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 Post subject: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:28 pm 



Joined: 14 Dec 2020
Posts: 22
IBARA gameplay vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnyNURd5QFc

So I have been browsing the forums and the top shmups list and couldn't find a single mention to IBARA!
I think this is strange, as it is one of the best shmups in history, the style and atmosphere is great and the gameplay is very challenging, it is also made by Cave guys. For me I think it should be at least in the top 5 shmups of all times.

It is a shame that the consoles port is poorly executed, but you can play the original arcade game on MAME, with the only downside is the lack of online ranking. :(

How about you? What are your complains concerning this awesome gem of a shmup?


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:35 pm 



Joined: 01 Aug 2009
Posts: 287
Location: The Netherlands
It looks and sounds amazing, but rank based games are just not for me. So i guess that’s my only complaint.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:43 pm 


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There are plenty of threads about Ibara on the forum, so I'm guessing you haven't been using the search features.

They probably haven't seen a lot of activity in a while, because not a lot of new things have come up that haven't already been discussed I guess. Same thing that has stalled a lot of general STG discussions.

Fwiw in recent years Ibara has probably elevated to one of my absolute favourite shooters. If not at least my favourite Cave game. It's such an incredibly satisfying game, it just takes quite a bit of "studying" to really get into.
The PS2 port doesn't really hold a candle to the Arika ports on the same platform, but until M2 potentially gives us a new one (hopefully including Kuro), I think it's perfectly serviceable to anyone with qualms about emulation or super expensive arcade PCBs. 480i tate mode is regrettable, but I don't think the lack of slowdown really impacts this game specifically. I'm used to playing the PCB version, and the few areas with slowdown don't really rely on it as much as you'd expect from your typical bullet hell.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:46 pm 


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Location: Joker Star Galaxy, Argentina
Best Cave Game.
IDK where all that ps2 port hate comes from, the game runs perfectly in tate mode, and Archer use that version for his videos.
People complaining about the game looking muddy don't know shit about ps2 resolutions.
Spoiler: show
Image
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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:52 pm 



Joined: 20 Apr 2018
Posts: 273
Location: St Louis, IL, USA
CanbeeShinobi2 wrote:
So I have been browsing the forums and the top shmups list and couldn't find a single mention to IBARA!


Not a single mention you say? Hmm, that's odd, as it's considered one of the top shmups of all time... :)

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=67929&hilit=ibara

But, not to dissuade you from posting, I think the old timers have probably talked these things to death, so it is always good to have fresh blood bring in new opinions!

I'll add to the discussion by saying I got a deal on a PCB last year that was too good to pass up, but I had never played the game before. I would have bought any CAVE PCB cheap, so this wasn't an issue.

At first, I immediately loved the game, the graphics and music pulled me in, but after playing it for about a week, I don't know, I did lose a little interest. Is it because it's so damn hard? Note that I haven't read on tactics or anything deeper yet, but it does play different than say Espgaluda.

Since I'm away from my arcade cabinets right now, I don't have a way to rotate the screen on my TV, so I'm waiting for the OSSC Pro or to return home before giving it another go.

I'm hoping M2 picks up the pace and releases more shmups this year.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:04 pm 


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Quote:
At first, I immediately loved the game, the graphics and music pulled me in, but after playing it for about a week, I don't know, I did lose a little interest. Is it because it's so damn hard? Note that I haven't read on tactics or anything deeper yet, but it does play different than say Espgaluda.


You can't really touch the presentation, it's amazing. I fell in love with the game from the moment I saw the shadow of your ship riding over the water surface.
But really appreciating Ibara definitely requires reading up on the tactics and systems in work. Like how you'll be "exchanging" collected bomb fragments for medals and picking up new fragments in the process to keep a chain going. And being able to get a small bomb effect aura from picking up powerups gets you into a lot of situational reactions that often can't just be memorized, which I think all helps create a unique flow. I'm sure superplayers have worked out an ideal route they are always trying to recreate, but it's such a fun game to just drop into without a concise plan, using only knowledge of the systems in place, and how they affect rank, to constantly balance your ability to score and also survive.

Bombing everything to drive the medal value to max before you fight the first boss makes the first stage probably one of the most satisfying intro stages I've played in the genre. I guess the second boss is probably a big wall to a lot of people as they start out, especially if you get there with the rank you'd expect from not dying and trying to score. But once you get that down, the game really opens up, and each stage really has its own personality.
It goes without saying that it's intended as a spiritual sequel to Battle Garegga, so of course it doesn't feel like any other Cave games. :)


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:48 pm 



Joined: 20 Apr 2018
Posts: 273
Location: St Louis, IL, USA
Yeah, as a shmup noob, I really don't understand tactics too much, as I'm just trying to play to get farther into the game, but I got the M2 BG and man, it's fucking hard.

I now understand (but at an amateur level) the system of not doing too well to get farther and it makes sense that Ibara plays like that instead of a "normal" shmup. I am terrible at BG though, so not sure I'll get any better at Ibara, but man, it sure is pretty.

I'll have to read up on some tips from here before I give it another go!


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:06 pm 


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Best advice will be, just as Sumez said, learning how to beat the 2nd boss. That bastard is the reason why i hated the game when i first got it, the game gets a little easier after that.
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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:37 pm 



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 143
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I played this game to death when it first came out on PS2, still have my copy but sadly my PS2 looks crap on my old plasma screen. I'll have to figure out emulating it some time.

The presentation of this game is close to the best that Cave have ever done. The gameplay is also an interesting cross between Cave and Yagawa, with a lot of the stuff that makes Yagawa games fun for me (the unpredicatable, slightly chaotic edge, the bomb collecting etc) making it over. It is however balls hard and I never made it further than stage 4 boss. I'm not very good at "rank managing" is all I can say. If you enjoy the gameplay of Ibara and BG than don't sleep on Battle Bakraid, it's much more forgiving but still very challenging, even in Advance mode.
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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:48 pm 



Joined: 03 Mar 2020
Posts: 80
Hot take: Ibara is Cave's worst looking game (Deathsmiles 2 doesn't count). And being a cv1k game does a serious disservice to its otherwise good music.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:17 pm 



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 7933
Can't forget the RTC functionality with the board CR-2350 battery for timekeeping purposes with a Ibara pcb. Even the clock on a certain stage shows the correct time -- how cool is that?

PC Engine Fan X! ^_~


Last edited by PC Engine Fan X! on Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:19 pm 


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I think Ibara could be one of their best looking games, except everything is desaturated to fuck so it's just all a big mess of greybrown nightmares. Compare...

Original
Image

Saturation increased (ignore the fences, the only thing in the original game with a good saturation...)
Image
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<S.Yagawa> I like the challenge of "doing the impossible" with older hardware, and pushing it as far as it can go.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:40 pm 



Joined: 01 Aug 2009
Posts: 287
Location: The Netherlands
You're a critical bunch. Honestly at the time when i had the pcb in my cab i thought it looked amazing.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:09 pm 


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I'd rather be critical than not :wink:

Other than the saturation issue I do think it looks great, so much fine detail and really nice looking effects.
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<S.Yagawa> I like the challenge of "doing the impossible" with older hardware, and pushing it as far as it can go.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:23 pm 


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Location: UK
You can fix that for the Exa Label though right?


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:27 pm 


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trap15 wrote:
I think Ibara could be one of their best looking games, except everything is desaturated to fuck so it's just all a big mess of greybrown nightmares. Compare...

I honestly think the desaturated backgrounds look really good against the colorful foreground. The game has a really stylish flair to it that a lot of games don't.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:04 pm 


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Location: Sweden
Ibara's visual design ruined the game for me (although admittedly I played the Ps2 version). It's just a big mess and almost everything looks ugly to me.

Ugly looking stuff in Ibara:
* All weapon power up and bomb icons (just a grey mess, they all looked the same. Why dropping the classic red bomb icon that all Bat-games had?)
* Those purple or blue circle bullets that kept rotating (e.g., stage 1 boss: https://youtu.be/Bswv7nO9sa0?t=92)
* The transparent flame attacks (flame threowers and such are the best things about STGs, how could you mess it up? for instance: https://youtu.be/Bswv7nO9sa0?t=210)
* All the grey unsaturated backgrounds with almost nothing interesting to look at (is any stage background the least memorable? they all look the same to me)
* I did not care much for the flower looking medals either (and the last one is not even a flower but just a yellow circle). Medals should be medals. Period.

