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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:12 pm 


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Blinge wrote:
You shall not rest.
No grave to greet when you crawl in.

Thy work shall ne'er be done.
ere your fuckin' be done.

I guess you've got a whole loada fuckin to do.


Yeah (`ω´メ) I was almost gonna call Part V FUCKIN ON THE ROAD (・`W´・) (that's the MD trackname for Ys III's loading BGM!)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:52 am 


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Discovered a couple things I didn't know about (or at least hadn't bothered to check) in Bare Knuckle.
You can hold an enemy indefinitely (or at least I assume; I tried for 10+ seconds and they never got away), though they will escape if you vault over them and back again.
More importantly, I finally decided to experiment on my theory that you might be able to counterstop the game by repeatedly accepting Mr. X's offer to join him (which gets you thrown back to stage 6), assuming you don't lose more lives than you gain during that 3-stage stretch. Well, I found out he'll only extend his offer once; the second time you reach him you'll have to fight him.
I ended with a score of around 820k, so I doubt the game can be counterstopped on Normal, but it's likely to be possible on either Hard or Very Hard (or both).

I hadn't played Normal for a long time and I didn't remember it being so easy. You get a ton of extends, both score based and from items, and bosses do comparatively little damage; often taking 4~5 hits to kill you. Mr. X, though still considerably easier, is the only major problem along with, perhaps, the Krueger tag-team.

I also just internalized how amazing the European MD Mega Games 6 carts were (I played this run of BK from one). Besides Columns and a football game, Volume 1 has Super Hang-On, Golden Axe, Revenge Of Shinobi and Bare Knuckle and Volume 3 has Sonic 1, Monaco GP, Revenge Of Shinobi and Bare Knuckle. Volume 2 is the weakest by far. Really fantastic selection.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:04 am 


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__SKYe wrote:
I also just internalized how amazing the European MD Mega Games 6 carts were (I played this run of BK from one). Besides Columns and a football game, Volume 1 has Super Hang-On, Golden Axe, Revenge Of Shinobi and Bare Knuckle and Volume 3 has Sonic 1, Monaco GP, Revenge Of Shinobi and Bare Knuckle. Volume 2 is the weakest by far. Really fantastic selection.


US didn't get as many of those official multi-game carts, but it did a similar cart to Mega Games volume 1 named "6-Pak", only with Sonic instead of the soccer game.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:51 am 


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TNWAA is great. Image Fondest recommend. I have much to say but unfortunately I was up all night playing it, so now I'm seeing this dude in the corner of my eye
Spoiler: show
Image
:shock: Not that the game isn't already thoroughly well-spoken for by Zaarock and iconoclast, but will warble on a bit later!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:02 am 


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BrianC wrote:
US didn't get as many of those official multi-game carts, but it did a similar cart to Mega Games volume 1 named "6-Pak", only with Sonic instead of the soccer game.


Man, what a compilation. I know this type of thing is no longer particularly special, given flashcarts/emulation, but having one of these carts back in the day was something special.

BIL wrote:
TNWAA is great. Image Fondest recommend. I have much to say but unfortunately I was up all night playing it, so now I'm seeing this dude in the corner of my eye
Spoiler: show
Image
:shock: Not that the game isn't already thoroughly well-spoken for by Zaarock and iconoclast, but will warble on a bit later!


I still have to get off my ass and clear the SFC one. :o


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:10 am 


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BrianC wrote:
US didn't get as many of those official multi-game carts, but it did a similar cart to Mega Games volume 1 named "6-Pak", only with Sonic instead of the soccer game.

I have that and it's a mainstay in my Genesis. Awesome cart


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:47 am 


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I've finally done it -- cleared both Hard and Hardest in Bare Knuckle with Blaze.

ImageImage

Cleared Hard on my first run today, and Hardest on the very next one -- I don't think I'd ever played it before. Reached the last boss on both run with 6 lives in stock (and a full health bar on the hardest run) and barely manage to clear the game both times. :o

Interestlingly enough, Hardest isn't that much difficult than Hard. Enemies appear to do double damage, their HP is increased to the next one of their family (ie. the blue standard mook gets the HP of the green one, and so on) so it takes a while to kill everything and I think, though I'm not sure, that there are a few more enemies around. I was curious as to what changes it would bring to bosses, but there are none; not very surprising I guess, since they all kill you in 2 hits in Hard anyway.
The toughest part remains the same, for me at least, and that is stage 5 (minus the bosses), followed by stage 7 (a fair bit behind) perhaps followed by the last stage sans final boss (about as hard as stage 7). The Krueger-duo in stage 6 are also quite tough to beat, but they're no different in Hard. The increased enemy HP, their damage and their numbers, along with the fact that you have no desperation move (the police is finite, so it's not the same) make stage 5 pretty tough to clear without losing any lives. The twins end up being the easier part of the stage.
It was also the first time I've ever seen the game lag, even if only slightly -- at the start of stage 5, where there are some 8~10 standard enemies surrounding you. Definitely made the good old MD sweat. :)

Some other bits I noticed:
- It appears as if the helpers during the Mr. X's fight eventually stop coming, so it may be worthwhile to attempt to exhaust their numbers before facing him. That does entail avoiding him for a while, though.
- During the last stage the sun is rising, and you can see the light change every time you pass through a window, culminating in it being daylight during the fight with Mr. X. I guess I never payed much attention to this before, but it's a nice touch.
- You can do a Spartan X-style move where if you punch and press backwards shortly afterward, you'll hit enemies both in front and behind you.

