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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:53 pm 


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@BIL, sorry for the late reply.

I've just watched your Kunoichi video and I was happy to notice that I wasn't too far off on how to deal with most enemies. I got a few neat ideas on how to face some of the bosses too -- you weren't kidding about the ease of grabbing Chainsaw Bull. :)

I do have to rely more on the standard slashes, though, as I've been using grabs far too much, which make some of the encounters pretty lengthy and also provide more chances to get hit. I also have to start using the guard move more, and the grab+stab combo that I didn't know existed.
I guess now it's just a matter of execution and having a rough idea of the upcoming formations.

I'm so used to Final Fight-type games, that I found myself pressing both jump & attack buttons to perform a deseration move as I was getting hit, and also wiggling the D-Pad to get up quicker. :)

BIL wrote:
For those guys, note they lack the st1 boss's wakeup i-frames. So once you floor them, the fight's over, pretty much. Hanging back is a bad idea, their boot outranges Kunoichi badly (I eat one in my replay, st8).


I meant the standard grappler dudes (that appear in the Perikles GIF), and yeah, the st1 repurposed boss isn't too tough. Like with most enemies, I was too hung up on approaching them with jump kicks, but more so than most enemies, if your timing isn't good they'll hit you afterwards fairly quickly and I was getting pummeled pretty hard on a particular section of the last stage where four of them appear (three from behind and one from the front).

I'll refrain from commenting more until I get the 1CC. :)

As usual, a few questions:
  • Is Kunoichi invincible on the last attack of the standard slash combo? There were several spots on the final stage (in your video, the first of which right at the start against a girl) where an enemy's attack seems to hit you but doing no damage.
  • What are the differences between Normal and Hard modes? I'm guessing damage and number of enemies?
  • Related to your jumping around to the end of each segment before engaging the enemies: is this just to get a faster time, or is there more to it?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:26 pm 


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__SKYe wrote:
I'm so used to Final Fight-type games, that I found myself pressing both jump & attack buttons to perform a deseration move as I was getting hit, and also wiggling the D-Pad to get up quicker. :)


In case you don't know, you actually can mash the buttons to get up faster - I had no idea until Once Again, I thought it was a new mechanic. :mrgreen: (TNWOA has a few, like [forward+attack] being required to pick up background objects)

Quote:
I meant the standard grappler dudes (that appear in the Perikles GIF), and yeah, the st1 repurposed boss isn't too tough. Like with most enemies, I was too hung up on approaching them with jump kicks, but more so than most enemies, if your timing isn't good they'll hit you afterwards fairly quickly and I was getting pummeled pretty hard on a particular section of the last stage where four of them appear (three from behind and one from the front).


Oh right! I did wonder if I was mistaken when you mentioned there being four.

Yes, amongst regular enemies, Shinobus are probably second only to Firebreathers for difficulty to approach (actually, probably harder than FBs, who are more of a problem for Ninja). Their standing strikes have nasty range and speed, their headbutt likewise, and they have a mean overhead for crouchers. They're a case where Kunoichi actually needs her slightly abusive crouch P combo. Get in close with a jumpkick (landing it from too far away will leave you stranded in their attacking range), then hit the deck and bust it out. Provided you're quick enough, they won't have time to execute their overhead.

Approaching them with a walk or crouch-walk is generally dangerous. If I'm forced into their striking range by other enemies, I'll typically get my guard up at minimum, possibly somersaulting behind them to attack from there.

Quote:
As usual, a few questions:
  • Is Kunoichi invincible on the last attack of the standard slash combo? There were several spots on the final stage (in your video, the first of which right at the start against a girl) where an enemy's attack seems to hit you but doing no damage.


Yep! This goes for Ninja as well, who I believe is also invincible for at least some of his standard punch. You're 110% invincible during both regular and super combo enders, making them excellent counter-offensive tools. You can totally discombobulate an otherwise unstoppable attack with a well-timed ender - this is a vital technique on bosses, with their dominant attacks and wakeup i-frames.

Note also the looser-than-normal timing window - you can easily pick off a couple zako, then turn around and unleash the ender on a priority target. Sublime riff on the classic FF combo.

Regarding invincibility - there's also an odd effect associated with the somersault's startup frames, where an enemy attack can connect and, IIRC, actually do damage, but Kunoichi's movement will be completely unaffected. The somersault is merely a form of guarding, very different from the truly untouchable combo enders, but it's worth noting.

Quote:
  • What are the differences between Normal and Hard modes? I'm guessing damage and number of enemies?


  • I've never been too sure tbh, I don't think I've ever actually played Normal. :oops: :lol: (I used to like doing that with console stuff, back when I rediscovered action gaming... Gradius Gaiden gave me utter hell in its last three stages, cold-started on "Hardest." I don't recommend doing this today. stuff like Contra Spirits' "Hard" is balanced for Normal vets and will utterly murder newbies... and I like to get a feel for a game's defaults, just from a design perspective)

    From what Vanguard and a few years back Ruldra have said, I think it's more enemies at the absolute least - not sure about damage.

    Quote:
  • Related to your jumping around to the end of each segment before engaging the enemies: is this just to get a faster time, or is there more to it?


  • Bit of both really - it just feels good tumbling along at high speed, especially after lots of Ninja, and it also gets the current "scene" to its endpoint. This will get all the potential spawns onscreen and READY 2 RUMBLE. Image

    There are several points where it's entirely possible to pick off enemies one or two at a time - see stage 4-2's first wave, where the Panther and Fox appear well before the Firebreather and Shinobu. MY BLADE REQUIRES THEM ALL. Image Much like it's theoretically possible to wait and let your bomb recharge between each wave, the game's not bothered at all.

