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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:35 pm 


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So, I beat some games. :wink:

Gun-Dec / Vice: Project Doom (FC)

The game is essentially a super easy Ninja Gaiden (replete with the expected cutscenes) with some Shmup and Operation Wolf-Stages thrown in for good measure. Most players should have no problem clearing (or even 1LC'ing) it in a single evening session.

The controls are extremely smooth and I love the huge hitbox of the sword, which swings in an arc from behind you and lets you easily take out anything creeping up your back.

My only criticism of the play mechanics is that, save for the second to last boss, the pistol with its short range is almost completely superfluous. I think ditching it all together in favor of executing the generally useful grenades like a CV/NG subweapon with up + attack, would have made for a more fluid and faster paced experience than having to cycle through the weapons.

Just as in Ninja Gaiden most of the bosses are hapless bums, easily subdued by spamming attacks rather than having to spend too much time trying to work out their patterns.

The graphics are probably among the best the Famicom has to offer, with some stages sporting 4-5 parallax layers in the background. Add to this the awesome use of color (particularly the sewer stage with it's neon-green wastewater) and black space to create depth and atmosphere (similar to Sunsoft's Batman). It's pretty amazing stuff and puts a lot of PC Engine games to shame.

The shmup/gun stages are more of a bonus really. Executed well enough, but short and extremely easy.

The music is generally pretty uptempo and driving, which is what you want for a good action game, but none of the compositions really managed to stick in my head. Probably one of the weaker aspects of the game.

Bottom line: Despite the low level of challenge I found the game immensely enjoyable. A FC must-play for sure!


Fray CD: Xak Gaiden (PCE Super CD)

I'm a big fan of Microcabin's Xak series of Ys-like Action RPGs, so I was very excited about this offshoot, the plot of which takes place between Xak I and II. Fray is the comic-relief NPC in the main series; here you play as her. The game is most similar to Kiki Kaikai, except that you only scroll in an upward direction. Every stage ends with a boss fight and between stages you visit villages to upgrade equipment and magic and advance the detailed plot. Earlier stages can be repeated at any time to collect money and items.
Overall, neither a difficult nor a lengthy game, but the story has some funny twists and lives a lot from the absolutely cute charm of the main character, as well as the pleasant, colorful graphics and the great CD soundtrack. It has everything you expect from a good PCE title.


Mystic Formula (PCE Super CD)

In my opinion Microcabin is one of Japanese videogames' best kept secrets and after Fray I wanted to explore their catalogue some more. Mystic Formula is a very similar overhead run & gun typ deal, but unfortunately it never comes remotely close to the Fray's qualities. Game mechanics and stages are just not as fluid and meticulously designed and the graphics are super bland in many places (simple palette swaps of tiles etc.). On top of that it is extremely easy — as in clear-after-the-first-play easy. At least the hoverbike stages provide a little variety.


Kaizou Choujin Shubibinman 3 (PCE CD)

Beautiful graphics and cutscenes, but stiff controls, a total lack of challenge and the overall unfinished feel make this another non-essential one, imo.


Ankoku Densetsu / The Legendary Ax II (PCE Hu Card)

Despite the US title and the fantasy setting this one actually has little in common with the good but punishing predecessor. I really enjoyed this sequel, not just because it forgoes the annoying power bar mechanic of the first game (I hated that shit!).
The graphics style here is super weird and gloomy, but I love how the whole game is imbued with this morbid, hopeless mood and the ending (there is only the bad one :D ) was just perfect. Fairly challenging game as well, with boss patterns that need to be memorized and a rather strict time-limit in the stages. It's fun trying out the different weapons, but in the end I did find the sword the most useful. Definitely check it out if you're looking for something like Rastan on PCE.


