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Charles

Gaming Play It Retro

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Once a week I get together with my good buddy Papa Smurf, we gather in his basement with some others and completely geek out. Each week the games we play seem to get older and older.

This week, we politely pushed the Xbox 360 aside and revisited the Nintendo 64 classic Starfox 64. Starfox 64 has always been one of my favorite '64 games so I approached it with a little bit of trepidation. I never want to ruin my favorite childhood memories by finding out that they don't hold up well (see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 movie). After all, much of Starfox's appeal was how cinematic its presentation was. Gliding across the ocean's surface in an Arwing, taking on massive bosses, and digitized voice acting really stood out when the game released. I also loved the branching paths and sharp controls.

So, how did the game hold up?

Surprisingly well.

We logged in some multiplayer time, and we were pulling off the advanced maneuvers of yesterday with no problem (since they only involved pressing two buttons simultaneously). At first the game didn't seem too promising. There were only two sparsely-designed maps to choose from and the option to play on-foot is completely useless. Like most N64 games, the visuals haven't held up too well. Everything is extremely blurry and there's plenty of fog coating the landscape.
But the core dog fighting experience has remained very responsive and enjoyable.

So, my verdict is that Starfox 64 has stood the test of time and remains one of the best console shooters available.

If anyone else has a copy of Starfox 64 and wants to join in on the retro-revisit, or if you simply have some fond memories, feel free to contribute your opinions.

Next week, we'll be sharing our not-so-positive analysis of the not so perfect, Perfect Dark 64.

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Lylatwars (Star Fox 64 Pal version) is a fun one; I've recently found my cousins '64 that he gave me and have been quite immersed in this gem. It is somewhat suprising that it seems to still be one of the best flight combat games and yet it came out so long ago.
Peppy and Slippy are both very irritating but it's all for a good cause.... My Enjoyment.
I have to say that it ranks highly on my favourite shooting game list, and has withstood the tests of time.

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[color=#8B0000]I never use to buy many games when I was a kid; I'd usually go down to my local video store and rent any game that I felt like playing, but Lylat Wars (known as Star Fox 64 in America) was one of the few that took a hearty place in my collection. As I remember, it was the first game for the N64 to utilise the Rumble Pak hardware, which was pretty cool, but I didn't like how heavy the N64 pad became when it was yanked in.

My favourite aspect of Lylat Wars was the Star Wolf team. It was such a cool concept to me to have a rival squad to fight against, no matter conventional it is. I mean, after hearing Star Wolf come out with his awesome one-liner of "What the heck?!" I was hooked for life.[/color]

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[quote name='Bombu][color=#8B0000']My favourite aspect of Lylat Wars was the Star Wolf team. It was such a cool concept to me to have a rival squad to fight against, no matter conventional it is. I mean, after hearing Star Wolf come out with his awesome one-liner of "What the heck?!" I was hooked for life.[/color][/quote]
[color=#555555][FONT=Tahoma]You should play Star Fox Assault. That game really did SF64 justice and Star Wolf's squad was re-introduced with a new member (who's actually really cool). Back to the topic on-hand.

Anyway, I do the exact same thing as you do, Charles. Everyonce in a blue moon my friends and I go to my friend Steve's house and play a bunch of old-school video games on his modded XBOX. Four 16 year olds playing the original Mario Party at midnight counts for endless laughs.

Star Fox 64 is one game that we frequently visit (along with GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Mario Party, Mario Kart, and Diddy Kong Racing). Obviously the graphics were nothing special --it [i]is[/i] N64-- but there's just something about flying around in a spaceship shooting your opponent's wings off.

And PWNED, I whole-heartedly agree. I think the only game that matches SF64 (besides Assault) in Flight Combat is Crimson Skies. [/FONT][/COLOR]

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Starfox 64, pretty much.

Graphically, it's dated. There were times when I was amazed we could actually see each other due to the game's low resolution. But surprisingly, as old and quasi-crappy as the game looked, we could still discern the environments from each other, and the two power-ups in the battlefields. So I think Starfox 64 definitely still comes out on top in terms of graphics.

The control has remained pretty damn perfect, I think. Though it may relate more to how amazingly fluid the gameplay still is, the fact that we were chaining loop-de-loops for minutes at a time is pretty remarkable and reveals how well the game still handles.

It also helps that the N64 controllers themselves are still fairly responsive, even in light of their age. That system and those controllers at my house are going on 10 years old now. Nintendo makes high-quality equipment? Hell yes they do.

Gameplay-wise, like you said, the dogfights are still top-notch. It still ranks as one of [i]the best[/i] aerial combat games out there.

Regarding the downsides/blemishes of the game...yeah.

The character selection was downright weird, with assigning characters based on which controller port you were using (Fox=Player 1, Peppy=Player 2, Slippy is P3, and Falco is P4).

The arenas weren't terribly interesting. Corneria is so-so. Had they compressed the arena a bit, it would have been much more exciting. I think Sector Z is actually the better of the two. Since the on-foot combat is pretty lame (Landmaster tank is nice, though it's impossible to aim that thing), and air-based combat is where the game really shines, the lack of ground combat in Sector Z isn't much of a loss anyway.

