SHMUPS

For the video/computer game genre, see Shoot 'em up.
Shoot 'Em Up

Theatrical poster for Shoot 'Em Up
Directed byMichael Davis
Produced bySusan Montford
Don Murphy
Written byMichael Davis
StarringClive Owen
Paul Giamatti
Monica Bellucci
Music byPaul Haslinger
CinematographyPeter Pau
Editing byPater Amundson
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date(s)September 7, 2007 (wide)
CountryU.S.A.
LanguageEnglish
Budget$39 million
Official website
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile
Shoot 'Em Up is a 2007 action/thriller film written and directed by Michael Davis (Monster Man) and produced by Susan Montford and Don Murphy. The film was released on September 7, 2007.

Synopsis

The film follows Mr. Smith (Clive Owen), a down-and-out squatter with both an extensive military background and a fondness for carrots, who wants nothing more than to be left alone. Smith finds himself embroiled in a complex political conspiracy once he aids a pregnant woman who is being chased by a hitman. He takes the baby and goes on the run with a prostitute (Monica Bellucci). The unlikely family is trailed by the intelligent and ruthless Hertz (played by Paul Giamatti) and his army of thugs.

Cast

Production history

When writer/director Michael Davis's original concept was passed on by movie studios, he put together a 17-minute reel of animated footage, consisting of 17,000 line drawings, in order to give studio heads an idea of how the action scenes would play out. This got the attention of New Line Cinema CEO, Bob Shaye, who approved the project and accepted Davis to direct.[1] After signing Clive Owen and other actors, the film went into production in Toronto, Canada from February 13 to May 8, 2006. Though Variety initially reported a planned release during the holiday season of 2006,[2] and initial previews occurred in September of that year,[3] the film was eventually scheduled for release on September 7, 2007. Audience response at early screenings was reportedly mixed. The website Worstpreviews reported, "...the studio has screened it at several places with an overall audience response that it is nothing more than a big shoot-out....While many people do not see anything wrong with this, the problem is that the script started off with the shoot-outs and then had a plot thrown into it, and not the other way around."[4] Audience response from a screening at 2007's San Diego Comic-Con was reportedly much better, however.[5] Multilingual co-star Monica Bellucci dubbed her own voice for the French and Italian releases of the film.[6]

"Bullet proof baby" and other marketing

In the months leading up to the film's release, Shoot 'Em Up was promoted through various subtle means. For example, a promotional poster for the film was inserted into the Calypso Casino online multi-player level of the video game as part of an online game update. It was also promoted in the video game Crackdown in one of the city levels.

Since July 2007, Shoot 'Em Up was publicized with a guerilla marketing campaign. The campaign included a viral video and website[7] selling bogus items ranging from bullet-proof strollers to riot helmets for infants. A video was released on YouTube in which the company claimed to test the bullet-proof stroller by shooting at it with an automatic rifle while a baby was in it.[8] The baby was then taken out of the stroller unharmed. It was all a prank,[9][10] but the campaign was nevertheless taken seriously by global media and the blogging community.[11] For instance, Sweden's biggest evening tabloid Aftonbladet had the story as its lead on their online edition for some time.[12]

In August of 2007, national television commercials featuring the song "House of Wolves" by My Chemical Romance began airing.

Reception

Film critics' views on the film were sharply divided. Variety called the movie "violent and vile in equal measure," but "too stylistically audacious to dismiss outright."[13] Hollywood Reporter was more equivocal in its review, saying "Anyone looking for subtlety, character development or layered plotting will be disappointed, but action fans will find plenty to amuse them with this film that makes Hard Boiled look restrained," and that the film is "all very silly, but also undeniably fun...."[14] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone praised the film (giving it three stars out of four) and called Shoot 'Em Up a "wet dream for action junkies [that] leaves out logic and motivation...."[15] Taking the opposite view, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film one out of four stars, decrying the film's "jolly cruelt[y]," and calling the film "cruddy and vile" and "witless,"[16] and A.O. Scott of the New York Times went even further, calling the film "a worthless piece of garbage."[17]

As of September 16, 2007, the movie-review aggregating website RottenTomatoes.com lists Shoot 'Em Up with a "Tomatometer" rating of 67% ("fresh") based on 125 reviews, with an average critic's rating of 6.3/10. The "Cream of the Crop" on that site gives the film a 54% ("rotten") rating based on 24 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10.[18]

The film opened in the sixth place position for its first weekend, earning $5,450,000 from 2,108 theaters.[19]

Notes

1. ^ [1]
2. ^ Ben Fritz (2005-06-05). Owen Targets "Shoot". Variety.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
3. ^ "Quint" (2006-09-14). Crazy Clive Owen/Paul Giamatti flick, SHOOT 'EM UP, tests! And.... Aintitcoolnews.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
4. ^ Shoot 'Em Up. Worstpreviews.com (2007-03-12). Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
5. ^ Henry Ham (2007-07-27). Shoot 'Em Up Brings Down the House at Comic-Con. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
6. ^ Monica Bellucci's Balancing Act
7. ^ bulletproofbaby.net
8. ^ Bounty.com Mother tests out her 'bullet-proof' design
9. ^ The Daily Telegraph Australia Bulletproof babywear, a viral marketing gag
10. ^ Raising Kids Bullet-proof Baby Buggies
11. ^ DollyMix.com Mums gone mad
12. ^ Aftonbladet (Swedish) Här skjuter hon - på sin baby
13. ^ Peter Debruge (2007-07-31). Shoot 'Em Up. Variety. Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
14. ^ Frank Scheck (2007-08-20). Shoot 'Em Up. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
15. ^ Peter Travers (2007-09-04). Shoot 'Em Up. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2007-09-06.
16. ^ Michael Phillips (2007-09-07). Shoot 'Em Up Misfires With A Hollow Point. The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 2007-09-07.
17. ^ A.O. Scott (2007-09-07). Never Mind Those Bullets, a Newborn Needs Rescuing. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-09-07.
18. ^ Shoot 'Em Up. RottenTomatoes.com (2007-09-08). Retrieved on 2007-09-08.
19. ^ Shoot 'Em Up (2007). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2007-09-10.
20. ^ [2]

External links






Galaga, a famous shoot-em-up from 1981.


A shoot 'em up (or shmup for short) is a computer and video game genre where the player controls a vehicle or character and fights large numbers of enemies with shooting attacks, usually of a highly stylized nature. In Japan, where the genre remains most vital, they are known simply as "shooting games." During the peak of their popularity, they were commonly called simple shooters, but as games broke into three dimensions, this term came to be more inclusive.

Shoot 'em ups originated in the arcades with Space Invaders usually being credited with the genre's birth. They peaked in popularity during the late 80s and early 90s, primarily as arcade and console titles. As the use of 3D graphics became more common in video games, the simplicity and arcade sensibilities of the genre slowly relegated their popularity to that of a niche. Today the genre still retains a small but loyal following, particularly among Japanese arcade goers, and there are still a number of companies devoted to their development.

While these games often appear very similar, and indeed the genre is steeped in rigid convention, there are many diverse schools of design, ranging from "manic" shoot 'em ups that test player's reflexes, to "methodical" shooters that challenge players on memorization and strategic approach. There are also many diverse themes in the genre, including whimsical "cute" shooters like Fantasy Zone and Parodius, science-fiction themed games like R-Type and Gradius, historically set games like 1942, and fantasy-based titles like Espgaluda and Guwange.

History

Early years

The shooter genre is the oldest genre in gaming beginning with the very first computer game, Spacewar. There were a number of early discrete logic games that featured various space and flight-themed shooting. Combat for the Atari 2600 could be considered one of the first home video gamer shooters, as it featured two-player, one-on-one air battles with freely maneuverable aircraft.

Despite those early advances, it wasn't until 1978's seminal Space Invaders that the genre took off. Space Invaders is notable for pitting the player against many on-screen enemies that came from the top of the screen. This convention still exists today, with nearly every vertically oriented scrolling shooter having the player facing the top of the screen, with enemies coming from above. It also introduced the basic "dodge and shoot" mechanic that remains the foundation of the genre today.

