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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:45 am 


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BrianC wrote:
I find it interesting that NG3 seems to have some Shadow of the Ninja influence with the ability to hang on bars and the appearance of more robotic enemies.

Been saying for years on here that it's a Shadow of the Ninja-style game! But no one they be believin' me *smh*
So I fully agree with you there!

At least we know that the Gameboy Ninja Gaiden Shadow is a straight up Shadow of the Ninja game in disguise!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:26 am 



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Playing some Adventure of Little Ralph lately, what a great game. I think the only thing it could use more is some more dynamic combat focused areas, such as level 6 (which is pretty short sadly).
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:07 am 


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FinalBaton wrote:
Been saying for years on here that it's a Shadow of the Ninja-style game! But no one they be believin' me *smh*
So I fully agree with you there!

NG3 is in many ways the quintessential Natsume-style compact action man NES R2RKMF. It's the one game that gets everything so right you can't put a finger on it.

I do prefer the first Ninja Gaiden to it, but that's a very unique game that does a bunch of things you don't really see anywhere else, in spite of its simplicity. NG3 by comparison is the stereotype, it's the template that every other game of the genre should ideally use as a base.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:46 am 


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Vludi wrote:
Playing some Adventure of Little Ralph lately, what a great game. I think the only thing it could use more is some more dynamic combat focused areas, such as level 6 (which is pretty short sadly).


In my opinion Adventure of Little Ralph is one of the best R2RKMF ever made, although you are right, there's not too much KMFing actually. It never really struck as much of a combat game to begin with, with its heavy focus on devilish platforming and routing. Stage 8-3's thirteen room gauntlet has to be some of the most hair-raising and thrilling precision-acrobatics in any action platformer; a blast to play through.

___

In other news: I've been spending some time with this one...

Image

...and hoooboy, is it not up to the standards of its forebears. :?

Not sure if it will pick up eventually, but basically the game has extremely bland design and zero challenge. And that despite the controls being clunky as fuck.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:39 pm 


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FinalBaton wrote:
BrianC wrote:
I find it interesting that NG3 seems to have some Shadow of the Ninja influence with the ability to hang on bars and the appearance of more robotic enemies.

Been saying for years on here that it's a Shadow of the Ninja-style game! But no one they be believin' me *smh*
So I fully agree with you there!


Also the upgradable sword, and certain enemies' ability to block, and the noticeably more methodical pace (jointly created by lower gravity, larger hitboxes and thorny ambush spawns). I have to admit it never occurred to me - the game's still at least 50% Ryukenden, with its universally 1HP enemies, fire/forget subweapons and wall-scaling, plus several returning enemy types - but in hindsight, I definitely see the resemblance.

Quote:
At least we know that the Gameboy Ninja Gaiden Shadow is a straight up Shadow of the Ninja game in disguise!


Incidentally, besides everyone's favourite Basilisk Mine Field (NG1 st4-2), the other song Natsume cover is NGIII's inverted catwalk BGM. The area it's used in even resembles the NGIII stage, with flying enemies attacking from above and below a hanging-grippable bridge. :smile: (Kage's own final boss BGM is of course revisited here :cool:)

CIT wrote:
In other news: I've been spending some time with this one...

[GBA Revenge of Shinobi]

...and hoooboy, is it not up to the standards of its forebears. :?

Not sure if it will pick up eventually, but basically the game has extremely bland design and zero challenge. And that despite the controls being clunky as fuck.


Haha, I remember when that was released BITD. "Alarm bells" barely suffices, seeing that revered title attached to something recalling random Amiga kusoge. :mrgreen: Thank you for your investigating ;-;7

Now, been a while since we had one of these. Image

Image

~A Heartful Digression (but NOT RLY >;3)

I'm a fan of the KCET Silent Hill quartet. Like many, I've grown fonder of black sheep SH4 over time. The series' subsequent outsourcing to palookaville may have aided the rehabilitation of its least-loved member. Image

Even BITD though, I was never satisfied with the stock "It's a great game, just not a great SH" argument. An avowed return to the "World of someone's nightmarish delusions" must be judged as such. I thought it was a pretty good SH, hurt by a combination of rushed development and punishing design (which I now regard as arcadey tightness - Hard mode, no saves, clobbering fiends and nailing ghosts while stockpiling holy relics, martial and navigational prowess taking up the slack... Splatterhouse Part 3 Riddim Image). It contributed some excellent material in spite of its flawed execution. Dryly foul, understatedly twisted dreamscapes. Ever Downward Image

