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About Butt_Rogers

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    Space Invader
  1. A lot of people feel that Galaxian was rendered completely obsolete by Galaga. Why play Galaxian when you can play Galaga? It has so many more features, so much more action, it's so much faster paced, the enemies come in so many different patterns. Personally I disagree that Galaxian was rendered obsolete by Galaga. Galaxian is a slower game and you can only have one missile on the screen at a time, but this makes accuracy an imperative and accurately timing your shots is a much bigger deal than in Galaga. I get different things out of both games and enjoy them both. I do understand how most people might prefer Galaga though. It's just so much more fast paced. It's Galaxian on steroids. Galaxian with fuel injection. But ok, if your average person thinks Galaga rendered Galaxian obsolete, then how come Gaplus hasn't rendered Galaga obsolete? I can predict some of the answers. "Well, Galaga came out in 1981, and for 1981 it was groundbreaking. Gaplus came out in 1984, and for 1984 it wasn't groundbreaking, so it never caught on." To me this explains why Gaplus wasn't a huge hit back in the day. The arcades had moved away from the classic fixed shooters to more exciting pastures. But these days people are playing these arcade games at barcades, on Namco Museum game collections on various consoles, or on MAME. I get that many people grew up with Galaga and are going to be nostalgic for it and prefer it on principle. But it seems like a lot of people who didn't grow up with any of these games still only talk about Galaga. If nostalgia isn't what's going on, then what is? Gaplus has a lot more going on than Galaga, as evidenced by this flyer. Unless I'm missing something, Gaplus exceeds Galaga by every metric. So what's the deal? I will say that Gaplus can be cryptic... In Galaga it's pretty straightforward how to get the double-ship. You allow yourself to be captured, sacrifice a life, then retrieve the stolen ship. Not too complicated. In Gaplus you can get the "Hypership", the upside down U shaped ship seen on the title screen, allegedly by shooting the shooting star (literally a yellow star that appears and shoots at you) multiple times. However, I've tried this again and again and again, and every time the shooting star simply disappears after a number of shots. I've managed to shoot it 5 times or so and I never got the Hypership. Apparently there is a way to cheat. "At the start of the first stage, the player must move the ship up the screen until it stops and just let it sit there without shooting anything until all forty-three of the aliens have taken their place in the formation. After the shooting star appears, the player must shoot the second Zako from the left in the bottom row of the formation without hitting any other enemies. A Rally-X Special Flag will then appear, and when the King flies down, the player must crash into him (but not the "blaster head" that he is yielding) and your regular ship will turn into a "Hypership" that can fire three shots on the screen at a time instead of just two. However, if you fail to do this correctly, you will not have any other chances to do this in the game. Firing enough shots on the shooting star that appears if you don't shoot any enemies on the first stage is rumored to also grant the hypership." This does indeed work. But it seems like a cheap trick. So far that's my only complaint with Gaplus. The title screen teases that you can get this cool mysterious ship, but I can't imagine ever figuring out how to get it if I couldn't look it up. It doesn't seem like something someone could ever stumble upon. Most websites simply say that shooting the shooting star can grant the Hypership, but if that's true, I can't figure out how to do it. Pardon the long post. Too long didn't read: 1.) Why isn't Gaplus more popular? Why does Gaplus seem to be the black sheep of the Galaxian/Galaga/Gaplus trilogy? 2.) How the heck are you actually supposed to get the Hypership?
  2. Does anyone else like Lunar Rescue? It starts out pretty easy but gets frantic in a hurry. I think it's hilarious that if you accidentally smash your lander into the side of the ship, you don't lose a life, but the poor bastard you just saved falls out of the craft and goes AAAA! as he falls to his doom. It's pretty morbid really.
