Retro Club - 8 & 16-bit puzzlers
  • Ah yes apologies, the hat makes much more sense!

    Well just out of interest whilst everyone finishes off their last rounds why dont you have a go with Yu Yu Hakusho? It's the Treasure beat em up that never got a western release. I'd be interested to see what you think of it, unless of course you've already played it.

    Im up for another quick one, shall I try out Red Zone?

    Live, PSN & WiiU: Yippeekiyey
  • Yep, let's do that.  I've played Yu Yu briefly a couple of times, but would happily put some proper time in.  My initial impressions were that it seemed quite simplistic but was probably great fun with a multitap.  I used to read an enthusiastic American mag called Diehard Gamefan and they raved about it.
  • Great, I'll download the Rom later tonight
    Live, PSN & WiiU: Yippeekiyey
  • Well thats much better than an epilepsy warning.
    Live, PSN & WiiU: Yippeekiyey
  • Hagane is pretty bloody good actually.

    Stage 3 was a bit of a change, part of it becomes a side scrolling 2D shoot em up. I struggled a bit with that as it changes the direction you shoot depending on what direction your facing, the sprites are also quite large to so avoiding damage felt quite tricky.

    I wondered if my poor knowledge of the move set made it harder than it should be and the next section confirmed that. Stage 4 is in a cave system and has branching paths that lead to power ups etc. I got stuck at one part and had to watch a quick youtube video to guide the way...

    My god the person playing breezed through like a knife through butter and on the way used the grapple weapon to hook on to a ceiling to reach the nearby ledge that was giving me trouble.

    In hindsight not playing this for 2-3 weeks hasn't helped as I'm sure I used that before and just completely forgot about it.

    Anyway I'm now back to a decent level with the controls and on stage 5, will have another go tomorrow.
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  • I played some more Biohazard Battle today. Abusing save states terribly, up to the end of level 4.

    It improves graphically and in enemy design with each level. It would take a lot of learning to do it properly, as there are a lot of sudden deaths at the edge of the screen when you don't know what's coming, but it's probably no harder overall than something like Hellfire.

    It's still probably just under the quality of that, and Gynoug, and a couple of others, but good stuff all the same.
  • davyK
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    Had another Pinbot session. In its time this would have been quite something. There seems to be a fair bit to the game (it is based on a real table which probably has a lot to do with that). After perusing the manual I was able to unlock multi-ball (2 of them - this is the NES). Then somehow (not sure how) I was able to level the table up - the colour palette changed to show this and the score seemed to climb quite a bit more. The table level was held even after losing a ball which was nice.

    It suffers a bit from missing modern features such as ball save for early drains but it can't be blamed for that as this is due to its age.

    Graphically it's quite detailed but not the prettiest. However it is functional - you can discern the different indicators and ramps (though not sure I could do that on an actual NES with a ropey video hook up). Sound effects are grand but the music is a dirge - a NES weakness - and there's a brave attempt at speech that I couldn't make out at all.

    The big deal about this game is its method of solving the scrolling problem which in other games moves your flippers off the screen. This game keeps them on the screen and scrolls the table from just above the flipper area - it's a really excellent technique that 16 and 32bit games could have been using to decrease the element of luck which can sometimes mar these games as it results in a feeling of dissatisfaction.

    Plenty of features and depth to discover, a nice level up feature accompanied by colour scheme changes, decent sights and sounds if you ignore the music, and a splendid technical solution to a problem that marred the genre for a time. Not sure I'd go back to it specifically, but if I was playing other NES games I could see myself booting this up for 30mins or so from time to time.

    Back in the day I would have loved this - 4 player too. But the genre has moved on so much. Nowadays - a decent retro game. Glad I played this.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Good work all.  Assuming we're all up for round two, the magical hat turbo adventure will sort out the next pairings once Retro and Hodge are happy to move on. 

