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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:19 pm 


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^^^I find a great deal of tension comes from ones apprehension with tackling the more risky elements of the route. There's a very real volatility there.

Generally not a fan of static dodging (at all) as 3 years of posts have evidenced, but DB's mechanical risk/reward factor is sublime no matter how you slice it.



Anyway



Battle Traverse

Bought this along with a few other things. Gave it a credit on hard mode (which, I think was the default). First impressions:

The stages are a bit too long. Maybe it's just my imagination, but they seem to just go on disproportionately long compared to how slowly the difficulty ramps up. I don't remember any of Cave's stage 2's or 3's being this long.

Seeing it in person, the art is better then it seems in videos. But a lot of little nitpicks really hold the aesthetic back. In particular, I actually do like the character sprites now that I notice some nice little bits of detail on their animations (the girls hair blowing in the wind, for instance). But they'd be 1000x times better if they were slightly less super deformed. For comparison, Fio's sprite in Metal Slug is also very cartoony but her proportions exist within a certain boundary that allows her to be taken seriously admist the action, while still being cute and expressive. These are just too chibby to nail that "believably tough" feeling while still being charming.

I suppose that is one of the true advantages of low res sprite art: being able to emphasize important details while implying others that don't technically exist.

Other then that it's okay. I like the sense of scale on the boss vehicles (ironic considering the teeny zako toy helicopters feel completely wrong), but it also brings me back to the previous Metal Slug comparison. The machine designs in MS were also deliberately over-the top silly warhammer-esque ultra death contraptions in order to gel with the cartoony player characters, and here there's a very real disconnect between the sleek plausible military sci-fi designs and the cutesie player avatars.

I guess I go on for so long about the aesthetic here because there's clearly a lot of work put into it, which is a shame that it lacks that crucial imaginative spark and nuance to really be something visually special and memorable. Whatever though, back to the gameplay:

Patterns are okay. But very Cave-ish. I like Progears mechanics, and I could see an aggressive system based on a combination of point-blanking and bullet cancelling being up my alley, but so far (much like Progear itself) I'm not feeling the proper balance that would get me into it. Need to play it more to see if that'll change.

9/10 it's alright.


Stella Vanity

Now here's a game that may or may not be worse designed but entertains me more by the sheer weirdness factor of it all.

I'm still getting acclimated to how the system works, but so far it has a really nice emphasis on "destruction", building up a chain/combo/multiplier before Shifting and going all guns blazing. Vaguely reminds me of Kamui in that regard, though with a lot of extra crap thrown on top.

I wish the pattern designs were as offbeat as the mechanical clusterfuck surrounding them, but eh I guess we're still waiting on a proper Hellsinker 2. Fun times.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:42 pm 


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Shepardus wrote:
More to my liking is Thunder Dragon 2, which combines swift enemy movements and attacks with brisk movement and responsive weapons. I always draw comparisons in my mind between this game and Dangun Feveron thanks to their speedkill-based scoring and enemy waves, but I've been playing this one over Dangun recently because it feels more manageable to me. Not so much the overall difficulty, but more about how chaotic and overwhelming all the item collection can get in Dangun Feveron, and how much I suck at its bosses (TD2's bosses feel easier on average and less random to me, though that may be because I feel more encouraged to use my bombs).
It's kinda funny, I tend to compare those two games myself a lot. There are many similarities between them, but I think they are even more apparent if you pick the 2P ship in TD2.
I wouldn't recommend you do that though if moving all over the place in DF to collect items was too overwhelming, because the P2 side ship in TD2 is also going to make you do that with its narrow shot and high moving speed.

Don't hesistate to bomb against bosses if you need to; most of them can be killed / almost-killed with just 2 of them. :wink:
Being so generous with bombs and not punishing you for using them is one of the game's greatest strengths IMO. It's beautiful.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:48 pm 


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All over the place lately:

Last Resort - Stage 5
Strikers II - 1-7
Blazing Star - Stage 3
Progear

Some non shooters in there too.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:13 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
(ironic considering the teeny zako toy helicopters feel completely wrong)

I just assumed that the zakos are unmanned drones, then the size makes sense


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:00 pm 


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M.Knight wrote:
It's kinda funny, I tend to compare those two games myself a lot. There are many similarities between them, but I think they are even more apparent if you pick the 2P ship in TD2.
I wouldn't recommend you do that though if moving all over the place in DF to collect items was too overwhelming, because the P2 side ship in TD2 is also going to make you do that with its narrow shot and high moving speed.

