Retro Club - Shinobi III (Megadrive)
  • I just had a good half hour session on Wild Guns.

    It's a neat idea, but I'm struggling with the controls quite a bit. The whole standing still when firing then having to move out the way of stuff is quite fiddly, and it's sometimes hard to see whether the bullets are yours or the enemy's. Other than that it seems like the sort of game that deserves some proper effort to learn the different attacks patterns and levels. I reckon I would've got quite a bit out of it if I'd owned it at the time.

    Will give it a go using save states more, although I'd actually prefer it if you could just select a few more lives.
  • It took me a while to click with the controls but once I did it became a bit of a SNES gem.

    There's a new one coming out for PS4.
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • Didn't know about the PS4 one.  I also found the controls fiddly at first but iirc the dodge/roll move is key.
  • PoP up and running on the PSP, seems to be stable.
  • This JXD 192 seems to be the real deal. I think I'm going to jump in, which should help me play more missed gems from yesteryear!

    Live, PSN & WiiU: Yippeekiyey
  • Having to look at the fireplace while you're stoking the fire is the main problem there.
  • It is ugly as sin, no denying but a dark room will help a lot as will a bit of squinting.
    Live, PSN & WiiU: Yippeekiyey
  • Done 3 levels of Wild Guns now, with liberal use of save states.

    Still finding the character a bit slow and sluggish, and still getting hit sometimes by things I didn't see, but overall it's a good game. Would definitely have been happy to play it properly if I'd owned it on the SNES back then.
  • I often find it difficult to judge the quality of 16-bit games these days, past whether or not they're fun to cheat at, if I haven't played them before.  Almost everything feels too difficult by the final stages (U.N Squadron, Probotector and Robocop Vs Terminator spring immediately to mind, I cheated my way through them a couple of years back), but most of the time we managed to see credits as kids/teens, without save states.  Obviously practice made perfect, but I've clearly lost a lot of my patience/skills as 'how the fuck am I supposed to get past that with three lives?' is something that I find myself thinking quite regularly when working through retro titles.  If £1000 was on the table, and I was told to complete something like Wild Guns traditionally, within a week, I might save myself the frustration and not bother.  I love playing through old games, but I abuse save states all over the shop,
  • 3 lives and then do the whole level again does seem a bit tight on this. Often get to a boss with 1 life left and then you can't afford a single mistake. But back then we'd be used to repeating it over and over and getting a bit further each time, so it probably would have been OK. The only problem is that some deaths feel unfair, which might've made it too frustrating.
  • Up to level three on Prince of Persia.  I didn't know that Konami handled the SNES conversion.  I had it on Master System as a youngster, which was an excellent version considering (may have been tactics from my dad, but I remember him being impressed by the animation at a Future Entertainment Show once...possibly as a defensive manoeuvre as I was marvelling at the graphics on 'EA Soccer').  This version has clearly been expanded and handled with care - even the sword fighting seems to work, with a usable parry button.  The time limit suggests a far more fleshed out experience, iirc the MS version gave you an hour, whereas this gives you two.  The safety walk move is genius (I presume it first appeared in PoP), and you can see the inspiration/template for the likes of Flashback and Tomb Raider all over the place.  Enjoying it, but as usual I'll have to just assume the soundtrack is good, because it sounds terrible on PSP.
  • davyK
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    You really are missing out if the sound on the PSP is compromised.


    On level 3-2 of SMN and eff me it is annoying. There are sections that start to collapse when you stand on them and it seems that once they start moving it messes with the ability to jump - too often last night I pressed jump on a lowering platform only for it not to work - fucking, fucking, annoying.

    Went to gamefaqs and it seems I'm getting close to the end of the level so will push on. There's a section where you have to dash jump across a pit over which there is a hovering enemy. You need to grab that enemy in order to throw it at a wall to proceed - so you have to dash jump and while in mid-air activate the magnet to grab the enemy and it is really tough and irritating because it requires some digital gymnastics with the DC pad. Only managed it once. The FAQ states I can just jump the gap and then stand at the edge on the other side and jump straight up and grab the enemy with the magnet - thought I had tried that - will give it another go.

    Consulted the manual and there are only 4 worlds so perhaps I will actually complete this game. One of the few.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I just checked, the minecart is 3-3, you're almost there!
  • I'll try fiddling with the settings on PSP because it definitely doesn't sound like that.
  • davyK
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    Got to the mine cart level - and yep - is a lovely level. Using the magnetic thing well to change the junction points. Got past it without too much trouble as it's generous with 1Ups.  More could have been made of the split paths etc but it was very nice. 

    Over too soon and onto 3-4 which opens with a really annoying bit - you have to get to a red panel before the rolling boulder so you can repulse yourself into the air. You have next to no time to do this and of course you can't just run onto the panel - needs a small jump. Cue much jumping too short or too far both resulting in insta-deaths. Fucking annoying.......
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Just completed Castlevania. How is anyone supposed to complete that last level? It is absolutely hideous. I had to absolutely abuse save states as there was no way I was going back through that climb again....I feel a bit sick.
    Live, PSN & WiiU: Yippeekiyey
  • I quite like the way there's a secret staircase before the boss, found it on YouTube.  Makes me wonder who was crazy enough to risk looking for extras in a gaping chasm if they got that far.
  • I got very good at it back in the day, pretty sure I did it without taking a hit... maybe it was one or two though.

