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NinjaFlicker

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About NinjaFlicker

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    Space Invader
  1. The First Dragon Quest isn't exactly the most polished game around. And to Dragon Quest's credit, later games immediately improved on the formula. In terms of just saving the game, sequels included a place to save in every village, and a quick save at any time in case you needed to quit suddenly. It'd be overwritten the next time you started the game. I'd argue that your home should also offer a free health restore. And maybe a place to store extra items? Make it actually feel like a home, so you have a real reason to return to it.
  2. Sorry for the necromancy, but this a harder port than it looks. It's not the number of sprites - Nintendo's hardware has an advantage over Sega's in that department. And it's not the cpu clockspeed - the 68000 isn't the most efficient chip around, and it'd be a mistake to compare them on that number alone. It's a lot of smaller things that add up to a death by a thousand paper cuts. One of the Super Famicom's less known weaknesses is that you're limited in the sprite sizes you can choose from, and, even worse, you can only choose two sprite sizes at a time. This means that duplicating the all out sprite insanity of a Treasure game on any random frame will require you to either waste a lot of smaller sprites, or waste a lot of cpu resources dealing with pixels the player won't ever see or interact with. Either one of which is a bad situation when you can only access the code controlling all of this between vblanks. And did I mention the sprite look-up tables are nowhere near as efficient as they are on Sega's hardware? And that's just the beginning of the brutal hazing that awaits you. I'm not saying it couldn't be done. After all, I flunked junior high math enough times to confirm every stereotype about the non-coders who post here. And I am just repeating what I was told by a few people familiar with both systems, in ways that most went completely over my tiny little art major head. Slow DRAM look-up? 8-bit multiplication? Inflexible limitations on RAM allocation? How much of that is even relevant? It all kind of blurs together, and my best efforts to remember their exact opinions on the matter probably sounds close to how a hack television writer would fake technical knowledge about hacking. But I do know that the sprites used in every SNES run and gun are a bit more carefully controlled compared to their Genesis counterparts. And it's probably not a coincidence that the games that best represent each system's personality are GunStar Heroes and Super Metroid. So, is it really as hopeless as it looks on the surface? Or are there workarounds to all of these problems, like when Burger Becky somehow managed to port Out of This World to the SNES, using the slowest available ROM cart?
  3. Let's hear some actual grunts of pain when attacks connect in Double Dragon. Sure, it won't even come close to anything good. But everyone who's ever played that game for more than 15 seconds knows that the AI is set to Skynet, unless you spam the elbow attack. Fighting a bunch of slightly annoyed robots can only enhance the experience. I'd also like to see it used for a port of Space Channel 5, both because the small but fully voiced command set is perfectly suited to the hardware's limitations, and because it'd be such a terrifying misuse of the technology that any form of criticism ceases to be relevant.
  4. You guys realize this story was featured in the "just warm fuzzy slices of life" blog? It's only reporting on the guy's personal experience, and the warm memories his post brought back for some people. Then it has a cute kids moment, as they try to understand us older folk and completely fail. They've also reported on burning issues like a cop helping an old woman with her groceries. They do this, because some people enjoy learning about little bits of good news, instead of the usual 21st century clickbait desperately trying to make extinction level volcanic explosions out of molehills. (Or desperately trying to make molehills out of the things we should be worried about.)
  5. Defender is an improvement over the arcade, because of it's flaws. 1. The terrible graphics mean I'm defending the last survivors of humanity in an actual city at night, not on the random vector mountains of a lifeless alien planet. 2. The terrible graphics also gave us the most awesome laser in any Atari game, bar none. It fills the sky with color. It's so awesome that the Atari 2600 has to erase your ship in order to actually draw it, which means that maybe you are the laser. For the brief moment when you're firing it, you can't actually die. This introduces a risk/reward dynamic that only encourages players to take more chances... 3. Because we're working with one button, you are now safe while you plan how to make the most effective use of your bombs and warps - but the entire time, humanoids continue to be abducted. How often do you see a shmup with this layer of strategy attached, even now? I wish someone would port this game, and not the real Defender, to a more powerful system. I would pay for just the rom.
