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With the recent release of the excellent shmup RefleX on Steam, I decided to revisit it, and also check out the other two entries in its trilogy, the Tale of Alltynex -- KAMUI and Alltynex 2nd.
FYI, RefleX is a shmup with the distinctive feature of a reflection shield. Blue bullets (and orbs and small lasers) can be reflected, generally dealing far heavier damage than your own weapons. (Red bullets can't be reflected, while purple bullets can't be reflected but can be destroyed.) There are no bombs, but you have six shields per life (only one life per credit). Using the reflection shield uses up a bar that is recharged when the shield is inactive; it also recharges faster if you aren't shooting.
The sprite graphics make the bullets show up very well. The game -- a heavily modified remake of the dev's own earlier game, Reflection -- is pretty story-intensive too, presenting narrative through key events in the plot, though it helps to look up the details on the internet (such as on TV Tropes). Using up all your continues gives a game over...but for every game over, the game gives you an extra continue, so between that and getting practice just playing the game, you can get farther and farther, little by little. And the music's also good.
So yeah, I definitely recommend it. Especially with that continue-adding feature, which makes you want to come back and play it even if it flattens you (and it will). The two-button control scheme -- one to shoot and the other to shield -- also make it very easy to pick up.
RefleX is, story-wise, the 2nd game in its trilogy. So I decided to check out the other two -- Alltynex 2nd being the first, and Kamui being the last.
I played the demo of Alltynex 2nd. Like RefleX, it's got an intuitive two-button control scheme, one to shoot and the other to use an energy-sword melee attack. If you shoot, you automatically (and near-instantaneously) switch to a form that is faster and auto-absorbs these goodies that some enemies drop; if you melee, you automatically (and near-instantaneously) switch to a form that is slower and doesn't auto-absorb them. You also get two special attacks, which uses up part of the energy bar; letting it fill makes your normal attacks more powerful, though. Melee deals far more damage than shooting and even cancels bullets, but doesn't give you yourself any immunity and doesn't hit as fast. You get one shield per life, but multiple lives per continue; continues are limited, though.
Like Reflex, Alltynex 2nd is a remake too, of the first Alltynex game. And a fun fact: Alltynex 2nd is the only entry in this trilogy that uses polygon-style graphics rather than sprite graphics.
I also checked out KAMUI. Just like the others, it has no bombs but a two-button control scheme, by which you have three attacks -- shooting, an auto-targeting lightning attack, and a powerful beam attack. However, the special feature in this game is depth: the lightning only attacks (and only the lightning can attack) things in the background, which can of course attack you as well. Button 1 is normal forward shot, button 2 is lightning, and pressing them both together gives a beam that does high damage (and cancels bullets) forward but can't last very long; the power or duration of these special attacks is limited by a shared bar that autorefills at a variable rate.
KAMUI seems to come with unlimited continues (which is why I just beat the game, actually), but two lives per continue and a default of (I think) five shields per life (though I think you can get more). You can occasionally collect powerups and shields from defeated enemies. Also, apparently, you can put in your own audio CD for music?
As a person who isn't experienced with shmups, I nevertheless quite enjoyed RefleX, and it seems that the other two games are also a lot of fun. One key factor, I think, is that these games use only two buttons, making for a simple, easy-to-pick-up control scheme. (Also, the lack of bombs, while it seems crippling, actually allows more focus on dodging and choosing the right weapon.)
Anyway, Alltynex 2nd and KAMUI seem like great games, and RefleX is awesome and I know that because I've already beaten it. They're US$7.99 each; $19.99 for the whole trilogy. RefleX is on Steam already, and the other two will be soon, at some point; if you get them on other sites, the localization/publishing team -- Nyu-Media -- has promised Steam keys for pre-Steam-release buyers.
(cross-posted at Caves of Narshe)
I'm interested in playing a multiplayer game where you can have multiple players or teams with varying amounts of resources (such as military strength) opposing each other and taking advantages of locale-specific conditions -- such as geography, or alliances with would-be opponents -- to get stuff done.
This might sound like Risk, but with Risk (at least classic Risk) the battles themselves are kinda a little repetitive after a while, and the endgame is always boring for all the players who have been or are about to be defeated, and tedious even for the winner.
Maybe this is best represented by some sort of territory control multiplayer computer game where territory is more formally abstracted (such as Risk, as opposed to, say, a PvP FPS, where territory control is de facto and not much formalized), and where there is some objective other than "defeat all other player". Basically, there needs to be incentives to keep other players alive -- ''especially'' those whom you're allied with.
