Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I've been pluging away at this little by little and I have the first three stages down pretty well. The 4th stage is still really tricky and the 4th stage boss is a total pain. I usually end up trying to bomb the hell out of it and I haven't been successful trying to find a good pattern through its tough early bullet patterns.
This run got me to the boss and through his first form. I died with no bombs in reserve for a new high of 1,606,310, a bit short of my 2 mil weekend goal. Still a good score and a good place to build from.
Monday, May 25, 2009
I've been plugging away on Air Gallet, Sky Shark and Twin Cobra in equal measure recently and not making a ton of scoring progress. Real progress yes. Especially with Sky Shark where I have all my trouble spots through stage 5 figured out. I'm working on the 1-Life of the first loop and I'm pretty close. Stage 4 still takes me out most of the time, but I'm getting close.
But, all in all, I needed a quick break the other night from STG's and decided to fire up my NES and get back to some lovely, old school console gaming for a night. I popped in Mega Man 2 and went to it.
The last time I played this for a clear was back in grade school and I forgot almost everything about the game - including the kinda important step by step of which robot bosses to take on with what weapon.
It didn't really matter much as I played the hell out of it, hitting some deadends (trying to defeat some bosses without the right weapons) but for the most part the stages were pretty easy and as fun as I remember them. I forgot just how much fun the Metal Blade is, how it absolutely tears through everything and how invaluable it is to passing a number of areas in the game.
The bosses fell in quick succession and I set off to the Dr. Willy stages. The Dr. Willy stages are some of the best in the game and really give you the feeling that you are penetrating deep into his lair, especially with the long run up to get inside in the first stage, which kinda reminds me of another Capcom classic, Bionic Commando.
I ran through those, dying once on the big dragon in the first section, because I kept trying to jump and then shoot backwards, which is absolutely not what you supposed to do. Once I got to Dr. Willy, I made him fall pretty quickly and actually remembered that his last form was vunerable to the Bubble Shot, the worst weapon in the game, and I took him out with relative ease.
Mega Man 2 is stellar, but I probably don't need to tell you that. Pick it up in its original NES cart form or on the super cheap Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the PS2 and remember just how good this series once was. Now, I have to get some Mega Man 9 love in the house...
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Starting to get the feel for the stages past 5. It does get hard and a little crazy at times, but I'm eagerly working for the loop. It seems like I just can't get away from the old school stuff lately.
This run was pretty good, first time I have played a few credits in a week or so and on my second credit, hit area 163 and couldn't recover from the two large planes that I couldn't kill and ended up losing something like three lives trying to drop bombs and dodge a massive amount of shots. I ended up with a new high of just under 1 million at 988,690.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
After playing the hell out of some Toaplan games recently, I started playing this a bit and really got to enjoy it. I got lucky and got a pcb stateside off a seller on ebay for pretty cheap.
For those who don't know, Gazelle was one of a few companies formed from the remains of Toaplan (with Cave and Takumi bring two others) and they only put out two games - Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon and Air Gallet. Both feature artwork from Joker Jun and he's on point with Air Gallet for sure.
The game itself is pretty hard and features some interesting reworked bits, like the "Game Over" text being exactly the same as Batsugun with a very similar status bar as well.
It plays like a cross between Batsugun and Twin Cobra with fast bullets. The first stage is pretty difficult and there is a slight ramp up in difficulty as the game goes on. There are numerous shot types and a cool medal bonus system that forces you to be really aggressive or extremely patient to score well.
I love the artwork and the soundtrack is really good as well. There are so many good graphical bits, like when two former bosses slam into each other before the last boss and destroy each other or when the bomb carrier ship destroys the building before the second boss. Fantastic.
Not the worst starting score, but the shmups board has like 55 scores taken for the game and this puts me pretty low indeed. No worries though as I am kind of hell bent on the 1cc here. Hopefully, I'll be able to hit 2 mil pretty soon. The extend at 1,5 mil will certainly help.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I borrowed this pcb from my good friend gunbird18 after playing it at the CWC '09 and I think I may become a big Raizing fan.
The game itself plays a lot like Battle Garegga, with medal chaining, same types of power ups, but there's a whole lot more.
There are a ton of ships to choose from, various teams of three different ships and even team edit, where you can select three different ships to be on your team. There are a ton of hidden bosses, unlockable after the regular stage bosses, depending on who is left in your team or by some other stage based unlock.
It shares a lot of the look of Garegga, but it has a futuristic, almost cyberpunk feel to it. The music is awesome, a close second behind Garegga's fantastic tunes in Raizing's catalog. The sprites are bright and colorful and the backgrounds are as well.
I am really enjoying my time with it and this high score was set without any set strategy - except for limiting the power-up icon pick ups to try and control rank a bit. It feels a bit easier than Garegga and I made it to stage 4 with this credit, finally eating it on the Highway against that huge blue tank.
This pcb is now pretty high on my want list...
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Not actually new as I did get it from a seller on klov a while back, but I did finally get it working so that I could play it on my cab. It's a super fun, hardcore old school Toaplan STG that just really shines.
The sound effects, soundtrack and graphics are all excellent for 1987 and its such an easy game to get into the zone with that you find yourself just anticipating shots and flowing with the game in a sort of hypnotic rhythm.
I've spent a bit of time with it and finally made the loop this morning after a number of credits. It does get pretty brutal in the second loop as the bullets are faster and there are more of them, but it really is still a lot of fun. It can get kind of tough without autofire, but I seem to have developed a good tapping shot after playing so many Toaplan games recently.