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Call of Duty 2. It's so so good. Those Quake engine based games just feel so snappy to play. I didn't like it much at the time because it didn't feel like a step forwards from the first game, other than the graphics, but going back to it now feels great. Just pure shooting gallery bombast, nothing in the way, no shitty half-baked storylines, just here you are in Stalingrad/Tunisia/Normandy, part of the machine.

 

Playing through the vanilla campaign, then I'll give the 'remastered' mod a try, which adds more modern textures and effects. Think I'll play through the original and the United Offensive campaigns after that, and give their various mods a try. Then I've just ordered all the OG Xbox versions! So much better than the shitty new ones.

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I am going to attempt to play through Link to the Past, but I've always hated the loose combat with dodgy (well, it feels dodgy) collision detection.

 

I completed this many, many years ago and my most abiding memory is of the flute and the boy in the forest, which I recall being quite poignant. I've literally only just started - I've rescued Zelda and have been getting some goodies before heading to the first dungeon. Some of those old tunes are hitting those nostalgia-glands, too.

 

Let's see if I can stick with it this time. I've had a go at playing through it a couple of times over the years, but never persevered (again, mainly because of the controls for fighting.)

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I’ve never managed to get far in LttP. I think the problem is that I played Link’s Awakening first, which is a vastly superior game engine despite the inferior hardware. The total uselessness of the shield in LttP in particular drives me nuts, and the Mode 7 map, while pretty, is vague and imprecise compared to the grid based one in LA.

 

I’ll probably play through it at some point, but for academic interest more than enjoyment. 

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3 hours ago, Alexlotl said:

I’ve never managed to get far in LttP. I think the problem is that I played Link’s Awakening first, which is a vastly superior game engine despite the inferior hardware. The total uselessness of the shield in LttP in particular drives me nuts, and the Mode 7 map, while pretty, is vague and imprecise compared to the grid based one in LA.

 

I’ll probably play through it at some point, but for academic interest more than enjoyment. 

 

Ah see LA was my first Zelda too and I thought LTTP was great as well though.

 

LA has a special place in my heart though since it was my first Zelda. I played that game to death and the Remake was pretty great too.

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12 hours ago, Alexlotl said:

I’ll probably play through it at some point, but for academic interest more than enjoyment. 

 

I am basically you and did this a few years ago - I don't feel it was worthwhile although at least I've ticked the box. LttP was always a huge blank spot for me since I love all the Zeldas I've played but missed this at the time, and didn't click with it either on my first goes with emulation or when I got into collecting. I just don't like it anywhere near as much as LA, or The Minish Cap, or Link Between Worlds and I've made my peace with that now. It's OK. If only I could convince myself of the same with Majora's Mask which I'm almost begrudgingly playing in bursts on Switch atm!

 

In answer to my question of yesterday Klonoa 2 is a whole lot of fun and a big improvement over the original. I only tried it out of laziness (the cart was in the slot, you know how it is) and was promptly won over. Better controls, more variety, looks nicer obviously and the boss fights are split out to their own levels rather than being the end of a potentially gruelling regular one. Quite fancy finishing it now, which I hadn't foreseen 24 hours ago.

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Recently picked up the Capcom Fighting Collection on Switch so have been playing lots of Nightwarriors and Vampire Saviour. Realistically, I SHOULD be investigating Red Earth/Warzard as I was very chuffed to finally see that get a home port, but the Darkstalkers games are probably my favourite fighting games, so I couldn't resist them. Good memories of originally playing the hell out of Nightwarriors on the Saturn - the game that made me fall in love with 2D fighters and the artistry of the 90's era of 2D fighting games.

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I have finished Klonoa 2 thanks to a very quiet day of WFH and thoroughly enjoyed myself, in large part because of the sheer surprise of it. I tolerated the dated design of the first in places but this polished off all the nasty edges and is as good a platformer as I can remember playing on a Sony console. If it had infinite lives, or a way to stockpile them, I might feel guilted into being more completionist about it as I left a lot of the tougher collectibles behind but given how tricky they can be and how many other games I want to get round to I'm fine with stopping at the credit roll this time. Just lovely.