    There's one particular point, just before stage 7-2's final elevator, where I'll sometimes take it easy - killing the Panther and Rifle before entering. The left side of the screen is heavily obscured, hiding several enemies with long-ranged attacks - Golem, Firebreather, Puma and Battle Roomba (I'm not letting that name go either!). Pain in the ass tbh, even if you're safely camped in the right corner. Depends how cocky I'm feeling. :wink:
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:11 pm 


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    BIL wrote:
    In case you don't know, you actually can mash the buttons to get up faster - I had no idea until Once Again, I actually thought it was a new mechanic. :mrgreen:


    BIL wrote:
    Yep! This goes for Ninja as well, who I believe is also invincible for at least some of his standard punch. You're 110% invincible during both regular and super combo enders, making them excellent counter-offensive tools. You can totally discombobulate an otherwise unstoppable attack with a well-timed ender - this is a vital technique on bosses, with their dominant attacks and wakeup i-frames.


    Good to know. It never really occured to me that mashing actually did anything. :)

    BIL wrote:
    Yes, amongst regular enemies, Shinobus are probably second only to Firebreathers for difficulty to approach. Their standing strikes have nasty range and speed, their headbutt likewise, and they have a mean overhead for crouchers. They're a case where Kunoichi actually needs her slightly abusive crouch P combo - get in close with a jumpkick, then hit the deck and bust it out. Provided you're quick enough, they won't have time to execute their overhead.

    Approaching them with a walk or crouch-walk is generally dangerous. If I'm forced into their striking range by other enemies, I'll typically get my guard up at minimum, possibly somersaulting forward to get behind them and attack from there.


    Yeah, walking towards them is indeed dangerous, but I found that waiting for them while slashing usually works -- if you can afford to stand around, that is. They are especially dangerous when paired with the robots, because your slash will bounce on the robots, breaking your combo. The fire-breathers are dangerous when approached by foot, though a jump kick always works on them. Plus they have comparatively little HP. The clawed midgets are a pain in the ass, and I always try to quickly take care of them to avoid having them hopping around all over the place.

    EDIT: The four grapplers only appear when taking the right path of the last stage.

    BIL wrote:
    I've never been too sure tbh, I don't think I've ever actually played Normal. :oops: :lol: (I used to like doing that with console stuff, back when I rediscovered action gaming... Gradius Gaiden gave me utter hell in its last three stages, cold-started on "Hardest." I don't recommend doing this today. stuff like Contra Spirits' "Hard" is balanced for Normal vets and will utterly murder newbies... and I like to get a feel for a game's defaults, just from a design perspective)

    From what Vanguard and a few years back Ruldra have said, I think it's more enemies at the absolute least - not sure about damage.


    It definitely feelt like there were extra enemies on your video than what I recalled.

    Anyway, I played another run and reduced the credits needed to "just" 10. :)
    • Lost the first credit on the boss of stage 5, though I entered the fight with 3/4 HP and would probably have won otherwise since I lost only a third of my HP on the next try.
    • Lost 4 lives on the twin bosses of stage 6. Last time, I said I could have lost even more credits because on some occasions I got a bit lucky, and this fight was one of them. I know more of less what to do, but I took some time (and credits) to figure out how to approach them. This was the place I lost the most credits on this run.
    • Lost another credit on the stage 7's boss. It actually went fairly well -- waiting for him to punch high and crouching, like you do in your video, works pretty nicely, though I had some trouble contending with the other enemies.
    • Lost 3 lives total on the last stage (I took the left path this time, not sure which is harder). Lost the first on the very last enemies before the boss checkpoint (where he appears and runs ahead), though I managed to go through this section unscathed the next try. Lost the last 2 lives on the last boss, though on one of the credits he was left with a sliver of health. Either way, this one went much better than my previous try.

    Now it is just a matter of smoothing out these few spots, and the 1CC should come. That's the plan, at least. :)


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:32 pm 


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    __SKYe wrote:
    [*]Lost the first credit on the boss of stage 5, though I entered the fight with 3/4 HP and would probably have won otherwise since I lost only a third of my HP on the next try.


    The fourth and fifth bosses are intensely vulnerable to Kunoichi's crouch P combo - you can actually camp out on them as they wake up. I try to avoid abusing this too much in my replay, unless I'm absolutely cornered, because they're both pretty fun fights if not shut down - Silverman with his shameless cowardice and satellite laser antics, Jubei and his speed demon movement. But it's definitely a case of me helping out the game designers. :wink:

    Somewhat less abusively, you can just duck their wakeup attacks and combo them "normally" from there - actually pretty fair, given that being near a waking boss is often a "block or else" situation, and both bosses enjoy aggressive crowd support.

    Amusingly, in TNWOA both are significantly less cheeseable, Silverman gaining a crouch-squashing overhead and Jubei being difficult to combo at all with his furious teleporting.

    Quote:
    [*]Lost 4 lives on the twin bosses of stage 6. Last time, I said I could have lost even more credits because on some occasions I got a bit lucky, and this fight was one of them. I know more of less what to do, but I took some time (and credits) to figure out how to approach them. This was the place I lost the most credits on this run.


    I read in a speedrunner's notes (which I can't seem to find now...), that the way the game calculates damage done to both on the same frame is a bit screwy. The runner seemed to think this makes bombs extra-effective on them. I nail them with one for good measure at the very start in my run, because although I've got a good grip on their AI, I'm at two-thirds HP and a single mistake will cause frightening damage. Indeed, I get grabbed later on in the fight.

