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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:30 am 


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Just cleared 1cc Contra Hard Corps.
I bet isnt any news for those used to the game, but isnt by far as hard as its said to be. That fame might be because the first minute of the game can be one of the trickiest parts, which is funny. Also, recover can be tough at some parts, but extends are plenty so theres no reason one would even clear using the continues instead of restarting for a better run. US release probably made the game a bit harder because they felt it was too easy, and it's better that way. Weird, even when I can clear the game with not much effort, I can still mess up in that first minute.
All is said about this game, so I'll just point out that detail that strikes me as funny!


Good call, Sumez! I may dwelve into Alisia soon as well.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:53 am 


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Yeah the first half of first stage in Hard Corps will often kill me with all the crazy random stuff coming at you.
Every other stage is easily memorizable. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:32 pm 


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I knew there was a surplus of Toaplan shmups on the Genesis, but I didn't know there were NMK games too until I noticed Fire Mustang on the system courtesy of Bil's recommendations.

Haven't played the arcade version, but the genesis version is indeed "Fucking brisk" as Bil put it, NMK's fast paced bomb or die stoic action as usual. Graphics seem a bit dirty though, and the music seems... kinda janky? Don't know if it's a subjective thing.

Might need to look into finding any other NMK genesis games...
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:17 pm 


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NMK's console games can be a little hard to identify. Seems they rarely got credited for them. At least on NES!


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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:26 pm 


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BryanM wrote:
(Also isn't it freaky how they were never able to settle on a consistent art style for the games?)

Probably because their best character designer jumped on to Climax to do the character art for LandStalker (and later Alundra)!

I admit it is kind of amusing to see Beyond the Beyond - the first thing I thought was "hey, this looks exactly like Shining Wisdom!"

Shining Wisdom, btw, is one of the most wretched games ever. It was so bad the Shining Force 2 composer quit videogames after it because he didn't want his name attached to any more unfinished trash piles like that.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:32 pm 


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Been having some fun clearing some Mega Drive sprite-scaling rail shooters. I have a bit of soft spot for the genre (especially Night Striker).

Burning Force - Recently had an opportunity to play the beautiful but punishing arcade original at an acquaintance's place and thus decided to revisit its only port. First up, the OST is simply out of this world (linking the arcade version here). Presentation-wise I'd describe the MD-port as "simple and clean", but I think it actually works to the game's advantage. Scrolling is pretty smooth (compared to the likes of Space Harrier II or the awful Super Thunder Blade) and you get a good sense of spacial depth.
I really dig the alteration between hoverbike and flying stages here. The former circumvent the "player character blocking enemies from view" problem common in these types of games and make the game feel a bit like a 3D Galaga.
The MD port changes up a few things that make it a lot easier. Bosses are far less aggressive for one, but you also get three hit points per life. There's also a new invincibility item. Collect five of them and you can activate temporary invincibility with the C button (the ability to do so even persists after the loss of a life). Additionally, you can now find star-items in the bonus stages; collecting all ten of them will net you an extend. Indeed, mastering these bonus stages (along with holding on the spread shot as much as possible) proved to be key to clearing the game.
8/10

...actually 8.5/10, just because Hiromi Tengenji is 80s waifu design at its finest. ;)
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Panorama Cotton - Visually really, really impressive game. Obviously the various scaling effects, massive amount of enemies on screen, and creative segues from one set-piece to the next are super cool, but the sprite work itself is simply a joy to behold, with its intense detail and bright colors. The title screen alone is the most beautiful of any 16-Bit game I know.
I love how all aspects of sidescrolling Cotton were perfectly translated into the rail shooter realm. As opposed to the original Cotton however, here you should just use magic abundantly, especially whenever the screen is flooded with baddies. You'll be rewarded with life-ups and yet more magic to dispense on the hapless bums. It's a nice escalation curve, but it really makes the game an easy clear. Numerous scoring secrets and alternate paths (plus the option to play at top speed for higher score) will make you want to revisit the game nonetheless.
9/10

