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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:32 pm 


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EmperorIng wrote:
Does anyone have any opinions on Irem's console-exclusive Image Fight II: Operation Deepstriker? I don't know much about the infamous arcade original (or its multiple ports), but the prospect of a console-exclusive Irem game during their high stride is interesting indeed. Worth checking out in Ootake?


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viewtopic.php?p=1158321#p1158321 :cool:

edit: TLDR HAWT (and post-honeymoon!) facts: it's quite good, though not outright essential like the best of Irem's original works eg Delta or Metal Storm. Given its price and rarity (quite so), I'd certainly emulate it first. A more leisurely but still satisfyingly tough counterpart to the bracingly hard AC game.
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Last edited by BIL on Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:38 pm 


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BIL wrote:

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"There's a post up in yo topic"
-BIL to Ing

How embarrassing :oops: I thought I remembered something like that, but missed it sweeping through a forum search.

Irem was very kind to the PC Engine overall (probably not for anything more than pecuniary reasons); makes it interesting to see them try their hand at a personalized follow-up to their arcade hit[?]. I think only Namco developed original sequels to their arcade games on the platform, and that being limited to Genpei Toumaden Kannoni. Oh, and Capcom's reworked SonSon II. Original games from bigger devs is ultimately harder to find, it feels like.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:45 pm 


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Also worth mentioning - far from toning down the AC game's high difficulty level the HuCard handles things... uh, interestingly. ^__^ I love it, but in a certain deranged way. Screw STAR PARODIER*, this is my kinda parody shooter! Not particularly recommended, unlike their superb Ninja Spirit port.

*I guess? >_> HAVEN'T PLAYED LMAO ;3 ;3 ;3
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:46 am 


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I haven't played much of the original arcade releases of Ordyne and Mr. Heli, but it seems to me like both of them are fairly solid ports. That's not saying all that much in case of Ordyne which is best described as forgettable (it's not offensive either, though), Mr. Heli on the other hand is great! Unfortunately quite a bit of flickering and slowdowns during busier parts (I had to turn off the autofire in some situations in the second loop else the adorable little chopper wouldn't be able to shoot at all :shock:), yet certainly among the finest HuCard arcade ports. I'm not quite sure what you mean with the "added" life-bar in this game, EmperorIng, that's already there in the arcade game if I'm not gravely mistaken. The Normal mode is a lot more lax for sure, but even the Arcade mode features a health system. There are quite a few enemies that'll annihilate you right away, most of these will kill you in one shot in Normal mode as well, however (mostly bosses). I had a ton of fun figuring out how to stay at low rank during my Arcade mode clear as I got terribly mauled when I tried to tackle it with every power-up. And since we're talking about HuCards and Namco already: Final Blaster is probably the most underappreciated shooter on the system. Go get it! It has a pseudo-proto Border Down rank system, a stupendous level design, some genuinely creepy set-pieces, a fairly tough difficulty and an enjoyable option system. Not a perfect game - and also plagued by some flickering -, I'd firmly rank it among the best console-exclusive shooters, though.

BIL said almost everything important about Image Fight II already, as is to be expected. I personally found the difficulty curve to be a bit odd (it starts out pretty hard, but never really ramps up until the very end), other than that it's excellent. It forces you to pick up specific weapons for several boss fights as they'll be significantly harder without them, but memorization is par for the course in any Irem game, anyway.

Edit: First loop of the arcade Image Fight isn't all that grueling to be honest. I don't know where that infamous reputation comes from. Second loop is a different breed of cat altogether.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:13 am 


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Is the FC port of Image Fight worth picking up? I read somewhere that the NES version has autofire, but the FC version doesn't. The NES version also changes some backgrounds to blue.


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:18 am 


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You know I love my 8/16-bit reinterpretations... and I'd say hell no. :[ FC port is really chintzy, empty and anemic-feeling.

