Posts Tagged ‘Comiket

23
Jan
09

Quick C75 Games Writeup

9thNight – Es trial Beta

Pretty much the same as before. I can’t even tell whether or not there have been any significant changes. Not really worth getting again if you’ve played it before as the number of stages available (two) and the upgrades are still the same as before. There are no added weapons, stages, or whatnot; it feels somewhat different, but mostly minor changes like better graphics.

ASTRO PORT – 魔女ボーグメグリロ

The title, roughly translated, is Witch-borg Meglilo, which is, what she is. A witch cyborg named Meglilo. The game features, well, just that. Scenes before each stage are hilarious, even if you don’t understand the dialogue (because I sure don’t). The general preamble for each stage is that an alien does something bad (while Meglilo just watches on) – usually killing someone – and that is when she steps in and must punish the alien. As a shooting game, it doesn’t have any power-up items or even bombs. Instead, you pick up weapon pods for your left and right side, which include standard two-way, three-way, full-on spread shots, homing missiles, rotating energy balls, and even a giant sawblade. And yes, there is a big drill. As a replacement for a bomb ability, Meglilo is able to warp to any part of the screen, stopping time as you pick a location at your leisure. This allows you to easily dodge even the thickest of streams and most ridiculous of bullet patterns with a simple push of the button, as well as letting you navigate some maps that are otherwise impossible to pass through (ie: stage 5). This ability of course, is limited to the gauge on the left of the screen; while in timestop mode, the gauge is drained until you pick a warp destination, and mind you, the gauge refills quite slowly, so you’ll need to be prudent with your warping. MajoMegu also features different costumes for Meglilo, though whether or not they make a difference in handling or in the game is yet to be determined. The lighthearted, and yet often morbid story, combined with the bright pastel colors and cheerful music, give the impression of a gentle pick-up-and-play game, which this game certainly is.

EasyGameStation – 特急天使

EasyGameStation has a knack for making awfully creative games. By taking a relatively mundane activity – delivering stuff – and putting a twist on it, EGS creates a game with incredible replay and multiplay potential.
Tokkyu Tenshi – what I like to call Special Express Angels – is basically a footrace, complete with laps and finish lines. Gameplay, that is to say, the game’s basic objectives, are simple. For single player play, make it through a specific number of laps within the time limit. Nothing too special. Get to multiplayer however, and it gets a whole lot more fun. And chaotic. Instead of focusing on who gets to the finish first, it’s a point collection frenzy with the race for the finish put away as a second priority. Basically, get as many points as possible, lose as few as possible, and make it through to the finish. Gathering jewels and taking out enemies nets you points. Tripping or falling and getting left behind make you lose points. Awfully simple, but throw in a plethora of weirdly uniquely designed courses, lots and lots of traps, enemies, and whole assortment of items and well, you’ve got pure chaos just waiting to happen. Tricky maps willed with jumps, branching paths, and false roads demand foreknowledge of the courses. Spiked floors, falling boulders, supportless platforms, and other obstacles will mercilessly pummel those whose skills aren’t good enough; even enemies will constantly swarm the map, waiting for the next player careless enough to stumble onto them. And the items. You have carrots which give you an instant dash, through solid walls and objects. Magnets which collect all visible jewels automatically. Bombs that… blow stuff up. And let’s not forget EGS’s giant spinning fish.
In theory, multiplayer would be quite the sight, with up to four players knocking each other around the map senseless and explosions and screaming everywhere. I say “in theory” because I’ve never actually had the chance to play with other people and thus, have never tried the multiplay function, and I doubt I ever will, given that no one else here shares such… interests. Single player unfortunately isn’t very non-Japanese-literate-friendly because even though the game has multiple possible endings, not being able to read the dialogue makes the entire point moot.
There also seems to be some costume unlockables, but I haven’t played the game enough to be able to get any.
Tokkyu Tenshi would probably be a great multiplayer game for any occasion, but playing it solo is likely to get boring rather quickly.

erka:es – RosenKreuzStilette FreudenStachel Trial

I probably would’ve glazed over this game if Trancehime hadn’t made a note of it (and thus, I made a note of it) when I went to his place. The best way to describe this game, in a single word, is, “Moegaman”. Yes, I made that up. Of the few Megaman X games I’ve played (only partially as a passing interest), though, they don’t even come close to this game’s difficulty level. Slippery floors, pitfalls, the traditional spikes, lava, moving platforms, this game has it all. All within two minutes of each other. In other words, each level in peppered with death traps that would send any beginner into his doom (ie: me). A little bit of research shows that this game is actually a sequel to erka:es’s previous game, RosenKreuzStilette. I’ve had the good fortune to play it, having just recently acquired it, and it plays much like, well, a Megaman clone. Usual buster and charge shot, and so on. There’s a marked difference in level design however. A number of stages in RKS are awfully bland; very “safe” designs. RKS FS takes those and improves them by adding interesting changes such as Liebea’s stage having wind outside of the tower, or Zorne’s stage taking disappearing blocks to an entirely different level altogether, making the level design even more imaginative and challenging than its predecessor.
Judging from the reactions from some fans, the game’s level design is indeed notably harder compared to RosenKreuzStilette’s designs, though there are a number of rather cheap traps that require particular tricks to get through. Grolla’s stage, in particular, is much, much harder than before. Enemies located on slippery areas rapidly spawn to hit you mid-jump and make you fall into pits. A lot of stages involve memorization of layout and nailing some clever tricks and maneuvering through some of the harder areas, and you might as well memorize how to “edge-jump” off platforms as jumping just a fraction of a second too early will get you killed. A lot. But perhaps all of this is inevitable for such a doujin game, more centered on the tougher, older Megaman series, rather than the gentler X series of late, targetted at such a hardcore audience of Japanese gamers.
With such level and character designs, and a rather interesting-seeming story, RosenKreuzStilette FreudenStachel, is, after all the frustrations and hardships, a pretty good game.

