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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 10:07 pm 



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FPGA devices are getting a supposedly better-than-Mame emulation of Contra PCB very soon, though I'm not sure if the author is aware of the 3D scenes issues in current emulation:

https://twitter.com/topapate/status/1264981117020639234


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 1:39 am 


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Good attention to detail - hopefully he's well aware of MAME's st2 issues. Just checked ACA Contra (PS4), and as I'd expected, it lacks the MAME bug:

https://youtu.be/0BDUNxMdSUo

Spoiler: show
Image


I'm surprised Contra's emulation has been so tatty over the years. Unlike the sadly under-repped DEVASTATORS, it's not exactly an obscure game. I suspect Umechan Team's deservedly beloved FC version has forever relegated it to a curio, for many, though that's only a hunch.

I prefer the FC overall for its perfect controls, vivid audiovisuals and expanded stages - AC Contra is a rare example of a coinop being a bit too concise - but the arcade version has its own charm, with the meaner difficulty, better-detailed graphics, and that same brevity making it some of gaming's most literal "nonstop action." Being tough (or at least unforgiving) and short has its benefits. Once you nail it down, you've got a foot-to-the-floor five minute killfest with an explosion/runtime ratio most other action games need a stage select to match. It actually conveys the sense of a commando raid - get in, do the damage, GTFO. Image Image Image

The tate visuals are fun, too... it's a much cooler-looking game displayed in its full vertical glory, than cropped into yoko.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 1:33 pm 


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Rather indisposed I made it back to Zelos with Yaksha. I forgot how fucking hard she wrecks.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 7:10 pm 


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TNWOA comes back to you real quick. I managed to clear it with Ninja boi and Yaksha on normal.

I decided to check out the high score tables. Bloody hell - only 88 people have managed a clear on hard? That's nuts!

My quickest time on normal is good for 192:D Out of what I'm presuming is 193.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 1:30 am 


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The thing that gets me about Yaksha is how finicky it seems to nail bosses with her aerial up-special (the air-to-ground tentacle skewering) after a grab. There's something really awkward about boss hitboxes that doesn't seem to be the case with standard enemies, so the timing for nailing a boss with both tentacles, which of course is typically her most reliable source of damage, is either very tight or inconsistent, in a way it isn't with any normal enemy. I can't really get a handle on it, at least. I do want to go through and get a hard mode clear with her; I think these last few posts might get me to go back to the game and shoot for that.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 10:06 am 


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In general, particularly with the tentacles having a slight homing property, I just try to overlap the target as closely as possible before firing them, so wherever they go, they'll have a nice meaty boss to rip through first.

Image

^ goddamn, I'd forgotten how satisfying that is just to look at. Image

Also, note it's totally possible to just jump into an enemy before letting rip, for a solid chunk of damage. End of a combo works great, and is very economical. The grapple combo seen above is as much for mobility and crowd control as damage (generally, any enemies lurking in your landing zone will get gored just like the primary target, and would-be backstabbers will be left behind by the grapple).

Image

^ nice painful combo ender, Flamethrower's dead before he hits the floor. Even normal-jumping in and nailing them raw works too, though as always in this game,

1) you're gambling on being anti-aired, and
2) you've gotta watch out for the others during your recovery frames (Katana could've easily punished me there).
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 1:35 pm 


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Fucking Banglar. That weeny. In his stupid weeny machine. With his stupid lasers.

Yeah I almost got the 1 CC on hard again.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 5:30 pm 


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Still struggling with 6-2. If the flying enemies in the first part don't get me (the very first one being the most annoying), it's the green guy / bat / bird triple attack in the second, especially if I somehow managed to use up all my ninko before that.

I'm very close to try switching to a version on another format after I found out that my 3DS's d-pad is so shitty that it makes wall-climbing possible on left walls exclusively, while trying the same on right walls inevitably leads to death in bottomless pits.

