From the forum issue 114 Platformers

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Katzkatz
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by Katzkatz » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:26 pm

I am going to have to add my vote for Bubble Bobble as well. With two players, it is amazing.

I will also add some love for the sequel Rainbow Islands. Remember you had an end of level boss fights in that, that has surely got to add something to the history of platformers.

I will also mention Harlequin. Lots of great stuff in that, changing into a fish, the level with the musical notes, etc.

Jazz Jackrabbit deserves a mention as well. Mainly for bring platforming to DOS.

Prince of Persia might get a mention for its animation sequences.

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by kiwimike » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:49 am

Bobinator wrote:
joefish wrote:About Manic Miner
I can't say I agree with your points, but I do appreciate the fact that you put the effort into explaining why you enjoy the game. This isn't the first time I've wondered to myself what people see in Jet Set Willy and all the times people have ripped it off, and from what it sounds like, you enjoy it for the challenge. There's nothing wrong with that, I suppose, there are tons of people out there who enjoy brutally hard games. Thing is, I'm just not one of them. The lack of direction is hardly my only issue with the game, either: it just doesn't feel very well designed.

Like, let's take the Banyan Tree for example, because that's usually as far as I get on one playthrough. You have little gaps you're supposed to jump into, with enemies on either said. The problem is Willy's hitbox is so large you basically have no way to avoid being killed by enemies, even if you're not actually TOUCHING them. It's a lot of issues like that that bring the game down for me. It's not the game's fault, really, it's just that it was made before a time when people really tested for things like this.

Especially the whole thing about how the game has a ledge you can fall off that will instantly take all your lives and end the game. That's something else people just... accepted, I guess.

I remember reading rave reviews at the time of Miner & JSW...UK mags of course, so they were some of the first games I bought when I got a Spec. And I so badly wanted to like it. I appreciated the quality of it visually, and appreciate others did like it, I just didn't. There were so many games on Speccy I loved, but like you I just failed to understand to appeal of the gameplay. In all honesty it annoyed me and also kind of bored me :?

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by psj3809 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:41 am

kiwimike wrote:I remember reading rave reviews at the time of Miner & JSW...UK mags of course, so they were some of the first games I bought when I got a Spec. And I so badly wanted to like it. I appreciated the quality of it visually, and appreciate others did like it, I just didn't. There were so many games on Speccy I loved, but like you I just failed to understand to appeal of the gameplay. In all honesty it annoyed me and also kind of bored me :?
Good point about the Banyan Tree, i found that screen ridiculously hard and always went in another direction.

Again its funny to look back, of course you get huge nostalgic memories from this game, its funny to look back at some games (For me such as Jet Set Willy, Knight Lore) and i used to play them 'just to find new rooms' never to complete them ! Ridiculous !

And i can see totally why if you were born in the 90's you might look at Manic Miner or JSW and think 'they look terrible'. Most people with an interest in gaming would see why these games were so popular when they came out, they were released in the right time and the right place. When they came out they were both brilliant and far better than many of the crappy basic games.

But again i find it funny that Chiptune keeps going on about people should recognise and play these homebrew titles he mentions every 5 seconds yet as always loves to mock any old classics we like and then also come out with the stupid stereotypes of gamers.

Yet another person who has jumped off the 'chiptunes not all that bad' bandwagon, now i just read his posts and laugh. So its okay for him to keep mocking people for the way they look or their weight (again), but i'm sure he would hate it if we mocked him for his issues. A joke.

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joefish
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by joefish » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:31 pm

'The Banyan Tree' is a definite bottleneck in that game, admittedly. But lots of games still have choke-points like that. I need only say the word 'Library' to a HALO veteran to derail that conversation until the end of time. It's a shock now to encounter one so early on, but you do have to scale your expectations down to a game with only 60 screens. Similarly the game-ending 'Entrance to Hades' wouldn't work in a modern game, but in a smaller scaled game it's not like it sets you back some 20 hours of gameplay, and - like catching your nadgers in a zip - it's something you only ever fall for once in your life!

