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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:46 pm 


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Randorama wrote:
Leandro: I am beginning to forget games I played, so my own list would look patchy, right now (I am actually working on it!). I would also be happy to see people's arguments for including games in such a list. I remember adoring Taito's Crime City as a kid (and 1-CC'ing it), but maybe my taste as a child was poor (ah!).


Out of curiosity, have you played Thunder Fox? Always liked that one's Ninja Warriors X Rolling Thunder approach. Relentless, tactical! It must be stressed, with this thread's fondness for both arcade and console, that the MD port is utterly useless. Hollow shell of the AC killfest, which is in fine form on Taito Memories Vol II Gekan (PS2).

RAMPANT CARNAGE Image
Spoiler: show
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Never played Crime City, but from articles/footage the goofy roll attack rang a bell (TF's being more of a stomp maneuver, via [down] while airborne). As always with Taito, just observing from a distance is most worthwhile! TONY and RAYMOND have the ultimate declaration of war!

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CRUSH OUT THE CRIME / WE'RE THE SUPREME LAW

Quote:
Vanguard: I agree on platformers. Maybe if a good soul would also compile a list, "the community as a whole would vastly benefit from the endeavour" (ahem). We could certainly use other threads for other genres, too. At some point, a general list could simple be created by having a thread linking to the specific lists, even. I am just wondering if everyone would agree that Night Raid and Crime City are worth 1-CC'ing, though. Maybe we could just say that love knows no boundaries, and as long as a title is listed, the 1-CC is well-deserved (well, what can I say? I am not nitpicky!).


Games To 1CC Before You Die could be a quality thread. As for this one's potential contributions - topdown and beltscrolling are okay here too, as are single-screeners... and I've always found it more productive to allow a fair bit of slack for oddities, hybrids and orphan genres (eg "coinop roguelike" Cave Noire, Space Invaders/Breakout crossbreed Quarth and gallery shooter Cabal et al). More hybridisation or obscurity = more topicality. More stand-alone genre robustness = less. Basically. :wink:

I think I'll update the front page sometime this weekend. We are well into R2RKMF (that's "Run To The Right Killing Motherfuckers") & Friends Part III: Dr Biruford In Prison, after all. Image

A few months ago I gave Final Fight (SFC) a spin, as I am very fond of ambitious home conversions and iconic launch releases (yes, that is a copy of Super R-Type on my desk :oops:). I was totally appalled by the rampant input drops, though. I found Capcom's followup effort Final Fight Guy much more acceptable on that front! Sadly, after some further road-testing on its maximum difficulty ("Expert"), I'm definitely noticing some "dead man's click" drops. It's nowhere as shoddy as the first edition - you need three large enemies and preferably a few objects onscreen - but then those are precisely the worst times for it to strike. A shame, as it's a decently pressurised home effort otherwise. Guess I'll leave it at FF CD for my 16-bit FFing. None of these ports replace the AC game, obviously, but that's often part of their appeal (sometimes you find something really special, like MD Kyuukyoku Tiger aka Fast Aimed Shots In 4:3 Hell). For now Magic Sword remains my favourite of Capcom's SFC arcade ports. Nice "Black Label" with more scope for casual experimentation opposite the rather cruel AC version.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:10 pm 


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My career in challenging 2D games is on hold due to overstretch elsewhere; late evenings you'll find me falling asleep over manga or grinding out Diablo III loots in a neurasthenic haze. But I still follow this thread, consider it one of the very best things on the internet, and particularly perk up when lists and other systematizing efforts come up.

What I think is wanting now is an eager, perhaps hunchbacked assistant to Dr. Biruford who can link up or organize his selected writings, highlighting the top-shelf games. (Not to downplay anyone else's contributions, of course; but BIL's have been both central and highly enjoyable, and might be easier to summarize than the general opinion.) The cumulative discussion here of many classic games has been so much superior to any HG101 article, but they're just not as accessible, and for the hobby's sake I hope that changes.

Off the top of my head, here is a very incomplete list of games that got really good attention here (by BIL or others, and/or on adjacent threads). They are not necessarily all highest-tier, but I'm going to bold some that really have little awareness in the general gaming public; in most cases I learned about these ones from this thread, and its message should be amplified.

-Adventure of Little Ralph
-Alien Soldier
-Assault Suit Valken, Leynos
-Batman (NES)
-Castlevania: 1/3, Bloodlines, x68000, Rondo
-Contra 3 (and series)
-Ex-Ranza
-Fire Fighters (/Ignition Factor)
-Gigantic Army
-Gimmick!
-Ghouls 'n Ghosts (and series)
-Holy Diver
-J.J. Squawkers
-Kiki Kaikai
-Metal Storm
-Ninja Five-0 / Ninja Cop
-Ninja Gaiden 1/2/3 (NES)
-Ninja Spirit
-Psychic Killer Taromaru
-Rainbow Islands
-Shatterhand
-Shinobi II (and series, incl. Shadow Dancer)
-Street Fighter 2010
-Strider 1/2
-Umihara Kawase (series)

I would especially hope to spotlight games that are harder for people to discover, either by being "stranded" on AC or also-ran consoles, or due to genre trappings that might turn today's players away (e.g. Taito-style "cute" platformers or puzzle/action hybrids like Solomon's Key).


