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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:11 pm 


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Given your avatar you'd probably be keen on a magic only challenge, where the only damage allowed is from spell charges (no attacking physically or using item spells). Especially in the final dungeon, it really forces you to plan out your spells and use weaker spells to save the big nukes for the real bosses.

Beating up Garland and the Pirates is easy, the Fighter without a weapon actually hits pretty decently and is comparable to a Thief, not to mention you can tank stuff for ages. I'm currently near level 8 grinding on Sharks, an easy enemy with a def stat of 0 that gives good EXP that's close to a town. The groups of 2 sharks are especially handy for levelling. I do need to buff up with RUSE and FOG on my RM/WM/WM to avoid getting eaten since they hit quite hard, but that's fine, I can manage two fights before needing an Inn. Once I hit level 9, my Fighter will be able to hit twice barehanded which will massively improve my offense and may well make it possible to clear these fights without needing to buff first. The goal is to tackle the Marsh Cave around level 10 or, mostly because I want to have enough of an HP pool to survive the Wizards.

The Wizards may require an unorthodox strategy. Fighter and RM can't use RUSE to max their evade rapidly, and their defense isn't enough to tank the sheer damage of the hits, so my plan may involve putting the WMs in front, using RUSE and hoping for early misses. The first attempt of the no weapon playthrough made it to the Earth Cave and I got through the Wizards with no casualties (before the whole discovery that Trolls do in fact regen HP was made after realizing I'd spent a good 20 minutes slapping one to no avail).
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:23 pm 


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Randorama wrote:
Is the lad giving you trouble? (...question that I propose since I cannot see the video, sorry!).


What's "the lad"?
The final boss isn't giving me trouble, but he could potentially be a run killer on a really tight one. I think the best I've done is taking 3 or 4 hearts of damage (including ones taken from the timer).
I have two different approaches to him, but I'm not sure which is better. One is just camping at a sword's length beneath him when he flies up, to hit him once every time, and just stand completely still during straight fire attacks. That one is playing it super safe, but some times he does two jumps straight in a row, which is impossible to see coming, and will always get me bodied.
The other strategy is getting on his right side (you can run through him right when he spawns), and push him into the left corner. You can keep jumping at him and often get two hits in per jump, but the bounce-back from that is inconsistent, and occasionally he'll just screw me over when doing that, but on other occasions it'll make him go down in no time. I don't know if there's an approach that can make that strategy safer.

Quote:
The labyrinth was easy, in the sense that I was able to get almost to full health via the running mice just before the dragon on both runs.

See, that's exactly the luck thing I was talking about. Since picking up the game this time over, I haven't gotten a single heart drop from those guys, but I think I got some on my first 1CC when I played the game a few years back.
Unfortunately, my trick about repeating the gold bats for hearts doesn't seem to work on every run, and you actually can't get 100K points from them fast enough to counter the timer, so that part isn't (always) as broken as I thought. It feels like the drop RNG on enemies is determined the moment you enter the stage (or maybe even when the whole game starts?), and repeating sections of the maze won't change what drops you are getting from each enemy... with the exception of certain deviations? I wish I understood how it works.
So yeah, you can easily get a final stage without a single heart drop, and it's happened to me several times now. So the best way to combat that I guess is just not to get hit by anything. Forcing the hobgoblin into a corner with magic spam to get a clean kill on him helps a lot.


I had a run where I did kind of what you were talking about, and only getting 60+ coins on occasions where I knew I was guaranteed to do it via 5 whirlwinds bought on stage 2 (so, no waggles) and two occasions where I let an enemy bump me into one. How were you able to get the legendary armor on stage 6? I probably got like 4-6 "60+" drops, and I was only barely able to get the second highest one (which I normally forego, but good luck beating round 9 with heavy armor), and was actually 1 coin short of the Sphinx hint afterwards. :P
I made the mistake of accidentally getting the stage 11 hospital before the boss there, but still made it through till the end by the skin of my teeth, through a bit of luck.

