Join in on our classic gaming club!
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 22684
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by MrPopo Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:32 pm

I made it through Kolibri! I put my thoughts in games beaten.
Image
Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
pierrot
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 3774
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:54 am
Location: Banned

Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by pierrot Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:15 pm

Tanooki wrote:Gradius II in any form is a sadist game, just damned hard from the start, though it gets less hard in stage 2 than 1 which never made much sense to me.

I don't find that to be the case for me, personally. I don't think the first stage is all that difficult, aside from remembering not to power up to a laser, because it makes the first boss drag on forever. That alien face-hugger corridor in the second stage is where things start to go south for me. I rarely get past the field of ice near the end of Stage 3, also, and when I do, there's just a tentacled boss waiting, with narrow gates blocking the core, which is easily my least favorite Gradius trope.


Anyway, I finished Gunhed last night. I went at it three more times. Each time I was getting ever so slightly farther than the last attempt, which is like an hour of aimlessly floating through space and stuff, each time. On the first attempt, I ate it just before the final boss, which was bad enough, but then on the second attempt, I died on the last form of the final boss, after about four minutes of chasing it around the screen. I finally beat it on the third attempt, even though Area 8 went to hell in a hand basket, for some reason. Typically I don't really have any trouble with that stage. So, I was hanging out on the final screen for a bit, hitting the run and select button a couple times (but careful not to do a soft reset), and eventually something popped up on screen saying, "Select," and then alternating "A," and "B" every half second or so. I was a little puzzled at first, thinking, 'which one do I want,' and started hitting the select button again after it disappeared. I stepped away from the TV for a bit, and came back to see the title screen up again. For whatever reason I thought, 'what if someone forgot that this game was being released on the PCE, and not the NES?' So I held select, and alternated pressing the I and II buttons, and sure enough, a difficulty select screen popped up. I tried out God of Game mode, and was able to make it past the first stage, but no further. That difficulty is absurd. Really the bad part about it is how resilient all the enemies are, but they also douse the screen in bullets. With some practice I could maybe see myself getting past Area 4 on that difficulty, but Area 5 is bad enough on the default. I can only imagine what a terrible mess it would be in God of Game difficulty.

On a mildly related note, there's this Japanese TV show that I love called 'Sora Mimi Hour,' with Tamori-san, and usually Marty Friedman (of course). They get letters from people who've sent in misheard lyrics to songs in other languages, and the show puts together little videos to go along with the misheard lyrics. It is almost always hysterical. The term 'soramimi' is representative of mishearing something, and apparently there are some pretty good ones associated with Gunhed, that I came across. The first one being Weapon III (I think the dude says, "Shield Thunder," but I'm not sure), heard as 'Kiyo-san de~su,' which I can definitely hear. Another one's a little bit of a stretch, but Weapon I ("Photon" something or other) is heard as 'Tou-chan Cycle,' or 'Daddy Cycle.' Lastly, and probably the best one, which I can not unhear, is the 'Multi Body' pickup, which people tend to hear as 'Oppai-pai,' which would go something like 'titty-tits,' in English. I was reading this story of one person talking about his/her mother playing this game, and always saying that it sounded like 'Oppai-pai,' when she picked up the M sub weapon.

Well, I don't really like Gunhed very much. It didn't feel like much of an accomplishment to actually finish it. I find it to be a very poorly paced, sluggish, and unbalanced affair. The main redeeming quality would be the music, but while it's certainly good, I don't know that I'd ever feel like listening to it on its own. The graphics are generally fairly nice, but again, the stages make no sense together: Two space stages, then indoors with a bug boss, then friggin' "Innerspace," then Egypt (!!). What!

