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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:25 am 



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Jonny2x4 wrote:
BrianC wrote:
DD4 was a bit disappointing in comparison to DDA. It almost felt like a fangame. The odd thing is that has a very similar Burnov cutscene to the one in DDA and rehashes the train level.


It rehashes lots of content from other Technos games too, like the final building from FC Nekketsu Kouha (which has a maze layout), the building from Combatribes/GB Kunio and several areas from Kunio-tachi no Banka (like the the mansion with the trap door that leads to an underground dungeon).

DD4 felt like something that was made quickly during a lazy weekend. Like ASW remembered that Double Dragon was turning 30 last year and they wanted something to commemorate the milestone without actually going through the effort of making a completely new game. It might had been modeled after DD2FC, but it doesn't look like it went through the same love or care that the original FC games during development. It makes me wonder why ASW even bothered to buy all the Technos IPs if all they're doing are re-releases and minimum effort Famicom throwbacks.


DD4 was made by a team roughly half the size of the first couple NES games--most of them were OGs that worked on those games but when, say, one guy has to handle the entirety of the game's art, a task originally assigned to three or four people, things are going to suffer.

That said, Kishimoto in particular doesn't seem to have any passion for DD anymore and treats it as a paycheck.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:59 am 


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BrianC wrote:
edit: I tried the SMS one again and wasn't feeling it this time. Some moves like the elbow and holds don't seem possible to do consistently. Sometimes an enemy will fall down after jump kicking you after a punch seemingly misses. It's possible to beat the first Abobo by just standing there and punching.


I'm not too fond of the SMS version myself either to be honest. It seems to be praised mostly by Sega fanboys who go "OMG! 2-PLAYER DOUBLE DRAGON! SEGA DOES WHAT NINTENDON'T", even though the SMS version is mechanically worse than the NES version in every way. That's not to say the SMS version doesn't have merits over the NES version, like the fact that it can display up to three different on-screen enemies at the same time (as opposed to two clones of the same baddie like on the NES), but even these merits are offset by the constant flickering and the fact that only one weapon is allowed on-screen. If an enemy uses a throwing knife or dynamite in the SMS version, he actually has to go off-screen to pick up another weapon to use against you.

To do hair grabs in the SMS version, you have to damage an enemy up to a certain point and then walk up to them, Final Fight-style. It takes about three or four knockdowns, which kinda makes hair grabs pointless in this version though.

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Wow. Read that manual scan of the Genesis version and I was like "what the heck?". They just made up their own story for the sake of making Jimmy the villain. Or maybe they just lazily copied the NES version of the story and made up their own explanation for player 2.


Apparently the fact that Player 2 is a palette swap wasn't enough of a hint that he's supposed to be Player 1's twin brother. Although to be fair, it seems all the licensed PC/console versions of Double Dragon based their backstories on the Famicom/NES version in some form or another, but at least some versions (like the PC and Atari ports) had enough sense to realize Jimmy was a good guy in the arcade game and rewrite their plot synopsis accordingly. It's almost as bad as Battletoads & Double Dragon renaming Machine Gun Willy to Roper.

I used to believe that Technos never really wrote any backstory or named any of the characters for the arcade version of Double Dragon, since even the foldout poster that came with the arcade version's OST tape reused the manual/flyer art from the FC version that came out around the same time (Chin was not an enemy character in DD1AC, but he's listed among the bad guys instead of the head-swapped bosses that were actually in the arcade version). The manual for the Mark III version features text copied verbatim from the FC version and while the artwork they used for the enemy characters for their version was all original, they still copied the same poses from the FC art (including Jeff's, who is doing a jump kick like Chin).

