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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:08 pm 



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BIL wrote:
I'm looking forward to putting some time on Magic Sword, now that Saigo no Nindou is in the bag. Those two were always my big arcade sidescrolling nemeses. The SFC conversion is alright as a Black Label affair - newbies are a bit freer to experiment with inefficient routes and weaker partners that'll get them savaged on AC - but it doesn't have the crushing pressure of the arcade. Also the AC's way purdier!


Well, As you certainly know, this one is a nasty but lovely beast. Capcom programmers were somehow affected by a bipolar disorder-like attitude to difficulty - their titles were either perversely hard, or overall easy. I do not write names because some of our beloved posters on this very thread might have still recent traumas to absorb, regarding the hard lot.

Now, Magic Sword falls in the the lower frequencies of the hard spectrum, but if and only if a player knows what he is doing, when, where (i.e. which level), with what companion, and to who (i.e. sorry bastard to be brutally slaughtered as soon as possible). Any single tiny move outside the righteous path of a well-intended genocide of demi-humans, and it is game over. Quick, swift, without objections and appeals, and cough up the wallet and car keys before you go, sucker. Not too difficult a game, but errors are absurdly costly, even in the early phases/levels.

Still, it's not Data East's Dark Seal or Wizard Fire (i.e. DS' sequel), or Konami's Dark Adventure. Late '80s/early '90s fantasy/action games were indeed an interesting sub-genre, especially when one looks at how wildly inconsistent programmers could be, in designing difficulty curves and balancing them out.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:48 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
What's your impression on The Ignition Factor?

Never played it - it's one of those games whose name I see every once in a while, upon which I avow to try it out, only to promptly neglect said vow. I'll try it out soon!

BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
I never got very good at the game [Zombies Ate My Neighbors], and I'm aware some levels have "safe" hostages that can't be killed, but I think I enjoy the game a lot less because of the non-standard gameovers you get from losing all hostages. It feels surprisingly hard to keep them alive while also trying to keep yourself alive and not rushing in to take damage. Spoiled the game for me I think.

Understandably so, I've dropped the games a few times over the course of the years for the exact same reason. What really helped me was this excellent speedrun with its attendant notes. For the purpose of a regular 1CC run (as opposed to saving every victim, which was the goal for this particular player), it is not necessary to follow every step delineated there, but there is one crucial piece of advice: the maximum number of enemies at any given time is six. If you know of a victim that has a regrettable tendency of getting killed immediately when scrolling it on-screen, try to walk around in a circle beforehand to spawn six zombies/mummies/fishmen/... and lead them on a merry chase before collecting the victim. To prevent the fishmen from leaping away after swiping at you, freeze them in place with the fire extinguisher.

It's also a good idea to have a piece of paper handy with notes describing when to use running shoes and potions as the vast number of levels and anxiety might cause sudden forgetfulness. Between those two things, the game becomes significantly more manageable (although still very hard in my opinion, as some aspects cannot be controlled so easily, and losing 2 or 3 victims out of perhaps 5 or so in a single stage is still an ever-looming threat).

All of the LucasArt games for the system have a steep challenge despite their divergences in quality, interestingly enough - the Star Wars games and Ghoul Patrol are pretty bad or terrible (namely Empire Strikes Back), Zombies Ate My Neighbors vacillates right on the verge between masterfully crafted horror and sheer frustration, Metal Warriors is mostly superb.


kitten wrote:
have you watched the OVA for the manga that it's based on?

No - I almost guessed there might be some lore to the game, as there are some small story elements unfolding in the stages themselves as well as in-between, but I'm not familiar with the material whatsoever.

If I may ask you a completely different question: do you have any suggestions as to how to get better in Umihara Kawase? Did you find that spending time/practicing made the game steadily easier or was there a eureka moment where everything fell into place? I can't prevent myself from clumsily dropping down like a stone when trying to gracefully swinging from one obstacle to the next, and while that offers a certain amusement, I'd like to remedy that. :mrgreen:


Bassa-Bassa wrote:
How exactly are the controls and the graphics improved in the US Actraser? Would love to know - I found the JP version's action scenes already too easy.

