Retro Club - Power Blade 2/Trouble Shooter 2
  • I'm certainly confused by what Parodius games there are. I'm playing Gokujou Parodius on SNES, which I know isn't the first Parodius because I've played that before on SNES and arcade. So is that the second or third SNES game, is there another, and if so what's it called?

    Edit: Ok, found one called Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius.
  • I think Gokujyo was the second one.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • "Michael" from the series is one of my favourite videogame denizens of all time I think.
  • davyK
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    Super got a PAL release on SNES which is Parodius Da - I still have that one boxed and in pretty good nick. I can definitely remember another one released at the end of SNES's life  - I can remember it running on a display in Electronics Boutique - but only because that's when and where I bought Yoshi's Island... I think that late version was called Ultimate Parodius on SNES.

    Not sure of the others on the SNES - i think Sexy P only got 32bit ports. Sexy is the fourth one afaik...

    Parodius Da
    Gokujo Parodius aka Fantastic Journey
    Oshaberi Parodius
    Sexy Parodius.

    1st two appear in the deluxe pack on both PS1 and Saturn (PAL release for Saturn)
    2nd two were (I think) JPN only but both on PS1 and Saturn.

    Parodius is one of those series that has a fairly complex history...

    linky: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/parodius/parodius.htm


    My favourite character is the stick man on the paper plan that sports a condom as a shield.

    paron5u2m.jpg
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Right, well I've now played all the SNES ones a bit. The last (?), pictured above, also has this running commentary going through it, thankfully in Japanese, otherwise it would probably get really irritating. It actually seems a bit more conservative in its level design, but the aesthetics are still as mental as ever. The Goemon themed level so far the highlight. Well, that and the disco penguins.

    Overall I think I've preferred the second one a bit more so far, but I need to get further on all of them.
  • davyK
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    Be thankful you aren't playing in two player - player 2 gets a female commentator joining in.

    Can be switched off in the Saturn version - not sure about the SNES version.

    Oshaberi (no. 3) on the Saturn is content packed - there are two omake levels - one that takes place on a racetrack and you record best times - and there are hidden fairies to find in the main game a la Radiant Silvergun's dogs. I think it unlocks more characters to use if you find them all. In the options there's an arrange mode to change enemy patterns and a neat facility that lets you set how much fire each player attracts in 2 player.  You can also access a save/restore menu from the pause screen which I think is unique for shmups (it doesn't save your score though).

    Sexy while its pretty bare bones re options etc. has the more novel gameplay - you have a target number of certain enemies to hit or objects to collect in each level (level 2 onwards) and depending on success or failure you branch to different levels.

    There's another neat feature in these games you won't see unless you have 2 players - think its available from No. 2 onwards. If one player shoots the other often enough the ship will morph into a death dealing fireball which can be useful in cutting through some levels with the other player slipstreaming behind - only lasts a few seconds but with skill and teamwork you can keep using it repeatedly. In Oshaberi this is switchable in the options.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I'm not sure this really suits a single week BTW. I'd like to try a few characters out and try the different game, rather than just a quick save state playthrough.

    Edit: And next week looks like fun too.
  • davyK
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    Think Moot has set aside a fortnight for this.

    Character choice really does change the game. The omake levels have plenty of life in them too as they are designed for high score chasing.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I usually only set a week for the free choice stuff, but unless anyone is itching for the Scrolling Beat 'em up Free Choice week to arrive (22/07) I can just bump that to the end of the schedule so I don't mess with the rest of the dates.

    Edit: Just saw Jon B's edit. I could extend this and postpone the return of 2600 high scores week without changing too much else?

    So:

    (15/07. fortnight): Free choice Parodius
    (29/07, week): Scrolling Beat 'em up free choice
    (05/08, fortnight): El Viento (Megadrive)
    (19/08, fortnight): Yoshi's Story (N64)
    .....
    (27/01/14, week): Atari 2600 High-Score Challenge Returns
  • Ok. But if it's easier I could just catch up later. I'll doubt I'll be getting involved with all of them anyway.

    I also need to get back to Secret of Mana 2 at some point.
  • davyK
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    I think Parodius is one of those games were rank management is very apparent. It is pretty obvious that the game cranks up the difficulty once you get powered up and at times the use of the ! item in the power up meter can be useful prior to a boss or a tricky section as the game eases off considerably once you power down.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • davyK wrote:
    I think Parodius is one of those games were rank management is very apparent. It is pretty obvious that the game cranks up the difficulty once you get powered up and at times the use of the ! item in the power up meter can be useful prior to a boss or a tricky section as the game eases off considerably once you power down.

