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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:44 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
I didn't even realize it had a loop. Specific to the JP ver or something?


I've never played the NES one - might be!

Quote:
Does it have a special 2nd loop ending or just infinitely loops with difficulty maxing out?


Nope, no special acknowledgements whatsoever - and from what I could tell, the second loop just repeats again. It's an alright experience, but I distinctly recall after getting the 2-ALL that I didn't plan on doing it again. The first loop is by far the better showcase of the game's unique STG/driving hybrid.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:39 am 


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Rockman 5: Air Sliding

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Rockman 5: Air Sliding is a Rockman 5 romhack in which Rockman can use his slide while in the air, once per jump. It's great, this is how Rockman should have been all along. His regular movement always felt limited to me. In particular, it's annoying how hard it is to jump over robot masters. Needing your enemy's permission to cross to the other side of the screen is lame and 90% of the time the most dangerous thing a robot master can do is try to walk into you. Air sliding solves this beautifully. Rockman X has kind of the opposite problem where he's nice and agile, but it's often trivial to escape to positions where enemies can't hurt you, and the safest approach to most mavericks is to hide high up on a wall. The air slide is a perfect compromise between the two. The game's easier this way, of course, but it's well worth it for how much better it feels to play. Even the level design seems retroactively designed to accommodate the air slide. A lot of jumps that were impossible without switching in rush coil can be made by air sliding instead. Good stuff, a clear improvement over the base game. I'd like to see the same hack applied to the rest of the series.

B+

There are two actually two versions of the hack. One implements air sliding and leaves the rest of the game untouched. The other adds all new stages and drastically changes bosses and weapons. It also replaces the music with Kirby music. Per romhack standards, it's meaner than the base game, even accounting for the air slide advantage. For the most part this is fine. I like the new, more aggressive robot master AIs. The redesigned special weapons are a mixed bag, with more misses than hits. Rockman 5's weapon set always sucked so it's not like you're losing out, but it's a missed opportunity. Gravity hold is the biggest winner because now you can use it to walk on the ceiling just like Gravity Man. Be careful not to fly off into space. Unfortunately the level design becomes very aggravating once you reach Dark Man's fortress. Yoku blocks everywhere, instant death spikes everywhere, blind leaps of faith over bottomless pits. A lot of it can't be skipped with Rush jet either. I enjoyed the first 8 stages, but most of the second half was a drag.

C+

You can download the patch for Rockman 5: Air Sliding here.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:47 am 


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Oh, so like Cuphead? Very interesting indeed.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:16 am 


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WelshMegalodon wrote:
Oh, so like Cuphead? Very interesting indeed.

They are extremely similar, now that you mention it. For whatever reason, I didn't find Cuphead's handling particularly satisfying even though I loved RM5:AS. I've only played a tiny bit of Cuphead, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:12 am 


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BIL wrote:
I've never played the NES one - might be!


Hello, BIL! Out of curiosity, do you remember which artist you originally got this fan art from?

Image

You posted it on Page 63. I know that's a while ago, but if you know anything, that'd be great! I wanted to give credits to the artist before using it as a thumbnail!


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:52 am 


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Hey bud! Sorry, no idea - IIRC, it was from a random 5sec Google search for "Joe Hayabusa." I find Yandex particularly good for tracking down images, will have a go sourcing it through there this afternoon.

I'd like to know myself - helluva piece, ain't it. Image My only qualm is that it's precisely the vibe I wanted from the fight itself! :mrgreen: As noted back then, I'd have made Joe regular enemy-sized, with the Katanas' relentless chasing, and the Boxers' unpredictable lunges, with damage only shunting him back. No news that NG1's boss roster is noticeably weak outside of Jaquio & Jashin.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:33 am 


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BIL wrote:
Hey bud! Sorry, no idea - IIRC, it was from a random 5sec Google search for "Joe Hayabusa." I find Yandex particularly good for tracking down images, will have a go sourcing it through there this afternoon.

I'd like to know myself - helluva piece, ain't it. Image My only qualm is that it's precisely the vibe I wanted from the fight itself! :mrgreen: As noted back then, I'd have made Joe regular enemy-sized, with the Katanas' relentless chasing, and the Boxers' unpredictable lunges, with damage only shunting him back. No news that NG1's boss roster is noticeably weak outside of Jaquio & Jashin.


Eh, I liked "Berserker", at least (Act 3 boss). He could be a bit tricky.

Also, which sub-section would be best to share my LPs? The Strategy forums? It's a No Death walkthrough for beginners.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:40 am 


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Berserker is the outlier among the non J/J bosses, definitely. Decently tricky, visceral shotgunning trick to speedkilling him. Albeit mostly due to Act III's lack of Jumpslash. :mrgreen:

TBH, this forum has always been a bit ad-hoc for non-Shooting Game content. A request for dedicated "Off Topic Gaming" has never gained much traction... sometimes I think it'd make sense.

I guess making a thread here in Off Topic would be the most visible option. Failing that, you're more than welcome to post them in this thread. :smile:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:38 am 


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Rockman 4: Burst Chaser X Air Sliding

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Rockman 4: Burst Chaser X Air Sliding is a romhack for Rockman 4 that combines elements from Rockman 3: Burst Chaser and Rockman 5: Air Sliding. Burst Chaser's gimmick is that everything is super fast. Rockman's walk speed has been increased to about as fast as his slide was originally, and his slide is even faster. As in Air Sliding, he slide in midair too. Rockman can cross more than a full screen's width in a single air-sliding jump. It's a bit much, really. If Rockman were maybe halfway between this and his vanilla speed, this hack would have world class handling. As is Rockman's speed certainly feels liberating but it also causes its share of problems.