  6. Is it just me, or does this look less like Double Dragon, and more like Mat Murdoch in his original costume, Karen Page, and Wilson Fisk? I know hair wise, we're dealing with the graphical limitations of the Atari 2600, and a quick cash-in besides, but check out that lives icon - it's clearly meant to be something more ninja-like. Also, just like in the series, the hero often gets his ass handed to him, because the enemies don't stay stunned after a punch, and they never let up once they've got the upper hand. Seriously how hard it is to program an enemy sprite that doesn't fight back right away? Doing nothing is their default state. I could program an enemy sprite acting like they've just suffered serious head trauma, and I don't even know how to program a microwave. But my point is - actually, I don't really have one. I just thought it was a fun coincidence, because I'm about to watch the last episode of Daredevil, and this game got me hyped up for it.
  7. What if you removed every unnecessary line, gameplay wise? For example, if the tanks were simply a wedge with a scary pyramid head up top? And bullets were an X or a cross? Granted, that's severe, but from a bare skeleton, you can see what absolutely needs to be on the model to sell the idea of a tank, and only add as few lines as needed. What if you also limited visibility, and you need to use sounds, a motion tracker, direction of shots fired, and something like "headlights"? Could it run at a good speed, then? It wouldn't be Battlezone anymore, but it would still be in the same genre.
  8. Love the idea, but the execution...right now, it's Mario with a broken neck. On someone else's body. Maybe it would help to use one of the 3d Mario games as a guide for the sprite? Also, the bike really needs something more, to make it suitable for the Mushroom kingdom. Whether you go for cute, or subversive badass overkill, it needs to acknowledge that Mario's the one riding it.
  9. The Atari 7800 wins for me, in a tight race. But that's mostly because I prefer the Nintendo/Square style of exploration based gameplay, and I'm horrible at simple Atari-era twitch games. Allow me to explain. I've played everything to death on the NES, and I've played that style again in every Japanese released console released since. And it's all evolved. How can anyone go back to Final Fantasy's slow squeaks, broken elemental damage/status attack systems, and endless grind, after playing any of the story based games in the series? What makes a Contra a classic, if you've already beat Gunstar Heroes and Metal Slug? Imagine playing Ys III or Symphony of the Night before Link's Adventure, and then coming back to the NES and trying to convince yourself that you're having fun as you wait for the s...l...o...w... text to fill the screen. Besides, each of these games has an actual win state to reach for. Either you reach it, or you don't. Once you have reached it, what happens next? By contrast, the 7800 keeps kicking my ass. And I can expect it to kick my ass in the time it takes for someone to reply to my answers on Skype on a slow day. But I'm only competing with my childhood. Can I beat my own high score? With that said, and with all due respect to Ballblazer and Super Mario 3, if I'm going to play through an 8-bit library, it's usually a portable one. Link's Awakening, Parodius, Fatal Fury Special, Streets of Rage 2, Metal Gear Solid, Mr. Do, Mario's Picross, and Final Fantasy Legend II, simply have more to offer than their NES and 7800 counterparts. And although not a substitute, Sonic Triple Trouble and the Warioland series help make up for losing Super Mario 3.
  10. 1. Karate! 2. Sssnake. 3. Video Life. A desert island is a boring, lonely place. These games will help me develop a sense of imagination and wonder as I struggle to mine any fun at all out of them. Other people may enjoy their Atari more, but I'll enjoy my life more.
  11. Double Dragon has a great visual hack on Atari Age, but it needs to have an enemy stun when you start hitting them, and an enemy AI that doesn't immediately drop kick you to death. Elbows should be as simple as turning away from the enemy, and hitting the attack button. Your own drop kicks could be holding the attack button down, and hitting up. It's frustrating to know that the 2600 could pull a decent version of the game off, but we'll never see it. Especially when that's used as the go-to example for arcade conversions too ambitious for the system.
