Third-Person Shooters - ranked by preference
43 8.71. Gunstar Heroes - Sega Genesis and Mega Drive
Release Date: September 9, 1993 (NA)
Gunstar Heroes was the rookie effort from the wonderful developers at Treasure...And in their first attempt, they may have created the single best game available on the Genesis. Gunstar Heroes is a great shooter that can potentially be different each time you play through due to the way that you're able to combine weapon power-ups to find a style of firepower that is to your liking. The game also contains one of my favorite boss fights of all-time in Seven Force. Add in the ability to choose the levels you want to play, ala Mega Man, and you've got what many consider to be the best game on Sega's 16-bit console...I think I agree with 'em.
24 8.12. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Sega Saturn
Release Date: March 22, 1996 (JP)
The first Panzer Dragoon was a fun rail shooter...The sequel improved on the original in every way and added in a few new features, like levels with multiple paths to choose from and the awesome feature of being able to morph your dragon into a new, more powerful one. When it comes to rail shooters, I consider this game to be the king of the mountain. It looks beautiful, it plays wonderfully, and it's just a fantastic game as a whole. This game alone is worth the purchase of a Saturn, let alone all of the other fantastic titles that the console had exclusively.
26 7.83. Geometry Wars: Galaxies - Nintendo Wii
Release Date: November 1, 2007 (JP)
Geometry Wars: Galaxies is all of the dual-analog shooting fun that you may have loved from the Xbox Live Arcade and then some. This game is a throwback to the days of old with a new coat of paint. The gameplay is simplistic and addicting with your only real reason to continue playing (aside from the enjoyment) is to beat a high score. The colorful graphics and particle effects make it a fun game to watch as well. This gem is easily one of my favorites on the system, and in my opinion, one of the best non-Nintendo-published games on the Wii.
24 7.54. Metal Slug 3 - Xbox
Release Date: May 26, 2004 (NA)
Metal Slug 3 is one of the better Metal Slug games, if you ask me...Which you didn't, but I'm giving you my opinion anyway, dang it. Anyway, Metal Slug 3 is the Metal Slug action that we all know and love, set in a variety of environments including a neat little underwater level. This game helped solidify Metal Slug as one of my all-time favorite game franchises. Metal Slug 3 is 2D, side-scrolling, run 'n' gun action at its best. There aren't too many that do it better.
7 7.65. Sin and Punishment: Successor to the Earth - Nintendo 64
Release Date: November 21, 2000 (JP)
While Nintendo did eventually release this on the North American Virtual Console for Wii owners, I never understood why this title never made it to North American shores in N64 cartridge form seven years earlier. Most of the game is in English, so there wasn't much translating to do...It wouldn't have required much effort for the big N to publish it out here, and with the lack of quality titles on the N64, especially near the end of the system's life, I believe that N64 owners would've eaten this game up. But alas, we were ultimately robbed of this enjoyable rail shooter. If you haven't played it yet, and enjoy games like Panzer Dragoon or Rez, give it a shot. It's now on the Wii's Virtual Console worldwide, so you won't need to spend large sums of money to import it.
73 86. Contra III: The Alien Wars - Super famicom and SNES
Release Date: February 28, 1992 (JP)
The original Contra on the NES was tough, but it was a cakewalk compared to this tough-as-nails, scrolling shooter. Contra III delivers more of what the first game in the series game us - more explosions, more aliens, more weapons, and as previously mentioned, more difficulty. In fact your only reward for surviving through the game on Normal difficulty is the game telling you to beat it on Hard if you want to see an ending or fight the game's true final boss. Despite its increased difficulty, Contra III is a superior game to the original in just about every way and is easily one of the best run-and-gun style games to ever be created.
3 8.37. Paradroid - Commodore 64
Release Date: 1985 (NA)
Paradroid really is a game that does not come across as being as great as it is until you figure out what you're doing...And then it feels like it was ahead of its time. Paradroid is a multi-directional shooter...But one major design element really makes it stand out in comparison to games of its day - you can gain control of any enemy robot that you encounter by holding the fire button, ramming into the robot, and completing a mini game...In a sense, half of the strategy in the game is to hunt down more powerful robots so you can steal their body and use it as your own. Playing the game as a simple shooter is fun on its own. Hacking into other robots to use their weaponry just takes this game to a different level.