Space Invaders was also a massive commercial success, even causing a coin shortage in Japan. It was quickly imitated by nearly every major arcade manufacturer at the time. Some of these imitations, like Space Stranger and Super Invader Attack, were clones which added little, if anything, to the Space Invaders formula. Others, like Namco's Galaxian took the genre further with more complex enemy patterns, and richer graphics.

1980's Defender introduced a scrolling playfield to the shoot 'em up formula. It offered horizontally extended levels. Unlike most later games in the genre, this scrolling could go in either direction, and followed the player. This would be imitated by some later shoot 'em ups, notably Choplifter and Fantasy Zone. The following year, Konami introduced Scramble, a side scrolling shooter with forced scrolling. It was the first scrolling 'shooter to offer multiple, distinct levels, and laid the groundwork for Gradius. Konami has since retconned Scramble into the Gradius series to acknowledge this influence.

Vertical scrolling shooters developed around the same time. While early titles like Galaxian offered scrolling star fields, they were merely superficial. Sega's Borderline(1981) was a vertical shooter with primitive scrolling. In March of the next year, Data East released Mission-X and Zoar, the latter of which was licensed from Tago Electronics. Both games were very similar, with Zoar being the more developed of the two, with separate attacks for airborne and surface-based enemies. This same year Orca released Funky Bee, which offered a more straightforward approach. These games would be overshadowed at the end of the year, when Namco released Xevious, a title often credited with being the first vertically scrolling shooter.

1985 was a big year for shoot 'em ups, thanks to two major games. Tiger Heli was the first shooter from the developer Toaplan, who would become an important name in the genre over the decade to follow. Tiger Heli is perhaps most notable for introducing the "megabomb," a powerful limited use weapon, and one of the genres most popular conventions. This same year saw the release of Konami's Gradius, another major innovator. Gradius introduced selectable weapons, as well as "options," small offensive pods that follow and aid the player. These conventions, would be frequently imitated in later shooters.

The following year, Compile would release their first shoot 'em up, Zanac, on the MSX computer and Famicom Disk System console. In the years to follow Compile would become one of the biggest developers of shoot 'em ups on consoles and computers. Sega also released Fantasy Zone, this same year, on their new 16-bit arcade hardware. The title would become very popular in Japan, and it introduced Sega's mascot Opa-opa. Taito also released Darius, the first in their flagship shooter series.

R-Type was introduced in '87. The brain child of Irem, it became one of the major archetypes for side-scrolling shooters to follow, with vividly realized levels, and refined, methodical gameplay. Toaplan followed up Tiger Heli with Twin Cobra. This title introduced a system with a wandering power-up that changed colors to represent different weapons. This convention would become a staple of their games, as well as those of others.

Golden Age

By this time the major conventions of the genre had been firmly established, and shoot 'em ups became the most popular action genre for arcade games. This period lasted into the early and mid 90s and saw the release of many popular shooters, including Raiden, a Toaplan-inspired game from Seibu Kaihatsu, Gun Frontier, Taito's attempt at a killer app, and many sequels to Gradius, R-Type, and other popular series of the day.

Console and computer shooters became more common and were increasingly able to offer comparable experiences to their arcade counterparts. The PC Engine saw a whole slew of shooter titles released for it (in fact, PC Engine has by far the highest shooter/game ratio of any console in the postcrash gaming world) and the Thunder Force series brought arcade-style shooting to Japanese home computers and later the Sega Genesis. Games like Axelay and Bio-hazard Battle produced visuals and sounds worthy of their arcade contemporaries.

During this period, shoot 'em ups did not evolve a great deal. The genre remained vital while reusing variations on the same gameplay ideas that had proven themselves. In the early 90s new genres began to emerge, and the market diversified. Fighting games reached new-found popularity in the arcades with the release of Street Fighter II. Meanwhile, many console gamers were turning toward games that could provide longer playtime and in-depth narratives, and shoot 'em ups began to decline in popularity. In 1993, Compile shifted its focus away from shooters. In 1994, Toaplan closed its doors, and the genre lost one of its most devout supporters. For many this would serve as a signal that the Golden Age of shooters had ended.

