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Note
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Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

by Note Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:08 pm

I pulled out Forgotten Worlds earlier today to participate a bit more in this month's TR before April's over. Actually, I was able to finish the game playing in single player mode, which is the first time I've done so. I had played through the first two or three levels before, but never made it past that point. This is one of those titles that would definitely be better as a co-op experience. It's cool that as long as one player is alive in co-op, you can continue to progress through the game, I wish more games from that era had a similar feature.

I find this game to be challenging, as you have to manage dodging enemy fire, collecting money for upgrades, and rotating your character to aim and fire at enemies. Also, the main character and enemy sprites are pretty big in comparison to other shooters or run and gun titles. I found myself to be short on money most of the game, and couldn't upgrade to the best weapons available in the shop, but was still able to complete it. It took me about an hour to finish the game, but I had to replay some areas so I think it could be done significantly quicker for someone that's more familiar with the game. The game is seven stages long, but feels shorter than I expected.

For the time of it's release, I think this would've been a great co-op pick up and play title, and I think it's held up pretty well over time.
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Nemoide
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Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

by Nemoide Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:16 am

I stopped playing Curse for a while because I started playing Demon's Souls earlier in the month and it ended up kind of taking over my life. But now it's done and I'm back to playing my Japanese Mega Drive!

So Curse is a very obnoxious game. The difficulty is kind of like Gradius, in that if you die once, you can end up totally screwed and end up losing the rest of your lives quickly; it's slightly more forgiving because you have a health bar but it's so easy to crash into things that instant-death is still pretty common.
Once you figure out the first four levels and hold onto your powerups, they're really not so difficult. But then you hit the final stage and the game gets WAY MORE FRUSTRATING! Before then, every time you die, you pick up right where you left off, but the final level sends you back to the beginning. That final level also has a lot of tough-to-predict stage hazards that can insta-kill you before you even realize it's there.
I'm going to keep trying, but the big problem with this game is that it just ISN'T THAT GOOD. Even by the standards of 1989 Genesis, there are better shmups to play. I suppose the game is better looking/sounding than an NES game, but that's not exactly a high bar to pass. There are worse games out there, I wouldn't even call it ALL THE WAY BAD. It's just not good.
I'm hoping that once you reach the last boss, the game will let you continue where you are when you die, although judging by YouTube, the "trick" to beating the boss is to just be powered-up.

Thankfully there's a hidden options menu that lets you start off on stage 4 with some extra lives, so getting to the final stage from there is pretty trivial.
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Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:23 pm

Thought about snagging that one on eBay but I watched some game footage and realized it was hard as balls and I'd probably tap out within a matter of minutes.
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Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:51 am

I've been meaning to give Golden Axe another go all month, and I'm running out of month, so I finally hopped into it today. I beat Beginner mode and then got to Death Adder in Arcade mode where he basically immediately killed me. I've never really liked Golden Axe, and while I WILL say this playthrough has been the most fun I've had with it, I still wouldn't say I like this game. The enemies are way too spongey and they kick the everloving crap out of you without even thinking about it, and the combat is so simple otherwise that it feels like there's very little you can do about it. When Streets of Rage 2 is an option (or honestly either of the other Golden Axe games), this just isn't a beat 'em up I ever feel like playing on the Genesis. Beat 'em ups clearly started in an okay place on the platform, and it's good to see that they went quite a bit up from there (before butchering the English port of Bare Knuckle 3, of course XP).
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Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

by Sload Soap Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:55 pm

I played five games for this month and honestly they were mostly quite bad.

So, starting with the worst I played Sega Soccer/World Championship Soccer/World Cup Italia 90. This game is damn near ubuiqitous for European Mega Drive owners and yet I've never met anyone who actually liked it. It seems to be tolerated at best and loathed at worst. I think I almost had fun with it as it's so inept it veers close to kusoge territory but aside from a few stirrings of nostalgia (two points for a win, Yugoslavia and USSR still being things). The game mostly just reminds me of the bad times before Sensi and Pro Evo translated the sport into playable videogames. It looks bad, it plays worse and it's an absolute cakewalk to boot. I do like the guy who screams "GWOOOOHHAL" on the title screen though so 7/10.

I had higher hopes for Mystic Defender but honestly I found it pretty poor. It looks quite good for an early release I suppose but I found stiff to control which is then coupled to not very interesting platforming or shooting mechanics. I got to the second level which then completed the bingo card of bad 80's design with maze like level design and so promptly gave up. It's not really got anything to keep my attention, a problem it shares with it's predecessor Kenseiden Spellcaster, a game that is way overvalued by the SMS community.

