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Incline Revisiting Old Games (Again)

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Falksi, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Reality Learned

    Reality
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    I feel like Front Mission 1 does have a lot of charm to it, but for me it's actually leaves me wanting more meat - I really think FM 3-5 had some cool stuff going on how linked attacks and reaction fire workedi n them (among other things) while FM 1 really does boil down to HP vs HP brawls

    The story starts kinda grounded but it would have gone a little off the rails into cyberpunk territory if you had played further.

    I think the highlights for me are that their are a few points surprisngly early on an in midgame where you fight an entire enemy squad using the top equipment from the NEXT shop up (and you only get each shop/town yourself like every 5 missions (The Frost Guys in the Hell's Wall mission for example). I like it compared to the drip-feed that promoted enemy classes tend to be in SRPGs where they are usually introduced as a single general/commander in a mission full of the same old grunts instead of as the entire army and don't come in bulk until like the last 3 maps--- I feel like the difficulty definately drops off after midgame though and you start to have enough money to always have a full set of the most expensive stuff on your guys.

    I agree that SRPGs can wear on the endurance though -

    Also I know it's HERESY but Front Mission, Front Mission 3, and the spinoff ARPG Front Mission:Gun Hazard have my all time favorite Square Enix soundtracks
     
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  2. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Megaman X - SNES

    [​IMG]
    ^Megaman X & Zero. What a pair of cunts

    Megaman X was one of the first games which I played on emulation through my booming new PC back in '96/97, and it suddenly contrasted what seemed like a child's games to the brilliant incline PC games such as Baldur's Gate, X-Com & Tie Fighter. Beer & Pussy were plentiful, and the Party + PC combo suddenly lifted my life. Megaman seemed shit by comparison.

    And there's a reason for that - it is shit. OK, it's not shit, far from it actually, but I really didn't have that much fun with it at all, and it's easy to see why back in the day games like these pushed me way more towards the Party + PC. In fact let's be honest, I fucking hate the game.

    See, it's presented superbly. The graphics, sound and overall presentation is top notch. Even the story, for a 16-bit platform SHEMUP game, is serviceable and has moments of interest. Each boss has a specific weakness, each stage has hidden items, and this really influences how you approach the game & which stages to choose in which order. Such strategy & thought in a game of this ilk was pretty rare, and it still helps it stand out today. It's got great boss design too, with each one being very unique. Essentially what the game has you do is great.

    However, the problem isn't what you do, it's how you do it.

    Firstly it plays way too old school. The inability to duck is annoying as fuck, and feels so un-instinctive. The lack of 8 way shooting stands out an absolute mile, and the levels themselves are stupidly basic. At times the game plays itself, and the whole thing just feels so fucking restricted compared to say Contra 3 or Sunset Riders. Whilst not totally awful, respawn points can be a bit lame at times, and repetitively going over a tricky section just to figure out how to get past it isn't fun.

    But that would all be liveable if the enemy & level design were exciting. But they're not. They are dull as fucking dishwater, and designed in a choresome way. It's just lacks any real excitement, and everything is played so straight. It's very much a tick-box shooter, and to complete it that's what you have to do - tick the boxes. Do the right stages in the right order, get the right weapons for the right bosses, obey, conform, and do so whilst having to play with a very outdated control scheme.

    I can't fucking stick the thing if I'm honest, and ended up wanting to smash it to fucking bits. The dull, methodical approach required to progress fucking riles me, and it's about as exciting as mowing the lawn.

    :1/5:
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
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  3. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
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    A nitpick I have about MMX is the graphics. Capcom saw that 16 bit hardware enabled a lot more colors, and it looks like they decided to use all of them at once in some stages. Super garish at times, like a bowl of Fruity Pebbles exploded on screen.
     
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  4. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Agreed, but tbh I though that was what they were going for.
     
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  5. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
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    Capcom has always had top graphic artists, so it must be purposeful. I just don't see to what good end. Painting a bright, optimistic future?

    Sunset Riders is even more garish...but so much more satisfying as a shooter. I didn't play it until near 20 years after it came out, and it was instantly gratifying. Has to be one of the greatest arcade games ever made, probably one of the most underrated for as little as I hear about it compared to what I consider lesser arcade titles.

