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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:51 am 


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Played through River City Girls, dying a handful of times. The game is really fun with some memorable boss fights, excellent presentation and an impressive soundtrack, though perhaps not to everyone's taste. The combo system allows for some expression and cool juggles as shown in this (not mine) excellent hard mode, no death, no health items run: https://youtu.be/jQxZEBYbvzc?t=2801 and https://youtu.be/jQxZEBYbvzc?t=2862

You have to choose to keep juggling or deal with oncoming foes, and also perhaps changing moves to continue a juggle when faced with a wall. I will definitely play through the game again and attempt to do a no health purchase run. It's very possible as you regain full health and meter from a level up. Personally, I prefer a straight arcade style beat 'em up experience, but given the franchise the game is based on, the RPG-style leveling up is understandable. I never felt overpowered in the game and most of the non-health purchases seem to have trivial affects. You do have to buy your moves from the Double Dragon bros though, and the game feels so much more fun once you have acquired all of your attacks.

That said, the game seemed a little rushed, as I encountered a bug in the elevator near the end of the game where I couldn't scroll further, even though there were no enemies on screen. There are reports of the secret boss causing crashes too, though I haven't experienced such a thing personally. Finally, there appeared to be some hit detection issues towards the end of the game, with my punches missing some enemies. it wasn't a huge issue, but it was present in rare cases.

Overall, I'd recommend it if you like the genre. Though I'd definitely recommend checking it out on video first as the aesthetics may put some people off.

EDIT: I totally forgot to mention - to enter doors or passages you must press punch. And if you happen to be in the vicinity of an entrance while fighting, you can unintentionally enter/exit through the door, leaving the area you were in. It's extremely annoying. I've had it happen to me several times mid combo. Launch an enemy, and then when I attempt to juggle them, I exit the area.
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Last edited by BurlyHeart on Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:06 am 


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Sumez wrote:
TMNT1 has its janky attributes, but I don't think any are to the detriment of the game outside of the game's final stage, which is thoroughly broken and requires you to pretty much "game the system".


Yeah, when I say TMNT takes cheap shots, 90% of the problem is concentrated in that long hallway full of laser rifle robots just before Shredder. The only reasonable way to get through that is to manipulate enemy spawns and AI. If you back away even one pixel while fighting, a new robot will spawn. If you hold your ground you don't really have control over whether you get hit. If the robot wants to fly into you it will and you'll take a huge chunk of damage. Their spawning Y position is determined by yours, so if you jump high as they appear they'll spawn up high and you'll have some space to work with. Also if you don't fight back and instead just kneel before them, a lot of the time they'll fly away and leave you alone.

BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Wow, the berserk/crisis/desperation state boosting was something that was used in platformer games a lot earlier than I realized. The only one I'm really familiar with is Mega Man clone Rozenkreuzstilette's Zero-style melee character who gets a damage boost (and increased charge slash range if I remember) when below half health with a lifebar colour change to indicate it.


Yeah, Grolla's charged shots get both more range and damage in desperation mode. I deliberately drop below half health for the boss fight against that wall over the bottomless pit because trying to whack that thing with a sword is a nightmare, and if I take a hit I'm probably going off the edge anyway. Pretty good game. Biggest flaw is that the regular enemies are nowhere near as dangerous as the bosses. I'm given to understand that the new version adds a hard mode so maybe that corrects the issue, but I have not yet tried it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:20 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
BIL, check this game out. It's a high speed dash run 'n gun mixed with denser bullet hell style patterns. It's pretty rad honestly for an indie pay-what-you-want, I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying it considering platformers aren't always my cup of tea: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=65517

Here's a no death run of the game. Loving the Vanquish style dashing in it.


