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Incline Arcade Adventures - reviews of various arcade games (and may be some for home consoles too)

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Sjukob, Apr 21, 2019.

?

Do you need a quick guide for emulation and links for game roms ?

  1. Yes please.

    42.9%
  2. I will figure things out myself.

    57.1%
  1. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    989
    This is post is a guide to the topic, reviews will come as separate messages but I will post links to them in this post.

    I've been playing some arcade games recently and uploading my progress in screenshot thread. I create this topic to avoid disturbing the thread for pictures with my walls of text and also to get people to know and talk about cool games for arcade machines. I stocked up on games for now but I haven't yet played most of them, so reviews will be written as the time goes on. I will also post screenshots (made by me), gameplay videos (done by other hardcore players) and may be some articles that do better job at reviewing said games than me. Lastly I will make a TLDR guide for emulation and upload roms of games if you want me to do it.

    Games I finished:

    [​IMG] Streets of Rage Remake 2011 (download link, also includes optional save file that will unlock everything in the game)

    Arcades:
    Fighting
    Aliens vs Predator 1994 (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.43 version, game rom EU version)
    Battletoads 1994 (emulator - MAME 0.186 version, game rom)
    Cadillacs and Dinosaurs 1993 (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.43 version, game rom World (930201) version)
    Denjin Makai 1994 (emulator - MAME 0.186 version, game rom - UPDATED LINKS, now it's a full game with dialogues, endings and bonus stages, MAME is now of a higher version with more features and better UI)
    Double Dragon 1987 (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.43 version, game rom Japanese version)
    Final Fight 1989 (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.43 version, game rom World version set 1)
    Gaiapolis 1993 (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.43 version, game rom EAF version)
    Guardians/Denjin Makai 2 1995 (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.43 version, game rom)
    Kung-Fu Master 1984 (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.43 version, game rom)
    Metamorphic Force 1993 (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.43 version, game rom EAA version + JAA version, please use japanese version, it's better, you however need both EAA and JAA to play it)
    Renegade/Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun 1986 (emulator - MAME 0.186 version, game rom US version) <- Update, I finished the game, updated review and found a much better combination of emulator and game rom.
    Splatterhouse 1988 (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.43 version, game rom World version)
    The Punisher 1993 (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.43 version, game rom World (930422) version)

    Shooting
    Shock Troopers 1997 (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.42 (warning, one verision lower than usual), game rom)
    R-Type series 1987-1993 (R-Type, R-Type 2, R-Type 3 (is for SNES, but whatever), Cosmic Cop, R-Type Leo) (emulator - fbalpha 0.2.97.43 version, bsnes for R-Type 3 (it's so easy I believe you'll figure it out without instructions), game roms: R-Type, R-Type 2, R-Type 3, Cosmic Cop, R-Type Leo)

    OpenBOR: (download it here)
    Double Dragon Gold (download link) Update, I finished the game and wrote a proper review. Updated download link, so it now directs to author's page instead of some random site.

    Quick emulation guide:
    Arcade games can be annoying to launch because of how they work - you need matching versions of the game rom and emulator, and emulator version. So some versions of game might work on certain emulator and not on the other or they can work on one version of emulator and not work on the other version of the same emulator. I personaly prefer fbalpha emulator though it doesn't support all the games I've planned to play. I am going to post links to emulators that I used to launch my games and game roms in the above section. Make sure to dowload exact versions of emulators and roms I gave links to, otherwise it's not going to work, also do not rename archives that contain game files or emulators will not be able to recognize them.

    If you decide to go on adventure and try emulation by yourself then you are going to have to try and match game roms and various emulators through trial and error, developers usually make a list for supported games and their versions (like US, EU or Japan releases), fbalpha has one for example, and sites that host game roms are mostly kind enough to tell you which version of emulator you have to have to run downloaded rom. You can try poking aweigh if you really need help with something.

    How to use fbalpha:
    1) Download archive and unpack it into dedicated folder
    2) Run fba.exe so it can unpack emulator's files
    3) Click through greeting message and license agreement, let the emulator load
    4) Now fba.exe launches your emulator
    5) Place game roms (archives, do not unpack them) into dedicated folder (fbalpha automatically creates empty folder called "roms" when it unpacks, so might use that one)
    6) Launch fbalpha, click "Game>Load game", flag "Show available" line, also make sure that the entire "Hardware" section in the window to the right is flagged too.
    7) Click "Scan ROMs" and select folder where you placed your roms, if you decide to change it - click "ROMs Dirs"
    8) Click "Scan ROMs" and let emulator finish scanning, you will now see available games in central window
    9) Highlight the game you want to play and click "Play" button
    10) Video, audio, input and other settings are available in their tabs at the top of the emulator window

    Also, fbalpha features the so called "master roms" it means that you need a specific game rom even if you want to play other version. Example - you wan't to play japanese version of Punisher, but master rom for this is game is world version, so you need both world and japanese versions to play Punisher and both of them have to match the emulator.

    How to use MAME:
    It's pretty much the same as fbalpha. Download and unpack it, place game roms in "roms" folder. It detects game automatically, you don't need to scan for them this time, just select "available" tab after launching MAME. ROMs directory can be changed in settings "Configure options>Configure directories". Ingame settings can be accessed by pressign tab button, note that almost every button (including system related) for MAME can be changed, so feel free to go wild.

    How to use OpenBOR:
    Very simple actually, you don't have to worry about matching emulator and rom versions, so just go over here, grab the latest release and unpack the corresponding version (I assume you are going to use windows) into the folder. Download the game and unpack the archive into "Paks" folder, then launch OpenBOR.exe and you are good to go. All settings are available in the game itself, the games also save automatically when you quit, though if you do it in the middle of the stage you will have to replay it from the beggining.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  2. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    989
    Alien vs Predator 1994
    [​IMG]

    Another entrance for a popular universe. This is a beat’em’up where you control one of four characters: predator – either warrior or hunter or one of the marines – Dutch Schaefer or Linn Kurosawa, strangely enough the game only allows for up to 3 player coop. The game consists of 7 levels, there isn’t much variety in core gameplay, you beat some monsters and beat some more monsters, at level 3 you shoot aliens while moving on a vehicle and at level 6 there is a bonus game where you have to break control box and that’s it.

    The cool guys
    [​IMG]

    Each character, except Dutch, carries a melee weapon that boosts their range and damage: spears for predators and sword for Linn, you drop your weapon when you get knocked down but it stays on the ground for a while so you have a chance to retrieve it. Each character also wields a ranged weapon unique to them – shoulder cannons for predators, Linn carries a pistol and Dutch has a machine gun built into his mechanic arm, the weapons use their special gauge that replenishes automatically, but if you drain it completely it gets “overheated” meaning that you can’t use until it restores to full, this doesn’t apply to Linn, however, her gauge doesn’t restore itself and she has to reload when it’s empty (i.e. stand still for a few seconds). All characters have a wide selection of moves to beat your opponent with: standing combos, jump attacks, dash attacks, grabs, slides, shooting, “despair attacks” (makes you invulnerable and hits everything around, but drains your life) that change depending on whether you have your weapons or not, there are even more weapons that you can find on levels: pulse guns, grenade launchers, flamethrowers, smartguns (ever wanted to be a predator with a smartgun ? you can do it here!), predator’s discs and some others.

