreciation Month Website where information on past ISM’s can be found as well as any new information regarding events for this year.
As far as this site is concerned, keep checking back each week for Shmup Month articles from us as well as our contributors. In addition, tune into Drunken Gamers Radio to hear our Shmuppreciation Month episodes that include the latest edition of the Shmopera! What is the Shmopera, you might ask? You may want to go check out that Shmuppreciation Category I liked to earlier. More to come on that front later.
So go out and enjoy a shooter of your choice and have fun! And let us know how YOUR ISM celebrations are going by submitting your stories to us. Just click the Submit a Story link over there in the sidebar. We look forward to hearing from you!
Happy Intergalactic Shmuppreciation Month!