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Re: What are you playing?

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:28 am
by Arenegeth
So I finally finished Disc 2 of Shenmue and I'm moving onward to the final Disc and the end of this ambitious completion project.

I beat the crap out of Chai as I intended to, it took a bit of doing though, I was trying to use Crawl Cyclone as the guide suggested, but then I reverted back to good old Throws which is what I've been using on free battles exclusively throughout the game, and managed to hand his ass back to him. Though the following QTE was theoretically the hardest so far, but given that is the same every time, I had no problem completing it flawlessly on the first try.

I did get that Dart toy reward back AND managed to beat my record, though I came 3 points short of 500 due to a fumble at the end, eh, who cares I got the toy and that's what matters.

I finished with 2/3 Raffles, I got 3 out of 4, Rank 4 rewards left at the Tomato Mart at the Harbor, which depending on available tapes I would be finishing early in Disc 3 considering time and funds allow it.

I got a couple of days to burn early on Disc 3 also for some Goro Notebook entries, which will be a great opportunity to really bring down the moves I have yet to max under or close to 10, including the ones I will learn in Disc 3 and the 3 scrolls I have yet to buy.

All in all, I finally started to see the end of this tunnel, the were a few sacrifices made along the way (I missed out on one or two Notebook entries by beating Chai and missed two unimportant short scenes during the Warehouse bit) but I see no reason why I couldn't get everything else done by January 31st, or even better, at February 3rd, so I can start the second game at the same date you are supposed to, if you don't transfer a save.

Other than that I got the Passport stuff to look into.

I never connected my Dreamcast to the internet back in the day, I didn't even have an internet connection until the final days of 2004 which was long after the 2002 date when the Passport servers went down.

These days I don't own a DreamPi or a broadband adapter, so my only real choice for getting the capsule toys from the Passport, is either a patched burned version of the Disc that allows you to bypass the online check at the start, or if that fails, outright manifesting them into the game using a cheat CD, in my case the Xploder DC.

Of course, I can't just cheat them into existence and be done with it, I have to earn them first, and I'm already done with all the Cherries in the Slot Machine (8 to trade 1 to keep) and I'll be working on the other stuff next, worst case scenario I will have the extra capsule toys I farmed for trades leftover along with the Passport stuff I cheated into existence. I could theoretically bypass the entire process by save editing my file (no idea if there's any Shenmue save editors out there or if I would have to manually mess with the Hex) and deleting the farmed toys and adding the Passport ones, but that is too much of a hassle for some harmless multiples of the same toy. Hopefully the patched Disc will work, and it will be like it was done completely legitimately back in the day, the toys were not server side as far as I know, so I don't see why not, but I guess I'll have to test it and find out.

The Winning Can rewards on the other hand were server side and thus unobtainable through normal, Can trading means, by abusing Resume saves. But they are perfectly obtainable by save transferring means (whether through the PC and an SD reader or directly from a burned disc) and are also out-of-game VMU utilities essentially, and not really part of a perfect file. But just because I can, I will be farming a total of 10 Winning Cans by the end of the game (currently at 2) and have a Resume save with them and pretend as if it was the year 2000 again and I actually had an internet connection this time.

Other than the Shenmue stuff I'm currently looking into another game to play, I already have my plans for what to do between starting the HD version of I and the Dreamcast and HD version of II but I want something fresh, and something not on the Dreamcast.

I have three new games on the Dreamcast but I do not want to disc swap every day, PAL jewel case Dreamcast Disc holding teeth are notoriously sensitive and break easily, and I do not want to needlessly move discs back and forth.

I will probably pick something form my Steam backlog I've been generally ignoring for so long, if the Black Mesa Xen release was finally out it would have being a perfect choice, but we are going to be waiting for that yet further into the year (or given precedent, eternity).

I got Ziggurat for free on GOG at some point, and since I'm in a mood for an FPS it may be a good choice, but I'm not sure if I like the rouge-like procedurally generated structure of it yet, probably won't, but it doesn't hurt to try I suppose.

Just noticed that this post ended up pretty long, if you read all of it, congratulations! One of my first wall'o'texts' of this forum, yay!

Re: What are you playing?

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:48 am
by Ack
Arenegeth, I've been playing Ziggurat lately. The procedural elements aren't bad, and while the RNG can screw you up, the game is short enough that it won't be terribly upsetting.

You're looking at 5 floors of expanding levels, but even the last isn't huge, and after a few runs, you'll likely have seen every enemy and room the game can throw at you. The game does feature a variety of unlockable characters, and since they feature different abilities and change your starting weapon, it keeps things interesting. Plus you unlock things even when you die, so you're always making progress.

Re: What are you playing?

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:18 am
by Arenegeth
Ack wrote:Arenegeth, I've been playing Ziggurat lately. The procedural elements aren't bad, and while the RNG can screw you up, the game is short enough that it won't be terribly upsetting.