    I'm finding this quite fun, but as I'm cheating horribly I guess the difficulty hasn't eased off at any point as I've been an all-powerful death machine for ages.  Having said that, even with save states it's definitely possibly to judge the difficulty of games like this (also taking into account that I'm not very good at them as a rule), and I reckon I'd get a hell of a lot further in this without perma-saves than I would have in UN Squadron.  How you lot could dispatch that ceiling boss in UN Squadron without cheating still baffles me. 

    I've just destroyed the dog-faced space station in Parodius.  The 'real world' music really works very well in this game.  I would have liked to have owned this, I wish I'd bought the Saturn version I was deliberating over many years ago (though as usual, I can remember what I opted for instead, and enjoyed Story of Thor II).
  • I was just about to post that I was considering giving up on this, because I'm really not a fan of these sorts of games once the on-screen bullets hit levels I might describe as a bit silly, but it turns out I was only a few screens away from the final boss.  I guess Shiny stole the idea of Bob the Killer Goldfish in Earthworm Jim from this, as they're both non-events in terms of challenge, but raise a smile due to their unexpected defencelessness. 

    This gets tough in the final third; too tough for me, but it's probably one of my favourite examples of the genre.   82%
  • davyK
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    The SNES version of Parodius Da (I assume you have been playing that) is pretty long - it has a few levels more than is the norm for a shmup - and actually quite tame in terms of overall wackiness (though not in challenge).

    The others really crank up the madness - Parodius Da only has 4 characters to choose from - later games go into double figures - and the graphical intensity increases with each title - they are worth a quick look at least....and character change make the game play quite differently even on the 1st game.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Yes, I was playing the SNES one (my ROM just says 'Parodius').  I liked the little touches like the the umbrella over your ship in the rainy stage and the megaphone that destroyed enemies with blasts of oddball text. 

    I'll give one of the others a look this week.
  • davyK
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    Yeah - bells. They offer point scoring as they double in score up to a max of 10,000pts until you let one pass by and it resets to 100pts. The omake levels throw lots of these at you to enable scoring high. But you can shoot them to change their colour...

    Green - invincibility (careful though - picking this up dispenses with your shield if you have one).
    White - megaphone
    Red - enables you to shoot out a drone that fires a beam up and down the screen  - it will scroll off the screen but  a red bell gives you 3 of them.
    Blue - smart bomb.

    Later versions give you a few other colours & effects but those are the basic ones that stayed through the series.

    Did you hit a roulette item? That starts your power up meter rapidly cycling through the power ups and it will stop on whatever is lit when you press the power up button. I always found those very off-putting.

    Its also worth giving the omake/lollipop level a go while playing that ROM.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I was playing the arcade version of Parodius and eventually managed to see it through with many save states. In the last few levels it was a case of saving whenever there was a moment's respite. The puffer fish boss was probably the hardest bit.

    I think the first one is more of a proper shoot 'em up than the sequels, which aren't as tough and are more 'wacky'. Haven't finished those yet, but will do it this week.
  • davyK
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    JonB wrote:
    I think the first one is more of a proper shoot 'em up than the sequels, which aren't as tough and are more 'wacky'. Haven't finished those yet, but will do it this week.

    The first one is pretty tough - having sparse restart points doesn't help - the later ones let you carry on after taking a hit without having to go back to a restart point which makes a big difference. (although maybe I'm thinking about  2 player mode there)
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • davyK
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    Artwork from the Sega Saturn Oshaberi Parodius disc...

    Oshaberi Parodius has an omake folder with an MSWORD file called daihatsu.doc (filled with gibberish - I assume it's Japanese) and some artwork.

    PEN0.BMP
    PEN1.BMP
    TWIN_WIN.BMP
    TWINBEE.BMP

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I'm not sure why penguin is spelled differently at the top and the bottom. I like the little guy who's overjoyed at the prospect of pengin lovin' in the middle of the pic.
  • davyK wrote:
    I think the first one is more of a proper shoot 'em up than the sequels, which aren't as tough and are more 'wacky'. Haven't finished those yet, but will do it this week.
    The first one is pretty tough - having sparse restart points doesn't help - the later ones let you carry on after taking a hit without having to go back to a restart point which makes a big difference. (although maybe I'm thinking about  2 player mode there)
    Yeah it's an option, but I turned it off after a while because sometimes it really doesn't help. Like if you die on a boss and have not even a speed up. At least the restart points are designed to give you a few power ups.

    Anyway, I've mostly been playing with save states. I find I can do the later SNES games fine with a couple of saves per level, at least so far.
  • davyK
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    Just in case anyone hasn't noticed - I effing love this series - probably because it is the antithesis of all the posturing po-faced bollocks that a large part of the gaming industry seems to be steeped in and who think that playing at soldiers is somehow grown up.