Phelios - Not a rail shooter, obviously, but after Burning Force I felt I had to give this fellow System 2 port a go. Basically all the visual stylings that make the arcade game so cool are nowhere to be found here. Still a really solid early MD shmup though, because of the unusual setting and fun charge mechanic. Super easy clear though.
7.5/10


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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:29 pm 


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Burning Force seems to be another one of the Mega Drive's underrated Namco classics. As a Space Harrier fan myself I definitely remember enjoying this one a lot, so I'm glad to hear the 1CC isn't too tough.

Hearing good things about Panorama Cotton also comes as a surprise. I was under the impression that, being a rail shooter rather than a hori, the core gameplay hadn't held up as well in the translation.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:21 am 


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Having never done a full playthrough before, I fired up Monster World IV as a way of breaking in my new Mega SG, and damn, I have to say this is a finely polished game and I'm happy to have finally gotten around with it. The combat is mostly no-frills as you'd expect from the series, but there are some devilish platforming bits and the whole thing just has so much character and personality. Really nice way to spend an afternoon, definitely recommended to anyone who hasn't given it a go and wants a nice relaxed (but still challenging) experience.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:14 am 


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it290 wrote:
Having never done a full playthrough before, I fired up Monster World IV as a way of breaking in my new Mega SG, and damn, I have to say this is a finely polished game and I'm happy to have finally gotten around with it. The combat is mostly no-frills as you'd expect from the series, but there are some devilish platforming bits and the whole thing just has so much character and personality. Really nice way to spend an afternoon, definitely recommended to anyone who hasn't given it a go and wants a nice relaxed (but still challenging) experience.


Oh, I may give it a whirl then. I keep meaning to fire it up on the Vintage Collection on 360, but I'm sure I remember someone on here saying it was so easy as to be almost tedious, so never gotten around to it.

I did start MWIII, but the pace of the thing kills it for me.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:53 am 


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Yeah, the above doesn't really echo my experience with Monster world IV. It really feels like a severely underdeveloped game.

It's absolutely beautiful, and has some great ideas, but at the end of the day, it's just five dungeons played in linear succession. Combat does flow nicely, but I wouldn't exactly call that a staple of the series, quite the contrary that's probably this game's biggest improvement.
However it completely lacks the world exploration that makes some of the other games (hell, even the completely linear "Monster Land") so appealing, and it really feels like a game that could benefit from that.

Even if it wasn't rushed, it definitely feels like it.

Marc wrote:
I did start MWIII, but the pace of the thing kills it for me.

In this game you really want to buy new boots ASAP.


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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:32 am 


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Yeah the exploration/routing/strategy are what make the first three Monster World games worth playing. Monster World 4 threw all of that away. Its combat might be an improvement over the others, but it isn't enough to stand on its own.


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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:41 am 


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I do prefer Dragon's Trap and Wonder Boy in Monster World to IV, but I really like the little narrative arc that IV builds with the Pepelogoo and the setting and characters have a ton of charm. It's just a nice, quick, contained experience.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:17 am 



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I've played through MWIV several times, and it's best assets are definitely the sublime controls in combat/level traversal and the late-gen polished graphics (which are extremely attractive despite the game running in the MD's low-res mode). I wasn't so keen on the soundtrack as variations of the main theme are used through most of the game and it did wear on me a little at points.

It is heavily focused on combat, with the last level bringing all the games minor enemies back to make sure you didn't just fluke past them the first time. It is a shame it's more linear in structure compared to the previous entries, although there's still a few hidden bits to explore (trees to shake etc).

Still a top quality game for the console, but the opportunity to tackle levels out-of-sequence and move between more than just the one main hub would have made it triple A. For the record, I still think WB in Monster Land (arcade version only) is the definitive entry in the series, even with it's flaws.