Well, time to dedicate some time to other games now. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:05 am 


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Feelin' kinda good slowly amassing more links for the review index. I'd also like to make a go at properly archiving this thread before the year is out, in case Lord BLOODF's server suffers a bizarre gardening accident. I hear those happen in Britfordshire - This is Spinal Tap told me so! I know I'd mooted archiving before, but as is my wont, I drifted off. It's a wonderful resource - not to toot our own horn, just really apparent after several months away what a gathering of ardent gamer souls this big bastard became. :o Good show chaps. Image

I'm wondering if it'd make sense to have separate index posts for Reviews, Strategy/In-Depth (ala the excellent post right above this one!), and more general Commentary. Might take a bit of pressure off the ol' mousewheels. :mrgreen: But, eh. I should probably wait until I've added the stuff I've found, first.

Just popping in to make up for missing out on Vanguard's sterling achievement!

Vanguard wrote:


I'LL TELL U HOW MISTER (・`W´・)

Image

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EDIT: TEH SCENE OF THE CRIME
Spoiler: show
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:31 am 


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BIL wrote:
I'm wondering if it'd make sense to have separate index posts for Reviews, Strategy/In-Depth (ala the excellent post right above this one!), and more general Commentary.

All of that should be indexed, but I think it makes more sense to group them all by individual games.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:24 pm 


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BrianC wrote:
US didn't get as many of those official multi-game carts, but it did a similar cart to Mega Games volume 1 named "6-Pak", only with Sonic instead of the soccer game.


During the mid to late 90's this was a pack-in title for the Mega Drive here. Quite amazing, although as a kid I really had no idea how lucky me and my brother were.

And of course, that helps explain why Revenge of Shinobi is by far my most played side scroller and also my passion for belt scrollers/beat'em ups.

__SKYe wrote:
I've finally done it -- cleared both Hard and Hardest in Bare Knuckle with Blaze.


Nice. Congrats, SKYe.

Quote:
- You can do a Spartan X-style move where if you punch and press backwards shortly afterward, you'll hit enemies both in front and behind you.


Incidentally, Blaze is the best character to pull this off (well, I suppose that she's the best character of the game, especially on harder settings, due to her greater speed and mobility). Adam is my go-to character, but his slow movement can make things harder for the player. That jumping kick can really take you to places though :)

You can also grab->2xhit->away repeat ad infinitum on bosses (except the Blaze twins), but the timing is strict and one mistake will cost you a ton of health on hard/hardest; not to mention that it makes boss fights to be quite boring (gotta take the max out of that awesome soundtrack, right?)

Quote:
During the last stage the sun is rising, and you can see the light change every time you pass through a window, culminating in it being daylight during the fight with Mr. X. I guess I never payed much attention to this before, but it's a nice touch.


Yeah, the Bare Knuckle series is full of nice touches like that; it's a small thing, but it's one of the many that helps make this series special.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:53 pm 


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BIL wrote:
I'm wondering if it'd make sense to have separate index posts for Reviews, Strategy/In-Depth (ala the excellent post right above this one!), and more general Commentary. Might take a bit of pressure off the ol' mousewheels. :mrgreen: But, eh. I should probably wait until I've added the stuff I've found, first.


I think grouping by game works best, like Sumez said. The biggest problem is how to sort posts per category; some of them fit nicely in a single category (a review only, or strategy, etc), but most contain a little bit of everything. I put the majority of (non-specific) posts under 'Review', but after reading your post, 'Commentary' is probably a better label.
By the way, for posts that contain reviews/comments about several games (like many of kitten's), I wrote an entry for each of those games all linked to the same post, so not every entry on the index is a different post. Don't know if that's the best approach, but I couldn't think of a better way when grouping posts by game.

Vanguard wrote:


Totally missed this too. Very well done. :wink:
Didn't know that the rank's HP boost only happens on the last stage. Which reminds me, how many lives can you actually accumulate? Extends stop at loop 4 or thereabouts, right?

bottino wrote:
Nice. Congrats, SKYe.


Thanks, it's been a long journey. :)

bottino wrote:
Incidentally, Blaze is the best character to pull this off (well, I suppose that she's the best character of the game, especially on harder settings, due to her greater speed and mobility). Adam is my go-to character, but his slow movement can make things harder for the player. That jumping kick can really take you to places though :)


Back before I couldn't even 1CC this game, Adam was also my go-to character precisely because he had a proper jump kick as opposed to Axel's low-range knee. Once I started toning down on jump kicks, I started using Blaze and never looked back -- these days I barely use jump kicks. She is by far my favourite.
Her speed is very nice, but especially against some of the bosses, like the fire-breathing guy; with her, you can move forward while he's using his fire attack and jump kick him from behind to set up the knee 2x tactic. I'm not sure if you can pull this off easily with the other characters, if at all.

bottino wrote:
You can also grab->2xhit->away repeat ad infinitum on bosses (except the Blaze twins), but the timing is strict and one mistake will cost you a ton of health on hard/hardest; not to mention that it makes boss fights to be quite boring (gotta take the max out of that awesome soundtrack, right?)