9 6.28. R-Type - Sega Master System
Release Date: October 1, 1988 (JP)
R-Type is one of my favorite scrolling shooters of all-time, so I naturally wanted it when I saw it was on the Master System. While it's in 8-bits and may be one of the least-impressive variations of the game in the graphics department (and it's still not that bad, honestly), the gameplay is all fully intact, bringing a fantastic, third-person shooter experience to your living room.
15 7.49. Gun.Smoke - Famicom and NES
Release Date: February 1988 (NA)
Gun.Smoke is an interesting scrolling shooter in that it doesn't take place in outer-space like most of them seem to...And you're not controlling a space ship, but a regular human being with a pair of guns at his side. In Gun.Smoke, you walk around the wild west and try to take down wanted criminals and fill them and their followers full of bullet holes. The game is unique in that each level will simply loop endlessly unless you talk to a specific person in the level during the gunfights and buy the wanted poster they're selling, which will allow the boss to spawn. You also have the ability to purchase other firearms and even obtain a horse, which kind of doubles as armor, making this a scrolling shooter that doesn't just stand out due to its setting - it stands out because it's a very good game.
9 810. Galaxian - Arcade
Release Date: 1979 (JP)
Galaxian was the first game release by Namco, and it was the company's answer to Space Invaders...And it improved on the Taito classic in just about every aspect. Not only do the enemy spaceships move back and forth like in Space Invaders, but some ships will leave the formation and dive-bomb your ships. It also featured full-color graphics and a theme tune that played. In comparison to its better-known sequel, Galaga, that came out a few years later, Galaxian may not be all that impressive...But for its time, this game raised the bar for what a shooter should be.
7 711. Metal Slug: 1st Mission - Neo-Geo Pocket Color
Release Date: May 27, 1999 (JP)
Metal Slug: 1st Mission is a little different in comparison to the other Metal Slug games that came before it. In this handheld entry in the series, there is a health meter. No more one-shot kills, you can keep playing so long as you have some health left in your meter. Also worth noting are the branching paths. Branching paths weren't new to the series when this game was released, but the number of branching paths in this game really brings up the replay factor. It's not as pretty as previous entries in the series, but it's just as fun. If you own a Neo-Geo Pocket Color, this is definitely a game that you should have in your collection.
2 912. Espgaluda II - iPhone
Release Date: April 10, 2010 (NA)
Espgaluda II is a third-person shooter that mildly fits into a category that some call "bullet hell." Games that fit into that category are called as such due to the amount of bullets that are on the screen at once, where the game transforms from one where you're trying to shoot the enemy to one where you're shooting blindly while trying to find any gap you can in the enemy's bullets so you can dodge and weave your way through to survival. Espgaluda isn't always that bad, but a few enemies, particularly later on in the game, turn the screen into a sea of bullets for you to frantically try and escape from. The game is also visually stunning, and it's just fun watching everything explode as you play.
3 913. Air Zonk - TurboGrafx-16 and PC Engine
Release Date: November 20, 1992 (JP)
Air Zonk mildly reminds me of the Parodius series - a solid, fun, third-person, scrolling shooter with a comical, cartoony touch to it. I like a game that doesn't take itself seriously. Anyway, Air Zonk is the first TurboGrafx-16 game that I ever beat...And I've beaten it more than once. The gameplay is solid, the levels are varied, and each weapon at your disposal is totally unique, both in appearance and in their effects. As far as scrolling shooters go, I easily place Air Zonk near the top of the list of my personal favorites.
12 814. Seaquest - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Seaquest is easily one of my favorite Atari 2600 games. The gameplay is simple enough - shoot the fish or enemy subs in your way while saving any scuba divers you see swimming around. This alone would be fairly fun, but Seaquest adds in another element, that being the need to rise to the surface for oxygen. That adds just enough strategy to an already fun concept to make this an absolutely great game for its time.
6 615. Blast Works: Build, Trade & Destroy - Nintendo Wii
Release Date: November 1, 2007 (JP)
I love Katamari Damacy. I also happen to enjoy scrolling shooters. What happens when you combine the two? You get Blast Works, a game that was, unfortunately, mostly ignored at retail shelves....I saw it in $10 clearance bins within four months of its release. It's a shame because this innovative title, while rough around the edges, was a neat concept that had never been done before. I was completely addicted to this gem for a while...And really disappointed when it became apparent that it sold poorly. My dream of a Blast Works sequel will likely never become a reality.
