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thegoldenband

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#4279024 Games Beaten In 2019!

Posted by thegoldenband on Tue May 21, 2019 2:35 PM

Rush N Attack
This game is amazing. It's very difficult and your pace is very important to memorize the game. Thankfully the last level is the easiest so it's all downhill if you can make it there. I really recommend this game if you want a challenge. It took me all day to beat this one.
attachicon.gifScreenshot_20190521-125739_Instagram.jpg

 

Heh, I just beat this too, so I guess I'll post my thoughts:

 

--

 

21. Rush 'n Attack (NES)

 

Nice production values for the time, but it's basically Kung Fu with weapons and one-hit kills -- and when your soldier's most dangerous foes are the ladders in his environment, something's gone wrong with your game design! C.

 

--

 

Agreed that the last level is a total pushover, BTW. I got to the point where I could no-death the first three levels and sometimes the fourth, but the fifth was a real bottleneck and the boss fight in that level is borderline unfair.

 

Obviously I put the time in to memorize the game and the enemy spawns, but I was frustrated by the ladder issue. I also didn't love that the game doesn't encourage improvisation or "flow" -- you really have to stick to a very specific script to win, since your soldier isn't resilient or fluid enough to deal with the unexpected.

 

I can't count how many times I jumped toward a jumping soldier to kill him, only to have an enemy grunt immediately spawn where I was going to land, with no way to do anything about it. It's not a game that would reward high score play either, since there are a bunch of places where you could just put a rock on your turbo button and kill respawning enemies non-stop.

 

BTW I was thinking about taking on Jackal next, or maybe Heavy Barrel. They're two of about 64 games on my NES replay list -- which sounds like a lot, but it was around 100 not so long ago. Then again there are a couple games that I wonder if I'm even capable of beating legit, especially Ikari Warriors...




#4278108 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Sun May 19, 2019 9:47 PM

My times for the week:

 

TRS-80 Model I/III:
Attack of the TRS-80 - 6 min.
ICBM - 25 min.
Quest for the Key of Nightshade - 185 min.

 

NES:
Batsu & Terii - 12 min.
Bio Force Ape (ProgrammingAce fake demo) - 3 min.
Rush ’n Attack - 164 min.
 
FDS:
All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. - 10 min.
 
Finally beat Rush 'n Attack. Then I messed around with some TRS-80 Model I/III type-in games, including old nemesis Quest for the Key of Nightshade [aka Quest for the Key of Night Shade].
 
BTW the Bio Force Ape demo time is for a tiny, Action 52-esque game that was put together as a joke or a hoax, I don't know which, sometime prior to the release of the real Bio Force Ape ROM. It's only a few screens worth of very simplistic action and music, and then it ends.



#4275191 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Tue May 14, 2019 12:20 PM

^It definitely looks like Week 19 has the lowest average gameplay time of the first 19:

 

Average times, 2014-2019, by week (rounded to the nearest digit):
 
Week 1: 4641
Week 2: 4987
Week 3: 5753
Week 4: 5309
Week 5: 4169
Week 6: 5085
Week 7: 4254
Week 8: 4038
Week 9: 4018
Week 10: 4217
Week 11: 4730
Week 12: 4191
Week 13: 4093
Week 14: 4754
Week 15: 4644
Week 16: 4418
Week 17: 4222
Week 18: 4187
Week 19: 3685
 
Interesting that Week 3 is so high. People trying to get their gameplay time in before school starts back up? Or is it folks who are done recovering from the holidays and are now settling back into their daily life? Or a sample size too small for any of these generalizations? :)



#4274293 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Sun May 12, 2019 9:17 PM

My time for the week:

 

NES:
Rush ’n Attack - 52 min.



#4270646 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Sun May 5, 2019 7:04 PM

My time for the week:
 
NES:
Rush ’n Attack - 248 min.
 
