It's been a while since I got properly stuck into a SHMUP, but the love for the classic genre has never really gone away. It's more that the sheer number and diversity of the games we cover has meant that specialised skills have begun to fall by the wayside. Just as my fighting game knowledge and racing line proficiency have deteriorated over the past few years, so too have the decisive nerves required for bullet-hell shooters and Defender's dynasty.
Actually that's probably all balls: I've never been particularly brilliant at games full stop, and so it might seem a little strange when I say that Resogun is my favourite out of all of the PS4's launch lineup. After all, it's a side-scrolling (sort of) lateral SHMUP, full of nervous moments, neon fireworks, and leaderboards to climb. But it's short and sweet, and comes from Housemarque -- the developers behind the excellent Super Stardust HD.
It's a game that has five levels to begin with, divided into three phases a piece, with three ships to choose from, and an ever-changing cylindrical battlefield. The controls are simple: one stick to steer, one stick to shoot, with bombs, a boost button, and an Overdrive laser to help out when things get dicey. There's no real bullet-hell in this game, rather the challenge comes from throwing loads and loads of enemies at you from both sides, and nudging you to try and rescue the imprisoned humans dotted about each level.
I died a lot, because I'm rubbish at multitasking. As it turns out, attempting to fight off swarms of foes on two fronts, as well as determining where the next human I needed to save, dodging projectiles, trying to gather up energy to power my Overdrive, and chatting into a microphone prove a little too much for my fuzzy brain to handle, as you'll see in the video below.
BEHOLD, ladies and gentlemen... I give you Resogun: