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marurun
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Together Retro March 2020 - The Arcade @ Home on 8/16-bit

by marurun Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:53 pm

Happy March, everyone! It's time to enjoy some Classic Arcade Action on 8- and 16-bit consoles and handhelds!

Please note that I'm throwing this introductory post up 3 days early so folks can start brainstorming and planning in the thread, continuing discussion from the voting topic. February's TR theme is still active and ongoing, so please enjoy it for another 2 days!

This month's theme is all about looking at how arcade titles made the transition to home consoles and portable systems during the 8- and 16-bit era. We will be focusing on ports and not adaptations. To clarify, that means we'll be playing games that were ported directly to consoles and handhelds, not arcade games that were retooled to better suit the home market, like Bionic Commando or the Double Dragon titles. Adding an extra level or weapon to the game is OK, as is remastering or remixing the soundtrack, as long as the core gameplay experience is largely the same (insofar as it can be on a home system).

Why are we playing this theme?
  1. To enjoy awesome arcade games (or not-so-awesome arcade games, if you are so inclined).
  2. To admire the skills of the programmers and artists who faithfully ported these games to very different and less capable hardware.
  3. To admire the noble failures of programmers and artists to faithfully port these games to very different and less capable hardware.
  4. To marvel at, ultimately, just how capable our home and portable systems of the era were.
  5. To see just how well these ports hold up now, especially compared to the arcade originals.
There are also some optional rules for this theme. Ordinarily, adaptations are off-limits, but if you want to play one in addition to a home port, please do so, but share with us your comparative impressions. Maybe you played Double Dragon on Master System and want to explore whether Technos made the right decision in radically changing the game for the NES. Computer titles are also ordinarily off-limits, but may be included under the same conditions as adaptations. How do the computer ports compare to the console and handheld ports?

Eligible consoles and handhelds include:

NES, Sega Master System, TurboGrafx 16, Genesis, Super NES, SuperGrafx, Turbo CD, Sega CD, Gameboy, Turbo Express, Game Gear, Lynx, 7800.

Gameboy Color, Neo Geo Pocket, and WonderSwan are technically part of the 5th generation (32-bit era) of video games, and so are not a part of this arcade exploration. The NeoGeo AES and CD also are ineligible due to sharing the exact same core hardware as their NeoGeo MVS arcade sibling.

Edit: I might allow Gameboy Color if someone is really interested in looking at arcade ports on that platform. It really is a relatively basic upgrade to the Gameboy, regardless of which generation it came out with.

Since this topic has a lot of possibilities, let's brainstorm options together instead of me just throwing a bunch at you up front in this introductory post. I'm happy to clarify any details if there are questions.
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Re: Together Retro March 2020 - The Arcade @ Home on 8/16-bi

by MrPopo Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:02 pm

This is actually three days early because this year is a leap year.
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Re: Together Retro March 2020 - The Arcade @ Home on 8/16-bi

by marurun Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:07 pm

Fixed, because calendars are hard.
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Re: Together Retro March 2020 - The Arcade @ Home on 8/16-bi

by marurun Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:43 pm

I'll lead into things with some games that have ports on multiple systems. Great opportunity to compare!

Raiden/Raiden Trad
SNES
TG-16
TG-CD (Super Raiden)
Genesis
Lynx

R-Type
TG-16
PC Engine (R-Type I and R-Type II)
TG-CD (R-Type Complete)
Gameboy
Master System

Fantasy Zone
NES
Master System
TG-16

Outrun
Master System
Game Gear
Genesis
TG-16

Super/Street Fighter II/'CE/Hyper Fighting
SNES (x2!)
Genesis
TG-16
Gameboy
Master System

Mortal Kombat series
SNES
Genesis
Game Gear
Gameboy
Sega CD

Bubble Bobble
NES
Master System
Gameboy

Rainbow Islands
NES
Master System
Genesis
TG-CD
Mega Drive

Final Fight
SNES
Sega CD

And this is JUST THE BEGINNING!
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Re: Together Retro March 2020 - The Arcade @ Home on 8/16-bi

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:16 pm

<ahem>...As the self-declared Fantady Zone expertises in residence, I must note that Fantasy Zone for the game gear is an entirely original (and terrible) experience. It is not a port of the arcade game.

