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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:20 pm 


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Marc wrote:
Rolling Thunder - those bats on ST4 - WTF?


Haha, I remember those being a pain even in the Famicom version... can't recall the specifics offhand, but I needed some studied techniques to avoid getting relentlessly dive-bombed.

---

Arf! Arf! Doin' the DOGY STYLE Image :shock: Got a Dogosoken no-miss. :cool: AKA Victory Road, this is Ikari II.

Image
THOU WHO ART SELECTED!

Yooo, badass. :cool: I thought the NES's "PLS HALP DOODS" story was dumb, but this is some INTERGALACTIC GAME OF DEATH shit! Image TFW you NAM so hard even the aliens go "Damn son, get on our TVs right the fuck now"

I often append my recommendations of Sega's excellent tactical topdown shooter Gain Ground with "nothing much plays like it." However, Ikari and especially DOGO actually kinda do! To the point I wonder if there was any influence on Sega's later work. The stern emphasis on tactics over twitch is unmistakably similar. Your characters aren't very quick on their feet - only the most perfunctory dodging is possible, and rushing entrenched foes will get you cut down at fifty yards. What ensues is a willfully slow, heavy deathgrind of zoning and outflanking foes, punctuated in SNK's case by the odd steamrolling mechanised slaughter via tank / powered armour.

I was surprised to see Dogosoken has Infinite Ammo™, having really gotten into Ikari's deadly economy. Aside from enabling some immensely cathartic razing assaults, however, Dogosoken is probably the stricter game. Enemies are more aggressive on the move, and more implacable when entrenched, with respawning encirclements and backstabbers a perpetual threat. Bosses are more of an entity here - a couple late ones are really nasty fuckers, but all demand caution - especially if you're unfortunate enough to land in the trap dungeons, where they'll have crowd backup.

The first couple stages gift long stretches of unbridled carnage, waves of enemies splattering into red carpet beneath your boots. The English translation "Roaring Atmosphere" is well-earned. Late in the second is where shit gets real, with a superbly multi-front maze firefight setting the tone for the remainder. The similarly intense plains battle that opens the third stage is another highlight, threats erupting all around as you contend with vicious sniper nests. It's here that the game really excels, forcing you to think on your feet while hacking and blasting. The last couple stages are most definitely intense, but they rely on a certain pattern to increasingly transparent effect:

1)Step forward
2)Trigger the wave
3)Use red grenades to put 'em in grave (and bayonet any survivors)
Spoiler: show
Image


You'll do this a lot in stages 4 and 5. It's visceral satisfaction, nailing those flying fucks while warding off grunts - they are mortally dangerous if left unchecked - but the more organic encroaching chaos (interspersed with bursts of mulching forward momentum) is the game's stronger suit.

Although this is a naturally slow, heavy doom march of a game, my play is a bit SCURRED for my liking - particularly in the last couple stages. This was my very first 1CC, let alone 1LC - still learning to deal with those respawning encirclements. They're especially menacing with the game's low move speed. I reckon it could be attacked far more aggressively, without getting into XTREEM speedrun antics. It was partially booze and tiredness, but I was actually worried I might hit the PS4's sixy minute inbuilt capture limit. Turned out to be less than half that, felt longer! That's not a charge of tedium, but sheer intensity - exacerbated by the considerably trickier-than-usual control scheme. Speaking of:

>>>KONTROL<<<

A thorny issue with rotary stick games! I made do with the PS4 controls via Arcade Archives - not sure if it was harder or easier, versus the PCB's Loop Lever. Would love to try the real thing one day. PCBs, a frontier only slightly less remote to me than Japanese PCs. (perhaps even soldering together some godawful creation so I could twist n' move on one hand Image Still dreaming of creating a Twin Stick setup for the SFC's beautifully tempered conversion of Smash TV)

The PS4 controls aren't ideal, but they're entirely workable. I went with Type A, or Twin Stick style. Type B makes it play like Contra with an aim lock button, which was uncomfortable at first, and in hindsight sounds like a deathtrap. This game's nastiest chokepoints and bosses tend to demand lashing use of the Sword paired with precise, untethered evasion.

By default, Type A moves with the Left Stick or Dpad (I greatly prefer the latter), and aims with the Right Stick. Grenade/Shoot are on L1/R1. I also put [turn left] and [turn right] on Square and Circle. The PS4's analogue is kinda mushy for deadly-precise aiming, so the buttons help there - easy to quickly correct an over/undershoot, or ensure I adjust aim by only a single tick. OTOH, you need the stick's speed for the deadly close combat that dominates the game's second half. Once I knew the game's layout, I could switch between 'em as preferred.