No, the thread's not going survival horror (Dr. Chaos fans represent Image you weird fucks :shock:). Yes, there is a point to your old friend Dr. Biruford's ambling reminiscence! Image I was recalling the SH4 furore in my current revisit of Metal Slug 5. I realised that if MS5 had been some plucky new IP, or even Cyber-Lip 2, I'd have warmed up to it. At the same time, ala SH4, I didn't want to accept it on "Good Game/Bad Slug" terms. I learned after Athena that even at a fair and reasonable price, shit still stinks. Image

MS5's opening stage sucks. It's the MVS series' worst, a bland retread of MS3's perfectly enjoyable (and optional) boat ride. Mercifully, MS5 also has the best first boss. Not that MS1-4's set a high bar, but MS5's has some genuine chops. Smooth curve from an ominously shelling, barging beast at novice, to a violent shotgunning speedkill at adept.

The game should've kicked off inside the temple, which still isn't great with its lukewarm enemies and tedious tunnel-sliding, but at least can be Attacked Aggressively™. The optional Black Hound (go Low, then Left) is a really cool rival-type midboss - only they forgot to bring him back! Doh.

Image

Apart from st4's bullet-sponging underwater sequence, another segment yearning for the cutting room floor, the remainder of MS5 continues to avenge st1's shitty autoscroller. It even contributes some series highlights of its own, like the new ninja Grenadiers and their fierce st3 factory defense. Great zako design - agile, melee-savvy killers who can also plug turtling players from clean across the screen, encouraging a close-quarters bloodbath.

The same stage's ROBO ARMY climax puts the excellent Slug Gunner to stern use - it's all too easy to lose your ride to the mix of brutal mortars, aggressive brawlers and meddling zako. Tearing through floor after floor in an unstoppable COMMANDO slaughter is viscerally authoritative action, on par with its series' and genre's very best.

Image

As with fellow revenant MS4, MS5's curve is noticeably steeper than the easy-going Nazcas. Stage 2's STG boss brings the sort of intensity I'd have appreciated in MS3's overlong space battles. Stage 4's docks see some of the most relentless siege waves since MS1's feared bridge of doom, a high point matched by a remarkably intense fourth boss.

On balance, MS5 is worth having. Like MS4, it can't escape the shadow of Nazca Slug's "real thing." But also like Noise Factory's quietly excellent pastiche, it'll suffice if you've completed those, and want more of their inimitably rollicking gash n' blast. Gonna nail down some 1LCs this year - hadn't planned on it, with my PS2 back home, but ACA continues to keep me in the arcade gaming.

Image

CMD: FIGHT_DIRTY.EXE / ACTIVATING ROBO SHIV Image Image Slug Gunner deserves its own game, holy fuck it rocks. Vernier, tank mode, vulcans, cannon, pilebunker... and Wolf Fang-style strafe. Tantalising glimpse of first-rate mecha sidescrolling.

Image

Also, Eri's ducking 2xSMG firing animation is the cutest thing Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:42 pm 


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There was just a new Ninja Gaiden III restored patch that brings it even closer to the Famicom version. https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5309/


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:00 am 


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What's even the point of that? :\
The Famicom version already exists.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:04 pm 


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God damn, it is AMAZIN how much more likeable Metal Slug 5 becomes sans its first stage. I wouldn't call stages 2-4 great overall, but they're very good - easily enough for the Nazca engine's innate joie de vivre to offset their odd bum notes. Nonplussed as I am by st2's sending me down a blind alley to shoot some aircraft before backtracking, instead of simply deploying them en-route - at minimum, the shooting is good.

Image

^ MS3's Tombstone of Sand, or How it's the fuck done. Image

Sliding is some pointless (and dangerous) shit. In Slug, offense is typically the best defense - and the best (non-powerup) offense is grenades and knives. Sliding sends you into close range while disabling both, an incredibly bad move. Veterans will avoid it like the plague. As with the occasional bit of duff stage design, it's a rookie mistake ultimately washed out by Nazca's enduring work.

