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Ack
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Re: Together Retro: Eighties' Ladies' Night

by Ack Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:50 am

Well, I booted up Flicky and played through about ten levels. The jumping feels floaty, which has pros and cons, the pros being that I can easily hop over an enemy when I have room, the con being I feel off when I jump. I liked it well enough, but then I made a mistake:

I tried out Gain Ground.

Playing Gain Ground with only female characters is ridiculously hard, because the handful of women are extremely limited in what they can do. The four that I encountered come in two varieties: grenade users and boomerang users. While the grenade users can lob onto structures, they use weak sidearms and move too slowly to really be useful. The boomerang ladies can throw boomerangs around corners, which can be a nice way to snag entrenched foes, but it takes some practice to get good with them. And certain levels just make all four feel like trash characters compared to what some of the male characters are capable of doing. Stand on one side of the map and fire a missile all the way across that can ping bosses while keeping me out of range? Yes, please.

I admit, I strayed from the female-only challenge with this, but I really don't see any reason why they couldn't have made at least a few more of the characters women. Or non-white dudes. Seriously, the only guys who aren't white are a Japanese samurai and a black guy who throws spears. That...that's some bad stereotyping. Oh, and then there are a couple of fantasy races, namely a dwarf with a bow and some kind of elf-looking dude with water magic.

Those problems aside, I ended up having a blast with Gain Ground. So much so, I beat it. I'm gonna write up my thoughts soon.
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Re: Together Retro: Eighties' Ladies' Night

by Sarge Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:02 am

Gain Ground is super cool. I think I beat it last year? I knew better than to attempt a female-only challenge because of that. You need as much of a team as you can get; losing most of your contingent isn't very fun!

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Also, I do believe I beat my first MSX game ever tonight as part of this TR. Psycho World (also known as Psychic World here in the West) is a very strange platformer. The controls are a little janky, but not so much so that it harms the game. You might think your weapons suck, but they get better. You also get access to a lot of them. In fact, there are some mild puzzle-solving elements with the platforming with each weapon. Some might be able to destroy a wall, others melt ice or freeze platforms. It's never anything tough, but it does keep it a bit more interesting than a straight slog. Bosses can also have a mild puzzle-solving element, but honestly, most of them you can just mash and win ridiculously quickly. In fact, you also get something of a shield powerup that makes you invincible for a limited time. That coupled with a powerful weapon equals bad times for bosses. They're all pretty much pushovers.

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There are eight stages total. They run the gamut from jungles to space stations. There are even a few neat cutscenes at various parts of the game. Overall, it's a pretty neat game. Not amazing, but pretty decent. I played this version because the level layouts are apparently much more sprawling and interesting than the ports to Master System and Game Gear, although I might checkout out the SMS version just to see how much changed.

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Exhuminator
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Re: Together Retro: Eighties' Ladies' Night

by Exhuminator Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:48 am

Nice job Ack and Sarge!

I too have beaten another 80's Ladies' Night kinda game...

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It's Layla for the Famicom.
It's better than that Dirty Pair schlock I suffered through.
But... Layla's not exactly great either. SAD to SAY
It does have ice cream and death tornadoes though.
In space.

Full review here.

Next up is a HAL game. :o It's kicking my ass. :cry:
I must go sit upon the retro mountain and retrotate until the retro path becomes clear to me.
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nullPointer
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Re: Together Retro: Eighties' Ladies' Night

by nullPointer Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:17 am

I too have successfully made time with the ladies this month! :mrgreen: Tonight I beat:

The Great Giana Sisters [Amiga]
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Wow, just get a load of of that cover art. It's almost as if the box art for Mega Man had a sister ... and she didn't care too much for wearing bras. This game is a bit notorious as being a straight rip-off of Super Mario Bros., but that's plainly ridiculous. You see these sisters aren't super; they're great. They're not brothers with vaguely Italian sounding names, they're sisters ... with vaguely Italian sounding names. No but in all actuality, this game really does steal most of it's mechanics from Super Mario Bros. So much so in fact that Nintendo pressured the publisher into pulling it from European store shelves in 1987. This of course has added to the game's mystique as a sought after collectible in subsequent years.

Although The Great Giana Sisters copies a lot of SMB mechanics in terms of power-ups, smashable bricks, and hop & bop elements; in terms of game feel it seems weirdly reminiscent of early Alex Kidd. Drifty jumps and rather sluggish movement rule the day here. I do need to make mention of the music which is fantastic. There are only two songs, but they're both great. Full disclaimer: I'm a bit of a sucker for the weird jingly-jangly space-disco synthesizer found in a lot of Amiga games. Your mileage may vary I suppose. :lol:

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I'll have a full Games Beaten review forthcoming, but so as not to keep y'all in suspense, this game is ... okay. It's good, plain, unremarkable fun. Other than one particular late game spike in difficulty, this is entry level platformer material. Literally if you've beaten almost any other side-scroller from this era, The Great Giana Sisters should give you no trouble.
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Xeogred
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Re: Together Retro: Eighties' Ladies' Night

by Xeogred Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:14 am

Did you emulate that?
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Together Retro: Eighties' Ladies' Night

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:02 am

Ack wrote:Those problems aside, I ended up having a blast with Gain Ground. So much so, I beat it. I'm gonna write up my thoughts soon.


I used to play Gain Ground SO much but I could never beat it. That final boss is just SUCH a bastard QwQ
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Ack
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Re: Together Retro: Eighties' Ladies' Night

by Ack Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:04 am

PartridgeSenpai wrote:
Ack wrote:Those problems aside, I ended up having a blast with Gain Ground. So much so, I beat it. I'm gonna write up my thoughts soon.


I used to play Gain Ground SO much but I could never beat it. That final boss is just SUCH a bastard QwQ

Yeah, he is a pain in the ass with those homing missiles. My strategy is to let him fire missiles before spawning, then dig out the leftmost side as quickly as possible using the spear guy or someone relatively fast. Once the hole was made, I then had access to his side, though I still lost characters in the process.

I then used the dwarf because I believe he is the fastest character, and I waited again until the boss fired a missile to spawn again. I then rushed up the left side and unloaded on his side. The homing missile takes a moment to bank to the side, and with the dwarf's speed, you can run in a circle and throw the missile off track while still avoiding other projectiles. I just unloaded arrows on him while doing this, and pretty soon he died.

The ending isn't anything to write home about, but it was a satisfying win.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Together Retro: Eighties' Ladies' Night

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:05 am

Exhuminator wrote:Next up is a HAL game. :o It's kicking my ass. :cry:
I must go sit upon the retro mountain and retrotate until the retro path becomes clear to me.


So, Gall Force? I plan on getting that one eventually... I will be giving Layla a run before the end of the month, if all goes well. Sounds too tough for me to complete though.
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nullPointer
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Re: Together Retro: Eighties' Ladies' Night

by nullPointer Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:29 am

Xeogred wrote:Did you emulate that?

Yessir I surely did. Current eBay prices put the Amiga release for The Great Giana Sisters anywhere between $850 and $2000 USD ... for 2.25 floppy disks. It's a decent game, but that's fully outrageous. Also I don't currently own an Amiga ... so there is that. :oops: :mrgreen:
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Together Retro: Eighties' Ladies' Night

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:37 pm

Yeah there's no affordable way to play the original without resorting to emulation. I played it via WinVICE several years ago.

I recommend the DS reboot. It's pretty fun.
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