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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 7:19 am 


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pegboy wrote:
I finally fucking cleared this piece of shit game legacy of war. Surely this is the hardest "contra" game ever made although I guess I haven't played its ridiculous sequel yet so maybe it gets even worse?

There are literally no 1cc runs on youtube, and I've only ever seen 1 legit run that was "beaten" using continues and no save loading. And that run was the speedrun "world record", which I beat by like 15 minutes lol since nobody fucking plays this game.

And please nobody post that total fraud nintendocomplete's "run". That is the fakest shit I have ever seen. I can't believe that clown even tries to pass that shit off as real.

Someone asked if you'd play Call of Duty Mobile in your special Contra HC run. If I had a drink in my mouth, I might've spat it on my TV as the guy could just look through your videos to see what you play. The Gradius III PS2 No Wait 0 video still gets me, everytime I go back to watch it, I wonder how the hell you did it. Well duhhh..... practice of course. As for Legacy of War, that game is torture enough, and I refuse to even call it a Contra game (I own a PS1 copy of it, bought it as a novelty only, hate the game). C The Contra Adventure starts out so promising, but goes to shit real quickly. That's Konami's fault though for outsourcing TWO Contra games to Appaloosa software, considering they half assed LoW.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:57 pm 


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pegboy wrote:
I finally fucking cleared this piece of shit game legacy of war. Surely this is the hardest "contra" game ever made although I guess I haven't played its ridiculous sequel yet so maybe it gets even worse?

There are literally no 1cc runs on youtube, and I've only ever seen 1 legit run that was "beaten" using continues and no save loading. And that run was the speedrun "world record", which I beat by like 15 minutes lol since nobody fucking plays this game.

And please nobody post that total fraud nintendocomplete's "run". That is the fakest shit I have ever seen. I can't believe that clown even tries to pass that shit off as real.


Thank you for your service ;-;7 I can't even look at those PS1 Contras without feeling a bit annoyed, haha.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:23 am 


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The sequel has sidescrolling part at least, but still look worse. IIRC the aim lock feature ala SS was featured first in this game.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:24 am 


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Fire Dragon Fist Master Xiao-Mei gets a Switch port.

For some odd reason the trailer doesn't show any gameplay, but I found some footage of the original PC game here and it's so Spartan-X that I must try this new version out.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:25 am 


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Got the 1CC on C: the Contra Adventure. Okay, you almost fucking lost me at that title alone. What the fuck does "C" stand for? Is it "Contra: the Contra Adventure"? It's not like they were trying to censor it back like they did with Super C or Operation C, since it still has fucking CONTRA in the title. I just don't get it.

I'm inclined to say this game is better than Legacy of War, but it does have a ton of problems, namely the 3rd person stages. It's also the biggest bait and switch game I've ever seen. It teases you with a side-scrolling traditional Contra level and then dumps you into a bunch of 3rd person levels like nobody was gonna notice lol.

At first you think maybe it's going to alternate like some of the other games did, but it doesn't, levels 2-6 are all 3rd person Tomb Raider wannabe stages where you hunt down switches and blow up boxes to open gates and search for the bosses. This is definitely the low point, and it's a very long low point, probably 2/3 of the game's length or more, as there is a lot to explore.

I want to say that this portion of the game is actually worse than Legacy of War, at least it would be if not for the life bar so you no longer die in 1 hit. That does kind of balance out my distaste for it, because at least it's not unfair like LoW. Framerate and camera are both massive issues here, and it can and frequently does get really bad with both.

Thankfully things do pick up for the last portion of the game where you are free-falling down an elevator in stage 7, fighting in an extended remake of the OG Contra's base level in stage 8, and finally another side-scrolling level in the alien nest to finish off the game. You know, that last run of stages was actually pretty decent, if only the whole game had that same sort of feel it would have been legitimately good.

In the end C the Contra Adventure does get my approval, but it is ever so slight.
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Last edited by pegboy on Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:42 am 


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Great coverage as always - I don't know why I'm surprised to hear they ducked out of the sidescrolling like that. :lol:

Being exceedingly charitable, I guess the OG arcade game's split is somewhat similar (sidescrolling, followed by gallery, then vertical-only, another gallery, then a final extended sidescroll). But then those in-between sections are over in a flash, and it's a short game besides. Anyway, not to take the comparison too far...

Title brings to mind the dinky LCD handheld. Not exactly paragons of handheld gaming, but I did think going by "C" was a pretty swagger move. :cool:

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:51 am 


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I absolutely am going to buy that handheld and beat it too. No joke.

Contra Force will probably be next, to complete the bastard child trilogy of terror.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:53 am 


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Was gonna say the worst is behind you but I didn't know that handheld existed. :lol: I had the Ninja Turtles one back in the day.