Image

^ st2 climax - If your immediate reaction to a Shielder with a bunch of enemies behind him isn't "BOMBA," it should be. >_> Machinegunners, seen being de-shielded and wiped out here, fire a shaweet salvo tailored for sliding under - right into a grenade. Image War is seldom fought in a vacuum. Image

I really like the boss lineup, including as previously mentioned stage 1's pair of monster tanks. st2's two flak patterns were a lot harder than I recalled, from playing the PS2 version on "AES" default (MVS is one notch up. Took some thinky-thunk to consistently No-hit. I'm pretty sure the MG fire will always leave you a route through - I park midway up the screen, so I'm equidistant from possible routes while scanning for a way in. The aerial mines can be hugely thinned by focused MG fire, and a rocket or two, in their windup phase. The revised vehicle damage scale is one of SNKP's better alterations. Rather than a flat three hits, you suffer a bit less from tiny nicks as opposed to big smacks.

Image

Third boss isn't great on his own merits - a medley of lukewarm static patterns - BUT he's the sort of exclamation point speedkill I enjoy in small amounts. :cool: Juicy reward for making it to the top floor with your Slug Gunner intact, which you'll want to do anyway, because holy fuck that is some first-rate mecha carnage.

Image

^ st3 opening. This shouldn't happen - learning where to expend grenades and break chokepoints is the bread/butter Metal Slug curve, and this truck is a priority speedkill - but I really dig how aggressive these buggers are. Image Can't give 'em an inch!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:47 pm 


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I tried getting back into Alien Hominid. I think I remember why I dropped the game. Visually, it's a mess, with tons of explosions that tend to obscure what's going on, and bullet colours that don't stand out enough despite their rapid flashing. The backgrounds are heavily saturated, often with purple, and the enemy purple/pink/green flashing bullets really don't stand out compared to Metal Slug's visual designs where the background are purposefully desaturated.

Enemies also move quickly and fire with no delay whatsoever. You can duck shots sometimes but if you're ducking when they decide to shoot they'll simply aim low. You have dodge rolling on L and R, but only the forward roll dodges low, and neither have invulnerability. Instead of dodge being on one button, you have to remember not to hit the wrong dodge or you'll do a backflip that serves little purpose. Indeed, many of the moves in the game seem to be there as overdesigned elements and often don't feel terribly practical. The head biting thing is cute but often not as effective as maintaining fire on enemies, the digging underground thing is rarely ever practical and often outright worthless due to the infinite spawning nature of enemies. Bonus weapons suck, and the charge shot is almost always superior in usefulness. Indeed, the spreadshot might be the only truly great weapon you can get, with the green chemical thrower doing piddly damage on bosses and being a far cry from the high damage, close range shotgun of Metal Slug fame.

Grenades are also trash; you can only use 3 at a time, and unlike Metal Slug, the limit of 3 onscreen includes when they explode, so you can't even rapid fire them off at close range. You can ride vehicles, but it's a far cry from the enjoyment of riding the actual Metal Slug since vehicles are way less maneuverable and more or less meant to explode soon after being ridden? You also have exactly one jump height, with no short hopping available. Shooting downwards makes you float slightly, but this ends up being as much a curse as it is a blessing.

Level design also feels a bit of a mess; what you can jump on and what you can't what blocks your path despite looking like you're standing well in front of it and it being in the background... there's a lot of memorization required to play it seriously. It's way harder than Metal Slug 1 is honestly. You're given more lives to work with but it is far, far easier to lose them rapidly.

What is the general consensus on this game? Is it a gem I just don't "get"? A cheap pretender Metal Slug wannabe? A decent but deeply flawed game? I just can't decide.

Fortunately The Behemoth's subsequent games Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater are both significantly better and are unquestionably solid games (I'll be the first to admit Castle Crashers isn't the deepest of beat 'em ups mechanically but it's perfectly fun to play).
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:10 am 


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Alien Hominid is awful.

I don't think it took me more than a few seconds from when I first put it on back in the day before I realised that it had absolutely no clue what made Metal Slug fun to play, despite trying to replicate the same kind of gameplay (for an example of the opposite, check out Demon Front which totally gets it). Fortunately it was a budget title.

I was very positively surprised by Castle Crashers because I had no expectations for that. Like you said, it's mechanically solid, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have fun playing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:49 am 


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It's not just me then. And I mean you and I both know from Moo Mesa how to do the whole arcade run 'n gun with large character/enemy sprites properly, right? It constantly feels like Alien Hominid wants desperately to be Metal Slug, without knowing quite what made the actual game so solid and enjoyable. Grenades, vehicles, and even most of the special weapons are of questionable worth compared to Metal Slug where they all were important and meaningful. Your relatively sluggish horizontal movement speed (unless rolling forward) also feels off somehow, and the sections with platforming feel like they have questionable collision detection sometimes due to how things are drawn (landing on the cars in 1-2 and the PDA Games come to mind, just look how much you can walk your sprite into a wall before you actually "touch" the wall).

