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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 11:41 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Bold of me to assume his gender :(

I love how the Shatterhand guy absolutely dwarfs Clint from Wild Arms in that rendition! Also just serves to cement that Shatterhand is globally the canon incarnation of that game, not Solbrain. :D You just can't reject punching bullets to stop them mid-air.


Yeah, Shatterhand is looking an utter beast! Figures, with not only his game's "destroy anything and everything with your fists" concept, but also its hyper-athletic climbing mechanic... some of the most punishing physicality of any action/platformer, up there with Batman's walljump and Red Arremer's wall-cling. Climb like a gorilla, punch motherfuckers out much the same!

They'd need to buff up the NES/FC's "Zangief If He Was In SF2020" heavy-type enemies to outright crazy SF Zero proportions, he's looking to dwarf them handily. :cool:

Aha! It's Idol Hakkenden I was thinking of, for the latter JP exclusive. Mobygames, like GameFAQs, unfailingly useful decades on.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 1:49 pm 



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I recently 1-CC'ed Devil World and its Japanese version, a Konami version of Gauntlet-like games.

My two cents on the game:

1. All versions share one key feature taken from Gauntlet: zakus can appear in great numbers from box-like locations that can be destroyed (of course). A core mechanics of the game is quickly destroying the boxes before there are too many enemies, and collect power-ups. Other enemies types occur in various forms, some of them being unique to certain stages and some being impervious to damage (e.g. floating weapons on "Enid", the penultimate stage in each version).

The US version (i.e. Dark Adventure) is the earlier version, has 3-player mode (it originally was released on a dedicated cab), and has a maze-like structure: there are 40 stages or so, with each stage having multiple gates. You need to find the right gates, i.e. the gates that will progressively lead you to "Bundra", the final stage. Each stage has at least two exits, but only one brings you closer to the final stage; the other exits invariably lead you to earlier stages.

You can collect several keys per stage and various types of power-ups (e.g. speed up, a long-range attack) via specific power-up items. The characters start with melee weapons (a whip for Labrina, the 1P character), but can collect long-range attacks as the game progresses. Your character will also lose energy progressively, and only replenish it via cola cans (ah!). Thus, you need to discover the right route to the final stage while quickly clearing each stage, though some de-routes are convenient for replenishing items. This version rather difficult, so I dropped it in favour of the EU and JP versions.

2. These other two versions have a Gradius-like power-up system and a streamlined structure. I remember that they also had dedicated cabs: my uncle had one for his arcade, but I cannot remember if 3-player mode was possible. Briefly: collect orb-like power-ups to cycle through the power-up system. Push the A button when you want a certain power-up. For instance, taking one orb/power-up will start the cycle at the "speed up" power-up. Click A button, become faster (only once), start a new cycle.

There are five possible weapons (flamethrower, gun, bazooka, laser, shotgun) and a shield option that halves all damage. Furthermore, characters start with weak-ass long range weapons (e.g. a small crossbow for Labrina), so they have more attacking power than in the US version.

In these versions, it is fundamental to get the dynamite power-up (second option, two power-ups) as soon as possible. The character will shoot the standard attack and drop dynamite sticks while walking, effectively having a mid-range attack that can also be used to cover progression. The character can throw a dynamite stick in one direction, walk in that direction, and reach the explosion point because the stick falls more slowly than the player's movement. Pursuing enemies will generally get caught by the dynamite's explosion, so the dynamite sticks can be used to handle chasing hordes quite successfully.

Stage progression is also simple. Find key, get to gate and next stage, repeat for 19 stages. The fourth stage (and multiples thereof) is a boss battle with a double-headed dragon. The final stage is a showdown with the demon king. Pushing any start will activate a map revealing the key's position...until ST 12. From ST 13 ("Metropolis", a labyrinth stage with only one right exit) onwards, there are no maps but the stages are easy to navigate (hint for ST 13: "go back from where you came, once you have the key").

3. The game is quite janky. Aside a power-up button (i.e. the A button) and an attack button (i.e. the B button), there is a jump button (i.e. the C button) Jumping always feels like taking a huge risk, and it becomes necessary in some stages, which have moving platforms and floor hazards (e.g. "Pacifica", ST 12, is set in a volcanic environment: you must jump across platforms floating on lava).