    Predator setting the hive on fire
    [​IMG]

    So your tools of trade are great, but so are your enemies. Mainly you will be killing xenomorphs that have different attacks depending on their breed, you will also fight Weyland-Yutani troops that primarily carry firearms. The game overall is pretty difficult and it also uses some cheap shit to drain your life. You will be fighting a lot of opponents (especially if you are playing coop, the number of them increases) during your playthrough and you will quickly notice that they hit very hard, being able to drop you in about 5 hits or so. They also have great range that’s significantly better than yours if you lose your weapon. Another thing is that characters can’t run at all, though this isn’t as bad because you can dash, the real problem is that there is no way for you to travel Z axis quickly, you can only walk. The cheap shit I refer to are ambushes – it’s when enemies suddenly appear at borders of the screen and launch their attack immediately, remember that they hit hard in this game, so this can cost you a lot of life if you don’t know what’s coming. Bosses can be quite cheap too, I won’t comment on how “Razor Claws” has bigger range that you, can dash along Z axis and launch attacks off screen, or how “Mad Predator” drains 60% of your life if he grabs you… No, despite that those bosses aren’t difficult to beat, but alien queen is just retarded, you have to fight her 2 times and both of them are awful. The first time she is locked in the place in her hive, but attacks at both directions at once, you can’t even avoid her attacks really, they have a very big X and Z axis range and she also summons other xenos for help, the only reliable way to beat her is to jump on the crates and just bludgeon her to death (watch the video). As the final boss she walks, has way more hp, can’t be hit stunned and summons way more xenos, not to mention her attacks are more powerful. Looks like the developers were just fishing for tokens with this fucking boss. The last 2 levels are pretty spiky in terms of difficulty, you are given less health pick ups, there are way more enemies and they are tougher, the levels are also long, the last level is longer than the first 3 levels combined, be prepared for crazy fighting with a lot of ambushes.

    The alien queen abuse - stand on the crates to avoid her attacks
    [​IMG]

    Don’t worry too much though, game gives a lot of opportunities to shine with your skill (except for fucking alien queen, even hardcore players cheese her out) and murder enemies with weapons and huge damage combos. There are no weak characters in this game, but I strongly recommend starting with predators, because their mobility and general moveset is great and they don’t have any weaknesses; hunter deals more damage but his moves are a bit slower, warrior hits a bit weaker but is faster at both attacking and recovering. Marines aren’t as agile and are generally harder to play: Dutch is very slow at moving, he also can barely jump, it will be very hard for you to avoid attacks and approach enemies if you don’t know what they do, Dutch also doesn’t have a weapon so you won’t have to worry about that if you get knocked down. Linn is the most complicated character to play properly with the biggest movelist and weakest damage unless you her correctly, she also can’t dash. I don’t want to explain how she plays, because this post is already very long and she requires you to know very specific things to be good, so go find some guides. My general advice is to make an autofire button for regular attack so it’s easier to combo and do special moves, if you do that make sure to also map another button for regular attack so you can use ranged weapons properly, if you try to autofire them they will get locked until you spend the entire ammo pool. Also, fucking use despair attack, the health it costs you is several times less than if you got hit and gives you a good breathing room.

    Time to find out who is the real predator here
    [​IMG]

    The thing that disappointed me was music, it’s not bad, it’s just average, shame really that the gorgeous graphics aren’t complimented by a kickass soundtrack.

    Overall I strongly recommend this game, I wish there was something like this where you can play xenomorphs.

    Ending, there's plenty of good art in the game
    [​IMG]

    Additional stuff:

    Me bitching about the game in screenshot thread
    #1
    #2


    Movelist

    More screenshots, warning they are big
    Show Spoiler
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    Gameplay videos
    Show Spoiler

     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
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  3. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    989
    The punisher 1993
    [​IMG]

    So this game is about Punisher and Nick Fury kicking asses of a bunch of bandits led by Kingpin. There are no gameplay differences between characters, except different looking despair attack. The game has 6 level in total and doesn’t change core gameplay at all, it however offers you a barrel shooting mini-game after you beat the third stage.

    The two badass
    [​IMG]

    The gameplay is pretty basic, Frank and Nick don’t have any obscure moves. You have your typical movelist: standing combo, jump attacks, running attack, grab, grenade throw and despair attack. However, when you face robots or enemies with guns, characters pull out their pistols allowing you gun enemies down, so you can say the gameplay is split in 2 parts, where you have the gun and when you don’t. You can also use various melee weapons like: baseball bats, knives, lead pipes, katanas, axes, hammers and even knight’s lances, kind of strange to see bandits using medieval arsenal. There are also firearms you can pick up they are: uzi, assault rifle and flamethrower, though they are rare and aren’t as cool as your pistol and have very limited ammo.

    Gonna need something better than your fist to crack this guy up
    [​IMG]

    The game’s difficulty is just right and I almost never felt like fights were cheap or unfair, but I still died plenty of times before I got the feeling for gameplay. It’s easy to go on the offense and It feels like the game itself really pushes for it, you can throw enemies out of your regular combo to damage crowds and knock them down, grenades + despair attacks allow you to get out of bad situations easier, bosses don’t turn invulnerable when they get up so you can keep knocking them down repeatedly and your jumping and rolling attacks are fairly weak so you have to actively use combos.

    If you assign an autofire button you can fire your pistol like a machine gun
    [​IMG]

    I only had 2 gripes with the game: the third and the fifth bosses. The third one is a half man half tank, throughout most of the fight you can use your pistol because the game throws either armed enemies or robots at you, but is so much easier just to beat him up with your fists, but punching is kind of awkward when you have your pistol out because you can’t utilize the full length of your hands and have to get really close to the enemies. And the fifth boss is just not fun to fight against, it’s a big robot that keeps jumping around, you can’t do a full combo on this thing because it’s immune to hit stun and will just kick you back if you try, so you have to resort to hit and run tactics, developers tried to counteract this by dropping thugs with guns and a robot into a fight so you can shoot the boss with the gun, but they keep getting in the way of fire so you need to kite the boss into right position to shoot it, what a fucking disaster. Also the game only allows you to get one additional life for scoring enough points no matter which settings you choose, kind of greedy don’t you think ? My recommendation is to assign autofire button for regular attack so you can shoot your pistol rapidly and do combos faster, also helps with executing your despair attack, though don't spam it as much as in AVP it's heavier on life here and enemies aren't as dangerous, try to use grenades instead.

    Frank demonstrates why muscles are superior to fat
    [​IMG]

    Don’t know what else to add, it’s a good fun game and can serve as a good entry point for players that are starting on beat’em’ups.

    The game doesn't feature as much art as AVP, but here's a picture of Kingpin staring at you
    [​IMG]

    Additional stuff:

    Movelist

    More screenshots, warning they are big
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]


    Gameplay videos
    Show Spoiler

     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  4. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    989
    Denjin Makai 1994
    [​IMG]

    Denjin Makai is an obscure game that was released in Japan only. The game’s main feature, that was expanded in the sequel, is a varied roster where each character has a big movelist. There are 6 playable characters: regular fighter guy – Makai, regular fighter girl – Kurokishi, cat girl with a mace – Iyo, sumo type of guy – Tulks (or Tarakusu), battle bot – Belva and some robotic beast – Zeldia.

