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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:34 am 



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Here's a quick question for anyone with the Salamander/Life Force ACA package-- does it include all three versions of the game or only the Salamander and Life Force Japanese versions?

I have the Arcade Anniversary pack already so there's probably not much point to picking up the Salamander single-entry if it only has the two.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:59 am 


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Here's the Japanese PS4 version's title screen, AFAIK it's got Salamander (JP), Life Force (US) and Life Force (JP).
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:07 am 



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Thanks. I knew the Gradius one had multiple revisions (including the hidden one) because I have the PS4 original release of that, but the description for Life Force made it sound like it only had the two versions. I'll have to add that to my Switch wishlist right away so I remember to grab that.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:53 am 


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Firehawke wrote:
Thanks. I knew the Gradius one had multiple revisions (including the hidden one) because I have the PS4 original release of that, but the description for Life Force made it sound like it only had the two versions. I'll have to add that to my Switch wishlist right away so I remember to grab that.


Hidden one? What did I miss?
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 1:04 pm 


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Bubble system version:

BrianC wrote:
I know it's not the Konami code, at least. I looked up the code and couldn't find much, but did find a post that said unlocking the bubble system in the western PS4 versions had to do with loading the games a certain number of times. If I remember correctly, one game is 5 times, another game is 7 times, and the third one is three times.

edit: I remembered correctly. JP version 5 times, US version 7 times, EU version 3 times. Honestly, it's not worth it. Not to mention the pain of waiting to play it with non skippable loading screens at start up.



I think there is actually a toggle somewhere in the menus to enable skipping the countdown. Not really any big reason I'm aware of to actually play the Bubble system one over the standard ROM.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:34 pm 



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BIL wrote:
Here's the Japanese PS4 version's title screen, AFAIK it's got Salamander (JP), Life Force (US) and Life Force (JP).


I have it and can confirm it definitely does have all three.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:43 pm 



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Rastan78 wrote:
The difficulty jump starting at stage 3 is almost comical. Its like there was a glitch that warps you right to the 2nd loop version of the stage lol. Gradius III might secretly be the first real danmaku game.

You basically have no choice but to equip the force field. Grab enough powerups so that you are sitting at your next force field and pop it as soon as you lose the active one. Sometimes it's hard to tell when the shield will take that last hit and you get clipped by 2 bullets real quick before you can even hit the power up button. Thereby dying with a shield sitting in reserve.

Its almost tempting to have an autofire button assigned to power up so that you can hold it down and cause another forcefield to trigger immediately on losing it. Hmmm


I'm not an expert by any means, but after a little practice I don't think this section is too difficult. I'm actually more consistent on this stage than the previous level where I keep making stupid errors! The whole part plays in slow motion which makes dodging the bullets fairly manageable (I've no idea how those people who completed the PS2 version with no slowdown managed it!) Just try to stay at a fairly stable vertical position while the enemies are coming out of the hatches, then you can usually swoop behind them and take them out. Obviously if you can destroy the hatches before the enemies appear that's a big help!

This is the first time I've put more serious time into Gradius III and I'm really enjoying it.

Edit: I just had a look how people managed it on the PS2 with no slowdown. The right strategy makes it a lot less frantic!


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:05 am 


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Yeah you're right. Good option positioning especially makes it a lot more doable. Those first few plays on level 3 when you let the bullets get a little out of control though. Holy shit. I mean you gotta keep in perspective that yeah it's not super crazy difficult with practice, but it's only level 3. After a long session of Gradius 3 go back and fire up Gradius II or Salamander and you really feel like a champ just coasting on by the first levels with ease. What really surprised me about this game is how much the first level kicked my ass early on. Now I'm totally consistent but you wanna be on point with getting your power ups. I do 2 speed ups then option then missile, which can be completed as you reach the first part of the sand dunes.

Overall I have been loving it. Such a classic.

