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nullPointer
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Re: Aug Together Retro: Animal Main Characters

by nullPointer Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:21 pm

After missing out on two months of TR along with a couple of great themes (I even bought a 'fancy' pair of anaglyph 3D glasses for emulating
VirtualBoy!), I'm back on the Together Retro scene. Even under the best of circumstances, the busy summer months tend to pose some logistical issues in finding time for gaming, and this summer has been particularly brutal for a number of different reasons. But I was missing the Together Retro gang!

At any rate I started playing BattleToads on NES last night (for the umpteenth time though I'd not picked it up in quite a number of years). It's kind of an ideal pick for me due to a number of reasons; 1) it's a (reasonably) good fit for our animal theme, 2) it's probably the only game that I will have managed to knock off of my Summer Games Challenge list, and 3) It has enough beat em' up elements that I can tell myself that I didn't completely miss out on a Together Retro with beat em' ups. :)

But ... man ... I had forgotten about my love-hate relationship with this game (I'm pretty sure love-hate is the only possibly relationship one can have with BattleToads). The presentation is on point. It has tons of interesting ideas. But then it's as if the game takes those interesting ideas and dials them up to 11 as if to say, "Oh yes, I can see that you're having a good time in this level. Let's see how well you like it when everything goes 5 times at fast! Fuck your good time, you pathetic noob!!!" It's without a doubt one of the most bipolar games I've ever played. And the difficulty curve is all over the chart from one level to the next without much thought or regard for consistent level progression (though the turbo tunnels are probably the most notorious examples of this).

At any rate I really want to beat this stupid game. I need a win right now. And after having beaten the game it's likely that I shall shelve it for the rest of my natural life. I suppose it's worth noting that I'm using save states on this one, partly so I can walk away from it when I need a break and partly because, screw it I don't even care. (I'm basically setting a save state checkpoint at the beginning of each level, and at each checkpoint in the turbo tunnels)
Last edited by nullPointer on Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CFFJR
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Re: Aug Together Retro: Animal Main Characters

by CFFJR Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:47 am

Gunstar Green wrote:Apparently the Wii version of Sonic Unleashed is significantly worse than the others I've heard? I don't really know, I've never played any version and have no drive to.


You're correct about this. The Wii & PS2 versions are certainly worse (though I've talked to people who disagree). They are also actually a different game (developed by different a team) compared to the Xbox 360/PS3 versions, with a different engine, structure, and level design. Most notably, the Wii/PS2 versions have fewer daytime levels, so a lot more time is spent as the Werehog that so many people hate.

I like the 360 version quite a lot.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Aug Together Retro: Animal Main Characters

by Exhuminator Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:45 pm

CFFJR wrote:the Wii/PS2 versions have fewer daytime levels, so a lot more time is spent as the Werehog that so many people hate

I can vouch for that. The Wii version was like 70% werehog levels at least. To be clear; what made me rage about the Wii version is not that I was spending so much time in the boring werehog levels.

It was because of the Wii version's technical deficiencies. There were often times that button presses refused to register, typically causing Sonic to plummet to his doom. For example, trying to use the werehog's "grab" ability, and despite pressing R at the exact right time, he would refuse to grab a ledge randomly, thus plummeting. Or if you were just trying to walk towards the edge of a cliff, suddenly Sonic would start running unexpectedly and plummet right off of it. That was because of the idiotic way the game controlled Sonic's movement (if you nudge twice on the analog stick, Sonic would start running, but the "nudge" was utterly imperceptible in its detection bias). Or sometimes at the very end of a level, random QTEs would show up in the middle of a jump, and would expect you to press A or B or X or Y suddenly without warning. Despite pressing the corresponding key, half the time it wouldn't register, and Sonic would once again plummet to his doom. Stuff like all of that eventually pushed my patience over the edge along with Sonic. The only thing this shit fest managed to unleash was my wrath upon it.
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Ack
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Re: Aug Together Retro: Animal Main Characters

by Ack Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:12 pm

nullPointer wrote:After missing out on two months of TR along with a couple of great themes (I bought a 'fancy' pair of anaglyph 3D glasses for emulating
VirtualBoy!), I'm back on the Together Retro scene. Even under the best of circumstances, the busy summer months tend to pose some logistical issues in finding time for gaming, and this summer has been particularly brutal for a number of different reasons. But I was missing the Together Retro gang!


Hey null, glad you're back on board.
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Gunstar Green
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Re: Aug Together Retro: Animal Main Characters

by Gunstar Green Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:26 pm

CFFJR wrote:
Gunstar Green wrote:Apparently the Wii version of Sonic Unleashed is significantly worse than the others I've heard? I don't really know, I've never played any version and have no drive to.


You're correct about this. The Wii & PS2 versions are certainly worse (though I've talked to people who disagree). They are also actually a different game (developed by different a team) compared to the Xbox 360/PS3 versions, with a different engine, structure, and level design. Most notably, the Wii/PS2 versions have fewer daytime levels, so a lot more time is spent as the Werehog that so many people hate.

I like the 360 version quite a lot.


