Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Incline Revisiting Old Games (Again)

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

  1. Thac0 Hopeless Optimist Patron

    Thac0
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2020
    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    Between Elysium and Limbo
    10 is my number one aswell, peak of the series and perfect example of what a Final Fantasy should be from mood, gameplay, story and production value.

    I am neutral on 5 but I must concede it has one of the best tracks in the series.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  2. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    And on to the next.......

    The Revenge of Shinobi - Megadrive

    [​IMG]

    When I purchased my Megadrive it came witha free copy of Altered Beast, and alongside that I also bought ROS with it too. It was a day I'll never forget. Popping the cart into my newly aquired "16-bit powerhouse", that short but oh so sweet intro just absolutely fucking blew my fucking mind. Thunder, lightening, shurikens, ninjas and a rocking sound track......all thrown at you in the first 10 seconds. My jaw dropped and the Megadrive had arrived. I was a SEGA fanboy anyway, but this made me fall in love with them even more. ROS was the only game throughout my entire 16-bit era which I never swapped, sold or loaned out. Other games cycled back & forth, even the classics, but this one just had that special something. In fact I thrived on it so much that when I had to do a book review in English, I decided to be a cheeky twat and reviewed the instruction manual.

    And so we return to it. Nothing's changed how I feel about this game. Even with years of hurt & bitterness now rooted deep in my core nothing can douse the thrive which ROS's purity brings. It's just such a complete package, and it rarely makes any missteps. You're greeted by perfectly weighted gameplay, an incredible balance of platforming and fighting action, and all that all complemented superbly with clever item/secret placement to ensure that you're always on your toes. The magic system also adds a great layer of RPG-style depth to the game, with each power having genuine uses, and creating an entire new layer to some levels & situations.

    And the level design is simply amazing, with the game constantly throwing new things at you in an exciting & interesting way that doesn't jar one jot. Your journey REALLY feels like a journey, each stage is unique & almost perfectly designed exuding it's own character. You jump around waterfalls, fight in disco's, ride on the top of trains & nuclear missiles, traverse a puzzling maze etc. etc., it's just fucking flat out fantastic as no two levels are the same. And as you undertake your journey you are accompanied by some of THE most rocking tunes to have ever hit any system. The music here sticks it's wet tongue in your ear, nibbles at your lobe, rams a hand down your pants and strokes your shaft to ejac. And then there's also those bosses and that lush pop-culture tie in. The Terminator, Godzilla, Batman, Spiderman, Rambo etc. they're all in there (well in the original version of the game, not the censored one.) and each one feels unique & top notch. There's just so much creamy goodness crammed in there.

    If I had to lay any criticisms at it's door it'd be that it's general overall pacing is 3rd gear, which may not suit some, and that it leans too much on enemy & stage memorization at times. It can also, on very rare occasions, feel like you're trying to beat the game's system & not the game itself (e.g. one enemy lowers his sword when you duck, and it feels cheap exploiting that from a higher level). But those faults are barely noticeable to me.

    The whole game absolutely screams quality. It's a master-crafted piece of work, and stands up there with the best of them. It may be a bit too slow paced for some, but I don't think many will resist it's charms even to this day. Anyway, you want it in your collection, trust me!

    :5/5:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  3. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Final Fight 2

    [​IMG]

    To say Final Fight was so massive, it's surprising that it took so many years for it to get a sequel. I only ever got to hear about this on emulation once I'd already squired my first PC, as the SNES was on it's way out and the doors were opening to more adult pursuits like beer & fanny. So I've played it a few times on emulation here & there, but all I remember is that it could never really light my fire no matter how much I played it.

    And there's a reason for that, it's pretty lame. It's not a bad game, it just doesn't do enough to grab you or stand out. Even though the moveset is pretty much the same as the original, it just doesn't play as well or feel half as satisfying either. Most criminally of all the spinning piledriver doesn't do much extra damage than most other throw-type moves, which makes it seem pointless.

    Bland, none-descipt, charismaticaless enemies do absolutely fuck all to threaten you half the time, and serve mostly as punch fodder. It's such a relief when Andore turns up on level 2 to actually offer some challenge. The challenge does eventually ramp up though from halfway onwards, but those first few levels are barely worth playing at all, and come the last few levels the same enemies have become really tiresome, as you pretty much deal with them all in the same way. The new characters aren't particularly exciting either, with one dude carrying a sword but uses his fists to fight, which says it all.