30 7.316. Yars' Revenge - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1981 (NA)
Yars' Revenge is a unique little shooter only spans one screen, and is pretty repetitive...But so dang addicting that the repetition doesn't affect it much. You control a Yar, which is the fly-lookin' thing, and you want to destroy the shield in front of the Quotile hiding behind it, avoiding the deadly swirl and using the Ion shield (the multi-colored stripe on the screen) to shield yourself from the Quotile's regular, homing fire. After destroying the Quotile by using the Zorlon Cannon, you get a screen-sized explosion...Followed by another Quotile to destroy. The difficulty increases as you survive, which doesn't make it too repetitive...But as I stated earlier, the game is good enough where repetition could be seen as something to look forward to.
1 817. DoDonPachi Resurrection - iPhone
Release Date: August 26, 2010 (NA)
Espgaluda II is a cakewalk compared to this game. This is the definition of a bullet hell shooter...In fact it's even more than that. It's a bullet and laser hell shooter...There is so much firepower to try to avoid in this game, there are times that it seems like it's absolutely impossible to not get hit. Well, that is unless you trigger one of a couple special abilities that lets you not only survive an otherwise deadly situation, but it also gives you a brief breather from all the chaos around you. Despite the difficulty, it's still a very enjoyable game. If you like scrolling shooters, this one is very much worth a purchase.
30 7.318. Panzer Dragoon - Sega Saturn
Release Date: March 10, 1995 (JP)
Panzer Dragoon was the first really good exclusive game for the Saturn. This interesting rail shooter was, and still is, an extremely fun experience that was unlike anything that you'd find on the competition's systems. The second Panzer Dragoon totally blew this game away, and Panzer Dragoon Saga blew them both away...But that says more about how great those games are than anything; the original is no slouch, either.
1 919. Boot Hill - Arcade
Release Date: 1977 (NA)
Imagine Pong if it was a shooter, and you've got Boot Hill; a basic, but pretty dang fun, early arcade game. In Boot Hill you either battle a friend or a computer opponent in a wild west shoot-out. The goal is to hit your opponent before they hit you. The Pong aspect of bullets bouncing off of the top and bottom of the screen help add a little chaos to the battle and a limited number of bullets ensures that anyone who just blindly shoots at the beginning of the fight is going to find themselves out of bullets and defenseless as their opponent takes aim at them. It's one of the better (and lesser known) arcade games of the 70's, and it really deserves more attention than it gets.
5 820. Space Invaders: Infinity Gene - iPhone
Release Date: April 20, 2010 (NA)
Space Invaders: Infinity Gene is a game that attempts to resurrect the Space Invaders franchise to the popularity it had 30 years ago. While it's definitely a great game, it just doesn't have the mass appeal that, say, Angry Birds does. But as far as third-person shooters go, Space Invaders: Infinity Gene plays like most other games in the genre, but is unique due to the approach on 'evolving' each level from the basic, 2D beginnings of the original Space Invaders to fancy-looking 3D models and visuals. It may not have sparked the Space Invaders frenzy like the original did a few decades ago, but it's definitely my personal favorite entry in the history of the series.
10 7.521. Air Fortress - Famicom and NES
Release Date: August 17, 1987 (JP)
Air Fortress is an interesting blend of scrolling shooter levels that lead up to action levels inside of fortresses, where the player is essentially free to float around in the level wherever they may like. The gameplay isn't perfect, but it's still very good and the interesting blend of gameplay styles work well together. Air Fortress isn't without its flaws, but in my opinion the good greatly outweighs the bad.
6 5.522. Pocky & Rocky - Super famicom and SNES
Release Date: December 22, 1992 (JP)
With a name like Pocky & Rocky, and looking at the box art, one may assume that this would be a cute-looking 2D platformer...That assumtion would be wrong. Pocky & Rocky is a scrolling, third-person shooter...And don't let the cute characters fool you, this game is far from a cakewalk. The thing (aside from the cute character models) that separates Pocky & Rocky from the rest of the scrolling shooter pack is that the screen doesn't automatically scroll - you control the scrolling. It can feel a bit weird at first, but you'll eventually get the hang of it. If you're a fan of scrolling shooters, but want something a little different, Pocky & Rocky is an excellent choice.
