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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:26 pm 


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Ohshi is that the time?

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R2RKMF Part V: THE DEVILS OF BIRUZAEMON be all over. Prepare for next stage. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:08 pm 


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Is there anywhere that lists general 1CC difficulty for arcade platformers or beat 'em ups? Akin to this?
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:13 pm 


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Excellent question. :o I imagine there has to be at least a coin-op general ranking out there, which could work if you simply filtered out the STGs (a balls-hard genre by trade, as we know).

Imma nominate Final Fight and Guevara for the Hard Bastard Beltscroller and Topdown lists respectively. ;3
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:54 pm 


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I feel like an all encompassing list would be a shit ton of work.

I think we could come up with a list of 5 (or 10) best for beginners/hardest if we wanted to. Break them up by top down, belt scroll, and run n gun?
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:21 pm 


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Yeah, break them up by genre. At best I guess we could get a preliminary "X is harder than Y" ranking list by polling everyone who's played/1cc'd a number of them just to put up an estimate of how they felt difficulty was and then try to order them roughly according to difficulty.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:24 pm 


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Isn't there an online ranking/sorting service for stuff like that? :)

I remember needing one earlier for a similar purpose.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:50 pm 


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I was thinking Arcadia might have had something over the years. Dunno if I'd trust the expertise of the wider internet, where surviving one loop of NES Contra is a tale of prowess for the ages, and surviving one stage of Contra III prompts the rabble to squawk "OMFG CHEETZ." :wink:

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The typical poseur reacts to coinop intensity with blinding assmad, and Gradius gets ranked harder than DOJWL, because the latter lets you credit-feed. Can't credit-feed? H4RD3ST EVRRR. Remember... nobody can beat stage four of Ninja Spirit without CHEETZ Image

A similar phenomenon was the genesis of this very thread, actually. :lol:

"He's hiding behind there." "Who is?" "The man. The man behind NG's."
Spoiler: show
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"Alright. Let's go see him, together."

*wwwwwwwwwwww*
Spoiler: show
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*WWWWWWWWWWWW*
Spoiler: show
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*WWWWWWWWWWWW*
Spoiler: show
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"Eddie? Edmans?! What's the matter?! What's going on Edm-


(by the by, for many years now, this video's comments have been a reliable source of *SENSIBLE CHUCKLE* Image "mainstream gamer doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground" is no great insight, true - but it's the slow, relentless pile-on of it, like leaves in autumn. these jagoffs never learn. can they learn? quoth Psyvariar... Do Human Beings have future? :o)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:46 am 


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 4:11 pm 


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^^^ He saw R2RKMF, and died, as all men do, but could not admit his sorrow and see R2RKMF is not death, it merely delivers it, and that it will deliver us in turn :[

brb lighting a candle for St. Edmond The Mad, the TRVE & HONEST patron saint of R2RKMF

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:20 pm 


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Got the 2-ALL on ROLLING THUNDER 1 (ARC) (New version). It's pretty messy, but the mistakes made do neatly illustrate some of the jank in the game, which I'll get into later on.

The gist of Rolling Thunder is that you're playing as a Super Spy called Bames Jond, on a mission to rescue his partner from the LGBT-division of the KKK, led by Piccolo from Dragon Ball. Rolling Thunder isn't about bare-chested excess and covering the screen in spreadfire and brimstone like Contra is--instead you're a spy, and spies act with lethal precision. Most enemies take only one or two shots to die, and as for Mr. Jond, taking one bullet means instant death (despite the misleading size of his health bar), and colliding with enemies shaves off half. Yet, the ensuing mercy i-frames on a collision are so short that most enemies will simply collide with you again right after your recovery, so a collision usually means instant death anyways (unless you get very lucky).

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Maskers struck with awe and terror in the face of Mr. Jond’s shining new pair of red Yeezys (1987) (Colorized)

As ammo is limited, enemies are everywhere, and you can't shoot while moving or jumping, so you need to be quick and precise to not get overwhelmed and Hitler-greeted to death. The premise and limited ammo is also what makes it satisfying to calculate how many shots you need to take out a group based on the amount of enemies and the enemy types present, and then execute them with no shots wasted (even though the game is pretty lenient with ammo refills and lets you carry your stockpile over between stages). Besides your semi-auto pistol you also have a full-auto SMG, which you want to apply some trigger discipline with and not waste more shots than necessary. Enemies that take more than one shot to kill subtly reinforce this with their slight on-hit i-frames; taking one bullet knocks them back into a crouching position, and á la Shinobi AC they're invulnerable until they land on the ground (but unlike Shinobi this only takes a fifth of a second and doesn't feel like it takes ages). This means that if you fire a stream of bullets from a standing position at an enemy, one will connect, but all other bullets will go right over his head. Therefore you want to follow up with a shot from a crouching position or be shooting from crouch to begin with, but you also want to slightly space out your shots to take the i-frames into account. Firing full-auto from crouch will have the enemy soak up three bullets instead of two because of the way the collision works in this game, so you’re better off manually double-tapping.

You also want to be quick about your Tactical Espionage. Not only is the time limit pretty strict and you get more score the faster you clear a stage, but the longer you take, the more chaos you subject yourself to. Enemies in Rolling Thunder primarily enter the field through the right side of the screen, but also through the many doors in the background, and they will keep coming out of those doors at regular intervals unless you move on. So a stage will behave more predictably when you’re blazing through, but less so if you're being a turtle as enemies that you didn’t originally account for in your route start making themselves known. It's a bit how Ninja Gaiden (NES) discourages backpedaling by giving you more respawning enemies to deal with if you do back up instead of facing towards danger. The enemy types that come out of the doors in RT also tend to be semi-random (usually one of two possible Masker types, where there's 8+ of them in total), so even if you're blazing through you still need to take this into account.