Cadash (MD / PCE HuCard)

Two quite different ports of Taito's arcade classic. Cleared it on Mega Drive (interestingly never released in Japan) first and had so much fun with it, that I immediately followed up with the PC Engine version. I would compare Cadash to a Monster World game: side scrolling action with slightly ramified levels and RPG elements. The controls are really a bit iffy and the bosses are either impossible or super easy depending on your level, but I really enjoyed the game. For an arcade action title it has a lot of plot and I liked the different "quests" like ridding a mermaid of her curse or reuniting a dog with the spirit of his deceased owner.
The MD port is very similar to the arcade original in terms of graphics and stage layout but omits two of the playable characters (ninja and priest).
The PCE port leaves in all characters but is visually quite a departure (less detailed and colorful, but not necessarily bad) and takes some liberties regarding level design. The basic structure, however, is identical.


Bare Knuckle II / Streets of Rage II (MD)

I really suck at beltscrollers, so I was quite happy to be able to clear this one on credit with Axel (only other beat 'em up I was able to clear so far is Final Fight 2). I guess everybody already knows what this game's deal is and that it's one of the great MD action games, so I won't bore you. Just some observations:

- Because combos are based on timed execution it's super easy to abuse hitstun and cheese infinites on enemies. Even easier than FF1/2's whiff combo.

- I love how there's actually a point to everything in the comparatively large moveset. Even the super (rather, both of them) comes in useful for crowd control. Makes it really fun to experiment with strategies. I did find Axel's Grand Upper pretty serviceable in most situations though.

- Stage 5 and 6 bossfights were the main bottlenecks for me. Once I had good strategies down though (i.e. not triggering jetpack guy on stage 6), I went all the way to the end pretty quickly.

- The alien head in Stage 3 is kind of bullshit — why no dropshadows?

- I think the sound design is a big part of what makes this game so satisfying. Nice crunchy whaps and thuds. You can really feel some breaking there. :lol:

- My favorite part is the fight against Shiva. Not really that difficult, but it just feels really epic.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:26 am 


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Nice work. I went ahead and linked your post in the "Short Comments" section on the index (split it into two entries, due to the large number of games). :)

I made the long/short reviews unified for all users, and added a "Original vs Port" section at the end. If any of it isn't good, or if there are any changes you folks want me to make, please say so. Same, if I link to one of your posts and you don't want it there (eg. you think it is better represented by one of your later posts, or someone else's).

Indexing the whole thing is massive work, so if you, for whatever reason, stumble upon any of your (or someone else's) posts that you want added to the index, just make a post with the links, and I'll eventually add them. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:06 am 


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Where is this index kept at the moment?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:17 am 


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It's at the bottom of this post. You can also go to the thread's first post and follow the link at the top there.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:52 am 


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It makes more sense to me to organize the index by game rather than by type of post and author. Like have a Ninja Guidin' section where all the reviews, strategies, and replays are gathered so anyone who wants to know about Ninja Gaiden will have plenty of information readily available.

Herr Schatten wrote:
Iirc, only the Quillshroom March has enemies that are in no other levels.


It's too bad because those are probably the best non-boss enemies in the game. I remember thinking "finally it's starting to get serious" when I hit Quillshroom Marsh, and then instead of the enemies continuing to get tougher, they went back to the harmless stage 1 enemies for the rest of the game.

If they fixed that, doubled the number of fast travel points, and added bosses fights to most of the music notes, The Messenger could have been really solid. As is it isn't bad or anything, but I find it to be a bit disposable.

CIT wrote:
Cadash (MD / PCE HuCard)


Ever try the arcade version? You really ought to give it a shot if you liked the ports.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:44 pm 


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__SKYe wrote:
It's at the bottom of this post. You can also go to the thread's first post and follow the link at the top there.


That's awesome. :)
Maybe sort by games rather than author?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:41 pm 


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CIT wrote:
Gun-Dec / Vice: Project DoomMy only criticism of the play mechanics is that, save for the second to last boss, the pistol with its short range is almost completely superfluous.


It's on the easy side, but I also enjoy having a Ninja Gaiden style platformer with a sword whip thing that actually has range (although it has frankly ridiculously MASSIVE range haha) and jumping that's much more forgiving. :P It would be nice for it to be harder but since the much more forgiving and powerful weapons are a huge part of the game I'm not sure how you could make it harder while keeping it the same feel without drastically altering the mechanics.