  3. I grew up in the 90's in Northern California and my arcade experience was limited to the games they had at the local pizza parlor and movie theater. This consisted of Toki, Super Off Road, Galaxian, and 1942. Of these Galaxian was the only one I really developed a fondness for. At about this same time I discovered that Champ Games released an updated version of Galaxian for DOS called Galaxia, and I had my dad mail away for the full version. Champ Games gimmick was that they made very accurate versions of these classic games, but included a new and improved mode as well. In the new and improved mode your ship could get double fire and triple fire, shields, and speed ups, all while retaining the original Galaxian aesthetic. It was tons of fun.
  4. I wonder if my ROM is simply damaged somehow. I tried it in a bunch of different versions of MAME with the same results. Every copy of Cosmic Guerilla online appears to be the same as well... I too think the little shield things can be really annoying, however a couple waves in I find that the enemies are firing so many projectiles at you they can be a big help. I find myself ducking out from behind them to shoot the enemy and finding them more and more useful as the difficulty increases.
  5. Already posted by someone else King & Balloon is a really unique take on the Space Invaders concept. What's especially interesting is that you can get hit as many times as you want. You only lose a life if the King is abducted by the balloons. This adds some fun strategy to it. It is a little repetitive. I'd still say it's underrated to be sure. For a 1979 game, I do think Cosmic Guerilla is severely underrated. These shooters, Space Invaders, Galaxian, Galaga, Phoenix, they all do very similar things, but I think Cosmic Guerilla really thought outside of the box. It's hard for me to explain why I like it so much, but I think it's because there's so much going on. You have to balance the left and right hand sides of the screen. Sometimes an enemy will get turbo-charged and race towards the middle of the screen and steal your stuff. Motherships show up and can be shot for extra points. Little attacker UFOs show up on the bottom of the screen and try to zap you. You have to keep track of not just the left and right hand sides of the screen, but also which specific rows are the most vulnerable. If the enemy has a clear route to one of your lives/temples in the middle of the screen, you have to prioritize defending that. There's just a lot going on in Cosmic Guerilla. In Space Invaders all you do is shoot the enemy, and dodge the enemy lasers. In Galaxian it's the same thing. In Galaga it's the same thing. I feel like Cosmic Guerilla makes me use just a little more of my brain. Of course, the ROM doesn't seem to work properly for me and I can't get any sound and it crashes pretty often... I'm resolving to fix this so I can continue trying to get higher and higher scores. Here's some gameplay footage:
  6. Here's the issue I've been having. Sometimes when I lose a life the screen seems to freeze. The goatmen turn red, frozen in position. The maidens & temples turn pink. And the score (the 1460 in this image) starts flashing. Meanwhile, both the flying saucer and mothership (seen in the top of this image) continue showing up. Pressing start doesn't do anything, but I can still add coins and they register. Furthermore, I noticed that when I run the ROM via command line it says I'm missing all the sound effects. I just assumed the game was silent. I wonder how I can fix this. Edit: I just tried this rom in MAME 0.205 and it suffers the same issues. No sound, and I still get the frozen screen with flashing score but the enemy UFOs keep periodically flying across the screen.