The way the camera swings around in the lengthy third-person portion of See: The Papal Adventure is nauseating. I agree that it gets much better when the perspective is locked and you just RI2SKMF (run into the screen killing motherfuckers). Stage 8 is more fun than Contra 4's corridor re-dos.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:14 am 


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There's also Contra Evolution, a Chinese-only remake of the original Contra for the Taito Type-X. I never got around to play it long enough to know how good/bad it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 11:16 am 


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Got the 1CC on C: the Contra Adventure. Okay, you almost fucking lost me at that title alone. What the fuck does "C" stand for? Is it "Contra: the Contra Adventure"?


Maybe they were trying to get in on that 90s trend of just naming things an iconic number or letter like T2. They tried to just call Street Fighter III just "Three" on the cabinet marquee when it first came out.

Guys I'm going to the mall to see T2. Probably gonna hit up the arcade to play some Three and come home to play C.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:15 pm 


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I dunno. That handheld still looks more fun than Legacy of War and their handhelds were usually much better than what Tiger was putting out. I found their TMNT games to be pretty fun. Did that handheld come to Japan as "Contra", or was it "C" there too (I know that the Gradius handheld came to Japan as Nemesis)? Konami did that "C" thing with the US versions of Super Contra NES and Contra GB too. I'm glad they stopped that with their later Contras (aside from that outsourced "C" thing).


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 4:45 pm 


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Contra Force's problem is the egregious slowdown, despite the graphics are technically impressive. It was supposed to be different game called "Arc Hound" but they re-branded Contra Force to increase sales or bait consumers.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:05 am 


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The end of a five-year journey...

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Finally got the 1CC, shortly after getting the clear. It's pretty satisfying.

I hate to admit it, but I think this may be the only Mega Drive Shinobi that I actually like. The first Super Shinobi is just this side of frustrating, and Super Shinobi II is too... gimmicky? It's not terrible, but it doesn't really feel like a Shinobi game, either.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:15 am 


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Congrats, loop 3 is mean!

The Super Shinobis (the Saturn's Shin Shinobi Den is effectively the third) are really their own thing altogether. I like both the AC and console trilogies, but I'd go with the former's sharp simplicity every time, if forced to choose.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:18 am 


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congrats! difficulty 3 is indeed pretty tough. eventually im going to go back and get the no shuriken no miss. one of these days.

super shinobi 1 has annoying controls imo, really puts me off playing it too much
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 5:44 am 


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It's such an honor to be recognized and congratulated by the two of you. Thanks so much!

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super shinobi 1 has annoying controls imo, really puts me off playing it too much


I'm not sure which is worse, the floaty jumps (even floatier than Shadow Dancer MD's) or the ridiculous amount of knockback you experience whenever a hazard so much as grazes you.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:15 am 



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Been playing some Assault Suits Valken.

I'm a huge fan of this sub-genre, and I've played Valken a bit before, but it's my first time taking it more seriously and going for the 1CC. I did not achieve this, as I lost my credit at the game's penultimate boss. This was due to not having enough health to simply damage race him, which is what I usually do as it works with even half a health bar. But I didn't even have that, so my options, as far as I could see at the time, were to flail around (the game isn't really built for dodging bullets except in a macro sense) or cover shoot using the shield. I tried using the shield. It didn't work, because when he spawns his options his rate of fire is pretty relentless so as soon as you shield down to shoot or reposition (you are stationary with it up) you get hit. So I guess maybe shield use isn't a viable strategy if you're on low health and you should go mobile instead.

Anyway I didn't even get the 2CC cause I soft locked the game on the continue. Basically, I decided to never touch the floor just booster back up on to the balcony and then spam laser. Don't do that. If you don't touch the floor, you won't trigger all the little dudes running away, and if you don't trigger the little dudes running away before you down the boss, he won't leave his mech and if he doesn't do that the game never triggers your boost crash through the upper floors and into to the president's office.

So it wasn't like my Firemen 1CC where I could chalk it up anyway cause it locked on the final boss KO, rather here I have no idea how I would have fared against the final boss. Practicing the final boss, he isn't that hard. Kind of just 2 circular patterns of movement (first to take out the crotch, second to finish off his head) and 1 little vertical up and down jig (to take out his neck (?) cannons before you go for the head).

The game has a few flaws. The radio chatter that pauses the game is quite annoying, as are what amount to in-engine cut scenes where you can flail around while you wait. These are really annoying on repeated play throughs especially, sadly, so I can't do too many sittings of this one in a day. I'm also not the biggest fan of the attrition stretch parts of stage 5 and 7 (although perhaps that's because of my methodical block and shoot approach through them, I've seen BIL's run and he moves through them much more acrobatically), and there's some visibility issues with some zako spawned behind scenery.

But it's not a bad game by any means. In fact, it's great. I love the 2D arcade mech sim-lite controls. It really does feel like you're piloting a mech which is an amazing achievement in and of itself. The seek and destroy stages are great. It feels good to improve on them and learn the best route and shooting positions to take your mech through them unscathed.

