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Incline Revisiting Old Games (Again)

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

  1. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Street Fighter - Arcade

    [​IMG]

    We all know of SF2 & it's world changing legacy, but this is where it all began. Not only was this first recognised fighting game to use the concept of "special moves", but the delux version of the game also featured pressure-sensitive rubber pads, which determine the strength and speed of the player's attacks based on how hard they were pressed. I never got chance to play it in the arcade so, after years of playing other games in the series in various guises, this was a game I was very intrigued to play.

    Well I was surprised just how much of the foundation for the later entries could be found there already. Pretty much all the basics of Ryu's movement, attacks and special moves are included, as is the general overall combat setup - weak punch, strong puch, dragon punch, hadoken, jump kicks, blocks etc. 80-90% of what SF2 was built on. And that also extends to the presentation & fluff which surround the game, such as bonus games, flying around the world, and pre-match Vs screens etc.

    But boy is it shit. I mean, there is a bit of fun to be had, but it's a far, far cry from it's sequel, and it is just a bad game.

    See it totally lacks any of the tightness or precision which the series is known for, and combat is a real mess. Button bashing and spamming special moves are the only real way to progress, and the only way to play the game. Trying to play strategically & in a more considered fashion goes straight out the window because so many aspects of the combat are so poorly executed. You can have a bit of fun with said bashing and spamming, but this highlights what a really, really fucking archaic game it is.

    And everything's also so out of balance too. Weak attacks barely touch the enemy, but special moves absolutely decimate an opponent. Movement, and jumping in particular, is horrid, and the whole package end up being pretty rank. On a final note, Sagat is one of the hardest, most skanky bosses I've played against in a long time too.

    Playing this is like waking up after shagging a fat bird with a big tash. An inevitable battle between your senses, where the majority of them are saying "spew up, scrub & clean up", but a handful of the most base ones are saying "meh, had a bit if fun with that!"

    :2/5:
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
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  2. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Final Fantasy 3/6 - SNES

    [​IMG]
    ^Let me be your fantasy

    Years ago I played through the FF series from FF4 to FF12 back to back, and said series definitely remains a favourite of mine. Most of the games I found enjoyable to some degree, but there were also those which either bored me somewhat, or I had a love/hate relationship with. This game was the latter. After reading all the hype about it, and fresh off the heels of a thoroughly enjoyable time with FF5, I just came away from this not really enjoying it at all. I can't really recall why, but I always had it down as mediocre. So will the bug bite me this time?

    No. Why? coz it's a mess. A sometimes brilliant & unique mess, but fuckinghell I spent a good portion of this playthrough absolutely fucking hating the experience. Where to start?

    Firstly, it's FAR too railroaded at times. For the first 4 hours, almost every battle feels tightly scripted, and with little room for manoeuvre. Especially boss battles. Backtracking is plentiful, and whereas most JRPGS follow a pattern of "town-dungeon-explore", this spends a big chunk of the game chopping between "script-battle-script-battle". It gets overwhelming, and I was like "No, don't set me a task, or a puzzle, or an event, just fucking let me wander around the village for a bit & get a feel for things first". Claustrophobic & frustrating. The random battles are also WAY too plentiful at times. When you do get chance to explore it hinders said exploration significantly, and it gets really fucking annoying all round.

    It also sends you dizzy at times with the character swapping, and it became really hard to give a fuck about any one character because of the constant chop-change. At some points it's ridiculous beyond belief.

    Combat's a real mess throughout too. Because everything's so gimmicky & chop-change for the first half of the game, things never really settle down enough for you to get a proper grasp on what's happening. Everything seems to work, it's pretty easy, but a lot of time you're not aware of the reasoning behind it all, so it's unsatisfying. There's also times when the balance is well off. At one point in the game 2 of your 3 characters special abilities target the enemy randomly, and it just highlights how cheap and "auto-piloty" combat is in general, as your input seems something of an afterthought.