I also used an "index on Square, middle on Circle" grip, for the few occasions where I need to rapidly wank the sword back and forth to deflect incoming fire. Worked out ok, not the oddest grip I've done (Contra Spirits C+C exploit Image)

Jesus, that got involved. As said it's far from ideal, especially in a game this intense, but entirely workable. I had a great time either way. As for the rest of the game, from comparisons to PCB footage it seems absolutely bang-on, as I've come to expect of Arcade Archives releases.

Image
ESCAPE FROM THE DARKNESS USING YOUR OWN SKILL AND STRATEGY!
They're not kidding, use your melon or get it busted open :o

---

A few observations and minor niggles:

*KEEP THE FUCKIN SWORD FFS. No, seriously. Deflect mechanic is utterly vital to the later stages, it'll offset your low speed and let you maintain consistent offense versus rabidly aggressive bosses. They weren't joking, having Ralf and Clark wielding their proud Claymores on the AC flyer!

*This game feels expressly designed for cooperative play (specifically fighting back-to-back ala Ikari's attract demo), to a far greater extent than I'm used to in my run/guns. The recurring setup from st4 onward (giffed above), where Gargoyle formations divebomb from ahead while infinite respawners harass from behind, is especially arduous solo.

*Not to mention, see the glowing sword? It's a super attack for 2P play. TOUCH TEH TIPS for something or other, apparently! Sounds cool but ain't nobody gonna play this with me - thing's too mean. Image (Shock Troopers and SFC Kiki Kaikai, now those are easy to get people into! Goes down smooth then HITS EM HARD Image)

*The "Angel Summon" pickup is a bit of a dud. I like the concept - chase down the elusive bugger for a shot at Armour, all with your heavingly slow movement and bullets raining down. Problem is, well, see for yourself. Really thought I was SOL there, versus st3's brutal Green Tank bugs. Pissed I missed out on the Armour rampage. Glad I dehumanized myself and faced to bloodshed. Image Ultimately a silly padding between you and mecha justice. Thankfully the fuckers are rare, that's the last one in the game AFAIK.

SPECIAL COMMENDATION to the BGM - it FUCKIN RAWWWKS Image CRUEL KILLERS and RUN TO THE FIELD are 110% PURE GAMUSHARA. Lighters in the air/MANLY TEARZ for the final charge of COUNT DOWN Image

Seriously, this stuff coulda come straight outta Out Zone, if it hadn't been written by other dudes, years before that game's release! :shock: What a pleasantly contrasting surprise after Ikari's sombre tone! Fits that game like a muddy NAM boot, but this batshit alien gladiatorial contest calls for something livelier!

"YOSH! IKUZO!" Man, I wish you could hear Ralf's badass war cry without having to die first! Good job there's the OST! Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:48 pm 


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Love me some Dogo. I also have it via the SNK PS 4 collection. I definitely haven't 1 CC'd it, but can get a few stages in via sword and red grenade.

Yeah later on if you don't always have a grenade in the air you're asking for trouble. Knowing in advance which direction the gargoyles are coming from (cause some still make it through the grenades) is important you have to start turning before they're near you or you're gonna have a bad time.

And as mentioned - great OST.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:53 pm 


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The OST really astonished me - I always associated the game with the sober st1 theme, which wouldn't be too out of place in the first Ikari. I was gettin' fired up when stage 3's Bloody Wolf-esque power chord barrage hit, even as I went "yeah this is gonna be hell." :mrgreen:

BTW there's also the 2006 release, with traditional 2x playthrough :cool: KARANBA knows his badass VGM! Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:06 pm 


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BIL wrote:
A thorny issue with rotary stick games!


I reccomend using a Logitech MarbleMouse if you're on a PC. You can roll the trackball around to rotate, and use the "mouse" buttons to fire. Then use your keyboard's arrow keys or a stick if you can use it one-handed. Bonus - It's great for other games that actually use a trackball. lol


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:58 pm 


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Thanks, that could definitely come in handy for a few of the more obscure trackball games I've been looking at! I figure eventually I'm gonna need to bite the bullet and build a MAME cab. M2 and Hamster (never thought I'd be regularly mentioning those two in the same sentence, at least not complementary to the latter!) have done a helluva job this gen, but there'll always be a few that slip through the cracks.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:10 am 


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For the truly hardcore Ikari fan, you can buy a lever here in Korea that has a rotating option attached:

http://www.istmall.co.kr/goods/goods_vi ... 1009992525

Not sure if it would work with the PS4 games or with MAMe or what, but I could enquire further if anyone's interested.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:58 am 


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Very cool. :smile: Bookmarked that for later, thanks!

For now, I'm gonna experiment with deliberately aggressive Sword play. Having rewatched my run, I get the feeling the designers really want expert players to rush enemy lines, aggressively deflecting front shots / outrunning backshots. This seems especially apparent in the Final Defensive Line™ blocking your way to the last boss in stage 6.