Furthermore, power-ups and keys have funny hitboxes, i.e. you only collect them when your sprite passes on the exact centre of the key/power-up. On top of that, some stages have precipices surrounding the lands on which players move. If your character gets too close to the border, it risks getting "spirited away", i.e. the engine detects the character as slowly falling into the precipice. Generally speaking, movement and hit detection seem to have some weird issues, under some conditions.

To make matters further complicated, keys seem to appear in different spots of the stages depending on rank (probably), so some stages ("Pacifica", i.e. ST 12 and "Zargot", i.e. ST 17) can put you at the mercy of janky jumps and wonky hit detections. I botched several runs because in the "Zargot" stage, the key appeared in a point that requires pixel-perfect movements for its collection (...and sometimes the game clearly missed my collecting of the key due to the aforementioned glitches).

The game is a Konami game from the '80s, so dropping a life before the final stage can become an excruciatingly frustrating experience. Recovery is however possible: I 1-CC'ed the game a first time but "dying of hunger" (no energy left) at "Metropolis", looping this stage and rebuilding the power base by taking the wrong exits (you repeat the stage if you take a wrong exit), and then breezing through the final 6 stages. I decided that I was done with the game once the stars aligned and I landed a 1-LC, though.

4. The game is short (less than 15 minutes for a 1-CC) and the characters consume energy at any time, though they can drink cola and replenish it. A 1-LC is the ideal approach to the game (don't get hit, don't miss colas), though dropping a life is acceptable before "Metropolis" (ST 13), as I just commented about. Again, it is possible to rebuild a good power base even by just destroying all enemies on this stage. Rank lowers considerably, too, and the final boss is easy once you know how to handle it.

Nevertheless, it's important to know the locations of all cola cans (they only appear on certain stages) and meet the requirements for their appearance...which seem to boil down to the "reach the dropping point within X seconds and don't have a too high score". For instance, on ST 1 you can always get a cola in a certain spot if your score is below 10k and you destroy the target enemy-spawning box before 20 seconds of play time or so. I am more or less sure on these conditions for ST 1, but other colas seem to have conditions that I sometimes missed, in my runs. In other words, you are always at the mercy of the game's semi-randomised aspects, so runs may be harder or easier due to pretty volatile conditions (ouch!).

5. The game is janky, to repeat the point for the sake of clarity. Don't let too many enemies spawn on screen! Your character will not be able to shoot any projectiles, otherwise! Also, don't forget that your jumps may go in the wrong direction because the game says so! Furthermore, be sure to move your character in the right direction: there is no neutral position! Be sure to properly walk on power-ups or you're gonna miss them! Don't get to close to borders of platforms!...to put it in a simplistic way, you need to accept that the game's mechanics are not very smooth, and the occasional glitch/missed hit/random non-sense can be lethal.

Said this, I laid a 34-years old grudge to rest. As a kid, I played this lots in my uncle's arcade, experienced the US version while on holiday (arcade at a Spa resort with tons of imported cabs), and generally felt that the game was well beyond my gaming skills for decades or so. It is not: a bit of luck and smooth plans for each stage are enough for the 1-CC. It is a fun game when everything goes well, and a frustrating experience the other 90% of the time: as anyone would expect from an '80s Konami game. Victory, and I am never playing this game again, I swear.
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Last edited by Randorama on Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:18 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 3:21 pm 


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An intriguingly under-reported 80s Konami game, that one - at least in my experience. Always looked so damn cool, from the snippets I saw... kinda Romancing The Stone / Temple of Doom-influenced? Congrats on the 1CC, and the excellent reconnaissance post! Marked for index. :cool:

I've been similarly curious about Labyrinth Runner aka Trick Trap, which appears to be a sort of... Commando X Gauntlet? The former's immediacy, the latter's twisty structure. Has a seriously batshit jam in TRAP OF OCTOPUS - sounds like Motorhead soundtracking a Tom & Jerry episode Image

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Last edited by BIL on Sat Sep 17, 2022 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 4:08 pm 



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BIL-sensei, thanks a lot! I promise to update the post with more info tomorrow or so. If it is indexed, I guess that you do not need to take further action.