I thought I'd give it the benefit of the doubt despite Perikles and Despatche very accurately disregarding it in the HS thread, and regretted doing so. I was compelled to play FC Salamander immediately afterward just to cleanse myself of the experience. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:20 am 


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I don't know of any differences between the Famicom and the NES port of Image Fight, yet I will say that the Famicom conversion is frankly pathetic. It looks and sounds atrocious (no comparison to, say, the respectable efforts of Kyuukyoku Tiger and Dragon Spirit) and there's no tangible difficulty in this game whatsoever. I cleared both loops on my very first try and discovered in the process that you can checkpoint-milk this weakling of a conversion indefinitely. :lol: No merits as a port, no qualities as a stand-alone title.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:26 am 


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Perikles wrote:
I don't know of any differences between the Famicom and the NES port of Image Fight, yet I will say that the Famicom conversion is frankly pathetic. It looks and sounds atrocious (no comparison to, say, the respectable efforts of Kyuukyoku Tiger and Dragon Spirit) and there's no tangible difficulty in this game whatsoever. I cleared both loops on my very first try and discovered in the process that you can checkpoint-milk this weakling of a conversion indefinitely. :lol: No merits as a port, no qualities as a stand-alone title.


ugh. Sounds like I made the right call on skipping it.


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:35 am 


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BIL wrote:
Also worth mentioning - far from toning down the AC game's high difficulty level the HuCard handles things... uh, interestingly. ^__^ I love it, but in a certain deranged way.


I only want to point out that I recently learned that the PCE Image Fight has a fake TATE resolution included, and I'm not sure if that changes how the game is played:

-hold I while the IREM logo appears, and it should change the resolution.

It adds some bars on the side, though it's hard to tell if the sprites themselves are scaled down or something (probably not?).
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:53 am 


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Interesting, I'll have to give that a look. I wonder if it's similar to the "vertical" / "arcade" settings in the PCE Star Soldiers, Nexzr, etc. They just smoosh the display a bit... seems entirely cosmetic.

edit: yeah, PCE Image Fight seems about the same. Walls closing in. And oh god, this port does not need to feel any more claustrophobic. :shock: :lol:

On your knees, prisoner, take your position!
Place your chin forward into the restraint!
Death by the head crusher!


I'd just go with the default res. It's kinda cute!
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:57 am 


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Earlier in the topic i said that Hihou Densetsu might have the worst-drawn cutscenes I have yet seen in a PC Engine game. However, that statement was premature because Image Fight II changes everything:

Image
Image

Has my "search for quality" finally been stumped? Is there anywhere to go after this artistry?

I will half-gloat in stating that I joined the cool-kids-with-too-much-money crowd, since through a miracle I scored a cheap (well, "cheap") copy of Image Fight II through Rakuten. Well under 3 figures, woo!

I love the bombastic Engrish peppering the manual. Fly your MIGHTY WINGS OF-1! If you survive Penalty Stage AKA BEARKNUCKLE FIGHT, BOY MEETS GIRL for showdown in LUST CITY, but don't go IN TOO DEEP (sage advice IREM). Plus the cute 4koma strip detailing the dilemma of red-pod waifu:
Spoiler: show
Image
blue pod sluts >=(


Game is delightfully assholish; even more so on Hard (the first boss's patterns are insane). The hitbox is such a change from the HuCard predecessor's "all or nothing" approach - it's positively tiny in comparison (the stage 2 boss's safe-spot[s] illustrate this well, with lasers crisscrossing over 1/3 of your ship sprite with no damage). It doesn't seem to stop you from colliding into walls or enemies, but it's pretty fair when it comes to projectiles. My only initial complaint thus far is that the pod-shot button is all the way over on Select by default (Run would have been a better choice). I guess you can still do the shot+speed method, but that's not ideal.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:37 pm 


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First rule of Image Fight II: VISUAL SCENE SKIP ;3 you won't even know they're there!