Castle Crashers is by no means perfect, but it's a more forgiving game which helps negate any minor rough edges. The Corn Boss the one major thing that's stupidly designed and is tedious as hell to do safely due to how it blocks damage and pushes you away. A character focusing on melee or balancing their stats will find it obnoxious to kill. Unless you go in specifically prepared it's a major headache (go in with maxed out Agility to lock it down with arrows or maxed/near maxed magic on a class with a good splash attack). Otherwise it's great fun to play, especially in multiplayer, and the air juggling, magic attacks, and eventual true combo attacks on the ground you get from levelling are all quite enjoyable to use, even if the game's characters basically only differ in what magic they have available.

Honestly, I think the only reason I keep Alien Hominid installed is for the extra character in Castle Crashers.

I was fortunate to be shown Demon Front at a meet and yes, it's very shamelessly a Metal Slug-styled game, and it gets away with it by being an extremely competent one at that, with more than enough charm to stand on its own merit and not be seen as a mere Metal Slug clone.

Alien Hominid got ported to a ton of consoles, and we never got even one console port of something like Demon Front or Dolphin Blue? Lame!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:35 am 


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re: Metal Slug 5

I had this on MVS, I remember thinking it was better than a lot of people thought. I'm sure I never beat the stage 4 boss, though I could no miss to that point. I remember sliding sometimes being an issue on the stage 3 boss, where I'd want to go from crouching to jumping and I'd end end up sliding into a massive bullet. Had to be careful not to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:57 am 


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MS5 st4 boss / TEH SAND SUB is a mean fuck, I'm trying to figure out how to deal with him effectively... other than the staple "arrive with tons of grenades and ammo," haha.

Accidental sliding when you want a jumping downshot is most definitely a thing :evil: It's such a dumb move - no surprise this was its only outing, with a first impression like that. I think it'd have been neat if the slide itself was i-framed, with the recovery left vulnerable - would open up some Hard Corps-style "impossible" dodges. Even then though, I'd put it on the D button.

I used to dread the st3 boss just for how tedious he is - until I started reaching him with brand-new Dual SMGs, after demolishing the factory with Slug Gunner. :cool: Empty the SMGs into his stupid face, chuck some grenades for seasoning, done in <25seconds.

I think MS5 becomes more palatable when you've completed the Nazcas (to whichever personal standard you prefer). MS4's "mission pack," aesthetically dull as it is, was always easier for me to accept, with its action-packed stages and tough bosses. MS5's not as flawlessly-directed as the Nazcas, nor as intense as MS4, but it's a quality run/gun that shares their hugely enjoyable engine, and it has some occasional flashes of excellence.

I wouldn't quite call it a case of "Hunger is the best spice," but that undeniably helps. :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:55 pm 


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If there's one lame boss in MS5, it gotta be Elephant Mammoth. Seriously, wait for like 5 seconds by their trunk and you can only shot two bullets then wait again? also this boss doesn't spare you extra weapons.

And Scyther. Oh my god, impressive boss but holy goddamn those white balls needs to chill out. I wish I could consistenly no-miss him, and this boss is where sliding mechanic neccessary.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:05 am 


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Looking forward to getting reacquainted with Final Mission, I recall it being some good stuff. :smile: I can barely recall the final bosses at all though, and I was unknowingly playing on AES rather than MVS defaults anyway.

Figured out how to neutralise Sand Sub, was pleasantly surprised to be reminded you get a Double SMG & Grenade Crate on reaching him. Killing him in ~45seconds will greatly reduce the scope for RNG Bullshit™ :cool:

The hitboxes on his fire rain are nice and compact, you can survive some pretty hellacious scrapes. TBH I don't have a very good response for the green orbs, I can usually spoof their tracking but it feels a little inconsistent. His shells aren't really a problem, the mercy pattern imo. Excellent fight.

