Monthly Retro Game Club

I was playing the PS2 version which I don’t think made that quality of life change, or at least I wasn’t able to figure it out.

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I found this whole segment from the time you get trapped in the cage to the water puzzle section to be quite an annoying experience, and not adding anything to the game play that I found to be relevant.

I can agree in some respect that it does provide quite a bit of tension but I found it to be unnecessary as you get enough tension from having to backtrack and deal with re-spawning enemies.

I didn’t hate the game or not like it, but felt that there were something aside from controls and mapping, and certain puzzles that could’ve been tweaked or done away with altogether.

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Yeah, I think it’s a ‘HD remaster’-thing, along with a 16:9-mode (which I skipped on because of cropping), and free movement.

I don’t think I agree with this. To me, the sense of horror was heightening to the experience. Although these segments themselves don’t touch this directly, the way the world can work against you at any time added to it. Of course, it all depends on the execution of the segments themselves.

Finding the balance for puzzles is particularly difficult, but I didn’t feel they overdid it or messed up the pacing. Usually puzzles are particularly dumb and out of place in action games, but here it flowed very naturally from one part to another.

This is a interesting one. It seemed silly to me at first too, and the longer it drags on the worse it gets. The answer lies a bit more on the fore-front than expected, and I had Kaede killing Samanosuke once before figuring it out. If it plays out like “What?.. OH!” in a somewhat quick succession, the outcome experience is ideal. However, this is one of those that can get unnecessarily confusing by just missing the one little thing that solves it, and I can easily see it happen.

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So, I managed to beat Onimusha yesterday. I must say, although I expected to like it when going in, I ended up loving it much more than anticipated.

My finish screen:

B; not too bad for a first run. Better than I usually get.

I never figured out the deal with fluorites, but I picked up all I could find, without backtracking all the way to the beginning.

Creepy old man on a string-spoilers:

I did a couple of rooms of the dark realm, and once I saw new monsters I hadn’t fought before I figured I’d come back later with a fully upgraded weapon. I later finished the whole thing, and got the ocarina. It was enjoyable, just focusing on your swordplay for a little while, not knowing what’s gonna hit you next. However, I missed the point where you’re supposed to use the ocarina and never got the sword, until after beating the final boss and reloading my save game. That sword was really overpowered, so I’m glad they saved it for the final boss only.

Speaking of the final boss, I was a bit underwhelmed with that fight.
It was easier than anticipated, and I was expecting him to go “this isn’t even my final form!”
And then, when the cutscene played, the demon king got back up again, and Samanosuke turned into an Oni, I really thought that would be it. Fighting a harder version of him in this powerful Oni-form got me really hyped up. Sadly, it all played out in the cutscene without my involvement.

Sidenote: When I unlocked an alternative costume for Samanosuke, I really didn’t expect this:

Costume:


Can’t say if this panda is cute or creepy. Sort of reminds me of the bear from Danganronpa. Does anyone know where this panda is from, or if it’s just something they made up for this game?

All in all, despite its issues and shortcomings, this game gets a big love from me.
I wanted to get into the sequel, but there’s no version of it that has both Japanese VA and English in-game text, so here’s hoping it also gets the ‘HD remaster’-treatment very soon. I’m happy that Capcom has their dark days behind them, and are going through something of a renaissance, so it might just happen.

To conclude, sharing with you this moment of reflection.

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Yeah, that’s pretty much how I feel here too. (I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek for calling the tile floor traps annoying… though I’m certainly not a fan of the unkippable cutscenes I have to sit through again afterward.) I’ll see how I feel about the balance between action and adventure, once I finish the game.

Very nice, I’ll read through your commentary once I finish too. How did you make spoiler text though? That’s something I’ve tried several times in this topic to figure out how to do. It seems you can make a button to hide an image too, that you click to make it appear?

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There’s an option hidden under the gear icon all the way to the right on the text editor:


Works on images too:

Or are you referring to the drop-down segments?

