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July Together Retro: I ❤ the monster hero!

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:24 am
by Nemoide
This month, we're exploring games where the playable character is a MONSTER!
"Monster" is a vague term, but I'd like to mostly avoid normal humans/animals, friendly aliens, or robots. It's a little fuzzy but I feel like I can trust everyone to pick monster-y monsters. And I'd like to keep the "10 or more years old" rule in effect to keep things retro!

In the interest of keeping discussion going, I'd like to encourage folks to reflect on the meaning of monsters, how playing as one makes the game different than if you were playing as a regular human. You don't need to write up an essay or anything, it just might make for some interesting perspectives.

There are TONS of games to choose from! Here's a list with some options (with thanks to those who suggested some in the poll thread!):

Alien vs. Predator (SNES) - Predator
Alien vs. Predator (arcade) - Predator
Alien vs. Predator (Jaguar) - Alien/Predator
Aliens vs. Predator (PC) - Alien/Predator
Bloodrayne (Gamecube/PS2/oXbox) - dhampir
Bloody Roar series (PS1/PS2/GC/Xbox) - Zoanthropes
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1/PSP/XBLA/PSN) - dhampir
Destroy All Humans (PS2/oXbox) - aliens
Darkstalkers 3/Vampire Savior (Arcade/PS1/Saturn/XBLA/PSN) - various
Dragon Quest Heroes: Monster Slime (DS) - slime
Gargoyle's Quest (Game Boy/3DS Virtual Console) - gargoyle
Giants: Citizen Kabuto (PS2/PC) - Aliens/giant monster
Geist (Gamecube) - ghost
Godzilla: Monster of Monsters (NES) - Godzilla/Mothra
Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (Gamecube/Xbox) - various giant monsters
Jurassic Park (Genesis) - Raptor
Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition (Genesis) - Raptor
Kid Dracula (Famicom/Game Boy) - Vampire
King of the Monsters (Neo Geo/SNES/Genesis) - various giant monsters
Legacy of Kain series (PS1/PS2/Xbox/PC/DC) - vampires
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Gamecube Wii) - werewolf
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (PS1/Saturn) - various dinosaurs
Monster in My Pocket (NES) - vampire/Frankenstein's monster
Primal Rage (arcade/SNES/Genesis/32X/Saturn/Jaguar) - various monster-gods
Rampage (Arcade/NES/SMS/too many to list) - Giant Ape/Lizard/Wolfman
Splatterhouse (arcade/TurboGrafx) - undead/mask-possessed-"Jason"
Toxic Crusaders (NES/Game Boy/Genesis) - Mutant/Wolfman
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (PC) - vampire
Werewolf: The Last Warrior (NES) - werewolf
Wolfchild (SNES/Genesis) - Werewolf

And I'm sure there are PLENTY MORE that I'm not thinking of. Let's get spooky!

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

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:51 pm
by Ziggy587
How about the Disgaea series? I haven't played any of the sequels, but the main playable character is a demon in the first game. And the rest of your party is made up of various monsters. Also, it's on sale right now on Steam! Link is for the first game, I think some of the sequels might be on sale right now too.

Would you consider a Big Daddy to be a monster? If so, you play as one in Bioshock 2 (this is technically only 9.5 years old).

In Decap Attack you play as a headless mummy!

Grim Fandango? I haven't played this one yet, but I think the main character is deceased former human.

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

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:11 pm
If you like Yakuza you’ll love Destroy All Humans, or vise versa. Both are just weird and odd. :D

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

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:24 pm
by pierrot
I fired up Demon's Crest tonight, and oh my god, the slowdown in this game. Oh my god. The slowdown, in this game.

Technically I'm playing Demon's Blazon, the Japanese version. I don't really know if there are any significant differences between regions, though. I played through the first two levels, and a bit of the third as well, but when I died in the water section there, that felt like enough for the night. The first level was extremely easy, but by the second level, it felt like the developers were already committed to making the game not much fun to play. It's interesting to have multiple paths in the levels, but it's also kind of annoying, too. Like, why not just split the one level up into two? I don't really see a reason not to, so that makes me feel like the multiple paths are really superfluous. I'm not really sold on the transformations, either. Granted, I only have the Earth Blazon right now, and maybe that's just the worst of all of them, or something. I don't know. The second level pretty much forces you to use it for a lot of the stages, though, and in general, the enemy placements/patterns don't really feel like they were made to be fought with the Red Arimer. Again there's a pointless mode 7 map screen to deal with in a SNES game. That's great.

I do like the visual style at least, and while I don't know if it will ultimately be all that memorable, the music is fairly enjoyable. I mean to press on, but my initial feelings toward it are of disappointment, because I really liked Gargoyle's Quest II (or Red Arimer II, as I played it), and Demon's Crest doesn't feel anywhere near as fun to play.