All these years, I'd assumed 4-1's motorbike missiles just had massive hitboxes, or something. Seemed ridiculously easy to die around them. Only now do I see SNKP made them invincible. :| Not a great move TBH - it does turn the bikes into urgent speedkill targets, but I'd rather just shoot the missiles down. At least they're not homing like the classic heatseekers, just launched at random trajectories & speeds. Kinda interesting tbh, not that you should let them fire to begin with.

invincible motorbike missile =/= invincible motorbike
Spoiler: show
Image


Always loved Mission 4-1 / Docks - furious methodical action, geared for practiced "100% shotdown" demolition.

COMMANDOOO Image Image Image

Image Das it mayne Image Image

Weirdness, but the happy sort: Image

Image

Can't recall if you can do that with their predecessors, MS1-4's Sarubias. Actually, I can't recall if you ever see one at the top of a staircase.

---

Sand Sub. He's an asshole! BUT NOT FOR LONG Image Got 'im down to a process, more or less. Still some RNG to beware, but he's a lot simpler once you know how to (and how not to) trigger his traditional MS boss RAEG MODE.

>Kinda slow, womp womp

>Now we talkin muhfucka

>DOIN IT AGEEN

Once he gets pissed off, ie on fire, the risk of his deadliest attack - Angry Mortar while you're stuck in the corner - shoots up. I almost eat one in the second video - as shown, the hitboxes are nice and narrow, so don't give up if you get a shit hand. If he uses Green Orbs, that's a bingo! Try to land the lion's share of damage. They're easily misdirected with slide as shown, which I will never ever badmouth again, AH SWEARS

In the second vid I semi-deliberately piss him off while he's launching mortars. Dunno if this instantly ranks up their speed/density, but it's probably not a great move! ;3

Could possibly bring in an additional ~15 grenades, if 1) I plinked through the Shielders in 4-1 and 2) grabbed the grenade crate in 4-2, instead of using it to restock torpedoes. Would probably stamp out the very last bit of random peril. OTOH it'd bog things down.

I must not have reached the last boss in my PS2 days, was all new to me. Visually spectacular and, design-wise, at least as good as any of Nazca's. While their climactic panache is unbeatable, they were either a tad easy (MS1), over-reliant on do/die lockdown tactics (MSX), or too reliant on Exit Exploit (MS3). MS5's scythe attack is more or less a tech demo, but the white orbs are some quality analogue bullet-herding. Intense stuff, more or less carries the day.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:21 am 


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Man those games are so CHONKY.. makes me think about trying to get into and clear another one.
Then i get my MS3 Vietnam flashbacks and think better of it..
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:25 am 


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MSX is very friendly, until the last stage, where it gets a bit mean, then the last boss, where it puts your nuts in a vice. Image

Image

MS1's genuinely excellent at what it does too. Easy by AC standards, yes, but it still puts on a legendary tank rampage with a timelessly detailed, cohesive aesthetic. Also its last stage puts your nuts in a vice. Image After five stages of breezily globetrotting tank carnage, you will feel the cushion-thieving pressure of invading the enemy's final stronghold!

Crucially, neither's got MS3's brazenly fapping endgame that's as long as the rest of the run put together! MS3's the super-indulgent double album following MS1's prodigious debut and MSX's major label freshening-up.

---

Aww sheeit! Forgot to say, with MS5's elliptical story - an approach I'm very okay with, other than the unskippable post-st1 cutscene, get that shit outta my face Image - my headcanon printing press is fired up!

1) ELEPHANT TOWER, clearly some fucked-up eldritch contraption (maggots? the same ones from st1's Corridor of Fire, even...) shares BGM with TEH BLACK HOUND, the renegade AI weapon that's seen massacring friend and foe alike. DEAD BODIES ERREHWHERE.

2) I'm gonna say some Satanic black magic (SICK SHIT) got into TEH HOUND, hence rampage. Then that piece of shit unskippable cutscene Image shows some asswipe getting possessed. So, teh Ptolemaic Army went digging for ancient powwa, but they didn't find it. IT FOUND THEM :shock: Image

3) Final stage, massacred city, oh heck no, this some Aztec corn dog shit. Hence demon out of nowhere. Yeah alright, that's cool. It's a neat little narrative imo. I like it as much as my dream Nazca MS4 where Some Other Cunts™ get hold of the Fishman Technologies, and the enemy force is part mundane TERARISTS, part Atlantean super-weapons.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:01 pm 


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Anyone have thoughts on Metal Slug 7?

World of Stuart says it's the best of the series but refuses to elaborate unless I pay.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:02 pm 


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MathU and Mortificator are big fans IIRC (MSXX for the latter), endorsements that'll always pique my interest.