I also played a little bit of Final Soldier afterward. That's a damn fine game. I especially love the BGM for Stage 3 (magnificent). I feel like Final Soldier gets a little unfairly dumped on. I mean, yeah, the difficulty is on the low side, with all the hits you can take, and Soldier Blade is probably a fair bit better, but I think Final Soldier is still one of the better shooters for the PCE. Certainly much better than Gunhed. I set a new high score, but I still ended up dying in about my usual spot: mid Stage 5. The mid boss just wrecks my shit (kind of like the Gorgon boss in TF III). I made it out of there, but not really in one piece. A few of the enemies after that did not have a lot of trouble shooting me down, as I wasn't too much of a threat in the state I was in.
Image
User avatar
Markies
128-bit
 
Posts: 867
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:29 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by Markies Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:42 pm

alienjesus wrote:I played through UN Squadron today. Just so people know, I'm no shmup savant - i'll put my hands up to cheating on this one! I made save states at the start of each level and just before each boss, and in all honesty I would never have even seen stage 3 (of 10) if I hadn't because the game is brutally difficult.

There's a lot to like about this game, bur for me the high difficulty level would kill it. Luckily, it's much more bearable with save states.


I completely 100% agree with AJ's opinion here.

I can get all the way to Stage 7 with no problem, but the final stages are just insanely brutal. Unless you find the random power ups throughout the levels that give you extra guys, more health or a shield, you are kind of screwed. The game is completely unforgiving and one of the most difficult games I have ever played.

It has interesting ideas and that Capcom touch to it, but man, that is one hard freaking game.

Here is my full review:

http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1141343#p1141343
Image
Tanooki
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 6947
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:06 pm

Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by Tanooki Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:27 pm

I was on the couch earlier doing game time with my daughter and I decided to pop open a few GBC games on the ezfliash omega as I was feeling lazy. I ended up running games I already have anyway and I went for - Project S-11.

That game is insane, and probably for all intents and purposes shouldn't even work on the GBC. The system has sprite limits, but I have no idea how they they violate it and then some. There is what I best could call a lava fountain cannon, the longer you hold the shorter it gets but basically it spews to the top like a volcano and then peels back away towards the bottom of the screen. There are a mass of those 2-3 color shaded balls on screen, dozens, and this isn't including all the enemies or their bullets. The game never drops a frame, runs always smooth, had a wicked demo scene style music sound track to it too. Totally under the radar and amazingly good fun. The stages are varied as are the weapons you can pick up. The enemies a few could feel generic if it weren't for the fact a lot of them have these unique approach patterns that will throw you off.
User avatar
Nemoide
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1984
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:37 pm
Location: Monster Island

Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by Nemoide Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:47 am

I decided to load up Eschatos on the Xbox 360 today, it's great but with a 2011 release date, isn't really retro. However on the same disc are two gems originally for the Wonderswan!

Judgement Silversword - This game is the clear predecessor of Eschatos. It has similar mechanics (two types of shot, a shield, no bombs, score multiplier) and a lot of enemies seem vaguely similar (ie a space-mirror boss). I'm not very knowledgeable about the Wonderswan, but the fact that an old handheld could have a shmup like this is pretty astounding. There's a LOT going on despite the simple graphics. The game also has the challenge of sending you to the start of a stage whenever you continue. That means you can't credit feed through hard bosses, and some of those bosses seemed pretty dang hard to me! I got to area 20-something, which I'd guess is about 2/3 of the way through the game. This port has the same option-unlock system as Eschatos in that playing for longer unlocks more options and continues. This is good because it encourages people to keep trying to play that game rather than just credit-feeding to the end and putting it on the shelf. I'm sure you can eventually get unlimited credits, but you'll have to play for a long time! I'm not sure I'll be beating it any time soon, but I'll keep trying!