Spoiler: show
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The stages, bosses, music and some of the weapons have been redone and overall Tsukikuro did a nice job. The weapons aren't drastically different from their Rockman 4 incarnations, but everything that was changed is an improvement. The robot masters are harder, more exciting, and all around better than the original game's crew. The soundtrack is made up of NES versions of music from other games, which seems to be the rule with Rockman romhacks. It's a solid selection, I think of Rockman as a series that generally has good music but these romhacks are making the official games look bad.

Spoiler: show
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BCxAS's stage design is good at mixing up enemies and terrain to create new situations. Because everything is so fast, running into an enemy a half second after it appears on screen is way more of a problem than it should be. Yes, that's right, cheap shots from the edge of the camera are a threat even though Rockman has a tiny famicom sprite and is firmly locked to the center of the camera. The safe approach is to slowly creep ahead so you have more time to react. I don't like doing that though. Even if slowly creeping ahead isn't actually slower than running at full speed as vanilla Rockman, it feels worse. I don't even think that type of design was unintentional. You know those pits in Dust Man's stage where if you run up to it and jump right away, a little robot will fly out at a hundred miles an hour to swat you out of the air to your death? Remember how cheap and annoying that was? Well those things are all over the place in BCxAS. You always want to stop and look before you leap. Level design that expects cautious, gradual advancement is a strange choice to accompany a lightning fast protagonist.

Spoiler: show
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If you can set those issues aside this hack's level design is excellent. I think it beats Capcom's work in any of the official Rockman games. It's a game that becomes more rewarding the more you put into it. A first clear is likely to involve dozens of deaths and dozens of aggravating hits from enemies who flew in from the edge of the screen at lightspeed. Once you've gotten used to Rockman's speed and have an idea of what's lurking just off camera, you can stylishly blaze through everything. A second playthrough is a lot of fun and a surprisingly easy 1CC.

B+

You can get the patch here.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:35 pm 


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Caught up on the PS4 version of topdown arena shooter Xeno Crisis over the last week or so. Slept on its 2018 release, partially due to backlog, but mostly out of good ol' Eastern Chauvinism. Image I'm trying to do better. Image Enjoying it a lot - it's absolutely pro-standard, and would easily find a place on my Mega Drive shelf next to Sub-Terrania, had it been released BITD.

While it was developed for the MD, it most recalls the SFC's brilliant version of Smash TV. Not as flat-out insane as AC Smash, but still wicked well beyond console norms. In charmingly Alien Soldier fashion, there's only two difficulties, EASY and HARD, making the choice for vets obvious. Image

Beyond oldschool twinstick shooting, it smoothly incorporates Shock Troopers' close combat and dodge rolling. While the former, a bayonet slash, has its own button, it also triggers whenever you're facing an in-range target. It's amusingly reminiscent of the early Ys series' "bump-fu," and with the smooth animation and tight collision, it's suprisingly comfy - I quickly forgot about the button. The slash is wickedly strong, one-shotting the strongest enemies, along with anything else in its arc - the cooldown and short range balancing it.

You can't just barge through crowds willy-nilly, though - you're good for about three deep, perfect for breakout escapes.
Spoiler: show
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The roll is lightning-quick, surgically precise, and 100% invincible - cleverly, you can use it to snatch up items from beneath otherwise impassible mobs. You can also cancel it by firing, an obviously useful trick when the screen's busy.

Yoink! And have a bayonet for your troubles.
Spoiler: show
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Grab that thing! Do that thing!
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The default MG's withering barrage feels nice and surgical - however, I suggest maxing it out immediately after st1 (don't leave without 24 dogtags minimum), preventing a hint of peashooter in st2+3. The beefy special weapons feel absolutely monstrous, the shotgun and rocket launcher in particular, as do the tightly rationed grenades. I tend to discard the appropriately weaker Homing, and the amusing but cumbersome BFG. Weapons drop randomly, it seems, and are time rather than ammo-limited... they're handy, in addition to being a hell of a lot of fun, but they're never so vital as to give luck undue influence.

The MG has a neat spin on reloading mechanics. When you've exhausted its ammo, a fresh clip will spawn at a random location - this can obviously go for or against you. It won't be for everyone, but I like the small degree of chaos here, and the characters' speedy roll makes snatching up ammo a snap. Feels aesthetically germane to the Aliens atmosphere of outnumbered peril. I quickly learned to exhaust the MG upon leaving a cleared room, so the next one's ammo would spawn before enemies could.

There's a very slight degree of inertia on movement - this was exactly the alarm bell you'd expect. Happily, it proved a false one - I would compare the minute sliding stop to Alien Soldier's. Just like in that game, I quickly absorbed it into muscle memory. It's not an entirely fair comparison, as while AS lets you take plenty of bumps, Xeno is essentially a 1HKO (run out of hitpoints, and you'll need to use one of your three Continue items, sold for ruinous cost in the between-stages shop). Still, I've no trepidations about going for a no-miss Hard clear.

The twinstick controls can't be remapped, which will be a problem for some, I have to assume. I'm never happy relying on the PS4's floppy-ass analogues... mercifully, you can use the dpad and face buttons instead, SFC Smash-style, for deadly-precise movement and aiming.