But honestly, those blemishes don't matter once you get into the meat of the deathmatch: dogfights. And the dogfights are fun as hell.

And I'd imagine it gets even better when we get Bill and Brandon in on that.

Brandon=Slippy, of course.

I figure we'll talk about Perfect Dark a bit before either of us post anything, so I'll hold-off on saying anything about that sh-tty game. I will say that Smash TV is fun as hell and, to borrow your phrase, "HARD AS F-CK."

We've got quite a library to review, too. PD, GE, classic Doom (yay Doom 3 Resurrection of Evil's split screen classic Doom!), Smash TV, WWE Smackdown, Rampage, Street Fighter 2, Gauntlet 1 and Legends, Galaga, etc. Methinks the original Conker's Bad Fur Day's multiplayer, perhaps. Pretty much any ancient N64 games we dig up in our houses. heh

Oh, and about sh-tty games like PD...Starfox Assault was just as sh-tty. lol

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[SIZE=1]Interesting, most interesting.

I don't really play my Nintendo 64 anymore, probably something to do with the fact I sold most of my better games to try and cover the costs of buying the Gamecube. Heck at this moment in time I can't even remember what games I still have. My retro gaming however is PC oriented, [b]Theme Hospital[/b], [b]Curse of Monkey Island[/b], [b]Star Trek: Armada[/b], [b]Anno 1602[/b] all great games, though the animations tend to skip when you're playing, which is a shame. Actually I don't think CoMI will even work of my XPS.[/SIZE]

[quote name='White][color=#555555][FONT=Tahoma](along with GoldenEye, [strike]Perfect Dark, Mario Party,[/strike] Mario Kart, and Diddy Kong Racing). [/FONT'][/COLOR][/quote]

[SIZE=1]Definitely, three of the most addictive multiplayer games ever released on the 64 there, Goldeneye particularly was enough to keep myself and three friends roaring with laughter for hours at a time. Moonraker lasers on the Temple level [the one with the secret passages], have a friend believe himself safe behind one and then fire the laser, watch his reaction and laugh like a madman.

Mariokart and DKR was pretty good too, Mariokart was probably a purely multiplayer game where as DKR could be played either solo or multi but was much more fun again on multiplayer.[/SIZE]

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Diddy Kong Racing = t3h ***-kickzors. But this is about Starfox.

I never played starfox back when it first came out, as I couldn't figure out how to play it. My little brother bought it last year, and it was pretty cool until my friend ruined it. How? He comes over and happens to be the golden champion of starfox, and decides to blaze through the game, jamming out perfect scores and going to secret places... the joy was killed. He beat it in like an hour and that was the last time I've seen the game played.

My brother bought Star Fox Assault recently, and despite the reviews and such, I was impressed. My brother beat it and enjoyed it, and we spent plenty of time on multiplayer.

Star fox Adventures... I never got into it. We sold it before ever beating it.

As far as the star fox universe goes, i like it. i feel aquainted with Star Fox after years of SSBM, so hes cool with me.

Also, the DS game looks totally badass.

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Perfect Dark sucks for the following reasons:

The bots are awful and are only deadly because of consistent headshots, 90% of which should never happen.

The bots are awful because they have the tendency to sit in one location on the other side of the map when you've got a solid defensive position.

The weapons are horribly imbalanced. See SuperDragon and Crossbow for examples.

The Farsight gun. It sees through walls, shoots through walls, and can still track a target in primary fire mode (Rail Gun Effect).

The framerate barely sustains 1v1 split-screen.

The game lags and hiccups when two players are selecting bodies for their characters.

The character customization only gives you a choice of a head and body.

Unarmed secondary function, Disarm, is impossible to connect with against a human opponent due to weapon damage imbalances, yet a Normal difficulty bot will always connect with it.

Weapon slots are unreliable and glitchy. Instead of an AR34 and a shield, two shields spawn.

The combat doesn't feel comfortable at all.

If you don't have the N64 Expansion Pak, forget about playing single-player mode. Only [u][b]35%[/b][/u] of the game is available to non-Expansion Pak users; that 35% is barely some minor double player gametypes. Barely any combat simulator.

---

Charles and I stopped playing within two or three matches. We'll never play PD again. GoldenEye still shats all over it.

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[quote name='Papa Smurf]If you don't have the N64 Expansion Pak, forget about playing single-player mode. Only [u][b]35%[/b][/u'] of the game is available to non-Expansion Pak users; that 35% is barely some minor double player gametypes. Barely any combat simulator.[/quote]

[color=#8B0000]Didn't the game come with one when it first released? Either way, I never got into the game much because when I rented it, the Expansion Pak wasn't available to me (so much for customer goodwill), so I only got to "enjoy" the 35%, which didn't do itself any justice. Magazine reviews told me that the remaining 65% sucked, so I simply didn't bother with the game.[/color]

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[color=#4B0082]This is N64 AI we're talking about. What do you expect from them? At least PD has bots, whereas you don't even get the option in GE.

Weapon balance is relative and depends on what else is in your weapon set. A SuperDragon is no more overpowered than having a granade launcher and an assault rifle in the same weapon set in GE would be. You just can't do that in GE, so the situation never comes up. If you don't like the SuperDragon, don't put it in your weapon set, or else put more powerful weapons in along with it.

