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Times of Lore on the NES. It's the closest I've ever seen to a stabbing simulator.... important in socialogical context, to understand our more violent 70's past and things?

 

Cunt / Stab / Cunt / Stab / Cunt / Stab - essentially the entire game so far, but you have no real choice. As Evangelion once said 'You kill or you be killed'.

 

 

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On 08/01/2020 at 10:50, sharak said:

@pastry Sega Rally is amazing. The handling is so good. Thing is, I had this, and my best mate had GT on the PSX. He was doing driving tests and unlocking new tracks and cars every evening. I was shaving off 10ths of a second on the Desert Stage.

 

Thing is, I don't think he really games any more, is happily married and quite balanced overall. I moved countries 4 times in 5 years, have an addiction to shmups, high scores, arcades, and pangs of nostalgia that make it feel like I was in a relationship with SEGA or something.

 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8E5516B88B57BBA8


Ahhh TT-ing Desert course on Sega Rally, that’s a classic gaming memory for sure.

I can remember regularly being at a friends house and a few of us all taking turns at that.

 

I can remember when Sega Rally 2 landed. I wonder how many people who bought that game, the first thing they did was load TT Desert. I know I did.

 

Unfortunately I can also remember turning into the first corner and seeing the FPS take a nose dive. Still loved playing it on DC, but it wasn’t as polished as it should have been. 

 

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Currently on level 14 of Prince of Persia on the Super Famicom.

 

I remember loving this game as a kid. So much so it was one of the few games I wanted to pick up again for my small Super Famicom collection.

 

I am enjoying it but I’m finding it a lot more trying than I remembered.

Even when you’ve figured out a level it’s multiple attempts to string everything together to get you through. The worst part being having to reset the system and re-watch the intro to get back to your next attempt otherwise you’d lose too much time.

 

So yea, it’s that mix of brutal difficulty coupled with liberal check pointing, which I technically knew but had somewhat forgotten.

 

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Yesterday evening I played some Iridis Alpha (C64) (one of my all-time favourite games) and, well, it’s still great. :) I decided to try unlocking areas on both sides (rather than focusing on one) and it seemed to go okay, but I got a little greedy. I don’t have original hardware anymore so I’m emulating, but I wasn’t using anything like save states or trainers.

 

Also I went back to Super Castlevania IV (SNES) so that I could add some extra notes to the RGC thread. It’s still one of the better classic ‘vanias  but it’s more punishing than I remember...

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I wouldn’t usually just straight into a sequel but having finished Grandia yesterday I have done with the second game since I understand it’s a totally separate experience and I was too curious to find out what difference a gen made. First off people weren’t joking about it having none of the charm of the original – what an insufferable arsehole the protagonist is. Only played an hour so far but he’s displayed all my least favourite JRPG tropes so far bar amnesia. Combat is a bit slow and I’m playing more for historical interest and less enjoyment at this point but I’m definitely going to carry on. One huge point in its favour is how much I love the DreamCast look – I never owned one but did always lust after the very specific palette and general appearance so many of the games had.

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I'm slowly making my way through Banjo-Kazooie after buying some games off @Mr Do 71. I've been trying to get 100% on each world and am now exploring Rusty Bucket Bay. Making really good progress in it, although the difficulty has certainly ramped up on this stage. I'm also not sure if I'd have even found out the way to open the stage if I hadn't gone online.

 

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On 01/01/2020 at 19:05, ScouserInExile said:

Creatures 2: Torture Troubles (C64)

 

I never played this back in the day, even though I really enjoyed the first one. When I got a The C64, this was the first thing I got working on it.

 

Its quite hard. And by "quite", I mean "exceptionally".

 

 

THERE IS SERIOUSLY NO FUCKING NEED FOR HOW FUCKING HARD THIS FUCKING GAME IS, FOR FUCKS SAKE! FUCK!

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Started playing Axelay after finishing off Prince of Persia.

 

Again, I remember loving this as a kid, but unfortunately so far I’m finding it a bit of a mixed bag.

