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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 1:57 pm 


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Bassa-Bassa wrote:
After seeing how they altered Rolling Thunder I've been skeptical about this collection's accuracy.


It's often not accurate (Pac Man uses different ghost patterns, pretty sure Xevious differs in some way too), but the games play more than well enough for an arcade-comparable experience. Home conversions are better thought of as arrange modes, IMO, even on PS1/SS where they started to approach "arcade perfect."
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 3:07 pm 


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I found the ports in Namco Museum to be generally very good, but they definitely not 100% accurate and Ms. Pac-Man in vol. 3 is especially off. I found Pole Position, while not the most accurate port, to be very nice to play with the neGcon.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 8:22 pm 


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Ed Oscuro wrote:
Blackthorne / PoP / Nosferatu sound so good in theory, but then I remember that you can't cancel any animations. :idea:


This technique doesn't cancel any animations, but it does reveal that the slide can be canceled.

BIL wrote:
Yeah, and POP has that blasted flipscreening making certain stages (at least late in the SFC version) total trial/error memorisers.


Home computers were still struggling with smooth scrolling in 1990 when most of the ports were developed. The X68000 and Mega-CD versions could have pulled it off, though I imagine redesigning the stages to have rooms scroll into each other is no trivial task.

The NES port is the only version with any scrolling that I know of, but it's garbage otherwise and doesn't address the fact that you do make some blind jumps.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 8:34 pm 


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WelshMegalodon wrote:
Home computers were still struggling with smooth scrolling in 1990 when most of the ports were developed. The X68000 and Mega-CD versions could have pulled it off, though I imagine redesigning the stages to have rooms scroll into each other is no trivial task.


Although it's not a fair comparison, as Dragon Slayer IV is nowhere as technical or intense a sidescroller, this is why I'll always adore Compile's Famicom conversion (from MSX2). You'd never know it was originally a flipscreener. (I didn't, anyway!)

To be fair to SFC POP, which is an excellent game overall, it's only in the very final stretch (>5 stages remaining) that it gets really cruel.

On the subject of animation cancelling, having played a lot of Metal Slug lately, I'd forgotten how much I love the weapon drop cancel. Normally when you exhaust a powerup, your character takes a second to drop it and pull out their handgun, with customarily luxuriant Nazca animation. Tap [down] and you switch frame-instantly. In the heat of battle, it creates a visceral sense of hurling aside the empty rifle, then snatching the handgun from its holster to continue your furious attack. COMMANDO AF

It also gives a split-second glimpse of the "yipes!" ducking animation, which not only doubles as the "holy shit what" reaction to "Morden's" reveal, but is handled with the expertise you'd expect of IREM alumni.

MS1's dreaded bridge firefight - tanks (out of frame) are closing in, can't afford to crawl up to this guy for the kill, must rush in:

ACTUAL SPEED
Spoiler: show
Image

MINIMAL SPEED
Spoiler: show
Image


Image I can tell he is cheating, as a retro
gamer who has beaten NES Contra with
only two continues, I"
(■`W´■) STFU CUNT
Spoiler: show
Image


The yipes is just for show, you're mechanically crouched from the next frame. Noticed this in my first credits with the Nazcas, BITD, and instantly knew they were something special. :cool:
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Last edited by BIL on Wed May 20, 2020 4:32 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:18 pm 


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Quote:
The yipes is just for show, you're mechanically crouched from the next frame. Noticed this in my first credits with the Nazcas, BITD, and instantly knew they were something special.


This is why I love this thread. The best games are the ones with really good design mechanically that favours the player in small, subtle ways.

Not a platformer, but Wild Guns/Wild Guns Reloaded has plenty of examples of clever design making it feel exceptional at high level play. Any time you use the melee attack, and any time you are in the throw animation for the lasso or dynamite, you get i-frames that protect you, and these last long enough to be chained to the de-facto i-frame dodge, the left/right roll. It's possible to time a lasso toss so something like the crab boss's stomp lands as you throw a lasso and immediately chain it to a roll to avoid damage. Lasso throws are essentially very safe as they have a wide cancel radius, and you're protected the moment you throw it. Now if only the game didn't force you to drop a combo any time you have to dodge stuff you can't shoot down like dynamites or knife guys. Weirdly, the game appears to keep a x5 chain if you get hit by an enemy lasso, then mash out of it while holding shoot down so you fire immediately as it ends?