RT is also pretty interesting to play for speed, primarily because bunnyhopping forwards lets you move faster than your walking speed. Doing so also carries an inherent risk, because you cannot attack while jumping, and enemies come out of doors unannounced and quickly enough that a misplaced jump can make you fall right into a Masker's bosom and die. At the same time there are enough obstacles in your path that you can't just bunnyhop past everything like it's a Half-Life 1 speedrun, so you need to be smart about knowing when to go fast. The ability to bunnyhop also brings rise to a technique that I call 'queueing shots', which operates on a similar principle as the jumping attacks in Castlevania and Ninja Gaiden. It involves firing a bullet and then bunnyhopping alongside it to increase the distance it travels before it hits an enemy or exits the screen. This allows you to kill enemies right as they enter the screen while moving at max speed without having to stop and shoot right as they appear, adding more depth to optimizing a given stage for speed. This is also partially made possible because the speed of your bullets isn't blazingly fast--it's only slightly faster than you moving at bunnyhopping speed. If the bullet speed was practically instant like in Rolling Thunder 2, it would despawn before you could even begin bunnyhopping.

One thing Rolling Thunder introduced that other games would steal is the ability to high jump and vault onto the platform below/above you, effectively presenting two planes of combat. Not only are you worrying about enemies coming from the left and right and the background, but also from above and below, because all enemies will high jump up to where you are. High jumping also makes you invincible against bullets (except for the startup of the jump), so it makes for a good escape tool. All this is cool on paper, but the game rarely does anything interesting with it. Short of being physically blocked off by walls, there isn’t a lot that makes you want to move towards the other plane (like enemy groups that shoot bullets from both standing and crouching), or being forced to vault towards a plane that’s already contested by enemies. Most enemies will already move towards your plane, who you can catch by staying on yours and safely shooting them as they vault in (unless they’re vaulting exactly into your position for a collision kill). Enemies that can badger you from other planes, like grenadiers that will spam grenades on the plane below, are surprisingly rare. Moreover, multi-planar combat is only really a thing in Stage 1 and 5 for both loops, in all the other stages they only play a minor factor, usually because there’s no other plane to begin with.

Instead, too many stages in RT seek to impose a challenge through diagonals or height differences in terrain and enemy placement, even though your moveset isn’t always well-equipped to deal with them. For example, take the chest-high peekaboo shooting sections near the end of Stage 5, where you and the enemy are forced to wait for each other and take potshots like some kind of generic cover shooter. This is precisely where having another plane would give you more options to negotiate obstacles like these instead of being forced into playing peekaboo, but unfortunately they are absent here. Another example is the staircase section in Stage 2. Because the enemies come in diagonally from below and because you can only shoot to your hard left and right, your only option is to wait for them to ascend/descend into your line of fire. You can jump over them, but usually there’s another enemy group at the bottom, so the collision damage would kill you. Here I again wonder why the game doesn’t use multiple flat planes to let you vault down repeatedly (like Stage 2 in Rolling Thunder 2). The end of Stage 1 does employ staircase formations in the same way, but the enemies are placed in a way where you don’t have to wait more than a second for them to fall into your line of fire, so it’s much more tolerable in comparison.

Some sections of the game are even worse in this regard, which involve you having to drop down or ascend to proceed, except your path forward is blocked off by very inconvenient enemy placement which you can’t jump over without dying to contact damage, and said enemies simply won’t budge. The only way to negotiate these situations is to abuse the hidden ability of your jumps to induce spontaneous brain aneurysms in the enemy AI, and make them move the other way. I can only surmise the devs knew about this and designed parts of the second loop around it, because there’s simply no way you can pass through certain sections without this knowledge. But because this only works when an enemy is in a neutral state and some of these enemies will be attacking non-stop, you will have to jump repeatedly until their AI gets the message, and then you gotta wait for them to process their brain aneurysm and slowly turn the other way, which just puts a massive dent in the pacing of the game. This is honestly a band-aid solution for situations that the player character turns out not to be properly equipped to deal with, and would be better solved by designing situations around your existing toolset (i.e. add more planes), or giving you the proper tools necessary for these situations (jump while shooting/non-lethal contact damage).

The Maskers come in many different color schemes, all of which signify different behaviors and properties (in a clever bit of asset reuse). Strawberry Green Tea is your standard mook that wants to get all touchy feely, Banana Blueberry is the same but takes two shots, Orange fires bullets from standing positions, Lime Green Tea fires from crouching, Lime and Chocolate Lime throw grenades in an arc, and you also get the illusive Ninja Maskers that appear from thin air. It’s a bit of a basic line-up, but they’re often employed in great numbers and from several different directions on the screen that it still allows for a good deal of variety in the stage design. Signifying different enemy behaviors through color coding helps you formulate a plan to deal with a given situation instead of being forced to guess whether an enemy will shoot from crouching or standing, which is why it’s especially frustrating when the game decides to break this rule in the second loop. Suddenly Strawberry Green Tea can throw grenades, and Orange fires from crouching instead of standing. On its own enemies being able to do things like randomly decide between shooting from standing or crouching would push you to take the safest and most consistent option for dealing with it, but because the game actively misinforms you with no warning, dying as a result can’t help but feel cheap and disrespectful of your time and effort.