Ah yes, thought that looked cool! Posted some very brief thoughts on it a few weeks back. :smile: I'm shamelessly hopping from one new (2 ME Image) game after another between stubborn 1LC chasing at the moment, but it's on my nebulous holiday shortlist for sure.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:07 pm 


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The scoring in it motivates you to speedkill enemies to raise a multiplier and chain enemies together to keep the multiplier from dropping, while avoiding deaths which halve the multiplier. It's relatively short game if you're blazing through it and trying to score, but that plays to its strength so you can play riskier without feeling like one screwup has cost you a ton of time in a run attempt. Really quality stuff for a pay-what-you-want game.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:59 am 



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BIL's comparison of Saigo no Nindou and Metal Slug has me really wanting to play the PCE Saigo.

Must resist the temptation in order to continue building my shmup skills.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:07 pm 


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Saigo will wait. Image :wink:

I'm tempted to give my Ninja Pit Killer a permanent place in my sig, or perhaps write a complete ST around it. Any time someone mentions picking Saigo up, I am reminded of why it took me years to seriously get into it. Pit blows! Worth it though. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:59 am 


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BIL wrote:
Coincidentally, this is the exact dynamic (albeit far more successfully done) I'm enjoying ATM in Shock Troopers. Was previously a LONLY WOLF Image but TEAM BATTLE is surprisingly addictive. Current lineup is Milky (fast infantry shredder, killer spreadbomb - also KAWAII), BIG MAMA (tank buster/boss destroyer, killer snipebomb - also GAR) and Rio (emergency support for the ladies - tougher than Milky, faster than Mama, a quick hardcase good for generating HP drops).


I've started favoring team battle too. The fast characters don't do enough damage to bosses, and the ones with better guns are too slow for the stages.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:52 pm 


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Regarding the superb Shock Troopers, it's worth noting that certain characters move faster or slower depending on the stages they're in (not to mention the health bonuses); so even a slow character like BIG MAMA can have the edge over chars like Milky or Marie depending of the situation. Finding out which characters are better suited for each stage and route is part of the fun.

Also, the mercenary boss with the bandanna will always drop a large medkit if he's killed with a melee attack. Same goes for the claw bosses.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:57 am 



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Is it known which version of Shock Troopers came first and which is the "revision"?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:59 am 


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I've wondered! Even BBH doesn't seem 100% certain.

I was glad to see the ACA release uses the "three lifebars" version, much more compelling team game that way.

bottino wrote:
Also, the mercenary boss with the bandanna will always drop a large medkit if he's killed with a melee attack. Same goes for the claw bosses.


I really like that even if you're not going for score, there's always a reason to nail CQC kills here and there (weapons and HP drops in addition to gems). Plus sometimes it's just a good idea, ofc, like if a bayonet attacker gets too close.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:14 am 


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Played through Rygar AC this afternoon. Quite a bit of nonstop action fun, was surprised at how many stages there are. I won't be giving this one any serious attempts any time soon, but I was surprised at how few cheap shots the game has, especially coming to it after playing a few rounds of Black Tiger.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:32 pm 


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Was playing Shin Contra with PCSX2's widescreen hack.

There's also Free Limit hack which you can walk out of 4:3 area. Though interestingly this game imo doesn't suffer of "stretching images" issue most of the time when you set to natural 16:9. Player sprite, backgrounds, enemies are looks fine as if it was fit for widescreen w/o need to 16:9 hack except for one or two moments (like cutscene where the player about to enter oil refinery, the buildings looks a bit stretched but the gameplay doesn't suffer for it). One thing that really annoying about this widescreen hack is half of the time backgrounds showing "out of bonds" textures and sudden pop-up enemies, can't blame them since this game was meant to be played on 4:3 ratio.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:15 pm 


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BIL wrote:
I really like that even if you're not going for score, there's always a reason to nail CQC kills here and there (weapons and HP drops in addition to gems). Plus sometimes it's just a good idea, ofc, like if a bayonet attacker gets too close.


Exactly. I think this is best exemplified on the bonus train stage, the one that appears after you decide to switch routes: essential for scoring runs, but also a great opportunity to refill your health, with lots of grunts at close range and the mercenary with the bandanna appearing at the end of the stage.

