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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:54 pm 


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Sheeeit. Image I figured something out! Was messing around with Saigo no Nindou's "Hard" difficulty. I don't recommend it TBH, except perhaps as a practice aid. Does little for the easy breezy st1+2, makes the remainder annoying. The first boss fires outright danmaku, but 1) this causes frame-crushing slowdown, and 2) it's as cancellable as ever. Moving on, large enemy HP is buffed perilously close to Euroshump territory. Not enough to force alterations of strategy, but it's a burden, and checkpoint recovery is nasty.

The flip side is, going back to defaults feels amazing - highlighting how perfectly-judged its enemy resilience is. Weapons hack and blast through heavies not like butter, because that would be lame, but with a decided impact conveying the sense of a hard target shattering under immense force. So near, yet so far to Euroshump awfulness. Not that it makes that shit any more forgivable. Image

Speaking of heavies - the AC version's Giant AI is so much cooler than the PCE conversion's. There they lash out automatically at set intervals, forcing you to work around their timing - but hobbling their chances of catching you. In AC, they attack based on proximity, relentlessly homing in. Returning to the AC version, I had a great minor scare when a rotting behemoth I was counting on to contentedly swipe thin air had very different plans! It's a shame their st6 boss incarnations are such washouts - had they teleported in at random locations, it'd likely have been the best zombie gameplay ever. (witness the best stealth gameplay ever - ceiling homies are tracking you by sound not sight, makes sense mirite? Image)

It's one of those tiny PCE changes that weirds me out, given how accurate its mechanics are. The PCE does at least grant the Giant its awesomely morbid official name: Ghost of Fugitive Warrior. Sheeeit that's grim, especially with that wakizashi stuck in their guts! Image Sadly, the accompanying manual illustration is just some big hairy dude, not the sepulchral monstrosity haunting stage 3's grassland. Image

WTF happened with this game's peripheral materials, I wonder. The PCE manual is cool but very off-model, while the one piece of AC art (that I've seen) is completely off - and pure ninja generica to boot! Nothing of the game's necro-feudal menace or elegant Japonesques. Even the plot seems hopelessly garbled between page and screen. Odd, given the game's artistic accomplishment, and the care IREM put into the materials of Saigo's contemporaries. Oh well! I wonder if that care is itself the reason, not enough resources to go around. Maybe that's why Gunforce is so goddamn fugly compared to stuff before and after it.

Purely by chance, happened across artwork from an utterly unrelated game (Death's Gambit), which would do me fine for Tsukikage's portrait.

Image

Pls don't chuck things at me if the game chokes balls, I ain't played it. Much on plate! Image (Dream Game Hackz OMAKE: I'd be down with a Saigo gore mod. Nothing ridiculous, don't want dollops of red flying all over the place. Just Metal Slug-style "shredded to bits / ashes" for zako, and some nice "fatal collapse" animations for the heavies. Wanna see the Ghosts disintegrate like the undead automatons they are, Ryuichi go out with "Samurai Rival" venom worthy of Sanjuro, the monks do something appropriately zenful, etc.)

Also, I wonder if Metal Slug shared any art personnel with this game - the way major explosions are peppered with solid-coloured spheres stands out.)

I've made my peace with st2 on both mechanical and aesthetic terms. It's the only place in the game where the player can simply enjoy Tsukikage's almost tangibly liberating jump - every other stage is either vertically confined, or too dangerous to fly through with abandon. It could use leaping zako for Kage no Densetsu midair counter-slicing, but given how mortally (and immortally) dangerous Saigo's remainder is, it's hard to feel much loss. And I used to find the scenery too clean-cut, but it's obviously meant to be a clear path through a wooded grove, not a viciously snarled Predator-style green hell. So it's cool. Stage 3 emphatically brings both the danger and the sweeping wilderness. I adore that placid moonlit gloom, with or without bullets flying through it. Image

---

Anyway, the slowdown on the first boss's hardmaku, and comparing st6 footage with SaigoNoNindou's PCB captures, gave me a minor breakthrough regarding The Hellish Battlefield™. Projectiles seem to take a much bigger toll on the CPU than characters - the popup ninjas' "fan spread" causes chugging all on its own, and although the kites' moderate triple shots won't, a fully-powered Kusarigama attack while they're onscreen will. (this assuming real hardware or accurate emulation, naturally)

Obviously, this can be harnessed for a split-second's more reaction time. Expect no mercy and give them none in return. Image I tried deliberately letting the green ninjas and kites shoot where possible, and sure enough it worked a charm. Wasn't recording unfortunately - OR SO I THOUGHT. Image Had no idea about the Share button voodoo. That's pretty useful! Relevant clip. WTF I love my PS4! Only got the bugger so I wouldn't wait a year to play TNWOA, but it's been a handy little AC emulation box / clip getter. Image

Also nailed down my stage 5 boss speedkill. I could reach him with a Shield no problem, but safely shutting down his kunais was dicey and sometimes forced me to abandon the grenades. I noticed that a max-height jump up to the boss arena will guarantee a perfect opening volley. Above clip covers both the route and the speedkill setup. Outside of the last one, Saigo's bosses aren't particularly dangerous - but if there's one thing an easy boss is good for, it's punctuating a storming stage performance with an exclamation point of a deathsplosion!

