Retro Club - Cameltry/On the Ball - SNES
  • Enjoying Ninja Warriors (SNES). Passed me by back in the 90s and have only played it on ROM. It feels like a blend between Bad Dudes vs Dragon Ninja and Final Fight. Solid side scrolling beat-em-up action. Characters have a limited move set but everything feels nice and solid.
  • I played the remaster last year. Once I found a character I liked I loved it.
  • Cross-post from the 52 games thread....

    Shining Force 2 - Megadrive/Switch (20hrs?)

    Probably my favourite 16-bit single player game, I hadn't played it since selling my Megadrive to fund Saturn Stuff.  Occasional wayfinding oddities aside (characters rarely bothered telling you anything twice in 1994) it stands up magnificently.  The simple battle system had me locked in for the past fortnight, to the point where my customary Christmas Day nap was ruined by movement grids on the insides of my eyelids and booze-fuelled half-snooze images of my favourite characters succumbing to second attacks from hyrdas.  I'd forgotten how long this was and foolishly expected to bash through it in 12hrs or so.  Even with the fast forward button offered on the Megadrive Classics Collection - which I've no doubt I'll now miss on every other game for ages - it felt like I was playing for double that.  In a good way, believe it or not.  I'll probably spend my Xmas vouchers on more grid tactics now.

    I enjoy assembling a kick-arse crew in games and I can't think of anything else that rivals this for getting the gang together feels (Mass Effect 2, at a push).  I started looking at tier lists halfway through and found the best one ever:

    7sdc67qses231.png

    Ahh, I remember the days when I cared enough about things like this to know what the characters' names were.  Even before replaying I would've remembered a dozen or so I reckon.  PETER has been done the dirty here btw; he belongs on the God seats with KARNA.  

    It could do with a few more tunes, levelling sometimes feels a wee bit off and the dialogue is lol, but it's as good as anything movement tile based from the 90s.  The story is nonsense of course (it's a JRPG with a mute character, accidentally unsealed evil, a TARDIS/Mary Poppins' bag style ancient caravan and possessed kings making out-of-character decisions), but at least it leans into the crazy.  By the end the barmy has been promoted to BARON BONKERS, which is better than po-faced navel gazing in my book.  

    Replaying was one of the best decisions I made this year.  A '94 96 and a 20/20 hindsight 2021 9.    

    tumblr_nijfx8Ohqu1qd4q8ao1_500.gifv
  • Fun fact:
    The Shining Force devs; Team Sonic software planning are now Camelot and a Nintendo 2nd party studio after the failure of the Saturn.
    Steam: Ruffnekk
    Windows Live: mr of unlocking
    Fightcade2: mrofunlocking
  • Not fun fact:
    There's a new Shining Force on the way, which looks great, but it's a mobile game with no plans for console release.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Iuq5sChb8Ks
  • Sequels to games we played last year?

    Power Blade on NES and Trouble Shooter on MD spring to mind, both were decent and have sequels.
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • davyK
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    Cameltry and its SNES port On The Ball in PAL.

    2D gravity marble in maze game with weird soundtrack and odd backgrounds. You rotate the maze and let gravity do its work to move a marble to a goal against a timer. The SNES port is a bit of a marvel as it is damn close to the arcade game. It's a perfect match with the console's Mode 7. Played with a spinner control in the arcade but a dpad is just fine as a stand in. The SNES port works with the mouse which I haven't actually tried yet. Arcade version is on PAL Taito Legends 2 and I still have the SNES cart.

    Even the arcade game isn't that hard until you get to the final sections which is where the arcade game would have eaten coins aplenty. It gets really frustrating because by then there are conveyor belt sections that are a nightmare to control. Still a fun game I'd like to see updated.

    The Taito Legends version saves best times for each level which always floats my boat. The SNES version has a pile more levels for home play.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Right so I'll run Power Blade 2 and Trouble Shooter 2 now, then we'll move on to Cameltoe on the balls in a fortnight or so.
  • davyK
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    :)
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Few retro games I have played recently:

    F1: ROC (SNES)

    Early SNES F1 game that I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for. The Nigel Mansell and Ayton Senna games were the big hitters of the day, but this is my personal pick for best 16-Bit F1 game.

