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 Post subject: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:42 pm 


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This is a thread for games that are otherwise great, but have some unique flaw that drives you crazy.

My pick is Soukyugurentai, one of my favorites from the PSX/Saturn era. It's a fantastic game, with an incredible soundtrack and tons of replay value with all the different ships and variations on the lock-on mechanic to mess around. Yet, the ONE THING that drags it down is the messy power-up system. Power-ups and bombs are delivered by little red pods that explode on death (often off screen too) and shower you with little P or B icons.

The problem is that the scattering of the icons is really inconsistent. Sometimes they're grouped up nicely, and other times they fly all over the place. It's also really unclear just how many little P icons you need to level-up your fire. As such, each run comes with the added stress of hoping to get lucky with good icon groupings and the constant wonder of when/if you're going to level-up again. If they had just simplified it down to a single big P icon that levels you up 1-to-1, the whole game feel would be improved.

Well, that's my pick. What otherwise awesome games have you played that have that ONE THING that drives you nuts?
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:59 pm 


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The Viper phase 1 100% accuracy bonus is pretty unforgiving.
The Dragon Blaze short-range attack and gold coin system felt pretty awkward and uncharacteristic of Psikyo. I understood they finally tried to something new, but I never got into it as it felt clumsy. Shame for a good looking game.
The medal triggering systems in the Raiden Fighters series are really restart-encouraging and reduce my enjoyment of those games.

What you said about Soukyugurentai I agree to some extent, the power up system is weird. But the game is built around the web weapon so ideally you should use the web almost all the time and avoid power up icons like the plague. For instance, by upgrading weapon power just once bosses become much more difficult. Also, the randomness of Soukyu (like how differently power up icons burst out from time to time) is really its biggest strength. Even if you plan the perfect route, the randomness of power up and bomb suppliers will mess up your route and you will need to improvise and adapt. It makes the game less predictable and mechanic in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:58 pm 


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Dimahoo has a minor problem with slowdown that likes to rear its head during some of the worst times. Right as you're trying to weave between Dribling's blue and red bullet spiral attack, the game loves to slow down and then speed back up just long enough for you to unintentionally blow yourself up. It makes it the most infuriating boss of the game, and you have to fight it twice in a playthrough. There's a few other rather unfair boss attacks in Dimahoo (like Infernon's double spreadfire attack--you know the one), but you can often at least anticipate those and have a bomb ready to fire off. Dribling can eat a bag of drills.

I used to absolutely adore Kingdom Grandprix until learning about that stupid ship roll-bomb exploit ruined its scoring system for me. I still love the game, but how unfortunate is it that the best scores devolve to that strategy... There's all sorts of interesting tradeoffs in the various stages between speed and enemy milking and a large number of them unfortunately get nullified by that exploit. Also the Forest of Dead face boss is super unfair on the 2nd loop. Come on! My entire strategy for tackling the game's 2nd loop revolves around hoarding enough bombs just to survive that boss consistently.

The random point medals in Darius Gaiden are a blemish on an otherwise deep and interesting game to play for score. It's a problem in all Darius games to be sure, but it really stings in Gaiden because the adaptive difficulty system otherwise makes top-level scoring very strategic. In a given playthrough, sheer luck can be the difference between 500 and 512,000 points added to your score from random point medals. It's also unfortunate that Taito didn't implement some sort of safeguard to protect against 30 Hz autofire cheats, which totally break the game down into a joke, but those are at least a player choice.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:37 pm 


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In delightfully responsive* PSX port of Baraduke played with a stock controller, inability to map fire onto a trigger/shoulder button is quite the fly in ointment. Not a problem with arcade stick, but there's no good reason why it's the case to begin with.

*) I don't know about original PCBs, but when emulating ROM on MAME, it lagged pretty badly.

Also, as I've posted it at least twice before, I like Compile shmups playable with only two buttons so much better than the rest that I won't likely give the latter a chance to bloom in my shmup garden. For shame, since the Super Aleste's suicide bullets mode sounds business. On a side note, I didn't know about/remember Super Aleste manga's existence until now.
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Last edited by Obiwanshinobi on Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:40 pm 


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Taito's The Tin Star (1983). Unique beltscroll/arena STG hybrid, whose rotary shooting still feels inventive to this day. Unfortunately, the bullet visibility in two of its three stages is utterly abysmal. I'm able to deal with most of the classic complaint titles - Garegga's bullets looking like shrapnel is naughty, but at least it's all fairly substantial. Tin Star's grey pixel-points are near-invisible on the street's screaming yellow and saloon's off-white floor alike. I wish the ACA version included a bullet visibility patch.

