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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:39 pm 


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Major issues is the way that you access VDP registers on the MD and having to 'do things in blocks' and waiting for when DMA is cheapest.

There were few custom ICs added to MD Cartridges with Virtua Racer being the one with the most advanced IC on-board. However, Street Fighter II had a special memory-mapper that swapped pages into memory space - I know this as I recall the tests we did on UMDK around 2015 or so.

I don't consider the use of extra chips or what not as it making it 'not a MD title'. That it runs on the MD is the main factor for me. But you have to consider what you'd add and a lot of that rests on the the type of game you wish to make: does it require lots of calculation of geometry, etc.?

You then have to consider cost in terms of components and in terms of how much the entire cart's components require power - there's an upper limit.

It's a MD title in my book in any case.

It is true we do have better tools by far these days, but we are lacking people who have low-level development skills too.

One of the best ways to get insight is to reverse a commercial MD ROM and work out how the pros did it.

Quote:
One scenerio is an ARM processor. The ARM would feed instructions (and a ton of no ops to the MD hardware registers). The ARM would "race" the Mega Drive. Because the ARM runs faster than the Mega Drive, the slack time (between sending updates to the Mega Drive and during no-ops) would be available for logic. Additionally, the game's state would "live" on the ARM cart. That allows a large share of the game to be written in C++. That makes development (writing, debugging, and iterating) significantly easier.


This is indeed how NG:Dev's hardware for the NeoGeo does its thing. Having a cheap (in terms of monetary cost and power-consumption) ARM uC is most certainly feasible but again it boils down to what your intentions are. An ARM could easily decompress a lot faster than the 68K. If you needed to do any multiplication or division again the 68K is expensive to do so using the MUL and DIV opcodes which is why most people use logical shifts left and right for multiplication and division for the 68K.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 5:04 am 


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So much to cover, because it's a complicated topic. Taking the Z80 out of the loop also eliminates sharing memory (no need to idle the m8k to share the bus). So, even that is a potentially big difference, because it is possible to let the m8k go about its business uninterrupted.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:05 am 


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orange808 wrote:
So much to cover, because it's a complicated topic. Taking the Z80 out of the loop also eliminates sharing memory (no need to idle the m8k to share the bus). So, even that is a potentially big difference, because it is possible to let the m8k go about its business uninterrupted.

I dare say they are still using the Z80 to read the joypads and control the YM2612.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:05 am 


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The hardware discussion is an interesting topic, but I wonder if it'd be better served by a thread split? That way it wouldn't need to be limited just to Paprium and Mega Drive. Not too long ago I saw a video of Doom running on NES, and it's a Raspberry Pi inside the cart.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:08 pm 


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MintyTheCat wrote:
orange808 wrote:
So much to cover, because it's a complicated topic. Taking the Z80 out of the loop also eliminates sharing memory (no need to idle the m8k to share the bus). So, even that is a potentially big difference, because it is possible to let the m8k go about its business uninterrupted.

I dare say they are still using the Z80 to read the joypads and control the YM2612.


If I understand the docs correctly, I can feed audio directly from the cart. Using the YM2612 is always an option, but the cart should be able to handle all the duties.

I didn't realize the Z80 handled polling the controllers. I see you do have to idle the bus in vblank to grab the state of the controllers. Although, it's still simplified if you offload all the audio duties to the cart.

Makes sense, I guess. Master System backwards compatibility was on their minds when they were designing the hardware.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:34 pm 


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orange808 wrote:
MintyTheCat wrote:
orange808 wrote:
So much to cover, because it's a complicated topic. Taking the Z80 out of the loop also eliminates sharing memory (no need to idle the m8k to share the bus). So, even that is a potentially big difference, because it is possible to let the m8k go about its business uninterrupted.

I dare say they are still using the Z80 to read the joypads and control the YM2612.


If I understand the docs correctly, I can feed audio directly from the cart. Using the YM2612 is always an option, but the cart should be able to handle all the duties.

I didn't realize the Z80 handled polling the controllers. I see you do have to idle the bus in vblank to grab the state of the controllers. Although, it's still simplified if you offload all the audio duties to the cart.

