Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Recent happenings of pertinence to Sonic fans.

Postby Isuka » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:44 pm

Now, after the XBLA versions of SoulCalibur and Oratorio Tangram, you would think it's about time for high definition ports of both Sonic Adventure games, right?

Arcade wrote:So, with that console power they could at least you know, port ARCADE games...

OH GOD NO!!

Heavens forbid they release elaborate, competitive games that challenge the player and dares to demand some level of actual interest and commitment to understand and experience it!!!!

I'd much prefer 120+ hours, unrewarding bore-a-thons that require nothing else from me than pressing the X/ A button to slash dudes in a repetitive office job-like fashion and just the slightest window of attention to progress through neverending, pathetically directed 10 or so minutes cutscenes that develop the most uninteresting, cliched, dramatic and lame story ever!!!
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Kogen » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:09 pm

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the arcade game?
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby j-man » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:49 pm

Oh God, not this again.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Kogen » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:11 pm

Yes, this again.
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Postby Isuka » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:42 pm

Kogen wrote:Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the arcade game?

Not the greatest or most contemporary example by any measures, but a good one nonetheless. Compared to certain other game genres, it boasts not only one, but two action buttons and a reflex, eye-hand coordination-based game system (all of them absolutely vital for struggling against the game's ruthless and strategically located waves of enemies) and it most certainly demands some level of actual interest and commitment to understand and experience it (that is, without credit-feeding the shit out of it, therefore voiding its challenge), although it lacks on the competitive department and has already been bested by several other like titles.

Also, it doesn't last for 120+ hours, it's quite rewarding, it's not boring, and it lacks neverending, pathetically directed 10 or so minutes long cutscenes that develop the most uninteresting, cliched, dramatic, lame and pathetical faux-grandiloquent story ever.

Yeah, I wonder how that crap dares rear its ugly head in our new, superfluous, much better non-challenging gaming universe.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Kogen » Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:57 pm

Not really sure what you are saying, but-

Sonic uses one button and is about an hour in many cases.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Baba O'Riley » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:49 pm

Planescape: Torment.

Your move, Isuka.
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Postby Isuka » Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:18 pm

Can't put down a challenge.

Kogen wrote:Not really sure what you are saying, but-

Sonic uses one button and is about an hour in many cases.

Not really sure what you are saying, but-

Sonic uses an elaborate physics engine on a single plane, and his jump move doubles as an offensive maneuver as per the 2D platformer norm of yore, not to mention the grounded spin attack... not to mention it, precisely, doesn't last 120+ hours, is rewarding, fun ,et cetera.

Baba O'Riley wrote:Planescape: Torment.

Let's quote everyone's favorite vitriol abuser once more.

Alex Kierkegaard wrote:The Western approach to CRPGs (or, An Exercise in Futility)

So the point of RPGs was never the tedious stat-recording and incessant battles -- indeed, the more creative gamemasters quickly discovered that all the calculations and dice-rolling often got in the way of the story, and acted accordingly to minimize it.

Yet from the very beginning of computer role-playing games (CRPGs) it was clear that the stat-recording and incessant battles were the only things that could possibly survive the transition to the electronic medium, and that nothing short of the invention of human-level artificial intelligence could change that. Because what could possibly be left of the idea of role-playing without an intelligent gamemaster to breathe life into the world surrounding the players? What chance would the players have to make decisions and act them out -- in other words, to role-play -- if they were denied the ability to express themselves, and if their actions were limited to inventory-management, battle tactics, and wandering around static maps? The quality of the RPG experience had from the very first depended on the ability, talent and dedication of the gamemaster, and some dumb computer program was indeed a pitiful substitute for a Gary Gygax or an Ed Greenwood.

All this was of course instantly recognized by the pioneers of CRPGs, who, as programmers, were well aware of the limitations of the primitive software engineering techniques available to them.

And so they focused on the stats and battles.