Better than the games I've been playing lately, I suppose. But I still find it hard to love a game that can so easily insta-kill you by making you accidentally grab a ladder, or spawning an enemy onto the screen at random times.



#4266574 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:59 PM

No gameplay for me this week, alas!




#4262505 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:56 PM

My times for the week:
 
NES:
Romance of the Three Kingdoms - 4 min.
Sword Master - 40 min.
Wayne’s World - 106 min.
 
Beat Wayne's World. It's not excellent.



#4259198 Games Beaten In 2019!

Posted by thegoldenband on Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:54 AM

18. Dragon's Lair (NES)

 

It's not that I don't understand what the designers were trying to do, or the challenge involved in somehow creating a game that evoked the laserdisc coin-op. Believe me, I do. And I could even handle the laggy controls, the frustrating enemy placement that constantly forces you to crouch, the sprite breakup that occasionally makes projectiles go invisible, the way attacking drains your health, or the fact that platforms behave differently from almost every NES game out there.

 

All this, however, pales in comparison to the sheer, unadulterated dickishness of Dragon's Lair. Over and over again, it takes situations in which a normal game would allow you some wiggle room, some reasonable margin for error, and gives none. Moving platforms and barriers that should pause at one extreme, to allow you time to gauge your movements (and compensate for the awful lag), don't. Enemies spawn in ways designed to impede any sense of "flow", and force you to wait at awkward times.

 

The worst of all comes right before the final boss fight against Singe, where nearly pixel-perfect jumping is required to avoid an item that, if collected, makes the game essentially unwinnable. Got 7-8 extra lives in the tank? Too bad, you have to start over. And you have to replay this section every single time you face Singe (who's the one tough boss fight in the game, and a doozy -- the others are embarrassingly easy).

 

What's the point? Why make your own game so singularly unpleasant to play? It's not even that hard per se, it's just...a joyless, loveless experience with nice animation, good music, and no heart. F.

 

19. Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (NES)

 

Though an infinitely easier game, this reminded me more of Dragon's Lair than I ever would have expected, in that most of the game's challenge is memorization and it can be annoyingly dickish, especially the platforming segments. And Space Mountain proves that you can have the shallowness of an FMV game in cartridge form, as you memorize long strings of inputs meant to simulate a cockpit space shooter.

 

Where's the fun? At least the Bump 'n Jump-style racer is sort of OK. D+.

 

20. Wayne's World (NES)

 

This might be the "objectively" worst licensed NES game I've ever played, with literally nothing to recommend it except the digitized voice samples and (to a lesser extent) graphics.

 

Bad though it was, the Game Boy port is, remarkably, an improvement in every way over this Action 52-level disaster, made with the utmost in lazy cynicism by our fine feathered friends at THQ. Actually, scratch that -- some games in Action 52 play better than this, and I'm not engaging in hyperbole here. F.




#4258001 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:13 PM

My times for the week:

 

NES:
Adventures in the Magic Kingdom - 117 min.
Dragon’s Lair - 272 min.
Dragon’s Lair (PAL version) - 5 min.
 
Genesis:
SeaQuest DSV - 2 min.
 
Beat Dragon's Lair (at last) and Adventures in the Magic Kingdom.
 
I also tried the PAL version of Dragon's Lair, which is substantially different, including a much faster gameplay speed, new enemies and bosses, and an extra death animation. I don't plan to take it on anytime soon, though.



#4253657 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Sun Apr 7, 2019 10:07 PM

My only gameplay time for the week:

 

NES:
Dragon’s Lair - 860 min.
 
Got close to beating this: I can make it to the final boss consistently (with max lives, even), and can beat him if I start there from a savestate, but haven't put both of those things together yet. Horrible, miserable, torturous game.



#4249012 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:06 PM

My times for the week:
 
NES:

Conan - 233 min.
Krusty’s Fun House - 742 min.
 
Genesis:
Tintin in Tibet - 15 min.

Beat Krusty's Fun House (at last) and Conan.