    Otherwise, I think the main thing here is to master working around their slidekicks and wakeups. The former has an obvious audiovisual cue and is easily dodged/countered, the latter is a fairly simple matter of repositioning for Kunoichi - but in combination, they can lead to you being trapped. I try to aggressively, pre-emptively use somersaults to move around the room and ensure I'm never forced into a wakeup zone. Their slidekick and wakeup axekick aren't as deadly as the three-hitter or throw, but given how strong the latter two attacks are, it can add up quick!

    Note also that while their backwards hop is the slidekick cue, their aggressive, homing forward hop is an easy opening. Any time they use it, respond with a combo, or if the other is on your tail, a throw. EDIT: oh wow, the BGM and scene are absolutely killing it in that timestamp! :o GEKITOTSU no HAWT BATTLE :shock:

    Quote:
    [*]Lost another credit on the stage 7's boss. It actually went fairly well -- waiting for him to punch high and crouching, like you do in your video, works pretty nicely, though I had some trouble contending with the other enemies.


    He's also surprisingly vulnerable to jump-ins followed by flurries, though you've got to ensure the jump clears his rather high standing punch. Worth noting that unlike most bosses, raw crouch attacks are (IIRC) unreliable due to his low kicks. For his crowd, I like to burn through the Pumas ASAP, then shove the Golems to one side of the room, and somersault to the other. He'll follow, and you can get some quality time in. Image

    Quote:
    [*]Lost 3 lives total on the last stage (I took the left path this time, not sure which is harder).[/list]


    I'm fairly sure the left path is harder, though having been reminded of the Shinobu quartet on the right, I'm back to wondering if it's subtler than that. Left has lots of Firebreathers, an enemy I find menacing (I hate getting knocked down!), so I may be a bit biased there. :smile:
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:09 pm 


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    BIL wrote:
    The fourth and fifth bosses are intensely vulnerable to Kunoichi's crouch P combo - you can actually camp out on them as they wake up. I try to avoid abusing this too much in my replay, unless I'm absolutely cornered, because they're both pretty fun fights if not shut down. But it's definitely a case of me helping out the game designers. :wink:

    (somewhat less abusively, you can just duck their wakeup attacks and combo them "normally" from there - actually pretty fair, given that being near a waking boss is often a "block or else" situation, and both bosses enjoy aggressive crowd support)


    Yeah, the 4th boss is a joke. Didn't know crouching also worked on the 5th boss. He's not inherently difficult like the twin bosses on stage 6; much like the 7th boss, a decent part of the difficulty comes from striking a good balance between focusing on the boss and on the other enemies.

    BIL wrote:
    Otherwise, I think the main thing here is to master working around their slidekicks and wakeups. The former has an obvious audiovisual cue and is easily dodged/countered, the latter is a fairly simple matter of repositioning for Kunoichi - but in combination, they can lead to you being trapped. I try to aggressively, pre-emptively use somersaults to move around the room and ensure I'm never forced into a wakeup zone. The slidekick and wakeup axekick aren't as deadly as their three-hitter or throw, but given how deadly the latter two attacks are, it can add up quick!


    Yeah, their big jump before a slide kick is a dead giveaway, and I also leaned very quickly not to hang around during their wake-up period. I had some success by moving away from them and waiting for one of them jump towards my side -- as they usually do -- and grabbing him as he lands. This works for a bit, but eventually they'll be close enough to you that you'll have to cross to the other side. It's a shame that jumpkicking them on their slidekick knocks them down -- it would be a good opportunity for a grab, if timed right.

    BIL wrote:
    He's surprisingly vulnerable to jump-ins followed by flurries - unlike most bosses, crouch attacks are (IIRC) a really bad idea due to his legsweep. For his crowd, I like to burn through the Pumas ASAP, then get the Golems to one side and head to the other. He'll follow and you can get some quality time in. Image


    Just crouching next to him on his wake-up will make him use the sweep, though standing a bit farther away and baiting him on using his punch will enable you to use the crouch combo on him. I need to spend some quality time with him (and the st6 bros). :)

    I forgot to post this before; does throwing an enemy at a boss while on their wake-up i-frames, will cancel those and damage them anyway? I could swear that this boss got knocked down well before his i-frames ran out when I grab+dash an enemy at him.

    An aside: This boss' stretchy limbs really remind of Necro from Street Fighter III. :?

    BIL wrote:
    I'm fairly sure the left path is harder, though having been reminded of the Shinobu quartet on the right, I'm back to wondering if it's subtler than that. Left has lots of Firebreathers, an enemy I find tricky (I hate getting knocked down!), so I may be a bit biased there. :smile:


    I'm inclined to agree. The four Shinobus can be a bit tough, but if you can get them all on the same side simply slashing away at them works fairly nicely -- that's how I got past them. The left path doesn't have them, but it does have the fire-breathers and a bunch of other enemy types mixed in (midgets, female ninjas, etc) which I think are significantly harder to beat.

    EDIT: How do you perform that big jump with Kunoichi?
    Also, I really love the BGM that plays on the bosses' intro.


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:16 pm 


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    __SKYe wrote:
    Just crouching next to him on his wake-up will make him use the sweep, though standing a bit farther away and baiting him on using his punch will enable you to use the crouch combo on him. I need to spend some quality time with him (and the st6 bros). :)


    Oh yeah, edited my post to say, it's just raw crouch attacks you've got to be careful with. Baiting him is indeed pretty reliable, actually it might be simpler than jumping in given how high his punch hits.