The game is heavily inspired from the first Indy, I guess. The Indy-lookalike brings an ark back to "civilization", but he gets transported to a different world along with a lady and another guy (Zomg! Isekai in 1987!). Lots of minotaur-kicking, platform jumping ensues. It is not a bad game, but it clearly has programming/design choice limits that can ruin runs in which the player does not factor them in.

More to come, anyway.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 4:11 pm 


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Sima Tuna wrote:
By Kage, do you mean Legend of Kage? That's a pretty cool game (and highly influential) which will benefit greatly from the kind of total remaster Tengo Project give to games. Considering how much they improved/added to Ninja Warriors Once Again and KiKi KaiKai SNES, just imagine what they can do with Kage. It could potentially be their best release yet.


I could get behind a remake of Legend of Kage. I always thought Kage could benefit from a Ninja Princess style smoke bomb.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:20 am 



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BIL-sama, the longer version is up. Hopefully it is coherent enough, but please let me know if I wrote redundant passages or misplaced sentences: I may need to edit the post further in a word file, to be sure that it makes decent sense :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:43 pm 


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Looking superlative! As per your characteristically academic standards. :mrgreen: The URL remains the same regardless of edits, so it'll work in the index just fine. :smile:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2022 12:48 am 



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Excellent then! Real Life (TM) will soon get in the way of proper ga(y)ming, but at least I was able to squeeze a couple of 1-CC's and brief summaries before that would happen.
Let's hope I won't end up having free time next Christmas or so, then :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 12:47 pm 


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Gave Ultracore a go over the weekend. What dogshit. Like a less interesting Turrican.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 1:37 pm 


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Cancelled/shevled games have a 50/50 chance of being good or mediocre/crap. They were almost always shelved for a reason ..


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 4:13 am 


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I played Kirby Super Star (KSS) and its remake, Kirby Super Star Ultra (SSU) back to back to get a better understanding of their differences. I don't think there are any good resources online on what, exactly, was changed between the two so here is what I could figure out by myself:

Enemies are generally more aggressive in KSS and that is, I think, the biggest point in its favor over SSU. The difference is very dramatic on the Combo Cannon (it's nasty in KSS and forgettable in SSU) but it seems to apply all across the game. KSS's minibosses move around a lot more. Stars dropped by enemies hurt you in KSS but not in SSU. It makes melee abilities much safer and easier in SSU than in the original.

Enemies also seem able to survive slightly more damage in KSS. The difference feels significant, a lot more things die in one hit in SSU that would take two KSS. A bit of testing shows that Gim and Sir Kibble die to four ninja kunai in KSS but only take three in SSU. I get the impression that KSS's enemy HP is balanced for two player mode and SSU's is balanced for single player. Which is imo appropriate for SNES and DS games respectively.

Copy abilities got tweaked a in various ways, but there's no way I could provide a comprehensive list. Beam seems to do more damage in SSU. SSU gave the hammer a bigger hitbox. The hammer's flame uppercut in particular has a tiny hitbox in KSS and a huge one in SSU. SSU's hammer is obviously way too good with its massive damage and ease of use. Parasol's hitbox in SSU is gigantic. In SSU wing's air to ground dive attack can be performed repeatedly much faster than is possible in KSS where you have to flap at least once in between dives. Ninja's throwing kunai function differently and it's easier to get a fast rate of fire in KSS than in SSU. Ninja's kick sends Kirby flying upwards very far in KSS, but only a short distance in SSU. Plasma charges much slower in SSU than it did in KSS. Overall I like SSU's balance changes here.

