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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:02 am 


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It is shockingly easy (about as easy as the MD Hellfire on the Easy setting; Normal is the highest difficulty setting on the PCE) and it can't compare to the MD version on audio-visual terms, but I'd say it's still a solid game despite the fact that it doesn't even loop. I found out that the carrier enemies drop three items instead of one if you kill them with the yellow rear shot, if you try to constantly do that and pick up every speed up in order to gain more point items it becomes a fun scoring challenge (there're no exploits and no checkpoint milking either since you get respawned after a death). Most definitely better than PCE Zero Wing, that's for sure. I also don't quite understand what's so bad about Rayxanber II, it's one of my personal favourites on the system.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:20 am 


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:39 am 


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Perikles wrote:
I also don't quite understand what's so bad about Rayxanber II, it's one of my personal favourites on the system.


I gave it a quick run last year, and I felt like the players firepower seemed drastically limited. I always felt like I was taking on tanks with a paintgun, and stage 2 onward felt really brutal in terms of having to preempt and memo just about everything.

Then again, that was just 1 play session. I fully expected the game to open up, and many of the ideas I saw impressed me. I just haven't had time to return to it and dispel those initial impressions.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:06 am 


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Rayxanber II is pretty cool. Memorisation is insanely strict but that's what makes it fun if you're into masochism.

Also the stage 2 music is utterly amazing. Like a JP Axel Foley or something.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:34 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
I gave it a quick run last year, and I felt like the players firepower seemed drastically limited. I always felt like I was taking on tanks with a paintgun, and stage 2 onward felt really brutal in terms of having to preempt and memo just about everything.

The red weapon is not overly useful (the rate of fire is simply not high enough), you can kill most enemies within seconds if you point-blank them with the blue weapon, however (fifth boss dies in less than a second, even). It's menacingly risky to do, of course, but equally satisfying to pull off. The green weapon is the most balanced one out of the bunch, dealing out constant damage. Another admirable aspect to the game is that checkpoint recovery is genuinely fair - one power up and you're at maximum again. They should've given you one if you die on bosses (especially on the final boss; the only exception is the third boss where you do get something before the fight starts), but even then it's not too bad (again, the final boss notwithstanding).

But yes, it is a tough game. Has a distinct pseudo-Irem flair to it even down to the aesthetics (those serpents in stage 4 and walkers in stage 5 look like they're on vacation from R-Type II), Rayxanber III is like this, too (but much, much easier than the second game, it's almost the complete opposite in that regard). Needless to say, I love it. :mrgreen:

Skykid wrote:
Also the stage 2 music is utterly amazing.

Yeah, I really love the game's soundtrack in general, particularly stage 4 and stage 5 have exquisitely gloomy tunes.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:46 am 


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I'm happy to see some discussion about games from you folks. I am not huge into memorization so I don't think Rayxanber II would really be for me - I like more improvisation in my shmup.

BIL wrote:
How broke were Naxat by 1993 that they hired Chris Chan?

Slightly tangential, but I have my suspicion that hiring real actors to voice Ys I&II set NEC and TTI back so much that they had to rely on their mailroom staff to voice every game afterward.

Thanks for the writeup, gameoverDude. PCE DD2 embraces the "Fist of the North Star ripoff" aesthetic I think stronger than the other titles in the series, which is kind of charming.

===

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Seirei Senshi Spriggan

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Compile continues its tradition of ultra-easy games with extremely over-powered weapons. Though, to this game's credit, you won't always want to stick with the wave+bullet combo; you may have to change to one or two other combinations (out of like 20) in order to mow down the game's merciless opposition. 7 long stages, with the worst offenders being the first three. I don't think a game should ever have to reload its own BGM while you continue slogging along - I'm looking at you, worm stage.

Despite normal's low difficulty, there is a lot to shoot at, and things can occasionally get hectic when there are lots of sprites and effects on-screen. There are very few stretches where you are waiting for things to happen, and even the strongest weapon combos can take a while to kill larger enemies,* forcing you to dodge their attacks. There are multiple higher difficulty modes (Hard and Very Hard to my recollection - EDIT: Normal, Hard, Very Hard, and Unbelievable), which increase enemy aggression and bullet count. The higher difficulties on this game are much better in that they force you to be more quick on your feet. Unfortunately, there's nothing creative to the difficulty selections like you'd find in Super Aleste (which is about the bee's knees when it comes to Compile extra difficulty). While my scrub-butt is thankful for the inclusion of shields, with the amount of extends this game gives out, they probably weren't necessary.

