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On to R-Type Final. On Human difficulty, at least, it already feels a little easier than Delta, though I remember 6.0 Floating Graves being pretty rough so I suppose we'll see.
Yeah, the just-discussed R-Type Delta also adds credits over time, though not as incrementally, culminating in a free play unlock. It seemed to be on the brain for a lot of developers in that period where arcade-background design and projects were still getting made, but adapted or exclusively for console platforms, and how those differing play contexts were reconciled. It was a pretty savvy read to make at the time, and subsequent more modern works sometimes carry the torch forward now with their own iterations on it, and the idea of how to prolong and extend something as fundamentally compact as a shooter was explored so thoroughly in R-Type Final that revisiting the concept in Final 2 soon is pretty exciting.
Cotton 2: Magical Night Dreams, Cotton: Magical Night Dreams [Boomerang], and Guardian Force will be included in the collection featuring the SEGA Saturn and arcade versions. New features will be included such as a rewind feature, quick save/load, and online rankings.
I'm still unlocking ships in Final, but I went ahead and played through R-Type Leo. It's pretty good, and it's sad that it hasn't had any real ports beyond a cheap MAME package that DotEmu put out around a decade ago (which is no longer available anywhere). Despite the significantly different mechanics, it still feels like an R-Type game, mostly because of the often claustrophobic level design and the focus on leveraging the tools you're given to avoid getting overwhelmed. The ruins stage is going to be one of the "remake" stages eventually added to Final 2, so it will be interesting to see how differently it plays with traditional R-Type mechanics.
new touhou is out. me: "wait, it just dropped on steam instantly at the same time i woke up? for the first time in my life i can finish it before my feed fills up with retweets of all the new characters?"
i don't think it's actually that much harder than the previous couple games but the difficulty is very lopsided (at least for someone at my exact skill level). the nature of the card mechanic generates a very large amount of rng so in the short term every credit has completely different things going on with character mechanics; it's very hard to use them properly as a result. and so reading this, or perhaps approaching the game early in the morning before a person had a couple cups of coffee they need to have the energy to try and read the japanese descriptions of the items, one might think, "aha! rather than having to figure out this roguelite character building stuff, maybe i should just choose extra lives!"
alas, this is an even bigger fallacy, because aside from the fact that the items (almost) invariably make the game easier, or at least offer some kind of counteracting benefit if they don't, i don't know if there's another bullet hell game i have ever played where the immediate setback of dying can be so tremendous. it takes a very long time to power up and if you die repeatedly on the last boss for example, you will just never power up again and deal very low damage. (i guess if you have THAT many lives you can probably bombspam to the end. you might have to do that anyway since she has multiple time-out phases for some reason.) also you lose a bunch of money if you're against a boss, although this matters a lot more if you're actually trying to buy items because the lives are always cheap enough that you can probably afford them.
i think that i don't like this, although not because i think it's truly "bad" or anything like that-it's just not a genre mechanic that tends to have a lot of draw for me, and for me it clashes oddly with the very fixed elements of a bullet hell game. and it's a remix of some of the systems previously appearing in the last couple side games but without the "puzzle" aspect that comes with having as much control over what your tools are and constraints on the game. ultimately part of the problem is that i have a tendency to spend the wrong amount of time on zun's games to really appreciate something like this. it'll usually take me a few hours to get a normal difficulty 1cc, a bit longer to do it with other characters or styles, and then i play extra stage for a while and usually don't come back to play seriously again unless something about the game has captured the kind of attention it takes to get me to spend 30+ hours on a shmup. if i were more skilled i'd probably just blow right through and not even worry about it, and if i felt like i was struggling more it'd at least keep the grind fresh. as it is, the inability to mostly control the powerups just doesn't offer the kind of hook that i think would keep me playing for a long time. (in impossible spell card, for example, there was kind of a process of figuring out what the most effective item was (until a few in the last stretch that are just straight up too hard), but then also the novelty of trying out others to see what odd thing would happen if you tried to use, say, the decoy doll or screen warp in a spot where it wasn't obviously useful.) as a result, it's not that i'm not interested to see them, but i don't feel like i'll get the same chance to really experiment and learn the ins and outs of using them, even with the initial equipment choices. instead, it just feels a bit overwhelming and baffling.
also, i can't say i've really enjoyed the stages in the last few games, as the health of most enemies has gone up a lot and there's just no real way to mitigate the amount of junk that randomly sprawls across the screen most of the time as a result; regardless of character this leads to a lot of staring at the couple inches around your dot for a long time, which is something i felt the games had avoided more for a while. and in the last couple games there were more cyclical systems that you were supposed to engage with to work through this, much like cave moved to over time, so even if the bullet design and enemy patterns were pretty nothing in many places there was at least something to learn and engage with. but here...you have cooldowns. you psychokinesis out a bunch of bullets near you once, and then...have to wait 40 seconds to do it again or something. obviously there are tons of other games with shield cooldowns-Qute titles, takumi games, the doujin game samidare, etc. but they all either have short ones you can use a lot or "soft" ones where you don't blow the entire thing at once.
still, i've learned a lesson. if i want to beat the game in an hour or two next time...i need to actually play the demo