    Quote:
    I forgot to post this before; does throwing an enemy at a boss while on their wake-up i-frames, will cancel those and damage them anyway? I could swear that this boss got knocked down well before his i-frames ran out when I grab+dash an enemy at him.


    From what Sumez noticed a few pages back, I think the st7 boss's wakeup might be slightly odd - perhaps shorter than the others? But either way, I'm actually not sure about thrown enemies cancelling boss wakeup invincibility. That'd be pretty significant!

    Quote:
    An aside: This boss' stretchy limbs really remind of Necro from Street Fighter III. :?


    I like to think of him as Piccolo from Dragonball, in Borat's mankini. :mrgreen:

    Quote:
    EDIT: How do you perform that big jump with Kunoichi?


    Enter guard by holding [attack] then hit [jump]. Somersaulting is a hugely useful movement option - not only does it cover a ton of ground, but it's also effectively invincible. Not the absolute "collision disabled" invincibility of the combo enders - you'll still collide with/bounce off of attacks, and your back is vulnerable - but your front is totally shielded. So you can be hyper-aggressive while chasing a priority target through a crowd, or getting behind an attacker, or just escaping a bad position.

    Holding [away] will execute a backflip - just like the somersault it's front-guarded, rear-vulnerable, so obviously you've got to be a bit more careful since the AI will ruthlessly anti-air you. I generally use it when I want to get behind a would-be backstabber who I've seen coming in advance.

    Quote:
    Also, I really love the BGM that plays on the bosses' intro.


    Something I'd forgotten about is that while the majority of stage BGMs are quite chill, Hiroyuki Iwatsuki really leverages that contrast into some intense boss themes. And in the tradition of another great VGM house, Tecno Soft, each boss gets their own theme too!
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:34 pm 


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    BIL wrote:
    Oh yeah, edited my post to say, it's just raw crouch attacks you've got to be careful with. Baiting him is indeed pretty reliable, actually it might be simpler than jumping in given how high his punch hits.


    Eh, I've just rewatched the fight on your video and jump-ins seem to work pretty well. I'm more inclined to think that my jump timing just isn't right.

    BIL wrote:
    From what Sumez noticed a few pages back, I think the st7 boss's wakeup might be slightly odd - perhaps shorter than the others? But either way, I'm actually not sure about thrown enemies cancelling boss wakeup invincibility. That'd be pretty significant!


    Might just have been me; after all, even though they do have i-frames, they are still pretty slim by beat-em-up standards -- as evidenced by Chainsaw Bull. I will try to replicate it, though.

    BIL wrote:
    I like to think of him as Piccolo from Dragonball, in Borat's mankini. :mrgreen:

    :lol:
    On second thought, I don't know if he reminds more of Necro or Urien (in his briefs). He's not that stretchy after all.

    BIL wrote:
    Something I'd forgotten about is that while the majority of stage BGMs are quite chill, Hiroyuki Iwatsuki really leverages that into some intense boss themes. And in the tradition of another great VGM house, Tecno Soft, each boss gets their own theme too!


    The bosses have some pretty nice intros as well -- my favourite being the stage 7 twins, with their bodybuilder-style pose. If the game had more of a Mad Max/Hokuto No Ken vibe, they'd fit pretty well in Crude Buster's roster. :)


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:42 pm 


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    Something I really miss in TNWOA is how the twins' lifebar visibly charges up during their Crude Buster-esque posedown, like the sheer awesome is firing up their batteries. :lol: With the BGM appropriately simmering, it's actually really cool choreography! :cool: Also reminds me of AKI's wonderful N64 wrestling games, where playing to the crowd with taunts will get your SPIRIT METER up!

    The remake sorta compensates by giving Zelos's elevator crash an absolutely catastrophic impact, with the explosion demolishing the basement lab and leaving the area wreathed in flames. It looks absolutely rad, and with all the enemies pouring in, and Zelos's stampedes now shaking the screen, it gains a sense of real pandemonium.
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:24 pm 


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    The intro BGM also really gets to shine in the later stages, because the life bar charging takes long enough. Another cool thing is that the stage itself is actually rather short (about as long as stage 1?), as if letting you know that you're gonna have enough trouble with the twins.


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:24 pm 


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    __SKYe wrote:
    Yeah, walking towards them is indeed dangerous, but I found that waiting for them while slashing usually works -- if you can afford to stand around, that is. They are especially dangerous when paired with the robots, because your slash will bounce on the robots, breaking your combo.


    Attacking golems continues your combo even if you don't deal any damage. Bouncing off of them can knock you out of range, but the combo timing is actually very generous and you can stop attacking, step forward, attack again and, as long as you're quick about it, it'll still count as the same combo. Also, super finishers punch through a golem's armor. They're one of the best ways of dealing with a mixture of golems and other enemy types.

    __SKYe wrote:
    What are the differences between Normal and Hard modes? I'm guessing damage and number of enemies?


    Hard has nastier enemy compositions and more boss reinforcements. For example, the first panther you encounter in hard mode is instead a snake in normal. If you kill Jubei's two initial shinobu guards in normal, he doesn't seem to get any further reinforcements. Or if he does then they take so long to spawn in that you can easily kill him first. So far as I can tell, AI and damage are identical between difficulties.

    __SKYe wrote:
    Lost 4 lives on the twin bosses of stage 6. Last time, I said I could have lost even more credits because on some occasions I got a bit lucky, and this fight was one of them. I know more of less what to do, but I took some time (and credits) to figure out how to approach them. This was the place I lost the most credits on this run.


    One thing that helps a lot against Phobos and Deimos is that they despeately want to surround you and the long jump they use to get behind you is extremely vulnerable. Crouch blocking also stops everything they do except for their grab.


