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Key-Glyph
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by Key-Glyph Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:36 am

Thanks for the input, Maru and Bone. And thanks for redacting information, Maru -- that's exactly why I was afraid to look anything up about the difficulties! (I also love that you would dream of the Lemmings' tousle-haired silhouettes. Those sprites have sooooo much personality.)

I think I am going to tackle Sunsoft difficulty next, consider the game beaten when I'm through, and then return to the game in the future to polish off Present difficulty for completion's sake. I kind of like the idea that maybe I'll pick away at the Present levels slowly over time, just a few here and there every year, when the desire strikes. Lemmings has been a big influence on me for so long, and stretching it out into the future feels nice.

And not only am I dreaming about the game, but now I'm humming the theme constantly. I was wandering around the house and my husband goes, "You've got Lemmings on the BRAIN!" Hadn't even consciously realized what I was doing.

Tentative plans to be a Lemming for Halloween if a Toriel costume doesn't pan out?? :mrgreen:
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by Key-Glyph Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:37 am

Folks, it's finally done. After all these years, I watched my last lemming squeak through the gate to freedom with zero time left on the clock. I actually thought I hadn't done it; the stage was already fading to black as he dashed over the hills. The feeling of closure that washed over me! Aghgsfshslj.

I passed over the Present levels for a rainy day, but I've completed everything else and am considering this one beaten.

I'm amazed at how quickly it seemed to go by, actually. No series of stages was consistently beastly; you would get in grooves where you'd sail through fifteen levels in a row in an evening, hit a stumper, step away for a few days, come back, repeat. And no matter how much the manual pumps up the mind-breaking difficulty of the Sunsoft levels, that's 1000% hot air. Mayhem is by far the toughest, in the sense that you will find yourself staring at several maps for an hour apiece, trying to work it out -- like your brain is gnawing on a jawbreaker. That happened once or twice in Sunsoft, especially the last level, but cripes. Mayhem was the true hero's trial.

I'm so glad I finished this for this summer's challenge, for many reasons. For one, I sometimes get it into my head that certain games are just beyond my brain and skill level, and Lemmings was one of them. Finishing a game I'd been assuming was out of my reach for this long always makes me feel especially good. And for another, it's been unfinished business since I was what, eight? And I know now that there was no way I could have done this at that age. It was amazing to compare my reasoning abilities in hindsight against how I conduct myself now as an adult -- that it now made sense to me to approach the levels like programming or like a science experiment, to try things out and see what I needed to prevent or preserve, and not just give up if I "wasn't good enough to see the solution."

Case in point, during the last level I felt like I'd finally hit on the technique, but I said to my husband, exasperated, "I just need FIVE SECONDS! Five more seconds!! Where can I shave off five seconds?!" It felt like that scene in Apollo 13 when they're trying to figure out the precise boot sequence to keep energy consumption under twelve amps. :lol: ("You can't run a VACUUM CLEANER on twelve amps, John!!")

Also, this ending credits rendition of the theme song is hella sweet. I'm listening it on loop right now.

And speaking of music, I feel like sharing a Lemmings-themed karaoke I wrote in a fever haze a few years back. Our very own JT has cataloged a lot of "VGM karaokes" in a Soundcloud of his, and this was one of my contributions. I will preface this with the note that I deliberately recorded my vocals for the track while I was still suffering from the flu that inspired it, because something about being super congested seemed extra innocent and Lemmings-like. Lyrics and song info under the spoiler in case you want you read along!