Within mere months from the publication of Dungeons & Dragons the first CRPGs began to appear. From crude efforts written by college students to run on university mainframe computers -- Rusty Rutherford's pedit5 (1974), Don Daglow's Dungeon (1975 or 1976), Gary Whisenhunt's and Ray Wood's cheekily-named dnd (1975) -- to the first commercially-available titles: Richard Garriott's Akalabeth (1980), Sir-Tech's Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (1981) and DynaMicro's Dungeons of Daggorath (1982); they were pure dungeon crawlers one and all. Containing absolutely no role-playing whatsoever, they were nothing more than simplistic strategy games, with the limited dungeon exploration aspect breaking up the otherwise monotonous business of directing endless battles. The quest to design a true computer role-playing game had seemingly been abandoned, before it had even begun.

But since early D&D modules themselves consisted of little more besides dungeon crawling, the pioneers of CRPGs could at least claim that their games managed to capture to a degree the spirit of those early modules. The computer gaming world -- such as it was at the time -- could hardly be blamed for praising their efforts.

Unfortunately, those early efforts would end up setting the tone for all subsequent ones.

New games came and went, yet little of substance changed. The Bard's Tale (1985) featured unprecedented 3D graphics and animated monster portraits (eye-candy, in other words); Dungeon Master (1987) introduced real-time action; Pool of Radiance (1988) upped the ante in terms of the variety of locations and the scope of the story, while Eye of the Beholder (1990) had difficult puzzles -- all these were indeed well-made, enjoyable games, but they weren't fooling anyone. Because it was plain that they contained about as much role-playing as Super Mario Bros. or Duck Hunt.

For one thing, they all effectively required the player to assume control of a party of characters, something which immediately ruled out the possibility of any kind of role-playing (except perhaps for schizophrenics or those suffering from multiple personality disorder). For another, despite all the additions and refinements they boasted over their predecessors, none of them managed to get far beyond their strategy/wargaming roots. Character generation became more elaborate; sprawling towns and extensive outdoor locations were added; dungeons were spruced up -- but progression through the game still depended entirely on skilful inventory management and tactical thinking (both while directing battles and navigating dungeons). Only the more ambitious titles went as far as to include a handful of dialogue choices -- the better to trick the more naive players into believing they had some control over the development of the story.

Before long, CRPGs had become something of a joke in the role-playing community, whereas in computer gaming circles the term 'RPG' had been debased to a euphemism for a genre that contained a varying mixture of strategy, action, and adventure elements -- everything, that is to say, except role-playing.

It's worth taking a moment here to qualify this last statement. One can easily see that CRPGs contain elements of strategy and action, to varying degrees, but where does the adventuring element come from?

The adventure genre has hitherto encompassed all those games which allow the player to interact with the gameworld in ways more diverse than in those of pure reflex-based titles. In shooting/fighting/platform/racing games and the like, the player is usually limited to a few very specific kinds of actions, namely: shooting/fighting/navigating platforms/racing, etc. But in adventure games -- whether purely text-based, graphical, or point-and-click -- the player is called upon to perform a much larger variety of actions, such as exploration, puzzle-solving, interaction with characters, etc. (That's why games like Silent Hill and Onimusha are sometimes referred to as action-adventure games: because there is a bit more to them than simply killing enemies.)

So, getting back to CRPGs, one needs to look at what remains after you deduct all the strategy elements, and once you do that you see that what is left is some form of "adventuring". You have to search for the key that unlocks the gate to the catacombs; you need to gather the necessary ingredients to cast the spell that will kill the dragon; you have to track down the reclusive sage and convince him to reveal to you the location of the ancient ruins, etc. etc.

So CRPGs have always been -- and still are -- mostly games of strategy, with only occasional sprinklings of action and adventure, the exact formula of the mixture varying depending on the developer and the game in question. But whatever the formula, the end result has never had much to do with role-playing -- one need only sit in for a few minutes at a Dogs in the Vineyard game in progress in order to realize this. For those used to equating hit points and levelling to role-playing, such an experience would prove truly eye-opening.

And here it's worth noting that even games like Fallout (1997) and Planescape: Torment (1999), as well as Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series, came nowhere near enough to be considered true RPGs -- though it has to be said that they at least tried harder than everything else.

But why are these games -- justly -- ranked among the finest CRPGs yet made?

