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MattyP
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Currently about half way through (I think) Ys 4 on the PC Engine.

 

This has had a fan translation and full dub, which is pretty impressive as a translation patch.

 

From what I’ve played so far I’d consider this the best one yet. The game is even more flushed out than the second one, bigger with lots of things going on, places to visit, bosses to encounter etc.

 

This one also has the has the extra value of revisiting the areas of the original game, which was super cool for me to see so I can only imagine what it was like for fans at the time when this came out 4 years after the first.
 

I think this is the last game with the ‘bump’ mechanic, so I’m in debate whether I want to play any of the others. At the same time the series is pretty much about the adventures of the same main character (Adol) and some of his buddies. This is now a pretty big pull as once you’re into the series you build up an association for the characters.
 

I’d definitely now consider myself an Ys fan.

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Finished Silent Hill, a nice distraction from a crap week. Took my time with it but I also spent more time than I'd like to admit overthinking the zodiac puzzle and not realising where to use that bloody camera. Got the Good+ ending, which was still baffling. A friend clued me into a page explaining the lore but I would've preferred a bit more cohesion toward the end in the game itself.
 

Spoiler

I kept waiting for the cut scene depicting the conflict between Lisa and Kaufmann to appear and shed more light on her past but it never did. Bit odd to restrict it to a few brief glimpses in the intro.


Fighting the final boss was also a fraught affair, with the OSSC dropping the signal and leaving me fumbling blindly in the dark for a few crucial seconds every time I exited the menu and it switched back to 240p. In the end I got really, really good at running in tight circles. :omg:

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Not sure if Okami counts as retro as it's on everything and I'm playing on Switch. Starting to settle in after about three hours but I find that it's holding my hand a bit too much and explaining puzzles I've already figured out, often while I'm in the process of solving them.

 

Just restored the Hana Valley and it looks beautiful.

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Got my Saturn retro-bit cool pad knock-off, so I setup my mk1 PAL unit with an AR to take a few games for a spin. mostly because the boy found a way to get the xb1x back into the telly and is playing F1 2020 all the fucking time now, that I stuck on racing games, to try and get his attention 
 

Daytoooonaaaaa (poonikins!)

Spirit The King (stupid name, better than ridge racer)

F1 Live Update

 

which gave us this lovely “26 years in the making” photo

 

 

C4D8E08E-3A29-4A0B-AF6B-3B521F748F3E.thumb.jpeg.d2feede813e19f69d45bca45e0f31d55.jpeg

 

Maybe I should have stuck on cyber speedway, or Sega rally? 

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About fourteen hours into Okami now. Combat is too easy, I want to throttle Issun and there are a few moments where it has committed the cardinal sin of allowing me to figure out what to do quite far in advance- the location of the sparrow girl was blatantly obvious and I resented having to visit random NPCs to trigger the sequence of events necessary for me to save her. Just let me kill the old woman and rescue her, FFS! :quote:

 

Mostly enjoying it though.

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Finished Ys4 on the PC Engine, what a great game!

 

This is the first time I’ve played something where I’ve really thought that the West missed out by not getting a release. With JPN only releases I always have in the back of my mind that they are probably good but not strong enough to warrant the western release at the time, which is why they stayed in Japan.

 

I’m all turned around now though. This was easily (IMO) the best Ys game so far and it never saw any kind of Western release.

 

I also just wanted to highlight the boss fights, which, when you think about the bump mechanic you kinda write them off. But their design of timing, dodging, shooting magic is actually really well designed and great fun to play, you have to learn patterns, openings etc. it’s not about just levelling yourself to win.

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I've started Marvel Ultimate Alliance, a game I completed back on the 360 many moons ago. It's a really good ARPG and even now there still hasn't been another game that has bettered it (the sequel was good, but streamlined too many things and from what I've seen from MUA3 it seems to be more musou-esque). 

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Finished my Monster World series playthrough with Monster Boy on the Switch (MW5 in all but name), so I'm back in the market for something new.

 

After idly playing a bit of Phantasy Star IV, I thought I should return to Phantasy Star I - I had some unfinished business on a run where I was drawing all my own maps. I grabbed the new SMS Power 2.1 Translation Patch and gave it a run out.

 

Yikes, a lot of the headline features here are not to my tastes. The new default font is baroque and weird, although the PS4-inspired one is good. The 2x walk speed is just too insanely fast - it would have been a lot better to make this toggleable or something. The brown hair option for Alis' overworld sprite is something that sounds so right on paper, but looks so wrong in the game, robbing her sprite of all its definition. I'm sure the 2x XP/MS options will suit some people, but they're cheating in my book, and I'm weirdly fond of the opening-game grind (which is about the only time you have to grind in my experience).