    Judging from personal experience I would devide characters like this:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Balanced - Makai and Belva. To me Makai seems like the best character in the game his attacks are fast and with good properties, special moves are great, his despair attack is very long allowing for a big invulnerability window and it has great range too, he has a projectile to soften up enemies, overall he has no downsides at all.
    Belva moves faster, but has bigger hitbox so it will be easier for enemies to hit you, his damage is higher especially if you include special moves in your combo, but attacks are slower and his jumping attacks are garbage, he also seems to be the most durable character.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Fast but fragile - Kurokishi and Iyo - the girls. Their move speed is great but they seem to die faster than the others. Kurokishi is very similar to Makai, but her Z axis range seem to be pretty bad, also her despair attack is a weaker version of Makai's, it also feels like her specials don't really blend well in her combo, although she is the easiest character to include grab in your combo allowing for the biggest single target damage.
    Can't really say anything about Iyo, both her regular and special attacks are fast and her range is pretty good, I didn't feel like playing this overly anime abomination.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Slow but strong - Zeldia and Tulks. Good range and damage on their regular attacks, their specials can't really be included in the combo (you can, but there is a good chance that enemies will jerk out of your combo). Zeldia seems to have overall the best Z axis range in the game, but there's something wrong with her regular combo, it's so slow that enemies can hit you back sometimes. Tulk's despair attack hits the entire screen, his projectile is horrible (only hits one enemy) and his grabs while look cool and do good damage are the worst for crowd control. Also these two have the biggest hitboxes, watchout for incoming attacks.

    I would advice you to stay away from Zeldia and Tulks on the first playthrough, the game itself is really hard and playing these characters makes it even harder.

    Roster, Belva's head looks like a massive pompadour
    [​IMG]

    The action takes place in some futuristic sci-fi setting, protagonists form a special squad (Ghost Chasers) to defend "automatic control system" and people from attacks of terrorists. The human society is controlled by AI (automatic control system) and terrorists (Ghosts) want to get rid of it. There are 7 stages in the game + 2 bonus ones. This time coop only supports 2 players.

    Seems like developers were copying 80-90s musical hits when they were making soundtrack. Final boss theme is "Eye of the Tiger".


    Let’s get to the “meat” of the game – characters. In addition to standart loadout: standing combo, grabs, jump attacks etc, each character has a couple of special moves that consume your charge meter, this might be the first game that decided to drop the usual formula of using your health to do a despair attack and gave you a gauge for this. You aren’t limited to just a despair attack, obviously, you can throw projectiles, unleash shockwaves, breath fire, perform powered grabs, do team attacks and much more, not to mention your regular moves are also spiced up with the ability to block, turn around attacks, various jumping assaults that depend on whether you are running, jumping forwards or backwards or bouncing of the wall, and that’s not all you can do. Your special meter slowly replenishes over time, but if you stand still for a second you begin to charge up regaining it rapidly, don't forget about game's timer if you decide to recharge outside of combat. There are also some guns and melee weapons that you can use, but they are rare and break very fast, although it’s cool to see you mecha-monster running around with a lightsaber or a broom. The game also features some kick ass soundtrack to pump the action, although quality of the sound isn't great. So, as you can see this game offers you a great field to show off your skill and tactics.

    Robotic beast with a lightsaber... YES!
    [​IMG]

    You are mostly going to fight big (by beat'em'up standarts) waves of enemies, taking on 6+ packs of thugs is a very common thing here, enemies are tough and deal good damage. AI is very agressive as well and constantly tries to flank and gang up on you, generally speaking overcomming regular enemies is the biggest challenge in the game, bosses are mostly easy with the exception of 2 fights (last boss and amazing duo of Belva and Tulks clones), they still do shitloads of damage though. The game itself is very hard, you are only given 1 life per coin (evil genius plan to farm players for coins) and health pick ups are pretty scarce, you also don't fully replenish your health between levels (unless it's the bonus ones). To balance this out your health and energy bars increase once your aquire enough points, you also get more points if your health is low. The pacing of the game is pretty slow, so it doesn't get too chaotic, most of the enemies are helpless if you stand below or above them, so make sure to abuse Z axis. There will be times when you are allowed to choose which level you want to visit, you will still have to complete the level you didn't choose, but the one that you are going in first will be easier and the one you are going to complete later is going to feature more and tougher enemies and even additional locations. Excited yet ? Let's get to downsides.

    Gosh, I can't walk 2 feet without some ruffians trying to go down on me
    [​IMG]

    The first thing you will notice are visuals: animations have way less frames than they should’ve had, they are kind of twitchy and abrupt, a lot of things look generic and don't have much style compared to other games I played. Enemy variety is rather poor, some of the bosses are just playable characters but with different names and colors, if I had to guess I would’ve said that developers struggled with memory limits or something. Also, when you are fighting bosses you are not allowed to make mistakes, because their damage is out of control, some of them like to jump as well making it harder to start your combo (you have to, otherwise your damage will suck). Some of them are just stupid, like Belva and Tulks clone fights, I don't feel like there are any real tactics to that fight, you just hope that there will be enough distance between them so they won't gang up on you as much. Final boss is really something, I have finished the game 3 times and I still don't understand how to kill him without abusing save states, the fight consists of 3 phases, in the first two he has a bullshit shield that will repel you whenever he feels like it (protip - try to catch him when he recovers from whiffing attacks, but it's still random) and third phase - AOE spam with stupid range, you don't get any healing items either. There's also an issue of "who grabs who". I've always been saying that "walk over enemy to grab them" system is retarded and there should be a separate button for grabs, so there are times when you walk over bosses and they grab you instead and final boss grabs you from half a screen away, lol (protip - grab them when they recover from whiffing attacks, but it still feels random at times).

    Controls are also not as good as you want them to be, they aren't bad at all, but will take some time getting used to. You can't fuck around with special attacks and have to be on point, they aren't hard to do, but as I've said you will need to get used to them. Also characters have turn around attack, it's when you press back and attack, very useful for hitting enemies behind you, but when you want to turn around and do a regular combo or a special you end up doing this attack instead, again you'll have to get used to timing. I haven't tried assigning autofire buttons, I imagine it would ruin controls because you block and execute special moves by holding down attack button. There's a graphical issue that is related to either MAME or game rom itself, I honestly can't tell, but darkness turns out to be pink instead of black and some pictures (in the endings) look like a complete mess, MAME even warns you about graphical glitches when you launch the game.

    These robo-boxers are the most dangerous regular enemies
    [​IMG]

    It’s an interesting game but not a very popular one, just like it's successor - Guardians, although Guardians recieved more attention from crowd likely to it having better combat, graphics and lower difficulty. The game features various endings and dialogues depending on which character you are playing, so this makes it the most story heavy arcade game that I've played. On my first playthrough I was playing Zeldia, because I thought that robotic beast looked really awesome, in the end I was really disappointed with her ending showing that she turns into anime girl with wings, what a fucking gay ending for such a brutal character, and what’s worse they used her as a character for the sequel, fuck!

    Overall, while lacking in visuals, Denjin Makai features very strong gameplay. I found this game to be interesting, but I imagine it might be hard to get into for some players, because of difficulty and issues I described above. I personally liked it a lot and I imagine hardcore players will really dig this one.

    Additional stuff:

    Article about the game and it's sequel

    Movelist look at all these goodness!

    More screenshots, warning they are big
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
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    Gameplay videos (the first video contains Zeldia's gay ending, watch the third one if you care about story, there are english subtitles included)
    Show Spoiler


     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
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  5. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    989
    Cadillacs and Dinosaurs 1993
    [​IMG]

    This game is based on a comic book with the same name, I can't tell you anything about it because I'm not interested in comics. It's yet another beat'em'up with 4 playable characters (but once again only 3 players can join) and 8 levels in total, it's a pretty standart game without unique additional features.

    From left to right: Jack, Hannah, Mustapha, Mess
    [​IMG]

    The story is extremely basic, some thugs abduct dinosaurs and try to mess with you, their leader - some crazy doctor wants to make human-dinosaurs mutants and create new species to rule the world, you have to stop him.