However, there's a Famitsu review of the arcade game where they actually mention some of the enemy characters by proper names before any of the console ports were ever made. Not only do they mention Abobo and Willy, but they also give a name to the mohawked head-swapped version of Abobo exclusive to the arcade game, whose name is apparently ジック/Jikku. Not sure what kind of name is that though. Maybe they meant ジャック/Jack and forgot the small ャ. The same article also refers to Player 1 as Jimmy, while leaving Player 2 nameless. Go figure.
https://twitter.com/chou_nosuke/status/ ... 7777931264

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As for other manuals, the back of the SMS version's box refers to Marion as "Mary Ann". I just looked up the SMS manual and it mixes up Jeff and Willy (as well as having "Mary Ann" like the box). There was one manual (may have been the DOS version) that says that Billy and Jimmy have the nicknames Hammer and Spike (their names on the US arcade version).

edit: Checking the SMS version manual again, it does mention that Billy and Jimmy are nicknamed Hammer and Spike, only it says Billy is "Spike" and Jimmy is "Hammer", the reverse of the US arcade machine.


Mary-Ann and Marian are both possible romanizations of マリアン. Same deal with Roper/Lopar/Rowper, which are all possible romanizations for ローパー (although that one is a bit more baffling, since they clearly spell it Rowper in-game in the NES version). I think it was a cool touch that they combined Taito USA's nicknames for the Lee brothers with the canonical names that Technos gave them. That's another reason why I used to believe that the names Billy and Jimmy were given later to the duo.

GSK wrote:
DD4 was made by a team roughly half the size of the first couple NES games--most of them were OGs that worked on those games but when, say, one guy has to handle the entirety of the game's art, a task originally assigned to three or four people, things are going to suffer.

That said, Kishimoto in particular doesn't seem to have any passion for DD anymore and treats it as a paycheck.


The DD4 team consisted of Yoshihisa Kishimoto (director), Koji Ogata (sprite designer) and Kazunaka Yamane (composer), plus two new guys I don't remember at the moment. I'm surprised Yamane was even alive, considering he hasn't worked on anything else since Technos went out of business all those years ago and unlike the other two, he never had any active social media presence. I haven't heard of Kishimoto in a while, but Ogata is pretty active on Twitter and seems desperate to do a new Kunio or Double Dragon game.

Now that you mention that about Kishimoto, I've seen a Kunio fan-blog bring up the same criticism you have about him, saying that the newer Kunio games released on Nintendo DS and 3DS seems to be more about pandering to Famicom nostalgics over actually making the franchise relevant to a modern era.

It feels kinda weird that there were more effort put into western-developed revivals like Double Dragon Neon and River City Ransom Underground in the last few years than anything made in-house by ASW.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:18 am 


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I'd love a new Renegade / Kunio. And in real terms, surely a project like that, with a couple of flick screen levels and a handful of enemies per scenario, would be easier to develop than a full DD game? Original Renegade crossed with DDAdvance? Hell yes.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:02 am 


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Jonny2x4 wrote:
However, there's a Famitsu review of the arcade game where they actually mention some of the enemy characters by proper names before any of the console ports were ever made. Not only do they mention Abobo and Willy, but they also give a name to the mohawked head-swapped version of Abobo exclusive to the arcade game, whose name is apparently ジック/Jikku. Not sure what kind of name is that though. Maybe they meant ジャック/Jack and forgot the small ャ. The same article also refers to Player 1 as Jimmy, while leaving Player 2 nameless. Go figure.
https://twitter.com/chou_nosuke/status/ ... 7777931264


Man, you have a goldmine of this stuff. :o

You, GSK and blackoak should form up like JP Action Game Translation Voltron. :mrgreen:

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Mary-Ann and Marian are both possible romanizations of マリアン. Same deal with Roper/Lopar/Rowper, which are all possible romanizations for ローパー (although that one is a bit more baffling, since they clearly spell it Rowper in-game in the NES version).


It's always Roper to me - gotta keep those Enter The Dragon / Bruce Lee references going! I still want to believe Abobo, Jimmy and Linda are references to Bob Wall, Jim Kelly and Linda Lee. :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:22 pm 


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Have you guys been following the development of "Cyber Shadow"? --> https://twitter.com/MekaSkull
Talk about nailing that late NES aesthetic. Obviously everything depends on gameplay and level design, but the screenshots posted thus far are encouraging. 60% done now according to the developer.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:28 pm 


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I've been following that Twitter channel, but it bothers me there isn't anywhere to get solid news about the game. The aesthetics definitely get that job done.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:28 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
I've been following that Twitter channel, but it bothers me there isn't anywhere to get solid news about the game. The aesthetics definitely get that job done.