    Gonna fire up Yu Yu Hakusho when my current episode of The Island USA finishes.
  • I've spent an hour or so on Yu Yu Hakusho, just in the one on one mode so far.  Made it through with the guy who looks like the main character from Dragonball Z (his tornado/cyclone punch specials are pretty powerful).  I used to be mad for vs fighters but I subconsciously gave up on them shortly after the Dreamcast era.  I bought Virtua Fighter 4 on PS2, VF5 on 360 and Guilty Gear/Streetfighter IV on PS3, but I probably played them for a maximum of 10hrs combined, whereas back in the 90s I would've sunk days into each, so I was a bit worried that I'd struggle to like this as I get bored easily with fighters that don't work on a template I know (and even then I couldn't be bothered to learn SFIV, excellent as it undoubtedly was).  Despite this, it turns out I'm quite keen on Yu Yu so far. 

    Initial thoughts:

    There's a workable combo system here - even juggles are possible.  It's not deep, but cross-overs and such seem to work.  For example you can knock an opponent up with the tornado, and I think there's a VF2 type thing going on where if it hits when they're attacking they rise higher in the air, because it's possible to catch them with a follow up special on the way down.  For '94 this wasn't anything major, but only when compared to the big hitters in the genre.
    Moving between planes works well.  It's clearly the precursor to the arena mode in Guardian Heroes. 
    Graphics are good, with some nifty background effects (one stage had a particularly nice wrap around parallax thing going on, and another has a sun that sets in stages).  At a glance it's not doing much, but all things considered it's a very nice looking game.
    The fact that it's 4-player, presumably with no slowdown (one of the characters is a whopper though), is impressive (and makes everything else more impressive) and a novelty for the era.  I'd imagine running away from the melee to charge your super bar happens quite a bit. 
    All characters seem to be markedly different, I presume some are shit as is/was the norm, but I haven't found any massive stinkers so far.
    The music hasn't done much for me yet, so I'll use headphones for the next play.

    More to follow.  I love Treasure.
  • Really sorry guys - I'm going to have to bow out of the next round, as life has begun to get pretty busy for me at the moment. Didn't really get much of a chance to give Mega Man X are proper go, unfortunately, but I appreciated what I played. Not really a fan of Run N Gunners (never really got on with Gunstar Heroes either), and found this extremely difficult, but that may be due to not attempting the levels in the correct order. The graphics and music are outstanding, and it obviously has that high level of Capcom polish to it... But something just didn't click with me, for some reason.
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  • No worries Hodge, even with save states some of the stages are tricky.
  • Hagane (SNES)

    A great little game with a nice variety of moves and some decent boss fights. Graphics are good but don't blow you away and likewise the music is good but not terribly memorable.

    If I had one complaint it would be that it falls slightly on the short side. Like Castlevania Bloodlines/TMNT Hyperstone Heist, what's here is superb, it's just a shame there's not more of it.

    It's definitely a hidden gem of the SNES library that it's known for, but not quite up there with the best on the console.

    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • @davyK glad you enjoyed Pinbot.

    Shame you didn't click with the music, whilst not the best in quality some of it is ingrained in my head through playing it so much back in the day.

    The NES had a few genres which I never really stuck with and thus the NES game I rinsed as a kid is still and will always be my favourite. Pinbot is in that list and is my fav pinball game, Super Spike V'Ball is another - best volleyball game ever! :-)
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • Super Spike Volleyball = best ever vg volleyball memories :)
  • If there's not an even number for the next round, you could either make it a chain type thing (like Secret Santa) or I could drop out if that's easier.
  • davyK
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    Shame you didn't click with the music, whilst not the best in quality some of it is ingrained in my head through playing it so much back in the day.

    I suspect if I had played it when it was contemporary I'd feel as you do about it. 

    When my kids were young about 10 years ago I bought them a really cheap dance mat - it was an all-in-1 device you plugged into the TV. Going by the sights and sounds it was a cheap NES-on-a-chip driving it and the music was bloody awful. Having to listen to that while the girls played it is probably what has put me off music in NES games - they just have that sound and I heard it in Pinbot. 

    Apart from the games I played back in the day NES music usually grates with me now. I like NES sound effects though and if there are little jingles I like them - it's attempts at full blown music that I dislike.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • JonB wrote:
    If there's not an even number for the next round, you could either make it a chain type thing (like Secret Santa) or I could drop out if that's easier.

