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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:50 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Vanguard = GOAT Atari stage-based shmup


Have you played the arcade original? It’s a wacky game.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:33 pm

Yeah it rules.

I really like what they did with the game on the 2600. It doesn't feel like a lazy downgraded port, but a true "Atari version" made from the ground up taking full advantage of the hardware. Probably the most ambitious shooter on the console.
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Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by Nemoide Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:28 pm

Well, I played enough Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night to get a handle on its mechanics and clear it on normal difficulty.

The game is kind of interesting because instead of one player-character, you play as a human/yokai team, automatically switching to the other character while doing a focused-attack. The gimmick is that the amount of time you spend on the extreme ends of playing as either human or yokai impacts how you can get time-items. Normally the game starts at 11:00pm and advances 1 hour per stage and 30 minutes per continue. But when you collect enough time-items, the game only advances 30 minutes to the next stage, effectively allowing the use of another credit. But even though I kind of figured out how to get those time items, I only was able to get enough to slow time for the first stage.
Honestly, the whole thing is more convoluted than it really has to be. I don't mind a convoluted scoring system, but for something as integral to the game as continuing, it kind of rubs me the wrong way. Thankfully the game is not super-hard on the normal difficulty.

There's apparently more to the game: if you beat it as every character you can play as individuals rather than teams, better endings for 1CCing, different boss patterns on different difficulties, etc... but I don't really care enough. The graphics of the game are a step up from the previous ones, but the art style is still unappealing and amateurish to my eye. The bosses can have interesting bullet-patterns, but the stages themselves generally feel bland. Maybe I'll play more Touhou some day since the series is SO expansive, but it doesn't really click with me beyond thinking "yeah, they're okay."

Still, I'm glad that this month's Together Retro got me to play some of those Touhou games more seriously than before! I feel like I can kind of get a handle on what it is about these games the fans go nuts for.
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Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by Sarge Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:11 am

I slipped in a shooter before midnight: Vanguard for Atari 2600. I like the ambition here, and this would have been really amazing back in the day, but I'm not sure it holds up quite as well today. I'm not much of a score attack guy, so once I got through the full loop, I was pretty much done. That requires beating an easy boss twice. The game also lets you continue on the first half-loop, so that's pretty neat, too. I used that to my advantage on my third attempt through the game.

While it might not count, either, due to not having forced scrolling, Trax on Game Boy sees you man a tank that can shoot in eight directions, although you have to rotate the turret and it only rotates one way from what I can tell. Still, Hal Laboratory did a good job with this one, although it also lacks much challenge; you can blaze through in probably fifteen minutes.
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Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by pierrot Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:22 am

nullPointer wrote:DonPachi

Good on you for giving DonPachi a shot, null. It's a pretty tough game. I don't think most people (even those who play a lot of DoDonPachi) have ever spent much time playing DonPachi before. Did the Playstation version not have unlimited continues? Because I know the Saturn version does. It even lets you continue into the ura loop. Try out Batsugun, or Batsugun Special Ver if you still have a taste for something similar, but a whole lot less pulverizing.


I spent the last few days playing all sorts of shmups, but most of them I didn't really spend much more than 10 minutes with, individually. From memory, I played little bits of Thunder Force II, Vapor Trail, Musha Aleste, a few really terrible SNES games I don't even remember the names of, Super Aleste, Flying Hero, Macross Scrambled Valkyrie, Spriggan Powered (maybe the only really good shmup the SNES has), Abadox, Abarenbou Tengu, and Power Strike II. Thunder Force II, Vapor Trail, and Spriggan Powered were easily the most enjoyable of the bunch. Musha is okay, but I'm really finding myself to be increasingly disenchanted with Compile's shooters. I think I can honestly say that I prefer Robo Aleste to Musha, anyway. It's not the first time I've tried Musha, though, it's just that I've never been pulled in much by the game play, although the visuals and music are both excellent. I played up to Stage 4, I think, which seems like it's about as far as I'd ever really played to in the past. The friggin' ninjas behind the clouds fill me with such murderous rage!

I also went at Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius, and Gradius a couple more times, but it was not to be. I threw in Parodius Da!, for old time's sake, but was foiled by the crab walking showgirl.

So, feeling like I needed at least one more win, I decided to play Chou Jikuu Yousai Macross: Ai Oboeteimasuka. I don't know much about Macross--I watched Macross Plus when I was in middle school, and bought the PS2 game when that came out, but am otherwise pretty clueless, outside of some ramblings of Mark's, from Classic Game Room--but I believe this game is something of a game tie-in with a theatrical, renewal of the original TV series. There's a bunch of clips from the movie between stages, with some narration over still images, as well. It's a little hard to follow, though, as someone who is not really familiar with the original story. There are 11 stages, in the game, and they play all right, but it's sort of a poor-man's shooter, with large sprites, a health meter, and more instances of 'what the hell actually hit me' than you can shake a stick at. It's a pretty technically impressive game, with enemies moving between the plane your VF-1 Valkyrie is on, and the background and foreground planes. There's always tons of stuff going on, all over the scree, which is both visually stimulating, and overly busy. The main thing is there's just not a lot of room to maneuver, because enemies, and the Valkyrie are so large in proportion to the space on screen. The bullet patterns are nothing too special, but it's really easy to just run into enemies as they're whipping across the screen. I ended up having to continue a fair amount in the last few stages, but it wasn't overly difficult, per se. More so just annoying, at times.

I won't insult any Macross fans out there by trying to summarize the story, or anything. I'll just say that from what I got out of the sort of haphazard telling of it in this game, it's weird. I kind of feel bad for Minmei, though. I get the sense that very few people are sympathetic to her, but-- man. Exclusivity is just kinda dumb sometimes. Good for Max, though. I feel like that's probably the love story that should have been the focal point. Anyway, I don't think I could actually sit through the TV show, or even the movie, really. I'd recommend the game to Macross fans, but not really to anyone else.
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Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by Nemoide Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:25 pm

Macross is one of my all-time favorite anime series and the movie "Do You Remember Love?" is the best part of it. I've gone as far as importing the Japanese blu-ray of the movie, even though it doesn't have any English language options. I feel like I should play that Saturn game. Even if it's not the best game, my love for Macross would definitely inspire me to keep with it!
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pierrot
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Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by pierrot Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:53 am

Nemoide wrote:Macross is one of my all-time favorite anime series and the movie "Do You Remember Love?" is the best part of it.

Then the Saturn game is 100% made specifically for you. :lol:
It's far from a bad game, on its own, but I am almost positive that you would enjoy it immensely, if you're a fan of Macross.
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