And of course, it's a great way to conserve ammo for a heavy weapon like the 3-Way, which can demolish bosses. And if memory serves me rightly, if you play smart at the end of stage 4 in the jungle route you can pack a rocket launcher against the chopper boss, making short work of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:00 pm 


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BIL wrote:
I was glad to see the ACA release uses the "three lifebars" version, much more compelling team game that way.


Yeah, that's one of the keys to good character switching systems. Being able to use the character you want should be a reward for success and conversely failure should mean you're stuck with someone else. Ideally your characters' health should be a resource you manage almost like ammo or MP.

I think TMNT might be the most effective use of the mechanic I've seen. It gives you some lightweight strategy and a nice POW-style reward for playing well. The only downside is that losing one turtle almost always sends the other three into a death spiral. Shock Troopers, Touhou Wandering Souls, and Castlevania 3 are all much better games than TMNT, but it's more ambiguous whether their character switching mechanics are really a good thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:38 am 


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A Long Time Ago

Oof! Got a Double Dragon II [AC] No Miss. Tough game! And a surprisingly enjoyable one, after the rough-as-hell DDI AC. Intensity/runtime ratio is just how I like my arcade games, ala Saigo - a single, short, tough-as-nails loop (~13min 1LC). While not entirely free of DDI's jank - some of the combo enders feel a bit temperamental - this is a more than sufficient upgrade, with crisper handling, sharper moves, and the same walloping violence. GREAT sound effects, as to be expected of Technos.

Too different from the superb Famicom interpretation for direct comparisons, but it does have one absolute victory - no turnaround input drops. When going for a stunning boot to an enemy's gut, you can hit [away] and [back attack] on the same frame, and nail it every time - the kick lashing out so quickly, an observer might never know it's using the Kunio system.

Your hillbilly cartwheels won't escape my shoe! (■`W´■)
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On FC, without a learned delay, the code will lag behind - causing you to turn and punch thin air while your would-be target backstabs you. It's a damn good thing the AC's command intepreter is airtight, as the boot is integral here.

No idea what the "Easy" Tatsumaki DIP setting is like, but I wouldn't go near it. Timing on the default setting is great. As an aside, I like how the PCE interpretation bases its Hyper Knee sprite on the arcade's badass anti-wakeup knee (which is actually in the FC version too! not the most important move in any of the three incarnations, but it's gratifying as all hell slamming recovering enemies to a halt with it).

Johnny, do you know if there was ever a "red blood" AC release of DDII? Couldn't seem to find one from a quick google, nor anything in the DIP switches. The game is so intense it's hard to care much, and it's hardly bloody enough to cause a Metal Slug-esque "milk gusher" fiasco - but it does lead to embarrassing scenes like this :o

I SWEAR ITS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE LINDA-CHAN (■`ω´■)
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Slowdown: I suspect MAME et al get it wrong, at least in the footage I've seen on YT. Lots of chugging with only a couple enemies onscreen, even worse than AC DDI. The ACA version only starts struggling with four, or three and a giant (end of Mission 2 is a trouble spot, if you don't clear the elevator thugs out pronto). PCB footage looks a lot nearer to ACA than MAME. Anyway, I'm happy with the ACA's performance, however accurate it is.

Although this is a decisive cut above DDI AC, there are still a few nicks:

*Like seemingly all Technos brawlers, AC and console alike, it suffers from screen edge riding - only here, enemies are lightning-quick, and HP is cruelly limited. Hard memo needed in a couple spots, to avoid instant knives and shovels to the face. The shovel-wielding Williams immediately after the Mission 3 harvester is the biggie.

*I've no idea how the Mission 4 wall works. Come to think of it, I don't know if my edge-walking strategy is even needed. That whole section, mercifully brief as it may be, irks me more than all of FC DDI, DDII and DDIII's platforming combined. 80% of the time I get through unscathed, but HP is critically important in that stage, and getting hit feels like being pickpocketed.

