Sunday, September 6, 2015

Omega Fighter Special high score #4 -10,738,960

After months of Raiden DX, I popped in Fire Shark and exhausted myself of it in two days, then popped in this UPL Classic and absolutely killed my old score! I made the second loop after maybe a dozen credits and proceeded to die on stage 2 of the second loop due to the speed of the bullets, which takes a bit of time to get use to. It's such an awesome game with its excellent soundtrack and chunky sprite work and proximity scoring. 

I'm currently on the hunt for some new pcb's for the collection - namely, Gunnail and V-Five as I want to actually have some new things to play. Apparently caldwert has gone all crazy now with pcb buying and his short list of awesome he added to his already considerable stable of games inspired me to add at least a few. I did sell off Big Bang to eXidy as I just think I had enough of that game. Fun, yes, but working on stage 6 and 7 just bummed me out too much. There's that point of frustration that sets in and I have learned to try and enjoy games rather than just try and beat them - it certainly makes for a more enjoyable experience!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

New PCB: Raiden DX

For years, I had heard from Raiden devotees that DX was by far the best of the classic old school Raidens with its three different games and better balanced gameplay. I absolutely agree.

Raiden DX may be the best old school game (pre-Cave) period. Regular readers of this blog will know that I do love Toaplan and their myriad of shmup titles, but DX - especially the Charlie game option - is just exceptional. If it's any indicator, I have played DX everyday for about a month and I'm still itching to play more - especially as I just got to stage 6 on Charlie last night on one credit. 

The bullet timing is different that previous games, more progressive, so you don't rank up fast and then have to deal with super fast bullets by stage 3. The enemy placement is excellent, even trying to mess with you a bit - like the fast tanks that move into position in the blink of an eye. 

The OST is also excellent, but simple. The sprite style is Raiden II to a T, but with more varied backgrounds and more interesting enemies earlier in Alpha and Charlie.

High score posts should be coming fast and furious as I have high scores in all three modes I'm working on. 

I picked it up on the cheap for $125 shipped from a KLOV member, which is half of what it use to sell for though I have seen a few sell on the low side off Shmups in the past year. I will most likely never sell this game - it's too good, too pure, too eminently enjoyable to not be in an old school shmup lovers collection till the end of time. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tatsujin high score #3 - 744,050

Wow. Now that's what playing nothing but Raiden II can do to your score on an old school Toaplan game! I was getting a bit tired of Raiden II, swapped in Garegga and got nowhere (I might actually not like this game) and popped this in and two quick credits later and damn - new high score! 

I mainly died in the later sections where I hadn't before played, so it was all a guessing game, but I'm sucked in to this one. Not sure how many areas are in the game total, but it felt like a bit more than halfway. I know gunbird18 just copped this pcb a while back and marveled at its brutal, old school glory, and I totally concur. I'm curious to see what kind of distance I can get before I get my new pcb this week...

Tatsujin, if you haven't played it before, is old school Toaplan where memorization and fast bullets meet beautiful sprite art and an excellent soundtrack. It's tons of fun if you like brutal gameplay and small gains for lots of work. I love it. 

I'm also thinking of trying to get a copy of V-Five again as it's never got its due, even when I owned it previously. It's one of the few Toaplan titles I'd still like to buy, but they rarely come up for sale. Still, the pcb that's on its way here should be some excellent old school goodness -and one I have wanted for quite a while.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Raiden II - high score #2 - 1,222,470

Whew. This shit is serious. I have probably played 50 credits or so on this over the last few weeks and I feel like this score is huge, but it's just the beginning. 

I find myself hating getting snipped so much more when playing this over Raiden 1, mostly because it's so gratifying to blast through enemies fully powered up that losing that sucks hard.

I don't know if I am going to step away from this for a while as I kind feel like I need a change, but that feeling keeps dissipating and I want to play a few more credits before I get the itch to swap PCB's again. 

There is a Colorado Shmup meet happening next month, and I'm totally stoked for it. Hopefully I'll have one more score posting before that happens.

I'm also considering selling off a bunch of PCB's to fund some LP purchases as I have been trying to finish off my run of Strata East and Black Jazz records but man, I'm waffling big time. There's a bunch of stuff I own that I could play in mame an make some cash my selling off PCB's, but the collector market is driving up prices of so many PCB's that I would probably never get them back - especially titles like Big Bang, Armed Police Batrider and Battle Garegga.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

New PCB - Raiden II (Seibu Kaihatsu, 1990)

After playing this for about a month solid, I feel it's fair to say it might be my favorite old school Toaplan-style shmup. There's so much it does right - game play and pacing, soundtrack, sound effects, simple scoring - and so very little it does wrong! It can be hard and getting sniped in the later stages is brutal, but when you get in the zone, it's super satisfying in a way very few Shmups can be.

I picked up the pcb after deciding to let go of Ghosts and Goblins, because even the thought of trying to get the 1 loop clear is unappealing, two years after I stopped playing it. 

Raiden II is just so enjoyable, so fulfilling when you get it right, that i just don't want to take it out of the cab for any reason. 

I'm shooting for the 1cc and my skills with old school games is such that I can see it happening, but really, only time will tell. High score right now is a paltry 871,630, but progress is coming swiftly. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ketsui 1-All - finally!! :) 108,108,293

I'm literally tingling all over right now. Finally, after working on it for the last two weeks, I get the 1-all! It wasn't pretty and it wasn't my highest scoring game ever, using all my lives and going through a bunch of bombs in the stage 5 boss battle, but I'm super stoked I made it.

I started stage 5 with 4 lives in reserve and lost two pretty quickly, foolish mistakes, but totally maximized the next two and got the extra life from the Panzer Jaeger. Once I hit the halfway mark, I lost another life cause I was trying to horde some bombs and got into a bad spot. 

The end boss battle wasn't much to speak of - some decent dodging and some luck, but definitely some seat of the pants moves that surprised even myself. I finished the battle with no bombs or lives left.

When that boss went down, I stood up, incredulous that I did it, shouted a frankly scary YEAH! and sat down to watch the ending of my favorite game. The surge of emotion at the 1-all surprised me. 

So many times I watched superplays and thought to myself that I would probably never see the end of the game or hear that awesome closing track as a result of my own play, but I did. 

Not sure if I will attack this seriously now or if I'll take a little break and try something else like Guwange, but beating Ketsui feels so good it's hard to describe. Like some sort of life goal or something. In stoked beyond comprehension. :) 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ketsui high score #12 - breaking the 100 mil barrier!

Holy shit - yeah! Broke 100 mill, a goal I have had forever on this game. Super stoked and an incredible run for me. 

No-missed up until the stage 4 boss and then entered stage 5 with ~87 million. My early stage patterns are pretty good now, but my second half is weak! I lost three lives in stupid fashion - and let the 1up dropped by the Panzer Jäger drift off the bottom of the screen! If I had bombed smartly, this could have very easily been a 1cc of this monster title. 

It's cool though, cause I'm plowing through and headed for that 1cc like a freight train from hell. I really still love this game - which blows me away. It is so demanding on your ability to adapt and to control your own aggressive tendencies that when you start to push it to get a few more five chips, it can turn brutally unfriendly in a split second. When I have a bad run of games, I always find myself pushing too hard and I have to remind myself to lay back and chill and play within myself.