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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:05 am 


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I cleared Minoria. Here's my review:

Minoria is about Sister Semilla, a warrior nun working for the fantasy Catholic Church. Her her mission to exterminate a group of witches who are performing a forbidden ceremony. Unsurprisingly, the fantasy Catholics turn out to be a lot more evil than the witches. I don't really have a problem with that cliche, but Minoria lays it on ridiculously thick. All evidence paints the fantasy Catholic Church as pointlessly malicious. We're never given any explanation as to why anyone would trust or join the fantasy Catholics, and countless reasons why they shouldn't.

Mechanically Minoria is similar to Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight. If you've played that before, you should have a good idea of what to expect. (If you haven't played RUtM then I highly recommend it!) The most immediately noticeable difference in character handling is that Semilla attacks quite a bit faster than Reverie's Kaho did. Semilla doesn't have a bow, but that thing was overpowered anyway. Enemies now have a stun meter displayed beneath their life meter which fills up as you attack them. Stunned enemies take extra damage, and it feels good to really tear into a heavy enemy once you've filled their stun meter. I might be remembering wrong, but I believe Reverie's stun system was basically the Dark Souls poise system, where the enemy's poise recovers quickly if you stop attacking. Anyway, enemies in Minoria don't recover their poise over time, so you can carefully chip away at a boss until their stun meter is just about full and then rush in for an all out attack. Semilla can parry attacks by pressing the dodge button without any directional input. Timing a parry successfully negates an incomming attack's damage and in most cases causes Semilla to launch an invincible, full screen range counterattack. Parrying trivializes most ranged enemies, but against melee enemies it's both safer and faster to use the dodge roll instead.

The equippable active and passive items from Reverie have all been reflavored as various types of incenses Semilla burns on her cross, but functionally they work exactly the same way. They still regenerate at save points (which are now bottles of ink you just sort of touch instead of bells you ring. Lame!) and many items in Minoria do the exact same thing as items from Reverie. In general the item balance seems to be a bit more sensible than it was in Reverie, if less interesting. There's nothing that shuts bosses down like the bakman patch and nothing that breaks the game like the pocket incensory.

The biggest problem with Minoria is that it's lacking in enemy variety and density. You can easily beat just about anything 1v1 by rolling past them and attacking from behind. Minoria's enemies tend to be quite a bit more resistant to stunning than Reverie's were and many are likely to die before being stunned even once. The consequence is that you can't get away with being as aggressive as you could in RUtM. Minoria's attack hitboxes tend to be pretty big, both for the player and enemies. Offensively this encourages poking from afar over aggressively rushing in, and defensively it encourages iframe dodging over conventional dodging.

One of Minoria's biggest improvements over Reverie is that there are multiple different swords you can equip. Some swords enable an alternate moveset, which is a cool feature. When I first found a new sword I thought they might go full Dark Souls by giving every weapon own moveset, but no, there's just the two. The second moveset has an aerial swordspin that boosts you into the air a little bit. You can cancel it by using an item, and by alternating between the swordspin and an item you can fly for as long as your item supply holds out. Might make for some interesting sequence breaks?

Another positive change is that money drops from enemies have been replaced with a set number of silver coins which are hidden throughout the game's world. It was a good idea, it disincentivizes farming and instead incentivizes exploration.

Minoria tries to be a lot more cinematic than Reverie was and that was likely the reason for the switch to to 3d models. Since it's 3d they can zoom the camera in and out and more easily have the characters emote in cutscenes and such. There's a lot of visual effects on your attacks, especially attack items, and it can be hard to see what the enemy is doing. The game pauses for a fraction of a second when you land a finishing blow on an enemy to add more emphasis to the hit. Personally, I'd rather they didn't bother with any of that. Reverie was able to communicate its characters and setting perfectly well (a lot better than Minoria, I'd say) without making any concessions to cinematics.

There are experience levels but your stat growth is really slow so in practice it doesn't matter much. I don't think there was ever a need to add experience levels in the first place, but at least the execution is benign. It won't cost you any fights you should have won and it won't win you any fights for free unless you seriously go out of you way to grind.

It's not a bad game at all but it's not anything special either. You could certainly do worse than Minoria but I'd only recommend it if you either adore search action or are starving for something similar to RUtM.


