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  #61  
Old 07-03-2017, 08:46 AM
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Janken, and virtually everything else associated with it in this series? Oh, go straight to Jigoku.
It's worth noting that in the original game there's a hidden powerup in the uh... 3rd level? 4th? The one with the second boss fight, that allows you to see what your opponent is going to throw, which makes it more of a game of reflexes than a terrible terrible die roll. Additionally/alternatively the only other randomization in the game comes when you hit those 1-up-or-death blocks, so as long as you're consistent about what you throw and which of those you hit you can manipulate the RNG and succeed on rote memorization.

I'm sure there's also some weirdo out there who's worked out exactly where to go for ties instead of wins to maximize 1-ups or something.

None of this makes it not a terrible idea, just hey, there's mitigation.
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  #62  
Old 07-09-2017, 07:07 PM
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Why did the chicken cross the road? Trick question, he didn't! He just stopped in the middle of it!

I'm leaning towards what R^2 said. I'm not really finding it much better than mediocre.

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Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
Alfred Chicken is good. The levels need to be explored thoroughly to collect the watering cans, obviously. SNES version is best for that because you can revisit levels I believe.
If that is possible, it isn't apparent from the start. It seems to be pretty linear. I think you are thinking of the PlayStation version.

I played through about 8 levels of the game. It's okay. Mechanically solid, controls well. It just didn't really excite me much. It was most fun at the start, where the levels allowed a lot more dive bombing of enemies. The single boss I fought was fun, allowing me to dive bomb repeatedly for a while on him.

It's just that the game is typically more slow going. Your main attack, which you use by jumping then diving straight down with your beak, is the only attack you seem to have most levels. On a few I had a marble I could throw at an angle, and sometimes one rotated around me like a shield. Both kill enemies in one hit.

Frequently you'll have to go through narrow pathways and corridors that render that attack difficult to use or not possible to use. So either you lure an enemy out in the open, or jump over them.

Usually avoiding them is best. Killing them gives you points only. Enemies respawn after you die, too, which isn't a big deal, but I've respawned from a checkpoint where enemies also were, and died, so...yeah, that sucked. Not a constant problem, just some careless design.

Oh, and the music is pretty annoying. The PlayStation music, however, is really quite good. I haven't played the NES version of the game, but one advantage it has over the others is that Alfred is really tiny, so you can see a TON of the level all of the time.

Maybe one I'll come back to later, but it just didn't grab me now.
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  #63  
Old 07-09-2017, 07:28 PM
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So, our next game is brought to us by Titus--

*running and screaming ensues*

PUBLISHED by Titus, that is. But actually developed by ASCII Corporation.

*crickets chirping ensues*

They made Fighter Maker and the RPG Makers...and some horse racing sims. Yeah, very Japanese. Apparently they are a part of Kadokawa today, FWIW.

Anyway, this game actually seems to have some bit of a cult following on the internet. I don't remember the rental I had of it many years back doing much for me, but we'll see.

Game of 07/10 to 07/16


Ardy Lightfoot for Super Nintendo

Year: 1994

The game kind of shoots for a mascot platformer meets pulp action movie vibe. Levels are called "scenes", and feature a lot of cutscenes using the sprites, even sepia tones for some flashbacks. High marks for presentation at least, and good music. I'm looking forward to giving this one another shot.
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  #64  
Old 07-09-2017, 08:01 PM
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I was waiting for an excuse to play this one, although I still want to finish giving Aero a chance!
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  #65  
Old 07-09-2017, 10:01 PM
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Enemies respawn after you die, too, which isn't a big deal, but I've respawned from a checkpoint where enemies also were, and died, so...yeah, that sucked.
Nothing worse than spawn camping.
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  #66  
Old 07-10-2017, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
The levels need to be explored thoroughly to collect the watering cans, obviously.
The watering-what-now?
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  #67  
Old 07-11-2017, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by R^2 View Post
The watering-what-now?
You use it on the flower you see between stages automatically to make him/her/whatever grow. It looks like it makes the flower grow so you can reach the moon and the final stage, I think?

It seems many of them are hidden in ways like walls that you can walk into, that seem to have no inherent "tells" that they're passable. Or invisible blocks you hit by jumping below them to trigger springs to get to higher places. Fun stuff like that.