Makes sense, I guess. Master System backwards compatibility was on their minds when they were designing the hardware.

MD's cartridge connector has an analogue input for audio which will be mixed into the MD's audio amplifier:

Code:
B1    Input    Left Audio    Audio sourced from cartridge, left channel, mixed into output.
B3    Input    Right Audio    Audio sourced from cartridge, right channel, mixed into output.
https://melaircraft.net/2019/01/17/sega-megadrive-genesis-cartridge-pinout/

YEs, the cart could handle all duties but you would not have genuine YM2612 sound then and would be a bi of a cop out. It's easy enough to implement an FM Synth using a CPLD or FPGA though and you would hardly knwo the difference; they will be mixed using the same audio amp after all.

I did some work around 15 years back and measured the performance of the amp for a few different MD versions but I don't have the data or graphs here. IT is a fairly standard configuration that was on the datasheet though and nothing unusual.

Yes: there are kind of four uses for the Z80 on the MD: 1. polling controller ports/I/O port which can be as an RS232 port or as a parallel port depending on how you configure it. Early MD1 models also have the extra control port at the back of the console which was to be used for the modem. I think one or two games used it for that; I recall messing around with some japanese ROM that used the extra I/O port for data transfer back in 2015 or so and it really does work. I began programming the MD by using the third port as an RS232 port and then wrote a command monitor to send data back and forth between the PC and the MD - long, long before I got my hands on UMDK which allows me to do the same at much faster speeds over USB :)

2: control and feed the YM2612 : register writes and such.
3: when the MD is set to 'Mode V' was it? Then it is in MD mode, pulled low it has the Z80 as the main mpu and allows you to run Master-System games and such.

Code:
B30    Input    /M3    Pulled high in console, cartridge shorts to ground to indicate console should run in Mark 3 (Master System) mode.


4: manage the PSG - the other sound device that makes the 'bleeep' and 'bloop' like sounds that we all love.
Matt has an article on it here: https://blog.bigevilcorporation.co.uk/2 ... -psg-chip/

Yes: VBlank is when the MD does most of its heavy writes through DMA, you can do it during active but it is a lot slower - also, the MD'S VDP has exactly the same limitation which is why the VDP is kind of the bottle-neck when programming the MD pretty much, that and the slowish 68K - e.g. it was not uncommon to decompress gfx data as the game was playing to be ready in time. Using a more powerful mcu as they have in Paprium (and discussed years back as an idea to give the native MD hardware more power) would allow much faster actions. Also, consider that once the YM2612 has the majority of its registers set for the FM Voice (synth patch to the rest of the world) it only needs to modify every so often parameters so it is not a heavy bandwidth device once programmed for the song to place. Also, consider that polling often enough the state of control pads is not a heavy activity as users are slow :)

The MD has a laughably slow baudrate on the RS232 port too :)

It is possible to feed the PSG, YM2612, poll the user input on the joypads and feed audio signals into the cart's analogue audio pin without any issues and this was the intention when the MD was designed long ago as it gives developers options.

I hope that gives you some further insight into the MD's internals :)
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:32 pm 


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Game Sack made a review. It's pretty thorough. Covers all the major issues except one of the most glaring - Some of the enemy designs and sprite animations are just flat out copied from other games.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydMLculJDIc


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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:17 pm 


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I agree with the reviewer: we did not need all this fluff. And him complaining about having to do the extra work on his time: he hosted that project, took the public's money and that was the deal. He only needed to add standard packaging and no one needs a pair of panties :D The Fonzie's not living in this world, and he'll got a lot of flack for that 'release party' back in 2018, Paris.

The Brawler is ok, but there are better on the SNES and there's no way it needed to have caused this much grief and drama and all this misuse of funds. No way in hell I'll be backing anything with Fonzie involved any time soon.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:06 am 


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https://twitter.com/takaflo/status/1362028279146815490

This poor guy had the epoxy that was dumped all over every chip melt on him. WTF.


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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:11 pm 


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This comedian has let the world know that he has funding issues once again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLQOh6b2VHE

Fonzie's a real piece of work.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:21 pm 


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What a pompous douchebag that guy is.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:04 am 


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Udderdude wrote:
https://twitter.com/takaflo/status/1362028279146815490

This poor guy had the epoxy that was dumped all over every chip melt on him. WTF.