3 723. Super Stardust Delta - PlayStation Network
Release Date: February 15, 2012 (US)
This Playstation Network download is a fantastic purchase for new owners of the Playstation Vita, especially for those looking for a cheap, new game to play with their expensive, new handheld. Fans of Super Stardust on the Playstation 3 will be glad to see that Delta is just as fun as the original, plus with some new features tossed in for good measure. It's not quite as good as Geometry Wars, in my opinion, but it's definitely a great alternative for Playstation Vita owners.
3 724. Chō Aniki: Kyūkyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyō O... - PlayStation
Release Date: December 25, 1995 (JP)
I enjoy this game mostly for just the bizarre aspects of it. It's such a weird, almost disturbing title full of moments where you just scratch your head to try to figure out what you just witnessed. Like the screenshot above, where the stage boss has a cannon-like thing between his legs where a bald-headed person stretches out (which really resembles the body part between the legs of the male folk) to try to attack you. It's not an overly great shooter by any means, but it's solid...And if you're a fan of the bizarre like I am, you'll probably fall in love with this game like I did...And thanks to MonkeyPaw Games, the game has been released in the North American and European Playstation Stores, so people all around the world can experience the disturbing joys of Cho Aniki.
3 8.525. Astro Warrior - Sega Master System
Release Date: December 14, 1986 (JP)
I'm not gonna lie. I thought Astro Warrior would be absolutely terrible. The name is corny, and screenshots don't really make the game look all that impressive...It just looks like a clone of every other scrolling space shooter out there. Well, it kind of is, but not in a bad way. Astro Warrior clones most of the good aspects of scrolling space shooters of the time, and not a whole lot of the bad. The end result is a solid, Master System-exclusive scrolling shooter that's an easy-to-find, and cheap game to add to your collection, but one that's also very fun to play.
3 626. Pepsi Invaders - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Pepsi Invaders (or "Coke Wins!" in some circles) is essentially just Space Invaders reprogrammed. The only major difference, aside from the visual aspect, is that Space Invaders had gameplay with limited lives, but unlimited time to play. Pepsi Invaders goes the opposite route, as you've got unlimited lives, but you're limited to a three-minute time limit...Which, I think helps the game rather than hurts it, as you're frantically trying to beat the score you got in the previous three-minute run. Copies today can go for over $2,000 USD, as they are very rare and were only released at an 1983 sales convention where 125 CocaCola sales executives were given a copy.
59 7.327. Space Invaders - Arcade
Release Date: July 1978 (JP)
Space Invaders was so successful in Japan that the Ministry of Finance was forced to mint more of the 100-yen coins that the arcade cabinet took since players were shoving them into the machines in ridiculous quantities. The gameplay is simple, move your ship back and forth while shooting at the aliens that are also moving back and forth and shooting back at you. This alone wouldn't be all that special, but as you lower the number of aliens, their speed increases, making the action more frantic and fun. By today's standards, Space Invaders comes across as being kind of dull, but for its day, it was nothing short of a phenomenon.
2 728. DoDonPachi - Arcade
Release Date: 1996 (JP)
DoDonPachi is a bullet hell, third-person shooter developed by Cave and published by Atlus...And it is absolutely brutal. I’ve seen bullet hell shooters that are more insane than this, but this is more than enough insanity for the average gamer to endure. I thought I was ready for this with my near-mastery of the iPhone’s DoDonPachi Resurrection, as I can beat that game without using a single continue. This game, however, I can barely pass the first level without popping in another quarter for a continue. Despite the difficulty, it’s still fun and well worth the price of admission, should you come across an arcade cabinet for it.
3 829. Metal Slug - Arcade
Release Date: April 18, 1996 (NA)
I love Metal Slug to no end. While many people point to Contra as their favorite run-and-gun style game, I always point to just about any game in the Metal Slug series. Between the gorgeous 2D sprites, the humor tossed around, the vehicles to hop into, and the level designs....It's just an absolutely tremendous game. It can be brutal to newcomers, but it's fun enough where many will keep at it...And when you do, you'll learn enemy patterns and when it's best to use weapons and/or grenades. Later games in the Metal Slug series tweak and improve upon the formula found here, but this awesome first-entry in the series is still well worth playing through even today.
