Retro/Grade is a new downloadable game for Playstation 3 which looks like a shoot-em-up, but actually isn’t. It’s a rhythm/action game in the style of Guitar Hero which uses the visual motif of a shmup playing in reverse to create the notes. Bullets originate in exploded enemies, and then fly back in time towards your ship – you have to position your ship at the right location and press ‘fire’ just as they touch.
It contains some interesting ideas which I think could work very well in a normal shmup – such as boss bullet-patterns that originate off screen and then converge on the boss. This means that the gaps in the bullet curtains shrink as they approach the player, rather than widening as they do in a normal shmup. It also features a “Prince of Persia, Sands of Time”-style rewind feature allowing you to undo your mistakes.
The game is a little short, you can easily complete it in under an hour, but the music is superb (imagine a mixture of Eurythmics and Daft Punk). Worth a look if you want inspiration for your next shmup. It can be played with either the regular PS3 Dulashock controller or a Guitar controller.