    It’s not a genre I’m massively into, realistic racers are not my thing, so it’s no real surprise that my brief interest started and ended in this era. The upgrade system is extremely simplistic but quite rewarding, so much so I found myself continuing after my first season to fully max out my car. By the time I did I was over halfway through the season so ended up completing it a second time.

    It’s not a difficult game, despite only winning 5 out of the 16 races in my first season I won the championship due to the CPU racers mixing up their positions enough for the points to be distributed evenly. In the second season I won 11 races, once the car was maxed out it was almost impossible not to win.

    Weather is literally 90% sunny with the odd race in the rain just to make use of those special tyres. Pit stops are fundamentally pointless, all they do is repair any damage to your car which you otherwise have to pay for out of your winnings. Thing is you will finish at least one position lower by using them and the loss in earnings outweighs the cost of any repairs.

    The mode 7 effect conveys a good sense of speed, but it’s not much of a looker. It’s all a bit plain and basic with tiny cars when compared to the size of the track, F-Zero looks much better and that released a year earlier.

    It’s a fun simple play, and whilst not the best racer from the era, I’ve always thought it’s one of the more underrated.

    3/5

    My reviews
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  • Road Rash 64 (N64)

    I booted up the N64 a few days ago to kill half hour or so checking out some ROMs on the Everdrive. As soon a I started playing this I knew I was hooked.

    First let’s get the big negative out of the way. The graphics are horrendous, and I don’t just mean by today’s standards, this is one of the ugliest games I have played from the era. Bland muddy textures, low polygon count on the bikes/characters and the all too common N64 fog. It’s the reason I ignored the game back in the day, and I can’t blame anyone for being put off for that reason.

    Thankfully as a result of this the game runs at a nice smooth frame rate, granted I don’t work for digital foundry but even when the road was filled with all 11 of the AI controlled opponents I didn’t notice any major drops. Like F-Zero X the developers sacrificed graphics for gameplay, and it's all the better for it.

    Finishing in the top 3 is still the goal here, but if you finish lower you still get winnings and bonuses for any chaos you have caused which makes all completed races feel like progression. It's a lot less of a grind than the older games in the series.

    When you crash or get knocked off your bike in this you no longer have to run on foot back to your bike, instead the crash has a cinematic view like the Burnout games and you simply respawn back into the race. The rubber band AI of the older games is more exaggerated here, no matter how bad the crash, within 10 seconds or so your back with the pack, and no matter how many opponents you floor, there’s always more on your tail. This can been seen as negative as it means the only part of the race that really matters is the last half mile or so, but to be honest it all makes for a much faster paced and fun game.

    It's up for debate if this is the best game in the series, but the combat definitely is, its pure carnage and an absolute blast. You still have the basic moves from the older games but it’s the mace, cattle prods and the ability to spoke jam an opponent that takes this a notch above. Tasering an opponent and seeing their arms frail out and then kicking them into the path of an oncoming 18 wheeler is hilarious, and having a screen full of opponents makes it a much more chaotic and lively experience compared the the older games.

    The sound effects are all decent enough and the music is fitting, with a few metal/rock tracks from the era. The quality is OK and if you like the genre you'll be fine, otherwise I image it would grate after a while.

    I’m gutted I overlooked this back when it came out, it has reminded me how god awful Road Redemption really was, and how much I still want a new entry.

    3/5

    My reviews
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  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Bursts Loose! (SNES) 

    Completed the MD counterpart to this a few months back and this version is pretty much exactly how I remembered it. It’s a much more visually pleasing game than the MD one, and captures the spirit of the show much better. It definitely feels like this was the lead title and the MD one was a bit of a run-of-the-mill cash in.

    This game excels in that respect, each level has its own gimmick and no two really feel alike, but therein lies this games main issue. You will more than likely die and run out of lives before you figure out what you have to do, it just feels like your first attempt at every new idea the game throws at you is doomed to fail in cheap deaths. Once it clicks it becomes very easy, but unfortunately not with a sense of achievement.

    Like I said in my MD review, that game plays it safe and is a decent if underwhelming platformer. This game is much more interesting and polished, it aims higher but doesn’t quite hit the mark, because of that it just edges it in a head-to-head for me, but at the end of the day they’re both just ok.