Hm. :o Not quite the gold standard of a cartridge exploding and showering the living room with burning Yagawa shrapnel (or a watermelon fleshlight exploding under pressure causing permanent hearing loss), but I'll take it. :cool:
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:00 am 


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He's now got some kind of petition set up with what appear to be fake pleas for WM's status. He claims to be trying to convince Paypal to release funds. For a start, he could have done this years ago and did not.

He's nothing more than a total scam artist with his antics and bullshit.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:35 am 


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But don't forget about the #LOCUSTERY (whatever the fuck that means)
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:43 am 


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I kinda like it, "behaving in the manner of locusts" it seems? Omnomnomnomnom! :lol:

WARNING: Extreme #LOCUSTERY
Spoiler: show
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Good anagram potential too :o Such relevant hits as "CRUEL TOYS," "COSTLY RUE" and "COYER SLUT" Image
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:17 pm 


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MintyTheCat wrote:
The Brawler is ok, but there are better on the SNES


How to destroy a game in a single sentence.

(Also, the best out there on the snes can't touch the middle-range ones on the megadrive, so... I feel the developer's pain)
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 5:41 pm 


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It's kinda unreal to me that the game actually came out. I genuinely expected it to fade away into absolute vaporware.
God, I'd have been pissed if I'd put money towards it and had to deal with years of faffing around.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 5:50 pm 


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Lmao, great picture choice BIL.

I honestly can't imagine supporting that douchebag, which is a big reason why I never bothered with Pier Solar so far. Maybe I would try it if people said it was amazing but that seems to be far from the case. This guy makes mediocre games but has his head so far up his own ass he thinks they are perfect.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:16 am 


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Steamflogger Boss wrote:

I honestly can't imagine supporting that douchebag, which is a big reason why I never bothered with Pier Solar so far. Maybe I would try it if people said it was amazing but that seems to be far from the case. This guy makes mediocre games but has his head so far up his own ass he thinks they are perfect.

I don't mind supporting decent developers, and we've had examples of people even on the Megadrive handling it correctly in recent years.

Fonzie is oblivious to how he's behaved and handled things; Tulio had the right idea to get out and distnace himself from this guy and his practices.

In this world reputation is everything and it surprises me that Fonzie hasn't been assassinated to be honest.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:33 am 



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Turrican wrote:
the best out there on the snes can't touch the middle-range ones on the megadrive

Them's fighting words, I like NWA better than any MD beat 'em up. SoR2/3 are high-quality but the balancing isn't as good imo.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:46 am 


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Vludi wrote:
Turrican wrote:
the best out there on the snes can't touch the middle-range ones on the megadrive

Them's fighting words, I like NWA better than any MD beat 'em up. SoR2/3 are high-quality but the balancing isn't as good imo.


That's the only example snes can bring to the table without embarassment though; and since NWA ditches depth of field turning back the wheels of time to the world before Renegade, It could be argued if It's even the same genre. I mean, NWA Is lovely, compared to its neighbors...Vigilante and Splatterhouse, I guess...
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:11 pm 


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I was holding my tongue re: TNWA. :mrgreen: On one hand, Natsume's switch from the belt to straight 2D is a sea change, allowing them to create incredible pressure off of simple pincer setups. Four enemies onscreen is a lot in TNWA, with its infernally random AI, and the flat plane letting any invade your space in a heartbeat. The game undeniably owes a lot to its predecessor, and that game's wider genre.

On the other hand: neither SH nor Vigilante have TNWA's grapples, or crowd-flattening throws, or combos, or super moves, or desperation attacks, all of which give Natsume's game an undeniable brawling ethos. If you're not grappling aggressively in TNWA, shrugging off the occasional smack in the service of big, crowd-flattening slams and boss-smashing focus attacks, preferably landed off of nice crisp combos, you're going to struggle and die. (Kamaitachi is the baby mode character, please ignore :wink:)

Try to brawl this way in SH or Vigilante or Spartan, you'll die very quickly, because those games prioritise precision striking - rather like Green Beret before them. Even "sidescrolling combat" of this sort that incorporates brawler concepts (The Ninja Warriors' guard, Spartan X2's awesome counter-throw, Mutant Apocalypse's command moves and meaty combos) typically hew to this stricter ethos.

