Monday, June 09, 2003 16:33
Demo-ing your console, Twinkle Star cuteness
- Ikaruga (GC-jp, puzzle shooting)
- Twinkle Star Sprites (DC-jp, 1-on-1 puzzle shooting)
- Herdy Gerdy (PS2-jp,
The highlight of my gaming during the weekend was that I unlocked
Practice Level 4 normal in Ikaruga
Woo hoo! I think I garnered an S rating for level 2 with 108 chains.
But I feel guilty. I only unlocked it because I was playing with Extend
mode 1 which is a free life every 2,000,000 points. Normally it is
Extend mode 2, a free life at 3,000,000 and every additional 5,000,000
thereafter. When I passed the 3rd level boss, I had 2 lives left at
about 9,300,000. If it was Extend mode 2, I would have been long gone,
cursing at this infernal game. But now I have a new level to practice.
I checked the internal clock and I'm at my 78th hour. Still I am
totally interested in this game. But apparently I just suck compared to
other people. Maybe they use their time more efficiently in unlocking
practice levels. For me, my save game has Easy 1,2; Normal 1,2,3,4; and
Hard 1,2 practice levels unlocked. It's tough to move on. I think I'll
just keep playing Normal until I can unlock level 5. Or beat it without
continue, Extend mode be damned.
Just yesterday I broke out the Ikaruga
Appreciate disk again and watched all levels and the omake
. Greatness. I had this idea
of charting the statistics of this god-like play and posting it on a web
page. Or even use a applet/application. Hm. What statistics could I
show? Chain count vs time? Score vs time? Blasted enemies vs time? Smart
bomb usage vs time? Color change vs time? Very interesting. This will be
a work out for my DVD player if start this analysis.
I was thinking about the Normal play again. There was a point where it
looks like WIZ continues to shoot while using the Smart Bomb, when
fighting the level 4 boss. How could this be? There has to be some pause
when chording? I know in the Gamecube version, you can set the X button
(far right) to the Smart Bomb. You use the Smart Bomb while holding the
down the shoot button this way. And I know for a fact that WIZ plays the
Gamecube version. Could it be that they weren't playing off a pure
arcade setup, something with three buttons just like the Gamecube
version? Or could it be that everything was legit and that WIZ uses
three (!) fingers for difficult parts of the game. What I mean by three
fingers is two for shooting (the index and middle finger) and one for
the color change (ring finger)? I think the latter is more likely that
cheating. These people have some skill.
So I finally got to see a Ikaruga
arcade game, in a real arcade cabinet. Well, I don't know the type of
cabinet or type of display, but it seems like the same type of cabinet
that is reused for almost every joystick/button-using game here in
Japan. Yeah the sit down type complete with aluminum ashtray, gag me.
This arcade is in Itayado, and all the games are 50 yen, too. Heh. I put
in my credit and proceeded to embarass myself. Well, actually no one was
looking so it's all good. I was complaining to myself, it's the
joystick. There's something wrong with it. Yeah yeah. I looked up at the
score board. Someone from 2002/09 had a score of 35 million+. Hm. I need
to go to that arcade again and take a picture.
I saw the Matrix: Reloaded
movie this weekend. I'm not going to discuss the movie here. But when I
was trying to digest its meaning while reading some Slashdot articles
about it, I had this image in my mind of a part of Ikaruga
level 3 (the last set of
side lasers where a set of 12 black and 6 white in alternating sets come
down), playing over and over and over again. This is wierd. This is
hypnotic. I don't know of any other game that has had this effect on me.
Certainly not something like Final
, or Psyvariar
or older stuff like Contra
or Life Force.
Maybe I don't remember
dreaming about those games. Or maybe those games I've played in the past
don't emphasis purely visual-based strategy and movement. I can recall
where to stand for eliminating Mother Brain in Metroid
. Or maybe I can't, I keep
thinking that I have this thing about falling into lava. Or maybe I
wasn't as serious at my games like I am with this one now. In any case,
it looks like I'll be dreaming Normal level 4 from this point on as
Still I have something more to say about Ikaruga
. I really can't figure out
the Smart Bomb. I was watching Normal WIZ in the first part of the level
5, and I think about 30-40 seconds into it there are a set of 3 blacks
on top, and 3 whites on the bottom. WIZ uses the smart bomb in the
middle of the screen, and although the none of the Smart Bomb streaks
towards the 3 blacks, they explode before the 3 whites. What the hell?
Do I have to play this DVD at slow speed to see it?
Okay finally a different game... Sorry about that.
Because I was going to demo my Dreamcast Ikaruga
to my friend with the new
TV, I had to practice getting used to controllers. Well I never got used
to the controllers so that demo sucked. But I did practice playing Twinkle Star Sprites
. Oh my gosh it
is so cute! And so fun! I spent most of the wee hours of Saturday
morning just getting up to speed and figuring out how to combo or do
reversal attacks or special attacks. Control was very good and the
animation was killer. It reminded me of Kioh-Gyoku
which restarted my love
affair with shmups back in 2002/11, but it has to be TSS
. The button system is similar, 2
buttons, shoot and bomb, hold down the shoot button to charge up your
weapon and release to let it fly. But that's where the similarity ends.
You combo by forcing enemy "fratricide" ala Robotech missle
"fratricide". Heh. Combos greater than 4 net a special attack that
pounces on your competitor. I did mention that this is a one-on-one
shooting game? No? I'm not sure why, but in 1996, Asmik/SNK decided to
release a one-on-one puzzle game cross shooting game. Reminds me of SFII Puzzle Fighter
cash in. In any
case, there is a MVS cartridge that costs 80000 yen, a MVS CD that costs
6000 yen, a Sega Saturn version that costs 5500 yen, and a Dreamcast
version that costs 6000 yen, all used. I have the latter two, and maybe
I'll pick up the MVS CD version. Maybe.
As I said, I demoed my Dreamcast to my friend. Upon moving the console
into my bag, I noticed that the controller and the console itself were
discolored by the sunlight on one side. Damn. Well, it won't fetch any
good money used this way. Wait I have no intention of selling it. It
just doesn't look cute anymore. I also have seen my Dreamcast freeze and
reset. I wonder if it's a cooling problem. It is pretty hot in my room,
and there is less than 3 mm clearance under the unit. Temporarily I had
it hanging off the side of my rack with a bottom vent exposed. Heh, it
was alright. I really need to get a replacement. I showed of course Ikaruga
, but also Twinkle Star Sprites
, Mars Matrix
, and Dead or Alive
. It looks like he's
going to get a DC for Ikaruga
instead of a GC. What a shame. DC doesn't have good controllers for Ikaruga
, but perhaps I don't have
the right controllers... I did show off the Ascii FT2 pad, which
approaches the Saturn pads that he used to use. But there 's no comment.
Oh yeah, games coming out of the wood work: I want to check out that Matrix: Reloaded
game. Maybe it's
not much of a game, but more of a preview for the third movie. Oh yeah.
Oh yeah, feel it feel it!