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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:56 am 


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Jonny2x4 wrote:
The paddle game required some peripheral that was only released in Japan if I recall correctly. I'm more surprised Ms. Pac-Man was even in the compilation, since it was never a real Namco game, but I'm guessing they realized that they needed more games that appeal to westerners somehow.


Qutie Q, the paddle pinball game, is also in a Wii compilation complete with Wiimote support. I heard one of the earlier Namco paddle pinball games is hidden in the JP namco museum 2. I wasn't impressed by the Ms. Pac-Man port in Namco Museum. I heard Namco bought the rights to Ms. Pac-Man due to the popularity of the game. The other non namco designed Pac-Man arcade games seem to be in rights limbo, aside from Pac-Man Plus, which was on some plug and play joysticks.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:30 am 


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Yeah, that one. Bomb Gee was the hidden game. Both, Bomb Gee and Cutie Q, are sequels to Gee Bee, Namco's very first videogame.

Quote:
I wasn't impressed by the Ms. Pac-Man port in Namco Museum. I heard Namco bought the rights to Ms. Pac-Man due to the popularity of the game. The other non namco designed Pac-Man arcade games seem to be in rights limbo, aside from Pac-Man Plus, which was on some plug and play joysticks.


They always owned the rights to Ms. Pac-Man as far as I know, but they're forced to pay a royalty fee to the original developers for every re-release of the game.


Last edited by Jonny2x4 on Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:34 am 


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bottino wrote:
Thanks! Metroid has definitely been on my radar for awhile, since I'm big fan of it's Super incarnation; I just need to be in the right mindset and have enough time to make some maps for it.


BIL and I have vouched for it in the past, but the Famicom Mini release on the Game Boy Advance is the one to play. It retains all the perks of the FDS original (including the save system) with none of the loading. Though I should warn you that I found it best to play in long stretches to minimize the time spent farming health. Once you've located the first few energy tanks and powerups in an area, it actually might be more effective to start over from the beginning and pick them up before doing anything else.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:53 pm 


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Jonny2x4 wrote:
Yeah, that one. Bomb Gee was the hidden game. Both, Bomb Gee and Cutie Q, are sequels to Gee Bee, Namco's very first videogame.


Bomb Gee, is that the ultra secret version of Bomb Bee endorsed by Fearless Leader? ;)

I finally made the Ninja "Saviors" 1CC with Ninja on normal.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:37 am 


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BIL wrote:
Oh god. Why'd they do this. It's one of the great mysteries of hardcore scrolling... I'd love to know just what in the fuck. Yeah I know, CREAM get the money, etc, but was it really that brazen? Oh well. Will make a properly annotated video next weekend, probably!


For me the worst thing about the ninja pit is how it affects replays. You can beat the rest of Saigo no Nindou on good fundamentals and a rough recollection, but the ninja pit single-handedly ensures that rusty 1ccs do not happen. Obviously it's plenty bad when learning the game for the first time, but the ninja pit shouldn't take nearly as much effort as, say, the hellscape battlefield of stage 6. On casual plays it's best to just say that ninja pit deaths don't count. If your non-pit deaths don't add up to losing your credit, that's close enough to a clear for me.

bottino wrote:
Thanks! Metroid has definitely been on my radar for awhile, since I'm big fan of it's Super incarnation; I just need to be in the right mindset and have enough time to make some maps for it.

I'm actually reasonable acquainted with the Marios and (especially) Contra; Bubble Bobble and Mega Man 2 less so - the first mostly through the good Master System version and the latter (as well the first and third games) through the Wily Wars cartridge for the Mega Drive (not the best way to experience these games, I know; it had everything to a great package, but of course Capcom had to ruin it...), so I'm definitely interested in checking out their original versions, even though I'm not that really into the Mega Man series.

Who knows? Maybe a fresh experience with a different mindset will change my mind about it.


Don't go into Metroid expecting Super Metroid because that's not what you'll get. Some people like the original for what it is but I'm not one of them - I only recommend it for the sake of its influence.

It sounds like you're already aware, but it almost can't be overstated how bad of a port The Wily Wars is. The controls, mechanics, graphics, and audio have all been altered for the worse.

Two more games worth checking out are Bubble Bobble's predecessors, Chack'n Pop and The Fairyland Story. Chack'n Pop is another one I'm mostly mentioning for its influence, but The Fairyland Story is a solid hidden gem.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:30 am 


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I think the extra content in Wily Wars sounds interesting, it's just too bad inferior ports and mechanics have to be dealt with in order to get to it.

I found out that the Vic 20 got an (unofficial?) port of Cutie Q under the name of Pinball Spectacular. C64 also has a Pinball Spectacular, but that one combines elements of Cutie Q with Bomb Bee. Not sure if either was an official port in Japan like some of the other commodore published Vic 20 and C64 ports (many of which were done by HAL).


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:20 am 


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whoo, got my time down on tonma down to 5:45/5:46, waiting for my roommate to get home so she can trim the footage for me to upload it because i'm dumb as shit and still haven't figured out how to do that. this puts me very firmly ahead of everyone but the guy in first, whose run is pretty much beautiful, and makes him and me the only people with sub 6 minute runs. didn't really anticipate speedrunning ever again, much less on this game, but i got obsessed with paring my run down before moving onto ninja spirit or something else. i'd still very confidently say this game is most fun when you just do a casual 1cc tho - take a hit and adjust your run on the spot rather than routing everything out and going for high precision like this.

i'll probably make another post when that video is uploaded with some strategy commentary.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:00 am 



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Jonny2x4 wrote:
ASW has never developed any of their Kunio games in-house as far as I know. They're simply an IP holder. Same deal with Million, who were sometime incorrectly credited for developed the GBA Kunio and Double Dragon games.

