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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:48 pm 


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Skykid wrote:
Not enough 16-bit arcade port reviews in this thread.

Knights of the Round

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As good as the Super Famicom port appears to be here - and it's not bad at first glance - it is missing quite a lot of graphical detail. There are background elements regularly stripped out and animation frames have taken a hit all round. Otherwise it looks fairly robust and a fair approximation of the arcade.

Sadly it's actually poor approximation of the arcade.

Although the levelling system works well enough and you can actually make proper 1CC progress for a while, Capcom scuppered the effort around halfway through the game where they omitted a horse from the proceedings. In the arcade game this horse is captured early on, and tacticians use it throughout the stage and as a method for defeating the boss. Without the horse the boss is simply a complete mess who summarily ruins you each time because... well because you don't have the horse.

There are a lot of similar cutbacks here and there, including reduced sprites on screen etc., but otherwise it would have been a fairly fun and doable game if you didn't get all your lives snipped out during the aforementioned stage.

On last inspection, I still hadn't found any examples of a Super Famicom default difficult 1CC of the game, which left me wondering as to whether the fuck-up on the castle stage and the vanishing horse left others at a loss too.


I've not delved into this but the Snes version is most definitely 1cc'able. This guy 'The Retro Challenger' 1cc'd the game only yesterday on 'Hard' without losing a life!

http://youtu.be/vS5KHVOY8SE

You may want to check out a few of this guys runs, he is a super impressive player. Highly recommended.
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:20 am 



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FinalBaton wrote:
Have you played the SFC King Of Dragons? How is it?
I really like how that port looks and sound (and yes I know it's quite different from the AC).
If the game is really fun, then I might pick it up regardless if it's arcade accurate or not. The small-ish window doesn't bother me.

Also the number of enemies on screens seems very decent, often there are 4 and there sometimes are 5 and even 6 ones at the same time! that is pretty nice

King of Dragons is probably the best Capcom brawler port on the console, it's not perfect or anything but it's a good approximation of the arcade considering the console, ~5 enemies on screen (you can overload like 8 in some areas via pacifist scrolling but it's unplayable like that), accurate enough mechanics, OST almost as good as the arcade and pretty graphics despite being downscaled, unlike the rest of Capcom ports KoD conserves pretty much all the animation from the arcade!
I didn't like Knights of the Round SFC when I played it, can't recall all the reasons but some important ones were the slow attack rate and wonky hitboxes, it feels annoying to play after how fluid and solid the arcade is. Captain Commando is easily the worst port for me, sluggish mess with broken combos, pretty inaccurate mechanics/bosses, ugly visuals and laughable performance (30 fps, max 3 enemies AND slowdowns), oh yeah and the soundtrack is terrible.
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:42 am 


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Ex_Mosquito wrote:

I've not delved into this but the Snes version is most definitely 1cc'able. This guy 'The Retro Challenger' 1cc'd the game only yesterday on 'Hard' without losing a life!

http://youtu.be/vS5KHVOY8SE

You may want to check out a few of this guys runs, he is a super impressive player. Highly recommended.


Oh fantastic! I'll sit down with a coffee and pore over this as soon as I get the chance. Hopefully it will encourage me to go for the clear again. Really curious to see how he handles certain sections.

Thanks ExMos ;)
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:50 am 


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Vludi wrote:
King of Dragons is probably the best Capcom brawler port on the console, it's not perfect or anything but it's a good approximation of the arcade considering the console, ~5 enemies on screen (you can overload like 8 in some areas via pacifist scrolling but it's unplayable like that), accurate enough mechanics, OST almost as good as the arcade and pretty graphics despite being downscaled, unlike the rest of Capcom ports KoD conserves pretty much all the animation from the arcade!
I didn't like Knights of the Round SFC when I played it, can't recall all the reasons but some important ones were the slow attack rate and wonky hitboxes, it feels annoying to play after how fluid and solid the arcade is. Captain Commando is easily the worst port for me, sluggish mess with broken combos, pretty inaccurate mechanics/bosses, ugly visuals and laughable performance (30 fps, max 3 enemies AND slowdowns), oh yeah and the soundtrack is terrible.

Yo, thanks for the review! that really make s me want a copy of KoD now!