Next up was Space Harrier II. This is kind of absolutely fine and I feel when it was released would have been pretty hot stuff. However nowadays, and with my arcade perfect Sega Saturn version of Space Harrier just a loading screen away, this game looks weak and suffers for its choppy frame rate and stiff control on Harrier. I don't totally dislike it though as I do like the stage select option and the bosses are more diverse. I also quite like the theme song but everything is generally at about 50% of the arcade game. Should have been called Space Harrier 1/2.

Super Hang-On is more of a straight port although it also includes an original mode where you can earn cash to add various bits and bobs to your bike. This mode is kind of undercooked to be truthful, as I never seemed to progress past the first challenger and instead got in a loop where I would race to a point in which my bike lost more parts than I could afford to replace essentially ending the game. I'm not going to dismiss it out of hand because there may be something I'm missing but that loop, and the genuinely awful control of the bike before it's modded, make it a chore. The arcade mode is pretty good though and quite accurate. I've never quite liked Hang On as much as I do Out Run (sort of similar to how I feel about Space Harrier to Afterburner) as it's always seemed much more brutal and monolithic with its design philosophy. Hang On has heft and momentum which I like but I also expects perfection from minute one which I don't. Quite good all round though.

Finally I started up Revenge of Shinobi got about midway and was enjoying myself and then the power cut out in me house. Oh well. I ended up really liking Shinobi on SMS when we played that for TR earlier on and this game I feel is about par for what a sequel should be. Not sure I like limited shurikens and the double jump seems unreliable to me as a relative newcomer to the game. I remember years ago trying to play this on an emulator with a keyboard and it was basically impossible but even using the OG MD three-button pad it's pretty inconsistent, which would be fine but obviously it is necessary to progress certain areas. For me it's a pretty large blot on an otherwise excellent action platformer. Maybe it'll click with more play.
Last edited by Sload Soap on Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nemoide
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Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

by Nemoide Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:42 pm

So I ended up beating Curse last night. Thankfully the last boss was a total pushover and I didn't get hit once. Having done that, I'm pretty confident that I'd be able to go through the whole game without skipping levels, but I'm not really motivated to because it's just such a "meh" game. I do like the cover art, showing the creepy severed head final boss though.

Tonight I started playing Tatsujin, better known under it's American/European name: Truxton!
This game is MUCH better but also SUPER HARD. On normal difficulty, I managed to reach stage 2 after using up all my continues. On easy, there are unlimited continues and I pretty easily reached the same part, but then got frustrated. Tatsujin/Truxton is VERY memorization heavy and some very unfair seeming deaths will get you.
I'm planning on sinking in more time tomorrow, but I'm not sure how much I'll play after that. I've been playing a lot of super-hard games this year and think I might rather just focus on something easier.
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Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

by Note Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:47 am

Nemoide wrote:So I ended up beating Curse last night. Thankfully the last boss was a total pushover and I didn't get hit once. Having done that, I'm pretty confident that I'd be able to go through the whole game without skipping levels, but I'm not really motivated to because it's just such a "meh" game. I do like the cover art, showing the creepy severed head final boss though.

Tonight I started playing Tatsujin, better known under it's American/European name: Truxton!
This game is MUCH better but also SUPER HARD. On normal difficulty, I managed to reach stage 2 after using up all my continues. On easy, there are unlimited continues and I pretty easily reached the same part, but then got frustrated. Tatsujin/Truxton is VERY memorization heavy and some very unfair seeming deaths will get you.
I'm planning on sinking in more time tomorrow, but I'm not sure how much I'll play after that. I've been playing a lot of super-hard games this year and think I might rather just focus on something easier.


The box art for Curse is what originally interested me in the game, that art just reminds me of some strange sci-fi or anime. It really looks awesome IMO. However, I never bought a copy or even checked it out through emulation. Even though the reviews have been generally mediocre or negative, I'm still intrigued to try it out eventually.

I'm curious to hear your take on Truxton after you put some more time into it. I also wasn't able to get past Level 2 on the easy difficulty setting, as I couldn't get the pattern down to one of the bosses in that level. I generally enjoyed the game from what I played, but I'm just not too good at it yet.
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Re: April Together Retro: 1980s Genesis

by Nemoide Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:01 pm

I can officially say that I'm in no mood to play Tatsujin/Truxton for now. The game is just too frustrating and I'll need to get into a very specific mood for it. I've already beaten a bunch of games known for being super-hard this year and I'm now in the mood for some easier games.
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