Ah I see, kind of like the Ghostbusters game though both versions of that one have their merits.
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nullPointer
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Re: Aug Together Retro: Animal Main Characters

by nullPointer Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:49 am

Ugh. Talk about sullying whatever good memories I might have had about BattleToads. I'm currently trucking my way through the level called Clinger Winger. The basic set up is that you're riding a unicycle type contraption through the level while being pursued by a deadly ball of energy(?). The mechanic here is that your 'unicycle' can cling to walls and ceilings all while the ball is running you down. The catch is that the ball is considerably faster than you on the straights, but you're ever so slightly faster on the corners (i.e. the corner between a floor and a wall or a wall and the ceiling).

But here's where we get to the aspect of BattleToads that makes me bonkers. In this level and others which implement some sort of 'race mechanic', you can lose the race (and thus a life) well before you actually lose it. If you're a split second slow in taking a corner you'll loose just a hair of your lead. But that hair of a margin will be just enough to that the ball catches you on the straight-away ... 5 turns later (did I mention that the level likes to throw some long straight ways into the mix so that you loose whatever lead you might have built up?). It's ridiculous and it drives me batty. If there's no possibility of winning the race I wish the game would just end the race right then and there instead of some drawing out some protracted and inevitable loss; at least I'd know immediately where I'd made an error. I'm about ready to say screw this game altogether, but I've already endured a good handful of similar trolling in other levels, so I'd really like to see it through. The good ol' sunken cost fallacy in action. :|

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Re: Aug Together Retro: Animal Main Characters

by nullPointer Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:08 am

:shock:
Apparently all it took was a making frustration post here to get into the right mindset! Soon after previous post I was able to find my rhythm on Clinger Winger, and put it in the bag. On to the last level baby! And the last level was nowhere near as difficult/rage-inducing as the few levels that preceded it. In fact it was pretty cool! It takes place on a tall vertical spinning tower, with the catch being that for the most part running on the tower is what causes it to spin. I'll say this for BattleToads, it's quite impressive the types of tricks they were able to pull out of the NES! At the top of the top of the tower I fought the Dark Queen ... and it turns out she was a bit of a push over! :shock:

After literally decades of playing BattleToads on and off, I've finally beaten it! :shock:

I meant to mention it, but this may also very well be the only game I beat from my Summer Challenge list! And now ... I'm going to delve into a nice relaxing game for a bit to cool these frazzled nerves! :mrgreen:
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Re: Aug Together Retro: Animal Main Characters

by Exhuminator Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:20 pm

nullPointer wrote:After literally decades of playing BattleToads on and off, I've finally beaten it!

Congratulations! That's no measly feat.

No matter how bad anyone on this forum is at Battletoads, they're probably better than me. I've never even made it past the first Turbo Tunnel. I really love Battletoad's goofy sense of humor and graphical design, but geez Rare went overboard with the Turbo Tunnel.
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Re: Aug Together Retro: Animal Main Characters

by alienjesus Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:32 am

I played more Conker the other day, and the game took a decidedly big gameplay shift in the latest sections. First I had to use a mounted turret to fend of some wasps, and then I entered a horror themed level and my frying pan was swapped for a shotgun.

As is the way with Conker it seems, my introduction to my new weapon wasn't great. The opening graveyard area of the stage has you being bumrushed by zombies, who can only be killed by shooting them in the head (and aiming uses a non-intuitive control it doesn't tell you how to do). The zombies are too fast for your slow to fire and reload shotgun and I lost a ton of lives until I figured out I could stand on one of the very thin gravestones and stay safe whilst I shot them.

The section afterwards had me flying around as a bat trying to drop villagers into a meat grinder for a vampie, which was fun enough, if a little repetitive. The final part of the horror stage had me stalking around the mansion resident evil style looking for keys and taking out zombies one by one, and was probably the best bit of the game so far.

After that I started a saving private ryan themed level, where after a fairly conventional platforming opening I ended up getting two uzis and storming an enemy encampment with 2 uzis and later a tank. Gunplay seems to be the order of the day for the last third of conker, which is a weird shift and kinda feels like maybe you can tell some of the game was pulled from the original twelve tales and reused whilst some was made after the tone shift was decided.
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Re: Aug Together Retro: Animal Main Characters

by noiseredux Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:17 am

Over the weekend I got really annoyed with Crash Bandicoot. The game just demands such precise platforming, yet I don't feel like the jumping or movement are that tight. And I got to a level that just felt like it required rote memorization of where all the one-hit-kills were. It just wasn't fun. Having recently read through Hardcore Gaming 101's book of their top 200 games of all time, I feel like I should have just started with their suggestion of Crash Bandicoot 3 instead of even bothering with the first.

The third Crash game seems like a pretty huge improvement. I mean, it very much shares the DNA of the first game but this one just feels better put together in a lot of ways. To be fair, I played about an hour and a half so far - thank goodness for the Switch handheld mode which allowed me to listen to the new Ammityville movie with my wife at the same time as well, haha. So far, the game seems challenging - sure - but far less asshole-ish. Also the variety of levels has already topped that of what I saw in the first game. Along with the usual vertical stages (both in and out of the screen) and the almost 2D platforming stages, there are also combinations of both along with "endless runner" levels where you ride a galloping animal or even 2D swimming stages a la Donkey Kong Country. So far I've beaten the first boss, and while I still don't necessarily find Crash to be cool at least this third game seems to highlight the appeal of the series a lot more than that first game did for me.
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