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April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:09 am
by BoneSnapDeez
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Well, I sure picked a great month.... If you're stuck inside like me, maybe try out some Genesis games??

The "rules" are simple. Genesis/MD games released in 1988 or 1989 are eligible. Any region variant (NA/JPN/PAL) is fine of course. Here's the list.
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Altered Beast
Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf
Curse
Forgotten Worlds
Golden Axe
Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Herzog Zwei
Last Battle
Mahjong Cop Ryuu: Shiro Ookami no Yabou
Mystic Defender
Osomatsu-kun: Hachamecha Gekijou
Phantasy Star II
Rambo III
The Revenge of Shinobi
Space Harrier II
Super Daisenryaku
Super Hang-On
Super Hydlide
Super Thunder Blade
Sword of Vermilion
Tetris
Thunder Force II
Tommy Lasorda Baseball
Truxton
World Championship Soccer
Zoom!


I'll be jumping in myself, in a few days. Enjoy the blast processing.

Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:25 am
by prfsnl_gmr
This is a great topic. I am going to see if I can get through Herzog Zwei.

If you haven’t already, I recommend you try:

Altered Beast
Forgotten Worlds
Golden Axe
Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Herzog Zwei
Phantasy Star II
The Revenge of Shinobi
Super Hang-On

Say what you will about how they hold up, but each of these games is a stone-cold classic. God help you, however, if you fire up Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle or Super Thunder Blade.

The ones I’m most curious about are:

Curse
Last Battle
Mystic Defender
Rambo III
Super Hydlide
Sword of Vermilion
Thunder Force II
Truxton
Zoom!

Does anyone plan to play any of those? Should I play any of those?

Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:55 am
by marurun
Mystic Defender is pretty fun, and Thunderforce II feels rather different than the Thunderorce we all think we know and love.

Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:43 am
by opa
I have the PSP Genesis collection and this is what I have access to (unless I want to drag out the Genesis solely for Super Hang-On):

-Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle: Not gonna happen.
-Altered Beast: I always get to stage 3, die, and quit. I'm not a big fan but maybe I'll see stage four!
-Golden Axe: I have beaten this three billion times; one more time won't hurt.
-Phantasy Star II: I want to beat the first game before tackling this.
-Super Thunder Blade: I played this some last night and it's....okay. It's no Space Harrier but it's playable.
-Sword of Vermilion: I may give this a shot. Never really played it for more than a few minutes.

I could've sworn Flicky was an 80's game but it apparently released in '91.

Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:11 am
by PresidentLeever
prfsnl_gmr wrote:The ones I’m most curious about are:

Curse
Last Battle
Mystic Defender
Rambo III
Super Hydlide
Sword of Vermilion
Thunder Force II
Truxton
Zoom!

Does anyone plan to play any of those? Should I play any of those?


I've played all of those before and would recommend Thunder Force II, Mystic Defender, Rambo III, Zoom and Truxton. Might still be fun to see your reacton to Last Battle or Super Hydlide though.

Curse is very hard in a cheap way IIRC.

Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:15 am
by PartridgeSenpai
I've got the PS3 Genesis Collection, so I've got access to a fair few of these. My plan so far is to give Revenge of Shinobi a try, and if I'm feeling really ambitious I'll try Phantasy Star II.

I was gonna try Sword of Vermilion, but I remember AJ saying it is the very bad in his review last year, and upon finding the review and then also asking him in the Slack chat, he confirmed this for me. I shall not be playing Sword of Vermilion Xp

Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:32 am
by stickem
I'm going to give mystic defender another shot. The few times I've popped it in the 2nd level infuriates me to just rage quit lol. Might watch a playthrough to see how to approach it different.

Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:39 am
by alienjesus
I played a lot of Mega Drive titles last year (52 of them), including a fair few of the viable list for this TR. Here's quick thoughts on the ones I played:

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle - This is garbage. It controls terrible, looks ugly and sounds bad. There's too much luck too. A massive downgrade from Miracle World

Altered Beast - This game has it's charms, but it's still ultimately quite a bad game. Unlike many others on this list though I would say there's some small modicum of ironic fun to be had.

