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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:26 am 


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Rastan78 wrote:
I won't say it's anything close to a masterpiece, but Astral Chain is worth a look.

Maybe you won't say it but I sure will. Astral Chain is god-tier 3D action. Only blemish is the bad scoring system, although that's sadly pretty standard in this genre.

Regarding all the investigations and other non-killing-dudes stuff that take up a substantial portion of the story, it may entice to know that your reward for completing the game is a collection of 70 combat challenges. No plot, no errands, just pure action, including enemy variants not seen elsewhere. Capped off with an upgraded final boss rematch in challenge 71, backed by the game's opening theme music for maximum anime finale energy.

BIL wrote:
It's a simple, elegant and intense system that doubles as a decent scoring mechanic - it's just a shame the game's stages weren't tightened up nearer to arcade-spec, as some can feel a bit overlong. Still, the action is more than good enough to support it. Pacing has an uncanny similarity to Crazy Taxi's, I always found... bursts of frantic-yet-precise action, punctuated by big flashy paydays, before rocketing off to the next big slaughter.

As much as I love Shinobi, I must chime in to bemoan the boss bonus which severely hurts the game's scoring IMO. Namely, something like half the bosses require absolute shenanigan tactics to achieve good scores. It's one of the reasons why, the more I spend time with the game and its sequel, the more I prefer Nightshade.

Air Master Burst wrote:
Apparently the Japanese version has a novelty "useless" roulette attack that doesn't make the sign fall off, but no idea if it actually helps or not as I never had a modded PS2.

It can be useful because the only activation cost is a small amount of health and it provides significant invulnerability time during the animation. I don't imagine it would dramatically change a KMS Hard run, but it does provide an easier out than dodging in some situations.
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:49 am 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
I enjoy God Hand, but I sometimes wonder if it's really a very good game. The dodging being on the right stick as opposed to shoulder buttons you can keep your fingers on is something I'm not fond of, especially in a game where dodge timing's so tight, especially on Hard. You could move a couple functions to the right stick up + down such as god hand unleash and taunt. Or, move some of the attack buttons to the shoulder buttons so your thumb can remain on the right stick except when moving it to press one of the face buttons to taunt/roulette/unleash. Feels weird having to move my thumb between the stick to dodge and attack; I don't like the delay it adds.


A million times this! I eventually learned to play by holding the left half of the pad regular and resting the right half of the dualshock on my leg and using the buttons in a jank arcade style while waggling the stick with my palm. It wasn't pretty, and would probably cramp me up within an hour if I tried it at this age, but it fucking worked for much younger and spryer AMB.


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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:53 am 


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Volteccer_Jack wrote:
BIL wrote:
It's a simple, elegant and intense system that doubles as a decent scoring mechanic - it's just a shame the game's stages weren't tightened up nearer to arcade-spec, as some can feel a bit overlong. Still, the action is more than good enough to support it. Pacing has an uncanny similarity to Crazy Taxi's, I always found... bursts of frantic-yet-precise action, punctuated by big flashy paydays, before rocketing off to the next big slaughter.

As much as I love Shinobi, I must chime in to bemoan the boss bonus which severely hurts the game's scoring IMO. Namely, something like half the bosses require absolute shenanigan tactics to achieve good scores. It's one of the reasons why, the more I spend time with the game and its sequel, the more I prefer Nightshade.


Ah jeez, totally forgot waiting about for those boss spawns... interesting to hear they addressed it with Nightshade, I got that one right around what amounts to an abyss of lost time with console action gaming, ca 2006-2019. Always liked the sound of its modified air combat, just never had the time and then I fell ass-backwards into arcade stuff.
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:39 am 


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I still think God Hand is one of the absolute pinnacles of the genre. What flaws it has are minor relative to its towering strengths; the amount of 3D action games with combat that nuanced, tactical, and complex can be counted on one hand (I would say only the first Bayonetta and Ninja Gaiden Black and II compare).

Games of this sort are always going to have more weaknesses to prod at, relative to 2D action games, which are inherently more elegant - whether those are camera issues or moveset balancing issues - inevitable to run into when dealing with games of this level of mechanical complexity - or pacing that doesn't stand up to denser 2D games. I don't think this makes them unassailable - I'll criticize DMC3 and 4's rather severe flaws any day (still very good games, especially 4), alongside Ninja Gaiden II's unfortunate lack of a final polishing pass - but because these weak spots tend to arise from their ambitious design, I feel it's worth not losing sight of their unique strengths, either.
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:52 am 



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First of the North Star: Ken's Rage

Before we begin, I made a video about Ken's Rage years ago. Several videos, in fact. But you don't need to watch any of the others, because at least one of them is just me throwing shade at professional journalists for sucking massive donger. The only one that you might want to watch is this:

https://youtu.be/H1AyMb9rAng

Here I go over some advanced techniques for Ken's Rage, including jump cancels, resets, basic frame info (I don't have counters, just a mention of positive and negative frame enders) and some other unimportant stuff (such as musou attacks) that "professional" gamers rating Ken's Rage at the time never bothered to learn. So, there's the info if you care.

