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 Post subject: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:34 pm 


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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
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Location: France
Play Brave Blade. It's so good.

Yeah, sure, it's cool to ride your futuristic bike over Manhattan's streets with Cocobat Crunch blaring in the background, to bomb flamingos to Underground Resistance's tunes, to rhythmically hold and release your ship's lock-on after gigantic stylish boss kanjis flicker on the screen, or just to be told that YOU ARE GREAT even though we are all aware that you are really not. But you know what is the most fun shmup Raizing ever made?

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Brave Blade

In this amazing video game, you have a ship that can transform into a mecha. So cool! And said mecha has a melee weapon! You can deploy your blade and whack enemies with it! Holy shit! It goes swoosh swoosh! So damn fun.

No other Raizing shmup has made the very basic actions you can perform during the entire game so damn enjoyable to do! Just swinging the sword at enemies feels super satisfying. Most of their other games have basic looking shots, and it's usually the bombs that crank up the whoa factor. (At least Sokyu has the lock and Dimahoo has the charged attacks) But here unlike the limited bombs you can freely use your sword as much as your heart desires! So go slash those baddies!

Oh, and you can also swing your sword at the medals and juggle them! And you get so much more of them than usual! And they get bigger and bigger! Until they get to not just 10k....but 100k! And you can even get to that point in half a stage with the proper strats! And the sword swings prevent them from falling offscreen and nuking the chain! Also, boss parts give you more medals when destroyed! Ain't all that such excellent ways to make you go for them? I know I crave some 100k medals now.

To top it all, you even have a "Core" hyper mode that gives you invincibility and super speed! You can move all over the screen and grab tons of medals! The feeling of being unshackled and make your little Gundam go into Trans Am mode is such a freaking cool idea.

It's like Raizing made a Radirgy game even before Milestone was a thing. And this is why this game is easily their best.

The Guard system is also a genius way of encouraging melee without making it too punishing due to point blank hits. While the ship mode plays like a regular shmup with one-hit deaths, in mecha mode every hit that you take reduces your energy gauge instead of killing you outright, so there is some leeway. However, after too many hits your guard gets broken and you can only enjoy this protection again if you manage to recharge the gauge. Since said gauge also allows you to activate the Core mode when full, you are still nudged towards dodging everything if possible. And when you use said Core, you also have to recharge the gauge to regain the Guard protection so there is tension in getting it up to work again once the invincibility wears off.

And the main scoring system in this game? Fucking amazing. The system in this game is telling you to have fun, to slash as many enemies as possible and as quickly as possible for some bonus enemies, to get the chain to 100k and then grab as many medals as you can in order to make the score rise and rise. No weird things about having to use whatever specific shot type on completely arbitrary enemy types for arbitrary point values or JRPG-strategy-guide-tier shit like that. Just swoosh swoosh swoosh the enemies' face, use your Core at the right time to go into super pursuit mode and collect all the medals you've been juggling in the air, and enjoy yourself! (Well, okay, there is boss milking because this is still Raizing we are talking about unfortunately, and it's not too fun, but I can get some good scores even without it)

Oh, so what about dynamic difficulty management with suicides and all that stuff where you have to keep track of completely invisible values the game never tells you? Bruhhhh, you only get one extend in this game, forget about all that stuff here, just enjoy yourself and survive! And no nonsense like "oh no I collected too many of those ultra sexy looking items that are designed not to be picked up while looking like they should be picked up so now my run is just fucked". Whenever your power is maxed there are no more power items spawning anymore, it's aaaaaall medals!

As of writing this, my own high score is 42mil against the stage 6 midboss. (out of 7 stages) While the later boss fights appear to be complicated and overwhelming at first, learning the patterns and behaviors makes most of them very manageable actually. And with proper Core activation timings, the stages aren't too tricky too. It's so pleasant to be able to go this far in a Raizing game and have fun all the way through.


Give this game and shot and hopefully enjoy it as much as I do! If you play it, lemme remind you that the score thread is here : viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3664
Also, a little tip : set up some rapidfire buttons for the shot and the sword, they are helpful. Holding the sword button gives you another defensive tool too so keep a non-rapid B as well.
And here's a 74mil superplay if you need reference from someone who knows how to play the game better lol.
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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:55 pm 


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Very "Treasure" kind of name.
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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:10 pm 


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Joined: 12 Aug 2009
Posts: 1993
Location: Minnesota, USA
The last time I brought up this game here, the responses were mostly "something something Yagawa didn't make this, so it automatically sucks".

I liked the game after trying it a few times, and it was a cheap-ish pcb at the time. The style is something else, and I approve of games where everything transforms. Raking in the 100k medals feels great. My board had definitely seen some love before I got it, I think the lowest score upon arrival was something like 30 million with multiple different initials. So yeah there are fans.

