Retrorevisited: Ghouls & Ghosts Series

Retrorevisited is a stream series where I revisit a game or a game series i haven’t played in over 10 or 20 years. I’ll go through to try see what i remember until a game over or I run out of continues. In some cases muscle memory may slowly return, in others probably not. This is a chance for me to revisit games of my youth that i enjoyed have or had at one point and bring more to the retro community with mini-reviews of them too. If I decide to play one later and do a full review, parts of the mini-review would be incorporated into it. Depending on the playstyle and graphics of the games the review will either be mini-reviews or one about all games in this session.    

The Ghouls & Ghosts series by Capcom is known to strike fear in the hearts of gamers due to their high difficulty, cheap deaths, and having to complete the game twice for the ending. I’ll be covering the NES, Sega Master System, Genesis and SNES ports in this edition of Retrorevisited. Prior to this I had only played the arcade version, NES and the SNES games, and had forgotten the Genesis and SMS ports existed. Each port brings something new to the table, especially the SMS one with its rpg elements. The NES game being based on Ghosts & Goblins, the prequel title to the Ghouls & Ghosts series. The Genesis and SNES ports are close to the same as the arcade G&G, but with a key gameplay mechanic difference: the Genesis one lets you shot up while the SNES port has the double jump and you cannot shoot up. I’ve never really been that good at any of these, especially the NES one, but willing to give these a try again. After doing this edition of Retrorevisited I still enjoy the SMS port and plan to finish both loops on stream sometime, and I really enjoyed the Genesis port too! I did enjoy the SNES game to a point when it was released in my teenage years and I was surprised with how well done and how much I enjoyed the SMS and Genesis ports too! least they all have unlimited continues!

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Night of Shaq Fu Mini-Reviews

Night of Shaq Fu was a channel point redemption challenge that got filled out awhile ago on my stream. I said I would play all 4 of these miserable games, so I did. These 4 games came out in 1994 for the Genesis and SNES, and 1995 gave us the Game gear and Game Boy editions. All games are 2D fighters staring basketball great Shaquille O’Neal. The plot follows Shaq as he finds himself in a mystical and magical realm, taking down fighters to stop the evil mummy Sett Ra in Second World. These are known as some of the worst games ever made. Even with the digitized graphics and sprites and decent music, the play control of the games were awful. Games have a story, duel and tournament modes, except the GB port. Normally I wouldn’t give mini-reviews a rating, but these were so bad I kinda felt I should.

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Hack Showcase: Sonic 1 Megamix (Genesis)

Hack Showcases and RPG Hack Showcases are a series where I show off various game and rpg hacks. I try to stick with hacks that improve gameplay or add quality of life features, completely or partially change the plot and characters, along with dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. I try to stick with games that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, try to show parts later in titles. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to hack updates or me playing them and finding anything new I wish to bring up.

The Sonic 1 Megamix hack is an ongoing project by Team Megamix with the goal of enhancing and improving Sonic 1 for Genesis in the best ways possible! This hack showcase is for the current 3.0 for Genesis, there is an unstable beta 4.0 for Sega CD, use it your own risk. A later edition was released after files were stolen. Currently the project is on hold or dead, with the team members going their own ways and some who worked on Sonic mania. The Sonic 1 Megamix adds the ability to save and continue your adventure, and use Mighty the Armadillo or Shadow the Hedgehog throughout the adventure of new stages and using abilities from later Sonic games. Other highlights of v3.0 include:

  • All level layouts edited (some complete; others pending).
  • Each character now has a unique set of moves (though Sonic and Shadow share the homing attack).
  • Most levels (not all) have a small intro, ala S3K, where they perform some sort of action when starting the level i.e, running in from the left.
  • Loads of music edits.
  • There is now a “preferences” screen, where you can customize certain aspects of the game (suggestions are welcome).
  • Cheat codes have been changed – figuring them out will grant you access to a new, special level select
  • “Original Mode” allows you to play the original levels from Sonic the Hedgehog, using all of the additions from Sonic Megamix (such as bug fixes, moves, preferences, etc). There is also a separate save slot for a character’s original mode.
  • Title screen demos have been edited. Credits demos have not.
  • Super forms have been added.
  • Elemental shields, ala S3K, have been added.
  • Credits have been edited; each character has a unique end pose on the ending sequence.