    It also feels weird doing a world-tour as opposed to fighting your way through the downtown alleys of Metro City. It's not as meaty or gritty as the original, and fuck me does it feel off facing off bad guys against the calm, scenic background of Dutch windmills or the Eiffel tower. It's all so out of place, like watching you're favourite porn actress get nailed by your dad.

    There's a few nice nods to SF2, seeing Haggar there counts for something, and there are a few decent tunes in there too. It may sound like I hate the game and I think it's awful, I don't, I just think it's bland, lacking and pretty pointless. It doesn't bring anything new or noteworthy to the table, but it does lose elemants of what made the original fun. You can pretty much play it in auto-pilot it's so predictable

    :2/5:
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    ^ Top  
  4. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,284
    Location:
    Hyperborea
    Even back when it came out, you could feel the jump in quality between Revenge of Shinobi and other games at the time. Like a good summer blockbuster compared to a TV movie.

    One of the nice things about playing really old games is that they are a known quantity. The hype and hate phases are well over, and opinions on the games have leveled out so you can get a fairly accurate impression of what they are like and whether they are up your alley. As such, it's rarer to be disappointed compared to D1P's that are riding on hype and first impressions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  5. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Aye, ROS's craftwork is astounding. Whatever games were on offer I just could not bring myself to swap it, even though I'd played it to death. This replay was utterly joyous as I hadn't touched it in years, and the blockbuster analogy is spot on.

    Yeah, I never get hyped up any more and tend to have the mindset of "play game 2-5 years after release when bugs are ironed out". Which again is another element of older games which is brilliant, fuck all bugs & glitches.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  6. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    17,788
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  7. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Cheers chap, funnily enough downloaded this a few days back :)

    Gonna finish Phantasy Star 4 up, then I'll be playing Lufia 2 alongside George Duroy's recommendation of Golden Sun.

    Will obviously keep chipping away at the quicker games in the meantime too.
     
    • incline incline x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    20,086
    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Fun fact regarding Lufia 1 - when it was due to be released in North America they used a different cover image, both for the magazine adverts and for the official player's guide.

    [​IMG]

    There's just one little problem... it's not their image to use. Say hello to Castle Master from 1990:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously it was not used for any retail releases of the game, and makes any Lufia-related items with the image (like the full-size poster) somewhat of a collectible.
     
    • Brofist x 2
    • Informative x 2
    • Interesting x 1
    • Friendly x 1
    • WTF am I reading x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I'm enjoying these fun facts Unkillable Cat, keep 'em coming! :salute:
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  10. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Phantasy Star 4 - Megadrive

    [​IMG]

    ^The quest to cure Covid 19


    Uggggh. This one's gonna be a bit painful.

    PS4 is a game I would have undoubtedly had down as an all time classic before replaying it. I must have finished it at least a dozen times as a kid, and I was really excited about returning to it. I've even stated on here that it was a "classic" too.

    So it wasn't anywhere near as good as I remember it. In fact it was way, way simpler & emptier than I remember too. Starting with the positives it's easy to see why I fell for it originally. It has three key pillars of strength that really carry it - great presentation, mint characters & a well told, fairly interesting story.

    The cut-scenes are shit-hot, and appear often enough to be enjoyable, yet are spaced out enough to leave you wanting more. The story itself is fairly stock, but the finer details of the story, certain events, and the way it ties together the PS series' history are all bang on. And for me personally the characters are top notch too. 6 of the 10 available really appealed to me, and the dynamic between characters (cocky magician, old fart with bad humour, badass bitch who takes no shit etc.) works great too. These cornerstones of the game make it easy to see why I was so enamoured by it back in the day.

    Now the combat's somewhere in the middle. It's turn based & interesting with a macro & combo system adding some depth, but the trouble is the way battles are setup often means a standard attack is the best way to deal with things. You're given a ton of techniques & specials, but half the time most are useless, or not as cost-effective as using an attack then healing. Battles are way to frequent too, and it becomes annoying fast. But with that said there is some fun to be had there, and it's a least a bit challenging. Also The music is a bit hit & miss, but when it hit it really hits, and the way it is used really conveys the atmosphere superbly at times.

    But overall the game's just SO simple & shallow. Each village is essentially a hub for resting & upgrading weapons and little else, as it rarely deviates from a formulaic "travel - rest & upgrade - dungeon - travel - rest & upgrade - dungeon" formula, and ends up feeling repetitive & lacking. The absence of secrets & hidden extras in RPG areas really hurts it too. You look at FF4 & every village felt like it could hold something valuable, and they often did. With this the only thing to search for half the time is more dialogue, and searching generally yields few worthwhile rewards. There are side-quests, but they are few & far between, and not really that interesting anyway.