There's a comprehensive overview here. Mortificator pointed out the difference in the controls; regarding the graphics, quite a few enemies either have more frames of animation, more graphical details, altogether different miens/accoutrements/etc., a lot of minor things were ameliorated. And my respect for you finding the action stages simple, I found them to be remarkably nasty! :shock:


FinalBaton wrote:
That's one I rented as a kid, and it left a haunting impression on me. The '7 sins'' theme was so vile, complete with very organic looking stages and monsters, and especially : disgusting bosses. And because it's got this religious backbone, it has this gravitae to it. And this heavy occult, brooding atmosphere, yet is carried by promise of redemption and salvation, creating this weird duality. Peace and benevolance via sword slashing action, now how about that! Extremely eerie, I'll never forget seeing this arch-angel warrior (well, this god in physical form I guess) descending upon that wretched world, his wings being touched by the fading rays of sunlight as he dove deep into the dark pits of hell, and unleashing his wrath by slicing every single living creatures with his holy blade, exercing revenge under that biblical soundtrack. Fucking epic!!

Wholeheartedly agree with all of the above. Where something like the brisk, looser interpretation of the Castlevania formula as seen in the grandiose MD Vampire Killer fits that system like a tailor-made suit, ActRaiser 2 is in all of its facets a genuine SFC game - surging, plangent audio alternating between pompous departure and inutterable melancholy (my favourite being Palace); lurid monsters inhabiting depraved hell holes, orphaned places of former glory and verdant forests alike; ponderous, yet surgically acurate action that expunges the fetid sore of Satan himself in old-testamentary implacability, it's an indispensable experience, for sure.



Also many thanks for all the kind words! 'twas a lot of fun to bring the list together, even if it is an arduous process. :)



I'm also very happy to be able to add Knights of the Round to the main list! After drilling every section of the game with savestates these last few days, I've finally had a superb run where I not only managed to clear the game on one life, yet also found one of those elusive extends for the first time ever (in stage 3, right below the horse). Since this is such an unusual game compared to any other brawler I've played before, a few more musings:

- I've went through a phase where I had to intentionally play slightly worse, as contradictory as that may sound. Generally speaking, you don't get health back after finishing a stage. For most of the game, this is pretty irrelevant as the end-of-stage bonus will give you enough points for a level-up, which refills your health. The exception to the rule is the fourth stage - if you play well enough (kill enemies of the same type in succession, split up all the treasure chests and food items for more points, take out several enemies with one special), you'll get the level-up during the boss fight (or perhaps even before that), meaning you don't get another one after finishing the stage. This means you have to survive one of the toughest parts of the game with whatever health you finished the Phantom fight. It might work out fine, I don't trust myself nearly enough, however, and made sure to enter the fifth stage with full health.

- For all the things I slowly but inexorably learned to enjoy, the RNG and small foibles are definitely not among them. Some examples: the aforementioned rare/random (?) extend, other random items such as level-up staffs, crystal orbs and the occasional food from enemies. Random behaviour of the fruit baskets: sometimes they split up into six pieces, usually into four, every so often into one measly apple. Attacks that either cross up or hit "inside" the character and are thus unblockable: Braford's dive kicks, the odd thrown hatchet from Sky Walkers & Phantom, those horrid flames from both Arlon & Garibaldi, even the stalwart Sword Men have the ability to strike at unblockable distances. Braford and Garibaldi are the worst offenders in my opinion, especially since it doesn't seem to be all that intentional, although I might be wrong here.

- There is one more thing I want to criticize: Mask Men/Sky Walkers/Phantom, Braford and Balbars are invincible during particular frames/actions. With Balbars, it is both predictable and properly set up (when he tries to grab the player), with the rest of the bunch, it comes off as a glitch. They make a sound as though they're hit, they react as though they're hit (by bouncing away), you see the little graphic as though they're hit, they merely refrain to lose health from it. I've seen Braford ignore up to three hits in a row, it's incredibly aggravating.

- My favourite fights are those against Balbars & Muramasa. The former, while not inordinately difficult, perfectly exemplifies the "block & retaliate" core mechanic insofar as you're constantly doing the one or the other with barely any moment of surcease. The latter administers the antidote to some of the poor RNG decisions with the correct shaping of chaos & uncertainty. You don't want to stand your ground here but learn to keep the right space where you can block and attack while maintaining the auspicious distance to strike back. Unlike Garibaldi's fatigable riposting (he loves to "counterblock" two or even three times in tandem), Muramasa's nimble parry game will quickly be resolved in one of the contestants getting hit whereupon the roundelay starts anew.