SO HOW IS IT? This hack is so well done! The Sonic hacking community constantly puts out great stuff and this is one of them! Shame it was unfinished. The graphics are great and in line with the other Sonic games. Great music tracks in the new levels and some music was remixed for this one like the boss themes. Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal even plays in one of the later levels! The hud for your score, time and amount of rings each changes whether you use Sonic, Mighty, or Shadow. Sonic, Mighty, and Shadow can all use their basic moves and use the Shields, Mighty and Shadow each have a unique abilities too. You can also either play the new hack, or play the original Sonic 1 with all the gameplay changes of Megamix!

Being able to use Sonic’s abilities from Sonic 3 is a great change and really adds to it, especially being able to charge a spin dash which you couldn’t do in Sonic 1. The stage new layouts all have the different power-up monitors and you can find the lightning, water, fire, and basic shields throughout the level, sometimes in spots where you’ll need them in the water and fire based levels. Sonic, Mighty, and Shadow can each use them. The level designs are larger than that of Sonic 1, and more dangerous too. Sometimes their too long, and they use the design of Sonic 1 where Act 3 has you go through a level before fighting Robotnik. For the record, I never liked the Special Stages in Sonic 1, Megamix changes up the designs of the Special Stages so they’re more manageable. The music and design is the same, but there’s more to do and it’s not as hectic.

If I had to come up with some negatives it’s the aforementioned longer levels. Sometimes just trying to get through them is a chore and like Sonic 1, there isn’t many opportunities to go fast since you’re avoiding the environment and enemies, Misty Maze Zone is a great example. The Robotnik fights seem about the same as from vanilla, except the final fight is harder. The save feature is a great addition, but it saves where you left off and how many lives you had at the start. So if you make it to a later zone with 1 life, you’re kind of in trouble.

I GIVE SONIC 1 MEGAMIX 4 OUT OF 5 RINGS!!

GAMEPLAY VIDEO:

LINKS: https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/171/ – RHDN page
http://www.headcannon.com/TeamMegamix/index.php?p=mm_home – Team Megamix homepage
http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_Megamix – SonicRetro Wiki page

If you enjoy reading any of my content and hearing of my nerdy adventures, feel free to share my posts on social media or leave me a comment. I would be forever grateful if you supported me via my Cash App or buy me a coffee via Ko-Fi. All donations are very welcomed and appreciated. I earn no income from this blog and this will help me continue in providing content and fulfilling my dreams. Thanks!

Theme Night: Spider-Man games

So I’m a big Spider-Man fan from the comics and various movies and cartoon shows. When i came up with the Theme Night ideas, doing one of various Spider-Man games throughout the years was one of my first ideas. I started reading Spider-Man on and off as a teen when the infamous Clone Saga was revving up, and later officially added the book to my comic pull list when the Big Time arc started when Brand New Day was winding down. I think my fav Spider-Man movies are the 2 MCU films, the animated into the Spider-verse (I’m also a big fan of Spider-Gwen), and Spider-Man 2 of the Sam Raimi trilogy. Kinda a tossup between my favorite cartoon series of the Fox Kids 90’s Spider-Man, and Spectacular Spider-Man (a show cut off prematurely in its prime). I’ve enjoyed the later animated series since marvel took over to a point. I like what they’ve done adapting classic stories and making new ones, but some of the animation and gags are really lame. So this is gonna be me trying out 10 various games across systems, including Spider-Man the arcade game.

Games played:
spider-man (arcade)
amazing spider-man (gameboy)
spider-man web of fire (sega 32x)
spider-man vs kingpin (sega cd)
spider-man lethal foes (super famicom, translation patch available)
spider-man return of sinister six (nes)
spider-man the movie (gba)
spider-man & venom: maximum carnage (snes)
ultimate spider-man (gba)
spider-man 2: enter electro (psx)

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Star Wars Day & Mini-Reviews 2021

star-wars-day-may-fourth-you-holiday

May 4th is Star Wars Day, with the familiar motto “May the 4th Be With You. Being a big Star Wars fan, I wanted to try to make a yearly Star Wars may 4th variety streaming night a thing. This year I played a bunch of games that I played last year, and some other ones! I was also running out of game ideas, lol I also forgot being i had work that day to try again with buying some games cheap off Steam and fussing around with getting them windowed and blowing up the dosbox window. lol i also played a neat little hack i found of Galaga but with Star Wars ships!