There are also other non-Masker enemies, most notably Mutants whose small stature means you can only hit them while crouching, but once they come close enough to you they will quickly leap into your face and jump right over your crouching shots. So at long-range you want to shoot from crouch, at close-range you want to catch them mid-air with a standing shot, which makes them pretty effective to force you to stand up every now and then, considering crouching shots will take out most other enemies. Aside from Mutants you also got Panthers, which behave the same except less aggressively, but they’re more of an annoyance because of their growl. Their growl actually lowers their hitbox and makes it impossible to hit them on a flat plane. This is not an attack, this is just a taunt that wastes your time. There are also Owlbats, which are horrible enemies that thankfully only appear rarely. Upon getting triggered they will fly around at the top of the screen for several seconds, then swoop in like a homing missile. Much like the Panther, them flying around just wastes your time. Owlbats could be a good fit if you were forced to deal with other enemies on top of the Owlbats (like in an autoscroller section), but as is, you can just back off instead of moving forwards and deal with more enemies, and then wait for the Owlbats to swoop down so you can safely take them out.

BORING STAGE-BY-STAGE NITTY-GRITTY
Spoiler: show
Although most of the enemy cast can be dealt with by shooting from a crouching position, the stage design does a good enough job of using the stage terrain in a way to force you out of it, particularly Stage 1, 3, and 5, on account of actually presenting different planes for you to vault around, and using doors to spawn enemies right next to you.

Stage 3 is mostly a retread of Stage 1’s ideas, but with the addition of Mutants to spice things up. Initially you will have to get used to their ability to leap over your shots when they get close, but over time you can mitigate the threat they pose by memorizing most of their positions. One interesting thing of note is that Mutants cannot enter the screen via doors (nor can any other non-Masker enemies, although all other non-Masker enemies beside the Mutant suck and are better off not appearing at all) and only appear from the sides of the screen, which all things considered makes sense, if they spawned within leaping range they’d come at you so fast that you can only survive by memorizing these spawns. However, this lack of response time could be mitigated if Mutants could only spawn through doors on the plane that you’re currently not on, so you would still have adequate time to react.

Stage 4 opens with another staircase where you have to wait for the enemies on it to drop down into your line of fire, and then giving you Owlbats to deal with. After that you have to drop down into a pit, but if you take the most straightforward path of simply dropping down, a Ninja Masker will suddenly spawn in your face, which will make you collide with another very inconveniently placed Ninja Masker. Instead, you have to descend platform by platform to get down safely. This isn’t particularly hard to execute or get around, it’s just some bullshit designed to get first-time players considering the Ninja Masker isn’t remotely telegraphed. And after that you get a platforming section, which again involves more trial ‘n error. The first part is the running men-on-fire that keep bouncing around the screen, and split into four ascending spirits when you shoot them. You have to memorize what platforms to shoot them from, else their erratic bouncing will make it infeasible to get them in your line of fire (especially if you’re on a higher platform and they’re on a lower one), and shooting them while they’re close means their released spirits can get you by surprise. Again, it’s easy and consistent once memorized, but their erratic nature is primarily designed to catch first-time players by surprise. But the second part involves the actual platforming itself, which takes some time getting used to, as you’ll probably often end up falling off platforms by accident while trying to jump. This is mainly because the player’s hitbox and neutral stance is pretty thin. Most platformers allow the player character to eke over the edge in order to make jumping off the edge off a platform more lenient; you can see how the character’s sprite is standing with one foot on the platform and the other on thin air. But as this isn’t the case in Rolling Thunder, you have to be very precise with your jumps, which IMO is a bad fit for a game that primarily isn’t even about precision platforming at all.

Stage 5 is where all enemies and bullets start moving faster. Even though the actual enemy compositions aren’t that hard by themselves when compared to previous stages, it’s certainly more engaging because of their numbers and all the different directions/doors they are coming in from, on top of the increased enemy/bullet movement speed. In this stage the foreground/background plane switching comes (somewhat) into greater play, although bizarrely going into the background is never required to progress, so you can just ignore this altogether. There is an interesting dynamic to combining background/foreground switching on top of the existing plane switching; being in the background protects you from enemies on the foreground and plane above you because enemies on the top plane cannot jump down into the background (but enemies can jump from the background towards the top plane), but you still have to contend with enemies spawning from the background doors, and you eventually have to exit into the foreground through a chokepoint doorway. Being in the foreground means you no longer have to deal with the background doors, but you’re still vulnerable to enemies on the top plane, and on the top plane you’re vulnerable to background doors AND the bottom planes on the foreground AND background. This kind of asymmetric set-up in terms of potential risk is something the terrain could have played into--where there’s trade-offs in taking one plane over the other, with hard counters forcing you away from one particular plane. Sadly the terrain in Stage 5 never plays with this, so the foreground/background switching ends up being an underutilized gimmick.

Stage 5 isn’t the end; you have the second loop as well. It’s not just the same thing as the first loop but slightly faster; you get new enemy types, revamped enemy placements, some stages feature redesigned terrains, and the Stage 4 in the second loop is a completely new stage that doesn’t resemble Stage 4 in the first loop at all? Given how short the first loop is, (10 minutes) this is basically the second half of the game, and if you intend on playing this game you shouldn’t skip out on it.

So Stage 6 (or ST2-1) features way more enemies, tougher enemy types appear more often, and previously flat hallways now feature enemies poised to drop down from the windows above. The second half features laser gates that you have to time your approach through (while being mindful of their wack hitboxes), but their inclusion feels kinda wasted. You can usually dispatch all enemies first and then safely pass through the gates while the lasers are down, although this way the laser gates always pose the exact same challenge regardless of how the enemies are placed. Laser gates would be more interesting if you were forced to pass them while having to deal with enemies that you can’t permanently remove. Doors to both of your sides that spawn Maskers at a higher rate would be a great fit). Laser gates aren’t used again until Stage 9 (and in the same lacklustre capacity to boot), so there’s some wasted potential.

