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Ghost Blade HD came out for the Switch yesterday, 20% off for the first week or so. I'm not a massive fan, I find the hitbox unconvincing/unexpected, but it's a decent Cave lite effort to hold Switch folk over til ESP.Ra.De in December. I already have it on PS4 but happy to support the genre for less than a tenner. 

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Is anyone playing Sturmwind EX? I was excited as hell to find it was available on Steam (and everything else) as I adored the Dreamcast game.

 

It’s... well... a bit underwhelming really?! I can’t put my finger on it, maybe I just need to spend more time with it. Looks stunning though...

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13 minutes ago, StoooTube said:

Is anyone playing Sturmwind EX? I was excited as hell to find it was available on Steam (and everything else) as I adored the Dreamcast game.

 

It’s... well... a bit underwhelming really?! I can’t put my finger on it, maybe I just need to spend more time with it. Looks stunning though...

 

I was up for it on Switch based on the aesthetics but a couple of reviews and bit of footage and I was a big nehhh. Just waiting for Esp.Ra.De and Mecha Ritz Steel Rondo ports at this point. Both December, I believe. Also, Cave's YT channel seems to be a bit busier of late. I feel like the beast is stirring. Longtime shmup fans are probably way past such optimism but what with the DS collection and more to follow, plus the Switch shmup renaissance...well, dare to dream before live and learn. 

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Seeing some Cave releases on Switch would be awesome, but I’d also like more Steam ports so I can play them on my arcade cabinet. 

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On 19/11/2019 at 20:09, StoooTube said:

Is anyone playing Sturmwind EX? I was excited as hell to find it was available on Steam (and everything else) as I adored the Dreamcast game.

 

It’s... well... a bit underwhelming really?! I can’t put my finger on it, maybe I just need to spend more time with it. Looks stunning though...

 

In my case I just cant find the excitement for this reissue. If I didn't have the original or a Dreamcast I might be into the idea but it just seems a bit..redundant? I never managed to make too much progress on it anyway, finding it really exceptionally difficult only a few levels in.

 

On another note entirely I've continued to push my Mega Drive Hellfire obsession and have now 1CC'd it on Hard and 1CC'd the 3rd loop on Easy - feats completely unimaginable to me only a few weeks ago. Time seems to stand still when I play it and the flow of the level designs just really work for me; the thrill level builds and stays consistent throughout even with numerous deaths and the unpopular mechanic of being sent back to an even earlier checkpoint if death occurs quickly after starting again. I'm convinced this is in here to allow more power-ups to be gained rather than just being needlessly cruel for the sake of it.

 

By comparison I still find the supposedly 'beginner' shooter staple Thunderforce III rock hard to the point of being off-putting - I never managed to get my head around that one for some reason. When Game Over pops up all too quickly it really is game over - I'm just not interested in playing anymore.

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I've never liked TFIII very much either. The enemy reactions to being hit are pretty unsatisfying, and the level design can't get enough of environmental and enemy 'gotchas' (which, strangely, my big fave Metal Black is always panned for, despite having none). It has a reputation for immense speed but there's this odd disconnect: you can make the ship go really fast, and lots of attacks come at lightning speed, but the scroll speed and general pace of the levels is fairly plodding. There's a lot of dancing around in dead air between the 'fuck you' bits, and there's not much else to chew on once you've learned them. 

 

The best Tecnosoft shmup is HYPER DUEL, which is just utterly thrilling from beginning to end, with not a one of these issues. 

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I'm a big fan of both Metal Black and Hyper Duel too, considering them both wildly underrated.

 

Metal Black feels like a literal trip with every stage being a unique challenge, a musical score tailor made for the action and never feeling unfair despite it being tough. There was a point in the past I came close to beating it but never quite did. I even picked up a Virtua Stick with this game in mind (for the autofire function).

 

Hyper Duel is a monster I was enjoying learning a while back. Thoroughly honed and polished it it really does feel 'next gen' as far as horizontal shooters go. There's very little Thunderforce about it IMO.

 

I've been neglecting my Saturn for the Mega Drive for ages; need to rectify that.

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Yeah, deffo get back into Metal Black too - if you got that far you can deffo 1CC it! How easy are the Virtua Sticks to modify? I'd love to get one and drop an LS-62 into it. 

