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 Post subject: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:18 pm 


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Location: BW, Germany
In light of the upcoming Kuru Kuru Kururin run at AGDQ 2020, do you like this game series?

I always thought of the series as something special in the context of shmups, because it was developed by Eighting, former staff of proficient studios Raizing and Compile, and the main focus is similar to shmups (dodging stuff)!

It's inspired by three video games released in 1997/98, which were in turn based on Japanese game show ウッチャンナンチャンの炎のチャレンジャーこれができたら100万円!! (lit. "Ucchan Nanchan's Challengers of Fire: 1,000,000 Yen If You Can Do This!!"), where you have to guide a metal rod through mazes without touching the walls. An idea you probably have already seen in some simplified form in the context of toys, children's parlor games, or carnival and is much older. The show ran between 1995 and 2000.

Image
The Irritating Maze (Neo Geo, '97)

The other two preceding games:
Spoiler: show
ImageImage

Left: a game with a very complicated name (N64, '97), right: Irritating Stick (PS1, '98)

Some footage of the game show:
Spoiler: show
ImageImage

Click on the images for a youtube video.

Image

This must be an "arcade cab" equivalent of the game show, and it already looks very similar to something you'd get in Kururin!


In Kururin, however, you pilot a helicopter named Helirin with two constantly spinning blades, bestowing a wonderful rhythm upon the game. In return for that, you can hit obstacles two times, incurring a time penalty, before shattering on the third time. The levels are varied and colorful, and everything is backed by outstanding, cheerful tunes.

Personally, Kuru Kuru Kururin is one of my absolute favorites on the GBA and I've 100%ed it a few times already. I began Kururin Paradise (also GBA) a few years ago, but didn't persevere until the end for one reason or another, which is a shame that I definitely intend to remedy at some point. I have no experience with Kururin Squash! on the GC, but I have heared that it's allegedly overshadowed by its two predecessors.

I'll definitely follow along the AGDQ run of the first game, as I think it'll be one of my favorite runs besides Gus' Futari performance :)

What's your opinion on the series?

Image
(click on image for Hardcoregaming 101 articles about the Kururin games)


Last edited by 6t8k on Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kururin
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:35 pm 


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Yeah, this series is great. Played a lot of the GBA game and have been thinking about it a lot recently actually. Thanks for the heads up on that run.
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 Post subject: Re: Kururin
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:49 am 


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I have both GBA games on cart (first one EU version, second one JP) and recently put them both on the SNES mini. I like both games quite a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:03 am 


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One of those games I picked up years back, sight unseen, simply on principle with the sheer amount of developer cred and player goodwill behind it. Have to admit I've never given it significant time but it always pricks my ears up. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Kururin
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:24 am 


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Recently played the first two games, loved them with a few minor complaints. Kururin Paradise is mostly an improvement over the first game in terms of stage design (not that the first game's stage design is bad, simply that Paradise introduced a baffling degree of variety), and I *love* that you can use the R button to increase the rotation speed of your stick, however the minigames that are mandatory to save your little brothers and sisters... well, a couple of them are interesting, however most of them I wish hadn't been included. I'm glad it's going to be featured at GDQ this year, give something different some exposure. While speed running doesn't typically interest me, Kurukuru Kururin is one of the rare games where I thought to myself, "I wouldn't mind trying to learn how to speed run this game."

Also, needs to be said this is likely one of the top 50 video game songs.


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:25 am 


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BrianC wrote:
I have both GBA games on cart (first one EU version, second one JP) and recently put them both on the SNES mini. I like both games quite a bit.

Ah yes, you folks had to import even the first game (at least until it came out on WiiU VC) :S
I vividly remember buying the first game with my mother from a friendly merchant on a flea market shortly after it came out for 20 Deutsche Mark :mrgreen: (together with some shitty PC Pinball game, which was a foible of mine back then).

I've seen your (very) old thread about Kururin Paradise :) Importing the second game is definitely worth it, I think it's safe to say that it's an even better game, as blossom said. It's a bit more challenging still, has more in-depth mechanics and is even more polished from a technical perspective. Did you manage to gain any experience with Kururin Squash since then?

BIL wrote:
One of those games I picked up years back, sight unseen, simply on principle with the sheer amount of developer cred and player goodwill behind it. Have to admit I've never given it significant time but it always pricks my ears up. Image

Try giving it another shot, I think you're missing out :!: Though it seems the concept simply doesn't click with some, maybe because it's relatively abstract and you have to properly get into its particular flow, otherwise it can be hard.

blossom wrote:

Yes, Cave is really good. So is Neo Land ;)
Edit: that version of Cave you linked has terrible emulation bugs. Better version: click

---

I'm finding the N64 and PS1 ideational precursors quite bland regarding both gameplay and looks. Might be interesting for historical reasons, but not sure if I'd want to waste my time playing that. For the Neo Geo game, they've spruced things up however. It actually has some production values behind it and looks like it could be fun to play.

Also, apparently, that game show was broadcast in Germany in 200[2,3,8]: Sports Bakka Never seen it though...

Slightly revised the first post, there were three video games in this vein preceding Kururin (has anyone played these?), and changed the title: "Kururin" -> "Kururin series (GBA/GC)"


Last edited by 6t8k on Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:38 pm 



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Definitely my favorite GBA game (and that's against some heavy competition). Both sequels are worth it too.

Very reliant on a good dpad though (reason I returned a DS Lite) and low latency (if you're emulating).


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:34 pm 


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Awesome series. Would love to see what the arcade game would have become. There's mention of it here somewhere.
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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:38 pm 


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I started playing the original GBA game again after thinking about this thread. Man, I play Tetris a ton and I never really got the "Tetris effect", maybe a little but I could easily shake it... but I could not shake visualizing Kururin play before bed and it was making it hard to sleep. Something about the rhythm and the irregular order of the mazes was making my brain work overtime.
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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:13 am 



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I've played all 3. I used to have both of the GBA games, but ended up selling them out of frustration. Pretty sure one of them was almost responsible for a smashed GBA :D
My tendency of trying to do perfect runs and get the lowest times probably contributed to the frustration, I don't really remember much specifically about either though.

I only got Kururin Squash last year and immediately the first thing I noticed was how much better the game plays with the analog stick. It's obvious, but you have leagues more control than the GBA games, so you can be faster and more precise. Probably some people think it's too easy as a result, but it has the same kind of strict time attack goals, so from what i've played, it's balanced for that.

I picked up the first GBA game again since and yeah, playing with digital is just not as enjoyable an experience imo. Definitely get Squash if you like the series!


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:47 am 


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I like it and I own at least two versions for the GBA

Actually I got my daughter playing it about 2 months ago and she got hooked for a bit :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:57 am 


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Obviously Kururin was indebted to steady hand buzzer games, but it always remindwd me of an early 90's Macintosh game called Spin Doctor which I played loads of as a kid. Wouldn't be surprised if it was a direct influence.


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:38 pm 


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That run was insane, loved the out of bound strats! But craziest of all was the runner had to be his own couch for the run and still got the harder tech done first try. I feel like if this series re-surged it would totally be a staple for the event going forward.
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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:11 am 


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That was an awesome run, that he managed all three out-of-bounds spots first try was the icing on the cake! Also I didn't realize before that the game contains no RNG whatsoever, making it even more attractive for speedrunning, as everything comes down to execution.

A no-damage speedrun would seem engaging as well (if hit then restart the level, the criterion being getting the star icon everywhere). The game being inherently cycle-based (ha), you can skip some cycles if you're good enough, and the game design even takes that into consideration. For the fastest time he obviously took damage, breaking free of even that. I see that there doesn't even exist a category for that on speedrun.com. Maybe there's something I don't know of that makes it unviable, can't think of anything though.
Edit: "100%" category requires that. Duh.

@the androgyne: interesting! I play the GBA Kururin games mostly on the Game Cube with a Game Cube controller; since it has nice 8-way indentations and way more real estate, making it more comfortable flicking the stick around, in my experience (somehwat counter-intuitively, I'm also convinced that I'm more precise this way). But the speedrunner used a GBA SP as the controller, he must know what he's doing (more often than not, it just comes down to what you're used to I guess, also see Gus using an XBox 360 controller for Futari).

@MX7: that reminds me of the Game Boy game "Lucle"! (wrong aspect ratio, but it's actually a nice review; there don't seem to be many videos about this game on YT)


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:28 am 



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The placebo effect of using an analog stick on a game that only recognizes digital can be strong! I bet a lot of people playing Super Mario 3D World never noticed.
But if i wasn't clear, Kururin Squash has true analog control, ie control over speed and movement in 360 degrees. It makes a world of difference!


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:55 pm 


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^ No no, I was aware Squash has analog controls :)
It makes sense on the Game Cube and is obviously quite the fundamental mechanical difference to the previous two games.
With your recommendation and watching videos of it again, I indeed might have to give Squash a try after all... but first I have to finish Paradise.


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:33 am 



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Weird that no one's mention Roundabout yet, with everyone mentioned games that are maybe distantly related to Kuru Kuru Kururin, Roundabout is directly inspired by it:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/303430/Roundabout/


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:53 am 


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Looks like a mix of Crazy Taxi, Kuru Kuru Kururin, and GTA. Interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:00 am 


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Did the old trailers for Roundabout have way less footage of the gameplay? Because I always saw this game and never got the point, now I am totally on board when you draw the parallel to Kururin. Yeah I will check that out.