    Wasn't it the people who worked on these games for Konami who broke away and formed Treasure? I actually think that if one day I were to read that Treasure are doing a "Gradius V" on this series I would literally shit myself.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • davyK
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    JonB wrote:
    Anyway, I've mostly been playing with save states. I find I can do the later SNES games fine with a couple of saves per level, at least so far.

    The SNES ports are fine and all but if anyone can get a chance to try these on Saturn (and probably PS1 though I can't vouch for those versions) you will get the full-on Parodius experience. The beefed up sights and particularly the soundtrack from #2 on are excellent - hearing the William Tell Overture kicking in at the start of level 3 (or 4?) for the first time playing Fantastic Journey is one of my favourite gaming moments ever. The Saturn emulator SSF has recently become viable even on reasonably modern PCs.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Thirty six (week): Free choice scrolling beat 'em up

    What do you do if you find a raw chicken in a dustbin after being on the receiving end of a good kicking at the hands of doppelganger street thugs? You eat it for a health boost, of course.

    A week of relaxation; prowl Metro City as the beefcake major, rescue a police officer from the clutches of an evil Sex in the City character, or dedicate yourself to true mastery of the mind in order to give Oroku Saki a swift dig in the breadbox. Choose from numerous examples of a once flourishing genre (although Bayonetta et al certainly owe a debt to these games), or just chew the fat with memories of your favourite scrolling brawlers.

    choob.gifriver-city-ransom-virtual-console-20080421071014595-2368532_320w.jpg
    final-fight-virtual-console-20070507042127666.jpg

    Play and discuss, or simply reminisce.

    Schedule:

    (05/08, fortnight): El Viento (Megadrive)
    (19/08, fortnight): Yoshi's Story (N64)
    (02/09, week): Rollergames (NES)
    (09/09, fortnight): Actraiser (SNES, VC)
    (23/09, fortnight): Grand Theft Auto (PS, PC)
    (07/10, week): New Zealand story (various)
    (14/10, week): Bitmap Bros free choice
    (21/10, fortnight): Vectorman (MD, compilations)
    (04/11, fortnight): PC Kid 2/Bonk 2 (PC Engine, VC)
    (18/11, week): Wonderboy week
    (25/11, week): Kirby week

    (02/12, fortnight): Solstice II/Equinox (SNES)
    (16/12, week): Fantasy Zone (MS)
    (23/12, fortnight inc. Christmas break): Pinball free choice
    (06/01, fortnight): Blackthorne (various)
    (20/01, week): Pilotwings Week
    (27/01, week): Atari 2600 High-Score Challenge Returns
  • I'm up to the level 5 boss on Streets of Rage 2.  It's easily one of the most technically impressive 16-bit games I've played.  If anything, I think I appreciate the audio-visual double whammy more now than I did in 1993.  iirc from the mags, it was only the second 16-meg Megadrive game, but I often find that information I read in games mags as a kid isn't quite as accurate as I assumed at the time.
  • davyK
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    Not a genre I've really taken to over the years. I have Hagane (more a Shinobi-alike) and Magic Sword for SNES...will boot those up.

    Golden Axe 1-3 are the Megadrive compilation for PS2 - will give those a go.

    There's probably several on the Capcom collections too...
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I got bored if scrolling fighters pretty quickly to be honest. Some fond memories of Capcom arcades, but I have no desire to play the genre again.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • Moot make sure you play Double Dragon II on NES, was one Amin and I played to death back in the day, superb stuff. Make you you play on the highest difficulty though to get the proper ending.

    I've played SoR 1 & 2, all Golden Axes, all Final Fights, all 8/16Bit Turtles games, Konami X-Men, Rival Turf and the Fighting Force games off the top of my 7am half asleep head.

    Was thinking of picking up Street Gangs on 3DS VC or The Simpsons off PSN. Any other recommendations?
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • SoR 2 is probably the highlight, but worth playing some arcade stuff too. Final Fight obv., but other Capcom stuff like Knights of the Round and Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. Also, an early version of Ninja Gaiden, although I never really got on with it. There's the Turtles and Simpsons games, which are pretty similar and decent even though they're designed for 2+ players. And I always had a soft spot for Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja, even though it wasn't great, because it's one of the only games I completed in an arcade.
  • davyK wrote:
    Not a genre I've really taken to over the years. I have Hagane (more a Shinobi-alike) and Magic Sword for SNES...will boot those up.
    I like a bit of Magic Sword, and Black Tiger, the arcade version at least. I tried Hagane for the first time recently and found it horribly frustrating. Awkward controls and unfair deaths.

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