Strangely, back when I first had it I could go straight through 'The Banyan Tree', but now I think about it too much I struggle! But you can't knock the collision detection - it quite literally is 'pixel-perfect' as it uses the sprite pixel image as a mask, not a rectangular or octagonal computed hitbox like a lot of later games. As for liking 'brutally hard' games, I like a bit of challenge, but I'm not mad; try the opening level of Navy Moves and gauge against the masochism of Spanish Spectrum owners. I think we've got a bit too soft, expecting to be able to walk through a game on standard difficulty. With only a handful of levels, 8-bit computer programmers had to make the experience last. Back then you bought these games never expecting to see the end of them; if you took a game home and completed it in a week you'd take it back to the shop and complain! That might not be the way we do it nowadays, but why should that be seen as 'ridiculous', just because it's fallen out of fashion? I recently picked up 'Kirby's Epic Yarn' cheaply, having seen great reviews. It looks fantastic, but after an hour or so I got bored with the complete lack of challenge. I feel sorry for any kids whose parents think something so simple is appropriate for a young mind.

There were a few other bugs in the layouts of JSW that should have been tested and worked out, but then games of the time were all solo projects. That was one of the first games most people can remember with an official 'patch' - a couple of memory address 'POKE's to alter three of the rooms and fix a bug caused by entering another. But those sorts of games definitely had style and personality, coming from a single coder. It's not so much complete originality that's lacking from modern cross-platform big-budget titles - it's that distinctiveness that you only get from an individual's strong vision for a game - the tortured visuals of Oddworld or the dark humour of MDK ('world's most interesting bomb'). And if that distinctiveness puts some people off while others love it, I'd rather that than have a game that no-one cares about.

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by Bobinator » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:38 pm

I'm kind of worried you're getting the impression that I like the way newer platformers do things. Trust me, it's not like that all. You can take all your Limbos and your Braids and your Super Meat Boys. For one thing, I miss that the concept of 'lives' has basically quit being a thing since... I dunno, 2003? My problem with the difficulty is that... well, to be brutally honest, the 8-bit era just never gelled with me. Most of the stuff I enjoy from that era is when it was kind of transitioning out, so.

...Suddenly, what I think I want is a Jet Set Willy game that plays like Switchblade. You've got the same very basic gameplay structure, as far apart as they are in actual gameplay. But you also have features that give you some kind of chance of winning, like being able to attack, and a health bar. If Jet Set Willy had only one of those two features, I think I'd enjoy it a lot more.

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Cafeman
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by Cafeman » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:44 pm

Man, I love running, jumping, climbing, collecting things and avoiding enemies which you can sometimes destroy. My favorite platformers from the 80's were:

The Activision Trio - Pitfall, Piftall II, and H.E.R.O.
The Miyamoto Triamoto - Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr, and Popeye. To this day, still a lot of fun, even the Atari computer/5200 versions are lots of fun.
Also: Miner 2049'er and Montezuma's Revenge.

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joefish
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by joefish » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:46 pm

Now that [Switchblade] does irritate me.

Not so much the health bar (if I can get over a health bar in a shmup like Xenon II I can handle it in a platformer), and yes, in JSW it would let you get away with a few close scrapes or just walk through the very hard bits at least once to see what was beyond. And the above-ground bits at the start are, I suppose, an easy lead-in, though on repeated plays I bet they get tedious.

But the rest of the game doesn't play fair with you. It's a nice touch that sub-rooms expand into view as you enter them, but it's not fair where you have to drop into a room and land right on a patrolling baddie that you had no way of seeing or avoiding. Reacting, dodging and fighting spawning enemies is one thing, but having them appear on top of you with no warning is you being cheated. That they don't kill you instantly, and you can recover the damage through pick-ups, doesn't excuse the lazy design.

Admittedly there are a few places in JSW where, if you're not careful, you can jump into a new room, right into an enemy's starting point and lose all your lives instantly, but that is rare as it's usually pretty clear what's safe and what's not. It's not as if that's done deliberately to make it harder. Some of the jumps may require extremely tight positioning and timing, but at least you can see them coming.

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by kiwimike » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:08 pm

Bobinator wrote:I'm kind of worried you're getting the impression that I like the way newer platformers do things. Trust me, it's not like that all. You can take all your Limbos and your Braids and your Super Meat Boys. For one thing, I miss that the concept of 'lives' has basically quit being a thing since... I dunno, 2003? My problem with the difficulty is that... well, to be brutally honest, the 8-bit era just never gelled with me. Most of the stuff I enjoy from that era is when it was kind of transitioning out, so.