Spriggan's final stage transition, where you go from an evil medieval magic-filled castle into outer-space, replete with computers and satellites, is very cool. I love it when games do that. It's incredibly stupid, but in a good way. Despite the negativity above, this is a very fine game. Some of the weapon experimentation is cooler than the usual Compile "8 numbered orbs", and while many combos undoubtedly suck, the good ones are fun to use. Strategically using your weapon orbs as bombs (reminiscent of Soldier Blade imo) adds a dash of minor strategy: you either use it to clear your weapon orbs and pick up a new combo, or lob an orb when you see a similar-colored one floating around, acting essentially as a freebie bomb.

Quality Ranking:

High
Middling
Low


It kind of makes me want to try out Spriggan Mk2, but watching videos of it makes me a little hesitant. I'm not a fan of in-stage cutscenes (can they be skipped?).

*continuing the Compile tradition of incredibly-weak pea-shooter bullets as your forward shot.
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Last edited by EmperorIng on Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:56 am 


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I believe there's a difficulty above very hard, I can't remember what it's called, something engrishy and funny.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:10 am 


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I just checked, and you're right.

Spriggan's difficulties are: NORMAL, HARD, VERY HARD, and UNBELIEVABLE.

Selecting UNBELIEVABLE prompts the two characters to have an exchange where the guy says something like you need to be a "SHOOTINGO MASTAH" to play this mode.

Ha, he's not far from the truth. Everything in this mode fires bullets thrice as fast, and far more frequently. It may be a little too hard to be enjoyable, when couples with how weak your base firepower is. :oops:

EDIT:

I am trying out Super Darius II.
First impressions: Speaking of UNBELIEVABLE. I wouldn't say I'm an expert in all things Darius, but I have played quite a bit of Darius II across different formats. However, the #1 cause of death in this game seems to be an enemy ramming into you from off-screen. Moving upwards? A comet might zip right down, killing you instantly. Or an enemy firing shots up above that you would have no way of knowing.

Another [potentially] popular cause of death: boss's bullets flickering out of sight. Do they disappear when this happens? Or am I getting hit? I would really like to know this one because I cannot figure it out.

This game is leaving a very sour first impression thanks to its ultra-zoomed-in playing field. I know that BIL likes to tout the MD Kyuukyoku Tiger's "crash-zoom" screen as a virtue, but here it feels as if NEC was so in love with their graphical work it came at the sacrificing playability. Darius II MD was formatted to fit on one screen and is an excellent port/remake, by comparison. The Yamato fight here highlights this by having ultra-fast scrolling when you near the edge of a screen, which is disorienting. Why not just make the sprites smaller? Super Darius avoids these problems and is a far more playable game.

Maybe someone who is more versed in the game can enlighten me... :cry:
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:54 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
Thanks for the writeup, gameoverDude. PCE DD2 embraces the "Fist of the North Star ripoff" aesthetic I think stronger than the other titles in the series, which is kind of charming.


Interestingly, the FOTNS-esque cutscene designs were lifted directly from the Famicom game's back cover, as were the Option menu's chibi counterparts. They're hiding out on the FC box flaps, understandably hard to get scans of. I wish the in-game PCE sprites had followed suit, but with da big CWC on spriting duties I guess it wasn't to be.

Quote:
This game is leaving a very sour first impression thanks to its ultra-zoomed-in playing field. I know that BIL likes to tout the MD Kyuukyoku Tiger's "crash-zoom" screen as a virtue, but here it feels as if NEC was so in love with their graphical work it came at the sacrificing playability.


A good cropped conversion, like MD Tiger, Raiden or Same Same, will ensure the active playfield is likewise reduced. The FM Towns ports of Hishouzame and Tatsujin Oh fail to do this, so you're effectively playing the raw arcade games while peering down a cereal box, with an invisible jungle of bullets and enemies lurking just outside vision - awful.
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Last edited by BIL on Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:02 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
I'm happy to see some discussion about games from you folks. I am not huge into memorization so I don't think Rayxanber II would really be for me - I like more improvisation in my shmup.

