Retro Club - First and Second Samurai
  • davyK wrote:
    How many times did you have to hit that effing boss at the top of Intruder Excluder? Think you are close to the end now - maybe one or two levels after that bomb race.....

    Loads, and it was hard enough getting up there.
  • Ref writing down patterns

    I love this. Reminds me of friends shouting out buttons for fatalities in MK or me writing down the atrack ordr of the sea level boss in Ristar.

    Think Mega Bomberman had some kind of memory order boss too.
  • Had to be done.  I remember writing down the best tips for not falling off bubbles, how to dispatch certain enemies etc in Toejam & Earl 2, and sending it to Sega Magazine, before realising it was in the instruction manual anyway. 

    Edit: Actually it was MEGA magazine.  Dear Neil West etc.
  • Just given up on Battletoads (MD version), because, well, it's a bit shit really. I'd finished the ice level (4?), and started the surf board one, but that was enough.

    Plenty of nice ideas, but it's mostly learn by rote gameplay when it comes down to it. Save state, get killed by something unforseeable, load state, do it the second time. Too many instant death traps, sending you back to a checkpoint, and the combat is very imprecise. On the ice level, I realised how daft it was on trying to pick up a block of ice and throw it in the right direction far too many times. Accidentally kick it if you're not in the right place, throw it in the wrong direction because... something. And the hoverbike level... fuck that. Just a memory test. Not surprised people struggled with that without save states. The final straw came having to re-fight the rat boss from level 2. I got stuck in a corner while it hit me over and over again, with no time to get out the way between hits. Bollocks. Life's too short.

    It's a shame, there's some good design in there too, but it's not very well put together, and it's not much fun.

    Good music though.
  • davyK
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    Ho Ho ...bear in mind the Megadrive version had the difficulty toned down!!!
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Thirty two (week): Action Fighter, Secret Command, Teddy Boy and The Ninja (Master System)

    Three of Sega's cheaper 8-bit titles, weighing in a £12.99, £9.99 and £9.99 respectively.  I owned these as a kid, and was particularly fond of The Ninja, which to me was a better version of Commando.

    Action Fighter: A Spy Hunter-esque vertically scrolling racing game with a shmup twist.  Progress from weedy bike to beefy car, and marvel at the 'we don't need roads' section that came as a surprise to me as an eight year old.  I remember Sega Power used to give this 2/5 in their complete MS games directory called the 'Hard Line'.  This is the earliest instance of disgruntlement I can remember having towards a publication for a score I disagreed with.

    Secret Command (aka Rambo First Blood Part II): Renamed for PAL release due to Rambo licensing issues (it actually says 'Secret Commando' on the title screen), this is a vertical scrolling Commando style shooter, which had an unusually smooth simultaneous two player mode.  Very tough, but certainly one of the best budget releases on the console.

    Teddy Boy: Known as Teddy Boy Blues in Japan, this was re-worked slightly for Western release (new tunes etc).  I wasn't overly keen on this as a kid, but I've been itching to play it again recently because in my head it's a pure, wave based high score game that I dismissed as a youngster due to not having the variety of helicopters, motorbikes and speedboats.  The aim is to clear each screen before the timer runs out, and get as far as you can with your three lives (no continues here, although points can earn extra tries).  Consider it a late-80s Spelunky.

    The Ninja: Now this was absolutely superb.  One button fires in the direction you're facing, and the other fires straight up.  Pressing both buttons at once turns your character invisible for roughly a second, which makes him briefly invulnerable and can be used as many times as you like, the catch being your can't fire whilst invisible and you're likely to get swarmed in the later stages if you spam it.  Lovely music that I can still hum to this day.  Keep an eye out for the hidden scrolls - I never found them all as a kid and thus never completed the game properly.

    action_fighter.gif1988.pngThe_Ninja_09.pngSecret%20Command%20%28E%29.png

    (17/06, fortnight): Toki (Arcade, Megadrive, Amiga)
    (01/07, fortnight): Castlevania IV (SNES)
    (15/07. week): Free choice Parodius
    (22/07, week): Scrolling Beat 'em up free choice
    (29/07, fortnight): El Viento (Megadrive)
    (12/08, week): Atari 2600 High-Score Challenge Returns
    (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)
  • Not sure I played Teddy Boy, but I had the other 2. Action Fighter is fun but gets repetitive quite quickly. The Ninja was rather good, as I recall.
  • I can't remember if once you get to the plane section in Action Fighter you remain airborne for the rest of the game, or if each stage starts on a bike. My plan this week is to make sure I hit gamefaqs to reveal the scroll locations before I finally finish The Ninja.
  • davyK
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    Never really got into the Master System. I mate had one and I can remember playing a World Cup Soccer game and one of the Alex games that seemed to be built into the console.