    The game is also constantly throwing new things at you, and providing diversionary spins on the standard gameplay. This can be either refreshing as you're constantly having to pay attention, or annoying as you can't seem to settle into any real rhythm. It really just depends how you're wired, but I found it more annoying than refreshing.

    But.....It contains some real stand out moments, and some real nice ideas which make it feel very unique too. Proper top draw shit that will stick with you long after you've witnessed or partaken in them. This is why so many love it. This is why it is often hailed as a "classic". There's a decent amount of hidden stuff to find, it has a really unique flavour even for a Final Fantasy game, and they what little they do get right they absolutely nail to a tee.

    But it's not enough for me sadly, too much effort for too little pay off, and I fucking hated the game & playthrough big time. I can see there's something decent in there, but it's just executed so messily & restrictively the entire journey felt laborious and frustrating.

    :2/5:
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
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  3. eXalted Prophet

    eXalted
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    Although I don't agree with some reviews here (I dig FF VI), this thread is so gud.

    Subscribed.
     
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  4. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Cadillacs and Dinosaurs - Arcade

    [​IMG]

    Did anyone actually ever manage to find an arcade which stocked this? Because as kids we read & heard all the hype, but could we fuck as like actually find one to play. Feels very satisfying to tick this one off the list and finally walk the dinosaur.

    Based on the comic of the same name (originaly "Xenozoic Tales"), the game is pure bubblegum-popcorn brain-off fun. To say it was released a year after Streets of Rage 2, it feels lacking in the move department, and harkens back to the earlier titles which relied on a more limited moveset such as Final Fight. The reason why that doesn't hold this game back though, is that it has an absolutely mega blend of hand to hand combat & weapon based combat. One minute you're punching away, the next you've an uzi, the next a grenade etc. This not only keeps things continuously varied, but it allows you to setup some sweet tactical moves (e.g. lobbing some dynamite, to then punch enemies onto it). Nothing feels overpowered, but everything feels like it gives you an edge.

    The characters themselves all feel quite unique too, even though they have a pretty identical moveset. Over several playthroughs I kept cycling between the 3 of the available characters, and still can't make my mind up which I prefer. That again is some good balancing. There's also the option to have 3 players, which makes for some really chaotic fun.

    There's a few good tunes in there, but the overall soundtrack isn't anywhere near as memorable as many other beat 'em ups of that era, and whilst there are some gimmicks that give you a bit of stage variety, it's mostly level after level of the same shizzle.

    It's fun & I enjoyed it, but for all the good elements, it just lacks that certain something to make it a classic. The enemies, whilst fine, do lack a bit of character, and the stages & scenery ain't particularly memorable either.

    A well rounded, well balanced good game which just doesn't have that X factor to take it to the next level.

    :4/5:
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  5. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
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    Metal Slug X and 2 are my favorite in the series and two of my favorite games in general. They struck the right balance in enemy variety. Many think 3 is the best, but you're fighting too many non human enemies.

    FF6 is all presentation. It's a big anime adventure with far too much combat, most of it extremely simplistic. I like the characters and lively mood, and the art and music are grand, but it id just as soon skim through a playthrough on Yubtub if I wanted to experience it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
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  6. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    I did enjoy X a fair amount, so I'm looking forward to 2 & 3.

    Yup. I can see why folk enjoy FF6, but I much prefer my RPGs to be interactive & not so restrictive. It was probably a bit unlucky in that I played it coming off the back of Lufia 2, which was way more up my street.
     
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  7. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
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    In case you didn't know, MS 2 and X are the same basic game with some changes and tweaks here and there. I already loved 2, so playing it again with differences presented no problem at all. Most probably think X is an improvement, but I play both every year.

    I mean if there is a hard mode or roguelike romhack for ff6, let me know and I'm all over it. Everything that isn't combat or dungeoning is good.
     
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  8. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Space Harrier - Arcade/32X

    [​IMG]

    Now this was a popular arcade machine. In fact Space Harrier was pretty much in every arcade I stepped into back in the day. It's cabinet was something you simply had to jump on when in the gaff, and it swallowed many of my coin over the years. So how does this famous Spaceman (who never actually goes into space) hold up now?