The trouble is being attacked from multiple angles, but in theory, super-aggressive sword slashing could overcome even that. Hmm. I'm gonna have to consider PS4 play its own thing for now, can't seem to find any PCB + LS30 no-misses offhand. Gotta check Nico.

EDIT: Haha, it's right there in the flyer, isn't it.

BECOME A MASTER WITH YOUR SWORD
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Last edited by BIL on Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:32 am 


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Ikari / Victory Road / Heavy Barrel are the only ports I can't 100% enjoy - neither control option is truly satisfactory. The SNK games seem to do this weird thing every now and again where you physically have to sweep the stick from one direction to the next rather than just aiming - it'd make sense given the original rotary controls - but they don't to do it all the time? Just feels 'sticky'. I got up to the bit in Ikari where you're stuck in a huge stretch of water and are blitzed by a bunch of helicopters before I turned it off lest I bite the controller in frustration.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:45 am 


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Ikari 1 heli bit is the first area of the game requiring hard memo, IMO. Get to the open water on the far-left (mind the mine!), and precognitively grenade the fucker as he steams in. Then head to the island on the far-right, clearing out the grunts, and chuck a precognitive grenade at the next heli. If you don't know about them ahead of time, no matter your input method, they're gonna outflank and strafe you mercilessly until they've left the scene.

I'm gonna go for a no-miss of that one soon. Doin' it all arse-backwards! Much like Double Dragon II AC, I went for the sequel first due to CHILDHOOD FEELS. Grew up with Micronics' customarily questionable NES Ikari II - wanted to experience the real thing. Before I knew it, I was BALLS-DEEP in STAGE 3 GREEN HELL. :o

(Technos Japan Corp's Double Dragon II FC is, of course, superb - not to cast it in the same light as that Micronics jank!)

The PS4's rotary controls are undeniably hacky, through no fault of the devs - just how the hardware cookie crumbled. Unlike a real LS-30's dial, smooth 360' turns aren't guaranteed. Rather, it'll snap directly to the direction you're aiming with the Right Stick.

What's bugging me is, I wonder if Dogo might actually be easier on PS4 in certain regards... a hellish torment indeed. Image Being able to snap 180' frame-instantly is not without advantages! And the notes of the ReplayBurners no-miss claim (via Google Translate) that "Operating a sword violently with a loop lever is very tricky."

I can get violent with the sword alright. Image ICILY CONTROLLED PRECISION VIOLENCE. Image I killed that st4 boss cunt and his backstabbing horde legit. Image I didn't know about no safespot! I GOTS THE GRIP LIKE I'M JACKIN MAH DICK Image Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:05 am 


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Metal Storm arrived from Limited Run Games. I love the look of the cart and it played right away in the standard model NES. I'm also enjoying the game quite a bit so far. I also like how it uses a new translation and keeps the original colors. However, there was a slight tweak to the game, that I didn't mind, but may annoy longtime players. The gravity controls are reversed (down and A when on the ground instead of up and A, the inverse when on ceilings).


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:53 am 


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BrianC wrote:
The gravity controls are reversed (down and A when on the ground instead of up and A, the inverse when on ceilings).


wtf why
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:32 am 


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WTF. Happy with the FC version, but that irks me just hearing about it. Makes me wonder what else might be screwed up. It's a technical game, especially once you hit the loop.

EDIT

Sumez wrote:
Metal shitstorm averted!

Image


Even works on the original FC & NES carts! Seems Irem flipped a flag somewhere... you can revert to defaults with the above command. ta Sumez & Brian!

(Leaving the below for posterity)

---

So presumably you can no longer Gravity Jump while running? That ain't good. Image

I wonder if it was a deliberate "improvement," or just a technical snafu. Neither is great but the latter is less embarrassing. :lol:

The only possible benefit to this change would be it letting you execute a running jump while upshotting, without the need to release [up] on the pad before pressing [jump]. Which is by no means a difficult move with controls as sharp as these.

Spoiler: show
Image


This change is a losing proposition, if that's what they were going for.

1) it trades mildly tricky running upshots for mildly tricky running downshots.
2) the player can no longer Gravity Jump while running, a flat loss.

I don't suppose any of these reissue outfits have fixed something that was actually broken, like Holy Diver (busted) or Double Dragon II (scuffed)? /forlorn hope
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Last edited by BIL on Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:28 am 


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Retro-bit mentioned that the change was on irem's side. I also tried a translation hack rom on the everdrive. For some odd reason it uses the NES version's palette, but has everything from the jp version intact. It's not the same translation as retrobits (though I like how that translation keeps the original bold intro font) and doesn't reverse the controls. I also noticed that the original controls are listed in the manual for the retrobit version. I wish they kept the tamtex logo in the intro.