 

My main gripe is that when the level is larger than a screen wide the game constantly tries to auto centre you. So you move to dodge something and then you have the also fight the game trying to pull you back to the middle while you’re doing it. It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does, it’s VERY annoying.

 

The weapon unlock system seems a bit pointless. You unlock a new weapon, which just happens to be the best weapon for the level you’re about to tackle. I’d sooner have everything open from the beginning, as it gives you more choice and it lets you figure that stuff out for yourself.

 

It does come across as a technical masterpiece though. There’s a lot of lovely touches in there that give it a super high level of polish. I loved the fact that on level 3 for example you’re flying over a city-scape and when you destroy the metal structure you’re flying through you see it break up and fall to the ground.

 

It’s a good game but it’s no where near as good as the amazing Area 88, yet it commands twice the price to pick up. This (again) to me just cements that fact that a lot of retro prices are completely broken. It’s not down to how good the game is or even how rare it is, it just seems to ended up on some arbitrary price that people are prepared to pay.

 

 

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Grandia 2 is kind of awful but I’m still playing it. Mechanically it’s fun and improves on the original in some ways but the combat is a bit slow and the protagonist is one of my least favourite in any JRPG.

 

I’m only persevering as I need a something fairly brainless to play while I’m on the exercise bike in the mornings and the Picross puzzles I’m up to are too hard for 4.30AM. I’ve already rage-deleted and reinstalled once.

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On 19/01/2020 at 10:21, Goemon said:

It’s a good game but it’s no where near as good as the amazing Area 88, yet it commands twice the price to pick up. This (again) to me just cements that fact that a lot of retro prices are completely broken. It’s not down to how good the game is or even how rare it is, it just seems to ended up on some arbitrary price that people are prepared to pay.

 

 

Totally agree, half the time you find tons of copies of the same game, but all want £50+, saw that with Rapid Reload (Gunners Heaven). About 10+ copies for sales all wanted £70+ now for the PAL version. Where as the Japanese version is still around the £35 mark.

 

Finished Rapid Reload with Axel, but now need to do it with Ruka. Still playing Wild Arms 2, it's far bigger than I was expecting, it's the reason I also played RR as the characters from RR appear in it. Also playing the Namco 50th Anniversary NamCollection on PS2, it's a collection of Ridge Racer, Tekken, Mr Driller, Tekken and Klonoa all on one disc Only found out about it after playing Klonoa on PS1, collection has a few improvements to all the games on it, I've heard.

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Monster World IV on the Megadrive, enjoying it a lot. 
 

Donald’s Magical Hat on the SNES. Lovely animation so far, but the game itself feels a bit thin. 
 

Pokémon Red on the GB... and I’m not sure why. It’s very grindy.

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Axelay finally finished.

Within the first few goes I managed to get to the final level, yet it’s taken a week to get to the end.

 

I put this down to a level of RnG that the game has.
 

Even on the go I finished it, I was still getting caught by things I’d never seen before. I think the weapon loss system was designed around the RnG as well as the number of lives the game throws at you.

 

When I finished it I had 5 lives. Did I suddenly get loads better from literally the go before where I somehow managed to lose all my lives on level 3? I think I was more likely just stiffed on that go TBH.
 

It is a good game though, and I know some people love games that have that level of RnG factor.

 

At the end it said to “challenge hard mode”, so I read up on what happens if you play hard mode and apparently the line is “see you in Axelay 2”.
 

I wonder if there ever was an Axelay 2 on the cards. 

 

 

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Just finished Grim Fandango on the Switch. Didn’t particularly enjoy it. I really liked the characters, story and world but was hard to spot things in handheld mode. Some areas of the screen didn’t seem accessible using joycons but you could get to them in point and click mode. Wasn’t keen on the puzzles. I think I may like the idea of adventure games more than I like playing them. Or perhaps a 2D one would feel better on the Switch. Still at least it was less than £3.

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On 22/01/2020 at 00:30, Sprite Machine said:

Rage Racer - PS1.