Another big positive is the game seems to have sound scoring. It's pretty much kill'em'all scoring, but with plenty of missables and a couple of speed killing sections. For example, you can miss the 2 power ups and floating mine swarm on stage 3 if you get hit during platforming and fall through to the next area. You can also miss all the enemies in the auto scrolling sections, and all the enemies that fly across the screen e.g. the bombers in stage 5. The speed killing sections are the beginning of stage 4 (unfortunately the latter half of this stage is just one long cut scene) and the stage 5 boss. The game designers seemed to be careful with the scoring, as the few instances of things you could potentially milk (e.g. stage 2 boss's options) don't actually give score, or you're on a timer that puts you on the bad ending path. I'm referring here to the stage 5 boss where you can neglect the shuttle in order to kill as many of the guards as you can, but if you get too greedy you'll time out. Unfortunately the timer isn't visible (or I don't know how to make it visible). I wouldn't be surprised if the game did actually have some easy milking somewhere as most 16-bit games do, but I couldn't find it. Has anyone tried playing this game for score?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 3:56 pm 


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Good post, marked for index! In my replay, I forgot that the final boss's gun arm can't be destroyed, so keep that in mind if you go for the rematch. :lol:

RE stage 7's deceptively lethal streets, Air-To-Ground lasering works well. Not only does it draw enemy fire upward; you're also at your fastest while falling, eliminating the need to block. Sweep the ground throughout - this'll take out mechs, and also infantry and jeeps that like to snipe from the rubble. The capital's Absolute Defenders aren't to be taken lightly! What an immense scene - some of the most bitterly intense action cinema ever. Absolute diehards butting heads in the heart of war. Image

I'd not thought about Valken's scoring much, but I do know that unlocking the secret Napalm weapon is directly related to the counter (finish stage 1 without killing anything but the boss, IIRC). Always seemed like a nod to its predecessor Leynos (where better stage performance = better gear), but maybe they were more score-conscious than I assumed.

Incidentally, Gigantic Army - Astro Port's love letter to Masaya - has some pretty nice scoreplay. It's simple, but it works, and tbh I prefer that in my rampant destructioners. It's broadly speed-based, yet also sharply combat-minded. The timer is your stage multiplier - so while zako milking is possible, it's never worth it. Simply rushing through stages doesn't work, either - this'll get you hit, and excess HP restores are worth huge chunks of score. So controlled aggression and deft piloting gets the points.

Doesn't have Valken's charisma, but it does genuinely improve on a few things - a vicious automelee pilebunker, in particular. Worth a look for sure. AP have done quite a few heavy machine sidescrollers since (and even before, that tank game whose name escapes me), plus lots of STGs. Always good guys in my book.

EDIT: actually, now I think back, you've mentioned GA before, nm. :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:14 pm 


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Spent some quality time with The Lord of King a.k.a. The Asyanax (in the Arcade Archives version for Switch), a completely different, much prettier, and clearly better game than its FC counterpart. Probably everybody here knows this, but it shares a lot of DNA with similarly battleaxe-based action platformer Makyou Densetsu / The Legendary Axe on PC Engine, as both games were the brainchild of Aicom's Tokuhiro Takemori, who kind of disappeared from the scene after his final barbarian game Vasum for Mega Drive unfortunately never got released.

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What I definitely like about The Astyanax compared to Legendary Axe is that you no longer need to charge your attack for it to actually be effective. You can still fill a power bar (by not pressing the attack button), which will make the axe burn and kill most enemies in one hit, but it's an added bonus and no longer a necessity. In most situations, repeatedly chopping with your axe is enough to get a grip on enemies. And boy are there lots of them! Their incessant spawning hardly gives you time for a breather, and you really have to work your way through the stages inch by inch. On top of all that, most of the enemies are veritable damage sponges — a little less would have been more, but at least the game gives you enough tools to deal with the onslaught. The controls are tight and there is a magic attack that can be levelled up four times, plenty of power-ups, a shield that can be used to parry enemy attacks, and the fact that the axe's arc hits behind you as well. Enemy arrows can even be reflected back with a well-aimed blow, but unfortunately they won't damage enemies - too bad, that would have been cool!

What is cool are the colorful, varied, and detailed graphics. Really great stuff in terms of atmospheric environments and fantastical backgrounds. The enemies are just as varied (skeletons, demons, ogres and insect-men), well-drawn and elaborately animated, such as the catgirls, who bashfully run away when you knock their bra off. Last stage is a blatant HR Giger ripoff, of course, which is rather cute today.