  7. There are a bunch of early arcade games that tried to ape the success of Space Invaders. Some were fun, many were forgettable. I've been playing Cosmic Guerilla on MAME and I think it's one of the very best of these early arcade shooters. In the game the enemies are goatmen (according to the cabinet artwork) arranged in columns on the left and right hand side of the screen, where you cannot shoot them. The center of the screen is dominated by temples (laser guns? pyramids?), which represent your lives, and maidens (according to the cabinet artwork) that are guarding the temples. The goatmen begin advancing towards the center of the screen, and when they reach one of the maidens, they drag them off to the side of the screen, removing them from the game, then begin the trek back to the center to abduct more. If eventually a goatman reaches one of your temples, he will try to drag the temple to the edge of the screen, and if he succeeds you lose a life. As the levels increase the goatmen move faster and fire more projectiles. You have to juggle shooting goatmen on either side of the screen. Sometimes one goatman will get turbo charged and race in and abduct a maiden/temple at a high speed, and will keep stealing maidens until you manage to shoot him. Occasionally flying saucers will zoom in and try to shoot you, shooting it gives bonus points. A mothership sometimes flies across the upper screen and shooting it gives lots of bonus points. One aspect of the game I wasn't prepared for is that each "level" brings new goatmen, but you never get more maidens or temples (you can win an extra temple/life as a points reward). As your maidens/temples get stolen, that's it, they don't ever come back. This makes it imperative that you shoot those marauding goatmen that are running off with your maidens. Every time they succeed defeat looms closer. This game does the "frantic and hectic" thing very well. I have to say, this is one of the most addictive fixed shooters I've ever played, and I've tried to play all of them. I discovered it last night and woke up excited to play more. My highest score so far is 4910, and while not much in almost any other game, for an hour or two of playing I'm pretty happy with it. I do look forward to getting better. The ROM file does seem to be damaged. I get a warning in MAME stating that "There are known problems with this machine", and true enough, the game crashes on me sometimes. It will freeze and my score will start blinking and I can't seem to do anything about it. I'm using an older version of MAME so that might be the issue. I will note that the name of the game is nonsensical and ridiculous. Take the promotional flyer for the game. "Dodge the Guerilla!" What guerilla? "Protect your laser guns!" What laser guns? Is the player icon supposed to represent a temple, a laser gun, or an archer on a dragon? Because of the name I thought this game would be garbage, but it's apparently simply the victim of nonsensical marketing.
  8. To me what sets Enduro apart is that it's all about reflexes. It's exciting to be weaving in and out of traffic at breakneck speeds, hitting the breaks and accelerating to pass traffic snarls, flying past dozens, hundreds of cars at seemingly supersonic speeds. In Rad Racer the challenge isn't so much avoiding cars, it's handling the turns and not flying off the track. You're passing cars at a more sedate pace, at least in the early stages. You're not flying past them like you have a rocket strapped to your car. In Enduro you can't fly off the track, but hitting the edge of the track does seem to slow you down, so you don't want to do it. I prefer that penalty. In Rad Racer if you fly off the track even 2 times you very likely ruined your chances of winning. In Enduro, you can run into cars 5 times, and if you have the reflexes of a genetically engineered superman, you can still survive to the next day. I love it when the timer starts beeping at you, and you still have 50 or more cars to pass, so you throw caution to the wind and accelerate like an insane rocketman and still somehow beat the countdown and make it to the next day of game play. Love it. In Rad Racer I think there's a certain optimal speed for taking every turn in the game. In Enduro, the 'optimal speed' for the clear weather areas, the foggy areas, and the ice areas, is as fast as you can possibly react to the oncoming cars. Rad Racer is a fine game but I find Enduro much more exciting. However that's not to say I prefer a reaction based game like Enduro all the time. Mach Rider (NES) is almost entirely reaction time based, and it's 100% impossible. It's too fast. You don't have time to react to all the things flying at you from ahead and behind. I have yet to meet someone who's actually good at Mach Rider. It seems like such a cool game but it requires reflexes humans just don't have. Enduro, on the other hand, is challenging but I find that on a good day i can reach Day 5 and get the little trophy that appears on the display. Never made it to Day 6, but I'm getting better and better at the game.
  9. Enduro isn't just a great game for the 2600, it's a better racing game than most of the offerings in the NES / GB era. For instance, one of the Game Boy's launch titles was F1 Race which is very similar to Enduro - but far worse. The only NES/GB era racing game I like more than Enduro is Super R.C. Pro Am on the GB.
  10. I just watched the Asteroids youtube video linked in this thread and, y'know, I thought that was pretty good. It's a neat way to expand the universe of these games. But now I want to play Asteroids with a RPC-60A4 with magnetic bubble memories, hypserspace shields, and photon torpedoes...
  11. Individual cartridges did in fact add additional RAM, namely the Sara Superchip used in games like Secret Quest and Dark Chambers, which added an additional 256 bytes of RAM. More RAM = more detail, more game that can be displayed at the same time. The 2600 only had 128 bytes of RAM. The Supercharger added 6 KB.
