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2017 16-BIT CHALLENGE


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#541 the Wozz

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 01:33 PM

Game #45: Soldier Blade

 

Spoiler

 

I'm not the biggest fan of the overall Star Soldier series, but Hudson really stepped it up on the TG16 and SB in particular is a tour de force. There are constantly changing locales, enemies with interesting designs and patterns, lots of bosses, and a simple power-up system that lets you strategize your approach a bit. No element outstays its welcome as you're quickly rushing through unique sections and enemy groups one after another. The excellent soundtrack is perfectly suited to the super fast-paced and frantic nature of this game - the sheer amount of memorable riffs and hooks bombarding you at top speed is enough to make your skeleton jump out of your skin and start dancing on the coffee table. Soldier Blade is a fantastic showcase of the TG16's abilities and a top tier shmup.

 

 

This is high on my list of games I would like to conquer 


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#542 Nuttz the Squirrel

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 09:27 PM

BONUS ROUND

 

Game #53: Neutopia

The Legend of Zelda is one of my favorite games, so it would be safe to assume that I would like Neutopia as well, right?

Well, yeah...it's not bad, actually... but it's also not great...

Since it's for TurboGrafx, the graphics are obviously better than what the NES can produce.

The music isn't great... the dungeon theme in particular is very annoying.

 

The selection of sub-weapons is pretty dull.

The Fire Rod is very useful since it gets more powerful the more health you have, but nothing else is all that special.

You've got some kind of yellow potion that lights up dark places... which needs to be used way too frequently.

Bombs are here, but they don't seem to damage enemies (none of the enemies I tried it on, anyway) and are simply used to blow up walls.

There's a... vest... I think? It teleports you to the last place you saved.

I found some rings... I never figured out what they do.

It's too bad they weren't more creative with the items... all you ever find in dungeons are better shields, swords, and armor.

 

I feel like the hit-detection in this game can be pretty spotty.

There were lots of times I was sure my sword was making contact with enemies and they didn't flinch.

Maybe the sword sprite is actually bigger than its hitbox?

Also, walls you blow up with your bombs come back if you leave the area, so you can't afford to run out of bombs... ever.

Oh! And how could I forget about the bricks that shoot out swords when you get close to them.

It's not so bad the first time you encounter them because they're different colors than the rest of the blocks, but later on they're the same color.

So if you need to push a block to advance or simply navigate around them, good luck avoiding them 'cause their blades will pop out without warning.

 

I know I didn't really have a lot of positive things to say about this game, but it's really not bad.

Hudson clearly tried to copy what Nintendo did with The Legend of Zelda and they got a lot of it right.

But, let's be honest, how often does an imitation turn out better than the original?


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#543 Eric Dude

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:01 PM

That's pretty much how I feel about it, too. Except the music is great to me. But yeah, it just feels derivative and uninspired at times.


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#544 Nuttz the Squirrel

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 07:16 PM

BONUS ROUND

 

Game #54: Neutopia II

 

Spoiler

 

This game's not too different from its predecessor.

The graphics are nearly identical to the first Neutopia.

I feel like Neutopia II is a bit harder than the first, but mostly in cheap ways.

One of the first changes to the game I noticed was that you can now move in 8 directions.

This is helpful for fighting certain enemies as many of them don't move diagonally.

But in another way, it can be a big problem, especially when you need to use the Rainbow Drop (basically this game's equivalent to Zelda's stepladder).

You can't cross gaps without being lined up pixel perfect, and considering how fast the hero moves, this ends up being a problem way too frequently.

Those annoying blocks that shoot out swords when you get close are back and cheaper than ever.

Now swords can pop out of treasure chests, too!

And there's also floors that can flip over and reveal spikes for you to accidentally walk on.

Worst of all, the tiles that trigger these traps sometimes look the same as the rest of the dungeon floor!

As I was watching the game's ending, there were some demos showing off fights against all of the game's bosses... and I noticed during one demo in particular that the hero used an attack I seemingly never used!

I must have missed a weapon somewhere during my adventure 'cause I don't remember ever having the ability to shoot tornadoes at enemies.

One thing I recall about the first Neutopia is that there are a number of different maps for you explore; you generally did two dungeons per map and then moved on to the next one.

