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Ack
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Re: February Together Retro: Off the Rails

by Ack Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:39 am

I've looked up some possible ways to improve the controls in Rebel Assault. These have included editing mouse sensitivity in config files as well as lowering the frame rate and speed of the game. Apparently some of the problem is due to the FMV images getting stretched to accommodate widescreen resolutions as well as the need for the usual dubbing down of DOSBox to more accurately emulate a 386. While it's not going to fix all of my problems, every little bit helps.

I've also read that a controller might work better, but I don't have that option on the computer I'm using. Not enough USB ports I'm afraid.

At least I've made it to the fifth level and got a password to skip the first three. The GOG forums mainly consists of folks complaining about the controls, and they weren't even able to clear the first level in many cases.
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Michi
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Re: February Together Retro: Off the Rails

by Michi Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:31 pm

It occurs to me that I probably should have provided a more comprehensive list of options. If anyone is looking for possible rail-shooter candidates, you can always check out the Wiki page for ideas. The list isn't necessarily comprehensive (it doens't include Hogan's Ally, for shame), but it may help you find something you hadn't considered before. You'll just have to remember to make sure to check the release dates before you decide on anything.
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Ack
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Re: February Together Retro: Off the Rails

by Ack Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:01 am

Ok, I've made more progress in Rebel Assault. I'm now up to level 11. Every few levels, you get access to a password that you can use to skip further along, though if you die, you have to replay a good chunk of the game to push to the next section. The first comes after level 3, which was a nightmare. Level 4 has been my favorite so far, so it wasn't a bad place to come back. The next was level 7, and then finally level 11. While the game is difficult, the level 7-10 stretch is probably one of the easiest: 7 requires you just know the way to go, 8 has you take down an Imperial Walker that rarely hurts you unless you "fly" into it, and level 9 is randomized but mainly features you choosing to go to the left or right and then sidestepping stormtroopers who shoot at you. Frankly, it's dull. Level 10 has you take down a fleet's worth of TIE fighters, and it's the most challenging level of that set.

That's a recurring issue I'm seeing, the final level in a set tends to be brutal, so replaying the previous sections just becomes routine and boring. To complicate things further, the changes in gameplay style mean different controls, and since you're probably coming back after some time and a variety of other levels, you basically have to relearn how to play in that style.

Rebel Assault would have been spectacular if it were just a rail shooter; those levels are usually my favorite. Unfortunately it's brought down by wanting to vary things too much and show off the emerging CD-ROM tech that LucasArts was getting into. For a product from 1993, it's technically impressive. It's just not a well constructed game.

Level 11 brings me back to a flying sequence, and these are the worst. The ships all control like kamikaze flying bathtubs, and having just spent a bunch of time not playing in that style, it's back to relearning the skills for getting through it. At least I'm starting here instead of ending.
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lordb0rb4
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Re: February Together Retro: Off the Rails

by lordb0rb4 Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:35 pm

I haven't sit down and played anything yet BUT...
Just came back from the arcade and put some time into Jurassic Park by Raw Thrills with my little girl and it was AWESOME!!!!!!!
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: February Together Retro: Off the Rails

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:56 am

^ Dope pic. I have some similar photos of my oldest daughter and me playing a Space Invaders sequel with "gun" controls last summer (unfortunately, it turned out to be a terrible ticket redemption game).

I did something last night that I haven't done in a long time -- stayed up late and played video games for a really long stretch. I was trying to take down Takara's Famicom port of Space Harrier. Which I did, eventually.

Now. I have to admit I'm not in love with this "rail shooter" genre, holistically speaking. I respect the classics, but Space Harrier in the arcade is maybe a 7/10 game tops, for me personally. The Famicom port is severely degraded. I don't mind the more simplistic graphics or music, but the amount of slowdown and sprite flickering is just insane, almost game-breaking in parts. Also, the game is too long (it murders the thumbs) and comically hard. You're only given an extra life every 50,000 (I think?) points or so. I didn't reach this score until stage 16. Out of 18. I was probably playing "for survival" more so than playing "for score" but still, damn... Also, worst ending screen of all time.

This is an "expensive" game too (for Famicom standards). Really wouldn't recommend it. Play the arcade game.

I'll writing additional rambling crap in "Games Beaten" later.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: February Together Retro: Off the Rails

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:21 am

Too funny. Again, you need the 3DS version. It rules.

I’m playing Sin & Punishment. It’s s pretty rad rail shooter. Nowhere near as good as its sequel, but much better since I altered the controls in accordance with DSH’s instructions. The shooting is tough until you figure out what to do (i.e., the patterns and tells). Once you have those down, though, it’s not too bad (at least, not yet). Also, per Treasure, the plot is bonkers. There are rebels and mutants and people who turn into giant monsters and a kid with some weird mouse pet who gives people blood transfusions and Tokyo was destroyed and I still haven’t figured out if I’m the hero or the villain. It’s like watching an poorly translated anime series when you have a 104 degree fever.
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Re: February Together Retro: Off the Rails

by alienjesus Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:39 pm

Having finished both Sin & Punishment games previously, I'm not convinced I could tell you what the story is in either of them...
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: February Together Retro: Off the Rails

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:25 pm

Finished another one. Geimos, for Famicom. This one's a (1985) original release, not a port.

It ain't good.

Graphics are a jumbled mess. The music is ripped straight from "Star Wars." Movement is restricted to the bottom half of the screen. Combat is just flat-out terrible. There's a Xevious style double-shot system but it's pointless because everything's so chaotic and disorienting. Pass on this one.
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Michi
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Re: February Together Retro: Off the Rails

by Michi Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:34 pm

I've made it up to the Valley segment of Pokemon Snap this weekend. Not having played it for many years (many, many years...), I forgot how arbitrary its scoring system is. As a photographer, it irks me when I end up taking a sweet looking shot, only to have Professor Oak nitpick that the Pokemon isn't located dead center of the damn picture :?

That aside, it's still a really fun little game and I'm sort of sad that it never received some sort of sequel. I'd totally buy a modern Pokemon Snap with a better scoring system and larger roster.
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marurun
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Re: February Together Retro: Off the Rails

by marurun Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:06 pm

My personal fave Space Harrier is the PCE version (no surprise). It is pretty fast and holds up well.
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