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On 26/05/2020 at 14:31, Colonel Panic said:

Slowly continuing with Chrono Trigger here. Realised that I'm now as far on the SNES one as I last got to on the DS version years ago.

 

Are you using any patches? It's my great shame as a JRPG enthusiast that I've never really played this, I got about six hours in on the DS version but booted it up yesterday (coincidentally without seeing your post!) and realising I'd forgotten so much I might as well start again. I understand the DS version is substantially better, although I'm not sure why, and imagine the internet has backported some things if they could.

 

Incidentally I'm still playing Seiken Densetsu 3 which is pretty great, and Mega Man 2 which is equally so. Even if I have no idea how to fight the boss I'm on (Wily Castle 3) and it's the very first instance where dying sets you back far enough to be annoying.

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@Yasawas I'm playing the vanilla NTSC-U cart on the SNES, the DS version's translation seems better, and there are different item names. And it's got the FMV from the PSOne version.

 

I did have a mess with the DS version's options though, having the menu and health stuff on the bottom screen is really good if you've got a DS or DS Lite.

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The DS game has a tweaked translation, which is generally better (mostly item names). It also has some extra content bolted on, but it's not great, and a bit revisionist plot-wise (tries to tie it all to Chrono Cross). I was playing through the SNES version with a big improvement patch applied to bring some of the translation improvements from the DS, seemed good. I say was, because then lockdown and Animal Crossing happened. I'll come back to it at some point.

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Thanks both - I had another wee shot but I think I’ve forgotten so much about the plot I’d be doing it a disservice to plough on with it at the moment. SNES it is!

 

 And then when the lockdown eases - CEX it is! Holy shit, I bought CT on here for about £15 a few years so. 

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This is the patch I'm using: https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/3147/ - seems good.

 

I'm a big fan of these bugfix/translation-tweak/QoL patches. Finally played through FFIV using one a few years ago, looking forward to giving the FF6 one a good shake one day. Translation wise, they basically retain the spirit (and 90% of the dialogue) of the old Woolsey translations while fixing the clangers, uncensoring weird 90s Nintendoisms, and bringing item/spell names in line with the modern accepted translation conventions (e.g. Fire -> Fira -> Firaga for FFIV, rather than Fire 1, Fire 2 and Fire 3).

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Riiiidge Raceeer!


 

Spoiler

back in february, this happened

 

 

 

then, on saturday... or was it sunday?

 

I got a PSone out, to take DHT part 2 out for a final spin before ditching my CRT.

 

Didn't happen because you still need a controller connected in order to select a game, before switching to the Logic3 Predator 2 I found

 

then I wanted to test the cheap RGB SCART -> HDMI  upscaler I have, on the 42" panny I picked up, but the PSU is dead, but I have a PS2 and a PS3 connected to it as well, so PS3 it is.

 

Then I thought I'd try my NeoGeo MVS into the panny, without the scaler. Car Crash, but while finding my MD1 RGB cable to use in the supergun, I also found a Copy of RRR

 

and my PCEngine RGB board, and I know exactly where they are in the garage.

 

tl;dr

 

I had a copy of Ridge Racer, and then I found a copy of RR Revolution, so I figured, with the PS3 out, I already have RR Type 4 installed on it too

 

So I'm taking a bunch of RR games for a spin.

 

That means I might need a copy of Rage Racer.

 

yes, yes, I am a genius driver, and would gladly teach you...

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You don't need Rage Racer... you've got the 3 good ones, oh, and maybe the Hi-Res demo from R4 needs to be obtained, if you don't have it already, it's gorgeous.

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I decided to set the GameCube up a week or so back and fired up Metroid Prime.

 

I’d actually bought this off forumite. MrDo 10 or more years ago, but got so frustrated with the controls and dying at the ship explosion bit near the start I gave up on it.

 

This time I decided to persevere. While I still find the controls an absolute abomination I’m starting to enjoy the game. It’s the first 3D Metroid game I’ve played so it’s all new to me.

 

Hopefully I’ll keep at it.

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The game is built around the controls. So many enemies, particularly bosses, are about locking on and circle strafing. I didn't get on with the free-aim in Metroid Prime 3 at all (although it was less of an issue than people bloody talking to me all the time - sod off and let me explore!).

 

Loved MP1 & 2, although 2 definitely had a bit of an Expansion Pack feeling - kind of the same, but harder and tweaked in some interesting ways.