Stage 3 (Dunes) introduces Graboid-esque enemies, who invincibly burrow underground between popping up to pot-shot. They're fine in theory, but with their large numbers and stalling, the stage drags in comparison to others. Seems it's meant to be more of an endurance test anyway - there's no boss, just a final onslaught guarding the exit - but I'm glad the remainder return to unfettered carnage. Currently hitting the final stage on a credit, but even with that secured, there's a nice DMC-style ranking system to consider. Getting hit seems to really tank your rating - can S-Rank st1/2/4/6, but 3's duration and 5's intensity are beyond me currently.

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Like the aforementioned Sub-Terrania, this is a credibly hardcore 2D action game, sporting enough European influence to perturb JP hardcore obsessives (like me Image). I'll vouch for it as one of the categorical exceptions. Recommended, with small caveats for set-in-stone twinstick controls on PS4 (which, via the button methods described above, I recommend anyway) and RNG (again, it's pretty minor ultimately).

Special mention to the compact yet vividly characterful graphics, and an outstandingly good OST. The announcer is great too, giving a knowingly jingoistic Starship Troopers bravado to proceedings. I especially enjoy the occasions - like during the convincingly nightmarish fourth boss - where he briefly loses his shit at the unfolding horror. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:38 pm 


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How does the level design hold up against the rogue-lite/procedural generation/RNGesus/whatever the latest buzz term is? That concerned me most about the game - both in the sense of getting screwed or an easy ride, and whether it was just any good with any amount of consistency.

Good to hear that, unlike Smash TV, it's not reliant on its special weapons. Is it really twin stick or bust though, you can't opt for a simplified lock/forward/reverse button only system (guess whose experience with Smash TV was predominantly on the Master System). I've never got on with twin stick, product of a console peasant childhood wiring my brain in a very specific way.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:17 am 


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I'd thought to mention the random stage generation, but honestly, I don't notice it much... maybe it's due to the game's innate simplicity. Walls, obstacles etc are rare, and AFAIK, there are no environmental hazards/features, just open floor. I seem to get similar enemy waves from credit to credit, too. This isn't a knock on XC, it's just very straightforward arena shooting, enough that its RNG feels more like a novelty than a serious asset (or liability).

There are randomly-occurring "!" rooms, typically full of slain comrades, where the announcer will exclaim "What happened here?!" or "An ambush?!" etc, with enemies pouring in a bit more ravenously. The game puts me in such a tunnel vision kill 'em all mode, I don't really notice until most of 'em are dead. :lol: It's not like AC Smash TV, where you come to dread certain rooms, or the thought of them occurring randomly.

The pause menu displays your current credit's seed, which IIRC you can use via the debug mode to ensure a consistent level set. Dunno if I'd ever bother. I do notice sometimes the first stage will throw significantly more enemies (=money) at you. If I can tell I'm not gonna hit 24 dogtags by the boss, I restart - I wanna max out the MG straightaway, everything else can wait. Rare that this happens, though! Typically I've enough for the max MG and a lifebar/ammo extend.

Sadly yes, the PS4 controls are set in stone. You can tinker with buttons via the system's Accessibility menu (I like to move Dodge/Grenades from the triggers to the front buttons), but that's it. Having said that, as someone who enjoys Shock Troopers, Smash TV and Ikari's respective strafing mechanics, this game's single screens, big crowds and speedy movement feel designed for twinstick circle-strafing. (though as said, with the PS4's floppy sticks, I'm dpad+buttons all the way)

IIRC (a very big "if"), the MD cart's a bit better about customisation... not sure if that means it allows other methods, or if it just uses a different one. I'm really happy with the PS4 input method, not planning on seeking out other versions.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:32 am 


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Aahaha. The good doctor is a connoisseur. I wish I loved anything as much as BIL loves Running2RKMF
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:02 am 


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I SERVE FIENDS Image Image

Continuing to catch up on recent-ish stuff, does anyone know if Blaster Master Zero 2 grew some fuckin bawls? The first game is an object lesson in how to dramatically improve on a flawed gem - the streamlined controls and weapon mechanics are so good - without addressing its endemic flaws - lame topdown action, lukewarm sidescrolling pressure - resulting in a game that's simultaneously better, yet flawed in precisely the same manner. The flawless translation of the FC game's sublime tank physics does little for me, since I can play that game whenever I like. What I want is something like this:

Spoiler: show
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A HELLISH BATTLEFIELD upon which to unleash my flying, swimming, wall-walking panzerkampfwagen!

The last boss's Zero-exclusive second form is the first glimpse of any real pressure, and it's a good'un... and the wildly inventive brand-new Area 9, while still not the roving battleground METAL ATTACKER deserves, is an immediate shot in the arm. Running on fumes (much like I'm typing on them! Image), I decided to call it a night and continue tomorrow. Here's hoping for BMZ2. I detect casual wailings of ITS 2 HARD, usually a good sign.

Arcade Archives: BURNIN RUBBER came out yesterday - further to recent Battle Formula discussion, while the game lacks shooting, it'll definitely scratch that elusive vehicular combat itch. If you like piledriving enemy cars into canyon walls in BF, give this a look.

Been just about nothin' but net, the last two/three months' ACAs. Image Sunset Riders, Wiz, BurgerTime, Circus Charlie, plus five super-solid STGs from NMK, UPL, Konami, Tecmo and Jaleco (!)... WTB GUEVARA THO :O I ain't gonna bother with SNK40th's chronic control lockups just yet!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:46 am 


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Yeah Zero was sort of fun in a way and meh in others.

