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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:15 pm 


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BryanM wrote:
Ah? Maybe I should give the Golden Axe sequels a chance, can't say I gave them a fair one when I was a kid.


Note that the arcade Revenge of Death Adder is a completely separate thing from the MD GA2 & GA3. Annoyingly, Sega never bothered porting it anywhere. It always looked pretty neat to me. Even kept the Rambo Death Sounds cruelly denied the MD games!

Also MD GA3 is nowhere as likable as GA2, despite having The Pumaman. Image Man this takes me back, I've got a cracking sequel in my head starring him, his fated rival EAGLEMAN, and my lame OCs ELEPHANTMAN and MINOTAURMAN.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:19 am 


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I have a soft spot for MD GA3. Yeah, it's repetitive, and yeah, it needs more enemy types and better graphics, but I'll be damned if the music isn't great, the gameplay fun, and the branching paths cool. It doesn't deserve have the hate that gets thrown at it, that's for sure.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:15 am 


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Steamflogger Boss wrote:
I still like Fire Emblem but it's really not the same now, it's way too easy.


I've heard there's a massive rift in the community in this brave new era of waifus, but wasn't the difficulty in those games often and still elective? Even in Gaiden on the NES, they had repeatable farm maps to class change all the garbo villager NPCs the game gives ya. It's only the new perma-death switch that's really changed, non?


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:09 am 


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BryanM wrote:
I've heard there's a massive rift in the community in this brave new era of waifus, but wasn't the difficulty in those games often and still elective? Even in Gaiden on the NES, they had repeatable farm maps to class change all the garbo villager NPCs the game gives ya. It's only the new perma-death switch that's really changed, non?


But they dropped that mechanic and didn't reuse it until, I believe, Sacred Stones. Restricted grinding was the norm. My stance is that the series has always had fairly serious problems, but everything I've read about Awakening suggests they've moved a long way in the wrong direction.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:29 am 


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BryanM wrote:
Steamflogger Boss wrote:
I still like Fire Emblem but it's really not the same now, it's way too easy.


I've heard there's a massive rift in the community in this brave new era of waifus, but wasn't the difficulty in those games often and still elective? Even in Gaiden on the NES, they had repeatable farm maps to class change all the garbo villager NPCs the game gives ya. It's only the new perma-death switch that's really changed, non?


If you can I never noticed how in most of them.

@Vanguard: Yeah they had to make Awakening a big success to keep the series going which they did. They made it much more accessible while sacrificing a lot imo. I'm still not sure if I'm going to play Three Houses.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:41 am 


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Is there anything sacrificed? Can you go into that a bit? Permanent death is elective. The Hard and Lunatic modes are certainly somewhat abrasive. I'm honestly not deep enough in the series to know if there was a change forced on anyone, besides perhaps more focus on the dating sim side game.

Besides meta real-life social stuff like "casual scrubs having fun wrong" jamming up forums with posts about their imaginary girlfriend of choice?


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:23 am 


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Vanguard wrote:
+
Time limits, especially in nonlinear games and games where taking it slow is inherently advantageous, such as RPGs. Tons of common design problems vanish into smoke with a time limit. Even generous time limits make it feel like you're being rewarded for finding efficient ways to achieve your goals. I prefer game-long time limits where wasting time in stage 1 costs you in stage 5, but conventional stage-by-stage time limits are still good.


I like this on paper, but it has the inherent issue of the player being sort of in the dark about how well they are doing, especially for longer lasting time limits, like your 5 stage example.
Like, until you are super familiar with the game you can't be certain of how much leeway you have unless the game has some clever way of signaling that. How much of the stage is left? Is there a boss fight coming up that will demand a huge chunk of your time? Etc. It works for shorter arcade games, but I don't see it as a good thing in RPGs, etc.
And if the time limit is a game over scenario, you can be a dead man walking already by stage 3 of 10 without even knowing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:59 am 


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BryanM wrote:
Is there anything sacrificed? Can you go into that a bit? Permanent death is elective. The Hard and Lunatic modes are certainly somewhat abrasive. I'm honestly not deep enough in the series to know if there was a change forced on anyone, besides perhaps more focus on the dating sim side game.