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:04 am 


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    Vanguard wrote:
    Attacking golems continues your combo even if you don't deal any damage. Bouncing off of them can knock you out of range, but the combo timing is actually very generous and you can stop attacking, step forward, attack again and, as long as you're quick about it, it'll still count as the same combo. Also, super finishers punch through a golem's armor. They're one of the best ways of dealing with a mixture of golems and other enemy types.


    Understood, I didn't take the finisher into account, nor did I know that the combo timing was that lenient. I was getting thrown out of range and assumed it wasn't wise to continue to slash away, especially when the headless robots were around.

    Vanguard wrote:
    Hard has nastier enemy compositions and more boss reinforcements. For example, the first panther you encounter in hard mode is instead a snake in normal. If you kill Jubei's two initial shinobu guards in normal, he doesn't seem to get any further reinforcements. Or if he does then they take so long to spawn in that you can easily kill him first. So far as I can tell, AI and damage are identical between difficulties.


    He does get further reinforcements (either midgets or robots, can't recall which), though only two at a time, I think. Thanks for confirming.

    Vanguard wrote:
    One thing that helps a lot against Phobos and Deimos is that they despeately want to surround you and the long jump they use to get behind you is extremely vulnerable. Crouch blocking also stops everything they do except for their grab.


    I just played once again and purposely wasted a few credits repeating the fight against them, this time using the guard long jump, and I did much better this time around. Besides their inclination for big jumps, if you manage to knock both of them down close together and you stand close enough to bait them into using their wake-up kick, you can guard jump behind them and knock them down again, and so on. I managed to do this a few times in a row, though they eventually broke free (don't know if it was because my timing was bad, or if a different AI routine simply kicked in). Either way, I'm more confortable with their fight, ad also with the 7th boss.

    The guard jump is really damn useful. :shock:


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:18 am 


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    BTW Vanguard - you've probably noticed by now, but just to follow up on my older post re: safely approaching headless Golems with Ninja: Hover dives definitely seem to do the trick. Kept them at bay handily, there and elsewhere. Got thrown like a dumbass by walking up on them a few times in that run, which is to be expected (once right before that timestamp), and also grabbed right out of the dash startup (again during that very fight), so I definitely rescind my previous recommendation there. :oops:

    Favourite moment from that run, which I suspect was aided by that Ninja P invincibility I mentioned a few posts back:

    Spoiler: show
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    Too slow, motherfucker! :cool: Actually insanely lucky that neither the Firebreather nor Saru got me; I should've really responded by chucking the latter left to flatten both. Almost made up for this absolute fuckery in stage 4-1! I was so tired, I swear I hallucinated a brown Fox during Banglar, but sometimes I record my most watchable runs under such circumstances. Too tired for the mind to wander I suppose. Image When this dude shows up in the corner of the room
    Spoiler: show
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    I know I better pack it in :shock:

    __SKYe wrote:
    The guard jump is really damn useful. :shock:


    Yeah, I was surprised you weren't using it already! :o You did pretty well, going without it. :smile:
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:38 am 


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    Did a final run for the day, and cleared with 3 continues this time, most of which avoidable.
    Got to the 7th boss with 4/5 HP but lost the credit, only to win next time losing only 1/3 HP. Lost the next on that same st1 boss just before the final boss checkpoint; I just rushed too much and gave him too much distance while dealing with his two helper dudes. Again, on the next credit went through this area with 1/2 HP left. The final credit was against the last boss, and there's really not much to say -- I left the fire-breather alive for a little too long, and also failed to keep both a wrestler and a midget in check, so I lost.

    On the bright side, none of those is especially tough or anything so it shouldn't be much trouble to get the 1CC.

    BIL wrote:
    __SKYe wrote:
    The guard jump is really damn useful. :shock:


    Yeah, I was surprised you weren't using it already! :o You did pretty well, going without it. :smile:


    I was having quite a bit of trouble with the larger enemies -- I could only approach them with either a standing slash or a jump kick -- but with the long jump, not only can you jump behind them, but they'll also be baited into performing an attack leaving their backs wide open. Really helps on the bosses. :)

    Anyway, time for bed. :o


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:47 pm 


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    Did another playthrough of normal mode to set the differences straight once and for all.

    The biggest change is group compositions. A lot of the black-haired katana babes (is their official name seriously Kunoichi???) have been replaced with the weaker redhead variants and a lot of Panthers have become Snakes. Knife grunts are plentiful.

    Chainsaw Bull has had his health lowered - normal mode his meter starts emptying from the first hit while in hard he can take two or three atomic drops before it moves. I haven't confirmed this, but most likely other bosses have had their health reduced as well. I don't believe the health of any non-boss enemies have been altered, but the high proportions of weaker recolors can make it feel like they have.

    Enemies deal the same damage, or at least, the knife dudes at the very beginning do the same amount. Didn't test beyond that.

    The AI does feel less sharp than it does on hard. It's difficult to say whether the AI itself has changed or if they simply can't perform with fewer and weaker allies.

    Boss reinforcements are severely reduced. Gigant and Silverman get a steady supply, but they start out with lowly knife grunts. Silverman's reinforcements gradually improve as you kill them off. Jubei does get another midget after you kill his initial Shinobus, but he shows up late and Jubei has to withstand about a full minute of free atomic drops before any help arrives.

    Edit: Made some corrections.

    BIL wrote:
    BTW Vanguard - you've probably noticed by now, but just to follow up on my older post re: safely approaching headless Golems with Ninja: Hover dives definitely seem to do the trick.

    Is there anything hover dive can't do?


