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pierrot
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Re: July Together Retro: I ❤ the monster hero!

by pierrot Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:47 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:If you get the chance, try out the Gameboy remake/sequel sometime.

I'm planning on playing Kid Dracula, and Gargoyle's quest (emulated--ew) on my PSP, before the end of the month.


So, for anyone who (wrongly) thought life was better lived not watching someone play through After Armageddon Gaiden on the Sega CD--I mean, unless you have small children, in which case, probably a smart move--I thought I'd give a taste of what you're missing. This is maybe the most appropriate game I can think of for this month's TR. The basic premise is that human civilization was mostly wiped out by a nuclear event, which ushered in the dawn of a new era, ruled by demons and monsters. Over the course of 100 years of war, a demon lord named Volzarg consolidated power, and turned the remaining humans into domesticated animals, so to speak. Emulating human civilization, he also constructed a government/statehood, and forced the demons to dwell in towns and cities.

After Armageddon Gaiden follows a group of five mercenaries, who were employed by Volzarg during the wars: Radyun, the wind dragon; Jakos, the ifrit; Dalzam, the golem; Freya, the succubus; Ropels, the gooey slime monster dude. They're sort of tormented by the fact that Volzarg has made this monster civilization in the spirit of human civilizations, because it's so 'unnatural.' Early on they also sort of have this moment of uncertainty about why they always work together, as a quintet, when it's in their nature as demons to want to vie for supremacy over others.

At first the group responds to a task from Volzarg, and his general, to take out this petty thief who's been stealing a bunch of livestock (ie. humans). They do so, and while in the ruins of a human city, where the thief was hiding out, they find a beacon to an abandoned human research facility on the other side of the world. They decide that this is somewhere they absolutely must go because it 'feels' right. So, they do, after taking a pit stop at the museum to pick up an old ID Card. After pluming the nether depths of the research facility, they find an ancient temple, where statues of Gabriel, Uriel, and Rafael welcome the main characters as their descendants. They also meet Ra-Mu, who orchestrated the mass extinctions of the dinosaurs, the monsters (a first time), and then the humans. Now he's tired of seeing the way monsters are living, and wants to kill them off again. He asks the characters to join with him in the destruction, but they refuse, and Ra-Mu unleashes Armageddon, anyway.

After arising from the underground, and witnessing the aftermath of hellfire, the "heroes" head back to Volzarg, only to realize that he's been a desciple of Ra-Mu's this whole time, and actually making the monsters that the group has been fighting against, in some sense to gauge the demons' fitness to continue to exist on this planet. It's at this point that the game's main hook becomes accessible. In their initial forms, the party is limited to stat levels of 20, but after giving them a human to eat, and letting them evolve, their stat level maximums begin to increase as well. The goal is to achieve an ultimate form, I suppose merely to be able to strike back against Ra-Mu. It's not really clear what triggers the option to continue to eat humans, and evolve again, though. It's also unclear why there are something like ten forms each character can take on at each evolution.

It's a really weird game, and there's a lot of other stuff going on with the story that's--I don't know. It's told in a way that always kind of defies expectations, but not really in a good way. Right now I'm headed to Atlantis, to meet with the King of Atlantis, King Sol. The Will of Fire told me to kill King Sol because he defies the will of the planet, and all living things must be removed from the planet in order to save it. The Will of Water, on the other hand, tells the group not to be deceived, and that the King of Atlantis will tell them how to save the planet if they meet with him.

Yeah--.

It's interesting, anyway.
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MrPopo
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Re: July Together Retro: I ❤ the monster hero!

by MrPopo Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:33 am

Nemoide wrote:I'm glad to know about that unofficial patch for Giants: Citizen Kabuto. Too bad it sounds like the game has been less than stellar so far.

I played that game at a LAN party back when I was in high school and had a total blast. I bought it afterwards and gave up on the single player game pretty quickly. Still, there's a part of me that would like to give it another shot, especially since I know there's an option for improved controls.

So interestingly, the second campaign is much shorter than the first. Like I said, you jump into base building starting on the second chapter; presumably they feel you've learned all the basics, and so the first mission did the job of teaching you the new things about the Reapers. You still have all the spells to try out, but as I said, they're quite lackluster.

But after that first base mission you get to do a series of jetski races. So you have the weird turning and it's four longish laps to get through. And you'll have to do it one more time in another couple of missions. It's a giant case of "WHY?" Aside from that you have two other base building missions, with the only differentiation between them and the first one is how easy it is to get the 3-4 smarties you need to finish your base (min 3 for one building, 4 lets you parallelize some construction on the rest) and keep them fed. Fortunately, the Reapers stay fed much easier; their food is souls which are not just from the Vimps that give meat, but also comes off of killing enemies. So the Reaper base missions go much faster. Then after the last base mission you do a quick boss fight, but the AI was pretty simple (I walked up and rapid fired explosive arrows while she attacked back once for every three). So now I'm onto the Kabuto campaign, which plays quite differently. You're a giant creature who picks up dudes and eats them with a giant health pool. And eating smarties (though in the campaign they're EVIL smarties) fills a meter that increases your size and damage when it fills up. You end up being as tall as the lookout towers by the end, so it does get you being a giant right.
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Re: July Together Retro: I ❤ the monster hero!

by noiseredux Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:34 pm

Back in the day I was a proud owner of the Sega Master System. I picked up on deep discount not long after the release of the Genesis and scooped up any cheap games I could find. One of them was called Psycho Fox - not exactly a killer app, but I thought it was fun.

