Sunday, February 6, 2011

Update 2-6 - Toaplan Shooters, Deathsmiles, Tinstar

Even if you're not familiar with the name, chances are you're at least familiar with Toaplan - their most popular game, at least among the English speaking audience, was Zero Wing, largely for its infamously hilarious introduction in the Mega Drive version. They developed tons of shooters during the genre's heyday - 18, to be precise, according to this expansive article on Toaplan Shooters. Other notable ones include Tiger Heli, Sky Shark, Twin Cobra, Hellfire, Truxton, Dogyuun, Batsugun...the list goes on. They unfortunately closed in 1994, but several staff members went on to form their own companies, including Cave.

Which brings us to our next article - Deathsmiles, which officially marks the first time a Cave shooter was brought to a home console outside of Japan. While the gothic lolita theme tends to put people off, it's not nearly as bad as one would expect - I'd argue it's almost a secret Castlevania shooter, with some excellent music to boot. (It's also not nearly as aggravatingly moe as Arcana Heart, for a frame of reference.) This similarly expansive article goes over the details of the scoring system in great depth, as well as some of the creepier tie-ins that were released. Cave's gotta make money somehow, right?

And finally there's Tinstar, a silly Wild West shooter for the SNES developed by the Pickford Brothers. This one I'm not too familiar with, but it's got a uniquely silly style. Our featured article is Chaos Seed, a really interesting blend of a dungeon building simulator and an action-RPG. It was released twice - for the Super Famicom and Saturn - and while it was never translated, I put up a substantial tutorial to help things going. And Your Weekly Kusoge is Predator for the NES, which features Arnie wearing bright pink hot pants.


  1. Dynamic Designs's Chaos Seed fan translation is quite advanced, I wouldn't be surprised to see it released this year. It's a bit odd to encourage people to play with a tutorial in those circumstances.
    Tinstar seems pretty cool too, too bad the old light gun experience is so hard to reproduce now that most of the peripherals don't even work on modern TVs.

  2. I had no idea there was a fan translation to be honest, although the tutorial is still helpful - you just don't need it to read the menus.

  3. ooh, that Toaplan article is mighty fine. A few games in it that I've never heard of but really do want to play.

  4. OMG Tinstar! I loved that game! It was hilarious and had awesome music.