Ah, OK. I somehow missed the A+ logo in All Star Special, so I'd thought Arc developed that one in-house.

Nekketsu Koha Kunio-kun SP: Ranto Kyosokyoku / River City: Tokyo Rumble

A brawler-RPG. Like Shodai Kunio, stats improve through experience and static level-ups rather than consumable items.

The game's structure is rote. A district opens up for travel to via subway. You go there and fight through a few screens until you reach the boss. Beat him and a new district opens up, et cetra.

Slight diversions from linearity exist in a couple of minigames and the job exchange. You sign-up for busywork like "throw 100 items" and get a reward for completion. The player seems to be expected to waste time doing at least some jobs, as sticking to the main story will leave you underleveled and make the boss fights slogs.

As for that story, it's almost a retread of Shin Kunio. Again, we revisit the bosses from the original arcade game and find out Sabu's orchestrating everything. The finale takes place on a movie set made up as stage 1 from Double Dragon, where you fight various Shadow Warriors. A little bit of homage is fun, but this is too self-indulgent.

There's no multiplayer in the main game. Three bosses from the arcade Kunio are available as AI partners. In theory, you can switch between them as you please, but in practice, you need to stick with the same buddy for the whole game. Spreading out the experience among them just guarantees they'll be so far behind you as to be completely worthless (rather than mostly worthless).

There are a couple of multiplayer-enabled side modes selectable from the main menu. One is Dodgeball, which is a free-for-all with no center line, similar to the "bean ball" mode from the NES port of Super Dodgeball. The other is Rumble, which is a battle royale as seen in All Star Special and Battle Royal SP. With fewer characters and special moves, there's little reason to play it over BR SP. Really, there's little reason to play Tokyo Rumble at all.

Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari SP / River City: Rival Showdown

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While the US title obfuscates it, this is another remake of Downtown Nekketsu Story, and not a conservative one like EX. Persistent AI partners are gone and co-op is back.

The other games I've gone over have used a three-button configuration: punch, kick, jump. Rival Showdown expands to six with the addition of grab, block, and run. There aren't quite new functions - run used to be a double-tap, grabbing was contextual, and Tokyo Rumble had autoblocking - but usability's much better with dedicated buttons. Combat in general is better since the enemy count was expanded from four to eight and bosses have more distinctive movesets.

The RPG system is expanded as well. Tokyo Rumble had three generic equipment slots, so you can wear three pairs of shoes simultaneously. Rival Showdown has six slots for specific equipment types. Equipment can now have skills attached, and you can save several equipment combinations to memory for easy re-equipping. Special moves, as well, have their own system of slots, so you choose which ten you want. Points can now be allocated to stats as you please on level-up.

Rival Showdown uses a 3-day cycle a la Dead Rising. Events happen in certain places within certain time frames. It you keep up with enough in the main plot thread, you'll trigger a fourth and final day, consisting solely of the assault on Reiho Academy that was the original version's climax.

This makes it at least a little harder to rely on the typical cheese. There's an obvious bar on how much grinding you can do. Shops only sell a limited number of stockable health items each day. Sit-down restaurants don't run out and their meals also provide temporary stat boosts, but take time off the clock. The town, which uses a big interconnected map reminiscent of Downtown Special, has taxis to function as fast travel. Getting KO'd usually means waking up an hour latter outside Nekketsu High, it doesn't lead to a game over unless it happens on the final day.

You stats and items carry over to subsequent loops. You can keep the difficulty of the next loop the same, or up it multiple times. Play on "beginner" your first run, "intermediate" is really for a built-up character. Higher difficulties allow higher stat caps.

Now, there are some downsides. Story scenes can only be fast-forwarded, not skipped, which is odd because Tokyo Rumble did allow skipping. You're unlikely to figure out all the events for the true last boss on your first playthrough unless you use a guide. Ultimately, though, this is easily the best of the RPG-style Kunio games.

Oh, and the side mode this time is Double Dragon Duel, set up like an arcade fighting game, complete with scanlines. It's restricted to a single plane, but controls are still like in the main game, no pressing up to jump or back to block. You actually can't remap this mode's buttons.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:04 pm 


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36swRu9O10s

my tonma speedrun is up.

commentary:

stage 1 - the first boss can be killed before he even attacks by just hitting him from that position, but if you're super daring you can actually kill him without grabbing one of the two power-ups and doing two hover jumps next to his head and blasting the fuck out of him with rapid-fire tracking shot before he even turns to face you. this is pretty tough to do and i couldn't get it down. i also lose a second or so after grabbing the last key because i miss the jump over that guy's head - there's some way to get him not to spawn, but i couldn't figure how to reliably trigger that. this is frankly a pretty bad level one performance because of that guy spawning and missing the jump and me being too dumb to get the boss quick kill down. you'd think i'd have spent more time perfecting the first level given how times i must have played it.

stage 2 - you can bounce on the barrels near the guy i kill by grabbing the p next to him and walking into him, but it's a little hard to align and doesn't save much time. you can also bounce on a barrel to go on the outside to the left and get to the dragon faster than the path i took (which loses minor time due to slowdown, i think - emphasis on 'i think'), but it's very risky and i got sick of resetting on stage 2. i think that's about the fastest method to reliably kill that boss. really strange that the firebreath doesn't hurt you (as far as i can tell, from any angle, and he will do it diagonally during casual runs), i don't know if that's the same in the arcade version. i always start firing at a certain point to make sure my homing shot hits him from about where i'm situated to make sure he moves to where i need - shots could probably be timed better to start hitting him at a more advantageous point. i also hold the button too long/not long enough on a couple of jumps and lose time.

