Retro Club - Power Blade 2/Trouble Shooter 2
  • davyK
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    Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Just finished my game of Super Aleste from last week, as I couldn't face a second playthrough of BttFIII yet (even though I found out what I did wrong on GameFAQs). I'm not very knowledgable when it comes to scrolling shooters, but surely this is an insanely long game? It must have talen three hours to finish, at least, and that's with save states. By the end of the game the difficulty had been ramped right up and I can state with 100% certainty that I wouldn't have been able to see the credits without cheating. A might fine game though, just a touch bloated perhaps and well beyond my capabilities (the first half eases you in though tbf).

    89%. If it had ended a couple of levels earlier I may have added two points to the score. Good VFM though, there's a good forty quid's worth of game there.

    12 levels is more than the norm (shmups seem to gravitate toward having 7 levels). Having said that - 4 of Super Aleste's levels are mini levels that offer a chance to power up - but the main levels themselves do seem to last quite a bit which is probably the mean reason for the overly long feel.

    I have managed to 1CC this but that is recently (and the Japanese version). I was never able to complete the PAL version back in the day - not sure if there is a reason for that :- maybe the move to 50Hz caused issues that affected its difficulty - I found 1CC-ing the Japanese version at 60Hz quite easy to do (though I did stumble through because I had amassed a load of lives and bombs by the time I hit the later, tougher levels - I practically spammed the final boss with my bomb stock). However there are a few higher difficulty levels to try which adds to the longevity.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • rickjoyce wrote:
    Many years ago, me and my mates were still being enthralled by emulators. We had a pretty decent suite of Genesis/Megadrive games that all worked perfectly (56k and smaller internet landscape made the kind of rom collections that roll off the drive today a lot harder to compile.) One game was different however, that game was Back to the Future III. For some reason this was the hardest game ever designed and it was only one level, well we thought it was only one level. You were riding a horse that clopped around 100mph and the game was lost usually in around the first 10 seconds of play.  It became a challenge game, a regular on the roster (the gatherings were based around Money Idol(Puzzle) Exchanger but I used to like to throw on Dick Tracy on the megadrive as it was one of the few game I could beat on Normal pretty handily, there was a second monitor for the other side of the room and it was incredibly surreal seeing way-too-cool girls I was into at some parties, watching me play Dick Tracy like it was some bizarre tv show. "Hey, look there's Madonna!") It wasn't until quite some time later that I realised this BttF was a faulty rom, the sound, which would have been a tip off played at normal speed. The game could be played on normal speed, but damn did it lose its edge. I still remember getting so close through a combination of luck and memorisation. You could even see where you were in relation to Clara on the bottom of the screen, "oh, smashed into birds so fast they couldn't be shot again". That game will always remind me of a happy time in my tumultuous teenage years.

    I've tried to complete BttFIII twice now, but according to Gamefaqs I'm missing some pick-ups on the last level and I stupidly saved the game halfway through the stage on my second attempt.  I've reached the DeLorean at the front of the train twice, but the train isn't doing 88mph or something so it's an unwinnable situation.  I won't be playing it again.  I'm not sure what the strongest (least shit) level is - perhaps the crappy train one as it goes - but the plate throwing section is the worst.  Rickjoyce's story made me laugh, and for some reason reminded me of repeatedly watching my mate's long play copy of Watership Down on our non-long play VHS player.  21/100 for Back to the Future III. 

    Davyk: I bow down to your 1CC'ing ability. The last two or three levels of Super Aleste were fuckers.
  • Week fifteen: Sub-Terrania (Megadrive)

    Developed by Zyrinx, of the exceptionally talented Scavenger umbrella, this remarkable Megadrive game wowed the gaming press and gamers alike in 1993.  Part inertia based thrust 'em up, with a touch of Choplifter and an added fuel management system, it provided a welcome alternative to the forced scrolling shooters of the time.  Extremely impressive graphics and an industrial score from Jesper Kydd, coupled with the varied mission structure, responsive controls and punishing difficulty make this a 16-bit title to remember.  Don't just take my word for it; Edge awarded it a coveted [9], which off the top of my head is the highest score attributed to a Megadrive game in the magazine's history (although I could be wrong). 

    51WNHhUM-LL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

    Week sixteen (24/12): Christmas break
    Week seventeen (31/12): UN Squadron (SNES)
    Week eighteen (07/01): Zero Tolerance (Megadrive)
    Week nineteen (14/01): Out To Lunch (SNES, Amiga)
    Week twenty (21/01): Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PC Engine, Virtual Console)
    Week twenty one (21/01): Rocket Knight Adventures (Megadrive)
    Week twenty two (28/01): Star Parodier (PC Engine/Virtual Console)
    Week twenty three (04/02): Legendary Axe (PC Engine/Virtual Console)
    Week twenty four (11/02): Atari 2600 week.
  • davyK
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    I love the "thrust-em-up" genre which is sadly very small. This is a corker if memory serves and I still have the cartridge (actually think I have the US version).