PS playing the game in Japanese on the MW Complete Collection was a real bitch when the Sphinx showed up with his randomized questions. The translation makes that version moot now of course.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:32 am 


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stryc9 wrote:
For the record, I still think WB in Monster Land (arcade version only) is the definitive entry in the series, even with it's flaws.

I'm almost inclined to agree. It's a kind of broken game, and Dragon's Trap is clearly the better one in almost all aspects, but there's just something absurdly enjoyable about Monster Land.


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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:30 am 


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Sumez wrote:
stryc9 wrote:
For the record, I still think WB in Monster Land (arcade version only) is the definitive entry in the series, even with it's flaws.

I'm almost inclined to agree. It's a kind of broken game, and Dragon's Trap is clearly the better one in almost all aspects, but there's just something absurdly enjoyable about Monster Land.


Monster Land has a special place in my heart. Both the Arcade and Master System versions were so hard for me as a kid I barely was able to make it through much of the game.

But the cute and colorful graphics was what made it so enjoyable for me. As a kid I thought buying booze to fill up my hearts was awesome.

Starting half naked was charming as well. Seeing you equipping armor and boots covering that half naked body was ohh so satisfying.

Those were the good old times. I should probably re-visit Monster World Collection at some point this year... I just need to finish Monster Boy first lol


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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:35 am 



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Also seeing CIT mention Panorama Cotton... I haven't played any of the series apart from this one, but just echoing what was said in his post about it being a genuinely great game. On the net I see a lot said about it's technical prowess, but often not so much about it's worth as an actual game. Where it excels is providing an intense and enemy-filled rail-shooter rollercoaster ride with ever changing scenarios and scoring opportunities, with many hidden paths adding to the replayability.

Sure it runs at about fifteen frames a second on a good day, but having it run at thirty with simpler enemy combinations and waves would ruin the game as it is presented, that is to say, off the hook in terms of a 4th gen home console rail shooter. A lot of targets are multi-part which deepens the shooting aspect, and the variety of action set pieces the game throws at you is astounding. The bit where you're flying above the clouds shooting rows of floating towers to bits, score items flying everywhere while you hit up your blue magic and everything just explodes around you.

Then the sun starts to set so you shoot the shit out of it before it sinks below the horizon with score digits floating off of it. It's awesome.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:54 am 


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Decided to spend some time with Golden Axe III tonight—I've always thought this entry has been pretty unfairly overlooked, mostly due to its extremely limited number of enemy sprites and bland graphics. Sure, it's not Revenge of Death Adder by a long shot, and its mechanics leave a lot to be desired in comparison to something like Bare Knuckle III, but it stays pretty true to its roots gameplay-wise; success is all about crowd control and herding, and the character roster and expanded moveset add a nice bit of variety. The branching paths are cool, and the soundtrack ranks in the upper echelons for the system. If this game had interstitial scenes, upgraded graphics (especially the magic), and a few more enemy types I think it would have been remembered as being damn near the first in terms of quality. Ah well, still a fun game.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:42 pm 


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Finally found the time to sink my teeth into Castle of Illusion, having marvelled at it as a kid some 30 years ago. You can see its age, but I still think it has good to marvellous graphics, good old school gameplay (though I'm not sure why they saw the need to make you push downwards if you want to Mario-hop on enemies), and a fantastic soundtrack.

Also played through World of Illusion on my first try, which clearly shows you the game is too easy since I'm not a jump'n run expert by any means. It's gorgeous to look at and full of wonderful ideas and details (the ride on the bottle cork was nothing short of magical), but, considering it's so easy, it feels a bit short and the ending is very sudden. Might return to it, though, from an aesthetic standpoint it's certainly spectacular.

