November 5, 2011

STGT 2011 Week #5 - Blade Buster

The forgotten posts, part 2.

Remember my ramblings about pseudo Raizing week and pseudo Psikyo week? Well, Blade Buster is almost a pseudo Cave week to conclude it all. Not honestly this time, Blade Buster simply belongs to the subgenre of Caravan shooters. I hadn't played any of these before, so Blade Buster's mechanics only reminded me of Dangun Feveron's, concerning how a new enemy wave appears after all from the previous one have been destroyed. Just like Dangun Feveron this was the conluding week from the respective STGT where I almost ruined my overall result. I seem to suck hard at this type of games.

I wasn't so glad at first about the game choice, or let's say the choice of the platform specifically. The graphics as a whole aren't my cup of tea. 2D graphics inspire me on 16 bit and newer systems, but for Famicom graphics I honestly do not care for the most part. At least, slowdowns, flickering etc. weren't much of an issue. While not caring about the graphics, I adore the music from the 8 bit era. And since the music in Blade Buster isn't particularly enjoyable, there isn't much for me in this game at all; besides the gameplay itself.

Even with the gameplay I had several issues. It's not Blade Buster's fault though, my lack of skill and experience in Caravan games made me pay the price. Firstly, getting used to the necessary hectic style of play is a thing I still haven't managed. Secondly, my memorization abilities are a huge problem. I can memorize linear level designs where enemies always pop up at the same time and spot. In Blade Buster enemies spawn at different times, depending on the player's performance. So the scrolling background and enemy appearances create two different layers which are basically independent from each other. Since I personally need the background for memorizing the stage designs, this confuses me way too much. Last but not least there is my desire for small breaks between all the action which I have already explained in my comment on P-47 Aces.

But in the end I found myself having a lot of fun with Blade Buster. The game's length of 5 minutes was perfect to improve one's score fast, even without lots of playtime. The kill-as-fast-as-possible-to-get-more-enemies-to-shoot thing - despite the hectic pace - was really motivating. Not to forget those many secrets which gave the game some depth. Frustration barely ever showed up. In fact it only did after I realized on Sunday that I'm not able to do much better. I was still way too far away from the top spots or even the region where I usually rank in. I even think I got most secrets in my best run. If I had been able to do better, I would have had even more fun with Blade Buster. This way a slightly bitter taste remains. ;)

This week our team was crushed by Touhou Is Too Easy who took the 5th place in the overall ranking. Sadly they woke up after a very inconspicuous start into STGT. But the 6th place is still nice. Roughly what I had expected before the tournament, too. It didn't help that our best player CRI practically missed three weeks, but anyway. Next year we will strike back!


15. m3tall1ca - 1,629,300
39. STG - 1,481,200
48. Battletoad - 1,434,900
51. Geist - 1,414,600
66. Jockel - 1,267,500
72. DJW - 1,225,900


  1. Honestly speaking, this was the final nail in the coffin for me. IMO caravan games are pointless, and going through the same playfield over and over and over, regardless of random enemy spawning, is just boring as hell.
    Don't quite remember, but I think I didn't even submit any scoring for Blade Buster...

    Anyway, congratulations to you and to your team. Final standings were fair, I guess, here's hoping next year will be better (no caravan pleeeease).

  2. With a week off I probably would have gotten bored from Blade Buster as well. But with rather little free time it was nice to see how I could "perfect" (for my standards in these games) my score quickly. Even if it didn't help for the end result. Thanks for the honest comment though. ;)

    I am no fan of these games either, I had fun with Blade Buster for this short time, but I don't expect to try out other Caravans by myself. Next STGT could need some Psikyo and/or Cave, I also hope they can still come up with good lesser known shooters. Don't know how much potential there still is left.