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21
Aug
08

Comiket Shit: Part 1

Alright, Comiket’s flurry of stuff is now incoming (well, it has been for a couple of days now, but I have limited access, so blah) and I might as well give impressions or something like that.

Okay, so games first. I only got two right now (my copy of Desparaiso is busted or something) – TWilight refrAIN (aka TWAIN), by 永久る~ぷ, and Armed Seven by ASTRO PORT.

TWilight refrAIN

The sequel to TWilight INSanity; pretty fun game, enough to warrant my desire to write a short guide for it (which I shall get to later this week). The nice art is well, nice to look at, and it’s a good change of pace from ZUN’s eye cancer art; I’m not saying it ruins SA, but eh, I digress.
The game’s bullets behave in true danmaku fashion – heavy, slow, and steady – which is my preferred choice over the other type, light freeform. One issue I have with the game is that you seem to be fighting magic giant boxes and barrels, which is kinda weird, really. Not that it detracts from the quality of the game or anything, but it would be nice to have other enemies that look like, oh, I dunno, actual enemies.
There also seems to be a story with lots and lots of branching paths (notice why there’s a stage C1, D2, etc.), with decision points, well, deciding where you end up. Make the right choices and you’ll get to the true final ending. Make the wrong ones, and you’ll get to not-true, not-final ending. Or something.
We’re offered three pairs (one pair isn’t composed of twins), each with three styles – attack, defense, and balanced. So far, I’m biased towards the defense style because of its emphasis on item collection and lower magic (bomb) costs. I’ll get to the rest of this in the guide.
Another thing this game offers is online scoreboard support. Okay, sure, it seems like common sense in today’s age where we have stuff like E-Amuse and things like that, but this is the first doujin game I’ve seen with built-in in-game score and replay download and upload functions, allowing one to grab replays and watch them without ever exiting the game, and with 99 slots, you’ll have a lot of space to work with. Sadly, by watching a full-clear replay, you’ll end up spoiling yourself on the entire game, plot branches and all. Still, a solid game and a good contender against the seeming monopoly that the Touhou series has on PC danmaku STGs. Plus, it has widescreen support, which is cool! But then it makes fullscreen screenshots look like shit.
Oh, and sad to disappoint, but contrary to what Aroduc says, there are no pretty boys in dresses.

ARMED SEVEN

Hoo boy, an old-school shooter. First things first, this game looks like it came from Dezaemon. There.
Anyway, it’s a simple game. Shoot shit. Period. Multipliers for overkill and proximity need to be heavily utilized in order to score even half-decently. Probably, the main draw of the game would be the weapons. With 4 main guns, 4 sidearms, and 4 charge weapons, one can have 64 possible combinations, which makes for some neat replay value. But! Generally speaking, there are probably only around 12 or some good weapon combinations. Some weapons are just outright worthless.
For the main guns, anything is good, really, but I would say SMG > Riot Gun > Assault Rifle > Laser. Laser is just horrible because it has practically zero spread, has a half-second delay between each shot (a lot when it comes to a fast-paced game like this) and is just a little stronger than the assault rifle, which is much easier to spread when moving. The Riot gun would’ve been at least tied with the SMG, but its firepower, even with all the pellets, cannot beat the SMG’s and its balance between spread, accuracy, and power.
For the sidearms, Cluster Gun > Rocket Launcher > Air Greanades [sic] > Vulcan. The vulcan cannot hit shit and is utterly weak. Air Greanades [sic] are only good against enemies below, but are very strong (up-closing is useful). The Rockets don’t have enough spread and usually only 2-3 hit at most. Cluster Gun is pretty much perfect for taking out stragglers and the small upgrade ships, as well as just plain shooting things.
Finally, for the charge weapons, Missile Pod > Napalm > Pile Bunker > Beam Cannon. The Beam Cannon, while fun to use at first, takes an eternity to charge, thus making it absolute shit. The Pile Bunker’s useful for racking up points (killing something with it usually nets high multipliers) and can cancel out bullets in its vicinity, but seriously, leave it for the experts. Napalm is okay, but it’s slow to shoot, though controlled detonations are neat. The Missile Pod is awesome because it is homing and it shoots like, a shitload of missiles, all of which are rather effective at taking out small fry and mid-sizers, and it works on midbosses and bosses as well.
Anyway, my only main problem with this game is its horizontal orientation. At times, the game goes into danmaku mode, and as Cave learned with Arashi no Progear, horizontal danmaku is bad, wrong, and just plain stupid. Otherwise, it’s a fun, dare I say beginner-friendly game.

Next, I review music.

03
Jan
08

Doujin Game Review: ETHER VAPOR

This was pretty popular back in C72 (at least, from my perspective) and people were already wondering when the hell Edelweiss would come out with the full version. Thankfully, it did this Comiket73. So what exactly has changed? Well, another four stages have been added to the demo version’s three, which totals up to 7 stages. There has been a massive upgrade in the graphics, and some other things.

Here’s a video you can have loaded in the background so you can watch it after reading.

Anyway, for starters, let’s take a look at the weapons:

Continue reading ‘Doujin Game Review: ETHER VAPOR’




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