Last edited by Vanguard on Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:31 am 


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So I tried a few credits as Kamaitachi since I found myself wanting a change of pace from the main two. He has a few grab-based moves that activate at close range (and which seem like they would really help make up for his lack of regular grabs), but they don't seem to come out with much consistency. Is there a trick to it? Or am I stuck with crouch P spamming?
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:50 am 


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Basically, you need to 1) hit an enemy, then 2) press [forward OR away + attack], while your sprite is near theirs. This'll get you the punt, or caber toss, respectively. Really neat mechanic! You can get up to four slashes in before the combo ender, or just throw from the first hit.
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Last edited by BIL on Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:54 am 


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WelshMegalodon wrote:
So I tried a few credits as Kamaitachi since I found myself wanting a change of pace from the main two. He has a few grab-based moves that activate at close range (and which seem like they would really help make up for his lack of regular grabs), but they don't seem to come out with much consistency. Is there a trick to it? Or am I stuck with crouch P spamming?


While punching, press the d-pad towards the enemy to do Kamaitachi's kick or press away on the d-pad to do his overhead throw. You have to land at least one strike before following up with a throw, and both throws need Kamaitachi to be very close to the enemy.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:50 am 


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So it was just a matter of being close enough and landing a hit first. There were times when I wanted his overhead toss but ended up just turning around instead. Much thanks.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:48 am 


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I really need to give Kamaitachi some more time in Once Again. I suspect it's more the tonal shift from desperate survival to speedy stylin' that's mellowed him out, as his crouch P is still pretty abusive, but nowhere even remotely his best option - with stronger damage dealers requiring considerably more technique.

Either way, having personally confirmed Ninja/Kunoichi/Yaksha's excellence, and with Raiden looking good (and vouched for by sound fellows), I'm fine if he's Silly Character Once Again. The juggle mechanic, huge crowds and resulting scope for chaos make the punt even more evilly gratifying than it was on SFC.

Spoiler: show
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:28 pm 


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played the messenger up until after the dragon boss. it's bad.

i went into it kind of surprised by how pleasant the basic actions felt and how enjoyable the extra jump off a slashed enemy was, but it is incredibly long, winding, and fucking boring. once you hit the tower of time, the game devolves into really mediocre, run-of-the-mill indie platforming puzzles that require more patience than performance with a near-total absence of meaningful enemies. platform movement cycles are almost never timed for you to flawlessly plow through them and seem engineered around some kind of faux "super thrilling" platforming for a casual player that just requires drilling a sequence of actions into your head (e.g. celeste, et al). there's always a lot of leeway on the timing, it's just knowing exactly what it wants you to switch to doing and when.

trial-and-error starts to the enter the mix on a couple of them because of the combination of bonus jump slashing, throwing a grappling hook, and being able to enter a gliding mode by pressing the jump button again (only while no longer holding a bonus slash jump). it's easy to lose track of whether you have an extra jump or not when switching over to the glide and it leads to some really serious inelegance. as the game compounds your available movements, it loses a lot of its sense of speed and begins flooding areas with platforming areas that disrupt the pacing as you stop to ascertain what you're supposed to do (or are physically stopped by moving platforms being a cycle away - this time adds up rather significantly). bosses are like the platforming - filled with inordinately long cycles where you're doing almost nothing and way, way too stretched out.

the 8-bit areas use some seriously fuck-ugly palettes with the jungle one being offensive on an LCD screen and genuinely hard to parse. the 16-bit areas look like an amiga game. the chiptunes are jarringly awful with tons of warble and the synth used for the 16-bit is arguably even worse. i don't think i can understate how irritating the music is. there's also a shopkeeper who will regale you with stories that harken back to early 00's webcomic era humor - the reader becomes completely inundated with mountains of meandering text and the narrator then winks at you so audibly to the tune of their own perceived cleverness that it elicits physical cringing.

prior to getting to where i did in the game, i felt like this was shaping up to be relatively decent minus being a bit boring and was mentally comparing it to the ninja gaiden equivalent of what happened to the castlevania series, but i feel like it really fails to clear that bar and just falls apart into something unremarkable and unmistakably "indie."

really wish TNWOA would get here, so i could just play that, but i'm staying patient on my physical version. at least BIL is making lots of cool gifs ; _ ;
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:05 pm 


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Yeah, I was let down by the messenger as well. Feels more like a mega man game than Ninja Gaiden.