One more question: I noticed that it seems to be possible to let certain enemies retreat until they leave the screen, so you don't even have to fight them. On other occasions they just move back forward upon reaching the screen edge. How can I consistently trigger their vanishing act?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 5:52 pm 


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Herr Schatten wrote:
Still struggling with 6-2. If the flying enemies in the first part don't get me (the very first one being the most annoying), it's the green guy / bat / bird triple attack in the second, especially if I somehow managed to use up all my ninko before that.


This is pretty much the apex of the game's difficulty (in terms of stage design - Jaquio's another tough hurdle). You get a Jumpslash right around the Jetpack Ninjas - it's highly recommended you use it to tear through their projectiles, then hold onto it through the remainder of the first floor, all of the second, then finally use it to break the game's premiere chokepoint at the fourth (third floor is a freebie).

Squire's model example of the Jetpack Ninja sequence, an unbroken attack:

Spoiler: show
Image


My much tattier, hesitant example that's still 100% safe. (this is how I tend to play NG1 when rusty - once I've distanced myself from a ledge, I don't mind getting hit. The vast majority are a trifling 1HP, and as shown, the hitflash usually lets you bruteforce on through whatever hit you)

Spoiler: show
Image


^ Both bring in the JS from st6-1, but there's another in the uppermost platform's candle. If I'm without JS beforehand, I'll use whatever's at hand to board the platform, taking a hit if needed - the nearer you get to the candle, the less your chance of getting knocked off it - then grab the JS and immediately jumpslash off the platform. You'll blow straight through anything in your path.

It's by no means the only way (here's what happens when it's been so long, you dump your JS right before the Chokepoint Of Legend), but it's objectively the simplest, and the designers actively foster it.

Quote:
I'm very close to try switching to a version on another format after I found out that my 3DS's d-pad is so shitty that it makes wall-climbing possible on left walls exclusively, while trying the same on right walls inevitably leads to death in bottomless pits.


Aw jeeze, that ain't good. :o FWIW, FCEUX has always served me well in a pinch. Not the fanciest emulator, but it plays a fine game of NG1.

Quote:
One more question: I noticed that it seems to be possible to let certain enemies retreat until they leave the screen, so you don't even have to fight them. On other occasions they just move back forward upon reaching the screen edge. How can I consistently trigger their vanishing act?


I've never relied on this, so I can't advise too much - but it seems you need to get near enough that their spawn point disables, then let them back off the screen edge. Don't manually scroll them off yourself, by backing up - you'll reactivate the spawn point, and go back to square one.

Hammer Bros naturally creep back and forth, so edging nearer to them will typically get them to retreat as desired. Machinegunners and the common ledge guarders are two more simple targets.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 5:49 am 


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Thanks for the hints. Helpful as always.

BIL wrote:
My much tattier, hesitant example that's still 100% safe. (this is how I tend to play NG1 when rusty - once I've distanced myself from a ledge, I don't mind getting hit. The vast majority are a trifling 1HP, and as shown, the hitflash usually lets you bruteforce on through whatever hit you)


My own strategy looks somewhat similar now, and I can pull it off with enough consistency in the timing. The main difference is that I nearly always take a hit from the very first jetpack ninja, which isn't too bad, as that only makes me auto-grab the right wall and I can continue safely from there. (Of course I blame the 3DS's shitty buttons instead of my own inaptitude.) My next goal is to carry both the spin slash and enough ninko through to the triple attack point.

By the way, what is the preferred strategy for dealing with the bat on the second floor of 6-2? Usually, just jumping to the green platform and keeping running in a fluid motion seems to work fine, but on rare occasions, the bat knocked me off the platform instead. Is there something I'm missing?

Anyway, I'm going to give the game a go in an emulator sometime later and see how that turns out.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 7:05 am 


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st6-2 second floor bat is a real prick, probably the game's single hardest pit-guarding pest. Although he still spawns before you leave the ground, he's way later, and you're much more likely to land between him and the pit for a sudden-death scenario.