One thing that is a little tedious is how much this game wants you to graze the ceiling or floor in order to pick off enemies. With the egregious and inconsistent slowdown I'm always a little uneasy. Once you get fully powered up and have a ripple laser or some form of wider shot pattern it takes the edge off.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:51 am 


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Are there any options to make Gradius III significantly easier (more enjoyable) in the Hamster release? I used to play it in the arcades back in the 90s and always thought it was one of the weaker Gradius games due to the obnoxious difficulty spikes.

Sly Cherry Chunks wrote:
PS2 vers. had an actual easy mode with altered enemy patterns (most memorably you would get those homing zaku dropping powerups before the boss rush instead of the star shaped bullet spewing things you get normally).

Do you have to do anything to get that easy mode with altered patterns unlocked on the PS2 version, or is it there from the start?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:10 pm 


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On the ACA version besides just messing with the standard arcade dip settings, you could go in custom mode which has a tiny hit box option. Also you can assign a button to instant power up with all options, missile and laser so you can restart easily after death. Hit boxes can be turned on so you can see what will kill you more clearly. Level select is there on a per checkpoint basis making practice much easier.

Also I think I heard the Asia ROM thats included in this one is an easier revision? Maybe someone who has played both can clarify this more, but it might be worth a shot if the standard Japan version is too much.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:30 pm 


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You can do all that in the Hamster release?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:05 pm 


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bcass wrote:
Do you have to do anything to get that easy mode with altered patterns unlocked on the PS2 version, or is it there from the start?
Its right there in the options menu.

Hamster vers. has the built in cheats but no real easy mode. Compare to the video i linked, theres just so much less bullets on the screen and the rocks on the fire stage dont fragment as much.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:36 pm 


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bcass wrote:
You can do all that in the Hamster release?


Yeah they made it a special release to coincide with the landmark of having a game drop every week for 200 consecutive weeks. There are also a bunch of major bug fixes and little tweaks like fixed translation errors on the weapon select screen etc. that can all be toggled on and off individually. A lot of them are over my head as I'm not familiar with the original PCB. IIRC you can reduce slowdown. Again some of the extra options are custom mode only.

It would cool to see more games have the option to see hitboxes. I think this game benefits from it a lot. Like on the bubble stage the bubbles have a square hitbox that doesn't exactly line up perfectly to the round bubble. Also the shape of the player ship hitbox might not be exactly what you were expecting. Its very long and narrow and not squarish at all. You can also toggle on and off seeing the hitobxes of your own shots.

Apparently they also had a bunch of top Gradius III superplayers involved in playtesting.

On top of that it's still only 7.99. Hopefully they can pull this off in some of their upcoming release again. Raiden with these options would be epic.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:54 pm 


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Thanks for all the info guys. One last question ~ is there any different between the NTSC-U and NTSC-J releases of Gradius III & IV (PS2)?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:47 pm 



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I was so excited for this release but the game is hateful. I just dont enjoy playing it. I cant even get through the 3 stages on easy mode. Not for me.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:26 am 


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Well I for one was happy to see Quarth (or Block Hole if you must) today... I burned through at least two of the GB cartridges as a kid, lol.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:15 am 


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^ Was just coming to post about the surprise ACA release of perennial "shooting puzzle" orphan Quarth! Love it. I'm mostly familiar with the workmanlike FC port, the AC one understandably gets going a lot quicker.

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THE DELICATE BALANCE OF GRAVITY HAS DISINTEGRATED

I even gained a moderate appreciation for the "Block Hole" title, which is right there in the JP attract mode ("Black Hole," geddit?!), even if its standard-issue 80s STG title screen can't compare with Quarth's Victorian whimsy. Time to bump my ATTRACT MODO thread, methinks.
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Last edited by BIL on Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:21 am 


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Wilsoncqb1911 wrote:
I was so excited for this release but the game is hateful. I just dont enjoy playing it. I cant even get through the 3 stages on easy mode. Not for me.