Btw, I don't get legendary boots at all anymore, I think the game is much easier with the penultimate (ceramic) ones, buying them on


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 6:52 pm 


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I tried a black mage only run a few years back. Accidentally sold the weapons that heal you and the last dungeon was impossible without them.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:54 am 



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Sumez wrote:

What's "the lad"?
The final boss isn't giving me trouble, but he could potentially be a run killer on a really tight one. I think the best I've done is taking 3 or 4 hearts of damage (including ones taken from the timer).
I have two different approaches to him, but I'm not sure which is better. One is just camping at a sword's length beneath him when he flies up, to hit him once every time, and just stand completely still during straight fire attacks. That one is playing it super safe, but some times he does two jumps straight in a row, which is impossible to see coming, and will always get me bodied.
The other strategy is getting on his right side (you can run through him right when he spawns), and push him into the left corner. You can keep jumping at him and often get two hits in per jump, but the bounce-back from that is inconsistent, and occasionally he'll just screw me over when doing that, but on other occasions it'll make him go down in no time. I don't know if there's an approach that can make that strategy safer.


lad=Mekadragon, sorry :wink:

But I tend to go for the super-safe approach because pushing him to the left corner always gave me trouble (bouncing back and getting hit without being able to defend is a frequent result).
I think that it would take an average of 4-5 hearts to kill the boss, so I generally do not worry if I have at least half a life+potion.
I think that it can be killed faster and more efficiently, but with method 1 you shouldn't have too many problems.
I did forget to mention that it magic attacks can make life much easier when fighting him, especially the lightning, because on tense moments in which I lose the pace, I can always recover with magic.
What I am beginning to suspect is that the game has some proto-rank.
In fact:

Quote:
See, that's exactly the luck thing I was talking about. Since picking up the game this time over, I haven't gotten a single heart drop from those guys, but I think I got some on my first 1CC when I played the game a few years back.
Unfortunately, my trick about repeating the gold bats for hearts doesn't seem to work on every run, and you actually can't get 100K points from them fast enough to counter the timer, so that part isn't (always) as broken as I thought. It feels like the drop RNG on enemies is determined the moment you enter the stage (or maybe even when the whole game starts?), and repeating sections of the maze won't change what drops you are getting from each enemy... with the exception of certain deviations? I wish I understood how it works.
So yeah, you can easily get a final stage without a single heart drop, and it's happened to me several times now. So the best way to combat that I guess is just not to get hit by anything. Forcing the hobgoblin into a corner with magic spam to get a clean kill on him helps a lot.


OK, I am wondering if the game becomes stingy with heart drops with you early on; on some runs in which I kept getting hit too often, I even got big hearts (full stock) as early as stage 5 (the devils in the desert, for instance).
Your scenario sounds particularly nasty, because I usually experience the opposite. The bats and mice before mekadragon always give me a few hearts, and not getting hit much means that those hears give me a full stuck.
Maybe, though, the game determines the item drops (not much the enemies that drop them, but the kind of item dropped) based on performance and number of coins.
It sounds possible to me, since once you have loads of money, you can buy health all the time (...except the labyrinth, of course).

Quote:
I had a run where I did kind of what you were talking about, and only getting 60+ coins on occasions where I knew I was guaranteed to do it via 5 whirlwinds bought on stage 2 (so, no waggles) and two occasions where I let an enemy bump me into one. How were you able to get the legendary armor on stage 6? I probably got like 4-6 "60+" drops, and I was only barely able to get the second highest one (which I normally forego, but good luck beating round 9 with heavy armor), and was actually 1 coin short of the Sphinx hint afterwards. :P
I made the mistake of accidentally getting the stage 11 hospital before the boss there, but still made it through till the end by the skin of my teeth, through a bit of luck.

Btw, I don't get legendary boots at all anymore, I think the game is much easier with the penultimate (ceramic) ones, buying them on


I am going to check again the coin progression and scribble it down, but the idea is simple:

shield progression is: level 2-40 coins-->level 4-120 coins-->level 8 350 coins.
boots: level 2-80 coins-->level 11 380 coins (I do get ceramic boots as an item drop, sometimes. Maybe just skip the legendary boots?).
armor progression is: level 3-60 coins-->level 4-100 coins-->level 6 540 coins.

Unless I luck out with coins, I buy little else except for energy if I am in desperate need.
Believe or not, even with tatsumakis my 60+ coin skills are bad.
I might buy a new potion on stage 7 if the run is particularly shitty, but often stages 9-10 give a potion if you used up the initial one and you've been for long time enough without one.
My memory right now tells me that a single 60+ coin drop before stage 4 suffices to follow the strategy above, but I really want to scribble it down.
I am sure that I was able to follow that progression a few times that I had NO 60+ coin drops but other coin drops were good, and I did not need to buy energy because I was hit rarely.