It's not all that memorization-heavy to be honest. Since checkpoint recovery is a non-issue and a lot of the trickier parts (to wit, stage 4) are somewhat randomized it wouldn't work all that well, anyway. It helps to have specific weapons for some of the bosses (it's immensely fulfilling to bring an upwards blue shot to the fifth boss as he'll die immediately as I said earlier). It's just pretty damn hard, that's all. :mrgreen:

EmperorIng wrote:
It kind of makes me want to try out Spriggan Mk2, but watching videos of it makes me a little hesitant. I'm not a fan of in-stage cutscenes (can they be skipped?).

You can turn them off in the menu. Mark 2 is beautiful to look at, but it's moreso a Euro shmup than everything else. You have a health bar that regenerates if you're not getting hit for a while, conveniently guided by pauses in the enemy waves. Good visceral fun, but falls completely apart when analyzed with the slightest amount of critical thinking. I don't necessarily want to sound overly mean, but my way of describing it would be to say it's a poor man's Side Arms (with lots of cool sub-weapons, though).

EmperorIng wrote:
I am trying out Super Darius II.

Some of the captains have somewhat mean patterns, I've never had the problems you're describing, though. The hitbox of your ship is fairly small just like in the first Super Darius which allows you to aggressively take out all the enemies in sight even during denser patterns.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:57 pm 


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Yeah I've never had these problems with Darius 2 on PC Engine. It didn't feel ultra zoomed in either to me. I far prefer it over the MD port.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:32 pm 


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Axelay wrote:
I was excited to get hellfire s on the PC engine. Any reason why the game is bad ?


I just don't care for the weapon-switching cycle thing. It would be a lot better if you could use the 6-button pad to have on-demand access to each weapon, but as it is, I struggle with it and it's just not fun. Same with Hani in the Sky, and it's my only gripe about Thunder Force 3 and 4.


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:31 am 


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Perikles wrote:
It is shockingly easy (about as easy as the MD Hellfire on the Easy setting; Normal is the highest difficulty setting on the PCE) and it can't compare to the MD version on audio-visual terms, but I'd say it's still a solid game despite the fact that it doesn't even loop. I found out that the carrier enemies drop three items instead of one if you kill them with the yellow rear shot, if you try to constantly do that and pick up every speed up in order to gain more point items it becomes a fun scoring challenge (there're no exploits and no checkpoint milking either since you get respawned after a death). Most definitely better than PCE Zero Wing, that's for sure. I also don't quite understand what's so bad about Rayxanber II, it's one of my personal favourites on the system.


Cheers buddy thanks for the info . I own the megadrive version , but if I can get the PC engine version for cheap I think I will play it just for the lovely cd arranged sound track :)

EmperorIng please review spriggan 2 I'm so intrigued by the game ,I think I have a soft spot for Horizonatals !
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:25 am 


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Axelay wrote:
Cheers buddy thanks for the info . I own the megadrive version , but if I can get the PC engine version for cheap I think I will play it just for the lovely cd arranged sound track :)

EmperorIng please review spriggan 2 I'm so intrigued by the game ,I think I have a soft spot for Horizonatals !


re: Spriggan mk2: I'd like to give it a try, but based on Perikles' writeup, it sounds like it's more of a thing I'd play in Ootake. I like a good horizontal myself. A neat one looks like Kiaidan 00 - though its price-range is currently too high... hopefully it may drop or I get lucky. i haven't decided it I'd like either port of Hellfire or if I'd stick with mame. I heard that the Genesis port doesn't run properly on Model 2s, but I don't know if that's true. Though easier versions of Toaplan games are always appealing to a scrub like me. :wink:

Perikles wrote:
Some of the captains have somewhat mean patterns, I've never had the problems you're describing, though. The hitbox of your ship is fairly small just like in the first Super Darius which allows you to aggressively take out all the enemies in sight even during denser patterns.

Strider77 wrote:
Yeah I've never had these problems with Darius 2 on PC Engine either. It didn't feel ultra zoomed in either to me. I far prefer it over the MD port.


I guess what I am trying to say is that there are many spots where enemies emerge from behind, above, and below, and the game gives you very little time to react to their entrance. In Darius II arcade, this is mitigated somewhat by usually staying in the middle of the screen. Because the sprites are so big this isn't as viable a strategy in Super Darius II. Your shots feel weaker as well, meaning enemies take a few hits longer to kill, which can lead to some sticky situations.

The flickering-bullets have happened in numerous boss fights - notably Guadian (or whatever that long-necked serpent is early on): its head will spit a large fireball that you just will not see if you are in line with the shot and are firing your guns. Same with say, the Shark captain midboss. I don't know if I am dodging, getting hit, or if the bullets just disappear in such a situation.