    Overall it's actually reflective of modern "RPGs" which rely too heavily on cut-scenes to carry a formulaic, shallow set of RPG mechanics. I thought of PS4 as one of the reasons I was drawn into RPG's, but on reflection it's probably actually one of the reasons I sought out the likes of Baldur's Gate & PC gaming instead.

    Not awful, but not all fun either, the excessive battle frequency ground me down, and overall it's certainly not the classic I thought it was. A good, well story with some great characters bogged down by formulaic, shallow game.

    Gutted.

    :3/5:


    Apologies to Lilura for stating this was a classic in a previous thread.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  11. Reality Educated

    Reality
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2019
    Messages:
    124
    I quite like Phantasy Star 4, but I guess I like always having short resources and attrition. I think being short on secrets and exploration is a fair price to pay for the game keeping it's momentum and not stalling out.

    For me the highlights are Macros - and then trying to have both a "mana" and a "spell slot" system at the same time.

    I feel like that you can afford (once you have Rune at least) to burn through random encounters.. really the main people who are always short are the healers, but I think that adds to the dynamic of trying to get through the dungeon's full of random encounters to the bosses with as many resources as possible intact, and then having a tight damage race against an AoE every turn fight that will end you 1 turn after your healing runs out if you don't get them first.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • Balanced Balanced x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    There certainly is some value in the combat, and the game as a whole. It's just that it's weaknesses are far bigger than I remember too.

    Not a bad game at all, just one I was bitterly disappointed in after having it down as a timeless classic.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. Thac0 Hopeless Optimist Patron

    Thac0
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2020
    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    Between Elysium and Limbo
    Really interesting, only Phantasy Star games I played is the very first one and parts of the second one, although despite the excellent setting that is pretty much completely ripped from Frank Herberts Dune, the glacial pacing and the bad accelerate function of the port I played made me drop it very fast.
    Does that make Phantasy Star 1 the best game in the series? From what I have heard Phantasy Star 3 was made by a different studio and is generally below the quality of the other titles.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • retadred retadred x 1
    ^ Top  
  14. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Personally I think the whole series is just too dated now. Before playing 4 I played 1 through 3, but I couldn't stick with any of them long enough to give them a fair review.

    This is where the PC is clearly head & shoulders ahead of consoles. Some PC RPGs of a similar era I can still enjoy, but returning to RPGs on consoles has been a kicker, with the only real stand out game I really enjoyed being Shining Force 2 (and boy did I enjoy it).

    It'll be interesting to see how some of the SNES & recommended RPGs fair.

    Back to Phantasy Star, number 3 has some great elements. Namely superb music, and a very original story too. But each village & area feel incredibly empty, and it suffers from similar complaints to PS4.

    The foundation is there for a great future RPG. The lore & characters would stand the test of time, so it would be nice to see a sequel. If I can get the hang of RPG Maker I might attempt some form of one.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  15. Thac0 Hopeless Optimist Patron

    Thac0
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2020
    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    Between Elysium and Limbo
    To me Phantasy Star 1 aged relatively well, especially if you use a guide liberally. The game is very obtuse about the directions it either does or does not give.
    Biggest thing that makes those early RPGs age badly for me is shitty menus. Same reason I think Ultima 1-4 is very hard to play noawadays. Everything takes more clicks than it should do and its easy to mess up and make bad plays through missclicks.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Wonderboy 3: The Dragon's Trap - Master System/PS4

    [​IMG]


    Now I've had this game firmly down as "The Best Master System Game of All Time" for years now. The Master System had some funky little numbers, but most are way behind the 16-bit era games, and returning to
    some is far harder work then the subsequent gen. So, after my recent Phantasy Star 4 disappointment, I was braced for impact again with this one. I also managed to pick up a copy of the Playstation 4 remastered version, so I thought I'd play them side by side for a bit of a laugh too.

    Well, thankfully the game has aged very well and still retains it's title IMO. In fact it's actually quite incredible that this was a Master System game in the first place. When I played it on the PS4 with the updated aesthetics, it really didn't feel out of place as a more modern game from a later era.