This lazy practice run turned out to be a surprise no-miss, until I died at the last boss, who's still giving me problems. Current strategy is still to run underneath him, execute a max height jump to draw the bolts upward, then run back underneath him... which will usually work, but from there I get shaky. Pretty sure if I'd jumped even a frame late on my current 1LC, I'd have gotten fried. This time around, I got outright nommed by one of those patterns where two bolts pincer you mid-jump. Checkpoint recovery saw an instance of the "guillotine" RNG where a bolt kills me as I run underneath following a successful jump.

I wonder if there's just something I'm missing here. Harder than it looks for sure, but the lack of consistency rankles me. Maybe it really is just an RNG-fuelled nutsack crusher. The way the bolts move - hopping along a grid with erratic speed, rather than homing in smoothly - exacerbates things a bit.
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Last edited by BIL on Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:01 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:46 pm 


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BIL wrote:
^ I foresee great things in that GIF's future! Image

Image


been a little busy and not had anything specific to add to the thread so just wanting to say that this is great before i forget to lol
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:51 pm 


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I have ambitious plans for future installments, possibly involving everyone's favourite evil mastermind Gynoug Dickman! Image (or maybe his CRIMINALLY UNDERSEEN LIMIT BREAKER incarnation, GYNOUG DICKMAN: COVENANT Image)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:46 am 


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Fired up Double Dragon II FC over the weekend thanks to the chatter about it last week. Tried hard mode and I could see what you guys were saying. Some enemies are much more aggressive which really changes the dynamic of certain stages. The extra enemy health does make some other parts padded out though, not necessarily more difficult (I could still consistently catch enemies in a basic kick to hurricane kick combo. Now it just takes more combos, making fights take longer). It's still cool to experience the game though and I will probably try to put some time in and get a 1CC on it. That continue function is handy to get some good practice without having to reset.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:37 am 


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The thing that gets me with DDII FC is not the regular fighting gameplay (which I more or less love), it's the stupid platforming sections and traps which ruin a good run 9 times out of 10. I'm sure there are strats that make these trivial, but if you're playing on the original cart it's damn frustrating to be stopped dead in your tracks after thrashing an army of goons by a disappearing platform because you failed to precisely hammer both buttons at the same time.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:22 am 


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Also, I want to give props to ESWAT MD — one of the true unsung gems of the SEGA catalog. I always loved the specials they turned out for the old Mega Drive, and this game doesn't sell short vs. its arcade counterpart, much like its brethren Shadow Dancer. Lively, hectic, and beautiful, this is a game I never really rinsed out back in the day and plan on giving full shrift in the next week or two.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:26 am 


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I LOVE E-Swat MD, one of those I used to be able to 1CC in younger years, got utterly murdered by ST4 the last time I tried.

Had a mess around with the MD Mini last night. Have to say, it just reinforces my belief that I went for the better console back in the day, everything just seems smaller, duller, and slightly less impressive than on equivalent SNES games. That Strider soundtrack though.....

No, slight snark aside, there seems to be some seriously impressive stuff on here, I'm just having a bit of trouble figuring out what to get stuck into first. Probably Castlevania, I had a binge on Rondo/IV/XX earlier in the year, but this was announced for the mini around the same time, so I deliberately held off rather than play it on the chipped Xbox.

I'm correct in thinking that the JPN version is the way to go with Contra? And are there any other major differences in other titles that make one particular version a go to (Dynamite Headdy seems to ring a bell here)?
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:34 am 


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Marc wrote:
I'm correct in thinking that the JPN version is the way to go with Contra?


The sole gameplay difference between JP and US Hard Corps is the latter's instant kills. They just chopped out the Japanese hitpoints and left everything else the same, which ups the Cheapass Memoriser Bullshit™ factor. Feels a bit shoddy, not that consistency is a strength of Hard Corps to begin with!

Anyway, the US learning curve is obviously far more brutal, but from a no-miss perspective, the JP version is identical. If you master one you've mastered both. JP also lets you play 2P without noob friends running out of lives every two minutes. I grew up with US and aesthetically still prefer its screaming instant deaths Image but JP's the better-designed version and has shaweet Yasuomi Umetsu box art Image I don't know if PAL did anything interesting design-wise but it's got the usual kid-safe roboswaps. Image

US also removes the level select and powerup cheats, which are really handy for practising lategame tactics on real hardware. Annoying! Though it gave 12y/o me a salutary taste of GAME DESPAIR when I tried using the JP cheats those shitbirds at Gamepro had printed after getting cockslapped by stage 3's boss. Image

(script-wise, JP has unique lines for each character and team - sadly the US version cheaped out with a generic script, which also mismatches the "I" 1P and "We" 2P variants! QUALITY Image)

Vampire Killer (JP)'s Expert difficulty is marginally easier than Castlevania Bloodlines' equivalent - CLICK 4 DEETS. Again if you can one-life JP, the US one won't faze. If the US one butchers you, JP will be scant relief. Konami Code at title screen for instant Expert unlock. It's a solid traditional Dracula, but a superb Super Shinobi/Alien Soldier-style assault course where better play means bigger guns and deader bosses.

Not sure what games are on the mini, but to make this a Konami Treasure Box trilogy, Rocket Knight Adventures' difficulty settings are renamed to be more HARDCORE in US, but the content itself is identical to JP.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:56 am 


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BIL wrote:
Not sure what games are on the mini, but to make this a Konami Treasure Box trilogy, Rocket Knight Adventures' difficulty settings are renamed to be more HARDCORE in US, but the content itself is identical to JP.