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

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:56 am
by Ziggy587
pierrot wrote:I fired up Demon's Crest tonight, and oh my god, the slowdown in this game. Oh my god. The slowdown, in this game. :lol:

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

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:22 am
by noiseredux
I'm sort of considering playing Decap Attack, which I believe is on the Switch Sega Genesis Classics collection. Pretty sure that game is somehow connected to Psycho Fox (SMS), which I LOVED as a kid. That said, my gaming time has been SUPER limited right now, and I've been slowly working on Ritual Of The Night when I have time, so we'll see.

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

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:39 am
by Ziggy587
I purchased Decap Attack earlier this year when I did a little bit of a Genesis game buying binge, this would be a perfect opportunity for me to actually play it! But like you, Noise, my game time has been limited and I'm working on Ritual of the Night right now. We'll see.

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

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:24 pm
by pierrot
Ziggy587 wrote:
pierrot wrote:I fired up Demon's Crest tonight, and oh my god, the slowdown in this game. Oh my god. The slowdown, in this game. :lol:

Heh, I thought that seemed kind of familiar when I wrote it. I really liked those first few seasons of American Dad. Unfortunately, the slowdown in Demon's Crest is really not the great thing that Chocodiles are. (Although they might be equally deadly.)

I finished Demon's Crest last night. It was a pretty anticlimactic ending, but the whole game just feels kind of half assed, to me. It's not bad, per se, it's just not nearly as good as Gargoyle's Quest II, and doesn't even quite feel like a finished product, on its own. I'm not sure if I got a bad ending, or something, because I was short a Blazon, a spell scroll, two talismans, and four health even though I felt like I was pretty thorough. The transformations are probably what I have the biggest problem with. They're mostly only relevant in the latter part of the game, and even then, they're not that important. It's kind of annoying that the most useful of the four I got was also unavailable to me until I had finished the first path of the sixth, and penultimate stage. It, and the dark fire ability ended up feeling like afterthoughts, because there's practically nowhere to use them. The final boss was also one of the easiest in the game, but that was partly because it was possibly the least trash boss design. The bosses in this game really sucked.

It's a playable game, and I could maybe understand how some people would like it. Personally, I didn't find much of it to be actually enjoyable to play. Even the metroid-y elements feel a bit lazy. The presentation is quite good, at least, but it doesn't make up for the uninteresting gameplay. I'm just really glad I never spent all the money this thing usually goes for. I would have been really upset if I had. Just, don't spend real money on this game, is all I have to say.

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

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:31 pm
by Nemoide
I played through Primal Rage for 32X today.
This is one of those games my inner 9-year-old thinks is SUPER AWESOME because you can play as things like MONSTER APES or FIRE BREATHING DINOSAURS. Unfortunately it's really pretty bleh.

It's a fighting game in the vein of Mortal Kombat. I'm pretty sure the character sprites are digitized models which look pretty cool. There are fatalities (including an infamous "golden shower"), though I don't know how to perform any of them. Special moves seem to be all-over-the-place and I never really figured those out either. Each character does have a pretty unique personality through their special moves, which is good.
The story's a little weird: the game seems to take place in the future, after a cataclysm has destroyed human civilizations and reshaped the continents to look like a T. Rex head that's shooting a fire-ball. The playable characters are ancient gods who have woken up and fight one another to conquer the world and gain human worshipers.

I first set the difficulty to 2 (out of 16) to get a feel for the game, since I didn't want to really sink a ton of time into practicing to beat this thing. Not only was it super-breezy, you also miss the final battle and ending sequence by doing that! So I bumped up the difficulty to 10, which I *still* found to be pretty easy (I continued once before the final fight). On that difficulty, once you finish battling all the normal enemies, you have to "regain your health" by eating as many worshipers as you can (I didn't get many :/). Then you go up against EVERY CHARACTER (including your own) for a hardcore endurance match. Each one only lasts the equivalent of one-round, then the next challenger shows up. To make it a little more fair, once you run out of health, you regain as much health as you did by eating worshipers in the bonus round. You also continue within the match, so as long as you can keep chipping away at the opponents, it's not so bad. It's kind of an interesting approach to a boss battle, but I kind of would have preferred a unique boss character.

Anyway, this game is fun enough for about an hour, but I don't see myself playing it much more. Part of that is because my 32X is extremely finicky and I don't like trying to get it working all the time, but also the gameplay is just pretty bland. I guess it would be more fun with a friend and it's definitely not the worst fighter on the 32X, but I feel like there are a lot better game to play.

In other TR-related gaming, I started playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. But I'm just at the very beginning and so I'm not a werewolf yet; I don't really have any solid thoughts to share about the game so far.

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

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:21 pm
by Ack
Primal Rage has an interesting input system for commands. To execute specials, you have to hold down the required attack button, enter the directional command, and release the attack. It's different from the straight direction maneuvers of Mortal Kombat or the sliding directionals of Street Fighter. I was never a fan of it.