Last edited by dojo_b on Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:59 pm 


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dojo_b wrote:
My career in challenging 2D games is on hold due to overstretch elsewhere; late evenings you'll find me falling asleep over manga or grinding out Diablo III loots in a neurasthenic haze.


Excellent word! :o Been in similar straits myself this autumn, unfortunately. Or maybe fortunately, I try to tell myself. Probably past time to sort out the moving crate of unplayed PS3/onward stuff upstairs.

Quote:
The cumulative discussion here of many classic games has been so much superior to any HG101 article, but they're just not as accessible, and for the hobby's sake I hope that changes.


I know we've discussed this in passing before, a couple years (or around a hundred and fifty pages :shock:) back. Perhaps now's a good time to finally do some indexing. tbh I've always shied away from formalising this thread too much, but there have certainly been some excellent writeups over the years. Skye's Bare Knuckle/Kunio technique guides instantly come to mind.

Quote:
Off the top of my head, here is a very incomplete list of games that got really good attention here (by BIL or others, and/or on adjacent threads).


That's a great starting point, thanks. :smile: I can remember quite a few of those offhand (I'd also add your SMB2J writeups - Weaponized Left Screen Edge is formidably rendered yet deadly accurate wordage Image). I'll make a start tomorrow, before I lapse back into my usual collector-obsessive ROM scrounging. :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:53 pm 


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Best action game writeups collection on the net for sure in here. +1 for indexing it, although it is probably a ton of work. Hopefully someone rises up to the task at some point in time. So that these writeups become IMMORTAL AS THE PAGAN GODS. oh and easy to navigate and peruse and stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:55 pm 


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By the by, this semi-serious request might be relevant. :mrgreen: Cheeto dust - it's a motherfucker! :shock:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:21 am 



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BIL: you bring in the perfect example.

Thunder Fox is a game I never had a chance to 1-CC in the arcades. The first time I saw it, it was a different arcade from my uncle's, and they took it away five days after I discovered it. The second time was at a summer resort where I was staying for...5 days. I overlooked it for decades (when it was first emulated on MAME; when it was ported on PS2; etc.).

If you didn't remind me, I wouldn't even have realized that I am...28 years late?

I believe that a list could be a starting point for a more articulated project that might as well as be called XXX arcade games you need to 1-CC before you die (XXX=number to be determined at a later stage). Nobody is getting any younger, but if we have 5 people writing 2 short write-ups of titles ("why you should 1-CC before you meet the Grim Reaper") per month, that's 120 titles per year.

That's a massive backlog to play for those who didn't have a chance back in the day, and the project (gasp! Buzzwords!) could evolve over time :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:49 am 



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Speaking of which...

I recently 1-CC'ed the first three (arcade) Pang!, something I never really did in the arcade.

My 2 cents:

Pang! - The first title is the one with the best production values. Graphics have this Toriyama-esque style, and the OST is by Tamayo Kawamoto of Zuntata and Ghouls'n Ghosts fame. The game is simple: shoot balloons so the split into smaller balloons, repeat until you get small "balls", destroy them all to progress to the next stage.

The maximal sequence is "big" balloon -> 2 "medium" ballons -> 4 "small" balloons -> 8 balls. If you maintain the size of balloons even, you will get a chain bonus: split a big balloon into two medium balloons, then split each medium balloon into 4 small balloons for a bonus (this chain should be 0+100+300+600 points). Once you chain balls, the sequence should be 200+400+800+1600, and then 1600 points per ball. Each stage has a "fruit/food" bonus, and plenty of secret bonuses which require shooting again hidden platforms.

Pros: This is a nice combination of platform, puzzle and shooting elements (you cannot jump but you can climb stairs, man stages have a "key solution" for both clearance and score purposes). Score and survival strategies do not always overlap, so you can spend a very long time mastering this title. It has a fast and simple game system that rewards risk and strategy, and looks and sounds quintessentially late '80s.

Cons: The game is rather difficult and the rank system can be nasty. Balls start as "dumb" enemies following the laws of physics. As rank increases, they become smarter, more aggressive and can change their trajectory just to kill you. The game is also long (50 stages) and may thus test your endurance. If rank goes up a lot, there will be plenty of "critters" (various types of animals) interfering with your mission. It feels that programmers did not double-check if numbers were excessive, at some point. See my comments on Super Pang below.

Quirks: The rank system is based on survival time and number of lives in stock, probably. The earlier you extend, the higher rank will go; default extends should start at 50k or 100k, so if you play the title with extends starting at 20k, the game's rank will increase earlier. Survival time also matters, so dying every once in a while is actually helpful. The game is generous with hidden secret lives in the early stages: you can reach 12 lives in stock, if you 1-LC it (and this was 7 years before Battle Garegga). This really entails that rank can sky-rocket quickly, since you may have tons of lives in stock.

Speaking of rank: The dynamite power-up seems to work in this way. If you take the dynamite, all balloons split into balls, so the stage can be flooded with balls. If you survive, rank should go up. If you die, rank should go down. Sand-clock power-ups become fundamental: they essentially lower rank for a few seconds, but they are cumulative. If you take three of them in a row, balls will generally go much slower. Once the effect wears up, the sudden bump in rank can be tricky to handle.