Evolution and Renaissance

The death of Toaplan would ultimately open more doors than it would close. Four companies would form from the ashes of Toaplan, and all remained even more devoted to the shooter genre than Toaplan. The first such company was Raizing. Raizing went as far as to continue to use Toaplan arcade hardware for their titles into the late 90s. Their first game was Mahou Daisakusen, the first title in their flagship trilogy.

The following year another company formed from ex-Toaplan staff. Cave premiered with Donpachi, a game which expanded on the design of Toaplan's final game Batsugun. Batsugun is considered by many to be the starting point for a new breed of shoot 'em up. These games would come to be called "danmaku" (lit. "bullet curtain") in Japan, and "manic" shooters in the West. These games are distinguished by high bullet counts, and a small collision zone (or "hit box") for the player.

Cave and Raizing would have a bit of a sibling rivalry. In 1996, Raizing released Battle Garegga, an homage to Taito's classic Gun Frontier. It pushed the manic style a level further, which, in turn, inspired Cave to put aside their reservations and produce the most manic shoot 'em up yet, Dodonpachi. Cave continued to carry the Toaplan torch, embedding the message "Toaplan Forever" in the high score tables. Their next game, Dangun Feveron, would be a pastiche to Toaplan as well, made to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Truxton.

While their popularity was in decline, this was a creatively fertile time for the genre. In 1998 Treasure released their first arcade shoot 'em up, Radiant Silvergun.

Sub-genres

Although the shoot 'em up genre is more rigidly defined than most, there are a number of distinct sub-genres.

Fixed shooter

Enlarge picture
King & Balloon
Arcade - ©1980 Namco
Fixed shooters represent the bulk of the earliest shoot 'em up games. They have the most simplistic premises and the most simplistic controls, especially in terms of aiming. They are characterized by a static environment and a static number of enemies per level, although this stipulation does not preclude each level having a different number or enemies or a different setting, as is the case with Midway's Gorf.

A fixed shooter, also known as its generic single screen shooter or gallery shooter typically only allows players their one or two-dimensional position on the screen. They play on levels that occupy only a single screen, and thus do not scroll. The direction of fire is also fixed, usually aiming at the top of the screen in vertically oriented games, or toward the right in horizontally oriented games. Space Invaders helped to establish this style of gaming, and was further popularized by games like Galaxian and Galaga. It is common for these games to only provide one axis of movement, fixing the player at the bottom of the screen. Since the entire level is on screen, progression does not involve reaching a goal, but rather clearing all the enemies on the screen. These games have declined sharply in popularity since the advent of scrolling, but later examples exist.

Examples of fixed shooters include Space Invaders, Galaxian, Phoenix, Galaga and Centipede

Tube Shooters

Enlarge picture
Gyruss
Arcade - ©1983 Konami


Tube shooters or tunnel shooters are a small sub-genre, derivative of fixed shooters. These games give players a single axis of movement around the edge of an on-screen "tunnel." Gameplay is very similar to fixed shooters, except the level is, essentially, wrapped in on itself. This style originated with Atari's Tempest and was further popularized by Gyruss.

Tube shooters were largely succeeded by rail shooters which allowed for three dimensional gameplay. There were, however, a number of later games in the genre. Tempest 2000 helped to generate new interest in the genre. It also used a psychedelic presentation with colorful abstract visuals and throbbing techno music. Later games paired this approach to presentation with forward-scrolling movement, similar to rail shooter, resulting in games like N2O, Internal Section, and Torus Trooper.

Example tube shooters include Tempest, Gyruss, Space Giraffe, and Tube Panic.

Multi-directional shooter

Multi-directional shooters, also called arena shooters, allow freedom of movement and orientation in a two-dimensional environment. Most multi-directional shooters can be further put into two classes based on their control system. Some allow the player to move up, down, left, right, or in some cases, diagonally only. Others use a more realistic, physics-based system of rotating and thrusting. Another alternative is mouse control.

The environments that these games take place in are sometimes fixed-size arenas (with or without borders), large maps, or infinfitely expanding in all directions.