Spoiler: show
Image


For an unbroken running jump, the kind that works on most of the game's earlier pit bats, I would guess your variable success rate is due to subtly differing [jump] input timing. It's a tight maneuver that comes down to frames and pixels. I've never relied on this tactic, though, so I could be missing something.

Fortunately, there are lots of reliable ways to deal with him. For a direct attack:

1) Jumpslash, as seen in the GIF. Best option, safe and easy. You'll have JS on you after the first floor, and you'll want to keep it for breaking the fourth floor chokepoint.

2) Falling slash (see GIF). Looks scary, and is certainly riskier than JS, but the mechanics are actually in your favour. The bat is slow, and Ryu's aerial sword is both lengthy and ultra-quick. Get over the platform edge, then fall straight down while using the [down+attack] slash, so the sword comes out instantly.

3) Get onto the platform, then slash him. Not shown in the GIF, and not my favoured approach - pretty tight. If I'm gonna use the sword, I prefer being airborne for an instant startup.

Indirect methods I know of are:

1) Baiting him out (see GIF). Jump forward, then immediately pull back as he spawns. Let him get close, then simply hop over him.

2) SUPER SECRET TECHNIQUE (ta Squire) - costs 3HP, but is the easiest of all. Looks rad too! ;3 Hold [forward] on the pad throughout, nothing else required.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 2:02 pm 


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BIL wrote:
1) Baiting him out (see GIF). Jump forward, then immediately pull back as he spawns. Let him get close, then simply hop over him.

That works beautifully and reliably, thanks. Now, if I only could keep my spinslash ready for the fourth floor...

Btw, gave the game a try in FCEUX, and the difference was massive. I'm amazed how much easier everything is when I can use my trusty USB Saturn pad instead of those crappy 3DS controls. Only my wallclimbing has gotten much worse somehow. I hope that won't become a problem. Is the technique actually required for something or is it just helpful in certain situations?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 2:20 pm 


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The first of the game's final bosses will be a lot easier if you can reliably scale walls (assuming you don't Jumpslash it :wink:), but that's the only example I can think of. It's a finicky maneuver, fortunately the designers seemed aware of that and kept its usage minimal.

The input itself is simple - hold [jump], then press [away] to leave the wall and [towards] to return, inching up a bit at a time - but the execution needs to be crisp. Think of it as a sharp flick of the dpad. Note you don't need to hit [jump] on every rep, that just overcomplicates things. Holding the button from the initial jump from the floor to the wall is fine.

NGII and NGIII both feature a lot more climbing, but they treat every surface as a "ladder," plus you can use subweapons during, so there's little comparison.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 10:41 pm 



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Quote:
FPGA devices are getting a supposedly better-than-Mame emulation of Contra PCB very soon, though I'm not sure if the author is aware of the 3D scenes issues in current emulation:

https://twitter.com/topapate/status/1264981117020639234


Released for patreons. What would you say:
https://youtu.be/uBryUbPGScg?t=143 ?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 11:21 pm 


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The 3D stages' rolling mines still look broken. In that video, they're uniformly targeting the bottom-right corner, leaving the rest of the floor vacant just like MAME. On PCB and Arcade Archives, they roll forward, spreading out to cover most of the floor.

ACA Base 1 Mines (waiting around)

ACA Base 2 Mines (DTK LAMF Image)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 11:49 am 


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I think I have a reliable strategy for 6-2 down now, even though it includes taking a few hits. It goes like this:

On the first floor:
- Kill baseball bat guy on second green platform, then jump immediately straight up.
- Shitty 3DS buttons will react too slowly to take out the flying ninja, so he will push me at the right wall.
- Wait until no shurikens are flying, then jump down. Get blue ninko.
- Jump up, then immediately run along the platform until the torch containing the spin slash is in reach. I'll take 1 or two hits from the flying ninjas. (If I try, I can take them out with a quick jump and slash most of the time, but it's too unreliable for me.)
- Get spin slash if neccessary, use it to tear through the remaining flying ninjas and projectiles.