Yeah, I wrote a little guide a while back and this is one of the entries. :)
You can fairly easily pull this off against the boomerang guy, the fire-breather, and possibly against the wrestler (he quickly moves backwards after his dash, so you might not be able to catch him again after letting go). The fire-breather is the easiest target, because his attack takes so long to start. The hardest, by far, are the Kruegers because they attack very fast. It doesn't work against the twins, like you said, and I've never actually tried against the final boss.
As for being boring, I sort of agree but not using it isn't that much less boring either and it mostly works on half the cast so it's not too bad overall. All things considered, this game has a pretty nice set of bosses for such an early beat-em-up.

I still want to explore this game further, for example, on the bosses that have helper mooks (eg. the second boss has 2 standard punks and a knife wielding punk, and no more after that), I want to try to deal with all the enemies before taking on the boss for a more surgical approach, instead of just trying to kill them as fast as possible. I also want to experiment on how to deal with both the twin-Kruegers and the Mr. X, which are pretty much the sticking points when it comes to losing lives. Same with the twins' stage (the boat, stage 5). I also want to be able to accept Mr. X's offer and replay from stage 6 (to get a better score), but that entails being able to beat the Krueger brothers without losing lives (or close to it).

Other than that, I think I prefer playing Hard instead of Hardest; you still fight bosses on their harder variations, but you don't have to deal with enemies having bloated HP, which makes an already long game even longer. Enemy damage is more forgiving, but it's not that big of a deal.

bottino wrote:
During the mid to late 90's this was a pack-in title for the Mega Drive here. Quite amazing, although as a kid I really had no idea how lucky me and my brother were.


Same here, I have the Mega Games 6 Vol. 3 (BK, Sonic, Revenge Of Shinobi, Monaco GP, Soccer and Columns). I would have prefered the first volume with Golden Axe instead of Sonic because I also have the Sonic cart, but man, what a selection. :o


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:15 pm 


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__SKYe wrote:
By the way, for posts that contain reviews/comments about several games (like many of kitten's), I wrote an entry for each of those games all linked to the same post, so not every entry on the index is a different post. Don't know if that's the best approach, but I couldn't think of a better way when grouping posts by game.


I've done the same from the start. :smile: The way I see it, anyone looking for one review might see something else that catches their eye. That's how it works for me, anyway. :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:39 am 


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__SKYe wrote:
Totally missed this too. Very well done. :wink:
Didn't know that the rank's HP boost only happens on the last stage. Which reminds me, how many lives can you actually accumulate? Extends stop at loop 4 or thereabouts, right?


You know, I've always been a bit curious about the details of how Contra's extends work, so I loaded up Cheat Engine to set things straight.

First, to answer your question, it's possible to have up to 99 lives, the counter won't go higher than that even if you earn more. The first score-based extend is given at 20,000 points and more are given every 30,000 points up until the final one at 2,990,000. This means it's hypothetically possible to earn up to 100 score-based extends in a single credit. However, you'll only get all 100 if you farm 2,990,000 points in the first loop. The reason is because the final boss is worth 500,000 points, but doesn't award any extends for those points. Instead, it gives you a single extra life even if you've already passed the 2,990,000 limit. The final boss is worth about 2/3 of the points you'll earn in a typical loop, so in practice you'll get around 33 score-based extends if you keep looping until your score passes 2,990,000.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:22 am 


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I think it bears mentioning that Contra's extends are kinda buggy. The NES is a binary computer, it doesn't do human math. At least in Castlevania you don't get the extend consistently every X points, once the score starts going higher, and eventually it just stops.

Is the score even stored as decimal numbers in memory? I magine they are probably BCD'ing it from a hex number, which could definitely affect the extend trigger. The number you get from the final boss is definitely too high for it to register correctly.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:56 am 


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BTW Vanguard, that was indeed some quality pants-shitting pincer terror at 3:30! :shock: Always dependable, that bit!

re: TNWAA, there is so much good stuff in Ninja's game alone. The best heavy bruiser just got even better. Image I've always been a one character/ship/car sort of gamer, so as is my wont, I've not even scratched the other four yet (other than messing around with Yaksha, long enough to get the gist of her comprehensively alien tentacle carnage).

Image
These two will always be my #1s though Image

GIANT SWING (up+ATK): on SFC it's pretty much an area clearer, not something to go to for big damage. In TNWAA...

Image

"Excuse me sir, do you have a moment to talk about our lord and saviour Jesus Christ?"
Spoiler: show
Image


...it's gained a pointblank dynamic, becoming a bludgeoning flurry at close range. More proximity = MO PAIN Image Of course, this is where you should exploit Ninja's ability to move freely with a new pal in his murderous grip! Damage output is, naturally, no match for his targeted attacks, but it's not to be sniffed at either, especially in the nuttier later boss crowds. Also, as always with Natsume's 16bit vintage, the visceral feedback of bashing skull on skull is kinda its own reward! Or skull on anything, really. I like videogame violence ok Image

The SFC's Suprise Rose-esque stomp, which I've never really gotten to grips with, is now the mechanically far more concise...