Are there games like this?
Luda!Virgo rams you if you time it out. Luda!Taurus just stops at the end of its track. Luda!Scorpio just discards its side-pieces, and later, just self-destructs. I still have yet to check out Pisces.
Pacifist-mode RefleX is a totally new play style because, instead of seeking out blue shots to reflect, you need to desperately avoid them.
Two things that clarified this for me -- and the undeserved reputation of GOW as a strong beat-em-up -- was playing the beat-em-up Castlevania games and viewing the reception to them. They're generally derided for straying too far from the type of gameplay most associated with Castlevania, and perhaps legitimately so, but I found the Lords of Shadow games to have some silver linings. Primarily in the way blue magic works, given that heals you when activated and you strike an enemy. You can only get magical resources by successfully continuing to combo out without getting struck yourself, though, which means that the amount of healing at your disposal is heavily influenced by how well you play. It's really simple and elegant, and for all the mistakes the Lords of Shadow games have made, I was impressed.
I mention that because it clearly reminds me of how God of War didn't have systems to incentivise playing well, and how much of the game could be won without much consideration or thought towards things such as evasion. The God of War games are excessively focused on their content and only have limited consideration for their mechanics. That can be said of a lot of games, but God of War is considered the definitive example of a modern beat-em-up, and that's pretty terrible. As stale as, say, Call of Duty has become, at least the mechanics are rock solid.
Like is God of War even a beat-em-up? I always thought that beat-em-ups were all about - well - beating up dudes. And doing nothing else. Move to the right and punch the next dude. God of War has a lot of puzzles and stuff.
Really though. Not a game I ever want to touch. (who thought chains wrapped around swords was a good idea?)
@Glenn: Civilization sounds a lot like what you're looking for. You have territory control, alliances are very important and you need them to get through their territory and share resources with (e.g. you ally with somebody because you need the coal they have access to), and there are multiple ways to win (space race, cultural superiority, being elected president of the world etc.)
I'm not sure what you mean with varying amount of resources, but besides military strength you can focus on developing technology, culture, etc.
(I never managed to win without crushing at least one enemy, though. Go redcoats!)
By "varying amount of resources" I think I meant something like, even if you're a player who controls relatively little military power or few territories, there are still ways to make yourself relevant, though it might not necessarily be by the same strategies as for those players who control a lot of power or territories.
And does Civ V fall under the description you gave? Because that's the only Civ game I have (courtesy of a friend here, actually!).
@AttObl: turns out I created this thread on Steam a while ago. I should probably repost it at the new RefleX forum.
Edit: Better thread here.
Corp. journalism had lauded the thing as the next logical step to beat em ups. Needless to say, I was NOT impressed, even from launch. (The hydra fight was amazing, but that's about it)
@glennmagusharvey: Yes, Civ5 has several victory conditions and not all of them require large amounts of territory or military strength. (In particular, the Cultural victory is easiest if you only ever build two or three cities.)
That being said,This part describes Civ equally well.
I'm a little surprised that I seem to be the only God of War fan here, but whatever. I won't raise a stink about it. I think that the five I've played are really entertaining character action games, with the possible exception of Ghost of Sparta. Optional consensual orgy scenes notwithstanding.
Currently playing through Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Digital Devil Saga. It's an Atlus-travaganza! P2 is interesting, but I hate the Persona fusion system compared to P3/4. Digital Devil Saga is great - I might want to jump right into the second one after I finish this one.
Well, what I posted earlier was more of an overreaction for fun; I haven't played any God of War games. But that sex scene just looked so...incredibly silly. It's not the sex scene I mind, it's the way it was done.
Anyway, Summer Games Done Quick schedule is apparently up! see it here
Among the games to be played are La-Mulana (bid war between versions), Anodyne, Bunny Must Die, Guacamelee, La-Mulana, Ikachan, Monty on the Run, I Wanna Be The Boshy, Inspector Gadget, CvSotN, Cv1, Cv3, Cv64, MMV, SMet, FFVI (co-op!), Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams, Shantae, Mighty Switch Force, Big Rigs, Duke Nukem II, and Bible Adventures. And I kinda also want to check out Shatterhand since I don't know what it'll be like.