I've really enjoyed what I've played of its PS4 incarnation, Metal Slug XX. The Ikari trio all have interesting i-frame hooks, while the Slug quartet are more "stat buff" picks, good for more traditional runs. I can take or leave the burst-chain scoring system, but it seems pretty solid for scorehounds. Some pretty intense exhibitions on teh tube.

Stage design feels respectfully consolised - more about slightly longer-form action/platforming, than militantly focused run/gun. The premise of a game-length raid on a single massive fortress is a fine excuse for lots of creative scenarios, not always aesthetically cohesive (MS6 axe maniacs with MSX UFO backup?), but such great fun, it'd be churlish to object. There's a ton of enemy and terrain variety in just the first three stages alone, with pretty much the entire MS1-6 bestiary & armoury on tap, in addition to new material.

There's also a hearty slate of Combat School missions, basically short challenge courses reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid's VR Missions. Actually, given the Combat School has been a mainstay of the series since MS1's Neo CD port, it's more the other way around. Bottom line, there's tons of attractive content here, I look forward to really diving in at some point.

I already would've, but unfortunately, it's got noticeable input lag on my setup. Meanwhile the ACA versions feel bang-on to OG hardware. I'm hoping a dedicated gaming monitor might help, but if not, I guess I'm gonna have to see about a PSP for hooking up to my TV. I'm actually wondering if the "PS4 version" is just a (laggy) PSP emulator running an iso. :|

Game's worth a try at the very least, I'd say.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:04 pm 


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Ah. I didn't know XX was an enhanced version of 7.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:00 pm 


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playin Mystic Warriors again. I briefly entertained the idea of going for WR on the JAA version but the milking seems really tedious so I ended up enabling infinite loops and just seeing how far I can go with that. The slopes section in stage 2 on loop 2+ is brutal, the enemies are firing pretty much right as they show up on screen so I'll need to memo it if I want to consistently get past it without losing a life. On the bright side I've gotten pretty consistent at the elevator section, enough so that I haven't screwed it up in the 4 or so runs I've played recently.

This game really needs an Arcade Archives release considering the shoddy graphics emulation in MAME doesn't seem to be getting fixed anytime soon, maybe the Sunset Riders port is a sign of good things to come...
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:31 pm 


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After having it sit on my shelf for ~10 years, I finally went and tackled Faxanadu, and beat it just now. Though not as a single-sitting challenge like master BIL does, I dutifully took camera shots of my mantras.

First, echoing what the reviews here said. It's pretty darn clunky all around, especially the inventory system. I got stuck with a J key and a mattock that would've require me to backtrack almost to the beginning of the game to get rid of. Having the mattock in the game in the first place is kind of bad design in the first place, the item is needed in exactly one place and never again (unless you want to backtrack), yet it can not only be found in the wild, it's also sold in two shops. It could've easily been used to find some secrets or whatnot, but alas.

The flip-screen gameplay is also troublesome, not because flip-screen is bad by definition, but because it's somewhat common for the game to place an enemy or a poison pickup (why does this even exist?) right after the switch, so you instantly take damage and/or are pushed back to the previous screen.

And yet, the locales and the gameplay, though fairly basic by all accounts, managed to draw me in. For a game released in '89 it looks quite nice indeed, and I always appreciate seeing my character's armor visibly change to reflect what he's wearing in older games. It shows the devs' dedication and attention to detail.

I have a vague recollection of somebody calling Faxanadu "NES' Dark Souls" and I can sort of see why. There was that same feeling of getting lost and hoping you'd find the next place of respite before succumbing to the monstrous enemies. In the towns you'd stock up on items to prepare for the next leg of the journey, not really knowing where you'd end up. And finding new gear is a matter of great elation. There were some memorable moments of battling a boss, finding a new sword, and realizing I've got half a bar of HP and no healing potions left to make it back to town, or lose all that progress. What little lore there is hints at dying kingdoms and ancient beings making their push into the world, so it certainly could be built into that kind of a story.

After finishing the game I checked up on GameFAQs to see if I missed something interesting, and turns out I missed a whole town, the last one you're supposed to stage your final assault against The Evil One from. Ah well, I still managed. I did spend 15 minutes in the last labyrinth before hitting the correct path, but the last boss itself fell rather quickly.

Not a difficult game, but I did find it engrossing.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:57 pm 


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I think it fits the genre description for this thread, but probably the greatest underrated gem for the Nintendo DS is Spiderman: Web of Shadows.