- Don't show too much trepidation in using the special attack to knock out a trio of deadly enemies. Getting hit will take away anything from 40-75% of your health depending on the situation, using your special is a sensible investment that not only instantly defuses the lingering threat, it also might give you the chance to harry a few enemies to death afterwards. You definitely shouldn't use the special constantly and/or against set-ups that can easily be handled with your block, but if you play permanently well, there should be more than enough health for otherwise harrowing skirmishes (such as the one in stage 5, or even some of the battles within the castle in stage 3). I had to learn that the hard way myself.

- A lot of mix-ups can be circumvented by chary screen scrolling or perfectly spaced "activation hits". Some examples: the Tall Man in stage 5 (you don't have to fight the two Falcons at the same time) as well as the Bird Men afterwards (fight them one at a time); don't provoke the first Tall Man in stage 6 in order to fight against the four other enemies separately; the final two Tall Men in the last stage can be goaded into action one at a time as well; use a special for both so that you keep the barrels with health intact for the fights afterwards!

- You obviously also want to incorporate the two fixed level-up staffs (especially the one in the final stage) as well as the crystal orbs correctly into your game plan. Doing so drastically lowers the difficulty of the stage 6 encounter towards the end of the stage.

- Amusingly, the more I played the game, the worse I got at just initiating combat for myself. While this is the optimal modus operandi against Bird Men and Tall Men, for example, a flip side presents itself: the Magicians, by all means a trivial enemy type, caused me more and more problems the better I got at the game (I never got hit by them when I played the game at first, whereas most everything else incessantly killed me). In a similar vein, the Mask Man/Sky Walker enemy should be chased down relentlessly as they have no qualms reacting with frame-perfect attacks when you lower your guard.

- I really wish I would've been able to adequately implement the back attack and the evasion attack, both of which are incredibly tight, input-wise. Playing as Percival also was too daunting for me from a survival perspective, I never got consistent at his dash game. I'll definitely experiment a bit more whenever I try out the original arcade game!

- Overall, I'm elated that I persevered once more - I don't think it quite makes it into my top 5 SFC brawlers, it's assuredly in my top 10, however. The visuals are outstanding as per usual with Capcom games, the soundtrack also fits the theme perfectly. Some of the abovementioned quirks should've been adressed, I think, and the difficulty overall is hectoring (doubly so as this game is so unorthodox, meaning you can't transfer your former knowledge nearly as easily) to a point that it might deject players, getting proficient at reading distances in order to deflect attacks and then retaliate by whirling around a puissant broadsword on the other hand is incredibly satisfying.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:48 pm 



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Perikles wrote:
Bassa-Bassa wrote:
How exactly are the controls and the graphics improved in the US Actraser? Would love to know - I found the JP version's action scenes already too easy.

There's a comprehensive overview here. Mortificator pointed out the difference in the controls; regarding the graphics, quite a few enemies either have more frames of animation, more graphical details, altogether different miens/accoutrements/etc., a lot of minor things were ameliorated. And my respect for you finding the action stages simple, I found them to be remarkably nasty! :shock:


Useful link, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:50 pm 


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Perikles wrote:
If I may ask you a completely different question: do you have any suggestions as to how to get better in Umihara Kawase? Did you find that spending time/practicing made the game steadily easier or was there a eureka moment where everything fell into place? I can't prevent myself from clumsily dropping down like a stone when trying to gracefully swinging from one obstacle to the next, and while that offers a certain amusement, I'd like to remedy that. :mrgreen:


acclimatizing to umihara kawase can be a bit difficult. while i can't say that i necessarily had a "eureka moment," the biggest idiosyncrasy to grasp to start getting used to the game quickly is that up & down on the d-pad radically affect your swinging movement. down reels in, up reels out, and this plays with your momentum in ways that are a bit different to elucidate via text - it's definitely a big 'feel' game and i think it has a very different and much more elaborate learning curve than your typical action game because of that.

i'd call the act of getting used to it almost a negotiation more than the strict success/failure metric you generally consider performing a move in an action game. diagnosing your mistake often isn't a clean cut matter of just having jumped too soon/too late or failing to efficiently get the hook out, but rather a compound series of errors that it can be hard to tell the critical part of. in bionic commando - arguably the most useful comparison to make in terms of different execution of a relatively similar concept - extremely strictly engaged timing almost always brings understandable success, but in umihara kawase, you're going to need to know in some cases when to pull out or start over if something doesn't "feel" right. you start to develop a sixth sense or superstition about the movement.