TNWA is ultimately a true chimera. It's a bona-fide "single plane brawler." Being 2D, you are inherently easier to hit - you certainly can't be sloppy on zoning. Being a brawler, you are inherently better at (or at least, you had better be better at) dominating enemies with grapples and combos straight outta CPS1, with the minor hits that'll steadily add up and kill you in Spartan being easily parlayed into big payoffs by skilled players.

TLDR: if you like brawlers, play TNWA. If you like sidescrolling combat ala Spartan, play TNWA. Also play Once Again (PS4/NSW), in some ways it's even better, though overall, TNWA more than holds its own (4:3 survivalist pressure cooker VS 16:9 freeform combo masterclass)

I wish Splatterhouse Part 3 had gone with TNWA's approach - incorporate brawler mechanics onto a sidescroller chassis. I love SH3P3, but I think it would have gone from very good to utterly superb, had it benefited from that extra zoning pressure.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:22 pm 



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Turrican wrote:
That's the only example snes can bring to the table without embarassment though

There are other solid efforts, MD's beat 'em up library isn't even that good.
Turrican wrote:
and since NWA ditches depth of field turning back the wheels of time to the world before Renegade, It could be argued if It's even the same genre. I mean, NWA Is lovely, compared to its neighbors...Vigilante and Splatterhouse, I guess...

NWA has more in common with Final Fight than anything that came out before FF.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:30 pm 


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Absolutely. Saying TNWA is only remarkable when you put it alongside games like Vigilante is doing not only TNWA, but the whole genre a disservice.
I'm probably not too qualified to say anything authoritative, since I have a hard time getting into any beat'em up game, but TNWA is probably the best thing in the genre I've been able to play through till the end, it's a fantastic game.

What memorable brawlers does MegaDrive bring to the table outside of the Streets of Rage series? I don't want to play "console war", but like Vludi said, nothing ever made me think that the MegaDrive is any more of a beat'em up beast than the SNES.


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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:30 pm 


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TNWA summarised in a couple of GIFs:

Kunoichi vs Giganto, Hard:
Spoiler: show
Image


Ninja vs Giganto, Hard:
Spoiler: show
Image


"Best of both worlds" is a cliche, but sometimes cliches apply.

Vludi wrote:
NWA has more in common with Final Fight than anything that came out before FF.


For me, it's especially worth noting that TNWA's grapples don't work like Renegade's, where you have to actually beat enemies into stun before grabbing them. Instead, they're the FF-style "walk in to grab." It's a massive distinction between Technos and Capcom brawling, particularly during bosses, that instantly puts TNWA in the latter camp, rather than on the opposite side of 1986 from Kunio.

Sumez wrote:
What memorable brawlers does MegaDrive bring to the table outside of the Streets of Rage series? I don't want to play "console war", but like Vludi said, nothing ever made me think that the MegaDrive is any more of a beat'em up beast than the SNES.


Splatterhouse Part 3 (Japan - ignore the US ver, it's badly broken by what amounts to Final Fight with free bombs) is a decent FFesque, with OUTSTANDING horror style. Has a fun nonlinear time attack angle, you're basically free to plot a route through each floor, with wifey/JR getting eaten if you tarry too long. Also a cool POW meter, basically, grab blue balls for POW meter. Choose whether to use its BEAST MODE in several short blasts, or longer rampages. Here's an okayish max difficulty Best End no-miss, pretty shitty playing in places (so many Floor 3 Antman knockdowns, those fuckers >_<), but I was young and dumb. :sad: Now old and dumb. :cool:

Worth playing, though I would not call it first-rate like the BKs.

Nice meaty hits :cool:
Spoiler: show
Image


Blockstun + PUNCH EM IN THE NUTSACK :evil:
Spoiler: show
Image


This is a silly broken move in US, in JP it's an expert tool
Spoiler: show
Image


ALSO precision powerup stealing tool Image
Spoiler: show
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:42 pm 


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Hit box on the uppercut is insane.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:44 pm 


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Hell yeah. Image Total invincibility, too.