JIGOKU no ELBOW DROP (・`W´・)
Spoiler: show
Image

(edit: I just realised that's the first time Ninja has been portrayed jumping sans boost, cool. gravity kills!)

Like the stomp, it's mostly useful for executing flagging middleweights. Connect all four hits for painful impact! I wonder if there's an uneven distribution, ala Kunoichi's flurry doing the lion's share of damage on its final hit. Although it loses the old stomp's horribly punishable hop finish, it's still pretty unsafe if you botch the timing. Still, much sounder proposition overall. The hitbox covers Ninja's entire massive sprite, and if you time it right over a crowd of fallen enemies, it makes an obscenely punchy machinegun sound as the hits rack up. Can also work as something of a poke, with its more horizontal aspect.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:36 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Is the score even stored as decimal numbers in memory? I magine they are probably BCD'ing it from a hex number, which could definitely affect the extend trigger. The number you get from the final boss is definitely too high for it to register correctly.


I have no idea whether it's stored as a hex number or what, but I do know that the last two zeroes on your score are just drawn on. What looks like 500,000 points on the score screen is really 5,000 in memory.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:56 pm 


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I'm in ur palatial residence, stealin all ur army shit!

Image

Ah, Kunoichi-chan. Image I still find her relatively demure SFC incarnation the more distinctive character design, tbh. At the same time, particularly opposite Ninja and his MAD GAINZ, I can't help loving the joyous SUPER MACHO/SUPER SEXY/SUPER VIOLENT excess of this production. Where shadow assassin PHANTOM GECKO's monitors interpose Banglar's face with the hint of a skull, on SFC... here it's a maniacally cackling T-800 with vampire fangs. :lol:

Let's fuckin rawwwk! (check out Gecko's head waggle - truly looking the part of a sadistic predator)
Spoiler: show
Image


Also FUCK THE POLICE Image Image
Spoiler: show
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Image

Image

Good gravy does that gratify! Especially on THAT BITCH SARU! His new standing claw is brutal on Kunoichi's short reach, wicked animation too. Puts his whole back into it.


But enough of this palaver! With so much destructive potential in the aerial combo game, the vaunted mechanical and stylistic divide between Kunoichi and Ninja is more profound than ever. Action gaming duos are rarely so dynamic. Image Image

Grapple flurry is now invincible, which made me cock an eyebrow initially. Such masterful contrast on SFC, giving the swift, evasion-geared character the game's most devastating attack... provided you can marshal said swiftness to land it. Knifers can no longer survive the shortest variant, a little detail I'd always enjoyed. I'd almost wonder if that was an oversight.

Having said this, with the advent of extended combos, no single move is quite so significant - and with the larger crowds, individual enemies likewise. You won't be nearly as lethal making the flurry your end-all, nor will you keep the crowd at bay - but it can buy you time to think while doing a chunk of damage, or more proactively, let you set up shop in the heart of the crowd. Going from 4:3 pressure cooker to faster, looser 16:9 soundstage, I could understand granting those i-frames as a concession. Objectively it's lost something in the transition, but it's not without value in its new context.

Can't emphasise enough - the combo engine's balance of styling flash to vicious utility is just right. So damn satisfying!
Spoiler: show
Image


Aerial [down+attack] is a beast of a movement option; functions like an offensive airdash, ideal for mowing through zako, kicking off combos and chasing late hits. Can OTG pixels off the ground, super smooth! It's fun just to move about with.

"N... nani?!"
Spoiler: show
Image


With it propelling Kunoichi forward, it's also a quasi-doublejump; calculating use can foil would-be traps, or airdrop you behind a boss's bodyguards. Her air EX attack, besides having a cool shotgun dynamic and being wickedly rewarding to stick snipers with, can accomplish the same in reverse, albeit at the cost of a quarter gauge.

Unfortunately the crazed dashing and slashing seemed to alert me to an input glitch. It's a relatively minor one, but going up against a predecessor of immaculate handling, mistakes hurt! I'm hopeful it'll be patched out - TNWAA's handling is utterly addictive otherwise, and its expansions into combos and super attacks are remarkably well-handled; ambitious and spectacular, but never at cost to the original's terse, hard-hitting feel. All this with similarly airtight inputs would be sublime.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:59 pm 


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After holding out for too many years I finally made my first foray into TNWA. Played through a couple of times with Ninja, but still far from a 1CC even on Normal.

Did someone make an index of all the posts BIL has made about the game through the years? I want to dig into it now that I actually have an understanding of the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:40 am 


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While the option is oddly named (something like "event color"), I highly recommend using the option to turn red blood on. Not sure why it wasn't just called something like "blood color". Despite the name change, and the fact that the title doesn't change when the language is set to Japanese, I'm glad I got the physical version of the game (I also love how the cover is reversible with the original SNES box art, though I kept it as is so it matches the other Switch games). I just unlocked Yaksha and I'm enjoying the game quite a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:36 am 


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I've spent the last few days learning the ropes of The Ninja Warriors Again too.