Last edited by BrianC on Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:31 am 


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BrianC wrote:
I also like how it uses a new translation and keeps the original colors.

Whoa I didn't realise they changed it. Definitely makes it more interesting for me to own despite already owning an original US cart.
What about the change with the electric field on one of the stages in the last world?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:31 am 


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BrianC wrote:
Retro-bit mentioned that the change was on irem's side.


Aww jeeze. :| Must've been the "Irem" responsible for stage 3 of R-Type Final. :lol:

Quote:
I wish they kept the tamtex logo in the intro.


Might be better to leave it out in this case. Poor Kengo Miyata, Utata Kiyoshi and co. Decades after the fact, some absolute sausage-fingered donut scrub has screwed with their beautiful work!

Spoilers for Loop 2, stage 4 midboss:
Spoiler: show
https://youtu.be/uFZ5Kx7hQrg?t=1299

^ Countless things are going to be harder with those boned controls, but this particular fight is going to absolutely suck. For once, cries of "DASU IMPOSIBRU" and "BADDO CONTROLSU DESU" will be justified. :shock:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:38 am 


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Sumez wrote:
BrianC wrote:
I also like how it uses a new translation and keeps the original colors.

Whoa I didn't realise they changed it. Definitely makes it more interesting for me to own despite already owning an original US cart.
What about the change with the electric field on one of the stages in the last world?


As far as I know, the electrical field in intact in the retrobit version. It's mentioned in the manual. I think you misread. It's a fan translation hack that uses the US colors. Retrobit's version has the JP colors intact. Not sure about that control change being a good or bad thing in retro bit's version and I'll check to see if BIL is right about the running gravity flip. It still seems very responsive.

As far as I know that unofficial translation hack still has the JP differences intact, including the gravity beam, aside from colors. I honestly don't know if it's a bad decision. It's slightly uglier, but bullets are much easier to see.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:43 am 


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^ Thanks, I'd be interested to know! If they've made it so crouch diagonals keep you moving, instead of planting you in place... uh, I guess that'd even things out.

Helluva lot of chopping and changing for what will still amount to "running downshots are tricky" VS "running upshots are tricky."
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:44 am 


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Misread what?
I thought the fan translation hack you're talking about was a separate thing from the retrobit release? I wasn't talking about the fan hack at any point.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:33 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Misread what?
I thought the fan translation hack you're talking about was a separate thing from the retrobit release? I wasn't talking about the fan hack at any point.


I was confused by your comment about the changes. In this case the control change is probably not a good thing (and you do stop right before a gravity shift). No other changes seem to have been made and jp passwords work. Gravity beams are still in stage 6.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:03 am 


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If it kept the JP colors and adds a new translation, that's a "change" to me. :)
I don't know about the controls change, hard for me to judge without actually trying it out - but getting a "jap" version of the game is good for me, when it's the US version I already own.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:43 am 


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Blimey! Image Thanks for confirming that, Brian. I'd have trouble believing it otherwise.

That is an incredibly poor change, one that's going to damage Tamtex's fine work. On a casual level, it'll make the game less responsive and less intuitive (you want the ceiling, so you press towards the ground?). On a hardcore level, it's a spanner in the works. The loop is an arcade-tight machine with precious little clearance as-is.

You're in the jungle, baby. You're gonna die. :[
Spoiler: show
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Spoiler: show
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Totally unprofessional approach to what should be a simple reissue. Doesn't affect me personally (other than the prospect of someone here picking this up and - quite understandably! - exclaiming "TOTES IMPOSIBRU"), but it's sad to see.

Image

Oh heck no :o

Spoiler: show
Image
Ah, that's better. Image Now watch them reissue Holy Diver with the controls totally untouched. :sad:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:58 pm 


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Changing the controls in a rerelease without a way such as an option menu to select between the original or the update seems like pure laziness.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:17 pm 


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Reversed controls? Take a limited run to the trash can with that shit. Just stick with the fan translation patch IMO. https://www.romhacking.net/translations/1466/


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:09 pm 


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I'm sure you can fix it with a game genie XD


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:16 pm 


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After having been introduced to the game some three or four years ago, I finally have a 1CC of Bare Knucke II under my belt.

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Far from an optimal run, but it's something. I just wish I didn't end up always losing anywhere from two to four lives to Abadede. Speedruns and more skilled plays show that he can be thrown if he is facing the same direction as you, I think, but he always ends up throwing me instead. Other deaths can mostly be attributed to having an admittedly shaky grasp on all of Max's throw options (darn those Signals that seem to be able to throw you back whenever they want), but that's nothing that some practice can't fix.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:41 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Changing the controls in a rerelease without a way such as an option menu to select between the original or the update seems like pure laziness.