On the fourth floor:
- Kill guy from edge of platform.
- Jump over, get blue ninko.
- Move forward until second torch is just in reach. This will spawn bat and green guy from behind.
- Kill bat, jump up to let green guy pass underneath.
- Run! Jump to next platform.
- There, kill the bird that had spawned from underneath while on previous platform.
- Inch forward until hammer bro retreats and vanishes.
- Run, jump, kill second bird with spin slash.

Phew! That was a bit of work.

I made it to 6-3 for the first time, and even though I died pretty quickly there, it seems nowhere near as crazy as 6-2, and much more in line with the rest of the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 1:10 pm 


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6-3's actually got the most egregious funhouse traps of the game, imo. But the majority are relatively harmless -1HP bumps, trivial to avoid after seeing once. The only really nasty one is a reverse tripwire, which'll dump a ton of skittering grief on you for retreating from the one and only pit. In comparison, 6-2's chokepoints are easily seen coming, but expressly designed to kill until you've thoroughly broken them down.

I'd strongly disapprove if 6-3's antics were brutal hits ala Castlevania. As is, it's more like the designers are throwing popcorn at the screen as you near the final gauntlet. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 3:03 pm 


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6-2 is manageable as long as you keep jumpslash on. 6-3 is far more demanding and requires precise routing.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 10:17 am 


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I don't know, it's only the third floor's pit crossing I worry about on revisit 1LCs. It and the preceding Chakram/Fleaman pincer definitely benefit from rehearsal (while easily dispatched, the latter is arranged to steal your JS), but neither's quite as involved or bluntly lethal as 6-2's three chokepits (Jetpacks, Dickbat and Edmans' Bane), all of which are encountered in quick succession with a whole lotta BIRB and no HP restores (IIRC?).

Pictured: Edmans' Bane Image
Spoiler: show
Image
:shock:

Otherwise, 6-3's first floor is very improv-friendly, like most of the game's pit-free straits, and while the post-pit areas have a few boobytrap spawns, they're ultimately -1HP gags easily shut down by "Hold Forward" and the Hourglass pickups. It's no freebie, but I consider 6-2 the more rigid stage.

6-2's also a lot scarier sans Jumpslash. I cleared the Bane JS-less, caked with rust and at 1/3 HP in my current 1LC, and while I'm very pleased in hindsight, it was like groping for the lightswitch in the dark while trying not to step on my glasses. :lol:

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I berieve I can fry ♫ (■`ω´■)
Spoiler: show
Image


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Spoiler: show
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As often happens, I was enamoured by Contra's sheer concision while refreshing my memory of its MAME bugs (see a few posts back). They're a bigger presence than you might assume - it's a militantly short game where every bit of material contributes, right down to the rolling mines keeping defensive players on their toes during the short, intense Base demolitions.

Nailed down a quick and dirty 1LC, clocking in at just over six minutes. IIRC, you can go quite a bit faster, if you know how to swap in the stronger weapons for later boss speedkills (not to mention knowing those speedkills to begin with - I don't Image). Spread's versatility aids a smooth ride, so I'm happy enough. Just like its arcade sequel, avoiding diagonals is a big help versus the treacly aim lag.

I always find the AC Contras' stage design oddly prescient. While Spirits, Hard Corps and Shin Contra progressively shifted from the FC games' straight run/gun to more setpiece-oriented design, the AC duo were actually pretty setpiecey to begin with. AC Contra's deluxe-length final stage is loaded with midbosses and one-time, swiftly-retired environmental hazards, giving it an almost Spirits vibe, with Super a further degree along. (Dear Hamster, WTB ACA Super pls Image)

Too flawed to be called a classic - eclipsed by its console sequels, and outclassed by arcade contemporaries like Rygar. I think they were going for that Aliens smartgun vibe, with the aim lag - unwieldy, yet shreddingly lethal once steered on target - but they overshot the mark by a mile.