 

Having a weird notion to play one of the handheld games they always add to retro collections now which I think comes from having recently beaten and loved the Game Gear Aleste titles. Either one of the Disney GB/GBC ones (from the Aladdin/Lion King/Jungle Book Collection), Contra or Final Fantasy Adventure is in contention.

 

 

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On 30/08/2022 at 21:47, megamixer said:

Recently picked up the Capcom Fighting Collection on Switch so have been playing lots of Nightwarriors and Vampire Saviour. Realistically, I SHOULD be investigating Red Earth/Warzard as I was very chuffed to finally see that get a home port, but the Darkstalkers games are probably my favourite fighting games, so I couldn't resist them. Good memories of originally playing the hell out of Nightwarriors on the Saturn - the game that made me fall in love with 2D fighters and the artistry of the 90's era of 2D fighting games.


You’ve inspired me to try getting into Darkstalkers again since I have access to Vampire Savior on that recent Capcom Arcade Collection thing. I could use a training mode to practice though - does the Capcom Fighting Collection offer that?

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Recently picked up an original xbox and first game I got for it was Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Managed to play through and complete it and it’s still a lot of fun although can be difficult with some of the later enemies that can kill you in a couple of shots. 

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4 hours ago, Yasawas said:


You’ve inspired me to try getting into Darkstalkers again since I have access to Vampire Savior on that recent Capcom Arcade Collection thing. I could use a training mode to practice though - does the Capcom Fighting Collection offer that?

Yes mate. On the game select screen, you can start each game in training mode (On Switch you press X instead of A but it's all labelled up clearly on-screen anyway). Very handy to be fair because the games are otherwise the straight arcade ports (unlike the home versions of the time(s) which would have included other modes/menus).

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I've picked Suikoden II back up, after starting it earlier in the year and drifting away from it. According to the stats on Launchbox, I've had 44 sessions on it :lol: Demonstrates perfectly how much I can decide to play it, open it up and then think 'Nah, not really in the mood'. I think now that I've put some time into it this weekend, and things are opening up a bit (I believe I will be getting my base soon) I will more likely stick with it.

 

Haven't gone back to Link to the Past yet, but have been opening random Mega Drive games (and then quitting out of them as the controls are horrible!) I do want to start Shining Force III at some point too, but I still can't get any Saturn emulator to upscale (despite selecting things in the options) and I don't seem to be able to find any help via google, so it's putting me off a bit.

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When I decided to fix and set-up a PSX for the first time since the late '90s, I had no idea that it would become the dominant system, or that I'd find so much comfort in those wobbling polygons and that original digital controller. 

 

With R-Type Delta thoroughly rinsed and other distractions dealt with, it was time to see if another old favourite had held up; Einhander, the post-FFVII Square-developed shooter directed by an ex-Konami Gradius vet.

 

I'd been putting off playing it again because I remember finding the weapon system pretty stressful.

 

You can equip three subweapons - retrieved from level-specific destroyed enemies - from a choice of many, and cycle between them. They have limited ammo and require replenishing from more downed enemies, and it's easy to replace a huge stock of a favourite weapon with a small stock of a less desirable one, if you're not careful.

 

There's also randomness and unpredictability with how these subweapons get dispensed - and they're easily destroyed..so there's a fair bit more to manage than in a traditional spaceship shooter. 

 

Anyway, the first session went well. I'd forgotten how exquisite the visuals and sound design was in this game; a proper sensory feast, and it played so smoothly. 

 

I did lose a lot of lives juggling with weapon slots, which I'd expected - but it wasn't frustrating because, well, the deaths were all fair and there's really no need to hoard subweapon ammo, I kept telling myself.