That out of the way, let's begin.

Introductions

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Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage is Tecmo Koei's licensed adaptation of the Fist of the North Star, reimagined as a video game. Although made by K-T, it is not a conventional musou game. Without wishing to delve too deeply into the mechanics of the Musou genre, musou games are a "1 vs 1000" light action simulator focused primarily on strategic genocide on a massive, ever-changing battlefield. The Musou genre began with Dynasty Warriors 3, and it still strongly resembles ancient epic stories of a lone general racing from place to place, on horseback, slaughtering every foe in his way. A battleground in which only the bravest and hardest of the REAL MEN, the "army generals" are worthy to face each other in 1vs1 combat. In musou games, the "underling" enemies, or "common soldiers," exist primarily to get in the way, rather than to cause serious damage. It's possible to die to a grunt in a Warriors game, but very unlikely.

Ken's Rage is not like this. There is no massive battlefield in Ken's Rage. Ken's Rage is divided into discrete stages which function as linear levels. In that respect, it is no different from, say, Ninja Gaiden II. You enter zones, enemies spawn, you kill them and proceed forward. There are various level gimmicks, sub bosses and end-of-stage, multi-phase boss fights with changing arenas. Furthermore, a grunt in Ken's Rage absolutely can murder the fuck out of Kenshiro. Each enemy type has specific behaviors and they can all be deadly to a button-mashing, stationary scrub player. To succeed in Ken's Rage requires knowledge of positioning, physics objects and the limitations of your own moveset (as many attacks put you into negative frames of recovery if blocked or avoided.)

Gameplay

The first thing to understand about Ken's Rage is Kenshiro himself. Kenshiro is a practitioner of Hokuto Shinken, the Fist of the North Star. In this game, there is a debuff this martial style places upon your opponent once certain conditions are met, known as "spiritual shock" iirc. In this state, enemies suffer various debuffs such as being unable to block or taking extra damage. Kenshiro can also block, jump and dodge roll. Jumping works like Devil May Cry jumping, and proffers generous i-frames upon initiation as well as allowing Kenshiro to cancel out of strings at any time by jumping. Blocking is a limited resource which pulls from a recharging shield gauge. It's not an instant win button and you must employ blocking only when no other method will work for avoiding damage. Bosses have some unblockable (but not undodgeable) attacks. Kenshiro can also roll. Rolling is the most advantageous form of damage avoidance. When rolling, you enjoy extreme amounts of i-frames. However, only Rei and Kenshiro can dodge roll. The other characters are not able to do this, meaning they are forced to jump cancel or jump reset if they want to extend their combo strings or evade damage.

For those wondering, Rei is the strongest character in this game, by far. The reason is because he has both the Nanto Shinken "counter" attack as well as a ridiculous dodge roll. Imagine the bloodborne dash, except in a game where enemies can't react half as quickly. That's Rei's evasive move. His air game, being a Nanto practitioner, is also batshit insane. Many of his air musou attacks deal insane damage or AoE, and his air combos are long as hell. Air combos are quite nice in Ken's Rage, assuming you can land them, as I don't believe enemies typically block while airborne. :lol: The Nanto Shinken "counter" attack I mentioned is hard to describe. Sometimes, when attacking an enemy, being blocked or being attacked, a button prompt will appear on screen. If you hit the button, Rei will activate Witch Time and become Super Fucking Unstoppable, gaining mad damage and penetration on his moves. The fact you can just do this shit for free, without spending any meter at all... It's kinda bullshit. But in a good way. 8) As I said, the game is balanced around Kenshiro. It's too easy if you play as Rei, but certain fights are pretty rough if you're playing as a low-tier like Jagi.

Why this game fucking rules

First off, it faithfully retells the HnK story with decent voice work and visuals. I still cry when Toki die. :( Second, the gameplay is rock-solid. Thirdly, there are some extra modes where you can fuck around with the other characters, like Mamiya, Jagi and Souther. The included "musou" mode (which plays like a warriors game) is kinda shit compared to the campaign, but it is fun to mess around with. Fourthly, YOU WAH SHOCK.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy_Z7KoIQo4

The music includes Dope As Hell remixes of classic HnK music.

