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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:20 pm 


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I remember hearing that there's even rank in normal mode, but that it is very subtle. I believe it's when f bombs are collected.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:16 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:39 am 


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mastermx wrote:
I remember hearing that there's even rank in normal mode, but that it is very subtle. I believe it's when f bombs are collected.

Okay, to test if f-bombs affect rank in TA, I played through to the first boss twice, once without collecting any f-bombs, and once collecting all of them. No change, the boss gave me the Original Hard pattern both times. If I intentionally miss many enemies, it gives the Original Normal pattern. So the TA rank is based on either your area clear time or how many enemies you miss (both are tied together, so I'm not sure which).


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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:33 pm 


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Is there a training mode I'm missing somewhere or is it unlock-able?


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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:19 pm 


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blag wrote:
Is there a training mode I'm missing somewhere or is it unlock-able?


Options -> Game settings -> Start stage.

I have no idea what option level each stage is made available by. Anybody have more detailed info on that?
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:48 pm 


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Giest118 wrote:
blag wrote:
Is there a training mode I'm missing somewhere or is it unlock-able?


Options -> Game settings -> Start stage.

I have no idea what option level each stage is made available by. Anybody have more detailed info on that?


Cheers,I'm at option level 15 and can only start on either Stage 1 or 2. Maybe it adds another stage at every 10 levels?


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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:35 pm 


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blag wrote:
Cheers,I'm at option level 15 and can only start on either Stage 1 or 2. Maybe it adds another stage at every 10 levels?


That would make sense. Seems a bit excessive though; I'd probably be playing more if I could practice stage 5 already, but instead I need to play several dozen full runs in Hard mode to gather the points they decided were necessary to be able to practice it, after which I will have probably already 1cc'd Hard mode and won't need stage 5 practice in the first place. :V
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:15 pm 


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Finally got the time to hook my 360 up to the Internet so I could get the patch. Tomorrow night, it's play time!

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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:33 am 



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Giest118 wrote:
blag wrote:
Cheers,I'm at option level 15 and can only start on either Stage 1 or 2. Maybe it adds another stage at every 10 levels?


That would make sense. Seems a bit excessive though; I'd probably be playing more if I could practice stage 5 already, but instead I need to play several dozen full runs in Hard mode to gather the points they decided were necessary to be able to practice it, after which I will have probably already 1cc'd Hard mode and won't need stage 5 practice in the first place. :V


This is more or less what happened to me on normal mode. I ended up 1CCing the game while "grinding" for the stage 5 practice mode. It's kind of silly it's locked so far into the game.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:36 am 


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I finally found a mode I enjoy playing for score: Advanced Hard. Basically I'm not a super-aggressive player, so the short range of the yellow wide shot on Original Hard was proving unfun-ly difficult.

I still don't like the "gotcha!" instant death moments from the perspective changing though. I hope that's only in stage 2...
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:09 pm 


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Trying to recommend Eschatos to people is hard! They think it's too ugly and refuse to experience its rapturous joy ;_;

Fools! Eschatos has SOUL BEAUTY. IT IS QUTE.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:10 pm 


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ps blackoak i love advanced mode

pretty much every mode is fun to me but advanced really appealed to my Cave item collection nature. It's a bit weird in some ways but a winner for sure.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:19 pm 


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emphatic wrote:
Finally got the time to hook my 360 up to the Internet so I could get the patch. Tomorrow night, it's play time!



I was just about to buy this game... is there a patch that's required?

Also, WTF? How is Eschatos so expensive? I figured the price would tank somewhat because of the Steam release. Boy, was I wrong.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:35 pm 


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Afaik the only patch was to play Judgement Silversword and Cardinal sins in tate.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:21 pm 


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Really feel some Eschatos runs building. Maybe i will finally take on Original Hard.

Love the final boss in this. Faceguy is a piece of shit and i love him.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:17 pm 


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I really want to buy this game... I just wish it wasn't so expensive.