The Shovel Knight people are working on their own Ninja Gaiden game that looks more the part:

https://youtu.be/AAjkJJiWTps
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:26 pm 


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kitten wrote:
at least BIL is making lots of cool gifs ; _ ;


Glad to hear my first foray into hardware capturing went well! PS4 is baby steps easy mode admittedly! Image (gonna finally get around to Leynos soon! uh, soon-ish!)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:28 pm 


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BIL wrote:
kitten wrote:
at least BIL is making lots of cool gifs ; _ ;


Glad to hear my first foray into hardware capturing went well! PS4 is baby steps easy mode admittedly! Image (gonna finally get around to Leynos soon! uh, soon-ish!)


i did a whole bunch of leynos posts and videos that i think were during your absence - i really like it a lot! my runs are currently the most efficient on youtube by a pretty substantial margin.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:33 pm 


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Late last year, I think? Enjoyed 'em then and now. :smile: Added to the ongoing index, which is more like me looking up old posts before bedtime and ambling along the hyperlink rabbit hole. :mrgreen: Will be referring to those videos for sure.

Kinda bittersweet with Dracue going under after release. :sad: Still got both JP and domestic copies sealed back home, because I'd not bought a new console in a decade but as we all know, you can't sleep on the softs! Actually, if it's on PSN I'll just nab it from there. Will never trust purely digital releases but I do dig modern solid state gaming, feels good.

Bah gawd, Yaksha's air combo makes even her Hentai Tentacle Death From Above invincible. :o Is there no stopping her! Also you can HTDFA out of the quick advance, which feels goddamn rad as it rakes along the ground, but is non-invincible. Good balance tbh, same on Ninja's EX chucks. Unblockable (unlike the regular chucks) but not invincible (like the regular chucks).

Was gonna say WTB a practice mode for plotting out XTREEM COMBOS, but stage 8 time attack works pretty ok.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:20 pm 


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i hope my videos prove helpful! there's some spots for optimization on each of them, but i'm pretty happy with how much i blow through. the game has some meta-leveling in it that will carry bonuses across your playthroughs, so keep in mind on my videos i've already maxed them out. i don't think it affects the game that dramatically, but you'll be slower to gain experience to get upgraded weapons on arcade mode on your first few plays.

finding out dracue went under bummed me out really badly :[ i imported a copy of gunhound ex, but i seem to have like *seriously* lost my psp and have been dillydallying on getting a new one. anyone have advice on which model is best? one of my trinitrons accepts component so i plan on using the tv out option on the psp for it. eugghh... i just wish i could find my old 2000.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:48 pm 


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Mischief Maker wrote:
Yeah, I was let down by the messenger as well. Feels more like a mega man game than Ninja Gaiden.

The Shovel Knight people are working on their own Ninja Gaiden game that looks more the part:

https://youtu.be/AAjkJJiWTps


They're just publishing it, the dev is just one guy (I think), he used to post about the game on TIGSource before Yacht Club picked it up for publishing.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:15 pm 


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That looks superb - from a glance at the video, it seems to absolutely nail the Compact Action Man scale of CV/NG/Shatterhand and FC company. Steel Assault is giving me similar good vibes. Haven't really looked into either further, but that's nothing new with me and modern gaming. Just stoked on a primal level to see that beloved, supremely practical sprite/screen ratio make a little comeback.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:16 pm 


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i've kept my eye on cyber shadow pretty closely and feel like despite pretty damn solid spritework (albeit some poor palette choices, imho), it looks like it's plagued with metroidvania-isms and low-threat nuisance enemies that either just block the way or annoyingly tail onto you without providing an otherwise substantial or interesting threat. the dev does a lot of gifs on his twitter and i'm not at all hyped about it. i expect to be making another post quite similar to the one i just made on the messenger here in a year or so when its physical edition drops, making for a total of i-don't-know-how-many of those on modern throwbacks. i'd stop buying them, but my brain is programmed to purchase anything with sprite art and violence and i keep hoping for another stealth hit.

steel assault looks fucking awesome, though. there are numerous videos out so far of level or boss snippets and i strongly feel like it's a serious candidate for goty when it drops. i know i'm almost notoriously difficult on these types of games and am not one to go into hyperbolic praise easily, but if that's a flop i'll eat my shoe. reminder that if you dig through the comments on the kickstarter there's still a slacker backer option open by e-mailing the dev (sri, who has posted in this thread!). i don't understand how it continues to fly under the radar on most places! maybe they should have contacted yacht club to publish them, the publicity they've given cyber shadow by nature of association has been astounding.

bushiden might have a slacker backer option if you make some noise about it, too. this one got thread on here during the kickstarter campaign, and looks fairly promising. there's a few things i'm on the fence about, which i brought up in that thread and was actually responded to by the dev, but i feel it is one worth getting just for the art & music. absolutely gorgeous.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:11 am 


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kitten wrote:
played the messenger

Wow. Very surprised to read such a negative review. My impressions of the game are almost the polar opposite to yours. The gameplay was fairly easy and intuitive, and I found the dialogue to be a lot of fun. I disliked the metroidvania approach in the middle of the game, but otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. To each their own I guess.