Thrust-based games use simplified physics for motion of protagonists and enemies, most commonly in a zero gravity environment ("pure" physics where forces such as drag are negated). The first game of this type was Spacewar!, which has the distinction of being one of the earliest video games ever made. This was followed up with a coin-op version called Computer Space in 1971. One of the most popular games of all time, Asteroids, was created by Atari in 1979 and has a similar setup, although it is single player. Much of the challenge in these games comes from careful use of thrusting, as there are no brakes in the zero-gravity environments presented. To slow-down or stop, the player has to thrust in opposite directions.

Example games include Sinistar, Blasteroids, Thrust (video game) and .

Also, all three installments of the Star Control series have a multi-directional shooter mini-game (called Melee mode). Melee can be played as a separate game, against AI or another player. During the single-player campaigns of each game, melee mode is triggered frequently whenever combat ensues during the plot. Star Control featured a stretchable battlefield, which zooms in and out depending on the distance between the fighting ships. Star Control 3 features an option for isometric play during melee mode.

Some multidirectional shooters use two joysticks as the input; one for movement, and the other for firing. This style was popularized by Eugene Jarvis in the several titles he created for Midway/Williams and is an effective means of allowing independent moving and firing. This unique input configuration often left console ports with only a crude approximation of the arcade controls, resulting in the use of four buttons as directional firing, or the use of both the first and second player controllers to achieve the desired effect. Some modern video game consoles may be able to avoid this problem, as some have two analog joysticks on the controllers.

Some titles in this genre are often considered danmaku, due to the large quantity of enemies on screen at any given time. The player has to avoid being surrounded by "carving" a hole out of the swath of enemies, while traversing the gameplay area. These games require extensive hand-eye coordination, as the player has to look and shoot in different places while analyzing the attacks of over a hundred enemies simultaneously. Today, the Xbox 360, through its Xbox Live Arcade has brought resurgent popularity to the multi-directional shooter subgenre. has become the top selling game on the service, with over 185,000 purchases and downloads as of July 21 2006.[20] Several Eugene Jarvis-created shooters are also available on the service, including enhanced versions of Smash TV and .

Example multi-directional shooters include , Time Pilot, Bosconian, Smash TV, Bangai-O, Geometry Wars, Sinistar, Desert Strike, Crimsonland and Zone 66.

Scrolling shooters

Main article: Scrolling shooter


Enlarge picture
Ikaruga
Arcade - ©2001 Treasure


Vertical scrolling shooters, or vert shooters for short, are largely similar to horizontal scrollers, but the direction of scroll tends to force a different viewpoint on the game: vertical scrollers are nearly always viewed from above. This means that it is less common to have solid obstacles in these games, as the player is usually above them. Perhaps because of this difference, vertical scrollers tend to be more intense, focusing on shooting and dodging copious amounts of projectiles.

While most histories of shooters focus on arcade games, most overlook River Raid (Atari 2600) as a possible progenitor to the vertical scrolling shooter genre. One of the first vertical scrolling arcade shooters was Xevious, released in 1982. This game introduced many concepts that are standard in scrolling shooters today, such as an episodic level structure, and bosses. It can be argued that very early games like Galaxian can be considered vertical scrollers, as they are set against a constantly scrolling starfield. However, they are generally classed as fixed shooters along with Space Invaders, as the stars are purely for visual effect and add nothing to the gameplay.

When the "top-down" or "overhead" names are used, the line becomes blurrier. By this definition, Space Invaders would likely be the first game of the type – and indeed, many consider it the first true top-down shooter. As with their horizontal counterparts, some vertical shooters may allow a degree of free horizontal movement.

Example vertical shooters include 1942, Xevious, Ikaruga, Radiant Silvergun, Raiden, Star Soldier series, , Aero Fighters, Chromium B.S.U. and Tyrian.

Vertical scrolling shooters come into two more varieties; Tate shoot 'em ups are those that are played on a vertically oriented monitor, and Yoko shoot 'em ups are those played on a standard horizontal monitor set-up. Tate shoot 'em ups usually begin as standard Jamma cabinets with Tate monitors. However, the screen orientation can be a potential issue when the game is ported to home consoles with regular TVs.

