Shmups are the scrolling shooters that dominated arcades and consoles in the late 80's and early 90's. However as graphics advanced and the arcade scene died out, many modern gamers probably haven't played a shmup in quite a while or maybe never even played one at all. Don't fret that's why I am providing a list of great modern shoot-em ups to show you a cool genre you could be missing out on.

Like anime? Like anime girls shooting the heck out of everything? Then try this cool shoot em up released not too long via Xbox live. The gimmick in this game is based around the fact you can grab your opponents to use as a shield or to induce massive damage. With HD graphics and leaderboards, you won't feel too far removed from this generation of gaming.

In this recently released collection, gamers get plenty of bang for their buck. The games included are: Karous, Chaos Field, and Radio Allergy. Two of these games were formally only playable if imported; but Chaos Field saw release here for Gamecube. Each game brings it own unique features and graphic styling to the package. None of these titles are the best shmups ever made; but together at a budget price it is hard not to justify purchasing it.

Great classic gameplay marred only by poor voice acting in story mode. While it does add comedy to the game, some won't give it chance due to this flaw. I have to say at least give the game a chance, you'll be glad you did. Many characters to choose from and 2 player mode will give you plenty of reasons to come back. It is another bargain bin special, so don't be worried about giving it a shot. Remember you can always press mute if the dialogue bothers you too much.

Next up is this awesome shooter from the R Type series. Great graphics, tough gameplay, and tons of unlockable ships make this a winner. This a fairly long game for a shmup as well, so don't hesitant to track this one day. It can be found fairly easily in the PS2 bargain bin at your local Gamestop. With the amount of replay available, it is definitely worth your ten dollars.

You can also find this game for Gamecube and on Xbox Live; but call me nostalgic I love the Dreamcast version. A unique shoot-em up from the venerable Treasure; experience a game where changing ship color can mean the difference between life and death. The player can change the color at will to intercept incoming shots of white or black. Quick reflexes and strategy determine your success in this game. It is two player as well, so make sure to have a buddy join in.

Classic gameplay with updated visuals and a grand soundtrack, sign me up. The Gradius series has always been awesome, and this one does not disappoint. For newcomers don't expect this one to be easy though, it is pretty challenging. The gameplay is old school at it's best, give it try if you like the older games or just want something that puts hair on your chest.

Another Dreamcast game...that's not modern! Well, this game actually came out in Japan during 2003. While the US Dreamcast was long dead, a few random games were released in Japan for quite sometime after it's official demise and this is one of them. A rare gem that fetches quite alot on eBay; but it truly shines as an outstanding game. An incredible soundtrack, top notch graphics, and a cool level design system built around the player's skill level ensure this title should not be forgotten. Dust off that old system and give this one a go.

Tough as nails..that is the only way I can describe this one. You play a bug princess riding a golden beetle around with some serious fire power, and believe me you will need every ounce of it. The bullet patterns and bosses in this game are relentless. You maybe thinking screw that; but once you start playing the point system will hook you with it's risk and reward system. Also the true boss of this game is considered by many players to be one of the hardest of all time. If you want a serious challenge, this game is the way to go. Find out why they call this game, "bullet hell."

With a long and crazy name like that it has to rock. Another "bullet hell" shooter designed by the legendary Cave. This one is easier to find than Mushimesama, and personally I think it is more fun. This game includes arranged modes, and the Death Label mode (which basically means insane boss rush mode.) Also worth mentioning is the cover art for this game, DoDonPachi Dai-Oujou is almost worth getting for it alone.

Thunder Force VI is amazing! A sequel in the Thunder Force series that will not disappoint long time fans or new ones. I was blown away by this game, Sega seems have to really tried hard to make a cool shooting game for the modern gamer and old school gamer alike. A rocking soundtrack and neat 3-D visuals make it a must have. Don't be scared to import it, the game was kindly put into English. If you play one game on this list, make it this one!

I hope I piqued your interest and you will try a few of these titles out. While some of the best are import only, a few on the list can be had for under ten dollars. As of right now many of us are getting snubbed by the region lockout on the Xbox 360; because so many great shoot em ups are only being released in Japan like Ketsui and Death Smiles. Give your support to a dying genre so maybe one day we can see some of these great new games on our shores.

List by gamerdude1201 (03/02/2009)

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