Devil May Cry in 2D meets Metroidvania in a New York conquered by alien parasites that looks and feels more like a proper metroid game than the two official DS metroid games ever did. Lots of huge areas that let you really get the most out of your spiderman mobility. And pretty much any time you decide to beat up a random monster, the game decides you're interested in a brawl and dutifully spawns dozens so you can get your style meter up.

Alas, its sequel Shattered Dimensions makes several little mistakes that spoils the entire experience.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:06 pm 


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^ Looks more than satisfactory! The metric of "realtime action that could've debuted on the Famicom" is deliberately rough - Silent Bomber, Neo Contra and Ys: The Oath In Felghana may be polygonal, but they play exactly like classic topdown action, and perspective shifts are nothing a few dedicated sprite sets couldn't get around (just as many FC/NES action games did, eg Contra).

That's a nice video, besides Metroid it's also reminding me of Ninja Five-O aka Ninja Cop :o

Ghegs wrote:
I have a vague recollection of somebody calling Faxanadu "NES' Dark Souls" and I can sort of see why. There was that same feeling of getting lost and hoping you'd find the next place of respite before succumbing to the monstrous enemies. In the towns you'd stock up on items to prepare for the next leg of the journey, not really knowing where you'd end up. And finding new gear is a matter of great elation. There were some memorable moments of battling a boss, finding a new sword, and realizing I've got half a bar of HP and no healing potions left to make it back to town, or lose all that progress. What little lore there is hints at dying kingdoms and ancient beings making their push into the world, so it certainly could be built into that kind of a story.


My enduring favourite aspect of Faxanadu is another Souls-esque touch: the brutal (and useful) skewer mechanic. Run an enemy through, and they'll take two hits as they're driven back. Slam 'em into a wall for a grim flurry, and it's curtains for most. With your limited mobility making close combat inherently difficult, it's a fitting reward, and just plain visceral too.

Image

Sounds rough missing the very last town - I was glad for the outpost. :smile: I like that there's a few optional areas along the way - enhances the sense you're in a hostile environment, where not every nook and cranny is tailored for grand rewards. I remember a specific one in the Mist area, holding a minor gold cache, which I always skipped on repeat plays.

(getting to the point where my route's mostly faded from memory, ie replay time! see also Legacy of the Dragon Slaying Wizard IV)

I always ask first-time clearers - did you run into the pendant glitch? I was fortunate enough to know of it going in, would hate to have been saddled with it.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:33 pm 


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BIL wrote:
(getting to the point where my route's mostly faded from memory, ie replay time! see also Legacy of the Dragon Slaying Wizard IV)

I always ask first-time clearers - did you run into the pendant glitch? I was fortunate enough to know of it going in, would hate to have been saddled with it.


I had a fuzzy memory that you or somebody else had mentioned a glitch in the game that's good to be aware of, so I did a search and turns out you've very thoughtfully put it in the thread's index. So I did have the foreknowledge.

...and I still picked it up. "Ooh, shiny! Wait -- was that the pendant? Check the manual for the illustration...yep, that's the pendant. Dang it." Ended up resetting the console and re-inputting the password to have another go at the dungeon, only this time not picking the cursed item up. Is beating the boss still required for progression, though?

Quick shout-out to the nice variable length password system, I didn't find it cumbersome even in the endgame.

Speaking of Dragon Slayer IV, that's another I've had on my shelf for quite a few years now. Hopefully I'll manage to get around to it as well. I'm kind of tempted to tackle Gargoyle's Quest II next, but we'll see what happens.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:34 pm 


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Yassss the double-strike in Faxanadu is sooooo satisfying. Just like it is in Castlevania : Bloodlines.

I haven't played the game since I know of the Pendant glitch, so I'm due to replay and omit the cursed item this time around :)


I'm a big fan of Faxanadu, I think it's a really solid action rpg for the NES(one of the best on that platform maybe?). L33T atmosphere too.

It forms one point of my trifecta of fave NES cult classics : along with Crystalis and Guardian Legend.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:42 pm 


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Ghegs wrote:
I had a fuzzy memory that you or somebody else had mentioned a glitch in the game that's good to be aware of, so I did a search and turns out you've very thoughtfully put it in the thread's index. So I did have the foreknowledge.


Excellent, R2R_INDEX working as intended. :cool:

Quote:
Is beating the boss still required for progression, though?