To anyone who has no idea what's going on it'd look like pure shenanigans, much like that Actraiser 2 example.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:26 pm 


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Natsume had absolutely godlike i-frame sense with Wild Guns and The Ninja Warriors Again - and they still do with Reloaded and Once Again. The former's last boss can have you going four seconds at a time totally invulnerable - say if you roll past his mortar, only to face an immediate melee attack - without sacrificing an iota of intensity. As for TNWA, Ninja's Atomic Ass Smasher, ostensibly lacking the crowd control of his weaker throws, bulldozes crowds with proper timing. Leading to gorilla rampages like this, VS the once-inescapable CHAINSAW BULL:

Image

WGR and TNWOA are every bit as good, particularly the latter's 100% original Yaksha, a punishingly technical character in spite of her massive i-frame potential:

Image

Grab a zako and whoop his ass with [up+attack], ADVANTAGE GIVEN until you hit the ground.

Wild Guns is A-OK here nowadays btw, as are Cabal, Blood Bros and NAM-1975. :mrgreen: Basically, if it's an action game that could've originated on the Famicom, it's fine. Continuing the slippery slope towards "The 2D Action Thread" but it'll never actually be called that. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:36 pm 


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Then here, have something I'm pretty pleased with having nabbed after having several runs botched at the final boss:

Wild Guns Reloaded, Hard Mode - Annie (No Miss)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:41 pm 


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When I saw that WGR was significantly harder than the relentless but quite controllable SFC game, I knew Taniguchi and co. still had it. :mrgreen: Superbly done, I've yet to give Hard a serious go but I could tell it's quite the undertaking. I don't think I've even tried the new characters, either... Annie's short roll remains a supremely addictive precision escape.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 10:08 pm 


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Pac-Land in Namco Museum v4 seems to be an odd hybrid of the JP and US versions (and this is the JP NM4 I'm playing). Pac-Man has the shorter nose like in the US version, but wears the JP feathered hat. Pac-man's speed seems faster like in the US AC version, but I'm not 100% sure on this.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 11:06 pm 


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Yeah, there's a lot of enemies in Reloaded you can't simply keep under control the same way you can in the SNES release, there's generally more enemies onscreen at a time and more screen to have to keep under control. Also the stupid new level with the darkness is annoying, covers up all the nice level and shows up in Normal and Hard. Why the game hard locks the levels in multiplayer to # players, where 2P = easy, 3P = normal, 4P = hard is beyond me. If you want to play the Hard mode levels in 2P you have to plug in 4 controllers and let the 2 dummy characters die off so you continue the game with just 2 people (thankfully the game overed people do not auto respawn when extra lives are available).

As far as characters:

• Annie's still the best I think. Fastest horizontal movement speed when walking or jumping, can shoot down enemy bullets easily, has an emergency dodge roll that moves a short distance which is beneficial.

• Clint is still suboptimal to Annie. Slower horizontal movement, shorter jump, and his roll moves really far, which can easily put you into danger unintentionally, particularly during the final boss where his lengthy dodge roll can easily put you in front of one of the turrets.

• Bullet sucks. His optimal strats are boring to play with as you just lock the firing cursor in a decent place and go for x5s while running left/right. His shot makes it difficult if not impossible to reliably hit moving targets like the minecart riders before the crab boss, or dropping moneybags. He's unusual, and mainly aimed at beginners looking for more survival play oriented handling, but I hate how he loses the ability to shoot if his robot gets shot (which temporarily disables the ability to melee too!).

• Doris is a weird, but absolutely solid character played well. She's very awkward to learn though if you're used to Clint or Annie. Her gimmick is she has a charge attack, that can hold the current charge when sliding left or right. Sliding has NO iframes it seems so you have to be careful about positioning when charging a grenade throw so as not to get caught. However, on top of grenades getting big multipliers for a big charge, the blasts cancelling bullets, and generally being strong, she also has a jump attack where if you hit attack in midair she drops down with a big electric blast. This hits very hard on the bosses where melee is an option, and the melee instantly cancels all incoming destroyable bullets in a wide area. She's far better than Bullet is at high level play but I'm not sure she's better than Annie is for scoring honestly? Might be if you're patient about going for x8 kills on bosses, and perhaps easier than Annie for a beginner to learn for survival.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 11:48 pm 


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I thought lives were shared in MP in WGR?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 12:11 am 


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They are.