I think the lack of attention comes down to a few things: The graphics were a bit dated in 2000, and medal juggling isn't a popular mechanic.
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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:55 pm 



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This game was pretty much Raizing's swan song into the shmup genre, so they decided to go all-out with a bang for this one.
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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:22 pm 


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I think the lack of YGW here is what makes this game so enjoyable to play for me because a lot of his esoteric stuff that gets in the way of instant fun is gone and I can satisfy my need to collect every single item on screen for once. At the same time, there are also several ideas he implemented in the previous games here too, just made even better. Medal chaining and medal spawning, as well as boss part destruction. Indeed it's kinda like a culmination of several cool things they've designed before in a final game that ramps up the intensity of said mechanics. 10k max? Nah, let's go for 100k and let's have it be the new normal! Only one medal at a time every dozen enemies? Nah, tons of medals!

Compared to the YGW Raizing shmups I've played, this one is where I really got hooked to the medal chaining. Not only having so many medals on screen to grab is fun, but being able to juggle them also makes you feel more active when it comes to saving them. There isn't the same annoyance I can get when facing say Buzzcock in Batrider and the helper drones it spawns generate medals you can't really get because of its super large spread attack or something. And the only other game I've played so far with similar YGW medals that are fun is Muchi Muchi Pork, because in this one you can also interact with the medals more. Using the special attack wisely allows you to build up the chain faster, and the B+A trick can suck up so many medals at once, which is visually satisfying. Just like activating a Core in Brave Blade and dashing through a screen full of medals to get them all. And this is something I feel is missing in Garegga or Batrider, at least at my current skill level.

I don't mind the visuals at all and lisibility is very good, but maybe the graphics were underwhelming at the time, both against pixel-art the other Raizing games are known for, and 3D games in general. I like that they used the 3D's advantages to have crazy camera rotations and effects in stage intros or boss animations.

Oh yeah, and one thing that may seem dumb but the fact that a reset takes so little time compared to Garegga/Batrider makes it inherently more adequate for me for intense score-chasing runs (and the restart hell that goes with them)
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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:04 pm 


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Play Brave Blade. It's so good.

If I can freaking find it... I found it's soundtrack no prob, but the game seems to be... tougher.
EDIT: Nevermind, found it. Just had to go outside my normal stomping grounds.

Unrelated, but since this is your thread. I have been JOCKING your Karous 3bil run lately (finally decided to go for the gold in hard mode) and it's been very, very helpful. So I wanted to give props where they're due


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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:18 am 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
Posts: 800
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Was this a PSX-based arcade board?


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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:27 am 


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I've never played Brave Blade at full speed. :cry:
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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:34 am 


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Joined: 19 Jul 2017
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
bigbadboaz wrote:
Was this a PSX-based arcade board?


Yep, runs on the ZN1 PCB hardware (same as Street Fighter EX). It's been hacked to CF card for the Taito G-Net system for anyone with it, it's easy to write to a CF card and play.


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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:02 pm 


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MathU : Aw damn it's a shame, this game is really worth trying out. I suppose the older MAME versions don't emulate it that well, but the newer ones might be too demanding for your machine resource-wise? I can't say if there's one version that would be a sweetspot between the two. For what it's worth, I use MAME 0.220 to play it though it's one of the most recent versions as of now.

m.sniffles.esq : Nice, glad to know my run is helping you! It's very far from optimized to be honest and I react to a lot of the enemy waves rather than predicting and knowing their spawns in advance, so my quick-kills may not be the best. But I have proper strats against bosses and think about my level-up routes too. Best of luck for your Hard Mode attempts! And maybe you'll be able to reach 3 bil too? At least it's a nice looking score milestone to reach in this game when not using the advanced bullet converter tricks.

And it's not even that unrelated since Karous and Brave Blade have a lot of similarities and there are shared reasons why I like both. I mentionned Radirgy but since Karous has some similar features, the comparison works too. Most notably due to the focus on melee attacks and the regular invincibility activations. Brave Blade feels a bit better to me since here you don't have to use the shot if you don't want to (I only use it against some bosses), but the level-up acting as a multiplier in Karous means you'll have to use the shot at some point even if it's not as fun nor as powerful as the leveled-up sword.
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I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.

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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:44 pm 



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
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Finally some love for this game!
Some awesome stuff:
- Even though the 3d is super crude they still managed to give the game its own style.
- Challenging but not super hard, probably the best Raizing game for rookies
- Some cool visual moments like the level above the clouds (pretty much a Raizing staple) and the robo elephant boss in the lava pit.
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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:10 pm 


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They definitely used the 3D well and I find the game to be quite pretty despite the tech not looking super fancy or anything. Some moments like the stage 2 tower climb, the stage 4 intro's camera rotations, or many of the boss transformations wouldn't have been so cool if it weren't for the 3D. Is the robo-elephant you mention the stage 5 boss? With the phase 2 side wings/arms and their animations I assumed it was some sort of griffon instead, or a dragon. Both of which fit the fantasy setting more. The middle neck does look a lot like a trunk though.