I had done a bit of casual credit feeding before, mostly normal mode with Kamaitachi, and the game really does not show its worth when playing as him. Did they fix him for TNWAA or is he still the braindead character? I don't mind overpowered characters, I love Cadash's priest and Rondo's Maria, but crouchpoking your way to victory is pretty dull.

I really like what they did with Ninja. His throws look and feel incredible. GOAT grappling character. He feels overwhelmingly powerful compared to every enemy in the game. They have to gang up or they don't have a chance. Despite that, he also demands a healthy degree of responsibility. If he gets knocked down in the middle of a crowd, he has a hard time recovering. Kunoichi seems like she has to work harder than the other two. Generally I've found her most effective method to be approaching with a jump kick or an air dodge followed by a combo or a grab.

There's some nice risk/reward in the blaster system. Feels kind of like a Shinobi/Bloodlines/Zelda POW system. You want to use Ninja's arm cannon all the time, but doing so opens you up to having your entire meter drained and, especially for Ninja, getting knocked down with no meter could mean serious trouble. Play well and you can break it out constantly, play badly and that one shot is all you'll get. If you're feeling less confident, the full gauge blaster works well as a defensive shmup bomb.

The invincibility on finishers and throws is very good at making the best defense a good offense. Don't have much to say about it, but it's fun and works great.

I'm not much for brawlers, but I think this is a serious contender for Natsume's best game. It does get a little repetitive, as brawlers tend to do. I don't think it would suffer at all if it were a stage or two shorter. More importantly though, it's got that Contra je ne sais quoi where even the most basic actions and encounters are fun in a fundamental way, regardless of difficulty. I'll certainly have to pick up the remake when the PC version comes out.


A few questions for the pros:

How do you deal with the raining rockets as Ninja? Spamming his aerial attacks kind of sort of works.
How do I ensure Ninja grabs headless robots instead of being grabbed by them? Camping them as they get up works, but you don't always have the luxury.
Does it matter whether you go left or right at the beginning of stage 8?
Is Ninja's dodge jump good for anything at all?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:28 am 


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I hate to admit it, but I like everything about Ninja except his walking speed. I know BIL has said on at least two occasions that he's the fastest character, but I guess I still have a ways to go before I can really see what he means. I've gotten as far in the game with Ninja as I have with Kunoichi, but it's hard for me not to prefer the latter.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:53 am 


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Vanguard touches on mostly the same stuff that went through my head as I was playing it.

However I've been playing exclusively as Ninja. I immensely enjoy the grab/throw based gameplay which feels incredibly rewarding.
I don't want to switch to another character until I feel like I've become well enough acquainted with his moveset.
As it is now I tend to go for long stretches just forgetting about several of his moves, such as the arm blaster which I barely use, or even blocking! There are also still a few moves I'm not using at all, and I'd love knowing their utility..

I did play Kamaitachi very shortly just to see what he was about. Either I couldn't figure out his moves, or he just seems simpler and more boring to play as? I also had a much harder time with him because I couldn't grab enemies like I was getting used to... I guess even the easy mode character takes a little learning.

Vanguard wrote:
getting knocked down with no meter could mean serious trouble.

You meant without a full meter? Or is there a mechanic I overlooked?

Vanguard wrote:
The invincibility on finishers and throws is very good at making the best defense a good offense. Don't have much to say about it, but it's fun and works great.

Yeah, a lot of little touches in the gameplay that just works so well together, it really inspires me for my own game development.

Vanguard wrote:
I'm not much for brawlers, but I think this is a serious contender for Natsume's best game. It does get a little repetitive, as brawlers tend to do. I don't think it would suffer at all if it were a stage or two shorter.

Completely the same here. I was afraid I might not like the game, but I've enjoyed it more than most other stuff in the genre. It does drag on a little, and I was quite surprised just how long it is. The boss fights are mostly super cool though.

Vanguard wrote:
How do you deal with the raining rockets as Ninja?

Ugh yeah. I never found any way to deal with these outside of just getting through as quick as possible, tanking a few hits along the way. They are a terrible addition to a great game. Enough to take it from an 9/10 game to 8/10 if I don't find a way to deal with them.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:57 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Did someone make an index of all the posts BIL has made about the game through the years? I want to dig into it now that I actually have an understanding of the game.


Offhand, this comes to mind as the single most useful - at least from a "quick start" perspective. As for other posts, I'm working on cobbling together something for the index. I've warbled on at ungodly length about TNWA over the years. EDIT: two more good ones, thanks Welshy!

I like this one contrasting it with its forebear Spartan X, this paean to crowd RNG, from when I was going balls-out for a sub-40min Ninja clear (should get back to that, really...), and this silly thing from around when I convinced kitten to buy a copy. :wink: I TOTALLY meant it about the tyre fire, I HATE THAT BITCH SARU Image

BrianC wrote:
While the option is oddly named (something like "event color"), I highly recommend using the option to turn red blood on. Not sure why it wasn't just called something like "blood color".