Final Verdict: you should 1-CC Pang! because it is one of the classic '80s games that mixed manga-ish visuals with a nice blend of ideas from different genres, and a simple but elegant score/game system. The game is not perfect, and learning to cope with rank and tricky balloon bounces ("what?! It cannot bounce through there!!") will make you scream and ragequit a lot, I guess. Still, once you develop enough badassery to master this title, you will be reward with that fuzzy feeling of being able to handle a title with a certain degree of randomness and a non-trivial amount of complexity in it.

and then...

Super Pang! - This sequel feels rushed up. Graphics do not look very tidy (the main characters' sprites look like they have scoliosis!) and the OST sounds like average CPS1 generic music. The problems lie in the game system, though.

The game features hexagonal balloons following diagonal trajectories, and a "giant" size for balloons (1 "giant" balloon - > 2 "big" balloons, and so on). All chains are worth twice the amount of points. The title includes a "panic" mode: balloons keep pouring on screen and you must clear up as quickly as you can to refill the level metre. Once 50 level metres are filled, you will clear the "panic" mode...provided that you can handle dozens of balls and balloons on screen for minutes on end.

Pros: This title builds in more puzzle/platform elements from the outset: many stages involve the characters moving around the screen and destroying balls in a methodical way, rather than "simply" chaining. The title is shorter (40 levels) and generally easier. Interestingly, critters can destroy balls and balloons, and do not (generally) appear in excessive numbers, so they can actually be useful.

Cons: The game is inconsistent. Balls can bounce at rather odd angles, especially at high rank, and the game may be generous or really nasty with item droppings apparently at whim. This seems to be based on rank, which is the topic I address next.

Quirks: The rank system works in a manner similar to the first title, but score-based extends seem to make the rank sky-rocket. If you hit the fourth extend early (e.g. at 2M), expect the game to become very fast and the balls to perform all kinds of impossible bounces. This problem seems to disappear if the fourth extend is at 4M: the overall speed will be slower than the first title, and balls will not bounce in weird manners. This is why I think that the game was not fully tested and was created in a rush.

Final Verdict: you should 1-CC Super Pang! because it is still a good title, and a gentler entry to the series than the first title. It does feel rushed up and not as attractive as the first title, but once you know each stage's optimal solution and can actually perform it, you should be able to handle the game with relative ease.

We now turn to...

Pang! 3 - This sequel feels...weird. It features ugly early 3D graphics for the characters, and classical paintings as backgrounds (yes, you read correctly). Balls and platforms are 2D, instead. The OST features 5-second muzak samples looped ad nauseam.

The game features various changes to power-ups and balloon types. Out are the hexagon balloons, and in are "bomb" balls (they clear anything in their blast radius), "star" balloons (clear each ball). You can choose among 4 characters, which have different starting power-ups and determine how hard the game will be.

Pros: This title is fastt. Score-optimal routes generally require more time than survival-optimal ones, but most levels can be cleared within seconds...if you know what you are doing. This title gives a clear feeling of blasting through levels at speed, whereas the previous two titles were definitely slower. 50 stages can be cleared in little less than half an hour.

Cons: The game looks and sounds ugly. This may as well as be the only problem, but if presentation is important for you, it will be a hard pill to swallow.

Quirks: The rank system works in a more streamlined manner. Odd bouncing trajectories seem to be out, so you can expect to master levels more easily: balls will go faster or slower according to the number of lives, but I did not observe other changes. Do expect balls to go at remarkably high speeds if you survive for long times: speed is the central feature of this title.

Final Verdict: you should 1-CC Pang! 3 because it is a title that removes the game system mistakes of the two previous entries and has some ingeniously designed stages (the final stage is excellent, I dare say). Expect consistency, too: since odd bounces are out, once you know the key solution to a stage, you can clear it with your eyes closed. Super Pang! and to a lesser extent Pang simply do not allow you this luxury, especially at higher rank levels. I love fast-paced titles so this entry has become my favourite of the series, but your opinion may differ.

Mighty Pang!

...TBA. What I have played of this title so far does not make me crazy.
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Last edited by Randorama on Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:07 am 


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Randorama wrote:
Mighty Pang!

...TBA. What I have played of this title so far does not make me crazy.


I watched a video of Mighty Pang. I'm under the impression that it's a remake of sorts of Super Pang. It has similar kids with caps and many of the levels are reused from that game.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:42 am 


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BIL wrote:
A few months ago I gave Final Fight (SFC) a spin, as I am very fond of ambitious home conversions and iconic launch releases (yes, that is a copy of Super R-Type on my desk :oops:). I was totally appalled by the rampant input drops, though. I found Capcom's followup effort Final Fight Guy much more acceptable on that front! Sadly, after some further road-testing on its maximum difficulty ("Expert"), I'm definitely noticing some "dead man's click" drops. It's nowhere as shoddy as the first edition - you need three large enemies and preferably a few objects onscreen - but then those are precisely the worst times for it to strike. A shame, as it's a decently pressurised home effort otherwise. Guess I'll leave it at FF CD for my 16-bit FFing. None of these ports replace the AC game, obviously, but that's often part of their appeal (sometimes you find something really special, like MD Kyuukyoku Tiger aka Fast Aimed Shots In 4:3 Hell). For now Magic Sword remains my favourite of Capcom's SFC arcade ports. Nice "Black Label" with more scope for casual experimentation opposite the rather cruel AC version.