Batman and Robin: probably one of the greatest soundtracks on the system - I couldn't believe my ears when I heard it for the first time. Technically, the game is amazing (apart from the limited colour palette maybe, I wouldn't have been surprised if this had been a Neo Geo game), but playing it I was quickly annoyed by the overwhelming chaos. Didn't like how it played at all.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:32 pm 


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Quote:
Burning Force


I need to give BF a go on the MD - presently playing a lot of Gain-Ground on the MD - always a good game :)

Actually, I'm playing more these days on the Bittboy with its support for the MD now ;)

We shall have to meet up for a chat and a blast, CIT.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:40 pm 


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...actually 8.5/10, just because Hiromi Tengenji is 80s waifu design at its finest. ;)

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After all these years I still feel that the design in BGC is amazing - it looks almost like fetish fashion it was that far ahead of its time :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:28 am 


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Popped in Panorama Cotton for a go after hearing you guys talk about it above.
I remember liking this game a lot less before, but honestly, it's pretty good.
I still think it's a bit of a mess to look at in motion, what with the framerate and amount of things on screen, but there's some crazy cool effects, and apart from a few bouts of "what in god's name even hit me", it's definitely pretty playable. The spritework is wonderful.

The bosses are kinda easy, so the only one that's really hit me is the last one [and I'm bad, so I kept dying to it]. Stages have a tendency to whap me with something outta nowhere, and the beams at the beginning of the last stage have like a 70% chance of just bopping all my health.

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Then the sun starts to set so you shoot the shit out of it before it sinks below the horizon with score digits floating off of it. It's awesome.

That got a huge laugh out of me when it happened. Really cool.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:22 am 


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ChurchOfSolipsism wrote:
Finally found the time to sink my teeth into Castle of Illusion, having marvelled at it as a kid some 30 years ago. You can see its age, but I still think it has good to marvellous graphics, good old school gameplay (though I'm not sure why they saw the need to make you push downwards if you want to Mario-hop on enemies), and a fantastic soundtrack.

Also played through World of Illusion on my first try, which clearly shows you the game is too easy since I'm not a jump'n run expert by any means. It's gorgeous to look at and full of wonderful ideas and details (the ride on the bottle cork was nothing short of magical), but, considering it's so easy, it feels a bit short and the ending is very sudden. Might return to it, though, from an aesthetic standpoint it's certainly spectacular.

Batman and Robin: probably one of the greatest soundtracks on the system - I couldn't believe my ears when I heard it for the first time. Technically, the game is amazing (apart from the limited colour palette maybe, I wouldn't have been surprised if this had been a Neo Geo game), but playing it I was quickly annoyed by the overwhelming chaos. Didn't like how it played at all.


Yeah, Batman & Robin's music was amazing. For me, the highlight of the entire game was the boss battle against the Mad Hatter. One of the coolest bosses in any 16-bit game.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:42 am 


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Sumez wrote:
I'm almost inclined to agree. It's a kind of broken game, and Dragon's Trap is clearly the better one in almost all aspects, but there's just something absurdly enjoyable about Monster Land.


Yeah, its unique approach to exploration and RPG elements works really well. It's memorization-heavy, but at the same time it's still pretty flexible and sometimes even volatile. The memorization is more about learning secrets and forming a game-long to-do list rather than learning safespots or AI behavior, so it doesn't feel limiting on the micro scale like most memo-heavy games do. You've still got lots of room to improvise in any given encounter.

Getting your equipment together feels good even after the first time because it's easy to mess it up. If you fail to trigger the 60 coin glitch or incur a bunch of medical expenses, you might have to delay or forego an item on your route. It's a relief once everything comes together. Compare to, say, Cadash where there are desirable items that let your characters do cool new things, but there's not much excitement around actually obtaining them because it's trivial to have the best available equipment at all times.

I also think the game benefits from how one's early attempts will inevitably be miserable failures. Getting some decent armor feels better because you were probably stuck in your diaper for your first few credits. Getting a full set of legendary equipment feels better after previous attempts were ended by an unwinnable battle against Snow Kong.

I'd like to see more games take on the same concepts.