The Farsight is meant to be a cheap-*** gun. Try putting all Farsights into your weapon set and having duels from across the level; that can be a lot of fun. Otherwise, turn it off, because it doesn't really belong in other weapon sets.

I haven't played PD in a while, but I don't remember the framerate being any worse than GE. You are playing with an expansion pak, right? If not, get one and then take another look at the framerate.

Oh noes, a small glitch in one of the menus. And--gasp!--you only get a head and body for character customization?! The horror! I mean, that's just [i]so[/i] much worse than not having [i]any[/i] customization in GE. :rolleyes:

I don't claim to be a great GE or PD player, but me and my friends never had any more trouble using Disarm than the normal hand-to-hand strikes. Also, it's not supposed to be easy to get in close when you're unarmed and your opponent has a gun; he's going to shoot you while you're running at him and then you die.

Also see my above point about N64 AI. The only way they can provide any sort of a challenge is to cheat. Heck, even most current gen console AI is the same way.

I've never experienced glitches with the weapon slots. Everything I put in the weapon set has always spawned, the correct number of them has always spawned, and their placement in the level has always remained the same throughout the match. Are you sure you don't have a faulty cartridge or something?

It feels exactly the same as GE to me. Except it's easier to aim because you have an on-screen sight at all times. And guess what--a lot of the classic GE guns and arenas are even included in PD.

Zelda: Majora's Mask requires an expansion pak to play the game at all, yet no one ever bashes it over that. The expansion pak got to be a pretty standard requirement for the biggest games in the last generation of N64 titles, of which PD is a part. This is like saying a GCN game sucks because you don't happen to have a memory card to save your files on.

I'll continue to enjoy PD's multitude of multiplayer options over GE's rigid and inflexible match set-ups, thank you.[/color]

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[quote name='Desbreko']This is N64 AI we're talking about. What do you expect from them? At least PD has bots, whereas you don't even get the option in GE.[/quote]
Honestly? I expected [i]something[/i], even after almost a decade. Perfect Dark is one of the rose-tinted shades games.

And at least PD has bots? As if the bots in PD are such a gift? Give me four humans (or even a 1v1) in GE over two bots in PD any day. PD is worse off with bots. It's not that evident way back when, but it's sure as hell evident now, since we've seen better AI in better FPS, not to mention FPS that play and handle much, much better...even a game like GE.

[quote]Weapon balance is relative and depends on what else is in your weapon set. A SuperDragon is no more overpowered than having a granade launcher and an assault rifle in the same weapon set in GE would be. You just can't do that in GE, so the situation never comes up. If you don't like the SuperDragon, don't put it in your weapon set, or else put more powerful weapons in along with it.[/quote]
The SuperDragon weaponset was...Crossbow, Shotgun, SuperDragon, AR34, Shield, and DY357. All high-powered weaponry. Only the AR34 came close to matching the SuperDragon. Imbalanced, definitely.

GE was balanced for more than just single weapon functions. With the grenade launcher weapon set, you could pick up a ZMG and still come out victorious against a player of equal skill. That's because in order to rack up kills with the grenade launcher, the player needed to know how to use it, how to ricochet rounds around corners or into rooms using the door. When you picked up the grenade launcher, you weren't guaranteed anything, especially because of the arc to the grenade rounds themselves. The arc forced you to learn the weapon to become terrifying with it.

Compare that to the line of fire that's more or less a completely straight line with the SuperDragon. The grenade secondary of the SD isn't a grenade launcher at all; it's a rocket launcher. There's a minimal arc to the SD's grenade rounds. Getting rebound kills is impossible with it, especially considering that the SD's grenades barely bounce at all. The only angle one regularly needs with the SD grenade launcher is where the targeting reticle is pointing, because generally, that's where the round is going to go. Zero player skill.

On top of that, you can hold one button for a second and switch to one of the most powerful assault rifles in the game?

Sure, you could tell me to just not use the SuperDragon if it's so broken. And make no mistake, I'm not inclined to use any of the projectile explosives in PD, except the remote mines.

But, like in GE's multiplayer regarding Oddjob and Moonraker Elite #2, I [i]shouldn't have[/i] to prohibit the use of weapons and characters just to have a balanced match. Oddjob is fun as hell, definitely, and I exploited his height or lack thereof pretty much a solid four or five years when I'd play with my high school buds, but making him the shortest character in the game was a bad design decision, and those types of bad design decisions just got worse and worse and more frequent in Perfect Dark.

And honestly, one of those lousy design decisions is the absurd secondary functions. It wouldn't be so bad to have alternate firing modes if the alternate firing modes were actually something that enhanced the game rather than broke it.

The Crossbow's Lethal setting, for example? Cool idea, but it's crap because it's so cheap.

SuperDragon being assault rifle+grenade launcher? Cool idea, but total crap.

Shotgun, even. Double shot alternate fire? Cool idea, but it's not worth using in combat, because it's so unreliable.

K7 Avenger? Alternate function is a threat detector? Again, cool idea but ultimately useless, especially when playing with mines, because it takes all the skill out of the game in trying to figure out [i]where[/i] your bastard friends placed proxies.

Speaking of threat detector, since when did mines need it?