There are four known ways to adapt a tate shoot 'em up to home consoles:
  • Black borders on the sides – the most common form of adaptation but sacrifices screen size
  • Turning the TV on the side – a practice that may damage some TVs
  • Zooming or stretching the game area
  • Horizontal gameplay orientation – an optional mode in some games, such as Ikaruga
Enlarge picture
Gradius
Arcade - ©1985 Konami


Horizontal scrolling shooters, sometimes abbreviated jokingly as "horzies", are played on an eponymously oriented screen, but there are a few exceptions - such as Darius, which uses more than one monitor to create an extensive playfield, and Stinger, which uses horizontal scrolling in a vertically oriented screen. As well as battling enemies, much of the challenge in horizontal scrollers tends to come from navigating the environment, as invariably contact with the level results in either the immediate death of or damage to the player's character (with the notable exception of R-Type Final). Some games, such as ones in the Gradius series always feature a maze-like level that is almost solely focused on avoiding collisions. Enemies are more likely to come from behind the player's ship in these types of games than their vertically scrolling counterparts are.

Enlarge picture
Stinger
Arcade - ©1983 Seibu Denshi


Typically, the scrolling in these games is continuous, such that the player is led through a level by the game. There is also sometimes a degree of vertical freedom, in which the player can move up or down on a playing area which is taller than the screen itself. (Thunder Force IV and Dragon Breed are two games which take this to extremes).

Almost all horizontal scrolling shooters view the player's avatar from the side, and present the level in cross-section, such that the player appears to be flying 'through' something, such as a landscape or a mothership. The first horizontal scroller was arguably Defender, released in 1980, although it shares few features with other horizontal scrollers. Horizontally scrolling shooters, along with their vertical counterparts, remain very popular today.

Example horizontal shooters include Darius, Gradius, Jets'n'Guns, R-Type, Scramble and Thunderforce.



Multi-scrolling shooters are a combination of several different types of scrolling shooters. Typically, it involves the combination of vertical and horizontal levels, but examples exist that use other types. For example, Gradius III has two levels that where the player must guide the ship through a tube-like tunnel, avoiding collisions.

Example multi-scrolling shoot 'em ups include Abadox, Salamander, Axelay, Vanguard, and Silver Surfer.

Enlarge picture
Zaxxon
Arcade - ©1982 Sega


Also known as a 3/4 view shooter or three-quarter perspective shooter, an isometric shooter uses vertical shooter's playing field that is modified for perspective. In a traditional scrolling shooter situation, the upwards/forwards is diagonal and the player simulates moving by the gameworld scrolling around diagonally. Perspective limits the size of the playing field, so generally there is additional focus on avoiding obstacles than shooting enemy ships. Isometric shooters are not limited to scrolling shooters, but can be multi-directional/area shooters as well.

These shoot 'em ups have not been a popular choice to date, although there have been a handful of popular titles. This type of shooter, much like the tube shooter, is more of an anachronism in today's games. These titles were remarkable in their times for their pseudo-3d graphics; when the hardware became sophisticated enough to fully render such graphics, these games had lost their appeal, in favor of the more traditional vertically and horizontally scrolling types.

Example isometric shooters include Zaxxon, Viewpoint and Blazer.

Rail shooter

Main article: Rail shooter


Rail shooters are a related genre which some include as a form of shoot 'em up, and others do not. They share many of the same elements of shoot 'em ups. The main distinction between these games and classic shoot 'em ups is the use of a 3D or pseudo-3D view, usually either behind the player's character or vehicle or first person. Gameplay progresses along a pre-determined path, or "rail," lending a forced progression similar to scrolling shoot 'em ups. Often the player has some limited freedom to move laterally along this path without deviating from it, as in Space Harrier, Star Fox or Afterburner but other times the player simply manipulates a crosshair on screen as in Star Wars or Panzer Dragoon.

Example 3D shooters include After Burner, Red Baron, Space Harrier, ThunderBlade, Star Fox, Panzer Dragoon and Rez.

Competitive Shooters

Competitive shooters features two players playing simultaneously. Instead of working together, the two players are trying to outlast and thwart the other player. The field is usually split-screen with a vertical shooter type.

Example competitive shooters include Harmotion, Twinkle Star Sprites, Quarth and Phantasmagoria of Flower View.