you have a natural up/down bob in the game while you're hanging from something (go idle and watch it to get a feel), and i think one of the best things to do to begin to train yourself is to get used to when you want to reel in/out to take advantage of it rather than constantly be working against it and plunging into the water below. go to any purely vertical wall, latch it, and then make your objective to climb it by simply matching the rhythm of your reeling to the bobbing and then relatching to gain a little bit of height. it's - again - almost like there's a bit of a negotiation process, and you'll perhaps find yourself arguing with god a lot more playing umihara kawase than another action game.

while both umihara and a more strictly communicated game may be totally fair, the subtlety with which marginally different inputs can result in radically different results in the former makes it a much different experience. e.g. while a good mario player can understand when they're a subpixel off with a jump that needs to be perfectly executed, a good umihara kawase player is made to constantly swallow disbelief and adjust to the moment. i feel like it's a game that westerners have a harder time getting into because of - and i kid you not - really basic differences in cultural philosophical outlook. think gimmick's star ride and how 'unpredictable' it can be despite there technically being so few factors you could always theoretically predict it, and then also think of the natural result of speedrunners often being miles apart in skill. i often think of both umihara and gimmick as some of the most distinctly japanese action games because of this.

once you've mastered climbing a purely vertical wall, you'll have gotten yourself instilled with somewhat of an intuitive understanding of the timing with which to reel in & out to the point you'll find yourself making considerably more difficult maneuvers with a lot more ease. so, so, so much of the game is co-operating with that bob to maximize your momentum and make difficult swings.

another tip for getting into the game that may not be immediately obvious - don't capture enemies unless you really need to! capturing an enemy means adding another random enemy spawn into the game, so you often just want to stun them and run past them except in certain instances. i've only put time into the sfc game (which i loved so much i wanted to save its sequels for really appropriate moments), but i'm told the later games are a lot more generous on this particular element.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:45 pm 


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^ excellent post, indexed. Image

Mang. Argus no Senshi after an hour of Metal Slug 2 = drugs. Image

Image

Agelessly hyper-responsive scrolling action game. It's pretty refreshing after more calculating affairs. Here shit is perpetually charging, swooping and erupting at you, and overthinking your response is positively deadly. Kill and escape first, think... not later, but contemporaneously. The stomp's i-frames are always on tap, the perfect bridge to steady footing.

I'm curious about the game's dev team. The way an airborne attack cancels upon hitting ground reminds me of FC Ninja Ryukenden (in both games, you have to factor this in while landing to dispatch a charging foe - can't start the attack while airborne, ala Dracula). As does the intuitive breakability of said attack (need to jump out of a grounded strike, no problem). Noticed POWER OF SUN's modified [up] attack can be cancelled by letting off the dpad while active, causing it to attack behind you. Thought this might work, whaddaya know? It did!

Image

Shades of NG1's rapid cancel jump attack. Not necessarily as useful, but again, that distinct tactile malleability is very familiar.

Grand game at any rate, anyone with a passing interest in this thread should play it. I would call it the closest arcade analogue to the classic FC Castlevania, NG, Shatterhand et al's compact, snappy action/platforming.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:07 pm 


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Rygar is a cult-classic. Seems like one that pretty much everybody has played it in their youth. I haven't played it since then but had planned to, one of my coworkers loves that game. Now Imma replay it s00n fo sho'


@kitten it's fascinating to learn of the japanese's philosophy/world view/manners. I became aware 2 years ago of a trait of them that's similar to what your describing here.

Basically, there's a short expression (can't remember it OTTOMH) that they think to themselves or say out loud which roughly translates to ''it can't be helped''. They say that to themselves whenever they encounter something that they can't comprehend/can't change, and instead of trying to decypher it, they accept it. And quickly move on and get to just deal with it the way that things are, avoiding negative emotions.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:28 pm 


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I'm a real noob with AC Rygar, grew up with the NES version's snappy and likeable but generally mild ARPG (which unbeknownst to me was actually an entirely new game in JP, Hachamecha Daishingeki). Tried out the ACA release on a whim this year and said HOREH SHIET, it's pretty much the arcade-tough FC action/platformer I'd been left wanting after clearing out Konami, Tecmo, Natsume and Sunsoft et al's catalogues. Magnificent game, at least from what I've seen. Haven't enabled continues yet, just enjoying seeing how much more nuts it can get before I hit Game Over. Crazy how much stuff it can put onscreen without a hint of slowdown... and just like my FC favourites, its character dimensions and camera tracking are airtight.