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I recently bought a Driving Force GT wheel off a forumite with the intention of revisiting the PS3 Gran Turismo games. It's a great wheel and well worth the next to nothing I paid for it. So:

 

Gran Turismo 5

When I fired this up, after all the updates, I got a message telling me the online servers had been switched off. I wasn't really concerned about this, this was the way the game launched, and it was still a good game. And a good game it is, but it still suffers from the flaws all GT games seem to have suffered from.

It's difficult to find a good race, for example. There are about 45 racing series of various lengths in the game, all of which have some restrictions. Every car has a Performance Points rating system, based on power and weight, but none of the races use this as a restriction, the only real thing they use is a limit on which tyres you can use - so you can take a Le Mans winning LMP car against a bunch of Japanese city cars, as long as you fit it with road tyres. And what you find in each series is that one or two of the CPU cars are much more powerful than the rest and, unless you have a car that is at least a little bit more powerful than them, you may as well give up. So you essentially either murder the opposition, or you don't win.

The AI is pretty poor and will bump and crash constantly. I think this was the first one that had almost all rolling starts, which I have always suspected was to stop cars just running into each other off the line, which they still do.

I think I'm right in saying that this is the first of the series that has a dedicated "B Spec" mode, which is where you have an AI driver that you train up and have them run races for you. In the previous game, you could do this to complete the game, if you wanted to, but in 5 it's separate from the races you have to drive yourself. This is really handy for getting the cars you need (I never want to buy any cars in these types of games, so will try to win everything I need) and generating a bit of cash. 

BUT: speaking of prize cars and the like - I realised that the CPU was using cars that I couldn't buy. I looked at my old save and had a lot more cars and a lot more cash, and this is where the problem with the servers being turned off hits. Not long after the game was launched, they started having weekly "seasonal events" that were new races of varying difficulty, that gave you a wider range of prize cars and a good bit of cash. These aren't there anymore and it shows - it's suddenly a good bit harder to win some series, because the better cars just aren't available. And, more importantly, there is a series that you essentially have very little chance of being able to compete in - you need a very specific car that used to be available to buy from the "online dealership" that you now can't buy. It may crop up in the standard dealership once in something like every 100 days (calendar days, not in game) or you have a 1 in 3 chance of getting one if you complete the highest tier of races, which includes two 24 hour races, run in real time and one of which you will have to grind for literally weeks to unlock.

It's a shame, the actually driving is great, but the game isn't really there, it's not a lot of fun to play and it really feels like a significant chunk of the game isn't there any more. Not the whole game, but maybe a quarter of it has gone.

 

Gran Turismo 6

This doesn't even tell you the servers are now off, you just get a numbered error as you start the game and anytime you try to use any of the online functionality. Unlike the previous entry, this launched with a heavy slant towards online events. Not PvP online events but, like GT5, a ever changing series of races that gave you various rewards. Where in GT5 it felt like there was a bit of the game missing, this feels like a good half of the game is now missing. Without the online events, you have a relatively decent set of events to compete in, but you basically have to grind to get anywhere. In previous titles, you'd get cars for completing race series, in this you have to complete a series of series before it gives you anything. The payouts in terms of credits are pretty low - even this is affected by the lack of online as you used to get a bonus for playing on consecutive days, which you now don't. You are also only given the option of buying one specific car when you start, it's not great and you have to run the same races over and over to upgrade it to get anywhere. 

It does, at least, now use the Performance Points system to restrict the cars you can use, so the field is evenly matched. However, the starts are all rolling starts and the way this is done is fundamentally flawed - you always start in 11th of a field of 12, Your car is stuck doing a low speed until it crosses the start line. This means that the ten cars in front of you have raced off well before you are able to speed up, resulting in the first place car being half way around the first lap before you've even started. So you don't race against the CPU cars, they just become a series of checkpoints as you drive around the track. And you're all fairly evenly matched, so it can take nearly the full race before you see the first place car. 

It's just not a lot of fun to play and reeks of a vanity project. This really is the game the producer wanted to make, not a game anyone wants to play.

 

I have now discovered that my wheel is also PS2 compatible, this means I can use to play:

Gran Turismo 3

Now we're talking. I think this is my most played game on any system, ever. So there's a slight bias here. 

I've always played this using a Dual Shock and have found it suffered from some of the issues mentioned above - specifically you have to bring a gun to a knife fight in order to win. Using a wheel, however, means that I'm suddenly competitive with the equally matched / slightly better than me CPU cars. This means that it's a lot of fun to play because you're actually racing against the CPU cars. When this came out, there was the "but teh grind!" complaints, but you can actually run through pretty much the whole game only running each race once, if you know which order to complete them in. Playing with a wheel just feels really good as the handling just works with it, though it's all a bit understeer-y. I didn't realise previously, but the game is clearly designed to be played with a wheel and getting one has given it a whole new lease of life. It's actually a joy to play.