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^ The game's unique burst-chain mechanic in action. Icing those three guys in rapid succession causes their window pals to freeze up in fear (as the manual puts it), leaving them sitting ducks. Hard to enjoy when your and their shots alike are barely visible, though.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:01 pm 


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Not so much a thing with the game as with the size of my hands, but Gradius Advance/Galaxies/Generation is one of two GBA games (the other being KuruKuru Kururin, which actually handles a lot like shmup with a focus button) I'm better off playing on GBA SP mounted onto a Chinese "grabber" peripheral. Problem is, one of my two SPs quite fits the grabber, while the other one - not quite. Or maybe it's the balance of ship's various speed levels that I have a problem with (it feels too slow 'till it's too fast).
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Last edited by Obiwanshinobi on Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:06 pm 


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Phalanx is a great game but the giant enemy battleship stage is really bad.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:23 pm 


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DMC wrote:
The Viper phase 1
What you said about Soukyugurentai I agree to some extent, the power up system is weird. But the game is built around the web weapon so ideally you should use the web almost all the time and avoid power up icons like the plague. For instance, by upgrading weapon power just once bosses become much more difficult.


Oh, I had no idea the shot power affected rank so much. Thanks! I'll have to jump into a no-P run soon.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:59 pm 


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Pinksweets. Stage 6.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:23 pm 


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I love Viper Phase 1, but... would it have killed them to mix the stage music a little louder?
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:45 pm 


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I hate the fancy camera angles in Eschatos. Like seriously. It took me multiple playthroughs before I got a handle one where my hit box was relative to what would register as a hit on a given axis when the camera decided it wanted to totally apeshit. And some of those isometric view points (I think is the term for it) also made it difficult to tell where I could be hit along with being forced to pay extra special attention to shit that might be coming from shallow angles at either side. The harder patterns in the not spastic moments give me less trouble.

Otherwise, that game is great.


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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:45 pm 


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Eschatos's purple pinecones of doom are also extremely obnoxious.

Judgement Silversword/Cardinal Sins draws bullets below the ship sprite layer, which is problematic if a slow bullet (slowed down by you shielding) sneaks under you during a dense pattern. A minor design flaw in an otherwise excellent game.

Giga Wing doesn't move the reflect meter aside if you're in the bottom corners. Not a major issue as your hitbox is just barely positioned above the bar, and you rarely want to be in the corner, but still. There's also no mode with combined scoring in co-op ("tag" mode in the later games).

Rolling Gunner's releases have been weird to say the least. DLC was originally released via convention only before finally getting PC releases, still hasn't been forwarded to the Nintendo Switch version, making the PC version the more "definitive" release.

A hitbox visibility option for Progear woulda been nice. Its position on the planes isn't well defined by the sprite (there's a graphic that shows it in the player select screen but the ship is scaled much larger and it's not super accurate IMO).

Pretty much any good shmup with otherwise no built in autofire function. Button mashing's not a super compelling mechanic, though there were some arcade games with fairly low tap speeds needed to max firing rates out.

-

Non-Shmup:

Bayonetta's default long on button should have been L2/LT. The PC release allows you to remap this, but not in-game (only via Steam's Big Picture menu controller customizer). The PC release does however allow remapping of keyboard controls, so it suggests the lack of control customization is laziness more than anything in an otherwise great game.

Risk of Rain never got proper netcode. The online for the game was left in a crash-prone state and abandoned in favour of working on Risk of Rain 2. There used to be a server tracker website that admittedly used a bad security method you opted into to track live games. It was really fun, up until random crashes caused players to drop late game. Without a "rejoin" option, as a workaround for random disconnects, netplay was janky at best. I loved Risk of Rain's 2D action and this left enough of a bad taste in my mouth that I don't have much interest in playing Risk of Rain 2.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:26 pm 


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SDOJ, when you laser your options form a dot infront of the player sprite that looks exactly like the hit point, i have an extremely hard time differentiating between the two using my peripheral vision and just keep failing at it..
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:19 pm 


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sven666 wrote:
SDOJ, when you laser your options form a dot infront of the player sprite that looks exactly like the hit point, i have an extremely hard time differentiating between the two using my peripheral vision and just keep failing at it..


100% agree with this for SDOJ, I want to put more time into it but that one thing keeps deterring me.

My other "one-thing" would be for Battle Garegga, even utilizing the option on M2's port to make bullets "flashing pink" there are still a lot of other bullets it doesn't apply to. It's probably just me, but I ask "what got me?!" a lot more in that game than I do others.


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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:24 pm 


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1994 The Loop Master has a great aesthetic and l love the basic set-up, but it's TOO LONG. I think there's 15 stages? Just way too much investment to practice it properly.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:54 pm 


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Obiwanshinobi wrote:
Or maybe it's the balance of ship's various speed levels that I have a problem with (it feels too slow 'till it's too fast).

Yeah, that's the problem.

I have no idea why, or how, they managed to mess this up.

MathU wrote:
Phalanx is a great game but the giant enemy battleship stage is really bad.

100% agreed.

Bullet visibility could also have been better. It only affects specific stages / segments of the game, but it's definitely there.