I think I found 2 of them in all out of 8 stages. I think each regular stage has one. I think you need them for true end.
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  #68  
Old 07-11-2017, 10:00 PM
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Some Ardy Lightfoot impressions (I'm actually through most of the game. I'll keep plugging away to try to beat it. Either way, a port mortem later):

So far, not too bad. As mentioned, it definitely gets high marks for presentation. Good graphics and sprite work, cutscenes (that mostly are pantomimed, after the opening scroll). After each level, the game goes to an overworld map that--while you can't actually navigate it, you see where the areas you travel to are in relation to one another. The soundtrack is mostly well done, but little of it is memorable to me so far.

Most importantly, how does it play? Well, here's where things are a little less polished. Well, you walk, you sprint after holding the dpad for a while. You have a floating guy called Pec who can swallow most enemies to defeat them. He also acts as an extra hit point.

That's where a lot of the problems come into play. With pec, lots of areas become easier--enemies pop out from the edge of the screen that are often difficult to avoid, but throwing Pec allows you to instantly defeat them. Without Pec, you have to resort to the tail bounce, which is a lot harder to defeat many of these ambush enemies. Also, there are parts that you literally *must* have Pec to proceed. There are alternate forms of Pec that you use a few times in the game: a version that inflates to float over spike areas, and a spiked version to break certain barriers. The spiked version seems to only show up in one level, though. It's possible to be "stranded" in a safe spot if the floating Pec runs out, meaning you have to kill yourself to restart.

Those are generally minor, though. As mentioned, you always have your tail bounce to fall back on. Enemies are often small and quick, though. There was a part early on where I had to bounce on multiple enemies in a row, but that seems to have been a one-off, thankfully.

On the plus side, the tail bounce is a fun mechanic that reminds me a little of the pogo cane in Ducktales....but....it isn't quite that well executed. That's mainly because of its inconsistency. Can you bounce around constantly on your tail? Yes, yes you can, but you have to time it every time.

Instead of the tail bounce being set to a different button, its assigned to jump. So to use the tail bounce, you need to jump, press and hold jump again before landing. You'll high jump, but to do it again you have to press jump before landing again. So it's a constant pressing and holding jump, releasing, repeating. You can get a good rhythm going for a while, but if you lose it, and that can happen at critical points, it's may be tricky to get it going again. Also, sometimes you may accidentally bounce when you don't want to, jumping way too high and into a hazard. Something that would be avoiding by it being a different button.

Bosses have a bit more variety than the usual, though, but the quality varies as well. First boss is a simple bounce-on-the-head when he throws his spiked hat. Simple enough.

Second boss you don't hit directly--there's a series of colored buttons and giant boxing gloves, and you have to hit the button corresponding to where the boss is standing--but the boss can do the same. And the boss takes several more hits than you. This is one of the parts I died the most by far. However, there's an extra life that respawns there, and a checkpoint right before the boss. Considerate.

There's a miniboss that you can't defeat conventionally, but hav eto destroy the magic lamp up on a ledge. Nice. Followed by a sequence where you just try to catch a character that has the stage's gem. Fairly creative.

A fairly standard boss fight follows that one, head bounces FTW.

After that is a boss you have to reflect back its own attacks with a special item. Again, pretty creative. Hard to trial and error figure out, I think, but once you fight the right spot, easy enough.

That's right about where the game ramps up the difficulty pretty hard. Checkpoints become much sparser, the platforming becomes way more demanding. I'm trying to chip away at the final levels now. There's a particularly difficult stage that is reminiscent of Mega Man 8's "jump, jump, slide, slide!" sequence. FUN! Although it's a bit easier to react to the pattern here (you aren't on a board, jump in a forced scroll stage with hazards coming from right to left). Though you get no warning from the game, so it's down to memorization/quick reflexes/writing down the pattern. :P

While it does have some tough parts/difficulty spikes, the game is surprisingly more forgiving than most of its contemporaries in how it handles it. You have unlimited continues, a pretty lengthy invincibility period after losing Pec, and you can get a password to continue from the beginning of the last stage you were on. The only downside is that you are reset to 3 lives when you continue, but you can earn a lot of lives in the early stages.
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  #69  
Old 07-13-2017, 11:48 AM
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I'm one session into Ardy Lightfoot, in stage 2. I'm finding it finicky so far. I think I used a continue in the first screen where the town is under attack, since I was trying to defeat the enemies and, like you said, they aren't easy to hit. Enemies running into you despite your best efforts reminds me of the occasional screen in Kirby games, but there aren't the same kind of powers here.