So this year I played a bunch on more modern systems as well, this year’s list was:
arcade (MAME) star wars
famicom star wars
atari 2600 death star battle
gba episode 3
32x star wars arcade
nes star wars galaga hack
gba star wars trilogy apprentice of the force
psx masters of teras kasi
psx rebel assault 2
n64 shadows of the empire
dreamcast jedi power battles

I’m gonna add a few mini-reviews of a handful of these later in this post like I did with a few games I played last year. If i longplay any of these there may or may not be a full review of them.

GAMEPLAY VIDEO:

ONTO THE MINI-REVIEWS:

STAR WARS EPISODE 3: REVENGE OF THE SITH GBA: This game is a GBA version of the Episode 3 PS2 game. That said, this is very well done. The graphics, animation, and music are beautiful for the GBA’s look and feel. Character portraits are well done, though some facial expressions leave a lot to be desired. Force powers are controlled by one of the shoulder buttons and directional pad. Gaining force points in levels let you build up your main stats along with your force powers, so it adds an rpg element. Plot pretty much follows Episode 3. Decent challenge, seems like boss fights you need to fight and defend instead of taking them out with brute force. I may have to give this another play!

STAR WARS TRILOGY APPRENTICE OF THE FORCE GBA: I believe this game follows all the major story beats of the original trilogy and it looks well done as well. Animation is pretty fluid and the graphics are decent as is the music.Controls are easy enough to figure out too.

MASTERS OF TERAS KASI PSX: This game is trashy. I see what they were trying to accomplish with a Star Wars fighting game, but it really feels phoned in. Music is the same John Williams tracks we all know and love, backgrounds for fighting arenas are familiar Star Wars locations. Character models look something between Legos and blocky action figures and the controls are quite stiff. You got the main cast of the OT here along with some new folks and even Boba Fett. Play this if you really want to or drunk.

REBEL ASSAULT 2 PSX: This game has the distinction of being the first (at the time) new Star Wars footage filmed after Return of the Jedi was completed. That said, this game feels like a Star Wars version of Dragon’s Lair where you go from a sequence of hiding and shooting Stormtroopers, to flying scenes where you control your craft through a small tunnel trying to avoid running into things. The space battle scenes are really nice! The FMV has an old “this is so bad it’s good charm” but then again that was the case of most FMV in the 90’s.

If you enjoy reading any of my content and hearing of my nerdy adventures, feel free to share my posts on social media or leave me a comment. I would be forever grateful if you supported me via my Cash App or buy me a coffee via Ko-Fi. All donations are very welcomed and appreciated. I earn no income from this blog and this will help me continue in providing content and fulfilling my dreams. Thanks!

Ninja Gaiden: Arcade, Gameboy, Game Gear, Sega Master System Reviews

So to keep going on my Ninja Gaiden kick, I decided to do a couple of streams playing the other NG games for the arcade, Gameboy, Game Gear, and Sega Master System. They were fun streams and decided to do some short reviews of the four as well!

ARCADE: The arcade game is quite janky. The game stars The Ninja, later retconned to be Ryu, traveling from Japan to stop the cult of Bladeadomus (I’m not making this up). You travel through different cities to get to their lair, fighting about the same 3-4 types of enemies in each area, just palette swapped. One the goons include guys in hockey masks like Jason Voorhes! You only have punches and kicks as your attacks, along with a weird jumping neckbreaking move that’s hard to pull off. You can hang off signs and attack enemies, and breakable objects scatter the landscape, only breakable if you’re thrown or an enemy is thrown on them. The controls are still and jumping and hanging from ledges takes getting used to. In the arcade there was a button on top of the joystick to hang on objects. The graphics are very pretty and sound is good, the cinematic scenes at the end of the levels are worth seeing, especially with Ryu wearing his mask in a suit playing the tables at Vegas! You can get overwhelmed by enemies very easily and you can’t break their combos when they begin attacking you. I give this 3.0 out of 5 ninja stars!