I agree that the game is easy to pick up, play and make progress in it. Aside from clearing Batrider Normal mode (which isn't that tricky), I never went this far in one of their shmups. One thing that feels very rewarding is that even if a boss appears to be an unbeatable wall when you first face it, it usually becomes a lot easier to handle when you know the patterns and how to solve them. The execution is still a bit demanding thankfully but having a plan really helps. Same goes for the stages if you use the Core at the right time or simply play agressively. The sword slash giving you both the power to defeat foes and the Guard's leeway when dodging the bullets they can fire makes it easy to experiment with melee attacks and I love that.
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I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.

Remote Weapon GunFencer - My shmup project


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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:57 pm 



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 139
Location: amsterdam
M.Knight wrote:
They definitely used the 3D well and I find the game to be quite pretty despite the tech not looking super fancy or anything. Some moments like the stage 2 tower climb, the stage 4 intro's camera rotations, or many of the boss transformations wouldn't have been so cool if it weren't for the 3D. Is the robo-elephant you mention the stage 5 boss? With the phase 2 side wings/arms and their animations I assumed it was some sort of griffon instead, or a dragon. Both of which fit the fantasy setting more. The middle neck does look a lot like a trunk though.

I agree that the game is easy to pick up, play and make progress in it. Aside from clearing Batrider Normal mode (which isn't that tricky), I never went this far in one of their shmups. One thing that feels very rewarding is that even if a boss appears to be an unbeatable wall when you first face it, it usually becomes a lot easier to handle when you know the patterns and how to solve them. The execution is still a bit demanding thankfully but having a plan really helps. Same goes for the stages if you use the Core at the right time or simply play agressively. The sword slash giving you both the power to defeat foes and the Guard's leeway when dodging the bullets they can fire makes it easy to experiment with melee attacks and I love that.


Well you made me look up the boss fight on youtube and you're right, it's probably more of a dragon type thing. It's been a long time since I played, but anyway it's still an awesome scene with the lava flowing about as the metal creature moves. It's just such a shmup moment :-) .
The cool thing about the graphics is that they also managed to capture some of raizing's sprite/ship design style in the 3d. It's a shame this was the last one. I thought there used to be an emulator that actually let you upscale the graphics, although I mostly just played on mame.

Like I said, it's been a long time since I played. I think I always used the character with the Javelin although I don't remember why. The only Raizing game I got further in is probably Bakraid Advanced but I put a lot more time into that. I think Brave Blade is kind of on a par with the first sorcer striker, difficulty-wise. Definitely a hidden gem.
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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:56 pm 



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 7877
I bought the ZN1 powered jamma pcb pf Brave Blade back many moons ago from a fellow shmupper and still haven't played it despite it being in my arcade STG pcb collection alrighty. I can't recall if it ever got a proper console release though. Cool to hear that you can play BB on a modded Taito G-Net motherboard setup.

Sorcer Striker pcb factoid: The Korean version of the Sorcer Striker pcb has all it's regional roms soldered to the pcb itself and will require the entire set of eproms to be de-soldered and re-burned (with an eprom burner) if you want to convert it to the original JPN version. Strange but true.

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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:40 pm 


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PC Engine Fan X! wrote:
Cool to hear that you can play BB on a modded Taito G-Net motherboard setup.


Without music though, as the G-NET is lacking the needed YMF271 sound chip.


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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:28 pm 


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I only played the harder JP version of Sorcer Striker so my point of reference might be off, but I find Brave Blade to be a bit more balanced difficulty-wise than Mahou Daisakusen. While it's also on the easier side of Raizing games (for loop 1 at least), there are some bosses where the RNG screws you over if it wants to (Junk Wizard) and the stage 2 boss is such a big spike that the devs give you many bombs before just so you can spam them instead of dealing with the messed up attacks they knew were fucked. Recovery is also a pain.

Brave Blade's very small hitbox, additional protection in mecha form, and fairer boss attacks make it smoother IMO though some earlier bosses like 3 and 4 are still quite formidable when facing them for the first time without any foreknowledge of their attacks.

Yeah, a shame it was the last one. It's a bit like Compile where their final game is the one from their output I really like (though in Compile's case I don't actually enjoy almost any of their other shmups lol)
Now I wonder what they could have done with another game that explores the melee-base weaponry. Not only it's fun, but it also matches the futuristic-fantasy theme they have been going for in several of their games on a mechanical level on top of just the aesthetics. I mean, shooting swords is cool but you could replace the swords by anything (sunfish and crabs anyone?) and it plays the same, while here the medieval weapons really define the way you attack.
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I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.

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 Post subject: Re: Brave Blade is fucking amazing
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:33 pm 


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I remember playing this years ago in MAME, and quite liking it, but it's been forever. I should probably give it another go. But I do remember thinking the game's graphics were quite the departure from previous games.
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