The most bizarre change between loops is that the final stretch of Stage 6 features enemies that will jump up unannounced out of the sandbag mountain you are standing on. You cannot see this coming because the sandbags are obscuring their sprites (save for teeny bits sticking out), and whether they will jump up to begin with is mostly random. You can kind of route around this, but the only way possible against a threat that you literally can not see coming is through trial ‘n error. This part is a headscratcher and I cannot even guess what the rationale behind it is.

Stage 7 plays mostly the same as Stage 2 with slightly tougher enemy types, the only noticeable changes are the addition of Owlbats in the crate sections and Mutants in the staircase section. For Owlbats you want to memorize their positions so you can pre-fire them while they’re still on the ground, so you don’t have to wait for them to stop flying. The Mutants don’t really add anything to the staircase section, all you do is stand on top of the staircase and shoot while standing as all the Mutants leap into your line of fire. It’s a static threat that doesn’t overlap with anything else, and is repeated several times in a short timespan in the exact same way. Just a waste of time.

Stage 8 doesn’t look all that different from Stage 3, but then it keeps going, and it just keeps going, until you’ve realized that they slapped a remixed version of Stage 4 at the end of this stage. The No Miss clears on YouTube can only manage to finish this stage with less than 20 seconds left on the timer because of its sheer length, and only with an airtight route and a compliant AI at that. The role of time limits should be to discourage excessive dilly-dallying and encourage more aggressive and engaging playstyles. All making them this strict/making stages this long is make only the most optimized routes feasible, while making any elements of RNG a massive pain in the ass.

One such RNG element is the new Panther cage. Whereas you could just pass by it via the foreground in the first loop, now the foreground path is blocked off, and you have to get around it by going into the Panther cage. And the only way you can do so is via two narrow doorways, while there’s a massive group of Panthers on the other side unpredictably walking around and making it unsafe to enter it. All you can do here is wait until an opening presents itself--costing valuable time, or try to force one by jumping and making all Panthers jump along with you as well. But all of this is subject to a lot of RNG, because sometimes the Panthers will decide not to jump (because they randomly decided to growl), sometimes they will decide to leave their cage and get the jump on you, and how they move around is unpredictable.

Particularly cruel here is that if you move a slight bit to the left before entering the cage, a Panther can spawn on the left side of the screen and immediately maul you before you can react. There’s nothing inherently wrong with enemies spawning in from the left, but the player character’s position then ought to be locked to the center to give you enough time and space to react to this, as opposed to Rolling Thunder 1 where your position is locked a one-third screen width from the left. This makes RT1 more suitable for threats that come in from the right, but certainly not from the left edge of the screen.

The ensuing lava section has to be one of the worst cases of trial ‘n error in the game. First you get an Owlbat that for some reason decides to fly around the bottom of the screen instead of the top, and in order to hit it you must jump on a platform amidst lava. The only issue here is that this platform is placed just close enough that if you jump off the very edge of the prior platform (as the game taught you several times before), you will overshoot and land on hot lava instead. Air control is very limited in this game and your jump arc is mostly fixed, so you can’t adjust your trajectory mid-air by much. The only way to avoid this is to unintuitively jump a few steps before the edge of the platform. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall even Castlevania ever doing this. Again, there’s nothing inherently with this kind of setup, but Rolling Thunder isn’t primarily about platforming and never drilled fundamentals like these into you, so being expected to suddenly know about not having to jump from the edge of a platform (while the time limit is almost running out) is a bit obscene.

This is also why the last section of the stage where you have to platform across incredibly narrow pillars also feels rather out of place, but the most offensive thing about it is the men-of-fire that get spawned mid-jump--in a game where you can’t attack while jumping. Even if you land safely, they will inevitably collide with you and kill you. The only way to avoid this is to pre-fire a bullet before you jump, which is some mighty kuso. I did say before that I liked queueing shots for its speedrun potential, but only because it was optional. Forcing the player to pre-fire obstacles is always going to be a problem if you don’t telegraph what’s ahead.

Stage 9 is on the mild side, all things considered. Not a lot of doors or multi-directional spawns to worry about. Instead you get a lot of boring sections where you have to drop down something, but have to wait for a Masker at the bottom to move out of the way so you don’t collide with them. There are also more Stage 3-style Ninja Masker pits, where you gotta drop down several platforms, but standing on particular platforms causes Ninja Maskers to spawn in your face, so you just have to trial ‘n error your way through until you find a consistent route. Not particularly interesting on replays. The only interesting obstacle of note is the two laser gates stapled to each other that activate at asynchronous intervals, since you need to use your brain a little to find a gap between the laser gates, although their RNG nature makes it crappy when playing for speed. One thing I’d suggest for laser gates in general is to have them move back and forth horizontally, allowing for more interplay with enemy spawns by making laser gates more of an overlapping and persistent threat, as opposed to the current implementation where you can just chill near one and take out all enemies first, effectively isolating the element of enemy placement from the stage hazards, instead of combining them.

Stage 10 is more of the good ol' stuff. More enemy swarms, less gimmicks. However, the foreground/background switching is still mostly boring, and there is one crappy part that involves enemies pre-firing at a place you have to drop down towards, which again involves more jumping to get the AI to GTFO. At first I was convinced that the extension of the final stage in the second loop was some bullshit that you couldn’t reliably pass through, namely having to ascend a staircase populated by Maskers that refuse to budge unless you bait them into dropping, so I used an invincibility glitch to waltz past the whole shebang. Turns out my Google-fu just wasn’t up to snuff and I somehow missed the existence of a No Miss clear before the time of recording. Designing games around gaming the enemy AI like this is tricky, because behavior is not something that you can really telegraph until it’s too late, like the Red Arremers in the Makaimura games or Donovans in Streets of Rage hard countering your air attacks. It’s more tolerable in beat ‘em ups because you have a wider margin of error thanks to the beeg health bar the genre usually affords you, but less so in precision run ‘n guns like Rolling Thunder. At the very least you want to teach the peculiarities of the enemy AI in a controlled environment early on in the game, not the absolute last stretch.