    Protagonists control identically but their moves and stats are different, the info the game gives you is kind of deceptive, like Mess isn't actually a slow character and Hannah with lowest strength can hit harder than you would expect. The movelist itself is pretty straightforward if you've played any other beat'em'up you will be familiar with it (there are team moves, but I was playing alone), however the properties for the moves vary a lot between characters. The most notable example is Mustapha with his extremely long legs, he can basicaly beat any attack with his dive or running kick, Mess can reach insane speeds with his dash-jump, Jack can slide under projectiles, Hannah has unique moves for some weapons and shoots faster etc. The differences aren't as significant as in AVP, for example, but they allow for an alright character variety. I seriously recommend you to pick Mess for his high damage or at least Mustapha for range for your first playthrough, later you will learn why.

    Mess is about to demonstrate why you should not charge a man with a gun, even as a crowd
    [​IMG]

    As for the inventory it's fun and satisfying to use, there's a nice selection between firearms (uzi, hunting rifle, assault rifle, shotgun, revolver and even rocket launchers), explosives (grenades, dynamite) and melee weapons (clubs, machetes, knives), when guns run out of ammo you can use them as a throwing weapon or just swing them like a bat, unfortunately melee weapons suck, their damage is lacking (worse than a combo), they are slow and most of them can't be dropped unless you use despair attack, it might be better for Hannah but I didn't play her much. It's whole other deal for shooty stuff, yeah hunting rifles and revolvers aren't as powerful but everything else completely wrecks any mob with ease, they sound and look cool as well, there's blood and gore in this game and explosives can gib enemies, not even Punisher compares to that. Speaking about gore you'll see some pretty brutal stuff: gunning down unarmed man, dino corpse butchery, final boss, one guy even tells you to fuck off (though they censored the word "fuck"); I don't know why they put it here but not in the game about a brutal vigilante - Punisher (both game have same developer - Capcom).

    You can even run people over
    [​IMG]

    The biggest strength of the game is it's presentation, while sprites are not of extreme resolutions the graphics are very stylish, animation is on point and various non combat actions really add character to the action and the music is just majestic, listen to this for example, it's a playlist so feel free to explore this goodness.



    But let's talk about downsides and there's something that nobody wants to hear about beat'em'up - clunky controls. They aren't outright bad but it takes time to get used to, characters don't start running immediately, there's a short window for acceleration and they also don't stop instantly they have a momentum and it's takes like a whole second for them to stop, you can counteract this by pressing "back" but it's still very annoying because it turns around your character, imagine trying to run close to the enemy and stopping at the exact spot that you need.

    Special moves are pretty tricky to pull out, you have to make a pause between pressing buttons, you can't just input it as fast as you can, like in AVP. Dive kicks require you to press attack button at the highest point of your jump otherwise you will do a regular jump attack and the timing is strict making it very unreliable, also I haven't figured out if you can dive out directional jumps, I wasn't able to do them, may be I just wasn't timing it correctly and those attacks aren't even that strong, I don't know why it should be such a hussle to do them, why the fuck not just make them down+attack ?! Another thing is that dashing - pressing jump while you run makes your character do a small hop (except for Hannah, she jumps high) that's not enough to avoid attacks, so if you want to jump over some attack you have to stop running and then jump, good luck trying to pull that out before you get hit. I ended up ignoring special moves almost completely because of that and you know, it wasn't even that big of a deal, combos and running/dashing attacks are kings here, everything else does pathetic damage, you can pretty much ignore despair attack as well becuase it's so fucking hungry for your life, I used it only to drop weapons and avoid some rare projectiles.
    Also you can't assign autofire button, it will break the controls.

    Unfortunately you can't pet that dino
    [​IMG]

    It's all sad and fucking frustrating because game isn't even hard except for some few places, but it can be artificially difficult because you are struggling with the controls. Bosses are somewhat annoying, most of them are hp monsters that don't really do anything but jump around the places making it harder to land your combo (best damage) because if you hit them airborne they will get knocked down and become invulnerable while getting up - taking up even more time to fucking kill them ! They are also supported by the infinite amount of thugs, so you are always fighting a crowd, of course, otherwise it would've been a complete cakewalk, that's why I recommended you to choose Mess earlier, so you don't feel as miserable getting over that hp bloat.

    There's one difficult fucker though - Slice, punk with sharp boomerangs: he's extremely fast (walks faster than you run) has an aoe attack that covers half the screen and his damage and reach are high, you can't sidestep his most dangerous move - horizontal slash and only way to punish it is to jump over it. Remember what I said about having to stop running if you want to jump ? This is where it would really get on your nerves, when I was playing this game for the first time I just gave up on this boss, did a 2 day break before I continued playing. Sure I could've beaten him by sacrificing a life but he just didn't worth it, in the end I kicked his ass without dying though I still don't understand how I managed to do that. This fight is like a test, you can't really pass it without getting good at controls. After that boss the game allows you to take a short brake, yes the fights with regular enemies get tougher but still they aren't really difficult and the next 2 bosses are just same sponges that aren't threatening to you, but guess what happens on level 7 ? Seriously just take a second and try to guess what happens... You fight the same boss as Slice but now there are 2 of them... There's no handicap to them either, they deal full damage, have same health as original (may be even more, I couldn't tell), full moveset and are just as annoying. At that point I really want to quit the game and just present you whatever material I gathered, but I beat them, wasted 2 lives but fuck it, it's better than wasting my nerves. That encounter was such a massive fucking finger shoved so deep into the assess of players that it went out of their noses, fucking developers knew how annoying that fucking boss was, they knew how cheap it would be to just double that fucker and make players buy tokens, but here's what I say: "YOU CAN'T FUCKING FISH FOR COINS LIKE THAT YOU INSUFFERABLE CUNTS, HAVE SOME DIGNITY AND DON'T EMBARASS YOURSELF AS PATHETIC MOTHERFUCKERS YOU ARE !".

    How often do you see a guy beating the crap out of a dinosaur with his bare hands ?
    [​IMG]

    Another thing is that the game doesn't feature enough dinosaurs and especially cadillacks. There's only level where you get to drive a car and you rarely encounter dinosaurs. They are supposed to be neutral - attacking both player and thugs or don't even get into fights unless attacked first, the later statement is true, but when they start fighting they still prioritize player heavily. Also you don't have to beat them, once screen is clear of thugs you can just move onward, you can't kill dinos either, once their health is depleted they get pacified and just walk away, they will calm down by themselves if enough times passes, but they are even less dangerous than bandits so it's much faster to just beat them into submission. You can call them a somewhat unique addition to the game if you'd like to.

    Overall I can't call this a bad game, but I was frustrated during my playthrough, you can have a good fun with this one, but I wouldn't call it friendly to newcomers or people who just want to plug in and play.

    Additional stuff:

    Movelist

    More screenshots, warning they are big
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Gameplay videos
    Show Spoiler

     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  6. Ninja Destroyer Arcane Patron

    Ninja Destroyer
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    Excellent thread. Myself I've replayed these games countless times so it's interesting to read about them from fresh perspective.
    Regarding the Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Mess was always my favorite character for a solo play.
    Judging from the titles, you probably will include other CPS 1/2 games made by Capcom since it's the most obvious choice.
     
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  7. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
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    You're right, there'll also be games from Konami, Sega and other lesser known developers, like the ones that made Denjin Makai and others.
     
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  8. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
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    Metamorphic Force 1993
    [​IMG]

    So after all those challenging games I wanted to try something simpler, this is the first Konami arcade game I've played, this review will be shorter than the others because there's not much to talk about. This is another beat'em'up featuring 4 playable characters and 6 stages + 2 bonus ones. What is really strange (and you are about to see why) is that this game is not based on comic book/movie/cartoon or anything, it features it's own universe.

