Retro Club - Shinobi III (Megadrive)
  • davyK
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    Don't think there is a pickup - you just have to learn where the breath-holes are or the quickest route through the water - a bit of old school trial and error is required.

    While at the surface you can spit water at enemies on dry land which is nice.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I'll take another look tonight. Any ideas what the puple (or maybe blue) orbs you can collect do? They seem to stay on the right side of the screen once you've found them.
  • davyK
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    I think they are letters that spell out a word - similar to EXTEND in Bubble Bobble...can't think of any other orbs..
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • This is one of my all time classics. I currently own this on the nes and on the a500. I would say the Amiga port is better to look at but i prefer the controls of a nes pad. I really really wanted a sequel to this on the snes as it was full of cutesy platformers but it never appeared in C&VG :( 

    Did it sell well? 

    I loved finding the portals, even ones so early on in the game and the cheat muthafuckingkiwis was legendary. The game can get quite twitch like in control at the hardest/tricky bits but its simply trial and error for the most. Get in the air seemed to be my overall strategy where possible. Also patience. Most games actually have a really high timer.
    Currently playing Modern Ops and Luigi's Mansion 3
  • regmcfly
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    Just clocked what the next game is and wanted to express my love for a lovely title
  • Bitmap Brothers week?  I'm looking forward to The Chaos Engine.

    yj6o.jpg

    Catford Bridge Tavern still just about alive and kicking.  I suppose save states are similar-ish to the way these old arcade games work.  I died plenty of times playing this (it seemed even harder than the MD version), but if you pump more money in you start one mis-step back from the spot you died.
  • davyK
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    My first ever experience with New Zealand Story was via a port on the CPC464 - even on that limited platform with green screen and tape loading between levels it was great - at the time - I doubt I could return to that version...



    Seeing it in all its glory via MAME made me love it all the more..forgot I have the Taito Legends version on PS2 as well as the DS and MD ports.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I tried not to spam save states this week, so played the Megadrive version with just the lives you start with.  I did this around six times, and rather pathetically, failed to get past the boss at the end of level 1-4.  In fact, level 1-4 itself was a bit of a difficulty spike.  I found that once I was swallowed by the whale I couldn't get out, and can't remember if getting out was even an option (I guess it was, otherwise what's the point of the extra screen?).  You appear to get five continues on this version, but I started again on the train home each time over the course of the week. 

    I spent around £3 on the arcade machine, at 3 credits for £1, but didn't get past level 1-3.  In my defence, I did play during my stag do, so I was hammered. 

    The Master System version is a fair bit easier than both imo, and stands out as my personal favourite version, possibly because it's the only one I've ever physically owned, and possibly because I got to level two.  I'm gonna give this port a solid 86%.
  • Forty two (week): Bitmap Bothers Free Choice

    The Bitmap Brothers are a UK based video game developer founded in 1987. The company entered the industry in 1988 with the scrolling shooter Xenon. They quickly followed with the classic Speedball. Prior to becoming the publisher of their own games (under Renegade Software), early Bitmap Brothers titles were distributed by Image Works and Konami.

    The Bitmap Brothers released several games on the Amiga and Atari ST, and were one of the most successful companies on those platforms. They became known in particular for releasing games from a variety of different genres that usually came to be regarded as leaders in their respective fields. Their PC games have never matched the sales of their previous Amiga titles, despite garnering positive critical reviews in the press.

    They were the first game developers to publicise themselves as rock stars, and were featured in the press posing in dark glasses standing next to the helicopter of Robert Maxwell, the owner of Mirrorsoft, the publisher of a number of their games.

    They were also one of the first companies to use licensed music in their games. Xenon 2 Megablast featured music by Bomb the Bass.


    Choose from the following:

    Xenon
    Klashball
    Speedball
    Zenon II: Megablast
    Cadaver
    Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe
    Gods
    Magic Pockets
    The Chaos Engine
    The Chaos Engine 2
    Z
    Speedball 2010
    Z: Steel Soldiers
    World War II: Frontline Command. 



    Play and discuss, or simply reminisce.