    What did you think @Eric?
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  • davyK
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    I was able to do that OK back then - took a few hits though.  And that invisible platform before the final boss? No way anyone would find that - you would always find out about things like that from magazine articles and I wouldn't be surprised if it was a deliberate ploy to make sure a game got exposure for a while after release.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • There was definitely something about magazine tips being an almost necessity back in the day.

    I get the impression it was a Western thing, and to put it more bluntly Nintendo of America. Castlevania II is a classic example, near on (if not literally) impossible without a guide and the only one back then was the officially endorsed Nintendo Power. It was either that or call their experts on a 1-800 number.

    In Europe all we had wad Club Nintendo which whilst amazing and something I have huge nostalgia for was about 20-30 pages and only bi-monthly.

    Like I said I get the impression it was a western thing and it really makes me wonder how the original Japanese release differs? Was it a straight up good game over there? Were their in game NPCs actually useful compared to the English translation which seem to be useless to force us to buy Nintendo Power?

    For those that don't know the torture of CVII The AVGN sums it up best at 4:46:
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • I'm on holiday with the family this weekend so Ill try and give a full summation next week but...

    Credit to you guys who completed this back in the day, I found it all ok up until the last level. None of the bosses were that difficult either up until the last 3 on the last level, the first of which I couldn't read a pattern and had to resort to save stating to beat.

    Won't say too much now, really enjoyed it... but other than the graphically impressive mode 7 stuff every level follows the same set up of stairwells, basic gameplay is solid but doesnt really evolve, there is no real character progression.

    However the game creates an incredible atmosphere helped by the incredible soundtrack. Wifes back more to follow.
    Live, PSN & WiiU: Yippeekiyey
  • davyK
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    There was definitely something about magazine tips being an almost necessity back in the day.
    I remember getting a UK magazine that specialised in full on playthroughs with screenshot and text spread over many pages - really detailed.

    I picked up an anthology special that covered a pile of SNES games. Can't remember what it was called but I remember it's how I found out about that pre-boss platform in C IV.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Just finished off Wild Guns.

    Definitely hard to judge what I would've thought playing it properly, rather than with save states (and I used a lot), but I did find it far too difficult overall, and there's no option to increase the number of lives you start with. I also never got on with the controls, partly because there's too much on each button - jump and dive together on one, shoot, lassoo and melee on another - and it's too easy to do the wrong thing, but also the character is just too slow. And I was still having problems with being killed without really knowing why at the end.

    I like the general idea though - the basic gameplay is sound, and the graphical style and enemy design are rather nice. It's a few refinements from being really good.

    Anyway, ready for the next round whenever.
  • The last level was a slog even with save states.  Agree that there was too much on each button but it all just about worked regardless.  I reckon I would've played it a fair bit if I'd owned it in the early 90s. 

    Up to level 6 on Prince of Persia.  I'm quite enjoying it.  Obviously although the original has passwords, cheeky insta-restarts make progression in a game with a lot of trial and error elements far steadier than it should be.  I'm treating it as my very own sands of time button.  My only gripe is the occasional spot of 'I pushed that!' frustration, which most of these type of games had, and in fairness may be a frame skip issue too.
  • Finally gave Ranger-X a little go last night, done the first two levels.

    Graphics are lovely with a really nice 3D effect on the tunnel boss on Stage Two.

    I'm struggling a bit with the gravity/Jetpac physics, I can't seem to find a happy floating medium. Any advice @Eric ?

    It's good but if I can't improve I might struggle to appreciate it further. I will try and play more over the coming week, sorry for slacking this round.
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • The graphics are lovely aren't they, I think they are up there with the best.

    I remember the controls were tricky to get to grips with especially if you are only using a three button pad (I think you can control the bike separately with a six button pad or have a mate control it for 2P action).  

    The biggest control issue I had was with buttons A & B being used for firing left and right, that took a bit of getting used to but I don't remember the control of the jet pack being a problem, it does have limited range and runs out of juice if you don't have any sunlight to power it. From what I remember its very much something you pulse opposed to holding continually, try tapping maybes?  


    In retrospect I should start really picking games for this that are a little be more immediate, apologies for that Retro :(
    Live, PSN & WiiU: Yippeekiyey
  • I watched a video of this to refresh my memory when you picked it.  The sound is ultra Megadrivey, you could identify that sound chip through a brick wall [insert Elf making muffly joke], and the water effects for one of the bosses looked great.  Definitely one of the better looking MD shooters for me.
  • I unexpectedly got sucked into Ranger X myself this evening.  It's a gorgeous game, so polished/full of nice visual touches.  It's actually better as a retro title, as dual shoulder buttons to control the bike work better than whatever the controls were on release (although I did have the 6 button pad by the time I owned this).  I'm taken with it more than I was at the time - the light/dark recharge mechanic (and the lovely daylight/cover lighting on the third level), the solo/bike/double options, the bosses.  It's excellent.  Do you know Sub Terrania, Eric?
  • I had Ranger X on the MD but don't remember it well. I think I got it towards the end of the console's life and probably got sidetracked and didn't play it much. Might have a quick look and see how familiar it seems.
  • Hmm... Only really remember the 1st level and boss. Might've seen level 2 once before. Clearly barely played it.

    Actually seems quite good in some ways, except it's just virtually impossible to dodge anything. Such a big and awkward sprite.

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