Ok, but could have been better:
* Destroying buildings felt sort of nice with all the splitter, but the buildings felt too much like thin paper houses, too weak.
* The bone/needle bullets are pretty nice looking and original, but Pink Sweets did it better with added color aura.

Good:
* The piercing hadu cannon that stayed on screen was pretty sweet looking and a nice contrast to everything else.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:32 pm 


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Took me a while to get in to Ibara, playing it before Garegga or other Yagawa games the game itself seemed opaque and deliberately abstruse. But it looked wonderful in tate mode on PS2, if a little blurry. The desaturated backgrounds are gorgeous, and the mix of rusted metal, cascading roses and hyperfetishised costumes (especially on the PCB) works so well. Different strokes, as ever, but the saturated comparison image above looks like a showroom TV before it's taken home and mercifully calibrated!

My only issue with Ibara is that the soundtrack is serviceable but bland, like a lot of Shinji Hosoe's stuff, which is strange because he's scored some amazing games in a variety of disparate genres.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:23 am 



Joined: 12 Mar 2019
Posts: 321
KAI wrote:
IDK where all that ps2 port hate comes from, the game runs perfectly in tate mode, and Archer use that version for his videos.
People complaining about the game looking muddy don't know shit about ps2 resolutions.
Spoiler: show
Image


Hi mate. Are you being sarcastic there?


Ibara's visuals are something else, despite being sculpted with a computer. The backgrounds of course are not meant to be seen by taking them apart. They've been designed to make the stellar sprites shine, and the framed scenes they both provide are quite unique:

Image Image

Cave overused these CG techniques though, and too many games ended up looking too same-y, can't deny that.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:03 am 


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Bassa-Bassa wrote:
Are you being sarcastic there?

I don't even know anymore.


Scaled those native res screenshots x2 just to show the game doesn't look that shitty on tate. If you think it's still ugly, you should see all the sorcery needed to get a sharp picture in mmp&ps using a crt.
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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:34 am 



Joined: 04 Apr 2017
Posts: 183
I'm not saying it looks like shit, but the PS2 tate mode you posted is definitely blurrier than the arcade PCB. Its not as bad as Yoko, but there is a significant difference, and its not being presented as well as it could be.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:56 am 


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I bought the Ibara PCB back when it was cheap. Apparently the game was very unpopular on release and I was able to pick up an unopened boxed kit for 350 USD IIRC.

After exclusively playing the PCB long enough to clear it, I got the chance to play the PCB and the PS2 port running side by side on identical Japanese cabs both with 29 inch 15 kHz monitors. I can tell you while the PS2 version was a bit more washed out and softer the port was practically identical looking. Until I saw a loading screen I would've just thought it could be slight differences in the monitors/ settings. I did a full play through of each back to back and had no issues with the port. It was just as enjoyable as the PCB. I know there are slowdown differences, but I don't think it changes the gameplay that much in this game.

I think it's just a case where the port got a reputation for being bad and it stuck. Just like there are ports that are actually pretty far off that have a reputation for being perfect and don't get questioned.

Hot take: Ibara is relatively easy. I think I remember hearing players in Japan were clearing it within 2 days after release. The Hadou is really powerful. That combined with some of the other mechanics means you can just brute force some bosses. If bombs worked like they do in Garrega, Ibara would actually be pretty hard.

If I had an issue with it, that would have to be the boss milking. Not the milking itself, but the percentage of points that can come from it. I was happy to clear the game and get score in the 14 to 15 M range without milking. Your score can be wildly inflated by milking only 2 bosses and I just think it made a lot of the other cool little scoring tricks seem trivial in terms of the points offered. I guess it's not really a problem, it was just something I didn't really want to pursue at the time since I was satisfied with my no boss milking scores.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:02 am 



Joined: 30 Oct 2016
Posts: 260
For anyone who wants to enjoy it in mame (0.191 or earlier in Windows, any version in other OS), use these values: CPU 49.0 Mhz, Blitter Delay 53%

These are actually for Black Label, but they might work for vanilla as well.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:48 am 



Joined: 12 Mar 2019
Posts: 321
KAI wrote:
Scaled those native res screenshots x2 just to show the game doesn't look that shitty on tate. If you think it's still ugly, you should see all the sorcery needed to get a sharp picture in mmp&ps using a crt.