Run and Gun

Main article: |Run and gun|
Run and gun shooters is a combination of scrolling shooters and platforming elements into one sub-genre. Games series such as Contra and Metal Slug demonstrate examples of Run and Gun gameplay.

Manic vs. Methodical

While many casual fans view all scrolling shooter games as being very similar, there are two primary polar opposite schools of design, which fans have termed "manic" and "methodical." Not all games clearly belong to one school or the other, but they represent the two extremes.

Main article: Bullet hell


Manic shooter (Japanese : danmaku 弾幕, lit. "bullet curtain"; also commonly "bullet hell" or "curtain" shooters) is a school of design that has become increasingly popular in more recent years, as hardware is no longer a major constraint. While it is impossible to draw a line as to where the genre began, Batsugun is considered highly influential and helped to popularize the design.

These games have very high bullet counts, often filling the entire screen. In addition these bullets are often travel in highly stylized patterns, following more complex paths than the straight patterns in traditional shooters. To help the player cope with this, they often feature a very small "hit box" the zone used for collision detection of the player's ship. Very often this is reduced to a single point, meaning only bullets that pass through the direct center of the ship will result in a hit.

Other elements are often streamlined in manic shooters. Bullet dodging becomes the primary focus, and environmental hazards are very uncommon. In Takumi's games, for example, the player can even pass over enemies, and only bullets can harm him.

It's also important to note that the way that these games are played is important in categorizing them. Manic shooters are focused heavily on hand-eye coordination. They generally involve a very active approach, forcing the player to carefully weave through difficult spaces. This is key to defining the genre. For example, Ikaruga, which features the stylish bullet patterns and small hit boxes commonly associated with manic shooters, is considered a methodical shooter because its gameplay does not involve weaving between these bullets, but slow, precise, methodical movements more akin to classic horizontal shooters like R-Type and Gradius.

Example bullet hell games include Touhou Project, Psyvariar 2, Batsugun, Giga Wing, and DoDonPachi

The opposing school of design is the methodical shooter. This style of design is based more on precise, slower, methodical movements. While they are still very difficult they are based less on navigating through clusters of bullets. They usually have larger hit boxes and firing patterns that consist more of solitary bullets rather than waves or clusters. They more often have environments that can be collided with, slower scrolling, and rely heavily on memorization.

Methodical shooters are most commonly associated with horizontal scrolling, but there are a number of popular methodical shooters that scroll vertically, such as Image Fight, Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga.

Example methodical shooters include Ikaruga, Gradius and R-Type.

Lexicon of shoot 'em up vernacular

Because shoot 'em up games currently have a small, and very dedicated following, there is a great deal of jargon particular to the genre. Some of the more common terms follow:
  • 1CC: One-credit completion. This refers to completing a game, or a "loop" with a single credit (or without using a "continue" feature).
  • Bullet hell: A euphemism for the "manic" school of shoot 'em up design, characterized by an abundance of enemy fire, usually in highly stylized and colorful firing patterns.
  • Charge shot: A powerful attack executed by holding the fire button while the attack charges, and then releasing the button to fire. Popularized in R-Type.
  • Cute 'em up: A portmanteau of "cute" and "shoot 'em up," used to refer to games in the genre with whimsical themes and bright colors.
  • Danmaku: Also manic, a school of design characterized by high bullet counts and small hit boxes.
  • Hit box: The region of the player's ship or character used in collision detection. Only hazards that pass inside this hit box will damage the player.
  • Hori: Short for horizontal. Unlike "yoko" this refers to the direction of scrolling, not the monitor orientation.
  • Loop: Some shooters will repeat their levels after a certain point, usually after the final boss is defeated and the game is completed. A full set of levels is called a "loop." Some games will repeat infinitely, and others will contain just two loops. In many such games (and newer games in particular), subsequent loops are much more difficult than the ones before it and introduce denser bullet patterns and faster and stronger enemies. Some arcade machines allow the arcade operator to control how many loops maximum a player is allowed to play in a single game.
  • Option: In shoot 'em ups, an "option" is a small offensive ship or pod that orbits or follows the primary ship, and supplements its firepower.
  • Bomb: A large, very destructive weapon, usually yielding a large explosion (hence the name), but may take other forms as well. These attacks are generally tightly rationed, usually to three uses per life. In most cases, the bomb will clear bullets and damage enemies in a large area around the player or the entire screen immediately after detonation.
  • Shmup: A shorted version of "shoot 'em up." The term was coined by the British C64 magazine, Zzap 64 in 1985. The term is most commonly used in Europe, but it has gained popularity in recent years because of its lack of ambiguity.
  • Tate: Derived from the Japanese word for "vertical," this refers specifically to vertical monitor alignment, as in the arcade versions of Galaxian or Pac-Man. It is unrelated to the direction of scrolling.
  • Vert: Short for vertical. This refers to the direction of scrolling, not the monitor orientation
  • Wobble: In games that scroll primarily on one axis, but allow for limited scrolling to follow the player on another axis, the secondary scrolling is called "wobble." Popular examples include ''Raiden, and Twin Cobra
  • Yoko: From the Japanese term for "horizontal" this refers to the horizontal monitor alignments, typical of home television sets.