Finally there’s the final boss fight against Piccolo himself, where you must face his most powerful technique of Running Into You. This is actually an interesting fight where you must constantly gauge how many shots you can afford to let loose before having to jump over him again, because the distance after which he decides to turn around after you jump over him is AFAIK random. And often that distance is so short that you have no choice but to immediately jump again. Cool fight, but the randomness makes it bad for speedrunning, which is also especially bad in a survival context, because if you no missed everything up until this part you will likely have about 20 seconds remaining on the timer, and RNGesus making you pay more of it really makes you want to scream. However, all this is assuming you let the fight play out as intended. Instead, if you have at least 25 bullets, you can simply spray him to death before he even gets close. You can do this by conserving SMG ammo throughout the stage, but if you enable autofire your pistol basically functions no different from the SMG anyways.


All in all, Rolling Thunder has a good core of ideas and mechanics, it’s just not utilized as well as it could be, and it often throws situations at you that are better suited for a different kind of game. The amount of trial ‘n error in the second loop kind of sours the whole thing, and although the game is fun to be played for speed, often it just doesn’t let you.
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the thing is that we actually go way back and have known each other on multiple websites, first clashing in a Naruto forum.

Liar. I've known you only from latexmachomen.com and pantysniffers.org forums.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:23 pm 


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Nice, as ever - indexed. :cool:

(speaking of, currently looking at setting up some kinda Wordpress free blog thingy, as I don't think the character limit can take much more. I might use those three posts to index specific resources like replay videos / strategy guides, of which I'm currently writing a few)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 3:07 am 


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Could always just copy paste it over into five or six posts.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 3:16 am 


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True! This is the year to get shit done, at any rate. Image I have to look at some kind of offsite backup too, in case Edmans fulfills the forlorn wager that gives R2RKMFv6 its name (reach NG1 staff roll by Dec 31st 2021 = instant thread delete).

^^^ I made this up in order to tempt him back, nobody say nothing PLS Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:34 pm 


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BIL wrote:
Ohshi is that the time?

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My Mans be hitting the gym 8) 8) 8)

As for comments. Ah yeah i get one from time to time, like the fellow turning up to inform me my SoR2 clear was in fact on Easy mode.

Sumez wrote:
Don't play it for score, as you can farm some areas endlessly, making scoring completely broken.


wait what about the time limit?
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:48 pm 


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We received complaints after Part V that Dr. Biruford was turning into a bit of a heifer, so we put him on a fairly intense cutting regime and got him off the console stuff, but that is his first love and he will return sooner or later! Image

Part V wrote:
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My personal favourite wasn't a commenter per se, but a silent admirer who'd downvote everything I posted within minutes of uploading, a few years back. Made me wonder what aspects of my play he found so objectionable. :lol: Maybe he was a super-elite killer we mortals could learn from. :shock: Perhaps he was just some indigenous YT parasite, lay down w/dogs etc etc. Image Doubt it was anyone I tussled with on 'ere. I don't get into many Internet Dance Battles, considering how frequently I post when the mood takes me, and all the Shumps JO Buddies I can recall were made of sterner stuff. Image I'd rather have ten Edmonds in here doing forehead/brickwall attempts of balls-hard games, recoiling in pain and taking wild swings at me when I got too close, than one of these gutless pillocks slinking around the joint. Image

Either way, I think he got bored or something, as at some point he wasn't there anymore. Image Maybe this year will bring him out of retirement, got some bucket list clears comin'. Image You gon see some shit my friend. Image I got three months cleared for coof and my work is both mind-numbingly easy and lucrative - I'm gonna ram my cock right down Guevara's throat Image

TBH, if not for Roo requesting it, I'd never have enabled comments. I don't do internet outside of this forum and its near orbit. My attitude was/is "Dear video host, please host my videos for discussion on forum, tyvm." Still glad I listened, I've had some productive interactions over the years. As a rule though, I never expect good things to come of the wider internet, certainly not WRT arcade gaming. We're too niche, and they're too bitch. Image Nothin' personnel kids, I'm old and can't be arsed with your 35y/o m8 who's "rly gud @ Probotector" Image

I sure do enjoy the occasional pissing on them in here though! Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:23 pm 


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Mate, a true probotector fan would recognise this.

you disgust me.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:27 pm 


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Ok look, akshually the truth is, I've never played a Probotector in my life. :[ I just watch replays and pretend to know what I'm talking about! I just like the buff dudes on the boxes ok. :oops:

Teh truth is my favourite game is FINAL PANTYSEAT, I would fuck ALL the girls SAME TIME while the poofter protag cried+fapped in teh corner ¦3

PLS don't share this PM with anyone ok :sad:

Hey wait this is not a PM it is a post! :shock:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:38 pm 


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BIL wrote:
My personal favourite wasn't a commenter per se, but a silent admirer who'd downvote everything I posted within minutes of uploading


Durandal first posted his 2-ALL on Discord and it immediately had 3 downvotes. I was like "wtf" and he figured it was probably people who were expecting him to upload more music OSTs...

Quote:
TBH, if not for Roo requesting it, I'd never have enabled comments. I don't do internet outside of this forum and its near orbit.