Mischief Maker wrote:


This looks freaking awesome.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:29 am 


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kitten wrote:
played the messenger up until after the dragon boss. it's bad.


I was eyeballing this yesterday as it's currently on sale at £9.99.
You put me right off, I bought Toki instead.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:22 pm 


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kitten wrote:
played the messenger up until after the dragon boss. it's bad.


This largely matches my own feelings about The Messenger. I think the movement and the cloudstep in particular are good enough to carry the game for most of its runtime, but it has serious problems. Its enemy design is a joke - enemies in Ninja Gaiden's first stage are seriously about as threatening as endgame enemies in The Messenger. I've said this before, but the worst thing about it is that it never really asks you to think about what you're doing. Some parts take a bit of technical skill to pull off but you essentially never have to figure anything out, and that's where most of the fun in video games comes from.

"Webcomic humor" is a brutal insult but it's not unjustified. I wish indie games didn't feel the need to constantly stuff memes and "self-aware" fourth wall crap everywhere. Personally I found The Messenger's dialogue to be pretty evenly split between endearing and annoying. I liked the bit about the ninja's new hat and the part where he finally opens the scroll.

Speaking of indie memefests, I recently played through Rogue Legacy. Despite some of my own misgivings about it, I decided to give it a fair shake and play the whole thing start to finish because of the praise Squire and Sumez had for it. Here's my review: Rogue Legacy has moderately good platforming and combat which are thoroughly sabotaged by bad RPG elements.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:44 am 


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I got very close to a 1cc of normal mode playing as Ninja in TNWOA twice, but got killed at Banglar. Second time getting to the end was with the RAPV. Need more practice with dealing with Jubei's wicked fast speed. My 1cc attempt nearly ended with him.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:27 am 


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Banglar's more of a difficulty spike than he was on SFC, imo - doesn't help that they removed the final HP restore, so it's much more possible to enter with damage. :mrgreen: You'll get it soon if you're making it to him consistently. I'd love to try this with an arcade stick, gotta get on that!

Jubei's become a truly excellent fight in TNWOA. He was always fun in the original, with his mobility and area-nuking, but a bit vulnerable to Ninja's grabs, and outright broken by Kunoichi's crouch P. In TNWOA he's far trickier to collar, and he'll dodge+squash the latter.

I like that his KO animation no longer looks/sounds like he's violently sharting himself, too. Image

Madly in love with Yaksha, the combination of low base mobility / XTREEM attack mobility and rampantly sprawling combo routes is super addictive. Sorta thing I could play all year. Time Attack mode has an unexpected secondary benefit - with original and remake alike being relatively long 1CCs, it's a blast being able to fire up any (cleared) stage to try out combo ideas and just experiment in general.

Walls R Fun, but very rare! FOR GOOD REASON Image
Spoiler: show
Image


Oof! Remember, this ain't a kid-safe X-TREEEM COMBOOO affair! Let's try GOIN' FOR THE KILL
Spoiler: show
Image

Well that's better! But you woulda STILL got waxed if that Katana's RNG hadn't rolled her backflip! GIT GUD NOOB Image

(pls STRONG WIMMEN dont h8 Yacky-chan's big rack, some girls do 'ave em :oops: TRUST ME Image tbh I feel like I'm beating down chumps as Velma from Scooby-Doo :lol:)

Spoiler: show
Image


Ruh-roh Raggy! Just like Kunoichi, Yaksha can throw while advancing! Unlike Kunoichi, and everyone else (except maybe Raiden?), she also advances during her normal combo ender!