    From left to right: Ban, Claude, Max, Ivan
    [​IMG]

    This time we're going medieval with a simple purpose - to kick the shit out of some evil king that once again has awakened. The four heroes gain power of their guardian spirits to help them fight, in game it translates into them turning into various anthropomorphic beasts: Ban - minotaur, Clade - werewolf, Max - werepanther and Ivan - werebear. The characters control identically, their moves differ visualy, but gameplay wise there's barely any difference, so pick up somebody you thing look the coolest and begin your asskick campaign.

    Yeah, they couldn't add a female protagonist to the game where characters rip their clothes off
    [​IMG]

    The game is very basic, forget about special moves, extreme movement and even items, you only get the essential minimum: standing combos, jumping attacks, grabs and despair attack, though you can beat enemies that are knocked down (make sure to do that, it's your biggest source of damage). The only real mechanic here is the said beast mode - pick up a godess statue and turn into a beast, take too much damage and you are forced back into human form. There's no reason to be ever be human, it's slower and you deal less damage, but don't worry you will be staying in your better form 99% of time. The controls are great and very responsive, the game doesn't have any issues with autofire buttons either. Each character has 2 version of jumping attacks: when you are closer to the ground and when you are high in the air and they are very easy to do, not like in Cadillacs and Dinosaurs bullshit with it's strict timing, duh. You can't run or dash either, but your enemies aren't mobile, so that shouldn't be a problem. It's a very easy game too, there's one problem about it, but I'll talk about it later.

    Hail
    [​IMG]

    I can not complement enough the game's presentation , the game explodes with colors, vividness and style right in your face, it's just perfect ! The sprites look great and are of high resolution, the animations are smooth, the music just blows your head off (it was so good they released it on CDs) ! The backgrounds and stages are awesome and varied too, they are also rich with special effects, like: rain, lights, lava erruptions, statues coming to life, real time reflections, fuck just go play and see it for yourself ! It's just crazy how this game with all it's goodness is not based on any existing universe, there weren't any follow ups to it either, but looking at quality of today's products it might be for the better.

    Gentlemen, bang your head !


    The heroes are so awesome that enemies just lose their minds in their presence
    [​IMG]

    The game has no real downsides except for one, but it's a very annoying one - bosses. You see, because the game is so basic, but it was running on arcade machines they had to do something to make players buy tokens. The game is already pretty stingy with health, you only get a small amount of health items and even then it's RNG, items that are most common don't give you much of it and you don't recover your health between stages, only bonus stages refill your energy. So what could they do to the bosses in the game where you basically can't move, have a very small moveset and easily murder hordes of enemies ? Invulnerability. Fuck ! This is just so retarded, here's how it works: when bosses lose enough health they start blinking, when they blink your attacks go through them and it's not something you can time, they blink fast and constantly and it only get worse as their health lowers. So when you fight bosses it just feels random, I wouldn't call it skill-less but still very cheap. That mean that bosses can break out of combos or ignore your jump attacks, their defense doesn't work when you grab them but when they blink they also avoid your character grabbing them. It's especially annoying at 4th boss, at least 50% of your attacks will miss him. On top of that some of the bosses also have moves that make them invulnerable for some time, so you can imagine how fun it feels to whiff your attacks and fish for opportunity to attack. Don't get me wrong the game is still easy, you can work around it and it might not be as horrible to you, but to me it felt very out of place and artificial.

    Oh and it seems like western suits wanted more pofits. In EU and US versions your health depletes over time, also on 5th stage you fight not just one boss, but all that you met up to that point (I've also heard that US version features tougher enemies but can't confirm that). Remember what I said about health and items ? It's so cool to observe that small amout of health you got from item being drained in less than a minute, cunts also reduced the amount of lives you get per coin, in western releases you only get 1, while it's 2 in japan. This is a major example of some fucks being greedy, stick to japanese version and avoid their bullshit.

    Wrestling lizards among errupting flames and lava
    [​IMG]

    Overall I strongly recommend trying this game for yourself, the screenshots and videos won't do it justice (so I will not be posting them). It's an easy and enjoyable experience, this game will be a great start for beginners, it's also very friendly to party play even if your friends aren't good players.


    Movelist - though you don't really need it
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  9. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Awesome thread. Detailed information, resources linked, this is quality stuff here.

    You don't seem to need any recommendations for what games to play, but one game that surprised me many years ago was Magic Sword. Maybe it'll surprise you as well.
     
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  10. Sjukob Prophet

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    Yeah I know about it, seems alright, but the combat looks too simplistic to me. I remember reading some dude comparing it to D&D Shadow over Mystara, he was saying that D&D was bloated and Magic Sword's mix of rpg systems and action combat was just right for an arcade game. I haven't played either game, but that comparison sounded ridiculous to me, D&D offers you a big roster and a lot of items and even some choice of action making replayability and skill ceiling very high, I believe it to be a definite good thing and not a downside.

    I don't know how many similar games you've played and if you need recommendations yourself at all, but you might want to check out: Dungeon Magic, Knights of the Round, D&D Tower of Doom, D&D Shadow over Mystara. These games feature progression, equipment and leveling as well as your standart arcade combat. Mind that the 5 games I reviewed in this thread are the only ones I played, so I can't tell you how they are.
     
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  11. Machocruz Arcane

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    I've always maintained that Shadow Over Mystara is the cream of the crop of Capcom brawlers, and maybe all brawlers. Magic Sword I don't see as comparable. It's a simple side scroller, not even as involved as something like Strider or Ghouls and Ghosts. Fun but not something you come back to again and again.
     
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  12. Silentstorm Learned

    Silentstorm
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    Cool thread, always nice to see people talking about arcade games, particularly in places i wouldn't expect like this forum, so, it seems that you are focusing on beat'em ups and games with an actual end, so nothing revolving around high scores or shmups?

    Meh, whatever, i recommend Battle Circuit, Asterix is really damn good, Night Slashers is cool, Ninja Baseball Bat Man has a great title.

    For no beat'em ups, Bubble Bobble is pretty cool, Heiankyo Alien could make for a historical review being the first maze arcade game which came out one year before Pac-Man(and got a pretty damn good remake in recent years that is on Steam of all places), Elevator Action Returns is awesome, the first Metal Slug games are amazing, Sunset Riders as well, Parodius and others.
     
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  13. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
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    I found my review of Denjin Makai to be pretty shitty and half-assed. I didn't cover some of it's important features and hastily called it janky. Partially rewrote it to represent the game better: added character info, story, more gameplay details and additional video covering the story. Also updated links in OP, now you can download a full game with endings, dialogues and bonus stages, also newer MAME version with better UI.

    Yeah I thought that I needed more and better gameplay with heavier action, got tired of RPGs for now so I'll be taking a good break. I'm heavily stocked on beat'em'ups, but feel free to dump shoot'em'ups here, because I barely have any.
     
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  14. Silentstorm Learned

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    Shumps are a bit tricky in that they revolve around being very fast paced, hard and replaying and memorizing them a lot in most cases unless you choose to credit feed, but the arcades are home to many great ones, Gradius, R-Type, Darius, Thunder Cross(japanese version), Blazing Star, In The Hunt(best submarine arcade game), Pulstar and Raiden series.

    There are more of course, and i wasn't mentioning bullet hell shooters because they require other sets of skills(mainly, learning the hitbox and how to dodge tons of bullets) that don't necessarily translate with what you need to learn for classic shumps...and vice-versa, it's funny, but i have seen people who play CAVE, Touhou and other games with bullets filling the screen shumps all the time playing games like Gradius and getting absolutely destroyed, mostly because the enemies and the stages themselves are bigger obstacles rather than just bullets.

