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Nemoide
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Re: September Together Retro: Ready To Launch

by Nemoide Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:55 pm

Still chipping away at Expendable on Dreamcast.
I tried it out using the VGA cable and IT WORKS! The case doesn't list VGA support but I saw a mention online that it was compatible and I'm EXTREMELY THANKFUL THAT IT IS! The Dreamcast's VGA output is amazing and makes those games hold up really well. Unfortunately playing on a CRT with composite (or even s-video) kind of sucks. The graphics cleaned up in a way that massively helps the game.
Another thing I noticed is that the title screen is different when using VGA! It uses the original European title of "Millennium Soldier: Expendable"

The game still isn't exactly GOOD, but I'm enjoying myself enough to keep playing and should have no problem finishing by the end of the month.
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Sload Soap
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Re: September Together Retro: Ready To Launch

by Sload Soap Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:13 am

I've put some time into Ridge Racer and Wipeout both on Ps1.

Now, Wipeout is a game I have played before but going back this time was really tough. It's not so much that it hasn't aged well, it's that I think it more a blueprint for the infinitely better 2097 and Wipeout 3 so it naturally feels lacking. The game is also balls hard, I struggled to finish the first round of races never mind place first. It demands perfection from minute one which is fine but it doesn't have the refinement in controls and track design its sequels have so it grates. For and early PAL release however it runs smooth and still sounds great.

Ridge Racer is a series I've never really put much time into so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I'm enjoying it. As a worldwide launch title it is very basic with one basic track that gets added to depending on the difficulty, four starter cars and one game mode. That said, it still plays very well and I do have a fondness for blocky 3D. I also have a fondness for the soundtrack and the incidental details around the track like track girls, the helicopters and the seaside apartment block thats light form a picture of Pac-Man. I haven't beaten it as yet but I think once I've got drifitng down it'll be doable. As it stands I prefer it over the Saturn port of Daytona.

Something I did think of, sort of apropos, is that there was roughly as much time between Pac-Man and Ridge Racer's arcade releases than there has been between Gears of War and Gears 5. Things really did seem to move forward more back then.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: September Together Retro: Ready To Launch

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:31 am

Ten years separate Pong and Ultima II.

Ten years separate Combat and Final Fantasy / Phantasy Star.

Nine years separate Donkey Kong and Super Mario World.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: September Together Retro: Ready To Launch

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:15 pm

Played Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt this morning. It’s a demo that shipped with the original Nintendo DS to show off the system’s FMV, graphical, multiplayer, and touch screen capabilities. It does this extremely well. The game looks great; the touch screen controls work very well for a FPS game, and the two-screen FMV, while a bit grainy, still looks pretty cool. I didn’t try out the multiplayer, but the single-player “training” mode is pretty fun. It has three variations: Regulator (a short level with a Samus clone boss at the end), Survivor (an arena where you fight until you die), and Morph Ball (a timed level where you race, as a morph ball, to the end). All three are framed as preparations for some sort of mission, and I beat all three, achieving high scores in two. The Regulator mode is by far the best, and achieving a high score in that mode would be quite challenging, I think. So...in short, Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, like Link’s Crossbow Training (Wii), is a very short, fun Nintendo-themed demo/score-chaser. I think you can get it for just a few bucks, and it’s probably worth that amount. It is also worth playing through if, like me, you’re a Metroid completionist, and it has me excited to play through the full game at some point.

With that, I’ve reached my goal of playing a launch game for all of Nintendo’s handheld systems for this month’s TR! I’ll probably spend a bit more time with Eternal Ring (PS2), and I hope to beat that before the end of the month too.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: September Together Retro: Ready To Launch

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:51 pm

Burj Khalifa IQ post. I've never even heard of that game!
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Nemoide
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Re: September Together Retro: Ready To Launch

by Nemoide Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:31 pm

Expendable has been beaten! On easy. With cheats...
STILL COUNTS. I'M DONE WITH IT.

