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Retro Game Club - July ‘19: Parodius Series [vote for August now]

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The dancer's legs look very nice, but it's actually one of the few tedious parts of the game to play.

 

For the coloured balls, Twin Bee is the king.  His rocket punch clears the path ahead in an instant, and his 3-way gradually makes space either side for you to aboid obstacles.

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On 02/07/2019 at 00:34, Camel said:

 

It's brilliant. It was my introduction to the series back in the day and I've still got my copy from back then.

 

I've been playing it this evening on my other half's AGS-101.

 

I'd forgotten how annoying the level is with the rocks moving up and down.

 

What's the general consensus on the best ship? I've always used Octopus. Has a bash with Pentarou tonight and I'm not convinced.

 

Tomorrow I'll give it another go on a bigger screen with a pad.

 

 

 

Seems the key to surviving the moving rocks is to be sufficiently powered up to blow them away. Rock boss is annoying, need to get some practice against that bugger.

 

Good shout on Twin Bee, @bum. 'M' and '3' power-ups plus a couple of options = a formidable force.

 

Tonight Matthew ...

 

IMG_9036.thumb.JPG.e9aa4b07970c1ad442c56585aa7c0d2b.JPG

 

Top two probably belong in the 'best bargains' thread; 5 euro each from a flea market in Berlin a couple of years ago.

 

edit: ugh, didn't realise how grubby my GB cart was until seeing my photo of it on a bigger screen. All nice and clean now :D

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There's an interesting interview with the developers of Gokujou Parodius here. One thing that has been slightly forgotten about the games is that they were released at a turning point in the arcades, as shooting games became less popular and fighting games’ reign began. This interview is of particular interest because Gokujou Parodius was released after SFII. You can imagine that the team felt pressured to deliver an even bigger and better Parodius, but more than that, there's a bittersweet sadness in the words of the director, who could probably see that the golden age of shooters was coming to an end.

 

Anyway, I finished the arcade version of Parodius Da! On the PSP yesterday. I must have got too used to the SNES and GB versions, plus I'm getting old, because it was quite tough. Sure, it's a parody game, but it can be unforgivingly tough at times. I'm not sure how you can get out of the ball maze in Level 3 with no power-ups. After 5 tries or so, I gave up and restarted from the beginning. I get the feeling that the home ports were balanced more fairly.

 

On to the MSX prequel!

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Was just having a shot on the pc engine version (emulated). Haven't played it for ages but remembered I used to always pick the octopus. Things were going well till I got to the clown section and got wiped out. Unfortunatly it suffers from "R type syndrome" where if you lose your power ups it makes life a hell of a lot more difficult. 

 

As an aside the pc engine version is remarkably good apart from a wee pause before larger enemies hit the screen. Still punching for it's size though with a version that is almost as good as the Snes version. 

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I used to be so much better at this game!! Having trouble at the dancer but know I'm better than that (or at least used to be). Also tried the special mode on the pc engine version which is an arrange mode of sorts. Even tougher for my fading skills! 

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Had a quick blast on the pc engine version tonight. I think I prefer it to the PlayStation version. Undecided on how it fares against the SNES version mind. 

 

Obviously Japanese Saturn version is the definitive. 

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Yeah, something that's surprised me about revisiting the series is that there doesn't seem to be a bad port of the games. You can argue about how faithful the ports are, but one could say that the worst way to play Parodius is not to play it. There's a lot of conflicting information on the ports online, though. Is it true that the PSX version of Da! has a unique train level not found on any other ports, including the Saturn one?

 

On that note, I must admit I was very surprised with the GB port. It has loads missing, but to me it gets the ship movement, enemy patterns, and bell and scrolling speed just right. It's really very playable. If you're not after the complete Parodius experience, it's the port I'd recommend.

 

Update on the MSX original: it's been very frustrating. I'm amazed at what Konami did to improve on the original. Scrolling and movement seem much more smooth on the PSP compilation (which I assume is a port of the original Parodius found in the PSX MSX compilation disc)., and there is some beautiful pixel art there. However, boss battles last forever. They’re so frustrating, and almost spoil the game.

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Scrolling in the Saturn MSX Antiques version is just as jerky as the original.

 

I love the GB version and I've played it the most. I found Sexy on the Saturn more difficult than I remember.

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@Camel 

Wow. Indeed, you're right. The more I play it, the more I am pleasantly surprised by Parodius Portable. The presentation is very, very bare bones: the game launches straight into a dull, somewhat quizzical TV-themed menu with no music, but so much care and attention was put into the individual ports themselves. They even got Michiru Yamane (SOTN's composer) to re-score some of the tracks as well.