    But yeah, if you don't mind replaying games a lot(unless you credit feed) then shumps are pretty cool and fun, i find them enjoyable and relaxing from time to time, then again, i don't try to go for high scores nor beat them with no continues.

    There are also a lot of modern shumps or indie arcade-like games that are pretty cool, ZeroRanger is awesome and as for beat'em ups, i found Fight N'Rage to be pretty damn great:
    [​IMG]
    What with it being a more recent indie game that is heavily inspired by arcade beat'em ups with tons of stuff to unlock, a lot of routes, more than 60 endings because of all the routes and decisions you can make(yes, really, like, managing to rescue a sex slave and then running away with her can cause her to die a violent death and the main character going on a revenge rampage...or not as you can let her die before, ignore her entirely as she is speaking to you and etc and what you did with her leads to different endings alongside other choices), several modes and just being pretty fun to play...even if i wish the female character designs were less fan-servicey.

    Just saying that indie games are also keeping the arcade spirit alive somewhat in case you feel like trying something newer.
     
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  15. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
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    All arcade games are basically coin suckers, how else would've developers made money ? 40 minute games taking 40+ hours of practice to complete it without failing. If you keep inserting coins it just throws away all the challenge, I think that saving at the beggining of each level and before bosses is a good compromise, you might even want to save in between fights if stages are hard and long (like the last stage in Denjin Makai features many very difficult battles) and then as you get better you can reduce the number of saves.
    Thanks for games, although I already have roms of R-Type and In the Hunt.

    I am not positive of such indies, old games were made by professionals and it really shows through art, music, design and gameplay. And the game you're talking about I already dislike just by looking at the screenshot, for now I am definitely sticking with old arcades, especially if modern ones look like pixilated crap or weeb shit. But to be fair the idea of c&c heavy beat'em'up sounds great to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  16. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    This made me smile due to its inaccuracy.

    The 'old' developers were not professionals. Far from it. Some of them were barely in their teens when they made the masterpieces that they're lauded and respected for today.

    But if they were not professionals, then what were they?

    Cautious, for one thing. Today you can pull down a dev kit from the internet, read up on a couple of 'how-to guides' and put together a very accurate Pong clone with a few hours of work. It would take up 100 Mb of space (which is obscene, considering Pong's original size) but it would do the job.

    A developer of yesterday had none of those luxuries. In almost every case they were self-taught, had to use their own tools (which often only consisted of a notebook) and had to account for every damn bit and byte. There was no margin for error and no easily available short-cuts. Dedication, perseverance and focus are some of the defining trademarks of the old developers. Plus they didn't have social media to bother them 24/7.

    Some of them would, through years of work, rise to become professionals of course. But they would be the first ones. Before that they were pioneers, trailblazers, explorers of a digital no man's land trying to harness its powers. All of that work and effort is taken for granted today by almost every modern developer that tries to follow in their footsteps. They lack the 'hands-on' touch, the deep connection needed with the hardware and its capabilities, and choose to let third-party software do all of that for them.

    A damn shame.
     
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  17. Silentstorm Learned

    Silentstorm
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    I don't mind indie games, even those who do pretty much retro throwbacks, and i find the idea of them being a small developer rather than a big team actually charming, i just hate it when they hide behind the idea of being retro throwbacks to justify bad design or bad graphics, and by bad graphics, i mean, graphics that aren't memorable or distinct in any way and feel blatantly retro to appeal to a specific kind of gamer rather than being a design choice for an art style.

    And not every indie is like that, look at ZeroRanger, it's not 3D and doesn't use many colors...precisely because the developer wanted to make a game with few colors as an experiment and thus pratically everything about the game's look was designed around that and it ends up looking genuinely better than one would expect, because i felt like the developer actually cared.

    Also, some indie games do have a lot of work put into them across every aspect of them and are pretty good, it's just that 90% aren't exactly the stuff of legends, then again, the same could probably be said for anything.

    And speaking of indie games, Heiankyo Alien 3671 has a port of the original 1979 game, i think the original hasn't aged that well sadly, but the remake is pretty damn good, fun and addictive and apparently it got so beloved by japanese gamers who remembered the original it ended up getting ACTUAL ARCADE CABINETS in Japan, and, of course, the japanese ended up getting updated versions with unique modes while the PC version on Steam is slowly getting updated and won't get the unique modes...i mean, it did get a recent update with more stuff and the PC will apparently get it's own unique mode later on, but still, i guess it either didn't sell well enough or not enough people who aren't japanese bought the game which sucks as it's genuinely a good arcade like game.

    Also, not the only indie game to get an arcade cabinet, Skullgirls also ended up getting one, and unlike Heiankyo Alien, it didn't have the benefit of being in the same franchise as an old arcade game.
     
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  18. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
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    Guardians/Denjin Makai 2 1995
    [​IMG]
    I couldn't find game's poster in proper resolution this gime, even searching in japanese didn't help, so here's a picture of starting screen instead. :negative: It's a sequel (or a prequel) to the Denjin Makai, it's predecessor main feature - big roster with huge moveset has been expanded even further, featuring 8 playable characters this time, just like previously coop is only for 2 players. There are 8 stages in total and 1 bonus game. This time I wasn't slacking around and beat the game with each character, though I usually introduce you to protagonists right away this time I want to talk about mechanics first.

    Both games are pretty similar, if you are familiar with the original you'll get the hang of this one pretty quick. Everything that you used previously functions the same here - combos, specials that require you to hold attack to input them, blocking, power meter that recharges when you stand still, turn around attacks and all the usual beat'em'up stuff like grabs, running and jumping attacks etc. But developers added even more stuff; you now have additional button that controls your ranged weapon, the weapon is unique for every character; the amount of specials was increased in general, now you have 2 despair attacks, one that knocks enemies around you and drains power meter as usual, and the other one that deals massive damage and has bigger range but now drains your life; there's also a super attack that charges up when you hit enemies, once it's ready you can unleash your combo-wombo that not only deals good damage but also looks stylish, although it's not that easy to input. As for regular moves and inventory: each character has 4 standing combos that change depending on which direction you hold while attacking (up, down, forward or none); you can now do a Z axis dash (!!!!!!), this is the first game (and likely the only one) I've seen that allows you to dash like this; there's an instant block now - press back while holding attack, you also can counter attack by pressing forward after blocking a hit; still there are barely any items to fight with, but they made it better too, now you only have sword, bar or grenade, but they also come with unique attacks, combos and even specials for each character. Unfortunately they didn't make any team attacks this time, I imagine that developers didn't have enough time or resources, or even simply decided that the game was crazy already.

    At times Rou does look like a ballerina
    [​IMG]

    As for stats, I didn't notice any differences with stamina, seems like all characters have the same amount of life and take similar damage, but it's very apparent now that damage and speed are very different for everyone, like some characters are damage monsters, but can barely move around. Your life bar now has 2 states, it was the same for Denjin Makai but nobody cared about it, this time they gave it more thought: when you have over 30% of your life (3 bars or more) you are in a blue mode - everything functions as usual, but if you don't have enough energy to perform a special move and still input it, the game will take away 1 bar of your health and instantly refill your power to the full, in the game it's called "overcharge"; when you have less than 30% of your life (3 bars or below) you enter red mode, your life draining despair attack will only take 1 bar from you, you gain instant access to your super attack no matter how much you filled your meter and if you try to "overcharge" you character will instead be locked in place charging his energy meter, which turns you into a sitting bird (you can't trade your life for power meter in red mode), so don't go crazy with specials when your life is low.

    And of course it wouldn't be complete without ability to juggle your enemies in the air, but you also can make them bounce of the walls and floors or throw them into pits or traps.