 

The animalistic robot bosses have a lot of attack patterns and there's also randomness with how they're delivered - so I found that taking them out as fast as possible was the way forward, as things seem to get out of hand the longer you let them live. They're great fun.

 

My second session the following night wasn't as successful in terms of levels cleared, but I discovered a couple of alternate routes and seem to have unlocked a super powerful version of my go-to Vulcan machine gun upon restart (the 'Juno') by taking out a large optional mid-boss and grabbing it. I wonder how many other secret weapons I need to find.

 

I consider Einhander up there with R-Type Delta and Gradius Gaiden as part of the cream of that generation's shooters, and unlike RTD and GG, wholly original and singular. It's better than I remembered.

 

One detail: it's the JPN version I've always had in my possession, upgraded from a bootleg CD-R. But this one I'm playing now is the US version which I suspect has been tweaked aside from the language. 

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48 minutes ago, spanky debrest said:

When I decided to fix and set-up a PSX for the first time since the late '90s, I had no idea that it would become the dominant system, or that I'd find so much comfort in those wobbling polygons and that original digital controller. 

 

With R-Type Delta thoroughly rinsed and other distractions dealt with, it was time to see if another old favourite had held up; Einhander, the post-FFVII Square-developed shooter directed by an ex-Konami Gradius vet.

 

I'd been putting off playing it again because I remember finding the weapon system pretty stressful.

 

You can equip three subweapons - retrieved from level-specific destroyed enemies - from a choice of many, and cycle between them. They have limited ammo and require replenishing from more downed enemies, and it's easy to replace a huge stock of a favourite weapon with a small stock of a less desirable one, if you're not careful.

 

There's also randomness and unpredictability with how these subweapons get dispensed - and they're easily destroyed..so there's a fair bit more to manage than in a traditional spaceship shooter. 

 

Anyway, the first session went well. I'd forgotten how exquisite the visuals and sound design was in this game; a proper sensory feast, and it played so smoothly. 

 

I did lose a lot of lives juggling with weapon slots, which I'd expected - but it wasn't frustrating because, well, the deaths were all fair and there's really no need to hoard subweapon ammo, I kept telling myself.

 

The animalistic robot bosses have a lot of attack patterns and there's also randomness with how they're delivered - so I found that taking them out as fast as possible was the way forward, as things seem to get out of hand the longer you let them live. They're great fun.

 

My second session the following night wasn't as successful in terms of levels cleared, but I discovered a couple of alternate routes and seem to have unlocked a super powerful version of my go-to Vulcan machine gun upon restart (the 'Juno') by taking out a large optional mid-boss and grabbing it. I wonder how many other secret weapons I need to find.

 

I consider Einhander up there with R-Type Delta and Gradius Gaiden as part of the cream of that generation's shooters, and unlike RTD and GG, wholly original and singular. It's better than I remembered.

 

One detail: it's the JPN version I've always had in my possession, upgraded from a bootleg CD-R. But this one I'm playing now is the US version which I suspect has been tweaked aside from the language. 

I love Einhander and I'm crap at shmups. I've never beaten it but I can get quite far.

 

I absolutely dig the visual look and soundtrack, and the weapon system.

 

I do have the JPN version on my shelf somewhere and a shout-out needs to go to the weird, minimalist cover art that looks like an x-rayed hand.

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5 minutes ago, megamixer said:

I love Einhander and I'm crap at shmups. I've never beaten it but I can get quite far.

 

I absolutely dig the visual look and soundtrack, and the weapon system.

 

I do have the JPN version on my shelf somewhere and a shout-out needs to go to the weird, minimalist cover art that looks like an x-rayed hand.

 

Yeah it's a beauty (everything about it). 

 

I was pleased to see the x-rayed hand artwork from the JPN edition unlocked in the gallery of the US version after only a couple of plays.

 

If I hit a brick wall I might do some reading and find out how the unlocking stuff works.

 

I'm not going for a clear with this game. If it happens, cool. I never finished it before and I'm fine with that. The experience itself is enough.