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Overall, I found the game to be one of the easiest arcade 1CCs I've done so far. The impressive looking bosses, all have pretty obvious safe spots, and the game keeps up a steady stream of extends and health-ups, so even inexperienced players should be able to clear this one in just a few hours. Fans of Rastan, Castlevania, or Legendary Axe should definitely check this title out, but I'm glad I never shelled out for the PCB. I rate it 7/10 battle axes.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 2:37 am 


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Great post. :smile: Aicom definitely leaned hard towards accessibility on that one. What bugs me in hindsight is the non-existent fourth boss; even another big, goofy safespotter would've sufficed, with the climactic summit and ominous BGM shift. That aside, I enjoyed it a lot - both as a JAMMA companion to its FC/PCE cousins, and an easier yet high-quality AC slasher. Superb feedback on the axe swing - striking enemies out of the air is particularly satisfying. It has that ActRaiser II touch-of-death goodness, too, letting you demolish bruisers with a single well-timed counterattack.

"Just a girl. Get out of here!" - Ryu Hayabusa Image
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While I'm not sure if Takemori was involved, I think the strongest title of this odd little cross-platform quartet (counting FC+AC Lordy and the PCE duo) is Ankoku Densetsu. Similarly meaty-yet-precise slashing, with some interesting tactical wrinkles. Great bleak fantasy tone, as well - even the player character and his foes' near-nude physiques evoke primal brutality. Image Now that I've cleared AC Lordy, Ankoku's Giger-esque touches seem a lot less random.

---

Got that Metal Slug 5 Nomiss I'd been putting off all year. Special thanks to copy-paster for renewing my motivation with his own recent 1LC. Image Was a little trickier than I'd expected... maybe due to a summer chillaxing with Bloodborne. An utterly hardcore affair in its own right, to be sure - but boy do I miss lifebars, and HP restores, and quicksteps. MS5's Cthonic final boss was an eerily apropos welcome back, looking entirely akin to FromSoft's elusive Nightmares. Something must've followed me home. Image

Image

A corpse... should be left well alone.

(MS5 bears the marks of crunch, but honestly, I think its ambiguous plot works great. Less so that unskippable cutscene after stage 1 :evil: :lol:)

Reaper's direct strike is trivial, more of a breather. His other attack, I'd call the single hardest in the Neo series. MSX's Rugname and MS3's Rootmars are deadlier, yet there's armour and i-frames between them and you. MS3's Sol is too, at his worst - but this is vanishingly rare, and can be further mitigated around.

Neither mercy is found here. It's a classic bullet-herder, broadly similar to MS3's Fake Rootmars - lethally fragmented into a screen-length array. Conventional pendulum movement can backfire horribly; instead, I found success in dealing with shots individually, micro-adjusting my path according to RNG. It's best to pre-emptively position yourself for the mass array, which readies as he flies off; you want to leave yourself plenty of floor to cross, and cross it sparingly, at that.

Slide is a tempting refuge, one I quickly relegated to emergency/correction. I preferred the more controllable "duck-walk" seen here. I had to face an extra volley, due to a nervous stage leaving me at 50% ammo; was quite happy with my technique, in the end.

Despite the extreme danger level, it's well-balanced; I guess there must be some algorithm averting brickwalls. The spheres' generous visual cue is invaluable, too (not sure how well the flickering will appear @ 30fps capture). I do wish they'd allowed the Slug Gunner. I'm sure it would've inevitably prompted much Exit Exploit, but by that same token, it looks like scoring hits without losing the vehicle, and even EEing without losing your life, would've been a tough challenge. Regardless, the sustained on-foot battle is just as valuable. A fine sendoff for a legendary series.

As with MS4, the otherwise superb ACA version isn't quite ideal for recording. Not only does Hi Score mode enforce censorship - it also crops the screen. More annoyance than I'm willing to put up with, particularly as I'd be recording this on my PS2 disc, had the coof not wrecked travel plans. Come to think of it, the ACA Rygar, Guevara and VS Castlevania runs I want to nail before year's end don't support HS Mode either (I wanna play on higher than factory difficulty). Image Anyway, here's yesterday's 1CC (deaths @ Sand Sub + Reaper) for frame-by-frame comparison, if anyone wants to throw down the gauntlet. :cool: Incidentally, the Nazca Slugs are cropped in HS Mode, too, but they were designed for narrow res.

Image

A few run notes:

MISSION 1: I've made some peace with the much-hated boat section. I remember the mood when SNKP emerged ca.2003, following the awkward transition which saw MS4 and KOF 2001. I get the feeling they were going for an expressly gentle introduction, not merely abandoning the hardcore. (granted, Nazca always managed this without resorting to child-proofing, but they were friggin Nazca) I hope I made the corridor of fire and its two boss fights look alright. While they're effectively harmless, there is some forward momentum on offer - and the Nazca engine is fully intact, as expressively kinetic as ever.