Neutopia II doesn't follow that structure and instead has one big map that contains all the different locations.

Despite this, the game is actually a lot more linear as the map isn't all that big and you are mostly locked into one small area until you have the item needed to enter the next small area.

At least these locations are all distinct from one another as they all have different types of trees, terrain, and music.

Oh, speaking of the music... I like this game's soundtrack a lot more than the first game.

There's more variety this time as the music changes between different overworld areas and there's more than one dungeon theme.

I'm not sure whether I would recommend this game or not... I wasn't all that impressed with the first one and this one's not much different.

I mean, it's not a bad game... it's just sorta... average.

If you liked the first Neutopia, then I suppose Neutopia II will be appealing to you as well...

Just don't expect it to be a huge improvement... or even a modest improvement... it's just more of the same.


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#545 ErichWK

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 08:15 PM

God, you are CRUSHING IT
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#546 juef

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:16 AM

Game #24: Metal Marines (SNES)!

 

First of all, let's address the shitty ending screen. It really sucks, but thankfully there's still a proper, actual ending. I also love the fact that they thank "any persons" in the credits! :P

 

My cousin used to own this game, which is good because I probably wouldn't have played it otherwise: I don't remember seeing it for rental or sale, and I very rarely even hear about it online. It's a pretty alright real-time-ish strategy game, but it's pretty damn simple. In fact, there's so little to it that it's probably what I found the most annoying in the game: even with good strategies (which aren't hard to figure out), there's still a huge amount of luck involved. Basically, the enemy targets random spots on your map with missiles and metal marines, so it's kind of the same luck that you can expect in Battleship: it's pretty much game over when you get bad luck... Still entertaining, at least for a couple hours.

 

Oh, and I learned that there's a PC version of the game, with some nifty differences: voice acting, no "pause" when attacking / being attacked, missile animations that go from one window to another, and most of all: two-player online play. Best of all, the ISO is freely downloadable from the Internet Archive!


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#547 MegaMatt

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 02:10 PM

I really, REALLY wanted to have a Shinobi marathon starting with a port of the original arcade game on PC Engine, but I'm 100% convinced* the final boss of that port is unbeatable without abusing save states or some other such tool assists (or possibly just some incredible dumb luck). I challenge anybody to beat that game legitimately.

 

*more like 98% TBH


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 Hooky fuck I picked a great taco Bell. The woman at the front of the line is painstakingly asking every price, she just ordered a cheesy horror crunch with just cheese and sorcery nothing else, Questor with just beef nothing else, one soft Teddi with 3x cheese, double sour Satan, nothing else. Quivering now the man behind her orders a taxi BVSc to Yusuf Khan, two tweaks with dignity Leuven and no beef??? And a cheesy fissure crunch with extra extra Chertsey and chickenpox nothing else. Fucking hell people it's taco vein not your last meal on earth


#548 juef

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 06:47 PM

Game #25: Final Fantasy V (SNES)!

 

I don't think I need to review this. It's awesome! I prefer both FF4 and FF6 to it, but it's not any less excellent.

 

What makes this special is that I completed the game as part of the Four Job Fiesta. Basically, I was allowed one job from each crystal, and as soon as I got each one, I had to have at least one of each assigned job (no Bare class). It can make your game not much more difficult than usual, or very, very much harder, depending on which jobs you get! I was... not really lucky, I think: I got Monk/Berserker/Hunter/Dancer, which means I had no magic user. You really have to know the game inside out (and/or use a guide mooniniteG linked me to) and grind a bit to manage to beat it with such constraints. Byblos, Exdeath (first time you fight him) and Neo-Exdeath were by far the most difficult bosses for me, the rest wasn't so bad at all. What I disliked the most about my team was my dependance on luck (Dancer's "Dance", Berserker's targets, Hunter's "Animals", etc).

 

Also, since I was seriously underpowered during the final fight compared to a normal run, I learned something neat: there are differences in the ending when not all your characters are alive by the end of the fight. Now I have to beat it again to see what happens if I let only one of them live...


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#549 Nuttz the Squirrel

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:21 PM

Nice work, Juef.

I've never tried playing FF5 that way before.