  12. I've tried so hard to like this game. I understand that it's well regarded. I like the idea of driving some kind of space tank that can jump - those are the best parts of Blaster Master on the NES. But something about the jumping mechanics just infuriates me. I can't get it right, and I've tried using the save state function in stella to really master it. But nope. It's hard for me to even describe. The jumping is an integral part of this game, and it doesn't feel right. My estimations of when to jump are almost always wrong. Jumping over consecutive boulders is a recipe for frustration. It's like if the trajectory of your jump was just a little different, I'd love this game, but as it is, it's just a little shallow and it keeps throwing me off. And the hit detection! I feel like if I get close to a boulder my moon tank explodes. Take the double jump above. This is only the second leg of the game. You're just starting out. And the game throws this at you. Blast the poop then jump? You'll run into the second poop. Accelerate and jump the first poop, then the second? Doable, but requires exacting precision. Slow down, shoot the first poop, jump, shoot the second poop, jump? This works too, but again, it requires exacting precision. There's no farting around with this jump. You can't half ass it. You can't be a little off. You have to nail it or the moon poops will laugh at you. And so many of the jumps are like this. It's almost like the Slow Jump doesn't go far enough, and the Medium & Fast jumps go too far. It never feels right. I went and downloaded the rom for Moon Patrol Arcade, and I don't find these issues in the arcade game. Jumping is intuitive and I never had a single problem jumping over anything in the first game area (zones A to Z), including the mine area. I did go through a dollar or three in imaginary quarters. Now, the next game area (the second A to Z course), the champion course or whatever, is absolutely impossible. I've been trying to jump a canyon defended by tanks for 10 minutes and I can't figure out how. But, the first game area is really fun and I enjoyed it a lot. How come jumping feels intuitive in Moon Patrol Arcade but infuriating and mysterious in Moon Patrol 2600?
  13. I haven't played a great deal of Golf 2600, but I had a lot of fun the times I did play. According to my txt file of high scores the best I've done is a 47. On a par 36 course. So clearly I'm not very good at the game, but it's still a lot of fun. The only thing that's baffling at first is how to aim. It's a little wonky, but a quick read of the manual remedies that. I don't like the real life game of golf. If I want to play a dexterity game I'll play Darts or Crokinole. Crokinole is an amazing game. Party favorite. Everyone who has ever played it loves it. And it takes up a small part of the dining room table. Not a hundred acres of prime real estate and millions of gallons of water. But I do enjoy arcade style golf games like Golf 2600 and Golf on the Game Boy, stuff like that. It's a good casual, fun, laid back time. I think an updated Golf 2600 would make a great choice for a homebrew project. I mean, there's only two moving objects on the screen, the player, and the ball. A programmer could focus on having many different courses to choose from, a refined aiming mechanic, better graphics, etc. Golf was a 2K game. Imagine the possibilities with a 32K game. It seems like it would be one of the easier projects to undertake, and one that would provide a tremendous amount of game play and replayability, assuming one could pack in a ton of courses. Golf has 9 holes. What if an updated version had 45 holes in 5 courses, each course selectable from the start menu (like a SpiceWare game). It's too easy for me to start fantasizing about this sort of thing...
  14. I've only played it in Stella, but it does seem like you only need one gun. Also, until many waves in, the enemy only seemed to target my left gun. Maybe I'm right gun dominant and wasn't paying attention to that side? Edit: That being said I did really enjoy it when I tried it out. I think Commando Raid would be my favorite of these games if the gun controls and hit detection for the paratroopers wasn't so wonky. Commando Raid would be awesome if it had a target reticle interface like Colony 7 in my opinion. I definitely dig that aspect of Colony 7. That was a great design choice.
  15. I've been playing the latest release off and on since it came out and I'm having tons of fun with it. I'll say it again, most impressive, fun, replayable, best looking shooter on the 2600 in my opinion. I've only made it to Level 5 but I'm excited to get further with more practice. It blows my mind that most of the Bosconian arcade machines were converted to Galaga machines because Galaga made more money. I like Galaga as much as the next guy but Bosconian has so much more going on.
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