For those in the know: Is the Steam version MARKEDLY inferior to the 360 release in any way...?
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:43 pm 


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No... Not at all. Steam's localized, too. And you can get the Arranged Soundtrack DLC in an easily accessible way compared to 360.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:10 pm 


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I hope there's a DRM-free release of this game some day.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:18 pm 


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There is a DRM free version on Xbox 360 which can be purchased digitally for around 2500 yen. Now, can you shut the fuck up with this DRM schtick?


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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:24 am 


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As soon as developers and publishers stop ruining games I take an interest in with DRM I'll be quiet.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:11 am 


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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d38Ct6Iv_ts

A nice lil Original Hard clear by Jaimers. I think what's so great about this game is that it has deep scoring potential just out of what you'd naturally be doing anyways--killing enemies fast. So many games dictate what you should be doing with arbitrary systems, but Eschatos just gives you a series of mini challenges and says "here, kill this quick."
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:45 pm 


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There are at least two reasons Eschatos towers above most other games I've played in this genre:


  • The bullet patterns feel mid-90's in the sense that I could imagine this being where the genre progressed if not for games from Cave and Psikyo. Feels like a successor to games like Batsugun and Cho Ren Sha 68k.

  • The shield is brilliant in that you're using it for survival when learning the game, and this mechanic feeds directly into score play when you work it into your route because of how certain enemies are just easier to deal with when using it. I highly appreciate any game where scoring is a matter of "play for survival, but now do it better than before." Games with bullet cancelling such as Eden's Aegis and Espgaluda tend to have a similar philosophy, in my eyes.

I used to prefer Advanced mode for the risk-reward mechanic of "higher firepower, weaker shield", but I'm warming up to Original mode. The nerfed wide shot in comparison to Judgement Silversword was the right decision, requires you to juggle all of your weapons instead of using the double shot for 98% of the game. I do feel like the ideal Eschatos would be a mix between the two, though... maybe find an elegant way for the purple gems to be in Original without sacrificing the speed killing, because I'm a sucker for a big juicy cancel.


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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:04 pm 


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100%. There are so many convoluted or contrived scoring systems, and it's incredibly refreshing to find such a natural system that's every bit as deep.

I mean, i love Cave as much as the next guy but there's no "reason" I should let my chain drop in Futari to cash in my multiplier except that the game told me so. The was Eschatos does it really feels natural as opposed to dictating via an arbitrary system "where" and "when" I move and fire.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:16 pm 


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My only real complaint about Eschatos is the visuals are a bit generic. Not talking about the graphics themselves, which are something I did have to get used to, but the art style. UFOs on top of UFOs. When Judgement Silversword has these iconic bosses like Mitsurugi and Magnificence, it's a shame that Eschatos doesn't have them. I guess stage 5 does essentially pay homage to every pattern Magnificence had with that golden.. bird.. thing, but Mitsurugi is nowhere to be seen.


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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:21 pm 


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I think there's a number of good designs, personally. The splitting heart, the spider, and the FACE to name a few. I could do with a lil less UFOs but I think it's a pretty visually iconic game, personally. Maybe not the best looking all throughout, but I love the space segment especially and I'll take its graphics over very very many other STGs, including some revered icons like Crimzon Clover, which I just find completely visually hideous and noisy.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:37 pm 


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#1 Advanced Hard replay on the X360 leaderboards:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=blccmMFz0J4

Thanks for the upload, Emuser, and thanks Blosson for linking me to it!
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:01 pm 


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The wild thing about that replay is despite the impressive score, there is room for improvement. There's no Space Invaders bonus for area 19, dies to the boss in area 20 which if I had to guess is a 2 million point loss, and it's a 2-miss so there's another 2 million points. Possibly could have some better F bomb usage as well, I feel like the eggs in area 14 could have more thoughtful bullet cancels for the green lasers. I want to guess someone could do 70 million in Advanced Hard, assuming enough persistence.