This is a pretty good read: http://www.anatomyofgames.com/tag/metroid/page/2/
I tried to play FTL Advanced on my laptop, but my laptop appears to be having overheating issues as I've noticed a pattern of my laptop just up and shutting off trying to play it.
The only game I've been confident will not crash my computer as of late is Anti-Idle: The Game.
Some thoughts from an indie dev on the demo: http://www.puppygames.net/blog/?p=1394
TL;DR: pricing structure and the reality of the situation make demos unviable, as of today, for indie PC games.
That ignores the subset of people who played the demo, then said "I'll wait for this to go on sale". I'd wager a decent amount of their direct sales may not strictly have been such.
Hell, that describes a good part of my Steam library. Even when a direct conversion is offered ingame, I'll usually delete the demo and do a clean from-scratch purchase because they tend to be buggy.
I'd also like to note that the demo isn't just for making sure you enjoy the game. It's for making sure a borderline system can run it at all before you plunk down money. Indie games in particular tend to have a lot less budget for proper QA and are much more likely to be unstable or leaky than a pro title. I'm more likely to ignore an actual contender for lack of verification than to impulse-buy something even on sale.
I kind of want to eyegouge the beatmania IIDX community right now for mocking people who play PS2 releases instead of arcade rips.
Like, I'm sorry that I have a laptop with overheat issues and, those notwithstanding, can't establish the correct refresh rate necessary to run the game without timing issues? And that there are people who don't have the upload:download ratio necessary to download the rips without getting banned from the tracker that has those rips?
(The fact that the series is widely pirated is a long story; it involves a huge dose of No Export For You and No Up-To-Date Consumer Ports For You.)
Is anybody planning to take/has anybody taken advantage of the May 4th sale on Steam of Star Wars games? I just bought the first Dark Forces and Jedi Academy earlier.
I just grabbed the Jedi Knight collection because, you know, why not.
I don't even have anything capable of playing them right now...
Did I ever mention I love this game? Especially the soundtrack. Those sweet swing tunes <3
Blegh. Wanted to play Melee again. Disc Read Error.
So, that's no good. Decided to try OoT again. Disc Read Error.
So, decided to fire up Metroid Prime. And it works.
My enjoyment of Prime asides, I might need to find replacements for both of those games. (OoT being thankfully less pricey nowadays). My Melee disc has had a good 13 year run.
OoT on disc? Master Quest version?
Yep indeed. Well, at least I can get that VC version on my Wii. >>
Still, thank goodness Prime still works. ^^
Yeah...but discs becoming unreadable does suck pretty badly. What did they go through to become like that?
also, repost from elsewhere, my idea:
Castlevania features blue and gold medusa heads
if i make a castlevania game
i can make them fly together
at 90 degree angle to each other
blue as electric field head
gold as magnetic field head
together they are a polarized medusa wave
different medusa waves can have different polarization
Evidently younger me still had no idea how to take care of games. >
@ Medusa Head idea:
You are evil, you know that? :V
I also thought of combining medusa head waves with moving gears and wind effects. >D
Since I felt like talking about the Wii U:
You know what was the best feature of the Wii? The controller. And I don't mean the overhyped motion controls, though they do help. The controller just feels good. Magic wand in one hand, analog stick in the other, and the necessary buttons are few and easily accessible. I felt free in my hands in a way that wasn't present with the traditional controller. Sure, it wasn't an ideal setup for every game, including fighting games, but the control scheme for Super Mario Galaxy felt more natural than Sunshine or 64 (especially with the N64's awkwardly placed analog stick). And I sucked at fighting games anyway because of their high learning curve, which incidentally is because they require so many buttons.
And then I look at the clunky and complicated thing that is the Wii U GamePad and recoil. Though in all honesty, I have been interested in the Wii U ever since Pikmin 3, but I don't have as much time for home consoles nowadays.
The remote does feel quite nice in one's hand, with or without the jacket. That, and the whole setup (the console itself, the remote, the nunchuck, either iteration of the classic controller) just has a rather nice, 'clean' aesthetic to it. I'm glad the Wii U continued in that direction; can't vouch for or against the gamepad, since we don't have a Wii U (though I would like to upgrade eventually, mostly for Mario Kart and Smash), but what I've heard has been positive.
The Wii U gamepad is easily the best feature of it. The ability to play without having to look at the TV or even turn it on is just an amazing innovation.
Imagine a console that you don't even need a TV for. Why, you could even play it on the bus.