The vertical shooter is my bread and butter. Ikaruga, the Touhou series, and former BBacklog Challenge title eXceed 3rd are all games I regard highly, and have sunk many many hours into each. I always get excited when one comes up on the BBLC (Mushihimesama is on there aaaaaa). You would think this fervour would survive a 90-degree spin clockwise, but somehow horizontal shooters always leave me cold.
I’m not sure why. My best guess, having moderate experience with both, is that vertical shooters tend to focus more on bullet patterns, while horizontal shooters are more about enemy placement. The difference is narrow on the surface, but greatly change how the game is approached. A game focused on bullet patterns is played far more defensively, while one focused on enemy placement needs an aggressive approach.
Sorry, Revolver360, for using your entry to muse on the minutiae of game sub-genres; the truth is, I just don’t have much interesting to say about you. Thankfully, as I’ve said many times before, this is a blog more than it is a review site, so I’m allowed to do that.
Because, yes, Revolver360 looks like it should be 120% up my alley. A shooter with a gimmick (the entire game world can be revolved around the X axis to move impassable bullet patterns out of the way in three dimensions), but I just could not get into it. I had similar feelings for it as I did for Astebreed, in that most of the time I was just holding down the various attack buttons and moving around and the rest of the game seemed to play itself, although thankfully R360 keeps the anime nonsense to a minimum.
Fin or Bin:
My own leanings aside, Revolver360 succumbs greatly to the trap of style over substance. It’s visually very striking, entirely in shades of blue except for vital enemy bits, but that comes at a seriously high cost- I very often lost my own position on the screen and everything else was just kind of a blur of Things Happening. I was quite disappointed by Binning this one, as I fully expected to love it, but unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be.