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Tempest 4000 (in VCS Store)

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Posted (edited)

Tempest needs some improvement. Menu asked to press buttons not on the classic controller (for example, "press X for menu"). Spinner seems off somehow, not precise. Atari Jaguar version (with spinner dial) is far superior so far. Flying through the loops between stages is impossible for me because both the up/down and left/right axis are reversed. Unable to get out of certain menus because the buttons don't exist on the classic controller, you need to actually back out to the VCS dash and start over. You must use the Atari button as your "power up" button which makes little sense, perhaps if your a lefty and control the dial with your left hand (and don't hold it too long or else you'll pause the game). It's unplayable if you control the dial with your right hand, how could you possibly press the Atari button (edit: I'm using my ring finger)? The "B" button isn't being used and would work great as the "power " button, why isn't that an option (edit: just discovered that it's because it's the jump button)? Doesn't seem to have any controller options. Honestly I don't think the classic controller has enough proper buttons for this game. Very disappointed, especially for $20. This is not in the same league as the Recharged games, at least at this point.

Edited by livingonwheels
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Posted (edited)

I've long felt Tempest 4k is essentially a reskinned (basically renamed?) TxK, but I'll know more when I finally sit and play 4K. From the jumping to the graphics to the music and sound to even the levels it looks exactly like TxK to the point I'm wondering if my old strategies will be the exact same, which I know well due to it being one of the games I played the most on the Vita. 

Edited by Mockduck

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1 hour ago, THX-1138 said:

Aaaaaah!!   I'm moving home, won't be moved and able to setup my VCS again for at least a week.

The joys of moving lol!. I guess by then there might even be a patch released to tweak the rotary controls just a bit to get them perfect but other than that it’s a solid version of the game and when your moved and sorted you’ll be in for a blast when playing it. 

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I’m actually getting used to the messed up rotary controls as I’m determined this is how I really want to play the game lol, weird how you can adapt though but definitely hope they drop a patch to to tweak it. 

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I have Tempest 4000 on the Xbox One. I am not a fan, not at all.

 

It just doesn't have the "feel" of the original Jaguar Tempest 2000. I love Minter's stuff, but it seems like to me (and again, only one man's opinion) that everything else added/changed after Tempest 2000 was just a regression. I can still go back to the original T2K and have a blast. I just can't with these new incarnations. I just can't put my finger on it exactly. The controls especially just don't feel right to me.

 

It would have been worth the purchase if there was an original Tempest 2000 game included as a selectable game mode in Tempest 4000, but no....I can't have that either I guess.

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One would hope.  There have been numerous patches for other games already.  Atari really need to up the QA for their games.

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I’m going to hold out on buying T4K because of the issues mentioned in this thread. I hope Jeff Minter reads everything and realizes his game needs patching.

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(+) The core gameplay, audio and visuals feel on par to the PS4 version - which I have for my Pro.

 

(+) It plays great with the modern controller.

 

(+) It plays well with the Classic if you spend time to get used to it.

 

(-) Local and online leaderboards are broken. These will hopefully be fixed in a patch.

 

(-) Currently, menu navigation using the Classic is a bit of a guessing game. Some menus don't have mapping for the Classic. For example, you are unable to navigate High Scores between Classic, Pure and Survival with a Classic Controller because the paging function is mapped to RB and LB, which don't appear to have an equivalent on the joystick.

 

There should be an autodetect for the controller type that updates on-screen displays. The Recharged games do this, why not Tempest?

 

(-) There are no rotary adjustment settings. While I quickly got used to the default setting I think this should be standard for paddle games. See  Thrustlander and the Atari VCS Vault for great examples of this.

 

Overall, it's not a bad game but strikes me as a bit of a lazy port that is held back from greatness by a lack of QA, polish and fine tuning. If you are a fan of Minter's brand of Tempest and don't sweat the details, it's a ton of fun. But it could have been much better with just a little more care.

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Posted (edited)

I don't have a VCS, but out of curiosity could someone post a video on youtube how the game looks and runs?

Edited by mb13081
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21 hours ago, eightbit said:

I have Tempest 4000 on the Xbox One. I am not a fan, not at all.

 

It just doesn't have the "feel" of the original Jaguar Tempest 2000. I love Minter's stuff, but it seems like to me (and again, only one man's opinion) that everything else added/changed after Tempest 2000 was just a regression. I can still go back to the original T2K and have a blast. I just can't with these new incarnations. I just can't put my finger on it exactly. The controls especially just don't feel right to me.

 

 

That regression began on Tempest 3000 on the NUON.  
 

Seriously, try it out.  Between the soupy visuals, sloppy controls, the concerning barnyard animal noise effects, and overreliance on psychedelic effects, it's just a bloody mess.  Hard to believe that it was a sequel to T2K.

 

Things got no better with the universally panned "Space Giraffe" on the Xbox 360 (to the point where Jeff Minter considered leaving the games industry altogether because gamers just didn't appreciate his bizarre vision).  You had to use the sound effects on some levels to guide you since the screen gets so delibertately crowded...I mean, this is a game, not some LSD hallucination simulator, lol!

Tempest 2000 was an anomaly.  It played so well and didn't inundate the player with weird visuals and crazy design.  I think Jeff's love of Pink Floyd and acid trip visuals are a detriment and he seems to follow this weird path of trying to design the perfect light simulator game.  

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Space Giraffe is great! I totally recommend trying it out if you have an Xbox One/Series or play it on Steam. I mean look, Jeff Minter's games are definitely not for everyone. But I'm a big fan, he knows how to make a fun arcade style game, and plus I really like the cool visuals. I like Tempest 2000 and I think Tempest 4000 is a great follow up to that game.