Bouncing off the walls until I get a grip on how to take corners properly. :unsure:

 

The drift mechanics are incomprehensible! I can get the car into a slide (with the drifiest tyre option), but getting it back under control without over-spinning or smashing into a wall seems unreasonably hard. My best technique is to almost immediately shift down a couple of gears after entering the drift, which slows me down and gives me enough traction to continue straight, but I can't reliably pull it off on all corners. And then there's 'grip' type tyres, which all but died out in later RR games - how are you supposed to race with those on? Just slow to a crawl at every bend?

 

It's a bit of a grindy game that relies on doing the same tracks over and over again. I'm not sure the fourth "oval" track is actually winnable with the stock car of the same class - I need to essentially overlevel to compete.

Mind you, it's probably just as well there's not many tracks, you need to learn the layouts perfectly and know how to handle each corner. I'm used to arcade racers (and Ridge Racer in particular) being easy and fun to handle - I don't recall the early ones being this technical.

 

It's a hilly game, too - gotta down-shift to get up those hills!

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I had a good game yesterday. My son was off school sick, I was home looking after him and he basically slept all day.

 

Streets of Rage 2 (played on Xbox 360)

I'd played this in the 90s and, while I remember liking it, but I don't think I appreciated how good it is. It's honestly brilliant throughout. The controls, animation, characters, range of moves, balance, music, levels, bosses... all amazing. I hate to use the word "perfect" since that would be pure hyperbole, but I would suspect this us as close to perfection that a side scrolling beat em up can be. Maybe.

 

Speaking of side scrolling beat em ups:

Captain Commando (played on Xbox One as part of the Capcom Beat Em Up Bundle)

I gave this a go because I saw it in the top ten of a "50 best MAME games" video on YouTube. It's a very, very good game with some very interesting ideas, though it suffers from the fact it's an arcade game, so it's designed to suck money out of your pockets. There's also a bit of a Capcom template for these games, so I'm finding I'm going "oh, here's that bit now". And it's no Streets of Rage 2.

 

Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360)

Is this retro? I don't care. I dusted off (literally) my official wireless wheel and fired this up. I think this is probably now surpassing GT3 as my favourite console racing kinda sim, kinda not, type game. Good selection of cars, great competition structure, some fantastic tracks (including the Japan mountain point to point tracks), the handling is spot on, it's lovely to look at... I even love that it has the reward system for driving well. And it gets even better when paired with the official wireless wheel. Which is a lovely bit of kit - it has one of those really obvious bits of design where the foot plate for the pedals has a big hole in it, so your heels sit on the floor, stopping whole thing from moving about as you use it. 

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1 hour ago, Rex Grossman said:

Just finished Grim Fandango on the Switch. Didn’t particularly enjoy it. I really liked the characters, story and world but was hard to spot things in handheld mode. Some areas of the screen didn’t seem accessible using joycons but you could get to them in point and click mode. Wasn’t keen on the puzzles. I think I may like the idea of adventure games more than I like playing them. Or perhaps a 2D one would feel better on the Switch. Still at least it was less than £3.

 

Grim Fandango is a wonderful example of world building, with great graphic design, and an excellent script brought to life by excellent voice acting and atmospheric music.

 

The puzzles, however, are shit and always have been. It's a game I prefer to remember than play.

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Rage-playing Bare Knuckle III. As in I keep playing it, quitting in anger and then coming back the next day refusing to let it beat me. Got as far as being chased by a digger this morning which was absolutely no fun at all but already I'm keen to try again with Zan's hilarious dash attack this time.

 

Also poking around with the first Shining Force and while I like it enough to have put in a few hours I'm worried it's a) going to get really hard or b) be far too long.

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It had been a few years. Last time was on an original cart during the 2018 snow. 
 

This time it was in the Switch. The rewind feature is too much of a temptation for me. 
 

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Mega Man X - SNES (mini).

 

My first ever Mega Man game, in fact! I quite like the idea of tackling levels / bosses in any order, working out optimal strategies and so on... however, forcing you through the levels over and over when you run out of lives is not particularly fun, enemies re-spawning when you move two inches off screen is annoying as hell, and I can't quite get used to not being able to shoot upwards.