Cardinal Sins - So this game is essentially a remix (and technically a prequel) of Judgement Silversword. The basic gameplay mechanics are the same, the enemies are generally the same, the ship is the same... but at the same time this game is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Each stage has a gimmick based on one of the "seven deadly sins" of Christianity and you need to figure out how to be a sinner! Sometimes it's obvious, other times it's not. For example, for Sloth, enemies regularly drop extra lives BUT they're destructible, so you need to NOT SHOOT when you got for one - you're graded based on how many lives you've racked up. Pride requires you to get your score multiplier to 100x and then you're graded by how many ships you can shoot down with it there. Lust has enemies that go towards your ship. Gluttony is about picking up items. But then some of the stages baffle me, especially one based on "scanning" enemies whatever that means. As you go through the sins, you also go through the planets. I believe I got to the final boss on Normal mode and beat it on Trial: after the sin-stages, you're graded on overall success at them, then you have to survive several mini-bosses with a monochromatic green-screen and then a FINAL BOSS. That's easily the most challenging part of the game from a conventional standpoint. But if you're going for an A-rank (IDK if a better grade exists) then the whole thing is a pretty good challenge. I haven't played much so I don't yet know if there are unlockable options for continues and the like; even though they'd help with the final boss, continues seem unnecessary. The game is short and doesn't stand on its own as well as Judgement Silversword, but it's a pretty good twist on the shmup genre and I'm glad it was included on the disc!
Image
User avatar
pierrot
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 3774
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:54 am
Location: Banned

Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by pierrot Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:31 pm

The other night I played some more Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius, and actually made it past that stupid cat-train (I liked it better when it was a pirate ship) in stage 6. I raked in lives on that run (even though I didn't keep a bell chain the whole run), which helped to overcome some onerous deaths in almost every stage. I lost all my lives on the last boss in the boss rush on stage 7, but as long as stage 8 isn't completely insane, this is another one I might be able to 1cc before the end of the month. It's kind of on the easier side (especially for the series), and has much slower paced, longer stages--both fairly similar traits when compared with Gunhed--but I enjoy this one enough that spending almost an hour or so getting to the latter stages of the games doesn't feel as annoying.
Image
User avatar
Sarge
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 7245
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:08 pm

Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by Sarge Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:54 am

Tanooki wrote:I was on the couch earlier doing game time with my daughter and I decided to pop open a few GBC games on the ezfliash omega as I was feeling lazy. I ended up running games I already have anyway and I went for - Project S-11.

That game is insane, and probably for all intents and purposes shouldn't even work on the GBC. The system has sprite limits, but I have no idea how they they violate it and then some. There is what I best could call a lava fountain cannon, the longer you hold the shorter it gets but basically it spews to the top like a volcano and then peels back away towards the bottom of the screen. There are a mass of those 2-3 color shaded balls on screen, dozens, and this isn't including all the enemies or their bullets. The game never drops a frame, runs always smooth, had a wicked demo scene style music sound track to it too. Totally under the radar and amazingly good fun. The stages are varied as are the weapons you can pick up. The enemies a few could feel generic if it weren't for the fact a lot of them have these unique approach patterns that will throw you off.

I played through this myself on my new EverDrive GB X3. Worked pretty well. I only had to continue once, and that was early on. Somehow, I even managed to get through the last stage with only one life! (Well, I picked up a 1-up along the way, though.) Good little game.

Pretty sure I can see how they're doing the technical stuff. The GBC is actually a stronger system than most give it credit for; it can't display as many sprites as the NES, but it's also got a smaller screen space for those 8x8 or 8x16 sprites, and can also do ten sprites per line instead of the NES's eight. That lava gun looks super cool, and I think they're actually flickering those sprites pretty rapidly to avoid the limitations. It's also a lot more powerful than I gave it credit for, giving it a go after I beat it. I tried to stick to the powered up purple beam, but that lava gun can pump in some damage at the higher levels.

Graphically, it looks quite nice, and yeah, that music definitely feels like demo-scene stuff. Almost C64-like. While Sunsoft published it, a company called Paragon 5 developed it, and their other product was apparently a tracker for the GBC, and they claimed to have experience back to the C64 and its SID chip. We've come full circle! (Also, Jake Kaufman used that tracking tool for Shantae.)

http://web.archive.org/web/200612170246 ... music.html
Tanooki
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 6947
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:06 pm

Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by Tanooki Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:59 pm