EDIT: I just had a third 1-CC on a Saturday morning (ah, the joys of adult age!), and I had:

A. 1 66 coin drop on the first snake of stage 2's dungeon (+66 coins over a "bare" run);
B. 1 missed coin on stage 1 boss' drop (-6 coins, total +60 coins over a "bare" run);
C. 4 missed coins on first iteration of Kraken, stage 4 (-7x4 coins=-28 coins, total +32 coins);
D. One 10 coins drink before the desert part, stage 5 (-10 coins total +22 coins);
E. One full healing treatment on stage 6 (-20 coins, total +2 coins).

I bought the legendary armor with 23 coins to spare, and the rest of the run was like I posted above.
An interesting bit is that I bumped a lot into enemies (strange run, I know), so I also obtained no less that 3 big hearts (1 right after the second knight fight, stage 7; 1 in stage 8, 1 in stage 10).
So, I would say that you can have extremely tight runs in which wiggling around will still net you decent money drops, and buy the minimum equipment on time anyway: no mistakes allowed, though.
I would also say that there is *something* governing heart drops, which seems sensitive to certain aspects of a player's performance (whence the "proto-rank" comment).
Magic is probably the same: I saw next to nothing lightning drops.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:13 am 


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Fuck it, I can't stand just speculating, I'm breaking out a debugger :P


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 11:16 am 



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Sumez wrote:
Fuck it, I can't stand just speculating, I'm breaking out a debugger :P


:lol: :lol: :lol:

...thanks, this should be the post of 2021, at least for this thread.

I am in frothing demand of the results. To quote David Hilbert. "We must know; we will know!" :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:12 am 


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FF1 no weapons run, level 9 finally, Fighter gets 2 hits barehanded and can reliably do 20-30 damage on Ogres, woo. Thanks to our massive HP pool now I decided to try the Marsh Cave, one expedition in to clear out some of the treasure, the second to murder the Wizards. AFIR is handy for taking advantage of the bug where enemy attack element is actually pulled from their elemental weakness, so I was able to use it to avoid getting stun killed by undead I met.

No party wipes so far, Wizards went down on first try. Met three of 'em, Fighter is way tankier than I remember (anywhere from like 5 damage to 20 damage, even survived eating a critical for 90). Everyone else was able to load up on buffs prior to any fatalities, buffed the Fighter too then proceeded to beat down. 10 damage barehanded on them is shockingly good, was expecting constant 1s.

Astos then got curbstomped on first try. He landed RUB on the Fighter, but that left all three mages left. AFIR and ALIT both went up (in case MUTE failed to land), but MUTE finally connected on the fifth attempt (it's like 10% chance of hitting Astos) and then he proceeded to get slapped to death 1 HP at a time while constantly trying to cast while silenced, all over the course of a solid 15 minutes.

ON TO THE EARTH CAVE! And Silver Bracelets (finally)!
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 12:10 pm 


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Okay, here's the lowdown on WB in Monster Land item drops, and it's not very exciting, unfortunately. And the way it works, mechanically, it's a little abstract, so it took a stupid long time to reverse engineer haha.

Obviously every enemy drops an item first, and then (if it respawns) a smaller point item, after which nothing more will drop. I think anyone who has played the game more than once has picked up on that.
The first item is picked from a table of 16 possible drops (often with repeated entries to control frequency), picked entirely by RNG.

I ran a few tests on the game's RNG routine, and although it doesn't use frame count for entropy, that algorithm is solid enough to seem rather unpredictable, with a decent spread. For example the repeatable corridor with gold bats doesn't get entropy from anything else, because their AI is completely predictable, but you'll still be able to get any drop from them. So the occasions I encountered where I either got absolutely no hearts or lots of them must have been entirely down to luck.

Like I said it's kinda abstract, but as far as I can tell, the drop tables are entirely based on the enemy type, no matter where in the game they appear. Which was honestly surprising to me, because I was certain I'd seen some deviations.
However, some drops might result in other items depending on certain factors, so I'm not sure which of the powerup drops would drop gear if I didn't have it, and I didn't identify which entry was the medicine because I already had one. But I could probably create a MAME cheat to manipulate drops and play around with it a bit.
This also means any coin drops on the final stage becomes point items. And, I guess, the more interesting one I discovered was that you can only have five heart drops on a stage*. Once you've picked up five, any subsequent drops will become hourglasses (* but until you've picked up your 5th, more can still drop). So not seeing drops on the mice has probably been a combination of bad luck and having already picked up 5.

This last bit of information feels like it would be easy to observe for anyone familiar with the game, but I hadn't picked up on it. :P

I looked into some of the drop tables, and as for the enemies present on the final stage:

Gold snakes, Red ghosts, Gold Bats, Vampires, Reapers, and Small yetis all have 1/16 chance of dropping a heart (the last three share a drop table)
Mice, Purple bats, and Plants all have 1/2 chance of dropping a heart!
Purple bats, Skeletons and the Demon (troll guy with an expanding ring of fireballs around him) all have 1/16 chance of dropping a big heart/full heal

So yeah, seems there's not a lot you can do to mitigate bad luck, but if you haven't gotten 5 hearts yet, kill a few of the mice in the last room. So basically, don't change your strategy XD


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:24 pm 



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Sumez...what can i say? Thank you, delightful post :wink:

But yes, the fact that luck seems to play a role(i.e. you need a certain enemy type to drop a certain item) is a general subjective experience I have from playing the game.
Case in point, I had a run this afternoon with two full heart drops from the second iteration of the Kraken on stage 4, and then the crab spawning right after the fight to give me a second full heart (...and a third full heart on stage 10, I don't remember which enemy).

Anyway, generally speaking I would say that if your concern is not blowing up your run in August, I would just practice weekly or so to be sure that your performance is optimal.
Something you implied a few posts ago is that you were rusty at the game (i.e. you didn't practice it after the original 1-CC), if I understand correctly.
I do play this and a few other "pure nostalgia" titles on a fortnight basis or so, and I feel that it suffices to keep the 1-CC skillset fresh :wink:

Not directly relevant to this, but I forgot to mention: I *believe* that the game has some kind of proto-rank system, as I decided to have a cheat run and power-up every component as soon as possible (With enough money, by stage 5 you can have all legendary level equipment).
The stage 8 ice yetis had an extra life bar (i.e. they required 4 hits rather than 3), and other enemies seemed to require an extra hit, too.
The rank system probably regulates something else, but arguably being fully equipped by stage 5 requires top notch skills in getting 60+ coins.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:08 am 


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Randorama wrote:
Anyway, generally speaking I would say that if your concern is not blowing up your run in August, I would just practice weekly or so to be sure that your performance is optimal.

The game is honestly quite easy, but you know, knowing there's so much that can screw up just worries me. :P I'll probably end up blowing it haha. It doesn't matter much, it's just a for-fun kinda thing.
I'll try to keep up weekly runs if only to ingrain stuff that I would otherwise easily forget, like not getting the second elevator in the Kong room on the final stage can be devastating, or the flute which I accidentally passed over a couple of times now.


Quote:
Not directly relevant to this, but I forgot to mention: I *believe* that the game has some kind of proto-rank system, as I decided to have a cheat run and power-up every component as soon as possible (With enough money, by stage 5 you can have all legendary level equipment).
The stage 8 ice yetis had an extra life bar (i.e. they required 4 hits rather than 3), and other enemies seemed to require an extra hit, too.
The rank system probably regulates something else, but arguably being fully equipped by stage 5 requires top notch skills in getting 60+ coins.

That's interesting. It's not surprising if the game has some kind of rank, that's pretty common for a 1987 game, so I wouldn't call it "proto-rank" either. It's not like Garegga invented the concept :D But at the same time, being under-equipped in this game will completely destroy you, so any attempt at counterbalancing better performances feels a little moot in this case.
You can force the behavior you're describing quite easily by repeatedly killing respawning enemies in the same area. Kill a few of a type that spawn with red dots on them, and they'll quickly become orange instead. On a recent run after returning from the bat pit in the desert, I tried sticking around a while to kill the arrow shooting goblins, and almost immediately, green goblins would start to spawn instead.

I never tried messing with the dip switches in the game (seems there are only two difficulty settings), maybe they affect the same thing?


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:15 am 



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Sumez wrote:
The game is honestly quite easy, but you know, knowing there's so much that can screw up just worries me. :P I'll probably end up blowing it haha. It doesn't matter much, it's just a for-fun kinda thing.
I'll try to keep up weekly runs if only to ingrain stuff that I would otherwise easily forget, like not getting the second elevator in the Kong room on the final stage can be devastating, or the flute which I accidentally passed over a couple of times now.


Agreed! Black Tiger or Cadash-EU are games you might snooze through, once you know them, but on this it is necessary to keep an eye on luck factors and the occasional random disaster. For instance: having at least one lightning or tatsumaki can become necessary with the knight bosses and the mekadragon, as they can try to corner you, raise you in the air, and make you lose energy by bumping back on their heads. Always be careful if enemies try to do this kind of "juggling" tecnique!

Quote:
That's interesting. It's not surprising if the game has some kind of rank, that's pretty common for a 1987 game, so I wouldn't call it "proto-rank" either. It's not like Garegga invented the concept :D But at the same time, being under-equipped in this game will completely destroy you, so any attempt at counterbalancing better performances feels a little moot in this case.
You can force the behavior you're describing quite easily by repeatedly killing respawning enemies in the same area. Kill a few of a type that spawn with red dots on them, and they'll quickly become orange instead. On a recent run after returning from the bat pit in the desert, I tried sticking around a while to kill the arrow shooting goblins, and almost immediately, green goblins would start to spawn instead.

I never tried messing with the dip switches in the game (seems there are only two difficulty settings), maybe they affect the same thing?


I admit that I do not know what is the current research status on rank and its history in arcade games, so I used the "proto-" to stay on the conservative side :wink:
And yes, respawning enemies seem to have more hits as long as they have the health bar. One-hit wonders like the snakes remain puny, right? :wink:
The only form of under-equipment I can realistically handle involves boots. Interestingly, I recalled that:

1. Ceramic boots are a possible drop (stage 8 onwards?), but I remember that other drops are possible (armour? I got the legendary armour as a drop at least once);
2. The healing potion seems to become frequent if you lose the first one from the first kong onwards (the secret, hard one), especially by stage 9.
I once experimented with this, and I had 3 dropped by stage 10! The CPU was basically saying "GIT ONE MORON";
3. I had a run in which I didn't get a single heart until the final stage in the labyrinth, and then the mice allowed me a +5 within seconds;
4. A few times I was able to corner the hobgoblin in the labyrinth with tatsumakis and kill it within seconds. That's easily the best outcome for that section.

...if you go live, I promise to find a way to cheer you regardless of the time zone difference :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:34 am 


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Randorama wrote:
1. Ceramic boots are a possible drop (stage 8 onwards?), but I remember that other drops are possible (armour? I got the legendary armour as a drop at least once);
2. The healing potion seems to become frequent if you lose the first one from the first kong onwards (the secret, hard one), especially by stage 9.
I once experimented with this, and I had 3 dropped by stage 10! The CPU was basically saying "GIT ONE MORON";

I'm pretty convinced both of these are based entirely on whether you already possess the item or not.
Testing drops on the final stage, multiple drop entries would result in the same items (usually stuff like helmet/gauntlet/boots/cape), and I assume these are the ones that can otherwise drop gear you're missing.

Quote:
3. I had a run in which I didn't get a single heart until the final stage in the labyrinth, and then the mice allowed me a +5 within seconds;

I'd like to think it's a rank thing - but unless I overlooked something major in my "research", I'm pretty certain this is really entirely down to RNG.

Quote:
4. A few times I was able to corner the hobgoblin in the labyrinth with tatsumakis and kill it within seconds. That's easily the best outcome for that section

Tatsumakis can really screw up the hobgoblin, but I've found the easiest way to counter him is using multiple consecutive lightnings. It's really pretty random what magic you'll have at this point, but I often found that I'd have enough to let them do the work. Bombs and fireballs are probably best utilized from atop the ledge, but that takes a lot longer.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:19 am 


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Eye of the Beholder

Never finished this one off. My buddy let me borrow the boxed copy, but he forgot to include the instruction booklet. This being back at a time that you had to use the booklet to answer copy protection questions, I was forced to call his house every time I booted the game up in DOS. Needless to say I gave up on that pretty quickly and didn't make it much past level 3. Shortly thereafter, Ultima Underworld came out and EOB didn't seem so important anymore.

I picked up the GOG copy years ago, but am just now getting around to it. A straight playthrough is a fairly frustrating experience for a couple of reasons.

1) there is no numerical way to know your weapon's damage until you get to second to last level and do a thing with an orb. There is a detect magic spell, but it just makes magic stuff glow, it offers no insights beyond that. This means that you basically are supposed to play 95% of the game completely in the dark as to what your weapons are doing. Even if you take notes, damage in internally all die-roles (of different sided dies) plus a number, and there is no numerical feedback during combat.

2) there's no auto-mapper standard with the game. This is an old-school you-draw-the-map-on-graph-paper game. I used to enjoy that as a kid with text games, but I'm not feeling it right now for whatever reason.

I'm using the clue-book maps and I found a chart of the weapons to give myself a general idea of what things do, but outside of a few named weapons in the game, it's not possible to know if you are using a plus 3 dagger of awesome or a minus 5 sword of chump until end game, and I find that annoying.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:30 pm 


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There are some great fan-upgrades to the Amiga ports of Eye of the Beholder I & II that add a really nice integrated automap. It makes for a much better experience than spoiling yourself with the cluebooks or using an external mapper, especially considering these versions don't freeze the game world for spell animations like on DOS. I don't know if you're up for starting over but feel free to PM me if you can't find an active download.