Not to fear, however! The Famicom/NES has two ports; so, there’re still plenty to choose from. Having played through all of them, here’s my take on them:

Fantasy Zone (Famicom) - A technical marvel. The game’s colors pop, and the screen displays hordes of enemies and giant bosses with only modest slowdown and flickering. (As good as it is, though, the game just couldn’t handle the fifth boss, and it has fewer “tentacles” than the arcade version.) This version is also considerable more difficult than the arcade and other home console releases. I’d expect nothing less from the legendary SunSoft!

Fantasy Zone (NES) - Objectively worse than the Famicom version in almost every way. Developed by Tengen, this unlicensed NES game has muted colors, less demanding bosses, frequent slowdown and flickering. The sound is also a bit off. That said, its still pretty good, and it’s the easiest version of the game. A great choice for beginners, and IMO, one of the most fun (i.e., least frustrating versions of the game).

Fantasy Zone (SMS) - The definitive 8- and 16-bit home port; the SMS version has fantastic colorful graphics and amazingly good sound for the system. The game also plays like a dream, and it is tremendous fun. More challenging than the NES port, but less sadistic than the Famicom port. Since two of the arcade bosses were too demanding for the SMS hardware, the game replaces them with two unique bosses (a fish and a turtle). Both suit the game perfectly, and are hidden in the enhanced 3DS port.

Fantasy Zone (TG16) - Great, almost arcade-perfect graphics. Absolutely horrendous sound, however. Moreover, the gameplay’s a bit sluggish, like the NES version, but without the concomitant drop in difficulty. (The level design and bosses are almost identical to the arcade version of the game.). This is likely my least favorite home port, despite the great graphics, because it ends up being a bit of a slog.
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Re: Together Retro March 2020 - The Arcade @ Home on 8/16-bi

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:19 pm

marurun, how dare you not mention the sacred Famicom Disk System.

I have Bubble Bobble on the way.
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Re: Together Retro March 2020 - The Arcade @ Home on 8/16-bi

by marurun Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:33 pm

I have corrected my short starter list to exclude Fantasy Zone for Game Gear. But please, also chime in with your own lists for games.
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Re: Together Retro March 2020 - The Arcade @ Home on 8/16-bi

by alienjesus Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:49 pm

I've shortlisted the following games for potential options to play this month (that being next month...):

Master System:
Rastan
Rainbow Islands

PC Engine/PC Engine CD:
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
Valkyrie no Densetsu
R-Type
Hyper Dyne: Side Arms Special


Here are some other options for systems (pulled straight from my backloggery):


SMS:
Bubble Bobble
The New Zealand Story
The Ninja(maybe?)
Wonder Boy
Wonder Boy in Monster Land


SNES:
Pop'n Twinbee
Street Fighter II

MD:
Alien Storm
Altered Beast
Chiki Chiki Boys
Flicky
Golden Axe
Mercs
Puyo Puyo Tsuu
Super Hang-On
Super Thunder Blade
Talmit's Adventure

PCE:
Cadash
Fantasy Zone
Puyo Puyo CD


GB:
Parodius
Pop'n Twinbee
Track & Field
Frogger
Loco-Motion
Money Puzzle Exchanger




@Marurun: What's the consensus on 32X? Yay or Nay?



I might also pick up RodLand on Game Boy this month - I've been tempted by that one for a while
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Re: Together Retro March 2020 - The Arcade @ Home on 8/16-bi

by PartridgeSenpai Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:53 pm

I never realized Bubble Bobble was an arcade port! Perhaps this is finally the year where I complete the Bubble of Bobble :O

A BIG reason the Famicom Mini sucks: no Bubble Bobble on that thing. It doesn't even have Donkey Kong Jr.! An absolute CRIME if I've ever heard of one :lol:
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Re: Together Retro March 2020 - The Arcade @ Home on 8/16-bi

by marurun Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:57 pm

I'm going to let the 32x count, since it cannot exist without the Genesis.
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