    3/5

    My reviews
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  • davyK
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    Few retro games I have played recently: F1: ROC (SNES) Early SNES F1 game that I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for. The Nigel Mansell and Ayton Senna games were the big hitters of the day, but this is my personal pick for best 16-Bit F1 game. It’s not a genre I’m massively into, realistic racers are not my thing, so it’s no real surprise that my brief interest started and ended in this era. The upgrade system is extremely simplistic but quite rewarding, so much so I found myself continuing after my first season to fully max out my car. By the time I did I was over halfway through the season so ended up completing it a second time. It’s not a difficult game, despite only winning 5 out of the 16 races in my first season I won the championship due to the CPU racers mixing up their positions enough for the points to be distributed evenly. In the second season I won 11 races, once the car was maxed out it was almost impossible not to win. Weather is literally 90% sunny with the odd race in the rain just to make use of those special tyres. Pit stops are fundamentally pointless, all they do is repair any damage to your car which you otherwise have to pay for out of your winnings. Thing is you will finish at least one position lower by using them and the loss in earnings outweighs the cost of any repairs. The mode 7 effect conveys a good sense of speed, but it’s not much of a looker. It’s all a bit plain and basic with tiny cars when compared to the size of the track, F-Zero looks much better and that released a year earlier. It’s a fun simple play, and whilst not the best racer from the era, I’ve always thought it’s one of the more underrated. 3/5 My reviews

    Remember playing this in the early days with my mates - we had 2 consoles going at once - Super Tennis, SF2, Mario Kart and someone had just bought this - we had a session of pass the controller - running a race each through a season. We were still feeling our way and saw the tyre selection before the next race - guy with the controller said - why have wet tyres? - continued on to the race ...... and it was raining!   Hoots of laughter.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • davyK
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    Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Bursts Loose! (SNES)  Completed the MD counterpart to this a few months back and this version is pretty much exactly how I remembered it. It’s a much more visually pleasing game than the MD one, and captures the spirit of the show much better. It definitely feels like this was the lead title and the MD one was a bit of a run-of-the-mill cash in. This game excels in that respect, each level has its own gimmick and no two really feel alike, but therein lies this games main issue. You will more than likely die and run out of lives before you figure out what you have to do, it just feels like your first attempt at every new idea the game throws at you is doomed to fail in cheap deaths. Once it clicks it becomes very easy, but unfortunately not with a sense of achievement. Like I said in my MD review, that game plays it safe and is a decent if underwhelming platformer. This game is much more interesting and polished, it aims higher but doesn’t quite hit the mark, because of that it just edges it in a head-to-head for me, but at the end of the day they’re both just ok. 3/5 My reviews


    Paid £50 for this in 1992......but it blew my mind. Purely for the sights and sounds. Even though SMW is way out of its league, playing this felt like the next gen had arrived...when I was doing those dash jumps at the broken train section in level 2 with the C&W soundtrack I was in gaming heaven.  The squash court bonus game looked amazing at the time. I rinsed that game - repeatedly cleared in hard mode trying to 1 life it. Can't remember if I managed that - the balloon level was a banana skin toward that if I remember right.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Power Blade II (NES)

    Just like the original this is a very good action platformer for the NES, the graphics are improved with more detailed sprites and backgrounds, it has more of a dark tone like the NES Batman game.

    Unlike the original the levels are now completely linear, instead the hook is an optional mid level boss in which you gain a suit with a unique ability similar to the Mega Man games, there are four of these in total which will greatly enhanced your character and your chances of seeing the credits.

    Like the first game the bosses are a bit hit and miss, it has a bit of a difficulty spike on the last level, with only one checkpoint right near the end. It then does the classic boss rush mode before the final battle, unfortunately does feel a bit cheap here as the last boss is insultingly easy, a better designed tough final fight would have been much more rewarding.

    So yeah, its another top action platformer for the NES, something it definitely didn't lack. This series stands out amongst the pack for me though, its not quite as good as Castlevania and Mega Man but its not far behind. It's a shame it never made the jump to 16-Bit.