Like this.

That’s the option right above spoilers under the same gear icon.

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You’re a lifesaver, John! I’ll keep these in mind for when I approach the later parts of the game.


In other news, I’m open for SNES suggestions for one of next month’s games to discuss. Check out this topic here, if you want to make a recommendation. I might make a poll in a few days, depending on what titles get brought up.

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I just learned about “Issen”, a type of counter-attack you can do in Onimusha, adding further depth to the swordplay. Never figured this out while playing, so along with collecting fluorites, this gives me another reason (beside the fact that I feel the game is worth reexperiencing) to replay the game.

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Very cool! I’m never good at timing parries and counter-attacks in games… Will still give it a try though, lol.

Onimusha playthrough updates

Here’s a video clip of me fighting with a cool weapon. This particular enemy is probably my favorite so far – it’s got a creepy design, and the way it multiplies as you attack it is very clever. Its ability to send a tentacle through the ground toward you is annoying to deal with though!

I also appreciate getting to play as the ninja for a bit, if only for a change of pace! Also adds to the tension, since you can’t absorb souls or use super attacks. You can throw kunai though, which is… all right. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of aiming projectiles in this game.

I like looking at all the scattered items throughout the mansion. There’s a good level of detail here for a PS2 game, I feel like.

SNK Gals Fighters playthrough updates

Here are some video clips I saved in recent QOF runthroughs:

I’m really digging this game. Easy to just pick up and play for a bit, which was the point of course as a handheld game. My favorite aspect of the game is definitely the silliness of it all though. The attack animations are funny, and you can never quite predict what nonsense each character will be able to pull off.

The translation for this game is another of its charm points… There isn’t much I’d say is wrong about any of it (that I’ve seen so far, at least), but the characters have to speak very bluntly most of the time, due to the small amount of text space to work with.

The winning and losing animations are great in this game. Such as Yuri’s melodramatic “death” here, and how Nakoruru expects her falcon to fly down to her arm but it never does. (Or at least, it never did in my runthrough with her.) Be sure to see what characters do for “time out” losses as well. Nakoruru for example hides under a blanket and sobs, lol.

One very nice thing included in the Switch re-release of this game is that you can check out the original game manual on-screen. This is helpful for looking up the character combos… and also the character backstories. Which again, are a hoot. I love Athena’s reason for entering the tournament and winning the magical wish-granting talisman. Reading these little backstories is helpful for making a little more sense of the endings btw. (But just a little.)

Oh good, a hamster. Just what I need to win the next tournament!

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Try using your stance (R/R1/RB) more. You can do some cool stuff from it, and it also helps with aiming projectiles. I don’t think combat with tank controls is possible/viable without it.

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Thanks for the advice, I’ll keep that right shoulder button in mind more.


Onimusha midboss spoilers

So I’m fighting my clone now (presumably the dude who gut-punched my ninja earlier – also presumably a demon in disguise), and getting my ass handed to me. I get it, I need to block his constant attacks and especially his annoyingly powerful energy blasts. But damn, I get greedy, I want to counter-attack. This really is PS2 Nioh, lol. I’ll get him eventually, but I sure would like to skip the cutscene before this boss.

I’ve unfortunately had extremely little time for games the past few days, and the rest of the month it looks like I’ll continue to be swamped with work etc – so chances are I’ll be a bit late on my final impressions for Onimusha and SNK Gals Fighters. Everyone do feel free to continue discussing them in the meantime, of course! I’ve been enjoying both games a lot.

In case I’m not able to get my write-up ready for July’s games in time, here are what next month’s games will be:

  • Demon’s Crest – 1994 – platformer
  • Uniracers (AKA Unirally) – 1994 – racing
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Demon’s Crest!! My 3 year old son calls that the big red guy game. That’s an easy one to try and play if you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

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I look forward to playing these in July, as I have dabbled a bit in Demon’s Crest, getting one of the endings I believe, but am not too sure, and I have never played Uniracer’s but have seen some footage and write-ups on it over the years.

