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Mega Drive. Yeah!


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I've always been intimidated by Hellfire both for its general reputation as a difficult game and something about the look of it reminding me of brutally unfair Amiga Euroshmups. It's on the Mini II though so I'll man up at some stage.

 

On the subject of shooters with banging soundtracks (hardly a short list!), this was my breakfast gaming/shimmying today. 

 

 

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The arcade version is a lot harder IMO; Instant respawns upon death don't allow you to get powered up before facing the bit that spanked you - you're just thrown back in with peashooter power and no speed ups, which can mean certain death / Gradius syndrome in the final stretches.

 

Also in comparison with the Mega Drive version: No native autofire, special laser bombs, colour coded weapon types or an or an excess of extra bonus lives thanks to generous 10K item point bonuses per power up once you're maxed out. You can even milk a certain MD-exclusive section for theoretical infinite lives.

 

Maybe it's my overfamiliarity with it but being able to switch fire in all directions is a pretty overpowered mechanic. I mean, if you're front firing at popcorn enemies and suddenly a bunch scroll on screen from behind, one button press and you're instantly firing to your rear. Then three quick button taps and you're back to unleashing firepower frontwards again, taunting the game to try harder next time motherfucker.

 

Gleylancer for example, to me, is definitely friendlier and more accessible (the true ideal quality 'beginner' MD shooter? Whiprush comes to mind here too), but something like Eliminate Down is the definition of MD shooter brutality IMO. That one really revels in delivering pain. I still have Gaiares to tackle and I'm super intimidated by that game.

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12 hours ago, spanky debrest said:

Instant respawns upon death don't allow you to get powered up before facing the bit that spanked you - you're just thrown back in with peashooter power and no speed ups, which can mean certain death / Gradius syndrome in the final stretches.

 


That’s exactly what prompted me to stop playing!  I had loads of power ups, got hit and then respawned and instantly died again :lol:

 

This channel is new to me, but he seems to know his stuff.  He reviews every MD shooter - over 80 titles

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Bit of a shame this as I was looking forward to the Mega Drive book. I was wondering why it had been delayed when the order day was put back a month in December to January. Seems odd that they've managed to release two Nintendo books without them getting the huff but it was a step too far for Sega. 

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I picked up a cheap copy of Championship Pro Am the other day.

 

Pro Am was one of my favourite NES games back in the early 90s. At the time, I had no idea that Rare had updated some of their NES classics for the Megadrive (this along with Battletoads and Snake, Rattle and Roll).
This is pretty scarce in the UK so I was happy to find a copy and give it a try. I'm glad I did because it's great! Really fun and super smooth. It's not hugely different from the NES original, other than having a couple of extra racers (6 instead of 4), timed laps and leaderboards and just looking and sounding a bit nicer.
It's a really fun little racer and I think it's one I'll come back to regularly.

700023674_champproam.jpg.471b1e0c4e06b18375ab137c3f1f6f8a.jpg

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On 10/12/2022 at 14:02, Mr Monday said:

aMaru has posted a progress update on his Ghouls ’n Ghosts rom hack.  I really hope he manages to complete it.

 

 

That is amazing. I'd like to know why he's able to do this but sega couldn't? Maybe they were just limited by cart memory capacity?

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It's worth pointing out that the original Sega version still plays brilliantly and was by far the best home conversion at the time. I don't think people who bought it back in the 90s felt short changed or anything. 

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1 hour ago, Rex Grossman said:

 

The original game was 5 megabits. That's 625k. Tiny!


And according to interviews it was originally set to be 4mbit and Yuji Naka had to beg for the extra space.  

 

58 minutes ago, JamesC said:

It's worth pointing out that the original Sega version still plays brilliantly and was by far the best home conversion at the time. I don't think people who bought it back in the 90s felt short changed or anything. 


It doesn’t need pointing out to me :)  I was

lucky enough to get a Genesis in September 1989 and Ghouls ’n’ Ghosts was one of the first games I got.  I played the hell out of it and still love it.  I also like the look of this updated version. 
 

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Yeah there’s a fair bit of revisionist history that goes on around these updates. The fact the games can be improved in the 2020s does not take away a game’s standing on release. You see comments everywhere whenever this sort of update is revealed acting like the original was a butchered travesty. I would guess these people are almost exclusively those who were not playing games at that time.

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1 hour ago, Rex Grossman said:

Yeah there’s a fair bit of revisionist history that goes on around these updates. The fact the games can be improved in the 2020s does not take away a game’s standing on release. You see comments everywhere whenever this sort of update is revealed acting like the original was a butchered travesty. I would guess these people are almost exclusively those who were not playing games at that time.

100%. Just because it could technically be done on the hardware doesn't mean it could actually be done at the time, in the context it was being made. Deadlines, budgets, developer skill, knowledge of the format being made for etc etc - all factors in.

 

How many people at home could develop Mega Drive games in the late 80s? I'd guess very few. How many developers back then knew as much as we do now about the overall abilities of a format, or its limitations, etc etc etc.

 

I love updates like this, but yeah - the attitude from some of the wee gobshites is grating.

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40 minutes ago, ianinthefuture said:

100%. Just because it could technically be done on the hardware doesn't mean it could actually be done at the time, in the context it was being made. Deadlines, budgets, developer skill, knowledge of the format being made for etc etc - all factors in.

 

How many people at home could develop Mega Drive games in the late 80s? I'd guess very few. How many developers back then knew as much as we do now about the overall abilities of a format, or its limitations, etc etc etc.

 

I love updates like this, but yeah - the attitude from some of the wee gobshites is grating.

 

15 minutes ago, Protocol Penguin said:

Here’s a thought about the improved G’n’G; presumably an amateur in 2023 has access to better tools to create MD software than even Sega’s in-house teams did back in 1988?

 

Anyone who wants to access the original arcade rom and assets can now do so easily to help produce a more accurate port. That wasn't the case at the time even if you were working on an official conversion.

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12 minutes ago, Rex Grossman said:

 

 

Anyone who wants to access the original arcade rom and assets can now do so easily to help produce a more accurate port. That wasn't the case at the time even if you were working on an official conversion.

Distinctly remember one (maybe all) of the Street Fighter II ports being a copy of the arcade game insomuch as they played the arcade game and made the port based off of what they saw/felt/heard while playing.

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I remember reading a review of GnG MD over and over, Julian Rignall's one-page piece in the first 'Complete Guide To Consoles'.

 

It got 98%, a thoroughly deserved score.

 

Until Gunstar Heroes came along, I'm quite sure Ghouls N Ghosts Mega Drive was my all time favourite game.

 

I'm sure a lot of the motivation hackers / developers have for improving or writing new versions of classic coin op versions is the knowledge that the the Mega Drive is capable of so much more than what we thought back in the day. It could certainly have rocked, say, accurate versions of R-Type or Shinobi or New Zealand Story or any number of big deal arcade games from around the Mega Drive's birth, had the circumstances been different.

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