2 830. Dragon Spirit - TurboGrafx-16 and PC Engine
Release Date: December 26, 1988 (JP)
Dragon Spirit plays a lot like most top-down, scrolling shooters in that you collect power-ups that make you more effective as you stay alive. In Dragon Spirit, however, you control a dragon rather than a spaceship or plane, so the power-ups cause the dragon to evolve, sprouting extra heads and the like to increase range and fire power...Which you'll likely need to survive the later levels. If you enjoy scrolling shooters, this game is definitely worth a look.
1 731. Daisy Mae's Alien Buffet - iPhone
Release Date: February 10, 2010 (NA)
I'm not ashamed to admit it, Daisy Mae's Alien Buffet was a game I played purely on the title. I love cheesy B-movies and this game's title had cheesy B-game all over it. And it is cheesy...But it's also a surprisingly solid dual-stick shooter...And it may be the best of its kind that I've played on the iPhone so far. If that's not enough to get you to give this game a try, and if you're a pervert, then maybe Daisy Mae's unnecessarily scantily-clad choice of clothing might be the hook you need. It's B-movie goodness in playable form, and I don't think I'd have it any other way.
11 732. 1943: Battle of Midway - Famicom and NES
Release Date: June 20, 1989 (JP)
1943 took the initially fun gameplay of 1942 and added some much-needed variety to it to create what I feel that 1942 should have and could have been. Battle of Midway is simple, classic, top-down, third-person, scrolling shooter fun that isn't quite at its best, but it's still very very good. If you love scrolling shooters, 1942 may have more historical significance, but 1943 is the better game in the series...At least as far as their NES incarnations are concerned.
39 733. Missile Command - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1981 (NA)
Missile Command was fun in the arcades, and while graphically inferior, the Atari 2600 version brought a very similar experience to your home, without the need for quarters or dealing with joysticks coated with pizza grease from the hands of total strangers. The concept, for those not in the know, or too young to remember, is simple - missiles are coming down from the top of the screen. Your goal is to cause explosions in the air to destroy the missiles before they can destroy anything on the ground - and destroying multiple missiles with a single explosion is the key to surviving the later levels. It's very simple, and it's also still quite fun today.
25 6.134. Centipede - Arcade
Release Date: 1980 (NA)
Centipede is like a faster-paced Space Invaders...Except rather than have another shooter be in space, Atari went the opposite direction and made a game about pest control in your backyard garden. While the premise doesn't sound as intense as an intergalactic space war, the gameplay is just as intense as any other shooter that you could find in arcades at the time. It also included some strategy as you tried to control the mushrooms that pop up to herd the centipede for easy shooting. It's also worth noting that rather than using a joystick, Centipede used a trackball to move left and right, allowing for more precise movement than you'd find other shooters of its time. I never knew that exterminating insects in a garden could be so fun.
3 135. Fantasy Zone - Sega Master System
Release Date: June 15, 1986 (JP)
Fantasy Zone is a unique scrolling shooter in that you control what direction the screen scrolls in...And you can change the direction at any time. It's a neat idea, but it can disorientate you if you swap directions without meaning to. The bright, colorful backgrounds are also a neat, unique idea...But this also has its drawbacks, as enemies and bullets often blend in with the backgrounds, sometimes leading to cheap deaths. Even with its flaws, Fantasy Zone is still a solid game and worth a look for fans of scrolling shooters.
3 8.336. Pang - Commodore 64
Release Date: 1991 (NA)
Pang is a unique game that involves a giant ball of goo. Your goal is to shoot it...The catch is that each time you shoot it, it splits into smaller balls...And you get touched by any of them and you're dead. So, Pang becomes a shooter with strategy, as you've got to time your shots and movements so that you're not hit by any of the hopping blobs on screen. That concept alone is kind of fun, but toss in various power-ups and weaponry to pick up along the way, and you've got quite the entertaining game. For those wondering, Hudson and Capcom later brought the Pang series to North America under the names "Buster Bros." and "Super Buster Bros." The Pang name has remained in Europe and Japan, though.