Bro this game sucks wtfbbq I keep getting bodied! That cocksucker Shin!

You gotta learn to Git GUD! The combat seems, superficially, like a musou game. You have two-button combos with light and heavy attacks. However, completed combos tend to end on negative frames, leaving you at a disadvantage. So what do? You gotta learn to hit confirm and cancel out if you're fighting a strong opponent and they block or counter. The easiest cancel to learn is a jump cancel, since it doesn't use any resource. Just jump any time during your combo. You could still get caught while in recovery, coming down from your jump, but the recovery on that is small compared to finishing a combo. Another cancel you can do is a musou (super move) cancel. Start a combo and then hit that supa button. You can musou out of ANYTHING in Ken's Rage. Boss comboing you? About to die? Raoh chain-firing hadoukens covering the entire map? Just musou, bro. Musou cancels whatever is happening on screen. So if shit is happening and you don't like it, spend a bar and musou out. It's just like superjoys in Final Fight. Save your musou meter for boss fights. Kenshiro obviously also has the ability to dodge out of combos. Keep in mind that all of these methods for keeping yourself safe can also be used in a reset environment to get a longer combo. If the enemy is stunlocked, you can often start a combo, jump or dodge reset, restart the combo and keep it going. But this only works if you know which hits in your strings jail.

FRAME DATA IS IMPORTANT! If you don't know what moves are true combos vs which the bosses or enemies can block/musou out of (they have musou moves, but theirs aren't as OP as yours,) then trying to extend your combo could get your ass beat. In general, light attacks jail and heavy attacks do not. If you go light, light, light, heavy with your combo, the light hits are usually guaranteed if the first hit connects, while the final heavy is not. So don't throw out heavies unless you know they will hit.

Additionally, certain moves in your combos will guard break. It differs by character. This is just something you have to learn by playing. Ken's light, heavy uppercut kick is a guard breaker and I believe it also jails.

Some Negatives of the Game

You might be thinking, "holy shit this game sounds awesome!" And it is. It's one of my favorite xbox 360 games, alongside Bayonetta. But it's not perfect. The major problem this game has is QTEs. Yeah, it came out during "that" era of Modern Gaming. When you knock a boss into critical health in the campaign, you are given a context-sensitive prompt to initiate an ATATATATATATATATA punching finisher. Kenshiro will wail on them while you punch in a series of buttons under a time limit. The main problem with this mechanic, as cool as it can be, is the QTEs are not easy. The final one, on Raoh, is hilariously difficult. The QTEs start manageable, but they become obnoxious quickly. It's an unfortunate stain on what could have been a perfect game. There's no workaround for these either. If you fail the QTE, the boss gets motherfuckin' health back. Not all of it, but enough to piss you off.

This is the primary negative point of the game, but there are a few other disappointments. The visuals are rather drab and colorless. The models look great, but environments are gray and concrete-colored, rather than the dusty tan bathed in setting-sun-red we know and love from the tv show. Bit of a shame, but nothing too awful.

Conclusion

So, there's the game. It's a favorite one of mine, and I hope you may try it and enjoy it. The game still shouldn't be expensive or hard to find, as it's regarded as mediocre to this day by the Mainstream Majority. If I were to rank it, I'd still solidly place it in a 9/10, taking off a point only for the god-awful QTEs (which, btw, are only present in the campaign mode iirc.) There are quite a few more characters than I mentioned, but the length of the stories varies by character and Kenshiro and Rei feel the most fleshed-out. Both in gameplay and story.


Last edited by Sima Tuna on Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:29 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:54 am 


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BIL wrote:
Ah jeez, totally forgot waiting about for those boss spawns... interesting to hear they addressed it with Nightshade, I got that one right around what amounts to an abyss of lost time with console action gaming, ca 2006-2019. Always liked the sound of its modified air combat, just never had the time and then I fell ass-backwards into arcade stuff.

There is still a fair bit of waiting for boss spawns, but it's mercifully reduced. In the first game, you often had to wait even longer and time your Tate to coincide with certain boss actions, which meant rng could force you to miss a cycle and wait for more spawns, and on Hard/Super a couple bosses were even impossible to 1-hit so you then had to wait for a second wave of enemies and a second Tate. Nightshade tightened this all up so the waits are shorter and more reliable, and added a ranged charge attack so you're less likely to waste your Tate if the boss decides to suddenly teleport or something right before the killing blow. There's also no goofy stuff; you won't have to trick any bosses into walking off buildings in Nightshade :P .