    I don't mind going in the hat twice (happy to play and select two games).  I'll put a slightly desperate vacancy sign in the thread title just in case, but there's no need to drop.
  • Lovely write up Moot! Its great to hear that its still playable, but I guess we are talking Treasure here.

    Optimark is back it would seem and I know he loves a bit of Retro!

    Or alternatively one person could pick a game for two people?

    I've downloaded Red Zone checked it worked by watching the great intro (tops Pugsy by a mile) and set my pad up. Should hopefully get a good run on it tonight!
    Live, PSN & WiiU: Yippeekiyey

    New ZX Spectrum.
  • Watch out for the difficulty in Red Zone - it pays to roam the map a little before starting the missions.  Knock out the electricity early on (NE of map), get rid of the air support with stinger missles (NW, I think), then head back to mission 1 (the orange dot somewhere on screen).  Keep an eye on fuel/ammo/armour, you have to restock quite regularly.  Definitely use save states before the on foot sections because once a character dies they're gone (plus even I can admit they're they're a wee bit clunky).  Most importantly, crank up the sound, it's probably my favourite MD soundtrack.
  • Try this password for a secret game too: BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBA.

    I've got a good memory for cheat codes but the amount of B's might be incorrect there.  It's basically all the B's and one A.
  • Ha ha, cheers Moot. If thats the correct number of B's then I'm worried for you ;)
    Live, PSN & WiiU: Yippeekiyey
  • I think we're ready to start planning then, looks like it's just the five of us.  I'll go in the hat twice - no epic RPGs please.  Will consult the hat at half time, it'll be far more exciting than the Man U match.
  • Pot 1: Moot vs Jon
    Pot 2: Davy vs Moot
    Pot 3 Eric vs Retro

    Was convinced it'd pop out moot vs moot :D
  • Hmm... I reckon you've probably played nearly everything by now. Will have to scrape the barrel dig deep to think of something obscure.

    Remind me what formats you're OK with.
  • Anything NES, MS, MD.  Most SNES, but would have to check how it runs on the PSP/JXD emulators I use.
  • davyK
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    Here's my 3 for Moot:

    Solar Jetman (NES) For me, this is the pinnacle of the gravity shooter genre. It starts off easy enough but there is a goodly sized pile of levels that soon become very large (you get a level mapping device as a power up in the early levels). Excellent physics, plenty to collect. Your mission is to collect ship parts that when put together form the Golden Warp Ship. It's Brit-coded so there are odd little humorous touches throughout. Developed by Zippo games (later Zed Two who did Wetrix) and published by Rare. This is an impressive title technically - 8 way scrolling was a big deal back then on the NES, it looks great and features unique sound. You travel around different planets each with different levels of gravity. You can collect stuff but you can also collect money for spending in a shop in which the fun weapon upgrades can be purchased.

    Prince of Persia (SNES) The SNES got a great port of this game - has exclusive levels and bosses. Looks lovely and the soundtrack is glorious.

    RType III : Third Lightening Exclusive entry in the series for the SNES. Loads of SNES trickery on show. The first level probably goes on a bit too long but its worth sticking with. Lovely level design and you can select from one of 3 force orbs to play it with.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I could never get beyond level 4 (or maybe 5) on R-Type III. Was pretty good but damn tough. Good thing to play with save states.
  • Still thinking about Davy's games, but for Jon, I was thinking:

    Pulseman - Megadrive

    Late era quirky platformer by Game Freak.  Often mentioned in 'overlooked gem' lists.  Gave it a go a few years back, didn't see the fuss after the first couple of levels, but I went back to it last year, blitzed it with save states and came away agreeing with the hype.  I'd put this between Ristar and Dynamite Headdy in terms of quality, so we're talking a solid [8].  It's a bit on the short side though. 

    Shatterhand - NES
    Superb platform punch 'em up.  Close to my favourite NES game, without a tint of specs (I first played this in 2013).  You could rinse this in just over an hour.

    Wild Guns - SNES

    Quirky shooting gallery style wild west blaster.  You control the crosshair and the character.  Sounds iffy, and feels iffy for the first half hour or so, but once you work out the controls you realise that it actually does work.  Emulation is problem free in my experience, probably takes 80 mins with save states.
    I have no preference which you choose.

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