The pistol is indeed useless for the most part. Much slower and less coverage area than the swordwhip, and much less range and damage than grenades. If grenades did not recharge and only the pistol had effectively infinite ammo then it might have a use, but the pistol shots are relatively short range and the projectiles are a tad slow. It's usable, but not nearly as effective as the other weapons are.

I really like the frantic pace of the shmup levels. I wish there were a few more and they were a bit harder.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:28 pm 


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Alright, sorted it by game. I also put Macaw's GB post on a separate category, because it didn't feel right to make an entry for each of those games, when the post is more of a "games worth playing on the GB". Perhaps this could also serve as a start for Randorama's "games worth playing" list. :)

There are several things either I've yet to do, and others I'm not too happy with, though I'd like your opinion on these, such as:
  • Sort games by their original release name, usually JP, and note the overseas name after.
  • Use a general system tag (eg. FC = Famicom / NES, SMS = Master System / Mark III, like it's currently done), but note somewhere which version of the game is actually reviewed, since there are major differences in some games (eg. BK3, NG3, Castlevania 3, etc).
  • Whether to split games into several entries for their ports, or to just make an entry for version differences (like it's done currently for a couple games).
  • Make a category for longplays/replays/speedruns, like Vanguard posted. Also, there are probably several games (whithin the thread's scope) that have no/little discussion here, but that users have longplays of, on their Youtube channels as well.

There's also the problem of tagging a post as review or strategy, since most posts tend to contain both, and the fact that, for some games, the info is all over the place, with plenty of repetition and erroneous techniques/strategies that were revised in later posts,, etc.
This is mostly a starting point for a better constructed index somewhere down the line, but we need to start somewhere. :)

-----

Added Herr Schatten's post to the index as well; totally forgot to do it before.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:44 am 


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Great work __SKYe!

it's allright if the posts aren't always perfectly tagged for either "review" or "strategy", the important is to have access to these posts in a neatly laid out list. Users can then sift through these couple posts and find the bits they want

I like that reviews are included in the original concept btw, in addition to the reviews. it will push us to play stuff and post our impressions


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:54 am 


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FinalBaton wrote:
it's allright if the posts aren't always perfectly tagged for either "review" or "strategy", the important is to have access to these posts in a neatly laid out list. Users can then sift through these couple posts and find the bits they want


It's almost a little test of a user's mettle: if they can't be bothered to do a bit of work to get the info, they're not fit for the hardcore side-scrolling action. :)

FinalBaton wrote:
I like that reviews are included in the original concept btw, in addition to the reviews. it will push us to play stuff and post our impressions


I do as well, it's just a matter of keeping in mind that a review seldom comes without some strategy/mechanics bits. I'll try to keep the Strategy/Mechanics sections with explicit strategy/mechanics posts only.

There was also a list of BIL's quality action games posted a while back, which I'd like to link on the index too, so if anyone remembers or has a link to it, please post it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:55 am 


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Thank you for indexing these, its much appreciated. It's great to be able to go back and easily reference these posts easily when revisiting a classic, or when I'm just looking for something new to play. :)
Quote:
If they fixed that, doubled the number of fast travel points, and added bosses fights to most of the music notes, The Messenger could have been really solid. As is it isn't bad or anything, but I find it to be a bit disposable.

I played The Messenger a couple months ago. Eh... it was alright. Nice controls but very disposable level design. Maybe a good game for someone who's really bad at platformers, but I'd rather they struggle with something hard to "acquire the taste." I really lost all interest when it became a limp metroidvania. For recent similar efforts, I think Celeste was better in the platforming, while Hollow Knight did metroidvania more satisfyingly than any game I've ever played, probably.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:36 am 


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__SKYe wrote:
There was also a list of BIL's quality action games posted a while back, which I'd like to link on the index too, so if anyone remembers or has a link to it, please post it.