I wonder what the full story is behind it. There was some confusion about how the gravity was supposed to control in the original Japanese version and the listing of the controls in the manual is a typo, despite being correct for the original versions of the game. I also looked up the kanji for up and down and up and A is listed first in the paragraph (not familiar with JP sentence structure, though).

I know of an alternate ROM for Sqoon (one version has red ground and the other has green ground, not sure of other differences), but I don't know of any other JP versions of Metal Storm.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:32 am 


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@WelshMegalodon: Congrats man; it is a pretty rough game.

WelshMegalodon wrote:
Far from an optimal run, but it's something.

That it is. If I recall correctly I reached the last boss with some 7 lives in stock and lost them all, so... :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:24 am 


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Actually, I'm not sure about the running while changing gravity thing. The mech does stop when holding down and a direction, but it still seems to keep its momentum when you keep a direction held while changing gravity. Controls are still very responsive and I did somehow manage to get past the first and second stages without dying using them (though I managed to do the same with three other versions after that). Still not thrilled with the control change, but I found the overall package to be solid (slick black cart, nice box and cart artwork, full color manual, and a poster).


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:20 am 


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big new post, alright!

i have been playing the hell out of DUCK GAMES!!!! i've gone duck crazy!!! here are seven new videos, complete with thoughtful reviews. i'm going to just paste the review in the video as a spoiler description, in case anyone has any questions or wants to discuss any points and needs to quote. :U holy shit i might get quote texted as typing with proper capitalization!!!! aaaa!!!!

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DuckTales (NES)

Spoiler: show
A no miss clear run of DuckTales (ダックテイルズ) for the Famicom, played on Difficult mode. Captured straight from my childhood NES, no cheats. This Capcom-developed, Disney property game is almost absurdly beloved and well-known as one of the best licensed games of all time. While it is fairly good - and I won't dispute that - it does seem to receive a frankly bizarre amount of disproportionate praise compared to the selection of quality licensed titles available for the NES, including other Disney games by Capcom.

My biggest problem with DuckTales isn't that there's problems with the basics - it looks, sounds, and feels great - it's just that the whole thing is a bit barebones and there's not a totally cohesive game, here. Scrooge's pogo attack is an enticingly delightful method of taking on foes and it's executed with incredible responsiveness. It requires a careful amount of dexterity to perform well and feels great even when utilized on the game's lowest enemies, therefore helping to set this game apart as both unique and memorable.

It's just that... DuckTales doesn't really go that far with it or anything it does. There are only five levels, and most of them tend to meander around numerous pathways without a clear direction or suggested pacing. You're supposed to collect gems (that equate to money), but *why* you're supposed to collect them (i mean, aside from character motivation, we all know Uncle Scrooge loves money - but why does the player want them?) is a bit of a mystery. Though getting a substantial amount results in a very marginally better ending and you can pause and use a large amount of money as a quick-healing method (which there's almost strictly no need for), it mostly just acts as litter throughout the stages that you collect more or less for the sake of collecting.

While there are a few interesting secrets to find or interestingly placed treasure boxes that provide a novel distraction to collect, the shit is kind of just everywhere and becomes inundating to collect all of. In my play, I occasionally stop to pick some up or get a few of the fun/hidden treasures, but hitting the 10 million required for the 'best' ending is just laborious and would add around 10 minutes of runtime to the video where I just call Launchpad to play the bonus game with Gyro (obtained by having a 7 in the ten-thousand slot when you exit the stage) and grab extra stuff here and there. Mostly... boring. I'd also have to route the game more to find an efficient method, which is not fun or interesting, to me.

I don't mean to be too down on the game, though! It's quite fun and compact enough to be a great distraction, it's just that it's often hailed as *the* licensed game of its generation when it's frankly exceeded by quite a number of other games, including its own sequel. Anyway, I feel my play is on point in this video, mostly, but it's not like there's a particularly high skill requirement to this one, even playing more quickly like I do.


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DuckTales (GB)

Spoiler: show
A no miss clear run of DuckTales (ダックテイルズ) for the Game Boy. Captured straight from a SNES via a Super Game Boy 2, no cheats. Please enjoy the idle animation for this particular border! I have also uploaded a video of the NES game with a more extensive review - for a complete review, check there, and then check back here for commentary on some of the differences and how it stacks up - [LINK HERE]

Featuring some substantially different level design, this conversion of the first DuckTales is probably the most substantially different game from its NES version when stacked up with the other two duck game converstions for the Game Boy (Darkwing Duck and DuckTales 2). Stage layouts carry familiar enemies and elements, but end up playing out almost entirely differently and often in a an even more compacted way.