While I've always regarded the FC Ryukenden trilogy as a bit of an outlier in Tecmo's catalogue (they have other quality works, but nothing as definitively brilliant for hardcore R2RKMF), their 80s AC staff seem to have been total beasts. AC Rygar, Solomon's Key and Ninja Ryukenden are a real power trio, and Gemini Wing is damn good too. I hope Wild Fang and Silkworm get the ACA treatment at some point, these games deserve to reach more people (ie ME Image)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:09 pm 


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FinalBaton wrote:
@kitten it's fascinating to learn of the japanese's philosophy/world view/manners. I became aware 2 years ago of a trait of them that's similar to what your describing here.

Basically, there's a short expression (can't remember it OTTOMH) that they think to themselves or say out loud which roughly translates to ''it can't be helped''. They say that to themselves whenever they encounter something that they can't comprehend/can't change, and instead of trying to decypher it, they accept it. And quickly move on and get to just deal with it the way that things are, avoiding negative emotions.


i think you're thinking of shikata ga nai/sho ga nai.

a japanese term i've been thinking of a lot the last couple of years is "mono no aware," which informs a great deal of japanese creative output.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:07 am 


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That's it! 'Sho ga nai''. they say that and shrug and just accept the situation and go about being productive right away. Don't spend energy trying to understand it
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:13 am 


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Oh nice, ACA's finally getting more DECO stuff out. I'm mostly interested in BurgerTime, of those. Iconic early 80s title I never got to play BITD, always wondered how it compares with the GB's cute, agreeable BurgerTime DX. Dream picks would be Thunder Zone and Wolf Fang. Although the latter's PS1 port is already pretty nice, even minor loadtimes always take me out of the arcade joie de vivre. I'm glad to see another classic catalogue in safe hands, at any rate.

Speaking of safe hands, I totally neglected to mention a while back, during the Edward Randy discussion, that apparently M2 have the rights to it! (ta GSK)

I had no idea Burnin' Rubber was quite so old (1982), interesting. I know it more from the NES version of Bump n' Jump.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:44 pm 


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BIL wrote:
Perikles is my favourite poster. Image

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:53 pm 


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Perikles wrote:
https://s12.directupload.net/images/200424/dqewyvqp.jpg


Did Perikles just bought a Beat-A-Game button and did all these clears with it? :lol:

Just kidding. Real talk glad to see you back with usual game dissections! Do you have a thought to make YouTube channel again? I would love to see your side-scrolling clears to be honest and yes, that Sengoku Blade 2-ALL you said while ago. Even Lyv, another Psikyo farm superplayer said that Sengoku Blade 2-ALL is the hardest Psikyo clear and they still haven't get the clear.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:08 am 


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Lyv actually managed to finally beat Sengoku Blade's 2 loops pretty recently! :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5JDsLtnMlI
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:45 pm 


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2 loop Sengoku Blade is absolutely nuts.

So, in between brushing up on my beat 'em ups, I've been poking around various Streets of Rage streams and noticing that a lot of players don't realize you can hold Up + Jump to safely land when thrown by enemies. How could this be?

I thought this was a technique that's well known by now seeing as how it's a technique that's been in every single release including the Game Gear ports, and is in the instruction manuals. These were players who mentioned they were most familiar with SoR2, and so I went looking at the manual, because I knew it was definitely in there and wouldn't just be buried as like a footnote or something.

IT'S NOT IN THE STREETS OF RAGE 2 GENESIS ENGLISH MANUAL. WHAT.

I swear either I'm going blind or can't find mention of Throw Recovery anywhere or anything that says to hold Up + Jump when thrown in the manual. Did an entire generation of players introduced to the series with SoR2, even the ones who read the manual, just completely miss this was a thing? And it gets worse, throw recovery is specifically mentioned in the manuals for every other game in the series, including SoR1 Genesis, SoR2 Game Gear, etc. Gah, what a thing to forget to include.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:18 pm 


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It's such an important move! Gotta spam that one af.

Maybe the exclusion from the manual is why, yeah. But I'm still surprised a bit, that streamerz aren't aware of it.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:55 pm 


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I didn't know that there is TLB on Sengoku Blade loop 2, loop 2 is absolute nuts.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:45 pm 


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BIL wrote:
Noticed POWER OF SUN's modified [up] attack can be cancelled by letting off the dpad while active, causing it to attack behind you. Thought this might work, whaddaya know? It did!

Image

Shades of NG1's rapid cancel jump attack. Not necessarily as useful, but again, that distinct tactile malleability is very familiar.