Unfortunately MD-Mini only has Castlevania and Contra. Not sure why they skipped out on the Rocket Knight games, since it's just as representative of Konami's MD output. I'm guessing it didn't have enough name value.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:01 pm 


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Hmm, shame indeed. A landmark of the era's "boss rush mania" sidescrolling... which is usually associated with Gunstar/Alien Soldier, and is certainly apotheosised by the latter - but I've long considered to have been kicked off by Nakazato's Contra Spirits, and its hard shift towards setpiece parades over straight run/gunning. A bit further back, Bucky O'Hare (FC) is another notable antecedent with it involving both Nakazato and Masato Maegawa.

(so did Dracula Densetsu, with NON on tunes to boot! it sucks! Image)

Poor Sparkster. Guy deserved to outlive the mascot platformer craze. Three games is at least a pretty fair shake, more than Getsu Fuuma got. He's on the back of the JP Hard Corps manual too. And in Shin Contra's joke ending, the rather insultingly titled "Dog!"

It's sounding like the mini is a mandatory Darius fan purchase. :o I already have all the stuff on there that I'd be interested in, but I double up on M2 releases out of principle. :cool:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:37 pm 


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Total n00b at it prior to Ninja Warriors Again/Once Again arriving in the post, but sooo nearly got the normal clear (Ninja) today. Got the final boss down to half health and.... it seemed everyone wanted to walk into lasers, so I rarely had anyone to throw at the boss. Took a risk and just got knocked between lasers until that was it.

Now can't even get past the stage 5 boss, who seems to block and/or counter everything but hurling dudes at him. Except he teleports around so fast that solely hurling dudes is too risky and it's tough to set up your combo finisher to make contact let alone knock him down. Is there a decent repeatable strategy for this jerk? The next two boss encounters are a piece of cake but this guy has odd invincibility frames and will punish you for trying to hit him.

I haven't spent much time with the other characters yet because Ninja is just too fun. Almost every move is useful for attack or defense and it's awesome to just dash across half the screen, knock through a couple of guys then spin-throw to clear out what's left. The only thing that really sucks is when you get a lone coward who just keeps backing off! Much like Wild Guns Reloaded, I think the new characters are a bit too "requires expert handling" for me just yet (never could get my head around that dog).


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:28 pm 


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Image

Feels good to bust that one out again. :cool: Just fired up TNWOA's Time Attack and recorded a quick Jubei demo. My third attempt - got thrashed hard on the first, and shadow-sniped on the second. Image This game, I rove it. I rove NINJA. The best heavy head-smasher has truly gotten even better. Don't overlook his gorilla reach - if you're left at a loss by a skittish foe, punching them in the mouth repeatedly before battering their fuck in with the chucks is a generally sound gambit! Image

Note the small hits I take in the corridor fight, early in the clip - don't duck, you'll just get knocked down. You'll note each is avenged with crushing violence. That's Ninja, not just a character but a mindset. Image You stab my back - I smash your face!

This third attempt hopefully demonstrates Jubei's key vulnerabilities, as well as the game's core principle of aggressive i-frame usage. Offense is not only frequently the best defense, it's also good evasion! The grab I get caught with late in the fight is due to the Firebreather eluding my grasp, and denying a throw. A shoulder-charge might've caught him... or he may have countered with his nasty clubbing blow, flooring me. As in life, you must fight in forward but can only truly understand in reverse. Image

Note that sometimes, though, you really do need to defend. Get your guard up if Jubei (or any enemy) tags you with a combo starter, and do the same while near waking bosses. You're at your most vulnerable in the latter scenario, owing to the bosses' nasty wakeup invincibility. Ideally, have an enemy on hand to throw, or to execute a combo ender off of - basically, get your iframes out.

He pulls his trademark rapidfire teleport to escape a combo, but as shown, he's eminently grabbable coming out of it. If he's loitering at far distance while his crowd pecks you, feel free to flatten him with a boost kick - won't do much damage, but will reposition the fight in your favour.

Wasted my perfectly good Free Atomic Drop at the start, oof! Gotta hit [DOWN] on the pad, no exceptions. Oh well! Also ate a few fire columns, mostly due to skittishness. You have plenty of time to position yourself, between the flames appearing and exploding - don't get twitchy like I do.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:27 pm 


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Marc wrote:
Had a mess around with the MD Mini last night. Have to say, it just reinforces my belief that I went for the better console back in the day, everything just seems smaller, duller, and slightly less impressive than on equivalent SNES games. That Strider soundtrack though.....