Native res at x2 will always look shitty no matter what, lol. It's not so much an issue of sharpness or softness, but one of scaling, of not using a 15khz RGB CRT for a native res picture as it's intended, mate. There's a relatively easy way to get a splendid tate picture with the PS2 port: hex-edit the rom image in order to make te game use 240p instead of 480i:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=61532

Ibara is likely the game that best takes advantage of that wonderful hacking development. It doesn't turn the filter off but it's almost as if it's not there. Again, we're talking of RGB CRTs here. It must be a pain in the ass to get one of these there in South America, but it'll save you from learning sorcery which never actually works.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:42 pm 



Joined: 14 Dec 2020
Posts: 22
Sumez wrote:
Fwiw in recent years Ibara has probably elevated to one of my absolute favourite shooters.


Sounds awesome! Here is my top 10 shmups list, what is yours? 8)

1-IBARA
2-ProGear
3-Blazing Star
4-Radiant Silvergun
5-Dodonpachi
6-Armed Police Batrider
7-Battle Garegga
8-Parodious
9-Aero Fighter II
10-Zero Gunner 2


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:23 am 


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Ibara is really awesome. It has to be one of my favorite CAVE games. I think I like Garegga and Batrider the best out of the Yagawa-developed games, with Ibara a slight half-step behind. The Raizing detailed pixel graphics and theme/style are what put them over the top for me. I like Ibara quite a lot better than Bakraid, Muchi Pork, Pink Sweets, etc. though. It really does feel like a spiritual sequel to Garegga but it has enough of its own character where it can stand on its own.

Thanks for making this thread. It's reminded me to play some Ibara since it's been a few years since have.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:46 pm 


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Posts: 487
i like that game

Image


Terrible at it though. I prefer mid 90's Cave pixel art, but they also do these prerendered sprites in a way I like way more than their contemporaries. They're just really clean with this appealing...sheen to it all whereas similar stuff looks sort of like claymation to me. It's all really subtle and smooth to look at. Not as chunky to me as something like Blazing Star/Pulstar (which even those I still find beautiful).
Also I adore the bold as Hell announcer to death and his cool pronunciation of everything. I understand that's just how Japanese say those words usually, but his voice makes it even better. Probably has the stoney face of a Tetsuo Hara brute. It's as good if not better than synthetic robotic voices like in Ray Force or Ikaruga.

But yeah. I never know how to play games like this. I just kind of have to enjoy them for the surface level stuff. It's way too cryptic for me to figure out and I just don't understand what to do to be good. I get up to like stage 3 before the rank starts to nibble away at my lives.

CanbeeShinobi2 wrote:

Sounds awesome! Here is my top 10 shmups list, what is yours? 8)

1-IBARA
2-ProGear
3-Blazing Star
4-Radiant Silvergun
5-Dodonpachi
6-Armed Police Batrider
7-Battle Garegga
8-Parodious
9-Aero Fighter II
10-Zero Gunner 2


You're killing me, Smalls. Everytime I see shit like this, I have a mini crisis trying to recall my last 20 years. lmao

MX7 wrote:
My only issue with Ibara is that the soundtrack is serviceable but bland, like a lot of Shinji Hosoe's stuff, which is strange because he's scored some amazing games in a variety of disparate genres.


Oh wow, I did not know this was Shinji. I love his stuff. I can sort of agree though. But I do like stage 2's Like a Rolling Stone a lot myself. It's overall a bit of a duller OST but it's oddly fitting at the same time.


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:01 pm 


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Imagine calling Ibara's soundtrack "dull" or "bland" :D


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:49 pm 


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It's a good soundtrack, dull isn't necessarily a bad thing. Maybe 'muted' might be a better descriptor. It's not as face-squeezingly glorious as Pink Sweets, that's for sure


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 Post subject: Re: IBARA!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:53 pm 


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I mean...I'm not saying it's abjectly terrible. I don't hate it. It's just a bit lower energy than I'm used to in this genre. Particularly from Cave.


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