This game will slap you around and call you Susan.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:37 am 


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Block Hole seems to be another of those localizations that has the single player in 2p mode. Was happy to see Quarth on the eShop. I grew up playing the GB version.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:23 pm 


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Quarth!!! Oh my I'm gonna get it right away!! Thank guys for the post, otherwise... :shock:

I haven't seen it on any TOP25 list... how come??? That game is gold, and we could consider it a shmup (a bizarre one, but one). I need to give it at least my last spot, but it has to be there! it has to!! :D

It's so addictive, tell my people I'm good if I don't pick up the phone the next days :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:25 am 


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Top 25 of what, though? :P

I know Block Hole from the arcades, and it's a terribly addicting game. Never played the GB one, but the Famicom port takes ages to get anywhere, and is generally far too easy until it finally gets so fast it's nearly impossible instead. :\
I feel like the arcade one requires you to assess and react in a much more balanced but still challenging manner. But maybe it was the result of playing with a somewhat bad joystick that made it difficult to reliably tap in any direction consecutively. :P


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:37 am 


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Addictive, not addicting:

https://english.stackexchange.com/a/20329


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:40 pm 


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I love the top answer's explanation:

Addictive is an adjective meaning something is addictive.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:29 pm 


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It's been a pleasure to discover Quarth thanks to this release. It's really fun! I've only made it into the second "set" of blocks so far but it has a really addictive quality to it with a really unique take on the puzzle genre. :wink:

It is really tempting to want to get as big of a square as possible, and it's so easy to muck that up and be left with a huge upside-down U shape that is crashing into your little Victorian rocket.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:40 pm 


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GB version is a bit different. Similar gameplay, but adds a quota for clearing levels and power up items.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:54 am 


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Oh wow, Halley's Comet outta nowhere. :o Always liked what I heard of this one on here.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:37 pm 


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Quarth wrecks my hand from all the rapid stick tapping :oops: . Reminds me of playing Magical Drop that way. I feel like, instead of having multiple buttons for fire, I want multiple buttons for left/right just so I can rapid-move in very specific amounts. No idea how that would work though.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:54 pm 



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BIL wrote:
^ Was just coming to post about the surprise ACA release of perennial "shooting puzzle" orphan Quarth! Love it. I'm mostly familiar with the workmanlike FC port, the AC one understandably gets going a lot quicker.

Image

THE DELICATE BALANCE OF GRAVITY HAS DISINTEGRATED

I even gained a moderate appreciation for the "Block Hole" title, which is right there in the JP attract mode ("Black Hole," geddit?!), even if its standard-issue 80s STG title screen can't compare with Quarth's Victorian whimsy. Time to bump my ATTRACT MODO thread, methinks.


Hey this Quarth thing looks pretty cool. I'd definitely give that a spin.

Nice of you to highlight that one. I just discovered a new game I want to play.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:00 am 


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I always stand for The Hard Gaming Image :wink:

Halley's Comet is cool! I see why emphatic likes it. Earliest example (1986) I've seen of the largesse associated with Batsugun, where an agile ship with cascading firepower is the norm rather than a hard-fought exception. Considerable aesthetic too, there's an air of panic and doom as the comet falls and its minions swarm, chunks of planet-wrecking ice sizzling past. I seriously didn't know WTF was about to happen after the first encounter, victory or death by timeout, Recca-esque sensory overload. Minor spoiler, honestly it's worth seeing it yourself first.

I'd heard the BGM was offputting and was expecting either Xevious's inanity or outright discordance, all I can say is motherfuckers need Q-tips, this is great. Image By turns chirpily plaintive and doomy, exemplary apocalyptic sound.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:38 pm 


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Halley's Comet is one of those games where enemy bullet spreads shoot out in a "square" pattern. That always throws me off. Oh the days before games used proper trigonometry :P . But yes a very stylish game otherwise.

Put about 20 hours into learning Quarth over the last week. Got to the 5th stage a few times. Wow Hi Score mode has some crazy good players.
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