Oh, man — console wars reignited! I have to disagree with you on this one. Messing around with my Japanese Mini the first thing that stuck out to me was how many essential titles were missing, things that I still play regularly. On the SNES Mini, which has half the game count, it feels (to me) like most of the really important stuff is there, although there are obviously several 3rd party titles (mostly from Natsume, wink wink) not represented that I would have liked to have seen included. I eventually hacked the SNES and brought the game count up to around 80, which honestly is more than I need. On the SEGA side I think I'd need way more than that to include everything I'd want to play. Obviously a lot of this boils down to your game preferences, and not to rehash the classic debate for the 1,000th time, but I think the MD comes out leagues ahead in terms of action and shooting.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:23 am 


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Purely good-natured funning, I don't consider myself to have anything like enough experience with the MD to make a proper comparison. The SNES probably remains my most-played machine of all time, whereas my experience with MD was mostly via a friend, though I did own one with a Mega CD as they were on the way out, and a JPN one with a sizeable collection during my manic phase some 18+ years ago - during which I bought so much shit at once that half of it never got the play time it deserved.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:05 pm 


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Thank you BIL you legend! The bugger is so grabbable from a dash, made mincemeat of him first time after watching that replay. And got badly beaten up by the stage 7 boss through a series of failed grabs on his minions. Dammit, will get there eventually!


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:37 pm 


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Always happy to aid in the destruction. :mrgreen:

For st7's boss (minor tactical spoiler),
Spoiler: show
I was getting smacked hard by my usual SFC Ninja approach of letting Zelos run in, then shoulder-charging him. His standing attacks' reach and aggression seem way higher now.

For the first time in both original and remake, I found Ninja's tumble [forward+jump while guarding] truly important. Let Zelos approach and begin his attack, then tumble straight through it - he'll be wide open for a combo or grab. It's easy to tell when he's approaching too, with his charge now audibly rumbling the screen.

Killer atmosphere in that fight, following the biblical elevator explosion. With the utterly ruined scene, Zelos's bestial new aesthetic (check out the gore in the approach corridor), and the relentless torrent of ground and air troops, the intensity's beyond even that of the already-climactic SFC incarnation!


---

Slowly getting better at reading/controlling Saigo's last boss. He's become one of my favourite simpler endbosses - ala Jaquio, there's so much more going on here than meets the eye. I love that such a harrowing game doesn't conclude with a formality boss, either. He's its second-deadliest run killer, after the bloody monument to one-man videogame war that is Stage 6.

My general tack is to stay on the offensive, as much as I can - feels like giving any more ground than necessary is a deadly slippery slope, to say nothing of outright fleeing. Specifically, I use max-height jumps in a tight "V" pattern, switching sides on each. This'll feint the bolts upward while letting you score solid damage.

Complication comes, as ever with Saigo, via RNG. You have to watch out for bolts whose speed, position or timing foils the strategy described above. It's okay if the "V" becomes more of a "U," just beware a slack, inefficient and easily-cornered "W." :wink: If you're forced into the corners, try to stay as near the ground as possible, aiming to return to the boss ASAP. A high jump towards the corner seems fairly certain to invite a lethal wall of multi-level death.

An illustrative clip from a crusty 1CC. Quick kill demonstrating the strategy while contending with a bit of meanie RNG. Included the end of the Pit, because you can use it to position yourself nearer or further from Boney-sama, but only if you know when it's safe! Otherwise you're getting a katana up the ass. Image

Bagged a second no-miss, uploading for posterity. Showcases a more unfortunate stage 6, and a more confident last boss takedown, which I'm pretty happy with. Survived him by the skin of my teeth last time. Work in progress! Image It is probably obvious by now, I really like Saigo - but for absolute intensity-to-runtime ratio it's my current #1 sidescroller. Guaranteed pants-shitting ninja terror in ten minutes or less, every time! The fiercer your performance, the more fearsome the peril! Will keep refining a while longer.

---

A few notes from recent sessions:

  • Like its autofire ceiling, Saigo's DPS cap on bosses and large enemies is fairly low. Don't sweat getting all three ninjas' firepower on a single target, two will more than hit the cap.

  • EZ st3 boss speedkill: his entering rifles can't hit you when you're standing at either edge of the screen. Even if you don't reach him with the shield from the marsh, it's dead simple to stand in one corner and hammer him with POW grenades - the aforementioned DPS cap will allow a few to kill rifles entering the opposite side.

  • When forced into the air by terrain, stage 6-2 jumper samurai are as harmless as their groundtype brethren. Hope straight past 'em if this occurs.

  • Slashed enemy grenades are totally harmless in the split-second between the initial pop and the detonation proper. If one's flying at you, build rising/falling momentum and cut straight through it. Note that if one hits you, you're dead - no pop!

  • Similarly, enemy grenadiers (red ninjas) don't actually launch their projectiles in sync with the "throw" animation, but a split-second after. Don't assume one has you dead to rights just because they've got their arm up.

  • Your own grenades, when planted on the ground, blow up enemies on contact. Probably ancient history to most, but I didn't know until fairly recently. Fun mechanic, but they're hugely liable to cause "dead man's click" scenarios (like this one), and my ethos in Saigo is plunge ahead wherever possible, so I don't recommend 'em much. Use shadowed bunnyhop downshots for the same effect with less complication (great in stage 4-1), or master the bunnyhopping chain-sweep (dead easy - hop, attack and hit [up], you don't even need to aim the initial attack once you're airborne).
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:34 am 


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kitten wrote:


I revisited Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World because it had been a while since I'd played either, and I also wanted a fresh perspective before replying to your post.

I see what you meant about Mario World's movement physics. Mario decelerates to a stop almost instantly, so when trying to stop in midair it's very easy to overcorrect. Mario 3's slower deceleration makes it harder to change directions in midair (not necessarily a bad thing) but also makes precision landings much easier (definitely a good thing). Mario 3's movement really is straight up better than Mario World's. It's too bad, even a tiny bit slower deceleration would fix the problem.