If you want to play the Normal or Hard routes in Wild Guns Reloaded's multiplayer with only 2 players, you have to plug in extra controllers and start the game in 3P or 4P, kill off the dummy characters until they game over (i.e. die with 0 lives remaining) then you can play normally and start building up an extra stock of lives with your friend. The dead dummy characters won't auto respawn (you have to physically press the button to use a life to rejoin).

It's very stupid compared to simply Pick # Players -> Difficulty Select which would've been the sensible route. It's a dumb design choice to have multiplayer's level selection be locked to the # players instead of a difficulty selector. It also sucks that beating the game in multiplayer does not unlock new colour palettes for characters, meaning if you're playing with a friend you can't help him unlock them on their save file short of playing it single player for them.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 3:22 pm 


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I've had all three NES Ninja Gaidens on my 3DS for ages, but for some reason I never touched them. Recently I decided to finally tackle the challenge and start with NG1.

After a couple of runs, I got to the boss of act 4, but I still lack consistency in my performance. If I accidentally mistime a jump or a slash, I keep getting slapped around by birds, embarassingly. I'd like to think that there's input lag in the emulation, but I suspect it's just me performing poorly.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 5:40 pm 


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I remember the eshop NG1 playing pretty nicely on my 2DS, but it was a good six years ago... however, the small screen and slightly loose dpad (dunno if the 3DS's pad is any better) took some adjusting to. Would play it on the bus home for added EXPERT CHALLENGE (very swervy, felt great with Galaxy Force II!)

Nailing birds ( Image ) is a honed skill - I like to factor in their airspeed as I let rip, exploiting Ryu's ability to hang back while airborne if needed.

Although NGII's toothpick sword makes birdcepting especially fraught, the end of this GIF illustrates my usual technique. Not like I had the option of leaping forward anyway, but taking a hit with that Podoboo going ham could've gotten dangerous:

Image

Note that with their careening velocity, if you're able to slip over or under them, you can quickly scroll the screen forward, sending them offscreen while disabling their spawn point. Two birds with one stone! LMAO

Image

I love that CV1's relentless but dozy Ghost turned into this angry flappy nightmare, keeping pace with his fellow emigres Boney-kun and Fleaman. :mrgreen:

If a bird nails you ( :shock: ), the trick is to use your hitflash. Create space, ideally by moving to its other side (they're very slow, at point-blank) and swat it.

A very similar tactic is vital to escaping boxer traps, erroneously labeled "cheap" or "inescapable" by some newbies and scrubs. The ideal is to preempt the situation entirely - provided you attack from just inside sword range, you'll beat their lunge every time, guaranteed. If you were too close, or slow on the draw, and got socked, don't try hitting them back immediately. Once you're in range, they continue to attack at random intervals. A punch may well go straight through your startup frames, just as your hitflash expires, putting you right back where you started with another close-ranged clobbering. Instead, use hitflash to regain safe distance and try again. In the aforementioned scenario, if one whiffs through you, turn and then attack.

Unlike Birb, whose behaviour is totally deterministic ("home in on Ryu"), Boxers' followup punches are truly random. This is one of NG's small but critically relevant RNG touches, another being the random timing and trajectories of Hammer Bros enemies (four sprites, one guy... actually, with all but one wearing a mask, I like to think it's the same guy with four outfits. headcanon is fun!).
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:17 am 


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BIL wrote:
I remember the eshop NG1 playing pretty nicely on my 2DS, but it was a good six years ago... however, the small screen and slightly loose dpad (dunno if the 3DS's pad is any better) took some adjusting to. Would play it on the bus home for added EXPERT CHALLENGE (very swervy, felt great with Galaxy Force II!)

The clicky d-pad of the 3DS is terrible for action games. You need relatively much force to press down any direction and it's almost impossible to do fluid motions. I found Recca unplayable on the 3DS because of it, for example. On the other hand, I didn't have many problems when playing Super Metroid. The pad is similar to that of the original DS, but slightly worse. If the 2DS has a squishy pad variant like the DS Lite, that'd put the player in a much better position.
I think it's funny how Nintendo seem unable to decide which line of d-pads (clicky vs. squishy) they prefer, so they just alternate them between console models: GBA/SP, DS/Lite, etc.