Since it wasn't mentioned yet: when standing still you can hold up to become invincible. Ardy pulls out a mirror-like object that makes him invisible. I used this against the first boss to dodge the rocks. This didn't leave a good impression because it removed my interactivity for the rock attack and yet for all the simplicity I've reduced the boss to, he still took a few more attempts than I felt he was worth. The short window to land safely after getting a hit doesn't feel appropriate for such a basic boss pattern.

~

I also finished giving Aero 1 and 2 a fair shake. I actually ended up spending many more sessions with Aero 1 (on the SNES) than Aero 2. At first I gave up on Aero 1 within minutes, but Aero 2 didn't hook me after a few levels so I found myself returning to Aero 1 to actually make some progress there.

The more I understood the controls and mechanics the more enjoyable it got, especially getting confident with the screw attack. The game feels unfair when you can die in one hit from so many things, but that tension was also a reason to keep trying with greater effort.

Eventually I made it to the second world and I think I'm calling it quits there. I don't think I had beaten the first boss before, so that was nice to accomplish. I definitely remember those later stages in world 1 giving me trouble long ago.

I'm much more interested in the better GBA version now, but the SNES version was the one I knew from back in the day so that's why I stuck with it.

Last edited by dosboot; 07-13-2017 at 08:28 PM.
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  #70  
Old 07-13-2017, 06:37 PM
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Yup, Ardy's definitely finicky. It's sadly one of those trade offs that comes with playing a platformer series that isn't a A+ like Mario, 16-bit Sonic, or Donkey Kong. Generally speaking, those series are on a whole 'nother level. Although sometimes I feel that it would be better served just making its default jump higher rather than making a gimmick bounce-jump like it has. Ducktales' pogo jump was very easily used and executed, though.

I knew about the invincible/invisibility move, but honestly forget to ever use it in-game. I generally was eating a hit against that first boss, but when I practiced enough, I was confident enough to kill him first time, with or without Pec. However, I now realize that move could have been very helpful against the second boss. If you reach that boss, feel free to share your brutally honest thoughts.

Don't worry about continuing. They're infinite, and if you choose not to continue, you get a password anyway. Of course, if you are emulating, using states out of simple convenience at the beginning of each stage just makes sense.

Sorry that Aero 2 hasn't clicked with you, but despite the screen crunch, I definitely dug the hell out of Aero GBA. Lots of subtle improvements aside from just easing off on the difficulty. FWIW, an interview with David Siller indicated Aero 1 was too hard originally because they were pressed for time at the end of development, but Aero 2 had more time to polish the game up.

Oh, and after mulling over the idea for a while, I've decided I'm going to start including some 32-bit era platformers. Not 3D platformers, but 2D ones--because there were frankly a lot of them that basically leveraged the new technology for flashier visuals, cd music, or cutscenes. Also, I'm strongly considering including some "2.5D" ones. Basically, if I feel it has the "soul of a 2D platformer" and fits the mascot theme, I think I'll include it. The only problem is that I may not have many of the ones that would qualify. Or I made up my mind on it a while ago.

Oh, while 3D games are off the table, more or less, I did stumble across a youtube reviewer that has actually been covering a lot of the B-tier games and series. Check out the channel Nitro Rad. While I haven't played a lot of the games covered there, I can definitely agree with the positive impressions on Scaler, and I'm genuinely interested in Whiplash next time I find it somewhere.

Did you know there were actually 3 main Kao the Kangaroo games? Also, the games weren't actually made by Titus, but a Polish developer (but the 3rd game was only released in their native Poland on PC only). The PSP game is actually a conversion of Round 2 with a multiplayer thing added. Titus did develop the GBA game in-house, and it was up to Titus' usual standards of quality (i.e. none).

He said that while the Ty the Tasmanian Tiger games are, overall, mediocre, Ty 2 is actually the best. There was also a 4th game that is 2D that is...well, alright.

Vexx is apparently not bad, but has some annoying difficulty spikes. Also, a rather unnecessary focus on combat.

However, there are certainly a ton of 3D platformers from the PS2/Xbox/GC era that are still relative unknowns, too. I would say if some one wants to take on the 3D thing, probably the best way to do it would be to delegate it out. Most of the games are too long to even reasonably focus on within a week, or even a few.