 

I think I'm on the last level now and it's one of the hardest games I've ever played. If it wasn't for using save states to practice sections over and over, I'd probably have given up by now. In fact, I still might - I'm struggling through a lazy end-game boss rush.

 

There's a lot to like, but it's frustrating as hell and quite often not that fun.

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This is an interesting synopsis of Mega Man, as what you consider negative points are what make Mega Man what it is.

 

You supposed to play the levels over and over, to the point where the levels themselves are in some respects inconsequential. Your aim is always to find the ‘weak’ boss, someone you can fight with your normal weapon and win. From there it’s about figuring out which boss is weak to the weapon you just got.

 

When you look at it like this, then yes of course you’re going to be playing the levels over and over. Figuring out who was weak and who beat whom was all part of the fun. Once you figured that stuff out you actually blitzed levels as you were already well versed in most of them trying to figure this stuff out.

 

The boss rush at the end is another staple of MM games and TBH expected, but once you know the enemy weaknesses it becomes less of a chore.
 

The reason I find it interesting is that you complain about the difficulty and in some respects I agree with you.

 

I played MMX when it first came out and already understood what MM was. However, I feel this game was (and many on the X games) that they went too far with what you’re expected to know and the skill level you’re expected to play.

 

I still remember back in the day, finishing this game and thinking ‘that was too hard’

 

I think this is one reason why I much prefer the originals. They still have their innocence about them, you can for example kill bosses in 1-2 hits when you have the right weapon. They die in seconds. Whereas in MMX having the right weapon means you do 3 damage instead of 1 damage and the boss fight still requires a level of skill to overcome.

 

So, yes, I think you picked a toughie as you start to the series.

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Well, that's Mega Man X done. The final boss was the hardest thing ever. Were it not for save states, I would probably never have finished it. I must have reloaded that final fight a hundred times before I finally got the technique down. Not even exaggerating - a hundred times, easily.

 

Figuring out what weapon does damage, figuring out the timing of the 'claws', when the lightning blasts come, how to avoid the energy pulses, how to best wall jump into position. All the while my thumb is getting blistered and sore. And if I didn't have save states, I'd be back at the start of the level doing the first two 'mini' bosses again and sitting through the dialogue, rather than instantly jumping back into the final fight. That's more punishing/tedious than games need to be, particularly when they rely so much on learning from failure as this one does.

 

I'd like to think I've played harder games than that, but honestly, nothing is coming to mind.

 

Still, I'm sort of glad to have played it, I think. :unsure:

 

------

 

Onto a Super Metroid re-play now. :D

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In light of the English patches dropping for both Goemon 2 and Goemon 3, I’ve been playing through them.

 

There’s a lot of differences between 2 and 3.
3 plays a bit more like the original, and is a bit like a Zelda 3 lite. 2 on the other hand is far more platformer orientated, and actually more along the lines of something like Super Mario World. 

 

I’d recommend these games to anyone looking for something quirky and full of unique ideas.

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On 03/02/2020 at 09:43, Sprite Machine said:

Onto a Super Metroid re-play now. :D

 

Bloody hell, I can't believe I forgot there was a "run" button! Thought I'd gotten stuck in Brinstar! :lol:

 

It's such an odd thing for a Metroid game to have nowadays. With the more recent 2D Metroids fresher in my mind, I naturally assumed a crumbling ledge was unpassable without the speedbooster ability, as per every other 2D Metroid game, but I wasn't considering that this was the first game to feature the speedbooster so players in 1994 wouldn't make that assumption and would keep trying to pass over the crumbling bridge. And, being Nintendo, "run buttons" were commonplace in platformers. And no doubt the rather elaborate instruction manual mentioned it too.

 

Leading player discovery through exploiting assumptions is a really fascinating subject to me, and it's something that places Metroid games in the era they were made. Like in the original NES game, where the very first essential upgrade is immediately on your left because most players in that era wouldn't think to run left first. It trains you to backtrack early on.

 

It's one reason why remakes are very tricky to get right.

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