EmperorIng wrote:
Plus the cute 4koma strip detailing the dilemma of red-pod waifu:
Spoiler: show
Image
blue pod sluts >=(


Ah, Japanese manuals make the collecting fuss all worth it. Image That cad will regret his philandering ways at st1 boss/hard ver! >:[ (for reals if I somehow switch to blues before that I just restart!)

Quote:
My only initial complaint thus far is that the pod-shot button is all the way over on Select by default (Run would have been a better choice). I guess you can still do the shot+speed method, but that's not ideal.


It's one of those games where the three-button Avenue Pad is ideal (others in my experience being Ninja Spirit and Bloody Wolf). It's even sometimes bundled with an excellent port of Forgotten Worlds! :O

I particularly like how the pod shot will autofire while you're shooting - very crunchy, tactile satisfaction in overlapping them with a big enemy for massive rebounding damage.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:33 pm 


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That's some QUALITY right there. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:27 pm 


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I 1LC'd the game and I don't think I used the option shot once. :lol:

Not nearly as useful here as it was in the first Image Fight. Instead I speed killed the bosses using the weapon destruction trick, which is super fun.


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:34 pm 


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So has anyone played Micro Cabin's overhead shooter, Mystic Formula?

I beat it last night and was a little underwhelmed, despite going at the game on and off over the course of months. While I appreciate some of the elements of MC's style, the game flow is somewhat jarring, a real stop-and-go "run-n-gun" - walk a few steps, spawn some enemies, walk a few steps, etc. The worst is the randomly-spawning tiny bats in the first and third levels that are hard to hit but kill you in one hit; very anticlimactic.

I gave up trying to 1CC the game, despite most assurances that it was "easy." Mainly because there are lots of cheap moments that can kill you... The wonky scrolling camera hides a bat just out of eyesight till it runs right in to you (forcing you into that walk-a-few-steps pattern). Worse still is walking into a boss chamber only to have a randomly teleporting boss teleport right on top of you with no way to react. The insta-deaths on the vehicle segments are particularly egregious, considering they make you pilot a gigantic hover-thing with an equally large hitbox and still have one-hit-kills. It makes trying to keep yourself powered up next to impossible - this is pointless too, since powerups don't carry over from level to level.

I like the character sprites and the music. Each characters has a different shot type. I played as the elf Filia most of the time because her homing shot helped mitigate the random-bats; however, her attack and firing rate are pretty pitiful, whereas blue-haired Laidan (Raiden?) has a fast powerful piercing shot, which trivializes game bosses.* Robot Geist looks cool but his enormous sprite leaves him an open target for all the game's small fast-moving enemies. Sexy black leather chick looks cool but her wave shot doesn't really do anything the other characters don't already do.

The game's tile graphics are horrendously ugly. Level 2 might take the cake for ugliest I have seen in a PC engine game. Where was all the work that went into Fray in Magical Adventure? It is like a shoddy MSX tileset.

ImageImageImage

It's not all brown like this (but it's mostly brown like this), but the game certainly doesn't graphically impress outside of the cutscenes and the last-boss (super easy), who is cool-looking.

*EDIT: after playing an entire playthrough as L/Raiden, his shot tears everything in the game apart. You might still die to the forced-vehicle segments or lousy RNG, but everything dies super quickly. I'm not sure you really need to bother with some of the other characters (like slow big-target Geist). Also worth praising: sexy brown elf, whose rate of fire is as fast as Raiden's, so she also makes the game easy-mode. I almost 1CC'd the game as the sexy brown elf chick, but lost thanks to the horrendous collision detection in the penultimate vehicle level. Too frustrating to try again - what's the point of trying to succeed when the outcome is so heavily tied to chance as opposed to skill?

Quality Ranking:

High
Middling
Low
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:12 pm 


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Mystic Formula was very briefly on my radar, a few months back. "Hey, it is curiously unheralded game in one of your favourite subgenres! What could go wrong?" *BROWNING ALERT* ಠ_ಠ Videos were givin' me vague willies of the sort you elucidate, so I put it off for the time being. I do love topdown run/guns but DECO's nice HuCard port of Bloody Wolf will probably do for now. I gotta keep my NEC stuff competitive with other machines too. If they can't hang with SENJOU NO OKAMI II, NAZO NO KURO MANTLE and the face-shredding fusillade that is *~TWINKLE TALE~* then imma probably dunk that ROM in the bin and wish I'd not bothered downloading.