stage 3 - i get this stage almost perfectly, or at least as well as i'm able. you want to be careful about how you jump near the branches, because if you fall off a ledge rather than jumping off of it, you actually lose a little momentum. when you walk through the pink guys, DO NOT be firing your weapon! for some reason i do not understand, the shield dissipates faster (and seems to have a larger hitbox???) if it makes contact with something while you're firing. if you shoot the little group of guys before going on you will like 99% of the time get to the end just fine. you need to stop to kill the last pink guy because otherwise the tiny pause before you go through the door will kill you - you can move through them while they're taking damage or hop on his head to get a little boost, but i take the safer method and lose a few frames. that method of quick killing the boss is super fun and satisfying and not very risky when you get it down. i feel bad about the weird mutilated penis-looking portion of his head. irem pixel artists can't help themselves but insert grotesquely sexual body horror imagery into their games (not that i'm criticizing lol). or maybe the cigar is just a cigar.

stage 4 - get ready to jump IMMEDIATELY. there is some leniency for a late start, but you need to get moving the second the stage loads in or you're gonna run out of i-frames. don't forget to release the button for the last hop so you don't jump too high. the boss can be killed before completing a second cycle, but i didn't get that lucky on this run - it's pretty hard to nail down, you just gotta be good at when you start shooting and know exactly when to jump. i didn't realize i was speedrunning a game with a twin tower boss on 9/11 until pretty late in the day.

stage 5 - at 3:45, there are potentially up to two of those little flying guys releasing their big spread of bullets. why is it that sometimes they spawn and kill me and make me curse god, and why is that other times, they just don't appear? i don't know! boy, i wish i knew. it's like that dude in stage one i missed the jump on. feels like i'm jumping into a hornet's nest and hoping it's empty. the jump at 4:06 is (literally) pixel perfect and i felt like hot shit for getting it on this run. if you miss it, you lose several seconds waiting for a dude to come over so you can bounce on his head. as for the boss - there are a couple of places you can stand, but if you have the double homing shot power-up (which you want for the previous bosses and for the next boss) and want to kill on one cycle, you've got to put yourself in "this can kill me" range. sometimes you just die here. it blows. there's a margin of a couple pixels where you can stand where i do and survive, but it's not reliable. when i killed the boss and had 69,900 points, i consciously thought to myself "oh my god, i've been blessed by the funny number. is this the run??." my overall performance in the stage is pretty good and this was one of my best runs through it.

stage 6 - i hesitate at a couple of parts and grab the barrier for safety (not required), but otherwise do pretty okay, here. i kind of go a little slow on the boss. you want to hover in front of the left side and slowly descend, nuking the fuck out of it, then stand near the center and adjust your fire appropriately to kill the other side, but i fudge it a little. not a huge fuck-up, but this could have been done faster.

stage 7 - you just shoot the orb then win. hooray. this boss is actually pretty fun if you don't quick kill him and seems much harder in the arcade game, but i am a console baby. i think it's possible to kill him even faster by doing some tricky shit with hitting him with rapid homing shots & your blaster, but i wasn't about to try that.

additional basic tips -

1. you can jump on *most enemies'* heads, and how long you hold the button will affect the height of the jump. this is probably obvious in watching the play, but you really need to get this down even for casual play if you want to have a good time, imho. flying enemies' heads cannot be jumped on, don't try it. kind of a weird stipulation, tbh?? you're also super briefly vulnerable after jumping on an enemy's head on the underside of your hitbox, so if one enemy is jumping into you like right as you bounce on the head of another enemy, you die. this probably won't actually come up in casual play but it's a little weird.

2. his name is tommy, according to the ending (and i believe the manual, if i've heard correctly), but the game is "legend of hero tonma." what's up with that?

3. while i use the homing shot exclusively in the run, the bomb is actually pretty good and has some very useful utility. i recommend it more for casual play, especially if you don't know how to pelt a boss in a couple seconds. it also lets you sit a safe distance while fighting the 5th stage's boss and kill her really early in the 2nd cycle so long as you know when to move to dodge the splitting rock. there's a wall-tracing power-up in stage 5 that is largely useless, and for whatever reason is *only* in that stage.

4. get used to hovering! it's really useful for positioning yourself!

5. tonma has a reputation as being brutally difficult or whatever but imho it's genuinely piss easy to get a reliable 1cc down when you're over the memorization hill - and it is just a small hill, by no means is it the usual irem mountain or plateau. don't let embarrassing deaths on practice runs keep you from giving this one a full go.

imho this game is great and definitely one of those hidden gems that keeps the pc engine's library so vibrantly good. its length is almost perfect for delightful, casual jaunts and i wish irem had done more smaller games like this. i'd be much more inclined to recommend something like holy diver if it trimmed the fat. i really think - like most games - it's not built around speedruns but just efficient play, though. this is almost definitely not the optimal way to enjoy, but i just got a bit obsessed.

my time frame on this was one afternoon of casual play to get the nomiss, one day where i didn't play it at all, one afternoon of slightly more dedicated play to get an efficient run, and then one day where i was really trying for most of my free time to actually get the speedrun down. in-between i was finishing up the messenger, which still sucks. started ng+ after getting this speedrun done yesterday and it's still just insubstantial - most of the difficulty in the game is the platforming, which increasing damage doesn't really change at all. you also lose more gems on death, which feels like an idiotic decision to tear you between mindless farming or the mindless play the game encourages. sometimes your brain slows to the point you just don't want to pay attention during most of the Very Indie platforming, which will eat a lot of lives. for a game that tries to be about speed and efficiency holy fucking shit is it obsessed with making you patiently wait on cycles.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:27 pm 