*Evading the Doppelganger's ridiculously powerful Shun Goku Satsu (~50% HP) seemed a total lottery at first. I seem to have happened upon a reliable dodge - staying on your line as he teleports away, waiting a split-second, then executing neutral Tatsumakis seems to work consistently for me. Even now though, I'm not certain. At a few points in this replay, I whiff the Tatsu but escape anyway... maybe the jump timing is more important. It's a shame we couldn't get something better-designed, like DDIII FC's tense final duel, with these much sharper controls.

I'll always love this fight on a conceptual level. One of the most intense yet bitterly un-celebratory final duels I've seen in an action game, complemented by a black-ice rendition of perennial Technos standout Kazunaka Yamane's "WICKED GOD."

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"DOUBLE DRAGON AGAIN!!" Hell yeah. Image An encore to surpass what went before.

A few run notes:

*Enemy wave design is very much left up to the player. There's nothing stopping you from fighting Mission 4's collective gangs all-in, instead of dismantling them as shown. I don't know how viable it would be, though. HP and time are both cruelly tight in this stage, and Willy plus a pair of Chins seems like a total clusterfuck. I'm going to experiment with more aggressive play, maybe it's something for more expert players. Slowdown also becomes an issue with two Abores onscreen.

*My Willy takedown is typically a lot cleaner :oops: Usually he doesn't get any hits in, though they're at least relatively weak. Real danger is letting him back up and shoot you for ~90% HP.

*Linda's lack of "stagger" state make her the most annoying regular enemy in the game. Like herding cats, if a pair gets loose at the M2 boss.

Randorama wrote:
I have come to the conclusion that Double Dragon II is a much more varied game than the first chapter (OK, OK, advance is much better, but it was published 16 years afterwards). It makes sense to actually use the full move set, rather than only the elbow attack. What is the consensus, 30 years onwards?


Sorry this took so long, Rando. :mrgreen: Definitely a lot more variety and technique in DDII. Even the handful of occasions where the Elbow comes into play, it's strictly as a precision poke (Mission 2 & 4 Abore, Mission 3's double Burnovs).

I would also say DDII retains its own niche in the series, even alongside DD Advance. It's got a vicious arcade difficulty and terseness that'll keep me coming back.

The K -> followup combo is itself very dominant in DDII, and the deadliest enemies are best dealt with by its safe shutdowns - but there's enough technique that it never feels stale. It's absolutely critical to master "late" kicks, versus Burnovs, Abores and the Doppelganger - executed early from off-axis, so you'll hit them with the absolute last frames, freeing up time to connect the Tatsumaki. If the former two duck the Tatsu, you're in a world of shit (~50% HP off the latter's shoulder charge :shock:). If the latter teleports away, you've just needlessly extended a mortally dangerous final battle.

I tried out AC DDI briefly, and was surprised at how stubby your basic moves are - even the kick, something the FC version turned into a respectable poke (while instituting a cool pointblanking game for Chins and Bobos). To be honest, the Elbow Cheese seems almost legitimate, given the apparent lack of reliable alternatives. I'm gonna stick with it a bit, though - I already managed to get some fun out of it. That KO sample, goddamn - the zenith of digitised brawling pain.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:14 am 


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You the man, BIL. Great write up :D

EDIT: And just watched the video. You straight up murderised the game. I played it up until the beginning of the stage 4, and never really tried to learn how to get past the obstacles, but I'll definitely be trying the edge walking strat. Didn't know the hurricane kick killed enemies so quickly either. Top stuff.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:32 am 


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Funny, I just played through the DD1 a couple of times since the MiSTer core just dropped. I only played DD2 a couple times in the arcade, but I played DD1 a bunch and I can definitely attest that MAME gets it wrong as far as the slowdown is concerned. In retrospect the original DD feels like a bit of a rushed game to me, not just the lack of viable play mechanics (although you can smash dudes with weapons as well as elbow cheese), but also on the original version the game literally crashes at the end half the time. Good to see that DD2 mixes it up so much, looks like a lot more fun to actually attempt a real run with.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:51 pm 


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BurlyHeart wrote:
You the man, BIL. Great write up :D

EDIT: And just watched the video. You straight up murderised the game. I played it up until the beginning of the stage 4, and never really tried to learn how to get past the obstacles, but I'll definitely be trying the edge walking strat. Didn't know the hurricane kick killed enemies so quickly either. Top stuff.