Because by employing extensive dialogue trees in conjuction with multiple story paths, or simply by allowing the player more freedom in choosing the order in which to pursue the various quests, they were able to approximate to some small degree the feel of a true RPG -- to give players a little taste of what these games are all about. We are still talking about strategy games here; even in a title such as Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (2001) you are still spending most of your time managing your characters' inventory, directing tactical battles and navigating dungeons -- all the instances of role-playing to be found in even the best-of-the-best CRPGs hardly ever amount to more than a few minutes in total. But those few minutes were enough to conjure an illusion of role-playing; to make one feel as if they played some part in steering the stories of these games towards their eventual outcomes. And the players loved them for it.

Keep reading the remainder of the essay and you'll find out the JRPG is an entirely different monkey.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Kogen » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:24 am

RPGs are gay, we have known this for a long time !
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Owen Axel » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:40 am

Hey, RPGs are great, it's just that the extreme majority of them are bogged down with filler so bad you'd think it had to define the genre. Take Chrono Trigger, which is a JRPG to boot, which is short and sweet, filled with to-the-point cutscenes that never last longer than about a minute and a half (depending on how fast you read), gameplay that stays interesting from start to finish, and zero grinding. ZERO GRINDING. If you do even half the endgame sidequests you should never need to grind even once before beating the game.

Chrono Trigger is the prime example of what pretty much every JRPG and regular RPG are doing wrong. Too much fucking filler before the next interesting part. They're games, not afternoon chores.

Which conveniently points to today's Sonic games. Too much fucking filler before the next interesting part.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Xyton » Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:10 pm

Owen Axel wrote:Which conveniently points to today's Sonic games. Too much fucking filler before the next interesting part.

I can second that. I wish Sonic Team would remember that a game doesn't need to be long to be fun, and the a short, highly-replayable game has more lasting appeal than a long game filled with crap you'd never want to do again. (Then again, I wish reviewers would remember this, too. I'm tired of hearing "It's only ten hours.")
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Zeta » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:34 pm

Alex Kierkegaard wrote:The Western approach to CRPGs (or, An Exercise in Futility)


I stopped reading right there. That jackass wouldn't know a good game or good game design if it was fucking him in the ass while biting the inside of my intestine. I dearly wish someone would lock him in a room full of 100 '80s arcade games that he could play until he dies from malnutrition.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Kogen » Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:46 pm

Load him up with gamergrub so he dies of a heart attack and diarrhea instead.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Wombatwarlord777 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:27 pm

To suppliment his diet/death, you should also force him to drink Game Fuel Mountain Dew.
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Postby Isuka » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:05 pm

Zeta wrote:

Oh yeah. Right. Empty non-criticism. Now that's a constructive counterpoint, right there, and NOT an easy way out. Not at all.
Surely you think GunValkyrie is a piece of shit, and No More Heroes is the most complete and perfect reimagining of not only the action and sandbox game genres, but also of the entire fucking concept of videogames!!

Well, at least he deals with major problems like games that are not fun (see also here), unlike some other people who actually give a fuck about grinding for achievements to level up a character in an FPS, as if it was relevant. Sheesh, what a prick he is, indeed! :roll:
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Ngangbius » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:08 pm

Owen Axel wrote:Hey, RPGs are great, it's just that the extreme majority of them are bogged down with filler so bad you'd think it had to define the genre. Take Chrono Trigger, which is a JRPG to boot, which is short and sweet, filled with to-the-point cutscenes that never last longer than about a minute and a half (depending on how fast you read), gameplay that stays interesting from start to finish, and zero grinding. ZERO GRINDING. If you do even half the endgame sidequests you should never need to grind even once before beating the game.


But most RPGs are easy enough that you don't need to grind. Chrono Trigger happens to be one of the easiest entry in the genre.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Crazy Penguin » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:44 pm

So, can you like, play the Japanese versions of Ristar and the Bare Knuckle (Streets of Rage) series in this thing?
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Re:

Postby j-man » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:40 pm

Isuka wrote:extremism

...shadesofgreyshadesofgreyshadesofgreyshadesof...
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Kogen » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:57 pm

Crazy Penguin wrote:So, can you like, play the Japanese versions of Ristar and the Bare Knuckle (Streets of Rage) series in this thing?