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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:42 am 


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Ex_Mosquito wrote:



Wow. Well first off, he uses Arthur - that was an instant curveball for my brain. I had to laugh where he had half his energy cleaved by grunts 3 minutes in (it happens in this game) but still a stunning workaround. Slightly different tactics to arcade clears here, but generally his crowd management is spotless. He uses the counter power up by gaining it on deflection of a lesser enemy and then goes for use on the bigger. It's difficult to do that unless you ready the screen properly each time. Most important is the point farming: he gets ahead of the game with precision perfect finishing swings for additional bounty, which powers up the character faster. I can't do this that well, hence I don't have the strength he has at certain key boss battles - especially the one without the horse.

He made it look great fun though. Counter motivated belt scrollers FTW. I'll go back to this at some point and try some of those tactics.
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:09 pm 


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Ex_Mosquito wrote:
This guy 'The Retro Challenger' 1cc'd the game only yesterday on 'Hard' without losing a life!

http://youtu.be/vS5KHVOY8SE

You may want to check out a few of this guys runs, he is a super impressive player. Highly recommended.

Very interesting runs, thanks for the link.
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:36 pm 


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While it still plays well, Rygar on the Lynx isn't that great of a port. Movement speed of most enemies is slow and there are less on screen (though this is more due to the large sprite size than system limitations). Enemies generally seem to be less agressive. The diskarmor can be thrown rapidly in succession in the arcade, but not on the Lynx. The Lynx version also lacks the normal upward arc attack (though it has the different upward attack from a power up).


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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:24 pm 


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I think technically speaking the PS1 port/remake is the best of the bunch (never played it or the Tekken version), but I'd probably put the 3DO port at second, judging all the versions side-by-side.


Actually the PS1 version is worse than the 3DO one. I was quite irked by that when I got my PS1 after ditching my 3DO.

The PS1 version attempts to do some of the "background" elements real time versus just having them as part of the video stream like the 3DO. The results are choppy and worse looking. All the real time 3D elements just look a bit more "jittery" than the 3DO port. If memory serves the FMV is of slightly worse quality than the 3DO also.

Starblade on the 3DO is one of the handful of games I miss on that console. It's such a basic game... but something about it's atmosphere is really endearing to me.

I picked up the Mega CD port because it was brand new and just a few dollars at a convention years ago. For what it is, it surprising holds up.... all things considering. I don't know why, especially after being so finicky with the PS1 port, that I wound up liking the Mega CD port. I suppose it's defying the odds to a degree.
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:42 pm 


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Ah, I may have to retract my assessment then. I was really judging based solely off of watching videos of the PS1 version, which admittedly impressed me with the polygon rendering of the various enemies. I also freely admit I am bad at telling framerates apart!

I guess you can color me surprised that the 3DO of all things would come out ahead in comparison, based on your and others' estimation. It is probably one of my favorite games on the platform, as is another cross-hair shooter, Burning Soldier (fantastic game!). About the only think I dislike about the 3DO port of starblade is the slowness of the cursor, thanks partially (I think) to the generally mediocre quality of the 3DO controller - though not even switching the default out for the Fighting Sword 6-button controller seemed to make that much of a difference; I wonder if the flight-stick is compatible, and if it would make any difference.
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:10 pm 


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Quote:
Burning Soldier (fantastic game!)


I had that.... fond memories of the opening music. I think Genki did that game actually?

I remember in the 3DO port (of Starblade) you can hold one of the triggers to increase the speed of the cross hair.... I think if you hold both it increases it more. I don't recall if the PS1 version had that, I imagine it would.
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 7:55 pm 


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Is it time to bump this thread?

Wardner no Mori Special
Image

One of Toaplan's strange forays into the platformer genre. It's somewhat of a stop-and-go game: you can't just move past enemies, but rather take them down and move on to the next batch, while dealing with environmental traps/hazards. It's short, sweet, and gets to the meat of things. Each level except for the final offers some new challenge or gimmick, which gives things a nice sense of flow. I like how the 4th level is a giant maze with multiple paths and items to collect. The timer is your biggest threat there! The final level is a little simplistic but it offers a gratifying payoff in a truly gnarly-looking demon as the final boss.

There are a few annoying bits though. Chief among them is the 5th or so level inside the house/castle, and there is a particular pit with a flame above it. If you have the one-hit shield/cape on, and fall into this pit, you won't die immediately but fall to the bottom... below the flame. From there, you can't jump out, nor can you suicide yourself by jumping into the fire above you. You can't do anything but wait out the clock, which sometimes meant waiting two minutes for the clock to time out and kill you. God forbid you do that twice in a row, like some schmucks. :oops: It's enough to make you quit and try again later - it's a shame they didn't catch such an oversight. On a more general level, the game's tendency to drop you straight down if you walk off a ledge or hit a ceiling can be annoying, frustrating, or archaic, depending on your mood.