Although, because the bosses are designed with that ranged charge attack in mind, a certain secret character breaks things a bit. But he's hella cool so we forgive him.
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:17 am 


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Volteccer_Jack wrote:
There's also no goofy stuff; you won't have to trick any bosses into walking off buildings in Nightshade :P


Did kinda dent that icy-cool "KILL U" entrance :oops: Moritsune is his game's Shockmaster. :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: chaining up
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:17 pm 


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Rastan78 wrote:
I have a feeling if it jumped to PC and/or PS4 more people would still be talking about it.


Not likely, given that the IP changend rights, from Plat to, you guessed it, Nintendo. Yes, some times ago.
I will play it next, but am a bit nervous about it's , uhm, "narrative presentation" for it's not sunny 2005 anymo', and gamers "need" story whereas the player wants a game. And dev's need numbers. It's a dilemma.

Re-playing NG Black after Master Ninja fulfillment. Makes me forget that there's actually a sequel from the same ninja team.
I find it disgraceful that the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection omits both the original and BLACK. It should at the very least have the SIGMA in the title. I heard the silly reasoning for this, too: something about the losing of the original code. Thus, it seems to me it is some kind of retcon not to include the works all 3D Gaiden are based on. Shameful.

In the reverse, CAPCOM didn't fare any better with the remaster of Onimusha, by not adhering the GENMA port. Which is the entry to go origins-wise.

As ever, BIL, many thanks for this topic. Bringing your inimtability to these battlegrounds suggest some longevity.
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Last edited by NYN on Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:36 pm 


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Okay, so even though there aren't polygons, would Taito's Riding Fight fit in this thread? It has more in common with most of these games than anything in the 2D thread.

Also, you should play Riding Fight, it's fucking rad!


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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:46 pm 


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Air Master Burst wrote:
I eventually learned to play [God Hand] by holding the left half of the pad regular and resting the right half of the dualshock on my leg and using the buttons in a jank arcade style while waggling the stick with my palm.


This makes me wince just thinking about it. I always wondered how you were expected to hold the controller; the window for dodging some attacks (like Elvis 1's jumping slam attack on Hard) is tight enough that moving your thumb back and forth from the face buttons to the stick to do a dodge or do duck/sidestep attack cancels felt like a mistake. I'm surprised dodging isn't also on the D-Pad, seeing as how the D-Pad isn't used at all for movement.

Are there custom remappable PS2 controllers for this sort of thing? My opinion of God Hand would be much higher if the position of the dodging controls didn't feel so... weird. It actually thought much more highly of it until I realized just how much I disliked dodge being on the thumbstick like this.
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:27 pm 


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I hear the PS3 port is pretty solid and there are some custom remapping options available there, but I've never actually tried any myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:49 pm 


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If you're looking for a hidden gem, check out indie Clone Drone in the Danger Zone:

Spoiler: show
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 Post subject: Re: chaining up
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:52 pm 



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NYN wrote:

Re-playing NG Black after Master Ninja fulfillment. Makes me forget that there's actually a sequel from the same ninja team.
I find it disgraceful that the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection omits both the original and BLACK. It should at the very least have the SIGMA in the title. I heard the silly reasoning for this, too: something about the losing of the original code. Thus, it seems to me it is some kind of retcon not to include the works all 3D Gaiden are based on. Shameful.


My understanding of why this was done is because T-K have utter contempt for Itagaki. It's why they attempted to "fix" Ninja Gaiden 2 in the first place, with Sigma 2 changing almost everything, cocking up the weapon upgrade system and dramatically reducing difficulty, enemy density AND blood.

I would understand if the Sigma versions had limited themselves to just reducing projectile spam. But nobody was asking for arbitrary progress-gating upgrades or complaining NG2 was "too violent." The argument that they don't have the source code rings hollow. If nothing else, they could have used emulation for NG04 and Black. You can still purchase and play Black on Xbox to this very day. NG Black and NG2 STILL look better (visually) than Sigma and Sigma 2.


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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 8:16 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Sima Tuna wrote:
Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage is not a musou game!


The sequel is much closer to a traditional musou game, with attacks having far more range and sweep to them, feeling far more like they mow down crowds.


Ah, thanks; I always wanted a better classification for this sort of game but always said "like Dynasty Warriors" and felt like an idiot. I'm largely ignorant with this sort of game because I've mainly steered clear of them. I always associate 3D action with the giant crowd stuff, almost sort of button-mashy from a cursory glance, which I know isn't true.

What would y'all say is a must-play for someone inexperienced? I've only dabbled briefly with God Hand and Ninja Gaiden Black, but the last time I've touched either is probably a decade.