Try using this in the vertically scrolling sections, climbing the rope with the iguana monsters on the sides. It's a very safe way to attack them.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:21 pm 


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Yeah, I've been enjoying that! I actually had no idea Sun could kill the bats in the rope sequences, until a couple days ago. It's my current B game opposite Metal Slug 3, planning to make a serious go at it next (er... well, maybe after MS4. lots to do! Image). My best one-credit run is currently Round 22 - game starts off quick and IMO really ramps up around 13. (for those who've not played - that might sound like an obnoxiously slow curve, and thirty rounds a punishing marathon, but with the deliberately compact stages it evens out to classic arcade pace)

I enabled continues but if I'm not mistaken, a Game Over kicks you out after Round 20? Might've imagined it, but I almost hope it's the case - a nice forerunner to the lovable NG Boss Rush Knockback™ which very much ignited this thread. Image :mrgreen:

There's so much for a fan of Famicom-styled R2RKMF to love here, particularly the ultra agile chain-stomping. Felt like Christmas when I discovered you could not only "air walk" up the lava bro's triple shot, but also bounce off of the resulting ground flames! :shock: Addictively intuitive and tactically invaluable, with a well-judged "panic escape" aspect - the somersault's i-frames allowing you to muscle through otherwise impassible attacks, at the cost of disabling your own weapon.

SLAP AND STOMP ♫
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The fully-upgraded weapon is a blast, too. The way it obliterates rows of enemies laser-style is perfect for the game's balance of freeform agility and deadly precision. A satisfyingly mighty attack that doesn't dim the relentless peril, but simply lets you engage it more aggressively. Not surprised this game is a favourite of several longtime STG fans here, the combination of massive firepower, high agility and mortal danger is instantly familiar.

The way running enemies can easily leap pits and obstacles, but generally don't return if evaded, reminds me of Ninja Gaiden's runners - as does both games using terrain to greatly complicate avoiding them (I do love how the roly-polys will violently ricochet off terrain to own the incautious :lol:). Again, the stomp's ability to put you on the other side of an otherwise on-target charger is invaluable. Actually, the use of airborne "troop transporter" foes and omnipresent item boxes made me think of NG's base, Castlevania. With Rygar and CV both being 1986, I wonder if they had some common inspirations there. NG is an interesting midpoint between the two, at any rate.

Apart from the tight handling and sprinting pace, I really like the OutRun-styled "beautiful journey." Seeing a new backdrop further in feels pretty significant. Or maybe Bombjack-styled... you can tell the devs knew the value of a nice vista. I also wonder if the neat colour-cycling texts of Bombjack, Rygar, Solomon's Key and Gemini Wing had any influence on NGII and NGIII's similarly pretty rainbow HUDs.
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 Post subject: time to redact aggressively
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 4:35 pm 


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I just noticed that the Super Contra included in the Contra Collection is missing the intro audio lines.
"Wot iz diz playz?" and "Keep your eyes peeled!"
:x
In both Int and JP versions. Cannot imagine the reasons behind this and won't. Funless dig age.
So sexy, the absence will hurt. :oops:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 4:45 pm 


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WTF? Image

I hope AC Super gets an Arcade Archives release at some point. ACA seem to be the original AC version's patron saints, with all its other official releases sharing MAME's boned st2/4 enemy AI. Much more improbable ACA releases have happened, namely its soundtrack labelmate the perpetually obscure A-JAX, and the upcoming 90s picks Sunset Riders and Trigon. Its Thunder Cross hardware is all sewn up too.
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 Post subject: Re: time to redact aggressively
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 6:52 pm 


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Ronyn wrote:
I just noticed that the Super Contra included in the Contra Collection is missing the intro audio lines.

This is practically a war crime.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 7:22 pm 


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In Memoriam. The only acceptable substitute for the voiceovers is WHITE-HOT SHIBATA BATTLE TREATMENT ImageImageImageImage
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 11:22 pm 


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wtf those lines being taken out is bullshit :[ that's my number one favorite thing to do around all my friends who never know what i'm referencing. every single time someone in a movie or tv show says "what is this place?" i go "keep your eyes peeled."
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 3:36 am 


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Sumez wrote:
it290 wrote:
Taito games seemed to be the only ones to get decent Amiga ports for whatever reason. Rainbow Islands and Liquid Kids are the ones people talk about, but personally I like the port of Operation Wolf quite a bit, fun to play with a mouse and keeps all the goofy voice samples intact.