MISSION 2: A fun romp with generous destruction and shaweet tunes. I forgot to do my favourite thing, so I'll GIF it here. Image

Spoiler: show
Image

DATS GOTTA HOIT
Image

MISSION 3: Superb opening skirmish with MS5's aggressive new zako. Between the uneven footing and their vicious attacks, it's a deceptively easy place to die. I skip the secret exit - I like getting UR GR8s, but I just can't take the exterior route right now, too slow and airy. Interior, OTOH, finally brings the indulgent, fiery, deep dish demolition I expect of Slug. Image Keeping the Gunner to the top isn't just for style points; 2xMG takes a chunk out of the boss.

MISSION 4: Ahh, yes. Image COMMANDO. Image 4-1 is the game's standout - methodical carnage that does Nazca proud. I got all the kills I wanted, with only a little holdup on the bridge shielders, so I'm happy. Sand Sub will always frighten a bit... I should work on an emergency escape for worst-case RNG. Specifically, getting pinned to the right during Fire Rain. Happy enough to cut n' run for now.

FINAL MISSION: Nerves, nerves, nerves. Lost the Walker, a trivial but discouraging hiccup; also had a spill on the first ramp of the final area. I know from bitter experience to back off - while the stage's first 75% is mild, the remainder is harshly unforgiving, and pointedly resource-sparse.

Mammoth Tower is deadlier than it looks, between its awkwardly-positioned weakpoints, its rangey trunks, and the underfoot maggot horde. I'd routed it by this point: Land six blasts to rightmost, clear the maggots, finish it off. Switch to other, chipping while clearing maggots to get the 2xMG; chip some more, then go for the kill. Don't let the 2xMG disappear on you! In the best case, I can get away with full ammo and ten grenades. Wasn't too worried at the ammo loss; as said above, my Reaper technique felt pretty good.

Its sleepy start aside, I enjoy MS5 a lot. Like Neo Contra in its series, even a milder Slug packs industry-best scrolling action joie de vivre.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:07 am 


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Damn, people here have been dominating that game recently! I didn't think I was going to watch another run so soon but before I know it it's at the undersea tunnel fight. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:57 am 


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The tunnel battle really grew on me, once I was reliably carrying in the full HMG and tons of grenades - first half is classic SNK/Nazca catharsis, a wall of armour to demolish (bouncing off the Clone Hound as it backs into the corner is critical - as per Slug tradition, it loses contact kill once it stops moving) - and the mass Ninja melee is model use of Zero Enemy Collision. So much space-invading pressure! Even the POWs and their scurrying, flopping animal pals add to the sense of pandemonium.

2NITE THERES GONNA BE A JAILBREAK Image
Spoiler: show
Image


I still feel like I've opened the gates of hell when the Laser POW drops. :mrgreen: I'd never actually noticed the throwing knifer until last week's practice; their slash has such nasty reach, I'd assumed the occasional death was simply me being slow on the trigger. A real "You DIRTEH MUHFUCKA :shock:" revelation. :cool: My marker is still basically "get Laser, jump over left Shielder so he doesn't machete me, HOSE EM DOWN" I froze up slightly on the last ninja; I knew I was well within safe proximity, but that was very much a "gotta be shittin' me" crouch. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:42 pm 


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Hell yeah MS5 no-miss, with full-balls R2RKMF style as expected! :mrgreen: I like how you went to kill everything on sight and that nerve movement during final stage is pure gold.

Although I have to say that your handling of last two bosses are not "hardcore" enough. :lol: Now that you cleared the game, maybe compare the strategies of sand sub/mammoth/reaper with mine.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:58 pm 


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Glad you enjoyed ^__^ Mission 4-1 is a thing of beauty, I'm happy I finally got my routes recorded. Didn't quite nail the bridge shielders - shoulda emptied the Drop Shot so I could haul ass straight into 'em. Hyakutaro isn't really relevant, beyond Cool Points, but if you tear through the Shielders quickly enough, he'll kick the shit out of the last one Hokuto no Ken-style Image

I was surprised to see the two planes near the Drop Shot in your run, I'd no idea they were there! Must be a position trigger ala MS1's bridge. I'd have tried to nail 'em on the jump down to the asphalt if I could. I kinda regret blowing away the stage's very last plane outright; the way the screen shakes Ketsui-style if you let it crash into the stairs is amazing. Image

I was indeed on totally shameless form VS Sand Sub, gambled it all on RNG and robbed the bastard blind Image I wonder if using ten of those grenades earlier in the mission might yield a cooler rampage, and a more organic fight... he's an excellent boss design. Mission 4 is great stuff, definitely on my all-series shortlist. Only thing I'd change is the plinky middle section of the Marine Slug stage. Mission 3/Interior's not far behind either, I'd go for a whole game's worth of that crushingly heavy (yet surprisingly finessed) mech action.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:05 pm 


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Nice work BIL, have you no deathed all the MS games now? I'd love to tackle them at some point, seems like 3 is probably the hardest just based on sheer length?

I just finished off the arcade Contra on the very difficult setting with no deaths. It's the US version, since I own the PCB, not sure if there are differences between this and the Japanese version. I know people have been saying the AC Contra is a joke, and perhaps that is true on normal (it mostly is).