The small screen is actually not bad at all except for nearly invisible bats in the jungle stage.

Anyway, thanks for the hints. I made it to 5-3 in the meantime, and I feel like this is the point where the game pulls out all stops.

A few more questions: In the second part of 4-3, is it at all possible to reach the first platform with two green turrets abd a spinning karateka on it without getting hit?
I also seem to lack a good quick-kill strategy for the twin boss of act 4. I usually get there loaded with ninko, but sometimes my fireballs seem to go right through the bosses and they never deal the kind of massive damage I keep seeing in replays. Is there s trick to it that I'm missing?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 1:54 pm 


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Herr Schatten wrote:
A few more questions: In the second part of 4-3, is it at all possible to reach the first platform with two green turrets abd a spinning karateka on it without getting hit?


Definitely, though at this point it's pretty much reflex for me, so I'll refer to my replay. :mrgreen: The entire game is no-hittable, with the sole exception of a -1HP cheap shot from the final boss which you need a TASbot to avoid. Really sucks if you're on your last hitpoint, but at least it's not a -3HP. :lol:

Quote:
I also seem to lack a good quick-kill strategy for the twin boss of act 4. I usually get there loaded with ninko, but sometimes my fireballs seem to go right through the bosses and they never deal the kind of massive damage I keep seeing in replays. Is there s trick to it that I'm missing?


It's a minor puzzle boss - the gimmick is that
Spoiler: show
only one is "real." The other is a clone who'll soak up damage, and eventually explode, but it won't affect the real deal's HP at all.
The classic trick is to stay underneath the right pillar, they're largely unable to hit you there. The upshot firewheel can inflict solid damage if properly aimed (see here, versus the Act III boss). The boomerang star will have an interesting effect. :wink: Best of all, as usual, is this. :cool: ANIMAL CONTROL no JUTSU Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:10 am 


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Blinge wrote:
As for No miss? I respect it but.. just can't put myself through it for 99% of games. I need to allow myself at least a credit's worth of breathing room.
So God knows what I was tripping on when I got it for NG.


You know, I usually don't care for one life play either. I tend to have the most fun with games when I'm still kinda bad at them and there's still room for improvisation and a few mistakes here and there. Usually I'll only go for one life clears if it's a truly outstanding game and I need something new to shoot for, like in Dai or Ninja Gaiden, or if I want bragging rights like in Holy Diver. I sure as shit didn't do that because it was fun!

BIL wrote:
Really sucks if you're on your last hitpoint, but at least it's not a -3HP. :lol:


It wouldn't make a difference if it was. With 16 HP, five 3 damage hits + one 1 damage hit is a six hit kill, the same as if you had taken six 3 damage hits. I think they should have gone ahead and made the head do 3 damage, both to make make Jashin seem a bit more dangerous and because a 1 HP near death clear is more dramatic than a 3 HP clear, even if they're functionally the same thing. Though OTOH a 1 damage clear, for those elite few who can achieve it, feels more impressive than the 3 damage clear alternative.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 8:22 am 


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I still want to believe at some point in the last 30 years, a Forehead+Brickwall™ player exhausted the last of their stamina reaching a Jashin rematch with exactly 1HP, only to decap him, get the JIGOKU NO GLASGOW KISS and bite his controller in half. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:45 pm 


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Hadn't considered rematches, but you're right, there are times where a 3 damage head would make a difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 11:17 pm 


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Now I think about it, while getting my knuckles rapped by the Martinet finale of Ikari, the headbutt is a pretty neat little detail. Both an anomaly and a microcosm of NG's game design. Cruel, unforgiving, but (almost) never unfair.

Anomalous, in that it's the game's sole mandatory hit - it's literally unfair. Assuming you're not a TASbot, or wielding a customised input device that will alternate [down] and [attack] with frame-perfect timing at 30hz apiece, there's no avoiding it on a clean run. An adept player, who might otherwise clear Jashin's final attack blind, may be denied that chance. A determined revenant may be similarly screwed (and booted down the stairs to 6-1 yet again). It's an invisible, pre-ordained tax that can leave you a dead man fighting.