The weirdest thing is that Japanese Final Fight fans tend to be more critical of the Mega CD port for some reason. Most of the criticism tend to be about superficial aspects (e.g. the remixed soundtrack and the bad voice acting in the cutscenes), but they often bring up the the slow attack speed as a sticking point. IIRC, there's also a glitch that makes Poison and Roxy escape unharmed from Haggar's backdrops.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:06 pm 


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Screw indexing this thread. What we need to do is write a book.

The complete compendium of holding right while killing motherfuckers ™

Randorama wrote:
Final Verdict: you should 1-CC Pang! 3 because it is a title that removes the game system mistakes of the two previous entries and has some ingeniously designed stages (the final stage is excellent, I dare say). Expect consistency, too: since odd bounces are out, once you know the key solution to a stage, you can clear it with your eyes closed. Super Pang! and to a lesser extent Pang simply do not allow you this luxury, especially at higher rank levels. I love fast-paced titles, so this has become my favourite of the series, but your opinion may differ.

People always hate on Pang 3 due to how ugly it looks. I picked it up because, well, it was the only one I could find on eBay, and I really like the game a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:18 pm 


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The interest is obviously here to make this happen, it would be a lot of work for one person though.

Presumably what we are trying to do here (correct me if I'm wrong) is the following:

- Decide on a list of bad ass games that have been discussed and dissected in this thread over the years.
- Dig through this thread and find information about said games with the possibility of adding new info immediately or later down the line.
- Have it all in one place that is easy to access.

IDEA!

What if there were a way for all of us to pitch in? Could we set up and edit the initial document in Google Drive? Give access to those here who want to help this way all the work doesn't fall to one person? Once the initial document is finished it could be ported here and tagged appropriately. At that point it will be much easier for one person to manage.

We're essentially mining the thread for information. The initial work could be split any way we agree - as long as we're all on the same page.

When it's finished maybe it would look something like this (stealing part of dojo_b's list):

-Adventure of Little Ralph
Spoilers:
-Alien Soldier
Spoilers:
-Assault Suit Valken, Leynos
Spoilers:
-Batman (NES)
Spoilers:
-Castlevania: 1/3, Bloodlines, x68000, Rondo
Spoilers:

Each could be followed by a spoiler tag with all relevant information to said game.

If anyone has ideas to make this better I'm open to it.

Lets make this happen.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:27 pm 



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I have written one book and edited two books, i.e. chased down the authors of the single chapters and told them how to write the chapters and when the chapters were due. I have also written for edited books of various kinds, so I have some experience with this kind of editorial process. I know XML even if I use my skills once per year, so I would in theory be able to work on multi-media/format documents.

From experience, it is not necessary to use highly standardized formats, but if there is a group of authors who have overlapping ideas on how to package information (i.e. write chapters/entries), writing more than one entry becomes very streamlined. Writing 1000 words on a game becomes easy and fun if the format makes the writing process effortless.

My guess right now is...

a single entry of 1000 words can take 15-20 hours for an initial draft, if the author knows all the relevant information. That's a lot: 2 1/2 pages without pictures. A4, 3 cmts/1.25 inch margins, size 12 times new roman/unicode, single line & no spaces between lines. I would go on and say that 500 words suffice to motivate the 1-CC, and 500 words can be a simple "guide to".

Further edits may take 7-10 hours over a longer period: 1 hour every week to polish the first draft. We are talking about 22-30 hours per entry, which may mean: 1 hour every day, for one month. Or any other solution, of course. Again, if entries have a flexible template and people get used to the template, writing will be faster, more informative, and funnier for the writer (more time spent cramming info and polishing the prose, less time spent wondering "wtf am I supposed to write?!").

12 entries per year, with 5 authors, equals 60 entries and a book of 150 pages (w/o pictures). More authors and/or faster times means more entries, of course. Even so, in 5 years (say, 2025), we would have a compendium of 300 games, 5 volumes, and more importantly a testament to posterity that there is a way to make sense of the arcade experience without tearing off one's hair (hint: move right+kill mother-fuckers=win!).

Icycalm will be the publisher, of course :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:52 pm 


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I like Stevens idea. Get the authors of the reviews/write-ups to copy paste their writeups to an online site(google drive could work for sure) under a folder/page for each game. If authors want to edit their writeups, than it's great but they don't have to. I think we all agree that life is busy and we don't necessarily all have time to put into this. But finding your review/writeup in the thread and copy/pasting it should be simple and quick enough that it won't discourage authors from indexing their stuff

The writeups for each game could also be separated by authors. So say if you click on 'Ninja Gaiden', then what you see on next page are folders called "Person X's NG review" and "Person Y's NG review" etc. Just an idea, they could also be all on the same page

collective effort FTW


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:47 pm 


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Randorama wrote:
I have written one book and edited two books, i.e. chased down the authors of the single chapters and told them how to write the chapters and when the chapters were due. I have also written for edited books of various kinds, so I have some experience with this kind of editorial process. I know XML even if I use my skills once per year, so I would in theory be able to work on multi-media/format documents.

From experience, it is not necessary to use highly standardized formats, but if there is a group of authors who have overlapping ideas on how to package information (i.e. write chapters/entries), writing more than one entry becomes very streamlined. Writing 1000 words on a game becomes easy and fun if the format makes the writing process effortless.