I guess in some ways I am whining, considering how I just cleared the game today:


So once I learned to survive the early stages the risk of death dropped considerably, and generally and genuinely enjoyed myself. However I feel these problems hamper the game from being the ultimate Darius II single-screen remake. I guess I'll have to keep exploring the game and see how I feel.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:09 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
Kiaidan 00

I do recommend this one, if only for the hilarious scoring system. Game's not great (some of the boss fights are genuinely good, stages are for the most parts forgettable and repetitive, however - I like the inclusion of human-sized enemies in stages 5 & 6, provides a neat contrast to all the huge robots/mechanoids) but it has no outright galling properties to it, either. It's good fun to figure out all the different weapons and their charged versions as well as trying to milk the hell out of bosses (which seems to be an integral part of the game since they do time out after a while, what a concept!). Higher difficulties are completely nuts, on the highest setting every enemy spews out a colossal cloud of suicide bullets. :shock:

EmperorIng wrote:
I heard that the Genesis port doesn't run properly on Model 2s, but I don't know if that's true.

There are some minor audio issues, but it's nothing to worry about. US Hellfire is harder than the Japanese one, but it shouldn't be too much of a hassle to clear it on Easy (the default setting). :)
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:56 pm 


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Big Thanx guys for this useful thread

im looking for great PC Engine games

i played

Castlevenia
Bonk Adventure
Beyond Shadowgate

all of them 10/10


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:59 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
EDIT:

I am trying out Super Darius II.
First impressions: Speaking of UNBELIEVABLE. I wouldn't say I'm an expert in all things Darius, but I have played quite a bit of Darius II across different formats. However, the #1 cause of death in this game seems to be an enemy ramming into you from off-screen. Moving upwards? A comet might zip right down, killing you instantly. Or an enemy firing shots up above that you would have no way of knowing.

Another [potentially] popular cause of death: boss's bullets flickering out of sight. Do they disappear when this happens? Or am I getting hit? I would really like to know this one because I cannot figure it out.

This game is leaving a very sour first impression thanks to its ultra-zoomed-in playing field. I know that BIL likes to tout the MD Kyuukyoku Tiger's "crash-zoom" screen as a virtue, but here it feels as if NEC was so in love with their graphical work it came at the sacrificing playability. Darius II MD was formatted to fit on one screen and is an excellent port/remake, by comparison. The Yamato fight here highlights this by having ultra-fast scrolling when you near the edge of a screen, which is disorienting. Why not just make the sprites smaller? Super Darius avoids these problems and is a far more playable game.

Maybe someone who is more versed in the game can enlighten me... :cry:


It seemed NEC envied the Mega Drive version and set out to trump it, but with a cost. The vertical scrolling is disorenting during stages and can be a problem if you get nailed from offscreen. That doesn't belong in a Darius title.

I have no problem with a boss taking up more than one screen, but stages theirselves shouldn't be more than 1 screen high. The large popcorn enemies in the stages do make it feel cramped. At least Taito's own Darius Gaiden doesn't try to put such huge zako sprites on a 1-screen setup, showing how NEC should have done it.

The stage clear music has a cool arrangement, but it unfortunately cuts out when you go to the zone select.

At least the Zone D boss isn't too bad: a huge battleship which probably inspired Taito to create Titanic Lance for Gaiden.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:12 am 


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Trending... Darius 2 cramped on PC Engine.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:24 pm 



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For EmperorIng,

If you have access to a Duo-RX variant console along with a handy Arcade Card Duo setup, by simply booting up a copy of CD-Rom2 Spriggan, the framerate is sped up to the point that it does enhance the overall gameplay and even the opening intro as well. Try it out sometime and you'll see what I mean.

PC Engine Fan X! ^_~


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:42 pm 


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I did pick up Super Raiden based on Perikles' recommendation. Man, what a huge play-field! It feels like it's like two TV screens wide! This makes for a lot of nasty surprises as enemies hide, waiting for you to scroll the screen over and invite your doom.

Still, I made it to 1-6 after a few attempts, so it's not like it's unmanageable. Your weapons feel a lot weaker - it takes a lot longer for bosses (and sometimes even larger enemies) to die from a point-blank vulcan+missile combo, whereas in Raiden Project they'd be down in seconds.