Another way in which Mario 3 controls better is that you tap jump to float with the racoon suit while Mario World has you hold jump instead. It makes a difference when trying to high bounce off of an enemy. Mario 3 allows you to easily choose whether or not to float. Mario World makes high bouncing without floating difficult since both floating and high bouncing use the same input.

I'd say that Mario World's strongest points are exploration and the great amount of freedom you have in choosing your route through the game. Searching for alternate exits keeps me more attentive to the levels than than I'd otherwise be. Entirely different paths through the game are a big reward. Mario World's alternate exits can also be one of the worst things about it since you often have to choose between missing part of the game and replaying the same level twice. There really should have been way to resume a completed stage from its checkpoint, or to find both exits in one visit.

The levels themselves are full of ideas too, Mario World is easily one of the most varied platformers ever made. I'd say it even beats Mario 3 in that regard. Not all of its ideas work out, but most do, and you can skip the ones that don't.

Another great thing about Mario World is that you can do this:
Spoiler: show
Image


Mario 3 is as packed with secrets as Mario World is, but I don't care about them nearly as much because most of the time all I find are more irrelevant coins and 1ups. Some are fun to find just for the sake of finding them, but ideally both the journey and destination would be rewarding. I am a fan of the rare super powerups. The giant block and the way the suit slowly emerges makes it feel like you just stumbled on something big. And you did! The tanuki suit, hammer suit, and p wing are outstanding items. Making them impossible to replace once lost was a good call. Mario World's gamebreaking blue yoshi is a huge step down.

I knew Mario World had an autoscroller problem, but I'd forgotten how bad they are in Mario 3. They're all over the place. The first 7 worlds all end with an airship autoscroller, most worlds have at least one more, and world 8 is like 1/3 autoscrollers. Most can't be skipped without a warp whistle and they're every bit as tedious as the ones in Mario World. A good autoscroller should be a source of pressure, moving faster than the player is comfortable with. Mario 3 and Mario World's autoscrollers are universally painfully slow. Most everything else is great, but a few bad levels can really drag the rest down.

Anyway, they're both excellent games. I have a hard time deciding which I prefer.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:53 pm 


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Vanguard wrote:
Not all of its ideas work out, but most do, and you can skip the ones that don't.


this is a really good post, and i frankly agree with most of it. the only bit i think i significantly disagree with rather than considering just a difference of opinion is this, though. most of the levels i really outright hate are in either the forest of illusion, the world immediately following it (which probably has the most discordant theming of any world), or the last world, and that is such a **huge** chunk of the game to skip over. during that portion of the game, nearly every stage has two exits, and many of the normal exits loop you back to having to play the stage again or force you to find the secret. it drives me up a wall. while you can skip over each of those worlds, you miss a couple of decent stages wedged into them if you do so. doing so also requires some genuinely exhausting forethought on which levels you do or don't want to play (as well as which exits you do or don't want to hit) that almost asks you to redesign the game for yourself and also play through all of it an absolute bare minimum of once to even gauge which you do or don't like - and i usually forget which i dislike most in the year or two between plays. that's a lot of work versus grabbing a couple easy warp whistles in SMB3 and being like "yep, bored with this world, peace out" or using the cloud to skip a garbage stage or two.

early on in the super mario world play - as i find it the case each time i play it, so i was prepared for what came after - both me and my friend had positive impressions and were thinking maybe we'd been too hard on it. we went through the first couple worlds, did all the neat star road bonus stages early to make everything look weird, and then somewhere around the secret donut path started to tire out. by the middle of the forest of illusion, we were totally exhausted (despite taking a day break) and actively disliking the game. then when trying to remember where the secret was in that one stage in bowser's world with the absurdly tedious moving yellow bits, the game had become almost totally joyless and we were just groaning about who had to play the next stage or get the next exit. all play at that point felt perfunctory, there were no pick-me-up stages, anymore, and the difficulty & pacing of the game felt totally lost on just increasingly tedious gimmicks.

on an all-stages run of mario 3, though, i'm much more consistently entertained and have much more of a developed sense of escalation. not to say there aren't sags or lulls - there are certainly some dud stages in the ice world or pipe world, for example - but i always feel picked up when hitting certain levels and tend to find world 8 a very exciting treat and topper. rather than just introduce new gimmicks (which feels almost like all SMW can even do, at times), it combines everything you've seen up to this point into some surprisingly tough platforming masterworks. i actually struggle with some of the harder levels of SMB3, where i mostly just die in SMW because of the weird movement or sheer play apathy. i also really enjoy not knowing where everything is or having an urge to find everything, and that keeps secrets feeling special. they feel like happy accidents or treats for an occasional sense of wanderlust rather than such an intrinsically important or graded part of the game (even SM3DL/W have completely ungraded and unmarked secret warps that capture this), and the rewards like the tanuki suit feel extra delightful because of how much they're otherwise totally unnecessary and hidden.

for perspective, here, the part of SMB3 i hate the most is the part of pipe world - which is already a bit too long - in that one castle that requires figuring out a p-switch puzzle to get to the end of it. feels smack-dab in the middle of one of the most draining worlds and really sucks the energy out of me as i try to remember what you're supposed to do. it does it every time, and i've got to have done an all-stages run of the game at bare minimum a half-dozen times. to me, roughly half of the entirety of super mario world feels like that worst stretch of SMB3.

i think i'm going to give smb3 a full replay here in the next day or two and see if i eat any words, it's been probably a year or so since i last played it.