Liquid Kids, coincidentally, was never released.

Rainbow Islands is interesting. I hear it's based entirely on playing the arcade game and trying to replicate it, rather than porting the code directly, but I had the chance to play it again a couple of months ago (the first time I've actually tried the Amiga version in nearly 30 years!), and from what I could tell it really felt exactly like the arcade version, which is incredibly impressive. I know people usually say it's good, but I always take claims like that with a grain of salt, especially considering 30% of the game is completely missing, which should be enough to invalidate it no matter how good the controls are.
That said, I was only able to play it with the default Amiga controls of a shitty, mushy joystick, and holding it "up" to jump, which combined with the intricate control scheme made it completely impossible to play the game well by any stretch. So I still have a few reservations, as it would be hard to tell if there are any important mistakes and glaring inaccuracies hidden behind the awful control scheme, but from what I've seen it's hard to believe that the game is only a "sight-read" recreation similar to Parasol Stars.

I did run straight out and bought Ocean's NES port, however, and ended up really disappointed that it felt in no way as nice as the Amiga-version. They must have been created by completely different teams.



https://www.resetera.com/threads/rainbo ... ort.33113/

https://uridiumauthor.blogspot.com/2018 ... lands.html

How the greatness of the Amiga port came to be straight from Braybrook's mouth. ;-)

Also about the NES Ocean one... I remember I had found an in-depth analysis online of its inner workings, complete with screenshot comparisons of the color palette used, how to get the diamonds and such. I believe it was the Skirmishfrog site, but it's down. Could anyone help?

Anyway, expecting it to be amiga-like was probably delusional, sumez. From the looks of it it seems based mostly on the C64 port. I'd still reckon this is in the absolute top five or even top three NES european exclusives to get. I can't really stomach the Taito in-house famicom/SMS rendition. :(
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 3:40 am 


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Wow. Even the Digital Eclipse version of Super Contra on XBLA has the voices intact.

Interesting. I had no idea that the PSX/Saturn/PC port of Rainbow Islands was a port of the Amiga version. Only seven levels like the Amiga, but has the best alternate music for the main game compared to other ports with changed music.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 4:03 pm 


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Maybe Konami was trying to playing it safe. They always had issues with preserving voice samples whenever they re-released their older arcade games on digital formats (as was as the case with X-Men when it was briefly available on PS3 and Xbox 360 or the 6th gen ports of TMNT The Arcade Game), although I can't really imagined a disgruntled voice actor suing Konami for a couple of voice clips for an arcade game's attract demo in 1988.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 8:51 pm 


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Jonny2x4 wrote:
I can't really imagined a disgruntled voice actor suing Konami for a couple of voice clips for an arcade game's attract demo in 1988.

Did they even really utilize dedicated voice actors for that sort of thing back then? I vaguely recall a "did you know" type article or two from way back when that highlighted a bunch of notable voice clips that were recorded by the developers themselves; maybe my memory's just hazy, but I have a hard time imagining it would be a particularly uncommon practice.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 4:28 am 


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The thing that bothers me most about the removed voices is that Bill and Lance are just left moving their lips without saying anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 4:18 am 


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Damnit BIL, I see you with your MS3 1LC. Nice work mate.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 11:51 am 


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Haha, thanks. :mrgreen: I'd forgotten how nerve-wracking the final stretch aboard the mothership is.

Spoiler: show
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^ Authentic terror reflex, frames from death. Image Shouldn't have let the Giant Walker's parting shot bulldoze me into a corner, they're deadly.

Things to know about the crawlers:

1) They can't start self-destructing until they've touched you. Don't worry about one heating up en route, then exploding on contact - doesn't work that way.

2) "Runners" and "Hoppers" are distinct enemy types - the former are much deadlier pursuers, while the latter are easily outran, so divide attention accordingly. The MOBS section is populated entirely by Hoppers, taking a lot of pressure off.

Had another near-death gaffe VS the Cocoon I wanted to point out.

Spoiler: show
Image


^ Corner-camping like this does good damage to the core, but the tactic has a fatal weakness. If a clone manages to shoot from the ramp as shown, you can easily get torched. I was frazzled and took my eyes off the middle ceiling pipe - sheer dumb luck I didn't die.