Strider77 wrote:
Trending... Darius 2 cramped on PC Engine.

lol, what can I say: I am a trend-setter. I still think the sprites are too big (just comparing Darius II MD and Super Darius II side-by-side... look at all the extra space you have to move!) - and the Yamato fight is woefully wonky (but I still beat it), but at least my feelings are mellowing out a bit as I play a bit more.

@PC Engine Fan:
I'd like to try it out, though I haven't felt particularly motivated to put down for an Arcade Card... It's a big expense just to have access to Sapphire, Mad Stalker (themselves big expenses!), and some improved cutscenes elsewhere! Still, it's nice to know about the card's unexpected upgrades to some games.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:21 pm 


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EmperorIng wrote:
Super Raiden

Apparently from the same guys that did Wing Force, and it shows in the additional extra stages - a lot of the enemies (especially the tanks) look exactly like the foes from Wing Force (or vice versa, don't know which one came first). Super Raiden is bodacious when played for score since you can stock as many bombs as you want (there's a maximum of eight bombs in every other version) while the difficulty is considerably lower than in your average Raiden port bar Densetsu on the SFC until you reach the new stages (and the increase in difficulty after looping starts out fairly negligible). It's heartrending to die from one nasty stray bullet, of course, seeing your ship and 10+ bombs combusting into flames and expensive shrapnel. :lol:

EmperorIng wrote:
Arcade Card

I'm not going to directly recommend getting one, but man, Sapphire is great. I'm still trying to get a decent score, all I'm currently achieving is a bloody nose, though. It has indubitably the best scoring system out of every 16-bit shooter in my opinion. It's equally simple and elegant (refrain from shooting in order to charge up the pods, release these to get successively more points for killed enemies), but incredibly hard to pull off without dying (which is a death sentence since you get massive bonus points for remaining lives and bombs at the end of the game; you also want to be at maximum power all the time). Bosses are plentiful and extremely aggressive while you always die in a single hit no matter how many power-ups you gathered, they won't last long if you manage to initiate a counter-offensive, however. Lots of aesthetic and even slight gameplay-related similarities to Rayforce. Tons of brilliant if incoherent set pieces (if I understand the plot right you're travelling through time). Even people that shun 16-bit games for lack of deep, fulfilling scoring systems owe it to themselves to play Sapphire, it's much, much more than just a tech demo. Still tinkering where to put it on my top list, I'm still hoping that I can get the run I want sometime soon. :oops:
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:25 am 


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Slightly offbeat question regarding Forgotten Worlds (SCD) - has anyone ever had their Satellite/Option go missing? I could swear it's happened to me twice, both times after the lower path of the second Egypt-themed stage (the laser grid). I'm only passingly familiar with the AC version, so I'm not sure if this is legit... everything I've seen suggests the Option is "indestructible."

This possible quirk, a bit of distracting sprite flicker on Horus, and the seemingly undodgeable yet easily safespotted last boss aside... this is one helluva good time! Again I'm no expert on the AC version, but as a stand-alone STG I've loved every minute going into the first no-miss. Particularly enjoyed the shop system's subtle encouragement to go without health restores wherever possible, keeping base prices low for the endgame. "Better playing = bigger cash reserve" is a charmingly blunt performance indicator. :mrgreen:

Even the lack of co-op has a silver lining, with the AC character difference missing from MD reinstated. Red Dude actually has to do a bit of work on the last boss, with even his fully-upgraded laserblunderbuss unable to connect from the safespot. I like this guy and his shotgun+flamethrower style!

I already had the acceptable Capcom Classics Collection (PS2) emulation, and Sega's nascent but lovable as always MD port - bit like Gradius II, I just had to have this one for the sheer bravura performance. See also Cotton, though the Super CD version genuinely is the best home console port that game ever got.

Also, free Ninja Spirit Adaptor aka Avenue Pad didn't hurt either. Image If it helps anyone looking for a copy, the game disc doesn't come with a spine card even brand new+sealed.

@ Perikles, you most definitely got Sapphire on my radar, among several others. ;3 Crazy how much I've been missing out on.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:48 am 


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BIL wrote:
Forgotten Worlds (SCD)

I assumed for a second that "SCD" stands for "Sega CD" and was quite consternated. :mrgreen:

BIL wrote:
Slightly offbeat question regarding Forgotten Worlds (SCD) - has anyone ever had their Satellite/Option go missing? I could swear it's happened to me twice, both times after the lower path of the second Egypt-themed stage (the laser grid). I'm only passingly familiar with the AC version, so I'm not sure if this is legit... everything I've seen suggests the Option is "indestructible."