Notable developers of shoot 'em up games

The shoot 'em up genre has often received exceptionally strong support from a select few companies. Some notable names include:

See also

References

<references />

External links

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Her short films include Hairpin and Strangers. Screenwriter of The Family Jam, a screenplay about the early days of the Charles Manson Family based on the book by Ed Sanders.
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Clive Owen at the Children of Men premiere in 2006

Born September 03 1964 (1964--) (age 43)
Keresley, Coventry, West Midlands, England
..... Click the link for more information.
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Birth name Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti
Born May 6 1967 (1967--) (age 40)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
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Monica Bellucci at the premiere of The Matrix Reloaded, May 7, 2003 at Westwood, Los Angeles, California

Born September 30 1964 (1964--)
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After studying classical music in Vienna, Austria, Haslinger joined the German electronic music group, Tangerine Dream in 1986.
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Subsidiary of Warner Brothers Entertainment/Time Warner
Founded 1967
Headquarters New York City, New York, USA

Key people Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne, Chairmen and co-CEOs
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Action films are a film genre where action sequences, such as fighting, stunts, car chases or explosions, take precedence over elements like characterization or complex plotting.
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Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. Films are produced by recording images from the world with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or special effects.
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Michael Davis (born August 1, 1961 in Birmingham, England) is a British film director and screenwriter. His films include the campy horror film Monster Man and the big-budget action film Shoot 'em Up, which stars Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti.
..... Click the link for more information.
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Monster Man is a 2003 comedy/horror film. It stars Eric Jungmann, Justin Urich and Aimee Brooks.

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Susan Montford is a Scottish film director, screenwriter, and producer.

Her short films include Hairpin and Strangers. Screenwriter of The Family Jam, a screenplay about the early days of the Charles Manson Family based on the book by Ed Sanders.
..... Click the link for more information.
Don Murphy is an American film producer who rose to prominence with the film Natural Born Killers.[1]

History

Murphy formed JD Productions in Los Angeles with Jane Hamsher, who documented the early days of the company in her book Killer Instinct
..... Click the link for more information.
September 7 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events


..... Click the link for more information.
20th century - 21st century - 22nd century
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2004 2005 2006 - 2007 - 2008 2009 2010

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Clive Owen

Clive Owen at the Children of Men premiere in 2006

Born September 03 1964 (1964--) (age 43)
Keresley, Coventry, West Midlands, England
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Monica Bellucci

Monica Bellucci at the premiere of The Matrix Reloaded, May 7, 2003 at Westwood, Los Angeles, California

Born September 30 1964 (1964--)
..... Click the link for more information.
Paul Giamatti

Birth name Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti
Born May 6 1967 (1967--) (age 40)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
Clive Owen

Clive Owen at the Children of Men premiere in 2006

Born September 03 1964 (1964--) (age 43)
Keresley, Coventry, West Midlands, England
..... Click the link for more information.
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Monica Bellucci at the premiere of The Matrix Reloaded, May 7, 2003 at Westwood, Los Angeles, California

Born September 30 1964 (1964--)
..... Click the link for more information.
Paul Giamatti

Birth name Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti
Born May 6 1967 (1967--) (age 40)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.


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