I first learned of the game at this TIGSource forum thread where the dev revealed it, and he seems to update it every now and then. The game also has a website and there's an option to subscribe for e-mail updates.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:40 pm 


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Marc wrote:
I'd love a new Renegade / Kunio. And in real terms, surely a project like that, with a couple of flick screen levels and a handful of enemies per scenario, would be easier to develop than a full DD game? Original Renegade crossed with DDAdvance? Hell yes.


Arc System Works did something along those lines for 3DS, only that combined Renegade with elements from River City Ransom.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:34 pm 


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BrianC wrote:

Arc System Works did something along those lines for 3DS, only that combined Renegade with elements from River City Ransom.


It was localized too not long ago as River City Ransom: Tokyo Rumble. Not too crazy over the FC sprites over 3D backgrounds style they went with (or the River City branding they've been using on all the localized Kunio games lately for that matter), but I'm guessing they really wanted to do a remake of Renegade in the same style as the other Famicom Kunio games.


BIL wrote:
Man, you have a goldmine of this stuff. :o

You, GSK and blackoak should form up like JP Action Game Translation Voltron. :mrgreen


I'll think about that. I've been planning on setting a space for all my translation work for a while now.

By the way, here's Famitsu's review of the original Kunio from the same Twitter user. I recommend following Chou_Nosuke if you're on Twitter.
https://twitter.com/chou_nosuke/status/ ... 8683840512

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It's always Roper to me - gotta keep those Enter The Dragon / Bruce Lee references going! I still want to believe Abobo, Jimmy and Linda are references to Bob Wall, Jim Kelly and Linda Lee. :wink:


Naming him after the John Saxon character from Enter the Dragon was definitely the intention, but it just seems weird to me that the manual for the NES version would choose one spelling when the game itself uses another, but I'm guessing the translator wasn't given the game to use for reference and relied only on a printed manuscript of the manual instead.

Jimmy Lee was actually named Jimmy Paige according to Pix'n Love's interview with Kishimoto. Not sure where Abobo fits in other than there's a place in Africa with that name. I thought Bolo was the name of the mohawked Abobo in DD1AC, but it seems that name was only use for the Rastafarian version of Abobo in the second Famicom game.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:17 pm 


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Jonny2x4 wrote:
Jimmy Lee was actually named Jimmy Paige according to Pix'n Love's interview with Kishimoto.

You've gotta be kidding. This is even more awesome of a name! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:41 pm 


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I completely forgot about River City Tokyo Rumble, and I even bought it right when it came out. Is it any good?

Jonny2x4 wrote:
(or the River City branding they've been using on all the localized Kunio games lately for that matter)


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:47 am 



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Jonny2x4 wrote:

I don't think the export versions of Konami games had any warning screen. Those were usually only featured in Japanese releases. Usually, the only thing that would suggest a U.S. was the William S. Sessions screen that became somewhat-mandatory in most arcade games distributed in the country during the 90's. I think only Capcom had region-specific warning screens for each version of their CP System games.

However, Super Contra definitely did see some form of official distribution in Europe, or at least in the U.K., as evident by this flyer with a Middlesex address.
https://www.flyerfever.com/post/9701584 ... per-contra

It's the same address that appears on the Gryzor flyer and a bunch of their other Euro flyers too.
https://www.flyerfever.com/post/97053608578/gryzor

Moreover, there's an English instruction sticker for Super Contra done in the same style as the Gryzor instructions (and other World versions of Konami games such as Bells & Whistles) on the personal site of a Swedish arcade game collector.
http://www.tvspels-nostalgi.com/artwork_konami.htm


OK, this basically means that I played the non-JP version, imported in some manner or another to Europe. I do remember now that Capcom had the warning screens (memories are really mixed up, these days). I think that my uncle would often get non-EU versions, too :wink:
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It's been a while since I've played Crime Fighters 2/Vendetta, but I think the gay gimps were also cut out from the export versions of that game.