Image

Still, it can be consistently worked around, and that allowed, it's a surprisingly likable, utterly relentless time-attack, one with a considerable performance ceiling.

As a pioneer of the "run and gun" sidescroller - action/platformers with the screen-raking weaponry and soaring bodycounts of STGs - I can't think of a better example. I wonder about its influence on the following year's Saigo no Nindou, where IREM fused the sword/shuriken wuxia of Taito's Kage no Densetsu with monstrous firepower recalling Contra's iconic spreadshot (plus Gradius-styled Option shadowplay). It even has splash-damaging grenades much like Super Contra, which I'm fairly sure pre-dated it by a few months. While I consider Saigo a Rygar-styled slasher, given how furious its shooting gets, I'd say it has the earliest genuinely excellent arcade run/gunning I know of, with even its slashing heavily informed by STG ethos.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 11:14 am 


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Made it to the first of the final boss fights twice today, on the 3DS, no less. Unfortunately, my inaptitude at climbing right walls made me lose both matches. (That, and some horribly sloppy jumps.)

At least this gave me a good opportunity to practice 6-1 some more. I'm still flailing about too much there (while I seem to have 6-2 neatly down by now - very satisfying). I find 6-3 pretty managable, maybe apart from the final onslaught just before the boss room.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 11:17 am 


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Good going. :smile: If you can endure the knockback and continue polishing Act VI, you're 90% of the way there - you'll get back to the rush quicker, and any bosses you've killed beforehand will still be dead. Note that while you don't get HP restores for rematches, you can bring in your subweapon and ammo (on a first attempt, you'll lose your subweapon after the Masked Devil). Since the final two bosses are balanced for non-subweapon play, this can make a big difference.

Jaquio is tough, but he's 110% masterable, and actually fairly intuitive if you observe how his attacks work. They're not without precedent from earlier in the game, and they do minimal damage, individually. It's the wider pattern that's deadly, and must be discerned before you can reliably kill him.

Just don't lose your shit and attack him blind, he'll tangle you up fast. Last time someone here tried that, this thread was the happy side-effect, but it came with a lot of bad blood that is (apparently) still smouldering to this day. :lol:

Masked Devil is a cinch if you can scale the walls, I bet you'd find him easier on a reliable controller.

For the final defensive line, a piecemeal approach helps a lot. As always in NG, nothing can spawn of its own accord, so with a little finesse it's possible to part the mob out a bit:

Spoiler: show
Image


OTOH, since you get a free lifebar for your first attempt at each boss, getting within range of the door, taking a bump, then hauling ass during hitstun is also very possible (optimally, try to get bumped towards the door). Assuming you have the HP, of course! Note that Fleamen and Karateka do 2HP, and BIRB 3HP, so it's not quite as trivial to take a hit there, compared to elsewhere - especially if you're entering a rematch.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:55 pm 


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Not sure if anyone else posted any related bits already, but I feel this belongs here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tbZ_5RVINA

I stopped watching the trailer when they started showing the different gangs. If I wind up buying I would like to be surprised.

Going to do a bit more research, want to make sure it plays somewhat well. They nailed the theme though.

EDIT - This is available through Epic store only (on pc anyway) though May 2021. It is however on PS 4 and Switch. I'll grab it for PS 4 later today.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:50 pm 


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Yeah, looks rad!

"When Mow Man looks at you, you look at your grave" :lol:

I instantly liked the Elevator Action Returns-style "dollhouse" perspective, maximum functionality for extreme urban carnage.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:04 pm 


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BIL wrote:

I instantly liked the Elevator Action Returns-style "dollhouse" perspective, maximum functionality for extreme urban carnage.


One of the reviews I peeped earlier compared it to EAR.