 

Edit: Darius Cozmic Collection is getting a limited international release across two carts (or discs - there's a PS4 version too) and I might just be stupid enough to buy it again, because it now includes Darius Plus and the Darius Odyssey art book is probably (finally) translated: https://www.strictlylimitedgames.com/releases-2/darius-cozmic-collection/

 

it also now includes the first Omnibus arrange album, which is an absolute barn burner.

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Re: Thunder Force, I haven't played III but thought IV was pretty disappointing on the Sega Ages range on Switch, given its reputation. Muddy graphics, no real visual feedback on hitting enemies, bullets that blur into the background, lacklustre mobs... 

 

I'd heard great things about it since forever, but it's no way near worthy enough to lick Winds/Gates of Thunders' boots, as a hori comparison. I even enjoyed the much-derided TFVI on PS2 more. 

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I played Thunder Force 2 back in the very early 90s on a dodgy knock-off copy a local shop sold me but have never been able to get into any of them since. I can see that they look amazing and it's as if I *should* love them but something just looks and feels "off". Maybe it's just me being used to bad emulation of the games but the only way I can explain it is it's as if it's a 30fps game being forced to run at 60fps at double speed, it just doesn't feel or look right and I can never quite put my finger on why. It's something that's bothered me for quite some time as I know how much the series is loved and held in high regard and it feels like I'm missing out on something that I just can't get to click. The only other games I can think of that I have the same thing with are Batsugun and Armed Police Batrider but I can't work out what it is, maybe like the bullets vanish every other frame or something? It could just be that the bullets are difficult to make out against the background but I wonder does anyone else get the same thing.

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9 hours ago, NickyDrinks said:

I played Thunder Force 2 back in the very early 90s on a dodgy knock-off copy a local shop sold me but have never been able to get into any of them since. I can see that they look amazing and it's as if I *should* love them but something just looks and feels "off". Maybe it's just me being used to bad emulation of the games but the only way I can explain it is it's as if it's a 30fps game being forced to run at 60fps at double speed, it just doesn't feel or look right and I can never quite put my finger on why. It's something that's bothered me for quite some time as I know how much the series is loved and held in high regard and it feels like I'm missing out on something that I just can't get to click. The only other games I can think of that I have the same thing with are Batsugun and Armed Police Batrider but I can't work out what it is, maybe like the bullets vanish every other frame or something? It could just be that the bullets are difficult to make out against the background but I wonder does anyone else get the same thing.

 

I really struggle with Thunder Force 4 because of the music. I've never been able to figure out if it suffers from slowdown or has really odd tempo changes. I've got the PAL version, played it at 50 and 60hz and I've been meaning to try an NTSC version of it but from watching YouTube videos it looks like the problem is there too. I really like the game too but the music "slowdown" makes it unplayable for me, I can't tune it out.

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10 hours ago, matt0 said:

 

I really struggle with Thunder Force 4 because of the music. I've never been able to figure out if it suffers from slowdown or has really odd tempo changes. I've got the PAL version, played it at 50 and 60hz and I've been meaning to try an NTSC version of it but from watching YouTube videos it looks like the problem is there too. I really like the game too but the music "slowdown" makes it unplayable for me, I can't tune it out.

 

I had a look on YouTube and pretty sure I can hear it too, it doesn't even seem to line up with parts where the actual gameplay slows down either which seems odd but I'm not familiar with how the sound chips and main CPU are tied together in the Megadrive (if at all in any meaningful way other than starting and stopping playback). I might take a look at game running on the overclocked consoles and see if I can hear it on there too. I couldn't believe how bad the PAL version of Sonic sounded when compared to the NTSC version but that doesn't seem to be what's happening there at all. Someone like Jon Burton of Gamehut would probably be the man to ask, I've never been into the Megadrive demo scene but the megademo he produced for his YouTube channel is pretty damn impressive.

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Strictly Limited Games will release three limited print special editions of Darius Cozmic Collection for PlayStation 4 and Switch in the west. 

 

All three editions of Darius Cozmic Collection will be available for pre-order at the Strictly Limited Games Store starting November 24.

https://www.strictlylimitedgames.com/releases-2/darius-cozmic-collection/

 

Darius-Cozmic-Collection_11-22-19_001.jp

 

Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade (€39.99) – 1,900 units on PS4 / 2,500 units on Switch

Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade includes four different arcade titles in seven versions:

Darius (old version)

Darius (new version)

Darius (extra version)

Darius II (dual screen version)

Sagaia (Ver. 1)

Sagaia (Ver. 2)

Darius Gaiden

The Arcade edition will come with a unique Darius enamel pin badge.