It's a run & gun, but really lacks any special qualities. You run around and shoot in an overhead 3D world but it really just plays like an overhead 2D game. Even by the end of the game, I never got the hang of a few weapons, but by and large the game is intuitive enough. Two-player mode might be fun but the game makes both players share credits, which is kind of lame. I don't especially WANT to play it two player, since I've got a bunch of other games but I can imagine that playing this with a friend with a VGA monitor in 1999 could really be a fun experience. There's not really a lot to say about it. It's not BAD-BAD, but it's not good. It's just bland. Definitely not one of the highlights of the Dreamcast launch.

I guess you could say this game is... expendable.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: September Together Retro: Ready To Launch

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:15 pm

Damn, I'm slipping. Apparently I own a copy of Surround. Didn't realize it until I alphabetized and properly shelved all my 2600 games this afternoon. I'll echo what prfsnl_gmr said: it's pretty good! It's a "snake" type of game where you try to "surround" and trap your opponent. Best played with two players. While the single-player AI isn't totally braindead (like in Air-Sea Battle or Street Racer) it's still pretty numb.

And while this doesn't quite fit the challenge (as it wasn't released in North America) I also played Borderline, the launch title for Sega's SG-1000 in Japan. In other words, Sega's first home game! Based on a 1981 arcade game, the SG-1000 port (as well as the system) actually launched the same day as the Famicom. While the Famicom obviously became a great success, the SG-1000 died out and was replaced by the Mark III (Sega Master System).

Anyway, Borderline is alright. It's a mixture of scrolling driving/shooting stages and "digging" stages like those of Dig Dug. The arcade game actually predates Dig Dig, which is intriguing. The game's of mixed quality. The driving stages have wonky controls and are pretty tough, while the digging segments are quite easy. An interesting launch game, but not too memorable. A modified version was actually released in the US for the 2600. It's called Thunderground, and unfortunately I don't own it.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: September Together Retro: Ready To Launch

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:49 pm

First...be sure to play Surround with your kids. Mine loves it.

Second, Thunderground is really solid. You should definitely get a copy. Feels more “modern” than most 2600 games.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: September Together Retro: Ready To Launch

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:09 am

I plan on grabbing it eventually. The Sega-published Atari games are not so easy to find!
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noiseredux
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Re: September Together Retro: Ready To Launch

by noiseredux Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:21 am

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I've always been drawn to the "weird" Mario games. For instance, I've cited Super Mario Bros 2 (US) as my favorite of the NES games. And that game's weird. And when we're talking about Game Boy, I'm a sucker for Super Mario Land. Also weird. I mean, there's not a lot of Mario games that use Egyptian imagery and UFO's so prominently. Is there?

I got my Game Boy for Christmas in 1989 and it was a really big deal. My parents were divorced so going back and forth between houses meant that I had different games (and consoles) at each house. But when Game Boy came out it meant that wherever I went, I could continue playing the same games. It was awesome.

Of course it would have been less awesome of the games weren't good. But luckily that wasn't the case. And Super Mario Land holds a very special place for me as the first Game Boy title I got to play. See it was just Mario Land and the pack-in Tetris under the tree, and Tetris was a puzzle game that didn't appeal to me at that age.

But Mario Land? Woah. Mario Land was amazing. It was a new Mario platformer you guys! It was a whole new game. It was familiar enough to really sell me on how incredible this new handheld device was, yet it was a whole new game to dig into instead of just a stripped down version of one of the NES games. It was mind-blowing in 1989. For real.

As I've said, it was also weird. Flowers don't give you fireballs; they give you a bouncing ball thing. And there's a couple of auto-scrolling shmup stages. In a Mario game! And also there's only four worlds in total, which feels brief in 2009, but thirty years ago it felt just fine to showcase this new portable system.

Admittedly the game is not perfect. The controls can feel a LITTLE loose at times. But as a launch title for GB, I've got nothing but admiration. And you can argue all day that Super Mario Land 2 is the better game - and MAYBE it is... technically. But I'll always prefer to play this first one, myself. Oh, and also the music is excellent here.

At any rate, it's not a long game at all. And I'm not sure if it's easy or if I've just played the hell out of it, but I ran through it in around forty minutes last night. It was cool seeing those credits roll again for the umpteenth time. It brought me back to being a little kid and showing my mom, "look! I beat it! There's credits like at the end of a movie!" Such a good game.
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