Nope! I do so, while leaving the Pendant in its corner, only to emulate what Hudson were presumably going for. Otherwise, you don't need to set foot in that dungeon.

FinalBaton wrote:
It forms one point of my trifecta of fave NES cult classics : along with Crystalis and Guardian Legend.


I'd chuck in Battle of Olympus as well - the grinding in a couple spots is excessive, but it's got a solid engine and a memorably vast world. I was pleasantly surprised to see on my last revisit that its Metal Storm-style gravity inversion (HOLY SANDALS) was encountered quite early on - I'd misremembered it as exclusive to the endgame (a diabolic trip to Tartarus - not merely Hell, you must trek the Stygian wastes to reach... HELL PRISON Image). Anywhere there's a ceiling, you can run on it - hugely expands your movement options.

Also forms a triple crown of Broderbund-published, semi-obscure NES ARPG excellence with TGL and Legacy of the Wizard. Image (and, uh, Deadly Towers/Mashou... muhfuckas gotta eat! Image)

For sidescrolling ARPGs, in recent years I've taken a strong liking to Zelda II - specifically the FDS version (can be played loadtime-free, albeit in slightly squashed resolution, via the GBA Mini cart). You level up faster on FDS, which means more focus on the dungeon-diving and tight sword/shield combat (so good, Battle of Olympus appears to steal its engine wholesale Image). The only thing I'd change are the 1HKO pits, which eventually become the ultimate DEFCON 1 threat to experienced slayers. Not a bad thing in itself, but I'm in it for the knightly duels with badass foes, less pest/pit treachery.

Perfect excuse to repost these, from the official strategy guide. Image

Image

Spoiler: show
Image

Image

Image


I love the colourfully grim style of this thing - especially the feral take on Thunderbird (I'd always interpreted him as some kind of high priest, with the NES cart deleting the FDS's bestial roaring), and the eerily colour-drained appearance of the Shadow.
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Last edited by BIL on Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:48 pm 


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Yeah I really dig the oft-maligned Zelda 2 myself. That booklet art is god tier BIRRU (and I'd argue : so is the one in Faxanadau manual. yup even in the EAGLELAND one. I posted my personal BITD manual here before).

Really gotta give Battle of Olympus a spin myself. and give Broderbund-published NES titles even more love. I think they have a copy of BoO at the retro gamestore down the street here. They do have one of LotW but I dunno, something about that one makes me hesitant. can't put my finger on it.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 3:22 pm 


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Faxanadu's manual art is superb - I distinctly recall that one of the hero downing an HP restore, looking like he distinctly needed it! Also that demonic depiction of the boss-type Gargoyle, opposite the hero in full armour. Of course your first encounter with one sees you equipped with nothing but a leather jerkin and a Knife of Stabbing. Guess this was a scene from later on where you're regularly slaying big fuckers.

Wizard is a bit tricky to recommend. It's not a conventionally excellent action game - the combat settles for functionality, pretty much. The real draw is fathoming the utterly massive dungeon, and gradually discerning how the multiple characters slot into its rambling spokes.

As Vanguard once astutely pointed out, while the combat isn't great in itself, it does serve an important function. Since your advanced mobility draws on the same MP stock as your weapons, you can't simply mow down everything in sight. The fear of being stranded hundreds of miles beneath the surface is more menacing than the goofy monsters. I do like how vanquished ones tumble offscreen, eyes buggin' - very Bubble Bobble Image Image :cool: The STOMP BOOTS are genuinely addictive too - and practical! They're your only means of attacking without burning MP.

It's one of my favourite little gems, and it enjoys a certain cachet as an MSX conversion by none other than Compile. Falcom's MSX original is a flipscreener, but you'd never guess with Compile's customarily beautiful work. BGM by Koshiro, not quite on the level of Ys I & II, but memorably tuneful for sure.

I'd say give it a spin in an emulator, you'll know pretty quickly if you can live with its inherently low-fi action for the whole trip.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:46 pm 


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I recently did a Training mode of Neo Contra, going for a clear of course. I "cheated" my way through downloading complete save file on GameFAQs so I have all unlockables from the start.

Default weapon set is fun but I'm going with Type F clear first, because holy goddamn Type F is basically AKIRA: The Video Game 8) I'm pretty sure the machine gun was modeled after Kaneda's laser too, looks similiar there. Also I set default lives to 3 as a compensate of New Game+.
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