Out of some half-assed sense of duty I played through ~more-than-half of the arcade version to compare the two. Perhaps it's unfair that the Genesis port is my frame of reference, but on the whole it strikes an admirable contrast to its forebear. The original is definitely a weird, slow-paced, and methodical game, and that translated over quite nicely. The colors and animation are superior to what sometimes is a garish Genesis game... but to be honest, the original is also garish and ugly in some respects. It has a charm in its ugliness though - very rough-cut and gritty!

Playing the arcade version also makes one appreciate the extra effort into new bosses in the Genesis port. One of the highlights of the game is definitely the creepy transforming spider-woman boss in Special, which catches the player off-guard and is lovingly-detailed in its own chibi way. The arcade just has a single joke fake-out before the maiden turns into a one-hit mook. Cute, but hardly something that sticks with you! Likewise, the other bosses round out the lineup in a satisfying way, making the game feel "special" instead of copy-and-paste.

The arcade version's music is definitely inferior. I don't know how much I rock the boat with this, but a large chunk of 80s Toaplan games all sound kinda lousy to me. There is no meat to the sounds or instruments. Usually it's the ports that make a better show of what the compositions are capable of. Here it's no different. While it might be due to emulation, the arcade has the typical weak piddly-drums that are in like most Toaplan games, and the instruments used are not very good. The Genesis port has a much-needed overhaul, and makes everything sound energetic and lively. Just compare the staid final level theme in the arcade with the more rockin' rendition in Special. No contest!

Verdict: Play! In a few key areas the game's presentation and design were improved immensely, making it a more enjoyable game than the quirky arcade original.
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 8:27 pm 


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Nicely done. Image I'm quite a fan of Wardner Special, albeit largely on its own terms - I've only dabbled for a few credits on AC. However as noted a page back, I long ago decided that if a port felt good to just go with it, and worry about 1:1 specifics later.

The only real complaint I have with Special is the overly garish palette. It's not that it particularly bothers me - just seems like a needless ding on an admirably sturdy port. Surely the MD could've better approximated the PCB's inherently muted, mossy tones? Still, it feels pretty bang-on otherwise, and ala Kyuukyoku Tiger MD, the beefed-up soundtrack is a nice compensation. MD Stage 3 theme is some considerably stomping power metal, quite apropros to the wizardy theme.
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Last edited by BIL on Sun May 13, 2018 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 8:32 pm 


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btw there's a color patch around for flash cart and emu users
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 8:34 pm 


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Ah yes, I remember that - it's definitely a candidate for a little palette adjustment. I get the feeling they may have been rushed, seems like a fine-tuning issue. If there's one thing the MD palette should be aces at, it's Boggy Medieval™.
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 9:24 pm 


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I played Wardner on Mega Drive about a month ago for the first time. It's a weird game, but I like it. It's definitely rough around the edges, but in a way the short length saves it I think.

The music is catchy enough, and the graphics style is likable.

The MD exclusive spider boss is awesome. Too bad every stage doesn't have bosses/midbosses in this vein.

The boxart has a lot of charm as well.


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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Ports Review
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 6:58 pm 


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cicada88 wrote:
The music is catchy enough, and the graphics style is likable.


It's the same art style, with some tweaks, they used later on in Horror Story/Demon's World*. I really like the cartoony, chubby goofy MCs with angry googly eyes. It's so... Western. Bonus points for keeping the final bosses appropriately disgusting.
Image

*another 16bit port that I should try and write-up on, though I have no experience with the arcade game. It's ok, but a little slow-paced with a lot of cheap deaths.
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 Post subject: Re: 16-bit Arcade Conversion Review, aka HOME PORT HELL BRAW
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:51 pm 


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Would love a write-up, I've been very slow on checking out any iteration of Horror Story. I think I subconsciously went full MD partisan with Toaplan stuff, vs PCE. Daft I know, particularly considering HS is the only one exclusive to NEC. >_> I'll get around to 'em at some point.

Now that it's on my mind again, the main character sure reminds me of Compile's MD Ghostbusters. Similar "chibi ugly" thing going on.