As for the games themselves, I think the EotB duo's the best of the '90s Dungeon Master clones, devious dungeons full of puzzles and monster variety. While ARPG combat is inherently a compromise, at least here you have a lot to play around with.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:20 pm 


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Mortificator wrote:
There are some great fan-upgrades to the Amiga ports of Eye of the Beholder I & II that add a really nice integrated automap. It makes for a much better experience than spoiling yourself with the cluebooks or using an external mapper, especially considering these versions don't freeze the game world for spell animations like on DOS. I don't know if you're up for starting over but feel free to PM me if you can't find an active download.

As for the games themselves, I think the EotB duo's the best of the '90s Dungeon Master clones, devious dungeons full of puzzles and monster variety. While ARPG combat is inherently a compromise, at least here you have a lot to play around with.


Thanks for the offer. I am aware of the add-on auto-mappers, but I've been playing with DOSBox Core on retroarch with my raspberry pi so that I can use my PVM as my VGA monitors are in storage (I don't have room in my apartment for any extra monitors). There is also an excellent add-on DOS automapper than works in windows which I can't use either.

I considered switching over to the the windows side and just using my LCD display, but the CRT is kind of nice with these old games.

Yes, I agree that EOB did DM best in the 90s, though it's a bit dumbed-down insofar as the RPG elements go. I wish there was more available information in-game (though I understand that's addressed in the second game). I still prefer UU, but it's way beyond the scope of DM/EOB into more advanced action RPG territory.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:32 pm 


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I feel ya regarding CRTs. It's the main draw of the experience for me these days, I do all my retrogaming on a CRT.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:25 pm 


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After having it on my shelf for like 2 years, I finally dug into Bloodborne. It didn't take long for it to hit me (and I know it's not a unique observation), this is the proper and actual 3D evolutionary descendant of Simon's Quest. It took a long time for From games to grab me, but approaching them from this angle works.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:50 pm 


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There is a From Software specific thread if you are interested in that. Not saying it has to be posted there, but you may choose to: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=54257


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 4:10 am 


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vol.2 wrote:
There is a From Software specific thread if you are interested in that. Not saying it has to be posted there, but you may choose to: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=54257


Perhaps down the road, for now I'm trying to avoid spoilers/secrets/gameplay details (not that the internet didn't spend years inundating me with comments about it already) and take in everything as it comes.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:15 am 


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Observation based on the data of what, a few hours of gameplay?

I can kinda see it, but it must take some serious mental gymnastics to get there.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:18 am 


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Rough


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:50 am 


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Who me? was that too much
sorry. :|
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 8:21 am 


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Yay, we better all rejoice at seeing a fellow shmupper going for his 1st almost-blind run in a From game, especially Bloodborne ! We wish you the best Sengoku Strider.

After a missed run at Griftlands, I decided to get Slay the Spire at half price on the Switch. So this is just Griftlands but 10x faster, no dialogs, no RPGing, just build deck and fight.
The beginning is quite simple with just attack and evade, but I hope mechanics get more complex as the game flows.

Griftlands did a better job at the mechanics, at least in the beginning, but up to the point where it was overwhelming for newcomers.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 4:59 pm 


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Mischief Maker wrote:
Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries - Dropship Collection

THIS IS A LIE!

I haven't gotten deeply into a Mechwarrior game since part 2, and to be honest that was mostly about the fantastic music. Mechwarrior 5's music sounds like it belongs in an 80s Saturday morning cartoon. And the mechwarrior 2 soundtrack mod I found on Nexus doesn't work with the new version. So about that gameplay...

Back in the 90s a friend said Mechwarrior games were just slower, crappier first person shooters, and I angrily disagreed at the time. Having played the keyboard/mouse optimized Mechwarrior 5, I'm now inclined to agree.

This game is definitely faster and more difficult than Mechwarrior 2, which is normally something I would like. The problem is this isn't Mechwarrior 2 where limping home in a nearly-dead mech is the taxpayer's problem. This is mechwarrior Mercenaries where not only do you have to pay for repairs, but critically damaged weapons and other parts are lost forever. I read a review saying save-scumming is the only way to keep your sanity in this game and I'm inclined to agree. Now you deal with similar consequences in HBS' Battletech, but being a turn based tactical game I at least have full situational awareness so I can act to minimize losses. In Mech 5 your radar is blocked by cover and your enemies come in swarms.