Last edited by Andrew; 07-13-2017 at 07:02 PM.
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  #71  
Old 07-13-2017, 08:52 PM
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If I was making a bet, I would go with Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy as a hidden 3D gem. I've never even heard about it until fairly recently. In my experience, people who've owned it and beaten it have said it is very good, but when people who probably don't know it very well mention it in a video or a post of some kind then Sphinx is a completely un-noteworthy game to them. I see that channel Nitro Rad did a video on it recently.

It'd be fair to call it an action-adventure rather than a platformer, but the jumping and movement looks like it was taken out of a 3D platformer, as does the overall visual design.
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  #72  
Old 07-13-2017, 09:53 PM
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I've still got my copy of Sphinx from back in the day:



I thought it was good, certainly worth a play when it was new, but I didn't think it was exceptional or anything like that. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it in a general sense nowadays, but if you're is specifically looking for a lesser known 3D action adventure from the early 2000s, I'd say give it a go.
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  #73  
Old 07-14-2017, 12:02 AM
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Yeah, I've beaten Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy had a lot of fun with it. I consider it a solid Zelda clone that was undoubtedly a labor of love for the team who made it (probably in between licensed kids games). It's not Okami or Zelda, but few games are. The controls were excellent, the puzzles generally fun to complete, combat was quick and satisfying, and everything just tended to work great.

The mummy parts tended to overshadow the rest of the game a little, though. A bit like Wario Land 2, turning stuff like the mummy being lit on fire or squashed flat as mechanics for advancing. Some people take really big issue with games that don't have a clear focus. I'm fine with it as long as the game is consistently fun.

I used to have a lot less patience for that, though. At one time I disliked the Sly Cooper sequels because they weren't pure platformers and changed the gameplay up with lots of other weird stuff. Now, it's one of my favorite series, I played through Sly 2 and 3 on PS2 not long before Sly 2 3 HD, and loved Sly 4. The first game is the only one I haven't replayed, actually.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes the genre and doesn't immediately balk at the idea of playing a game of its vintage. It's kind of like Darksiders. If you didn't have a Nintendo console to play the newest Zelda at that time, it'll do ya fine. I'd say it's better than Star Fox Adventures at the very least.

I still have my Xbox copy of Sphinx. FYI, if you play the game THERE IS A GAME BREAKING GLITCH that results in a door being unable to be opened. Read up on "mummy door glitch" or just check the top FAQ on Gamefaqs for tips how to avoid it.
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  #74  
Old 07-16-2017, 06:25 AM
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The GBA Ty games by Halfbrick were enjoyable and the PC Ty 4 takes a lot of cues from them.

Got round to Ardy Lightfoot. I played it through back in the day but remembered almost nothing and was surprised to find myself quite enjoying it. It's a little finicky but it's also kind of cool seeing so much character and effort poured into the presentation.
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  #75  
Old 07-16-2017, 07:27 AM
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Funny, the presentation is what seemed so bland to me. Ardy is as generic-cartoon-character as you can get, down to the gloves so you can easily tell his hands from the rest of him when he's standing in profile.

Pec transforming could have been better utilized, or used more often, or something to make the game a little less bog-standard. Which I realize would make it Monster World IV, so even then not unique.

Grats for having the balls to explicitly kill your NPCs, though. Whoa, did that flying squirrel get digested? The Indiana Jones fox gets mashed into paste? You don't see that in an E-for-Everyone game too often.
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  #76  
Old 07-16-2017, 07:57 AM
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More Ardy Lightfoot Thoughts:

I like the overworld transitions. Not the most impressive stuff out there, but it reminds me of Super Mario RPG's overworld.

I'm not sure if the bouncing controls get in the way with the jumping controls or not. The game has variable jump heights (hold jump for higher heights) but the jump button is *also* the bounce button. And to bounce, you have to release jump after hitting the ground (perhaps just before landing works too, but I'm not 100% sure). There also seems to be a point of no return where you haven't landed yet but it's too late to start a bounce.

Unfortunately it's just one too many functions and timing windows for one button. Ducktales had two buttons for this task --- bounce and jump --- and it was simpler: you held bounce to keep bouncing forever without more inputs. Just having those separate buttons makes it a lot easier too. Ardy's system works, but it's aesthetically inferior to me.

Are there games with pogo-bouncing where you have to press a button for each bounce like Ardy, but you get separate buttons like Ducktales? Or perhaps a game with one button, but where it buffers your bounce or does something else to make the timing easier? I think that would cross the threshold back into a fun mechanic for me.
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  #77  
Old 07-16-2017, 01:21 PM
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The presentation is cool, but the character is also pretty generic. I kind of don't get what they were going for there. The hat makes me think they were planning for a fast character because they remind me of Mercury wings. Yet, speed isn't really his thing, and the wing hat has nothing to do with his abilities, which are pretty much the jump and tail bounce.