Thanks! I was really inspired to try it out after your posts in What Not Shmup - figured there must be something interesting going on if you were playing it.

I wish I could say my st4 Wall strategy is sound, but tbh it's more of a good luck charm... and it's also horribly easy to fall off the edge while setting it up. :lol: You don't need to be right on the threshold of falling, like I am, but you have to be very close, or bombs will hit you. Billy's boot soles need to be near-flush with the floor line.

It may be safer to get near the statue, then diagonally rush down after a bomb rolls past. As for the wall itself, I've no idea. Being on the edge seems to make all but the earliest, highest rows miss, but it's all conjecture on my part. I'm gonna dig around a bit.

it290 wrote:
In retrospect the original DD feels like a bit of a rushed game to me, not just the lack of viable play mechanics (although you can smash dudes with weapons as well as elbow cheese), but also on the original version the game literally crashes at the end half the time.


What gets me is, you could very well think it was Technos/Kishimoto's first attempt at brawling, but they'd more or less canonised the genre with Kunio a year earlier. I guess the shift from Kunio's flat arenas to DD's unruly scrolling world was no trifling matter. If there's one thing to be said for DD1, it's that the enemies are every bit as stubbornly zoning as Kunio's - it's just unfortunate that you don't have much other than the Elbow (or jumping roundhouse) and weapons to counter that.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:44 pm 



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BIL wrote:

Slowdown: I suspect MAME et al get it wrong, at least in the footage I've seen on YT. Lots of chugging with only a couple enemies onscreen, even worse than AC DDI. The ACA version only starts struggling with four, or three and a giant (end of Mission 2 is a trouble spot, if you don't clear the elevator thugs out pronto). PCB footage looks a lot nearer to ACA than MAME.


Have you tried overclocking CPU % in (Groovy)mame's internal menu? There sure must be a better setting than the default value if your comparison is correct.

Also, videos from the PCBs that show stuff like this are always more than welcome on Mametesters or any other forum where the devs pass by.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:21 pm 


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Easiest 1:1 comparison is probably the attract demos.

MAME

PCB

ACA (PS4)

Having said this, the ACA version's replay seems to desync from the PCB/MAME. It's not immediately apparent, because the demo play is god-awful, but you can tell by where the players' fallen bodies end up. I wonder if this is why Gotch et al didn't notice. :lol:

Also, that MAMEUI footage is seven years out of date - I've seen more recent videos where it runs at full speed. I guess it's been fixed since? Either that or build differences, I guess.

The other example I recently looked up was Saigo no Nindou, which is the opposite case - MAME seems to lack the game's most extreme slowdown. Spamming x3 POW grenades at the fourth boss is what caused me to look into it, was worried the ACA version was overly generous. PCB & ACA tend to slow down when lots of projectiles are onscreen.

MAME

PCB

ACA (PS4)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:27 pm 


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I wonder if MAME and X360 got Frogger wrong (no, I'm not talking about the missing music in the X360 port). On MAME and 360, there are some odd input drops when Frogger is close to the left or right edge of the screen. Been awhile since I played in an arcade (though I know of a place that had one that isn't super far away), but I didn't notice input drops or slowdown in the ACA version. Too bad that version has the music ripped out like the 360 version. The GBA version (which is a port, not emulation) did a much better job replacing the copyrighted music.

