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Re: Together Retro: Licensed to Thrill (Licensed 2D Platform

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:35 pm
by Sload Soap
alienjesus wrote:So, with Asterix - some of the levels are the same regardless of which character you play, but some levels are entirely different stages - it's worth playing the game twice and choosing the opposite character for each stage if you want to see everything the game has to offer. I personally really like the sequel too!

Cool, I'll have to go through with Obelix then as I did a pretty much 100% Asterix run. And yeah, I've got the sequel coming soonish. Bought it pretty much as soon as I finished the last game. Noticed Master System stuff is starting to get up there now in price but hey ho.

MrPopo wrote:I think Super Star Wars is the hardest of the trilogy to beat because of the lack of passwords. Super Empire has the hardest levels, but you can practice them all without having to go through half the game first each time.

Hmm, thanks for this, I wasn't aware. I may have to scout out a copy of Empire and Jedi then.

If Asterix and the Secret Mission comes before February starts then Disney's Action Game Featuring Hercules, as it's rather ponderously know here in Europe, is...well an action game based on Disney's Hercules.

Quick story: a demo of this game's Big Olive level came on certain discs with the Playstation around 1997 when I got my first PS1. I played a lot of it and really liked it thinking it like an updated Aladdin, what with the platforming and sword slashing. Never bought it though, could never find it in shops. Had a million copies of Tarzan and Quack Attack in my local Electronics Boutique but never DAGFH.

Hercules is an interesting title. It's a Eurocom game which explains a lot. They tended to make solid 7/10 games, stuff that could have been really great but for a few flaws. Thinking of The World is Not Enough and 40 Winks here. With Hercules they've made a very solid 2D platformer with lush graphics, great music, some cool bosses and set pieces but then let themselves down with some stiff controls and a bunch of redundant features.

So the controls are kind of a given for this sort of highly animated type of game. Everything seems to have a delay and it can get a bit tiresome when you're doing some of the trickier segments. It also easy to get swarmed by enemies and be hopelessly slashing at the air half a second after you asked. This stuff sucks but it is manageable and the game is fairly generous with health and lives to mitigate this.

What is most bothersome though are stuff in the game that is just pointless. At the lesser end of this is the punch move. It's slow, doesn't have as much reach as the sword and while your sword can be temporarily powered up, you fists can't. Pointless.

Worse though is the game's continue and save system. Throughout the games 9 main levels you will find letters that spell out our titular heroes name. Collect all the letters and you get an extra continue. Pretty sweet, eh? Well not really as the letters are so well hidden and gated by the toughest platforming challenges it's more than likely that to find them all, you're already so proficient at the game you don't actually need them.

Saving is even worse. In each level there are pots. These pots can either give you an extra life or, if you get four non-life giving ones, allow you to save on completion of the level. Again though, the pots are so well hidden or trickily placed that to get them all on one run, you will probably not need to save anyway before the showdown with Hades. Really bizarre. There's a password system anyway which means these days it takes as much effort to get back to the level you were on as a google search.

Still, searching for these bonuses is kind of its own reward, despite their lack of functionality. At least Eurocom learnt their lesson for Tarzan and made the secret items unlock bonus games and clips from the film.

DAGFH is a £5 game to me. Graphically it still holds up and the game mixes things up with a few chase sections and even one pseudo-shooter level to compliment the pretty standard but quite enjoyable platforming. But it's also hella short, pretty easy (the final boss is a joke) and prone to spurts of bad design.


Re: Together Retro: Licensed to Thrill (Licensed 2D Platform

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:11 am
by ESauced
The save system in Hercules was so extraordinarily confusing to me. I kept playing the first two levels over and over again and was never saving. I finally googled it and figured it out but I don’t particularly enjoy searching for collectibles in 2d games so I opted to google the passwords instead. As you said, these days there’s a good way around that clunky save system and thank god. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered as strange a save system. It makes Resident Evil seem downright logical.

I have to disagree about Super Star Wars being the hardest of the three. I have an easier time playing through the first half of Super Star Wars than I do playing through the first level of Empire. I find Empire to be not just the hardest of the Star Wars trilogy, but also one of the hardest SNES games period. Maybe if I stuck to it longer I would think differently. I always want to enjoy it but am turned off by the difficulty. I have a much easier time with the first one, and to a lesser degree, Return of the Jedi.