Also I noticed that MAME apparently defaults to the EASY setting? At least the old version aka ShmupMAME that I was practicing with does. WTF, maybe most people are playing on easy without knowing it? One odd thing they added so you can tell which difficulty you are playing are these weird scuba knifer guys at the beginning on the game. 0 scuba guys = easy or normal, 1 scuba guy = difficult, 2 scuba guys = very difficult.

The hardest parts of the game are the stage 4 boss. This asshole is like Contra version of Salamander stage 4 boss. I went back and replayed it on normal just to see the difference and the guy is a damn joke there and dies so much faster and shoots like 1/4 of the shit he does on hardest. That is the major part to overcome, and if you die there you can still try for the 1cc and take him down with the pea shooter but it's a war of attrition.

The next hardest part is the alien head in the last stretch of the game, need to inch ever so close and take out his shrimp before it scrolls you to the boss itself. Then unleash full fury as fast as possible and hope he dies before you do. That's basically the only thing I could do to pass it.

Oh, and the stage 3 boss is a fucking NIGHTMARE on hardest...if you don't cheese him with the barrier. The drawback is the barrier powerup only shows up if you get to the level with no weapon equipped, so you must play the first 2 stages with the pea shooter, which isn't really that bad actually.

Thankfully it's a short game so even though I restarted like a billion times eventually you get a run together that passes stages 4 and you have a legit shot from there.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:38 pm 


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pegboy wrote:
Nice work BIL, have you no deathed all the MS games now? I'd love to tackle them at some point, seems like 3 is probably the hardest just based on sheer length?


Thanks! I've nomissed all of the Neo Slugs besides MS2, which leaves just MS6 and MS7/XX. Will probably go with the PS2 port of the former; I have XX on PS4, but I detect a bit of input lag, which puts me off. A shame, as it seems great otherwise. I like the wild new Ikari characters, and stages seem smartly consolised, with an exploration aspect that never overpowers the run/gun. It's got a huge stash of mini-mission challenges, too. Might have to look at the PSP version, or maybe someone will patch the Steam one. I could probably tolerate it on PS4, but I hate feeling weighed down with those beautiful Nazca-derived controls.

I might nomiss MS2 for completism. It suffers from heaving slowdown, which its redux MSX largely fixed. MSX is merely chuggy, and with tons more action onscreen, besides. However, MS2 has some interesting alternate stage layouts, and tbh, I just find Nazca's raucous action hugely likeable, even in sub-optimal conditions.

Difficulty-wise, yeah, MS3 gets a dubious win in the Neo series. :lol: All 3.5 of Nazca's games have decidedly end-biased difficulty curves; MS3 takes this to the extreme. Its infamous Final Mission is longer than the preceding four stages combined, its latter half a sustained barrage of deadly setpieces. The real killer, though, is the intervening STG sequence. Frankly, it's not great; not bad, but not up to Nazca's ex-IREM standard. The shot is middling, the ship is huge, and the stage is overlong (powerups help, but can be easily lost). Not to be too down on it - I love MS3's sense of titanic endgame, not just for the series, but Nazca and SNK themselves - but the sheer endurance demand can't be overlooked. Next time I play (I want to nomiss a few alternate routes) will be with autofire, which clears up the STG drudge.

Of the others, MS1 is almost certainly the easiest. Five stages of unbridled tank rampage, capped off by a finale that will menace initially (mostly due to lack of said tank), but won't hold arcade vets back for long. Despite the consolesque difficulty, its rampant pace, monstrous firepower, and slick black-comic style make it a classic, and still a great starting point.

MSX (as above, I recommend skipping MS2) operates on a similar curve, just a notch harder. Technically, it's perhaps the most perfect of Nazca's games; bursting with new player/enemy concepts, and a finale that's titanic yet concise. MS3 is pure apocalyptic indulgence - either endearing, or offputting. I will say its first four missions (really more like eight, between all their alternate routes) are some of the most finessed, varied scrolling action I know of.

Image

MS4 and MS5 are natural outcasts, running on Nazca's engine, but developed by new teams following SNK's closure. As a huge fan, I would say both are great for enthusiasts, though non-essential otherwise. Noise Factory's MS4 tends to be scorned for its patchy recycled art - but as a "Mission Pack," I think it's actually the most consistently excellent run/gun of the whole Neo set. Where Nazca's Slugs don't get really threatening until near endgame, MS4 is out for blood from stage 2's boss onward. Ultimately about as tough as MSX, that is, just right.

SNKP's MS5 has shiny new art assets, but suffers from much sleepier opening stages than any of the preceding Slugs. It does eventually heat up, turning in respectable third and final stages, and an outright excellent fourth. While it's the weakest Neo Slug, that's not much of an indictment; still a quality run/gun, on an all-time classic engine.