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It does seem racing series loose sight of being a "game" somewhere around 5.  In all honesty the same thing happened to Forza Motorsport where the current gen ones all suffer from similar problems of structure and 7 includes the "cards", the worst idea to ever infest a non-arcade racing game.

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11 hours ago, Dudley said:

It does seem racing series loose sight of being a "game" somewhere around 5.  In all honesty the same thing happened to Forza Motorsport where the current gen ones all suffer from similar problems of structure and 7 includes the "cards", the worst idea to ever infest a non-arcade racing game.

Yep, Forza 4 is my favourite of the bunch, not least because I think the approach to the structure is spot on - a series of seasons that progress from boggo hatchbacks through to LMP,  with the option of playing any event in any order is just perfect, as far as I'm concerned. 

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4 hours ago, SilverCrow said:

I know it probably doesn't count but I'm replaying one of the best Star Wars games ever, The Force Unleashed on my 360. 

 

Still one of my faves. It was as close as we've come to the Psi-Ops sequel we never got!

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well, I was trying to play Pole Position, on MameOx, on the panny, via component, but there are a couple of problems

 

mostly the green tint, and the lack of controller response. Maybe I should try something else, in the same emulator, but via the ogXbox -> HDMI adaptor I have, but which is STILL pushing out 576i, with weird RF-style interference.

 

meanwhile my son is flitting between F1 2011 and F1 2018, but won't touch F1 '01 or F1 1996 

 

 

so I've been sticking to to Blazing Star, Pulstar, and Last Resort on the neogeo, but emulated, rather than on my MVS. Even though they're NEXT to each other on the TV stand...

 

Talking of emulation. The ogXbox can't do n64 to well, can it? I've tried all three options available to me (project65, ultraHLE, and something else), with multiple drivers, to play Beetle adventure racing, but it's treacle. Also, Coventry doesn't look like that in real life.

 

and I'm still thinking little velvet drawstring bags to store the controllers.

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After finishing Seiken Densetsu 3 this week I picked Treasure Hunter G back up to see if I could get into it again - I’d parked myself a couple of hours in six months or so ago. Played for an hour, so yes. 
 

Square have a stronger catalogue of games they didn’t bother releasing outside of Japan than most companies developing for the SNES put out anywhere. 

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12 minutes ago, Yasawas said:

After finishing Seiken Densetsu 3 this week I picked Treasure Hunter G back up to see if I could get into it again - I’d parked myself a couple of hours in six months or so ago. Played for an hour, so yes. 
 

Square have a stronger catalogue of games they didn’t bother releasing outside of Japan than most companies developing for the SNES put out anywhere. 


How did you get on with SD3? I think it’s a masterpiece and SoM is a mess, but this seems to be the reverse of most people’s stances. 

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I really enjoyed Treasure Hunter G.

 

Edit: Yeah, I’d agree that SoM is a wildly overrated mess. It looks pretty in places but that’s about it. 

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4 hours ago, Alexlotl said:


How did you get on with SD3? I think it’s a masterpiece and SoM is a mess, but this seems to be the reverse of most people’s stances. 

 

I adored it and I don't like SoM either, hooray! The removal of the stamina bar, magic not levelling up through use and the unique structure of the game were the big differences. I wish I had time to play through with other characters but I'll settle for playing the remake on Switch later this year.

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Just finished half life 2. Enjoyable enough. I think the pacing in the chapters is a little off in places. Some too long, some too brief. 
 

fired up episode 1 immediately after and decided that I was done with it for now. 
 

on to the Phoenix Wright trilogy on switch and maybe Skies of Arcadia on cube. 

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Is Rez still considered retro if it’s played in VR? I can fly around inside a game I first fell in love with on an 80’s fake-wood veneered CRT TV I’d had since I was a student. What a time to be alive. It blows my tiny mind.

 

In fact, I bought my first decent telly so I didn’t have to play Rez on that shitty old thing! 

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Saturn laser is on its last legs. Sees games as audio CDs. I'll need to look into that, but I don't have a multimeter and just turning the pot seems ill advised.

 

Gamecube's door switch was broken! I bought it as a spare years ago. It's got the worst region switch install ever, so I've removed that and forced it to be a US GC until I can order a new one (and a soldering iron).

 

DC works great! Played some Powerstone.

 

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Metal Slug 3 through LaunchBox. I’ve been spending lockdown curating my LaunchBox software. 
 

Metal Slug still looks absolutely beautiful and plays like a dream. Along with Gunstar Heroes, my favourite run and gun. 

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