Jesus, the swarms! It's like they created this game to intentionally prove the impracticality of battlemechs. At all times you're swarmed with tanks and helicopters that are constantly moving, hard to hit, and shooting you with mech-caliber weaponry, stripping away your armor through the death of a thousand cuts. There's an early mission where you face a spider mech and your briefing lady is all worried and telling you to be careful while facing its fearsome two medium lasers and I'm just laughing considering I've already taken fire from dozens of helicopters with a medium laser apiece. And again, this wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that you'll have to pay for all the damage and you may permanently lose your best parts, so all the excitement of tearing your way through a choked battlefield and barely surviving is replaced by deliberating over whether to load that save file.

The weapon effects are nice, but the maps are dull. I went into instant action to try out an urban map and it was the same mountainous canyon with a 4-square-block fortress surrounded by useless walls, but the buildings inside the tiny compound looked like commercial skyscrapers instead of industrial equipment. Lame.

People said the Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC is necessary for Mech 5 to feel like a complete game. I shudder to think how empty the experience is without it. If you gotta have a mech game in the FASA universe, get the Battletech game on sale.

And if you want an action game about giant stompy mechs tearing through urban centers with one of the coolest soundtracks in gaming, play Brigador. It's honestly more fun than Mechwarrior 5.


So I have Gamepass now because it was cheaper than regular xbox live and wanted to get some multiplayer in. However saw Mechwarrior 5 was on it and gave it a spin, as a huge fan of the previous games (even the neutered FPS-like MW4 games).

Honestly, the issue about repairs/damaged weapons is the same as the two Mechwarrior 2 and Mechwarrior 4 merc games. Only here you can get insurance to cover some of your repair bills, so unless you get seriously chewed up regularly it shouldn't be a problem. In terms of what does the damage to you, most of the smaller things are easy to bring down and barely scratch you - certainly not to the point of losing weapons unless you really struggle to manoeuvre (as I was early on, the default controls for a gamepad are shitty and oversensitive). The light mech at the end of the mission you quote though, is not marked as fearsome for its two medium lasers - rather it can get in behind you and end you fairly quickly because rear armour is limited in Mechwarrior. The real issue with that mission is that it throws two manticores at you, which are not only heavily armoured but also pack a PPC, so will get a hit on you before you get into range to squash it. If it lands two into the same armour section, you're on thin ice the rest of the mission. That's a pretty BS thing to do before you get the chance to change your loadout or even get too used to the game.

Sensors are the real problem in this game, as they're line of sight for some reason. Perhaps you get proper sensors later on? I found it pretty annoying in defense missions to hunt down enemies doing the damage. That's my big "WHY???" in the game, as you have capable censors in literally every other Battletech game.

It kind of sucks that it follows MW4's hardpoint system, my starting Centurion has a medium autocannon but I can't swap it for a PPC because it's a ballistic hardpoint. I wouldn't mind if it was limited to missile racks, but it's needlessly restrictive. I bought a PPC and found I can't actually install it on anything.

It's seriously low budget too, choppy framerates but it looks like a 360 game. I wish they'd put a budget behind these games and come up with something on a Mechwarrior 3 scale again. I'll keep at it for now, actually had a mission with a couple of mechs in it and that side of the combat is at least familiar.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2021 5:19 pm 


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Picked up Phantasy Star II again from the halfway point.

Spoiler: show
I seem to remember that there was a way to keep Nei alive through the battle with Neifirst, but I can't remember what happens if you do. I know the game just goes on like she died from a cut scene perspective, but not if she show up in your party afterwards or not.


Another thing that I had forgotten was how badly the combat statistics are implemented. Swords are accidentally counted twice because of a bug that doubles the apparent attack value increase per hand (swords are 2-handed, so they add an extra hand to the attack number which is not calculated in battle). Which is why the knives are so much more effective until they just stop making better ones available because I guess they hadn't invented better knives yet?
You can't even trust gun weapons as they have different internal damage values than is indicated by the attack number when equipped. I guess it's an easy enough game that it shouldn't really matter, but it takes a lot of the fun out of it for me that I can't trust the apparent values of the weapons in-game.

Last gripe is that attack magic is somewhat useless until quite late in the game because your characters do not have enough TP points to last out most dungeons before they are drained. The game makes up for it by allowing magic users to not completely suck at physical, but it takes the fun out of the magic class to me to some degree. More often than not, the only strategy with magic is to save combat TP until you hit the boss.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2021 6:09 pm 


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But vol there's only like 3 bosses in the game! :lol:

I feel maybe magic is better saved until you come up against a particularly nasty random encounter, you can use magic to put them down quickly and save yourself taking damage / cutting your delving short?