    Front Mission is cool as hell. I started the game last month. Surprised by the level of complexity. But the short combat ranges, which I've noticed in the majority of Japanese tactical games I've played, is disappointing. I'm finding it not as satisfying as, say, Battletech, where you can fire from halfway across the map, even though FM is overall the better made game. That and combat taking place in a separate battle screen* are Japanese design constants that still put me off a bit.

    *I'm aware you can turn this off in some games and fight on the field screen.
     
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  6. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    See the Sunset Riders garishness I totally get and I'm on-board with. A definite nod to the classic TV Westerns with the likes of John Wayne in, sporting his "fabulous" pink shirt.......

    [​IMG]

    Totally guessing here too, but it wouldn't surprise me if part of the decision making behind it to make it so loud, was because it was originally a coin-op and would be competing, and having to stand out against, other coin-ops too.

    And yes indeedy, it's a fucking corker. Grabs you by the balls from the off, and runs as far & as fast as it can with you. A proper classic, all out, thriving shooter. Yeeeeehaaaaaa!!! (excuse me)

    Glad you're enjoying Front Mission, I think the complexity was just to saturating for my tastes. I love games with depth, but I also can't be arsed to micro-manage either. I got so sick of upgrading every damn thing for every damn robot. Would be interested to hear your final verdict on it when you've finished it.
     
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  7. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
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    The menus for shopping, comparing, and equipping gear are a bear to deal with. As such, I'm ok with making sub-optimal choices rather than spend a lot of time there.
     
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  8. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    MEGAMAN X2 - SNES

    [​IMG]

    ^Even from the off, it's way more exciting than the original


    Fuck it then, let's plough through this bag of shite whilst we've started. All I ever here about these games is praise, but after playing Megaman X I've no idea what the fuck it wrong with people. You have to be an absolute bellend to like these games. So on to X2.

    I like it. Well I like it way more than the original. The big difference between this & it's predecessor is it has decent, sometimes even good, level & enemy design. No longer is it a dull, monotonous, methodical slog, but instead it's a bit more frantic, challenging & exciting. The attack patterns aren't quite as digital, and everything moves a bit faster too.

    But it still has all those annoying fucking bullshit elements in Megaman X, no duck, no 8-way etc. It's less noticeable now because the faster paced game keeps you more distracted with better things, but the flaws are still there.

    I'd say that anyone looking at this series for the first time should start here at the very earliest. I actually had some fun with it, but not enough to play through to the finish.

    OK, but glad it's out the way.

    :3/5:
     
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  9. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Aero Fighters 2/Sonic Wings 2 - Arcade/NEO GEO

    [​IMG]

    So here's the first of hopefully many arcade games. I've a fair few to get started, but the emulation stick I ordered is missing some key games on there, so it might be a while until I get around to some classics.

    This one was a decent way to start off though. A typical vertical scrolling shooting affair, it plays well and has enough to warrant playing with a typically bizarre collection of characters to choose from, including a baby donned in a Sherlock Holmes outfit & a dolphin. It makes for a nice visual change, but there's not really enough difference between each to warrent multiple playthroughs. You're as well selecting whichever one you think looks coolest or most fun.

    The game is balanced fairly well, with the first 5 or so levels providing a nicely incremented increase in challenge between each stage. The bullshit factor gets ramped up significantly towards the last few levels, but only really is the finaly level OTT.

    Bosses are pretty cool & meaty, but you've seen better, and overall they top off what has to be one of the most none-offensive, OK but not spectacular games going.

    It's OK.

    :3/5:
     
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  10. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Lufia 2 - Rise of the Sinstrels

    [​IMG]
    ^He saved everyone of us!

    By far & away the biggest kicker going back to these oldies is playing the fondly remembered RPGs, only to find out they actually suck a bit now. Phantasy Star 4 & Chrono Trigger really guttered me, as I remember thriving on both, yet upon return they were both average at best. This one however has an even bigger task, as I've only ever played it once on emulation before, and my memories of it are pretty sparse, so no nostalgia to help it either. Modron recommended it, so here we go.