    4/5 

    My Reviews
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  • Just finished it. Not quite as keen as you, I found the over-reliance on suits in this one quite annoying and certain sections were poor (fans, autoscroll chasms). Better than most 8-bit games of this type but not as good as the original. Will sum up thoughts tomorrow.
  • Power Blade 2 - NES (90mins)

    Pretty good follow up to the excellent Power Blade.  Even though on paper the linear progress appealed more than the find item, then exit approach of its predecessor,  I thought the first game was much tighter in terms of design.  This one had different suits to collect and swap between, which seems to have a negative effect on the the enjoyment of just being shades wearing crew cut pyromaniac guy - he's just not cut out for certain sections (unless I'm missing something you to need the flying suit to progress past the fans anyway).  The suits are optional as they're tucked behind a mini boss, so don't miss the one with jet booster feet.  I managed to miss the first two completely because I didn't recognise the boss door as a door until level 3. I think I even tried jumping on top of one and wondered why I fell through the platform, facepalm. This is probably why I thought the second boss was a prick both times he showed up, but tbh I'm not that keen on optional pick ups that seem close to essential if you want to get through the game anyway.  

    Overall it's good and would probably feel more impressive if it were a year or two older. Quite a few platformers had clout by 1992 though.  It suffers from comparisons to the first game but for an 8-bit action platformer it's still a strong effort.  Good graphics and impressive sound too, although unfortunately the tunes are no match for the first game either.  Cutscenes are fab and the plot has a lightness of human touch androids could only dream of.  It doesn't talk down to the audience and expects you to read between the beats.  Powerful storytelling, John Smith's style.  Spoiler alert: the president of the evil cyborg making company is an alien ('from outer space').

    Tl,dr: play Power Blade.  If you want more Power Blade play Shatterhand, and rejoice.  If you still want more Power Blade play Batman. If you still want more Power Blade, play this and give yourself a pat on the back for being awesome.  81%

    torch.png
  • I don't seem to have the ROM for Battle Mania 2/Trouble Shooter 2. Can someone subtly point me in the right direction pls.
  • Anyone up for Alien Soldier? I've bounced off it more times than Majora's Mask. I reckon I'm ready.
  • davyK
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    Heh. Never played it - just checked it out on YT. :)

    Might load it up into the emu.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • On paper I should love it - 2D boss rush by Treasure - it just never felt quite right to me. Having said that I've never got very far into it.
  • davyK
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    I didn't like Gunstar Heroes...

    The only run and guns I have ever liked have been Contra and Metal Slug. Will see how this goes though. The sprite looks a bit too big for my tastes - might feel cramped?
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Yeah that was one problem I had with it. It reviewed quite well and is generally considered pretty good though.
  • davyK
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    Looks technically astounding. No surprise there though. :)
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • davyK
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    davyK wrote:
    The only run and guns I have ever liked have been Contra and Metal Slug.

    Oh... Cuphead....love that.

    Must go back and finish it - only at 50%.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • regmcfly
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    Some great clears in here recently. Salute to the hard work.
  • If there’s some easy mode rom hack of alien soldier I’d be up for that.
  • Windjammers (Neo Geo)

    Hard one to rate this.

    One the surface its just Pong on steroids. Simple to pick up and I imagine has enough about it to be a nigh on perfect game in multiplayer for people of equal ability.

    I can only judge it on what I played though, and that was an entertaining but ultimately forgettable playthrough of the single player campaign.

    I know deep down it's undoubtedly a great game but outside of a slim possibility of playing it with moot I doubt I'll ever find out.

    3/5



    Shock Troopers (Neo Geo)

    Overhead run and gun in the same vein as Mercs and Total Carnage.

    Simple and solid arcade action, unfortunately it lacks the twin stick setup of Smash TV or the 8 way button replacement that the SNES port implemented so successfully. Games like this always feel a bit gimped without that control system, but this does a decent enough job of holding fire to lock your position to strafe or tap fire to shoot on the fly.

    Has quite a bit of slowdown in places which is a bit disappointing considering the platform its on, but I have a huge soft spot for games like this, especially if they're co-op, which I'm happy to say this is.

    4/5

    My reviews
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  • I've bounced off Alien Soldier a few times myself. Will give it another go at some point this week.
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