See you did the digging, I just put the dots for someone else to connect. I'm aware of Paragon 5 and what those people did back in the day that game was made and the years leading up to it. They were demo scene types and others who did composing on some pretty impressive old chips in the day and their talents really are a treat on the little GBC even through its little speaker too, but if you crank it through a GBP, emulator, whatever on a stereo it's excellent. You're right about the flicker, they're using that to pump a lot more lava buckshot on to that screen as it rains down. The gun kind of sucks on the lower levels, but it's the one of the entire set that really gets just monstrously damaging at its best level as the coverage and power trumps the others a lot. It's a great reward gun if you're good at not getting shot up playing the game as hits diminish any guns value in the game. It's nice to know you enjoyed it as it has been an old favorite since it came out in the day. I can't remember if it was early gaming news sites or even NP mag at that point but something tipped me off to it so when it came out I ran out to get it as soon as I could find it.
User avatar
BoneSnapDeez
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 19061
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 1:08 pm
Location: Maine

Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:53 pm

Played some ancient Atari 2600 shmups this evening.

River Raid = GOAT Atari score-chaser shmup
Vanguard = GOAT Atari stage-based shmup
User avatar
nullPointer
128-bit
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:51 pm
Location: Montana, USA

Re: December Together Retro: Shmuptacular

by nullPointer Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:44 pm

I beat two games as part of this Together Retro (I'm once again getting behind on my Games Beaten!), and they were the two that I had planned from the beginning.

DonPachi
I played the Playstation release of this game (Cyclone's Best), and and was not disappointed ... or at least for the most part. One super nice thing about the PlayStation release is that it allows you to play the game in arcade accurate tate mode. But in this instance tate mode merely rotates the screen 90 degrees; it doesn't adjust the perspective if that makes sense? In order for it to look actually right you'd also need to rotate your television 90 degrees. So this necessitated that I play around with graphics plugins in ePSXe for a while to compensate for the rotation. In the end it was worth it, and I was able to play the vertical shooter in a vertical orientation as God and Man intended. So here's the thing ... I'm no where near hardcore enough for this game ... to the point where it started to become more of a chore than an enjoyable game. I save-stated at the beginning of every level and in the case of the last few boss battles I save-stated immediately prior to the beginning of battle. So even I don't qualify this as a fully 'beaten game', but by the time it was over, I was just done with it. Don't get me wrong, I think it's an amazing game, and I respect the hell out of it, it's just not something I'm likely to return to. Graphics and sound are incredible though, and when your weapons are fully powered the amount of available firepower is thrilling. One thing that constantly caught me off guard is the incredibly generous hitbox. For the most part you're pretty safe unless a projectile/enemy ship strikes the very center of your aircraft. And thank goodness for it, because some late game bosses require intimate familiarity with what you can allow to safely graze the ship and what constitutes a direct hit. Great game; just a bit too much for this space cowboy.

Salamander Portable: Gradius 2
Gradius/Salamander games are a bit more in my wheelhouse in terms of my shmups comfort zone, probably because I've spent more time with this series than all other shmups combined. What we have here is the PSP port of Gradius 2 (AKA Nemesis 2) originally released for MSX. I initially started actually playing this game on PSP, but the minuscule screen size quickly proved to be a detriment (not to mention the fact that I suck at shmups to begin with), so much like DonPachi I found myself resorting to emulation, in this case simply so I could play the game at a reasonable screen size. So ... this isn't the best Gradius game, though it needs to be said that the port itself is terrific. I watched some YouTube videos of the original MSX game, and between the herky-jerky screen scrolling, and the bright often flashing color pallet, I think I would have been driven bonkers before even finishing the first level. At least the PSP port maintains the similar look and feel of the series even if it doesn't sport the eye candy and set pieces that appear later in the series. But ... I mean ... it doesn't really do much to set itself apart from the early entries in the series either, although there are a number of hidden levels and powerups that keep things interesting. There are incremental improvements over the original title. Among other things, there are a number of variations on the classic Big Core boss ship, and this game actually establishes some lore for the series (I had to watch YouTube to see English translated cutscenes from the MSX release), but by the same token it doesn't feel like a huge refinement to the original title. In fact, due to the fact that this was originally an MSX release there are a number of gameplay elements that feel less refined than the smooth controls of the original title. All told, I'd probably give this a 7/10. It's good enough, but it's not Gradius-good. Maybe I'm just sore that there was nary a Moai to be found in the entire game. :mrgreen:
Last edited by nullPointer on Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Return to Together Retro

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests