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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:20 am
by nullPointer
BoneSnapDeez wrote:I suck balls at the game, but I'll have to give it another go.

Didya know it was one of those arcade ports that was a cart in the U.S. but released as a disk in Japan? Same goes for Bubble Bobble, Double Dribble, Gyruss, Jackal, and probably a few others I'm forgetting.

I hadn't played Rush'n Attack for quite a while, but I remembered it being fairly difficult as a kid. For some reason it went down pretty easy this time without much trouble. Partly due to luck and partly having some of the trickier sections committed to memory, I guess. One 'secret' I utilized as a kid is that this game doesn't have a time limit. If you run low on lives you can essentially 'grind' for extra lives at any point in the game. Also if you can assign your stabbin' button to a turbo function it helps a lot in certain areas.

That's super interesting about it being an FDS release! With games like this I always wonder whether the FDS versions have expanded content or additional features.

Xeogred wrote:The main characters sprite looks like Ryu rolled up his sleeves and put on a hat. :lol:

Having run through most of the classic Contra's last year, I'll have to check this one out.

Haha, that's a good call on the Ryu comparison! I always thought it was funny that in other regions Rush'n Attack was called Green Beret, but the dude doesn't wear any green (and Player 2 pushes the envelope even further in his fabulous red battle fatigues). Now I might have to look up some screen shot comparisons to see if he actually does wear green in the Green Beret version.

Regarding the Contra reference, it probably bears mentioning that Rush'n Attack isn't quite up to the pedigree of Contra (or Ninja Gaiden for that matter). It's good for what it is, but not incredibly good. Just a good ol' fashioned, meat & potatoes, red blooded American, mass stabbing simulator. :mrgreen:

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:21 am
by Ack
ElkinFencer10 wrote:
Ack wrote:I have to know, what are your top light gun games? I think we all played a bunch, and Area 51 was pretty much everywhere in my area in the mid-90s but then entirely vanished around 2000 when I saw Area 51: Site 4 replacing it...and then nobody played it. My brother played a ton of Maximum Force, and we were both fans of Virtua Cop and House of the Dead. Would you suggest others to look up?

Are you talking just Saturn light gun games or light gun games in general?


I was talking light gun games in general.

And I guess it was just an Alabama thing, but for some reason post-2000, I never saw another Area 51. They were all Site 4 from that point on.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:22 pm
by nullPointer
The List So Far:

16. A Fork in the Tale [PC/Win9X] [Together Retro - 04/2018]
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Initially I really wanted to roast A Fork in the Tale, because well … negative reviews are always more fun to write and "Har har, FMV sux". I even wrote a bit of a takedown piece based on my initial impressions of the game after having played it for an hour or so. But despite my early dismissiveness, I felt like I still needed to give this game a fair shake. There was a glimmer of … something here. Whether I was hooked in by the story or the characters I couldn't say, but it was enough that I started the game over with a fresh set of eyes, and fewer preconceptions.

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And well … the game still wasn't great. But crucially it wasn't horrible either. There's a certain a low budget cheese factor at play here which appeals to the side of me that enjoys B-grade science fiction, an unspoken earnest concession by the creators that, "Hey, we're doing the best we can with what we've got". And when framed through the tempered lens of cheap & cheesy sci-fi/fantasy it's not half bad at all. So what we have here is a purely FMV game in first person perspective starring 'funny-man' Rob Schneider as the voice of the unseen (but almost constantly heard) protagonist. The story setup relies on the old trope of a parallel universe sitting adjacent to ours, a low-tech world of magic and chivalry. It's certainly nothing new or groundbreaking, but it's a fun concept and A Fork in the Tale accomplishes some nice world building within this framework. An evil king's forces seek to squash a growing rebellion in the kingdom. You're alternately helped and hindered by knights, a tribe of Amazon-like warrior women, beings of spiritual energy, Alan Moore a crusty and probably insane old wizard, as well as a whole host of other strange (and occasionally wonderful) characters. The acting can be a bit … uneven, but I suppose that's to be expected when we're dealing with FMV from this era. The female lead does quite well in her role, and interestingly enough (though perhaps unsurprisingly) I'd say that Rob Schneider is among the weakest performances here despite having top billing. I can only assume that slotting in a B-List celebrity as the voice of the player was an attempt to sell games on the basis of his fame, so it really is a bit of a letdown that Schneider wasn't able to quite match the output of his lesser known castmates. This becomes even more egregious when we consider that the budget of this game (the first and only to be published by AnyRiver Entertainment) essentially put the publisher out of business before it even hit store shelves.