SSU polished the controls a lot in little ways. For example, when using the mirror copy ability, if you do a dash attack to the right, and then hold left as it ends, Kirby will immediately start dashing left. In KSS you will have to double tap left after the attack ends to do that. I find the yoyo's gazer spiral easier to perform in SSU, seems like you have to do the input pretty fast in KSS. SSU lets you to drop an ability without summoning a helper. In KSS you can only drop an ability if you press the summon button when you already have a helper. SSU makes it easy to exit a subgame from the pause menu whenever you want, in KSS the fastest way is to reset the game. Biggest point in SSU's favor imo, even moreso than the new content. The only advantages I can find for KSS in this regard is that you can quickly change powers in Milky Way Wishes with the X button and D-pad, while SSU makes you use the touch screen, and that it's easier to use Ninja's kunai in KSS, as I mentioned before.

The timed doors in The Revenge of Meta Knight and The Great Cave Offensive stay open for a shorter time in KSS than in SSU. In SSU you be pretty leisurely about hitting the switches and getting through the doors, the ones in KSS aren't brutal or anything but you do have to take them seriously (unless you're cheesing them by eg shooting the switches through walls with certain copy abilities).

The changes are much more dramatic than they initially appear. I prefer Super Star Ultra overall but all of the little differences add up enough that you can't really say that one eclipses the other.


Last edited by Vanguard on Thu Oct 06, 2022 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2022 5:58 am 


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I randomly fired up my Majuu Ou cart at a social gathering the other day. I'd heard in this thread years back that it's actually possible to retain your human form for the entire game and I wanted to try that. Turns out it works! :O
I was expecting it to be kind of a self imposed hard-mode since you don't have all the advantages of the various beasts, but it's actually quite easy. Maybe I don't remember the game very well from last I played it, because I do remember the game being on the easy side, but a human playthrough felt even easier...?
I don't think I realised the human form has a double jump, probably due to only ever having played him on the first stage, but it makes him so mobile there's not really any drawback to sticking to him. It's of course also necessary to avoid many environmental hazards, or even damage some bosses. But I absolutely love the hitscan gun, and I wish more Castlevania-style action platformers had those, instead of just your usual Rolling Thunder or EAR style games.

I played it twice. First to brush up and learn the bosses etc., but fumbled against the final boss, while the next playthrough was a near no-miss 1CC (died once to falling off a train, and once to the final boss, both easily preventable). Majuu Ou is so close to being a really good R2RKMF, but it feels like it's never really ready to take off the gloves and put on a true fight. I only discovered after both playthroughs that the game actually has a very easily missable options screen, and an actual hard mode. Maybe I should try that. What's the most challenging configuration in terms of transformations?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2022 3:21 pm 


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Majuu makes up for any shortcomings with its killer presentation. Not enough hanging corpses or floors made out of skulls in sidescrollers.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2022 3:45 pm 


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I'd say it's a mixed bag. The aesthetics of the first stage are absolutely amazing, and the train stage has its obvious moments. But there's plenty of dull stretches too :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2022 6:52 pm 


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The main downside of Majuu Ou's human form is that you have to button mash through the entire game. iirc its hard mode is pretty good and more than just adjusted damage values. I think the enemies are more aggressive and the only fairy you get is the one you start with?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2022 6:59 pm 


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Man, fairy waifu's permadeath hits hard in an already brutal story 3;

Great Kirby Super Star writeups, Vanguard! One of those series I'm gonna be relying on this thread for when I finally get digging. For now, I've just played the rather excellent (particularly if started blind in Loop 2 via code) OG Kirby for Gameboy. Didn't take much to make me pick up SFC Super Star, given its sterling rep among trusted peeps, and lots of readily-apparent HAL charm. As has been noted many times, for makers of such cute games, they have a rare appreciation of classic cartoony anvil-fall impact. Their GB topdown blaster Ponkotsu Tank's another deceptively hard-hitting cutie.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:25 am 


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It also feels more meaningful if you manage to keep your fairy around until the end. Finally a happy ending where your family is back together! In hell!


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2022 5:31 am 


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Vanguard wrote:
The main downside of Majuu Ou's human form is that you have to button mash through the entire game. iirc its hard mode is pretty good and more than just adjusted damage values. I think the enemies are more aggressive and the only fairy you get is the one you start with?


That's interesting. Does keeping the fairy somehow affect the ending? Seems like designing the mechanic that way might have been done with lore reasons in mind?