90% of the secondary functions were designed for single-player. I think that much is obvious. They're all "cool ideas" that don't translate well at all to multiplayer combat situations.

I'm reminded of Guild Wars, actually. PvE monsters don't care about balance. PvP players do.

Now, I think there are a few weapons in PD that can be used in multi-player without too much of a problem.

Most of the pistols, including the Mauler (Phoenix, not so much), Sniper Rifle, the Callisto NTG, Laptop Gun, the regular Dragon (that proxie self-destruct is designed for PvP I think), Shotgun, AR34, Devastator, the Slayer, grenades, N-Bombs, mines, and of course, the Classic weapons.

[quote]The Farsight is meant to be a cheap-*** gun. Try putting all Farsights into your weapon set and having duels from across the level; that can be a lot of fun. Otherwise, turn it off, because it doesn't really belong in other weapon sets.[/quote]
Farsight is a single-player gun. It's one of those "cool idea" weapons that doesn't belong in multiplayer to begin with.

[quote]I haven't played PD in a while, but I don't remember the framerate being any worse than GE. You are playing with an expansion pak, right? If not, get one and then take another look at the framerate.[/quote]
It's significantly worse, and I've had an expansion pak in there since before Turok 2, which was in the 1999/2000 range, I believe.

[quote]Oh noes, a small glitch in one of the menus. And--gasp!--you only get a head and body for character customization?! The horror! I mean, that's just so much worse than not having any customization in GE. :rolleyes:[/quote]
If the customization ends up causing the framerate to drop out even when you're scrolling through character models for multiplayer...the customization feature isn't worth it.

Plus, the framerate issues aren't only glitches in the menus. The entire game is plagued with framerate issues.

[quote]I don't claim to be a great GE or PD player, but me and my friends never had any more trouble using Disarm than the normal hand-to-hand strikes. Also, it's not supposed to be easy to get in close when you're unarmed and your opponent has a gun; he's going to shoot you while you're running at him and then you die.[/quote]
The Slapper's Only License to Kill fights between my friends can easily go on for 20 minutes at a time. We make sure that it's impossible to hit each other, just from the way we kite in the game. So for us, Disarm is all the more useless, and the fundamental idea behind it is pretty bad. You're unarmed, but instead of running away in a zig-zag pattern to screw the enemy's aim, you're going to try to disarm them by getting into melee range.

When you respawn and there's someone right there, like in the bathrooms in Felicity, and you've got nowhere to run to (or at least, your options are really limited), then yes, I can see how Disarm would be your only hope, but that's highly situational and any good player would have you dead long before you were in close enough.

[quote]Also see my above point about N64 AI. The only way they can provide any sort of a challenge is to cheat. Heck, even most current gen console AI is the same way.[/quote]
Exactly. So why praise PD for having broken simulants? What, because the game has bots? I don't see the logic there. I'd rather have no bots than broken ones, and I'd rather criticize a game for including broken ones than not including bots entirely.

[quote]I've never experienced glitches with the weapon slots. Everything I put in the weapon set has always spawned, the correct number of them has always spawned, and their placement in the level has always remained the same throughout the match. Are you sure you don't have a faulty cartridge or something?[/quote]
I doubt my cartridge is problematic; I've taken the same kind of care with it as I have all my other games, so unless it's an insidious plot of God or the Devil to ruin my cartridge, I can't see how it's a technical issue.

Regarding the weapon slots, I know how the weapon slots go, and I know where each slot spawns. There was no AR34 even though I equipped it in the corresponding weapon slot. I know I wasn't imagining it, either, because Charles saw it, too.

[quote]It feels exactly the same as GE to me. Except it's easier to aim because you have an on-screen sight at all times. And guess what--a lot of the classic GE guns and arenas are even included in PD.[/quote]
It doesn't feel exactly the same to me, and to most people who have had very recent playtime with both games. PD feels way too loose, too slippery and too choppy at the same time. There's no weight to the character movement. The game has the menu options of a football or golf simulation, but it plays more like a lousy version of NFL Blitz or Outlaw Golf.

[quote]Zelda: Majora's Mask requires an expansion pak to play the game at all, yet no one ever bashes it over that.[/quote]
Yeah, because at least with Z:MM, you needed the pak for everything. It didn't insult you by giving you a pathetic 35% of the game if you didn't have an expansion pak.

And let's be perfectly honest here. If a game is only giving you 35% to play without the expansion pak, that 35% should be a full single-player campaign and 4-player multiplayer support, plus a few slots for player profiles...like what we saw in GE, sans the individual player profiles. Everything else (customizable settings, characters, extra profile slots) should be included in that expansion pak-required 65%.

Desi, think about it. Perfect Dark, a Nintendo 64 first-person shooter touted as "sequel in spirit" to GoldenEye and advertised as a new and ground-breaking first person shooting experience, released on what, at the time, was the best console for first-person shooters...doesn't even give you a single-player campaign mode if you don't have the expansion pak accessory.

[quote]This is like saying a GCN game sucks because you don't happen to have a memory card to save your files on.[/quote]
No, because at least you can enjoy the single-player mode of that GCN game even without the memory card. Sure, you'd have to restart the game from the beginning every time, but at least you could start the game from the beginning. Good luck doing that without the expansion pak in Perfect Dark. lol

[quote]I'll continue to enjoy PD's multitude of multiplayer options over GE's rigid and inflexible match set-ups, thank you.[/QUOTE]
Give me core functions and tight game/gunplay over broken customization and framerate issues any day of the week, thank you very much.