Psycho Fox was a colorful platformer where you played as a Fox who could punch or stomp on enemies. And you could find a power-up that was a bird perched on your shoulder. You were able to throw the bird at enemies and he'd return to you. It was fun enough. And it was unique for the time.

As it turns out, Decap Attack is sort of a sequel to Psycho Fox. Or I guess a spiritual sequel since there's no fox nor bird. Instead you play as a mummy and his face pops out to hit enemies and he can find a skull power-up that he can throw at enemies and it returns to him. So yeah, it plays the same. But man... Decap Attack is not as fun as I remember Psycho Fox being.

First of all, the controls suck. Our mummy hero is a gigantic sprite who feels like he weighs a thousand pounds. He runs like he's on ice and his jumps are way too floaty. It just doesn't feel good for platforming. Luckily this is another game I'm only playing because it happens to be on that Switch Genesis compilation. I'm glad I didn't go out of my way to spend money on this particular game.

Considering how limited my game time has been lately, I'm giving games like this a pretty strict 30 minutes to wow me. Y'know what? Not even WOW me. They just have to at least be fun. At least Ristar is fun. This game, ugh. The levels are like mazes with a lot of verticality and I'm just getting annoyed even trying to navigate the stupid bouncy walls with these poor physics. So yeah. Not having fun here. Moving on...
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: July Together Retro: I ❤ the monster hero!

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:59 pm

If I recall correctly, there are people in the forum who love that game. (AJ, maybe?) Your impression is consistent with my own, however.
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Re: July Together Retro: I ❤ the monster hero!

by alienjesus Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:14 pm

I did rather enjoy Decap Attack. On the other hand, I think Psycho Fox is a giant pile of arse, so clearly me and Noise have different tastes :lol:
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Re: July Together Retro: I ❤ the monster hero!

by noiseredux Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:15 pm

alienjesus wrote:I did rather enjoy Decap Attack. On the other hand, I think Psycho Fox is a giant pile of arse, so clearly me and Noise have different tastes :lol:


Ha! To be fair, I haven't played Psycho Fox since the early 90's so who knows how I'd like it now.
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pierrot
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Re: July Together Retro: I ❤ the monster hero!

by pierrot Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:57 pm

Yeah, I don't think you would like Psycho Fox too much, these days. I've managed to play a world or two of Decap Attack, but I've only ever been able to stomach a couple minutes of Psycho Fox.

One thing you might want to look into, Noise, is the Japanese version of Decap Attack. It's not really a different game, per se, but you might enjoy checking it out briefly, since it's so visually different from Decap Attack (and maybe a bit more similar to Psycho Fox, in that respect). It doesn't have a monster hero, though, unfortunately.
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Re: July Together Retro: I ❤ the monster hero!

by MrPopo Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:19 am

I finished Giants and my rant is in Games Beaten. The tl;dr is don't play this game.
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Re: July Together Retro: I ❤ the monster hero!

by PresidentLeever Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:01 pm

I'm nearing the end of Dungeon Keeper 2 now, I suppose that counts? Except in DK, you're a monster god building a monster empire tile by tile underground, mainly through slave labor, war and torture. :lol:

It holds up rather well, besides an annoying lack of hotkeys for various actions and not being able to zoom out quite as far as I'd like. Possession mode (this lets you control a single unit in FP view) is enhanced a bit with new special abilites you can use in that mode, like sniping, hypnotising and freeing imprisoned allies, so I've been having some fun with that lately. As a vampire you can transform into a bat, go hypnotise an enemy, then lure it back to your dungeon and make it convert to your side.
Spells have been scaled back a bit so you have to rely more on creatures and traps here. While they were a highlight of DK1 I suppose it's for the better. I still kinda prefer the prequel for its atmosphere and more outlandish creature selection, but this does play a bit better overall. There's also a lot of cutscenes, and while the humour is hit and miss they look surprisingly good for the time.

Getting through the campaign has gone pretty well thus far, about 14 missions into it, but getting all the hidden special items seems ridiculously hard by comparison. A recent mission made gold and space very limited and made you go out and fight for additional mana pools to use summon spells with while the enemy kept getting reinforcements, so you were always under pressure. Apparently there were 8 special items in that one, none of which I found.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96kOS8rSavY
Good rundown on stuff you can do with possession. No that song isn't from the game, fortunately.
http://minirevver.weebly.com/ - Mini-reviews, retro vgm tribute, rom hacks, chip music, mockups, misc. lists
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Re: July Together Retro: I ❤ the monster hero!

by MrPopo Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:32 pm

So I remember when I played DK1 the most frustrating thing was trying to get my army to do what I needed it due to the somewhat cumbersome way of maneuvering things around; I wanted to just do an RTS attack move or something and instead needed to coerce them with candy. Is that improved much in the sequel?
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