Nope! ^_____^

Too bad they do not let the team who did Mega Collection make these. They included stuff like that.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Baba O'Riley » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:32 pm

Oh well. I like what I like and I have the discretion to pick out games that I will enjoy. Incidentally, I'll probably pick up this collection (is it already out? I thought I saw a game collection with Sonic on the cover at Best Buy) and enjoy it. It's a pretty good deal, and it is what it is.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby FlashTHD » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:26 pm

Kogen wrote:Too bad they do not let the SEGA AGES team who did the Treasure Box and other collections make these. They included stuff like that.

Fix'd. VR-1 Japan only did that for Sonic 1 and it could just as easily have been Sonic Team's idea. Unless Gems Collection did something sneaky i'm not aware of? (Who made that game anyway?)
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Re:

Postby Shadow Hog » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:55 pm

Isuka wrote:Well, at least he deals with major problems like games that are not fun (see also here), unlike some other people who actually give a fuck about grinding for achievements to level up a character in an FPS, as if it was relevant. Sheesh, what a prick he is, indeed! :roll:

What, can I not like TF2 and tackle "games that are not fun"? Is that not possible or something?

Besides, TF2 is fun. The achievement grinding is definitely one of the weakest parts of the game, but the rest of the game still holds up remarkably well.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Segaholic2 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:54 am

If this game had Sonic 3 & Knuckles and ToeJam & Earl 1 and 2 it would pretty much be perfect.
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Re: Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Postby Arcade » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:45 am

Golden Axe series

Mortal Kombat series

street fighter series

Tekken series

Power stone

Crazy Taxi

All of those started as Arcade games...

plus, who can forget about Captaim Comando, The Punisher (arcade game), the Simpsons (arcade game) and 3 Wonders?

Just because 98% of Arcade games are boring coin wasters, that doesnt mean you can forget about the other 2%. I was able to end The Punisher with just six coins, that game was pretty easy for an Arcade game.
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Postby Isuka » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:44 pm

Ngangbius wrote:
Owen Axel wrote:Hey, RPGs are great, it's just that the extreme majority of them are bogged down with filler so bad you'd think it had to define the genre. Take Chrono Trigger, which is a JRPG to boot, which is short and sweet, filled with to-the-point cutscenes that never last longer than about a minute and a half (depending on how fast you read), gameplay that stays interesting from start to finish, and zero grinding. ZERO GRINDING. If you do even half the endgame sidequests you should never need to grind even once before beating the game.


But most RPGs are easy enough that you don't need to grind. Chrono Trigger happens to be one of the easiest entry in the genre.

The key factor behind Chrono Trigger being a JRPG and not sucking (besides the after-game sidequests) is the fact that there are no random encounters, non-boss battles are really damn fast, and that the enemies you defeat do not reappear instantly after you've defeated them and such nonsense.
Killing most monsters in the game is pretty straightforward, and in case they've specific element weaknesses those are pretty easy to find out, so escaping from battles becomes a rather unusual thing to do unless your entire party is very very low on HP, MP and items. Since monsters don't immediatly respawn, grinding becomes actually harder and entirely up to your own discretion, and since you're still taking down most if not all of the enemies each dungeon throws at you, the game's progression becomes really smooth.

j-man wrote:
Isuka wrote:extremism

...shadesofgreyshadesofgreyshadesofgreyshadesof...

Well yeah, I was just answering Zeta's own extremism. There is a pretty impressive amount of grey shades in this guy's site, too, not to mention this and this (as you can see, neither of those two reviews are his).

Shadow Hog wrote:
Isuka wrote:Well, at least he deals with major problems like games that are not fun (see also here), unlike some other people who actually give a fuck about grinding for achievements to level up a character in an FPS, as if it was relevant. Sheesh, what a prick he is, indeed! :roll:

What, can I not like TF2 and tackle "games that are not fun"? Is that not possible or something?

Besides, TF2 is fun. The achievement grinding is definitely one of the weakest parts of the game, but the rest of the game still holds up remarkably well.

... Uh, I think there's a funny reading comprehension mistake somewhere in here, either that or my English just won't stop sucking ass. I meant to say that, while the dude focuses on critizising games mainly based on if they are or aren't fun (that is, complex, deep and requiring skillful play in order to truly understand and master them) and how technically advanced they are, Zeta just goes on to nitpick that grinding stuff. There is some actual TF2 criticism right here.
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