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[color=#4B0082]The problem with the majority of your arguments here is that you're complaining about options that you don't even have a choice about in GE. The fact is, you can turn off the less-than-great bots, you can take the overpowered weapons out of the match and create your own weapon sets, and you can ignore the secondary fire modes if you want to. But all the core features of GE are still there. So I don't see how you can argue that these extra things make the game worse, when you can set up a match in PD that is almost identical to GE.

And, for the record, I happened to be very pleased with the fact that PD included bots. They may not be the greatest, but when I don't have anyone else around to play against--as is often the case--the bots actually give me something to do. They may be inferior to human players, as all bots are, but they're still better than nothing. I play GE and PD almost exclusively for the multiplayer modes, since single player never interested me much, so without bots I never would have bothered buying PD.

As for the framerate slowdown when choosing a head/body combination, again, [i]it's a menu.[/i] Framerate in menus doesn't need to be very high, especially when all you're doing is toggling through the body/head combinations. You're just nitpicking here.

If there really are as bad of framerate issues during actual gameplay as you say, then that's a serious complaint. It has been quite a while since I played GE and PD, so you may be right. But I seriously don't remember ever having more of a problem with slowdown in PD than in GE.

About PD requiring the expansion pak, you talk like Rare had a choice in what parts of the game to include in that 35%. They didn't. They were limited by what the system's standard memory could handle without the aid of the expansion pak. It couldn't handle the single player game--or at least not well enough for it to be playable--so they didn't include it unless you had an expansion pak.

Again, I don't see the logic in bashing PD because it gives you extra options. They could have very easily made the game require an expansion pak to be played at all, but instead they let you play what the system could handle on its own. And it's not like they tried to trick you into thinking the full game could be played without one; they gave you a little chart showing which parts of the game required one, which I think was displayed on the back of the box as well as in the instruction manual.

Now, if you want to criticise PD's less-than-great extra features, that's fine. But when you're comparing GE to PD and trying to say PD is worse because its extra features aren't that great, that doesn't work. Having extra options is [i]never[/i] worse than no options at all, so long as you can turn them off so they don't affect what was already there.[/color]

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[quote name='Desbreko']The problem with the majority of your arguments here is that you're complaining about options that you don't even have a choice about in GE.[/quote]
But more choices doesn't always mean a better game, especially when we're talking about game balance.

[quote]The fact is, you can turn off the less-than-great bots[/quote]
Being able to turn them off doesn't excuse the fact they're broken to begin with.

[quote]you can take the overpowered weapons out of the match and create your own weapon sets, and you can ignore the secondary fire modes if you want to.[/quote]
And I could throw PD out the window and never have to worry about its non-existent game balance ever again.

But either way, being able to turn-off/disable/prohibit certain weapons shouldn't be required to achieve balance. The very fact that those weapons and items need to be removed from the game types to balance the game is testament to how imbalanced Perfect Dark's weapon selection is.

[quote]But all the core features of GE are still there.[/quote]
I consider the core features of GE to be tight, balanced gunplay and solid combat. Even using a stripped-down custom weapon set in PD, and forbidding my friends from using the secondary fire functions ...does not give me the same type of tight, balanced gunplay that my Rutgers friends, Charles, and I enjoy playing GE on Friday nights.

[quote]So I don't see how you can argue that these extra things make the game worse, when you can set up a match in PD that is almost identical to GE.[/quote]
Firstly, I can certainly argue those extra things make the game worse when they contribute to combat balance issues and further compound framerate issues.

Secondly, as you saw in your PD experiments earlier tonight--rather, as [i]we[/i] saw in our respective PD experiments earlier tonight, it's impossible to recreate a match in PD that is "almost identical" to GE, due to the weapon problems.

The explosive weapons like the Devastator and SuperDragon shoot with a minimal arc and much farther than the GE grenade launcher when shot from the exact same position, with a character of the exact same height. The Devastator and SD are basically rocket launchers that use grenades.

Even during the low-end variations of the shot distances, there were easily a few steps between the PD explosives and the GE grenade launcher. Like I've said before, the grenade launcher has a very sharp arc, which requires the player to learn the angles and trajectories to become effective with it.

[quote]And, for the record, I happened to be very pleased with the fact that PD included bots. They may not be the greatest, but when I don't have anyone else around to play against--as is often the case--the bots actually give me something to do. They may be inferior to human players, as all bots are, but they're still better than nothing. I play GE and PD almost exclusively for the multiplayer modes, since single player never interested me much, so without bots I never would have bothered buying PD.[/quote]
Yeah, you definitely need to be here on Friday nights. lol

[quote]As for the framerate slowdown when choosing a head/body combination, again, it's a menu. Framerate in menus doesn't need to be very high, especially when all you're doing is toggling through the body/head combinations. You're just nitpicking here.[/quote]
It's not nitpicking when it's one component of a much larger issue I've been addressing. Desi, the game's framerate is so unstable that the menus themselves become choppy as hell. Me pointing out menu slowdown is hardly nitpicking; it's merely providing yet another example of a point that's completely obvious to anyone who's played a framerate stable FPS (like Halo 2...that stays silky smooth all the time, even online).