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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:23 pm 


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I have been playing a bit of Eschatos again lately and while I think it's very much worth playing, I can't help but feel a bit weird about some aspects of it.

It has excellent music, each of its weapons has a clear use and all of them can be freely used without any hardcoded arbitrary scoring penalty, the seamless transition between each of its stages is carefully crafted, the setpieces are pretty cool, the sound effects work well and are appropriately punchy, the ship controls fairly well, the enemies all have very specific and distinctive behaviors reminiscent of Star Force and other fun old-school games, and the pacing is engaging thanks to its dynamic wave triggers.

But despite all these qualities, I realized when replaying the game what are the reasons why playing it in Hard Mode made me put it aside, and also that even if the game scoring is all about quick-kills (which I usually love), I can't actually feel an active desire to score in Eschatos.

Eschatos' waves spawn dynamically like in any caravan game, but the way the stages are set and timed means that no matter how badly or slowly you play, you will face the same amount of waves. The background scrolling and the area counts will adjust themselves to your performance so that you can reach the end of the stage/game faster if you are quicker, but if you suck you'll see everything anyway. While this means the game is speedrunnable, AFAIK it comes with the caveat that you will never unlock bonus enemies, or secret waves, or new special enemies that you can only fight if you are fast enough. And that is one of the biggest appeals of caravan-style quick-kill shmups for me.

When you play Thunder Dragon 2 and you get that recurring cool brown jet before the end of the stage you know you've played well. When you play Dangun Feveron and you get some powerup carriers earlier than usual, it's groovy; when you get killed by enemy waves you've never seen before because you weren't this fast the other times, it's bittersweet but funny. When you play Star Soldier R and there's this rainbow flashy special enemy worth a big bonus that appears and you destroy it, it's the best day of your life. But in Eschatos I have no direct enemy-based feedback on how fast I actually was. I can vaguely estimate if I was good enough or not based on whether I let some enemies leave the screen and/or timeout, but that's about it. If the background scrolls alongside the enemy wave progress to ensure they are always in sync, you can't even use background landmarks to tell you that you have a good run when the waves you are fighting when reaching said landmarks are later waves than usual.

And even on a per-wave basis, I don't feel that Eschatos makes me want to quick-kill stuff that much. There is a timer on top as well as a time bonus, sure. But the timer is at the top and pretty tiny so you don't pay attention to it when actually playing the game, and the time bonus itself is sort of a nebulous and arbitrary value that does not tell me if I fought that wave well or not. If I get 3000 points, is that good or not? How can I know? While Dangun Feveron does not have wave bonuses, if I manage to get lots of discomen from one big enemy or any discomen at all from popcorn I can still easily know I managed to kill said enemy fast enough and I can enjoy the discomen reward in a visually stimulating way that isn't just "bigger number somewhere on the top of the screen".

Even the extend mechanism is more exciting and dynamic in Dangun Feveron. Eschatos' extends depend on the number of enemies killed from what I recall, so they will spawn more or less at the same spots. In Dangun it depends on the discomen amount so when I find the extend earlier than usual it's a big confidence boost in my performance so far.

But what about the multiplier? Well...I don't care about it. I mean, I can't. It's there, but I don't feel that bad when it drops, nor that good when it rises. What makes the multiplier increase is not letting enemies get away, so instead of having to focus on quick-killing the enemy waves fast to build the multiplier, you just have to be careful not to let the ones who annoyingly want to leave the screen do so, and watch out not to get fucked by the RNG spawns for waves that feature it. While the need to not let any enemy go away can make a very engaging scoring system (see Zanac Neo), here it feels a bit detached from the quick-kills because they aren't always intrinsically related. You could theoretically let early enemies of a wave go away and still kill the later ones fast enough to make zero difference on the speed. And it's not because you killed all the enemies that you did it quickly.