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For July 2020, we will be having a SNES-themed month. And the retro games of the month shall be:

  • Demon’s Crest – 1994 – platformer
  • Uniracers (AKA Unirally) – 1994 – racing

Demon’s Crest is a 2D platformer that was released by Capcom for the Super Nintendo in 1994. In Japan it was called “Demon’s Blazon: Demon World Village - Crest Arc.” This is the third game that has you playing as the demon Firebrand, the first two being Gargoyle’s Quest (Game Boy) in 1990 and Gargoyle’s Quest II (NES) in 1992. Firebrand was originally an enemy character in the run and gun platformer series Ghosts 'n Goblins, the first game of which released in arcades in 1985.

I think the fact that you play as a demon could be considered the most unique aspect of these spinoff games. How many games are there that you’ve played, which star the villain? Interestingly, the flying beastie Firebrand isn’t the main antagonist of Ghouls 'n Ghosts… and not even one of the bosses. Just a regular recurring enemy, albeit a difficult one to deal with. (Of course, that’s not saying too much, in a game as difficult as Ghouls 'n Ghosts.) But it seems someone at Capcom really liked the monster design.

I have seen Demon’s Crest compared to a lot of different games from its era. Firstly, it draws a lot of comparisons to Super Metroid (which released earlier the same year). Though it has six separate levels, they are open-ended and can be revisited multiple times – which you will want to do when you find power-ups that grant you the ability to access new areas. The dark and monstrous aesthetic meanwhile reminds me a lot of Castlevania (which had yet to fully incorporate Metroid-style levels, unless we’re counting Simon’s Quest). And gameplay-wise, I have seen it called a slower, more methodical take on the Mega Man formula. (Mega Man of course was also made by Capcom.) Run and gun, defeat bosses, gain new powers/forms.

All that said, the game appears to have a fairly unique control scheme. For starters, Firebrand can fly… sort of. Basically you jump, and once you’re settled in your hovering stance you can glide left or right in straight lines. However, you can also cling to walls, which makes for some interesting platforming. It should be a change of pace from your typical jumping challenges, at least.

Demon’s Crest is one of those games that seems to end up in most “hidden gems of the SNES” lists, which I think means it’s not really a hidden gem anymore. (i.e. If everyone calls Beyond Good and Evil an underrated game, is it really underrated?) But regardless, it looks like Firebrand’s SNES outing is a game well-worth checking out, so I hope folks give it a shot with me this month! If you don’t have the SNES cartridge, you can also download it via the Virtual Console on Wii U or 3DS, or play it on the Switch via SNES Online. Plan on a playthrough taking 3 - 6 hours, probably depending on how much you end up exploring.

Uniracers (NA title) or Unirally (PAL title) is a quirky 2D racing game starring… unicycles. On a series of tubes! I actually played a lot of this about a year ago, so this will be a revisit for me. I think it’s an amusing title that takes some getting used to, but excels in particular as a 2-player game to play against a friend. The goal of the game is to go fast, or to do cool tricks. And to do cool tricks to go faster.

The game itself is a hoot, but I feel the background behind the game is just as funny–if not more so. For starters, this game was made by DMA Design, which would later be known as Rockstar North… Yeah, that Rockstar.

Here’s the even wilder story to tell about Uniracers: how shortly after the game got released, DMA Design got sued by… Pixar. Yeah, that Pixar. At the time they had yet to release any of their beloved films (namely Bug’s Life), but they did make a short that happened to be about a living CG unicycle… just like the ones in Uniracers! Pixar won the lawsuit, and so no copies of Uniracers were made after the original 300k. So this game will probably never ever get re-released, unless the entire human populace boycotts the upcoming Soul movie, holding up “FREE UNIRACERS!!!” signs in front of every theater.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on either (or both) of these games as you play them over the course of July. If you finish, you can give a mini-review if you’d like. Let us know if you think these games stand the test of time!