[quote]About PD requiring the expansion pak, you talk like Rare had a choice in what parts of the game to include in that 35%. They didn't. They were limited by what the system's standard memory could handle without the aid of the expansion pak. It couldn't handle the single player game--or at least not well enough for it to be playable--so they didn't include it unless you had an expansion pak.[/quote]
After playing through the single player campaign for a few years, on repeated playthroughs, I'll gladly and confidently say that there's nothing in single player mode that couldn't have been done without the expansion pak. The expansion pak was only necessary because of all the pretty textures. The core gameplay could have been executed no problem.

The only reason the expansion pak was "required" for single player was due to how pretty the game looked. If you don't believe me that the single player mode could have been executed without the expansion pak, compare PD and GE and tell me there are such radical differences between the respective gameplay in those single player campaigns that PD would have been impossible with lower textures.

[quote]Again, I don't see the logic in bashing PD because it gives you extra options.[/quote]
Again, had they been extra options that [b][i]improved[/i][/b] the game, I'd still be drooling. But as it turns out, those extra options had detrimental effects on the gameplay itself for reasons I've stated above and previously. So I'm just calling it like I see it.

[quote]They could have very easily made the game require an expansion pak to be played at all, but instead they let you play what the system could handle on its own.[/quote]
I'd have preferred they had made Perfect Dark entirely dependent on the expansion pak instead of giving us piddlysquat 35% that could barely even pass off as a game update these days.

[quote]And it's not like they tried to trick you into thinking the full game could be played without one; they gave you a little chart showing which parts of the game required one, which I think was displayed on the back of the box as well as in the instruction manual.[/quote]
Where did I imply that I felt I was tricked? I knew exactly what I was getting in Perfect Dark: the full game because I'd already gotten an expansion pak so I could play Turok 2 in high-res. But providing documentation in the manual and on the back of the box is no excuse for giving us a craptacular 35%. lol. I mean, remember how much hype PD was getting before release. It was being heralded as an evolution of the FPS, a game that was a technical powerhouse and gave us all sorts of new and exciting gameplay options.

But what did we get? We got a barely functional, barely playable, barely accessible game whose real content was only available when you purchased a 4 meg expansion pak and then, the action got choppy, the only reason the bots had a warm welcome was because everyone was in love with the game due to it being "the next big thing," we had customization that wasn't worth it because 75% of the weapons in the game might as well haven't been there for serious gamers who care about game balance...I can go on for a while here. lol. But I'll summarize with something I said in an earlier post:

Perfect Dark is a rose-colored shades game.

[quote]Now, if you want to criticise PD's less-than-great extra features, that's fine. But when you're comparing GE to PD and trying to say PD is worse because its extra features aren't that great, that doesn't work. Having extra options is never worse than no options at all, so long as you can turn them off so they don't affect what was already there.[/QUOTE]
Having extra options is worse when those extra options distort gameplay that might be mildly balanced in the first place, or when those extra options take up so much of the game's resources that we experience frame-dropping and lag even when accessing basic menu functions, or when those new weapon features do absolutely nothing to expand the gameplay and instead turn it into a weapon-dash.

The weapon-dashes in GE happen because a player knows how to use a particular gun. The GE weapon-dashes aren't game-breaking because the weapons are very balanced.

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Well, because I do not want to get "smurfed up" I feel that it's time to update this thread.

Instead of discussing Perfect Dark, I'll talk about my recent experiences with a game that beats the hell out of it: the original DOOM.

Two weeks ago Papa Smurf and I played split screen co-op on the Xbox Doom disc that came with Doom 3 and although we had fun, the small screen size definitely took away from the experience a little. Deathmatch was good fun but from what I noticed, it went on forever and didn't really keep track of the frags--which made the mode sort of pointless.

Ironically, earlier this week DOOM appeared on the Xbox Live marketplace with enhancements like four player online co-op, deathmatch and slightly smoother-looking textures (although the game is still pixelated when things get up close, everything looks very crisp and clear). I have played a lot of different versions of DOOM; I have played it on the PC, 32X, SNES, N64, Playstation, Xbox, and GBA. Yet, when DOOM appeared on the Marketplace, I did not even have to think about buying it.

My first co-op experience was pretty bad. I played with some random people; they were all shooting at one another and one of them killed me. I promptly exited. Later that night though I played through the entire first episode with Tony aka Generic NPC#3 and I had a blast. We were a little disappointed that no achievements were distributed for the co-op campaign, but what I did take away from our sessions is just how enduring DOOM is. The level design is perfect and remains fun to this day, easily surpassing most current shooters. The placement of secrets, enemies, and weapons is balanced just right.

In a way, DOOM reminds me of the Street Fighter series; it is extremely simplistic compared to modern games in its genre, but the formula just "works." Sure, you can't jump or even aim your gun up and down but mowing down the hordes of hell just never really gets old. The online co-op really breathed new life into the experience too and I think it was cool playing with someone I've met on here, and so easily.