1 737. Highway Chase - Arcade
Release Date: 1980 (NA)
Highway Chase is mildly like Galaxian, except replace spaceships with cars and the space background with a road. In Highway Chase, you control a police car and your job is to shoot down the cars in front of you. The catch is that they sometimes fire back and, ironically enough, your headlights make their bullets invisible. Headlights should help you see, not blind you, right? But that logic aside, it does make it very important that you pay attention to your surroundings prior to moving into position to fire, otherwise you may unknowingly move into the line of fire and not know it until its too late. Highway Chase is not a terrible game, but aside from the headlights and change in environment, it mostly just feels like Galaxian...Which is good, but not too original.
1 638. Audio Invaders - iPhone
Release Date: February 25, 2012 (NA)
Audio Invaders is a unique shooter in which the audio is the key to survival. You can't see the enemies at all on the screen unless a bullet whizzes by them...And if they touch the ground, you lose a chunk from your health bar. So, how do you survive? The aliens make noises, so with a pair of headphones on, you've got to move and shoot in the direction of the sound. It still takes a little blind shooting to get the job done, but the audio helps pinpoint a specific area where your target may be. While the concept is interesting, the end result isn't anything too special and you'll likely find yourself bored within a few minutes of play. If you're into unique games, the novelty of the sound-based gameplay may make this a worthwhile game for you to play. Everyone else may not be as enamored with it.
2 6.539. Metal Gear Solid: Touch - iPhone
Release Date: March 18, 2009 (NA)
If Metal Gear Solid: Touch was an arcade game, where I could fire a light gun at the screen, I'd like it much, much more...But instead, it's a simple rail shooter that isn't bad by any means...But might be a bit disappointing for folks like me, who would prefer to play a stealth Metal Gear game rather than one where you're shooting everything in sight. That being said, I'm a huge Metal Gear fan and feel bad that a game from that series is placed so low on the iPhone games list...But what can I say? It's a solid game, just not one I'd pick over any of the other iPhone games placed above it on that aforementioned list.
3 6.740. Minigore - iPhone
Release Date: July 29, 2009 (NA)
Minigore plays like shooters like Geometry Wars, but it's got quite a bit more personality to it. It's also got an Altered Beast-like element to it, as you can power up into a minotaur to mow your way through any hoard of enemies that happens to come after you. Minigore is entertaining, and there's plenty to unlock...But what prevents it from being higher on this list is that at it does have a tendency to get repetitive after a while. But still, if you're looking for a solid action game, Minigore is a decent choice.
1 741. Galaxy Game - Arcade
Release Date: September 1971 (NA)
Galaxy Game is the earliest known coin-operated video game...It was installed in Stanford University two months before the released of the first mass-produced video game, Computer Space. Originally, only one unit was built, but later the game included several consoles so players could play against each other. The concept for Galaxy Game is simple, really - fly around the screen and shoot at your opponent as they do the same to you. Since the game takes place in space, it takes quite a while to get your ship moving and it's also difficult to move in a different direction once you've started to move, so the game often breaks down into the loser getting hit by a stray bullet rather than one that was strategically aimed. For what it was, it's passable...But even for back then, the gameplay is very slow and it doesn't take more than one or two plays before you've had your fill. It's a historical game that's worth playing just so you can see how video games were in the beginning, but games that came out later on in that decade really blew this out of the water in terms of gameplay.
2 6.542. Attack of the Mutant Camels - Commodore 64
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
There are two games on the Commodore 64 that sport the name "Attack of the Mutant Camels." This one, the one created by Llamasoft, is the prettier one, but also the inferior one in terms of gameplay. In this game, you're basically a tiny ship on a task to destroy a group of very large, very dangerous mutant camels that fire bullets of spit (I don't know, I'm trying to find logic here...camels are known for spitting) at you and try to knock you out of the sky. The game itself can be fun...But it's also kind of clunky. It's worth playing for the name of the game alone, but aside from that, there's really not much here for me to recommend.
1 643. Mushihimesama Bug Panic - iPhone
Release Date: November 18, 2010 (NA)
Mushihimesama Bug Panic isn't quite as good as other games Cave has released for the iPhone, but that may be because they've gone in a different direction for this game than they did for Espgaluda II and DoDonPachi Resurrection. It's still a shooter, and in certain levels it can still be lumped into the "bullet hell" category, but in Mushihimesama (which is fun to yell out) Bug Panic you can control where the character moves in the world. It sometimes feels like the old 2D Zelda game dungeons, where you're stuck in a room of enemies and the only way to get out is to kill everything in sight. But anyway, I'd like to put more time into it, as I've seen people much more impressed with it than I am...So, there's a possibility it could move up this list in time.