I didn't mind the "button mashing". I don't know if there's an upper limit to how fast you can mash the fire, but I felt that it was more than sufficiently powerful with just casual tapping.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2022 2:25 am 


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Oh hell yeah, speaking of Ponkotsu Tank. :cool: Namco's Assault, previously in best shape via the superb Namco Museum Vol.4 (PS1) version, gets an ACA release, out now in Japan for PS4/NSW (should be up in NA/EU stores soon). Seems like it's just the OG Assault (NMv4 ported both it and its next-year upgrade kit Assault Plus) - but tbh, that's plenty. This is a behemoth of topdown tanking, one of the most distinctive yet utterly hardcore ever. There is an Early and Later version, but AFAIK it's a simple bugfix RE the timer bonus; still, nice to have.

GET ON THE READY LINE! Image GET HOT GOD DAMMIT Image

Image

Control config is simple yet effective, as to be expected of Hamster. There's Type A, the arcade-accurate scheme with each tread occupying a stick, as well as the pad and face buttons if you prefer, and wheelie/roll executed via pulling the sticks apart, or moving them unidirectionally, respectively. Good autofire options too.

There's also a Type B which uses more conventional point-n-go movement, with a [wheelie/roll] button held in conjunction with [down] or [left/right] to execute. Very reminiscent of their excellent Ikari & co LS-30 configs. As there, I suggest sticking with the AC style; there's a learning curve, but it'll pay off with smoother integration of the vital wheelie and roll commands.

In truth, the tactical disadvantage of the simpler controls is far less stark than in SNK's games, with their brutal loss of precision stationary sniping. However, there's also a decided aesthetic charm I think is worth chasing a little, even if you ultimately go with Type B; maneuvers like slamming down from the devastating but lethally immobile wheelie by rushing the sticks back together, or hauling them laterally for an emergency roll, or cranking up and down while hosing crowds (Image), have a tactile, physical sense that's rare in games of any sort, let alone pixel-perfectly hardcore STGs. With muscle memory established, it's a rewardingly smooth experience, the sticks and triggers working in seamless concert.

TANK CONTROLS AND YOU Image
Spoiler: show
Image


Enemies are subtly dozier than your average topdown opposition, a little slower to attack. It's a concession to the control scheme that I'd say pays off richly. There's a much greater emphasis on piloting a heavy machine here, compared other subgenre leaders like the lightning-quick Granada, or even SNK's relatively conservative TANK; your enemies likewise have to move a bit more deliberately than the topdown shooting norm. While maneuverable foes certainly exist, most rely on their all-too-easily disorientating 360' threat to box players in, with just a couple of overlapping attacks enough to put you on the back foot. The 3:4 aspect and below-center placement of your tank would've likely proven irritating in a less considerately-designed game; here it feels just right, with your six a notable blind spot demanding vigilance, but deft piloting making evasion and counterattack a relative breeze.

The most commonly-seen enemy bullets being destructible is another smart concession, here; with enough skill and guts, you can blast straight through some pretty nasty flak, though doing so at the cost of situational awareness remains quickly lethal. Outflanking is an uncommonly powerful tack here; with the tricky lateral movement, it's all too easy to get overwhelmed head-on; learning to swerve aggressively out of enemy fire-zones and into their open sides is key.

The "trampoline" launcher panels' being globally limited to three uses per stage is an excellent touch. They're a fascinating mechanic in themselves, with their gifting a fleeting bird's eye view of the current stage, in addition to letting you nuke tricky spots well in advance of arrival; treating them as preciously scarce "bombs" was absolutely the right call.

As with ACA Libble Rabble, being able to use the face buttons as the right tread should make wiring up a custom 2x four-way rig a snap for hobbyists. :cool:

After the classily SFX-only opening stage (feel that rumble!), beefeh sound a double-must for stage 3. Shinji Hosoe's war drums and keening guitars are apocalyptic. Gentlemanly restrained in Spirit/Saber, busted all over the shop for Assault. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2022 10:56 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
That's interesting. Does keeping the fairy somehow affect the ending?