I always forget the Wardner MC's actual name (and find it mildly amusing when my brain grinds away in background then brings back answer to trivia, so will leave question open), but I love the one illustration in... MD Same Same's manual, I think, where various Toaplan heroes and ships are hastily departing an exploding building. The Out Zone dudes are looking as herculean as you'd expect, but Wardner kid is just as chubby as his in-game sprite and decidedly not built for speed. :mrgreen:

edit: Dover, iirc? Ben, I'm sure. Image

===

Saigo no Nindou: Ninja Spirit [PC Engine] (1990 IREM)

Recently put some time into the arcade version of IREM's wuxia hellscroller, via Hamster's excellent Arcade Archives emulation (PS4 version tested). Wanted to revisit the PCE's Arcade Mode, now that after three decades' faithful service, it's finally able to pass the torch. Often cited as a canonical Good Port, HOW IT HOLD UP THO :o

TLDR: A generally excellent conversion, particularly on mechanics and stage layouts. Unfortunately, ignoring technical limitations, a few seemingly random changes dint its fidelity. Still, a strong rendition of the arcade game, capturing easily enough of its lunar menace to rank among the greatest ninja sidescrollers.

QUICK VIDEO REFERENCES: Arcade 1LC (via PS4) & PC Engine 1LC (Arcade Mode)

IN DETAIL: Mechanically, this is a remarkably accurate conversion - warts and all, with even the arcade's chain jump glitch and shuriken aiming quirks reproduced perfectly. Watch me OWNING THESE NOOBS with COUNTER-DECAPITATION STRIKE Image

[Arcade via PS4]
Spoiler: show
Image


[PC Engine]
Spoiler: show
Image


The layouts of the first five stages are similarly faithful - a particular help in stage 5's horizontally looping array of boobytrapped footholds. Stages 3 and 4, the ascent of the arcade's difficulty curve, are this conversion's finest hour. They play beautifully. Image Although differences exist, they're close enough that strategies formed on PCE will often translate directly to the arcade. Always brings much joy to my lunatic obsessive heart. Image

The conversion seems to run a tick faster in ideal conditions, perhaps owing to the PCE's 60hz refresh rate versus the M72's 55hz. Naturally though, the M72 performs better under heavy loads, crunching numbers unattempted by the PCE.

Stage 6, the fiendishly deadly peak of the arcade curve, is fumbled on PCE. With even the M72 chugging under its screenloads of enemies and flak, a significant cull is understandable. The reconstruction is middling, unfortunately. Rather than distil the stage's key element, a lethal combo of advancing giants and leaping samurai, these foes are AWOL. Instead, the rabble is left to take up the slack - they can't hope to compare, though they certainly cause slowdown. Thus the PCE loses far more of its penultimate trial than it perhaps needed to.

In a compounding irritation, the defanged st6 gains a dubious new threat. On arcade, the rocks you traverse are subtly uneven, just like st2's bridges. It's a stylistic element - nothing more. On PCE, those dips are now drops, and with Saigo's low gravity, they can deny jumps long enough for an inopportune spawn to take your head off. It's poor work, emblematic of this conversion's strange lapses in fidelity. When it's accurate, it's incredibly so. When it's not, it seems odd it manages the successes it does.

Stage 3's giants are a much smaller but similarly niggling flaw. Rather than lashing out at nearby players, relentlessly pursuing otherwise, they now attack on a set schedule, regularly stopping to uselessly swipe the air. Silly, tension-sapping change. I wonder if code conversion was automated in some way, given the juxtaposition of keen accuracy with hapless deviation.

Stage 7, featuring an infamously poor lapse of quality in the arcade, differs on details but amounts to the same: a respectably deadly trap sequence, followed by a credit-eating abomination to excise with extreme prejudice. I applaud the PCE's addition of an easy route, greatly expediting the disinfection process. The last boss is authentically assholic, with his lower HP the only real concession - it's good that this small redemption made it through intact.

As a final note, the first boss's HP seems almost random - sometimes he'll explode before getting a shot off, others he'll approximate the arcade equivalent. He's not terribly important to proceedings, only noting for completism.

JUDGEMENT: Although the PCE's odd inaccuracies may vex hardcore fans, it remains a worthy representation of the arcade's lunar terror and murderous caprice - and by extension, one of the finest-ever ninja sidescrollers. A sterling addition to any PCE library. The inclusion of a PC Engine mode with hitpoints is a notable asset, given the rugged difficulty of Arcade Mode - though I cannot relate! I exist only to fight. Image
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