    Well it grabbed me from the off. Nothing outstanding or mind-blowing, but everything about it is crafted SO well, that's it's just a joy to slip into. The town, the dungeon maps, the battles etc. It really is one of the easiest RPGs to get into which I've played in a long time, but it also gives you enough to get your teeth into too. The first dungeon alone displays a lovely balance between puzzles, simplicity, depth, combat & secrets - it's a perfect portion size. A few hours in and I was really enjoying myself.

    And the combat is balanced absolutely superbly too, real masterclass here. You can enter a Dungeon under equipped and vulnerable, but because of the fact that battles aren't random & you can stun enemies with your arrows, you can still progress. On the flipside, there's plenty of in-dungeon secrets, and a big variety of spells & weapons, armour & items to buy from towns, so you've also the option of grinding a bit and entering the dungeons far more badass than before. Yet again, the balance with both is superb, vulnerable doesn't feel impossible and powerful doesn't feel OP. Great stuff.

    Monsters are visible, but only move when you do. This leads to some really interesting scenarios, and is a great little system. Really surprising that this hasn't been copied much since. The puzzles are plentiful, and flit between having to make you think to trickily-clever, but rarely are they either pointless or frustrating. They mostly have a touch of uniqueness to them too, which again adds to the quality. In fact, I'm not one for puzzley dungeons, but this game does them & the dungeons SO well that I really enjoyed both. Top marks. But, as well done as they are, you also really need to be prepared to spend a lot of time dungeon crawling in general. It isn't for everyone, got a bit monotonous for me, and it really could have done with a few more roleplaying/exploration aspects to break it up.

    Unfortunately there are other significant bugbears too. Firstly there's little to no secrets in the roleplaying areas, a particular bane of mine. Also, the main dungeon theme tune gets real old real fast, in fact I think the same track plays in every dungeon. Then you've got the game's structure. It really is town-dungeon-town-dungeon for a large portion of it, which soon becomes very repetitive. And finally you've got the story which, whilst not awful at all, isn't particularly exciting either and tends to feel like one random event after another, each of which has little or nothing to do with anything that happens before it or after it. It really did leave me disinterested at times, as the main story hook kept disappearing (similarly to how Witcher 3 has you hunt the Wild Hunt.......then have nothing to do with them for ages). And it is a 16-bit JRPG too, so be prepared for slightly obscure objectives.

    I enjoyed this a lot, and think it's definitely worth playing, but be mindful that it's way more for gameplayfags than storyfags, and has enough bugbears to prevent it from being a classic.

    :4/5:
     
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  11. Reality Learned

    Reality
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    Oh man my on and off favorite JRPG after Grandia.. I love this thing - it is easy, and it hasn't got too many frills beyond the puzzles - and in some ways it's the most a 16 bit RPG tried to STAY an 8 bit RPG. but for all that it's a good dose of fun.

    I like it because it's a game where you never need to stop, and despite the low difficulty it could make you vulnerable without really making you weak like when it forced you to travel without your healers when you fight the first sinistral.

    I also love the optional Rogue Dungeon because of how the visible (At once move monsters) on the map screen makes it fair to pick and choose what you can handle in there, and that it packs the difficulty that the rest of the game lacks. It's also refreshing to play a Rogue-lite that switches to conventional turn based battles when you run into things and thus frees itself of rogue tropes of luring guys to single tile hallways and defensive BS -

    Also it is fair enough that most of the dungeon and town theme's are unmemorable, but the battle and boss music makes up for it big time.
     
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  12. CryptRat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Developer

    CryptRat
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    I only recently discovered that Energy Breaker was actually made by the same team as Lufia 2, which explains how half of the appeal of the game is to search every spot for hidden items, and I guess it also explains why the game is fun.
     
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  13. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    It is a really good game, and when someone such as yourself states it as a fave I can totally see why.

    For me unfortunately it just hit those few key bugbears, which stopped it from getting a 5/5. Lack of in-town secrets & dungeon music the two in particular that, over the course of the entire game, ground me down.
     