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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:07 am 


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I think that summary perfectly describes my own experiences with the game, much better than I could have put it, and explains quite well what I loved about it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:47 pm 



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ChurchOfSolipsism wrote:
Finally found the time to sink my teeth into Castle of Illusion, having marvelled at it as a kid some 30 years ago. You can see its age, but I still think it has good to marvellous graphics, good old school gameplay (though I'm not sure why they saw the need to make you push downwards if you want to Mario-hop on enemies), and a fantastic soundtrack.

There are probably sections which don't appear in easier difficulties but only appear on harder ones (I think?). It is possible that I am forgetting though. This definitely happens in Sparkster of course.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:52 pm 


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It has that thing were you only get a demo of the first few stages, less than half of the total game I believe. It's kind of evil, when you consider it's supposed to appeal to small children.


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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:42 pm 


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Running through Phantasy Star IV now, having owned it on cart for over a decade now but having never done more than dip my toes in the initial areas. I'm not a big JRPG person, but I do think this game really nails the dungeon and story beat pacing, a little grindy but nothing compared to PSII. I wish the music were a little bit more memorable and the frequency of random battles takes it down a notch, but overall I think I prefer this to pretty much any other 16-bit JRPG, SRPGs excluded. Nice fun romp.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:52 am 


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I wish the music were a little bit more memorable


Wut

Stick with it: PSIV probably has the best soundtrack of any RPG ever. I will die on this hill. It's also one of the best Mega Drive soundtracks full stop, along with Alien Soldier, Bare Knuckle 3, Battle Mania: Daiginjō, Sonic 3 & Knuckles etc etc.

It's definitely among the best 16-bit RPGs. Can't see how anyone could prefer FF6 to it without acknowledging pretty hefty nostalgia goggles.
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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:51 pm 


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MX7 wrote:
Wut

Stick with it: PSIV probably has the best soundtrack of any RPG ever. I will die on this hill. It's also one of the best Mega Drive soundtracks full stop, along with Alien Soldier, Bare Knuckle 3, Battle Mania: Daiginjō, Sonic 3 & Knuckles etc etc.

It's definitely among the best 16-bit RPGs. Can't see how anyone could prefer FF6 to it without acknowledging pretty hefty nostalgia goggles.

Was just about to say this. It's one superb, incredibly memorable soundtrack. An elite RPG ost, to say the least.

Few soundtracks manage to be both this catchy and this moody, at the same time.

Some really intense and epic bio-robotic mounstruous rockers for battles/boss fights, some four-on-the-floor cold-and-cool synthwave/robot-rock, some tragic mostly-percussionless salvos for dramatic cutscenes, some catchy & cheerful shop/towne music, some icy compositions for isolated Dezolis, some more pensive pieces... a real treat for fans of FM synth. And of more stripped-down electronic music, period. The whole thing has so much quality into it, it's nuts. And it is so intricately, masterfully layered/put together

By the way, I have captured the soundtrack using my model 1 VA2 mobo Genesis and have uploaded it in high quality on my Soundcloud ;-) here it is https://soundcloud.com/finalbaton/phant ... odel-1-va2
Please play it at full blast :P really like how this one sounds on a VA2, with its sweet midrange


Give it more time it290 :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Thread (NEW)!!!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:37 am 


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cave hermit wrote:
I knew there was a surplus of Toaplan shmups on the Genesis, but I didn't know there were NMK games too until I noticed Fire Mustang on the system courtesy of Bil's recommendations.

Haven't played the arcade version, but the genesis version is indeed "Fucking brisk" as Bil put it, NMK's fast paced bomb or die stoic action as usual. Graphics seem a bit dirty though, and the music seems... kinda janky? Don't know if it's a subjective thing.

Might need to look into finding any other NMK genesis games...

Fire Mustang is the only NMK game on the Mega Drive, unfortunately. A Black Heart port would have been nice...
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