I would remove it on principle, though I don't think it does any great harm. NG's a largely static-yet-malleable game meant for dominating, not just barely surviving, and with a brand new lifebar (clean) or subweapons (rematch), nobody with the hardcore to make the staff roll is going to be hanging by their fingernails for long. Making the headbutt a pesky 1HP nip, rather than a punishing 3HP smack, is the kindest possible implementation of an inherently raw deal.

In this way, it's microcosmic. NG is often characterised by newbies as a straitjacket memoriser, where you more or less have to take each individual hit, and learn not to do [thing] next time. Objectively, even the two most dickish snares (st5-3 cat & st6-2 bat), which target landing players with maybe a 1sec reaction window, are escapable with blind reflex and a button input apiece. You're probably gonna get smacked around, many times, on your way to the staff roll, but "unfairness" never comes into it, except in that 1HP snipe from Jashin.

TLDR: Edmond had the wrong culprit all these years. Jaquio did nothing wrong. Jashin is ASSHOLE. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 5:45 am 


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After giving the PCE port of Ryukenden a go via the Everdrive, I'm under the impression that the DOS port of NGII, while still not a good port, gets more right. The PCE version botches the level design, enemy placement, boss patterns, and the music.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 7:17 am 


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I made it to 6-2 now. I was very surprised how much variety (and deviousness) they managed to put in what is basically just a long straight road (6-1).

Despite having lots of fun with the game, I can relate to the things M.Knight found annoying. Personally, I'd add enemies appearing out of thin air (instead of from outside the screen borders) in front of you and behind you (boomerang-thrower in 5-3, I'm looking at you) and endlessly spawning the same enemy if you happen to stand on the wrong pixel to that list.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 8:14 am 


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BrianC wrote:
After giving the PCE port of Ryukenden a go via the Everdrive, I'm under the impression that the DOS port of NGII, while still not a good port, gets more right. The PCE version botches the level design, enemy placement, boss patterns, and the music.


At this point, the thought of a NG1-3 conversion being anything better than adequate compared to the real things seems absolutely surreal. :lol:

Herr Schatten wrote:
I made it to 6-2 now. I was very surprised how much variety (and deviousness) they managed to put in what is basically just a long straight road (6-1).

Despite having lots of fun with the game, I can relate to the things M.Knight found annoying. Personally, I'd add enemies appearing out of thin air (instead of from outside the screen borders) in front of you and behind you (boomerang-thrower in 5-3, I'm looking at you) and endlessly spawning the same enemy if you happen to stand on the wrong pixel to that list.


Stomp on them respawn points! Aggressively scroll 'em onscreen wherever possible. A handy trick with enemies that actively pursue you, like Birb, Katana and Fleaman, is to go over/under them where possible, scrolling onward to kill the spawn point, then the enemy itself. Or simply run up on 'em before striking.

st6-1 is one of my favourites in the whole FC trilogy, you can go on some amazing unbroken kill streaks there. Lack of pits is a refreshing change after Act V's relentless lack of floor, too. Smart deployment of roadblock enemies in front, pursuers in back.

Good going reaching 6-2 - that's the last hurdle, pretty much. Other than an infamous final affront so grave, it spawned this entire thread. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 3:07 pm 


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Sounds of automatic weapons grow closer, mortars crash and glass shatters. The scientists, in a panic, realize their time is running out. They have no choice but to activate them.

I got my TNWOA back yesterday:D Played a cross faded credit last night with Kunoichi which ended (unsurprisingly) with Jubei. Haven't played it in months, but if there is a game that can get me away from Bloodborne for a bit here and there this is it.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 5:35 pm 


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Excellent timing. Image Particularly because...

PREPARE FOR ULTRA VIOLENCE (`ω´メ)

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Ouch! DATS GOTTA HOIT! :shock: Speaking of Ikari, finally got the 1LC I've hankered after for the last week. Good god damn, this game finishes mean. Was so tempted to retreat to the relative comforts of Metal Slug 3. Image Ikari is far from bad, or even mediocre - I'd rate it 75% classic - but its finale is steeped in absolute rote, somewhat souring an otherwise smooth experience.