Since picking up the game again I am now to the last level (Ghost Castle 3) wow it's rough. Gets steam coming out of my ears in the best way possible.
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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:35 pm 



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szycag wrote:
Did the old trailers for Roundabout have way less footage of the gameplay? Because I always saw this game and never got the point, now I am totally on board when you draw the parallel to Kururin. Yeah I will check that out.

Not sure, but I don't think so, I've always saw it as a Kuru Kuru Kururin clone.
szycag wrote:
Since picking up the game again I am now to the last level (Ghost Castle 3) wow it's rough. Gets steam coming out of my ears in the best way possible.

You do know there are 3 secret levels after Ghost Castle 3? I think you unlock them by getting a star (not crashing and getting all items I think?) in all previous levels. Kururin Paradise has something similar.


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:32 pm 


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szycag: I remember the last section with the cannons being problematic for me at first: what helped me was trying to find my way through in one smooth move without stopping, then the cannons can't hit you. Remember you're fastest when holding A+B together.
Also remember there's a practice mode which allows you to skip to checkpoints!

ZellSF: clearing a level without receiving damage is sufficient for getting a star.

By the way, going to use the opportunity to mention that Masahiro Yuge is credited for "Course Design" and "Original Concept" in the first game.


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:06 pm 


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ZellSF wrote:
You do know there are 3 secret levels after Ghost Castle 3?


No, I should have guessed.

Yeah I've been making plenty use of double speed and the demos in practice mode.
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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:12 pm 


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6t8k wrote:
By the way, going to use the opportunity to mention that Masahiro Yuge is credited for "Course Design" and "Original Concept" in the first game.


Keeping the heli flag flying! Image :mrgreen: Totally makes sense that a storied arcade veteran like Yuge was involved from the conceptual stage.
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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:08 am 



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6t8k wrote:
ZellSF: clearing a level without receiving damage is sufficient for getting a star.

Yeah it's been a long time since I played the entire game. I did play it some yesterday though, after accidentally wiping out my save file. I have no idea if I ever got around to beating all the (M) times or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:13 am 


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Did everything I could in the first game but never got around to the sequel or GameCube game, although I suppose getting that is more realistic these days.

Superb game and lots of fun as puzzler - one of those one more try games that keeps you coming back.
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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:03 pm 


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Video of the AGDQ 2020 run:
Kuru Kuru Kururin Any% (Normal) by mohoc in 14:39


BIL: the spirit of the tiger! Image

Through a bit of detective work I just noticed he was also given a prominent spot in the credits of the two follow-up games :)


Last edited by 6t8k on Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:46 pm 



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Random thing I was curious about, if Kuru Kuru Kururin can be enhanced in high resolution emulators:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm46kVGlpX0
Answer is "maybe". Shadows look iffy if you go really high resolution, but I hate how bad the propeller's rotation looks in native resolution.


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:49 pm 


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^ Interesting! Though that moving black protrusion on one end of the propeller would bother me more o:

For comparison, this is how it looks on original hardware: video


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:56 pm 


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Created a new savegame this morning and cleared the first game again, beating all (P) and most (M)-times on the way :)

Image

I think my favorite stage triplet is The Last Land. It has less gimmicks than most other stages, instead it's so spacious and biased towards elongated curves, peppered with unique acrobatic constrictions. It really entices you to work with the turbo. And the music rocks.
Altogether it gives off a cool "you mastered the rest of the game, now you can relax while exploring these great bonus stages"-vibe.

I'm finding The Last Land 2 remarkable especially; at this point you should be familiar with the fact that the game gives you the runaround sometimes, for example by presenting you a spring you'd be better off ignoring. This stage throws you some clever curveballs of that kind, either by making it ambiguous whether you should change your rotation, or by outright tricking you to change into a wrong direction of rotation, only for you to notice a moment later, trying to back out in panic while sensing that it might already be too late :P

I'd also like to highlight Ocean 3, Cake Land 3 and Ghost Castle 1. I find it particularly fun optimizing my times on those.

By the way, here's the English manual, by courtesy of the official Nintendo website, for whomever finds it interesting!


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 Post subject: Re: Kururin series (GBA/GC)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:45 am 


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Now look who that is!

Image

It's amazing to discover the reckless ways the levels allow you to squeeze through, shoving off cycles time and again. It's a meta-game on its own.
"Yesss, nailed it! Now that was really fast, can't see for the life of me how another cycle could be skipped. Oh, look at that... *sigh* now that's gonna raise the difficulty bar again" :lol:

Next stop: paradise Image


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