...Suddenly, what I think I want is a Jet Set Willy game that plays like Switchblade. You've got the same very basic gameplay structure, as far apart as they are in actual gameplay. But you also have features that give you some kind of chance of winning, like being able to attack, and a health bar. If Jet Set Willy had only one of those two features, I think I'd enjoy it a lot more.
It's the little slow jumping arc/action that I found immensly irritating. Others didn't have an issue with it. Fair enough.

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RitmanRovers
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by RitmanRovers » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:30 pm

ChipTune wrote:Ah, the usual blog backlash from morons who haven't even read it. I laugh at your ignorance. :lol:

I think these games crop up again and again is because the people who desperately cling on to them secretly hate their lives now and would do anything to be a kid again. Maybe it's the dull job, ever decreasing hairline / expanding gut, ugly wife who doesn't put out anymore.. plus a wealth of other factors.. meaning playing Chuckie Egg or any other 8-bit home computer game, ludicrously claiming it to be better than any similar games made in the last 30 years, is the nearest thing they have to going back to 'the good old days'. Hitting a nerve here?

Bring on the negativity .. You all know this is true.



P.S. For the record Chuckie Egg, Manic Miner, Burger Time and a whole plethora of 8-bit games are very good. Still enjoyable today. Even though they look awful and have sound effects that sound like someone making fart sounds with their mouth. But I object to them being called better than games like Spelunky - which simply dumps over them.
Yes. It's the fat blokes with receding hairlines, rubbish jobs and dismal lives that hark back to the shitty likes of Manic Miner when they spend approximately 10 picoseconds thinking about some old platform game that they remember liking 30 years ago, and sharing it on a magazine website with nary a thought about the possible splenetic response from true retro experts like Chiptune

Luckily, we have big-hitters like Chiptune who have the time and vast platforming knowledge across the decades to really tell it like it is, like the international playboy retro gamer superstars that they are.

I would imagine he has a London penthouse in Shoreditch, with a stunning young girlfriend and spends his nights sipping ironic cocktails in Giant Robot and eating midnight suppers in Bocca Di Lupo.

Both of which places I know for a fact Chippers has never been to, or even heard of. But has now Googled.

That's the sort of retro God that he is. Shine on.
Eat my boomstick

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by jdanddiet » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:41 pm

Actually, his girlfriend is pretty hot.
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by RitmanRovers » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:46 pm

EDITED:

It is pretty obvious you have a distinct disliking for Chiptune and you have made your point in previous posts (as have others) but I think it is time to leave this alone now as it is getting far to personal.

MPM
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kiwimike
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by kiwimike » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:34 pm

Getting a touch too personal IMO...no need to. Grown adults, which I hope we are, should be able to discuss game and agree/disagree in a civil manner without cheap shots or personal insults.
Or maybe not. When all is said and done, they're just old toys. Nothing to get all precious over. It's supposed to be fun... :wink:

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by NES Max » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:30 pm

To add to my earlier post (SMB 3/SMW), my "other" favourite platform games include the following:

NES:
-Bionic Commando (a perfect game IMO)
-Street Fighter 2010 (one of the most misunderstood games of all time - I play it once a year (using the NES Advantage controller); controls take some getting used to, but very rewarding)
-Castlevania 3 (much better than the first one in the series)
-Kirby's Adventure (initally passed it by because of the "kiddy" graphics, only played this game for the first time in 2010; this is still the best Kirby I've played (haven't tried the last one on Wii))
-Mega Man 2 & 3
-Ninja Gaiden 1 & 2
-Batman
-Duck Tales

Rest:
-Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of Blood
-Super Castlevania 4
-Mega Man X
-Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
-Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by malczx » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:37 pm

Caves of Doom by Mastertronic on the Spectrum for me. Loads of colourful screens to get through, I remember it being fiendishly difficicult, especially the nasties that chased your little rocket man around the caves. But I remember the picture of the rocket ship on one of the screenshots on the inlay that gave it the 'one more go' factor until I eventually managed to find the same screen and complete the game!

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by joefish » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:59 pm

Just had a go on Jet Set Willy again last night, and here's an interesting question for those moaning about how hard the Banyan Tree is to get past - so, have you already collected the object in the Nightmare Room then? :)

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