My guess right now is...

a single entry of 1000 words can take 15-20 hours for an initial draft, if the author knows all the relevant information. That's a lot: 2 1/2 pages without pictures. A4, 3 cmts/1.25 inch margins, size 12 times new roman/unicode, single line & no spaces between lines. I would go on and say that 500 words suffice to motivate the 1-CC, and 500 words can be a simple "guide to".

Further edits may take 7-10 hours over a longer period: 1 hour every week to polish the first draft. We are talking about 22-30 hours per entry, which may mean: 1 hour every day, for one month. Or any other solution, of course. Again, if entries have a flexible template and people get used to the template, writing will be faster, more informative, and funnier for the writer (more time spent cramming info and polishing the prose, less time spent wondering "wtf am I supposed to write?!").

12 entries per year, with 5 authors, equals 60 entries and a book of 150 pages (w/o pictures). More authors and/or faster times means more entries, of course. Even so, in 5 years (say, 2025), we would have a compendium of 300 games, 5 volumes, and more importantly a testament to posterity that there is a way to make sense of the arcade experience without tearing off one's hair (hint: move right+kill mother-fuckers=win!).

Icycalm will be the publisher, of course :mrgreen:


Wow - this would have been an absolute Herculean amount of work for one person. I am curious to hear everyone else's thoughts.

You really seem like you know your stuff - I am all for making this as fun and as easy for everyone as possible.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:48 pm 


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Personally I'm all for FinalBaton's idea. Starting out with a drive with a folder for each game is a really simple way to organize stuff with everyone having access. It's a ghetto wiki.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:05 pm 


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I'm just gonna trawl through the thread and link to posts I like tbh. :lol: Needless to say, all are welcome to join in. :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:16 pm 


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...is there a maximum limit of words per entry?
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the thing is that we actually go way back and have known each other on multiple websites, first clashing in a Naruto forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:18 pm 


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Durandal wrote:
...is there a maximum limit of words per entry?

:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:44 pm 


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Durandal really needs to just publish a book all on his own. Or a blog or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:32 am 


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RE: Gekisha Boy

BIL wrote:
tbh I was never entirely sure what sort of game it actually was (the aesthetic always brought to mind the Mega CD's point/click thingy Switch), but a sidescroller with Cabal shooting sounds bang-on for this thread. I'm trying to remember if there's any others... Dick Tracy (MD) comes to mind, though it's more of an accessory mechanic there, if memory serves.


I've previously described it as similar to Pokemon Snap (back when kitten joined in) based on the photography based gameplay, but their actual gameplay are not similar at all.
The best way to describe it, is that it has two gameplay types woven together; each of which, if standalone, would be somewhat lackluster from a challenge perspective, but together they mesh quite well, for a very interesting title.
On one hand, you have the picture-snapping mechanic; it poses no threat to the player, and the challenge comes from snapping pictures at the right moments. On the other, you have a side-scrolling action gameplay. I say action instead of just platformer, because the camera lens actually also is a part of the gameplay on this side; it is used to destroy harmful projectiles/items that come your way (while also giving points). It also has no actual platforms of pits, though it is for the better when you consider the game's gameplay as a whole. Again, by itself, this would be a pretty bland and simple game.
The ingenuity of it comes from trying to snap the best pictures (at the correct moments), while contending with a slew of obstacles that you must avoid -- hence the connection with Cabal; it's similar in how you must both guide your character away from harm, and guide the cursor at your targets.
The game also keeps each of these gameplay elements easily discernible by making every harmful obstacle either be mostly red (as in the first level), or have a red outline, so that both the fore- and background elements are easily distinguishable from eachother (as evidenced by the following screenshot).

Spoiler: show
Image


The final mission/minigame, that I described as a sort of whack-a-mole, is actually quite similar to Snatcher's gun segments, with the screen divided in a 3x3 grid, only that here, you have to manually aim the cursor (and somewhat accurately) at the target, whereas in Snatcher the cursor just snaps to the correct target depending on the direction you press.

BIL wrote:
I've been a bit AWOL lately, but having plugged in my USB pad for the first time in a while, I very briefly tried out the PCE-CD port of Downtown Nekketsu Koushinkyoku (FC). This is the athletics-themed followup to Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari / River City Ransom.


I've never actualy played any of the sports-oriented Kunio games, with the exception of the dodgeball game for the GBA. Still have to give them a nice, mindful playthrough sometime. Can you give me a quick rundown of which of them are worth playing first?

RE: Final Fight

Jonny2x4 wrote:
The weirdest thing is that Japanese Final Fight fans tend to be more critical of the Mega CD port for some reason. Most of the criticism tend to be about superficial aspects (e.g. the remixed soundtrack and the bad voice acting in the cutscenes), but they often bring up the the slow attack speed as a sticking point. IIRC, there's also a glitch that makes Poison and Roxy escape unharmed from Haggar's backdrops.


For me, the voice acting is the least concerning, and the soundtack is not that bad, but the slow attack speed is quite annoying. I've since grown to appreciate the proper boss invincibility time of the the ARC and MCD versions (read: less of it), as opposed to the SFC and GBA ports, as Vludi rightfully pointed out many pages back, though the MCD slow attack speed is still an issue for me. Didn't know about the Poison/Roxy glitch, though.

RE: Games worthy of 1CC

BIL wrote:
I'm just gonna trawl through the thread and link to posts I like tbh. Needless to say, all are welcome to join in.