This is an amusing and pretty spoiler free review:

http://www.pushsquare.com/reviews/ps4/huntdown
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:21 pm 


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What is the consensus on Elevator Action Old and New for the GBA? I gave it a try and I liked what I played of it. I was expecting something like the GBC games but was surprised to see some EAR elements, though some of the character designs are questionable.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:28 pm 


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I've spent minuscule amount of time with Huntdown. There are four gangs (stages) each one is broken up into (I think) four areas

The graphics are damp, dingy, and smoky. The color palette pops at the same time though. They absolutely nailed the look they were going for. Animation on the characters is good too.

Music, what I've heard, is excellent.

The first three stages that I played do a good job of gently easing you into the mechanics. Which I should probably mention:

You can run, jump,and shoot left and right. You can take cover behind things, or in doorways by pressing up (where have we seen that before). More interesting though is you have a dash that goes through projectiles. Crouching during the dash will move you a bit further out of harms way as you are invincible the whole time.

Dash and down in the air is a slam attack. Dash and left/right in the air is similar to a dive kick that when you land goes into the end of the crouching dash animation. Not sure of the invincibility on that one.

You also have a projectile that you can throw and has a cool down. This does pretty good damage considering. If you pick up grenades they replace your standard projectile.

Only played one character so far cause well his gun reminded me of the Zillion 3 power from Zillion. You know? The laser blast so fucking manly that the music would cut out when you fired it. He has a boomerang for a projectile.

Pretty pleased so far. I mean check out these fuckers from the first loading screen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzQ7lOn1vns

More thoughts with play time.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:39 am 


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Stevens wrote:
Not sure if anyone else posted any related bits already, but I feel this belongs here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tbZ_5RVINA


Played this a few years back at some convention somewhere (either Portland or Göteborg, really can't remember), and though it had a few merits, it kinda did what you'd expect from modern, pretty indie games going for that old school 2D look - it doesn't understand what makes the classics good, and follows and extremely casual approach. It wasn't in the super offensive edge of that spectrum though, and things could have improved since then, as that was around 2-3 years ago now. But it's definitely no Blazing Chrome.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:00 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
Played this a few years back at some convention somewhere (either Portland or Göteborg, really can't remember), and though it had a few merits, it kinda did what you'd expect from modern, pretty indie games going for that old school 2D look - it doesn't understand what makes the classics good, and follows and extremely casual approach. It wasn't in the super offensive edge of that spectrum though, and things could have improved since then, as that was around 2-3 years ago now. But it's definitely no Blazing Chrome.


It feels far more like an nod to Elevator Action Returns than Contra/Metal Slug. Come to think of it what other games play like EAR?

More thoughts on Huntdown. This one definitely caught me out of no where and I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying it:
I was jotting down notes as I was playing, randomly, so the list might not be in any sensible order. I'll do my best to clean it up a bit.

General things/UI

- stage loading screens are a nice Amiga esque picture of the gang you're currently roughing up and its own song.
- nice CRT filter included. It still looks great either way, but I prefer the filter here.
- the stage select/interface is aces
- some of the stages have set pieces that you don't have to engage in, but ramp up the intensity nicely. so you should.
- close range melee included. this is great to create space for yourself. you can also melee enemies in cover.
- you can juggle enemies off of melee.
- projectiles are balanced nicely in regards to dps/recharge time
- the cast of bosses is insanely cool. 1st boss is definitely a Street Fighter. There is a fair amount of dialogue in general and with the bosses both pre fight as as you fight. The voice actors did a really good job here. The smaller "bounties" (mini bosses) and main bounties (bosses) all get SF style character portraits which include an "after" you beat the shit out of them.
- difficulty on normal feels really fair
- if you're carrying a weapon and you walk over the same weapon you pick it up as ammo automatically. You only have to
pick up" if you want a new sub weapon. I can't tell you how much I appreciate this, particularly in the hecticness of boss fights.
- the game offers three save slots so I have a game going with each character. I thought it was a nice touch. Also when you select a save file you get a nice full screen character portrait. Again a nice touch.