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Playing Chrono Trigger (yeah, I know, I know…)… but this is because I’ve had a JPN copy for a long time - came with a bundle of other non-text-heavy games - and just got a Retron5, so I can use a language patch on it and play.
 

Is that obtuse given emulation and patches? Sure, but it gives me that selection satisfaction of using a real cartridge without paying the really insane prices for an English copy. 
 

and of course, so far it’s rather good. 

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14 minutes ago, DeDeDe said:

 

? What’s your source for this?

 

Something I read once but had no reason to doubt.

 

I believe the director was a programmer on the original Gradius II and had a more senior role on Xexex.

 

Tatsuo Fujii

 

Edit - His Konami background is explicitly mentioned here (in the Development paragraph) but I'm not sure if visiting this site without an adblocker is advised:

 

https://ultimatepopculture.fandom.com/wiki/Einhänder

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I have no idea what the retro community calls this game these days so I'll do a pic:

 

Final_Fantasy_Adventure_Front_Cover.jpg.fa51a467923ee5b4054781b1e6aad9b6.jpg

 

Final Fantasy Adventure/Mystic Quest/Seiken Densetsu Mini Portable Gaiden/whatever it seems pretty enjoyable so far. That wonderfully early-90s Game Boy mix of quality work by talented people, but clearly on a smaller budget, and with a resolution and translation budget that enforces the wooden and abrupt conversations I love.

 

Also! I got stuck yesterday and looked up an issue of Nintendo Power for hints and I felt like the 10 year old American I probably wanted to be back then. It was pretty rad. 

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On 29/08/2022 at 16:02, Gabe said:

I am going to attempt to play through Link to the Past, but I've always hated the loose combat with dodgy (well, it feels dodgy) collision detection.

 

Let's see if I can stick with it this time. I've had a go at playing through it a couple of times over the years, but never persevered (again, mainly because of the controls for fighting.)

Well, no. I haven't been back to it since, a combination of not much gaming, plus putting some more time into Far Cry 5 and Suikoden II.

 

I did, however, download an Amiga TOSEC last weekend and have had some time this weekend to set it up (and it's still a faff, even with FS-UAE). The only thing I've been putting some time into so far is Vikings: Field of Conquest, which I had as a kid and I've been enjoying again. I've also had a lovely time scanning through issues of The One (which was one of my favourite magazines of the time), mainly looking for reviews of others games to try - the Cinemaware stuff is on the cards, for sure. And I really want to try Midwinter, because I always wanted to as a kid but never did (and even though I bought the sequel, I never played that either, so that's also on this list :lol:). My concern is around the controls and UI though - a problem I found when picking some random Mega Drive games last week.

 

Related: does anybody know where I can get a full WHDLoad set of games?

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Burnout 2, for the millionth time, and Halo 4 for the first time (Xbox 360).

 

The 360 is currently my newest console and I am in no way short of things to play. Am going to grab Halo 3 & ODST for £1.50 each from CEX after I finish 4. Absolute bargains!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve been playing Crying on the Megadrive, it was about to get abandoned but then I started playing the Western version Bio-hazard Battle and it’s changed my opinion.

 

I was going to abandon the game for being far too hard, some bits are crazy tough! What I didn’t realise was how much harder the JPN version was…because it has no auto fire. I do feel like the game is balanced for 2 players, with some really tricky sections but these were also compounded by only being able to shoot as fast as I could mash the button. I didn’t think this would be a big deal, but I was completely wrong.

 

I just happened to be reading the English manual on Sega Retro (looking for tips) and it mentioned the A button being rapid fire. I instantly loaded the game, cursing myself for being such a dope and not spotting this, however it isn’t present in the JPN version!

 

Playing the Western version is game changing! All of a sudden things are dying faster and I’m not getting relentlessly overrun. The stage 4 boss, which took like 30 attempts to try and beat once on the JPN version, died on the first go! The difference is huge!