One thing I noticed is that the Genesis version is not nearly as accurate as it's claimed to be. Hit detection is off, everything after stage 5 was made up by the programmers, and, the real kicker, the game never has 2 snakes on screen like the arcade.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:19 pm 



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BIL wrote:
Easiest 1:1 comparison is probably the attract demos.

MAME

PCB

ACA (PS4)

Having said this, the ACA version's replay seems to desync from the PCB/MAME. It's not immediately apparent, because the demo play is god-awful, but you can tell by where the players' fallen bodies end up. I wonder if this is why Gotch et al didn't notice. :lol:

Also, that MAMEUI footage is seven years out of date - I've seen more recent videos where it runs at full speed. I guess it's been fixed since? Either that or build differences, I guess.

The other example I recently looked up was Saigo no Nindou, which is the opposite case - MAME seems to lack the game's most extreme slowdown. Spamming x3 POW grenades at the fourth boss is what caused me to look into it, was worried the ACA version was overly generous. PCB & ACA tend to slow down when lots of projectiles are onscreen.

MAME

PCB

ACA (PS4)


Just checked it and both DD2 and SNN are way below the forced 60hz the Hamster versions need to deal with, specially SNN. The PS4 or any other current console aren't good ways to play these games, I'm afraid (it's very likely significantly faster and with the sync issues it involves).

The Mame driver was updated not so long ago (long ago but no so much as the linked video):

Quote:
0.150: Phil Bennett fixed Double Dragon II and clone (US) slows down in the first level


Mame videos need to be recentish, indeed.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:34 pm 


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BrianC wrote:
I wonder if MAME and X360 got Frogger wrong (no, I'm not talking about the missing music in the X360 port). On MAME and 360, there are some odd input drops when Frogger is close to the left or right edge of the screen..



It's possible. MAME emulation is very good for a lot of games but it's not 100% perfect necessarily for all games. For a long time a bug was present in Omega Fighter where enemies did not fire as often as intended in MAME, and was only discovered as an issue in the past year or so by someone who has the PCB. It's very possible there's inaccurate gameplay emulation in Frogger that has gone missing for a while. It's a very important piece of gaming history but I don't think there are too many people intimately familiar with the game to speak about accuracy.

Arcade games are an expensive hobby to own and maintain, and I'm sure the devs don't always have time to play through and become knowledgeable/good at every game. They probably don't pop in more than a credit or so to see if it's working decently for some. It is a bit of a shame though the current dev team's taken the "being able to play games in this emulator is considered a nice side effect, and is not MAME's primary focus" thing a bit literally and are shifting to doing stuff that isn't super culturally or historically noteworthy like emulating kids toys rather than going through the library of truly good and relevant games to polish up and verify their emulation accuracy (something you really can only do by playing then extensively and comparing it to the original PCB). I can think of a few games that definitely have graphical bugs in MAME still compared to the original PCB.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:49 pm 


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just want someone to fix mystic warriors...pls...
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:30 am 


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Bassa-Bassa wrote:
Just checked it and both DD2 and SNN are way below the forced 60hz the Hamster versions need to deal with, specially SNN. The PS4 or any other current console aren't good ways to play these games, I'm afraid (it's very likely significantly faster and with the sync issues it involves).


The ACA releases of Irem M72 (Saigo, Vigilante, Image Fight etc) games do run at an accurate speed compared to the 55hz PCBs, but unfortunately there's some noticeable chop in the scrolling as a result. I wish they would include a Forced 60hz option ala Gulti's excellent Raiden Fighters Aces (360), which also has Seibu SPI-accurate speed and frame blend options.

The issue I've seen in MAME with Saigo is outright missing slowdown - particularly that associated with projectiles. It's highly noticeable in the game's sixth stage, which is already extremely dangerous on PCB/ACA.

MAME32 0.56 (NEVER MIND, REPLAYBURNERS IS STRANGE)

PCB

ACA (PS4)

Offhand, it seems hard to find a MAME replay where the player hasn't died and lost shadows by the point shown (one shadow will cause less slowdown on PCB/ACA, but not the flat zero seen in the above video).