- - - - - -

Image

i think i might 1cc :shock:

- - -

finished it again! didn't skip any stages and did actually die a few times in world 8. didn't use the majority of my items. i think i stand by most of what i said above, and really do feel like pipe world - which is definitely my most disliked world - is the most like what i dislike about super mario world of any world in the game. there's a lot of pacing interruptions and convoluted stages around this part and the castle's solution is just stupid & time-wasting. i mostly think SMB3 is on point with individual stage pacing and has a compactness that SMW trades for excessively free-range stages, but there's certainly something to be said about the overabundance of auto-scrollers and how at least half of them are much too easy and a bit grating. you might be able to skip several, but you can't skip the airships, and a few of them are outright dull. the better movement and better flight power-up (which you've also already gone over) do a lot to mitigate those sags for me, though.

this reminds me that i should really pick up a famicom cart of the game - the damage system in the US one is much too generous. it wouldn't have changed a whole lot, but there would have been at least a couple points i'd have lost a life or would have been player tighter. this was my childhood cart, though, which i'll miss playing a little.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:26 pm 


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reminder there's an officially licensed reprint of metal storm for nes using the famicom rom still up for sale. they have a special edition with a figure and pin and despite not being into repros (licensed or not) i couldn't resist the idea of having an even-possibly-shitty figure of the little mech from the game. wish more utata kiyoshi designs would get toys, wish he'd get to design the toys, too, but...

https://castlemaniagames.com/collection ... rs-edition
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:42 pm 


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that looks awesome
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:58 pm 


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Dang, wish you could just get the figure. I'm not into repros either myself, but at least with that package you're getting a wad of goodies.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:22 pm 


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Holy shit, I've found it at last. :o

SOME ASSHOLE wrote:
Ignoring the wacky antics, the kerfuffle that created this thread is bigger than any one of us, and a picture perfect example of why attempting to melt mask ROMs with your psychic hatred waves isn't a great idea. This isn't Dragon Ball. It's not even Scanners. Your flesh and blood will vaporize before that metal motherfucker so much as flinches. Human beings need technique and insight to beat machines!


That dude better watch his back! For I have video proof of... EDMANS NO JUTSU :shock:

Spoiler: show
Image


Image

Vanguard wrote:
Another great thing about Mario World is that you can do this:
Spoiler: show
Image


Cannot recommend my current B game Ancient Mario World: Step On Horrifying Creatures enough. Image The essence of stylin' profilin' sidescrolling intensity. Actually, I'm gonna pop over to Shumps Chat and hand Estebang a verbal bitch-slap, cos he slagged off the ACA version but it's a fuckin beast. Mihara's not around to see it but I'll toss him one too for that retarded ACA Gradius video he made, put me off the series for years. Pretty sure founding members of Rutubo Games at Gotch Technologies handled these emulations, which would explain the deadly-serious quality standards. When you're stepping on horrifying creatures, you can't fuck around with laggy or dropped inputs!

Took me a while but I finally twigged why I grativated to it so immediately. It's the first arcade game I can recall that shares the classic Compact Action Man Famicom sprite/screen ratio. As with the mechanics and handling, it's not much different from the FC game at all.

Planning to go at AMW:SOHC hard once I'm done refining my now marginally less-terrified Saigo run. My cookie dough ass is not quite carved outta wood but it's getting there. Image I am wondering if the sword might be my st6 jam the way it is in st3-2. Deflect mechanic can do some neat things, but it can also mess you up like a serrated knife getting stuck in a zombie head!

It's satisfying as hell alternating these two games, they couldn't be any more different other than their deadly commitment to hardcore scrolling. You don't step on your enemies in Saigo but you very much do whack them after gaining vertical superiority!

Spoiler: show
Image


^ REAL NINJA MONOGATARI. Don't bring a gun to a ninjafight!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:40 pm 


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So, I picked up a copy of Cybernator locally cause it was pretty cheap and wanted an action game fix.

Wellllll, this is interesting.


I had expected the game to be objective-based in it's storytelling, but I hadn't expected it to be objective-based in it's gameplay(subtly so, but it definitely is, in my mind).

I was playing it randomly at first but I realized at some point that it's an upgrade path game, meaning that powerups are fixed number, and you should choose wisely which weapon you decide to powerup and when. This is highlighted even more so by the fact that it takes many power up items to upgrade a weapon by one level, in comparison to one power up meaning one level in most other games.

Here's my little route I came up with for the first 2 levels for example :

Spoiler: show
1st level : at first I put level up points towards both weapons, but I couldn't defeat the boss. They tried putting it all in fist attack(which leveled it up to Lv2) and still couldn't defeat him. Put it all in gun next, and voilà. There's one point extra after the one that levels up the gun, so it remains to be seen if later in game this point is better invested in punch or gun.

2nd level : collecting the powerups in order couldn't get me there, no matter what. But it clicked at some point : I shouldn't pick them up as I go along. Indeed, the missile launcher is placed after the first power up, and there's just enough powerups in the level to upgrade it to Lv2(which is needed to defeat the boss). that means you need to skip first power up, go get the missile launcher, the come back and get that first powerup and then the rest of 'em. Now you're well equipped to face the level boss with a Lv2 missile launcher! Pretty cool route layout.