So, I haven’t really been able to participate much in actual gameplay other than the Disney Afternoon Collection, but we’re moving into our house tomorrow! I don’t know if I’ll get the Retron 5 setup, but I did find my Game Gear which has Lion King, Taz in Escape from Mars and Mickey Legend of Illusion. I might play those even if I do get my Retron hooked up because I’ve played most of my console licensed platformers to death but I don’t think I’ve ever touched Taz or Lion King on Game Gear and I’ve only briefly played Legend of Illusion. I might go for beating Legend of Illusion, and just playing a bit of the other two to see how different they are from the Genesis versions.

Re: Together Retro: Licensed to Thrill (Licensed 2D Platform

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:29 pm
by Sarge
Not sure if I'm done with this month's theme yet; still got a few days left. But I'm getting distracted by other games, the excellent Iconoclasts among them. I took down seven, though, which I think is pretty great! Lots of games I've always been interested in but never actually put the effort forth to finish. I have really enjoyed the theme this month.

Re: Together Retro: Licensed to Thrill (Licensed 2D Platform

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:51 pm
by ElkinFencer10
I've still got a couple games left to post about. I posted my review of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 this morning, and I've still got Darkwing Duck and Tiny Toons Adventures to write about.

Re: Together Retro: Licensed to Thrill (Licensed 2D Platform

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:26 am
by ESauced
Taz in Escape from Mars (Game Gear) - I played it so you don’t have to.

This may be the worst game I have ever played. Now, to be fair I don’t make a point of playing notoriously bad games. I avoid them; why would I intentionally spend my time on something awful? But I had Taz from an eBay lot, and given that despite all of its flaws, I actually enjoy the Genesis version to some degree, I thought I would be able to find similar enjoyment out of the Game Gear version. I was very, very wrong.

Before I go on, I have to confess, I did not finish this game. I did not finish the second stage of the first level of this game. At that point, I already had a splitting headache from the frame rate and could not play anymore. Developers making games for handhelds often have to decide between sacrificing graphics for gameplay or vice versa. The smart developers choose gameplay. The Taz developers chose graphics over not making the player physically ill. Some people get sick playing FPS games. I have never in my life gotten a headache or nauseous from a game. So this game was an ignominious first for me. The frame rate could comfortably be described as strobe light. The game looks great, until you move. It actually had me thinking my Game Gear was broken and I had to test another game.

Unless the second level of Taz in Escape from Mars is the entirety of Breath of the Wild, I can safely say this earns an F. The frame rate was not even the only problem. When you are hit by an enemy, Taz does a weird dizzy animation that seems like a graphical glitch. When you hit a wall while spinning Taz does this animation too. Sometimes Taz just decides to do this animation....come to think of it maybe it is just a glitch every time. Also, you know how games kindly give you a moment of invincibility after you are hit? Taz gives you that, and it also gives it to the enemy, so you’ll try to hit the enemy with your spin attack and just go right through them, at which point your invincibility wears off, apparently faster than the enemy’s because you will be the one taking a hit. I also found myself actually stuck in the second stage, and wasn’t about to spend more time searching for the right path.

Stay away unless you are looking for an excuse to skip school or work with illness.

On to something better.

Re: Together Retro: Licensed to Thrill (Licensed 2D Platform

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:35 am
by ElkinFencer10
I finally finished up the sixth game in the Disney Afternoon Collection with Darkwing Duck. I played through one more licensed game for this month, but I'm saving that review for tomorrow. Gotta have something for the last day of the month, ya dig?

Re: Together Retro: Licensed to Thrill (Licensed 2D Platform

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:01 am
by ESauced
Had a bit of time today to play a couple more games.

I started with Lion King (Game Gear). Playing this after Taz in Escape from Mars made it seem fantastic initially, but after the novelty of playing a game that was playable and didn’t make me ill wore off, I realized it’s a pretty mediocre game. It looks good for a Game Gear game, but the issue is once again the developer tried to mimic the Genesis version. It’s not exactly a port, but it uses the same mechanics and levels, just with bits and pieces cut out.

