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After recentish talk of arcade racers in the main forum I’ve been back on the Dreamcast version of Daytona USA. I have the Japanese version, but I’m now playing the American one in redream. I don’t know how I coped with the twitchy controls back in 2001... pretty sure I did it all. But now I’ve got the sensitivity dialled right back in this one I’m loving it again.

got wins on 777 speedway and dinosaur canyon quite easy. Seaside galaxy is still impossible so I skipped it for now and concentrating on the other easier tacks. Did desert city earlier today.

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12 hours ago, Fuddle said:

After recentish talk of arcade racers in the main forum I’ve been back on the Dreamcast version of Daytona USA. I have the Japanese version, but I’m now playing the American one in redream. I don’t know how I coped with the twitchy controls back in 2001... pretty sure I did it all. But now I’ve got the sensitivity dialled right back in this one I’m loving it again.

got wins on 777 speedway and dinosaur canyon quite easy. Seaside galaxy is still impossible so I skipped it for now and concentrating on the other easier tacks. Did desert city earlier today.


I had a session on this a few weeks back.

I took it upon myself to learn Seaside Galaxy and win...

 

Yea, I didn’t manage it but I did get hella close! 3rd place! TBH I was in on the leaders a few corners from the end and pushed it too hard and messed up. It’s a tough challenge but you can do it.

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After playing the amazing Rocket Knight I moved onto the sequel; Sparkster (Megadrive). 
 

Ooooh dear, what a tragedy of a game it is.

 

Everything is just wrong. It’s hard to define exactly because you could just say ‘just because it’s not Rocket Knight doesn’t make it wrong’ and I agree but it’s a tonne of little (and big) things all mixed in together that make it more than just different.
 

TBH, there’s so much it’s hard to know where to even start...

 

Major things are like, they seem to have foregone everything about Rocket Knight in favour of copying Sonic the Hedgehog. Everything from the design of the character, design of the levels, to collecting swords to turn into ‘Golden Sparkster’ just stink of copying a 2-3 year old game, when they had a wealth of ideas if they’d just looked at their own prequel.

 

Little things are like; character movement, which feels like you’re in mud half the time. Invincibility frames that are too short so you get hit multiple times by the same thing when all you want to do is get to safety. The jet is now automatic and there’s 2 types of blast but because it’s automatic you can’t control which on you use.

 

Then just bizarre decisions like having a 2 minute auto-scroller, with a boss fight at the end, dying...and having to repeat the whole auto-scroller again! Or having a roulette system where things just drop directly on your head, good and bad!

 

They’ve made level design that sounded good on paper but in practice doesn’t quite work so they’ve elaster-plasted it with stupid irritating ideas. I’m talking things like heat seeking bombs that just fall from the sky where ever you are.
 

The game has some chronic slow down too. I would say some boss fights can hit 5fps.

 

For all the moaning to game is still okay. But they went from a 9/10 game to a 6/10 game, which simply doesn’t compute.
 

I was actually thinking these 2 games would be a great dissection of design and how you can take a character, put them in a game that‘s right and a game that’s wrong and see the results.

 

Crying shame.
 

I’m on the look out for the SNES version now. I’m hoping this one can hold some kind of a candle to the original 

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On 22/10/2020 at 19:15, Fuddle said:

After recentish talk of arcade racers in the main forum I’ve been back on the Dreamcast version of Daytona USA. I have the Japanese version, but I’m now playing the American one in redream. I don’t know how I coped with the twitchy controls back in 2001... pretty sure I did it all. But now I’ve got the sensitivity dialled right back in this one I’m loving it again.

got wins on 777 speedway and dinosaur canyon quite easy. Seaside galaxy is still impossible so I skipped it for now and concentrating on the other easier tacks. Did desert city earlier today.

Same here, was playing Daytona on DC the other day, I remember reviews complaining about twitchy controls and me not noticing. It's actually impossible. Maybe it's because I'm twenty years older :(

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19 hours ago, bplus said:

Same here, was playing Daytona on DC the other day, I remember reviews complaining about twitchy controls and me not noticing. It's actually impossible. Maybe it's because I'm twenty years older :(

you can do it!

i actually think its all pretty easy apart from seaside galaxy. but i think i'm getting a bit better.

i need to try an actual race and see how fast you really need to be to win.

 

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I've currently playing through LA Noire for the first time (on 360). I'm a couple of cases into disc 2 and I'm enjoying it so far. 