By breaking the combo with a quick Roundhouse as shown (dead easy - just hold [attack] and tap [jump], it'll lash right out), the game will "store" the next hit in the string. Great when there's a deadly enemy you want to blow away. Actually, it's very much like TNWA's combos - land a couple jabs to prime the knockdown, then turn your focus onto something that really deserves it. :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:50 pm 



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BIL wrote:
For me, it's especially worth noting that TNWA's grapples don't work like Renegade's, where you have to actually beat enemies into stun before grabbing them. Instead, they're the FF-style "walk in to grab." It's a massive distinction between Technos and Capcom brawling that instantly puts TNWA in the latter camp, rather than on the opposite side of 1986 from Kunio.

Not only that but also other essential mechanics such as easily punching/stun-locking many enemies at once due to how effective the combos are, keeping enemies on one side of the screen as the main strat, enemy design/behavior staples, using grabs as the main crowd control mechanic for i-frames, spacing and enemy positioning (Kamaitachi even works like the FF grab cancel), the quick desperate move to get rid of enemies etc. It's just a whole new gameplay style that didn't quite exist before Final Fight, be it in side-scroller or belt-scroller form.
Of course NWA has its own mechanics too, but the main combat is obviously FF-inspired rather than technos/irem/sega/namco or the likes.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:21 pm 


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A lot of valid points, but I haven't said that the game isn't great in its own niche. It Is. It certainly Is what a green beret or vigilante would be after the FF experience. Lesson learnt: great!

... however, let's face reality. It achieves this greatness by removing depth of field. Now, how many titles followed this path? Could the tradeoff work again, or It was an one trick pony? It honestly feels the latter.

You may think that depth of field only serves to be cheap with zoning, but I'm not entirely convinced that you all would be so eager to quit all the post-gaplus shmups in favor of the good old "Stick to terrain tank" of Space Invaders glory.

If the Vigilante comparison doesn't convince you, think of Tempest. Great concept, with something like three games building upon It in a span of three decades. Street of Rages 2 in this example would be something like Kyukyoku Tiger or Raiden DX.


About the anodyne answer "just Splatterhouse 3" to the question: what good brawlers did MD put on the table. The answer is correct but only from a contemporary point of view, when the older, simpler games are inevitably considered surpassed. But from an historical Pow, things are reversed: from Juuoki and on, the megadrive's foundation Is on the genre (fonzie's intuition at least is right here), and the interesting examples, from the exclusive Golden axes to stuff like Maou Renjishi, abound.

And that's the issue at stake here: the SFC performance in this genre feels completely episodic relying on one single oddball. It got its share of conversions, and thank god It got turtles in time, but didn't really built its image nor its core business on stuff like this, and It shows. Even NWA more than a "super famicom classic" just feels like a great game that happened to be coinceived and released when the SFC was around.

I fail to see how here of all places in the web, the perfect simmetry of what place shmups and beatem ups take in the respective libraries of these two 16bit competitors isn't felt. It's quite glaring, really.
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 Post subject: Re: Paprium - New beat em' up for MegaDrive/Genesis
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:31 am 



Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 428
Location: Chile
Turrican wrote:
I fail to see how here of all places in the web, the perfect simmetry of what place shmups and beatem ups take in the respective libraries of these two 16bit competitors isn't felt. It's quite glaring, really.

Because people here actually play the games and judge them on experience rather than doing things like cross-genre analogies. Again belt-scrolling by itself doesn't make a better or more complex game.
NWA isn't good only because it's a single-plane beat 'em up with modernized combat (though that's already a valid reason), it's good because it nails mechanics, challenge and balance better than pretty much any other 16-bits beat 'em up, especially something like SoR2 which is all over the place with the difficulty settings and extends. If you feel like the single-plane is some sort of console "compromise", remember that not even the Sega CD could handle Final Fight with more than 4 enemies on screen (and with some ugly bugs at that). The Sailor Moon SFC games even allow co-op compared to the the MD one.
Also there are a bunch of SNES beat 'em ups that are at the very least on par with Golden Axe and Mythical Fighter.
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Last edited by Vludi on Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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