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Golden Axe Series (Arcade/Sega Genesis)

So inspired by a friend discovering the Sega Genesis for the first time in years, I decided to do a Golden Axe theme night! I planned on playing both the arcade brawlers through MAME, and the 3 Golden Axe titles for the Genesis in Fusion. I think I finished the arcade Golden Axe on stream one time months ago, but never heard of Revenge of Death Adder! I never really got into the Golden Axe games: I loved the high fantasy concept of them but the stiff controls and archaic style never really got to me, even as a teen. Plus I kinda suck at most brawlers anyway. lol But i figured lemme give these a try with some mini-reviews like i did with the Famicom games a few months ago! I skipped the arcade Golden Axe: The Duel fighting game due to not working so great on MAME (and I suck at fighting games, lol).

ARCADE GOLDEN AXE: This game is old and it shows, it’s still fun though! You have your cast of 3 and they all have a basic moveset of attacking, jumping, jumpkicks, throwing, and using magic. Magic is stronger by getting more magic jars. All enemies are the same as you travel to fight Death Adder, just different colors. Controls are clunky, resulting in taking damage that you don’t want, and getting crowded too easily. Graphics are colorful enough, even if being kinda drab for this high fantasy setting.
3.5 OUT OF 5 STARS!

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Hack Showcase: Mega Man X in Sonic 2 Review (Sega Genesis)

Hack Showcases and RPG Hack Showcases are a series where I show off various game and rpg hacks. I try to stick with hacks that improve gameplay or add quality of life features, completely or partially change the plot and characters, along with dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. I try to stick with games that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, try to show parts later in titles. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to hack updates or me playing them and finding anything new I wish to bring up.

Mega Man X in Sonic 2 is a Sonic 2 hack which allows you to play as X in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 stages that was made by Pacca at SHC 2018 (Sonic Hacking Contest 2018). I discovered this by accident a few nights ago on YouTube and I love it! This began as a simple swap of Sonic for Mega man X and evolved into its own full-fledged game. X has a stage select of all the Sonic 2 stages, and the game also has all of X’s upgrades hidden in 4 stages, and 8 different heart tanks to increase your life bar. The upgrades do the same as they would in the X series: armor decreases your damage, boots for dashing, X-Buster upgrade for stronger shots. Not sure about the helmet in this hack. You’ll fight through the stages as X shooting enemies to free the animals and fighting Robotnik. Defeating Robotnik gains you a new weapon like in the X series! You can return to stages after finishing them and game over doesn’t mean starting over again from the beginning! No bonus stages though. The power-ups from Sonic 2 were replaced with X’s energy and weapon energy power-ups in the tv monitors, but the speed shoes and shield remain. And look for cameos by Zero too!

So how is it? This hack is a lot of fun and merges Mega Man X with Sonic 2 in such a fun way! X replaces Sonic in all the levels, but everything else about Sonic 2 remains the same: enemies, rings, Robotnik too. Rings really only count for points since hitting checkpoints don’t trigger bonus stages and there’s no Chaos Emeralds in play here. Having X as a ranged fighter against enemies and the boss fights makes this hack easier than Sonic 2 itself since you don’t have to spin close to ko anything. Wall sliding and climbing in this lets you find any of the secrets or hidden heart tanks and X’s upgrades. 4 of the levels has X’s upgrades, and all the stages have a heart tank, usually in Act 2. Boss fights play out the same but after completion you gain a new special weapon like in a Mega Man classic series title. The weapons have their uses places but you still may find yourself using the X-Buster regardless, moreso with some forms of Robotnik.

Like I mentioned before, the stage select screen is based on the first X title and you can enter the 8 stages of Sonic 2 in any order. Game over doesn’t mean a complete restart like in Sonic 2, you keep any upgrades and gear and can go back to a stage to try again. You can re-enter finished stages to pick up any upgrades you missed, and earning continues are the same as in Sonic 2 by scoring enough points when you finish an act (symbol for continues is classic Mega Man). Using a continue doesn’t refill your special weapon energy completely though, so if you get stuck on a boss and need that special weapon you may have to just game over to reset all your energy. Monitors for weapon and energy refills do respawn after losing a life or restarting with a continue though.