    The concept alone gives it a nice head start. Being cursed and playing through the game in various guises, each with their own strengths, keeps things very interesting. It plays great, with responsive controls & a good overall feel, but it's real strength is in it's level design & depth. We're talking some superb stuff here, plenty of secrets, plenty of clever layouts, a world which hold lots of interest & enough mystery to entice but leaves enough bread crumbs to avoid being obscure too. It manages to nail that balance which few games of that era, and even the modern era, have. There's no way you can complete this without rooting through some very secret secrets, and that makes the whole thing feel very satisfying. Also it's RPG elements genuinely add a fair bit to the game too, with Weapons, Armour & Items giving a great layer of added depth.

    There are moments when it's old-school limitations show through the, the most notable being when level sections repeat themselves. It does start to feel somewhat samey, however the devs have been clever enough to vary the enemy setup with each one, and you can't help but admire that & their willingness to get around the restrictions they had. But with that said, you will hit an odd section or two where it feels like padding.

    Overall it still holds up very, very strongly and has a unique something to it which still keeps it very fresh & fun today. Again, to think this was an 8-bit era game is quite mind blowing. Definitely worth playing.

    :5/5:

    So I think it's worth mentioning that the PS4 remake is bang on too. It changes very little from the original, and the graphical upgrade is fucking brilliant, really capturing the vibe of the game excellently. The audio upgrade is a bit hit and miss, with some tunes way better, others way to pushed into the background, but you have the option to switch from new to classic both visually & audibly as you choose at the push of a button, so anyone thinking of playing this again should consider the remake too. In general I'm not a fan of upgrades or remakes, but if they were all done as well as this I'd definitely be OK seeing a few more 8-Bit era games get the treatment.







     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Sorry chap, I'm way behind with stuff. I got caught up making my own game on RPG Maker and have barely played anything this past month. Took me an age to finish PS4 & Wonderboy 3.

    On it now :)
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    ^ Top  
  18. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    20,086
    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    I played the Dragon's Trap remake somewhat when it was first released, and while the remake is really good I had greater issues with the base game itself. And if your claim is true that this is the best game available on the Master System... well, I can scratch one system off my grand 'to-do' list. ;)
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • Balanced Balanced x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Whilst I'm enjoying going back to the Master System for nostalgia purposes, there's no doubt that the games are a damn sight harder to take to than those of the 16-bit era.

    There were parts when I was playing that I thought of it more as a 4/5, but ultimately I think it deserved the 5 simply for being so ambitious & unique.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  20. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    20,086
    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    As the smiley suggested I will obviously take a look at the SMS one day, but my expectations are now somewhat lowered.

    The Alex Kidd-series look to be decent fun, so that's something to look forward to, at least.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Siege - PC

    [​IMG]

    An interesting one this, never played it before and never even heard of it. Released in 1992 I'd only flirted with the odd PC game back then, so stuff like this was for kids with rich parents. How nice to be able to play it now.

    Straight off the bat Ramparts sprung to mind, a game which I quite liked back in the day. The style & premise really appealed to me, and I actually found myself thinking how some of the Total War games could have done with taking a leaf out of this game's book for town/city sieges in some areas. It certainly felt more satisfying than city sieges in the earlier Total War games to me.

    Now the interface is something of a bind, and took some getting used to, but the solid gameplay drew me in after some effort (more than I like to put in I'll admit). However, just as I started to enjoy it, it became apparent just how it lacked in a few departments. For all the units you can obtain, the only real difference I found is whether they've ranged attacks or not, which felt a bit limp. I also found myself outflanking the enemy fairly easily too often, and the AI in general to be a bit "meh". The game's charm kept me playing, but as time drew on even that wore thin.

    It just didn't quite deliver enough for me, but I can see why you like it ValeVelKal , it sadly didn't quite tickle my g-spot. One of those games which I think you already have to be connected to in order to really enjoy, but worth a look for fans of the genre.

    :3/5:
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020 at 11:14 AM
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  22. ValeVelKal Arcane

    ValeVelKal
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    600
    Fair assessment of the game, and indeed I still love the game because it had absolutely 0 successor. AI is really not great as you said (it is better in the non-Fantasy reskin Walls of Rome, but as I said despite this I found Walls of Rome less viscerally fun). There are some real differences between units, but a large mass of units is just "random human/orc/dwarf" grunts, elite grunts and officers. Some races (minotaurs, trolls) hit like a truck though, some are really tough (dwarves obviously) or wimpy. They are hero units of various sorts and a small number of units with special skills (skeletons regenerates, spiders climb the walls, fire elementals burn siege equipment and are immune to fire attack), but they are rare in the base game. They added quite a few more interesting in the expansion.

    In any case, thank you for having a look at the game !
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020 at 10:02 AM
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.