Kind of forgettable tbh. Some more monstrous boss fights would have been a great start.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:59 am 


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ACA Green Beret announced. Image :cool: Actually haven't played the AC version of this - barely put any time on the NES cart. Always glad to see Konami's mid-80s stuff - hoping for fiery Western blaster Iron Horse, hardboiled cop 'em up MANHATTAN 24 BUNSHO and sooper H4RDCORE topdown deathdungeoner Labyrinth Runner. (I will say again, TRAP OF OCTOPUS a br00tal attack - like Motorhead covering Loony Toons Image)

Image

And that's that. As noted, it's categorically Metafight Again. Sublime sidescrolling, aggressively mediocre topdown, wrapped up in a serviceable Metroid-lite.

My issue with Metafight is fundamental: I don't think a claustrophobic maze is ideal for its standout feature, the brilliant METAL ATTACKER 01. Simply trundling along is fun, let alone scaling walls and ceilings, vaulting chasms, or slicing through the depths - an unstoppable dynamo on land, sea and air, bristling with firepower, drawn with charming efficiency.

MA01's immense action potential can feel stifled by the tight surroundings. I wish stage design had taken more after its contemporary sidescrolling FC action/adventures Dengeki Big Bang and Hachamecha Daishingeki (I could've written "Clash at Demonhead" and "Rygar," but my wood would not be as good! Image). More open, roving landscapes, with lots of room for skirmishing with air/ground forces - caverns merely one environ among many, like in mechanised sidescrolling greats Leynos, Valken and Ranza.

Anyhoo, no point what coulda been-ing. Taken for what it is: Zero polishes the original's strengths to mirror sheen, while leaving its flaws more stubbornly reductive than ever. FC vets will adore the dedicated subweapon button, snap-swappable equipment, and regenerating Hover meter. The new weapons are kinetic delights, featuring visceral body-rams, tactical barricades, almighty spike-demolishing shells (deadly to player and enemy alike), and much more. Even the topdown arsenal impresses, highlights including the Taromaru-esque chain lightning, a clever decoy turret, and the winningly OTT airstrike - the player painting up to fifteen targets for MA01's attention, the weapon happy to land its entire payload on a boss's skull.

Not that you'll need to do that. As it did in 1988, the topdown stage design lets everybody down. The FC's dungeons are lame, but you need only clear the ones holding each Area's boss. An experienced clear is 90% sidescrolling excellence, the topdown limited to swift, intense seek/destroys. While Zero's lovely automap makes locating dungeons a snap, you have to clear each and every one, every time, to reach the true final area.

I was hopeful that each minor dungeon now featuring a sub-boss might help. Sadly, the majority are lukewarm zako fights. With your immense firepower, and surely no hardware limitations, I'd have been perfectly happy with brute onslaughts. They're certainly bombastically introduced, with names like "TADPOLE SNACKTIME" and "THOUSAND ZIOS." The pitiful trickles that ensue recall an elderly man trying and failing to piss. Despite at least looking the part, the Area bosses fare little better.

Actual blind encounter. Tragically representative!
Spoiler: show
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The spectre of Gremlins 2: SHINSHU TANJOU (GENESIS OF A NEW SPECIES Image) haunts Zero's ass even harder than it did the original - at least Metafight's weak topdown predates Sunsoft's vastly stronger followup! If you've tried Gremlins 2, and been put off by stage 1's shitty Tomato - be assured, firepower gains steeply from st2-2 onward, with st4 and st5 delivering SFC Kiki Kaikai-standard blasting. Best FC spreadshot outside of KONTORA Image

To say Metafight, right from 1988, should've gone for quality over quantity - one carefully designed Dungeon per Area, rather than countless mediocrities - is again getting into whatcouldabeen, so I will leave it there. The tank's bosses don't approach their full potential, but they're at least consistently unique and aggressive. The TLB's one-on-one duel is the weakest, a microcosm of the game's endemic dearth of worthy opponents.

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I don't care about the story at all, but these games' character art is nice - feels new, while preserving the classic Famicom designs. BGM shoulda left Naoki Kodaka and co's work alone. The remixes are weak, and some of the best tracks are AWOL - most notably the playfully imperious Ice BGM and furied Lava BGM, which doubled as the final boss theme. Regular boss BGM loses the original's relentless tattoo, but tbh, the fights are so lame here, it'd only have gone to waste.

T L D R
Spoiler: show
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If you [love/hate] the original, you'll [love/hate] Metafight Zero! If you're ambivalent on the original, you will probably like Zero a bit more! The tank handling is beautiful, making it a relaxing casual jaunt at the least. (I'm a bit annoyed that WeeMan can now lock direction - great! - but the tank still can't)

Post-game offers Unlimited and DESTROYER modes. The former gives you the monstrously powerful endgame tank from the get-go. Nothing else changes. The tank, as always, is a joy to handle, and more than ever, has absolutely nothing to threaten it.

All geared up and nowhere to go. :/
Spoiler: show
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The latter is a quickie parameter tweak that gives enemies Euroshmup HP.

LOL NO I'M GOOD THANKS
Spoiler: show
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There's also a whooole bunch of DLC characters, who I'm not gonna bother with for now, because the issue is not the character, it's the surrounding game. DLC Enemies, now that'd be talkin'! Onto MFZ2, then. Will MetaFight finally get it MetaRight? Teh chase, it is better than the catch! :O Maybe I should just get on with Leynos Remake's Hard mode, huh. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:54 pm 


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Played through Return of Samus with the newest of the colorization patches. While I'd have liked a little more blue worked into the environments to evoke the palette you got if you stuck the cart in a Game Boy Color or Advance, it's nice work regardless.