It doesn't affect the final cutscene, no.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2022 11:20 pm 


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Jeezus it's a good time to be a ninja. First Shinobi Non Grata and now I see this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5myccbvXhg

New one from Blazing Chrome's devs. Day one purchase.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2022 11:26 pm 


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Hohohoooly fuck! :shock: A Hagane tribute from the BC guys, day 1 for sure.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:37 am 


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Day 1 of a physical release for me. Hopefully it won't take as long as Blazing Chrome.


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 Post subject: Hagane
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 8:39 pm 


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Soo speaking of Hagane, I'd put the game on my backlog list for this year as a part of the self imposed challenge I do to get through games I've been pushing back for too long. It's well over ten years ago I bought the game, and I've never done more than faff around on the first couple of stages.
Decided to give it a real go today, and was kinda surprised how unimposing it actually is. It has that Contra style casul reputation where it's this "super duper hard game for the toughest of the toughest". Well, it's not really, but I'm sure people who have played it would agree. It's not a memorizer, but the game is really all about just knowing the stages. I wasted a ton of credits creditfeeding through it on my first playthrough and actually ran out on that stage near the end where you're chased up through a vertical corridor by a rising spike floor. Yet on the very next playthrough, I made it to the final boss on my first credit, with 9 lives (the maximum) in stock. So yeah, it's one of those kinds of games.

That aside, what a god damn blast it is to play. It's kind of unique in how most enemies don't actually have a damaging hitbox when they aren't performing an attack. This creates a a pretty fun flow, and really rewards a continuous forward momentum. It's not like Ninja Gaiden where it'll absolutely punish trying to retreat (in fact enemies despawn so fast it's almost a little too rewarding of running away in either direction), but a vast majority of the enemies are designed in a way that if you're always proactive and aggressive, you can take them out before they get to do anything, and often moving forward with conviction is all it takes to dodge their attacks, I think that's a good sign of a solid R2RKMF. But I'm sure I'm just preaching to the choir here!

There's a crazy amount of variety to the stage design and gimmicks you're facing. The game never stands still, constantly throwing new stuff at you, but it always feels completely consistent with its own basic gameplay, even when it turns into a hybrid shmup for a short moment. Reminds me almost of "event rush" games like Rocket Knight or The Hard Corps. The somersault jump is strange, but insanely satisfying. I'm a big fan of maneuverability skills that actually take a bit of skill to employ effectively, and just the fact that you can only perform the somersault during your upwards momentum balances it juuust well enough that it always feels consistent, but still allows you to mess up if you don't know what you are doing, making it all the more satisfying to zoom through the stages and platforming hazards using it.

It's a little disappointing that I was able to churn out a fairly convincing 1CC on only my second real playthrough. I played around with hard mode, but from what I can tell it's not very good? It's harder, sure, but all it does is giving all enemies a bunch more HP including even the smallest zakos, and it really hurts the otherwise excellent pace of the game. That said, I'm not done with this. A 1LC seems like it shouldn't be too hard, and it also seems to me like the kind of game that gets a lot of replay value just via the badass finesse you can apply with skilled play. I ended up not even once making use of the L/R skips you can do, or the various powered up attacks you can perform using them. But I'm sure there are places they work very well if you plan where to use them, they just don't seem to work very well in reaction based play, which is unfortunate.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:01 pm 


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Oh god, yeah - Hagane's one of those casual titans that barely moves the needle from enthusiast standpoint. But as you say, what a delightful game! Great post btw, indexed. :cool:

Yeah, the second loop is a bit unfortunate - AFAIK, it really does just double non-boss HP, while leaving everything else untouched. I will say, it can be sorta interesting, in crowd situations - like the long melee that kicks off the final stage. Since enemies won't fall to a couple basic licks, you end up relying more on the superb evasive suite and rarely-practical super attacks. In particular, the world-class headbounce-into-airdash and wall-rebound maneuvers become especially vital to keeping clear of enemy guns and blades. It's not much, and not ideal, but it's definitely something.