Anyway I just restarted the game recently with a view to beating it with the worst characters! I thought about streaming it while drawing maps on dungeon doodler on the side but it was just annoying and nobody would watch anyway 8)

we should take this to the Phantasy Star thread if you know what i mean :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:21 am 


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Partner picked up a desktop for work, so regained access to my GOG account over the weekend.
I'm trying to decide if it's a good idea or not to replay Deus Ex. At this moment in time, it stands tall as once of the greatest experiences I've ever had in gaming, and I really don't want to sully that. On the other hand... it ran so badly on my PC back in the day that I ended up settling for the PS2 version, managed to play it through on PC after that when I'd upgraded slightly, but it was still rough when there was a lot going on. Can't harm to at least give it an hour or two with everything cranked up to full, finally, just to see, right?
I booted it up on Saturday and I swear the title screen music game me chills.

Also, Thief 2! That's not far behind DE in my rankings. Also picked up the original Shadow Warrior, I love Duke to this day and never got around to playing this. And Syndicate Wars! Oh man, I've got way, way too much to play.

Oh, playing random Evercade stuff over the weekend, I stumbled across the NES version of the venerable 'Way of the Exploding Fist'. Jesus wept it's bad. The C64 version is still relatively enjoyable. This.... wow.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:51 pm 


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After a few weeks of looking forward to it I picked up Phantom Abyss. Developed by Team Wiby (never heard of 'em!) and publiched by Devolver Digital (These guys I hoid of).

Take Mirrors Edge game play, mix it with Indiana Jones and you get the basic idea.

Still in early access you're tasked with retrieving goodies from dangerous places cause fortune and glory. Tombs have a very Inca/Aztec feel to them and currently the tombs run up to ten levels deep. Here is how it works:

At the start you are placed in a tomb. You're told who guards it, and how many have perished prior to you arriving or if you are the first to explore it. At any given time you are the only living explorer in a tomb, but the ghosts of those who came before will be running along side you. They can help you find hidden things, but they can also set off traps.

Every third level you have a choice - push deeper into the tomb for better loot - or face the trials of that level and claim your treasure. I am pretty consistently earning tier one relics, but have yet to grab a tier two. If you decide to push on you enter the next (more difficult) area.

Each temple is randomly guarded by one of three assholes. They become more aggressive the further you go. One shoots beans at you, another shoots gas bombs, and the third just follows you.

Now the first two are pretty manageable as you can run away from the gas bombs and or hide behind shit. These two shoot more things/shoot more frequently as the game goes on. The asshole who follows you though? Fuck that guy. He starts following pretty slow, but moves faster and faster each level. He does the one thing the other two don't - he takes your time away from you and forces you to keep moving. He is also the only baddie who can 1 HKO you. If I get this guy I will go after the tier one treasure. If I get one of the other two I will often push on and go for tier two.

If you manage to proceed as far as you can into a temple and claim its greatest treasure it becomes sealed off forever. No one else can ever play it.

If you die the loot from that tier is captured and will be released to you when another explorer clears it. There are already threads up where people post codes of levels they were killed on. There are also a bunch of whips that give you a buff and debuff, but I did something and now one of my whips only has its buff which is good. Your special whips are also kept if you die, but you can also pay a small fee to get them back. The way this is currently constructed is pretty fair imo.

That's it for now. I'm digging it. Come loot the dead with me, maybe you'll see my ghost.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:12 pm 


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Stevens wrote:
Phantom Abyss.


I was reading about this on Sat morning, sounds cool.
I also just realised, though this PC is a pretty basic thing, I can pick up that Norita game that had me so intrigued a few pages back.
I've got the house to myself on Wed night, gonna lock myself in the games room with a case of beer.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:43 pm 


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Marc wrote:
I'm trying to decide if it's a good idea or not to replay Deus Ex.


I think it all comes down to how nostalgic you get for late 90s/ early 2000s PC gaming. If you can love the chunky polygons then it still holds up and is just as good of a game as it was back then. It's not a fluke that so many people like the game. I would say that I hate how dark it is. I know that's the vibe of the game, but it's not an "eye friendly" game and I personally have to raise up the gamma on stuff like that or I can't see anything.


Quote:
Also, Thief 2!


I like the Thief series better than DE. The in-game world is more fully constructed and the player mechanics and weapons are simpler and flow better. That's not to say the load-out in Thief is simple, far from it, DE is one of the most complicated games of it era with all of it's tech devices and different ways to play.


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