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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:29 pm 


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Super XYX could really really stand to tone down it's effects and improve the contrast of it's color palettes for most stages. Why does everything obscure my ship and blend in with other visuals/backgrounds? And why is hitbox situated at the very front? This and Dezatopia seem to want to reinvent what we're comfortable with about player hitboxes. I don't get it. Just put it in the middle of the craft... @-@


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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:15 pm 


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i wish Ketsui Death Label had an option to remove the score chips or turn them translucent. they simply flood the screen sometimes. it's been 10 years since i played it, i think i remember there's an option to sort of minimize them but it didn't have too great an effect. other than that, top tier game, i'd go as far as to call it the best handheld shooter that isn't the star soldier series on the psp.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:27 pm 


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BATTLE GAREGGA with it's rank system, same goes for Batrider too. I know BG's Premium mode fixed that but I don't own a PS4 so :cry:
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:49 pm 


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copy-paster wrote:
BATTLE GAREGGA with it's rank system, same goes for Batrider too. I know BG's Premium mode fixed that but I don't own a PS4 so :cry:


Gosh, this. I really like Batrider but I hate having to deal with rank. And I avoid Garegga due to this.


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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:59 pm 


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Games like Rolling Gunner and Mushihimesama Futari Black Label (Original Mode) showcase better ways of implementing rank. The rank is shown to players and players are given the tools to actively control how it's raised (or lowered), with it being a primary risk vs reward scoring element where you're rewarded with more score by keeping the rank up.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:24 am 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Games like Rolling Gunner and Mushihimesama Futari Black Label (Original Mode) showcase better ways of implementing rank. The rank is shown to players and players are given the tools to actively control how it's raised (or lowered), with it being a primary risk vs reward scoring element where you're rewarded with more score by keeping the rank up.


Were these older games unable to show rank due to sprite/character limitations or...just not having enough screen space?


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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:45 am 


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copy-paster wrote:
BATTLE GAREGGA with it's rank system, same goes for Batrider too. I know BG's Premium mode fixed that but I don't own a PS4 so :cry:


I have good news for you : you can soon buy a PS5, it has PS4 inside.


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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:56 pm 


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A boss rush the reuses the same bosses from earlier in the run. I probably fought these guys 10 or 15 minutes ago, I don't need to fight them again. Gradius got it right: a mix of legacy foes from prior games and new enemies. And recycling bosses can sometimes be OK in console games of other genres, when it's been longer since the first fight and your character's abilities have changed.

I'm thinking of Super Star Soldier. Battle Garegga makes this mistake too, but there's more than ONE thing about that game that drives me nuts.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:37 pm 


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I dunno, I got pretty tired of the original Big Core in stage 2 or 3 of the original Gradius. We didn't really need to keep seeing it in other games of the series.

In fact Gradius Rebirth is one of my favorites, but fighting nearly the same Big Core boss twice in a single loop (two of five bosses!) is easily its biggest flaw.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:44 am 



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Ibara (and Pink Sweets). Great games but,

it's veery annoying to not be able to dodge with finesse due to the lack of a slower, focused shot. That's the main reason i preffer Black Label.


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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:46 pm 


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XoPachi wrote:
[Were these older games unable to show rank due to sprite/character limitations or...just not having enough screen space?


Nah, lots of older games had built in debug features to display this kind of information (Gunstar Heroes' prototype has a CPU meter you can enable). It's more that dynamic rank as a concept was meant to remain esoteric to the player; you weren't supposed to know exactly how you could control it, especially in complex games like Battle Garegga.

Even games like Resident Evil 4 have dynamic rank, where RE4 makes difficulty adjustments if you die and use a continue. It doesn't explicitly tell the player things have been changed. Same reason, it's meant to be something subtle that doesn't make the player feel too much like the game is holding their hand when the game tweaks things to be easier.

The reason the games I mentioned actively showcase the dynamic rank is because the rank is a scoring element in them, and they decided to make rank a very visible element with the player given the knowledge needed to be in control of it. In that case it's ok, because it's designed as a central mechanic, but otherwise I'm in favour of difficulty being fixed on a per-difficulty-setting basis without the game doing shenanigans in the background based on how the player is performing. It can result in some wild variations from one playthrough to the next, depending on the game.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:53 pm 


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The lock on "beep-beep-beep-ing" in "beep-beep' cave's "beep" fine helicopter "beep-beep-beep" game "beep-beep-beep-beep-beep" ketsui.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:49 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
It's more that dynamic rank as a concept was meant to remain esoteric to the player; you weren't supposed to know exactly how you could control it, especially in complex games like Battle Garegga.

I seem to recall an interview with Yagawa in which he states without reservation that Garegga's rank system, like so many other design decisions for arcade games, was expressly designed to "secretly" make the game tougher for the player to clear without spending multiple credits. That being the case it is kinda neat that players were able to hack into the thing and figure it out so many years later, and in the process both make the game itself a more unique experience and open the door to other games using "open" rank manipulation as a core mechanic for players to master.
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 Post subject: Re: I love this game... but this ONE THING drives me nuts
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:53 am 


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Dimahoo Dribling's RNG bullshit.


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