    Sounds pretty complicated for a beat'em'up, eh ? But I hope I got you excited rather than frightened, complexity is the main appeal of this game, there's plenty of room to create your own fighting methods, so feel free to go wild. But now when you have an hint of game's system, let's talk about the characters:

    [​IMG]
    P.Belva:
    The ass-whooping machine comes back with some new tricks. He plays very similarly to his original self, retaining all the upsides like: good damage, strong grabs, excellent running attacks and fast running speed. Unfortunately his downsides are still present, they are: long recovery after specials, slow attacks, he's still a big target for enemies and jumping attacks are still garbage (worst in the game, actually). He carries a laser gun and you can shoot it full auto, which does decent damage but depletes your energy in a second. Only Belva can grab 2 enemies at the time (this is so cool, I've never seen anything like that in any other game) and his grabs do good damage, but they are very slow and leave you open for attacks. I was really dissapointed with his giant swing move, it seems to only hit enemies at the very end of the animation, meaning that you can't spin in the middle of the crowd knocking down everyone, but you can perform it while holding a pair of thugs and it looks hillarious. He can also use a sword, but is bad at it.

    [​IMG]
    Jinrei:
    New blood and a ninja. Movement wise he's the fastests character in the game, not sure if his attacks are the best in terms of speed but they do not dissapoint. A very solid character overall, though he doesn't hit hard, his speed really compensates for it, the range on some of his moves is really impressive as well, if you're good at the game you can get him to dash around screen slashing everything on your way like a steel tornado. His ranged weapon is, of course, shurikens that barely deal damage but are good for knocking down everything on the screen. His specials are good and you are likely going to spam his "death drill" a lot, his running and jumping attacks are nice, but are not outstanding. As you would expect he's good with a sword, picking up one will significantly boost his range and damage. He doesn't feel as good at bosses, however, make use of his run-jump attack for good single hit damage. His super has the best visuals of all and it feels great to land it, but it's very slow, so watchout to not get surrounded.

    [​IMG]
    Rou:
    My favourite, a literal powerhouse that likes to electrocute his enemies. I was surprised to find out that he's on a "slower but stronger" side of characters. I can't think of anything but compliments to say about this guy, his range is good, his damage is high, his specials are useful and it's easy to do combos with him, a lot of his moves will launch enemies into the air even picking them up off the ground. He can use any weapon and is great with both bar and sword, getting a sword turns him intro a literal death machine, giving a big boost to his already high damage and a HUGE range to his attacks, a bar is nice too but doesn't give as much range as a sword. For his ranged attack he throws a bunch of homing talismans to stun the enemies, allowing you to start combos easily. Only his jumping attacks are kind of lacking, but they aren't terrible, you might also want to mind recovery time on some of his attacks but there likely won't be anything left alive to bother you with that. I barely used his super, because Rou is already superb, but it's an alright move I think.

    [​IMG]
    Tulks/Tarakusu:
    The big guy have been hitting the gym even harder, so he's even more pumped now. His gameplay was significantly improved compared to the previous game, now he can easily link specials into his combos, his grabs are better and his projectile passes through enemies hitting everything on his way. His damage is very high (second highest in the game), but reach is average, his jumping attacks are excellent (best in the game I would say) with great range and damage, he's also slow as you would expect (second slowest character in the game). He can use bar, though he's really bad with a bar, just don't pick it up, it's so slow that you can't even combo with that thing. The biggest problem of Tulks is that he's bad at dealing with crowds, out of his special moves he only has projectile to link into his combos, every other special move (expect running and jumping one) are single target only, so he has to stick with his basic attacks mostly, they hit hard, of course, but are slow and don't offer much range, he completely shits all over any boss in the game though. For his ranged weapon he carries a big pistol that functions ok, but it the range itself is kind of lacking. He has 2 supers, standart one looks and feels good, but very hard to input so you are likely to abandon it completely, and the one that you do out of grab is for looks only as the damage is dissapointing. I honestly didn't enjoy playing Tulks.

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    Zeldia:
    The robotic beast... Sorry, now it's a cute girl with wings, they completely butchered her visual design, but gameplay wise she's ok. She fights with a pair of katars and carries a sub-machine gun (surprisingly good) for ranged combat. As you would expect, she moves fast and has a lot of aerial attacks, her range seems to be above average, but I was constantly running into the problem where her first attack connects, but you are not standing close enough to the enemy to continue your combo, her damage per attack is the lowest in the game, but to compensate this her moves have a lot of multihit put into them. The problem with such approach is that you can't really play fast, you have to wait for pretty long animations to finish to deliver your damage, so she's not a fast attacker like Jinrei and you take more risks while fighting a crowd. She can hover in the air, but it's pretty annoying, because you can't drop down, letting go of jump button makes her fly across the screen, you can dive with your claws, but it consumes energy and you can't do a regular attack if you want to, also her hovering animation looks awful. As for aerial attacks themselves, they have good range but low damage, so they are dissapointing, same for running attacks, only her standing combos really do the work. She really struggles on bosses because of her bad overall damage. She can wield a sword, but is not really good at it. Her specials moves are meh, I only liked her drill but the animation is too long, her uppercut is pretty bad compared to the others, and as for flying moves I already commented on them. Her super is alright for killing big enemies, but has a slow start, not as slow as Jinrei's but with way worse range. Because of her multihit she's good for scoring points, if care about it. I found her fun initially, but towards the end was thinking, that if I wanted gameplay like this I would rather play Jinrei. Folks on the internet consider her to be the worst character in the game and I agree with them, she's only ok because the combat system itself is good.

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    Kurokishi:
    A lady cop is also here for another round, now with better outfit, bigger movelist and bigger bust. In the first game I felt like she was a poor man's version of Makai, but now she got some identity and it's fun to play her. They solved the problem of her having bad Z axis range and I don't feel like a cripple anymore trying to hit enemies. Her only real downside is the same as Zeldia's - low damage per hit, but she hits harder than that overgrown hen. Otherwise she's got good everything, though she doesn't feel that great to go against bosses. I really like her gun that freezes enemies in a wide area allowing you to come in for a combo. She's good with a sword, almost like Jinrei but with worse range and speed, instead she can pop enemies into the air and throw them, if you know what to do you can stay in the air indefinitely. Her super looks cool and is very easy to do, but the damage is pathetic.

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    Skullbyule:
    I suppose his design was based on rhino or hercules beetle. Anyway, this character is the most OP shit in the game - biggest damage, longest reach, great specials and useful gun. Unlike Tulks he's very good against crowds, he'll also roflstomp any boss you encounter (I killed last boss on phase 3 in less than 10 seconds), his prime downsides are: the slowest movement speed in the game and also the biggest hitbox, you can't really maneuver with this guy. I would've said that his jumping attacks aren't as good, but it doesn't matter when the damage is so ridiculous. Out of weapons he can only use grenade, which makes him shoot fire from his claw, and this attack covers nearly the entire length of the screen or the whole length if you are willing to spend some meter. Despite being slow he's pretty good at combos, so it shouldn't be hard for you to juggle everything to death. His super (lol why do you need this ?) does a lot of damage but is slow and not that easy to input.

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    Girulian:
    This guy was the final boss in Denjin Makai, he even uses the same moves (though not all of them), I don't know what he's doing here. This character is the hardest one to play efficiently and to his full potential. A good portion of his moves are unique and don't work like usual, though he isn't bad at all. He's probably the most balanced character in terms of speed, damage and reach, his damage can reach Tulk's level if you know what you are doing, there's a good deal of timing involved in his moves (like running grab or rising fireball), so you are going to feel like you are missing out until you get good with him, which is going to take a while. He's good with a sword, but normal attacks have bad Z axis range. His gun looks cool - he fires a laser from his wrist, though it has the same problem as his sword - terrible Z axis range. I consider his super to be the best in the game, because it's fast, easy to do, stuns everything it touches and only need to connect once for full damage, you can use it on cornered bosses to connect more than once for massive damage (again my point - it takes a while to see what he can really do as a fighter). His moves allow for some really creative and crazy combos.

