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The Zzap Rrap

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 2:31 pm 
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Boulder Dash EX (or whatever it called) arrived yesterday, and it's, erm, interesting.

In many ways it proves my thinking regarding how companies take cool retro concepts and water them down, adding too much extra stuff. The new version of the game is okay, but has loads of unnecessary extras. It's also sluggish - not so much Boulder Dash and Boulder Mooch Around Slowly. Therefore it's _way_ easier than the original, but maybe this is aimed at youngsters?

Still, the original's on the cart, too, and it's a good conversion, so I'll most likely end up playing that most of the time. Shame they didn't put Rockford's Riot on there, too...

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 9:06 pm 
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CraigGrannell wrote:
In many ways it proves my thinking regarding how companies take cool retro concepts and water them down, adding too much extra stuff. The new version of the game is okay, but has loads of unnecessary extras. It's also sluggish - not so much Boulder Dash and Boulder Mooch Around Slowly. Therefore it's _way_ easier than the original, but maybe this is aimed at youngsters?


Fuckers. (Sorry -- I've been reading Gary Penn's comments in the Retro Edge special, so feel like saying f***f***f*** everywhere I go.) You're right about the watering down: I reckon since the 80s, everything has just got easier and easier. This isn't always a bad thing, but it makes games less of a challenge and more of an interactive experience... Not that any of this applies to GBA Boulderdash -- it sounds from your comments like they've just thought we'll target it at 5-10 year olds, make it slow and piss easy because no one has any patience, and milk cash from everyone else who remembers what a great game this used to be.

Oooh, I'm cynical today. I'm off for a holiday.

g.

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This isn't always a bad thing, but it makes games less of a challenge and more of an interactive experience...


It's arsey to quote myself, but one exception I've found to this general rule is Ikaruga on the Gamecube: an old-style blaster with modern graphics. It's faaaantastic (at least it was in the couple of hours I've played it and failed miserably so far).

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:47 pm 
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Having played it a bit more now, the last couple of worlds are a bit more challenging, and I've got used to the fact that the gameplay is "different". In some cases, this is essential, as the boulder's 'hovering' before dropping is needed to complete some caves. I just wish it was a bit faster, as that's part of which made the original so much fun.

As for the original, I too was using the 'f' word a lot yesterday, when playing. Caves J and N are a bloody pain on the GBA... ARGH!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 4:18 pm 
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mmm...I always get nervous when those blinking butterfly thingies appear, I always seem to run into them!
I never was any good at Boulderdash, although I love the game!
(still playing it, and my 2,5 year old son, Casper, always laughs out loud when a boulder lands on my head. I think it's the FX. :D)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 7:38 pm 
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Yeap, those flying diamonds or whatever they were really used to scare the shit out of me as well. They'd escape and be all over you within a second. Very stressful! 8-)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 8:16 pm 
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Mayhem wrote:
Ant wrote:
However I can definitely recommend NOT getting the Midway Greatest Arcade Hits compilation. Welcome to Terrible Arcade Conversion Town. Population: Me. :oops:

And the Sega Arcade games pack... even worse arcade conversion town...


I avoided these, but picked up the Konami one in a local store for 999ISK (about eight quid). It's pretty good, and a big slap in the face in terms of difficulty compared to every other GBA game. Even Mario Kart was a bit of a let down in that sense: in a single sitting I completed (with only one exception) all 50CC and 100CC tracks on my first go...

I now own quite a little collection of GBA stuff. Here's what I reckon:

Mario Kart: Great fun, but a little limited and too easy. The unlockable SNES tracks lack a lot of features, too. 8/10

F-Zero: The SNES version on a hand-held, with extra tracks and craft. Nice, but sometimes a tad frustrating. 8/10

Boulder Dash EX: Two versions - the original C64/PC one, and a new, puzzle-oriented 'cute' version. The latter, despite being a tad easy at times, is actually a very good game, but it's nothing like the original. 8/10

Konami Arcade Advance: Green Beret, Time Pilot, Gyruss, Frogger, Yie Ar Kung Fu, and Scramble, all on one cart! They changed the music to Frogger (the bastards) but otherwise and excellent purchase. 9/10

Phalanx: A rather dull little shoot em up. 4/10

Super Bust-a-move: Like the Neo-Geo/PSX versions, but slower. The lack of a password system is infuriating. 6/10

Sheep: Nice little Lemmings-like puzzler. 7/10

GTA Advance 3: Playable but totally unrealistic driving game. 7/10

IK Advance: Hmmm... Bought for nostalgia's sake. It's all right, but nothing more. 5/10

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 10:58 pm 
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CraigGrannell wrote:
Konami Arcade Advance: Green Beret, Time Pilot, Gyruss, Frogger, Yie Ar Kung Fu, and Scramble, all on one cart! They changed the music to Frogger (the bastards) but otherwise and excellent purchase. 9/10


Interesting... and sad to hear about IK Advance -- it could have been a classic. But the Konami thing sounds good, and I'll check it out when I finally get my SP :). Is their version of Scramble similar to / identical to the coin-op? It was a game I played to death when it came out, racking up half a million points during a school lunch hour once (which I thought was impressive until I mentioned it to Jaz, who followed it with a comment about how it was quite easy to get a million :roll:)

g.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:27 am 
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The problem with IK+ is that it's just not as frenetic as the original (a problem with many GBA games, actually). The controls are less intuitive, too.