    If you like style you'll like this, if you demand substance, then you might not. Space Harrier's appeal is built on it's weirdness and fast pace. All kinds of bizarre & unique enemies come charging at you thick & fast, and the game always has you feeling like you're absorbing an eyeful of mentalness with each new section. A one eyed mamoth, skeleton dragons, giant mushrooms, big flashing balls etc. it's a real trip.

    But when your senses settle and come to, you realise that it doesn't actually play that good. See, in the arcade version, Mr Harrier is always drawn back to the centre of the screen because of the cabinet requirements, and it translates to a very quirky style of control setup on emulation. Some will love it, some will hate it, myself I'm in the middle, but the weird "bounceyness" which comes with it was off-putting at times.

    It's also more of a dodge-em up than a shoot em up, with the priority focus always on avoiding enemies, obstacles and enemy fire, than killing the enemies. In fact some bosses don't have to be killed, they just fly off after some time, which felt weird. Also, whilst there are some pretty funk & memorable bosses, said bosses are also recycled too much for my liking under different skins too.

    And boom do you hit brick walls. I sailed through the first 4 stages to then lose about 5 lives in the space of 2 minutes. Bosh. There just seems to be some sections with way too high difficulty spikes, clearly designed to gobble your coinage.

    It still has some magic though and is worth a blast, but for me it's more show than anything else, and it's clear that it's original appeal came from the combo of the action-cab & visual assault giving you a sensory attack.

    :3/5:


    However.......

    Jumping to the 32X version and that seems significantly smoother. It slows the game down very slightly, and most importantly also ditches the centre-drawn bouncy controls for the more traditional 8-way direction controls found in Space Harrier 2. It makes it FAR more playable, more deliberate, and thus made it far more enjoyable all round for me. In fact it's surprising just how much of a difference that it makes. I'd give this version an extra troll easily. A far better balance of intensity & control all round.

    :4/5:
     
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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
    Welcome to the Fantasy Zone, GET REKT! :D
     
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  10. JDR13 Prophet

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  11. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
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    Played Harrier on SMS. Was an acid trip, a playable prog rock album cover. And the main theme is fire.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
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  12. Gamezor Novice

    Gamezor
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    These have all been awesome, thanks for doing these. Definitely inspired me to get and emulate some of these games--starting with Golden Axe. I bounced off Chrono Trigger and FF6 when I tried them out for the first time a few years ago, although I got a lot farther into Chrono Trigger before I tired of it. Maybe I'll give Lufia 2 a try.
     
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  13. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Glad you're enjoying them. One of my main purposes in returning to these games was to create a collection for myself which I'd return to, and be able to cut the wheat from the chaff. It's definitely been interesting seeing which games I would have had down as "must plays" before replaying them (Phantasy Star 4, Chrono Trigger etc.), but which have dated terribly. The era's definite strong point is that 20-60 min hi-octane blast. Some of the games are still untouchable by modern clones IMO, despite all the latter day innovations.

    Yeah, give Lufia 2 a whirl. Out of all the console RPG's which I returned too, it's been one of the best so far (only surpassed by Shining Force 2 I think)
     
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  14. JDR13 Prophet

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  15. Falksi Arcane

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  16. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    The Secret of Monkey Island - PC

    [​IMG]
    ^Yes! Look how comical that daft bucket face & dummy's in the back look.


    Needs no introduction, I've been trying to stick to the console stuff & saving the classic PC games for further down the line, but after the recent bumping of MI threads on here, I had a Three Headed Monkey itch to scratch, so popped this on to scratch it.

    Magical. That's the word which for me encompasses the vibe of this lush game. How it manages to mix so much sillyness & humour, with such a grand sense of adventure & wonder is superb, whether you're swagging gut burning grog at the Scumm Barr, or friggin in the riggin, the game's humour & vibe make solving puzzles a pleasure. And that even extends to when they're frustrating, because even though you're getting nowhere it's still fun getting nowhere.