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Metroid is of course concerned with being an exploratory monogatari instead of pure scrolling action, but very good if that's what you're in the mood for. This installment is fearless with going all-in on alien isolation: unconventional music, areas that don't fall into archetypes like lava zone, a countdown to genocide instead of traditional bosses. The pacing is such that you have an introductory portion, than some dense sections where upgrades come quickly, so you're nearly fully-powered entering the last quarter which is barren except for your targets. This is when the series learned environmental storytelling and revealed, wordlessly, that the Metroids aren't a natural life form. When you find a decapitated Chozo whose severed hand is still gripping an ice beam, something pertinent to victory is being communicated to you.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:13 am 


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BIL wrote:
If you [love/hate] the original, you'll [love/hate] Metafight Zero! If you're ambivalent on the original, you will probably like Zero a bit more!


this is a good summation, here. the game is... a decent bit better than its original and a nice casual afternoon. still flawed, but hey. i want to be harder on it, but i had a pretty decent time, even though it was fluffy. i'm usually really mean to inti creates, but this was "a decent time" and their castlevania game was "actually pretty good," so maybe i'm turning around on them. anyone here played that gunvolt burst game? it at all worth it? ordered a copy and will probably play it here in like... 6 months when it ships with a doom marine helmet i think luna is going to put on her desk at work lol.

- - -

i was playing a great deal of GOLDEN AXE III today, and i went from feeling like it was unremarkably boring dogshit to actually getting really into it. managed to get hard mode down to just a single death (in like stage 2 or something lol), and i think i could probably nomiss it if i actually put some effort in, tomorrow, but i don't know if i'll wind up doing it or not. i skipped straight from the original to this installment because of HOT PANTHER MAN, and he's a really wildly powerful character! super fun to play golden axe spruced a bit with some tech thrown in, even if it's a little long, a little slow, and a little... admittedly stale. this is way more serviceable than its reputation implies it is, however, and just needs a little bit of love. i want to play it in co-op, but i worry with how some of the tech in the game is actually a little tough to pull off that luna might just get frustrated (and we're entertaining a guest and her wife who don't game much at all). maybe when i've next got a friend versed in beat 'em ups down or something.

- - -

also, i've not been posting a lot! or, uh, at all. but i've actually been doing really well. this has been one of the best years of my life and i'm out of the gutter i've spent a lot of time posting in here inside of (not at all a here-related thing, the last few years of my life has just been bleak). luna got a fantastic new job, my therapist said i don't need therapy anymore and am doing well, and i've grown close to a number of friends i love spending time with. some health issues, but i'm getting through. hope everyone here is doing well! no idea if i'll return to posting much, though, been distracted with a lot of stuff in a good way. still playing and loving playing, here and there, mind you! just been disengaging a bit from the hobby since its modern state of affairs just wears me down and i get a bit forlorn about old stuff being seen as increasingly distant from relevancy in today's world (while new stuff becomes time-consuming genre soup that is driving more & more people to return to tabletop games).
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:33 am 


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Great to hear from you as always! Glad things are going well. :smile:

Gave Metafight Zero 2 a spin, seems a stronger game coming out of the gate. Opening area is much unrulier and wider-open than the original's, and while the topdown dungeons still aren't stunning, they're much more aggressive with enemies and footing.

There are some really interesting new mechanics, that sound goofy on paper but imo end up working. Weapon/Hover energy no longer recovers automatically - instead, besides the usual blue items, taking hard falls juices you back up. It's a viscerally satisfying effect, and with the aggressively steep terrain, you're routinely slamming down while making your way. The bar also recovers upon damage, obviously not a free lunch... and you can tactically unload everything you've got to enter "Shutdown," losing your abilities as the bar quickly recharges. I guess they're trying to encourage more aggressive play, with it being better to violently blow your load than run off to recharge. We'll see...

The topdown introduces a counterattack button - basically, whenever something attacks, it briefly gets a reticle painted on it. Press the button to nail 'em with an auto-targeted quickdraw. Lashes out with deadly speed and accuracy, leaving you free to evade incoming attacks during, and also stuns the target. Fun and useful, and metered+whiffable to punish spamming.

EDIT: Daww. Image The second planet is an extended Ikki homage. Recently picked up its customarily excellent ACA version, incidentally. Worth a look - the radar makes a world of difference to the game's camera issues.

Image

Far more importantly than the fanservice, Neo Gonbei is a much better fight than anything hinted at in MFZ1. Here's hopin'. He teaches you his badass ambush counter afterward - instead of a reprisal quickshot, it teleports you behind the target. Psh... nothin personnel, kid. Image As I'd hoped, this feels like a true sequel rather than a retread.

Hey, waitaminute :shock:

Spoiler: show
Image


I know I did NOT just see a CIS White Male Protagonist whipping a farm-worker POC. Image NM game sux deleting now :evil: EDIT2: Good news, Asians don't count! Image I'm back in the game with virtue intact! :o

And holy fuck, I was most mistaken about Gonbei's counter. It doesn't teleport you behind the target at all. Rather, they're gonna come down with a paralysing, likely fatal case of Takeyari Gut. Fuckin rad. No good if they're behind a barricade though!