 

That said, the updated translation is very welcome, and I'm looking forward to getting my map-fu going again. The question is, do I use the maps I made on my last playthrough (I think I'd done up to getting Hapsby), or map them again?

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I need to get back to my Phantasy Star run. I got pretty far in before taking a break - polishing off all business on the Ice Planet and parking up outside Medusa's tower, ready to rumble. 

 

I have most of the dungeon maps I drew as a kid first time around (in a school-era blue-jacketed graph-paper book) - and fondly recall the recording process. 

 

I don't personally feel the need to do it again though and was happy with accessing the maps up on gamefaqs on my phone this time around.

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I couldn't settle on anything to play recently so I shrugged and went back to Iridis Alpha (C64) via WinVICE. It's still my favourite shooter of all-time and a contender for my favourite game of all-time - fast, colourful, and with a ruleset that makes no sense at first, but then when you figure it out it's the ultimate "zone" experience. Since you can open up different bits of the game in different orders it's easy to restart after a game over and consider an alternative "route", so it rarely gets too samey between runs.

 

It is pretty intense though - I kept warping into areas with so many foes that I'd quickly overload and die before I knew what was going on. :blush: 

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I’ve just been playing your favourite master system game: enduro racer!

 

its this week’s master system challenge thing over on YouTube, a time trial on the first level. I just got a low 45 second run, which I can’t see me beating, it seemed practically perfect in every way!  🌂

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Inspired by a recent Kim Justice video... Champ 01/02

 

VirtualBox_XP_26_06_2021_11_15_56.png.142ff183a7b5295930c3abf436396ae3.png

 

Literally all it took was the sight of that UI for the first time in about 20 years for me to install VirtualBox on this Mac, then set up XP and the required fixes to run the game. I regret nothing. I almost shed a tear downloading the 18MB patch required for the game as that was the first file I ever downloaded when I got dialup back in the day. Just under 2 hours it took back then, the idea I have a device in my pocket that could download it in seconds from almost any location in the country is extraordinary.

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Been playing through Gran Turismo 3 and am currently at 20% completion. Playing it through with a Logitech Driving Force wheel and the difference compared to just a pad is huge, I'm pretty much re-learning the game from scratch as this the first time really using a steering wheel peripheral for any console. It will be strange playing GT7 with a pad after getting used to a wheel, but there's no way I can afford $500 to buy a decent wheel for the current gen machines.   

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just fnished Ys Origin with all 3 characters.

 

Was a nice game. Lots of fan service to the first 2 games, which was cool. While the fighting was pretty basic, it was always satisfying and never got boring. One thing Ys seems to do is have a fair pace on the action, which I think keeps it from getting dull.

 

The story of the 3 characters was interesting but not as well thought out as I thought it was going to be. It has some nice lore to the series but there’s significant variation in the story depending on who you play as, which doesn’t really add up as all characters are supposed to be traversing the tower at the same time. I’m talking like an NPC dying in one version of events and surviving in another.

 

I’m really surprised that this series is not more popular.

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I'm still flipping between Soukyugurentai and Exhumed on the Saturn. Both lend themselves to short bursts of play quite well which is all I have time for right now.

 

Returnal and Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart will have to wait.

 

I'm up to Amun Mines in Exhumed now, it's so atmospheric despite being janky as hell! I have such a hankering to play some Metroid Prime afterwards!

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Turmoil - Spectrum. My favourite speccy game. One day I’ll finish it. Maybe. I can consistently reach level M which is literally halfway through its 26 levels.

 

The Game Paradise - Saturn. Had this for ages but have only just started to enjoy it having persisted with it this time.

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Finished Okami HD a couple of weeks ago. It was okay but it meandered more than I expected it to. Boss rushes in a game this forgiving also feel like filler instead of an opportunity to exercise skills properly. The last boss felt like they'd run out of ideas.

 

Spoiler

A ball? Seriously?

 

I've moved on to Snatcher now. It's funnier than I was expecting but its view of women leaves something to be desired.

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Snatcher is done! Almost fell apart at the end.

 

Spoiler

Took a few goes to get through the insectors, only to be killed by Snatchers in the next room and returned to the first shootout. Annoying but anger made me persevere. Quite a spike in difficulty, despite getting perfect scores on the shooting range in Junker HQ.

 

Ending the game on a massive, non-interactive exposition dump is peak Kojima but I enjoyed it!

 

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Just finished the first of two “episodes” in Scooby Doo Mystery on the Mega Drive.

 

For the unfamiliar, rather than the usual shovelware, this is a very ambitious attempt to bring a Lucasarts style adventure to the Mega Drive, made by a US-based team who clearly had a lot of love for both Scooby Doo and Lucasarts.

