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Jonny_S

Shoot em up 'on rails'....does no one else like them?

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I was just wondering, you don't see alot of them around(especially by indi teams). Do people just not like them? I have been playing around with the idea of an 'on rails' shooter of my own but I thought it would be a good idea to do some research on what people like/dislike about the genre first. The projects would be purely for fun no commercial interest what so ever. cheers for your input Jon [Edited by - Jonny_S on August 12, 2007 11:16:40 AM]

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Unless you find a way to offer much replayability with different choices to be made while you are "on rails", I think the genre kinda sucks. Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles poor reception is also an indication of the poor fondamentals of such a game. But, I think one could make an interesting game with the concept, it just needs a lot of work.

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As far as interesting game design goes, they're somewhat lacking, but as a form of interactive entertainment they can be a lot of fun. They're certainly a good choice for an indie developer in terms of ease of development, but on the other hand there may well be an expectation for artistic production values that the typical hobbyist can't live up to. Also, they tend to play less well with PC controls, requiring a light gun for full effect.

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I must say that I have had a whole lot of fun playing the shooter portions of Rayman: Raving Rabbids for the Wii. I was even more obsessive with games like Crypt Killer, Virtua Cop, and Area 51 back on the Sega Saturn (to the point where I could get 100% accuracy on Virtua Cop levels). However, I've found that the same sorts of games are rather bland when using a mouse on the computer. I think that more interactivity and control given to the user is better, as it prevents the user's actions from being reduced to simple point-and-click.

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Quote:
Original post by Kudgel
Unless you find a way to offer much replayability with different choices to be made while you are "on rails", I think the genre kinda sucks. Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles poor reception is also an indication of the poor fondamentals of such a game. But, I think one could make an interesting game with the concept, it just needs a lot of work.

That's unfortunate, because I had a decent amount of fun with Umbrella Chronicles at E3. It wasn't whoa dude best eva! but it was good fun and I'd be willing to play all the way through.

I agree with falkone that Raving Rabbids had excellent on-rails levels. Not much replay value, though, because half the fun came from the humorous situations the rabbids got into.

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Quote:
Original post by JBourrie
Quote:
Original post by Kudgel
Unless you find a way to offer much replayability with different choices to be made while you are "on rails", I think the genre kinda sucks. Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles poor reception is also an indication of the poor fondamentals of such a game. But, I think one could make an interesting game with the concept, it just needs a lot of work.

That's unfortunate, because I had a decent amount of fun with Umbrella Chronicles at E3. It wasn't whoa dude best eva! but it was good fun and I'd be willing to play all the way through.

I agree with falkone that Raving Rabbids had excellent on-rails levels. Not much replay value, though, because half the fun came from the humorous situations the rabbids got into.



I'm not saying every on-rails game is doomed, it's just that the vast majority of what I played didn't feel really polished. My favorite is Death Crimson OX.

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I was definitely down w/rail shooters back in the day. Games like Silpheed,Starfox, and most signifigantly the Panzer Dragoon series, were *great* back in the day ( esp the latter ). Yes, replayability is severely limited, but fun none-the-less. I would definitely play another PD game were it released today ( and I actually had a console... ).

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I think the on rails shooter is a type of game that is kinda burnt out, but awaiting some sort of twist to the formula to reinvent it. Much how other genre's get new aspects that make them new and exciting but also familiar and enjoyable. Examples of this would the famous leap from MG to MGS. 2d platformers like SMB to the 3d platform via n64. The addition of 1st person mode in many 3rd person shooters. I think once somebody comes up with something besides the standard shoot, shoot, offscreen reload, push cover button, shoot power up, etc. we'll see some new hotness in teh genre.

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They're always fun in arcades, but that may be simply because you're paying per life so it adds some extra tension, and you're actually holding a gun. And you're kind of competing head to head with the other player, even though you're on the same team.

Just using a keyboard and mouse or joypad on your own, I can't see it having the same playablity.

Edit: Hey, I'd love to be proved wrong though.

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Well what I hate with these games is most of them don't give you CHOICES. Make it so there are many paths, random elements.

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But doesn't that make it about pure skill in just one area (aiming) rather than anything else. It's main reason I can't see it working with just a keyboard and mouse, it'd be too easy to aim.

I mean, how many 'choices' are there to Max Payne or something equally linear, it's still a bucket load of fun.

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