mars 23, 2014

Rolling Thunder 2, Mega Drive

Last Friday I had a Mega Drive Friday.

I spent most time with this game, Rolling Thunder 2.
5 hours Friday, and then 5 hours Saturday.

The Japanese version is entire in English, which is nice for me. It has a story mode where you are two agents who have to save the world like James Bond, but you can play as either man or woman. They are equal in every way. I think the girl is nicer to look at, but she has this odd sound when she gets hit. If you have a friend you could also play the game 2-player co-op boy and girl, which I read is fun.

The game is basically a platformer game with slightly special controls and some strategy elements. One feature is that when you run into an enemy, you will flash as if hit, but you don't actually take any damage. Use this as a strategic advantage, for example you  can jump into an enemy in a pit.

What I like about games is when there is some strategic element and not just plain run-and-shoot shooter or run-and-jump platformer. You have to think about how to best beat the enemies, without wasting bullets or time. You can also go into doors to hide from enemies at times.

Some people find it annoying that you can't jump and shoot at the same time, but I think a gamer will get used to it quickly. It is part of the gameplay and I think it makes it more interesting to try a different style of playing. It also adds to the feeling of realism.

With the three button MD1 controller it is difficult to do things like jump straigh up or simply duck, at least for me. I still wanted to play the game with a real controller and not with my HORI mega controller, so after a while I changed from the MD1 to a 6 button MD2 controller that works better than the MD1 controller. One thing I like about the MD2 controller is that it feels soft to press the buttons but it isn't flimsy. MD controllers also don't seem to wear down the way famicom or SNES controllers do.

The game is hard in places but it is never unfair.  Sometimes there are deaths you can't avoid the first time, but anyone who appreciates the classic platformers like Contra, Mega Man, or Ghost n Goblins (or I could mention Shinobi for once, since this is on MD) should be happy playing. You always make progress, there is continues on each stage, and there is ammunition here and there . Even when you run out of ammunition you will fire one slow bullet at the time and that is enough to last you a little while. 

What took the longest was the boss on level 8 that I played for 2 hours or so until I found how it could be beaten in 10 seconds. Level 9 and 10 took around 45 minutes each. Then the last level 11 took 3 hours because the final boss has a complicated pattern where I died every time (beam goes like this: 1. up, 2. up, 3. down, 4. up, 5. up, 6. down, 7. up, 8. down, and then no 9 is the same as no 1 and it loops from there). To look at my papers I had to pause all the time.

It may not look hard but that's because I had learnt where all the enemies are so I could shoot them before they had a chance to hit me.
As you see, I discovered a secret door before the last boss. There are other secret doors around the stages. You have to press Up everywhere to find them.

When you beat the game, you will be told you have to play again to beat the boss once and for all. You then start again with a password for hard mode. I am not going to do that now, so technically maybe I didn't beat the game fully. You do see the staff roll, and the ending says like "you won, but he will be back unless you play hard mode". It isn't as in Ghost n Goblins where it says "you have to play all over again to win". I'll consider the game beaten but not 100% beaten.

I think it is a lovely game. You play in different stages, such as Egypt, on a street, and inside a giant laboratory. It is nice with a game that feels as if it is for adults, playing like James Bond rather than a cartoon with an oversized head. The music is very nice and the graphics is pleasant to look at. It is fast paced and has appropriate sound effects. I recommend it and I think it has good replay value.

More information:

If you enjoy the difficulty, the gameplay, the strategy element, and the 2-player coop mode, you might want to check out Ninja Crusaders that I wrote about a while ago.

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