The deathmatch mode is okay. Players are actually able to set a frag limit and the game visibly keeps track of frags. However, there are obvious omissions that really are not acceptable by today's standards (i.e, there is no message that indicates who has killed who). Regardless, the ingenius level design, timeless weapon design, and simplicity of the experience grants the game a high fun factor.

If there are any other Xbox 360 owners on here, definitely download DOOM and post your gamer tags.

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[COLOR=DarkSlateGray][SIZE=1]Let me kick this pig off by saying that I'm not, by any means, old. I'm 18 years old, but I have a grasp on what 'classic games' are. They don't have to be Pong, or Donkey Kong to be classic, and you don't have to be over 35 to know what it was like 'back in the day' because let me tell you.. I was around 'back in the day'. Yeah, we call it the early ninties. The age of SNES and Sega Genesis!

Anyway, I wanna start this by showing off some of what I think are classic games and then you all feel free to share your own little archives and why they are classic in a general sense or classic to you.

1. DOOM - It was gory, it was violent and kids ate it up! You, a lone Space Marine, find yourself stranded on Phobos with only your trusty pistola at your side. You're mean, you're pissed, and Hell just arrived to make your day worse than it already is. I mean Doom was Goldeneye before Goldeneye was even Goldeneye. At the time it was the most played multi-player game around. The weapons were cool, the monsters were cool, everything about Doom did and still screams COOL!

2. Goldeneye - Ironic, huh? How many hours did you all log in on this game back in '97 - '98? I know I logged in more hours on Goldeneye than a flight student training to be an astronaut. Loved it. Lots of weapons, only one level worth playing (Library) but thats alright. Lots of chracters to choose from (Oddjob, anyone?), and a bevy of modes. The only game that surpassed it on the 64 was Perfect Dark but I revoked it's classic status after Zero.

3. Earthbound - This is by far my favorite RPG. It stars Ness as the young protagonist saving the world against unknown forces. (Gimme a break..Its been a while.) The coolest thing about the game was that the story revolved around current times. Using baseball bats, yo-yos and other common found items as weapons and then gaining psychic powers. The game was crazy difficult but really fun. Funny how Nintendo ruled the RPG realm until Sony came along. Hm.

Anyway, those are just a few games I dug up from my archives of great classics. They're not THAT old, but they do have some good years on them. Go ahead and share with the rest of us what you have in your archives. Maybe even some rare gems that people haven't heard of because I know mine are common. Hell, Doom is on Xbox Live arcade. No pun intended.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

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Earth Boun was amazing. Mana, Secret of Evermore, and square game from "back in the day" is awsome including the FF series. Super Mario Bros. series. My favorite is Super Mario Bros, followed closely by Super Mario Bros 3.

Side note: Mario Bros. 2 was originally called dokey dokey panic in Japan and wasn't really apart of the Mario Bros franchise, but it was loosley based on the original characters.

The original Legend of zelda... as a matter of fact every Legend of Zelda game counts as classic because Link "rocks my socks."

Super Metroid is a classic.

N64 Mario cart is definately a newer classic.

Duke Nukem deserves saint hood, Especially for stealing the line "Hail to the king baby" from Evil Dead.

Quake is a classic.

Unreal Tournament would still be the best shooter around were in not for Bungie's Halo 2.

There were so many great RPG's for SNES and Sega.

I hate those side scrolling fighting games, but Double Dragons and Battle-Toads deserve and honorable mention in this topic.

Joust let you fly around on an ostritch.... That was cool.

I don't have time to list enough great games. Snes is definately the best classic system. Sega takes second and N64 takes third. Snes has a huge game library which is awsome. And N64 was week in comparison to the other but delivered a whole new level of graphics and game play and it did it during theend of the era of the cartidge.

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Okay, seeing as how you created a thread [I]exactly[/I] like mine (I even just talked about DOOM recently), I'm just going to merge the two and change the title. Poof, there you have it.

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[quote name='Charles]Okay, seeing as how you created a thread [I]exactly[/I'] like mine (I even just talked about DOOM recently), I'm just going to merge the two and change the title. Poof, there you have it.[/quote]
[COLOR=DarkSlateGray]
[SIZE=1]Why thank you, Charlie. You don't mind if I call you Charlie, do you? Apparently I didn't even think to look before posting. By the way my gamertag is A Merc For Hire. Let us play DOOM and cut the forces of Hell down to size![/SIZE][/COLOR]

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[QUOTE=di.fm][COLOR=DarkSlateGray]
[SIZE=1]Why thank you, Charlie. You don't mind if I call you Charlie, do you? Apparently I didn't even think to look before posting. By the way my gamertag is A Merc For Hire. Let us play DOOM and cut the forces of Hell down to size![/SIZE][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Actually, I prefer Charlie to be honest. Anyway, it's cool to have one cohesive retro Play It thread, so it's kind of good that this came up and inspired the title change.

And sure, I'll add you. After our back history it will be interesting to join forces and take on the demons of hell together! My tag is My Fun Box, just so you know.

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[COLOR=DarkSlateGray][SIZE=1]We have a back history? Oh, right. The whole not agreeing and all that stuff thats in the past and shouldn't be brought up because it's embarrasing to me....ANYWAY.