 

Before I finished the latter game I started working on Tintin in Tibet, but soon realized that taking on two cryptic platformers with poor controls at the same time was probably hazardous to my sanity.




#4244349 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:38 PM

My times for the week:

 

NES:
Krusty’s Fun House - 250 min.
Star Voyager - 153 min.
 
Watara Supervision:
Cave Wonders - 2 min.
John Adventure - 30 min.
Tennis Pro ’92 - 39 min.
Witty Cat - 2 min.
 
Played some Watara Supervision in emulation, beating the handheld's one tennis game (which is almost OK except for a huge oversight in the game's rules) and playing around with a few others, especially the Dr. Mario clone John Adventure.
 
Then I beat Star Voyager for the fourth time (IIRC), and cleared the second area in Krusty's Fun House, another game in the fine tradition of puzzle-platformers that artificially extend their lifespans by forcing you to beat a large number of levels between passwords. In this case, it's as many as 14 levels that need to be cleared before you get a password.  :mad:



#4239944 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:14 PM

My times for the week:

 

NES:
Dr. Mario - 225 min.
 
Game Boy:
Felix the Cat - 29 min.
The Little Mermaid - 42 min.
Lock 'n Chase - 127 min.
Wheel of Fortune - 14 min.
 
I beat all of the games I played this week, including a 1LC on Felix the Cat (not that that's any great achievement), and of course clearing Level 20 on Hi speed in Dr. Mario.
 
A harvest of low-hanging fruit, perhaps (except for Dr. Mario and maybe Lock 'n Chase), but low-hanging fruit is still tasty.



#4236366 Games Beaten In 2019!

Posted by thegoldenband on Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:57 PM

7. Zoids Densetsu (Game Boy)

 

Though not as unplayable as some have claimed, this side-scrolling mech shmup is still total shovelware. It lets you play as three different robots, but why does it force you to start as the large, awkward one with low HP and no real compensating factors?

 

Then, if you kill off that character and the next (who's sort of mid-level), you get to play as the third, who has the best HP and weapons and no downside. Plus you get a handful of continues (maybe 5) to let you repeat the process over and over again. The only way it'd make sense if there was some hidden reward for finishing the game with the weakest character, but there isn't. D-.

 

IMG_6420.jpeg

 

8. Cave Noire (Game Boy)

 

On the other hand, this is a well-crafted little roguelike that serves itself up in bite-sized portions. Plus it's got the Konami polish, and a very slick fan translation to boot. The only downside is that the simplicity of the game means it gets a bit one-dimensional after a while; the difficulty curve is also a bit weird, as the highest levels are easier than the two or three before them. A-.

 

IMG_6429 Cave Noire bravo small.jpg

 

9. Dr. Mario (NES)

 

I've beaten a lot of games in which victory has felt like a matter of patience or memorization, so it's nice to beat one that's touch-and-go until the last second. The Dr. Mario win condition is clearing virus level 20 on Hi speed, and a week or two ago, I didn't see how I'd be pulling that off without a real stroke of luck.

 

Practicing lower difficulties helped, and today I finally put a winning run together, though only by the skin of my teeth. At the end the game speed was getting so fast that, when I finally got that last double-yellow pill to clear the last two viruses, I wasn't sure that I could get it to the edge of the board in time, even with my own version of hypertapping. But I did, with racing heart and seizing muscles!

 

IMG_6482_crop.jpg  IMG_6483_crop.jpg

 

Anyway, though it's not quite on the same level as Tetris, I've come to appreciate Dr. Mario. It's addictive, and that's what counts in the puzzle game world. I do wish it would give you qualitative information about the current drop speed, though. A-.




#4235931 What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2019 (Season 12)

Posted by thegoldenband on Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:38 PM

Correction -- I did find some time tonight!

 

NES:

Dr. Mario - 113 min.

 

Cleared Levels 10-16 (maybe 17 too, I don't remember) on High speed. I think I'm better prepared now to clear Level 20.