The thing is, while the info on some games is well contained (in one post, or within a few, adjacent posts) and can easily be indexed and linked to (the only cost: finding where such posts are located), many of the games discussed here have tidbits of info spread all over the thread, which will make it a nightmare indexing everything about them; Ninja Gaiden, Contra and Castlevania being prime examples of this. You'd essentially have to go through the entire thread to do so, so just finding the most relevant posts seems like a good idea, if you intend to keep your sanity. :lol:

As for the list(s) and info/reviews/strats of the games themselves, here's my view on how it could be done, and my rationale for it.

First, I'd keep separate lists for genres and perhaps for platform as well.
    • By genre, both because there are naturally many more games in some genres compared to others, and because some people prefer some genres over others, or are looking for a particular genre to play at that moment. There is, of course, not only the issue of what genre a game belongs (more so with some games than others), but also the variable amount of overlap between genres. I wouldn't stress this much, and would go with something like "side-scrolling action" for something like Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania, but would like to see, for example, Contra and Metal Slug listed as "run-n-gun". Some (many?) games are a bit trickier to define, though I'd list them according to their basic gameplay; for example Spartan X, Green Beret/Rush 'n Attack and Irem's Kaiketsu Yanchamaru/Kid Niki; I'd maybe list them under the same genre (focused mostly on enemies dying in a single hit, with a few exceptions, mainly bosses) despite their different theme/tools used (hand-to-hand in Spartan X, knife/sword on both Yanchamaru and Green Beret, and even the occasional weapon in the latter). It's a bit of an imprecise science, but with the community's help, I'm sure we'd reach a consensus.
    • By platform, again, because it's easier to find games on specific platforms you're interested in, but, perhaps more importantly, because global lists intrinsically imply that games contained within them are (genres notwithstanding) equally good (or close), and this does not take into account the relative ranking of the platforms themselves. For example, a global list likely wouldn't include any game from the MSX, since in comparison with all the other games, they are inferior. But, within the MSX catalog, some games are significantly better than others. Obviously many people don't care about such platforms at all, but I think it would be nice to be able to find which are the good games on a specific platform regardless of their global ranking (or lack of thereof).

Another thing I'd like to see, is that the lists themselves be separated from the big strategy/review posts.
By having these separate, if one just wants to find a game to play next, they can simply browse through the lists, see the relative merits of each game (I'll elaborate on this further on) and decide which one to go with, without the fear of spoilers, both in story and in tactics (at least I enjoy playing games blind at first). And if someone else wants to see the tactics/strategies of a game, then they can just go the that game's particular page/post and read away.
It's a nice system, in my opinion, and it also supports Stevens & FinalBaton's practice of having multiple user strats/reviews per game, while the lists themselves remain clean.

As for the lists themselves, besides the above, I'd make several of them, the criteria being their games's ratings/ranking (at its simplest, something like Vanguards A=top, B=good lists).
I think that, given the massive amount of games that people here have played, one, or even a few lists will result in a huge amount of games in each, that can't possibly be all of the same level of quality. Or some games will just be left out.

Personally, I'd make four, or even 5 lists, each containing the games of the following quality:
    • Top: Probably what Randorama (and most everyone else) wants in the first place; the top quality games out there. This means listing only the best games even on games filled with them. For example, in the Metal Slug series only maybe MSx and MS3, and the rest relegated to the B-list; in Contra, maybe Contra FC and CIII; in Bare Knuckle, BK2 only; Ninja Five-O, etc. Series with many great, but similar titles could be a problem; using Metal Slug again: to either list MSx and MS3 (and maybe moree) here, or to just list the best in the series (whatever that may be) and relegate the other(s) to the B-list.
    • Good: The ones that are good (not just solid, but good), either not on par with the ones on the A-list, or where their series is already well represented in the A-list. Examples would perhaps be, Contra: Hard Corps, Super Contra FC, the other metal Slugs, Final Fight 2 & 3, Bare Knuckle 1 & 3 (I know some will disagree with BK1 :wink: ), etc.
    • Decent/Solid: These would be the ones that are overall decent, but not as good as the list above. Examples, Valis 4 (and maybe some others), Kunio FC (maybe belongs in another, see below), etc.
    • Weird/Quirky: I originally envisioned this list to be on par with the "Good" list in terms of quality, but which contains games that are quite weird/quirky, for the lack of a better description. Games that, despite good, may not be to the taste of the average gamer (I write average here with respect, and not meaning it's common use (ie. casual); perhaps "average hardcore gamer" would be more fitting). Gekisha Boy would qualify, for example, and perhaps also Quarth and Gomola Speed.

The three-tiered (or perhaps even more) rating system is important, because there are simply too many games to fit in two lists, in my opinion. I'd even make one or two more:
    • Classics: For the good classics, I mean. Those games that, compared to the games in the A- and B-lists are more (sometimes much more) primitive, but that are still very playable, and which are also very important for their history. Examples would be, Kunio-kun, Double Dragon 1 FC (maybe even the arcade original), Yie-Ar Kung-Fu (both FC and arcade), Ninja-kun (arcade, the FC version is a much disliked one, though I find it charming :) ), etc. Many/most of these could belong in the above lists, but in general, I like to make explicit which games are only deemed "decent", but due to being prototypical and/or cementing a certain genre. I don't know about you, but I believe that the year/era in which a game was made matters, even if its gameplay would be considered subpar later on.
    • Playable: Essentially a 4th-tier, below "Decent/Solid". The only reason I'd make this last list, is because I'm usually reluctant to call a game garbage/kusoge, and believe there's a fair difference between somewhat crappy but playable games (like Valis 2, for me) and absolute garbage that is best forgotten.