I don't like how this fanart exaggerates matters! But I am dying at Panther in the first panel, and Snake in the last panel, and poor KNIFE ARMY sweating clear through his cap! I dunno what he's so scared about, he's the only one with infinite reincarnation powers! Uh, outside of boss fights I mean! Image)

Spoiler: show
Image


I'm still a bit unhappy with the "read-ahead" effect on button presses. It gives PPP combos a welcome smoothness, but it can have some unwanted side-effects. EG, mash the buttons to get up quick, then instantly grapple = enemy gets thrown automatically. But I'm learning to work around it, and gradually thinking of it as more feature than bug. TBH I could live with it, but I'm still gonna enquire after the game's finally out worldwide. My only complaint, here. TNWOA is an utter treasure otherwise.

In desert island terms, I would probably keep the SFC game, ultimately enjoying survival pressure more than style play. It's undoubtedly a close enough thing to go either way, though. And frankly, getting beaten down was always a fate worse than death in TNWA - even if you're less likely to die for a flub here, you'll most definitely get put on your ass with the same quickness!

Oh also! Has anyone tried out the Hamster release of NINJA SPIRIT on PSN? Does it control ok? I seem to recall hearing inconsistent things about input lag in their stuff. Might nab it if it's sound. Pretty sure my random TV is ok, TNWOA and Garegga Rev2016 handle tight as tight can be. But then they are Natsume/M2! What do you expect MIRITE :o Ain't bothered bout frills tbh. I just want to dehumanise myself and face to Ninja Pit, so I can put the ghoulish fucker to bed and enjoy the game's other 99% in peace!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:14 am 


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I've got it for Switch and I've noticed no lag, so I'd assume the PS4 version is fine. I've not really noticed any problems with any of the AA games on PS4 to be fair - my main complaint was that the emulation wrapper itself was a little basic in the earlier releases, but even that has gotten more fully-featured over time.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:09 pm 


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Cheers, will go ahead and grab it. :smile: It's pretty cheap anyway, will report back after the inevitable doom awaiting my absentee ass!

EDIT: Seems like a good 'un! No input lag or drops that I can notice. Feels bang-on overall. All my hapless PCB/MAME tricks worked fine, slowdown & flicker are comfily familiar. Audio is nice n' fat and authentically gritty. Good autofire and remapping options, full DIP switch support, quick reset - everything you need to knuckle down. Cool scanline options too, I like that there's two sets of filters. A are straight scanlines, B adds a scroll bar. A4's nice on my setup. There's a savestate too, but I ain't touching it just yet, so I can't comment on its quality. Would like to pick up a few more unported gems, if this one's representative of the line's quality - they certainly select some good stuff!

Oh Hamster. I find it hard to really trust 'em after the PS2 Thunder Cross fiasco, but they really do come through sometimes.

Made st5 before conking out. As ever this is enduringly scary stuff. :cool: An unending terror with wuxia grace, blistering firepower and necro-feudal style harder than a mortuary technician. Image Stages 3 & 4 are a favourite double act of mine, fiendishly tricky but not outright bludgeoning like 6 & 7, where you really do need to get some routes down or be mulched into so much shinobi gristle.

Welcome To The Rice Fields, Motherfucker!
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Good ol' Marshy Muscle Memories comin' right back! Actually never left, the lovely PCE ver is especially dead-on there.
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SPARTAN X IN HELL (you can't hear the coolly detached BGM or my terrified gay sounds!)
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Not looking forward to the execrable Ninja Pit but eh. Long since accepted it as one of the great cruelties of hardcore scrolling, that such dark brilliance should pratfall at the last hurdle. I must man up and nail it down with Holy Diver and Metal Storm. Image

It's the meaner JP ROM "Saigo no Nindou," as I'd expect from the JP store... not sure if the overseas "Ninja Spirit" is selectable, but I don't need it anyway.

Also, what has science done! Image
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BANGIN' HI-BANDWIDTH VER (SEVEN FORCES / COLLECT EM ALL LABEL):
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Forgot how much I enjoy a bit of idle giffing. If anyone ever wants footage captured hit me up! Animations accepted if they are cool enough! Image

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*caffeination intensifies*
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Last edited by BIL on Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:20 pm 


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Ninja Spirit is the JP version on the Switch version from the US eShop. It seems most of the games that only have one version are the JP versions on the Switch, even when they use the name of the US version, with Ninja Kid II being an exception. On the PS4 the opposite was true with versions from the US PSN (not sure if that is still the case with the later games). Arcade Archives also switch to JP language and icon on the switch when the language is changed, which isn't the case with the US PS4 versions, aside from the NeoGeo games.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:28 am 


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Got a Kunoichi hard 1CC.
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Ninja's still my favorite but Kunoichi is great too. It's been said a bunch of times by now, but they really are different enough that learning one after the other is almost like picking up a different game. It's impressive that the same AI can deal with characters who approach everything completely differently and still remain balanced and challenging (except Jubei and Silverman whom Natsume, in their infinite wisdom, made completely helpless against Kunoichi).