Like its divergent sequel Dogosoken, Ikari excels at punishingly tactical action. The deliberate speed - on players and enemies alike - puts pressure on every move. Pure twitch is deadly, as is tunnel vision, panicky players easy prey for the lowliest zako. Despite this sternness, the game's first half is remarkably open-ended; even the meanest straits will have countless viable approaches, from piecemeal sniping to rampant demolitions. With well-timed bursts of bulldozing tank carnage, and a tight ~15min runtime, it's a near-model of arcade excellence: tough but gratifying, designed for long-term mastery and authoritative performance.

HOWEVER (■`ω´■)

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^ You said it pardner. :sad: Sadly, the quality doesn't quite go the distance. The ruins encountered a bit over halfway through are the first glimpse of a nasty flaw, one that proceeds to dominate the final quarter:

Spoiler: show
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^ I call this evil thing a Beacon. Its hitbox is significantly larger than its sprite. If you can see it, you're too close. A rocket will plunge downscreen (heralded by a comically inadequate "wooop"), hitting the Beacon in a REDSPLOSION. You can just about escape, if you're quick and the screen is clear. Two are found in the early going - with the relatively mild enemy presence, they're easy enough to survive. I initially mistook them for time penalties, ala Dogo's airstrikes (Ikari actually does have these, too). Midway through, they become conspicuous boobytraps, like these two cutting off a tempting escape from mine-infested waters:

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The ruins put you through a gauntlet of arrows, grenadiers, and Beacons, the hardest scene to that point. Picking through the traps, with every step measured, a natural equilibrium is reached. You'll almost certainly bite the dust repeatedly, here, until a repeatable route is formed - but the brevity and intensity of the sequence keep any sense of drudge at bay. This should have been the climax of Ikari's boobytraps, before a climactic return to its battlefield forte.

Instead, following an excellent pincer attack by kamikaze zako, the rote is cranked up to 11. Beacons are scattered unintelligibly throughout the final stretch. The screen is also flooded by respawning pincer kamikaze, devastatingly potent grenadiers, lightning-fast tanks, steamrolling helicopters, exploding barricades, and landmines.

Frustratingly, Beacons aside, this final hurdle is perfectly balanced. Its zako are deadlier than those fought previously, but retain their fatal flaw: a lengthy pause before attacking, ripe for a Red grenade multi-kill. Turbo Tanks can't approach you vertically, unlike their slower predecessors - easy meat for grenades hurled over cover. Helis are slow enough to sidestep, leaving the screen if avoided, and their limited spreadfire is highly vulnerable to frontal and flanking attacks. Barricades can be exploded at fullscreen distance, wiping out nearby infantry, armour and aircraft alike. Landmines are revealed from far enough away to avoid rote, but near enough to cause a nasty surprise.

Were Beacons handled like landmines, there'd be no problem. Instead, with space already chokingly tight, the invisible, near-inescapable hazard can only be conquered with painstaking rote. The route I devised is simple - keep right, basically - but no less inferior to what might've been for it.

My ideal finale would've used rear attackers to harass players onward at dangerous pace, straight into the jaws of an all-sides attack (with plenty of terrain variety, both to provide cover, and complicate movement). It's an unfortunate case of a game missing its full potential, in favour of a short-term, ultimately trivial brickwall.

Having said all this, I'll still recommend Ikari to patient fans of methodical, tactical topdown action (I suppose patience is de rigeur for such games... see also Sega's Gain Ground). Even with the endgame's disappointing rote conquered, the preceding and following action is riveting. It's most definitely not the POS Athena to Dogosoken's Psycho Soldier! (I apologise, Athena fans! CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE YOU FUCKS)

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Glitches, etc etc (■`W´■)

Ikari is a notably glitchy game. Most of its anomalies are benign, even helpful. I don't know what causes the rare Boss Tanks to de-spawn, but I wish they wouldn't. Rad machines, for the two seconds they survive anyway, before getting my red-hot load. Image

I do know Ikari can only spawn one REDSPLOSION at a time, with the player's munitions enjoying absolute priority. Rapidly firing POW grenades/shells will suppress the enemy equivalents, long enough to escape otherwise-fatal detonations.