This is not quite the straight ahead run 'n gun I had anticipated, but it is still interesting (so far). Figuring out the best route/upgrade path is a fun puzzle. I like the fact that it gives you a good incentive to kill all enemies (some of them carry a powerup). I LOVE the sense of weight in the control. truly feels like I'm piloting a piece of heavy machinery. the rocket dash is smooth with a nice anticipation, and coupling it with a punch feels so satisfying, as if you could obliterate anything with your fist.

I'm consistently hitting up level 3 now and it is fun so far, I'll definitely keep playing this.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:33 am 


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Punch is the way to go for Valken's first half - get it maxed out by the end of stage 2, or the very start of stage 3 at the latest, for the best results. Also, never flurry it - uncharged punches are useless. Charge it to max for each hit and smash the target to scrap. Image

Spoiler: show
Image

^ Homey thought he'd be safe from MECHA FACEPUNCH if he signed up to the chair force! HE THOUGHT WRONG :cool:

It's so damn powerful that TBH, I deliberately switch to (fully-upgraded) Vulcan for Stage 4, so it's actually a fight. Punch demolishes everything before it can get near you.

blackoak posted a cool interview where the devs note that strategy guides of the day are totally underrating the Punch. :mrgreen: Missiles aren't that great, imo - I never bother with 'em. At one point late in the game (minor weapons spoiler)
Spoiler: show
you're forced to rely on Vulcan+Missile, so you definitely want at least one fully-upgraded... for me it's Vulcan, no question, even ignoring its unlimited ammo.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:17 am 


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:0 i had no idea the punch was that good, i never bothered upgrading it. might have to boot up ye olde assault suits again, soon. i know this might be blasphemy, but i was nearly enjoying the leynos remake a bit more than valken as i got really into it. dracue.... ; __ ;

i just gave rastan saga II a spin on the pc engine, expecting it to maybe somehow be better than the arcade version (which i played through taito legends 2), and nope. i think it's even worse than the MD version - the music is fucking dreadful (which really sucks because i love the pce sound chip a lot at this point and it didn't have to be!!) and some things seem even more sloppily programmed. i wonder if it has the impossible-to-make jump of the arcade version that always eats a life... you only get two continues and that seems rude as hell given how shitty this game is. at least let me burn through it :[ i feel like i should leave a warning review in the pce thread, but i kind of want to actually beat it, first. maybe i'll give it a little more time, later. i really don't know why i bought this knowing full well how bad the arcade game was, but i guess its music & visuals left some sort of faint positive memory enough to hope going back to it would just... reveal it to be misunderstood or something.

i then went to a much better nude swordsman game - ankoku densetsu. i've gone over that one, before, and would like to get a nomiss & recording on it sometime soon. it's still pretty good! i think my biggest problem with the game is that the jump is a little weirdly sticky and unwieldy, though, which i didn't go over very thoroughly in that post. makyo densetsu, its predecessor, has some kind of attrition-y parts where damage feels almost unavoidable, and this one does too, but it feels a little worse because the jump sticks and you might slow on dps enough to just get your world rocked on the bosses. i think if you attack at some point in your awkwardly slowly-ascending jump arc it will cancel the full height, and sometimes you do hops when you want to do full jumps, in general.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:53 am 


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went and did that ankoku densetsu recording i wanted to do! click here for it, along with a full review. i'll probably add this to the pce thread, tomorrow. i think i warmed on the game a bit more continuing to play it - you can really get through the game's shittier parts with high efficiency after a few plays. some good strategy leads this to being a reliable nomiss clear, too. check the video description for more. this video is a very solid play, i'm pretty happy with it. there's not much need to pare a run down more than this - it's fast enough and there are few slip-ups.

i also did a recording of hiho densetsu, which is the first uploaded by an english speaker, and i think the 2nd on youtube, overall. some japanese channel did one a few months back, but i'm fairly damn certain they're just one of those many, many youtube channels where the person heavily abuses emulator tools to bang out a ton of content. the play seemed really suspicious and so did their video output. people who do those videos offer a useful service, but i wish they'd be more forthcoming and transparent about it. anyway, here's that play, complete with cutscenes. there's a link to a full review i did a while back inside the description, i actually kinda love this game.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:02 pm 


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Thought I'd try Valfaris today, the new "metal" run'n'gun platformer on steam. I have a feeling it will appeal to the taste of many here, though I ultimately found it a mixed bag. There's this aggravating thing the game does with the bosses, no doubt in an effort to be appropriately "brutal", where almost all of them have some final death explosion/attack that can easily one-hit you if you don't know what to do.... which you almost certainly won't the first, second, and maybe third time. It's difficult for me to think of a more alienating mechanic to include in your game, to make players hate what were some otherwise pretty solid boss fights. I personally threw in the towel on the final boss, where you first fight a relatively easy underling before the true final boss. I beat him only to find another "surprise!" bullshit moment where I noped out. Essentially, like most modern "retro" games I've played besides Hollow Knight, I feel like the designers don't know how to do "hard" well.