    Schedule:

    (21/10, week): Vectorman (MD, compilations)
    (28/10, fortnight): Free choice Megaman
    (11/11, week): 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 (various)
    (27/01, week): Atari 2600 High-Score Challenge Returns
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    I found that once I was swallowed by the whale I couldn't get out, and can't remember if getting out was even an option (I guess it was, otherwise what's the point of the extra screen?).
    IIRC you just keep avoiding the drips and shooting until it dies.

    As for Bitmaps, I've only really played the Speedballs and Xenons before, due to only owning an ST for a short time. The sequels for each both very good, of course. Wouldn't mind a crack at some of the others, but I'm back on the 360 atm and any game time is going to that.
  • davyK
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    Yep - when swallowed by the whale just keep shooting and avoid the drips. I was never able to progress much beyond 2-1 or 2-2 because my old school 1CC issues kick in when I lose all my lives.

    Re Bitmap Bros. my first experience with them was Gods on the PC - it was an old machine and it ran quite slowly but even then it was pretty compulsive.

    I got it for SNES and it runs faster than a really fast thing on that - faster than on MD which is quite unusual and with far better sound too which is not so unusual.

    I played the SNES version to death - could complete it with plenty of lives to spare and I think I found most of the secrets. I was able to find the hidden power-ups that made the final boss quite manageable - but there are LOADS of little bonuses, short cuts and hidden treasure in that game so I doubt I found everything. I traded the SNES version in long ago but I have the MD cartridge - will get that out and give it a blast.

    The other Bitmap Bros game I have played is Chaos Engine on the SNES. Gorgeous game - love the steam punk styling and the music is great. Played that loads too. This one is rock hard though - I never finished it - I got to the final boss (I think it was at any rate) but was never able to get there with enough health to have a chance. Stil have the SNES cart for that. I used the Navvie under CPU control and chose the mercenary for myself.....I will have my passwords in a slip of paper in the cart box - will post them here so people can see the later levels. I like the way the password keeps your cash too so you can choose how to power up when you re-start using the password.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • The avoiding the drips thing would explain why I didn't progess past the whale. I think the third or fourth set of drips killed me on the handful of times I even got that far. Trying to jump out the blowhole probably didn't help either.
  • Just managed to have a quick go on NZ Story. Found it very hard to get the hang of at first, but started getting used to it towards the end of world 1. Helped that I realised you could hold down the jump button when riding vehicles rather than needing to tap it (duh). The whale was easy as I remembered - let it swallow you then shoot and dodge. Then I had to stop half way through the second world, but was dying much less often by then. It's still a great game, especially due to the multi-route levels and the variety of enemies/vehicles. I probably haven't seen that much of it before either.
  • As much as I love these old games, it's pretty obvious I lack the skills some of you acquired over the years :). I'm particularly poor at Mario games.
  • davyK
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    Mario games are all about getting the feel of the physics which is quite superb in its implementation. Getting a feel for the inertia and sliding will take you a long way.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I guess I'm not too bad at Mario games, but I'm pretty sure I got stuck on the 8th world, with no mushrooms in sight, on the GBA port of Mario 3, so I've never finished that one. 

    I played a bit of the MD version of Xenon II today, and I've pretty much got the same opinion of it that I ever had - it's slow, rather dull, and I'm slightly baffled by all the fuss.  I remember playing it on my mate's Amiga in the early 90s and thinking the same thing.  OK, so I've never been a massive fan of scrolling shooters (and granted you can reverse the scrolling in this, which is novel), but in comparison to, say, Super Aleste from week thirteen of the thread (1992), it just doesn't strike me as all that good.  Iridion 2 on GBA and Sine Mora on XBLA are probably my favourite shmups, excluding those without forced scrolling like Bangai-O and Fantasy Zone.  

    Perhaps the MD port wasn't great?  It could certainly do with being a touch nippier (and there's no music during the levels themselves.....so a game fabled for its licensed music contains one track?  Maybe I missed an option or the emulation glitched).
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    I guess I'm not too bad at Mario games, but I'm pretty sure I got stuck on the 8th world, with no mushrooms in sight, on the GBA port of Mario 3, so I've never finished that one.

    Mario 3 is the hardest one so there's no shame in that. However I think it's the hardest because...
    davyK wrote:
    Mario games are all about getting the feel of the physics which is quite superb in its implementation.