    For some reason I never finished this despite the fact that I really liked it and the small number of levels. It gets a bit puzzly - think I got stuck on a level that involved moving mirrors around to aim a laser - could be wrong though. Will see if I can give it a go later after work.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Similar to the great Assault Suits Valken by any chance? Is this on Virtual Console at all?
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • davyK
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    Not really - Assault Suits Valken is more of a run and gun with a bit of flying (Cybernator in PAL land). Subterrania is more like Thrust or Gravitar. Lunar Jet Man on the NES would be its nearest relation in retro gaming terms.

    Available on the PAL Wii VC for download (look for Cybernator) but you'll probably need a classic controller to enjoy it properly as it uses all the SNES controller buttons. Don't think Subterrania is on the VC though......
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • davyK wrote:
    Lunar Jet Man on the NES would be its nearest relation in retro gaming terms.
    Yeah was just thinking this when I was watching some gameplay on Youtube but couldn't remember the name of the game. 
    Still well behind on this thread. Going to set it right over Christmas.
  • Yeah, meant Sub Terrania, not Cybernator which I have on SNES. Oh well, sounds good, might pick it up once I eventually get to start an MD collection.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • Just had a go at Sub Terrania. Seems good, although using the keyboard may prove tricky in later levels. Stopped on level 3 because I wasn't sure what to do, but I've read up on it now and will go back. Not sure I'll get very far but we'll see.
  • I've always preferred shooters that aren't constantly scrolling.  Sub-Terrania, Cybernator, Ranger X, Bangai-O.  I tried to complete Sub Terrania again a few months ago and failed somewhere near the end.  Will crack it this week.  Red Zone, Zyrinx's other MD game, is even better imo.  Both would be in my top 20 16-bit games.
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    Love Bangai-O. Have the DC version - for some odd reason it's one of the few DC games that doesn't support the VGA box.

    I love that risk-based mechanic and the totally effed up presentation.

    Haven't heard of Red Zone - must check that one out...

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • It's a top-down shooter that effectively plays as two separate games, the first being a Strike-esque tactical helicopter blaster, and the second an on-foot Chaos Engine/Alien Breed type thing. Incredible stuff, some of the best music on the Megadrive too...and a full motion video intro. It was so technically impressive for the machine there was a text disclaimer before the game began, which was basically Zyrinx patting themselves on the back for all the shit they'd got the console to do.
  • Finised level 4 of Sub Terrainia. Honestly there's a chance if I'd played this when it came out I would have got completely stuck on level 3. Really wasn't clear what you were supposed to do. Anyway 4 was much better and even the keyboard controls aren't too bad anymore.
  • davyK
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    That's probably where I got stuck....
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • The review in one of the old Sega mags (the official one?) had a walkthrough of that section, as it wasn't initially obvious what you had to do. Good stuff when you know how though.
  • Sub-Terrania took me a while to finish, as it really is tough as nails.  I had to check the net for level cheats just to be sure that my memory of having completed this as a kid wasn't bollocks.  Turns out there are no codes, so I must've finished this back in the day as I remember the ending sequence quite clearly, which was jaw dropping stuff for me, considering the hardware, in 1993.  So well done, thirteen year old me. 

    If anything, I appreciate the game even more than I did when it was released, as there have been so few games like it since.  It is very hard.  It's also not a game that will roll over and show you its belly on the back of skillz alone - you need to memorise routes and armour/fuel pickups to retain enough lives to make a reasonable stab at the later levels.  Once you've worked out the best way to tackle each stage, half the battle is won as whilst there is a strong shooter element, I'd say it's predominantly a gravity based maze game.  There are a couple of bosses to dispatch, but with regards to the standard cannon fodder, in a similar way to Sonic (where the weak sauce badniks are intermittently placed throughout the stage), removing them wouldn't alter a hell of a lot gameplay wise, especially towards the end.  It's 20% blasting and 80% manoeuvring. 

    The music is excellent; Jesper Kyd excels himself with the MD sound chip on both this and Red Zone.  I recently found out he's the guy behind the Hitman & Assassin's Creed scores, so fair play to him for clearly having the class to go the distance.  The graphics are great throughout.  I read that Zyrinx created their own Megadrive dev kit, using their Amiga demo scene expertise, so they basically knocked up all their tools from scratch and submitted the game to Sega for approval in its technically homebrew form.  Impressive stuff indeed. 

    I can't think of a better 16-bit shooter for my personal tastes gameplay-wise, so I'm going to give this a ridiculous 95%, and one of those Mean Machines 'Classic Game' awards.