I think he has the Megadrive one on tap


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:26 am 


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blackoak wrote:
Thank you for indexing these, its much appreciated. It's great to be able to go back and easily reference these posts easily when revisiting a classic, or when I'm just looking for something new to play. :)


BIL was the one who took the initiative and did the bulk of it; I just formatted it a bit, and added some of my own posts, along with a few from others' I came across. :)

FinalBaton wrote:
I think he has the Megadrive one on tap


Yeah, just found it, along with one from Vanguard, and added it to the index.
I honestly don't know how to format this one; on one hand, some lists will have games from disparate platforms so grouping them that way doesn't make much sense. On the other hand, I would list the games themselves, but then I'd have to list the commentary as well (were there is any; eg. BIL's and macaw's lists).
I guess I'll leave like this for now and think of some better way later.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:15 pm 


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I just found out something interesting in Cadash! A commenter on my youtube channel mentioned an invisible, climbable vine that can only be reached via damage boosting. I found this somewhat credible because Cadash has a hidden item called the mystic lamp which causes the screen to flash when a secret is nearby. The lamp does flash in that room, but I had never found anything in there. Up until now I had assumed it was an error, like maybe the lamp was being triggered by a secret in a room above or below. Anyway, I checked it out and it was real, but the vine just led to an empty room... in the US version. The Japanese version contains some gnomes and their "horses" who can be talked to.

If any of y'all are Japanese-literate, would you mind posting a translation of these screenshots? I'm guessing it's one of those hidden developer commentary rooms, but in any case I'm very interested in finding out!

Spoiler: show
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:35 pm 


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Not fluent, but it looks like the dialogue in the first screenshot is someone named Nohori Takamasa telling the player to try inputting 'ほりちん' ("horichin") as the name of the second player. The NPCs in the second and third screenshots introduce themselves as Princess Sarasa and Kouyama Yuichi (a staff member?), respectively. The fourth screenshot has a "cyber being goat"(?) feeling sick because of yet another bug (?). The fifth screenshot starts off with something to the effect of "a yellow place is the mark of a hero" (?). Not sure about the rest.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:39 am 


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Vanguard wrote:
I just found out something interesting in Cadash! A commenter on my youtube channel mentioned an invisible, climbable vine that can only be reached via damage boosting. I found this somewhat credible because Cadash has a hidden item called the mystic lamp which causes the screen to flash when a secret is nearby. The lamp does flash in that room, but I had never found anything in there. Up until now I had assumed it was an error, like maybe the lamp was being triggered by a secret in a room above or below. Anyway, I checked it out and it was real, but the vine just led to an empty room... in the US version. The Japanese version contains some gnomes and their "horses" who can be talked to.

If any of y'all are Japanese-literate, would you mind posting a translation of these screenshots? I'm guessing it's one of those hidden developer commentary rooms, but in any case I'm very interested in finding out!

Spoiler: show
Image
Image
Image
Image
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Image


That's super interesting, thanks for sharing!
Where exactly is the location of the vine?

Apparently entering ほりちん on Player 2 (which will then automatically change the name to たらばー, the main programmer's name) will turn Black Pudding into the faces of the dev team. :)
Entering アムシャ will turn it into the characters from Flipull.
Entering ぜっとォ will turn it into a variation of the Mage's protection spell.

Image

When I googled this I found out something else that's worth sharing. Entering dirty words in a lot of arcade games will make XXX or AAA appear, but in the Japanese version of Cadash the game will automatically replace it with some funny stuff:

おめこ →キミこい pussy→love you
うんこ →くいたい shit→wanna eat it
いんぽ →かわいそ impotence→feel sorry for you
 おめこ→おこめ _cunt→rice (play on words, changes order of characters)
 うんこ→なにもの _shit→who the fuck
 いんぽ→あわれ _impotence→pity
おなにい→はやいっ masturbation→fast
そうろう→やすいっ premajure ejaculation→cheap
ほうけい→すてきっ phimosis→lovely
いんもう→けけけっ pubic hair→hehehe (play on words, can also mean "hairhairhair")
ぼつき →ポッキー erection→Pocky! (play on words)
ぺにす →ハヤイ! penis→fast!
ちんげ →!!!! dick hair→!!!!
ざーめん→のみたい semen→wanna drink it
ばぎな →なにそれ vagina→wtf
まんこ →××× cunt→xxx
ちんぽ →チイサイ dick→small
 ばぎな→おっかぁ _vagina→mommy
 まんこ→かあさん _cunt→mom
 ちんぽ→ガキ! _dick→kid!
おまんこ→なるほど pussy→I understand
ふあつく→ジーザス fuck (the English word)→Jesus
あむしや→アムシャ Amusha (the character from Flipull, changes to Katakana)
きんたま→おこさま balls→kid
ふとまら→グレート fat dick→great
ちんちん→わんわん weewee→bow wow
せつくす→するお sex→do it
ふたなり→まままっ hermaphrodite→well well well
でかまら→かてる! big dick→buy it
すぺるま→ピュッ! sperm→squish
せんずり→スリラー jerk off→thriller
ちんぽこ→ぽんぽこ weenie→poko poko (play on words)
ぽこちん→かぁん weenie→it is
らわがす→ぜっとォ not really sure what the meaning is, but this and the next will get you the mage's black puding
きんだん→ぜっとォ
ちゆうか→イカス! Chinese→cool or makes you cum
てんちよ→ズルイ! shop owner (presumably of the arcade?)→crafty
たいとう→タイトー Taito→Taito (company name)
ああああ→プロコ aaaa→Proco (character from Darius)
まままま→テアット mamamama→Tiat (character from Darius)
ほりちん→たらばー Horichin→Tarabaa (the main programmer's nicknames)
ぎる  →にんじゃ Gil→Ninja (character from Ninja Warriors)
かい  →くのいち Kai→Kunoichi (character from Ninja Warriors)


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:50 am 


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Now that is amazing. That is dedication, right there. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:50 pm 


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CIT wrote:
That's super interesting, thanks for sharing!
Where exactly is the location of the vine?

It's right about here:

Spoiler: show
Image


To reach it, go a bit to the left and spawn a spider enemy. Run away to the right and wait for it to fire a web at you. After it fires, jump off the top step to the right and then, in midair, turn around to face left. If you land on the web it will knock you into the vine and you can climb up to the hidden area. Damage boosting isn't strictly necessary, I've done a bit of testing and found that a level 20 ninja can also make the jump without damage boosting. The fighter should be able to make it too since he has the second best agility and can equip the sword of speed for 20 more agility.

Good stuff on the names! In the screenshots in my previous post, I had triggered one of those by entering my name as ああああ/AAAA. I looked up that the katakana spelled puroko but didn't make the connection between that and the Darius series's Proco. Playing around with names seems to be a thing with Taito. In Bubble Bobble, entering TAK, STR, KTT, SEX, ..., I.F, MTJ, NSO, KIM, or YSH as your initials will cause special point items to appear on stage one. If you entered SEX then the your name in the high score list will also be changed to H.!

I took some screenshots of the alternative black puddings. The face pudding's expressions change depending on what it's doing. High effort for something so obscure!
Spoiler: show
Image

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The amushiya pudding works too, though it doesn't animate in interesting ways like the face pudding does.
Spoiler: show
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I wasn't able to get the black pudding to change its appearance to resemble the priest's protection spell.

While I'm on the topic of Cadash trivia, if you buy the silver key halfway into the game and backtrack all the way to the starting castle, it will open the silver door there. Inside you can find the portal you use to return from Castle Cadash after the first Baarogue fight as well as the room where you fight Baarogue the second time. The portal is unusable and the room is empty, though.


Last edited by Vanguard on Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:42 pm 


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What's the rundown on Monster world titles?
I've only played III Dragon's trap. Number 1 didn't seem particularly appealing.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:53 pm 


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If I remember correctly, II (as in Monster World II, the Dragon's Trap) is generally lauded as the best of the bunch, but III and IV are also quite solid, though III spends most of its time being a bit of a sleeper. It helps that both of the latter two look and sound quite nice as far as Mega Drive games go.