Also, what about something like Dynamite Deka or Zombie Revenge? Not sure how far off that is compared to some of these since those are basically just 3D beat-em-ups, but I'm treading lightly since I'm so out of touch with anything outside of From's catalogue and earlier PC games likes Die by the Sword and Rune, etc.
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:30 pm 



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drauch wrote:
BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Sima Tuna wrote:
Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage is not a musou game!


The sequel is much closer to a traditional musou game, with attacks having far more range and sweep to them, feeling far more like they mow down crowds.


Ah, thanks; I always wanted a better classification for this sort of game but always said "like Dynasty Warriors" and felt like an idiot. I'm largely ignorant with this sort of game because I've mainly steered clear of them. I always associate 3D action with the giant crowd stuff, almost sort of button-mashy from a cursory glance, which I know isn't true.

What would y'all say is a must-play for someone inexperienced? I've only dabbled briefly with God Hand and Ninja Gaiden Black, but the last time I've touched either is probably a decade.

Also, what about something like Dynamite Deka or Zombie Revenge? Not sure how far off that is compared to some of these since those are basically just 3D beat-em-ups, but I'm treading lightly since I'm so out of touch with anything outside of From's catalogue and earlier PC games likes Die by the Sword and Rune, etc.

Bayonetta is probably the most smooth introduction for someone new to the PAD genre. It has perfect controls and is available on xbox 360/xboner, PC and Switch. The Devil May Cry Collection is also widely available, but those are older games.

Ninja Gaiden Black is another strong entry point, but it has some pretty terrible camera angles. Another option is God of War I and II, for ps2. They're not nearly as difficult as some hardcore action titles. One advantage of God of War is a totally fixed camera, meaning you can't get screwed as badly by camera controls as with a free camera. You can still get bad angles (mainly at transition points, where the camera switches from one view to another,) but it's less common. Bayo largely doesn't have any camera problems at all, which is another reason it's a strong entry point. My main criticism of Bayonetta are the fucking stupid quick-time events during cutscenes. I hate, hate, hate QTEs. NG Black and DMC 3 SE thankfully came out prior to the popularity of QTE in the mainstream. Context-sensitive executions are fine, but "press x to not die" style QTEs are the worst.

Dynamite Dekka probably qualifies as Polygonal Action Daishingeki. Not every beat em up is a character action game, but I think Dekka fits. Urban Reign lacks the linear progression this subgenre is known for, for example, so I'd exclude it.

I agree with those who said earlier that this subgenre has more highs and lows than shmups or 2d brawlers. Camera problems, QTEs, gray-and-brown visuals... We're dealing with bigger budgets here, wider scope and greater aspirations. So unfortunately, many mainstream foibles tend to work their way into this genre and rear their ugly heads. But there aren't any 2d brawlers, no matter how good they may be, that can provide the same level of feedback in TOTAL KUNG-FU ASSKICKING that God Hand does. As amazing as Fight 'n' Rage is, it's limited to 2 dimensions and I can't get half as close to the carnage as when I'm slapping demon stripper asses with Gene.


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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:27 pm 


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Sima Tuna wrote:
Bayo largely doesn't have any camera problems at all, which is another reason it's a strong entry point. My main criticism of Bayonetta are the fucking stupid quick-time events during cutscenes. I hate, hate, hate QTEs.


1) Bayo actually does have some camera issues. There's some sudden camera swing when you touch a wall in alfheims for instance, and there's at least a couple fights where it really helps to react on audio cues because your target will be difficult to see:
Spoiler: show
namely the first Jeanne fight and the last Jeanne fight while on the rocket, also applies to giant Beloved battles, particularly the ones in Lost Chapter: Angel Slayer


The trick though is that you have a TON of tools to work around this you can unlock including your perfect dodge move, and a shielding accessory that runs of your magic meter. So sections with camera ickyness are totally manageable with sufficient skill.

2) The QTEs are all 100% memorizable. The inputs are not randomized, and there's only two in the entire game that punish you for pressing the input too early which are literally at the start of the game (end of Ch2 and middle of Ch3). Every other "press the button to not die" QTE can be mashed prior to the input appearing.

The QTEs that involve button mashing are kinda annoying though, but if you're on the PC version you can setup autofire and spare your fingers by using JoyToKey to map the D-Pad to rapid press keyboard inputs.

Bayo's a great game as its combat is very fun, straddling that great line between difficult, but very forgiving mechanically to learn and master. It's a bit different from some games in that charge attacks (holding each attack button briefly to shoot) is optimal compared to mashing the buttons rapidly. It's not perfect though, and there's some silly gimmick segments in the story mode that are weak spots, but again, setting up autofire is handy for those, and the best chapter in the game is the secret one you unlock that's an hour of non-stop, pure combat with 51 or so fights in a row.
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:35 am 


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drauch wrote:
What would y'all say is a must-play for someone inexperienced? I've only dabbled briefly with God Hand and Ninja Gaiden Black, but the last time I've touched either is probably a decade.