RAYXANBER III is really cool. On the easy side for sure, and very expensive for what it is, but as a milder take on Irem traditions it's fantastic entertainment. The opening battleship defense scene is not a positive first impression (deceptively fun as wasting scads of zako with well-timed Itano barrages might be), but the game's dense and varied remainder makes up powerfully. Mania mode seems cool, but I want to concentrate on Rayxanber II. Which I'm yet to see the third stage of. :oops:

My only real complaint about RXBIII is the Blast Wind syndrome - weak SFX overpower the truly excellent BGM, making me long for a balance slider. Visually and atmospherically, although its alien seafood bonanza could be called one-note, I prefer to think of it as appropriately homogeneous. Where Thunder Force IV and Eliminate Down are interplanetary spacewar epics, and Gaiares doesn't know WTF it's doing, this is an intimate coda where UN Spacy roll up to space lobster HQ, kick the doors in and genocide the fuckers before they can regroup. Job done! In total seriousness, the elegiac final boss BGM (THANK GOD THEY MUTED THE SFX; INSPIRED MOVE) conveys not merely winning a war, but exterminating another species from the galaxy. Maybe they just wanted to live, too! ;-; Yeah never mind. The point is that nature is some sad shit, kids. 3;

let's see if YT has any soundtrack links - aww sheeit, my MetalBlackPatriot Klatrymadon has it covered. :cool: Lighters in the air for ZOUL's last stand

Also, POMPING WORLD is cheap and great. I already had the PS1 collection, but goddamn do I love Hudson/NEC Avenue's ports. When they're not completely fucked up! Ninja Gaiden (HuCard) seems to be only a horrific exception to their usual lovely work, thankfully. One time I ate a mealworm hiding in a pistachio, you think I quit pistachios?! Actually that's a bad comparison, because I paid the king's good pounds for that bag of nuts. I get a bad Hudson port, I dunk it in the recycle bin and trash it on here - fo free.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:05 pm 


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I always like to think of the enemies in Rayxanbar 3 as silicon-based life forms, given their uniquely rocky-organic designs.

I have actually only played 3 on mania difficulty, and I always wonder why everyone says the game is too easy, considering it can get pretty tight. I'm sure memorization lessons things, of course, but it certainly seemed on par with the harder console shooters for difficulty.

My only real problem with both 2 and 3 (haven't played 1 yet) is that you're given this cool dashy boost mechanic, which makes the movement feel unique...for the first 2 stages or so. After that things just get too tight to make it feel useful. Could use more macro dodging. 2's guns also feel really under powered to me (though that may just be in terms of aesthetic and feedback). Fun games still though.

BIL wrote:
the face-shredding fusillade that is *~TWINKLE TALE~*


:lol:

Love that game for sure.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:52 pm 


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Definitely worth going with Mania from the outset - actually, I think they could've gotten away with renaming Normal to "Easy," Mania to "Normal" and adding a third (suicide bullet?) tier. Mania's plenty great as it is, though. Rad consolised Iremesque.

Regarding the booster, I like its interplay with st2's speed-sapping water (and the fast-swimming critters therein!). Particularly jockeying around those hefty Obligatory Shmup Snakes™, and diving down to nail the boss's weakpoint. Seems like something they could've taken further, using the boost to counteract speed traps.

Speaking of NEC Avenue ports and decided exceptions: Strider Hiryu (Arcade Card). WTF. :shock: I wasn't expecting much from this one, given its troubled dev history and lukewarm rep. Certainly wasn't expecting another beautiful CPS port ala their Daimakaimura (SGX) and Forgotten Worlds. Still a bit shocked - distractingly poor on all levels. It's playable, just about, but retains only traces of the AC's rollicking fun. Looks weird. Handles really weird. And totally misses the point of Isuke's masterly arcade-filmic direction, hamfistedly adding mid-stage dialogues. The MD port has its flaws, but it's leagues better than this.