I absolutely think a separate button for the bounce would have been helpful. Especially after fighting the final boss. Holy crap was that annoying.

Anyway, before I get to that, the pattern for the Hall of Mirrors to avoid the hazards (long jump can be either regular or bounce jump, your choice):

First phase: Duck, Duck, Jump, Stand Still, Long Jump, HIGH JUMP, Duck, Jump

Second phase: Duck, Duck, Jump, Duck, Long Jump, HIGH JUMP, Duck, Jump, Electric Ball, Electric Ball (You have to time for the ball, I ducked under it when it was bouncing upward)

Third phase: Duck, Duck, Jump, Duck, Long Jump, HIGH JUMP, Duck, Elec Ball, Jump, Electric Ball + Duck, Jump + Jump. (+ means they're right after each other, rather than the longer pauses before that).

After the Hall of Mirrors, finally you get to the throne room and the final boss. Who looks like a cross between Wart and Bowser, BTW. First phase is pretty much a cutscene. You have to avoid lightning--THIS time I used the invincibility ability, and I dare not try without it.

After that you really fight him. You have to pump a button on a floating platform, avoid hazards, and he uses the lightning all through the battle. 4x hitting the button will raise you above him and you can bounce on his head. Takes (I think 4 hits) to move on to the next phase.

Next part is...fun. The boss is on a platform and you can't reach him normally, but he throws purple energy balls that you can jump on and use for height. So you basically have to bounce jump off it and hit him (5x I think). What sucks about this is that the collision detection is iffy. If you hit him right on the top of his head you're good. However, he has invincibility frames, and his hurt box remains active all of the time. So you could damage him and trade hits if you don't bounce away, or if you land somewhere other than his head. Consistently doable, but it is really annoying to lose Pec here. Sometimes he will jump up, and unless you are coming right high up, you will likely take a hit.

Last phase is also pretty annoying. He finally jumps down and takes you on on your own level. He can jump, dash punch, OH and teleport! If he teleports next you, you may take a hit. It's a bit tricky to read if he will jump or dash. The only way I've figured is that if he dashed twice, he will almost surely jump, and vice versa. Also, I think the collision here really sucks. I swear I tail bounced him many, many times but the game counted it as a hit.

Eventually, EVENTUALLY I beat him. Ardy rescues the lady that got captured, returns the Chaos Em--er, gems or whatever to the levels they came from, and returns home. Instead of "The End", after the credits you get a black screen with white text that says "To Be Continued." Well, you can't fault them for being optimistic.

Overall, I liked the game, but I think mostly not having conventional bosses was mostly a good decision, because every time there was a boss fight, it exposed problems in the game, big time. The jump button is too busy, the collision detection is often clumsy, and I think you should have had Pec at all times, but maybe designed an icon on the hud as a hit counter or something to let Ardy gets an extra hit or something.

It was much appreciated, though, to have passwords and unlimited continues, and passwords after every level.
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  #78  
Old 07-16-2017, 01:42 PM
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As I mentioned, I'm going to slip a few 32-Bit games in, although I don't know if I'll have access to all of the eligible games I had in mind. First of, though, is a game that I thought for a long time I thought was a third party release. You could easily look at the main character and assume he was from a Disgaea game, or the Silhouette Mirage universe. Nope, it's all Sega, and has been basically forgotten after its initial release. It's awful US box art surely hasn't helped, though.

Game for the week of 07/17 to 07/23:


Astal
Released: 1995
System: Sega Saturn

I kind of have always thought of Astal as the Japanese Rayman. No other games looked quite like them, and few games were as lush looking and colorful as they were. I remember liking Astal far, far more. The original Rayman was always very difficult to make progress in (and despite having saves, had limited continues), and I thought it mainly coasted no the quality of its look and art. It was eclipsed in quality by its sequels, though.

Maybe if Astal got an awesome 3D sequel, it might be relevant today. It never got a re-release, a remake, nothing. Maybe also it was just underwhelming sales-wise for its budget for Sega. Apparently they hired TMS to animate the intro animation.