    Fag and Deus Ex Machina
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    Now unlike the previous title, Guardians features no story at all (I checked it out this time, it's not some shit on my end), not even visuals tell you anything about what's going on. Intro just shows you characters being badass and as soon as you select a character you are dropped straight into a fight. And there's nothing happening between missions too, you just go from place to place beating some soldiers and monsters. Can't really say that I was dissapointed, I couldn't understand story in the first game, because I don't know japanese. Neverless some introduction and conclusion in the end would've been better than nothing. There's one thing, however, that makes you wonder about the plot - is this game a prequel or a sequel ? In the first game you fight and kill Girulian in the end, so why is he in the game ? In first game it's also revealed that Girulian participated in the war a few years before story of Denjin Makai took place and he became a criminal during that war (and game's actions really look like a war), so this might mean that the game is a prequel. However in the end of the first game Zeldia turns into a winged girl - the one that we see in Guardians, so this might mean that Guardians is a sequel or maybe creatures like Zeldia go through cycles, I don't know. In the end you are free to think what you want, as I've said Guardians features zero story.

    These zombies are about to get it
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    As for gameplay, well I've already explained you the system, it feels good to play, it got a significant pace boost and everything is faster in general. All the issues I previously had with controls were fixed: the special moves input, the turn around attack, timing, everything's good now. The game might look too complicated at first, but you get the hang of it pretty quickly (I suppose experience with Denjin Makai helps greatly), but unfortunately there are some major issues. The game is easy, much easier than it's predecessor, you take way less damage, there are items that restore health, you get 2 lives per coin and can even earn additional ones for scoring enough points, also AI is not as agressive as before, in Denjin Makai enemies would gang up on you non stop, but here I often notice them standing idly or not attacking when they have opportunity. The bosses are also way easier, they have less attacks and are more predictable, they die even faster now, though they still can deal good damage to you. Another thing is that enemies die really fast, even if you are not playing strong characters, this combined with the crazy damage scaling from combos (damage goes down very fast) means that there isn't much incentive to do something crazy other than looking stylish. But you know, this is so far the most fair game in terms of difficulty that I played it doesn't throw any bullshit at you (there are a lot of ambushes, but they aren't as annoying) and if you die, you can only blame yourself. Also the game is very short, you only have to beat 5 stages to finish it, there are now real branches to compensate that. Remember how in previous game you were given a set of levels and only chose in which order you wanted to complete them ? Now you only need to complete levels that you actually choose, though you can only select level 2, 3 and 4, I find some of the levels to be harder than their counterparts: forest is harder than town and mall is harder than port, oh and bosses remain the same no matter which level you choose. In conclusion I find that Guardiands can't really realize it's fighting system to it's full potential, because of how easy this game is, it is also the biggest downside for me and your journey with the game ends as soon as you aquire the taste for it. I think it would've been fun to have a versus mode.

    Would you give a finger to a giant alien shooting explosives from his arm ?
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    As for presentation - it's great. Whatever problems game has with design it fully compensates with character, there's so much stuff happening around you and in the background: one example you can see on the picture above, enemies hang out with their buddies at various places, there's a squid that hides at various places and shakes his head and tentacle at you with disapproval, tanks shooting people, people shooting tanks, raptor riding a bike and breathing fire, fish-shaped zeppelin with a sign "fish boat" on it, fat guys riding skates to battle and falling off them because skates break under their weight, thicc women riding crocodile monsters, enemies masking as said crocodile monsters to sneak past the battle, a pair trying to have sex in one of the buildings that you can break... And that's not all, the game is absolutely packed with action and life, it's so good that I was looking around trying to find out stuff that I might've missed. Some of the decorations look like horror material though (see screenshots in "additional stuff" section for examples), can't say if they were purposefully made so. The game's music took a hit, the quality of the sound improved greatly, but the soundtrack itself is pretty average and forgettable. Also characters don't talk at all, there are no even pain sounds. There are no idle animations as well, looking at how good the action around you is, I think they really missed out on this one. Once again there were problems with emulation, stage select screen does not display correctly, this glitch is present in all emulators as I've seen, so I can't do anything about it.

    At times you just want to stand and enjoy the scenery
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    In my reviews there's usually a section where I complain about some stupid fight or mechanic in the game, but this time I will say something else. Why the fuck the series have not become popular !? Sure Denjin Makai was kind of raw, but this game is just great and accessible and there's a good replay value. Yeah, the games were released in Japan exclusively, which outright destroyed their chances of becoming famous worldwide, how sad, the series deserve as much recognition as some of the capcom most successful arcade titles. If you haven't tried Guardiands or Denjin Makai and reading this, please check them out, you will not be dissapointed.

    As for verdict. Guardians is a game with great mechanics and big and varied roster, that is unfortunately too easy and short for it's own good.

    Additional stuff:

    Article about the game and it's predecessor

    Movelist :obviously:

    More screenshots, warning they are big (take a second to think if you really want to view them, you might want to experience these things by playing the game yourself)
    Show Spoiler
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    Gameplay videos (same as for screenshots, you might spoil some fun scenery)
    Show Spoiler

     
    • Brofist Brofist x 6
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  19. Silentstorm Learned

    Silentstorm
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Messages:
    293
    Ohh, i remember playing that game, it's certainly a good one.

    So, what's next?

    If i may, i heartily recommend Battle Circuit from Capcom, it's a great beat'em up of theirs that sadly didn't become that popular.
     
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  20. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    989
    Either Konami game or shoot'em'up. Don't want to outright spoil the title.

    I'll do Battle Circuit eventually, but for now I don't feel like playing another beat'em'up with bigger roster and longer movelist.
     
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  21. Silentstorm Learned

    Silentstorm
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Messages:
    293
    Konami had some great games like The Simpsons, TMNT, Mystic Warriors and Sunset Riders, so i am curious as to what you will pick.

    As for shoot'em'ups, if you play the Gradius series, PLEASE play Parodius next, that series is just awesome and it's pratically a parody of Gradius(hence the name) that actually quickly becomes it's own insane classical music filled thing.
     
    • Yes Yes x 1
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  22. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    18,460
    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    THIS.

    SO MUCH THIS.

    Give Gradius the time and love it deserves if you're going there, but it would be God-like of you if you would follow that up with Parodius (or some of the sequels).

    I don't like SHMUPS in general, but playing Nemesis (as Gradius is known in Europe) and then following that up with Parodius is one of the defining moments of my 'gaming career' that spans over 30 years.

    And if you're going to go into SHMUPS territory... might I dare place an R-Type request? :desu:
     
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  23. Silentstorm Learned

    Silentstorm
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Messages:
    293
    Well, i like shumps in general(great for when you want something simple that isn't filled with tons of stats that is fast and where you get better with practice) and i say that Parodius is wonderful and playing it after Gradius is a wonderful idea.

    Also, there is Darius as well to consider which has many good games in that series as well.
     
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  24. Sjukob Prophet

    Sjukob
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    989
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Yeah... :dead: May be later.
     
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  25. Silentstorm Learned

    Silentstorm
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Messages:
    293
    Just saying, not all of those are shumps or arcade games, Parodius had some RPG spin-offs and started as a MSX exclusive for example, though Gradius is the one with the most games, but those are the ones set in the same universe and one can focus just on the ones called Gradius.
     
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