Ah, such a shame. i suspect that I saw some weird version with English text and the gay gimps for both games, in the arcade. Could the JP version be switched to English? I am not sure if I am doing something wrong in MAME, as I cannot check this :oops:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:14 am 


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There was actually another Nekketsu Kouha Kunio Kun 3DS remake before Tokyo Rumble. This one was named Nekketsu Kouha Kunio Kun Special and had an option to play through the original AC games stages. This one also had some RCR elements and had missions like fighting a big version of one of the bosses. This one stayed in Japan.

Do you know where I can find a picture of a JP arcade Double Dragon cab? Searching bing and google only gave me pictures of the US cab and marquee, even when I included Japan or Japanese in the search.

I wonder if Jikku is supposed to be "Jake"? There is a Jake in DD4, but he doesn't look anything like "Jikku" aside from being big and having a mohawk.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:51 am 


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Still DH.

I can reach passed baby face no problem. Still need a solid run through funny angry though. What a fucker.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:15 pm 


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Randorama wrote:
Ah, such a shame. i suspect that I saw some weird version with English text and the gay gimps for both games, in the arcade. Could the JP version be switched to English? I am not sure if I am doing something wrong in MAME, as I cannot check this :oops:


I don't think any Konami games had region switches. Most of their games available on MAME have region-specific ROM sets.

BrianC wrote:
There was actually another Nekketsu Kouha Kunio Kun 3DS remake before Tokyo Rumble. This one was named Nekketsu Kouha Kunio Kun Special and had an option to play through the original AC games stages. This one also had some RCR elements and had missions like fighting a big version of one of the bosses. This one stayed in Japan.


I was under the impression that Tokyo Rumble was a localized Kunio-kun Special, but I was always forget it had a direct sequel (Kunio-kun SP: Rantō Kyōsōkyoku). I always get those two mixed up for some reason.

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Do you know where I can find a picture of a JP arcade Double Dragon cab? Searching bing and google only gave me pictures of the US cab and marquee, even when I included Japan or Japanese in the search.


It doesn't exists. You'll only find an instruction card and a much rarer pop card (that was used by game centers to promote the game when it first came out).

As I've explained a page ago, after the introduction of the JAMMA standards most arcade games in Japan were sold as conversion kits. Dedicated cabinets were mostly reserved for games that required special hardware such as Darius (due to its three-monitor setup), Street Fighter '87 (specifically the version with the large punching pads), Quartet (due to being an early 4-player game) and pretty much every vehicle-driving and gun-shooting game ever made. Upright cabinets decorated with game-specific artwork was mostly a U.S.-thing.

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I wonder if Jikku is supposed to be "Jake"? There is a Jake in DD4, but he doesn't look anything like "Jikku" aside from being big and having a mohawk.


I don't think so. I asked Kishimoto a few years ago (back when he was still active on Youtube) if he ever actually named the head-swapped enemies from DD1 and he told me he didn't. Of course, it's possible he didn't remember at the time or that ジック might had just been a name given by the magazine. At any rate, Jake in Japanese would be ジェイク.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:27 am 



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Jonny2x4 wrote:
GSK wrote:
DD4 was made by a team roughly half the size of the first couple NES games--most of them were OGs that worked on those games but when, say, one guy has to handle the entirety of the game's art, a task originally assigned to three or four people, things are going to suffer.

That said, Kishimoto in particular doesn't seem to have any passion for DD anymore and treats it as a paycheck.


The DD4 team consisted of Yoshihisa Kishimoto (director), Koji Ogata (sprite designer) and Kazunaka Yamane (composer), plus two new guys I don't remember at the moment. I'm surprised Yamane was even alive, considering he hasn't worked on anything else since Technos went out of business all those years ago and unlike the other two, he never had any active social media presence. I haven't heard of Kishimoto in a while, but Ogata is pretty active on Twitter and seems desperate to do a new Kunio or Double Dragon game.

Now that you mention that about Kishimoto, I've seen a Kunio fan-blog bring up the same criticism you have about him, saying that the newer Kunio games released on Nintendo DS and 3DS seems to be more about pandering to Famicom nostalgics over actually making the franchise relevant to a modern era.