Bosses also now only take 4 hits, instead of 5, and the difficulty changes will actually allow you to take more hits on lower difficulties and no longer get rid of full health refilling cakes on the highest difficulty. While one might assume a lowered difficulty because of this - and I think that is what the developers were going for - I tend to find it a bit harder and more frustrating than the NES game because of its much, much poorer controls.

Something is just significantly off about the way that Scrooge controls, and this is hardly the only off element about the game. His jump ascends in a weirdly slow way, descends in a sharper way, and the hitboxing on the pogo feels warped just a little bit to add to this. The NES game has an almost perfect responsiveness, and going straight from one to the other is outright jarring in terms of how they function. Out of all the duck game recordings I did recently (there are 6 others), this is easily the worst and features my most sloppy play in match with that.

Even the music is off, with some of the instrumentation sounding weird and pitch being poorly managed for most songs. None of this makes the game as bizarre a mess as Rockman World II (e.g. Mega Man II GB), but it doesn't really do the original game justice. The remixed elements add something of their own charm and there is a novelty to this being a handheld version, though! I don't meant to be so harsh on it as to totally dismiss it, it's just semi-decent, at best, and feels like a deformed cousin more than DuckTales properly reformatted for pocket-sized play.


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DuckTales 2 (FC)

Spoiler: show
A no miss clear run of DuckTales 2 (ダックテイルズ2) for the Famicom, played on Difficult mode. Captured straight from an AV Famicom, no cheats. Sequel to the much-beloved original, I feel like DuckTales 2 is largely an improvement over its predecessor and suffers from an unjustly subdued reputation in comparison. Many tweaks are made to make sure this one is a much more directed experience, and the visuals are considerably more polished, jumping from an above-average treat and homage to the property to narrowly squeezing into one of the highest pantheons of visual quality for the system.

Although the structure of the game is not substantially changed, level design is significantly improved and stages tend to have a bit more of a readable flow to them. Paths branch off meaningfully rather than just spread out, and it's harder to find yourself lost or wondering whether or not you're on the right track to a boss. A few power-ups are introduced which introduce a few routing options to your play of the game, thus adding a little bit of interesting variety - they're also thankfully not used strictly as lock & key and never gate you from finishing a level.

There's more stage gimmicks, more ways to utilize the cane, more involved and interesting boss fights, subtle adjustments like now only needing to press B to extend the cane for a pogo than needlessly also being required to hold "down" on the d-pad, etc. The trade-off is that the game is a little bit longer and when you want to aggressively trim the fat and do a quick play, it's not as geared to that, but the game overall benefits a lot. You can also purchase a few items with your money, now giving a bit more purpose to all the otherwise needless-feeling collecting. Did I mention gem placement is a bit better and more clever, too?

Perhaps I've misjudged a bit and the original DuckTales was more than just popular for its timing and availability making it a popular buy at the time and therefore a well-remembered game, today - perhaps its enablement of capricious wandering and the vague joy of discovery it employs gives it this ineffably 'better' quality that the polish of its sequel couldn't outdo. However, I think it's not that. I think it really is a case of the sequel being strictly better (except in that it's a bit more of a committment) and having just been the victim of a late release and minimal advertising.

The good ending is now achieved by collecting a large number of hidden map pieces that reveal an entire bonus stage. This helps increase the draw of a replay to be more involved and thoughtful and to do away with the needless, incessent collecting required to hit the best ending for the previous game. While excess money does end up being a useless thing that does almost nothing, DuckTales 2 still has significantly more purpose than its predecessor.

While not an absolutely essential buy or completely top-shelf game, DuckTales 2 is, without question, a good game on numerous merits. While there's a few things I don't like here and there (the reassembling rock boss seriously sucks), they ultimately only drag the experience a little. I had a great time with it and found myself liking it more on successive replays, and I whittled my play down to a pretty efficient run that I was satisfied with, here. I stop and get a decent amount of treasure and am a little less focused than on my run with the predecessor, but I think this game better rewards getting the little pieces by turning them into more entertaining, miniature goals than simply littering them everywhere. Besides, this is still quite a few minutes faster than other good end runs I skimmed.


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DuckTales 2 (GB)

Spoiler: show
A no miss clear run of DuckTales 2 (ダックテイルズ2) for the Game Boy. Captured straight from a SNES via a Super Game Boy 2, no cheats. Please enjoy the idle animation for this particular border! I have also uploaded a video of the Famicom game with a more extensive review - for a complete review, check there, and then check back here for commentary on some of the differences and how it stacks up - [LINK HERE]

This conversion of DuckTales 2 thankfully fares much better than its predecessor and much more closely resembles its original game. Visuals and music are spot-on, and levels contain a decent enough amount of remixing to both evoke the original game and be their own thing. Things all play a little bit slower (even when at top speed) and there's instances of slowdown, but I think anyone that substantially enjoys the original game would find playing it again with some interesting changes worth putting up with the sacrifices it makes for its hardware.