Lemmings (Follow Behind Me)

To the tune of: Teen Agent, "Intro C2 (Main Theme)"

Music by: Radek Szamrej (RST)
Lyrics by: KeyGlyph

---

In our core
we're explorers

but we're dumb
with directions

I know I can lead
all my friends here
from point A off to point B

Deep down I believe
they'll be safe if
they all follow behind me

Here we go
Up we go
Down we go
Round we go

Gotta float
Gotta dig
Climb a wall
Build a bridge

Gonna fall
Gonna rise
Stay in line
Keeping time

So we are
So we go
See the goal
We're almost home (and)

Out here in the wide world
there's nothing gentle or safe
to be found

but if we
keep on marching onward
someday we'll find a place to settle down

Out there in the wide world
there's something promising and
profound

and when we
can't resist its calling
we're gonna set out for some newer ground

Here we go
Up we go
Down we go
Round we go

Gotta float
Gotta dig
Climb a wall
Build a bridge

Gonna fall
Gonna rise
Stay in line
Keeping time

So we are
So we go
See the goal
We're almost home

I know I can lead
all my friends here
from point A off to point B

Deep down I believe
they'll be safe if
they all follow behind me
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by Ack Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:01 am

You da real MVP, Key. Congratulations on besting Lemmings!
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by marurun Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:53 am

The Summer Games Challenge should be about trying to keep up with the force of nature that is KeyGlyph. Crushing classics like a monster truck on SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by pierrot Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:22 pm

Congrats, Key!


Well, I had Sorcerian listed for my challenge, but I may as well make it Xanadu, since that was, and possibly still is, the best selling PC game of all time, in Japan. Also, I happen to be playing it now.

I think I might have gotten a bead on Xanadu. I reintroduced myself to a lot of things about the game by R-ing-TFM, which I probably should have done before starting it again last week. I rolled a new character, because I figured it would be a lot faster than trying to make things work on the one we'd settled on last week. The main issue is that the cost of keys increases with each level up (either fighting, or wizard level, but not both), and keys are hella important. I also found out that the pendant item will unlock all doors in a room inside of the towers. So, I went a little heavier on charisma to reduce the price of the initial key buying spree I planned on (and as I'm typing this, I realized that I forgot to use the bottle item, which temporarily increases CHR, before stocking up on keys >_<). I cut back a bit on DEX, which primarily affects the speed of opening treasure chests, and WIS, which affects items (having zero wisdom makes one unable to use items, but I'm hypothesizing that higher wisdom will at least affect how much red potions heal; With 30 wisdom, the red potions are only healing about 150 of my 1500 max HP).

It took a few rerolls to finally settle on this character, though. Part of that was being reintroduced to the karma system. So, one has to have zero karma in order to get past a door to the 10th floor. Killing certain types of enemies, or otherwise going against god's will increases one's karma. Having even a karma value of one means that the priest in the temple won't allow one's character to level up, and level-ups open the doors to the next floor. It's still technically possible to continue on, even without getting the level up to open the doors, by using the Black Onyx, and Fire Crystal items, which warp between floors, but that's probably not ideal. Something can happen when you first enter the first floor, though, where your karma increases to one. I believe it's caused by saving, before doing anything else. This happened on the first character I rolled last night, but I didn't notice it until I had been grinding for about 45 minutes, and tried going to the temple to see what the experience needed to level up in fighting was.

I'm actually enjoying Xanadu a lot more this time around, so far. I have a feeling things will start to flow a bit faster now that I kind of have a plan of attack, and have stocked up on 43 keys. I was going to finish up a couple of the towers on the first floor, but I'm pretty close to being ready to stomp all over the second floor. My equipment is not ideal right now, though. Especially the armor. I would still like to get a bunch more keys if I can, as well. I'll be back at it tomorrow night, and hoping to get to the third floor. Maybe a crown, even. That'd be cool.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by pook99 Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:08 am

I finished 3 games for the summer challenge over the last couple of days. I doubt any of them would be considered classics but they are 3 games I have always wanted to play and never got around to so I am counting them for my list.

1) congos caper: I was a big fan of joe and mac as a kid and have always wanted to play this unoffical sequel to the series and I'm glad I did. The game plays similar to joe and mac, you hit enemies with a club, you have a jump and a super jump, and the game has a very similar graphical style to the joe and mac series.