It's not so much the moving that was overwhelming (that's the fun part), but more that there's a lot of moving stuff on the screen in Dangun while in TD2 it's a bit "cleaner." Those flashing bullets don't do any favors for readability, though. At least it's not bad compared to some other NMK games.

I don't really want to play on the P1 side because I don't want to tap, and using autofire on it just feels wrong when there's already built-in autofire on the P2 side. I like the playstyle encouraged by P2's fast movement and narrow shot, even if I'm not actually better at it.

It's a bit annoying trying to discover and route for all the blue medals, especially since missing one can mess up when you get bombs, but I think it'll get better after I at least figure out where they are. I consistently get all the blue medals I'm aware of in stage 1, but beyond that I sometimes come across them and sometimes don't.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:21 am 


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Important to note that some are based on the air formation and some are based on the screen scroll. They also travel at twice the speed of the BG scroll, so they can be pretty easy to miss if you don't know about them. If you're trying hard for a 1CC, you want to use P1 with autofire for sure, the damage output on P2 makes the latter half of the game dramatically harder than P1. Learning the secret medal locations is much easier with P2 though, just because of homing missiles.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:47 am 


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By "based on the air formation" you mean they appear with certain enemies? I didn't know that, I just assumed they were all just based on the screen scroll (and scrolled faster than the BG itself, that I knew). Thanks for the tip!

While I'm at it, I know about a couple bonus medals that have conditions tied to them, such as the waves of enemies in stage 2 that leave a medal if you kill all of them before they get too low, and the 50k medal that drops if you kill the entire wave of missile planes in stage 1. Anything else like that, especially if the condition is something other than "kill everything quickly"?
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:30 am 



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Also playing TD2, aiming for 5,4m but that will take quite a bit of time. Stage 2 must be one of the hardest stages for scoring, I have trouble spawning the first big green plane fast enough (before the plane coming from behind) even when I've practiced it a lot, any tip for that trap?
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:40 am 


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Shepardus wrote:
By "based on the air formation" you mean they appear with certain enemies?

Yup, I believe most of the Stage 1 ones are like that. I couldn't say for sure though. For the most part I think you can cue stuff based on the BG scroll, there's very very few based on the air pattern.

Shepardus wrote:
While I'm at it, I know about a couple bonus medals that have conditions tied to them, such as the waves of enemies in stage 2 that leave a medal if you kill all of them before they get too low, and the 50k medal that drops if you kill the entire wave of missile planes in stage 1. Anything else like that, especially if the condition is something other than "kill everything quickly"?

Only those formations, but you'll see the missile planes a couple times later in the game (I think stage 6 has 2 of those back-to-back, and I think stage 7 has one?)

Vludi wrote:
Also playing TD2, aiming for 5,4m but that will take quite a bit of time. Stage 2 must be one of the hardest stages for scoring, I have trouble spawning the first big green plane fast enough (before the plane coming from behind) even when I've practiced it a lot, any tip for that trap?

Considering both of the superplays barely reach that green plane, it's going to be a tight squeeze no matter what. All I can suggest is memorizing harder :P Are you still using P2 or have you come to the P1 dark side? P2 looks like it sort of has to just rely on the missiles doing the right thing, P1 should be able to do it consistent with solid routing. If in doubt, watch the superplays, I guess. I don't think I usually get it, anyways.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:08 am 


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Shepardus wrote:
It's not so much the moving that was overwhelming (that's the fun part), but more that there's a lot of moving stuff on the screen in Dangun while in TD2 it's a bit "cleaner." Those flashing bullets don't do any favors for readability, though. At least it's not bad compared to some other NMK games.

I can't remember if I felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff on screen in DF at first, but I guess I got used to it. I admit I still die from time to time due to a bullet I didn't pay attention to while rushing towards discomen OCD-style but I think that's part of DF's fun.

The bullet visibility in TD2 is still far from perfect, but it's better than something like P-47 Aces's green bullets.
Shepardus wrote:
While I'm at it, I know about a couple bonus medals that have conditions tied to them, such as the waves of enemies in stage 2 that leave a medal if you kill all of them before they get too low, and the 50k medal that drops if you kill the entire wave of missile planes in stage 1. Anything else like that, especially if the condition is something other than "kill everything quickly"?