Sadly, AFAIK there's no way to start at Loop 2 on hardware, so between the underwhelming reward and long runtime, Hagane is really best kept as a superb, typically console-accessible 1ALL. (unless you're really going for gold, but that always entails a bit of hardship ;3)

The game's semi-sequel, Kishin Douji Zenki: Battle Raiden, while not as consistently excellent as Hagane, sports a lot of similar qualities - and it actually has a properly repopulated second loop, though (again! argh!) you've gotta clear the first on hardware. It's absolutely worth trying out, if you did CAProduction's earlier sidescroller.

Image

HG101 gave it their usual SECRET MESSAGE seal of approval, even! Image

Hardcore Gaming 101 wrote:
In the later stone forest, full of flying insects, don't worry about fighting everything, just run as fast as you can to the end before your health runs out.


please wait, translating TOP SECRET DATA for THE HARD GAYMERS <3

Hardcore Gayming (With Your Mum) wrote:
In the later stone forest, full of flying insects and terrain hazards, you'll find a challenging test for your mastery of Chibi Zenki's acrobatic moveset!


Wow, that sounds rad! :o Thanks HGWYW, I mean, HG101! ;3

Short demo video of the game's neato charge-attack system, which is dead-simple on paper but quite finessed in practice. Always be holding [attack] while moving about, as Big Zenki - this way, the instant you stop moving, he'll begin charging up, which you can put into a variety of super attacks. The game has a mild elemental damage system, that sees certain otherwise-tough enemies 1HKOd by certain moves - in that stage, it's those annoying ghosts, who can be a handful if socked, but are shredded promptly by Big Homie's LAIKOKEN

Faaack this game always gets me in the KOF mood. Such satisfying superhuman moves.

YOSHAAAAAA!
Spoiler: show
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*No, it's not a KOF anime (Kengan Ashura season 1). But it IS Joe Higashi (and OOT Link's) voice actor Nobuyuki Hiyama! :cool:
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Last edited by BIL on Sun Oct 02, 2022 1:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:30 pm 


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Zenki: Battle Raiden is another SFC cart I've been sitting on for years without doing anything about it :P

Too bad these guys apparently wound up just making 700 Mario Party games after this.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:35 pm 


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Yeah 3; Have you played their Macross-styled seek/destroy Bulk Slash, for the Saturn? That one's yet another gem. Don't be fooled by the typically ragged polys in still shots! It's an absolute joy at the controls, running around strafing and slashing enemies at street level, then launching into the skies to lockon laz0r and carpet-bomb the buggers. One of those console originals that could've gone straight into a cab. Life-affirming butt-rock OST (as to be expected from Tecno Soft alums!) and charming anime waifus, too! "Su-goiii! Nani?! IYAAAAAAAA~" Image TBH they can get annoying, but what personality! :cool:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 10:55 pm 


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Beaten CV4 for the first time last night (on stream, single sitting). Oh god the ungodly amount of instant deaths/spikes are out of control, and I don't like the Slogra fight either; his second form is down to RNG whether you'll get immediately rammed or got hit by his Gradius III Arcade-tier hitbox. Still it's atmospheric and gloomy, banger ost, and 8-way whip is good too.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 11:01 pm 


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It's been a few years since my last return to the Artsy Goth Kid of the Trad CVs, but I remember Slogra's hitboxes being kinda suspect. I don't mind so much on the beak stab, which has a sense of brutally impaling force, but IIRC, his ceiling falls are fatter than they look.

Got nothin' on the AC game, ofc :cool:

YEAH ROCKDUDE, THAT MAKES SENSE Image
Spoiler: show
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DR. WANKENSTEIN PLS Image
Spoiler: show
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And yeah, it's a supremely annoying 1LC with the endgame chock-full of 1HKO spikes n' traps. More like Akumajou Wiley. :lol: Still love it though, in its proper context. A long, inimitably gloomy trip with the series' most maturely mellow, brooding OST. I like to replay it every few winters when the nights are nice and long, much like KCET's Silent Hills.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 11:54 pm 


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Stevens wrote:
Jeezus it's a good time to be a ninja. First Shinobi Non Grata and now I see this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5myccbvXhg

New one from Blazing Chrome's devs. Day one purchase.


I saw this on Twitter, looks great.


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