As for the Konami collection, it's well worth a look, and you can pick up a copy on eBay for £15 or so (new, not second-hand). There are also a bunch of two-player games built-in, too, such as two-player Frogger. I'm seriously hoping for a sequel to this collection, as it's leagues ahead of all the other retro carts, although the Namco one looks ok, too, apart from Pole Position.

As for Scramble, it's pretty much identical to the coin-op, except that there's some vertical scrolling. This actually doesn't affect the gameplay too much, which is still pretty tough (or maybe I'm just a gaming wuss).

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 8:39 am 
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CraigGrannell wrote:
As for Scramble, it's pretty much identical to the coin-op, except that there's some vertical scrolling. This actually doesn't affect the gameplay too much, which is still pretty tough (or maybe I'm just a gaming wuss).


I think Scramble is one of those games that really needs the original arcade joystick (I broke one in Butlins at Minehead once from trying to hit bottom left too hard). I've since played it in MAME and only got about 50,000 points, using a Sidewinder gamepad, which just doesn't cut it -- so I can't imagine what the fiddly +-controller on the SP is like...

As for IK Advance and MK Advance being too easy, it seems tro be a problem with a lot of conversions / remakes these days. I'm not going to start saying "when I were a lad... blah blah blah", but the difficulty level of pretty much everything has been cranked down several notches. Not a bad thing altogether as long as there's more game to pay with, but it's a bit disappointing for us older gaming nuts ;)

g.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 11:50 am 
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Yuk, yuk!
One of my colleagues just gave me two cd's of +400 GBA romz to play on my emulator (or to eventually upload'm to that cool cartridge that you can get these days).

Indeed, the Konami collection is pretty impressive and faithful to the originals. Shame that pole position (on the namco collection) is totally unplayable.

Is there already a c64 emulator for the GBA?
Imagine uploading all your c64 games to that cartridge and playing Wizball all over the place. A-m-m-m-azing!

Ta!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:19 pm 
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biggestjim wrote:
One of my colleagues just gave me two cd's of +400 GBA romz to play on my emulator (or to eventually upload'm to that cool cartridge that you can get these days).


I was actually thinking of getting one of those carts, but to play freeware remakes that seem to be popping up for the GBA. Then I saw the price of said carts... yeesh.

The thing is with GBA emulators, they're not that good and it sort of defeats the point, playing hand-held games on-screen. Having said that, I've sourced some ROMs, to check whether to buy stuff or not, and have both avoided some costly mistakes (like the Sega collection, which is terrible), and found some nice surprises, which I since bought (notably that the Konami collection wasn't garbage, and that Sheep was a nice little puzzler to while away a few hours with).

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Shame that pole position (on the namco collection) is totally unplayable.


Well, it's garbage anyway as far as I'm concerned. While I'm no big fan of modern gaming, racing games have been massively improved by technological evolution. The only 'classic' racers worth a spin for me are OutRun and Chase HQ. Now the latter on the GBA would be nice....

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Is there already a c64 emulator for the GBA?


I don't know. Someone was making one (SPLAM) but I remember there being problems with resolution - you can't fit the entire C64 display on the GBA screen, and SID emulation was a problem.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2003 12:25 am 
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CraigGrannell wrote:
Konami Arcade Advance: Green Beret, Time Pilot, Gyruss, Frogger, Yie Ar Kung Fu, and Scramble, all on one cart! They changed the music to Frogger (the bastards) but otherwise and excellent purchase. 9/10

That sounds like a great compilation. Must keep an eye out for it on ebay. If they've kept the Toccata and Fugue music for Gyruss I'll be pretty happy. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2003 12:54 pm 
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The Konami pack is the best of the bunch that are out there. Still MAME is miles better for the emulation, but it will occupy you long enough to get your value out of it...

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2003 1:06 pm 
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CraigGrannell wrote:
I was actually thinking of getting one of those carts, but to play freeware remakes that seem to be popping up for the GBA. Then I saw the price of said carts... yeesh.


Same here. But it would allow you to play the original NES Super Mario -- check out: the screens on this page. An expensive gift, though :)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2003 4:50 pm 
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Ant wrote:
That sounds like a great compilation. Must keep an eye out for it on ebay. If they've kept the Toccata and Fugue music for Gyruss I'll be pretty happy. :)


They have - it's pretty much identical.

Mayhem - FWIW, I agree that MAME is better, but it's not much fun lugging my laptop (which heats up _very_ quickly) into the living room whenever I want to play a game. The GBA is much more convenient and fun.

Gordon - yeah, I've seen those screens. It's tempting, but not until we've moved! :)

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