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  • Chō Makaimura (Capcom, 10/4/91)

    Posted on June 8th, 2010 keving 2 comments

    It’s easy to spot an early-era SNES game. There’s slowdown in places where you wouldn’t expect any slowdown. The Mode 7 effects are a bit janky and look a lot better in screenshots than live. The music is really tinny throughout — an issue Capcom seemed to struggle with all through the console’s life, come to think of it.

    Nevertheless, Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is a decent platformer, just as hard as any other in the series, and this TAS attempts to get through the game while defeating the absolute bare minimum of enemies — the bosses, and a set of cockatrice heads that must be killed in order to remove a wall blocking your way. The results are pretty spine-tingling, and even though this is a TAS and you know Knight Arthur is never going to die, it’s still thrilling to watch him take this leisurely stroll through the demon world.

    Note that this video begins with the final boss of the first playthrough to save time, since (like with most Ghosts ‘n Goblins titles) you must beat the game twice in a row to get the real ending. Stick around for that ending and you’ll also get to see an interesting bug that was fixed for the SNES release. In the Super Famicom Chō Makaimura, if you reconfigure the button assignments in option mode and then finish the game, Arthur’s movements in the ending will grow more and more haywire, until he finally dies in one part of it. If you beat the game with 0 lives left, the ending is then halted by a Game Over and you have to “continue” to see the rest of it. (Doing this kills the ending music, and the credits roll at the very end is completely silent as a result, which is why it was cut out of this video.)

  • More on Saturn Waterworld

    Posted on June 8th, 2010 keving 3 comments

    A bit ago I wrote about Ocean’s big push for Waterworld, the last major movie license the British publisher was involved with. In it I suggested that the Saturn port (which wasn’t shown around much) was likely not near completion — but it turns out I was pretty wrong on that front.

    Bardamu left a comment on that piece referring to an interview on Planet Virtual Boy with Steve Woita, main designer on the Virtual Boy/Saturn Waterworld and a guy whose career in games dates back to the Atari 2600.

    “We had nothing to do with the SNES version. We only did the VB and Saturn versions. The Saturn version was really a great version of what we wanted to do. We had smart bombs floating in the water that you’d use at the right time and take out as many enemies that were visible out in the world. The water was the best water I’d ever seen in a game at that time, Jason Plumb nailed that down. We also had a weapon that shot saw blades out onto the water, and the blades would skim 5 or 6 times before you couldn’t see them anymore. We had a bunch of very cool weapons in the game. The Saturn version was completely finished and then Infograms took us over and decided not to release the game. I’d have to say, that even by today’s standards, it was one of the best playing and looking games around. […] The Saturn version is a very, very good playing game and I wish I could get that game out there right now.”

    Bardamu also referred me to the above image, showing some better screenshots of the Saturn version in action. It does look pretty decent, admittedly, especially by 1996-era 3D graphical standards.