That wording gives me the feeling they were really skittish about the ol' VG moral panic (bad memories of censored JP Shinobi, RE4 and Ninja Gaiden, mid-2000s). I'm really glad they went ahead with red blood - the game's hardly a gorefest, but the blatant censorship was such a drag. Also, I like how mechanical/synthetic characters still bleed green, haha.

Vanguard wrote:
Did they fix him for TNWAA or is he still the braindead character?


I'm trying him out next, having gotten the Hard 1CCs with Ninja and Kunoichi. I found those a fair bit tougher than the SFC equivalents; Ninja's being easier than Kunoichi's by about the same relative margin, mostly on account of his huge reach (and EX Nunchaku being a goddamn monster). So hopefully this'll be an ideal time for comparison.

Quote:
The invincibility on finishers and throws is very good at making the best defense a good offense. Don't have much to say about it, but it's fun and works great.


This is something that really lept out at me recently, going between TNWA and Wild Guns - particularly using dynamite during WG's final boss, to simultaneously clear out zako and dodge his swing before battering him. Natsume had (and have!) a rare talent for judicious iframe use - not merely for refuge, but for closing in on deadly, currently-attacking targets.

Quote:
I'm not much for brawlers, but I think this is a serious contender for Natsume's best game. It does get a little repetitive, as brawlers tend to do. I don't think it would suffer at all if it were a stage or two shorter.


I think I'd rate it their best too - similarly, the only thing I really knock it for is being slightly overlong. I think it works out, just, with it being such a matchup-based brawler - they throw just about every crowd configuration possible at you. But as with the remake, I still wonder about a shorter, more intensely difficult arrange mode, balanced more like the typical coin-op.

Quote:
How do you deal with the raining rockets as Ninja? Spamming his aerial attacks kind of sort of works.


The hover helps, as does moving about with its [down] variant - also, in stage 4 (where you have to cross a long stretch of open ground), I like to exploit the i-frames on throws, both enemies and the spotlights. Will dodge any incoming mortars while clearing a path forward.

Ultimately - especially with the final sequence in st7, where several tough enemies pile in - it's probably best not to take the mortar segments too seriously. They're kind of a joke, imo - they don't do much damage, and they'll wipe out enemies, too. It feels to me like the designers were having a laugh with the absurd chaos that ensues. I like the st1 sequence, and always fight the Katana and Rifle there cleanly, but st4's dash for cover and st7's heaving slugfest are both asking for a bomb. :lol:

In TNWAA, there's a significantly longer window between the audiovisual cue and impact, making st1 and st4 a bit more reasonable... but then st7 deliberately obscures half the screen with an opaque bridge, while providing plenty of HP restores, which further makes me think they were fucking about. :mrgreen:

Note that since BG objects and HP restores occupy the same four slots as enemies, it's possible to bottleneck spawns by leaving stuff intact. In the st7 mortar rush, there's a couple dirtbikes that can stem the tide, though the mortars will destroy them eventually. I prefer to just wreck 'em immediately, since enemies can at least be used for crowd control.

Quote:
How do I ensure Ninja grabs headless robots instead of being grabbed by them? Camping them as they get up works, but you don't always have the luxury.


I like to boost-dash into them; IIRC it'll pretty consistently cause them to start, then break off an attack, giving you a grab window. Walking up is always risky.

Quote:
Does it matter whether you go left or right at the beginning of stage 8?


IIRC the left path is moderately trickier. The remake is fresher in memory, and I would say it's definitely the case there - some nasty environmental hazards lurk to the left. Then again it's early days, and it's also been years since I went left on SFC. The difference might be subtler than merely easy/hard.

Quote:
Is Ninja's dodge jump good for anything at all?


The variants have some distinct uses: [up] is a good anti-air versus Katanas, and [down] is a useful poke/quick knockdown. Can be handy when you want a nastier enemy (like the Karate bruisers) downed for a wakeup beating/grabbing.

edit: If you mean the [down+jump] stomp - it's ostensibly for landing on recovering enemies. Does some pretty good damage, if you can connect its multiple hits. However it's wickedly punishable, and useless on bosses due to their wakeup i-frames.

Finicky move. The remake pointedly dumped it in favour of JIGOKU no ELBOW DROP. Image Works similarly, but is more compact and handier overall.

WelshMegalodon wrote:
I hate to admit it, but I like everything about Ninja except his walking speed. I know BIL has said on at least two occasions that he's the fastest character


Yep! Well, at least in terms of acceleration + top speed. :wink: If you need someone on the other side of the screen flattened, nothing gets it done faster than [boost dash + attack]. Similarly, Kunoichi is the game's strongest character, in that her full grapple flurry [down + attack during grab] is the single biggest hit of damage. Of course, wider context complicates things, for both characters.

(two more good picks for the index! you continue to show commendable grasp of this labyrinthine thread! Image)

Ninja's boost dash is even smoother in TNWAA on account of the new sliding stop, which you can turn/attack during. Feels like goddamn Virtual-ON, zipping around targets while beatin' 'em down. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:23 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
You meant without a full meter? Or is there a mechanic I overlooked?