Besides meta real-life social stuff like "casual scrubs having fun wrong" jamming up forums with posts about their imaginary girlfriend of choice?

I
You might be right. I can't even think straight atm so I'll get back to you on this.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:27 pm 


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THE BALLS ON THIS PRICK wrote:
I'm 99% sure, though it's been a while, that the Metal Slugs' ducking animation works similarly to Bloodlines' turning. Marco takes a few frames to visibly balk in alarm before getting his head down, but I'm pretty sure he's mechanically in crouch position from the next frame. I know for sure they take the same approach as BL to turning frames.


Confirming this BTW. Falsificare kneejerkers kiss my ass. 凸(`ω´メ)

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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:48 am 


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Sumez wrote:
I like this on paper, but it has the inherent issue of the player being sort of in the dark about how well they are doing, especially for longer lasting time limits, like your 5 stage example.
Like, until you are super familiar with the game you can't be certain of how much leeway you have unless the game has some clever way of signaling that. How much of the stage is left? Is there a boss fight coming up that will demand a huge chunk of your time? Etc. It works for shorter arcade games, but I don't see it as a good thing in RPGs, etc.
And if the time limit is a game over scenario, you can be a dead man walking already by stage 3 of 10 without even knowing it.


When you play a game for the first time, being in the dark about how well you're doing is perfectly normal, especially if it's an arcade game. The intimidation and uncertainty that come with running out of time are part of the appeal.

A time limit in a long game does come with the possibility of a save file becoming unsalveagable, and understandably lots of people don't want that. Though I'd totally be down for a dungeon crawler where you have to get everything done in X trips, to encourage you to stretch your resources as far as they can go every time. Or one where the dungeon fills with poison gas or whatever after a certain amount of time, and you have to get in, do what you came for, and get out before that happens. Maybe put the entrance and exit in different places so that even the shortest possible trip involves some peril. A long game could be broken up into a series of timed segments, maybe only allow saving outside of timed segments. Maybe if the player gets a game over from timing out, reset them to the beginning of the last timed segment. You could let them keep their exp/items if you want to make it less frustrating, but imo that'd defeat the purpose. You could also include a game-long time limit that doesn't outright kill you for failing.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:28 am 


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Obviously I'm not all opposed to time limits, especially in arcade games. One of my favourites that I keep bringing up is Rainbow Islands, and that game is designed completely around the fact that the rising water will keep you moving upwards.
Surprisingly that time limit isn't as "soft" as the typical Taito standard, most famous in the form of the Bubble Bobble skel-monsta that'll give you a hard time when you dawdle or struggle, but not alright kill you. At least not right away. In that way you'll always be able to finish off the stage if you're in a decent position to do so. In Rainbow Islands you can't really escape the water no matter how fast you scroll that screen. If you aren't able to make it to the top in time it'll always get you.

But the "make it through the dungeon in X tries" example is pretty much exactly where I see the problem. You have a finite amount of resources, but no knowledge of how much you'll realistically need. At least in an arcade action game there's a bit of a mutual understanding that as long as you move ahead at a brisk pace and never dawdle too much, you should probably have enough time.
That said, I still see the appeal, and for shorter challenges designed around and expectation of the player repeating it over and over (like.. an arcade game) I can see it working.

Vanguard wrote:
You could also include a game-long time limit that doesn't outright kill you for failing.

The SNES version of Prince of Persia does exactly this. Unlike the original game, you get two hours for the full game, which is also much larger. So replaying that over and over to practice the later stages would get tediously quickly. Instead the game makes it clear that your time is up, and allow you to continue playing so you get to know the stages - but once you reach the final boss, he won't be there.

Too bad the save system essentially breaks the time limit mechanic - a player will have to restrain him- og herself to not save scum every stage.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:24 pm 


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In a game where you have multiple shot types as well as multiple power levels to build, I prefer it when grabbing a different weapon still raises shot power +1 instead of only switching type. It means you can recover from a death more smoothly if need be without having to wait for weapon icons to rotate to the one you are currently using.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:41 pm 


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RE: Fire Emblem

Awakening gets far more flack than it deserves.