Spoiler: show
Image


Guess Kane's Zeroesque redesign isn't just for show. Whips, blades, Zero Teleport bayonets, boy's become a regular cyborg ninja. Image Image

---

Yeah, thoroughly enjoying this now. Image Needed a break from balls-hard arcade stuff, rotating this and Ys Origin is hittting the spot mightily. Sometimes it's good to look back, ie, L2L. Image
Image

The sidescrolling is smoother than ever, with a welcome increase in both environmental and enemy threats. Piloting and combat are demanding on magnitudes unheard of in MF88/Z1 - not saying much in itself, admittedly. Building on Z1's dramatic QOL improvements, you now have three dedicated Special buttons, assignable to any of the steadily-building moveset. Currently enjoying the ramming airdash on R1, brutal death-from-above slam on L2, and jump-rocketing spring mine on Square - all three movement options/weapons interacting seamlessly with not only each other, but the Vernier and wall-grip/spring mechanics.

Give me convenience or give me death! DEATH FROM ABOVE THAT IS Image
Spoiler: show
Image


As ever with Metafight, simply moving around is entertaining - now more than ever, with the venom and punch of the new tools. Had Z2 merely reheated its predecessors' amiable, unremarkable labyrinth, it would still have entertained. By switching to discrete, distinct stages, the series finally realises its potential hybrid of mecha heft and finesse platforming.

Happily, there is no need for the usual Metafight caveat - the lukewarm topdown has finally tightened up, delivering hard-hitting action in bitesized dungeons. Between the speedy combat and killer arsenal, what comes to mind most is Guardic Gaiden - a comparison MF88/Z1 can't dream of. Their dogged sense of airy filler is soundly banished. In an especially canny move, ambush rooms are no longer marked as "boss" encounters on the map, and also lose their bathetic intros - now sporting only a sharp WARNING as the doors slam shut.

Aesthetically, it's hugely more potent and distinct, the spacey creativity of MFZ1's final Area running wild across its various planets. Meatier enemy sprites - and meatier enemies in general - add welcome oomph to METAL ATTACKER's exploits.

Image

Ohshi, we PHOENIX FORCE nao. Not only is the lightning-quick ram invincible, strong, and chainable into itself, it also counts as enemy/projectile contact - as long as you hit something, or even just slam into a wall, it'll earn its meter back, possibly even gain some due to its tiny cost.

(yes, that is who you think it is - this game's Sunsoft love is sincere :cool:)
Spoiler: show
Image


The new wall-spring costing zero meter is a minor bit of design genius. Great for quickly gaining altitude for a full-bar slam! Hook a screen-high wall, spring off, hover back on and repeat - guaranteed full recharge.

Spoiler: show
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This game does Sunsoft's FC golden age proud. It's the sort of thing I'd like to imagine them going on to do in the 16/32bit years, had things worked out differently. In the most meaningful, constructive sense, it feels like a sequel designed by fans of the earlier games, for the same: a systematic exorcism of endemic flaws, paired with a commitment to realising dormant potentials. Recommended, it's really quite good.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:24 am 


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A friend of mine was trying to get me to try Zero 2 last year, but I was resistant since I didn't like the first game or Zero 1 (or... anything in the series, really). That resistance is wavering now that it's also earning the Mark of Beru.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:22 am 


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Finished the true ending, my recommendation persists. :mrgreen: While it's not an especially intense game, between the perfect controls, joyful kinetics and tricky stages, it's unfailingly entertaining. "Best Metafight" is a limp bar to clear - suffice to say Z1 isn't even beta-standard compared to Z2's heart and creativity.

This is one of those stage-based Search Actions where backtracking is not only tightly minimised, but movement is so innately enjoyable, it'd be scarce issue anyway.

Spoiler: show
Image


Personal accolades to the blistering BODY RAM attack. This some JUUOKI/ALIEN SOLDIER-calibre ramming, albeit non-furry. It's not only your i-frame dodge, it's also your aggressive meter-builder. If a big enemy/boss shoots a bunch of shit at you, or gets in your face, RAM IT IN and reap a swarm of green sparks. Then about-face and RAM IT AGAIN. Five-star ramming action!

Spoiler: show
Image


Image

SPOILERED SPOILERS FOLLOW (■`ω´■)
Consideration never goes out of style. (`ω´メ)

As an admirer of Vehicular Mishap Action (cf Image Fight's much-imitated BOOSTER BURN), I am impressed by the HMG's secondary attack! Image "Cluster Bomb" my ass, that's negligent casing disposal if I've ever seen it! Image Don't sleep on it - possibly your fastest damage-dealer. Slew the TLB with it, bwahaha. Safety first, kids!

Spoiler: show
Image


^ LOL NO, that's not the TLB. That's SKERETON BOSS! HERES HOW I DEAL W/ HE ASS* (■`W´■)
Spoiler: show
Image

*in tha REMATCH (^ω´ )

Also not TLB, just more NEGLIGENT DISCHARGE ACTION - BAH GAWD KANG HE TOOK HE HEAD AWWF Image
Spoiler: show
Image


As mentioned, the topdown has finally acquitted itself. Combat has a fun sandbox element - lots of mechanics to tinker with for optimal offense/defense. Versus single targets, I favoured the spear counter and a followup whip thrashing - in crowds, or hazardous rooms, I preferred to stay mobile while returning Quickshots, preferably through cover. Besides doing good autotargeted damage, counters also refresh your overheating guns, a nice momentum-boosting effect.

Spoiler: show
Image


Needless to say, all this is a universe away from Zero 1's threadbare topdown. As with the tanking, while it's not truly hardcore action, it's got mechanics and punch that'll delight fans of such - especially those looking to unwind with a good search 'em up. Finely-articulated and flawlessly responsive, with thumping solidity and no dead air.

STILL CRAZY ENOUGH 2 TAKE AN EYE OUT Image
Spoiler: show
Image


Gonna see about the DLC tonight. While the thought of replaying Zero 1 left me ice cold, I'm eager to rip through this game again. An Order of Ecclesia postgame to Harmony of Dissonance's, you could say! Even sans further content, I'd replay just to enjoy the crunching action and seamless flow from a post-game perspective.