Devil May Cry 1
Sort of the founding father of the genre, so naturally I think it's a good place to start. Immensely influential even today. Two decades old but still one of the best in the genre. None of the sequels were made by the same team as the original, so DMC1 stands alone to a degree.

Bayonetta
If DMC1 was father to the genre, Bayonetta was mother to the second generation of the genre. Notable is the "dodge offset" mechanic, which existed before but didn't have a name until Bayonetta gave it one. "Dodge offset" consists of interrupting an attack string with a dodge and then picking up in the middle of the attack string where you left off, rather than having to start the string over. Bayonetta made this a core game mechanic that you were expected to master, and it's become a standard feature for Platinum games.

Those are the two big ones. DMC1 kinda represents the slower/methodical side of the genre, and Bayonetta the frenetic/wild side.

Beyond those two I'd just be recommending games I personally like, lol. But PS2 Shinobi is a possible starting point because it is one of the most friendly to those with arcade sensibilities.
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:09 am 



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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Sima Tuna wrote:
Bayo largely doesn't have any camera problems at all, which is another reason it's a strong entry point. My main criticism of Bayonetta are the fucking stupid quick-time events during cutscenes. I hate, hate, hate QTEs.


1) Bayo actually does have some camera issues. There's some sudden camera swing when you touch a wall in alfheims for instance, and there's at least a couple fights where it really helps to react on audio cues because your target will be difficult to see:
Spoiler: show
namely the first Jeanne fight and the last Jeanne fight while on the rocket, also applies to giant Beloved battles, particularly the ones in Lost Chapter: Angel Slayer


The trick though is that you have a TON of tools to work around this you can unlock including your perfect dodge move, and a shielding accessory that runs of your magic meter. So sections with camera ickyness are totally manageable with sufficient skill.

2) The QTEs are all 100% memorizable. The inputs are not randomized, and there's only two in the entire game that punish you for pressing the input too early which are literally at the start of the game (end of Ch2 and middle of Ch3). Every other "press the button to not die" QTE can be mashed prior to the input appearing.

The QTEs that involve button mashing are kinda annoying though, but if you're on the PC version you can setup autofire and spare your fingers by using JoyToKey to map the D-Pad to rapid press keyboard inputs.

Bayo's a great game as its combat is very fun, straddling that great line between difficult, but very forgiving mechanically to learn and master. It's a bit different from some games in that charge attacks (holding each attack button briefly to shoot) is optimal compared to mashing the buttons rapidly. It's not perfect though, and there's some silly gimmick segments in the story mode that are weak spots, but again, setting up autofire is handy for those, and the best chapter in the game is the secret one you unlock that's an hour of non-stop, pure combat with 51 or so fights in a row.

It's good to know that you can memo the QTE's, but I still hate them as a concept and I feel they make Bayo a much more imperfect experience than if there was a mod to remove them entirely.

I don't mind the "execution move" button mashing as much. You can find the same sort of "mash for hype finishers" idea repeated in DMC4, God Hand and many other PADs. Failing a QTE finisher typically only causes a small loss of life or allows the enemy to recover. Still obnoxious, but not ruinous. However, failed cutscene QTEs leading to a recorded instant life loss are simply... Unbearable.

I never found the Bayo camera a problem. Mainly because of the combination of Witch Time, panther form, double-jump and air shenanigans (butterflies). Any or all of these can be used to create space for camera repositioning. It doesn't hurt Bayo and DMC are zoomed out a little further than the likes of Ninja Gaiden. A little distance keeps the camera from going completely apeshit.

I know somebody in the Unpopular Opinions thread said DMC3 is shit and oldheads have nostalgia goggles on for it, but the fact I can play DMC3 from start to finish with not a single, solitary QTE anywhere to be found is reason enough for me to prefer it over Bayo. That it also has Trickster, Beowulf, Cerberus and all the extra costumes + rock solid boss design (imo) doesn't hurt. That said, I have finished DMC3 on DMD and Bayo on whatever the hardest difficulty for that was. Both nearly perfect games and I love them both. That was some years ago, however, and it's well time for a replay. 8) 8) 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:12 am 


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Devil May Cry 3 is very good on the whole, but I just can't get behind its weak enemy roster. I'm already not a fan of post-1 Devil May Cry's conceit of giving you passive enemies to facilitate juggling - give me Ninja Gaiden and Bayonetta's opposition any day - but DMC3 totally drops the ball with everything above its basic, bottom-tier grunts (who are actually pretty fun to deal with, and the different types synergize in some interesting ways, but zako can't carry a game of that sort on their own). There are so many dull damage sponges in DMC3 who do nothing but take up space and time or who demand boring tactics to clean up, I definitely agree on 4 and 5 being better games, even if neither are genre pinnacles like Bayo or God Hand. 3 does have the overall best boss lineup in the genre though.
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 Post subject: Re: chaining up
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:26 am 


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NYN wrote:
As ever, BIL, many thanks for this topic. Bringing your inimtability to these battlegrounds suggest some longevity.