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Fun to read your thoughts, kitten. Tonma is indeed a game I really enjoy and one I drag out to try and 1cc every now and then (the stone-mouth boss gets me though, even if he can be trivialized at full power). I agree its difficulty is a little overstated like most IREM games that lack Ninja Pits (or are not called R-Type 2) but it is pretty joyous all around.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:41 pm 


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^ it's a shame that it is as pricey as it is, imho it's an essential pick-up. the pc engine is filled to the absolute brim with solid games like this. i'd put them out of the realm of some of the truly excellent, absolutely-top-of-the-line stuff on the sfc like hagane or tnwa or umihara kawase, but its library is so incredibly consistent in its goodness versus the sfc's absolute swathes of putrid dogshit or its many over-esteemed games that are frankly a tad lacking.

i'm grumpy at how much "the sness" has become the ubiquitous console of its generation as the pc engine and even the fucking mega drive start fading in the social consciousness. a lot of the best the sfc has to offer (and it does admittedly have a god damned lot to offer) requires a little digging, too - super mario world & some of the suite of commonly recommended games actually kind of suck.

- - - - - - - - - - -

eugh god i just hit the tower of time on my ng+ play on the messenger and died for the first time, and now death has an extra 5 seconds dedicated to watching that little goober suck your gems. this game! this fucking game!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:28 am 


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Mortificator wrote:

Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari SP / River City: Rival Showdown

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While the US title obfuscates it, this is another remake of Downtown Nekketsu Story, and not a conservative one like EX. Persistent AI partners are gone and co-op is back.


Did you played the original Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun SP? It's a remake of the original Kunio-kun/Renegade that for some reason Arsys/ASW never localized. I always interested in the idea of the original Kunio-kun being remade with the same chibi style as the Downtown Nekketsu games, even if Shinji's and Sabu's sprites used too many colors for the style they're going.

kitten wrote:
2. his name is tommy, according to the ending (and i believe the manual, if i've heard correctly), but the game is "legend of hero tonma." what's up with that?

He seems to be called Tonma in the arcade game's flyer and even in the PC Engine version's manual. Maybe Tommy is his nickname.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:08 am 


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kitten wrote:
^ super mario world & some of the suite of commonly recommended games actually kind of suck.


This made me cry. SMW has its failings as anything approaching a challenging platformer sure, but taken on its own merits the game is pure joy.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:52 pm 


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Jonny2x4 wrote:


oh my god, every bit of text in this is fantastic

Marc wrote:
This made me cry. SMW has its failings as anything approaching a challenging platformer sure, but taken on its own merits the game is pure joy.


smw used to very easily be one of my favorite games and i would defend it as the best mario game up until my early twenties. at first, when it actually came to saying why, i couldn't say much other than things like it was just 'pure joy.' but, after replaying it many times and significantly diversifying my scope of interest, i found myself having less and less fun every time i played it. it's objectively documented that the game was rushed, unfinished, and sloppily coded - but a lot of it also really well & truly feels like thoughtless asset placement. most levels can be flown over with the cape or are totally inconsequential, the castles are direly repetitive, the game has an obsession with forcing you to find mundane level exits, the ghost houses are awfully tedious and feel like exacerbated examples of some of the worst stages of smb 3, and the platforming has the least nuance in momentum of any of the games yet.

one of the most insidious things i think smw did was make you find secrets. smb 3 is crammed with all sorts of little secret areas and bonuses, but it never requires you to get them minus a couple of castles (that i don't like much) and lets many of them stay as happy discoveries. i still don't know where everything is in that game and i'm happy for that. smw comparatively grades you on how many you've found, forces you to find many of them, gates significant content behind some of them, and also removes why many would even matter - you get so many coins & 1ups in that game it's almost inconceivable you'd run out, and if you do, there are a ton of farming locations. there's something starkly cynical about the extent to which they realized players cared less about having fun through action and more about being told they were having fun through constantly dripping rewards. it is probably the game to point to for when popular design swung in that direction even more than the collect-a-thons on the n64 that heralded its obviousness.

i really don't know what the game does that smb 3 doesn't do better other than technically have more stuff to do. smw is really unstructured and ushered in a new age of prioritizing secrets & amount of content over a refined game and set a really bad standard that much of the games on the console followed. forgetting the lack of over-arching pacing, which doesn't exist, i feel like individual stages are paced really poorly. i'm a big fan of compact playgrounds giving you lots to do when executed well (i'm easily the biggest kirby fan on the forum, i adore super mario 3d land, i adore ape escape 1 & 3), but stages in smw are often weirdly vacant and one of the two big power-ups just lets you relatively expediently skip what little design there is. a lot of what you do in smw is just find secret exits or run through a course of almost-nothing. something like kirby super star, in contrast, is fucking brazenly crammed with a tremendous variety of constant, explosive interaction and things to do despite kirby also having a "fly over most of the stage" button and lack of challenge.

i always start a game of smw these days all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, telling myself i've been too hard on it and charmed by the presentation. then i just... end up grinded into total ennui and bored out of my goddamn mind.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:57 pm 


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kitten wrote:
one of the most insidious things i think smw did was make you find secrets. smb 3 is crammed with all sorts of little secret areas and bonuses, but it never requires you to get them minus a couple of castles (that i don't like much) and lets many of them stay as happy discoveries. i still don't know where everything is in that game and i'm happy for that. smw comparatively grades you on how many you've found, forces you to find many of them, gates significant content behind some of them, and also removes why many would even matter - you get so many coins & 1ups in that game it's almost inconceivable you'd run out, and if you do, there are a ton of farming locations. there's something starkly cynical about the extent to which they realized players cared less about having fun through action and more about being told they were having fun through constantly dripping rewards. it is probably the game to point to for when popular design swung in that direction even more than the collect-a-thons on the n64 that heralded its obviousness.


