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!

Continue reading

Advertisement

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!

Continue reading

Hack Showcase: Mega Man X in Sonic 2 (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 additional content, dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. Non-rpgs I try to give a full run to, or at least enough for a solid review. Rpgs I will stick with titles that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, show parts later in the games where more differences appear. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream fully in the future or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to bug and content 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 (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 additional content, dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. Non-rpgs I try to give a full run to, or at least enough for a solid review. Rpgs I will stick with titles that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, show parts later in the games where more differences appear. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream fully in the future or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to bug and content 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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Hack Showcase: TMNT of Rage: The Final Shell Shock (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 additional content, dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. Non-rpgs I try to give a full run to, or at least enough for a solid review. Rpgs I will stick with titles that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, show parts later in the games where more differences appear. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream fully in the future or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to bug and content updates or me playing them and finding anything new I wish to bring up.

TMNT of Rage is a successor to previous TMNT/Streets of Rage 2 mods TMNT of rage and TMNT Remix. Final Shell Shock adds more to these previous mods for a better experience. The Streets of Rage cast is replaced with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as they fight their way to save April and stop Mr X who enlisted the help of Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady! This mod is a total throwback to the Streets of rage series and the TMNT Arcade Game and Turtles in Time. So for some of the changes, let’s take a look from the changelog:

Continue reading

RetroRevisited: MUSHA, Task Force Harrier EX, Silpeed (Sega Shmups)

 

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..

So one night I decided to do a night of Sega shumps that i grew up with. I’ve never been that big on shmups or Sega games but these 3 are ones I’ve played or had at one point: M.U.S.H.A, Task Force Harrier EX, and Silpheed. Still wishing M.U.S.H.A. wasn’t going for so much or else I’ve make another run for it on ebay. I had a blast with them once I started remembering the controls and some muscle memory began to kick in. So here’s the video of it, Some mini-reviews follow.

Continue reading