Shame the SuperGrafx died so prodigiously early. NA's Daimakaimura is an absolute gem, its boosted graphical detail edging out Sega's already superb MD version (which remains my personal favourite, regardless - no crazily obscure hardware required!). Strider would've surely fared better on SGX, prior to uprooting... mute the sound and I'd almost believe this was an early HuCard.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:46 am 


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My only beef with Rayxanber III's Maniac difficulty is the overly resilient final boss, the fight easily lasts more than five minutes due to its toughness. At some point you might get impatient, die to something and start aaaaaall over again. I still don't think it's on the harder side of console shooters on that difficulty setting (thanks to the generous extend rate and uncomplicated recoveries), but it certainly gets a lot more interesting - and I'm usually not all that interested to fiddle around with the default settings. I particularly like the narrow tunnel in stage 4, enemies will enter the screen from both sides and you have to sit in cramped niches above or below them, just in the right spot so that you don't collide with the terrain or the enemies. This vignette is indeed worthy of being called iremesque on Maniac.

The dash is absolutely necessary in II's later stages, it's probably virtually impossible to get past stage 4 and the final boss without it. There are some stages where you're not likely to use it at all, yes, but they clearly designed core parts of the game around it. III is easy enough to where you don't have to use it as often, although the final boss would be immensely more difficult I'd imagine. You can use it during most boss fights in III, actually, for fairly respectable results. The strongest weapon in II is the blue shot at point-blank range, it's e.g. possible to kill the fifth boss in less than half a second, it's obscene.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:30 pm 


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Long post to inaugurate a somewhat fun game I just beat. I recently ordered Westone's ARPG, Blood Gear, and have a CDr with the translation of Micro Cabin's Xak III, so I will be looking forward to those two.

Image

ImageImageImage

Magicoal

Colorful Action-RPG(lite) with a lot of production values but skimpy on enemy AI. The overhead style and sprites call to mind Zelda, but each area or chapter is often a self-contained map (or maps) that usually place you in a dungeon or area that you have to conquer or find the exit. Occasionally interspersed are town segments which allow you to buy healing items and spells for your two heroes. Puzzle areas are usually solved by talking to and examining everything. The spell items are a real annoyance - their function is randomized: they will either heal you, do nothing, or grant a new spell (out of 84) to use. It feels so sloppy to buy a handful of spell scrolls (or gems for the girl, Melvy) and have only a few of those turn out to be worthwhile.

There are a lot of varieties to the maps you explore. Dungeons, Castles, Ghost towns, otherworldly realms, mountains, and more... it's impressive to see the amount of effort put into the locations, along with the vibrant amount of colors used. The game boasts of its 84 spells, but many of them will not be worth your time as you will stick to offensive heavy-hitters with the rare elemental defense boost. Melvy's spells are dependent on what elements are active in that map or room, meaning you have to pay careful attention to what she has equipped (until a late-late-game spell activates all elements for a map). You will ultimately default to a few trusted spells that home in on the enemy and deal consistent damage (E.G.: Rhun's rock spell, or Melvy's water sprite summon) over flashier and more interesting tomes. Dying forces you to roulette-wheel select a random spell if you want to continue without loading the last save - the odds are usually in your favor with so many non-used spells.

With the time spent creating all sorts of different magic attacks, what's less evident is the time they put into programming the enemies. The game has a distinct "Japanese PC" feel to it. Most enemies are content with rushing towards you, and only a few display some trickier AI to contend with (example: an annoying late-game skeleton cleric, fond of teleporting around the room). The most annoying is enemies constantly/periodically random-spawning into the map, being a chore to fight and forcing you to run (hold down I+II to force your partner to follow!) or dispatch them. Bosses for the first half of the game act little differently, and some of the larger bosses become a giant graphical mess of overlapping attacks, as your spells compete with theirs for space. it gives the game a little bit of a sloppy feel which contrasts with the effort on graphics, presentation, and awesome synth-rock soundtrack.