1 644. Cho Aniki Zero - PlayStation Portable
Release Date: March 19, 2009 (JP)
I love the bizarre nature of the Cho Aniki series...But let's face it - they aren't exactly award-winning games in terms of gameplay. The PSP addition to the series is no exception to this rule, with some bizarre scenery and just barely passable gameplay. Unless you're obsessed with side-scrolling shooters, or just like bizarre games, you're probably better off passing on this one. If you do want to play it and want a physical copy, you'll have to import it from Japan. Otherwise, Aksys ported the title over to North America in 2010, in digital form, on the Playstation Network.
7 545. Rambo: First Blood Part II - Sega Master System
Release Date: November 16, 1986 (JP)
Rambo is the kind of game I like to point to when kids tell me that a recently-released game is hard. Even the most difficult games released these days aren't too bad in the very beginning. In Rambo, the first time you play, you're probably going to die within a minute. The more you play and the fancier your footwork in avoiding enemy bullets, the further you'll get in the game. I'm always a fan of that kind of reward. Unfortunately, while I enjoy that aspect of the game, the top-down camera kind of makes the combat feel awkward as you try making your way through the sometimes bullet hell-like amount of bullets headed your way. It's a fun game, though. Just go into it with some patience and the willingness to die a few times and you'll eventually have some fun shooting exploding arrows are your poor enemies.
5 5.546. The Adventures of Dino Riki - Famicom and NES
Release Date: February 10, 1987 (JP)
The Adventures of Dino Riki is one of those games that I loved as a child, but upon playing it as an adult, I can see plenty of flaws in the gameplay and design. I managed to beat the game not too long ago...The game gets very boring and repetitive by the end, which caused me to sigh when upon beating the game, as I got to start all over and play from the beginning in order to continue building up my high score. In small doses, Dino Riki can be very fun...But to sit down long enough to play through and beat it...That can lead to plenty of boredom once the repetition kicks in.
1 647. M.A.D. - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1982 (NA)
M.A.D. feels like a different take on the Missile Command formula. Instead of dealing with missiles, in M.A.D. you have to deal with kamikaze pilots of planes and helicopters. The aircraft enter the screen and turn white if they're about to nose-dive into the buildings below. You're also not armed with explosives, but bullets and you've got to try and carefully aim for the suicide aircraft as they try to take everything out. It's not a horrible game, but it feels like an inferior knock-off of Missle Command rather than a fun, unique game.
1 548. Spacechase - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1981 (NA)
Spacechase, in my opinion, is one of the more visually pleasing Atari 2600 games. I suppose I'm just a fan of the rotating planet background. But anyway, this is just a basic shooter...But it never really becomes anything special. Basically, you need to shoot ships. Ships appear on the screen in waves of four and they move back and forth, firing at you along the way. That's it. Sure, the ships get faster and faster...But that's not enough to make this game worthwhile when you've got other games like Space Invaders available on the system that do this formula bigger and better.
23 5.349. Abadox - Famicom and NES
Release Date: December 15, 1989 (JP)
Abadox is a decent scrolling shooter, but not a great one by any means. It looks kind of bland, but plays decent enough to make up for it...Except for the difficulty, which is generally easy...But should you die in a level, even if against the boss at the end, when you start your next life, you're forced to start at the very beginning of said level...Which can be frustrating when all it takes is a single stray bullet that you didn't see to send you back to square one. But, I've played shooters much, much worse than Abadox...The problem is I've also played plenty that are way better.
1 650. Skylanders Cloud Patrol - iPhone
Release Date: April 5, 2012 (NA)
Skylanders Cloud Patrol actually includes the ability for players to upload their Skylanders into this game via the code on the back of the cards included with the figures bought for the console and 3DS versions. The problem is that while this is a passable game, it's also a pretty boring one as you're simply shooting at enemies by tapping or swiping your finger across the screen. There are some hazards that can cause a game over screen to appear, but overall there isn't a whole heckuva lot to this game to keep most folks playing for too awful long.
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