    The puzzles themselves are mostly great. So many of them require a different approach, and come from an original angle, that this just keeps the whole game stupidly fresh throughout. Yeah there's some odd & obscure ones, but overall you're getting mostly quality.

    And the dialogue is just fucking bang on too and what really makes the game. It gets SO much right. Something which it does particularly brilliantly is give you dialogue choices which encourage you to be a nob head. It's just great seeing the options & thinking "well, if I select that one it''ll probably get me further, but I'll say this other one instead just to be a bellend". Mint stuff. There's some genuine LOL moments, and some incredibly brilliantly playful writing all round.

    But for me there's a definite dip with pacing in the middle act, and a bit too much space between dialogue interactions in the final part too. The 3 trials & Melee Island I absolutely loved, and the finale is fantastic, but getting to Monkey Island was a bit dull and not particularly funny when compared to the rest of the game. The lack of banter in this section, and on Monkey Island where there are fewer characters to talk to, do make it drag a tad.

    It's an undoubted classic which I love, but I have to be honest & say that I'd happily skip a good 20-30% of it in that middle act of the game when it starts to drag too. I want to give it a 5 because of the connection I have with it, but if I'm being brutally honest I'd have to give it a 4 because of said dip.

    Flawed brilliance.

    :4/5:


    Now let's talk about the Special Editions.

    The SEs get SO much wrong it's scary. Firstly there's the awful interface which makes it way more awkward than the original, and some puzzles become really annoying to solve. It's incredible just how horribly cumbersome it makes the whole thing.

    Secondly, it totally KILLS some of the humour dead. Various gags don't work half as well when spoken, and some of the visuals are COMPLETELY fucked up. Some examples:

    • When you fight Captain Smirk, the duelling dummy's have angled eyebrows, and thus evil looks on their faces. Not the daft, happy-fun faces in the original. Which totally kills the "hi! I'm about to get stabbed & I am happy about it!" vibe.
    • The parrot in the original is tiny, & looks totally none-threatening. In this it's far bigger, with a punk look, making it seem more aggressive. And that totally kills the "scared of a wimpy parrot" gag.
    There's fuckloads more throughout, and it's an absolute butchery of the original game. Real amateur spastic stuff. The additions in the SE are a significant burden on the classic, and absolutely no way to experience the game at all.

    :2/5:

    [​IMG]
    ^NO! Now look how fucking stupidly shit the same bucket & dummy's look in the SE. Absolutely no sense of stupidity or fun at all. Fucking wank.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
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  17. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
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    Most of these 3D graphics remakes are travesties. Almost always aesthetically moribund, and often tone death to the character, mood, and theme of the original.
     
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  18. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    :what:
    What the hell were they thinking
     
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  19. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    Thank God they still kept the original graphics with a toggle, instead of forcing the NEXT-GEN (TM) ones.
     
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  20. 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
    Now where's that fan-patch that allows people to play the original MI-games with only the speech-files taken from the Special Editions?

    *rummages around*
     
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  21. Neuromancer Learned

    Neuromancer
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    There are no 3D graphics in the Special Editions of Monkey Island.

    They just used some really bad filters with the original graphics to extend them to higher resolutions and then painted them over with Photoshop.
    Actually, in some rooms e.g. in the forest, you can see screen areas, where they forgot to "enhance" and the original pixels are still visible.

    I think LucasArts outsourced the "enhancement" of the graphics to some place in Asia like Singapur.
     
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  22. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    They could have paid some art school students minimum wage and got a better result than that. It looks horrible.
     
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  23. Neuromancer Learned

    Neuromancer
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    Here you are.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  24. sys0nar Educated

    sys0nar
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    How about game developers stop re-making classics and actually make actual good fucking game, then maybe these kids will realize that there are finer things in life than Fortnite and Micro-transactions and bring in that revenue so developers won't have to live in their car and eat peanut butter sandwiches in order to make an actual fucking RPG.
     
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  25. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    This will never happen as long as modern game devs are as bad as the meme below, if not worse:

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
     
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