Mischief Maker wrote:
Legend of Kage 2 is the game that taught me even if your avatar is fun to control in an action platformer, boring level layouts can still sink the game.
Another "great" example of this, in a ninja-themed game no less, is the Neo-Geo's Ganryu.
Ditto to both. Although I did try to like Ganryu.
I was on the fence about picking up Kage 2 but a few minutes with it convinced me that despite having all the elements of what I guess you would now call hipster appeal, it didn't make that deeper connection that I needed - it needed to be fun. So blah.
But yeah, I like Legend of Kage, especially the arcade one.
Kage 2 I have two copies of (renamed as Demon Sword, complete with sloppy hacked-in title screen), as well as the original Famicom release (an unusual looking red clamshell case with an also unusual fold-out thing inside) that took me a while to hunt down. It feels close enough to the original that I'd count it.
I also thank Legend of Kage for introducing me to Kage (Blue Shadow in PAL land) - a totally unexepected amazing game called just "Kage" showed up when I bought what I thought was the Japanese version of Legend of Kage. It was a long while before I realized that it is even better than Legend of Kage, though that's because it's somewhere between Shatterhand (or maybe Ninja Gaiden) and Castlevania (complete with wall snake things).
Kage for DS I was looking at, but something about the screens didn't look right, I guess.
Was playing Kage 1 and I just realised you get more points for killing guys with your sword vs your shuriken (3x I think). Shinobi before Shinobi (or Kung-Fu Master after Kung-Fu Master, at a stretch). This is probably not news to Kage fans and is probably really obvious, oh well.
It's a point worth hammering in for those who maybe knew and forgot it.
Taito really was one of the most innovative forces in arcade gaming, and while they were eclipsed their contributions shouldn't be forgotten. Legend of Kage may seem primitive in some ways today, but as you point out they were starting to put some good, enduring ideas into games (and from the Shmups firsts thread, I mentioned that Stratovox was one of the two first games with voice samples).