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  14. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    2020 Baseball - Arcade/NEO GEO/SNES

    [​IMG]
    ^Probably the best tit shot in the game

    So 2020. The future! Robots! Robots playing sports! No Covid 19, no world focused on SJW bollocks, just the glory days of everyone watching baseball & having futuristic fun. If only eh? I'm a Brit, so don't have any connection with the the game, but it seems simple enough to grasp, so I gave this a blast.

    And it's not bad. Nothing stunning, but is nice, straightforward, arcade fun that's easy to pick up and play, and challenging enough too. The presentation is it's real strength. Everything moves at that cartoon-panel pace, where you have a snapshot of one style to play for a minute or two, then a few seconds of another, then it switches round to yet another etc. It's quick and keeps it fresh & lively.

    Batting I enjoyed the most but also found the hardest. Connecting with the ball is an achievement in itself, but actually hitting it so you can make a decent run or, miracle of miracles a home run, is a tough ask. I've still no idea how to really guide the ball, but in the context of a cheap 10 min arcade blast it doesn't really matter.

    Fielding is still fun though, pitching n particular. There's a lot you can do with the ball, and that's pretty nifty. That said, it does something feel as if the CPU will hit it, no matter what you attempt. The general controls overall are sharp & intuitive, and before long you're flowing with the game no probs.

    There is actually a fairly decent layer of depth to the game, added by the ability to upgrade players, and various obstacles & boons spread around the fielding pitch. It's nothing to write home about, but it does at least prompt you to think a bit.

    But there really isn't much more to it either. After 10-15 min you've seen done it all, and then it just becomes a case of how much you enjoy repeating it. In fact making it through a full game is a bit of a slog. I'd be very interested to learn if anyone has got really good at this game, because the offensive aspects of it really seem down to relying on a lot of luck.

    Trash, fast food, quick-blast fun that is ok to snack on, but nowhere substantial enough to fully satisfy either. As disposable as it is playable. Probably like Baseball itself.

    :3/5:
     
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  15. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Golden Axe - Arcade

    [​IMG]
    ^Megadrive Vs Arcade. The backdrops on the console version seem far deeper & better to me.

    So my arcade stick has finally arrived, and I'm well chuffed I ordered it. It's got pretty much all the key arcade games which I was after, and the stick & soundboard gives it a real authentic feel. After reviewing the Megadrive version this was one of the first games which I went for, and I was surprised how much different it was compared to the MD game. So I'd thought I'd review it, just to compare.

    The thing which hit me first was just how much beefier & chunkier the whole thing is. The MD version is great, but this had a real "Pow!" quality to it, with additional extras such as enemy screams & extra frames of animation proper revving the whole thing up. That said, I personally prefer the MD's spites & graphics, they're darker & more defined, giving them a lot of weight. The backdrops for the arcade in particular look too light for my tastes.

    It plays pretty similar, but the collision detection does feel slightly looser, in fact the whole thing doesn't feel anywhere near as polished or smooth overall. You can really tell that the MD version has been refined gameplay wise to hold your interest for more than just a few coins in the arcade. I even prefer how the tunes sound on the console as well.

    Throw in the extra levels at the end, and overall I think the arcade version of Golden Axe, whilst still great, comes a definite second place to the Megadrive's by some way.

    Still a great blast, but if you want the definitive version go for the Megadrive one.

    :4/5:
     
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  16. Tehdagah Arcane

    Tehdagah
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    You need to dash+jump more. The X series is way more fair and well designated than NES Megaman.
     
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  17. AdolfSatan Magister

    AdolfSatan
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    This thread got me wanting to meet with my mates to play MAME again, great stuff. Some recs for solo play:

    Great Swordsman is about fencing; you're an englishman so you probably like that kinda stuff. Gotta be smart and wait for the right moment to strike, lots of adrenaline.
    Chiller for the sodomite in you. A game about torturing people and shooting shit in a haunted mansion. Get a nice glass of bourbon, sit back and give the ol pecker a tug or two while satiating your worst instincts.
    Also PSX Tomb Raider (I and II) if you never played those and feel like something more plataform-y without giving up your wank.

