When you think of Japanese shoot ’em ups, it’s easy to get hung up on nothing but classic arcade and console titles.
But over the years, the PC has played host to a wide variety of its own unique titles, too, with many developers specialising in this highly flexible platform thanks to its ease of digital distribution and free marketplace.
One such developer that has come to prominence over the last few years is Astro Port, and its title Satazius is one of its best, alongside the similarly excellent Zangeki Warp.
The shoot ’em up genre, having been around pretty much as long as the concept of “video games”, is relatively set in its ways.
When you think about it, this isn’t all that surprising. When the core concept of your game is as simple as “shoot everything, don’t get shot and don’t crash into anything”, there’s only so much you can do to iterate on that concept. And so most modern shmups distinguish themselves primarily through carefully choreographed enemy and bullet patterns, unique audio-visual design and a sense of “spectacle”. In other words, it’s relatively rare to find a modern shmup that does things a little differently in mechanical terms.
Japanese doujin circle Astro Port is one of a few developers that likes to regularly mix things up in the genre. And its latest release Zangeki Warp is just one such example.