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Xboxer360: White Men Can’t Shmup

Robbie Patterson of Xboxer360.com writes "While sounding for all the world like a self-deprecating sexual innuendo, this essay – and it is an essay, before you start getting too comfortable – is in fact one man’s ill-informed but highly personal exploration of the world of the Shoot ‘em up. For the uninitiated, Shoot ‘em ups, or ‘Shmups’ (see? Now you get the title, right? Try coming up with names for essays about video games that have multiple layers of context yourself sometime, mothershmup’er), are a sub-genre of games where the player is faced with a fairly straightforward task: shoot everything on the screen and try not to die. In many respects, it’s actually the second part of that modus operandi that becomes the main objective for Shoot ‘em up players, as apparently the first rule for developers when creating a Shmup is ‘fill screen with unrelenting death’. Perhaps ‘Shoot ‘em up’ is the wrong description for these games altogether; generally speaking, the actual shooting consists of little more than holding down one button (FIRE) at all times whist trying to negotiate endless waves of rocket shaped oblivion."

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