There are plenty of frustrating moments, and a few niconico walkthrough-necessary moments*, but on the whole I felt the experience's positives outweighed its negatives. The game's linear structure robs it of some of the replay value afforded to a Zelda game, though the random nature of spell pickups might allow for some variation during runs (the game also tallies at the end your spells found as well as lost through continues).

Quality Ranking:

High
Middling
Low


Consider it just over the threshold of "Middling" into a praiseworthy "High"

*I've written some helpful posts to get through tricky spots, but they are on pcenginefx.com, which has a very helpful menu translation and some general FAQ stuff by user Digi.k. In the interest of sharing the info with people who might play the game, here they are:

Spoiler: show
Image
Image
Image
Image


his excellent "get me acclimated" mini walkthrough

Spoiler: show
Digi.k wrote:
small early tips for early on in the game!

Just before you enter the village try and build up the gold dropped by the zombies in the previous map. Once you enter the map with the new town....

Some things to do before it burns.

You will witness a young boy Wiz arguing with a water sprite/spirit and he will turn the water toxic.
Image

Switch to Melvy as she can talk to them and pick the FIRST Option to save the sprite. Take the sprite to any pond that has clear water (there are 3) in the town and you will be rewarded with a new spell for Melvy. If you do not do this in time the sprite will die!
Image

Throughout the game there is about 3 areas where you can buy stuff. This is one of them, a village store.
Image

Select the bottom option and buy as many scrolls as you can while controlling Rhun the wiz boy.
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Hopefully one of those scrolls with give Rhun the fly spell.

notice there is an item up there on the roof? Use the fly spell to land up there. It's a jewel give that to Melvy. Jewels are important for Melvy. Just like scrolls the effect is random. Best of all they give Melvy some new spells. You can reset the game and try them again for different stuff!
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Notice the item on the tree top? It's a scroll fly up there and grab it for Rhun.
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Here are my notes on my playthrough:

Spoiler: show
In the ghost town, you need to get three things to remove the curse. To do this you essentially need to play hide-and-seek with the resident ghosts. All the monsters are invulnerable until you remove the curse. The lady by the well will hop around to a few different locations (well, basement of the large house, and so on), finally cluing you in to the location of one of the items in one of the town wells itself. Some guy with a hat in another house will tell you his item is in his bedroom filled with zombies. The final is inside the large mansion itself. Afterwards you can head into one of the town wells to continue the game.

===

In the water palace, where you have to set the blue stone into the central chamber, there are lots of teleporters. Two of them lead to mermaid statues who will give you clues. Destroy them to open up two additional teleporters. There will be text-boxes that pop up before you enter these chambers. There are three of these chambers in total: left, middle, and right.

You have to enter into them in the right order: you will know which order is correct because your characters will say something each time (if it's wrong they say nothing). I believe the order is Left, Right, Middle.

===

In the castle area, you need to make some type of medicine but you don't know the ingredients. You have to have Melvy talk to the little punk wizard (and I think you need to have some story-related items in her inventory - doll? Book? Harp? I had them all in there just in case) to get him to tell you the right ingredients. Pay attention to the kanji(?). Of the three ingredients in the middle garden, you only need two of them. I can't be sure but I THINK mixing all three makes a potion. I can't remember (will try to confirm this later). This will be useful for surviving the frustrating boss fights ahead.

Also, you will see a guard fiddle with some statues. Make sure you examine them! One of them will have a switch that deactivates the fire-breathing statues a few floors up.


part 2
Spoiler: show
When you are at a castle after killing the evil sorcerer, after a scene, all hell will be breaking loose at night. The lower-right corner is where you will need to be to trigger a boss and the next scene.