How else am I supposed to meme and shitpost on your videos?! :V

I'm a firm believer that having comments open for people is worth the hassle of having to ignore shittier interactions. I've had a few but for the most part having comments open has helped answer people's questions and so on. Although I wish some of my other videos had more exposure (especially like SideLine which I want everyone to play), there are a lot of Bayonetta watchers who were asking for tech on one of my vids, so hopefully it's been of help...
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2020 12:25 am 


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Oh yeah, no regrets on balance. One more person who knows how to superjump in TNWA is worth it, that calibre of gaming will change lives Image I suppose even the real "omfg teh fierball touch u" howlers have their place as layups of sorts... :lol:

I'd wondered about the downvotes on Durandal's run. :/ No comments, naturally. That's excellent help lads. For those of us with an interest in these games: did he do something sub-optimally, IYO? Do you think he CHEETZ? Is he using some banned method, ala OutRun's infamously operator-rankling GearGacha? pls say it ain't more irc/discord fuckery IDGAF about! Image Image

BTW: If you do have a case, feel free to respond here! Image I must warn you though, we have to keep things civil - can't get rowdy, them's the house rules. :sad: When I occasionally bump into bitter schizos who know my post history better than I do - or rather, when they bump into me, as I don't do other internet - their stock regurgitation is "teh mods" (or lately, "ur circlejerk") have my back. Believe me, when I told that uppity Swedish broad to shut her mouth or I'd shove my dick in it, I got truncheoned just like the other two guys! (we were a bit out of line :oops:) The thing is, while you're daubing yourself in your own shit and whooping at me, I'm putting two in the chest and one in the head of your lousy post and walking away as the mods turn the firehose on you. This is how to get away with murder on the Mean Shump Streets time and time again. Image

Try it out, it works, I promise. But then again, I suspect you're not actually here for the hard gaming to begin with. Just don't ever say you weren't welcome. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:33 am 


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Image

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Back in teh groove (■`ω´■) While Double Dragon II is classically goofy Technos with lots of margin for error, I wanted to get reacquainted before writing anything down about Saigo. POWER OF ANGER feat Usagi no Ken. New philosophy for my ultimate sidescrolling frightener/crisis of confidence Round 6-1: they can't snipe you if they're unidentifiable smoking remains. Image Remorselessly advancing bunnyhop grenades = nice spaced-out shadow formation = dead heavies in front, dead heavies in back, and dead snipers/wolves with a tap of [up].

New year's resolution: get a 60fps capture sorted out so my replays don't look so fucked. :oops:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:34 pm 


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I have defeated Dracula!

Not in a Castlevania title, unfortunately. No, this defeat of The Impaler took place in Wallachia: Reign of Dracula, a fun hybrid of Rolling Thunder, Shinobi and Contra, which I don't think has been mentioned in our forums before. It's also one of the few games of this sort that take place in a fantasy/medieval setting, and that's pretty cool in itself. I have the One Life Clear video at https://youtu.be/6eRaPnNOAo0

I quite enjoyed the game overall. The seven stages all have good design and flow to them. The enemy variety is perhaps a tad limited, with most of the combat against color-coded soldiers. But the combat, I feel, is the true star of the game. At first glance there's only two attack options: the bow and the sword. These two alone are quite formidable, as the bow can be fired - at a high rate - at the eight cardinal directions. The sword, while obviously being a melee weapon, is powerful and it can deflect most enemy projectiles, which tend to be arrows as well. It's quite satisfying to trade fire with an enemy, both of your firing your shots at the same time at each other, yours hitting them in chest, while you cut down their arrow from the air with a well-timed slash of the sword. The bow and the sword are mapped to separate buttons, which makes it much more fun than automatically slashing when close range to an enemy, I feel.

The bow's shots can be charged by holding down the shot button for a little while, and it's added strength can take down hardier enemies with one shot this way. With the stages and as drops from enemies limited amounts of special arrows can also be found, the type that would make Oliver Queen pleased. There's the 3-way spreadshot arrow, the piercing arrow and the explosive arrow. These can be switched through at the press of a button, always nice that you don't have to use them as soon as you get them.

At some point I noticed that you can charge your shot while having a special arrow equipped, and these make short work of all normal enemies. A charged 3-way spreadshot at the face of most things and they drop right away. A few charged explosive arrows can murder even bosses within moments.

But wait that's not all! Then there's the four magic abilities, fuelled by picking up red orbs in the stages, with the more powerful ones costing more orbs. And each has two levels to them, with the second level being more costly but also more powerful. There are attacks, short-time invulnerability, healing, and weapon buffs.

(Here's where I think the game stumbles a little bit - it's a bit of a pain to switch between magic levels. You have to hold up and press "switch magic" -button, which changes magics to their other level. In the heat of combat it's not easy to pick the right magic AND its proper level.)

With all those offensive options the game can become fairly easy, once the stages are learned and the boss patterns memorized. The game's generous with extra lives (I had 7 by the time I finished the game) and each life has at least 4 hit points (can be increased to 6 by special pick-ups), so that's at least 28 hits you can take. Dying resets your red orbs to 0 and removes all your special arrows, but if you manage to stay alive you'll be a powerhouse. Even then, dealing with stages and bosses with the most basic equipment is quite doable, I played through the last stage (the game allows you to start at any stage previously reached) quite a few times when I was practicing the last boss and it can be learned quickly enough.

As luck would have it, after I got this 1LC run I remembered that I hadn't given the game's Hard mode a go, only ever playing it on the Normal difficulty. So I thought I'd play a life in Hard mode to see what was different, in order to present the findings here.

I ended up one-lifing Hard mode right away. Was I recording that time? No, of course I wasn't. A lesson I thought I had learned years ago: Always record, you never know when some cool stuff might happen.