It definitely shouldn't happen as far as I know (in neither version of the game), and it also never occured to me, sounds like a bug of sorts.

BIL wrote:
Again I'm no expert on the AC version, but as a stand-alone STG I've loved every minute going into the first no-miss.

I think they tweaked the PCE CD port in just the right ways. Arcade version sends out so many enemies by the end that you might as well mash the Mega Crush (or take some damage from the enemies in which case you might as well use the Mega Crush -> it's the Mega Crush economy, stupid! :lol:), that's really not an issue on the PCE which I appreciate. The lowered difficulty level in both 16-bit ports also allows the almighty flamethrower to shine, it's not quite that great in the arcade version, but such a satisfying weapon should be an omnivorous juggernaut, of course!

BIL wrote:
This possible quirk, a bit of distracting sprite flicker on Horus, and the seemingly undodgeable yet easily safespotted last boss aside...

That's one of the few parts I'm not fond of at all, Bios permeates an appropriately evil aura, but he could have been a bit more fair, the MD version tones him down considerably, and for the better. There's no safespot in the arcade version, rendering this encounter into a battle of attrition and luck, no fan of that! Image
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:07 am 


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Thanks, I figured something was up with the AWOL satellite. Will mess around a bit in emulation to see if I can reproduce it. It's also possible I was just very confused! I hate that lower route, took it by accident both times. I still don't really know how the grid works. The upper route feels easier and more satisfying, with all the chunky terrain to obliterate while speedkilling turrets.

Yeah, I fired up the MD port for comparison's sake and was enjoying macro-dodging Bios's decidedly non-bendy Capcom lasers. Folds well into the circle-strafing mechanic. The AC version looks like their most irritating STG endboss since Gun.Smoke's Pa Wingate and his spreadshot's brutally slow decay. At least Wingate can be definitively worked around.

That is yet another exemplary smiley, hope it's ok to add to my collection. ;3 I wish I'd had it for a particularly bitter Ninja Gaiden flamewar years ago, as I regrettably prodded someone attempting to defeat Jaquio via self-induced spontaneous human combustion. :lol: Only thing more apropos than a boxer might be... an eagle! Image
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:25 am 


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I've been playing a lot of disappointing PC-Engine games recently (Shubibinman 2, Travel Eple, Dekoboko Densetsu), so I needed to wash my mouth out with something fun.

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CHŌ JIKŪ YŌSAI MACROSS 2036

Got my hands on Macross 2036... And 1CCd it on my second serious attempt. :mrgreen: The game actually is fond of killing you (or just me) frequently, but this is offset by how many lives you find by revealing hidden Minmay icons :D The occasional invincibility barrier doesn't hurt either! I wonder how much Hard and Very Hard up the ante; I also can't seem to access the second set of menu options when you start the game. Also, no high-score display after beating the final boss :evil:

The game is really made for Macross fans. With a totally weak "sequel" story (look, there's Britai! And Kamjin! And Boldozze! plus the daughter of Max and Milia!) that didn't particularly grab me, supplemented with huge space battles (happening in the background, of course!) and lovingly-designed mechs. The music, serviceable arrangements of the show's OST (not as powerful-sounding though), set the mood quite nicely.

The bosses steal the show as great fearsome robots, whereas the enemies, outside of the Zentraedi battle pods, come off as "little triangles" and "circles" most of the time. The switching to Forgotten Worlds-esque controls for boss fights is a neat novelty; what's less neat is the huge hitbox your VF becomes. I think KLON realized this when developing the game; you have some type of lifebar for bosses, which made me able to cheese most of them. Especially the last boss: I don't know how you are supposed to dodge an erratically-moving snake as it finally settles into coiling around your ship to expose its weakpoint. I really dig the UN Squadron/Area 88 shop in-between levels - especially since you don't actually "spend" points; you just need to reach a certain EXP threshold to select your alt-weapon.

All in all, this was a pleasant stroll through Macross-inspired shmupping. Shmup fans aren't going to be blown away, but Macross fans will enjoy a fast-paced, easy tribute to the series.

Quality Ranking:

High
Middling
Low
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:25 pm 


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Slightly off-topic but what non-STG Hu Card games should one be trying?