You are most welcome. :mrgreen: I'll probably be more of a spectator here, but tbh I gotta brush up. :cool:

That's a shame about NG Black and II not making the jump to the collection - I was considering picking it up, but I think I'll just wait until I can play my old copy of NGB (or grab a backwards-compatible DL). I always got iffy at best vibes about the Sigma revisions.
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 Post subject: Re: chaining up
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:22 am 



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BIL wrote:
NYN wrote:
As ever, BIL, many thanks for this topic. Bringing your inimtability to these battlegrounds suggest some longevity.


You are most welcome. :mrgreen: I'll probably be more of a spectator here, but tbh I gotta brush up. :cool:

That's a shame about NG Black and II not making the jump to the collection - I was considering picking it up, but I think I'll just wait until I can play my old copy of NGB (or grab a backwards-compatible DL). I always got iffy at best vibes about the Sigma revisions.

I'm currently playing Sigma 1 as part of the Master Collection. My plan is to play all of the games, since I only have some experience with vanilla NG2. I have more experience with Black. I'm on Chapter 8 of Sigma now and it's been fairly faithful to Black. It doesn't look as nice as Black, due to the over-reliance on bloom lighting and some general Switch low resolution. But it plays fine and seems the least tainted of the three games. My understanding of Sigma 1 is it's not substantially different from Black. It has some added Rachel chapters which are... Okay. Rachel is quite slow compared to Ryu and you don't have any weapon options either. She lacks Ryu's wall run and has trouble keeping up with Fiends. But she can kill enemies in a couple hits. The levels are fine, but my first thought after getting back to Ryu's levels was "thank fucking god, finally I can pull out my upgraded, fun weapons and go to town again!"

Rachel also recycles even more environments from Ryu's adventure, which may lead some to believe NG Sigma is excessively repetitive. A problem which Black sort of had, but not to this extent. When you only go through an area twice, it's not so bad as dipping through twice as Ryu + bits and bobs here and there as Rachel.

Other aspects of Sigma seem largely intact from Black or are changed in harmless ways. Water hopping inputs are absurdly simple now. You can just mash A and Ryu will water run with no skill required. Some weapons are placed earlier in the adventure than in Black. But upgrading is gated to begin at Vigoor, I believe. As far as I know, you can't have a level 2 weapon on the airship. It may have always been that way? But I doubt it. Edit: A quick google search shows I'm right and you can upgrade earlier in NG Black.

https://www.reddit.com/r/ninjagaiden/co ... g_weapons/

^Dude mentions being able to upgrade the Dragon Sword in Chapter 3. I tried really, really hard in Sigma, but couldn't find any way to upgrade weapons prior to locating Muramasa in Vigoor.

Platforming in the catacombs is still jank as fuck. :lol: I spent a solid 10-20 minutes in the platforming section just prior to Bone Dragon. It was like I hit a time warp and was transported back into childhood, desperately trying to make Ryu mount a stupid ledge while the camera tilted and weaved like a drunkard. :lol: Platforming is best in 3d ninja gaiden when precision is not required. I'll soon be up to the gatekeeper boss: Alma. Time will tell if there are any substantial differences from Black. Sigma II is way easier than NG2 in many quantifiable ways, but I haven't noticed that in Black. You still don't get heals except from blue essence or items. I'd have to check a list of Black-to-Sigma 1 differences online to see how the enemies are rearranged. Packs of 4 incendiary ninjas are still able to wreck your ass.

Sigma 2 is the one where they really fucked shit up. Entire segments of Sigma 2 are just empty, because enemies were removed entirely and replaced with... Nothing. Mob density in general was dramatically reduced, but in some places it was cut entirely. The changes are pretty extreme compared to vanilla NG2. I'd say that the Master Collection could be worth getting if you A) have no other way to play these games, B) already own Black and vanilla NG2, and want to check out Sigma (like me,) or C) get the Collection on a sale just to play Sigma 1.

NG3: Razor's Edge is a tale for another day. Team Ninja's desperate attempt to salvage their own, personal Sonic '06 into something at least halfway playable.