The hard mode makes enemies move a bit faster and fire a bit more often, and the bosses seemed to have a bit more health, but that's it. The tactics forged in Normal mode are applicable in Hard mode as well, though I did end up using some charged spreadarrows when I didn't want to use up any explosive ones. I was hoping the Hard mode would reveal a True Last Boss, since there are things that kind of hint at something like that, but no such luck.

While the game does have a score system and even an achievement for getting 30,000 points during a single run, you can't actually see your final score anywhere, and even during the game it can only be found in the pause screen. So playing for score isn't exactly viable. The game does track your time through each stage, but the overall time for a single run isn't stored, only the individual times for each stage, which are then combined for a hypothetical best time through the whole game. So it's not exactly speedrun-friendly either. There are quite a few unlockable minigames, but that's pretty much it as far as finding reasons to play beyond the main game itself.

Still, I liked my time with the game a lot. It's fun and rewards aggressive playing, and being able to use both arrows and sword in quick succession to rapidly dispose of enemies is very enjoyable. 8/10 in my book. Even if it's not the most challenging title, it might be a game I'll return to every few years to beat it again.

Looking forward to Tanuki Justice now, another thematical departure from the usual fare in this genre. It's already out digitally, but I'm waiting for the physical version which should hopefully come out within a few months.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:28 am 


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I purchased it after I found out it was by the same guy who did those Haunted Castle/Castlevania fan games. I'm liking it so far, but there seems to be an occasional lag when shooting arrows.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:31 pm 


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BrianC wrote:
I'm liking it so far, but there seems to be an occasional lag when shooting arrows.


Are you playing it on Switch or PC? On Switch it seems there are one or two specific spots where rapidly shooting arrows can cause some arrows to just not appear, even though the character still does the animation for shooting one. I haven't played the PC version, but according to the Steam reviews that one has (or had) some issues.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:08 pm 


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BIL wrote:
Back in teh groove (■`ω´■) While Double Dragon II is classically goofy Technos with lots of margin for error, I wanted to get reacquainted before writing anything down about Saigo. POWER OF ANGER feat Usagi no Ken. New philosophy for my ultimate sidescrolling frightener/crisis of confidence Round 6-1: they can't snipe you if they're unidentifiable smoking remains. Image Remorselessly advancing bunnyhop grenades = nice spaced-out shadow formation = dead heavies in front, dead heavies in back, and dead snipers/wolves with a tap of [up].

New year's resolution: get a 60fps capture sorted out so my replays don't look so fucked. :oops:


Nice job dude! It seems you've really tamed this beast of a game. I'm playing for the 1LC and I got too close for comfort this morning. Double KO at the final boss. Of course, Irem don't give any leeway so double KO means you get to go back to the top of the Ninja Pit™.

Aside from Stage 6 being a living hell, I feel pretty comfortable in tackling all parts of this game, except for the final boss. He seems so random like he can just decide that you're not going to live.

I also noticed there seems to be a control bug where if your chain is retracting and you try to change directions and jump, Tsukikage will jump in the wrong direction. It seems to crop up only occasionally but usually when I'm in a frantic situation haha.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:52 pm 


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Good going! If you can survive Round 6 consistently (it is always hell :mrgreen:), you'll have the 1LC before long. Saigo has some infernal double KO action going on with that lingering grenade splash. Image Something I recalled in these revisits - it's nice and short, at least. All killer no filler! Five minutes and you're back in the really bad stuff @ Round 4 onward, ten minutes and it's VS BONEY.

However, Boney-sama is a motherfucker. :lol: I'm maybe 75% confident on him... in my current run, I'm quite proud of my executive decision RE: his first strike. My ideal pattern is this, elaborated on in this post - but if the first bolt is too low, it might overhead you on your way back under him, so I elected to break off. As ever when contingency comes into play vs Boney, I didn't know if I was gonna escape the corner, but my pants-seat flying (a medium-high jump into relatively clear space) just about evaded the pincer. Max height I assume would've gotten killed.

I snuck in my usual rude bunnyhopped upshots on the way back, despite him firing aggressively, to try and land the hits needed for my usual plan to work. Then got in the right outer-corner, hung up the shadows, and executed Operation Timewaster. :cool: His bolts seem to have a hard time reaching you at that angle, and at this point Boney is feeling the withering pressure of NONSTOP SHINOBI MUNITIONS Image, so a final pattern-extending leap to the right (a point of no return, but at this point I was ready to do/die) just about did him in.

What a nightmare, sure makes up for the washout of Round 6's boss battle.

Also, if my entry to the fight is shaky, it's possible for a freakishly low/quick bolt to kill Tsukikage as he passes under Boney. I suspect with polished Ninja Pit exit technique, it may be possible to avoid this.

!!!Headphones Warning!!! This guy has an interesting technique, completely unlike mine - looks very confident. Played live too! Mikado is cool.

Ah yes, the Kusarigama POW Swing glitch (as I call it) - just finished writing it up in my ST, which will be done by tomorrow night (just gotta get some GIFs hooked up). It's absolutely mortifying to encounter, though not too bad once you break it down.

Quote:
Jumps input while the swing is active will be forced in whatever direction the character ends up facing. Always let the swing terminate and movement controls return, then execute the jump.


95% of my swings are bunnyhopped now, come to think of it. There's also a few other glitches to beware, like Round 6's rocks jamming you up if landed on at very precise angles (great when you've got a "full house" in hot pursuit :shock: :evil:), and the Shuriken's one-sided aim lag, but overall Saigo's pretty tightly coded (that may the Holy Diver PTSD talking Image Image).
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:13 am 


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BIL wrote:
!!!Headphones Warning!!! This guy has an interesting technique, completely unlike mine - looks very confident. Played live too! Mikado is cool.