    Should be more of that just for the craic- have a game built into the firmware - the Atari 7800 had a excellent version of Asteroids built in.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    I can't remember if once you get to the plane section in Action Fighter you remain airborne for the rest of the game, or if each stage starts on a bike.
    I think it keeps changing.
  • Played Teddy Boy for a while on the way home.  Got up to level 8, which is roughly where I got as a kid, so I hardly persevered with this when I owned it.  I was right; I do like it far more now than I ever did.  Save states seem to reset the game on this, so I'm playing it the good old fashioned non-cheaty way.

    DavyK: The MS was my first home console if you exclude Pong.  I progressed from arcade games at a holiday camp to LCD games to the MS.  I was very close to getting a NES for Kung Fu Master instead, but Alex Kidd in Miracle World swayed it.
  • Actually, would it be possible to add another title to the list this week - Secret Commando? I think it was in the same price range as the others, and was also pretty damn good IIRC.
  • Yep, I'll add it, loved that myself.  Pretty sure it was £12.99.  I was crap at it though, but it was definitely good.
  • Added.  Spy vs Spy, Ghost House, Enduro Racer, Super Tennis, Transbot.....I should be able to think of more cheapos but I've had a drink.  Aztec Adventure, was that £13?  Not thinking of adding more, just like to remember these things.
  • Finished Secret Command whilst waiting for the Sony conference.  I don't think I saw past level three as a kid.  It's a decent game, but The Ninja is superior for me.  The character movement in Secret Command is a bit on the slow side, and the bosses are quite annoying.  79%.
  • I don't remember this particular cheap price range. When we first got our MS the card games were £15 (Spy vs Spy, Transbot, Teddy Boy, Ghost House, My Hero) and most cartridge games were £20 (including stuff like The Ninja and Secret Command), or £25 for the bigger ones (Outrun, Space Harrier, and Rocky for some reason). I guess these reductions must have come relatively late on in its life.
  • Could be, I think I got my MS in November 1990.
  • davyK
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    Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Played Teddy Boy for a while on the way home.  Got up to level 8, which is roughly where I got as a kid, so I hardly persevered with this when I owned it.  I was right; I do like it far more now than I ever did.  Save states seem to reset the game on this, so I'm playing it the good old fashioned non-cheaty way.

    DavyK: The MS was my first home console if you exclude Pong.  I progressed from arcade games at a holiday camp to LCD games to the MS.  I was very close to getting a NES for Kung Fu Master instead, but Alex Kidd in Miracle World swayed it.

    I ended up with a NES - SMB swung it for me even though the Master System seemed to be a notch or two above the NES re power. It seemed to get rather good ports - Bubble Bobble looked far better on the MS for example. The NES has its fair share of greatness though and I look back on it with fondness.

    Actually the MS is one of the reasons I got back into gaming. In the post 2600 world of tape loading, dodgy controllers and lots of games that had great ideas but crap implementation re difficulty curve etc. I became pretty disillusioned. A chum got an MS and a band of us had a great old time with it; convincing me to get back in the water as it where.

    8 bit consoles like MS and NES had the immediacy along with the newer games and I never looked back. Have never considered a computer a viable gaming platform since such is the bad taste left in my mouth by the micro era.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • The girl in my class who had both consoles either didn't own SMB, or had lent it to someone during the week that I was making my mind up which console I wanted for my birthday, otherwise my gaming history could have been very different.  Can't beat that motorbike in Miracle World though, I did have good taste.
  • davyK
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    The motor bike was cool - and I even liked the scissors, paper , stone bit.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Up to the final level on Action Fighter.  I never completed this unassisted as a kid, but I did get to the end using the doki_pen name input cheat (invincibility).  I regularly forget to give my dog his epilepsy tablets, but I can remember a code I last typed in over 22 years ago.  Something's wrong there. 