 

It’s not half bad! I’m a Scooby fan, particularly the original two series, and they’ve nailed the characters. The way the first episode opens with Freddy, Daphne and Velma going off to investigate the ghost while Scooby & Shaggy just look for something to eat is spot on. The puzzles are mostly pretty decent - one or two could do with more hinting, but there were no WTF moments. My only real complaint here is that vital items were sometimes hidden behind other things that needed pushing or pulling to find them, with no hints that this would be the case. 
 

The Scumm inspired user interface is merely okay. The main verb palette is fine, but using items can be tricky. The rolly d-pad on a 6 button controller makes a fine mouse substitute, though. 

 

The art is pretty great - Shaggy and Scooby are big, well animated sprites, the palettes are good (barring a slightly jaundiced Mystery Machine), and the background art is great, with the bizarre angles in the hotel dropping heavy Day of the Tentacle moods. The sprite scaling isn’t quite up to the task though, with Shaggy’s size occasionally popping up and down randomly in some of the more weird geometries.

 

The game only really has two cardinal sins:

- A Maze. Which as with all adventure game mazes, stinks of “make the game longer, cheaply”. There’s only one, and you only need to navigate it once, but it still sucks.

- They evidently couldn’t afford save RAM, so the game gives passwords. 50 character passwords. In a quirky font. On a busy haunted house background. With lightning flashes every 3 seconds. Fortunately, Mega Everdrive save-states work, so after keying one once, I just stopped bothering and used those. 
 

Looking forward to playing Episode 2!

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On 27/06/2021 at 14:40, Major Britten said:

Been playing through Gran Turismo 3 and am currently at 20% completion. Playing it through with a Logitech Driving Force wheel and the difference compared to just a pad is huge, I'm pretty much re-learning the game from scratch as this the first time really using a steering wheel peripheral for any console. It will be strange playing GT7 with a pad after getting used to a wheel, but there's no way I can afford $500 to buy a decent wheel for the current gen machines.   

I know this is a month old post, but:

 

I've posted quite often about my love for GT3 and how much I've played it. I've always played with a pad though. One of the big criticisms of the game is that you have to work to get a decent race - you're always under or over powered and just taking the same car the AI has will leave you uncompetitive. And I agree with this. 

 

I got a logitech PS2 / PS3 wheel off someone on here fairly recently and discovered I've basically been playing the game wrong for years. With a wheel, you're suddenly evenly matched with the AI. It's astounding the difference it makes. I think it's because the Dual Shock just isn't accurate enough, so you're constantly adjusting your input through each corner, shaving off speed. Plus digital braking and acceleration. 

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I’m getting really tempted to play through GT1 for the first time since it came out. It still looks really good to me.

 

but first I need to master this!

379F8F95-9679-409C-8BAE-3CA6331AD029.thumb.jpeg.7a77ee015a81a0bac07106a86c97a1bc.jpeg

 

Finally figured out how to get the pedals working with it.

it does seem harder than ridge 1 and 2 though. The lead car is often miles away!

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After getting retroarch on my Xbox, I have been feverishly downloading everything I've ever missed out on on Dreamcast/ GameCube as well as all the old favourites.

 

What's been taking my time mostly though is Wave Race 64! Still so bloody fun and a great challenge.

 

The other game that has gripped me is Cosmic Smash on DC. Had never heard of it but instantly the minimalist style and easy to learn - but hard to master - gameplay gripped me.

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2 hours ago, Fuddle said:

I’m getting really tempted to play through GT1 for the first time since it came out. It still looks really good to me.

 

but first I need to master this!

379F8F95-9679-409C-8BAE-3CA6331AD029.thumb.jpeg.7a77ee015a81a0bac07106a86c97a1bc.jpeg

 

Finally figured out how to get the pedals working with it.

it does seem harder than ridge 1 and 2 though. The lead car is often miles away!

I had forgotten I follow you on Instagram, so seeing that same picture on here made me jump a little... 

 

Anyway: GT1. I'd give it a miss, personally. It was a technical tour de force at the time, but there's not a lot of actual game in there. GT2 is all the technical skill, with a big dollop of game on top. It set the bar for racing game structure, imo. 

 

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I've recently been playing Earthbound on my Super NT for the first time and am really enjoying it. The difficulty feels a bit all over the place and I've done a tonne of grinding, but the game is so charming and has loads of fun ideas. It's unique and I can see how it ended up so inspiring to others. I just took control of Jeff in Winters.

 

Other than that, I picked up an EverDrive GB X5 and have been playing Mole Mania on my original Game Boy, which is fantastic. I have a Color, a GBA and GBA SP... but, there's something about the original Game Boy. The d-pad, the big purple buttons, the weight of it in my hands - I really like using it (plus, it's as old as me)! I can only play it in the day time on my lunch break though, because of the darn screen!

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