I decided to dig up a few more classics. Namely: Syphon Filter, Omega Boost, and Vampire Hunter D all for the PSOne

[B]Syphon Filter[/B] - I still stand by my statement when I say that this game changed all 3rd person action shooters to come. At the time it was innovative with being able to climb a mulitude of stuff, your stance affecting your accuracy, and a load of weapons. Plus Gabe Logan had style to throw around. I always said he could kick Snakes butt...Until MGS2. Ahem. We'll save the character battles for another thread.

[B]Omega Boost[/B] - Space rail-shooter in a mech to a soundtrack by Static-X and Loudmouth..Whats NOT to love? The game looked great for its time back on the PSOne and it was fairly difficult with slick bosses, great stage designs and one of the coolest mechs ever created. The plot was kinda weak, but then again what shooter story was good?

[B]Vampire Hunter D[/B] - Think of Resident Evil but you could jump, swing an obnoxiously long sword around and you played as pseudo-future hero D. Seriously, It was like Resident Evil. Big mansion (er..castle), crazy enemies, tank controls, and different items and keys to find to get to the next part of the mansion (er..castle). Though it did do it's own thing with D's right hand that could suck up souls, and you could use magic, oh, and did I mention you could jump? Yeah, that was the best part. The graphics for its time were about on par with Resident Evil 2, so if you liked its looks with the 3-D characters and pre-rendered backgound then you know what to expect.

Anyway, I'll probably dig through my stash of old games in the following days and show everyone what I have. Um, 3 at a time. Thats my limit. Charlie says so.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

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[COLOR=DarkSlateGray][SIZE=1][quote name='DeadSeraphim][font=arial][size=1][color=indigo][/color][/size'][/font][/quote]

Well. You're right; Final Fantasy VII is quite the classic but it is also quite the talked about classic with alot of new reittereations, so I hearby revoke it's di.fm Classic Certification. Sorry.

But in all seriousness, yes, Final Fantasy VII is one helluva classic. Story was great, battle system was great, memorable characters and of course, like I said, many spin-offs. Lets hope it gets a face-lift and do-over on the PS3.
[/SIZE][/COLOR]

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[QUOTE=di.fm][COLOR=DarkSlateGray][SIZE=1]

But in all seriousness, yes, Final Fantasy VII is one helluva classic. Story was great, battle system was great, memorable characters and of course, like I said, many spin-offs. Lets hope it gets a face-lift and do-over on the PS3.
[/SIZE][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

I might have to disagree with you on that accout about most of the things you said; The story was decent but nothing special, the characters were practically all cliches and the Battle System was the same as every FF that came before it and if your talking about the Materia system then that is way too unbalanced.

If you want a real classic then play something like Chrono Trigger or Suikoden 2.

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I figured I would do a little something different and put up a video of Alex and I on a retro gaming night doing the nerdy things that tired nerds do.

[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj-SqS7Opvw[/url]

In preparation for a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Melee, we decided to go to a diner and order a snack. It was pretty late and we were just satisfying a craving. Little did we know what was in store for us. The bowl of pasta had to weigh at least 14lbs. It's still feeding Alex's family.

I figured I would order something fun like fajitas and they ended up bringing like, three plates of food to me. Steam was still sizzling off the chicken and while grabbing my phone I burned my finger on the pan. After a day on the road to medical recovery I am happy to report that I am okay.

Anyway, I have never been a big fan of Smash Brothers. I have always found the gameplay kind of shallow because I am a fan of traditional fighters as opposed to simplistic party games. But, surprisingly the game was actually more enjoyable than I remembered. At first I had no idea what I was doing and I found myself getting clobbered, but after I picked up on the controls and formulated some tactics, we found ourselves having incredibly close matches that often came down to a single big move.

I do not like the vehicles and other obstacles that basically get in the way of the fight, but after playing traditional fighters for quite a while I thought the game was kind of a relief. The character balance is also fantastic and I love how some levels force you to platform while in the middle of a fight.

SSBM has moved into the upper-tier in the multiplayer games I've played since doing this retro gaming thing.

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I gotta first give props to Charles' cameraphone here. That thing is awesome, and it's convinced me to look into replacing my current cell phone with one. I think the cameraphone is better for a nerd than a Wii, actually. The proof there is the fact that we've got footage of a local diner run, marveling over the heavier-than-two-infants pasta bowl (managed to finish it off a few days ago, go me!) and Charles' mega-cool/hot fajitas.

Smash Melee is a lot of fun, too. I'm glad we finally popped it in. One thing I found interesting about Charles' comments is the platforming levels, because I'd never noticed before until now. I'd always just went with it and played. I guess I'm so used to the levels that it doesn't register anymore. So it was really cool to get a fresh perspective on it.

What I also found cool was how balanced the characters still are, even after five years. I was holding my own as Bowser surprisingly well, and Sheik no longer feels like such a powerhouse. She really feels slower than I remember her, I like it a lot. Some time away from the game does wonders to refresh your approach, it really does.

And yeah, those later matches were insane. One final big single move is definitely right. I was up to...350%+ at one point, I think. All praises to the beat-hole in Hyrule Temple. lol. I'm not sure, but I think at the end, Charles was beating me more than I was beating him. Though I guess it really was anyone's win when both of us were looking at 200%, haha.

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