    It feels slightly different to all the other 2D console Mario games.
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • I think Xenon 2 is probably a poor version on the MD, especially with the music being such a big deal. But also it was probably more impressive to Amiga owners, because they weren't used to having loads of high quality shooters at their disposal in the way that console owners were at the time. I remember it being solid enough though.
  • davyK
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    Xenon 2 on MD is piss poor - I disposed of my copy in short order.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • davyK
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    Moot_Geeza wrote:
    I guess I'm not too bad at Mario games, but I'm pretty sure I got stuck on the 8th world, with no mushrooms in sight, on the GBA port of Mario 3, so I've never finished that one.

    Mario 3 is the hardest one so there's no shame in that. However I think it's the hardest because...
    davyK wrote:
    Mario games are all about getting the feel of the physics which is quite superb in its implementation.

    It feels slightly different to all the other 2D console Mario games.

    Yeah - maybe it's a wee bit floatier? SMB3 world 8 is a nightmare too.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I've played Speedball 2 Evolution on Vita and The Chaos Engine on Steam.  I'm not sure about finding Xenon since I know bugger all about emulation.
  • Back in the day (hello Play.d crew) I did a massive article on the Bitmap Brothers. May try and dig up the text from m'vaults.

    Anyhoo, between them, Sensible Software and Team17, you've pretty much got all the essential Amiga titles sewn up (or at least the vast majority). Chaos Engine was always my fave (steampunk nerd, hello), although I have a huge soft spot for Gods (SO. HARD.) and Xenon 2. What the hello was that crazy mega-weapon called that you could buy from the  spiky-faced alien in the twixt-levels shop and lasted for about 30 seconds but obliterated everything? Super-mega-something-or-other??
    Mostly an idiot. Live: thedarthjim / Instagram: mrjalco / Twitter: @MrJalco
  • I remember reading in previews that Gods had something called DPA, which stood for dynamic play adaptation (I just guessed the final word there), and supposedly adjusted its difficulty on the fly depending on how well you were playing. I vaguely recall Davy explaining this a while ago, but I can't find it.

    Try to find the text if you can Jaco, I'd be interested in giving it a read.

    Just about to start The Chaos Engine.

    Edit: No I'm not. My ROM appears to be Chaos Engine 2, which I don't remember actually getting released on the MD. It's also unplayable because it seems to automatically start in split screen two player mode (which is quite odd for the genre). I'll try the SNES version.
  • davyK
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    Gods, like a lot of shmups from Gradius onward, will crank the difficulty up depending on how well you are powered up / lives lost etc. - I think Bitmap Bros. were overselling that as a gameplay feature really.

    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Sounds about right. Sega Power probably latched onto some marketing speil and ran with it too.
  • Jaco wrote:
    What the hello was that crazy mega-weapon called that you could buy from the  spiky-faced alien in the twixt-levels shop and lasted for about 30 seconds but obliterated everything? Super-mega-something-or-other??
    My brain says Super Nashwan Power. I wish it wouldn't store things like that.
  • Birdorf
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    Much as I loved GODS and Xenon 2, Magic Pockets was clearly their best work. Never played much Speedball or Chaos Engine, they never really did anything for me. Magic Pockets is where it's at. I am perfectly normal.
  • JonB wrote:
    Jaco wrote:
    What the hello was that crazy mega-weapon called that you could buy from the  spiky-faced alien in the twixt-levels shop and lasted for about 30 seconds but obliterated everything? Super-mega-something-or-other??
    My brain says Super Nashwan Power. I wish it wouldn't store things like that.

    YES! Good memory there, Jon. Thanks!

    Moot: OK, I'll see if I can find it and post it in here.
    Mostly an idiot. Live: thedarthjim / Instagram: mrjalco / Twitter: @MrJalco
  • davyK
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    my hard earned codes for the SNES version of Chaos Engine (0=zero):

    1P Brigand, CPU Mercenary
    WORLD 2 :W021932#LZBG
    WORLD 3 :R02Z951ZV21Y
    WORLD 4 :40ZZ911X1ZN7
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • I'm finding the bloke in the Zenon II shop rather rude.  I also didn't realise your energy doesn't replenish in between levels, so I'm currently all tooled up with just a slither of health.

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