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Ah, Unirally. Best bet i ever made on a game.
Back in the NES and SNES days i was lucky to have a new game each year, and it was mostly a blind decision made on captivating covers than anything. Sometimes it went well (Kirby’s Adventure!), sometimes less (Bugs Bunny’s Blowout :expressionless:).
So when it was time to get a new game that year, in the store i was faced with a decision; i could get one game OR, there were two games that were discounted and just barely fit my budget, so i could get both. One was Puzzle Bobble, which i knew and liked from the arcade, and the other Unirally.
Obviously i went for quantity, and i’m glad i did.
Loved this game to death. I finished it so many times, played so many versus races. The music was cool (rock music in my video games!), the graphics are nice and the little touches like the saddle moving like a head gave those cycles so much personality.
I also liked to think i developed some sort of “sense” for when to stop doing tricks (that gives you speed) before crashing.
Still have my copy :heart_eyes:.

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Very cool! Always nice to see a well-preserved SNES box. Pretty rare when it comes to cardboard packaging.

I too really like the way the unicycles exhibit little bits of personality as they race along. It would’ve been easy for the devs to give them faces to characterize them more blatantly, but I think it’s funnier that they’re just regular 'ol unicycles. A strangely surreal little game.

“Random aside – Did anyone else feel the minimalist UI for this game was ahead of its time? I found it pretty slick.”

Yes. this game impressed me in many ways because it really went out left field. IT feels like it’s pushing something of a 2D adventure game. There’s no score and very minimal UI elements and you can’t ‘lose’ For a game that has so many nice aesthetic bits it clashes with all the things you’ve mentioned: difficulty, some wonky puzzles, and more.

It’s also a really good title for the Mega-CD with it’s haunting-yet-chilling-soundtrack and smooth animation. A Wicked combo, really. I kicked back at a friend’s house playing it when they were out of town and sipped on booze and played the game from start to finish in a single sitting, (peeking at youtube if i got stuck.) It was a pretty killer time really.

I missed June but intend to play those games at some point. I took a bit of breather from as much gaming and limited myself to mostly Yakuza and some things I had installed like over a year ago but never played. Onimusha looks really fun and tried to start that one but I was having weird issues with my controller but couldn’t play (strange because it worked with everything else even metal gear solid 2 which was what i played instead!) Might have to get a new controller!

That SNK handheld has a few games on it i’ve been curious, mostly Baseball Stars series, but i cant recall the must play games in the series (there was a new spin off released like 2 years ago for PC/Switch, looked fun!)


That is kind of a nice CRT effect TBH. I prefer raw unfiltered for this era. I do however colorize my game boy games with a few palettes I made for myself tho.

Thanks John

Learn something new!

Ah Demons Crest. that’s a fun one! I played that one about 8 months back or so. If you like the 8-bit style of Super Castlevania IV you won’t be disappointed! A great pick for the system for sure and it’s one of those that a good chunk of people prob haven’t played (but prob should!) I discovered it when digging through retroarch files and

finding this


I thought I had modified it into a wallpaper and some point but i guess not or can’t find it.

I played Uniracers once or twice with some kid-friend from school who had it. he had a few quirky games like that (zoop, something else i can’t remember the name of) I barely remember it at all. I’ll do my best to check it out.

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Got to play a couple of minutes of Unirally. The controls seem a bit strange and I couldn’t grasp them easily. I can confirm that it is, indeed, quite strange. I’ll report back after a bit more rallying.

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I have to admit that Unirally didn’t click with me. It’s quirky, I’ll give you that, but the racing gameplay didn’t hook me. Races for me were either trivial or impossible. In some I would speed past my opponent and in others my opponent would be too far ahead and I could do nothing to win. Either way, racing feels… lonely. And almost pointless, the fate of the race determined from the early start.

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