Every stage (aside from the last, I think) has a brown plane that spawns near the end if your quick-kill skills are good enough. Killing it before it leaves spawns a 50k medal. I don't think there are any tricky or obtuse requirements for those 50k; they are very straightforward.


trap15 wrote:
If you're trying hard for a 1CC, you want to use P1 with autofire for sure, the damage output on P2 makes the latter half of the game dramatically harder than P1.

I managed to reach stages 6 and 7 with the P2 ship and I agree. Its lack of range makes some waves difficult to handle, especially if you don't have the missiles. However, I find it very difficult to get back to P1's slow speed.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:29 am 


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M.Knight wrote:
I can't remember if I felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff on screen in DF at first, but I guess I got used to it. I admit I still die from time to time due to a bullet I didn't pay attention to while rushing towards discomen OCD-style but I think that's part of DF's fun.

Another thing I forgot to say about Dangun is that, at least on a keyboard, it's quite tiring to wiggle around picking up all the discomen. Fun, but not something I can play for more than a few credits before my fingers start to hurt.

M.Knight wrote:
Every stage (aside from the last, I think) has a brown plane that spawns near the end if your quick-kill skills are good enough. Killing it before it leaves spawns a 50k medal. I don't think there are any tricky or obtuse requirements for those 50k; they are very straightforward.

Yeah, I've managed to get those on the first three stages so far. It's a neat way of setting a sort of "par" rating for the stage.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:29 am 



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Nemesis GB is pretty easy.

EDIT: And I've cleared the first loop.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:39 am 


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DoDonPachi ...... lunchbreaks in work this week.

shmupMAME + projector + PC arcade stick.

ready to go:
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:01 pm 


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WelshMegalodon wrote:
Nemesis GB is pretty easy.


play the sequel plz
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:55 pm 


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@Shepardus

Even though Dangun is one of my top 5 stg's, I actually do agree.

I don't find it so much overwhelming as very exhausting and "heated". I've joked several times before that the game leaves me feeling dehydrated, 'cause it's so hotblooded without any "cool" moments to balance it out. You're pretty much always racing against the clock and feeling like your behind, without many moments where you can kinda sit back and enjoy some fun dodging or pulling off a few tricks.

I don't consider it a "flaw" though, so much as part of the games character and what makes it a unique experience, and I find it an achievement in itself that a game can be so consistently evocative. I would like a STG with a similar focus but more melody to the thrash though (which was one of my main goals with Aeon Zenith).


Anyway, more Stella Vanity:

So this game turns out to be really up my alley. There's very much an emphasis on destruction, what with the dual subweapons and overkill system, paired with two hyper modes focused on massive bullet cancels and increasing the speed enemies appear at while overcharging your weapons. It's a pretty fun, and in the vein of scorching death stg's like Kamui.

Too bad I as of yet only understand like 50% of the system lol


Also still plugging away at Phantasmagoria of Dimensional Dreams. Making it to the rival battle pretty consistently with a 50/50 pass rate. Sailor of Time is still kicking my ass, but now I usually get her halfway down before dying.

PODD is life.

Bananamatic wrote:
Squire Grooktook wrote:
(ironic considering the teeny zako toy helicopters feel completely wrong)

I just assumed that the zakos are unmanned drones, then the size makes sense


That's what I figured too, but being shaped like helicopters and tanks (down to having cockpit windows and such), it does make them look like toys. Some more obviously robotic designs would have helped.

Then again, at times I'm not quite sure what's supposed to be deep in the foreground...
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:11 pm 


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Dangun Feveron being so feverish with no slower moments to the point of potentially exhausting you is actually what I like the most about this game. Because it is so demanding, because everything in the game makes you try to be the fastest you've ever been and because there's so many things to do at the same time, I feel more focused and less distracted than when I play other games. I am the kind of person whose mind easily wanders in random places and reaching stage 3/4/5 inevitably forces me to focus on what is actually happening on the screen, and for that I will always have a soft spot for that game.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:09 am 