Spoiler: show
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^ flanking Red grenadier got me bang to rights! :o Fortunately, I was already bombarding his pals upscreen, so nyah nyah bitch! *does eat pussy sign* THOUGHT I WAS DEAD 4 REAL YO (note the explosion finally occurring in the last frame)

This works great while demolishing gates with the tank - hold the fire button, and you can steamroll straight past shrapnel that'll otherwise wreck you. However, as shown above, the delayed explosions remain queued up - over potentially vast lengths of time and/or distance! They're a real threat, as you won't see their cause, only the lethal result. AFAIK, counting off ten shells after crossing a couple screens' distance will cancel these GHOSTSPLOSIONS, but I'm not 100% sure. In this run, I ended up not having to worry, because I screwed up the penultimate gate and lost my ride. :evil:

The status upgrade drops seem randomised, but AFAIK, you'll always get the full set (Shot Range Up, Shot Speed Up, Piercing Shots and REDSPLOSIONS) by the final stage. I find this slightly annoying, as early Range Up runs are considerably easier. Some friendly tanks likewise seem to spawn unreliably, though the majority are guaranteed.

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^ GREY grenades? U IN DEEP SHIT SON

MUH FEELS (;`ω´;)

With Dogo released the very same year as Ikari, I'm impressed by Koji Obada and co's considerable advances. Ikari's glitchy explosions and de-spawns are nowhere to be found. I guess the former is aided by Dogo's enemies not using red grenades, making up for it with sheer numbers and greater agility. More importantly, there's absolutely none of Ikari's Beacon bullshit. I'd call Dogo a tougher yet fairer no-miss.

I'm particularly happy to have bagged both games' 1LCs, given the upcoming release of Arcade Archives: Guevara. SNK's lovely FC version is an old favourite of mine, but I've only played a bit of the AC's first stage - with MAME's shitty rotary emulation, to boot. Curious to see how the de facto Ikari III fares, versus the OG's flawed excellence and Dogo's refined but decidedly sword-driven action.

I don't know if I'll ever bother with the topdown brawler misnomered "Ikari III." Seems to make all the same mistakes as AC Datsugoku, with SNK's FC versions being far more likeable - and not just for their milder difficulty. FC Ikari III has you spamming the jumpkick, just like the aforementioned AC games - but while theirs is a miserable, wafty thing, its is a walloping, crowd-flooring sledgehammer you'll WANT to bust out nonstop, rocketing invincibly through enemy fire as scads of bodies hit the floor.

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We'll see, I guess! Any game the formidable Janet seemingly hasn't no-missed (I can only find a 2CC on their YT channel) is an intimidating prospect, to say the least - but I'm more wary of it being crap, tbh. I hate buying bad games! It's the principle of it. Image
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Last edited by BIL on Tue May 26, 2020 3:46 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 5:36 pm 


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Herr Schatten wrote:
I made it to 6-2 now. I was very surprised how much variety (and deviousness) they managed to put in what is basically just a long straight road (6-1).

Despite having lots of fun with the game, I can relate to the things M.Knight found annoying. Personally, I'd add enemies appearing out of thin air (instead of from outside the screen borders) in front of you and behind you (boomerang-thrower in 5-3, I'm looking at you) and endlessly spawning the same enemy if you happen to stand on the wrong pixel to that list.

Good points too, these things are good at breaking the illusions behind the game experience and show bare the exact way the sadistic enemy spawn programming works for them.

In the case of the boomerang enemy it just looks very silly. I don't think it got me since I just went for the ladder immediatly on my first go, but you can instantly realize the level designers made it spawn at that exact position and time just to fuck you over if you go for the item on the left side. I found that hilarous when it failed to kill me. :lol:

And like BIL suggested, not killing the respawning enemies but letting them pass over/under you to despawn them while they are away from you is safer. In the case of birds I usually find this behavior to encourage moving forward instead of taking your time to kill them over and over so I am fine with it, but sometimes when it's coupled with hammer bros on a platform you have to jump to, it's a little bit annoying.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 5:55 pm 


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M.Knight wrote:
In the case of the boomerang enemy it just looks very silly. I don't think it got me since I just went for the ladder immediatly on my first go, but you can instantly realize the level designers made it spawn at that exact position and time just to fuck you over if you go for the item on the left side. I found that hilarous when it failed to kill me. :lol:


This guy? I don't think it's a particularly cruel spawn. The designers could've easily made him appear as you approach the Hammer Bro's column, instead of once you're past it, plunging you into a hideous pincer. Or brought the platform edge closer, for a "dodge or else" bump. (I don't think you can even force him to knock you off the edge, at least not without sustained suicidal effort, due to the stage design and the way his AI works)

As it is, he's limited to a direct hit, which hurts (-2HP, IIRC), but you're already leaving his range once it's launched, nerfing even that. It's not even attritive, since Malth - a few seconds away, with only a dozy zombie between you and him - grants you a free lifebar, which I headcanon as Ryu's MURDEROUS ADRENALINE.