In this scene, you'll need to make your way up the castle, flipping all the switches you find - make sure you start by going to the right, as at the top of that section, is a flip switch that does... something. I don't know, but it looks important.

After rescuing the green-haired girl going further up will bring you to a chamber where you fight a trio of assassins. If you are good, killing the last one by the crack in the wall will reveal two chests. This is usually too hard to pull off, so don't worry.

The green-haired girl will be outside and tell you something. Go just outside the doorway and examine the torches to open the locked door.

===

In the next scene, in the assault on the castle, examine all of the shields; on two of the shields (opposite sides of the castle), they can be moved to reveal passageways.

After beating the hammer boss, return to the knight towards the beginning of that screen. He will give you a mirror which reveals false walls. There is a false wall right before the hammer boss's room. You can tell because the tiles are different than normal wall tiles.

===

On the mountain leading to the magical realm, a winged guy will blow you away from the gate. You first need to talk to a boy selling stuff (this is your last chance to buy spells and potions, so make it count). Talk to him a few times (maybe having important things in your characters' inventory?) and something will trigger to allow you to approach the winged man, who will release a tiger. Defeat the tiger and confront the winged man on the southern-right corner of the map.

===

In the wind realm, take the teleporters until you see a fairy, and have Melvy catch her. Afterward, cast a green barrier spell on yourself to make it past the green tornado in the center. You will have to do some platforming to reach the boss.

===

In the earth realm, you will need to have the knight midboss be charging at you to hurt him. Use Rhun and fire projectiles as he does so.

===

The Water Dungeon has to be the last selected dungeon (I don't think it will let you select it before the others)

===

The final boss is a real bastard. You can only hurt him as he's standing still, and he only does that when he needs to summon some of his goons after you kill them. Occasionally he starts charging up a screen-filling Armageddon spell, which if you are too occupied with the other distractions (and your partner is brain-dead as usual), it will kill you instantly. It takes a long time to charge though.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:17 am 


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For the PC Engine, I have only played Ys I/II and Beyond Shadowgate.
I'll give a try for each of the "high" level games you reviewd, maybe starting with Fray CD
Macross will wait till I clear my current shmup
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:47 pm 


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Arsehole collectr0s have been buying up PCE and TG-16 games. I don't see anything priced below 50 USD :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:30 am 


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For now, I can say I had fun with Shubibinman 3
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:22 pm 


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Really enjoyed reading through this thread! Is it going to continue? Seems a while since anyone posted?

I'm a huge pc engine fan, found myself playing more of the HuCard games though but I do have a nice collection of CD titles. Aside from the obvious choices I really liked Cho Aniki, thought it had real character and wasnt overly hard nor easy. As for non-shmup I still need to play Red Alert which I got a while back but hear good things about.


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:47 pm 


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I've still been meaning to do a writeup on the four Valis games on the system. I'm beginning to feel that I don't need to beat a game to give my short mini-reviews... Some are either so boring that they don't need to invest my time into beating them, and well as you can see, it tends to slow down my ability to post more content!

Over the past several months I've picked up: Westone's Blood Gear, which is a promisingly fun side-scrolling action RPG (with overhead town segments) with sci-fi mech theme; Sorcerian, which is good port of Falcom's 80s RPG, qualified by the fact that the original itself is very janky and cryptic and sometimes not-that-fun; and Prince of Persia, which is an admirable straight remake of the Apple original (no level design enhancements like in the SFC version).

I'm also trying to clear Cotton, which is a magnificent shooter on the system.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:40 pm 


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Since I have finally bested Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams, I suppose I can share a few thoughts as I muse over the whole experience.

A colorful, solid shooter that gives you a lot of moves you might never use. I don't think I ever used the fairy-throw attack (holding down I). The Fairy/Magic combo (I think this is triggered by holding down shot, then holding down the bomb button) is likewise something that never saw the light of day. Despite this superfluous moves, the shooter's main conceit of mowing down every single thing that moves feels fresh and fun through varied level design, unique enemies and new challenges throughout. I like that you can hug terrain without fear of death; given Cotton's size, this gives you one less thing to worry about while navigating the densely-populated stages.