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it's kinda funny how much shit battle traverse gets for aesthetics that really aren't that bad considering it's a doujin game by a one time dev
not many doujin devs actually try and draw actual diverse backgrounds and design actual enemies instead of having repetitive scrolling backgrounds and putting together abstract pieces into something that resembles enemies

I agree that the characters are kind of weird (and I would've probably preferred ships myself), but at least they had an actual concept of a story and general design and even managed to execute it in a very good game in terms of balance and gameplay

and then the game gets immediately forgotten despite all that, what a shame


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:24 am 


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Bananamatic wrote:
it's kinda funny how much shit battle traverse gets for aesthetics that really aren't that bad considering it's a doujin game by a one time dev
not many doujin devs actually try and draw actual diverse backgrounds and design actual enemies instead of having repetitive scrolling backgrounds and putting together abstract pieces into something that resembles enemies

I agree that the characters are kind of weird (and I would've probably preferred ships myself), but at least they had an actual concept of a story and general design and even managed to execute it in a very good game in terms of balance and gameplay


Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the effort that went into it, and I'd much rather be playing something with this aesthetic then most other doujin stg.

That's actually why I find there's so much to talk about with what it doesn't do: There's so much work put into it, and I feel all that work could have created something really legendary with maybe slightly better art direction.

It's a really good looking game. And I actually still prefer the characters to ships, but like I said just a few tweaks (which they, unlike many other doujins, had the time/budget for) could have pushed it even farther from "good" to "great".
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:36 am 


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it's just that you're probably the third person mentioning the aesthetics now

my only real issue with the game is how slow extreme mode is, the slowdown is way too excessive


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:37 am 


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People bring up the aesthetics because, like I said, they're really good and obviously had huge amounts of effort put into them. But that also makes the weakpoints more noticeable. Like nobody is going to make a big deal about the aesthetic shortcomings in a doujin game with 3 art assets, but when something comes along that actually has great drawing and a budget, but somewhat skewed priorities, it's easier to think of what could have been.

It's like when a really incredible h-artist comes along but they only do ntr doujins. It's that kind of feeling.

So close yet so far.

---

Anyway I don't really have a problem with the aesthetics like I said. Gameplay seems aaaallllright, it's definitely a solid and well put together affair. Not sure if I'm sold on the ketsui/progear hybrid yet, but we'll see.
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:44 pm 


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Bananamatic wrote:
my only real issue with the game is how slow extreme mode is, the slowdown is way too excessive


Is the slowdown purely artificial, or is it just the PC grinding down towards a halt?


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:23 am 


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schleichfahrt wrote:
Bananamatic wrote:
my only real issue with the game is how slow extreme mode is, the slowdown is way too excessive


Is the slowdown purely artificial, or is it just the PC grinding down towards a halt?

how much shit would you need to throw at a modern PC in a 2D game to actually make it go below 60 fps
of course it's artificial (and it makes sense, no sudden speedups) but it's way too much


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:57 am 


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Bananamatic wrote:
how much shit would you need to throw at a modern PC in a 2D game to actually make it go below 60 fps


Mine once slowed down when I accidentally drew 129600 separate sprites at once.

(I was trying to do a drawing trick with a 360x360 sprite and ended up rendering every pixel as a separate sprite/game object)
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:13 am 


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Bananamatic wrote:
schleichfahrt wrote:
Bananamatic wrote:
my only real issue with the game is how slow extreme mode is, the slowdown is way too excessive


Is the slowdown purely artificial, or is it just the PC grinding down towards a halt?

how much shit would you need to throw at a modern PC in a 2D game to actually make it go below 60 fps
of course it's artificial (and it makes sense, no sudden speedups) but it's way too much

About 20,000 bullets should do the trick, give or take a couple orders of magnitude depending on how well it's coded. ring^-27 sometimes slows down a bit on my computer and I'm pretty sure it's not intended.
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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:05 am 


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Bananamatic wrote:
how much shit would you need to throw at a modern PC in a 2D game to actually make it go below 60 fps
of course it's artificial (and it makes sense, no sudden speedups) but it's way too much


Well.. depending on what engine they used (if any) and how it's done the "modern PC" doesn't hold up so great. The fill rate isn't typically the problem, but the fact that bullets are often implemented by devs as "game objects" (or whatever the individual engine calls its basic instances) rather than lists + manual blitting. This carries so much overhead that you can make a really beefy PC drop even at well below 10,000 instances on screen, purely by the logic of the objects, not the actual drawing.