 

Darius-Cozmic-Collection_11-22-19_002.jp
 

Darius Cozmic Collection Console (€54.99) – 1,900 units on PS4 / 2,500 units on Switch

Darius Cozmic Collection Console includes six different console titles in nine versions:

Darius II (Mega Drive JP version)

Sagaia (Genesis version)

Sagaia (Master System EU version)

Darius Twin (Super Famicom JP version)

Darius Twin (Super NES US version)

Darius Force (Super Famicom JP version)

Super Nova (Super NES US version)

Darius Alpha (PC Engine JP version)

Darius Plus (PC Engine JP version)

The Console edition will come with a unique Sagaia enamel pin badge.

 

Darius-Cozmic-Collection_11-22-19_003.jp

 

Darius Cozmic Collection International Collector’s Edition (€139.99) – 900 units on PS4 / 1,500 units on Switch

Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade

Darius Cozmic Collection Console

Arrange Album Omnibus I – Generation (1997)

Arrange Album Omnibus II – Union (2019)

Hardcover arcade book

Six Strictly Limited Games-exclusive acrylic art cards

Three Strictly Limited Games-exclusive enamel pin badges

Four marquee stickers

Darius Gaiden Instruction Card

Two instruction stickers

Strictly Limited Games-exclusive arcade PCB cardboard box

Strictly Limited Games collector’s box with magnetic closure

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Somewhat disappointed that we were told this was no digital Japan only so I imported it for the Switch. My only other physical purchase besides day one BotW. I'll have to flog it and get the digi now! 

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So they're keeping the amazing MD port of Darius locked to the Mega Drive Mini.

 

I remember reading that the reason why it didn't make the original Cosmic Collection was because audio and Q/A wasn't completed and Taito weren't yet convinced to give it official approval.

 

Hopefully it'll be a hidden bonus.

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10 hours ago, Stanshall said:

Somewhat disappointed that we were told this was no digital Japan only so I imported it for the Switch. My only other physical purchase besides day one BotW. I'll have to flog it and get the digi now! 

 

Just to be clear, They are saying there will be no western digital release of any of the Darius sets.

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15 hours ago, Revival said:

 

Just to be clear, They are saying there will be no western digital release of any of the Darius sets.


 This article has been updated to say that there will be western digital versions in early 2020: https://gematsu.com/2019/11/darius-cozmic-collection-ps4-and-switch-limited-print-physical-editions-announced-for-the-west

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In case anyone wants to go for this, the first batch of Switch and PS4 Collector's Editions have sold out, but there's another batch going up later (in 8 hours and 46 mins from this post). 

 

https://store.strictlylimitedgames.com/collections/all

 

I grabbed the PS4 version, because I am profoundly stupid. (There are some things which make it worthwhile to someone who owns the original Switch release, though - it contains the first 'The Omnibus' arrange album, which is hard to come by and as far as I'm aware hadn't been reprinted since 1997, and the Darius Odyssey art book has presumably been translated. The rest I can't justify so much, but it's all nice, and Darius Plus is a great addition.) 

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3 hours ago, Klatrymadon said:

In case anyone wants to go for this, the first batch of Switch and PS4 Collector's Editions have sold out, but there's another batch going up later (in 8 hours and 46 mins from this post). 

 

https://store.strictlylimitedgames.com/collections/all

 

I grabbed the PS4 version, because I am profoundly stupid. (There are some things which make it worthwhile to someone who owns the original Switch release, though - it contains the first 'The Omnibus' arrange album, which is hard to come by and as far as I'm aware hadn't been reprinted since 1997, and the Darius Odyssey art book has presumably been translated. The rest I can't justify so much, but it's all nice, and Darius Plus is a great addition.) 

 

I feel the stupidness brother I feel it firmly, i impulsed myself last night on the PS4 collection . It’s the first time I’ve ever bought any kind of collectors edition of anything. I remember trying to get the Dariusburst one on Limited Run a while back but missed out due to messing about with card details and it running out so quick. Happened twice too for both batches. 

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The Konami Arcade Collection is currently 50% off for the Switch at the moment (£7.99).

 

Already have this on PS4 and it's pretty good although it has the American/Japanese version of Salamander on it ....

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ESP.Ra.De is up for preorder on the Japanese eShop. Comes in around 35 quid for the standard edition. I can't understand Japanese but it appears there's another version but possibly just physical. 

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