It's nothing special but it is a fun and well made platformer, the only odd quirk I noticed was the difficulty, I had a lot of trouble with the first stage and the first boss, by the time I finished the 1st series of levels I had used 2 of the my 3 continues and had 3 lives remaining on my last continue. By the time I finished the game I had not used my last continue and had 36 lives remaining. I'm not sure if the first level was much harder than the rest of the game or I was just acclimating to the controls but it certainly was odd.

2) Cybernator: I had always heard a lot about this game and it definitely was kick ass. The controls are a bit odd and take some getting used to but this is a pretty awesome action game.

The game has a very nice level variety, some levels are standard run n gun, some play like a schmup, some are zero gravity and you can float around everywhere, and some have you auto dashing and shooting enemies. Every one of these levels is a really fun time except for the auto dashing levels which completely suck and the controls are so awkward and god awful I can't believe I actually finished them.

This is one of those games that uses every button on the controller, you have a jump that you can hold the button down to hover, and a shoot button. You have a dash button, a block button, a button that holds your aim, and a weapon select button. You will need to get used to all of these buttons if you want to have any chance of success. The block button is extremely useful and while you are blocking you are nearly invincible but you can only block when standing on solid ground. It is a cool mechanic which adds a lot of strategy to the game.

The challenge level is solid, I beat it on my 2nd try using the code that gives you 6 continues instead of 3. Note that you only get one life so this code is really just giving you 3 extra lives which you will definitely need. The last level is definitely one of those last levels that is considerably harder than the rest of the game and the last boss is a huge mech with tons of moving parts to destroy, but nothing is unfair and it is all a ton of fun to play.

This is a kick ass game in every sense of the word and any fan of mechs or action games definitely need to play this

3) Donald duck going quackers (ps1): I wrote a review of this in the games beaten thread but to summarize in a sentence, it is a clone of crash bandicoot. If you enjoy the original 3 crash games you will enjoy this.


So my summer list of games I finally played on my backlog are:

1) Super Mario RPG (snes, finished, loved it)
2) Guardian legend (booooo, probably not a bad game, just too obtuse for me at this stage in my life)
3) Thunderforce 3 (hated it, will acknowledge it is not a bad game)
4) Luigis mansion (I still need to get back and finish this game)
5) Donald Duck Going quackers
6) Congos caper
7) Cybernator

Now I have the day off and don't have any plans until about 5 o clock tonight so I am going to try and bang out at least one more game today but not sure what yet.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by Key-Glyph Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:29 pm

I appreciate the kudos, but folks, AJ has been cranking out the wins. AJ is MVP always.

pook99, congrats on all your gaming this summer! I have to admit you've caught my attention with your Cybernator breakdown. I don't know anything about it, but now I'm curious.

pierrot, Xanadu sounds so freaking complicated! I felt like I was in the twilight zone until I realized you weren't talking about Faxanadu. I was thinking, "Wait, I don't think that's anything like what I've seen of that game?!?" Seriously. Had no idea Xanadu was such an investment.

I'm not considering summer over until sometime in September, so I'm going to move on to Phantasy Star IV and see if I can't finish out one more game on the list. I started PSIV last year and kinda lost interest, but I'm feeling inspired again.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by alienjesus Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:50 am

Key-Glyph wrote:I appreciate the kudos, but folks, AJ has been cranking out the wins. AJ is MVP always.



This is very nice of you to say, but I'm with Ack here! I've beaten 7/10 this year, and I don't think any of them were too long or too challenging. If the only game you had beaten this year was Lemmings I think that would have been impressive enough for me to claim you had done the best - that game gets very tough and has a LOT of levels.

Also, Pook99 has matched me for games beaten this year, so kudos to him too! If you liked his review of Cybernator, I'd also recommend checking it out. It's a fun time and things explode real good in it.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by Key-Glyph Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:46 am

AJ is right. I think we can agree we're all the winners here.