EDIT: should've known the illustrious Mr. Mosquito would have it covered. This build seems a bit better, it at least slows down a little. IIRC he uses GroovyMAME, been a while since he mentioned it though. Not sure which version Vludi used, but his 1CC seems to behave similarly to Ex_Mosquito's. Both of them have to contend with less slowdown on the fourth boss, which of course just makes their clears that much more impressive.

EDIT2: Oh WTF. Replay Burners' MAME is from 2001...? Image I love that channel but sometimes they weird me out. Never mind then. :lol:

Now that I think about it, I used to swear by WolfMAME 0.99 for reasons.

---

Oh hey, this is odd. This guy's speedrun (I'm assuming emulated) runs the attract demo at the end, and its gameplay matches up exactly with the ACA's replay (ends with Billy executing a Hurricane Kick, and Jimmy inexplicably punching thin air to his right)

Except he's on the World ROM (zero lives in stock, EU flags displayed before the score table), while ACA uses Japan (two lives in stock, no flags). I wonder if the game has a few different demo plays, selected randomly at bootup. Bit late here for further research, but I had to go correct my video description about the ACA version de-syncing.

Goddamn, it really is late here. Now I can't recall where I heard World defaults to zero lives in stock. Judging by that replay, enemy HP is the same as JP.

I notice that, seemingly without fail, DDII replays will have comments about it being on Easy settings. Besides typical YT scrubbery, I wonder if there were just a few different regional settings. And of course there's always the chance the commenter's local arcade just had the difficulty jacked way up.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:47 am 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
BrianC wrote:
I wonder if MAME and X360 got Frogger wrong (no, I'm not talking about the missing music in the X360 port). On MAME and 360, there are some odd input drops when Frogger is close to the left or right edge of the screen..



It's possible. MAME emulation is very good for a lot of games but it's not 100% perfect necessarily for all games. For a long time a bug was present in Omega Fighter where enemies did not fire as often as intended in MAME, and was only discovered as an issue in the past year or so by someone who has the PCB. It's very possible there's inaccurate gameplay emulation in Frogger that has gone missing for a while. It's a very important piece of gaming history but I don't think there are too many people intimately familiar with the game to speak about accuracy.

Arcade games are an expensive hobby to own and maintain, and I'm sure the devs don't always have time to play through and become knowledgeable/good at every game. They probably don't pop in more than a credit or so to see if it's working decently for some. It is a bit of a shame though the current dev team's taken the "being able to play games in this emulator is considered a nice side effect, and is not MAME's primary focus" thing a bit literally and are shifting to doing stuff that isn't super culturally or historically noteworthy like emulating kids toys rather than going through the library of truly good and relevant games to polish up and verify their emulation accuracy (something you really can only do by playing then extensively and comparing it to the original PCB). I can think of a few games that definitely have graphical bugs in MAME still compared to the original PCB.



I'd say they've been pretty good about fixing MAMETesters bugs. If I recall correctly, we've had significant fixes to CPS3 and Model 1 games in the past year (as "truly good and relevant" as you can get), and at least one of the IIDX games becoming playable.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:02 am 


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That's fair. I have concerns about the shifting of focus away from arcade stuff and adding tons of additional support for various hardware (that needs to be maintained in future builds/releases), but if progress is still getting done, then I can't fault them too much for supporting whatever weird hardware/software also piques their interest I guess.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:01 pm 



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BIL wrote:
Bassa-Bassa wrote:
Just checked it and both DD2 and SNN are way below the forced 60hz the Hamster versions need to deal with, specially SNN. The PS4 or any other current console aren't good ways to play these games, I'm afraid (it's very likely significantly faster and with the sync issues it involves).