It feels kinda weird that there were more effort put into western-developed revivals like Double Dragon Neon and River City Ransom Underground in the last few years than anything made in-house by ASW.


Kishimoto has stated as a matter of fact that he goes through phases of being passionate about his old works and treating it as a paycheck, so in that respect I don't think his attachment to any recent DD/Kunio game is any indicator of quality.

Ogata got the roughest end of the stick with DD4: like I said, he had to draw all the graphics, a role previously assigned to three or four people, and the volume of work was far higher than that of the NES-era games. Most of the comments I've seen from him re: DD4 are complaining about and/or apologising for the quality of the work he did... and honestly, the backgrounds in particular make it clear that he took a lot of shortcuts to get things done.

They're still porting this game to new platforms and I really wish they'd take the time to smooth over some of the obvious issues--it's not beyond salvage.

BIL wrote:

You, GSK and blackoak should form up like JP Action Game Translation Voltron. :mrgreen:


I'm still tossing around ideas but I should definitely have something fun to show y'all later in the year...

blackoak wrote:
Have you guys been following the development of "Cyber Shadow"? --> https://twitter.com/MekaSkull
Talk about nailing that late NES aesthetic. Obviously everything depends on gameplay and level design, but the screenshots posted thus far are encouraging. 60% done now according to the developer.


It's worth noting that a lot of this game's graphics were taken from another game called Steel Assault--that game was crowdfunded as a NES throwback but the developer decided to scrap that aesthetic and make something more contemporary, so all the old assets were donated to the Cyber Shadow team.

The Steel Assault devs don't update nearly as often but I'm surprised their game looks as great as it does--crowdfunded games changing direction usually spells doom but they seem to be trucking along just fine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1S77gM ... e=youtu.be


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:47 pm 


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GSK wrote:
Kishimoto has stated as a matter of fact that he goes through phases of being passionate about his old works and treating it as a paycheck, so in that respect I don't think his attachment to any recent DD/Kunio game is any indicator of quality.

Is there any reason why Miracle Kidz hasn't worked on an official Kunio game since River City Ransom EX? They were supposed to do Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 2 on Wiiware, but they canned it after they couldn't secure the license for some reason. Yet they released River City Dodge Ball All-Stars as a doujin game and even included a patch for the Japanese version of River City Ransom EX that greatly expands the game's content.

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Ogata got the roughest end of the stick with DD4: like I said, he had to draw all the graphics, a role previously assigned to three or four people, and the volume of work was far higher than that of the NES-era games. Most of the comments I've seen from him re: DD4 are complaining about and/or apologising for the quality of the work he did... and honestly, the backgrounds in particular make it clear that he took a lot of shortcuts to get things done.

Ogata is pretty awesome. I wish I could buy some of his art prints that are available on Game Impact.
https://www.gameimpact.info/kon/

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They're still porting this game to new platforms and I really wish they'd take the time to smooth over some of the obvious issues--it's not beyond salvage.

I'm still waiting for the Xbox One version. :lol:

Quote:
It's worth noting that a lot of this game's graphics were taken from another game called Steel Assault--that game was crowdfunded as a NES throwback but the developer decided to scrap that aesthetic and make something more contemporary, so all the old assets were donated to the Cyber Shadow team.

The Steel Assault devs don't update nearly as often but I'm surprised their game looks as great as it does--crowdfunded games changing direction usually spells doom but they seem to be trucking along just fine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1S77gM ... e=youtu.be

No wonder Cyber Shadow looked very familiar. I thought they were just ripping off the art style of Shatterhand (which incidentally also served as influence on Steel Assault).

From what I understand, the lead developer of Steel Assault decided to revamp the game's art style due to a suggestion from a certain game critic who is rather infamous around these parts.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:09 am 


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Been replaying the X68000 Castlevania last night, man this game is so much fun. Best clock tower stage in the series imo (and best boss too). One thing that prevents me to one-life it was the long platforming stretch on st8 bridge, always dying couple of times.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:59 pm 


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I recently picked up Gigantic Army. I came in with high expectations, but I'm pretty lukewarm on it. If you want to play for survival, there's not much substance there. I'd say a Valken 1CC is at least as hard as a Gigantic Army 1CC on Insane difficulty. Most enemies aren't very proactive, which makes sense for scoring but also makes survival play less intense and satisfying than it should be.