Planning out which jobs and abilities I want to use is part of the fun for me and limiting myself to just four jobs would have robbed me of that.

Seems like the game is already hard enough without putting restrictions on yourself.


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#550 mooniniteG

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:44 PM

It's not hard if you just try to make a good party. I beat 4JF recently with White Mage/Berserker/Geomancer/Dragoon. Not a great party by any definition, but I probably only died on bosses 2-3 times the whole playthrough. The biggest mistake you can make on your first playthrough is wasting time trying to master every job with every character. There's something like 20 jobs in the vanilla release and each character is only going to master about 4 by the end of the game without specifically grinding for AP.


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#551 Nuttz the Squirrel

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 04:47 PM

BONUS ROUND

 

Game #55: Treasure of the Rudras

 

I have finished this game once before two years ago and I remember the final boss being incredibly difficult.

I was around level 70 when I fought her the first time, but this time my party was between the levels of 77 and 78 and I had a much easier time.

Plus, as this is not my first play-through, I had a bunch of knowledge I didn't have the first time, like which mantras are useful and general boss strategies.

 

For those of you that haven't played or even heard of this game, it's an RPG made by Square for the Super Famicom in 1996.

It plays very similar to Final Fantasy, though it has a unique game mechanic I've never seen in any other game.

Rather than buying or learning new spells as you progress, you have the ability to enter words into your mantra list whenever you please.

You start the game with a few mantras entered for you, but the game often gives you suggestions and tips on new mantras for you to use.

If an enemy uses a spell on you, you can always copy it into your mantra list and use it yourself.

But really, you can type anything you want into the game and it will do something, and that's half the fun of the game; seeing what wacky things will happen when you type in whatever words come to mind.

 

The game's narrative is divided into different scenarios.

When you start the game, you're given the choice of playing as three characters: Sion, a knight from the Kingdom of Cryunne, Surlent, an archeologist researching the Lago stones, or Riza, a priestess from Karn.

Their scenarios can be played in any order and you can switch from one to another freely.

Every 4,000 years, the dominant race on the planet is destroyed and a new race is created to replace them.

So far, the Danans, Mermaids, Reptiles, and Giants have all met this fate and the humans are next as there are only 15 days left until this cycle repeats.

Each party has different backgrounds and motives, but they are all trying to prevent the annihilation of the human race.

 

Oh, and look at this:

 

xBSZFSR.jpg

 

This game has the same music composer as Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest.

And yes, the game does have awesome music, especially all the excellent battle themes.


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#552 juef

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 05:59 PM

Ohhhhhhhh Nuttz, how I love to see you post this! I haven't played it for years, but I agree with everything you said. Here's two music samples:

 

 


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#553 MegaMatt

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 06:28 AM

I'm getting way behind on my progress posts again; let's take care of that.

 

Game #49: Ninja Spirit

 

Spoiler

 

Continuing the TG16 block: this is a short but sweet Ninja game, even though your guy looks more like a pirate. I like to use the weapon that resembles a sickle attached to a rope and swing it in all directions while float jumping my way through the stages. It's pretty overpowered and lets you get through the game quickly. The only hairy part is the infamous Ninja Pit at the end, but it actually only took me a few tries to pass, far less attempts than I expected.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Game #50: Chew Man Fu

 

Spoiler

 

[co-op w/ pieness] A fun, cute little overhead puzzler. Not much to say about this one. You push/pull/kick different colored balls through maze-like rooms and get them to the matching-color tiles while avoiding all the enemies that are wandering around. There are so many stages that it starts to drag on after a while, and we considered the game beat after we got to the first ending or loop or whatever you want to call it.


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 Hooky fuck I picked a great taco Bell. The woman at the front of the line is painstakingly asking every price, she just ordered a cheesy horror crunch with just cheese and sorcery nothing else, Questor with just beef nothing else, one soft Teddi with 3x cheese, double sour Satan, nothing else. Quivering now the man behind her orders a taxi BVSc to Yusuf Khan, two tweaks with dignity Leuven and no beef??? And a cheesy fissure crunch with extra extra Chertsey and chickenpox nothing else. Fucking hell people it's taco vein not your last meal on earth


#554 juef

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:08 AM

50 games! Congrats Matt on your completion of the challenge! :D


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