Shoot1Up is an Xbox 360 Indie title that was developed by Nathan Fouts, whose other game, Weapon of Choice, met warm reception on the 360. At first glance, you may think, hmmm, a shmup where you shoot the staff members of 1up.com. Well, this game is not that, so don’t worry if you are a fan of 1up, because there is no harm being done to them in this game.
Shoot1Up is a enjoyable shmup with many different modes of difficulty. This game can be enjoyed by novices or veterans to the shmup genre. The game has three different difficulties, Chilled, Normal, and Serious. In addition to the difficulty settings you can set the games speed in intervals of 25% from 25% to 200%, which adds more variation to each playthrough.
The game uses an interesting mechanic that I haven’t experienced in a shmup before (keep in mind I am a shmup enthusiast, but in no means a fanatic or expert). Usually, when you get a 1up in a game, you expect it to be saved for when you die, so that you can continue, but in Shoot1Up a 1up gives you another ship that can further add to your onslaught against the enemies. Every 5 ships adds more power to your attacks. Also, if you use the triggers you can change formation of your ships. Left trigger causes your ships to bunch up on top of each other, where as right trigger causes your ships to spread out. The more spread out your ships are, the more points you get for killing enemies. In addition, if your ships are spread out, you will shoot a powerful beam out in addition to your normal fire. There is a shield attack that you can use as well, which can make bullets coming toward you disappear.
The stages in this game are all differently themed, and one of the stages in particular will make you wonder where the hell you are. There is a crossroads in each stage where you can choose to go one of two paths. Although you go different ways, it is not going to affect the boss you face or the next stage you go to. Throughout the game there are pies that you can collect as well, if you collect two in one playthrough then you unlock a new ship that is awesome. There are six stages in all, and you can beat the game in roughly 20 – 30 minutes.
In addition to the campaign mode, there is an endless mode, but there is one stipulation in this mode, you only have 1 ship. This mode gives the game more replay value. Instead of adding ships in this mode, you gain power for your ship as you acquire 1ups.
I had a few problems with this game. One problem was the lack of leaderboards, but I don’t know if Indie games can have leaderboards (I’ve only had my 360 for a week or so). Another gripe is a bug where the shield attack allows for you to rack up a huge score.
This game is an incredible value at $1.00, 80 MS points. I had a blast with this game, and the bright moments of this game greatly outnumber any negative moments. I can’t recommend this game enough.