    Great game, I actually think it's a better shmup than Power Strike 1 or 2.
  • Finished Action Fighter this afternoon.  I've still got no idea what the red flags do, other than make large cat faces appear at certain intervals in the levels if you collect enough.  It's odd, whatever it is/does, but if the cat faces and musical ditty are the reward, then it's just as good as an achievement in my eyes.  87%

    I'm also done with Teddy Boy for the week.  It's strange that I can appreciate the simplicity of this more now than I could in 1990.  Back then I didn't think it was doing enough compared to more advanced platformers, but now it just seems like an excellent test of memory, patience and skill.  85%

    Will finally get round to doing an all scrolls run of The Ninja over the weekend.
  • I played the Ninja but obviously missed some scrolls and got sent back to an earlier level. It is quite fun, but much simpler than I remembered. Once you get the hang of a couple of tactics they do for the whole game. Could do with more variety, like the river and stampede stages.

    Had a quick go on Action Fighter and couldn't get going on the first shooty section for some reason. Just kept getting killed and ran out of time before even reaching the first boss. May try again, but not sure I can be arsed.

    And Secret Command - I started getting into it and got to the second level, but I remember this being a much better 2 player co-op game. You can really work together and cover each other, whereas in 1 player the slowness of the character movement is rather annoying. Again, may try one more time.
  • And that's The Ninja done on my next go. It was pretty easy using the same few tactics from beginning to end. I looked up the scroll locations online first though (still missed one and had to do half of it again). The last level was tricky, however, and I finally succumbed to a save state at the beginning of it. Loaded from it I think 3 times to avoid Game Over. The basic mechanics are sound throughout even if underexploited and there's something satisfying in the disappear and dodge technique. More variety of enemies, locations and bosses would have made it really good. Enjoyable nonetheless.
  • Just raced through it myself, using gamefaqs for the scroll locations.  Shoot the dog statue five times eh?  I think that's the one that got me as a kid.  I was quite proud of the fact that I could get to the end on my first life as a youngster, even if I never found all the scrolls.  You're right though - if you play things safe it's not too tough.

    The cliff level was the first difficulty spike for me 23 years ago.  I've probably already mentioned this, but I didn't realise you could turn yourself invisible for a good few months after I got it (I don't think I had the instructions), so this level was a bitch.  Easy with the invisibility though.  I also remember getting flustered when the ninjas start spiralling around you at speed towards the end, but again, if you take a few steps back and time the invisibility it's easy enough. 

    I'm gonna rate this quite highly because it's a personal favourite and was an absolute steal at £9.99.

    90%
  • I also played through Kung Fu Kid, which is another one I remember from years ago. Side scrolling kick 'em up against Chinese vampires and zombies. Again solid simple fun - a handful of techniques to get the hang of and that'll get you through the game. Some nice graphics and bosses, and a satisfying solidity to the impacts. Also nice touches like kicking lobsters across the room to take out approaching enemies.
  • I remember that, although I get it mixed up with My Hero.  Both were pretty good iirc, as was the MS port of Vigilante (despite a few weird glitches).  I had a quick go of a similar game I remember liking the look of called Running Battle yesterday, and ended the session very pleased that I'd never gone through with my plan to buy it.  Very poor.  I'll file it with Street Smart on the Megadrive, which I always thought was surely far better than the 46% Sega Power gave it, until I eventually played it.
  • Thirty three (fortnight): Toki (various)

    A platformer/run & gun game from 1989, originally released as an arcade game but rejigged and ported to several home machines. Renowned for it's difficulty (according to Wikipedia it's a one hit kills game), you must make use of various power-ups whilst spitting projectiles at your enemies. You control Toki, a 'Tarzanesque tribesman' in search of his kidnapped squeeze. Throughout the game, Toki is trapped in the form of Geeshergam, an ape-like primate, as the evil Vookimedlo has cast a spell on all the humans on the island, turning them all into seemingly defenceless animals. Unfortunately for Vookimedlo, Toki was such a fearsome warrior he discovers he is still in control of his faculties as Geeshergam, only now he can breathe fire and whatnot.

    jugar-toki-gratis-online.png

    Play and discuss, or simply reminisce.

    Schedule:

    (01/07, fortnight): Castlevania IV (SNES)
    (15/07. week): Free choice Parodius
    (22/07, week): Scrolling Beat 'em up free choice
    (29/07, fortnight): El Viento (Megadrive)
    (12/08, week): Atari 2600 High-Score Challenge Returns
    (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)



    CASTLEVANIA IV NEXT.
  • A fortnight might be a bit much for this. It's a pretty standard arcade game.

    The arcade game is certainly very hard. I'll sse how the MD version compares.
  • I'm up for adding a bad games week if this is short, inspired by Hodge's Back to the Future III. Four of the worst games we can think of perhaps?

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