Jealous of all the obviously super hip dudes who can casually throw around esoteric names like Senko no Ronde and Battle Garegga with similarly cool shoot'em up aficionados? Wish you could be just like that DoDonPachi expert at the arcade, racking up high scores and going home with a different woman each night?

Retro gaming site Racketboy can make those dreams -- however foolish they may be for a grown man to have -- come true with its latest bible, Shmups 101: A Beginner's Guide To 2D Shooters, compiled by contributor BulletMagnet with the help of Hardcore Gaming 101 and the Shmups.com forum.

The guide takes you through the history of shoot'em ups, genre conventions, numerous subgenres, essential home systems for each console generation, signficant developers, and more. No longer will you feel the shame of others laughing at you for not knowing the different between a Euroshmup and a caravan shooter.