I can’t really say much bad about this…this is how you do a hack where you put in a different character than normal. X really changes the game in your play style and how you fight enemies and Robotnik. It’s part Sonic, part MMX! Kinda sad the title screen wasn’t changed much, but keep an eye out for Zero too! Really only downside is some jank when you get stuck in a hidden cave sometimes where the graphics kinda break up, and some the animations of X don’t match what’s going on screen when you have to interact with an object (like grabbing a vine).

I GIVE THIS 5 OUT OF 5 RINGS!!

GAMEPLAY VIDEO:

Links:
https://mike64.itch.io/mmx-in-sonic-2 – Download it here
https://sonichacking.org/vault/ – Sonic Hacking Contest Vault

 

If you enjoy reading any of my content and hearing of my nerdy adventures, feel free to share my posts on social media or leave me a comment. I would be forever grateful if you supported me via my Cash App or buy me a coffee via Ko-Fi. All donations are very welcomed and appreciated. I earn no income from this blog and this will help me continue in providing content and fulfilling my dreams. Thanks!

RPG Hack Showcase: Phantasy Star Retranslation by SMS Power (Sega Master System)

Hack Showcases and RPG Hack Showcases are a series where I show off various game and rpg hacks. I try to stick with hacks that improve gameplay or add quality of life features, completely or partially change the plot and characters, along with dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. I try to stick with games that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, try to show parts later in titles. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to hack updates or me playing them and finding anything new I wish to bring up.

Phantasy Star was the first in the series of Phantasy Star rpgs which had a wonderful blend of sci-fi and fantasy involved in the plot and gameplay. Released in 1987 for the Sega Master System in Japan, and in 1988 in the West, the Phantasy Star games were known for their mix of fantasy and sci-fi, along with magic and high end sci-fi ideas. The journey takes you across three planets of the Algol System on a quest of revenge for Alis Landale, one the few female protagonists at the time. One the concerts introduced in this series was evil being a sentient being, called Dark Force. You could of course save your game to return to it later via battery. Your party in this game consists of Alis, a talking cat named Myau, a warrior named Odin, and a wizard named Lutz. One big difference between this and Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior/Quest was the fact that the dungeons and towers consisted of 3d first person mazes, meaning you didn’t have the top-down view from outside, meaning you needed to map your way to find your way to finding treasures and traps. PS was later ported to other systems in the US and Japan, and later the Sega Ages collections for Playstation 2 in Japan, which improved the graphics and sound, quality of life features, and a mapping feature. As of this review, version 2.00 of this hack was released on May 25 2020.

Aside from this, I don’t have much experience with Phantasy Star. I fell in love with the series starting with 4, and dabbled around with 2 and 3 over the years. Currently is/was playing PS1 on the GBA Phantasy Star Collection port, currently (as of this writing) at the tower which I think(?) will lead me to the Air Castle for the endgame with Lassic.

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RPG Hacks Showcase: Phantasy Star Generation: 4 – A Relocalization Hack (Sega Genesis)

Hack Showcases and RPG hack Showcases are a series where I show off various game and rpg hacks. I try to stick with hacks that improve gameplay or add quality of life features, completely or partially change the plot and characters, along with dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. I try to stick with games that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, try to show parts later in titles. Some of these i may stream or play on my own.

This hack is by romhacking.net user GhaleonUnlimited. The goal of this hack was to bring the names, spells, etc closer to their Japanese counterparts, and what would have been used in a long canceled SEGA AGES release. There’s 2 different version sof this retranslation (as per romhacking.net):

  • Expands upon NPCs’ dialog.
  • Added comments from main character on the world of PSIV
  • A few modified/added lines of story dialog

If you’re a fan of Working Designs-style RPG writing (specifically Lunar and Lunar: EB on SEGA CD), you might best enjoy this. Or, if you’ve played PSIV before and would like an expanded look at the universe, try this.

2. Generation 4 – “Purist”

  • Removed most editorialization added to NPCs from WD script
  • Removed a few added dialog exchanges
  • Removed some dialog that fits the characters but isn’t in the Japanese script.

If you prefer a more straight-laced localization, this version removes most of the added color, leaving the naturalized English dialog, fixed PS references, more accurate story translation, and added PS background and story. This is closest to the literal, original Japanese script. The screenshots below are from the “Working Designs” patch, as is the review below. I did play “Purist” for awhile on my own to get a full view of the work done on this.

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