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o.pwuaioc
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Arcade Compilations and Console Ports

by o.pwuaioc Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:39 pm

Prologue: The debate on Final Fight (as well as Game Sack's recent episode on arcade ports) got me thinking a bit, that I'd much rather play Final Fight on Capcom Classic Collection than on SNES or Sega CD. However, given the entirely different nature of Ninja Gaiden NES and Gradius III SNES, I'm happy to play both (or, in the case of Ninja Gaiden, I actually prefer the console version). So I was thinking about getting a list together of the arcade ports which are worth owning, and which should be played on compilation disks. This doesn't include MAME games, though, but only arcade games which are found on a legitimately-released compilation disk.

List:

Worth it

Bubble Bobble (NES)
Dragon Spirit (NES)
Frogger (PS1, GBA)
Galaga (NES)
Gradius III (SNES)
Gun.Smoke (NES)
Gyruss (NES)
Ms. Pac-Man (Tengen NES/Gen)
San Francisco Rush (DC)
Soul Calibur (DC)
Super Street Fighter II Turbo (DC)
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (PSN/XBLA)

Not worth it

1942 (NES) (get: CCC1 instead)
ExedExes (FC) (get: CCC1 instead)
Fatal Fury/Fatal Fury 2 (SNES/Gen) (get: FFBA instead)
Final Fight (SNES/SCD) (get: CCC1 instead)
Growl (Gen) (get: TL2 instead)
Forgotten Worlds (Gen) (get CCC1 instead)

Key:

CCC: Capcom Classics Collection
FFBA: Fatal Fury Battle Archives
MAT: Midway Arcade Treasures
NM: Namco Museum
NM6: 6th generation Namco Museum
SNKAC: SNK Arcade Classics
TL: Taito Legends
Last edited by o.pwuaioc on Sun May 05, 2013 5:49 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Hobie-wan
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Re: Arcade Compilations and Console Ports

by Hobie-wan Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:53 pm

The Cap Coll Forgotten Worlds is better than the Genesis (and probably the PCE) because using the analog second stick to aim is better than simply having buttons to rotate. It isn't up to the awesome of the spinner on the actual cabinet, but it's close.
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o.pwuaioc
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Re: Arcade Compilations and Console Ports

by o.pwuaioc Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:37 pm

I'll add in a few of my own:

Worth it

    Galaga (NES)

Every Galaga port is unique, and they are not all equal. Some are terrible and should be avoided, but the NES port is really something special. This captures the genuine feel of the game, while making the limitations work in its favor. We might not have the dynamically throbbing hive, but the ships are fast, and their movements will still have you frantically shooting and dodging. The sound and graphics are several steps above other ports, such as the 7800, MSX, and SG-1000. The differences from the arcade version only make this one to definitely not miss.

    Gradius III (SNES)

There are some major differences between this version and the one found on the Gradius III & IV compilation. For one, it is much easier, but also some of the enemies are removed or rearranged (where are the lions?), and the level order is different as well. I play the PS2 if I want an intense experience, and the SNES if I want to kick back with some retro goodness.

Not worth it

    1942 (FC/NES)

This stripped down version of the game just pales in comparison to the excellent arcade version found on CCC1. The lack of music turns from being a regular bland and boring game to a genuinely bad one. Being an early FC/NES means that the later games in the series are the better and more worthwhile ones.

    ExedExes (FC)

This is every bit as bad as ExedExes says it is, and the original on the Saturn or PS2/Xbox blows it out of the water. There's absolutely no reason to play the port.

    Final Fight (SNES/SCD)

Unless you have sentimental attachment to the ports, this version is just feels more limited than the arcade (found on CCC). Added to that is the censorship, which - being the purist that I pretend to be - found off-putting enough to not bother with.

*Some people like the SegaCD version better.

    Cruis'n USA/World/Exotica (N64)

These ports highlight just how bad these games really are without the steering wheel, peddles, and whatnot. If you happen to have an N64 steering wheel, it could probably be salvageable, but since I do not, I haven't tried it yet.
Last edited by o.pwuaioc on Thu May 02, 2013 5:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Krejlooc
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Re: Arcade Compilations and Console Ports

by Krejlooc Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:25 am

People who are at least tenuously familiar with the MSX might be aware that the Gradius series is a major selling point for the system. Those same people might assume that, given the MSX is the weakest hardware the games ever appeared on, that they would be the ports least worth checking out, correct? I mean, if you can get Gradius II on the Famicom or PC Engine, what in the world would the MSX versions have to offer that could possibly bring you back? "Good for their time" is likely what most people assume.