    Last edited by Vanguard on Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:09 pm 


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    Vanguard wrote:
    Jubei does get another midget after you kill his initial Shinobus, but he shows up late and Jubei has to withstand about a full minute of free atomic drops before any help arrives.


    I forgot to post this yesterday, but after my last run I wasn't sure whether he any any further help anymore, since it ever showed up. I guess I just took too much time to kill him before.


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:28 pm 


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    Vanguard wrote:
    Some enemies' HP has been lowered. In normal mode Chainsaw Bull's health meter starts emptying from the first hit while in hard he can take two or three atomic drops before it moves. I'm not 100% sure on which ones have been changed. Panthers are the same. Shinobus feel weaker.


    I'm under the impression that all the bosses in TNWOA have a life meter that counts down as soon as you hit them, instead of the meter that changes color after a good amount of damage before going down that later bosses have in TNWA.

    I noticed some enemy placements are different too, especially on hard. In stage one, the area with the two Kunoichi has two red claws added instead of a black haired Kunoichi (the two regular ones are still there).


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:21 pm 


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    Good research as always, Vanguard. :smile:

    Vanguard wrote:
    (is their official name seriously Kunoichi???)


    I wonder, haha. I find it suspicious, given they're the sole enemy I assume don't appear in the SNES manual, while the SFC one is completely in Japanese. Next time I'm home I'll scan the page in case someone can translate later. :o For now they're "Katanas" to me, ease of reference!

    BrianC wrote:
    I'm under the impression that all the bosses in TNWOA have a life meter that counts down as soon as you hit them, instead of the meter that changes color after a good amount of damage before going down that later bosses have in TNWA.


    Yeah, I assume with the far larger aspect ratio, they didn't need the SFC work-around. Of course later bosses do still have more HP than earlier ones.

    Quote:
    I noticed some enemy placements are different too, especially on hard. In stage one, the area with the two Kunoichi has two red claws added instead of a black haired Kunoichi (the two regular ones are still there).


    I like that they kept the SFC's tempo in mind when revising the crowds. Although they're much bigger and in some cases very different, the overall peaks and lulls are decidedly familiar. Good sense of continuity with the original game.
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:21 am 


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    Minoria, by the makers of Momodora, comes out tomorrow. Looks like it's on Steam and the Switch. It has a page on Gog but there's no release date there, maybe that's happening later. It'll probably be really good but I'll wait for the DRM free version.


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:39 am 


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    Vanguard wrote:
    Minoria, by the makers of Momodora, comes out tomorrow. Looks like it's on Steam and the Switch. It has a page on Gog but there's no release date there, maybe that's happening later. It'll probably be really good but I'll wait for the DRM free version.

    The release trailer mentions it will receive a simultaneous release (Aug 27th).

    https://youtu.be/CEmTSPQsUxU?t=69
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:20 am 


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    The trailer also mentions itch.io, which should also be DRM free.


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:21 am 


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    Oh, nice! The publisher's site only lists steam and switch, but maybe they're only the publisher for those versions?


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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:31 pm 


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    My 1cc attempt of Normal on The Ninja Warriors Again Again got as far as Jubei on stage 5. I'm having a hard time dealing with him as Kunoichi, especially when the two Shinobus provide poorly-timed knockdowns. His improved mobility and skittishness makes it hard to get in hits. I can get to stage 4 as Kunoichi on Hard, but I figured I'll try for a normal clear first.

    I was watching your Ninja play BIL and heavily enjoying the beatdown! Sorry to ask again, but how do you do that rocket-punch with Ninja? His haymaker abilities are my favorite thing (and animation) about the game.

    I will say, that Yaska is immensely fun to play as. Her ability to fling around all the enemies, zip across the screen, and combo potential makes every encounter a playground with a bunch of murderous ragdolls to toss at each other. It's bliss :twisted:
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:14 pm 


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    EmperorIng wrote:
    I was watching your Ninja play BIL and heavily enjoying the beatdown! Sorry to ask again, but how do you do that rocket-punch with Ninja? His haymaker abilities are my favorite thing (and animation) about the game.


    No worries, always happy to talk TNWA! :smile: It's a super combo ender, requiring a full meter - replaces the nunchaku. Technically, you need to hold [up] on the last hit of a combo. In practice, I prefer to hold the direction from the combo's first hit, to simplify the timing. Diagonally-up works fine too, and as always, the combo timing is quite loose - so it's possible to attack one way, rocket punch the other, or execute from a crouch, etc. Kunoichi's super katana works exactly the same way.
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:10 am 


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    Ninja's super combo finisher is a great crowd-clearer and seems to do excellent damage, but I'm always reluctant to spend meter on it when I could bomb or do more regular super moves instead. Kind of wish they had made it just use a decent chunk of meter but not require a full charge.
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:58 am 


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    In both original and remake, I like to use rockets for focused damage on groups of mid/heavies, plus assassinating the disproportionately troublesome Firebreathers; bombs are area damage for packs of small, jumpy motherfuckers like that bitch Saru. Image

    However TNWOA's more massive crowds do bias me a bit towards bombing, then mopping up with Ninja's high damage output. There's also the EX nunchaku, which isn't too powerful per-hit, but can absolutely massacre with meaty setups (RIP Neo Gigant)... there's more options vying for your meter now, to say nothing of the expressly meter-driven Yaksha/Raiden.

    Speaking of that bitch Saru, this gave me a kick - can't remember multi-hitting enemies off TNWA's giant swing in my old runs. TNWOA's juggles make it bludgeoning flurry at pointblank, but even if it's (technically) single-hit in the original, I found myself using it similarly. Not the worst thing necessarily, with it flattening your vicinity for a stronger followup.