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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:26 am 


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Super helpful, thanks bud! :o That doesn't sound quite as bad as I'd feared. I might give it a go at some point for NG1 Sigma.

Yeah, the stuff about enemy cutdowns in NG2 Sigma really bothered me, even way BITD at release. A good buddy who was balls-hard into the series and Hard 3D action in general used marvel to me at how batshit crazy NGII could get, something I always wanted to see first-hand... so to hear they'd been poleaxed down was just a dead turnoff. Still got my old copy of NGII in the same box as friggin Demon's Souls, haha. :cool:
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:56 am 


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Cool thread here!

I'd say that Urban Reign is little bit underappreciated nowodays as it falls in shadow of God Hand usually.
Sure, perhaps UR doesn't really "fit" here due to game flow, but mechanics/gameplay-wise it's very good and done some thing extremly well so deserves to be mentioned and played.

And yes, toss weapon in the air, punch with fists, then catch the weapon and use it... stylish, regardless. Also ricocheting enemies from the walls, consonance of grabs and counters, etc. etc. good stuff!

P.S.
I'm very tired of that "Sigma vs. Originals" Ninja Gaiden discussion, I think they are all great games (maaaaybe except vanilla version of NG3 though), and I'd compare those non-Itagaki "edits" to "Arrange" modes in Cave shmup releases. As in, different enough to enjoy both.

P.S.S.
This website has great articles on NG series and about "character action" in general.
https://stinger-magazine.com/

Also this thread is illegal if we don't get our fellow user Iconoclast posting in it :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:49 pm 


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Apparently Lollipop Chainsaw is getting a full remake and not just a remaster like I thought! If they can tighten up the camera and handling it should be a total banger, the original is pretty fun despite the usual Suda51 levels of jank.


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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:03 pm 


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Air Master Burst wrote:
Apparently Lollipop Chainsaw is getting a full remake and not just a remaster like I thought! If they can tighten up the camera and handling it should be a total banger, the original is pretty fun despite the usual Suda51 levels of jank.


Speaking of which, I'd like to give some appreciation to OneeChanbara series.
They started as somehwat junky/low budget/trashy beat 'em ups (however, even PS2 titles ended up being solid in what they do - I expected them to be just kusoge, and was surprised when realized they're nice enough to enjoy unironically), and with later entries they did a "level up" and I think finally entered status of character action titles as well. Both Z2 and Origin have nice mechanics (though with a different approach) and will provide you plenty of fun.

As for Lollipop Chainsaw, I think it's strong point is narrative/design more than core gameplay itself. However, considering I liked Killer is Dead as "half-broken almost Bayonetta", I'm loyal anyway.

P.S.

Now, what about doujin games?
Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae comes to mind is literally indie version of DMC's Blood Palace.

:idea:
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:08 pm 


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If anyone's into God Hand and still hasn't seen this, this is an exceptional 10/10 fansite for the game:

https://devils-lair.org/kungpaofu/

Sima Tuna wrote:
It's good to know that you can memo the QTE's, but I still hate them as a concept and I feel they make Bayo a much more imperfect experience than if there was a mod to remove them entirely.


Oh absolutely, it'd be vastly better if failing to input them simply lost you the minor money award. The only reason they're not a massive detriment is the fact that you can memo them and work around them.
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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:35 pm 


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It's pretty rough, but if it's an indie DMC-alike you're after, check out Assault Spy:

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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:13 pm 


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Apparently they remastered El Shaddai last year, definitely worth getting high as shit and running through that one if you haven't yet. It's not a deep game, but fuck is it pretty.

Also, Bright Memory is probably worth a mention in this thread despite the first-person perspective. Someone made a compelling argument for DOOM 2016 earlier on, and that doesn't even have a score-based aerial combo system. It's also refreshingly short; it's basically a 15-minute shot of pure adrenaline.

ETA: Apparently Bright Memory: Infinite released last year and I was asleep at the fucking wheel! TO STEAM!


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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:33 pm 



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Suda51's games seem like they'd qualify as PAD titles, so long as we stipulate that this doesn't necessarily mean each one is a masterpiece. No More Heroes is probably the closest to having the right stuff for this genre, although I'm not super familiar with Suda's games. Someone who knows more about them should chime in on that front.


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 Post subject: Re: Devil May Cry [PS2] + R2VKMF: Polygonal Action Daishinge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:45 pm 


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fucking hell Godhand.
Just

Godhand

https://youtu.be/MyfbtSyX3mc

Man.. there was an ancient youtube review by a brit lad.. it contained the line " Pretty much everyone you meet in Godhand looks a like a fuken dick'ead "

i wish i could find it. That is OG 2006 youtube GOLD
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