Yeah, that. It's the same thing since being knocked down without a full meter drains it completely.

BIL wrote:
Note that since BG objects and HP restores occupy the same four slots as enemies, it's possible to bottleneck spawns by leaving stuff intact. In the st7 mortar rush, there's a couple dirtbikes that can stem the tide, though the mortars will destroy them eventually. I prefer to just wreck 'em immediately, since enemies can at least be used for crowd control.


Interesting! Though I don't think I'd use that in the mortar segments. I'd rather use the blaster on all four so I can move on as soon as possible. Plus, the more enemies on screen, the higher the chance that someone gets bombed.

BIL wrote:
The variants have some distinct uses: [up] is a good anti-air versus Katanas, and [down] is a useful poke/quick knockdown. Can be handy when you want a nastier enemy (like the Karate bruisers) downed for a wakeup beating/grabbing.

edit: If you mean the [down+jump] stomp - it's ostensibly for landing on recovering enemies. Does some pretty good damage, if you can connect its multiple hits. However it's wickedly punishable, and useless on bosses due to their wakeup i-frames.

Finicky move. The remake pointedly dumped it in favour of JIGOKU no ELBOW DROP. Image Works similarly, but is more compact and handier overall.


I mean block + left/right + jump. Kunoichi and Kamaitachi do high jumps that cover a lot of distance, Ninja does a little flip that lands him about a centimeter from where he started. I don't use the down + jump stomp at all. The remake's elbow drop looks and sounds like a big improvement. I mostly use Ninja's aerials for mortar sections, and as a safe way to attack bosses on wakeup. Are the second halves of Ninja's aerials invincible? It feels like they are.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:09 pm 


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Vanguard wrote:
I mean block + left/right + jump. Kunoichi and Kamaitachi do high jumps that cover a lot of distance, Ninja does a little flip that lands him about a centimeter from where he started. I don't use the down + jump stomp at all. The remake's elbow drop looks and sounds like a big improvement. I mostly use Ninja's aerials for mortar sections, and as a safe way to attack bosses on wakeup. Are the second halves of Ninja's aerials invincible? It feels like they are.


Seems like we have had a very similar approach to Ninja's moveset.

I've not used the weird block+jump step at all, and its utility completely eludes me, and while the down+jump stomp seems super devastating, and completely impossible for any enemy to dodge, using it has gotten me punished too often to want to rely on it at all. Any enemy that doesn't get knocked down by it will get a lot of room to just counter the hell out of you. Most of the times I've used it has been on accident, while trying to do the boost tackle, usually a really bad situation to use it in.
The jumping straight up + attack thing is another one I haven't found a proper use for. I'm guessing it's for when you're surrounded, but in those situations I have always found a grab -> up+throw to be a completely reliable way to create the space I need


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:13 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
I've not used the weird block+jump step at all, and its utility completely eludes me

Some enemy attacks inflict pushback when you block them, so somersaulting forwards allows you to block attacks from the front while moving forwards simultaneously, placing you within throwing/attacking range of the poor shmuck in front of you right after he's done attacking. It's also decent for disengaging from a clustered group of enemies on one side where going in for a grab isn't an enticing option or when trying to boost away to the other side would get you poked in the wind-up frames of your boost.

Quote:
and while the down+jump stomp seems super devastating, and completely impossible for any enemy to dodge, using it has gotten me punished too often to want to rely on it at all. Any enemy that doesn't get knocked down by it will get a lot of room to just counter the hell out of you. Most of the times I've used it has been on accident, while trying to do the boost tackle, usually a really bad situation to use it in.

It's decent for dealing damage on single targets I've found, but other enemies often tend to interrupt you if they're in range. Maybe it's more useful in Once Again now that it's an elbow drop.

Quote:
The jumping straight up + attack thing is another one I haven't found a proper use for. I'm guessing it's for when you're surrounded, but in those situations I have always found a grab -> up+throw to be a completely reliable way to create the space I need

Only the diagonal downwards crash has any use, the upwards spin may be useful for catching mid-air Kunoichis or having more airtime to avoid gunfire. At least there's these flying drones in Once Again which will have you use these moves against them more often.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:45 am 


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Burimey! I'm up way too late! x_x Ambushed by surprise Actually Good Kamaitachi! Image

Well, his P game is still freakishly strong - standing has wicked speed and reach, EZ combo enders galore. Damage isn't great, but it's so easy to nail crowds with the blender, it doesn't matter much. He can do a helluva lot better off P spam alone than his TNWA colleagues. However, for a variety of reasons, he's a much more credible "eccentric" character now. You can do some nutty shit with both his air and ground EX attacks, the latter having a ridiculously meaty pointblank dynamic that obliterates boss lifebars and tears apart heavy regulars. His TNWA moves fold perfectly into the new ones and the juggle engine alike, more evilly satisfying than ever. *PUNT*

Difficulty-wise, his crouch P spam is a lot less ostentatious here. On SFC, with enemies constantly, unavoidably encroaching, it's impossible not to think of his crouch refuge as EZMODE. The remake, for better or worse, gives a lot more screen to work with, plus a healthy boost to collateral damage on throws; you can certainly end up thoroughly besieged if you're not careful, but breakout escapes/attacks are a far more realistic option for all characters.