Oh WAO! BEIN FRIENS just like in MUH JAPANESE ANIMES Image
Spoiler: show
Image

Building on the likeable Zero 1, there's some nice character designs here, and a perfectly endearing little shonen sci-fi narrative.

Spoiler: show
Image


Good job Inti! Get that Zero Suit money (■`ω´■)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:05 am 


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Spelunky 2 came out recently. I've spent some time today and yesterday playing and I just beat it for the first time:

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Image


Spelunky 1 is one of my all time favorite games and I've got mixed feelings on the sequel. Here's what I think so far:

Good:
The enemies are way nastier, which is the #1 thing Spelunky always needed.
Entirely different paths through the game is very cool. It looks like you get different "quest" items in each area too. Will be interesting to see how that plays out with the inevitable special ending. The areas themselves are nice and distinct interesting. Great improvement over the single-level special areas in Spelunky 1.
Yoshis are good.
I like that there are non-shopkeeper NPCs and the shopkeepers don't care if you murder them.
Shopkeepers don't blame you for things you didn't do. You can set up "accidents" where they kill themselves and get off scot-free.
Shopkeepers are a bit slower and easier to take on unarmed. It's a lot more viable to attack one and take his shotgun without killing him, and eventually the shopkeepers will forgive you as long as you haven't killed any of them.
Some rare items you almost never saw in Spelunky 1 like the shield are more common now. The new items are pretty good too.
The time-out ghost splits into two after 30 seconds and is a serious threat now.

Bad:
It's ugly and harder to read than Spelunky 1.
The back room sections are a terrible idea. The doorways are also needlessly hard to see a lot of the time. Sometimes they have a good reward, but often you just waste a minute navigating a cramped tunnel only to find a dead end.
Some of the new enemies are really annoying. Moles don't need 3 hit points. They'd be enough of a threat with 1.
Inventory management is a pain when you need to get like, a turkey, a dog, a ghost jar, and your shotgun through the level.
There a million invisible threats and they're all lame. Dealing with the bear traps in the jungle feels like I'm doing a no gold run in Spelunky 1, except it's not a special challenge, it's the normal game and I die instantly if I mess it up.
There's way more random things that up and kill you from off screen with no warning. If anything gets shot or blows up in a shop there's a 99% chance that some device will get damaged and fly across the map and blow up right on top of you. In Spelunky 1 sometimes a UFO would crash into a landmine and send it flying into you at lightspeed, but it was such a rare freak thing that it was easy to laugh it off. Stuff like that is irritatingly common here.
Hitstun time is still way too long. It was that way in Spelunky 1 too, but every attack having a 20% chance to kill you no matter how much health you have is a really cheap way to increase the difficulty.
The level design generally doesn't feel as good as Spelunky 1's. Most areas are pretty cramped, and interesting features are frequently impossible to reach without bombing.

Other:
This game really punishes blind shotgun spamming. Tons of things blow up now and there's one object that summons the time-out ghost if you break it. Shotgun spamming was way too effective in the original but I think this is overkill.
The hired help AI is a lot smarter than it was in Spelunky 1, but they're still a hazard and they'll defend themselves if they figure out that you're trying to kill them.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:01 pm 


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It's a great sequel, but I agree with some of that.

Fuck those moles, yes I know there's a visual tell, but they're unpredictable and the ruin of many a run, as you say, 3HP is way too much.
I like that most items are explosive, forces me to be more creative when pilfering from the shops. Didn't know that shopkeepers would eventually forget about you if not killed - though I find them that dangerous that I rarely attempted it anyways. Also wasn't aware that they don't hunt you down after accidents anymore, might have to have a play around with that. The back rooms.... yeah, not really sure of the point, other than to litter up a level with more keys, don't think I've found anything particularly useful in them yet. The ghosts...god, what a nightmare.

Graphics are nice, but overly-busy at times which does occasionally frustrate.
Also, the soundtrack for the first world sounds like it was ripped straight from a Monkey Island game.

It feels, at least initially, a slower, more considered take on the original. The first game is more pure and satisfying in a lot of regards, so much so that it must have been a nightmare trying to decide where to take it.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:16 pm 


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Marc wrote:
I like that most items are explosive, forces me to be more creative when pilfering from the shops. Didn't know that shopkeepers would eventually forget about you if not killed - though I find them that dangerous that I rarely attempted it anyways. Also wasn't aware that they don't hunt you down after accidents anymore, might have to have a play around with that.

This game feels like it was built with the shotgun in mind while in Spelunky 1 everything seemed made for the whip, and the shotgun was crazy overkill. My Spelunky 1 strat is to not mess with shopkeepers until the black market, unless I see one with a bomb box or jetpack. In Spelunky 2, robbing the first shop without killing is a solid strategy.
If a shop in Spelunky 2 has an unimportant exploding item like a small bomb bag, try leaving it in the front half of the shop, then grab another item, run out the door, and jump away from the shotgun blast. If the shopkeeper and the bomb bag's positions were right, he'll shoot it and blow himself up and you can claim his gun and surviving items. From the game's perspective you've robbed him, but his death was just an accident he brought on himself. There'll be a shopkeeper guarding the exit of the next area, sometimes the next two areas, but if you escape without killing them, you'll be forgiven. A shopkeeper will not die from a single shotgun blast, so I recommend sniping the guard and then running to the exit before he gets back up.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:27 pm 


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Vanguard wrote:
grab another item, run out the door, and jump away from the shotgun blast. If the shopkeeper and the bomb bag's positions were right, he'll shoot it and blow himself up and you can claim his gun and surviving items. From the game's perspective you've robbed him, but his death was just an accident he brought on himself.