I would also like to see some more information with each game, somewhat like Randorama posted on the Pang series, instead of a simple long list of games. Which game belong on which list could be decided by a vote of the community. And please, no ranking among each game in any single list. I think it just leads to unneccesary complexity, and the fact that a game is on a list should attest to its quality (along with a small profile for each game, described next).
Besides maybe a small explanation of the game's mechanics (again, like Randorama wrote on Pang(s)), maybe also the following:
    • Regional changes (pertinent to the gameplay): What changes between regions, so that someone that wants to try the game knows what to expect. This should be just a rundown of the pertinent differences, like Bare Knuckle 3, Contra Hard Corps, Castlevania 3/Akumajou Densetsu, etc. Other less important changes could just be expressed in a small note, like in Bare Knuckle 2/Streets Of Rage 2 -> Cosmetic differences only.
    • Differences with other ports: Not every port, rather the ones that are supposed to/seem to be equivalent. For example, for this point, I'd consider Final Fight SFC/MCD (and maybe GBA) as ports, but not Ninja Warriors Again as a port of the arcade and PCE Ninja Warriors; I'd treat it more like a semi-sequel/remake, and would prefer for it to be listed as its own, standalone game.
    • Thoughts on what to expect if playing for 1CC vs 1LC vs no-damage (or 1-ALL vs 2-ALL, both in infinitely looping games like Contra/Castlevania, and like in STGs finite looping games like DDP, etc): I know this isn't exactly usually discussed outside this forum, but since this list is for people like us, I think this would be a good thing to know. For example, how hard to go from a DaiMakaimura 1CC to a no-miss or to a no-damage (or even from a credit-feed to a 1CC, where respawning isn't instant (eg. Contra)). I would even like to see how viable/hard any number of self-imposed challenged are on a game, eg. Contra with peashooter+no items or Ninja Gaiden with sword only. Not any game needs (or is even interesting enough to have) this kind of info, but there are plenty that do.

I understand that this is likely a lot more specific than what you guys were thinking, so don't take this as anything more than a suggestion. Putting games into the lists wouldn't be too troublesome, though, since they are all mutually exclusive (and should be, for the sake of our time and sanity).
I'll write a few entries using this format later on, so as to give you an example of how it would look (been writing this piece for a while now, so I'll have to defer it :) ).

Regarding the storage/display of such information, I think a website would be the best. A collection of simple, static-HTML pages is all that's needed for such a project.

To finish up (that was a lot of text :oops: ), regardless of whatever way it ends up getting done, I'm all for this project, and I'll gladly help.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:01 am 


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__SKYe wrote:
I've never actualy played any of the sports-oriented Kunio games, with the exception of the dodgeball game for the GBA. Still have to give them a nice, mindful playthrough sometime. Can you give me a quick rundown of which of them are worth playing first?


tbh it's only Dodgeball and Koushinkyoku that I've put meaningful time on - the rest (soccer, ice hockey, basketball) are still a bit of a blur and I'm not sure if I feel like getting into them. There's also Kakuto Densetsu (arena fighting) and... I forget its JP title, but the FC equivalent of Crash N' The Boys (poor Kunio, localisation fractured him into like four different, lamer characters). I've stuck with Koushinkyoku for now, since it's by Miracle Kidz ala Monogatari/RCR and its JP-only sequel Jidaigeki. (ta Jonny for info)

Dodgeball is fun for what it is - some definite finesse and gratifying violence - but the performance can be brutally choppy. Could be a dealbreaker, or might even be endearing if you're weird like me. :wink: With nine characters in play, it's understandable. I like it for being the first glimpse of the classic FC Nekketsu style, mostly. The PCE version is closer to the AC original and, as you might expect, categorically smoother, but I don't find it as aesthetically charming.

Koushinkyoku has some neat ideas (I wish it stuck to obstacle course races all the way through - last two of its four events are more combat-geared), but it's got a few decided issues. All of these games are obviously more multiplayer-oriented (even moreso than Monogatari/Jidaigeki), and I'm solo atm, so your mileage may vary.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:21 am 



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Quick answers...

Sumez: Yes! Pang! 3 is really the smoothest, fastest game in the series. I am playing more Mighty! Pang and it really becomes a slog, from stage 20 onwards (out of 57+5...).

BrianC: Yes, Mighty recycles a lot from Super, and some ideas from 3 (and some locations from the first title).

General: Any format is fine, but it depends a lot on what the common goals are, if there are any. Word limits are useful if:

a. You're publishing printed material (paper is not free);
b. Your authors need to be put in check or they will write 20 pages to simply assert "I like tacos because they're yummy" (and you don't have 20 pages to let them rant).

In these cases, word limits are also a way to avoid that one entry eats up all the available resources in the overall collections.

Anything else is fair game (so we can have Durandal to write 150 pages on any game he likes :mrgreen: ).

FB: edits are obligatory when you need to publish a work that has to meet certain standards (say, remove typos, grammar mistakes, shorten works, make some degree of sense, etc.).
They become a welcome option when you feel that you know more, you know that your work is being read, and you want to update and share the love with others.
With a "ghetto wiki" this is an extra intriguing option.


