Sunday, February 21, 2010

Muchi Muchi Pork - high score #1

brentsg let me borrow his copy of MMP for a while and I have been playing it on and off for about two weeks. It's almost a perfect melding of a Cave title with its scoring mechanics (ala big bonuses like Futari) and the stage layout and feel of a Yagawa game.

Unlike a lot of games I like, MMP does place very heavy emphasis on its scoring mechanic and this is especially troubling during boss fights where you have no idea where their health bar is. If you don't wait for the right time to pop the boss, you lose millions. For example, if you pop the mid boss of the first stage and the end boss at the right time, you can leave the stage with 6 mil conservatively (without milking). If you don't 2-3 mill is probably a good average score.

So you tend to look for the right moments to trigger big payouts and that takes away from the game for me. It takes so long to figure out timing and places to score well that you don't pay attention to the stages or the music or the layout. Since most of the enemies are very tame through the first two stages, you can play them with almost never looking at the whole screen, just tap dodge and score.

Where MMP gets it right is the games mechanics. The beauty really comes out when you start to figure things out and put high scoring opportunities together and make it happen. So there's a relatively steep learning curve to score well - most games are like that anyway. When you do start rocking the pork gold, it's immensely fulfilling.

This isn't a crazy high score or anything, just a starting point. I'm working on stage 3 at the moment and want to work on the game without thinking of scoring well to try for the 1CC, but that's kinda hard to think about most of the time as I just want to see the screen filled with gold. So satisfying.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Taking a break with NES - The Legend of Zelda

When I get tired of playing too much of a game I am working on, I like to lay back and dig up an ol' favorite to blast through tp clear the palate. The Legend of Zelda for the NES is one of my favorite games for doing that. So simple, so fun and it brings back a lot of memories.

First time I saw this game, I had trouble understanding it. I knew about RPG's, but there were no turn-based battles. No experience either. But, you crawled through dungeons, collected stuff to gain access to other stuff and had upgrades to your weapons and shield.

I think it was the first action-RPG I had ever played and I totally fell in love with it. I never bought it back in the day, but got it a few years after it had come out and played it a ton. I even made a board game with pieces of the entire game - simplified of course - though I never played it with anyone.

I played through the game this time in four days, each time, working on two or three dungeons at a time. I stopped after mapping most of nine, partially because I had stuff to do that day, but also because I have been playing MMP (thanks brentsg!) and that seems to take up most of my time.

I may go back and try the second quest as I never completed that 'cause I couldn't find one of the dungeons, but I think I am back to shmups - MMP and BG - for the time being.

Always good to take a break and get refreshed!