I always figured the emphasis of finding all the secret exits in Mario World was something they added to justify the inclusion of battery backup, hence the need to replay all those stages. While Mario 3 is almost as big as Mario World in terms of content (if not bigger), it was also designed to be played in one sitting, which is why most of its secrets are simply throwaways in comparison.

One thing I loved about Mario 3 that Mario World lost was its board game-like structure and the fact that you could challenge the other player in a Mario Bros.-style minigame. I'm guessing having the game world set in a single large map (instead of the individual maps for each world in Mario 3) changed all that.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:26 pm 


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Played Kung Fu Master for the first time in ages. Didn't get near my best but still made it back to 2-3. Which was encouraging because it was late, I was a bit high, and I was using a shitty 360 controller:D
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:46 pm 


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kitten wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36swRu9O10s

my tonma speedrun is up.


Excellent job! This was really fun to watch. I'm very fond of the game, and share your sentiments regarding its standing and the PCE library on a whole.

I've been playing PC Engine recently myself, and been hooked on two titles in particular:

Valkyrie No Densetsu - Quite different from the arcade original. I have a feeling the game can't quite decide whether it wants to be Kiki Kaikai or Zelda. In the end it does neither genre quite as well as those, but totally makes up for it with charm. I love how chock full of funny little vignettes and set pieces the game is, and Valkyrie is a premium 80s waifu for sure.

Mesopotamia (aka Somer Assault) - Wow, this one is really unique and takes quite some time to get used to, but I feel it's a real gem. Hard do describe to someone who's never seen it in action, so best to watch a video. It's basically a run 'n gun with slinky mechanics. Presentation and sound are top notch. The time limits on the stages tend to get really stressful though. :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:59 pm 


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thank you, meow!!
but i have to ask- you really like mesopotamia? Image

i played that one back in may and didn't have a good time, even after the funny credits. it feels like a serious mess and not in that affable famicomy way that kusoge i like tend to feel. i had a hard time believing it was even finished given easy it was to despawn enemies & power-ups and how the timer seemed to just unavoidably kill you in some stages if you didn't have the speed power-up, which dropped very inconsistently.

surprised to see no one else in the search function having something bad to say about it - i know i'm the queen of hyperbole about how bad something is on here but i really felt atlus bungled the living hell out of that game.

did you have any idea how to unlock its hidden shooter? i didn't even know it existed until searching the forum, just now lol. going to have to give this a shot soon - link

- - - - - - - - -

i also tried valkyrie no densetsu recently and wasn't really feeling it, but i couldn't figure out how to reliably answer the witch's questions to earn magic because i don't understand a lick of written japanese. there were also some nuances i just didn't understand, like what exp actually did or why my sword periodically powered down. did you have a guide when playing? it seems like even without reading comprehension if you can just answer those questions right and know about a couple of other things that it's probably a lot more playable.

- - - - - - - - -

i kind of wish the forum could sort of band together and make something like the pc engine bible site, but we could each contribute reviews and have multiple on a game. if making this thread into a compendium ends up panning out well, we'll have something like that here, but it won't be able to marry the shooter library into it. i'm really curious what i'm even missing out on, at this point. i've got around 90 games but am missing probably more than just the chase titles i've yet to pick up like sylphia and parasol stars and co. anyone down on the idea of me making a thread? i could keep the first several posts reserved and let anyone contribute, let's say, 100 word-or-less reviews on any game? would be able to ctrl+f whatever game you're looking for and instantly get some opinions on it.

there's enough pc engine enthusiasts on here i think a thread like that would be great, but i'd like to get a few votes to contribute before i go all-out on making it and committing to updating it.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:29 pm 



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Jonny2x4 wrote:
Did you played the original Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun SP? It's a remake of the original Kunio-kun/Renegade that for some reason Arsys/ASW never localized. I always interested in the idea of the original Kunio-kun being remade with the same chibi style as the Downtown Nekketsu games, even if Shinji's and Sabu's sprites used too many colors for the style they're going.

No, I've played all the games that have an official or unofficial English translation except Knights of Justice, but none of the Japanese-only ones. I like the original Kunio, though, and replacing its weird style with the chibi aesthetic that took off with Downtown Nekketsu Story seems reasonable.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:16 am 


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Anyone here played River City Girls? What's the consensus on the game?

kitten wrote:
most levels can be flown over with the cape


It's worth noting that SMB3 allows you to trivialize a lot of levels too with the raccoon/tanuki suit if you know spots where you can fly, or using a P-wing and it doesn't hurt the game. I think the cape is fine as it is - you can clearly abuse it to cheese levels with no walls or ceiling and it can be helpful for players who have trouble with the actual platforming as a means of level skipping. Blue Yoshis are arguably even more broken if used as you get flight from ANY koopa shell. You don't have to use either of these and can just fire flower your way through or not fly. It allows players to tailor the difficulty to suit their tastes and play as cheesy as they'd like.

I did rather miss the large variety of abilities SMB3 had (though many were found late game as one-offs, with the flower and raccoon being the two common ones), the various Yoshis kinda make up for it if you use them.

SMW is among the best games on the system and it's generally a solid game packed with tons of levels. It's unfortunate you find it boring nowadays, but perhaps force yourself not to use the cape and it'll regain some of its charm?
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:14 am 


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i don't generally skip the levels and do restrict myself. i had a mountain of complaints and you ignored most of them. the "tons of levels" are frankly a detriment given how mediocre they are, and i generally find most platformers from smw onward to be hyper-bloated in a similar way.

i've heard middling-to-bad things about river city girls, and i mean, it is a wayforward game.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:29 pm 


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Mortificator wrote:
No, I've played all the games that have an official or unofficial English translation except Knights of Justice, but none of the Japanese-only ones. I like the original Kunio, though, and replacing its weird style with the chibi aesthetic that took off with Downtown Nekketsu Story seems reasonable.