Characters:

Default weapon and projectile seem to be the varying things here. They seem to share walk speed, take damage at the same rate, and dash attacks all seem to have the same properties. I haven't noticed if they handle sub weapons differently (more ammo per or damage variations). I haven't mentioned those at all have I? There are a fair amount of them and they're all useful, which I guess leads me to my one personal con with the game.

If you have your base gun there is no rapid fire. This is really only an issue with Mo, but would have been nice to just hold the button down. That said many of the sub weapons have rapid so..

Mow Man (henceforth Mo' Murder) - He is really good. Default pistol shot has good rof and good enough damage. Again rapid would have been nice. His projectile is also really good. Three kunai that travel in a straight line and do respectable damage. Cool down is pretty quick considering their usefulness. Almost as good as -

John Sawyer - Possibly easy mode. His default shot is the strongest. If you catch his boomerang projectile it negates the cool down and you can throw it again. I find myself not even picking up sub weapons with him.

Anna
Spoiler: show
Conda
- Probably hard mode. Her default gun is easily the weakest and her projectile, while the strongest, has a much longer cool down when compared to the others. It does have some homing properties though. I feel like I will have to work a little harder with her than the others.

I've reached the 3rd gang so far. Dying here and there. Some bosses have taken 5 - 10 tries but it has never felt unfair.

While the cover system is nice and useful, I've had the most fun dashing into enemy mobs, meleeing, and gunning down.

I hope the harder difficulties do a legit job of making the game harder and not just moar health (them) and damage (to you). Katana Zero's hard mode was fucking aces in that respect (it added enemies, but they didn't get more health) and I kind of hope that is what I'll see here.

It's already better than My Friend Pedro so..:D
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Last edited by Stevens on Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:19 pm 


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Stevens wrote:
Come to think of it what other games play like EAR?


You'll definitely pick up similar vibes from Ninja Five-O aka Ninja Cop (GBA) - which is an utterly brilliant game in its own right. :smile:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:52 pm 


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More thoughts on Huntdown as I've made my way to 4-2 with Mo' Murder, 3-2 with John Mclaine/Marion Cobretti, and 2 sumthin' with Anna Conda. Interesting note - Apparently Vasquez was a huge influence here. She still feels like the weakest of the three, there is no doubt I have to work a little harder with her.

One of my biggest gripes with My Friend Pedro was the same four backgrounds being recycled over and over. That is not an issue here. Each gang has a general area (
Spoiler: show
Streets, Subway, Industrial, Cyberpunk City
, but each stage (five in each area) makes you feel like you're progressing through something instead of seeing the same BG over and over.

The game keeps track of your deaths by stage - you don't get the three lives and its over deal here. That said there are three achievements per stage:

- Kill all enemies
- Find all stashes (three per)
- No death

So the incentive is there to not die (I mean it's ingrained in most of us already anyway:) and I've cleared a bunch of the earlier stages no miss/ or 1/2 deaths. That said it is totally possible to no death/damage the entire game on the hardest difficulty. The checkpoints are generous too.

After the first two gangs, where I was dying between 0 - 5 times per stage, shit ramps up and the game actively begins trying to kill you. My deaths through the 3rd gang basically tripled and I was dying 15 - 20 times per.

Mini Bosses - Calling them mini bosses really isn't fair, they're actually proper end stage bosses, they're just not the gang's ultimate big bad. You would think that you may suffer some repetition issues but no. Each one, so far, has offered something a bit different and exciting. I haven't had the feeling of "oh this again". They've done a really good job of making each encounter unique.

Bosses - Proper big bads for their respective organizations. Wait till you "face off" with
Spoiler: show
Unholy Goalie
.

That said there are some standouts. It's hard to talk about this game and not talk about the bosses. It is a proper Rogue's Gallery.
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