Basically, I'd suggest playing them in order, with MS4+5 optional, unless you absolutely hate easier arcade games (skip MS1), or overlong ones (skip MS3). MSX is the pinnacle of the Neo series; tougher than the original, tighter than the finale, and delivered with a veteran largesse neither successor team could approach. Just be careful around Neo Geo geeks, they get mad if you diss MS2. :cool:

Image

Quote:
I just finished off the arcade Contra on the very difficult setting. It's the US version, since I own the PCB, not sure if there are differences between this and the Japanese version. I know people have been saying the AC Contra is a joke, and perhaps that is true on normal (it mostly is).

Also I noticed that MAME apparently defaults to the EASY setting? At least the old version aka ShmupMAME that I was practicing with does. WTF, maybe most people are playing on easy without knowing it? One odd thing they added so you can tell which difficulty you are playing are these weird scuba knifer guys at the beginning on the game. 0 scuba guys = easy or normal, 1 scuba guy = difficult, 2 scuba guys = very difficult.


Congrats on the clear! I'd completely forgotten about those diver dudes - just tried out the ACA version, whose difficulty settings behave exactly like you describe, in both Japan and US versions. It doesn't surprise me to hear MAME's DIPs are/were weird; Contra's 3D stage emulation was infamously broken for decades, up until very recently. Gotch's ACA version was actually the first emulation, official or otherwise, to get everything right.

Quote:
The hardest parts of the game are the stage 4 boss. This asshole is like Contra version of Salamander stage 4 boss. I went back and replayed it on normal just to see the difference and the guy is a damn joke there and dies so much faster and shoots like 1/4 of the shit he does on hardest. That is the major part to overcome, and if you die there you can still try for the 1cc and take him down with the pea shooter but it's a war of attrition.

The next hardest part is the alien head in the last stretch of the game, need to inch ever so close and take out his shrimp before it scrolls you to the boss itself. Then unleash full fury as fast as possible and hope he dies before you do. That's basically the only thing I could do to pass it.


I can imagine - I find both of those bosses tricky enough on Normal, with the game's innately difficult aiming.

Quote:
Oh, and the stage 3 boss is a fucking NIGHTMARE on hardest...if you don't cheese him with the barrier. The drawback is the barrier powerup only shows up if you get to the level with no weapon equipped, so you must play the first 2 stages with the pea shooter, which isn't really that bad actually.

Thankfully it's a short game so even though I restarted like a billion times eventually you get a run together that passes stages 4 and you have a legit shot from there.


Aha! :o I'd assumed the Barrier spawn required a death beforehand - I'd no idea you could keep the rank down by avoiding powerups, although it makes perfect sense (the FC/NES version has a bit of rank too, though it's never this relevant). Yeah, the game's tight runtime is a definite advantage in 1CC context - give me a short, brutal run (Super Contra JP 2ALL) over a long, easy one that I can screw up at the 11th hour (Sunset Riders JP 2ALL) any day.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:15 am 


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BIL wrote:
Aha! :o I'd assumed the Barrier spawn required a death beforehand - I'd no idea you could keep the rank down by avoiding powerups, although it makes perfect sense (the FC/NES version has a bit of rank too, though it's never this relevant). Yeah, the game's tight runtime is a definite advantage in 1CC context - give me a short, brutal run (Super Contra JP 2ALL) over a long, easy one that I can screw up at the 11th hour (Sunset Riders JP 2ALL) any day.


I would have given up on trying a no-death run on hardest without the barrier on stage 3. The boss is just too fucking cheap, and basically just insta-kills you with all his turrets and suicide runners, it's not even fair at all. I was testing it with save states and I could pass it like 1 out of 10 times lol.

Now for the bad, I also played some Contra Force...giving Legacy of War a run for it's money now! While no doubt it is much, much easier than LoW, the game slows down to an absolute crawl with only a single enemy on the screen. It's just laughable how slow it plays, it's kind of hard to believe the game was ever released and pretty obvious why they canceled it for Japan.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:04 am 


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Sounds like they needed Contra Force X :cool:

I know them feels especially well tonight, as I gave MS2 a brief spin. Can't do it right now. Image It irks me slightly when MSX is said to have "no slowdown." It slows down a fair bit. Thing is, just like MS1, it's when I put a shell through six grunts and a biker, leaving the former hamburger and the latter a screaming torch, the round slamming into a house which collapses and explodes, gracing the charnel scene with a spread of delicious takeout. MS2 performs similarly when I'm running across an empty screen, before two enemies appear, and spacetime itself groans under its hellish Stygian trudge.