Also, Lani Minella did the voice acting for all of the characters. So yes, the voice of Bubsy and Bubsy 3D, and Astal, are the same voice in the U.S.
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  #79  
Old 07-16-2017, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
The GBA Ty games by Halfbrick were enjoyable and the PC Ty 4 takes a lot of cues from them.
That's cool. I had actually picked up a bunch of 3D platformers on a whim cheap locally. I got:

Crash Twinsanity PS2
Crash of the Titans PS2
Maximo PS2
Maximo vs The Army of Zin PS2
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue Xbox
Vexx Xbox

The Xbox Ty games are also backwards compatible on 360. The second one I can confirm has widescreen support and looks really crisp and nice on the 360.
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  #80  
Old 07-17-2017, 03:48 AM
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That's cool. I had actually picked up a bunch of 3D platformers on a whim cheap locally. I got:

Crash Twinsanity PS2
Crash of the Titans PS2
Maximo PS2
Maximo vs The Army of Zin PS2
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue Xbox
Vexx Xbox

The Xbox Ty games are also backwards compatible on 360. The second one I can confirm has widescreen support and looks really crisp and nice on the 360.
If it looks like Maximo isn't doing it for you, be sure to give Amy of Zin a go before giving up on it. I preferred it by far.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:35 PM
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Yeah, I felt that way as an impatient youngster, but never got around to finishing Army of Zin, either.

Oh I figure I'll roll out a list of the upcoming games to give people a heads up, and to maybe dig stuff out of storage just in case. I'll update the OP as well.

Astal will be the last "A" game, and then there will be a week break after that--for catching up, or whatever.

"B" will begin on July 31st

B.O.B. 7/31 to 8/6
Bonk's Adventure/Alternate: Bonk's Revenge 08/07 to 08/13
Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure 08/14 to 08/20
Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind 08/21 to 08/27

Not every letter will be packed as much as these, though.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:45 PM
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Wanted to get some quick feedback--while it's a well known game, I had been considering putting Ecco the Dolphin on the list, since it's just about the only "E" game aside from Earthworm Jim. EWJ I think is so well regarded and well known, there's little point in doing it unless, well, we just wanted an excuse to play EWJ again (and there's nothing wrong with that, if ya'll want).

The only problem is, well, Ecco doesn't really fit the mold. Ecco's not a cartoony mascot character, there's really no "attitude" to speak of, and it isn't even a platformer since you're underwater all the time.

At the same time, Ecco 1 is very much a signature title for the period and one of the most well-known titles for the Genesis. Yet I think it's one that people rarely seem to have much memory of or much opinion of today.
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  #83  
Old 07-17-2017, 10:38 PM
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Ecco is really hard to play. I don't even know that I would say it's a bad game exactly, but it's one that doesn't lend itself to the breezy play style of a sonic or mario -- unlike a lot of the games under analysis, there isn't any sense in which it's trying to be like them.

I'm still very thankful for the PC version which is playable with a patch, though.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:01 PM
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B.O.B.! Ha, I'm unreasonably excited for this, and wasn't expecting it to be here. I don't remember it being that interesting, but after seeing a video I felt the urge to play it again and haven't had a good excuse.

For well known games, what do you think about allowing them as "wildcards"? They wouldn't get their own week or anything, but if someone wants to skip a game or give up early (or maybe if they have extra time), they can feel welcome to fallback onto the well known one.
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  #85  
Old 07-18-2017, 06:30 AM
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Ecco is hard to play but I feel like the advertising for it fit within the cute mascot platformer back in the day. I don't like the game much but I'd keep it in there.
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  #86  
Old 07-18-2017, 08:27 AM
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Do we get to talk about any mascot platformer that comes to mind here, or are there rules? Because I wanna talk about Gex, which is a fascinating slice of the mid 1990s. I don't have my 3DO here in Arizona (which is ironic as that's where I bought it), but I have been playing Gex in a Playstation emulator, and there's promise buried under all the forced 'tude and Clinton-era special effects. I'd argue that there's more game here than in Donkey Kong Country.

