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Coffee Talk #481: Your Favorite Run and Gun Shooters


Posted on May 22nd, by raymond padilla in Coffee Talk, PC Gaming, Today's Specials, Videogames. 35 comments

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, your Spurs vs. Thunder prediction, United Airlines CFO John Rainey calling customers over-entitled, or RFID shielding wallets, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

I really enjoyed you guys and gals talking about your favorite beat-’em-up games yesterday. Today I’d love to hear about your favorite run-and-gun shooters. Another staple of 8-bit, 16-bit, and arcade gaming, these shooters all had the same concept: run and shoot. Differences in level design, character design, and weapons made the best run-and-gun shooters distinct. From Ikari Warriors to Commando to Rambo to Rush’n Attack, these games sucked up countless quarters in arcades and consumed millions of hours on home consoles. Which games in this genre did you like best?

As for me, I have to go with Contra on the NES. The Konami code. The spread gun. The awesome multiplayer. Jumping so high that your partner perishes. Contra is just an amazing classic. I have so many fond memories of this game and I’m sure many of you feel similarly. Playing this game with my brother and my friend Alex Morgan…ah, the good old days.

Contra NES Coffee Talk #481: Your Favorite Run and Gun Shooters

Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favorite run-and-gun shooters?





  • Smartguy

    I was more a fan of the vertical shooter. Raiden for example.

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      That's a different sub-genre of shooter…and a later Coffee Talk.

      • Smartguy

        Damn. Sorry. I guess bullet hell is indeed different.

        • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

          No need to be sorry. You just need to pick a run-and-gun shooter. :P

  • Smartguy

    Metal Slug

    • lceman

      I tried to get into the Metal Slug series, but I just couldn't do it. For some reason it just wasn't any fun for me.

      Granted, this happened like five years ago when I download one of the Metal Slug titles to my Wii console. Maybe the game doesn't age well.

      -M

      • Smartguy

        I preferred it at an arcade honestly.

  • Thundercracker

    Could anyone actually beat Contra without the code? Is it even possible?

    Does 1943 count?

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

      It is possible…

      (with a Game Genie, that's how I beat Friday the 13th)

    • lceman

      Gentlemen, I give you the perfect run of the NES version of Contra (no deaths and the original gun)

      [youtube CDNIWpMWqdQ&feature=fvwrel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDNIWpMWqdQ&feature=fvwrel youtube]

      -M

    • lceman

      Part 2:

      [youtube NH64FWXdzdY&feature=relmfu http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH64FWXdzdY&feature=relmfu youtube]

      So I guess it is possible. I don't know if this guy used a cheat (game genie) or not, but it looks legit.

      -M

      • Thundercracker

        That's some Schwarzenegger shit right there.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

        My guess is turbo buttons (like the NES Advantage controller).

  • Lunias

    Metal Slug was one of my favorites, though I did find another pretty good one called Heli Attack 3. That one's fun, and free. There are other side-scrolling games that are fun, though, and I'm kinda on-the-fence as to whether Megaman counts as a run-and-gun shooter. I don't think it does, though; any thoughts?

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      I consider Megaman a traditional platformer.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

        See… this goes into my comment. How is Contra a Run 'n Gun if Mega Man is a platformer?

        I'm not trying to be crass, I seriously don't know and spent most of my life without clarification on this.

        • Lunias

          I think the main distinguishing difference is that most run-and-gun games don't have pitfalls of death.

          • lceman

            … but Contra had pitfalls of death. In fact, when playing co-op, your partner (or you) could force the death fall (in the third level, especially) by forcing the level to scroll at an inopportune moment. Some people say it was a design flaw. I say it was genius to do it that way, because then it becomes a race to the top between you and your buddy. Many expletives will be used gratuitously and lasting bonds will form. Genius!

            -M

            • Lunias

              Lasting bonds of hatred, really. I still remember 2-player Sonic the Hedgehog sessions where I would run off the screen while my buddy was flying around as Tails. He got annoyed.

        • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

          There are definitely games where it's close, but generally it's a difference in level design and focus. In broad terms, platforms require more precision jumping and have more of a puzzle element. The jumping in run-and-guns is generally not as important.

  • Iceman

    If anybody is watching the Heat-Pacers game tonight, look for me in the crowd. I’ll be wearing white.

    ;)

    -M

    • lceman

      Wow, watching the Pacers being reduced to a high-school caliber team was just all sorts of awesome. Say what you want about LBJ, but the guy is fun to watch and an amazing ball player.

      I hope no one here was disappointed by Indiana's meltdown (*cough* bsukenyan, *cough*)

      -M

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

    I honestly wasn't a huge fan of this genre. Most of the example I can think of I'd call platformers.

    For example, does Ninja Gaiden count? I'd think of Contra as more of a platformer too. The ones I's consider Run & Gun are the ones where you didn't jump like Ikari Warriors, Metal Gear, or even Gauntlet.

  • Thundercracker

    I enjoyed Heavy Barrel quite a bit.

    P.O.W for the Genesis, also pretty awesome

  • http://www.gameseyeview.com/ nightshade386

    Not sure if the original Bionic Commando qualifies, but I'm going to nominate that one anyways. I loved that game.

  • lceman

    I'm not really sure where you draw the line between "platformer" and "run & gun shooter". Contra and Mega Man are both platformers that were also shooters. I could even argue that Mega Man had light RPG elements to it. While we're at it, could Halo and Gears of War be considered "run & gun?" Just because they are first or third-person perspective shouldn't exclude the main premise of the game is running and shooting.

    Long story short; I think it is difficult to pigeon-hole a lot of games into one genre or the other. Regardless of where your definition lies, my favorite shooters of the 8 and 16-bit era were Contra and the Mega Man X series. I don't know why, but for some reason, wall-jumping made Mega Man just so much better… annoying, but better overall.

    -M

    • Lunias

      Complete agreement on the wall-jumping bit.

  • SlickyFats

    GunSmoke count?

    • Smartguy

      Good one!

  • tokz21

    Oh gun smoke! Good One slicky! SincE i have Played this recently but ikari warriors but was pretty awesome too! I spEnt many quarters on that cabinet.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

      I hated that game in the arcade. Mainly because I found the joystick with the clicky knob annoying. I never really found a way to hold it right.

      • tokz21

        I preferred the NES version because of that issue but before i got that game i fed a lot of quarters into it.

  • Thundercracker

    One more. DId anyone play MERCS for the Genesis?

    That was actually the game i was thinking about when i said "P.O.W." in a prior comment.

    Operation Wolf??

    • Smartguy

      Operation Wolf was impossible for me. Only had a controller.

  • http://twitter.com/redtailman @redtailman

    Tiime Crisis 2