    ALSO re that bitch Saru! I wanted to highlight the "rabbit punch" mechanic on Ninja's standing P. The very last frames, where his fist loops back in, will actually connect with Sarus. Obviously not something to rely on when speed is critical, but it's handy to know this stuff!
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:24 pm 


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    Still waiting for my physical copy to ship so it'll be a while until I can expose myself to the awesome-sounding Ninja Savior Warriors Again Again.

    Meanwhile, somebody recently fan-translated Game Center CX's episode where Arino plays Super Contra on the Famicom, and this reminded me that, to my shame, I've never actually beaten the game though I've owned it for a good while. So I set to work and it was about as easy as the original game, didn't take too many tries until the end credits rolled. And while at it, I ended up clearing three loops of the game on the same credit. Probably could've done more but I had to direct my attention elsewhere at that point, I had only planned on playing until my lives ran out and it just didn't happen. I did use autofire which trivialized some/most/all bossfights, sadly.

    Really great game, though. Can't really make up my mind whether the original or the sequel is better. I like the top-down sections more than the pseudo-3D ones, the F weapon isn't completely useless in Super and its stages have better pacing to them, I think. I do prefer the music in the first game, though. And the bosses seemed to have more of an impact in the original, though nostalgia might be playing a factor there.

    Maybe I'll get around to finally tackling down Contra Rebirth one of these days, always wanted to beat that properly.
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:59 am 


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    I think the level design is better in the first one, there are a lot more high/low routes and sections doing interesting things with verticality and obstacles. Super C feels a little uninspired by comparison, although still a great companion piece.
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:59 am 


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    A few design mis-steps knock Super Contra down a peg in my FC rankings... chiefly that st4 autoscroller. The action is rewarding, when it eventually arrives (blowing away mobs of batdudes ; hustling up footholds without being sniped ; warding off the Galaga bubble-flies poached from the first game), but there's too much dead space to wait through. Eerily similar to the situation with Hard Corps' goddamn jungle boss, actually! GB Contra's final stage has a far better attempt, though in fairness its first stage contains a snoozer of its own. :lol: (a very short one, though! game's totally worthy of the big screen entries, and boasts a few series firsts like inbuilt autofire and the homing shot)

    Stage 7's barricade mashathon isn't great either. I was messing about with a peashooter run but gave up there, just miserable. I wish st2 had followed the arcade game's "all zako have guns" policy, too - the far stronger stage 6 makes up for that with its spiders.

    There's also the lack of topography it290 mentioned, depriving the zako of their RNG jungle gym and creating a few dead spots - mostly in stage 3-1's latter third, and the end of stage 5, where runners are spawning furiously enough to slow down the FC processor, but amount to little more than mildew to occasionally blast off your six. Stage design just isn't as strong as the first game's, which to be fair is really goddamn strong with its seamless threads of shooting, platforming and stage hazards.

    Finally, even the first game's immortally entertaining runners would suffer if their shooters were clearly marked. (they are marked, in a sense, with only certain stage sections allowing them to fire... but the lack of visual markers evens out, with every runner in those segments liable to blast you)

    I think the designers were in a hard spot, porting over the arcade stage designs. Arcade Super Contra gets around the lack of platforming with 1) a tight horizontal aspect and 2) overwhelming spawn frequency, a rare example of a sidescroller using compromised POV to create genuine intensity (important to note AC Super enemies and bullets are noticeably slow, to compensate). The FC can put lots of runners onscreen, but the 4:3 aspect tends to strand them, and you'll see the rare armed one a mile off, besides.

    These sub-optimal choices aside, I really like it. One peg down from Contra (utterly essential) is still fine standing. Stage 8's uneasy gaps are a good return to the first game's action/platformer balance, and a stronger finale than its own alien lair. Outside of the aforementioned troughs it's an admirably relentless game that handles just as smoothly as the original, and a similarly excellent 2P co-op experience, too.
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:03 am 


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    its so fuckin weird to me that contra and super contra are vert games. i mightve already said this in this thread sorry.
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     Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
    PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:53 am 


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    Daddy Mulk, can I go out and...

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    KILL 2-NIIITE ImageImage

    Having finally gotten some watchable TNWA clears up, I got back into TNWOA! (using official acronym for search purposes) It's still badass. Image

    1) Ninja whoop ass even better here (`ω´メ) he really BRING TEH PAIN, a watchable 1CC is probably simpler than in TNWA because his juggle-augmented PPP is just so goddamn brutal. Keep bustin' out the chucks, you won't go far wrong. Main threats are Firebreathers, who he can no longer duck, and who can very abruptly outzone and trap you with their own new, aggressive PPP. Rad teleport/blast fakeout on 'em too. Golems are also a bit more of a problem, since hover dive range is noticeably nerfed - EX nunchaku followed by a classically meaty back-bashing does 'em IMO. Shadowmen can be a nuisance as well, with their new Kunai - can easily make an ass of you, if not proactively engaged. Take 'em standing if needed, like a jab - NEVER duck! NINJA DOES NOT KNEEL. Note also that you don't need to crouch-guard 'em. Best approach is to i-frame right through 'em with a combo or throw.