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Seems designed so a first-timer will be leaping onto the ladder before they know he's there. :wink: As with a lot of the lategame's ambush spawns, it's tight, but also very clearly restrained.

Quote:
And like BIL suggested, not killing the respawning enemies but letting them pass over/under you to despawn them while they are away from you is safer. In the case of birds I usually find this behavior to encourage moving forward instead of taking your time to kill them over and over so I am fine with it, but sometimes when it's coupled with hammer bros on a platform you have to jump to, it's a little bit annoying.


Hammer Bros' ledge resurrection is one of the few instances where I value, rather than merely indulge or tolerate NG1's hair-trigger respawns. It's a great incentive to aggressively invade their platform with Ryu's lightning-fast OTG sword, gambling on killing them in one decisive move (st2-2, st5-3). It's a sound bet, as unlike Castlevania's brutal damage scale, Ryu is tough as nails, and getting hit will almost certainly bounce him back onto his own ledge, now with more than enough hitflash to seal the offending turtle's fate.

it also ensures you can't just snipe them from fullscreen, which is a dick move, but not arbitrarily so. The FURIOUS ANGER provoked by an immortal interceptor who enjoys a terrain advantage only encourages the player get in close and chop the motherfucker's head off. Image Image
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Last edited by BIL on Mon May 25, 2020 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 7:16 pm 


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Gratz on the Ikari Warriors 1lc clear.

For me, the most challenging part about learning Ikari 1 arcade was the randomness in obstacle appearance. In any given play though, only a certain percentage of the "gotcha" spots will appear. I can move through an area and be safe four times, then suddenly the fifth time there's a hidden mine that wasn't there before. Now I have to unlearn and re-route that section yet again. Eventually I found a path that avoided all of the possible spots, but it took far longer to learn due to this.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 7:23 pm 


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Ikari III should have been P.O.W., P.O.W as we know it should not exist:D

Damn BIL. Nice work.

I put some time in but the first ruins were enough for me to throw in the towel. I had credit fed till the end, so am familiar with the fuck you of the beacons. Which even if the ruins didn't do it that part probably would have.

Truth be told I am far more likely to fire up Dogo than the original. I've always liked it more.
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Last edited by Stevens on Mon May 25, 2020 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 7:29 pm 


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Jeneki wrote:
Gratz on the Ikari Warriors 1lc clear.

For me, the most challenging part about learning Ikari 1 arcade was the randomness in obstacle appearance. In any given play though, only a certain percentage of the "gotcha" spots will appear. I can move through an area and be safe four times, then suddenly the fifth time there's a hidden mine that wasn't there before. Now I have to unlearn and re-route that section yet again. Eventually I found a path that avoided all of the possible spots, but it took far longer to learn due to this.


Thanks! I'm glad you posted about ACA Ikari a while back - with the game's famously lacking Micronics FC port, it was one of my most-wanted updates. I goddamn near bought FC Ikari AND Dogo, a few years back... I recommend against that! SNK's own FC Guevara and Ikari III are beautiful, though! If ACA Saigo no Nindou hadn't compelled me to give Hamster another go (WTF I love Hamster now!), Ikari would've. :mrgreen:

That unstable spawning really bothered me at first, for exactly the reasons you mention... and the glitchy explosion limits briefly made me wonder WTF I'd gotten myself into, being used to Dogo's almighty carpetbombings. I think I must've eventually found a stable route, too - my only real worry was steamrolling through the penultimate gate, which sometimes gets my tank nuked via GHOSTSPLOSIONS shortly after. But then I cocked it up anyway, and even got a nice "FUUUCK" moment out of it. :lol:

Stevens wrote:
Ikari III should have been P.O.W.

P.O.W as we know it should not exist:D


Obada and co (or maybe higher-ups?) seem to have been really sequel-phobic, they PWNED Dogo and Guevara out of their namesakes, and Psycho Soldier as well, although that was more of a kindness than anything. Image
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