So, I've been plugging away at Phantasy Star IV for the past day or so in the hopes of socking away one more game this summer. I bought PSIV sometime last year because 1) I loved Phantasy Star III and 2) I kept hearing that this installment was the best in the series. Its stand-out features are certainly the manga-style cutscenes, the interactions between the characters, and the ongoing NPC storylines. Regarding the latter, I only just discovered that there are sidequests which, if you hope to solve them, require your paying careful attention to random villagers along the way. That's neat! Too bad I'd assumed the game was on rails and hadn't been taking careful notes, because now I'm feeling discouraged about having to locate some random item somewhere among the dozen towns I've seen.

And this leads into something I feel weird saying based on how highly acclaimed this game is and how much I loved its predecessor, but... Phantasy Star IV just kind of makes me tired. My prevailing sensation is actually one of fatigue. Maybe I'm playing the game wrong, but it feels like it over-complicates the most basic functions to an excessive degree. I think it's doing this to make the game world feel deep and to approximate the experience of deciphering another culture, but the way this is implemented actually discourages me from getting into it. It's this weird paradox of a system that's built specifically for experimentation but which piles on so much tedium you might decide the gooey center isn't worth the chew.

For example, almost every spell, item, skill, and technique has an abstruse name that, for the life of me, I just cannot memorize. I appreciate what they're going for, but I don't think the immersion would have been destroyed by calling things "Fire" or "Heal." And, not all of these items/actions are listed in the manual, either. So you should want to experiment to see what does what, right? Well, not when you're trying to avoid Inn trips to save money for gear and don't want to waste your MP (which is TP here, of course, just to be different), and certainly not when random encounters happen almost every seven steps while you're exploring curiously roomy caves.

As another example, certain spells will combine into bigger, cooler spells, which kicks ass in theory. You don't start out knowing which combos will work, and that kind of discovery appeals to me. However, they have to bog down this scientific process by requiring the spells be cast in direct succession during battle, and further by making character action order determined by the comparative strengths of the individual attacks. So to even attempt to suss out a magic combo, you have to first play chess in your mind with all the other characters to hopefully set up their attack order right ("okay, I'll have this one punt so that they go later than this other one who's casting shield DEBAN, so therefore, if Groucho goes last, Harpo and Chico should attack together in the middle...") -- and then also hope that the enemies don't attack in between your spellcasting partners, because that messes the combo up, too.

This is so much setup to go through just to fail that I find myself not caring; I want to mash through the battles and move on instead. And for someone who loves giant explosions, team attacks, and tactical strategy games, it makes me sad that I feel this way.

And of course, there are a few very subjective things that bug me about the characters and their dialog. Your mileage may vary, but Rika seems to be a particular kind of character that makes me cringe a little: the wide-eyed, super-sheltered young woman who is basically a child in an adult's body and is just so, so glad that you, the hero, became her friend so that she could learn all about the world, because how could she have done that without you, waaiii~? And I'm no super fan of Chaz either, who is an incredibly angsty (pre?)teen who cannot let even the fiftieth opportunity for an "oh yeah?!" retort go by, no matter what kind of horrifying apocalyptic scenario, or whose dead body, the party may be confronting at the moment.

I know I sound really down on this right now, but what I think I'm really saying is: I can see how this game would have appealed to me a lot when I was a teenager, I can see how playing Phantasy Star III first is hurting my experience here, and I understand that the anime aesthetic was a huge, huge part of its reception. I still want to get through it for the worldbuilding aspect -- and because I gotta know what Wren's been up to -- but so far I feel like the story's been nerfed and the battle system's been jacked, and I wanted neither of those things to happen.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by MrPopo Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:04 am

So one thing you might not be aware of; if you use the macro it will force your character order to be in the order you select for the macro, overriding the usual initiative order when you just choose attacks normally.
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