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Where the game struggles of course is the same Achilles heel seen in so many FMV titles from this era, the gameplay. To its credit, A Fork in the Tale manages to pull off some consistently fast paced gameplay, even if it is purely in the form of quicktime events. In any given dialogue you're typically given several branching dialogue options. Navigation sequences (often in the form of escape sequences) force you to make rapid decisions regarding your route. Action sequences require you to click moving onscreen elements in order to progress. There are even rudimentary spell components in which you must move your mouse in prescribed patterns in order to cast magical effects. It's all very involved, and it's rare that you have a dull moment, but at the same time … it can all feel a bit janky. Sometimes contextual prompts happen very quickly, or you're not sure what you're supposed to do. The game does a middling job of cluing you in regarding the correct actions to take, or the timing of when to take them. This can often lead to some frustrating repetition of segments in which you watch the same people saying the same things over and over again just waiting to see if this is the time you hit that contextual mouse click just right … Obviously these sort of repetitive segments can pop up in almost any game, it just seems to be a bit more problematic in FMV games, where it's literally as enjoyable as rewinding a movie and watching the same two minute segment several times in a row.

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So can I recommend A Fork in the Tale without reservations? Definitely not. I think this is a game in search of the sort of player who's capable of looking past its faults to see the diamond cubic zirconia in the rough. If you can handle a near constant stream of quicktime events, have a love for deliciously low budget sci-fi/fantasy and a relatively high tolerance for the 'comedy' stylings of Rob Schneider, you'll probably glean some enjoyment from A Fork in the Tale. If any combination of the above sounds less than appealing, you might want to steer clear of this one.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:09 pm
by ElkinFencer10
Ack wrote:
ElkinFencer10 wrote:
Ack wrote:I have to know, what are your top light gun games? I think we all played a bunch, and Area 51 was pretty much everywhere in my area in the mid-90s but then entirely vanished around 2000 when I saw Area 51: Site 4 replacing it...and then nobody played it. My brother played a ton of Maximum Force, and we were both fans of Virtua Cop and House of the Dead. Would you suggest others to look up?

Are you talking just Saturn light gun games or light gun games in general?


I was talking light gun games in general.

And I guess it was just an Alabama thing, but for some reason post-2000, I never saw another Area 51. They were all Site 4 from that point on.

Site 4 was definitely more common, but there were still a few Area 51 machines floating around here until about 2010 or so.

If I had to pick top 5 light gun games in general, I'd say (along with the version I played the most):

1. Dead Space Extraction (Wii)
2. House of the Dead Overkill (Wii)
3. Time Crisis 2 (arcade)
4. Area 51 (Saturn)
5. Lethal Enforcers 2 (Sega CD)

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:13 pm
by MrPopo
Ack wrote:
ElkinFencer10 wrote:
Ack wrote:I have to know, what are your top light gun games? I think we all played a bunch, and Area 51 was pretty much everywhere in my area in the mid-90s but then entirely vanished around 2000 when I saw Area 51: Site 4 replacing it...and then nobody played it. My brother played a ton of Maximum Force, and we were both fans of Virtua Cop and House of the Dead. Would you suggest others to look up?

Are you talking just Saturn light gun games or light gun games in general?


I was talking light gun games in general.

And I guess it was just an Alabama thing, but for some reason post-2000, I never saw another Area 51. They were all Site 4 from that point on.

It was the same in Illinois. Once Site 4 hit it seems like they tied to replace all the old machine (it wouldn't shock me if it was billed as a simple PCB upgrade or something). And it's a shame, because I felt Site 4 was worse.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:33 pm
by marurun
I normally don't like light gun games. House of the Dead 2 is the first one that really interested me, TBH. And stuff like the helicopter ones from Sega, those are unique enough for a little play time.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:06 pm
by PresidentLeever

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:30 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
1. Bastion (iOS)
2. LaserCat (360)
3. Zombie Incident (3DS)
4. Bye-Bye BoxBoy! (3DS)
5. Monument Valley 2 (iOS)
6. Zenge (iOS)
7. Master of Darkness (Game Gear/3DS)
8. Wonder Boy (SMS)
9. Full Throttle Remastered (iOS)
10. Adventure Island (NES)
11. Adventure Island II (NES)
12. Adventure Island (GB)
13. Super Adventure Island (SNES)
14. New Adventure Island (TG16)
15. Adventure Island III (NES)
16. The Legend of the Ghost Lion (NES)
17. Part Time UFO (iOS)
18. Adventure Island II: Aliens in Paradise (GB)
19. Adventure Island IV (NES)
20. Super Adventure Island II (SNES)
21. Adventure Island: The Beginning (WII)
22. Quell Memento (3DS)
23. Wonder Boy in Monster Land (ARCADE)
24. Saiyuuki World (FAMICOM)
25. Whomp ‘Em (NES)

Whomp ‘Em Is the North American version of Saiyuuki World II - Son Wukong has been replaced by a young Native American - making it the revised sequel to a revised port of Wonder Boy in Monster Land (and, therefore, a distant cousin of both the Adventure Island and Wonder Boy series). It has a last level and last boss that are both pretty terrible - just like Wonder Boy in Monster Land! - but is otherwise a solid action platformer that was pretty obviously influenced by the NES Mega Man games. (I wouldn’t quite call it an imitation, but it has features like selectable levels and permanent acquired abilities that make the influence obvious.) It features the bright, colorful graphics and chipper sound effects characteristic of late period NES games, and it controls very well. It also has some pretty intense, enjoyable boss fights, which are probably the game’s highlight. Again, however, the last boss is basically a war of attrition - if you stocked up on life and use the most powerful weapon, he’s a pushover; otherwise, he’s impossible - and the level design is pretty dull. It is also just a bit too long to lack a save feature, but the ability to “pause” games on modern systems and emulators resolves that issue with the original release. I probably won’t come back to it, but is a nice little diversion and an interesting, curious spin off of the Wonder Boy series.