    I was gonna give recording a clear a go, but I wanted to unlock the SFC music option, which in a pleasant surprise also restores the classic enemy KO samples, and this needed a Yaksha/Raiden clear. I still don't know what in sweet fuck I'm doing with Raiden (and I like that! characters for days! or years, more like!) - so I limped along with Yaksha, shamefully using a credit. :oops: But HOLY FUCK ONCE SHE CLICKED MY SATURDAY WAS TOAST :shock:

    2) Yaksha is amazing. Image Much like Ninja, she relies on her attacks for momentum, but where he is sledgehammer/skull apparent, she may initially seem slow, pokey and gimmicky. Tentacles are a blast once you get the knack (as ever, the inputs are masterfully concise), but her critical mechanic is probably the [up] grab, which not only imparts momentum but also total invincibility. With her puny reach (shorter than even Kunoichi's) and low base speed, it's an appropriately rewarding finesse tool. Follow up with [neutral P] for an advancing version of her already powerful jump neutral, perfect for launching into crowds like a crazed hentai tentacle dervish! There's virtually nowhere/nobody you can't reach with a little creative aggression.

    Image

    THIS MAN IS YOUR FRIEND (■`ω´■)
    HE BLEEDS FOR YOUR I-FRAMES (■`ω´■)

    Spoiler: show
    Image


    Yes, you can totally drag chumps into stage hazards if you like! Marverous!
    Spoiler: show
    Image


    Your turn, PURPLE RIFLE-SAN (・`W´・)
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    Just as with Ninja, and indeed Kunoichi - it's critical to think of enemies as not only obstacles to destroy, but tools to exploit. Ideal is to seamlessly do both. Since the air combo is technically a "throw," victims will also flatten crowds, once you're done hitching a ride (and provided you don't keep beating on 'em). This gives Yaksha a handy assist VS Banglar; i-frame right up to his stupid weenie canopy! TBH, she already has it surprisingly good there - camp at center screen and the recoil from her [down] slam will catch him. Use her EX slam from the side and you can score two hits with Shinobus and Golems, one going up and one down.

    Her stubby limbs make losing momentum perilous, though her reach is offset by lightning speed and excellent combo enders. That crescent kick will flatten crowds while advancing into grab range. The crouching ender, a lashing arc covering her front and back, is genuinely one of the game's best defensive assets. Not sure if her EX combo ender is worth it, but god damn is it visceral to invincibly tentacle-drill the hordes.

    Get in close and kick em in they mout
    Spoiler: show
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    Risky, but dat speed+priority! Katana dropkick, Saru skewer, Shinobu headbutt - all nasty moves, handily overcome with spacing and tenacity. She can hit fast, boob jiggle = MAXIMUM POWWAAA
    Spoiler: show
    Image


    This feels like SFC's Kamaitachi was meant to be: excellent combo rewards, but it's a position ripe for a fist in the face, and it's the tricks that really rack up damage, besides. As said, I don't know WTF I'm doing with Raiden, and ancestral SFC hatred of that bitch Kamaitachi is still biasing me... but Ninja/Kunoichi/Yaksha is, without doubt, a character design hat trick. Image

    GSK wrote:
    They may have budgeted up for TNWAA, given that Taito's involved, but Wild Guns Reloaded was pretty much handled as a weekend project by those three guys--the Tengo Project name references their games being made "ten-go (0.5)", ie with half the budget and half the time of a standard project. The original Wild Guns was made that way and they wanted to see if they could still pull it off now that they're all over 50, and I'd say they're killing it so far.


    Amen. Image

    Tentacle mobility deserves a quick primer. It's a wonderful snap, once you absorb both the muscle memory, and also the spacing - you need a clean patch of ground, otherwise you'll grab some poor chump! (toss 'em forward with FWD+ATK, back with BACK+ATK, or leave in neutral and slam 'em down headfirst! strangely relaxing, sending Golems sky-high and crashing down on the roof of their big ol' metal heads...)

    [UP+ATTACK] then [JUMP] = vault. Good for raining down hentai DEATH FROM ABOVE with another [UP+ATTACK], but mind your landing zone!
    Spoiler: show
    Image

    [UP+ATTACK] then [FWD+JUMP] = quick advance, not actually invincible AFAIK but will slip past most stuff.
    Spoiler: show
    Image

    [UP+ATTACK] then [ATTACK] = flying kick, not very strong but will flatten crowds and get you in range.
    Spoiler: show
    Image


    Makes me think of Ninja Five-O's brilliant grappling hook... and makes me wonder what they could do with a new Shatterhand. Killer sense of momentum and flex.

    This is probably Yaksha's bread and butter tentacle combo. [grab] then [up+ATK], follow with neutral [ATK], then [crouch ATK] and finish off with [up+ATK]. The timing's quite lenient - does decent damage, and also nice collateral. Ta iconoclast, for showing it off in your 1CC!
    Spoiler: show
    Image


    As noted, her neutral air attack is strong in its own right - good keepaway attack when surrounded, deliberately or otherwise.
    Spoiler: show
    Image

    Hitbox is fat as all hell - COMFY MOVE Image
    Spoiler: show
    Image


    Meaty air tentacles (AWW YEEE) seem to be her go-to for quick damage. Not sure if you can actually control their trajectory, or if it's auto-aimed? Either way, get close and it won't matter. Prefixing with the air combo will kill midtier enemies outright, ala Ninja's PPP and Kunoichi's K/PP/Flurry. Wait until the enemy has entered their "freefall" animation frame before unleashing the probing terror! Can do some brutal damage on bosses.
    Spoiler: show
    Image


    Adios Silverman, you cowardly twat! Actually, I dunno if it's ripping you so hard because you have innately low HP? Is that a thing? I'd actually love an oldschool CERTAIN VICTORY GUIDE for this. EDIT: or even just a RAM viewer! Need some datasheets for these IMMORTAL MURDER MACHINES!

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    Last edited by BIL on Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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