Anyway, Valken is clearly the main inspiration, and the mechanics and controls are very similar. The biggest mechanical difference is that you choose one weapon loadout which you'll use for the entire game. For your main weapons you've got a weak but reliable assault rifle, a shotgun which seems useless, and a slow, powerful rocket launcher. Your main weapon influences how much ammunition your subweapons have, the rifle gives the most and rockets give the least. Your subweapon options are a useless aerial bomb attack, useless homing missiles, and a powerful laser beam with very limited ammo. It seems to me that rifle + laser is the most powerful combo, but I have more fun with rockets + laser. The fist from Valken has been replaced with a Shinobi-style automelee. It works well enough but I always prefer dedicated buttons over something context-sensitive.

The scoring system is simple and straightforward, which is usually for the best. To get a good score you need to not get hit, collect all the powerups, and go fast. Enemies are worth only a tiny amount so in theory you're free to run past anything you don't want to deal with. In practice it doesn't matter much because you'll still want to kill most enemies for the sake of avoiding damage.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:23 pm 


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Although I'm fond of its streamlined strafe/melee inputs, and the greatly developed shield mechanic, Gigantic Army's scoring is certainly its main advance over Valken. Not surprised you'd be left a bit cold on pure survival. :smile: I'm a big fan of the scoreplay - it's simple, but perfectly insulated against milking tedium, and dovetails into my usual endgame ideal of efficient, destructive, unscathed advance. It really brings out the excellence of its handling model too, with the heft and suspension giving a distinct sense of piloting a heavy attack vehicle at speed - nowhere moreso than when rush n' stabbing enemy units before they can open fire and break your momentum.

Hardly innovative or spectacular, but seamlessly integrated with the simple pleasures of R2RKMF (for new friends, that is "run to the right killing motherfuckers"), to a degree I don't see often. Strider 2 (AC) also comes to mind - IIRC its system is largely similar, basically the ninja sidescroller equivalent (high-speed moving and looting, with killing mostly conducive to avoiding damage).

On staging and variety, of course, Valken categorically trounces GA with its vast yet arcade-tight array of scenarios and setpieces - as good as GA's likeness of ASV ground combat is, it doesn't attempt its zero-g, high-speed or air-to-air equivalents. There's also the intensity of Valken's late-game skirmishes in the mountain range and especially the capital streets, where the enemy's last line of defense keeps up a withering rate of fire unseen by GA, and it's all the player can do to mow through the horde with surgical laser force beyond any of GA's main guns.

I do think GA's midboss and boss designs are significantly more competitive than its staging, however - the sword-wielding Valkyrie-esques with their vicious overhand chops, st2's missile-raining VTOL ship (with its awesome bridge-breaking demise) and st4's pincer-ambushing walkers come to mind. Though again, the real intensity of these encounters is in foiling their attacks and bringing them down cleanly without a scratch... it's only the fairly threatening last bosses where I recall outright death looming. Delete the score play and I'd still call GA a very good doujin Valkenesque, but it's in that context that I consider it truly excellent.

In my usual fashion I'm yet to try out Astro Port's more recent Steel Strider (beyond its demo) or Rocketron (is it even out?). I should get my ass in gear. I won't though. >_> That's for R2RKMF Part III: Dr. Biruford In Prison!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:08 pm 


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BIL wrote:
In my usual fashion I'm yet to try out Astro Port's more recent Steel Strider (beyond its demo) or Rocketron (is it even out?). I should get my ass in gear. I won't though. >_> That's for R2RKMF Part III: Dr. Biruford In Prison!


Rocketron is out and the game has its own thread here. It's ok, but GA prevails over it easily, I'd say.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:20 pm 


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Stage 4 of GA on insane is one of my favorite stages in this entire little genre.