Worth noting here is that this version of the game is also substantially cheaper to obtain than its Famicom (or especially NES) counterpart! It's a good way to see if the FC game is worth it, and a pretty good, if slightly watered-down replacement if you can only afford one.


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Darkwing Duck (NES)

Spoiler: show
A no miss clear run of Darkwing Duck (ダックにおまかせ ダークウィング・ダック) for the NES. Captured straight from my childhood NES, no cheats. Based on the TV show of the same name, Darkwing Duck is an action-platformer by Capcom that absolutely deserves a good bit of attention beyond the realm of the property it's based on. Simple, solid mechanics with a mighty good execution lay the foundation for a game that is also both paced and presented quite well, to boot. It bears a similarity to the Rockman series, but does enough to distinguish itself that I'd far from call it a clone.

Like most Capcom Disney games, affection for the property is as abundant as the developers' insistence on making a game that would be good with any coat of paint over it. Complaints on an initial run might be levied at the slight stickiness to the movement (you can't move and shoot and jumping sticks you in place for a few frames on the landing) and rigidity of a few fights (both a few enemies and bosses can be mean or turgid on a first play), but those dissipate with some time put into the game. Most bits that feel too slow at first can be swiftly plowed through with appropriate knowledge and execution - for example, the turtle enemy, which is a little too abundant in its usage, can be killed safely on 2 cycles with some proper timing. Comparatively, on your first run, he feels like he might be getting a couple of cheap hits in and that you might need 3-4 cycles for a kill.

I think one of the chief complaints with Rockman from more hardy action enthusiasts is that it lacks a punctuated gusto to its combat, but Darkwing helps mitigate this with a slightly better sense of forward momentum in its stage design and a lifebar that only allows 4 hits before death. While I wouldn't call Darkwing as good as most Rockman games, it is better, in a sense, for a more action-oriented and efficient play. While I very much enjoy the overall pacing of a Rockman game, they do tend to often lack significant consequence for mistakes, what with the massive lifebar and less aggressive enemies, and they have a more lenient, gentler sense of placement in the world. Darkwing's pacing is a little more deliberate - or at least focused - than the slightly more wandering and laid-back feel of a Rockman game, and also more punishing if you don't jive with it.

Visuals and music are both top-notch, and it's very easy to be delighted regardless of affection or awareness of the property it is based on. Lively stages, enemies, and bosses are obvious watermarks of Capcom's usual above-and-beyond effort put into their Disney games. The game feels pretty fully realized, though I do have to admit to being let-down by the final boss - he's just much too easy. The game, in general, has a slightly weak sense of escalation, and while the final level is good, Steelbeak is such a limp way to end things despite the first form possessing the ability to possibly screw your run. Overall, though, Darkwing Duck is great and easily worth picking up - it's my favorite duck game on the NES!


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Darkwing Duck (GB)

Spoiler: show
A no miss clear run of Darkwing Duck (ダックにおまかせ ダークウィング・ダック) for the Game Boy. Captured straight from a SNES via a Super Game Boy 2, no cheats. Please enjoy the idle animation for this particular border! I have also uploaded a video of the NES game with a more extensive review - for a complete review, check there, and then check back here for commentary on some of the differences and how it stacks up [LINK HERE]

This game probably fairs the very best out of all 3 Game Boy duck games (DuckTales, its sequel, and this)! It has the most interestingly compacted stage design and suffers from the least slowdown & least reduced play in comparison to its NES version. There are several points, in fact, where I'd argue that the Game Boy level design is outright better than its NES version, even when having to deal with the cramped screen size and slower movement. Many enemies in Darkwing duck are more interesting when there's less room to run from them, and the compactness, much like my opinion on the Rockman World (Mega Man GB) games, allows for some really interesting moments.

Unfortunately, however, it is definitely not quite as good because it lacks both the total responsiveness of the NES game and some of its better pacing that was benefited to it because of that. The level design also isn't strictly better, as some stages, most particularly the last stage, don't stack up to the original, either. Other little changes, such as making the sub-weapons deal much less damage to bosses (and the bosses being easier, in general), take out a little bit of the interesting routing of the original and leave a marginally limper game.

This is still a very fine conversion, however, and an easy recommendation to Game Boy enthusiasts.