The issue with porting a game to a less powerful system is it exacerbates all the problems the original had. So the platforming in the second level with the monkeys throwing you around? Prepare to be even more annoyed in this version as the jumping is even more fickle. And with the worse graphics it was very hard to tell what branches I was able to jump on and which I would fall through. Similarly, in the third level it looks like you can walk on the elephant tusks but then you’ll just fall to your death once you try to step on them. That’s as far as I made it because I was running low on time and felt like I’d seen what the game had to offer.

Next up I gave Pocahontas (Genesis) a spin. I didn’t make it far in this one either as I put down my Nomad and I must have bumped the cartridge because it froze (it’s a very sensitive system). My initial impression though is that I judged this too harshly and gave up on it too quickly when I first played it years ago. Part of the issue I initially had with it is I didn’t understand some of the gameplay mechanics and so I quickly became stuck. This time I looked up a walkthrough which explained what I needed to know.

Pocahontas is a puzzle platformer, not an action platformer. You can switch between Pocahontas and her raccoon (there might be more animals to switch to further in the game) to solve puzzles and proceed through the levels. Along the way you can help animals which will grant you additional powers. For instance, helping the deer allows you to run, while helping the otters allows you to swim. The game helpfully has a hint mode to move you along, but some of the controls aren’t really explained. For anyone who plans to play, the A button is essentially the action button. If you want to do anything other than run or jump, try pressing A . I don’t own the manual so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt that it might explain the mechanics better in there. Heck, even having a hint mode is more of a tutorial than any Genesis game I can think of.

Overall the game has decent graphics, and feels unique among all the Disney action platformers. The OST, which uses the movie soundtrack, started to wear on me pretty fast, but otherwise I didn’t find much fault in the short bit I played. I definitely plan on revisiting.

The last game I tried out was Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker (Genesis). I started this up on Easy difficulty as I’ve never played it before, and I usually like to give Genesis games—which typically are difficult—a go on easy mode the first time, before revisiting on harder difficulties. I only played the first world here but so far I’d say easy mode is unnecessary. I can’t imagine the game is that hard even on Hard mode based on what I’ve tried.

The OST is obviously great in this one, actually playing a MIDI version of Smooth Criminal in the first level. The sound effects and voice samples, however, are very repetitive, and get annoying fast. The graphics are good, and Michael is animated very well. With the volume turned down and no context, someone would still be able to identify that 16 but person as Michael Jackson. The gameplay is repetitive, you, as Michael Jackson himself, go around rescuing children and blowing pixie dust at any bad guys in your way. Unless gonna get very different later on, I’d say that the gameplay is mediocre, but it works well enough. Certainly the mileage you would get out of this one would depend on if you like Michael Jackson. As a fan, I am on revisiting this one.

Unfortunately with my circumstances this month I was only able to actually beat Duck Tales 2 for this TR, and I’ve already beaten that one before. I have such a vast library of licensed games that I’ve never seen the end of but it was fun taking about these games with everyone, and this theme will inspire me to try and tackle some of that backlog. I grew up on NES and Genesis and played a ton of licensed 2d platformers when I was a kid, so I really enjoyed this theme!

Re: Together Retro: Licensed to Thrill (Licensed 2D Platform

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:35 am
by alienjesus
ESauced wrote:
Unfortunately with my circumstances this month I was only able to actually beat Duck Tales 2 for this TR, and I’ve already beaten that one before. I have such a vast library of licensed games that I’ve never seen the end of but it was fun taking about these games with everyone, and this theme will inspire me to try and tackle some of that backlog. I grew up on NES and Genesis and played a ton of licensed 2d platformers when I was a kid, so I really enjoyed this theme!

No worries, I'm not fussed how many games people beat, as I don't think that's what Together Retro is all about. As long as people play a game and discuss it and others with people in this thread, then that's the level of participation fulfilled!

Obviously the more discussion the better too :lol:

Anyway, today is the last day of this Together Retro, so time to finish up any games you were hoping to finish. Obviously you can go on after January and even post here later if you finish something up a bit late, but I hope everyone is getting ready for some Final Fantasy themed hijinks with Noise's theme in February!

Re: Together Retro: Licensed to Thrill (Licensed 2D Platform

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:51 am
by ElkinFencer10
I ended up playing and reviewing 7 games for this month's Together Retro. My last one was Tiny Toon Adventures for NES. You picked a good theme, AJ. I had a ton of fun with this one.