All the bosses are a class act, and the opening push through twitchy ground and aerial mechs is exhilarating.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:51 pm 


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BIL wrote:
I do think GA's midboss and boss designs are significantly more competitive than its staging, however - the sword-wielding Valkyrie-esques with their vicious overhand chops, st2's missile-raining VTOL ship (with its awesome bridge-breaking demise) and st4's pincer-ambushing walkers come to mind. Though again, the real intensity of these encounters is in foiling their attacks and bringing them down cleanly without a scratch... it's only the fairly threatening last bosses where I recall outright death looming. Delete the score play and I'd still call GA a very good doujin Valkenesque, but it's in that context that I consider it truly excellent.


Yeah, the boss enemies are fine. My only problem with them is that killing them with the rifle or shotgun can be tedious. My biggest issue with the game is that the stages spawn big groups of enemies who then sit there and look at you for 5 seconds before one decides to shoot. Clearly this was done for the sake of the scoring system. If you're quick and precise you can clear most groups before they have much of a chance to retaliate. A necessity for no-damage play, given the Saladin's limited mobility.

I think a scoring system based around avoiding all damage is a bad fit for a mecha game. Their big hitboxes and low mobility aren't well suited for flawlessly weaving through bullets, and part of the appeal of these games is that you're controlling a big powerful machine that can shrug off a bunch of hits with no problem. That type of scoring would be much more suited to something like Ninja Gaiden. If it were up to me, I'd cut out the extra bonus points for staying at full health, but leave the end-of-stage bonus based on the amount of remaining health. If staying at 100% wasn't a priority, the enemies wouldn't need to be so passive.

One thing I do like which I forgot to mention is the Dragon Fighter-style partial health refills between stages. There's a nice feeling of consequence when beating a stage doesn't mean all mistakes are forgiven.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:31 am 



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Y'all played Dracue's Leynos remake yet?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:11 am 


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Nope. :[ Did nab a copy for later though. This happens a lot with me and anything remotely recent. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:09 am 


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I really need to get around getting the physical copy of that and Wild Guns one of these days.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:01 am 


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Vanguard wrote:
and part of the appeal of these games is that you're controlling a big powerful machine that can shrug off a bunch of hits with no problem.

Interesting. I had never thought about it this way. there's no denying that there's a dichotomy there, so I get where you're coming from


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:04 am 


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Got a little playtime into Moon Crystal yesterday, and I'm not really sure what to think of it yet.

I'd say it definitely manages to squeeze itself into the scope of this thread though. I expected something slightly more ambitious with larger stages, exploration and collection of various stuff etc. but turns out it's a very straight forward action game. However it's very unique and I'd say it's best described as a mixture between Shinobi and Prince of Persia, with its fluidly animated movement set that requires you to think around it. It's not super hard but still quite challenging, and I'm a big fan of the short reach of your attack and frequent reliance on rushing into the enemies and getting the first hit off for a one-hit kill before they get to do anything.

The boss fights are brutal and pretty much impossible unless you have a completely set pattern that you are planning on following. The controls of the game makes something as simple as turning around a slow task, but most bosses require super fast reactions, so the only way to really do it is to plan your movements ahead of time, eliminating the reaction aspect and instead relying on knowledge of their patterns.
There are some ways to get around it though, for example you can turn around midjump, or you can time a jump as you are turning to immediately jump in the opposite direction. Speedrunners use this a lot to absolutely devastate bosses before they even get to do anything, by also abusing the ability to deliver critical hits by targetting the head when you have one hit point left. But controlling your movement like that is a lot harder than it looks, or maybe I just don't have the correct feel for it yet. I'm not really a big fan of it either, as it seems to work around the concept the game is based on, but then again the bosses seem to be designed around doing it.

As it is now, this is definitely a game I can see myself coming back to multiple times to improve my runs.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:09 am 


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Sumez wrote:
The boss fights are brutal and pretty much impossible unless you have a completely set pattern that you are planning on following.


Assuming you're at full health, stand in front of them and spam attack. They'll die one or two hits before you do. This works on all but one, maybe two of the bosses.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:15 am 


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That only worked on the first two bosses for me? I did try the same "strategy" on both the count, the pirate and the rock monster, but it didn't work for either.


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