I decided to install it and give it a shot after your input. And I have to say I actually liked it!

It seems to be one of the more 'light' of the rouge-like games out there, and at least so far I can't see the rouge-like structure bothering me too much.

I usually play games with permadeath and rouge elements with a save back-up method (and I don't play them that much in general), which usually defeats the purpose, but I don't like losing progress, especially if it because my cats suddenly decided to have a fight and I had to intervene or another exogenous reason like that.

But, outside of endless mode, it doesn't look like something like that would be necessary for this game, and there's lots of unlockables to keep me busy longer term, if I choose to do the completionist thing with this game also.

I also looked the game up to see if there's a physical release, and yes there is, but is the usual Steam code in a box, as is with most PC games these days.

I already have a list of games I own digitally on PC that have similar releases like that, I guess I can add it amongst them, I have a separate place in my collection for those sort of releases since they are not really proper standalone releases when they are tethered to Steam, even if the game data is on the actual disc (but inaccessible without a Steam account).

Of course then is the matter of Steam versus GOG and the achievements on Galaxy or the Steam client. Eh, I know I like to over-complicate things, but I don't much care either way in this case, I got the game on GOG now for free, I may get the Steam version with an actual physical box sometime in the future, I'll play what I actually got now. Who knows if I'll even live long enough to ever get around to getting these pseudo-physical releases of all those digital games I own anyway.

I also got some Shenmue news!

I tried the patched Shenmue Passport Disc with my original save from back in the day (I don't have my current save backed up on PC yet) on an emulator, and I was able to make it all the way to the capsule trading screen just fine! Of course in my original save, I didn't have any capsule toys from the slot machines to trade, so I couldn't pull off a trade successfully all the way, but if I was able to make it all the way to the screen and even get the 'you have no toys to trade' message, I think it will probably work!

Now I have to actually burn the image to an actual physical disc and I should be good to go. I haven't burned an actual Dreamcast game before, only utility software, and I'll hopefully won't need to burn a Utopia boot disc on top of that to make it run, and I'm not sure if this whole process is less of a hassle, of just transferring my save to the PC and making the trades on the emulator and then back to the Dreamcast again, but at least by burning the Disc I get to check my game data through the Data Review feature on the Passport, and I get to have the most authentic experience possible, so I'll go with that.

The other thing about Shenmue, is that Throwing moves may be impossible to max out no matter the circumstances. There's only 16 free battles in the whole game (including optional) and there's only so much use you can get out of them in those fights. The Fuku-San sparring is also limited. And the Training option at the bed, seems to give a boost to your moves every time the story progresses, so even if I dally all the way to April 14th the Throwing moves won't budge an inch if the story is stagnant.

I did the best I could by buying the one Throwing move scroll as soon as possible, and putting 'Throwing Moves all' on the bed on day 1, but other than that, and getting the remaining Throwing moves from the old bum as soon as is it technically possible in Disc 3, there's nothing else I can do to max them. Though by the looks of things, all the moves besides the old bum ones (potentially) will be past the halfway point by the end of the game, and will at least be as max as they can possibly be for the sequel save transfer.

Re: What are you playing?

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:33 pm
by noiseredux
Started Castlevania II over the long weekend. A walkthrough is pretty much necessary, even though I've played it many times since release haha. I've already got Dracula's rib and heart, and am making my way to the third mansion after taking a short ferry ride.

Re: What are you playing?

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:11 am
by noiseredux
Update on Castlevania II... I know possess Drac's eye and nail. So I'm getting close to the end, yeah? I've played this game plenty since I was a kid, but never sat down with a walkthrough handy and just decided to actually beat the damn thing. So, yeah... I've never actually made it this far before haha.

Re: What are you playing?

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:38 am
by marurun
Yeha, you're getting close. If you aren't going to try cheesing for a quick-kill, load up on garlic. Just trust me.

Re: What are you playing?

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:43 pm
by noiseredux
Lightseekers on Switch is good, so that. But to continue my survey of classics, I'm thinking about revisiting Zelda II which was just recently added to Switch Online. It's been a good decade since I've played that one.

Re: What are you playing?

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:28 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
Zelda II is so good! Such a departure from the original. It still has some of the series’ best combat mechanics.

One of dream games/ROM hacks is a “metroidvania” game that uses Zelda II’s engine. I think that would be awesome.

Re: What are you playing?

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:38 pm
by noiseredux
yup, I've always been a huge fan of Zelda II. It was the first in the series that I played. Got it for my birthday, so must've been spring of '87. My gosh, the music is amazing in that game.

Oh snap, I found the thread I started when I was last playing it haha:


Re: What are you playing?

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:06 pm
by Xeogred
Put me down for a weirdo that wishes we got at least like one other Zelda in the same style as II, haha... yeah I've always been a big fan too.