Last edited by ArugulaZ; 07-18-2017 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dosboot View Post
B.O.B.! Ha, I'm unreasonably excited for this, and wasn't expecting it to be here. I don't remember it being that interesting, but after seeing a video I felt the urge to play it again and haven't had a good excuse.
Speaking of B.O.B., our own Gogglebob played the game about 11 months back.
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  #88  
Old 07-18-2017, 03:09 PM
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#2 Aero the Acro-Bat Fan
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArugulaZ View Post
Do we get to talk about any mascot platformer that comes to mind here, or are there rules? Because I wanna talk about Gex, which is a fascinating slice of the mid 1990s. I don't have my 3DO here in Arizona (which is ironic as that's where I bought it), but I have been playing Gex in a Playstation emulator, and there's promise buried under all the forced 'tude and Clinton-era special effects. I'd argue that there's more game here than in Donkey Kong Country.
I was doing a "game of the week" format to focus discussion and to get exposure for some of the lesser-known titles. I've been flip-flopping on whether or not to include Gex. It's obscure to the mainstream players of today, but was very well known back in the 90s. I'm leaning towards "why the hell not?" right now.

You're welcome to share thoughts on it now, though, if you happen to be playing it. I have been playing many other games in between the GotW, for instance, but holding off discussion for them until later.
Quote:
Originally Posted by muteKi View Post
Ecco is really hard to play. I don't even know that I would say it's a bad game exactly, but it's one that doesn't lend itself to the breezy play style of a sonic or mario -- unlike a lot of the games under analysis, there isn't any sense in which it's trying to be like them.

I'm still very thankful for the PC version which is playable with a patch, though.
One of the biggest problems with Ecco, I believe, is that the version that is most commonly available--the Genesis one, lacks checkpoints and the exploration in it makes that all the more frustrating to restart. Later versions of it--the Sega CD version and the 3DS 3D Classics releases have that covered. Plus any compilations available have built in state saving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dosboot View Post
B.O.B.! Ha, I'm unreasonably excited for this, and wasn't expecting it to be here. I don't remember it being that interesting, but after seeing a video I felt the urge to play it again and haven't had a good excuse.

For well known games, what do you think about allowing them as "wildcards"? They wouldn't get their own week or anything, but if someone wants to skip a game or give up early (or maybe if they have extra time), they can feel welcome to fallback onto the well known one.
If I would do a well-known one, I would probably try to do an obscure variation, port, or something like that. Rayman's main entries are pretty well known quantities, but Rayman 2 for GBC and Rayman 3 for GBA aren't. Anyway, will cross those bridges when I come to them. :P

Also, there are some 32-bit games that are rare, expensive, and not available for downloadable platforms. So I kind of hesitate to include them. However, if at least one person is interested in firing up Mr. Bones or Lomax, I will keep them on the table. I do not remember Mr. Bones being very good, though. Also, while not as difficult or expensive to acquire, I did not plan to include Johnny Bazookatone, because from memory and virtually every review I've seen, nearly everyone agrees it sucks.
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  #89  
Old Yesterday, 02:00 PM
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#2 Aero the Acro-Bat Fan
 
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Usually I've had my "first impressions" up by now, and while I've replayed some of Astal, I've only gone about halfway. I kind of was putting it off for a little bit. Maybe it's just my current mood, but I'm not having all that much fun with it.

Astal is a pretty weird game from a gameplay standpoint. From all outward appearance, it's a platformer. Yeah, you do jump on platforms and have bottomless pits to avoid, and such.

Yet, it's also kind of a beat 'em up. Enemies aside from bosses go down in one hit. You have multiple attacks. You have a jumping attack where you slam your fists overhead onto an enemy, a ground-pound, a short range throw, and you can fill your lungs and blow (which can take out multiple enemies). You can bounce off most enemy heads, but that doesn't kill them. You actually use it to cross some gaps you couldn't clear ordinarily. Some enemies are dangerous to the touch, but they're fairly obvious (guys on fire, for instance). You can throw enemies into each other to destroy them, and a few on-screen obstacles can be picked up and thrown as well.

The game throws a lot of enemies at you, constantly, and since there's so much aim on combat (generally easy tho it may be), it feels less like a platformer and more of a sloppy, unfocused beat 'em up with platformer elements.

The addition of the bird helper is pretty nifty, but playing one-player it isn't too useful other than a free hit on a boss or a screen-clearing move, IMO. I don't know if 2-player mode adds much more to it, though.

I will sit down with it and give it some more time, but generally I'm finding the game looks better than it plays, often feeling a bit on the sloppy side, and it doesn't quite look as good anymore. Colors seem less vibrant than I remember, and more like, well, a Genesis game that was probably shifted on more powerful hardware during development. Probably close to the truth, though I'm not sure.
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fractured furry tales , gamespite unfun club , let's go bub(sy) , mascot masochism , terribly vexxed

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