And speaking of fill rate.. if you are dealing with low ass GPUs (old intels on laptops and SoC-stuff found in mobiles) a 2D-engine might actually put more strain on it. 2D is typically done with a back to front renderer (stuff stacked on top of each other, starting at the back), whereas 3D is drawn front to back. If you have full HD game on a weak android (which still has a HD screen), rather than a blown up 240p for example, it's fill rate might be exhausted with just filling the screen like 1.5 times. Easy to go beyond that with stacked sprites, whereas a 3D rendering without multiple passes for transparency etc might just fit in.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:50 pm 


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Currently replaying all the old inventory, to finally make a decent 1CC list.

So today: Area 88.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:10 pm 


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Barba wrote:
So today: Area 88.


I remember a couple of years back when I tried it out, I found its difficulty curve unusual. Some stages in the middle are super easy to clear in the first try, also some bosses are very easy.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:35 am 


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Played some Cyber Core (PC Engine) today.

Pretty nice game. I love the aesthetic (particularly the morphing bio-mechanical player ship, my favorite form being the red weapons ultimate chitinous glider). Some very nice fast dodging late game with those utterly wicked homing enemies. A shame it takes so long to get serious. I can imagine the first two stages in particular growing tiresome on replay. Still a very nice game.

I feel like there's also some nice subtle visual story telling going on with the stage background progression. Initially fending off seemingly mindless "hyper insects" in a ruined post-apocalyptic world, before ultimately stumbling into their own civilization complete with organic cathedrals and high-tech machinery. It does feel like a journey, especially with the soundtracks fitting escalation.


Also been putting a few random credits into the Vasara series these past months.

I feel I can very easily summarize the main problem of the games as being the lack of balancing between shot and melee. It's all well and good to make a game focusing on close range melee combat, but when your other primary weapon (shot) is worthless (and score actively penalizes you for its use), then the game loses some sense of variety and strategy.

Not a bad pair of games though. And those audiovisuals! The pre-rendered sprites and mecha japan aesthetic is okay, but the utterly superb slashes, hitsparks, blood splatters, flashes, and other assorted animations combined with massively fitting sound design on all of them really makes the games feel more visceral and engaging then it's very average mechanics would have otherwise made it.
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:08 am 


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Posts: 5126
Made it to Yumemei in Phantasmagoria of Dim Dream. Actually not as much of a difficulty spike as Sailor of Time was, but still very dangerous. Actually managed to get her down to 2 hearts on first run of her.

I am told this is in fact the hardest Touhou survival clear when playing with a non broken character (which I am). I don't really get bored of it the way I do with some of the other, allegedly easier ones (or long term survival challenges like Psikyo 2-alls or Cave clears), because I just like it so much.

Pretty much got everything I like in a shmup. Fast movement based dodging that doesn't feel imprecise or irritatingly inefficient. Thrilling bullet speed. RNG Chaos Reflex action everywhere. A fun gimmick (partially copied from TSS, but with enough game changing new elements and adapted in such a way that it feels completely unique). Lots to love.

Easily in my top 5 stg's now. Maybe in my top 10 games.
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


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 Post subject: Re: Shmup Ticker: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:16 pm 


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Solar Striker [GB] (Nintendo, 1989) Basic vert, but in terms of enemy formations and getting the player to move around, this is superb economical design. Stage 1 has a touch of Verytex Syndrome (a handful of good patterns repeated a few too many times), but it steeply improves from there. Loop 2 is great from start to finish.

A shotdown ratio and associated bonus would've been good incentives, I think - with the narrow shot, relying on the ship's speed to nail every last zako is hectic work, emphasising the excellent formation design. Loop 2's higher bullet count does well in this role; aggressive, efficient movement becomes much less optional, with complacency inviting a boxing-in.

Runs superbly too, particularly for a 1989 GB title - you need to let a ton of enemies and their bullets onscreen before it starts to chug, and the ship control is tack-sharp. I knew to expect something at least decent, but I'm still a bit surprised at how good this is given its low profile. Worth a go for anyone who likes simpler shooting, doubly so if you've affection for the stalwart old GB. Warmed my heart to see Gunpei Yokoi's name in the staff roll.
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