It returns to the free grinding approach of Sacred Stones and Gaiden (which I don't like), but it has fairly strong map design...in fact I'd say it's a far superior game to Sacred Stones on that front.

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest might have some of the strongest map design and mechanics in the franichse, in addition to returning to the no-grinding-allowed linear campaign format. Sadly, it's the game that taught me that I can't get into an rpg if I completely and earnestly hate the aesthetic, characters, and setting. A shame.

Haven't tried Three Houses yet.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:55 am 


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I enjoyed Awakening tbc.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:26 pm 


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Good: When a game has multiple weapon types to pickup, as well as increasing power levels for each weapon, picking up a different weapon raises your overall power level by 1, meaning if you accidentally grab a different weapon, you don't lose a potential power upgrade. This is helpful if the game spawns large clouds of weapon pickups along with bombs or other items and you need to rush in to grab something after dying, you don't have to wait methodically for weapons to cycle to collect the same one repeatedly to powerup.

Bad: When a beat em up requires a tap to turn around before a double tap will register a dash. This is only the case in Streets of Rage 2 as far as I'm aware, where to use a Blitz you have to double tap forward twice, but if you want to use it in the opposite direction, you have to tap three times (first to turn around, then twice to input the move). I'm in the habit now of tapping forward three times in SoR2 just to make sure I don't forget, but it's not an issue in SoR3 or SoRR.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:49 am 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Good: When a game has multiple weapon types to pickup, as well as increasing power levels for each weapon, picking up a different weapon raises your overall power level by 1, meaning if you accidentally grab a different weapon, you don't lose a potential power upgrade. This is helpful if the game spawns large clouds of weapon pickups along with bombs or other items and you need to rush in to grab something after dying, you don't have to wait methodically for weapons to cycle to collect the same one repeatedly to powerup.


Same. Override on PCE works this way, which also lets you gain levels while enjoying its neat Image Fight-esque arsenal. The Raiden method's discipline can work for me in the right sort of game (Raiden, basically Image), but it's pure stricture and can easily annoy in breezier material.

Quote:
Bad: When a beat em up requires a tap to turn around before a double tap will register a dash. This is only the case in Streets of Rage 2 as far as I'm aware, where to use a Blitz you have to double tap forward twice, but if you want to use it in the opposite direction, you have to tap three times (first to turn around, then twice to input the move). I'm in the habit now of tapping forward three times in SoR2 just to make sure I don't forget, but it's not an issue in SoR3 or SoRR.


I distinctly recall noticing this in SOR2 and being surprised, given the game's incredibly polished handling otherwise. Not a game-killer or anything, but unexpected coming in from the third entry.

Sidescrolling, rather than beltscrolling, but: SOTN's Richter, as well as his apparent copy/paste Nathan from Circle of the Moon, have the absolute best double-tap run inputs I've seen. You can actually hit opposing directions to start a dash - a flick of the d-pad will suffice. I especially like being able to press a whip attack to the limit, tapping towards the enemy, before sprinting back at the last possible moment - much snappier than two "away" inputs. This goes really well with COTM's awesome Mars Unicorn sword, which gets a huge damage boost at pointblank. Run a Were-Bear through, then dash out of claw range and stick 'em for the finish.

Additionally, you can pivot the dash itself with a quick about-face, and you also maintain dash state on jump landings - so you can cover tons of ground per input, both horizontally and vertically. Besides minimising repetitive double-taps, it makes simply dashing and bounding from A to B entertaining in its own right. Although neither game has inertia, the ease of maintaining a dash gives a keen sense of momentum.

For the ultimate efficiency, I wish more sidescrollers had experimented with Kaze Kiri (PCE-CD)'s approach. Dash is simply [diagonal up] there. Could see it being annoying in the wrong context, say in especially prickly 1HKOs. But in that game's easy-going Spartan X format, it works great.

===

WARNING: WILLY_RZR'S GOODTIME SIDESCROLLER SHACK IS ROLLING UP FAST

After much consideration, I am good with Gradius-style Option trails in sidescrolling action/platformers. Gravity puts a very different spin on the mechanic, when you're not able to just zip up and down the Y-axis at will. Image Saigo no Nindou is a very good example! It works ESPECIALLY well with its super-fine height and momentum control!