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Until they patch this game, I am going to tell others to avoid this if you plan on using the Classic Controller.    This game was not ready to roll out on the VCS, and it shows.  

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So, I've been having a great time with it, and after trying the Modern for a bit I went back to the Classic and never looked back. Maybe it just happened to fit with what I'd want it to be, but I'm quite satisfied with the way Twist works in T4K, although I am always in favor of more granular control. The only issue with the Classic is menus; you can't look at the Leaderboards because the Classic has no RT and LT but the menu requires it, and no alternative is mapped nor mappable. But if you are just booting into the game and playing it that is not an issue.

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22 hours ago, mb13081 said:

Space Giraffe is great! I totally recommend trying it out if you have an Xbox One/Series or play it on Steam. I mean look, Jeff Minter's games are definitely not for everyone. But I'm a big fan, he knows how to make a fun arcade style game, and plus I really like the cool visuals. I like Tempest 2000 and I think Tempest 4000 is a great follow up to that game.


How far did you actually get in Space Giraffe?  I gave it many tries and it's just unplayable once you get to level 20 and above.

Far as I can remember, even Jeff's ardent UK fans were split regarding that game.  

Did you ever play Tempest 3000?  What did you think of that?  That was slightly less worse than Space Giraffe, but still unplayable once you got to the later levels.  The visuals are too blurry to be able to make out the numerous threats.  
Style over substance.

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45 minutes ago, Leonard Smith said:


How far did you actually get in Space Giraffe?  I gave it many tries and it's just unplayable once you get to level 20 and above.

Far as I can remember, even Jeff's ardent UK fans were split regarding that game.  

Did you ever play Tempest 3000?  What did you think of that?  That was slightly less worse than Space Giraffe, but still unplayable once you got to the later levels.  The visuals are too blurry to be able to make out the numerous threats.  
Style over substance.

I beat the whole game on Xbox first. I bought it again on Steam and finished the whole PC remix levels also. The thing I like about Space Giraffe is that it plays differently from regular Tempest. You can kind of sit back and not have to constantly shoot every enemy as fast as you can like you do in Tempest. I mean you could also just play it like Tempest if you want, just make sure you keep the "power zone" going (jumping refills it). I still want to try Tempest 3000 but controllers for the Nuon are so expensive on eBay so I haven't been able to play it yet. It's true that Llamasoft have their own distinctive style and it is not for everyone, but I think they're really fun games as well.

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On 3/23/2022 at 6:52 PM, mb13081 said:

I don't have a VCS, but out of curiosity could someone post a video on youtube how the game looks and runs?

There are some YouTube videos now.
Here's a review with gameplay included of course, from RetroRich.
 

 

 

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Here's another one... with some more chat. Gameplay starts at 341 seconds in.
 

 

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I don’t know if it’s been pointed out or I’m just noticing for the first time but I’ve found out how to switch the music to the Jaguar version, basically i accidentally pressed Y on the modern controller on the level select screen and the music changed to the jag version and if you press it again you get a different sound track! Pretty cool, probably been mentioned before but I’m just finding it out lol. 

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4 hours ago, Atari_JaguarVCS said:

I don’t know if it’s been pointed out or I’m just noticing for the first time but I’ve found out how to switch the music to the Jaguar version, basically i accidentally pressed Y on the modern controller on the level select screen and the music changed to the jag version and if you press it again you get a different sound track! Pretty cool, probably been mentioned before but I’m just finding it out lol. 

I wish this was a menu item so I could change it with a Classic, I haven't really been playing with a Modern so haven't had the chance to check it out yet.

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I did some quick side-by-side footage of the PS4 version and the VCS version. The PS4 version is on my Pro.  I didn't notice any significant difference other than the leading edge of each web seeming slightly larger/closer to the screen than in the VCS version.  On the Pro the PS4 version is bumped to 4K.  Gameplay is nearly identical with the game pad with the exception of the mid-level warp, which uses the the Dualshock 4's gyro.  Overall, minus the small issues with the leaderboard and navigation/on-screen labeling for the Classic, the VCS version holds up nicely compared to the Pro.

 

 

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You are correct, the only difference I see is the PS4 version appears to have slightly larger webs.  Either way, the visuals are super trippy and the gameplay is frenetic.  The ramp up in enemies and speed seem much faster in T4K in contrast to T2K.  How does the Classic Controller play in your opinion?  Is the mapping really as poor as some people claim?

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After spending some time with it, I have to say the default setting on the Classic works well enough. The use of the "fuji" for the super zapper feels odd at first but so would the menu buttons if they had gone that route. Perhaps it could have been activated with a joystick pull? I have never disconnected the Classic or interrupted the play using the fuji. 

 

The main issue with the Classic is that on-screen navigational menus are for the modern controller. They don't change when using the Classic like some other VCS games. For the most part you can figure it out but there is no equivalent mapping for RB and LB which is needed to page through the high score menu. This isn't something that would keep me from using it but I hope its resolved with an update.

 

 

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On 3/25/2022 at 12:35 PM, Atari_JaguarVCS said:

I don’t know if it’s been pointed out or I’m just noticing for the first time but I’ve found out how to switch the music to the Jaguar version, basically i accidentally pressed Y on the modern controller on the level select screen and the music changed to the jag version and if you press it again you get a different sound track! Pretty cool, probably been mentioned before but I’m just finding it out lol. 

Yeah, this was on the PS4 version as well. I believe it's the Jaguar version, Tempest 2000 CD soundtrack and TxK as your audio options.

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