 

I have a whole new zest for the game now. I was quite frustrated playing the JPN version as the game felt good but was just too oppressive to be fun.

 

I actually thought it might make an interesting thread topic. I know a lot of games have regional differences but this was literally a game changing difference. Anyone else know of any games where a difference literally changed the game?

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Not retro per-se but I'm really enjoying (despite the confusing storytelling) 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim on PS4. Vanillaware are GODS of 2D and their distinct, painterly style still doesn't fail to move me after all these years.

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I doubt anybody else has ever heard of it, let alone played it, but I've been getting into Rings of Medusa on the Amiga. It's a weird old Blue Byte game that I had back in the day but never completed. It's part trading sim, part wargame (well, very, very simplistic), part adventure that has you scouring the land for some magic rings. The main component is the trading element, because you need money - lots of money - and I recall having a huge stash all those years ago but never making much progress on the main quest.

 

With the benefits of emulation it is much more approachable (especially when thinking of trying something risky) so I'm hopeful I'll see it through. There's a sequel, too, which I never saw in the flesh, which is similar but added a Dungeon Master-like component to it too. I don't think it was very well received, but if I do complete the first game I'll give it a look I think.

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Well if we adopt the 10 year rule (I'm not saying I do...) then Portal on the Switch. It's a bittersweet experience these days because while it's clearly still a bit of a miracle of atmosphere and tight puzzle design, you can only have the impact of that reveal once. It's like watching The Usual Suspects for a second time. I think this is playthrough number four over the years and I should probably retire it afterward and leave it at peace near the top of my mental top 10 list like I learned to do with RE4 a few years back.

 

Otherwise I'm belatedly discovering the Saturn through Radiant Silvergun and Panzer Dragoon*, also both on Switch. Less than £20 the pair, who'd have thought that in the early 2000s? Absolutely adoring the former - potential new favourite shmup material - but need to devote more time to the latter before I have a solid opinion. At the moment I like it but playing it on that OLED screen in the dark I can't help but wish it was Rez instead...

 

 

*this is a fairly straight remake of the Saturn game with modern controls, is that right? I know the name hides a subtle clue but I have no awareness of the series and know there are others and maybe alternate versions etc

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Fired up the 360 last night and played on Smash TV for a bit (via the Midway Collection). 

 

How addictive is this game?! One of Eugine Jarvis's that I never got around to trying... Essentially Roboton 2084 on steriods forgot how much fun these games are. I'll be play Nex Machina again soon I think... :) 

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I always find it incredibly dispiriting to play a retro classic for the first time and just bounce off it but after a couple of enjoyable, easy levels - I just plain don't like Panzer Dragoon. I think the Remake I'm trying is quite faithful and well regarded (?) but I can't seem to avoid being shot or battering the sides. It's like watching my mum try Mario Kart, lurching from side to side getting more confused and frustrated the whole time. I never expected to love it anyway since it's not a big genre for me but I am disappointed I can't join the love-ins since I can't see me ever going back to it. Even on a 400GB SD card, that 9GB is needed elsewhere!

 

Currently ambling through Legend of Illusion (Game Gear) and Mega Man X3 (SNES) then. The latter I've had for years and had never beaten a single boss in umpteen attempts the other day until I found a couple of sub-tanks and brute forced one, woo. Three down now and while I know people don't rate this game (and it supposedly gets stupid hard later) it's interesting as a fan of the X series nonetheless. Some of the levels are just bizarrely empty though, and the music is shamefully half-cooked.

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Operation C (Game Boy) via the Contra Collection on PS4. 
 

A game I’ve had since release and a game I very much like, but weirdly, I think playing it now, I’m only just seeing beyond level two for the first time (possibly the beginning of level three). Guess I had an even worse attention span when I was younger.

 

Anyway, this is still a really focused, tight game and really fun to learn. I can make it to level 5 now so maybe I’ll even complete it. 

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