I want to bayonet this big bitch right in his face, without his great big fuckoff Muramasa eating up all my DPS!
Spoiler: show
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Aww sheeit, too bad your infernally deadly homing attack has a right arse of a time hitting me at this angle, BONEY-sama!
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It's commonly said Ninja Gaiden II ripped off Saigo's Option shadows, to the letter. However, there's a critical distinction: Saigo's always face the same direction as the player, Gradius-style. NGII's higher velocity and irritatingly tiny swordbox are factors, but I think this also explains why I find traditional formations less intuitive there.

===

Apropros the first GIF, I dislike it when sidescrollers prevent you from turning around during crouch. I do it there because I want to keep my Options aligned, plus I'm not keen on getting my foot blown off. I appreciate the ethos of calculatedly limited player movement, but barring this tiny adjustment will typically feel asinine in even otherwise well-designed games.

Incidentally, one of the models of calculated limitation, Castlevania, lets you crouch-pivot. Its sequel CVIII doesn't. Look, I can't move FFS, get off my ass for a second. Image

===

I suppose there is some context where I would exclaim "my beautiful sidescroller is ruined! you bitch I'll make you suffer!" but generally, I'm very okay with quick ledge drops.

You could say I GOT THE DROP ON HIM Image
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Actually I've just thought of one: the classic Castlevania skeleton setup where a boney is harassing you with his calciferous missiles from below, while you traverse a long hallway above (later rejigged in Rondo/XX for Pikemen and their extend-o-matic skewers). OR SO I THOUGHT. Those are not ledges, you fuck! They are floors. Saigo no Nindou (pictured above) won't let you floor drop either!

===

Now, this is a bit unfair, as the game this flyer is from (Image Fight) does it properly with zero lag:

Image

But I have come to dislike 16-way aiming with staggered sweep, ala both arcade Contras, and Image Fight's IREM contemporary Saigo. Which not only pairs a treacly 16-way vulcan with a snappy 8-way spread-bomb, but also lets you switch between them at will. Oh hell yeah I'm giffing this for sure.

Eight-way shot. Defending this tree is a snap! Relatively!
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Sixteen-way shot. A considerably tougher test of handling that'll net the uninitiated a wolf to the neck followed by complementary hardwood enema.
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No you're not helpfully emulating the SNK-style Lever Loop! You're just JERKIN ME AROUND! Image In the AC Contras and Saigo alike, I end up emulating a four-way stick to avoid the god-awful jamming-up.

TBH this plays more like Contra than some Contras. :shock: Shuriken-only run intensifies. Image
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===

Metal Slug's Heavy Machine Gun behaves similarly and is rad, but I would put that down to MS [1] lacking contact damage, unlike Contras, and [2] being less of a nonstop raging RNG shitstorm than Saigo (as are most games).

Also the heavy handling is subtly offset by the massive hitbox, generous shot rate, and most of all, the ability to wank it back and forth for willy-waving spray action. Image

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Instructively, Contra's attract demo has the player hauling the spread back and forth like an Olympic rower, versus st5's nasty opening miniboss. It's not all bad, but it's not very good either. I love both AC Contras, but I bet more people would too, if they'd dispensed with the heaving aim lag. Or at least made it specific to certain weapons ala Saigo.

TRICEPS OF STEEL
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Now that I can actually play AC Contra's 3D stages without MAME's busted-ass enemy AI (seen also in every previous official home release!), they're actually my favourite bits by far. I already liked the FC equivalents, but these AC bastards are really gunning for your ass. Super Contra has no such luck, aim lag bites down even harder in its alt stages. Counteract or be swamped. Also where is ACA Super, get it up nao and take my money! Good to know its shared Thunder Cross hardware is in the bag, at least.

On a tangent, it's funny how the AC original's fifth stage (something the legendary FC conversion broke up into four discrete, expanded areas) seems to prefigure the more setpiece n' minibosses-driven SFC/MD/PS2 entries.
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