A couple other gripes: the busy visuals sort of work against the platforming a lot of the time; the weapon upgrades feel completely inconsequential (a major disappointment); suffers from the "one action too many" syndrome for controllers (I couldn't find a really comfortable setup on a ps4 controller that would allow me to use, in quick alteration, the shield/gun/sword/heavy gun as the game demanded). I also think I'm at my personal fatigue limit with the inherent design limitations of "checkpoint" platformers, if that makes sense. You can skip checkpoints for extended life (which I recommend doing in the early stages to make the bosses less annoying, I sure wish I had), but nevertheless, I feel like the very existence of frequent checkpoints encourages level design choices that I just don't like... a certain bite-size sameyness that's hard for me to really put a finger on.

All said I did enjoy it in places and am curious how the gentlemen of distinguished taste here would rate it.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:44 pm 


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BIL wrote:
Punch is the way to go for Valken's first half - get it maxed out by the end of stage 2, or the very start of stage 3 at the latest, for the best results. Also, never flurry it - uncharged punches are useless. Charge it to max for each hit and smash the target to scrap. Image

Spoiler: show
Image

^ Homey thought he'd be safe from MECHA FACEPUNCH if he signed up to the chair force! HE THOUGHT WRONG :cool:

It's so damn powerful that TBH, I deliberately switch to (fully-upgraded) Vulcan for Stage 4, so it's actually a fight. Punch demolishes everything before it can get near you.

blackoak posted a cool interview where the devs note that strategy guides of the day are totally underrating the Punch. :mrgreen: Missiles aren't that great, imo - I never bother with 'em. At one point late in the game (minor weapons spoiler)
Spoiler: show
you're forced to rely on Vulcan+Missile, so you definitely want at least one fully-upgraded... for me it's Vulcan, no question, even ignoring its unlimited ammo.

Didn't know the punch was this powerful! I'll do a second playthrough where I max it out ASAP, for sure! Damn, it looks like it almost breaks the game

Thanks for the intel!


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:01 pm 


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Yeah the punch is amazing. It's my main weapon for the first of Valken, for the second half I mostly use the laser. There's a secret napalm weapon you can get in the first level, iirc you have to do a pacifist run and only destroy the boss. It seems like it's pretty much a cheat item, but it's there if you want to check it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:47 pm 


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I switch to Laser for the second half too, aiming to get it maxed out by the end of stage 5. Bit tricky, but you can just about swing it with a little zako farming at the boss (the good sort, with the timer ticking down!). Damage per hit is middling, but the rapid piercing attack makes it enormously powerful versus massed enemies. Totally outmodes the non-piercing Vulcan and Missile in the lategame, AFAIK.

That rocky area in the GIF was always the Punch's traditional last hurrah for me, with Laser found immediately afterward. But at the time, I didn't even realise that blocking was omni-directional. I know for sure there are plenty of Punch-only replays out there, but I'd assumed they were challenge runs. Now I wonder if it's possible to smash up the final stage's vicious Last Defenders with appropriately ninja piloting techniques. Been some years since I fired up Valken, I was quite comfy with a slow and steady "death from above" Lasering tactic there.

---

blackoak wrote:
There's this aggravating thing the game does with the bosses, no doubt in an effort to be appropriately "brutal", where almost all of them have some final death explosion/attack that can easily one-hit you if you don't know what to do.... which you almost certainly won't the first, second, and maybe third time. It's difficult for me to think of a more alienating mechanic to include in your game, to make players hate what were some otherwise pretty solid boss fights.


Sounds like a very unfortunate take on Rondo's "parting shots," where most bosses will cinematically lash out in their death throes, throwing wild swings and disgorging blasts of flame as their flesh and bones disintegrate... key difference being, those can't actually kill you. They can steal your no-damage 1UP bonus though! Always thought that was clever design, confining the risk strictly to the area of style. Crucially, they tend to be pretty simple to dodge, too. Mostly heavily-telegraphed aimed attacks.

(as is my wont, I figured out how to actually get killed by XX's Serpent. Image)

---

Alpha Denshi. WTF are they? Magician Lord, Ninja Commando et al are well-known, but it's the pre-Neo stuff I find most fascinating. Always heard Time Soldiers/Battle Field talked up. Nobody seems to talk about Gang Wars much. Final Fight ripoffs are a dime a dozen, but this one seems to be a Double Dragon ripoff. Don't know many of those offhand.

Either way, that arm drag finisher is mean! Homey would be lucky to escape with a mere shoulder dislocation after that death-roll. Those low kicks look nice and nastily practical, too. That footage doesn't fire me up, but I always dig the gritty strikes & grapples, and especially the signature Technos finisher/FATAL K.O. mechanic. Beat 'em down then put 'em in the ground. Image

Fucking lmao WHAT A STOLY! Image

(my favourite real action stoly: Image)
Spoiler: show
Image


Kyros aka DESOLATOR ImageImageImage - never even heard of this one. Seems to be a topdown brawler, ala Capcom's Hissatsu Buraiken aka Avengers. (which appears to be fairly obscure itself, I only know of it from Capcom Classics Collection Vol.2 for PS2)

Arcade flyer (starring Not Cobra!):
Spoiler: show
Image

Marquee:
Spoiler: show
Image


Is this the ghetto spiritual predecessor of SETA's Nosferatu (SFC)? Distinct vibes of Badass Horror Brawling here. I hope some of this stuff gets ACA releases. Gang Wars was on one of those SNK-published PSP collections some years back, so it seems the rights are squared away at least.
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Last edited by BIL on Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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