I'm not convinced by the interrogation mechanics but there's a lot to like in the game. The sound design in particular is incredible. 

Strangely, while it feels quite authentically 1940s it doesn't feel very noir. 

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I usually plumb the outer reaches of the 16-bit era for my retro fix, fan translations and NTSC exclusives I missed etc, but this week I’ve decided to finally play a couple of recognised classics in Gunstar Heroes and Lufia II. 
 

My sweet Lord. How am I ever supposed to tackle my Switch backlog when there are so many games from 25+ years ago still worth my time?

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While waiting for a decently priced Sparkster on the SNES to turn up I decided to play Rocket Knight on the Xbox 360.

Slightly embarrassed to say I bought this when it came out in 2010 but never played it.
 

It’s a decent attempt at trying to bring back the character but unfortunately you can see that time and budget were major factors in the creation of this game.

 

Also, in trying to fit in with modern day gaming they’ve made a game that can be finished in under 2 hours. There is some replay value there but the speed in which you finish the game doesn’t really give you the buy in to want to do repeat playthroughs (unless you’re a huge Rocket Knight fan).

I’ve been through it twice now and not sure I’ll play any more. There’s a few things it does wrong (IMO) with the main mechanic which go against the grain for me.

 

Firstly when you boost you’re not completely invincible and can be stopped.
Secondly some enemies that take more than one hit you don’t bounce off.
 

These two things lead to scenarios where you take hits, when you really shouldn’t. I suppose you could say that’s just the way the game is and I think it is part of the design but to me it goes against the core idea of boosting as Rocket Knight.

 

I read that the producer of the game pitched ideas to Konami 4 times before they agreed to it. He was obviously a huge fan of the series but if you’re going to attempt to bring something back and you’re severely limited in what you can do, should you really?

 

I think what this series needed was major fans of the series to make something off their own back, a labour of love, and turn up with it almost ready to go as opposed to trying to bring back a character on a shoe string budget.
 

I think unfortunately this game sank without a trace and just confirmed Konami’s thoughts that it was never going to work.

 

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Now I’ve mastered Daytona USA it’s time to move on. I’ve played a couple of shmups for YouTube earlier in the year, but never tried to actually learn one and get better at it.

So I’ve decided to do that... and I’m going with dodonpachi. I’ve heard of it and know it’s well regarded. It looks awesome.

got to the third stage on my first credit, it was a bit lucky tbh 

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I've been racking-up the hours in X-Men Legends II. I finished the first game but never got around to playing the second; I think by that point I was going through a gaming lull and never got around to it.

 

It's a genre that is sadly lacking since the PS2/Xbox days (I can only really think of the Ultimate Alliance games on the 360/PS3) but I'm enjoying - but not loving - it. Having finished both Ultimate Alliance games on the 360 many years ago makes it hard to go back to this; the limited team to choose from and cookie-cutter skills for many of them are starting to wear thin as I start Act IV. Plus it looks rough at native res - though not as bad at 1440p (I'm using an emulator).

 

I'll finish it, but it really makes me want to play Ultimate Alliance again, if not both (though I seem to recall they dumbed-down UA2 I think and you no longer could change your skills?) I was annoyed the other day to find you could no longer get them on Steam, too. I'm almost tempted to get a copy of the original release (the 2006 one), as there is an active modding scene that adds loads of characters and skills. Saw a copy on ebay last week for a not-terrible price. Hmm.


Anyway - X-Men Legends II is decent, but not particularly remarkable.

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After owning it in a few forms over the last 15+ years I’ve finally started Resident Evil 0, on the Switch. Even that version I bought over a year ago. I went into it in for the stupid reason that it was Halowe’en and it seemed like I should make some kind of effort to embrace a “holiday” I’ve never cared about.

 

I… love it. Previous attempts (there have been three serious as I recall) never got further than half an hour but I’m now five or so deep and having a great time, doubtless helped by playing it on Easy so the frustration of the combat is removed. I want atmosphere, dumb puzzles, a sense of unease and terrible plot - the clunky aiming and panic as the camera angle changes at the worst moment is not the aspect of these games I wanted to revisit. And I honestly can’t believe how good I’m finding it. Playing it handheld in the dark as the rain batters and wind howls outside recently is perfect. I can see why it has the reputation for being “just one entry too many” it has, and given the bird/dog attacks (always frustrating) and unimaginative bosses I’m seeing it was definitely time for a change but what a time I’m having. Partly the fact I probably won’t see another with this budget again, partly it’s been so long since I played a tanky RE, and also it’s still absolutely gorgeous looking. Really.