From my strictly layman's perspective, I believe trap has said it's due to redundant code halving its speed. All I know is, this thing makes me feel like I'm gonna lose a step if I stay too long. It's no cakewalk, either - last two stages will kill the unprepared, inexplicably, in the way a slow lava flow can. :shock:

Makin' me wanna get my Another Story Of Metal Slug 3 nomiss on, tbh Image

Image

Now this is more like it (■`w´■)
Spoiler: show
Image

THE SUPER VEHICLE INVIGORATED US (◎w◎;)


I think Rygar will be my next project game. Wanna brush up my 1CC. The antithesis of MS2's woes; this thing is razor-sharp and slows down for nothing. And boy can it put shit onscreen, too. :o One of those curatively no-nonsense games to restore the ol' hand/eye/screen sync.

I'm playing on Normal (rank 2 of 4), as opposed to the game's apparent factory default, Easy. Not noticing all that much difference, but I wasn't really expecting any, either. This is something I plan on doing with Guevara, too, whose difficulty selection corresponds exactly to Rygar's. Even though I'm proud of my Ikari and Dogosoken nomisses, and can't notice much difference when I bump them up a notch to 2/4, it haunts me slightly that all these games' HS modes default to Easy. Even if that's how the board arrived at the game centre BITD, I can't imagine it staying that way for long! (I liked emphatic's post re: Rygar, that its manual suggests OPs leave it at Easy to reel in players, then crank it up as they learn to survive longer - it's a very considerate game that way!)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:32 pm 


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BIL wrote:
Great post. :smile: Aicom definitely leaned hard towards accessibility on that one. What bugs me in hindsight is the non-existent fourth boss; even another big, goofy safespotter would've sufficed, with the climactic summit and ominous BGM shift.


Yeah, bit of a missed opportunity that one. I also feel the overall design of the stages and balancing could've been a bit more fine tuned. If I had to make changes to the game, I'd reduce the damage-sponginess of enemies and in turn the amount of health items, while introducing some more interesting environmental challenges of the likes you'd find in a Castlevania. The final Alien nest is particularly uninspired as it's basically just "walk right and twitch whenever face-huggers appear." Compare and contrast that with the Contras' Gigerscapes full of mini-bosses and shifting environments.

BIL wrote:
While I'm not sure if Takemori was involved, I think the strongest title of this odd little cross-platform quartet (counting FC+AC Lordy and the PCE duo) is Ankoku Densetsu. Similarly meaty-yet-precise slashing, with some interesting tactical wrinkles. Great bleak fantasy tone, as well - even the player character and his foes' near-nude physiques evoke primal brutality. Image Now that I've cleared AC Lordy, Ankoku's Giger-esque touches seem a lot less random.


Yep, Takemori had nothing to do with Ankoku Densetsu, entirely different team, with the sequel title just shoehorned into the game for marketing reasons. Great game in its own right though, with its tight gameplay and gloomy satanic stylings. Love the bleak "endless cycle of revenge" ending. Feels properly barbarian for sure. :twisted:

BIL wrote:
I know them feels especially well tonight, as I gave MS2 a brief spin. Can't do it right now.


This probably isn't news to you, but Metal Slug 2's performance issues are down to a coding error that made the game calculate all sprite data twice for no reason and there now exists a bug-fixed version that has performance akin to MSX. Probably your best bet to go with that version for maximum enjoyment. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:52 pm 


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BIL wrote:
I think Rygar will be my next project game. Wanna brush up my 1CC. The antithesis of MS2's woes; this thing is razor-sharp and slows down for nothing. And boy can it put shit onscreen, too. :o One of those curatively no-nonsense games to restore the ol' hand/eye/screen sync.

I'm playing on Normal (rank 2 of 4), as opposed to the game's apparent factory default, Easy. Not noticing all that much difference, but I wasn't really expecting any, either. This is something I plan on doing with Guevara, too, whose difficulty selection corresponds exactly to Rygar's. Even though I'm proud of my Ikari and Dogosoken nomisses, and can't notice much difference when I bump them up a notch to 2/4, it haunts me slightly that all these games' HS modes default to Easy. Even if that's how the board arrived at the game centre BITD, I can't imagine it staying that way for long! (I liked emphatic's post re: Rygar, that its manual suggests OPs leave it at Easy to reel in players, then crank it up as they learn to survive longer - it's a very considerate game that way!)


According to Gemant's excellent and recently updated high score database, Rygar scores were collected for both easy and hard. Play time for the easy mode record is 3 hours! How anyone human can do that much milking against the big red scab of death is beyond me. At full speed, it's got to be one of the fastest moving enemies/projectiles ever seen in a game. Maybe you need to have this playing in the background to get in the mood.
https://youtu.be/MK6TXMsvgQg

Good luck with it! Goin for a no miss?

The NES version is also great but quite different. Good memories of playing it at a friend's house in the day. Whenever we finally made good progress towards the end of the night we would use teh 1337 skillz strategy of pausing the game, turning off the TV, and casually putting a wadded up t-shirt, a book or the like covering the red power LED. This would guard against his mom noticing the power was on and casually destroying all of our progress. Of course we would get there after school rejoice that the game was still on pause and proceed to a GAME OVER within 2 mins.


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