    As an aside, at one point I considered Scavenger (and its two dev teams, Zyrinx and Lemon) to be the shining light of Sega hardware coding.  As an early adopter of the ill-fated 32X, I lapped up images from their tech demo in the mags, and pawed over screen grabs of their (later cancelled) X-Men title.  I've since seen the fabled tech demo on the internet, so here it is.  Try to view it through early/mid 90s 16-bit eyes (LENS FLARE OMG!):



    Also, ignore the description beneath, Zyrinx didn't develop Zero Tolerance, that was a company called Tecnopop.
  • Mate that video looks poor even by 1995 standards surely? The PSone was out in Japan in 1994 with games like Ridge Racer.
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • Would've been around Jan '95 that I first saw it.  I've pretty much got no answers for why I was impressed with it in the wake of texture mapped PS1 releases, which I'd obviously seen in mags, other than convincing myself that the 32X under my 14" telly was a sound investment.  I was desperate to believe that the 32X could shift polygons with the best of 'em.
  • The 32X still amazes me. If my memory serves me correctly didn't the Saturn release in summer 95 and PS a few months later in the autumn? Im suprised you didn't just skip the 32X and go for the Saturn. In hindsight im sure Sega wished they had to.

    The 32X always struck me as something that should have just stayed in R&D, if Sega had used those resorces to put more time and money into the Saturn the mid 90s could have been very different for gaming.

    Oh well, sorry for the off topic rant. Seems you enjoyed Sub-Terrania, definitely check out Solar Jetman on the NES if you get a chance, sounds quite similar(?), it's another golden 8Bit Rare masterpiece.

    I haven't had the chance to get into this thread recently but will start making more of an effort.
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • The Official Sega magazine, as good as it was, pimped the 32X hard.  I blame Richard Ledbetter.
  • UN Squadron / Area 88 next? I'm gonna have to get in on that one, I reckon. Haven't played it in over a decade.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
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    all the talk of super alleste, cybernator and un squadron is getting me excited!
    keep it up lads. ;)
    psn/steam:daviedigi

    raziel once wrote..."davie's to nice for this forum"!
  • I got to the first water level on Sub Terrainia but it seemed horribly tough. Then new games came along so that was that.

    I liked the level design overall, and the varied mission objectives (barring the poorly explained level 3), and getting to grips with controlling the ship is a good challenge in itself. It's a good game, but didn't grab me that much.
  • daviedigi wrote:
    all the talk of super alleste, cybernator and un squadron is getting me excited! keep it up lads. ;)

    I'll put Cybernator in for you Davie (18/02), and I'll make sure I've got that stuff in the post in plenty of time for that week.  I haven't forgotten, I'm just extremely lazy.
  • Ditto Moot. I haven't forgotten you. I'm also quite lazy. :)
    [quote=Skerret]Unless someone very obviously insults your loved ones with intent, take nothing here seriously.[/quote]
  • I've also got a terrible memory.....am I waiting for something?  Haha.

    Edit: Ah the DS files.  Don't worry about those mate I didn't even give the card to my nephew, it's still in my underwear drawer with other semi-precious things.
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    I'm just enjoying all the talk and recollections that my shitty memory drags up.
    I played super alleste on a black and white 10 inch portable tv in my dads kitchen soon after release and didn't stop till I had finished it.
    (My dad were allways fearfull of 'burn in' becouse of scare stories in newspapers and stuff so never got on his normal coluor screen)

    Got to play it again a few years later on a 14 inch colour screen and finished it easy, loved every second of it.
    psn/steam:daviedigi

    raziel once wrote..."davie's to nice for this forum"!
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    I've also got a terrible memory.....am I waiting for something?  Haha. Edit: Ah the DS files.  Don't worry about those mate I didn't even give the card to my nephew, it's still in my underwear drawer with other semi-precious things.
    Don't say that! My daughter gave me a guilt trip for getting rid of the DS. Try and put the card to good use!

    Ah,screen burn scare stories. We got them too but turned out to be my mother using them as an excuse to not let us use the TV.
    [quote=Skerret]Unless someone very obviously insults your loved ones with intent, take nothing here seriously.[/quote]
  • Hodge360 wrote:
    Don't say that! My daughter gave me a guilt trip for getting rid of the DS. Try and put the card to good use!

    Ah shit, you just inadvertently paid the guilt trip forward, now I feel bad for ruining your daughter's Christmas.  My nephew's attention span is lacking; he didn't know what to do with himself when I gave him a GB Micro with 20 games a couple of years back, so I limited the DS gift to the machine + 5 titles.  Does the card 100% definitely not work in a 3DS?
  • Sorry,didn't mean that. It certainly didn't ruin her Christmas. She's 11 and had buried hers for two yrs since getting her iPod touch then suddenly decided to resurrect it! Had contemplated picking another one up but it prob won't last. 
    Fairly sure they don't work on 3DS.
    [quote=Skerret]Unless someone very obviously insults your loved ones with intent, take nothing here seriously.[/quote]

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