Sumez reported having some fun with the arcade version of Monster Land recently, so I trust he will be able to vouch for its quality.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:24 pm 


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Blinge wrote:
What's the rundown on Monster world titles?
I've only played III Dragon's trap. Number 1 didn't seem particularly appealing.


The original Wonder Boy is just Adventure Island (or rather, AI is WB with the graphics changed). It's an autoscrolling platformer. I haven't played very much of it.

Wonder Boy in Monster Land is strange. Sumez posted a bit about it two pages back. It's conceptually similar to platformer RPGs like Zelda 2 and Cadash, but takes the idea in a different direction. It's much clunkier than either of those games, but it arguably makes up for it with a unique focus on routing. The stages are full of shops and secrets, but you're playing on a fairly strict time limit and having a plan for what you need and how to get it is vital. The ending leads directly into Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap.

Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair is an autoscrolling platformer/shmup hybrid where you alternate between walking and riding a flying creature. I wasn't impressed with what I've played of it.

You already know about Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap. It's no Bubble Bobble, but I like how screwed up the numbering is in this series. There's a remake that came out a few years ago but I haven't played it.

Wonder Boy in Monster World is another metroidvania. It's mostly linear and doesn't have the body-switching gimmick from The Dragon's Trap. I haven't played it in a while but I remember liking it the best out of the series.

Monster World IV is the same deal as Wonder Boy in Monster World. The graphics and characters are very cute and charming even by the series's standards. I replayed it relatively recently and for me it's held back a lot by slow pacing, low difficulty, and most of the soundtrack being variations of one song.

There's a new game called Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom but I haven't played that one either.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:27 pm 


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Blinge wrote:
What's the rundown on Monster world titles?
I've only played III Dragon's trap. Number 1 didn't seem particularly appealing.

WelshMegalodon wrote:
Sumez reported having some fun with the arcade version of Monster Land recently, so I trust he will be able to vouch for its quality.


I'm not sure "quality" is the right term, but "entertaining" is right. I think especially if you like cheesy "RPG mechanics" in your arcade games, it's a fun game to try out. It does remind me a bit of Cadash in a few ways.

I recently played through every single Monster World game, except Dragon's Trap (because I have already completed that a few times before).
Dragon's Trap is hands down the best game of the series though.
MW3, ie. "Wonder Boy in Monster World" takes thing back a step, bringing back some ideas from Monster Land, and is generally a likable and fun adventure, but nothing special. I wrote a long post about it recently, that I might repost here if I get around to translating it.

Monster World IV is one of the prettiest games on the MegaDrive, with its fluid and colorful animations and when it's at its best it's got some interesting "2D Zelda dungeons", but overall I think it leaves a lot to be desired.
The mechanics play better than the other games of the series, but unlike the two games preceeding it, it is completely linear without even any way to backtrack. And to be honest this feels like a game that would work better as an exploration heavy metroidvania, as it doesn't do "linear action" very well. I think the most interesting part of the game is the way your pepelogoo pal is used for special movements, like carrying it to hover, and throwing it to double jump. It is extremely underutilized though.

The new game is a nice return to form. It has a ton of really horrible game design, but overall it's a likable adventure that's hard to hate on. I just wish its platform engine wasn't based entirely on a physics simulation. It makes some things that should be completely straight forward kinda awkward.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:13 pm 


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Alright with some effort I've figured out which characters the kana in Cadash's name entry screen are supposed to be.

Entering my name as あむしや changes the black pudding just as CIT said it would:

Spoiler: show
Image

Image

However, neither らわがす nor きんだん caused any change in the black pudding. I tried both player 1 and player 2, and I'm certain I got them right since in both cases the name changed to ぜっとォ.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:40 am 


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The original WB is great and everyone should play it. Feels a bit clunky at first, but it's actually perfectly controllable once you get competent enough to commit to constantly moving forward. Bit of memorisation required up until the halfway point, where it ups the ante considerably.
Seems like there's a nice Ltd Edition of the HD remake coming as well.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:06 am 


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Now I just need to figure out what "WB" is.