So it's not so much that Kamaitachi was rebalanced - more that the aspect ratio inevitably changed things, so you're not kept in precisely the situation he's undeniably superior for. I'm happy enough, tbh. Ninja and Kunoichi are better than ever, and I got my long-awaited triple crown in bizarre tentacle beast Yaksha. I've barely even tried Raiden. Hell of a package this. Image

I didn't quite manage to get the Hard 1CC, I blame fatigue and booze. :oops: Image Last boss kept edging past me once the laser cannons activate, goddamn picky Kamaitachi grapple mechanic! I'll get you tomorrow, Dr. Wiwey! Holy fuck, the shattering glass SFX when you score a hit is ambrosia!

Somewhat on the moral panic tip mentioned earlier, the HUD no longer reads TARGET DEAD once all is said and done. Maybe he's just kinda busted up! :o

I had a movie to watch tonight goddammit. Good problem to have tbh. Image (it was WHITE BUFFARO starring CHARLES BURONSON, I told drauch I'd get round to it like two years ago! fuck! I'll get it done though!)

Vanguard wrote:
I mean block + left/right + jump. Kunoichi and Kamaitachi do high jumps that cover a lot of distance, Ninja does a little flip that lands him about a centimeter from where he started.


Oh, that! Completely forgot about it... I seem to use it a lot less in TNWAA, for reasons I'm not entirely sure of ATM. It's a bit snappier in the remake, more of a handspring effect. EDIT: actually now I remember, I use it quite a bit VS Zelos, the st7 boss. His more vicious run-in strikes were giving me hell for a while, before I remembered that move.

In both TNWA and the remake, it can be useful for advancing through otherwise impassable enemy attacks - see this GIF.

Spoiler: show
Image


As a general rule, enemies can't tell if you're in i-frames or not. If you're in range, they'll attack. So as in that GIF, his front tumble will bait out the enemy and leave them wide open. This can be exploited to devastating effect by the atomic drop (down+attack during grapple) - see here:

Spoiler: show
Image


Get within grabbing range of the target, time the drop so its i-frames slip their attack, then nab 'em. Very chainable, as seen in that GIF.

Durandal wrote:
Only the diagonal downwards crash has any use, the upwards spin may be useful for catching mid-air Kunoichis or having more airtime to avoid gunfire. At least there's these flying drones in Once Again which will have you use these moves against them more often.


I like to belt the cheeky coonts with me new EX chucks! :o Also, favourite thing to do with 'em: leave them alive during bosses and pretend it's Shatterhand. :lol:

ZOMG PLS HALP OPTION-KUN (`ω´メ) THEY GOTS ME CORNERED

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Although I really like 'em - they add an excellent, stinging pest dynamic - and agree with their attack being unblockable, on a purely aesthetic level I was a bit nonplussed by that detail! UNTIL I noticed they're firing frickin rockets! Ok now I get it! Also explains the BANGIN' explosion SFX on impact!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:07 pm 


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Thankoz both of you! So much good stuff to delve into here. I didn't even realise you could slam diagonally into enemies with the air attack, but BIL's old recording makes its utility quite clear - I'll try to add it to my arsenal.
I really feel like compiling all of this thread's little tidbits into a genuine primer for the game, making up for the lack of information in the existing GameFAQs guides. I love all the little things working together to make the combat in this game keep feeling dynamic and involving.

It's safe to say TNWA gives me a massive boner, as I was hoping for.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:06 pm 


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Is the original on PCE any good? Never did get around to that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:12 pm 


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I've consistently heard from sound fellows that the HuCard port is bad, unfortunately. :sad: The Mega CD one's not terrible, outside of some cheap shots in the last stage where they botched the aspect ratio conversion. Gets the gist of things across, AFAIK.

Sumez wrote:
Thankoz both of you! So much good stuff to delve into here. I didn't even realise you could slam diagonally into enemies with the air attack, but BIL's old recording makes its utility quite clear - I'll try to add it to my arsenal.
I really feel like compiling all of this thread's little tidbits into a genuine primer for the game, making up for the lack of information in the existing GameFAQs guides. I love all the little things working together to make the combat in this game keep feeling dynamic and involving.


A general tip for bosses (which won't be as apparent in my ancient and heavily outmoded replay :oops:) - be really aggressive with grapples. It's suicidal to hit a recovering boss - they all have wakeup invincibility, and some will actively slap the shit outta you (st1, hence the use of the tumble in the post above). However you can be really aggressive with grabs. st2 (CHAINSAW BULL) can be chain-slammed three times right out of the gate, if you keep walking up on him - with skilled crowd control you can deplete 90-100% of his lifebar this way.

Note that st1's reprise miniboss appearances later on lack his wakeup i-frames, so you can clobber him like any random scrub. Hilariously, in TNWAA the equivalent enemy keeps his i-frames and will stomp ur faec like it's st1 all over again! :shock:
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