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Quackshot Starring Donald Duck [AKA: I Love Donald: Guruzia Ou no Hihou] (MD)

Spoiler: show
A no miss clear run of Quackshot Starring Donald Duck (AKA: I Love Donald: Guruzia Ou no Hihou, or アイラブドナルドダック グルジア王の秘宝) for the Sega Genesis. Captured straight from an X'Eye, no cheats. Sharing much of the staff of the popular Mickey Mouse game, Castle of Illusion (which is frankly quite overrated), Quackshot is an action-platforming game based on Disney's Donald Duck character that was developed by Sega. Unlike a lot of games featuring Donald, you get some characters created by Carl Barks and a world-hopping story more reminiscent of his comics than more generically Disney-branded Donald fare, as well as a sprite that more resembles Barks' Donald. Uncle Scrooge only makes a brief cameo in the opening, but this feels like one of his adventures despite the abundance of Pete and his goons.

Quackshot rides fairly hard on its lavish presentation with some amazingly quality sprite art (disappointingly middling soundtrack, however), but its mechanics don't slack as hard as I felt during initial impressions. While the immediate barrage of questionable elements - relatively slow movement, a weapon that doesn't actually kill things, and a level-hopping pacing that suggests you'll need to find items is a hat trick of "hm, maybe I don't want to bother," I feel like this game really comes together with some time investment and becomes a surprisingly solid title. Though a couple of levels share assets or minor elements, there's a pretty wide variety to support the longer-than-usual length, and there's enough hazards to leave a decent little bit of challenge, particularly if you want to play efficiently.

The three-button control scheme does sometimes get in the way of things, however, as the you'll sometimes want to be dashing while jumping and shooting and may find that an impossibility for your thumb. No control scheme I tried quite felt like how I wanted things, but you'll see me change at the beginning of play for what I find the most comfortable. I tend to often leave my finger constantly depressing the b button and rock it left or right depending on if I need to jump or shoot, though I sometimes hold three fingers above the buttons in a "claw" position when I need to be making more complex maneuvers (which is rather uncomfortable). Gosh, how I wish the Mega Drive controller had more sensible button placement...

My play is mostly on point for this run, and I feel I get through the game rather expediently. The only major goof I can recall offhand without reviewing the play is that I have a completely embarrassing final boss fight. I can often beat him without getting hit, but for some reason I choke massively here and very nearly die - there's a point where I basically deserved death but missed it due to generous i-frames. The game isn't that hard, but the last stage can be a bit mean, and I was playing a bit recklessly. Though I dip to low health at a few parts of the game, I'm only at risk of dying in that boss fight, and gosh was I seriously at risk!

If you're a fan of Donald - particularly a more Barksian Donald - I feel like this is a pretty easy pickup. If not, it's still a surprisingly good action game often overshadowed by worse and more Mickey-centric predecessor. The plunger gun is a pretty fun little tool to use, and I kind of enjoy that the enemy's brief period of stun urges a sense of constant forward momentum.


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whoof, jeez, glad to finally get these all published and with reviews in the description. you might be asking: why the duck craze? i had some new friends talking about the new ducktales show, decided to stream ducktales for them, and then from there starting watching the new show with them (it's great), started reading carl barks and don rosa comic books, and then lost my fucking mind. it was really that simple a start - a simple whim to play something related to what they were talking about.

for those not familiar, the carl barks duck comics date back from 1942 to 1966 and are among the most consumed comics in the world, particularly in europe (despite barks' american heritage). he created duckberg, uncle scrooge, and much of the cast of duck characters outside of donald and daisy. these comics are great (buy them from fantagraphics! their hardbacks are wonderful and they have immense respect for the material) and have cultural influence spreading all over the place, including being a significant inspiration for the indiana jones movies (not the other way around, as history seems to suggest). don rosa kind of picked barks' world up and developed a cohesive canon for it in the 80's and 90's, and his stuff, while often referred to by him more as fan work, is remarkable in its own right (i may even like it a little more). i know this is veering off-topic for the thread, but you'd be shocked how good & influential these comics are and how much better & different they are than disney fare you'd expect. uncle scrooge has quickly become an all-time favorite fictional character and i've found a really genuine love for donald, too.

back more strictly on topic, for those not reading the reviews, i'd recommend all of these games, more or less, even the awkward gb version of the first ducktales. six of the seven are capcom, but the sega outlier on the list is worth putting some time into, as well.

a quick hierarchical rating - darkwing duck (nes) > duck tales 2 (nes) > quackshot (gen) > duck tales (nes) > darkwing duck (gb) > duck tales 2 (gb) >>> duck tales (gb)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:20 pm 


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Excellent reportage as usual, will give it the attention it deserves later! :smile: I don't have particularly strong attachments to Capcom's FC Disney stuff, but I always regarded them fondly. Never got to play Darkwing Duck - didn't encounter it BITD and presently still got a chronic case of No-NES. :[ (well... beat to shit NES with a bunch of similarly battered carts. CVIII and NGIII need replacin'. Image)
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