My current list:

-Alien Crush
-Bloody Wolf
-Bomberman '93
-Bomberman '94
-Cadash
-Devil's Crush
-Dragon's Curse (Wonder Boy III)
-Dungeon Explorer
-Family Tennis (for 4 player mode)
-Legendary Axe
-Legendary Axe II
-Military Madness
-Neutopia
-Neutopia 2
-Ninja Ryuukenden
-Ninja Spirit
-PC Genjin
-PC Genjin 2
-PC Genjin 3
-Splatterhouse


Kind of only looking for the cream only, but solid oddball recs would be cool too


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:39 pm 


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You have a lot of the cream already, but are missing Sonson 2 and Genpei Toumaden Kannoni. The former is probably one of the best games on HuCard, imo. The latter is a slightly-easier nut to crack than its arcade predecessor, but once you get the controls down it is a fairly satisfying (and cheap) action game. I haven't played them, but I hear good things about Cross Wiber and Marchen Maze. The latter is Namco, so it should be good.

And who can forget the best of the best in HuCards, Wonder Momo?!?!?

I'm sure there are other games but I am less familiar with the HuCard library.
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:55 pm 


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Gotta throw another recommendation for Buster Bros/Super Pang my favorite game on the system. It is still pretty cheap too, definitely worth grabbing. For what it is worth I really enjoy Hellfire S as well, but I haven't given the Genesis version a shot yet.


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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:04 am 


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Gunhed/Blazing Lazers (here explained how to access hidden difficulty levels). Like all of my favourite Compile shmups - it's fully playable with only two buttons.
Is Mr. Heli a good port? How about Ordyne? (I know it's missing the sprite rotation effect.)
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 Post subject: Re: PC-Engine CD: The Search for Quality
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:27 pm 


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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?

Obiwanshinobi wrote:
Is Mr. Heli a good port?


Haven't played Ordyne, but I am a fan of the life-bars added to Mr. Heli and Ninja Spirit. The games are made much more approachable to me for that reason. The same goes for Atomic Robo-Kid Special, which I like more than the AC and Genesis versions. The level 2 boss of Mr. Heli is infuriating no matter how you slice it, imo.

Flashpoint reviews!

Gotzendiener

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Absolutely awful in every conceivable way. Game slows down to sub 20fps even when there is nothing on the screen. And there is very often nothing on the screen. No puzzles beyond "cut rope, burn torch", as the game is littered with environmental props that make you think there was supposed to be more. Most of my aimless wandering was because I overthought puzzle solutions (e.g. do I have to activate this weird prominent furnace [pictured above] by having an enemy drop from multiple higher floors and control their body? no lol, just ignore it and light a torch). Grating chiptunes, moronic pointless combat, and glitches make this an embarrassment both for Studio Alex and Gainax.

Quality: Low

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Hihou Densetsu: Kris no Bouken

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Decent action-platformer that more often than not settles into mediocrity. Cutscenes are some of the most amateur off-model drawings I've yet encountered; check them out, they're pretty hilarious. Other than that, you have a stab at Makaimura-style action, without the polish or randomization. Three gems combine into three different weapons, but there is no reason not to go with the ranged dagger (Red+Blue). You learn level layouts pretty quickly, which can take some of the fun out of going through them again and again to get farther in the game. Sometimes things get interesting as you are forced to quickly gun through levels (thanks to a very strict time limit), but more often than not the level and enemy design fail to inspire.

Laziest moment: being forced to do the exact same platforming "challenge" (a staircase with an enemy rolling down) four times in a row, copy+pasted and mirrored. It wasn't interesting the first time, and certainly wasn't the fourth. One boss has no discernible pattern having a random lightning strike. Sometimes you are hit, sometimes you are not. No way to adapt to it other than killing him ASAP. If you die, you are forced to trek through a long, lifeless, slow level with switches. Leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Other than that, I occasionally enjoyed myself.

Quality: Middling

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Travel Eple:

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Bomberman if there was no stage design, and enemies teleported next to you for a cheap shot if you moved too far away from them (which is the only advantage they have thanks to their brain-dead AI). One-on-one fights in lame gimmick-filled arenas (most gimmicks being: fuck with your movement or take away your health). Lose to a boss and redo the whole chapter, boring slow fights and all. Sloppy through and through.

Quality: Low

======

Next set of reviews will be of games that left good impressions on me, honest.
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Last edited by EmperorIng on Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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