Kunoichi definitely feels like she has to work harder than Ninja does. The closest thing she has to a one size fits all solution is her jump kick, and it's pretty picky about timing and spacing. Ninja, on the other hand, can walk up to just about anyone and do his standard combo and that person will die, and anyone creeping up behind is eating a nunchaku. Challenging Ninja 1v1 is asking for a swift and certain death via atomic drop. Kunoichi generally feels like she's in more danger than that. Even the lowly stage 1 Gigant can and will punish small mistakes in timing and spacing. Kunoichi has the potential to dominate just a much as Ninja. If she knocks an entire group down together, they're all getting infinite comboed to death. It just feels like less of a sure thing.

My least favorite thing about Kunoichi is how long it takes to user her katana finisher. The other finishers are extremely versatile defensive tools you can break out at almost any time. The katana is fine for attacking, but its startup time is way too long to rely on when someone's coming up behind you. Seems like 3 hits for Ninja's finisher, 4 hits for Kunoichi's, and 5 hits for Kamaitachi's would've been a good balance for their respective attack speeds.

I think Kunoichi is the hardest character to win with, but saying "Kunoichi is harder than Ninja who is harder than Kamaitachi" doesn't tell the whole story. Ninja is extremely good at both seizing and maintaining control. There's not really anything that can deal with his dash and hover dive provided he has time to set them up. But if he gets overwhelmed, he has by far the hardest time recovering. It's not unheard of for Ninja to lose half of his health bar to a single mistake.

Kunoichi is the opposite. Gaining control of a crowd takes more effort. Her reach is poor, she doesn't have a good way to hit enemies on both sides, and her katana is nowhere near as versatile as Ninja's nunchaku is. However her dodge jump is an outstanding escape option that makes her all but impossible to lock down. It's easier to mess up as Kunoichi, but a single mistake is rarely disastrous.

As for Kamaitachi, he's without question the easiest to pick up and succeed with, but I don't know if his potential is really higher than the other two. He's like a reverse Kunoichi: he doesn't have to work hard or take risks, but he doesn't have anything cool he can do either. Like, for Kunoichi the ideal situations are either to jump kick into a crowd of enemies to set a combo on the whole group, or to get some private time with a single enemy to do the flurry punch. Both take effort to set up and have a nice payoff in the end. Kamaitachi's ideal situation is to get an enemy within his generous striking range and then do his standard combo. Maybe combo into a forward throw if he wants to get fancy. That's it. That's his game.


Tips for Kunoichi:

Kunoichi's reach is much shorter than the other two protagonists, but it's not as bad as it might seem. The Gigant at the end of stage 1 makes it seem like her combos are unsafe, but this is misleading. She can equal or outreach the great majority of enemies. Even Phobos, Deimos, and Over Shinobus can't approach Kunoichi while she's attacking. Against enemies whose reach is comparable to Kunoichi's, a crouching approach works well.
Kunoichi's up throw looks lame but it's a nice happy medium between the safe, weak side throw and the powerful, risky down throw. It's what you should default to when lacking compelling reasons to use the other throws.
Kunoichi's reach is too short to guard the edge of the screen against firebreathers and sarus with her standard attack. Both can hang back out of reach and counterattack with their superior reach.
The jump kick is an excellent approaching tool. There are two main ways to use it - a high jump kick where you jump above the enemy and attack before falling into their vertical attack range, or a low jump kick where you attack outside of their horizontal attack range just before hitting the ground. Done correctly, either will stun the enemy for long enough to start a combo or a throw. Gigant seems to be the hardest enemy to approach with a jump kick and Shinobus are the hardest common enemy.
I think Kunoichi's single strongest technique is using the jump kick to bridge two combos. Knock an enemy down with a combo or throw and then immediately jump towards them. Kick as they get up and they'll be stunned for long enough to start a second throw or combo. It's an infinite combo against everything except bosses and golems.
Don't crouch while standing above a fallen Shinobu. Doing so may provoke their jump kick, which will dodge your crouching strike and counter with a boot to the face.
Lots of enemies have a hard time hitting either high or low and this should be exploited. Silverman and Jubei's melee attack straight up cannot hit Kunoichi while she's crouching. Yamori, sarus, and pumas all have trouble hitting high and are very easy to approach with aerials. Against the latter group, Ninja's hover dive works as well as Kunoichi's jump kicks.
This isn't useful for anything, but you can be hit by the mortar that destroys the truck at the end of stage 1 if you jump into it.
Kunoichi's combo is fast enough that headless golems can't grab her as long as she keeps attacking. The knockback will push them out of range. Headless golems aren't a huge problem for Kunoichi, but it could be a useful way to fish for a super combo finisher.
Zelos reacts slowly to attacks from behind and dodge jumping past him is a safe way to start a combo. Both Kunoichi and Ninja can chain grab Zelos so long as he's facing away from them. Blocking low works well against Zelos - if he attacks high, it'll go over your head and you can hit him for free. If he attacks low you'll block and be in a good position to respond.
Kunoichi's Banglar fight is a lot nastier than Ninja's. His laser walls shut her dodge jump down and with most enemies she can only hurt Banglar from up close. Golems and Shinobus are big enough to hit him with the side throw, but the throw needs to start from moderately far away. On the positive side, Kunoichi's side throw is a safe way to pass through laser walls and it's easy to chain a damaging up throw into another up throw with the same enemy.