  12. Kung Fu as one of the worst? No way in Hell. The Atari 2600jr was my first game console, and I couldn't believe there were that many enemies, that many stages, and a deadly boss waiting at the end of each one. It was my addiction - my first exposure to post-crash gameplay. High scores were forgotten. I needed to explore... But Space Invaders has to win best - we wouldn't even be having this conversation without it. It was the console market's first killer app. Worst: Double Dragon. The very first fight is roughly equal to the last fight in the NES port. Your only hope to survive is to exploit the Ai over and over again, rather than try to actually fight it.
  13. Well, I watched. This won't be a good review. Apologies, but my roommate, who is also a retro-gaming show enthusiast and transgender, and who applauds your work for Sisters... Well, her first reaction wasn't kind. Before I give her review, I'd like to say what we liked about the show - your enthusiasm, how easily you invoked heavy nostalgia of sneaking up past midnight to catch things like Tales from the Darkside and other horror anthologies, your taste in games. I wanted to be a fan. What was missing was any kind of hook, or polish. The webcam fixed on a television doesn't live up to your opening, but more importantly, as our hostess, you leave dead spaces in your words, you repeat yourself. You have a lot of basic declarative sentences like "It's fun" and "You put out fires." that could easily come from watching my mom playing the game. After reminding me that I could simply change the channel, she said "If she's on radio, I want to know where, and if I go there, I'm buying a television." Please, if you wish to gain a larger audience, don't take any of this personally. Worse things have been said of millions of successful people. I really do believe you can improve dramatically, and I look forward to the day when we're eating our words, and you don't need to give us the time of day. But you deserved an honest review. After finding out you help out women who are just revealing to the world that they're women... I respected you too much to do anything else. You're like a Fairy God Sister. I wish there were a thousand of you.
  14. Hmm. Good point. But at the same time, look at Sega's Master System library - Double Dragon 1&2 on the NES pays tribute to clean lines and suggested texture. Double Dragon on the SMS is a riot of bizarre color choices and absurdly detailed backgrounds that remind you they can't actually handle perspective yet. Altered Beast on the SMS throws grape jelly on everything, because purple rocks. But even in 16 bit games that were known for their great graphics, Sega finds a way to hint that art is difficult for them. Look at the trees in Ghouls N' Ghosts, compared to the original. Yes, I know they needed to redraw a few things to fit in limited cart space, but they do so in a way that's usually left to the cheapest European Amiga conversions. This is coming from Japan, a country where kids are taught art as if it were a science, beginning in elementary school. It's rare to see that kind of mistake... The Sonic team guys made the Genesis look like an entirely different system. Then there's the super scalers. Yes, Cotton had far more space to play with, but Road Rash actually wrote sprite scaling in software, in order to pull it off. (I think Cotton did too, but it's impossible for an amateur like me to tell.) And sure, Sega can't be faulted for not thinking of it first, but there are smoother super scaling style games on the competition. Square and Hudson would have done far more with the 4meg Sega gave themselves for SMS Afterburner.
  15. Sega's hardware was a victim of Sega's software teams. Check out Golden Axe, for the system. The sky is neon turquoise. It's perfect for a laser death holocaust, but since everything else is using muted shading, the overall aesthetic looks like someone accidentally ruined a gif. Throwing 6 inches of texture over a mile of dirt isn't helping matters any. It's like they thought they were programming a Dreamcast game, and were shocked when they suddenly ran out of cart space. Contrast it to something like Alien Soldier or Pulseman, both of which were designed with the system's limitations in mind, and could easily pass for NEO-GEO titles. Then there's Sega's own conversions of their super scaler games. There's no excuse for Thunderblade to play with a frame rate similar to Myst, in a world where Cotton and Road Rash also exist.
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