The ACA releases of Irem M72 (Saigo, Vigilante, Image Fight etc) games do run at an accurate speed compared to the 55hz PCBs, but unfortunately there's some noticeable chop in the scrolling as a result. I wish they would include a Forced 60hz option ala Gulti's excellent Raiden Fighters Aces (360), which also has Seibu SPI-accurate speed and frame blend options.


Ah, that's interesting and welcome. I thought that Hamster would take the easy route and would speed everything up to 60hz (which makes it more difficult, like Raiden Project), this way nobody would complain about stuttering. But if they preferred gameplay accuracy over visual fidelity, more points to them. I still think it's not the best way to play those emulated, even if it's the easiest one.

And yeah, old Mame versions are not good because improvements may happen anytime. I clearly remember slowdowns on SNN when I played it emulated not too long ago. Need to check if it's not enough, 'cause you can underclock the CPU to mimic the original behaviour a bit better.


Edit:

Has anybody tried the Raiden Fighters games and Viper Phase 1 in a recent Mame version, btw? Those always had some serious glitches and seemed like no dev would ever be interested in fixing them.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:08 pm 


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Bassa-Bassa wrote:
Ah, that's interesting and welcome. I thought that Hamster would take the easy route and would speed everything up to 60hz (which makes it more difficult, like Raiden Project), this way nobody would complain about stuttering. But if they preferred gameplay accuracy over visual fidelity, more points to them. I still think it's not the best way to play those emulated, even if it's the easiest one.


It's been a profound and quite pleasant surprise to me - I only got a PS4 so I could play The Ninja Warriors Once Again. Had to try out Saigo when it popped up in the sidebar, but I wasn't expecting much from it, given the nadir of Hamster's PS2 Thunder Cross (aka MAME On A Disc).

If not for the unavoidable 55hz hiccup, this would be a perfect stand-in for the PCB I foolishly sold off years ago. Gradius and Bubble Bobble PCB owners have vouched for those games' ACA PS4 releases, too. ACA Contra is AFAIK still the only emulation, official or otherwise, with accurate enemy behaviour in the 3D stages - it really helps that game out, with them taking up a chunk of its tiny runtime. Now, homies want you dead. :shock:

It seems the ACA series up to The Ninja Warriors was primarily developed by Gotch Technology, a company started by founding members of Rutubo Games (32X+SS Sega AGES, including the superb Saturn OutRun). So there's definitely some archivist cred behind them (Gotch also worked with M2 on Capcom Arcade Cabinet).

I don't know who's in charge now, or if Gotch members have stuck around, but they seem to have had a lasting effect. Even now they'll often include optional bugfixes (like Vigilante and Image Fight's end-stage glitches, and VS Castlevania's sprite flicker). They've made a specific point of keeping input lag to the absolute 1 frame minimum (Image Fight release event), always a positive. I hope they get a few more years out of this lineup, Kaitei Daisensou is a hell of a start on the 90s.

Not meaning to shill - just posting my findings for anyone else who got burnt by Hamster's PS2 output, and was avoiding their PS4 stuff like the plague. I actually own most of those PS2 Oretachi Zoku Gesen discs, haha. Wish I'd gotten into ACA years ago when I had more free time, my arcade 1CC list mightn't look so shabby. Image

Should also say, I can only vouch for PS4, which seems to be ACA's home platform. I heard the Switch releases haven't gone quite as well. The one real cockup I know of on the PS4 side was Strikers 1945 Plus, which launched with excessive slowdown and was quickly patched to MVS specifications. I suspect ZeroDiv might've been to blame there, it's the one release that stipulates another dev's involvement. Regardless, even M2 have had to patch stuff occasionally (Darius Gaiden on the Cozmic Collection) - main thing for me is that a developer puts things right.

TLDR: PS4 ACA is alright and has some good people behind it. Also, sub-60hz hardware was a mistake. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:46 pm 


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Most of the Switch releases seemed fine to me, especially the ones handled by Gotch, but I'm not an expert on input lag. MS1 PS4 was actually patched around the same time as the switch version, though I need to test more.


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