 

Obviously I’m going to put it on tonight and I’ll get stuck in a bit where I have to use the one character I use as a mule with no good guns now like I did with Code Veronica in 2000. (Fuck Code Veronica).

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I've just started playing Wario Land 4 (via Gameboy Player). 

On paper it has all the right ingredients - tight controls, great sound and graphics, interesting and varied level design - yet somehow I'm just not having fun with it. 

I'll persevere and see if it clicks but so far I'm finding it quite irritating. 

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Just played through Contra Spirits, a recent pickup to replace my childhood copy (of Super Probotector) which was lost by a courier a while back. It's weird revisiting something that I played so much of as a kid, because I'm finding that - unlike with most games, where I forget most of the finer points of playing well after about a week - I'm settling right back into its rhythms and can almost clear it with my eyes closed.

It's still a setpiece thrillride with no equal but a couple of other Contra games, too. It's amazing how many distinct setpieces are crammed into its runtime - it was always "short and sweet" but it has only just struck me that a run through normal mode takes about fifteen minutes. With the exception of the overhead stages, no section has you doing the same thing for more than a few seconds, either - both narratively and mechanically they take you on such a journey that by the end you're never doing anything like what you were at the start. (Well, within the rubric of 'running and gunning', I guess).

 

Another one that not only "holds up", but continues to amaze!

 

 

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It's so damn good! The music and the levels are just brilliant! I used to be able to finish it on hard, but I'm on normal with 4 of 7 lives gone at level 3! 

 

Chohmakaimura might have to wait, I fancy a bit of Super Aleste after this.

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Currently playing Super Adventure Island 2 on the SNES.

After watching a Game Sack review of the game, they seemed to really like it so I was keen to give it a shot.

 

hmm, I’m not so sure.

 

They portrayed it as great little Metroidvania type game and while it does use the idea of backtracking for up grades etc. I don’t think it’s done with any kind of finesse.

 

For example I needed to get an ice sword to fight the 3rd boss, which was back on another island, however it was just behind a wall in a chest. When I say it’s behind a wall I don’t mean hidden, I mean literally behind a wall that was in plain sight but I needed to hit a switch on the other island to turn the wall off.

 

Maybe I’m being too harsh but so far it really lacks a polish that the likes of Super Metroid has.

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I'm currently working through Suikoden and it's a bit...dull, isn't it?

 

I owned this back in the day (plus Suikoden 2 - does that still sell for silly money?) and don't recall ever getting that far. Don't know why I left it, because I love RPGs and the PlayStation was a great machine for them, but regardless, I'm now further than I was back then (I've just done my first major battle and I know I didn't do that all those years ago). It has some nice ideas - the 108 stars is obviously the big hook - but the actual battle system isn't very engaging and things like inventory and team management are all a bit of a faff.

 

I've also been dabbling in Final Fight Streetwise on PS2 which I remember reading at the time was pants, but it's okay-ish. I've been dipping in-and-out when I fancy punching somebody in the face and it is quite satisfying in that respect so I'll probably finish this at some point too.

 

Of course, these experiences are made much more palatable through the existence of save states; I'm not sure I'd have the patience without them these days.

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5 hours ago, Gabe said:

I'm currently working through Suikoden and it's a bit...dull, isn't it?

 

I thought so. I missed it at the time and playing it for the first time in the last couple of years I couldn't go beyond the opening few hours - it's really easy (which always worries me that I'm misunderstanding something that'll bite me later), it has the obligatory 90s JRPG translation, the inventory and upgrade stuff is terrible as you say and the combat is tedious as anything. I do think the combat scenes look nice and the loading screen is all Tintin and gorgeous but that's hardly enough.

 

I'm still dipping into Gunstar Heroes (and am now past the dice level that had always put me off having seen the GCCX episode years ago and assuming I'd hate it*) and I'm in a horizontal shmup now. Yeah OK then! It's pretty great. I was never into run and gun as a wee guy so this is something else along with Contra and Metal Slug which has really reignited my love of retro in recent years. Is the GBA or GG game worth a look?

 

 

 

* Cuphead does the same thing. If you explained the concept to me I would hate it (indeed, it's the principal reason I'm now playing Gunstar for the first time at 40) but it might be my favourite part of both titles. I don't know myself very well apparently.

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