WRONG.

That mode of thought might apply to Gradius I, but not the other two titles. Why? Because the other MSX titles actually aren't the same games as any other ports. They're MSX exclusive. The naming conventions for the series totally makes this not obvious, and it's complex to explain, but the MSX Gradius 2 and (the game often misreferred to as) Gradius 3 are totally unique games.

The trick is to watch the way the number is written. The Arcade game, Famicom game, PC Engine game, etc is called Gradius II. The MSX game is called Gradius 2. They both share the same first level, but beyond that, the games branch off into wildly different directions. A lot of conventions later seen in games like Gradius IV actually were birthed from these MSX-exclusive ports.

To educate, the arcade version of Gradius II is actually called Gradius II: Gofer no Yabo. The gradius games actually have a pretty detailed plot that is absent from most releases (but not the MSX titles). Gradius II: Gofer no Yabo is a lot like Gradius I with not much changing. Gradius 2 on the MSX drops the subtitle because it has nothing to do with that particular plot, and brings a number of unique innovations to the series, like hidden permanent power ups, multiple endings, a much more detailed story told with anime cutscenes, hidden warps, etc. Best of all, it's just plain more Gradius goodness.

Now, after Gradius 2 and Gradius II's release, the MSX saw one more gradius game. This one is often referred to as Gradius 3, but that's not the name. In Europe, gradius is known as Nemesis, and thus this game was released as Nemesis III, further adding to confusion. This is actually a 100% completely different game from Gradius III. In japan, the name makes it a bit more obvious - it's actually never referred to as Gradius, but is instead called Gofer no Yabo II. That means it's actually an exclusive sequel to the Arcade version of Gradius II -- the one that was never released on the MSX. NOT Gradius 2.

Gofer no Yabo II further refines the series. There are more permanent power ups, and it introduces the ability to use multiple ships with multiple types of power ups and option behavior, selectable at the start of the game. It also introduces the first subquest into the series - you need to collect a bunch of parts to see the true ending and get the last boss. There are more anime cutscenes, more multiple endings, and even branching paths at a point.

These MSX titles are excellent, among the best shmups from that era, and they sadly get swept under the rug by most because they assume they're nothing more than poor ports of the other games in the series. Now, I know that's technically not in the spirit of your thread, but it's worth pointing out. If you're looking for gradius action, don't pass up the MSX games because you assume they're worthless ports. They're not, they're actually one of the most compelling reasons to own an MSX :wink:
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Hobie-wan
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Re: Arcade Compilations and Console Ports

by Hobie-wan Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:55 am

TheSonicRetard wrote:...they're actually one of the most compelling reasons to own an MSX the MSX collection on Saturn. :wink:


FTFY :mrgreen:

On the MSX disc they refer to the last game as Gofer's Ambition FWIW.
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o.pwuaioc
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Re: Arcade Compilations and Console Ports

by o.pwuaioc Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:00 am

Hobie-wan wrote:
TheSonicRetard wrote:...they're actually one of the most compelling reasons to own an MSX the MSX collection on Saturn. :wink:


FTFY :mrgreen:

On the MSX disc they refer to the last game as Gofer's Ambition FWIW.

Why did I not know this existed!?
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Violent By Design
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Re: Arcade Compilations and Console Ports

by Violent By Design Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:15 am

Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo - On the other Capcom Collection. Not sure if the SF Collection for Saturn emulates the arcade version.
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Re: Arcade Compilations and Console Ports

by dsheinem Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:54 am

funny, the cruis'n series is one of the only reasons I've held on to my N64.
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Re: Arcade Compilations and Console Ports

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:59 am

Contra games - better on the NES than in the arcade!

Also, ExedExes is a game?! I thought it was just a user here... :lol:
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o.pwuaioc
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Re: Arcade Compilations and Console Ports

by o.pwuaioc Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:24 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Contra games - better on the NES than in the arcade!

Ah, of course, good call!

Also, ExedExes is a game?! I thought it was just a user here... :lol:

It's a neat little mesmerizing shmup from Capcom. The port was handled by Tokuma Shoten.
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