    Played that future baseball game with a friend before the lockdown. It was fun but 50% of the time we didn't understand what the hell was going on.
     
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  18. Chk991 Literate

    Chk991
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    Should be the obvious, but play the Alien Predator, and DnD games ( Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara) if you haven't. For me this trio of games is the epitome of Mame. Well, Metal Slug aside.
     
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  19. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Fuckinghell, English sodomizing torture gaming wanking. Perfect :dance:

    Hope that they are on the Arcade stick, really want to play these games as authentically as possible.

    Thanks for those, top lad.
     
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  20. AdolfSatan Magister

    AdolfSatan
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    Takes a degenerate to know another, hope you enjoy them
    :kingcomrade:


    I never managed to finish any of the D&D games, even with friends. They begin fun but get too repetitive and the pacing isn't fast enough to keep me entertained throughout. AvP on the other hand is super fun, but I wouldn't play beatemups solo either way.
     
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  21. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Metal Slug - Arcade

    [​IMG]

    One of my best mates had a real hard on for this game. Every time we'd go to the arcade he'd rave about it and be on it none-stop. I didn't get it. Yeah it was OK, but something about it didn't really grab me.

    And what an odd game it is. On one hand you can see they've really spent some time and effort crafting various aspects of it. The presentation, and artwork, is nothing short of spectacular. Everything looks fucking amazing. The game constantly makes love to your eyes with colourful, vibrant sprites & animations humping your pupils like a horny rabbit. It hits such a sweet spot between classic & modern, that most will probably love it. It also contains a nice bit of humour tied in with said presentation, and there's constantly something going off to stimulate you on some level. Top stuff.

    But underneath all that is pretty "meh" gameplay. Firstly you can't shoot diagonally unless you are in a vehicle. That just feels wrong for a game of this era, and it's even more bizarre that you can actually do this when in said vehicles. Weird. Secondly, it just gets too chaotic at times, and many a death is to be had with no or little way out of a situation. Typical coin guzzler. And finally, the enemies & power-ups are repetitive as hell. There's not much difference between what you do on the first level, to what you do on the last level. The only major break is a gun turret section towards the end, but by then I'd grown well tired of it all.

    It's not a bad game, in fact it's fun. But I just don't like it because it stimulation comes from the spectacle more than it does an experience. It's only 6 levels long, and by the 3rd I' was already starting to tire of it.

    Polished, entertaining fun but with a shallow average core underneath it.

    :3/5:
     
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  22. Reality Learned

    Reality
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    I like the OG metal slug because of it's short length, relative lack of point inflation, and good artwork - MS 2 and 3 might have more going on, but they also have levels full of slowdown, and I can't just say 1 million at the end of the game is enough for a good playthrough.

    I've played it so many time I'd have to give it a 4 off the cuff, but I can sort of see lowering it if I'm making a BIG list and am forced to put a score to my other run'N'guns at the same time.
     
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  23. Eisen Novice

    Eisen
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    Play Eastern Mind
     
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  24. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Metal Slug X - Arcade

    [​IMG]

    Whilst I wasn't a big fan of Metal Slug, it did enough to prompt me to give one of the other, later games in the series a go to see how it had evolved.

    And I'm glad I did. X is very similar to the original Metal Slug - eye poppingly great graphics, great humour, nice presentation etc. but it also significantly improves various other aspects of the game too. The gameplay is now far tighter and the level design far better too. The devs seem to have been more aware of how the gameplay is best supported by the level around it, and you feel far more engaged overall.

    Tuning the chaos down a notch to make everything more considered definitely works a treat. Things feel more deliberate, and way less random. Both enemy & weapon variety are greater too, and it adds a lot to the game. Mummy's zombies, aliens......no longer just the same green army men over & over.

    The lack of a diagonal attack still grates, and one of the later stages is very repetitive and annoying in particular. But it's got the fun & frolics of the original backed with better design, so I'd definitely recommend giving a go.

    Still doesn't reach that classic level for me, but overall pretty good.

    :4/5:
     
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  25. Great Deceiver Arcane

    Great Deceiver
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    Don't complain that arcade games are "too short" until you can beat them on one credit.
     
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