Last edited by Vanguard on Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:56 pm 


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So folks, help me out here: in your opinion, what side scrollers would you consider to be the most important and influential ones that, in one or many ways, laid the foundations of the genre?

I'm mostly talking about games from before the Mega Drive era, for the Arcades and Famicom/NES, stuff like Castlevania, Shinobi and... what else am I missing here? an era which I admit I'm not that familiar with it, and would very much like to know it better; I've been *slowly* doing that with STGs and JRPGs, so it's only natural to the same with this genre.

Call it a genealogy of SIDE SCROLLING ACTION, if you will :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:37 pm 


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Vanguard, I'd love to know how you fared against Banglar as Kamaitachi, given that his upthrow is quite possibly the most unreliable move in the entire game. Unless it's just me being sloppy?

bottino wrote:
So folks, help me out here: in your opinion, what side scrollers would you consider to be the most important and influential ones that, in one or many ways, laid the foundations of the genre?

I'm mostly talking about games from before the Mega Drive era, for the Arcades and Famicom/NES, stuff like Castlevania, Shinobi and... what else am I missing here? an era which I admit I'm not that familiar with it, and would very much like to know it better; I've been *slowly* doing that with STGs and JRPGs, so it's only natural to the same with this genre.

Call it a genealogy of SIDE SCROLLING ACTION, if you will :wink:


While I can't give you a comprehensive list, I can say with some confidence that such a list would probably include Akumajou Dracula, Spartan X, Makaimura, Shinobi, Thexder, and Trojan. (Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun and Final Fight, too, if we're including belt scrollers.)

Maybe Iron Horse and Green Beret, too?
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Last edited by WelshMegalodon on Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:51 pm 


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Might be a technique thing, I've never had issues getting it out. Main thing is proximity - also, I tend to wait until his second slash lands, then continue hitting [attack] while holding [away] for the throw. If you continue slashing, or turn around, instead of throwing, you're not close enough to the enemy.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:56 pm 


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Getting close enough is difficult when a) crouch P has ridiculous range and b) Ninja and Kunoichi don't seem to have any problems grabbing enemies from much farther away. Maybe it's Kamaitachi's lack of auto-grab that gets me.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:17 pm 


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Aha! I never use crouch P for throw setups - instead, I move in while flicking out standing P to interrupt would-be resistance. Kamaitachi's attack is ridiculously quick, you shouldn't have any trouble gradually closing the distance without activating his combo ender.

Ninja and Kunoichi's grapple functions completely differently from Kamaitachi's pseudo-grab, definitely chuck out everything you know from those two. :cool: Note also you can exploit this, especially when combined with his crouch-run, to move straight through/onto enemies for EZ side-switch+MEATY HITZ!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:51 pm 


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WelshMegalodon wrote:
Vanguard, I'd love to know how you fared against Banglar as Kamaitachi, given that his upthrow is quite possibly the most unreliable move in the entire game. Unless it's just me being sloppy?


Camp on either the far left or right side and do the kick throw to anything that gets close. Sarus and the little robots are too short to hit with, but anything else will just barely clip Banglar's hitbox.


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