That was an awesome run. My first thought is that that player has balls of steel to try for a live demo 1CC. When I saw how he dodged the swinging samurai @12:10, I realized this guy is good. That's some precision timing.

Thanks for the tips on Boney-sama. Indeed, he is a motherfucker. Looking forward to the strategy guide.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:11 am 


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Gave a quick spin this morning to verify some things I was hazy on, made it to 6-1 and yep, for now, I'm gonna vouch for grenades. All the awful tension of wondering if a Monk and Ryuichi were gonna spawn on the same frame (a hellacious surprise, with the former concealing the latter), or in rapid succession (which can turn a flawless counter right back on you) is gone, because whatever the scenario, they're getting my triple-strong wall of high explosive. Image

Kunai was always the classic counterbalance, here, but with aggressive advance and good bunnyhop, those poor pricks are jumping square into my gunsights and taking a pipebomb up the back end. Adios you lousy ankle-biting pricks. Image

Died after crossing the final shoal and freezing up wondering what to do next, took a kunai in the chest from the last Green. Didn't even care tbh. Image All my enemies are smoked and raining down like bacon-scented confetti.

Image

And all the tensions that hurt us in the past
Just seemed to vanish in thin air

BECAUSE I BOMBED THEM ALL TO HELL (■`W´■)
THEIR BONES WERE ALL BLACK AND SHIT (◎ω◎;)
I'D DO IT AGAIN TOO! I AINT TELL EM TO CHASE ME ALL OVER THAT MAHFUCKIN BEACH 凸(■`W´■)凸


*ahem* (`ω´メ)

Plan is to switch to Kusarigama at the shoal's end. There's a rock in the way, and as shown in the current run, it can cause delays. At that point I want Kusarigama to fend off kunais and White Rain, whose name now that I think about it is pretty unfortunate. The rock will launch Ryuichis and Monks miles overhead, not an issue killing or even ignoring them. In that run I actually did switch as described, but it was more out of desperate instinct than anything codified or even conscious. :lol:

I've regarded 6-2 as the far lesser threat for a year now, and Round 7 is 95% steady hands and rehearsed plans, so that's no issue (seems more brutal than it really is, imo, after the ultimate one-man sidescrolling war of Round 6 - remember, like the man said! NOTHING IS OVER :shock: Image) Boney is a prick but I think I'm gradually mapping out him too.

I love Saigo so much. Image Image Gonna see about nailing down a Daimakaimura 2ALL this year, assuming Arcade Stadium does ok. That's the only other (quality) sidescroller I know that sustains this constant RNG rush. My big caviar dream is for Magic Sword to get a look in, that's my other historic nemesis of arcade sidescrolling. At some point I'll just get a board if I have to, but I'm lazy on that stuff, and god damn has this gen been convenient for bang-on arcade emulation. Image
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Last edited by BIL on Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:58 am 


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Kengo. What is this shit? It looks like Ninja Spirit (but ugly), sounds like Ninja Spirit, plays like utter dogshit. Wow.

Received TNWA for Switch, played a credit yesterday. Only on normal, with the big fella, but what an utter joy to play. I’m aware that hard is probably the way to go on this, even I get the sense it’s being a little too lenient with me at times as is, but it’s a nice way to ease in and get familiar with iFrames etc. Made ST6, so I’ll probably see if I can grab a clear with each character on this setting before moving up to the big boys setting.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:12 am 


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I've been curious about Kengo for a while. I hope it gets an ACA release along with its fellow middle-years sidescroller GunForce, though from everything I've read, I'm not expecting it to be as good as (or even play anything like) Saigo.

Head of the triple crown of Waifu Murdering Arcade Intros along with Double Dragon II and Daimakaimura, at the very least.

ONOREEE Image

The last gets rapped hard for DBZ Bullshit, but is nonetheless fuckin grim, and inspired Yuji Kaida to paint one of the greatest VG box back illustrations of all time, OF ALL TIME Image

Spoiler: show
Image


GOD DAMN Image And THEN it kicked off a brutal arms race between SEGA and NEC to see who could draw the best titties on Prin-Prin! :o

Spoiler: show
Image


So overall I am A-OK including it! Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:28 pm 


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Okay, got Arcade Archives Ninja Spirit on me Switch. Looks fantastic, controls great, I feel like I'm just mashing with kusarigama but I don't think I ever understood how to use that thing in the first place lol. Stage 1 EZ, Stage 2 the bomb guys keep me on my toes, second boss is a firm reminder of just how wonky trying to maneuver mid-air is in this game. Stage 3 snipers are a firm reminder that life is suffering. I think my favorite was picking up the flame aura powerup only to be hit in the back by a bullet about 1 second later. First forays have all ended there so far, mostly at the hands of the weird spinny-stick-boomerang Shiren-the-Wanderer looking dude, I don't remember how I ever dealt with them except vague memory of using kusarigama :? . Made it to the boss a couple times but without clones I failed to bring him down. I think I'm getting the hang of avoiding the stick throwing guys, though.

Went back to Dragon Marked for Death, erasing my old maxed out save and starting a fresh file. Sure has improved a lot since release, starting out as a new character is a lot better now, quality-of-life improvements out the wazoo, improved moveset options. My previous ambivalence is gone, game is kickass now.

The big steps Inti have made fleshing out DMFD, along with a well-timed recommendation from someone I trust, have also convinced me to give Gunvolt 2 a chance so I bought a copy of that, against my better judgement considering the first game, but hey, angry gods are still allowed to be merciful :lol: .
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