60 more seconds...

__SKYe's: your proposal of a static, html-based site is spot-on. If authors can update their own material at will, it would make everything very easy.
For tiers...I think that we may simply end up for reasons to 1-CC loads of games, and then say which tier a game belongs to. We could place your definitions on the first page, and once a game receives a "top/good/quirky" label, readers can quickly get an idea of what the whole review is about.

EDIT:

Stevens: well, I do this for a living, so I am quite acquainted with publication/editing procedures and such :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:58 pm 


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Alright, here is a Google Sheet anyone can edit, to create a longlist of games of interest:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

The format is up for grabs, and feel free to add additional fields. It is not intended to house the "complete" project, but to serve as one rough early guide. Particularly to identify games people are passionate about, and any expertise in this community.
Here's what I've done:

-started with a short seed of game titles, more or less my previous list;

-added fields for basic info, e.g. about different versions
(My general feeling is that discussion about different versions or ports of "the same game" should be lumped together at this stage at least. Also, we should not attempt to give fully detailed release/version info, at least not now---that's a recipe for failure. Of course, those with completist tendencies and/or insomnia are free to raise the bar!)

-fields to link to Shmups Forum discussions, and to any other web resources of value;

-fields where you can nominate a game for quality, or nominate yourself as having some expertise, or volunteer that you wish to collate thread discussion on a title, or write new stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:17 pm 


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BIL wrote:
tbh it's only Dodgeball and Koushinkyoku that I've put meaningful time on - the rest (soccer, ice hockey, basketball) are still a bit of a blur and I'm not sure if I feel like getting into them. There's also Kakuto Densetsu (arena fighting) and... I forget its JP title, but the FC equivalent of Crash N' The Boys (poor Kunio, localisation fractured him into like four different, lamer characters). I've stuck with Koushinkyoku for now, since it's by Miracle Kidz ala Monogatari/RCR and its JP-only sequel Jidaigeki. (ta Jonny for info)


The later Kunio games that were made by Technos Japan's Shinjuku branch tend to be seen as lesser games by some of the Japanese fanbase, due to the fact that they're mostly reactions to popular trends at the time. Bikkuri! Nekketsu Shin Kiroku is seen as a cash-in on the Barcelona Olympics, while Nekketsu Kakutō Densetsu is seen as a reaction to the post-Street Fighter II fighting game boom, but I still think they're all pretty good. I just think people didn't care about them as much as the earlier Kishimoto and Miracle Kidz-developed games due to the fact that they came out when the newer 16-bit consoles were getting all the attentions. By that point the 8-bit Famicom was considered old hat.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:37 am 


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I found it interesting that the localization of the first NES soccer game (released in US as Nintendo World Cup) gave the names of Riki and Kunio to members of the JP team that bear no resemblance to the actual Riki and Kunio. However, the JP version had high school based teams rather than world based teams.

The Wikipedia article on Nintendo World Cup says the JP version doesn't have 4p mode. However, I was under the impression that it did have 4p modes, but only through the expansion port. I know for sure that a few of the other JP Kunio/Nekketsu games have 4p modes, including the JP version of Super Dodge Ball and the JP only Soccer League.

Edit: It's seems the JP Kunio Dodgeball Soccer game (the counterpart of Nintendo World Cup) really does lack 4p modes. The title screen only lists 1p and 2p modes.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:26 am 


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You're probably thinking of Nekketsu Soccer League, which did add 4P-support, but like Nekketsu Hockey Bu, Players 3 and 4 are stuck as the goalies.

The way the team selection works in Nintendo World Cup is kinda weird. The Famicom version's tournament mode was only designed for one team in mind (Nekketsu High School). Somehow they added the option to play as any of the 13 teams in the game (whereas Vs. Mode limits you to just five), but they all use the same sprite sets with a different palette. On top of that, each team has eight members, but unless you're playing as Team USA (where each member has his own stats and power shot), there's no point of trading members since they're all interchangeable. On top of that, the Famicom version has you starting with just six members when you start the Tournament and you gain four new members through the course of the game, which leaves two members unused in the U.S. version.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:30 pm 


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Jonny2x4 wrote:
You're probably thinking of Nekketsu Soccer League, which did add 4P-support, but like Nekketsu Hockey Bu, Players 3 and 4 are stuck as the goalies.


No, I assumed because Nintendo World Cup (which is based on the first game, not Soccer League) had 4p support, that the JP version would too. Technos was strange with their international versions of games. Nintendo World Cup clearly came later and even has bug fixes, but still has some odd changes.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:13 pm 


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This Halloween I've been marathoning through the 'vanias from SotN on back. In no particular order.

I plowed throw them but now I'm on the X68000 via PS1. I opted to go through the OG mode... man this game is brutal at times. I was stuck at the clock tower but managed through that and now I'm on Death's stage. I'm dreading that boss encounter, maybe I'm psyching myself out though. Either way I want that mark on the bed post.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:39 pm 


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still not DA REAL experience / damage.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:48 pm 


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It's close enough, though. Hardly a Ninja Gaiden III US/JP scenario. (talking about Original Mode, ofc - fuck Arrange Mode, it don't even loop!)

FWIW Superdeadite has mentioned finding the PS1 port harder, albeit due to technical issues.
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