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 Post subject: Re: Classic arcade shooter difficulty ranking (now with 16-b
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:43 am 


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Joined: 26 Jan 2005
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Perikles wrote:
Perikles wrote:
However, I do know I can theoretically beat the game now, have to see how long it takes.

One more afternoon. Image

Added Hacha Mecha Fighter (31)! Thanks to Plasmo for insisting on it, 's not my favourite game, but good to have on the list, regardless. :)


I can only second your assessment. It's about the same range where I would rank it myself probably. It's easier than Zing Zing Zip, that's for sure. Thunder Dragon would rank lower than HMF for me though.

Thank you! Patiently waiting for your 1cc video now. :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Classic arcade shooter difficulty ranking (now with 16-b
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:30 am 


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HMF is a pretty badly designed game, but it's too damn adorable to dislike. I'm curious what you think about certain stages in the second loop (2-7 especially), I honestly think they're impossible (so by extension, I'm not sure a 2-ALL can really be done by conventional means)
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 Post subject: Re: Classic arcade shooter difficulty ranking (now with 16-b
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:46 am 


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chum wrote:
HMF is a pretty badly designed game, but it's too damn adorable to dislike. I'm curious what you think about certain stages in the second loop (2-7 especially), I honestly think they're impossible (so by extension, I'm not sure a 2-ALL can really be done by conventional means)


The game is severely broken from the second loop onwards. By the time you reach stage 2-4 or 2-5 (and anything thereafter), you cannot destroy most of the enemies anymore because they simply have too much health (not even bombing works!) while they throw everything they have at you in nothing slower than the speed of light.

Since the world record score is a counterstop and ended in the middle of the fourth loop (4-6 to be exact) there is probably a bug of some sort to be discovered. Have you by any chance save stated your way to the third loop once? Does it get even harder?

As you know, I have found a bug in stage 6. Maybe this works in other places as well and lets enemies despawn while you can safely milk the game for points? For now, HMF scoring remains a mystery.
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 Post subject: Re: Classic arcade shooter difficulty ranking (now with 16-b
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:00 am 


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I thought the same thing, there has to be a different bug somewhere. Let's not forget how we broke Sand Scorpion in trap-STGT. Some of these games have silly bugs that can be a tremendous help. I only savestated to see my way through the 2nd loop, can't remember if I had a look at anything in loop 3... but just seeing loop 2 was enough of a nightmare.

And some more questions to Perikles while I'm at it. There is no denying that you've cleared all these games at an unprecedented rate on this community. Rather than just talking about the games themselves (which is helpful, informative, and sometimes fascinating by the way) I would be curious to know how you go about tackling them. I remember you telling me in the past that you had a great sense of memory, which is definitely the most helpful ability one can hand to tackle so many games in such a short amount of time, but beyond that, how do you do it? You must be playing a lot, what kind of time commitment do you expect is necessary for a relatively hard shmup (say, in the 25-30 range)? what about the toughest clears you've done? I'm thinking in terms of hours rather than days or weeks, BTW. Also how long have you been playing Shmups? Is it right to assume you were far from a beginner by the time you signed up?
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 Post subject: Re: Classic arcade shooter difficulty ranking (now with 16-b
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:45 am 


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chum wrote:
[...] I would be curious to know how you go about tackling them. I remember you telling me in the past that you had a great sense of memory, which is definitely the most helpful ability one can hand to tackle so many games in such a short amount of time, but beyond that, how do you do it?

When I started out, I would only play them on a console without any means of efficient practice, I also didn't watch any videos save for a handful of exceptions. I believe that helped quite a bit in learning about various types of classic shmups, even those with awkward hitboxes and whatnot. I made a point out of learning something from every game, even if it is some horrendous Dimension Force or Xenon 2 Megablast. These days, it depends on the game. Hacha Mecha Fighter for example I played two afternoons before we were talking about it here, without any pressure or intention of clearing it. Once it became lucid that I would like to beat it I decided to immediately use the most efficacious tools available for I knew that the game is almost entirely based on memorization/planning. Watched the PCB run on YT which gave me a general idea for everything, then set up savestates to look where I also would have to bomb or perhaps could play in a slightly different manner.

Most games I like to play more natural, though, without immediately resorting to savestates/videos. I would imagine that due to the fact that I've seen a lot, I tend to find viable (not necessarily ideal) solutions fairly quickly most of the time. I also simply enjoy dabbling with a lot of games, even with their higher loops. Having said that, something like the second loop of Image Fight, R-Type II and Xexex I would not even dare trying without proper practice.

chum wrote:
[...] what kind of time commitment do you expect is necessary for a relatively hard shmup (say, in the 25-30 range)?

That really depends on what type of difficulty we're speaking of. It only took me a handful of hours (five hours spread out over two afternoons) to 2-ALL X-Multiply since it is so inclined on memorization, while Thunder Dragon 2's fast bullets thwarted more than one attempt (I think I've had to spend about thrice that time). Consistently clearing, say, Gradius III is definitely much more realistic for me than something with frantic gameplay.

chum wrote:
what about the toughest clears you've done? I'm thinking in terms of hours rather than days or weeks, BTW.

If we're talking about all of my clears, including marathon runs, then definitely my Gradius II 5-ALL, with the Gradius 8-ALL coming fairly close. The first two arcade Gradius games (and probably Gradius III SFC) are the games I've played the most over the course of the years, they were also among the first games I've got at around 2010. Most assuredly dozens upon dozens of hours for all of them. I have the feeling that - in terms of a 1-ALL - Gokujou Parodius with the special stage will be the game that took me the longest once/if I finally manage to beat it, that special stage alone took (still takes me!) an ungodly amount of time, can't get consistent at it.

chum wrote:
Also how long have you been playing Shmups? Is it right to assume you were far from a beginner by the time you signed up?

I've always liked the genre, but only played them in a casual manner back in the day. Around 2010 I got into 1CCs and all that, by the time I've registered here I've worked my way through most 16-bit shmups (started with the SFC, then worked myself through the PCE and MD) and a few NES/PS1/PSP ports/console-exclusives, so I had a bit over a couple hundred clears when I registered.


Edit: added remark for Lethal Thunder (-25 compared to Thunder Blaster).
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 Post subject: Re: Classic arcade shooter difficulty ranking (now with 16-b
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:28 am 


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Added a few more games: Daioh (18 for 1-ALL, 27 for 2-ALL), Final Star Force (12), Plus Alpha (9), Thundercade (6) and Varia Metal (2). Have to say that this was mostly a painful experience: Varia Metal is the worst arcade shooter I've ever played; Thundercade is essentially the prequel to Twin Eagle but on a bike, worse (!) and less charming; Final Star Force has more severe slowdowns than any of the SFC shmups you dare mention, it's so bad that even with autofire on the bomb button, you have to wait for several seconds during boss fights (sometimes 5 seconds or more) for something to happen; Plus Alpha could've been average if not for its own considerable slowdowns and cheap shots, it's not as bad as the rest, though. Thank the heavens for Daioh, it took me some time to get used to it, now I utterly love it.

Edit: also added Shienryu (20 for 1-ALL, 31 for 2-ALL).
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