And once again, just like the time bonus, the multiplier doesn't directly affect the enemy spawns. Whether you get a good multiplier or not you'll fight the exact same waves anyway. So if you tape a piece of paper on the corner of the screen where the multiplier is, it doesn't really make a difference on the feedback you get on your playstyle aside from the time bonus values (which are affected by the multiplier IIRC). I would say the only tangible way to know if you are doing good with said multiplier is if the bonus has 5 digits instead of 4. But you still have to check the top of the screen to see it.

In a game like Radirgy, the multiplier is integrated in a way that appeals to me more, because the way you increase the multiplier is linked to the quick-kill game loop (kill enemies fast with the sword -> get lots of blue pills to recharge the bomb -> the bomb can increase the multiplier), said multiplier value is displayed on top of enemies you've killed with big juicy red colors when you are at max multiplier, and the fact that said multiplier is continuously decreasing naturally incentivizes you to stay fast to keep it up.

Eschatos is a great survival game I find (when you play it on Normal), but as of now it leaves me cold when it comes to scoring. It's not that the system is badly designed. Unlike something like Bullet Soul IB where the system is very good on paper but saddled with some specific design decisions that make it all pointless, here it all actually works well. It just doesn't have the hooks I usually like with that kind of speed scoring.

I mentioned that I prefered playing it on Normal because I think some of the more annoying things become more apparent in the difficulties above :

-Camera perspective is really bad in Stage 3 but even the other stages can get a bit annoying with it. The pyramid fight sometimes kills me by surprise because of the bullet acceleration made worse with the perspective. And most homing green lasers automatically mean shield because good luck dodging them.

-I would be curious to see how the game would play without the F-bombs. Some waves feel so much easier with them, but you can't super reliably trigger and grab them. F the F-bomb janky movement pattern, that's one aspect of the 80s I can do without.

-The Wonderwitches. Some of them have pretty identifiable locations (The pyramid is one example), but the others...good fucking luck. It's one random spot in the middle of the ocean or space. I am not sure but it might be literally randomized. Maybe in Advanced but not Original. Oh, and when you unlock one, good fucking luck grabbing it before they run away without having to do some weirdass dance and possibly running into a bullet in the process.

-Personal preference but I dislike how the shield doesn't insta-cancel all bullets. Hard to be very agressive with it at times when moving upwards with it activated on any non-tiny bullet means death.

-ZeroRanger did the Space Invaders UFO fight much better. The visibilty here is pretty terrible and if you don't pay very special attention you'll get killed by the octogonal black and purple enemies on a black and purple background that move towards the bottom of the screen and can ram you in the process. The slight perspective makes it also harder to pay attention to what happens at the top of the screen and properly target the big UFOs that don't even look that different from the other enemies aside from their red balls.

Well that's enough ranting I think. Even if I already cleared that difficulty, I'll probably stick to Original Normal now because the game is a very enjoyable experience for me in that configuration. I used to try to climb up the difficulties, but that was why I ended up being reluctant to pick it up again.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:28 pm 


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I've heard a couple people say it's annoying on Hard--so maybe this is one case where the "default" or "developer intended" difficulty is one you can ignore. I might still try to work up to hard in Advanced mode, because I think the cancelling would get a satisfying bump. Are you not a fan of advanced? I think it's stellar. And some of your complaints with the system are a non-issue there.
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 Post subject: Re: You really need to play Eschatos
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:45 pm 


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I feel the issue here is Eschatos has a confused identity. It's well known that Advanced is (charmingly) janky in how you're meant to yo-yo from power level to power level with F bomb usage, however your post highlights Original is an equally janky rule set. While the time bonus implies speed killing is paramount, the truth appears to be that the multiplier itself is the only important factor unless you're at the upper limit of scoring where perhaps the time bonus will come into play.

So I would agree Original mode does send mixed signals. Honestly, I think more than anything the time bonus is a leftover from Judgement Silversword. Maybe Original and Advanced divided the game too much and the best of both worlds should have been combined into a singular mode?


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