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Amazing games on the wrong format.


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Absolutely blown away by the quality and quantity of content playing Ridge Racers 2 for PSP on the Xbox Series X through emulation.  It has all the music, remixes of that music, all the tracks, the cars, it's like Ridge Racer heaven, and yet it's a PSP game that didn't get a UK release (sub please check).

 

(Checked! UK Physical release only, didn't make it to digital).

 

If they released that today as "Ridge Racer Ultimate" for the Xbox they'd have to do very little to bring it bang up to date.  The little touches (planes flying around the place, night setting in) are so well done and, I don't know, it just seems an absurdly generous game, hidden away on a handheld.  Its at least PS2 quality as is, but the overall presentation when upscaled to HD makes it look 360 era, and it's 60fps.

 

I was recently playing Castlevania COTM which again just seems too well designed, too big and sprawling and just too good to be a Gameboy Advance title.  Wondering if anyone else has similar thoughts of other games that are:

 

A) just way better than they needed to be.

 

Or 

 

B) hidden away on a console that didn't take off, or should have been on TV instead of handheld....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shin Megami Tensei IV.

 

Crushingly brutal to play, a deeply atmospheric and oppressive setting, a fantastic soundtrack, and probably the best JRPG I've ever played.

 

It's on the 3DS. A handheld I always thought was somewhat adolescent - too underpowered for immersive 3D, too lavish of a product for 2D as the original DS did fine work of that already. A lot of people turned off the stereoscopic 3D within minutes, which was the main selling point - including myself.

 

Frankly, I thought the 3DS was a completely crap product. SMT IV completely makes buying one worthwhile.

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I think part of what makes these games so good is that they were on handhelds in the first place. It was unlikely that we'd ever get 2D Castlevanias on the home consoles - it was GBA and DS or nothing. Even on the PSP Konami went the 2.5d route.

 

The GBA and DS kept high production value pixel art alive for a good while before indie games properly took off. The Castlevanias, Fire Emblems, Advance Wars, Mega Man Zeroes, Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission, FF Tactics Advance and countless hidden gems.

 

Beautiful games, tailored for limited systems that made the hardware sing.

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TxK.

 

Easily the best version of Tempest out there, trapped as a digital-only title on a closed* storefront for a dead system.

 

*my mistake, they walked back on their decision to close the Vita store didn't they? Although I think TxK was pulled from the store anyway for reasons...?

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2 minutes ago, Qazimod said:

TxK.

 

Easily the best version of Tempest out there, trapped as a digital-only title on a closed storefront for a dead system.

Oh yes, I'd forgottem about this.  A belter.  Used to take my PSTV to work and plug it into the projector and speakers.

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4 minutes ago, Qazimod said:

TxK.

 

Easily the best version of Tempest out there, trapped as a digital-only title on a closed storefront for a dead system.

Minter innit, same with Tempest 3000, an exclusive on a bloody obscure dvd based platform. Why?!? 

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The Dreamcast...  Yes, spot on there.  I remember at the time when we got Shenmue in stock and put it on the demo console in store.  It was light years ahead of anything I'd seen before.  Jet Set Radio, Virtua Tennis (the animation of the players was incredible).  

 

Such a shame about the Dreamcast.  Should have been a game changer, but couldn't complete with PS2 which wasn't even out yet and was a bit rubbish when it was released too.  People overlooked Shenmue and Sonic, waiting instead for The Bouncer....

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2 hours ago, Siri said:

Shin Megami Tensei IV.

 

Crushingly brutal to play, a deeply atmospheric and oppressive setting, a fantastic soundtrack, and probably the best JRPG I've ever played.

 

It's on the 3DS. A handheld I always thought was somewhat adolescent - too underpowered for immersive 3D, too lavish of a product for 2D as the original DS did fine work of that already. A lot of people turned off the stereoscopic 3D within minutes, which was the main selling point - including myself.

 

Frankly, I thought the 3DS was a completely crap product. SMT IV completely makes buying one worthwhile.

 

I half-agree with this — I actually thought the 3DS was the perfect vehicle for this in terms of being handheld (my absolute preference for this genre), comfortable (specifically the New 3DS, which is just right for my little hands compared to the beast that is the Switch), and actually benefitting from the second screen as a dedicated menu/team status tracking tool. However, I think in terms of audience it was the wrong device - as you intimate, it was marketed more as a toy/'adolescent' product in the West at least, and so despite getting an absolute deluge of incredible dungeon crawlers (aside from this you have stuff like Soul Hackers, Persona Q, Etrian Odyssey etc.), I feel like it missed a good chunk of people.

 

I do wonder if, like other SMT titles, it might get a port to other machines now that Persona (and hopefully SMT V) has raised the profile of the series in the West. Sadly I imagine a port to the Vita (the actual perfect portable RPG/dungeon crawler machine) is pretty unlikely, but I'd merrily replay it on Switch. Ironically for the inverse reasons that Sabreman (justifiably) flags up about the Switch: for this game it would actually be suitably powerful to really make it sing, where it was very much pushing the limits of the 3DS. But I suppose that's what SMT V is for!

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16 minutes ago, Sabreman said:

I'll get the shit kicked out of me but... anything technically demanding that's on the Switch. OK, primarily Breath of the Wild - a flagship exclusive that suffers performance problems on its host platform. More a fault of ambition (they could have cut corners here and there to preserve frame rate), but it's frustrating to have stuff like this locked into a relatively underpowered system. See also Age of Calamity, and I can't imagine how Bayonetta 3 is going to turn out.