I'm sure Perikles might disagree 8) , but this game likes to alternate between periods of pure coasting and very tricky maneuvering. Maneuver indeed - Cotton's hitbox makes some of the clutter of the later stages very tough to manage! You sort of have to be quick to exploit Cotton's magic spell invincibility to power your way through some tight corridors. I think the most annoying thing is how a glut of crystals on-screen will absorb your shots, leaving enemies unmolested and eager to shoot you out of the sky.

Another minor complaint is the abundance of boss safe spots. While the first few are easy anyhow, the later bosses can be almost completely trivialized by staying at a certain location and firing away, free from danger. It takes some of the bite out of the game, though after losing a few lives (which halve your power-ups, which really does suck) I was sort of glad to be able to get through them with little effort. Beating the game gives you the option to go into the second loop, where a few strategies will have to change because of the increased enemy health.

Despite the superbly-designed but somewhat-underwhelming bosses, Cotton shines through with its layout and pacing of stages. The levels twist and turn, force you to fight back against the enemies taking advantage of the terrain and environmental hazards and fast-scrolling sections, all while keeping up with powering up your shot and manically scooting around the level to keep your magic stock up. End of level bonuses (obtained by dodging every tea cup after a boss) keep the extends coming easy, but with the significant power downs upon death, any miss forces you to work hard to keep your shot power at a viable level.

Taken on the whole, Cotton provides an enjoyable ride at just the right amount of difficulty - for me (which is a little on the easy side!) - and enough colorful creativity to be heartily recommended.

Quality Ranking:

High
Middling
Low
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:42 am 


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Nice review. I have yet to play any cotton game! Glad to see the thread is alive! More please!


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:37 pm 


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16bitpilot wrote:
Nice review. I have yet to play any cotton game! Glad to see the thread is alive! More please!

I had a great time with Panorama Cotton, the completly different one.
Also, I tried every PCE title EmperorIng has made a favorable review.

Maybe you should try Beyond Shadowgate, Emperor
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:03 pm 


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I have played a bit of Shadowgate as a CD-r copy. It's very impressive stuff. While the "Point-n-click" design transferred to controller takes a little getting used to, pretty soon you are wandering around, punching everything in sight. ICOM (I feel a little bit of hometown pride for local devs!) crammed a lot of beautiful environments, puzzles, and bloody dismemberment into a single CD-rom.

I haven't finished it, but I hope to do so, since it is so clearly made with a lot of love and care. However, with any older adventure game, I am afraid I am never too far away from a FAQ, though I am proud that I was able to at least figure out a few of the puzzles on my own!

I haven't been interested that much in ICOM's other PCE game, Shape Shifter. Videos make it look a little too clunky for my taste.

Also I am mildly happy that my ill-informed opinions can lead to others trying some good games - though a select few of the "middling" games in this thread come with a "at least try this out on emulation/burned disc!" half-recommendation.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:45 am 


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As you all know, support for the PC Engine's six-button pad was flaky, to say the least.

While the CD port of Ryuuko no Ken recognizes all six buttons (as it should), the D-pad appears to be another story. For one, it doesn't let me crouch... or play the story mode... or do anything else that involves pressing down. This causes the game to be literally unplayable. While I encountered this behavior in Mednafen, Google and EmperorIng would have me believe it isn't uncommon on real hardware.

Now I know Ryuuko is hardly a must-play CD title, and that it doesn't really matter with Anthology available for peanuts on the PS2, but the lack of functional six-button support is disappointing considering all the fake scaling and voiced audio they included in the port, to say nothing of the Arcade Card required to even play the thing. Having to map half the buttons to RUN and SELECT on the two-button pad just isn't fun - even the Mega Drive's three-button pad was better with its World Heroes-esque setup.

EDIT: It's a known bug with Mednafen's PC Engine emulation. I feel like an idiot.
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