 

All of the other compilations on the PSP (Gradius Portable, Salamander Portable, and TwinBee Portable) received similar treatment, with one or two games being significantly "powered-up," so maybe Konami had somewhat high hopes for these compilations.

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I'd also forgotten how frustrating that random power up roulette thing is when it strips you of all your hard earned power ups! I was coasting with a triple option and other fancy bits then suddenly was underpowered and slow. Still a fantastic game though and up there with the best in the genre for me. 

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5 hours ago, DeDeDe said:

@Camel 

Wow. Indeed, you're right. The more I play it, the more I am pleasantly surprised by Parodius Portable. The presentation is very, very bare bones: the game launches straight into a dull, somewhat quizzical TV-themed menu with no music, but so much care and attention was put into the individual ports themselves. They even got Michiru Yamane (SOTN's composer) to re-score some of the tracks as well.

 

All of the other compilations on the PSP (Gradius Portable, Salamander Portable, and TwinBee Portable) received similar treatment, with one or two games being significantly "powered-up," so maybe Konami had somewhat high hopes for these compilations.

 

I've sold all those compilations this year.  I like them, but didn't play them much on PSP.  Prefer them on TV.  I kept one copy of Parodius Portable, as I'm trying to collect all the versions of the game.

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Got some time tonight, so going to get stuck into different versions of these games.

 

Tonight, Matthew...

7C03E732-C3ED-4871-AC75-051D386B6E32.jpeg

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Played the Super Famicom ones.

 

Love Parodius da, but I'm so familiar with it now.  It's like a TV comedy which I love, but can say every phrase in time with the actors.

 

Not quite so keen on Oshaberi.  It's good, but not quite as much as the others.

 

Gokujou is brilliant and hilarious.  Keep swapping between that and Sexy as my favourite.

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Visited the Game Boy version's hidden level for the first time despite owning the game for nearly thirty years :facepalm:

 

IMG_9394.thumb.JPG.4683f064a5ece48e019ed2adf6a69dad.JPG

 

It's actually really helpful as it not only contains some 1ups but it allows you to skip a large chunk of level three.

 

That Easter Island mothership boss can fuck right off though.

 

I should really invest more time in the other games in the series, but the GB one is the one I'm most attached to :wub:

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Ok let’s first decide on a genre. I’m leaning toward a racing game simply because I know Outrun has been mentioned numerous times. Mokeyball would fit within this category too. 

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Showed Parodius a bit more love tonight, pulled myself away from the GB game and gave Parodius Da! a spin on both SFC and PCE.

 

SFC version I loaded up with this monster:

 

IMG_9398.thumb.JPG.d74d9814d63b00768177a616d37a6235.JPG

 

Feels weird playing these versions after spending so long on the little GB port. There's so much room! It all zips along a little faster too which took some adjusting to.

 

PCE version (via Everdrive) does a great job of keeping up with the SFC one. It pauses now and then, there's a fair bit of sprite flickering when there's a lot going on on the same plane, but it looked is amd plays brilliantly. No option screen weirdly, which means no chance of turning off the power- up roulette sadly.

 

PCE's two-button limitations are overcome slightly differently to the GB version. Here a double-tap on the fire button uses bell power whereas the GB version just require one tap which doesn't work quite so well.

 

Overall I prefer the GB version as the smaller playing area and slightly more sedate pace makes the gameplay that little bit tighter.

 

I'll try to make some proper time for Sexy and Forever before the month is up.

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I’ve not got round to playing Parodius yet but it’s definitely one I’ll be jumping on at some point. 

@Camel also don’t feel you need to get it all done before the end of the month. Hopefully these threads can serve as a general go to place when returning to these specific games/series to add to and share experiences as and whenever. 

 

 

 

 

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I've given up on finding my Saturn copy :(

 

I've stuck an ISO of the PSP Collection on my CFW PSP but have no clue what's going on, what versions are which etc

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So if we are going to stick with racing games for the nominations of next month, we need a few. I’ll be putting about 7 up max. So far we have Outrun, Daytona and Monkeyball mentioned. I’m going to add in something a bit different and go for Rock n Roll Racing. 

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I'm not sure I'm that keen on doing this by genre. But I'll vote for the shutokou series, aka Tokyo Highway Challenge etc.

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3 hours ago, Camel said:

I'm not sure I'm that keen on doing this by genre. But I'll vote for the shutokou series, aka Tokyo Highway Challenge etc.

 

How would I play that?

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