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 Post subject: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:42 pm 


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This is a thread for games that are otherwise great, but have some unique flaw that drives you crazy.

My pick is Soukyugurentai, one of my favorites from the PSX/Saturn era. It's a fantastic game, with an incredible soundtrack and tons of replay value with all the different ships and variations on the lock-on mechanic to mess around. Yet, the ONE THING that drags it down is the messy power-up system. Power-ups and bombs are delivered by little red pods that explode on death (often off screen too) and shower you with little P or B icons.

The problem is that the scattering of the icons is really inconsistent. Sometimes they're grouped up nicely, and other times they fly all over the place. It's also really unclear just how many little P icons you need to level-up your fire. As such, each run comes with the added stress of hoping to get lucky with good icon groupings and the constant wonder of when/if you're going to level-up again. If they had just simplified it down to a single big P icon that levels you up 1-to-1, the whole game feel would be improved.

Well, that's my pick. What otherwise awesome games have you played that have that ONE THING that drives you nuts?
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:59 pm 


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The Viper phase 1 100% accuracy bonus is pretty unforgiving.
The Dragon Blaze short-range attack and gold coin system felt pretty awkward and uncharacteristic of Psikyo. I understood they finally tried to something new, but I never got into it as it felt clumsy. Shame for a good looking game.
The medal triggering systems in the Raiden Fighters series are really restart-encouraging and reduce my enjoyment of those games.

What you said about Soukyugurentai I agree to some extent, the power up system is weird. But the game is built around the web weapon so ideally you should use the web almost all the time and avoid power up icons like the plague. For instance, by upgrading weapon power just once bosses become much more difficult. Also, the randomness of Soukyu (like how differently power up icons burst out from time to time) is really its biggest strength. Even if you plan the perfect route, the randomness of power up and bomb suppliers will mess up your route and you will need to improvise and adapt. It makes the game less predictable and mechanic in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:58 pm 


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Joined: 28 Jun 2007
Posts: 2012
Location: Paranoia
Dimahoo has a minor problem with slowdown that likes to rear its head during some of the worst times. Right as you're trying to weave between Dribling's blue and red bullet spiral attack, the game loves to slow down and then speed back up just long enough for you to unintentionally blow yourself up. It makes it the most infuriating boss of the game, and you have to fight it twice in a playthrough. There's a few other rather unfair boss attacks in Dimahoo (like Infernon's double spreadfire attack--you know the one), but you can often at least anticipate those and have a bomb ready to fire off. Dribling can eat a bag of drills.

I used to absolutely adore Kingdom Grandprix until learning about that stupid ship roll-bomb exploit ruined its scoring system for me. I still love the game, but how unfortunate is it that the best scores devolve to that strategy... There's all sorts of interesting tradeoffs in the various stages between speed and enemy milking and a large number of them unfortunately get nullified by that exploit. Also the Forest of Dead face boss is super unfair on the 2nd loop. Come on! My entire strategy for tackling the game's 2nd loop revolves around hoarding enough bombs just to survive that boss consistently.

The random point medals in Darius Gaiden are a blemish on an otherwise deep and interesting game to play for score. It's a problem in all Darius games to be sure, but it really stings in Gaiden because the adaptive difficulty system otherwise makes top-level scoring very strategic. In a given playthrough, sheer luck can be the difference between 500 and 512,000 points added to your score from random point medals. It's also unfortunate that Taito didn't implement some sort of safeguard to protect against 30 Hz autofire cheats, which totally break the game down into a joke, but those are at least a player choice.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:37 pm 


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In delightfully responsive* PSX port of Baraduke played with a stock controller, inability to map fire onto a trigger/shoulder button is quite the fly in ointment. Not a problem with arcade stick, but there's no good reason why it's the case to begin with.

*) I don't know about original PCBs, but when emulating ROM on MAME, it lagged pretty badly.

Also, as I've posted it at least twice before, I like Compile shmups playable with only two buttons so much better than the rest that I won't likely give the latter a chance to bloom in my shmup garden. For shame, since the Super Aleste's suicide bullets mode sounds business. On a side note, I didn't know about/remember Super Aleste manga's existence until now.
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Last edited by Obiwanshinobi on Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:40 pm 


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Taito's The Tin Star (1983). Unique beltscroll/arena STG hybrid, whose rotary shooting still feels inventive to this day. Unfortunately, the bullet visibility in two of its three stages is utterly abysmal. I'm able to deal with most of the classic complaint titles - Garegga's bullets looking like shrapnel is naughty, but at least it's all fairly substantial. Tin Star's grey pixel-points are near-invisible on the street's screaming yellow and saloon's off-white floor alike. I wish the ACA version included a bullet visibility patch.

Spoiler: show
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^ The game's unique burst-chain mechanic in action. Icing those three guys in rapid succession causes their window pals to freeze up in fear (as the manual puts it), leaving them sitting ducks. Hard to enjoy when your and their shots alike are barely visible, though.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:01 pm 


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Not so much a thing with the game as with the size of my hands, but Gradius Advance/Galaxies/Generation is one of two GBA games (the other being KuruKuru Kururin, which actually handles a lot like shmup with a focus button) I'm better off playing on GBA SP mounted onto a Chinese "grabber" peripheral. Problem is, one of my two SPs quite fits the grabber, while the other one - not quite. Or maybe it's the balance of ship's various speed levels that I have a problem with (it feels too slow 'till it's too fast).
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Last edited by Obiwanshinobi on Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:06 pm 


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Phalanx is a great game but the giant enemy battleship stage is really bad.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:23 pm 


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DMC wrote:
The Viper phase 1
What you said about Soukyugurentai I agree to some extent, the power up system is weird. But the game is built around the web weapon so ideally you should use the web almost all the time and avoid power up icons like the plague. For instance, by upgrading weapon power just once bosses become much more difficult.


Oh, I had no idea the shot power affected rank so much. Thanks! I'll have to jump into a no-P run soon.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:59 pm 


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