Unfortunately I've been out of the loop when it comes to the latest Kunio games, since they've been mostly 3DS games and that's the first Nintendo portable I've completely skipped over. I'll admit that I also overlooked them a bit, since I'm not too fond of the "Famicom sprites over photorealistic backgrounds" style they went with, but Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari SP looks pretty interesting from what I've seen.

BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Anyone here played River City Girls? What's the consensus on the game?

I'm pretty tempted to pick it up now at full price. On one hand, the game is chockfull of Kunio-related cameos. They even threw in characters from Combatribes and Sugoro Quest. At first glance, it seems that people at WayForward must really have a deep love for Technos. But then I read more about the actual development of the game and it seems the game's director/writer had many wrong ideas about the lore of the Kunio series that someone at ASW had to correct him on the spot (such as Kyoko being held at detention with Misako when she's not even from the same school) and the mean-spirited twist ending only exists because because he didn't realize that Misako and Kyoko (who appeared as playable characters in Kunio-tachi no Banka) were not the same girls from Downtown Nekektsu Monogatari (Hasebe and Mami).

Mechanically I can't imagined it being any worse than Double Dragon Neon, which was an okay belt-scroller with some questionable design choices. (what's the point of a lives system if you're only going to start with 2 on each stage anyway).


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:39 pm 


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kitten wrote:
i had a mountain of complaints and you ignored most of them


I addressed the ones that had substance and weren't just a matter of personal opinion, such as:

Quote:
the "tons of levels" are frankly a detriment given how mediocre they are


You didn't really qualify why they're "mediocre" so not really worth responding to.

Quote:
it's objectively documented that the game was rushed, unfinished, and sloppily coded


It doesn't feel at all that way when you play it, which is what counts.

Quote:
the castles are direly repetitive

the ghost houses are awfully tedious


That's your personal opinion, and you're entitled to it, even though most probably disagree. The castles actually do vary the challenges up in them and they're no different than any other castle levels in earlier games in the sense that they try to keep similar themes. The Ghost Houses are indeed very different puzzle challenges but they're fun, and not actually huge or cumbersome to solve so they feel like a nice change of pace.

Quote:
but stages in smw are often weirdly vacant and one of the two big power-ups just lets you relatively expediently skip what little design there is.


For all the open and outdoorsy levels you can cheese with Cape or Blue Yoshi there's just as many restrictive ones that don't really let you abuse things. And again, it's meant to give the player freedom to make the game as easy or as difficult as they want, I don't really think it's any worse than many of the levels in some of the Kirby games where you have the choice of simply flying over large chunks of the level.

Quote:
smb 3 is crammed with all sorts of little secret areas and bonuses, but it never requires you to get them minus a couple of castles


SMW has plenty of secrets. Perhaps none as esoteric as those "collect all coins to trigger a P-Wing" item, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, and none of the secrets are required. Just because SMW has a % completion indicator doesn't mean you are forced to find everything to beat the game, the ending is just as satisfying. And, unlike SM3, it allows full replayability of previous levels thanks to battery-backed saving (with a few exceptions such as the switch and castle levels), whereas SM3 you cannot backtrack, so any world you skipped levels or miss you can't go back and do, so it makes sense completion % wasn't really a thing in SM3 where there was no saving (except in later re-releases) but you still know as a player that you haven't seen much of the game if you skipped past most of it with Warp Whistles.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:14 am 


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Funny you should mention Kirby - I tried out the one on the Switch SNES app yesterday, and damn that game blows. I mean, it's so slow that I simply can't appreciate any of the things that should be making it fun.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:11 am 


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Marc wrote:
Funny you should mention Kirby - I tried out the one on the Switch SNES app yesterday, and damn that game blows. I mean, it's so slow that I simply can't appreciate any of the things that should be making it fun.


was it super star or dream land 3? super star is one of my favorite games and a solid 4/4 (particularly when played in the delightfully asymmetrical co-op). dream land 3 is one of the worst games in the entire series and almost extremely unpleasant. i've gone into depth about both games & their directors in the thread a few times at this point - shimomura did dream land 2, dream land 3, and kirby 64, and they're all turgid and awful. sakurai did dream land, adventure, and super star, which are all great and learn from each other.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:49 pm 


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kitten wrote:
i also tried valkyrie no densetsu recently and wasn't really feeling it, but i couldn't figure out how to reliably answer the witch's questions to earn magic because i don't understand a lick of written japanese. there were also some nuances i just didn't understand, like what exp actually did or why my sword periodically powered down. did you have a guide when playing? it seems like even without reading comprehension if you can just answer those questions right and know about a couple of other things that it's probably a lot more playable.


My Japanese is OK, so I didn't have trouble with the in-game text and the manual, however there is an English fan translation of the game as well.
The witch's questions are always the same afaict, so you should be able to memorize the correct answers easily. Some of the other characters (like the kitsune) ask at random from a small set of different questions though.
EXP is just your score, and your shot powers down, because power-ups oly have a pre-set amount of shots. So it's not the kind of game where you should just plow through all guns blazing. You can however store multiple powerups and they will just cycle through once depleted. Three-way and homing are generally my go-to weapons.

kitten wrote:
i kind of wish the forum could sort of band together and make something like the pc engine bible site, but we could each contribute reviews and have multiple on a game. if making this thread into a compendium ends up panning out well, we'll have something like that here, but it won't be able to marry the shooter library into it. i'm really curious what i'm even missing out on, at this point. i've got around 90 games but am missing probably more than just the chase titles i've yet to pick up like sylphia and parasol stars and co. anyone down on the idea of me making a thread? i could keep the first several posts reserved and let anyone contribute, let's say, 100 word-or-less reviews on any game? would be able to ctrl+f whatever game you're looking for and instantly get some opinions on it.

there's enough pc engine enthusiasts on here i think a thread like that would be great, but i'd like to get a few votes to contribute before i go all-out on making it and committing to updating it.


