Shoot ’em Ups & Cute ‘em Ups @ Nishikaze 2016

The 2D Shooter was one of the earliest and most popular video game genres. In fact, the Japanese release of Space Invaders in 1977 caused a shortage of the 100 yen coin. 2D Shooters (also known as Shoot ’em Ups, Shmups or STG games) would become so popular that we would see hundreds and hundreds of games produced in the 80s and 90s alone, and a great deal of that production happened in Japan.

Many shoot ’em up games featured a serious, even dark, tone often based on war, fantasy, or science fiction themes. However, other games took a lighter, even at times silly, approach. These were often referred to as Cute ’em Ups and featured vibrant colours, cute characters, parody, humour (even adult themes at times) and lots of challenging fun. Such variety ensured there were 2D shooters that would suit any taste or interest among audiences.

For Nishikaze 2016, a small sampling of well-known and not-so-well-known games for the Japanese PlayStation (1-3), the Japanese Saturn and Dreamcast, the Japanese GameCube and Wii, the PC Engine, as well as some others will be on view and available for play.

Some 2D shooters were specifically based off of pre-existing anime franchises, many more would use themes very familiar to anime fans. All in all, I hope Nishikaze attendees enjoy this small exhibition of games from the past and the present.

Dr. David Clearwater
Department of New Media
University of Lethbridge

Platforms and Games will include:

NEC PC Engine: Magical Chase, Star Parodier, Coryoon

Neo Geo CD: Ghost Pilots, Pulstar, Last Resort, Sonic Wings 3

Sony PlayStation: Harmful Park, Bokan to Ippatsu! Doronbo, Vacuum Kids, Geppy

– X: 70s Robot Anime

Sega Saturn: Detana TwinBee Yahho! Deluxe Pack, Game Tengoku: The Game Paradise!, Cotton Boomerang

Sega Dreamcast: Twinkle Star Sprites, Radirgy, Ikaruga, Zero Gunner 2

Nintendo GameCube: Radrigy GenereiC, Shikigami no Shiro 2

Sony PlayStation 3: Under Defeat, Caladrius Blaze

Microsoft Xbox 360: Deathsmiles, Mushihimesama Futari version 1.5

Nintendo Wii: Radirgy Wii, Illvelo Wii

Sony PSP & Nintedo DS: Space Invaders Extreme