Spoiler: show
Image


^ After the near-miss, I got my act together. If a clone survives your HMG barrage and boards the ramp, let them get a bead on you, then wait for their trigger pull. Hop over the subsequent blast and kill them. Hop too early, and they'll anti-air the shit outta you. Image

Alternatively, you can proactively target them with jumping down-sweeps, but I find the hop far simpler and safer. I only use active downsweeps if there's another clone right behind them waiting to shoot, which can be deadly with worst-case timing. In the above GIF, the backup clone was far enough away that I was comfy taking the jump.

The clones have a generous startup period before attacking - individually, and with their low HP, they're pretty harmless. However, their furious respawn rate makes it easy to lose track of one and get slashed/burnt. Note that they're limited to three onscreen - if you have the full set down below, ignore them and focus on the core. Best of all (assuming you're fighting Fios) is when one gets peckish and busts out a sandwich, that's a solid ten second reprieve while they chow down. :lol:

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^ ta @ Superblinky!

I usually farm up minimum 700 HMG rounds before retreating to the corner, but again, nerves. Farming's actually pretty safe, provided you keep your eyes peeled™, and it's worth it - you'll be set to blast the locks in the final escape. This'll free up grenades for Rootmars. In an ideal run, I reach him with ~45 grenades, which takes a chunk out of his obnoxiously massive HP. Regardless, as shown, arriving with ~30 grenades and ~28 flame shots will get you most of the way to victory, with good Slug exploit timing taking care of the rest.

I try to save the Slug's shells for after I've exhausted my ammo and grenades - hitting a red bubble might get you something nice, like a bomb crate, ammo, or a fresh Flame Shot / Shotgun / Super Grenade... but it could also spawn the massively inferior HMG or Rocket Launcher, right where you want to be standing.

For the exploit, I use Rootmars' retching SFX as the audio cue to leap off him. As soon as you hit the slug, mashing [bomb] and [down+jump] will let you shell him while ejecting. The timing on this is pretty idiosyncratic, but once you've gotten the groove down it's highly repeatable.

Ala Metal Slug X's finale, it's not conventionally great final boss design, but the pressure is intense and it's not without an insular charm. 2P games providing a pair of Slugs confirms to me that Nazca fully expected players to i-frame through the hellishly dense, quick Angry Bubbles. An odd mechanic to find at the heart of a hardcore run/gun trilogy, but there's no denying how liberating it feels to judiciously somersault straight through otherwise lethal walls of enemy fire.

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WAR HAS NO BOUNDARIES (■`W´■)

---

PREPARATIONS FOR THE DEADLY BATTLE Image

ImageImage

Suiciding your aircraft at the start of Final Mission will cause the very first Rebel plane to drop a bomb crate. However, killing the plane without missing its drop, and battling the subsequent squadron, is dangerous enough that I was using six bombs anyway. If the Flame Shot was guaranteed, not random, it'd be a different story... I'd just use one bomb to take down the very first plane. It's an instant kill when fired while overlapping him, and you simply need to stick close to grab the bomb crate. Flame shot tears through the paratroopers and squadron alike. Not that you strictly need to kill the former (they can't hit you while you're hugging the top edge), but the way the blast spreads through their ranks is too evilly satisfying to miss. Image

Ultimately, I decided to play it safe. I've had practice sessions where I reach Rootmars with a mighty ~60 grenades, and while it certainly gives an edge, 15 extra grenades isn't worth the risk of blowing the run.

I still suicide the jet and the subsequent free heli immediately after the sky battle, so the forest's heavy attack chopper will drop a bomb crate. You get yet another free heli before Allen arrives, so there's relatively zero risk there. The tank rush bomb crate spawns whether you're in a ride or not - hug the ground so your canopy opens, and it'll be added to your grenade stock, rather than wasted as rockets.

---

I think I could've made 6mil if I'd gotten the final Vehicle Bonus (gotta land the killing blow via Slug), but yet again I was feeling too shaky for that. Also, I forgot the two airplane POWs in Mission 2! :evil: However the resulting zombie-slashing frenzy looked rad, so it's alright. As with MSX, I don't take this series' scoring too seriously, but going for personal targets (in my case sub-45minutes with no deaths) is surprisingly addictive. I blame the super-cute item sprites and pickup SFX. :cool:

Speaking of idle animations (Sandwich RNG wasn't on my side this time, unfortunately), did you know Utan gets his hog out sometimes? I'd no idea! :shock: Greedy bastard, as if that diaper could hold four bananas.

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Thanks for the ongoing good times Nazca. Image ACA team, now that u have nailed IREM M92 with KAITEI DAISENSOU, pls hook us up w/GEOSTORM & UC COPS. Image

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