I think that's a great idea! :) I'll see if I can throw something together next week, when I'm a little less busy.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:35 am 


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kitten wrote:
super mario world & some of the suite of commonly recommended games actually kind of suck.


Super Mario World is a solid exploration/playaround game.

It's really good for casually playing for speed. Like, not necessarily shooting for any particular clear time, but just making an effort to get through everything quickly. The level design is gentle enough that you can sprint through at full speed and react to things as they come and make it through more often than not.

I find Mario World's movement to be a nice compromise between the complex movement of Super Mario Bros and games like Rockman where movement is as simple and easy as possible. It's not necessarily better than its predecessors, but good in its own way. I'm a fan of how the spin jump lets you bounce off of nearly anything. Using boos and buzz saws as platforms feels like I'm doing something "wrong" in a good way. Being able to fly past half of the game is a flaw but not one I take seriously. Mario World is easy enough that there's little incentive to skip. You're not avoiding any hardship, you're just cheating yourself out of playing the level. On the other hand, I do appreciate the option to fly past some of the floating platform pseudo-autoscrollers and if I'm going for multiple exits in the same stage, it's nice to be able to quickly fly back to where the two paths split.

Mario World's enemies and objects don't seem thoughtlessly placed to me. The game as a whole is certainly packed with ideas. Nearly every level introduces a new concept or features a unique gimmick. It doesn't all work out but the hits outnumber the misses. The biggest problem with Mario World's level design is that it has too many autoscrollers, underwater areas, and timed obstacles that force you to slow down. (Speaking of autoscrollers, I seriously think the Mario series has poisoned a bunch of good design concepts in mainstream gaming by misusing them. Your score has meant nothing since Super Mario Bros, Mario 3 seems to be one of the earliest and most popular games where extra lives don't matter at all, and all of Mario World's autoscrollers are painfully slow.)

You really aren't forced to find many secrets to beat Mario World. Given the large number of alternate pathways through the game, no single secret is required to finish the game either. Being forced to explore or solve a puzzle to proceed isn't even a flaw in the first place. I definitely prefer Mario World's way of rewarding exploration with different pathways and new levels over most of what you find in Mario 3. Those extra lives are only slightly less redundant than the ones in SMW.

Mario World is an early example of a game that tracks 100% completion, and playing for 100% completion sucks and games that focus on 100% completion suck. But Mario World also does nothing to force that on someone who doesn't want it. If there's a level you don't like, you can skip it. The ending for 11 exits is the same as for 96 exits. There's no true last boss, no final bonus stage. When you feel like you're done, stop playing. It's fine. I find the way Kirby's Adventure locks hard mode behind 100% completion far more offensive than the little star you get on your save file for finding 96 exits.

I do think that you need to restrain yourself a bit to properly enjoy Mario World. Backtracking for capes and yoshis every time you lose them kills both the pacing and any sense of consequence for failure. There's a good argument to be made that Mario 3 is better for not allowing that behavior in the first place. Blue yoshis are boring and insanely overpowered and should be avoided altogether. I also like to wait a few years before revisiting Mario World so I forget where most of the secrets are. I could see it getting a bit dull if you already know where everything is.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:42 am 


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kitten wrote:
Marc wrote:
Funny you should mention Kirby - I tried out the one on the Switch SNES app yesterday, and damn that game blows. I mean, it's so slow that I simply can't appreciate any of the things that should be making it fun.


was it super star or dream land 3? super star is one of my favorite games and a solid 4/4 (particularly when played in the delightfully asymmetrical co-op). dream land 3 is one of the worst games in the entire series and almost extremely unpleasant. i've gone into depth about both games & their directors in the thread a few times at this point - shimomura did dream land 2, dream land 3, and kirby 64, and they're all turgid and awful. sakurai did dream land, adventure, and super star, which are all great and learn from each other.


Dream Land 3 is the game on the Switch app. Not sure why that was chosen over Super Star/Super Deluxe.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:06 am 


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Superb posts on Tonma, kitten! Going into the index, needless to say. Image

As to my own scrolling exploits over the last week and a bit: got a Saigo no Nindou arcade 1LC up. Hard game. Thumbs are sore. Image (PS dpad's fault, mostly, but that's not happened in a long time! last was playing tons of KOF circa 2004, my goddamn thumb blistered right open - NEVER AGAIN) Hope it came out okay, my first time uploading an inbuilt PS4 capture. 30fps only, sadly, hopefully YT didn't butcher it further.

Image

I put off getting to grips with AC Saigo for so long. Partially for the lack of close ports (I'll forever love all of IREM's HuCards, Saigo especially, but it keeps well clear of the AC's bitterest extremes - quality Black Label). Primarily out of disgust for the ninja pit. It really is utterly shit, and I will forever await some commentary from the devs. I ain't mad, just confused!

Echoing Squire, however: the pit's kusoge aside, the rest of the game is an eleven out of ten. Putting it head to head with the masterly Daimakaimura, the first two stages should've been a bit tougher, and the sixth boss is a washout - but the remaining five stages are a nonstop RNG-infused hell rush, the sixth stage being the most convincing depiction of "one man war" I've found in any game. There is no plot armour nor danmaku sleight of hand in its screenloads of killers. Death is gnashing at your neck from end to end, with a split-second's hesitance between storming victory and shocking defeat. Luck can save or savage you with equal caprice - best to make your own. In the absolute best sort of RNG, you can master principles but never the situation, and those principles will be tested in mercilessly unpredictable ways.