EDIT: Scrolls up a bit... Ah, Wonderboy 1?
Yeah it's a great game. I like it a ton better than any of the Adventure Island games to follow it.
LOTS of memorization required for it though. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:51 am 


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I was surprised to see that Monster Boy officially established that the heroes of Wonderboy and Wonderboy in Monster Land as two separate characters. I liked the way the original Wonderboy theme was used in that game.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:31 am 


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It's time to finish the Cadash videos I started over two years ago. Here's a 1CC using the fighter.

And here's an overview of all the classes:

Fighter - Probably the worst character for survival. His attack and defense are both good but he has no special abilities and he's the only purely short ranged character in the game (setting aside the quickly-outdated fire blade). He levels up moderately quickly and has good stat growths on level up. He has largest selection of equipment in the game which sounds like a good thing, but in practice it means he needs to spend more money than the other classes, leaving him with less to spend on nice things like gold bells. The fighter's only unique mechanic is his ability to use shields. Rather than increasing the fighter's armor stat, shields instead can block certain projectiles. They also increase the size of the fighter's hitbox by a little bit, meaning they actually make him easier to hit against anything that can't be blocked. Given that disadvantage, the relative unimportance of enemy projectiles, and how tight money can be for the fighter, I recommend skipping shields altogether. Overall the fighter is perfectly usable, he just has to work harder than the others.

Mage - Another relatively weak character. He has low stats overall, somewhat made up for by having the fastest leveling rate. Since all characters gain the same amount of HP per level up, the mage usually reaches the limit of 255 HP earlier than the other classes. His moveset is the same as the fighter's, except he's generally slower. What makes the mage stand are his powerful offensive spells. Most enemies and even some bosses will go down in one shot. Leveling up will increase the mage's maximum MP, teach him new spells and reduce the MP cost of spells he already knows. For most of the game the only way to regain MP is to rest at an inn, but his final weapon, the wizard's staff, gives him slow MP regeneration. For the most part the mage is very powerful, his problem is that some enemies are immune to magic and against them he's the worst character in every way.

The mage's spells:

Fireball - Cast a fireball. Same thing you get from attacking with a staff of fire or fire blade. I don't think there's ever a reason to cast this.
Storm of Daggers - Summon a bunch of homing knives. It's nice and it can oneshot the first two bosses.
Wall of Flame - I don't use this unless I have nothing better against the worm.
Ice Tornado - Summons an expanding wheel of blue flames. It's pretty good.
Lightning Bolt - The best spell. Homes in on enemies, full screen range, high damage, everything you could ever want.
Explosion - The screen flashes and everything takes a ton of damage. Good, but very expensive and by the time you learn it, lightning costs 4 MP.

Priest - The best character for survival. Her stats are on the low side but this is more than made up for by her excellent weapons and powerful spells. Her flails have long reach, can pass through walls and can hit multiple times per swing. She gets her final weapon much earlier than the other characters, which means for a while she's the strongest character in both offense and defense. Once the others receive their final weapons, she starts to lag behind in damage, but by then you're about a minute away from Baarogue, and the priest has enough defense to out-tank him. Like the mage, the priest learns new spells and gains MP when she levels up. Unlike the mage, her spell's costs never decrease.

The priest's spells:

Heal - Restores 10 HP. It's alright if you don't have barrier.
Antidote - Cures poisoning. Antidotes are cheap and there are plenty of free ones lying around so you should never need this. With that said, being poisoned with no cure is a death sentence so this does make the priest even more beginner-friendly.
Barrier - Conjures a barrier that protects you from damage. This is about half of the reason why the priest is so overpowered. It never wears off over time, even when staying at an inn, so cast it if you've got the MP.
Hourglass - Adds 30 seconds to the timer (60 seconds in the world version). Broken in the world version, handy in others.
Heal 2 - Restores 64 HP. Barrier is better.