Jesus Christ this sounds hardcore :shock: :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:41 am 


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BIL wrote:
Jesus Christ this sounds hardcore :shock: :lol:

Spelunky is good shit, give it a try. The premise is that you're an Indiana Jones knockoff exploring cursed ruins for wealth and fame. You gather money and equipment while dealing with traps and monsters. Equipment grants new abilities rather than improving your stats. Climbing gloves let you scale walls, a cape lets you float, Super Mario World style, and a jetpack gives you limited flight. Ropes and bombs are versatile consumables, good for both exploration and combat. There are shops in the dungeon where you can spend your gold. You can try to rob them, but the shopkeepers are quick on the draw with their shotguns. Ironically, the shotgun is also one of the main incentives to rob and kill the shopkeepers. In addition to being an outstanding weapon with infinite ammo, the shotgun's recoil is also very handy for modifying your jumps. If you rob a shop, there'll be wanted posters with your face posted around the dungeon and shopkeepers will hunt you throughout the ruins for a while. If you ever kill a shopkeeper, they'll stalk you for the rest of the game. There are a lot of other cool features, like altars to Kali where you can perform sacrifices for rewards. Sacrificing a corpse pleases Kali, but she likes live sacrifices twice as much. You yourself can be sacrificed, and in multiplayer you can sacrifice your friends. You get blamed and punished for any damage to her altars. In the original game there was a secondary goal of discovering the lost city of gold. Later entries add more secret areas and alternate endings.

The stages are all randomly generated, this is the game that kicked off the action roguelite trend that's still going strong today. One nice thing is that unlike most roguelites, Spelunky wasn't built around unlocks. It feels something like a randomized arcade game, which was always the direction roguelites should have gone in.

There are three games now. Spelunky Classic, the freeware original, still holds up just fine. It's single player and PC only. There's a commercial remake of Spelunky 1 that adds local multiplayer and a ton of new content. I posted a playthrough of its best ending way back when. It's on a bunch of different platforms. The new Spelunky 2 is the biggest, wildest, and most challenging of the three, but also has the most annoyances and missteps. It's on PS4 and PC. Currently you can only buy a PC copy with Steam DRM.

I think Spelunky's strongest point is that everything in the game world follows a very consistent set of rules and physics, which enables randomized puzzles and rube goldberg devices to come into being in a really naturalistic way, and also allows you to come up with interesting on-the-fly solutions to those problems. You can weaponize pretty much anything, because every object has mass and will hurt if you accelerate it enough. In that regard, I'd say the Spelunky 1 remake is the best in the series.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:52 am 


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Excellent, thanks for the overview! :smile: It's a name I've been very vaguely aware of - never got around to investigating, but I always saw it mentioned by people I like. Perfect time to finally try these out, the first game's remake is definitely looking good.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:41 am 


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Well I feel like I'm stretching the genre definition to the breaking point with this one, but if you like Spelunky, give Heat Signature a look.

One of the best/most informative trailers since Volgarr the Viking!

It's like a cross between Spelunky and FTL, but especially Hotline Miami in space. Under the correct mission conditions you can totally equip a pair of katanas and go on a Hotline Miami-esque run through the ship killing motherfuckers before sitting down on the bloodied captain's chair and setting a course home on the autopilot. They only advertise steam, but you can get it DRM-free off Humble Store.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:16 am 


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[quote="Mischief Maker"]One of the best/most informative trailers since Volgarr the Viking[quote]

I tried that and enjoyed the first two levels, but I think it's possibly the most memorisation-heavy game I've played in years, seems very little room for improvisation.

Oh and BiL, Vanguard's description of Spelunky is spot-on. I'm not sure how you'll take to it, as you're obviously a fan of precision designed tight action, whereas this is almost the opposite. Mechanically it can absolutely be mastered, but the random element means no matter how well you've learned to read the game, getting ahead of yourself in a giddy moment can land you in an instant game-over.

Personally I think that Spelunky 1 (remake) is one of the most tightly designed games I've ever played - everything exists for a reason, and the way those things interact with each other leads to some actual lol moments - but equally I can understand why some won't find it their bag.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:32 am 


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Mischief Maker wrote:
Well I feel like I'm stretching the genre definition to the breaking point with this one, but if you like Spelunky, give Heat Signature a look.


Haha, don't sweat the action specifics too much - if it's badass and could be reasonably conveyed by a Famicom, it's probably A-OK here, and the discussion is welcome regardless. :wink: Thanks for the recommendation! Gives me a Crack Down (Sega/Arcade) violent subterfuge vibe, at a glance.

Marc wrote:
Oh and BiL, Vanguard's description of Spelunky is spot-on. I'm not sure how you'll take to it, as you're obviously a fan of precision designed tight action, whereas this is almost the opposite. Mechanically it can absolutely be mastered, but the random element means no matter how well you've learned to read the game, getting ahead of yourself in a giddy moment can land you in an instant game-over.


Cheers bud! That sounds just the ticket - if something's distinctive and volatile and vouched for by you guys, I'm 99.9% gonna dig it.

TBH it's partially the picture of larcenous shotgun mayhem (complete with exculpatory mens rea mechanic!) that perked me up. :mrgreen: I got a weakness for black-humoured carnage ala Lynch/Coens. Image Image

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