Up next....another Wonder Boy in Monster Land Port...Bikkuriman World for the TG16!

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:09 am
by Key-Glyph
01. Contra: Hard Corps (GEN)*
02. Contra (NES)*
03. Star Fox 64 (N64)
04. Silent Steel (PC)
05. Ecco the Dolphin (GEN)*

06. Ecco: The Tides of Time (GEN)*

* = replay

So, I've been revisiting my Ecco roots this past week.
With an object in the Ecco games being my internet namesake, you might guess that the series is important to me. The series is so important, in fact, that sometimes I can't tell whether it was somehow the perfect combination of variables to seem almost custom-built for me, or if it influenced me into becoming who I am so dramatically that I now can't tell the difference between these two possibilities.

In replaying the first title a few days ago, I was brought on an incredible journey through the pervasive loneliness, the haunting messages, the breathtaking scenery, and the enigmatic mystery of the game's unfolding story all over again. It was amazing and just as engrossing as it's ever been. It's hard in every aspect: the physics are unique among other games, the ever-depleting oxygen meter functions as a constant timer, and many levels are an intense exercise in patience and perseverance. In my eyes, this game is brilliant in so many ways. The last time I'd beaten it was sometime within the last ten years, so it was still relatively fresh in my mind. Everything felt familiar.

Tides of Time, however, I haven't replayed since I was a teenager, and I was really interested to see how it felt to my grown-up self. I was surprised by two things: that my conclusions about the game have not changed since those days, and that there were elements of the game (certain enemies, some secondary plot points) that I'd somehow completely forgotten about. Egad!

Tides is a beautiful game with better difficulty balancing -- including actual difficulty settings -- than the original and huge, expansive levels. It is extremely ambitious in the story it tries to tell, involving trips to two separate Earth futures (one a gorgeous utopia of telepathic flying dolphins and a sentient ocean, the other a barren hellscape of machine pollution and terrifying creatures). If you were traumatized as expected by the first game, Tides brilliantly exploits your fears to leverage the weight and emotion of its plot. When you first read dolphins telling you they "hear songs of fear from the north... terrible songs of strange creatures in the sea..." and you encounter a Vortex spawn in the third level, you have to take a moment, either on a pause screen or the level's title card if you died, to let the horror that's screaming at you right out of the gate fully sink in. As a kid, I actually sat there debating if I could keep going. Could I handle the feelings the playthrough would bring? Could I handle the feelings if I failed to win?

But this sequel always felt a little weird to me, and it still does. I think Tides must have been rushed: It starts off incredibly strong and has an abundance of new ideas smashed into it, but most of these ideas don't feel as solid or deeply considered as most of the elements in the first game and seem to exist only to change up gameplay. You really notice a change halfway through, like the game suddenly loses focus and steam. Some levels are shockingly short in contrast to the general pacing, making you wonder why exactly they're in there; others are extremely long but don't advance the story. It feels like some exposition is actually missing, not just obscured to be purposely intriguing. The execution just isn't tight and polished like its predecessor.

Speaking of level lengths, some stages are absolutely gigantic in scope, which sounds awesome but is sometimes a drawback. Spending over a half hour on one run of a stage can be tiring, and it's especially frustrating if you die and have to start from the beginning. The first Ecco was aggravating in the death department, but until you get to some of the later levels you don't feel like you're set back quite so far by any given failure. Not so here. Another drawback to stage length is that... well, you feel like you're seeing the same environments a lot. The first Ecco had a lot of very visually unique stages ranging all over the globe, even off-planet. Tides is striking in the future levels, but sometimes the present doesn't look all that different from its utopian eventuality. There's even a level that I would swear to you was designed to be in the future but was later retooled.

That's not to say that Tides of Time isn't great. It's the continuation of an epic saga, ends on a gutpunch cliffhanger, builds off the first game in truly resonant ways, and has a killer soundtrack. But it's still something I'm not going to feel compelled to replay much -- and not out of frustration. The up-in-the-air feeling about it, like it is somehow overflowing with concepts but not consistently awe inspiring, just doesn't leave as much of an impression as I would have hoped.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:53 pm
by PresidentLeever


30. Welcome to Heaven (MSX)
31. Firebird (MSX) (click for full reviews)

Two games with unusual premises. I quite liked Firebird, it's similar to Elemental Master or Knightmare but with more fleshed out gameplay. Each level is made up of three partially connected, looping paths with locked gates that you need to find keys for to proceed. Some of these are actually in other levels though, see the entire game is actually connected and you can travel between levels at a certain point, even jump ahead to the last one. The game is also rather modern in how forgiving it is for a shoot 'em up.