Ninja - Second best character for survival and the best character for speed. He has the best stat growths of the four characters, partially offset by the slowest leveling speed. He has the widest selection of weapons and the smallest selection of armor. He uses throwing weapons which deal high damage and have full screen range, and some of them have special properties like passing through walls. He doesn't have any weaknesses and the only reason he isn't #1 is because the priest is such an unbreakable wall.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:02 am 


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So the otherwise competent Mega Drive port took out the two best characters? Talk about a disappointment. Imagine a port of Final Fight without Cody or Haggar.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:03 am 


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WelshMegalodon wrote:
So the otherwise competent Mega Drive port took out the two best characters? Talk about a disappointment. Imagine a port of Final Fight without Cody or Haggar.


Not to mention that the port also removes the only female character. That's like porting sfII without Chun-Li.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:09 am 


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I replayed the console ports of Cadash so I could post a better version comparison than the one I made way back when:

Arcade JP/US version:
Healing herbs cost 200 gold.
You can carry up to 4 herbs and antidotes.
The dragon amulet is worth 10,000 gold.
The priest's time spell adds 30 seconds to the timer.

I consider this the best version and it's the baseline I'm comparing the others against.


Arcade World version:
Healing herbs cost 20 gold.
You can carry up to 8 healing herbs and antidotes.
The dragon amulet is worth 60,000 gold, which is the maximum amount you can carry.
The priest's time spell adds 60 seconds to the timer.
Baarogue has less HP.
There's more funny engrish.

It's a good easy mode version. It eases up on the difficulty both on the platforming action and time-limited RPG aspects of the game without changing either's fundamental nature.


Mega Drive port:

Only the fighter and the mage are playable.
There's no time limit.
Inn prices are static.
The graphics are edits of the arcade version's graphics.
Herbs cost 200 gold.
Herbs heal 30 HP instead of 10.
Any dialogue or text popup stops all action until the text has been cleared. Every time you pick up an herb you gotta stop and read about it for 3 seconds.
The level design is conceptually very similar to the arcade version, but it's full of minor differences.
If you attack in midair you can't attack again until you touch the ground. Otherwise the physics feel very similar to the arcade version.
Enemy respawns are very aggressive, often just walking over to pick up a defeated enemy's gold will trigger a new spawn.
There's a limit on how many magic bells you can buy.
Spell damage has been nerfed to the point where the mage often does more damage bonking things with his staff.
The crawling kelp boss and its elixir have been removed.
There are two elixirs in Castle Cadash instead of one.
You can carry two elixirs at once.

It's a fairly faithful port, though what has changed results in a weaker game. As bad as it is to lose the two coolest classes, for me the worst change is the removal of the time limit and the progressively higher inn prices. The constant pressure and the strategies needed to work around it are a huge part of what makes the arcade version a classic.


PC Engine port:

There's no time limit.
Inn prices are static.
The graphics have been redrawn and are cartoonier and more colorful. Some of it looks good, some of it doesn't.
Herbs cost 20 gold.
The game doesn't display the number of herbs you have, but I believe you can carry up to 6.
The player characters have all been changed, I don't know who's better and who's worse.
The priest's flail's hitbox is very stingy and her attack power is weaker, but her barrier is as strong ever.
The priest levels up much slower than in the arcade game. Not sure if the other characters level slower as well.
The movement physics are different, jumping moves you up faster and falling moves you down faster.
The level design is full of little changes. It's more liberal with them than the MD version.
Enemy respawns are more aggressive.
First cave is much harder, it's probably the hardest part of the game.
You need to talk to the old woman who sends you to rescue the mermaid because she gives you a key.
Balrog's (they fixed his name in the ports) first form's lightning attack seems impossible to avoid.
Balrog doesn't have his final two-headed dragon form.

The more liberal port. They managed to include all four classes, but removed the time/inn pressure systems along with a bunch of other dubious changes. The best thing about this version is the sprites for when you destroy a zombie's upper body:
Spoiler: show
Image

It'll keep running around like that until you destroy the legs.


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