Fix the pit and I'd call this my overall favourite sidescroller to date. At maybe twelve minutes a credit, it's the most efficient way I know of to get heart-pounding intensity into one's system, and one of the most wickedly stylish too.

---

Misc notes:

-WTF I love Hamster now. Scrolling has a small, consistent jitter, owing to the Saigo PCB running at ~55hz; as with the superlative Raiden Fighters Aces (360), it's a 60hz compromise in the name of accurate speed I can easily forgive. Saigo was the only PCB I ever owned, many years ago, before my stupid ass sold it off ("MAME can get rid of the slowdown!" THATS NOT THE FUCKIN POINT YOUNGER ME Image). Delighted with this release, recommended! Good to see Image Fight, X-Multiply and Vigilante also covered, now roll on Tonma pls!

-Don't overdo the chain swing input. Just hit an adjacent direction, or even adjacent diagonal, and you'll get the full rotation. All in the timing!

-The autofire ceiling is very low - you don't need anything more than a leisurely tap to get maximum Shuriken/Grenade DPS. Don't mash like crazy on bosses, won't kill 'em any quicker. Best design approach tbh!

-Tsukikage gets full-body projectile invincibility during the chain's attack frames; you don't need to aim at a flying kunai or bullet to connect, just attack relentlessly. Handy to know when you want to keep forward momentum while under attack.

-Related: feel free to jump offscreen during st3-2's marsh; provided you mash the sword, you won't get insta-Wolfed.

-st1 monks jump when hit, and are never seen again. The more troublesome st3 variety will stop and throw their staff when A) you jump or B) your Y position exceeds theirs; totally harmless for a long stretch during the throw.

-the st4 "resurrection glitch" that occurs when your corpse falls through a trapdoor isn't guaranteed; you'll still die if too high up. You shouldn't be relying on this anyway, mind. ;3

-Stage 6's jump-slashing Samurai only appear in its second half, roughly around the long stretch of open sand, and persist to its end. Stage 7's are (mercifully) the ground-only type.

Besides the two variants being ENTIRELY different propositions tactically - grounders are easily jumped, airers should be baited into doing so with a jump of your own, then passed under - the game even regards them as separate enemy types; you can have two of each onscreen, not that you'll outlive this situation for long!

-Speaking of: large enemy spawn limits are two apiece for monks and both samurai variants, one for giants. Keeping 'em alive while forging ahead is a handy tactic! I like to tickle 'em a bit so that when they inevitably catch up, you can quickly whack 'em.

-That's not a safespot at the sixth boss, per se. Since the giants spawn directly onto you, as long as you're on either rock, their swings will haplessly miss you. If you're trapped on flat ground for some reason, high neutral jumps will accomplish the same - just get your Y position high enough, basically. I usually jazz things up but got frazzled during this evening's sessions, died at the final boss twice.

-Speaking of, I'm still not 100% on the boney fucker. My general approach is to immediately run under him, to the left, then execute the absolute longest, highest jump possible to draw the bolts upward. Afterward, I pretty much try to repeat this pattern, but with the bolts' random speeds, it's sometimes simply not possible and you'll need to jump over or through them. The bolts' hitboxes seem somewhat forgiving towards the head, versus the tail... more research needed though! I wonder if a MAME hitbox viewer could be whipped up.

-The Ninja Pit requires its own post, which I will add sometime soon (actually far from this thread's first, haha). Thanks again to Vludi, Vanguard and Mr. Mosquito; with your notes I've gotten it down to what I believe is the most execution-free route possible. It took a demoralising Sunday afternoon, but at this point it's truly a non-issue. Stage 6 and Boss 7 OTOH were scaring the shit out of me to the bitter end! Image

---

This guy's 1LC is rad btw (as is his channel!). Recorded straight off his PCB & cab, the absolute nutter even waits at the jump for the criminally unheard latter part of KIZASHI! Dig the rolling battlefield drums of death! I'm gonna give recording a "Hard" 1LC a go (seems to be "more+faster bullets" basically), will try this too. Didn't have the guts this time around. :cool: Loved the "¡Coño!" as a st6 samurai charges in for a would-be run killer. :lol:

It's a shame there doesn't seem to be much official art for Saigo. Who's this noob on the AC flyer and PCE/GB covers? Looks like one of the million random zako I've just mowed down! Tsukikage is a cool ninja design of the Kamui school, stylised but professional - would've loved something in the style of Dragon Breed's gorgeous flyer, maybe a little more subdued to reflect the game's morbid tone. The PCE manual (pictured above) is nice but not very on-model - its depiction of the giant is just some big dude, in-game those motherfuckers are dead ("harakiri interrupted," ouuuch!). A quick search brought up this nice Pixiv fanart:

Image

Despite the Japanese PS4 version appearing in the launch menu as "Ninja Spirit," this is indeed the harder JP ROM "Saigo no Nindou." Makes me wonder if Hamster adopted the overseas name ala the PCE port. I like both names for contrasting reasons. Ninja Spirit is catchier, and reflects the game's supernatural theme, but Saigo better captures its doomy air. Only just noticed the giants share Tsukikage's colour palette, and look almost like monstrous, deformed reflections of him. Clan colours? Is he literally the last one alive and facing down his undead comrades, ala Shinobi (2002)? Hmm.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:50 am 


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Location: MD
I got the 1cc on normal in TNWOA with Kunoichi. Actidentially found an exploit on the stage 7 boss where I got him in a position where I could just stand there knifing him without him moving or the usual combos occurring. I moved away from him and used the normal combos since I didn't want to win the fight that way. I'm not sure if what I did is repeatable either.


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