 

Definitely agree with Shin Megami Tensei IV. I had to give up on it through a combination of eye strain and cramp.

 

Well at least there is an unofficial workaround for all those examples. You're lucky the neg button has been removed though :P

 

No More Heroes III is similarly afflicted, too ambitious for its currently sole official release platform, but maybe it'll get a native PC port like various other 3rd party Nintendo Switch launch exclusives have to help alleviate the technical drawbacks for long term archival.

 

Metal Gear Solid 4 is currently forever trapped on the PS3 as another example of something which was too technically ambitious for its host hardware platform.

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57 minutes ago, Sabreman said:

Definitely agree with Shin Megami Tensei IV. I had to give up on it through a combination of eye strain and cramp.


Yeah, cramp was definitely a thing for me, as well (Full disclosure - this was with an OG 3DS XL. it was simply from playing too much). In fact, the only saving grace of the hardware was the fucking Play Coins of all things. mitigated the biggest problem of SMT - getting too far without saving and then getting absolutely steamrolled in a random battle.

I get @Wiper's viewpoint on handhelds being good for JRPGs (especially as a lot of them do use a suspend option, which is perfect for train journeys and the like), but I never felt that the things that made the 3DS a 3DS was ever essential, in a matter of speaking. I always felt like the status window/menu schtick was window dressing - nothing that couldn't be remedied by using a menu button or a map toggle if they ever drag the game kicking and screaming onto another format. And most of the time when you was using Burroughs in SMTIV, your character was standing still anyway. Admittedly, I also felt that about some DS games as well (like Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow's 98% map / 2% drawing dumb shit to finish a boss fight).

I'm extremely looking forward to V on the Switch, though. You get the home and away JRPG benefits in a single console! Marvellous.

Another game for consideration: WWF No Mercy.

The game mechanics were far and away the best they've probably ever been for a western licensed wrestling game, but being on a cartridge absolutely fucking hampered everything else - a supremely limited roster compared to the PS1's Smackdown 1&2 equivalent,  64 x 64 pixel titantrons with completely trashed audio quality, and a vast majority of the gimmick matches that WWE were known for back in that particular era didn't make an appearance.

And then AKI didn't get the license when they were finally developing on the PS2, so they toiled away on Def Jam and Ultimate Muscle until fashion called them. Kind of heartbreaking, but N.O.R.E has a German Suplex so that's alright

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44 minutes ago, Sabreman said:

I'll get the shit kicked out of me but... anything technically demanding that's on the Switch. OK, primarily Breath of the Wild - a flagship exclusive that suffers performance problems on its host platform. More a fault of ambition (they could have cut corners here and there to preserve frame rate), but it's frustrating to have stuff like this locked into a relatively underpowered system. See also Age of Calamity, and I can't imagine how Bayonetta 3 is going to turn out.

 

Definitely agree with Shin Megami Tensei IV. I had to give up on it through a combination of eye strain and cramp.

 

Yep, this was my first thought. It's not so much that Switch is the wrong format, it could just do with being more powerful. I'll play BotW 2, obviously, and I'm sure it'll still be amazing, but if the slowdown is comparable to the first game then I imagine it'll be a lot more noticeable in 2022 (or whenever it comes out) than it was in 2017. People seem a lot more tuned into performance nowadays, where consistent 60fps is pretty much the standard. Or I'm more tuned into it, anyway.

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Was always very disappointed Lemmings came to the PSP when the DS with the perfect control scheme was right there.

 

I mean, I know why it didn’t, but that doesn’t help.

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1 hour ago, deKay said:

Was always very disappointed Lemmings came to the PSP when the DS with the perfect control scheme was right there.

 

I mean, I know why it didn’t, but that doesn’t help.

There's a homebrew Lemmings DS, it's fantastic.

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1 hour ago, Nick R said:

 

Burning Rangers should have been pushed from the Saturn and onto the Dreamcast.

 

Thank fuck they decided to shelve and split the original Saturn version of Shenmue and retool it for the Dreamcast, same for Dead Space (assuming you believe the original Xbox prototype wasn't just a test version) and ICO and The Last Guardian (even if that one really needed to move 2 entire hardware generations to finally get a hardware platform actually capable of doing the idea proper justice).

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Mushihimesama Futari Black Label is an out and out classic, so far at least only on 360.  It’s totally sublime - (at least so far as I read somewhere?) Sony were fucking idiots for not concept approving CAVE shmups for PS3 at the time

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Soul Sacrifice Delta (Vita).

 

Gaijinhunter is completely obsessed with this game and his enthusiasm made me wanna download it, until i checked my PSN download list and realised i i had already purchased it on 14/05/2014, the EU release date which happened to be my birthday! :lol:

 

I've been (re)playing it, and its great if a little confusing in its systems and story progression.

 

Doesn't help that there are no online guides because it had a digital only release in the EU, and just recently the Vita was certified dead, by Sony themselves. 💀

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7 hours ago, mushashi said:

 

Metal Gear Solid 4 is currently forever trapped on the PS3 as another example of something which was too technically ambitious for its host hardware platform.


In what way? MGS4 runs beautifully. The only downer is the install time, but that was patched so you only do it once.

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