Golden Axe - One of the best options this month, although you've all probably played it before. I found it even more enjoyable than ever last year, even if it's still a bit cheap and has some stupid AI.

Phantasy Star II - This one seems to be remembered as an important release, but it's ultimately a boring 40 hour grindfest. I played it via a method with fast forwarding options. If you plan to play it, I highly recommend you do the same.

The Revenge of Shinobi - The only actually genuinely excellent game of this list. Revenge of Shinobi is very challenging, even a bit cheap at times, but if you put in the time to learn it it can become very satisfying. Some mean precision jumps and a rotten final stage and boss bring it down a little.

Space Harrier II - This is my least favourite game of this list, which is saying something because there's a lot of bad games on it. I genuinely think Super Thunder Blade is better. The choppy scrolling gives me a headache and the gameplay is dull and repetitive and not worth the pain.

Super Thunder Blade - This is absolutely atrocious. Barely playable, no fun at all, ugly as sin. I still like it more than Space Harrier though, because at least its over with quicker.

Sword of Vermilion - This is a slog and a half. Ugly graphics, terrible gameplay in all 3 styles (first person dungeon crawling, top down random encounters and side view boss battles) and a boring story that drags out for 15-20 hours with nothing to redeem it. It's shite.


I've also played these before:

Super Hang-On - The arcade game's pretty good if you like that sort of thing. It's no Outrun. There's a career mode that theoreitcally has promise with bike upgrades etc but I found it far too hard to get started and potentially too grindy to really enjoy. Pass.

World Championship Soccer - This is known as World Cup Italia '90 here. I have a lot of nostalgia for it as it's one of my earliest games, but it's genuinely shite. The view is too close, the controls have no refinement and the game looks a bit crap. I do love the chunky sound effects though.



Would you believe I'm actually a big fan of the Mega Drive/Genesis? Unfortunately, I think the honest truth is that the console was mostly not really worth owning until a little way into the 90s, when they really hit their stride and offered a real competitor to Nintendo. Up until then, the Master System library was probably better.


Anyway, I have Herzog Zwei on deck, so hopefully I'll get around to playing it this month. Got a bunch of other stuff to deal with first though.

Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:54 am
by PresidentLeever
I'd agree that Enchanted Castle is a step back from Miracle World (Shinobi World is also better) but it's not crap, just overreliant on the rock, paper scissors game and with mostly less interesting level design up until the final level, which plays like the castle levels in MW. I do like how you can pull out for example the bike or pedicopter anywhere and then put them back in the inventory and save for later use as long as you can keep them, whereas in MW they are single use. Audiovisually it's fine, above average for the 80s if a bit generic design-wise.

I don't mind Space Harrier II either, though a remaster or hack with smooth scaling would be nice.

PartridgeSenpai wrote:I was gonna try Sword of Vermilion, but I remember AJ saying it is the very bad in his review last year, and upon finding the review and then also asking him in the Slack chat, he confirmed this for me. I shall not be playing Sword of Vermilion Xp


Do check out the soundtrack though, it's pretty great especially for early on.

Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:11 pm
by Nemoide
I started playing Curse!
I picked this up in Japan last year, the cover art looked interesting and I'm always open for new shmup experiences.
It's a horizontal shmup but... it's definitely not exactly a must-play hidden gem of the 16-bit era. The gameplay is slower and MUCH choppier than I'd like. (I don't know why the frame-rate is lower than normal, but it is).
My first attempt I died pretty quickly but my second try I was able to clear the first stage without taking damage and got as far as stage 3 (according to the manual there are 5 total).
The difficulty IS kind of cheap, the game clearly wants you to memorize things and there are random stage hazards I could do without (eg trees that you can crash into on the first level, invincible meteors flying at you in the second, exploding lava in the third) but I feel like with some practice I'll be able to beat this. There's also the fact that when you die you lose all your upgrades, which makes the game MUCH HARDER, so it's a bit like Gradius in that regard.

I feel like if I'm trying to be objective, this isn't a great game... but also I *do* kind of like it. It has an old-fashioned charm and I'm looking forward to spending more time with it.