RF Generation Message Board

Gaming => Community Playthroughs => Topic started by: MetalFRO on December 06, 2018, 03:01:38 PM



Title: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on December 06, 2018, 03:01:38 PM
(http://www.rfgeneration.com/images/games/U-040/bf/U-040-S-03290-A.jpg)

Get ready for January, because we're kicking Shmup Club into high gear, with one of the most highly regarded shoot-em-ups of the 16-bit era! Techno Soft had already established themselves as a player on Sega's 16-bit console at launch, with Thunder Force II, and followed that up just a year later with the much improved Thunder Force III. Fans would have to wait two more years, however, for the sequel, but it was worth the wait! When Thunder Force IV dropped in Japan, it was well received, and set a new standard for technical excellence on the Mega Drive. When it hit North American shores, it was renamed Lightening Force: Quest For the Darkstar, possibly due to licensing reasons. Regardless of the name, it's among the elite shmups on the system, alongside M.U.S.H.A., and a handful of other top-tier games.

Join the RF Generation Shmup Club, as we dig into this classic! Thunder Force IV is available for the Sega Mega Drive in both NTSC-J and PAL flavors, and the North American release of Lightening Force is an option as well. The game made an appearance on the Japan-only Thunder Force Gold Pack 2, in a slightly modified form, that both eliminated some slowdown from the game, and also added in the option to play through the entire game using Thunder Force III's ship, the Fire LEO-03 "Styx" vessel. This adds additional playability to the game, and changes up the mechanics somewhat. Fast forward to 2018, and now the Sega Ages line is beginning to appear on the Nintendo Switch, and both the Japanese and international versions of Thunder Force IV are included, along with the added Saturn functionality. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this amazing game, and all that it has to offer, so sign up on the forum thread today!

For scoring, since there are differences between the Japanese and international versions of the original game, please specify which you're playing when you post scores. Also, the Nintendo Switch port by M2 includes both the Japanese and international releases, please specify on that as well. Also, if you're playing either the Saturn or Switch versions, and playing as the FIRE-LEO Styx ship from Thunder Force III, also please specify that, so we can keep scores separate, and recognize everyone putting in the effort.

PARTICIPANTS:
MetalFRO
Addicted
Crabmaster2000
lordb0rb4
EZ Racer
retroshmuper
Golem
Douglie007

HIGH SCORES
Sega Genesis:
Japanese Mega Drive:
Sega Saturn:
Nintendo Switch:


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - ???
Post by: Crabmaster2000 on December 06, 2018, 03:34:53 PM
Oh baby!! I'm probably in for this one


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - ???
Post by: lordb0rb4 on December 09, 2018, 08:28:19 PM
Lightning Force????


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on December 10, 2018, 01:22:55 PM
Lightning Force????

Right you are!


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: Crabmaster2000 on December 10, 2018, 02:22:14 PM
Yup. I'm in


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on December 10, 2018, 03:22:43 PM
Yup. I'm in

Welcome aboard, good sir!


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: lordb0rb4 on December 12, 2018, 04:23:03 AM
I'm in as well, another one i've never experienced.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on December 12, 2018, 09:33:51 AM
I'm in as well, another one i've never experienced.

Glad to have you back for another month!


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: EZ Racer on December 12, 2018, 05:58:10 PM
I'm in on Genesis


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on December 12, 2018, 07:46:15 PM
I'm in on Genesis

Welcome to the fight, dude!


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: Retroshmuper on December 16, 2018, 05:31:30 PM
Count me in on this. I never submitted a Steel Empire score but enjoyed playing it, although I only got a few games in. Think Iíll start MD/Genesis for this. My favourite game of the series was 3 but more than happy to get reacquainted with this. Great choice 👍


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on December 17, 2018, 11:37:44 AM
Count me in on this. I never submitted a Steel Empire score but enjoyed playing it, although I only got a few games in. Think Iíll start MD/Genesis for this. My favourite game of the series was 3 but more than happy to get reacquainted with this. Great choice 👍

Great to have you in for January!


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on December 26, 2018, 09:08:37 PM
Get hyped!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woGXWq_I1NY


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: Golem on December 30, 2018, 04:51:19 PM
Nice, will have to check out the video.

My friend gave me some pointers, resulting in: https://mobile.twitter.com/golemliv/status/1079490677170262017

Does the shmup club have.a hash tag?


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on December 30, 2018, 07:59:09 PM
Nice, will have to check out the video.

My friend gave me some pointers, resulting in: https://mobile.twitter.com/golemliv/status/1079490677170262017

Does the shmup club have.a hash tag?

I haven't done a has tag yet, though I follow the @rfgeneration account on Twitter, and often tag that for a retweet. I am using #rfgeneration when posting my pics to Imgur to repost here. Got any suggestions for a good hashtag?

#rfgenshmupclub maybe?
Or #rfgshmupclub perhaps?

Also - great score! I was playing on Switch earlier, and I'm definitely out of practice! I need to get better, though I started playing the Japanese original, which is harder, and I grew up playing the Genesis version, which definitely takes it easier on the player. And, I went ahead and followed you on Twitter from both my @GameBoyGuru and @shootcorecast podcast accounts. I would definitely suggest following the @RFGeneration account, tag it in posts like that, and also use #shmups and/or #STG, and there are a couple shmup-related accounts that are likely to retweet your posts with those tags, which should help spread the word and get engagement out there. Good to have you on board again this month, dude!


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - ???
Post by: Golem on January 01, 2019, 02:05:17 PM
Lightning Force????

LightEning (https://www.grammarly.com/blog/lightening-vs-lightning/) Force. It's a crucial distinction. :b

Nice intro video for TF4! I didn't know that the extra ship thing was from the Saturn version. (And shamefully, I've only played TF3 a handful of times.)

I'll have to keep those Twitter handles in mind! #rfgshmupclub gets the job done for a hash tag, I think.

As for the game itself, it seems like a lot of things kill me by hopping onscreen and instantly darting for me. And for how fast and zany enemies are, very few go down in one hit--I think the silver guys on Strite just before the midboss do, not sure what else. It's an unusual balance that gives me the impression I'm piloting a glass spacecraft rather than one of plastic and metal, since it always shatters quickly and violently.

Also note that Strite has a freeway hidden at the very bottom of the underwater portion just before the extend icon. Good stuff!!


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: douglie007 on January 01, 2019, 05:29:37 PM
I'll keep joining and one day maybe can beat one of these games...


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 02, 2019, 11:36:45 AM
Lightning Force????

LightEning (https://www.grammarly.com/blog/lightening-vs-lightning/) Force. It's a crucial distinction. :b

Nice intro video for TF4! I didn't know that the extra ship thing was from the Saturn version. (And shamefully, I've only played TF3 a handful of times.)

I'll have to keep those Twitter handles in mind! #rfgshmupclub gets the job done for a hash tag, I think.

As for the game itself, it seems like a lot of things kill me by hopping onscreen and instantly darting for me. And for how fast and zany enemies are, very few go down in one hit--I think the silver guys on Strite just before the midboss do, not sure what else. It's an unusual balance that gives me the impression I'm piloting a glass spacecraft rather than one of plastic and metal, since it always shatters quickly and violently.

Also note that Strite has a freeway hidden at the very bottom of the underwater portion just before the extend icon. Good stuff!!

Thanks for the tip about the hidden freeway - it's been so many years since I first discovered that secret, I forgot about it!  :D

I'll keep joining and one day maybe can beat one of these games...

I would recommend playing Lightening Force on Easy, which you can do by holding down A, B & C and pressing Start during the attract mode, and then selecting the Easy difficulty. No shame in that, because it's still pretty challenging, and the game will definitely still put up a fight, but at least you're not punishing yourself as much. You can do it!


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: douglie007 on January 04, 2019, 07:29:20 PM
Lol on easy I couldnt beat one boss.  On easy with the weapons code,i beat one stage, and got to the boss of the next.  What is the best order to play the stages?


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: Crabmaster2000 on January 07, 2019, 08:56:55 AM
I played a lot of this a few months back and got to stage 8 a few times, but was never able to get passed that one. I used a bunch of codes this time to see what lay beyond and I can confidently say I'll never finish this one legitimately. The amount of time it would take me to learn patterns and have a good run to beat those final 2 stages is more than I want to invest. Pretty fun shooter though. Some of the music feels very out of place for the stage it is set in, but then you get to something like stage 8 and you just need to crank up your speakers to 11. The credit music was pretty awesome as well!

Lol on easy I couldnt beat one boss.  On easy with the weapons code,i beat one stage, and got to the boss of the next.  What is the best order to play the stages?

I find stages 3 and 4 to be the easiest ones for me to finish with one life and they bosses seem a lot more manageable than in 1 and 2.

Here's my leaderboard post, keep in mind I used cheats to achieve this:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7850/39682093713_7d00538805_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/23sz6Xx)


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 07, 2019, 09:54:12 AM
Lol on easy I couldnt beat one boss.  On easy with the weapons code,i beat one stage, and got to the boss of the next.  What is the best order to play the stages?

Strite is a relatively easy stage to navigate, once you know when to expect the giant blue snake thing, but the boss can be a pain to deal with. Daser is probably the most challenging overall stage, and the boss is definitely tough, and probably the hardest of the first 4 bosses. Ruin can be challenging, but manageable, and the boss is medium hard, I would say. Air Raid is a reasonably challenging stage, but the boss is a total pushover. Each stage has at least 1 opportunity (sometimes 2) to obtain a Claw, every stage has a chance to earn the Blade weapon, and at least 3 stages have an extra life in them somewhere, minus Ruin (at least I've never found one). The only stage in the initial set to have the mighty Hunter weapon is Ruin, so it can be advantageous to go that route early, once you learn enemy placement and attack patterns, because it can get you out of hot water, or help ward off stuff. The thing to remember is that Hunter is great for its hunting/seeking ability, but is weaker than most of the other weapons, offsetting its usefulness somewhat. Also, I think I mentioned this before, but definitely play on Easy difficulty to start with; you'll have a lot less to deal with, especially with some of the bosses.

I played a lot of this a few months back and got to stage 8 a few times, but was never able to get passed that one. I used a bunch of codes this time to see what lay beyond and I can confidently say I'll never finish this one legitimately. The amount of time it would take me to learn patterns and have a good run to beat those final 2 stages is more than I want to invest. Pretty fun shooter though. Some of the music feels very out of place for the stage it is set in, but then you get to something like stage 8 and you just need to crank up your speakers to 11. The credit music was pretty awesome as well!

Lol on easy I couldnt beat one boss.  On easy with the weapons code,i beat one stage, and got to the boss of the next.  What is the best order to play the stages?

I find stages 3 and 4 to be the easiest ones for me to finish with one life and they bosses seem a lot more manageable than in 1 and 2.

Here's my leaderboard post, keep in mind I used cheats to achieve this:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7850/39682093713_7d00538805_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/23sz6Xx)

Which difficulty did you play on, and which cheats did you use? Obviously your score would be null with cheats. I'd be curious as to where you top out sans cheats.

I've been live streaming Lightening Force, so here are a few of my attempts. I commentate a bit here and there, and offer some strategic tips along the way. Keep in mind, this is my favorite shmup of all time, and I'm struggling in these videos, so you guys aren't alone. Even with my love for the game, and past experience with it, having been away from it for a while, it doesn't come completely naturally picking it back up again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVsBLe85Z6k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Hb7FR_f-LI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB8aJQl13SI


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: Crabmaster2000 on January 08, 2019, 09:01:11 AM
I used the 99 lives code as well as the weapons refill probably around a dozen times or so. I'll try and do a clean run before the end of the month and see if I can't make it back to at least the 8th stage again and post up that score.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 08, 2019, 09:33:12 AM
I used the 99 lives code as well as the weapons refill probably around a dozen times or so. I'll try and do a clean run before the end of the month and see if I can't make it back to at least the 8th stage again and post up that score.

Sounds good! I need to start posting some of my better scores. Maybe if I can do well at lunch today and make it to 8, I'll post a snap of my best scores so far.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 08, 2019, 01:52:51 PM
Scores so far on the Switch version of Lightening Force:
(https://i.imgur.com/cGqVKBA.jpg)

My top score is 1,469,600 at this point. How is everyone else doing? I want to say my top score was done on Easy difficulty, but I'm playing on Normal at this point, trying to get to where I can clear the game on Normal, and then either move on to Thunder Force IV on Normal, or maybe Lightening Force on Hard.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 08, 2019, 11:22:19 PM
Managed to get to Stage 9, and get a decent amount into it, even reaching the mid boss. With that, I reached my highest score yet, on Normal, at 1,816,190 points:

(https://i.imgur.com/A01kVX0.jpg)

How is everyone else's progress so far?


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: Addicted on January 10, 2019, 02:54:04 PM
I cleared on Easy and now I'm working on Normal. I've been playing Ketsui and it's put me in the point-blank mindset which kills me on LF/TF IV.

(https://i.imgur.com/WtkxzjI.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/d3NpoHI.jpg)


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 10, 2019, 03:50:45 PM
Congrats on the Easy mode clear! Normal is definitely a step up, but I think you're up to the challenge :D


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: Addicted on January 10, 2019, 07:00:32 PM
I made it to the end of stage 3 and lost to the boss on Normal. This game gives up its secrets slowly like Dark Souls.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: Addicted on January 14, 2019, 07:55:24 AM
I made it to the end of Stage 5 on normal. In retrospect, I should have used the sword against the boss.

(https://i.imgur.com/nvqfFug.jpg)


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 14, 2019, 02:59:02 PM
Latest score on Lightening Force, Normal difficulty. I reached Stage 9, but didn't quite make the boss.
(https://i.imgur.com/m04KGSD.jpg)

Closing in on the 1CC!


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 15, 2019, 10:42:26 AM
Further progress! I made it to Stage 10 last night, and have refreshed my memory on the patterns and assault of the Stage 10 mid-boss. Highest score yet also achieved, as I was able to break 2 million, and then some!
(https://i.imgur.com/rvHlXMJ.jpg)

How's everyone else faring?


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 16, 2019, 09:47:27 AM
I wanted to offer a few tips for everyone that should be useful.

1. Speed adjustment and weapon selection can be done while the game is paused. This might seem minor, but if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, or need to switch weapons in a pinch, and you don't think you'll survive w/o pausing, this can be a lifesaver. Same for speed adjustment. If you're at 100% space and need to make a quick movement, but are in a tight corridor, this can help keep you from careening into a wall.

2. Speed adjustment is granular. Pressing the A button on the Genesis pad (or X on the Switch) will increase speed by 25% each time pressed. At 100%, it will jump back to 25%. HOWEVER, if you hold down the button, your speed will climb by percentage points. It's not super slow, but can be used to adjust a few points at a time. This way, you can play around with the various speed settings to help determine what your sweet spot is, with regards to ship speed.

3. There are lots of hidden power-ups and 1ups in the game. 3 of the 4 stages selectable in the beginning have 1ups that are relatively open, but some of the later stages have 2 1ups each: 1 that is obtainable from a weapon pod, and 1 that is hidden throughout the level. Exploring the full vertical height of each level (where possible) is advised, and if you can hold on to it, the Hunter weapon is perfect for helping to uncover hidden 1ups and also hidden power-ups.

4. Holding down A, B, & C and pressing Start during the attract mode, or at the title screen, or Sega logo screen, will take you to the options menu, where you can select your difficulty. For those struggling with the game, I would suggest using the Easy mode as a way to get to see more of the game, and get used to stage layouts and enemy patterns.

5. The Switch version has "Kids Mode" as well, which makes the game even easier, so for anyone really struggling with it, that's an option as well. Don't feel any shame if you have to ratchet the difficulty down that low. Just be glad we're not playing a Psykio game, where the lowest difficulty levels are "Monkey" and "Baby" :slick:

6. Have fun! Despite my long lasting love for this game, I know it can be frustrating when you feel like you're getting far, and finding a rhythm, and then suddenly get sniped by a stray bullet. The game can be punishing and difficult, and that naturally leads to frustration. Take breaks from it if you need, or put it away for a bit and come back to it later for a fresh perspective. This can realistically be applied to any game, but I've found for shmups, once I start to get to where I'm not enjoying myself anymore, it's time to play something else, or turn it off. Don't be afraid to do that. Don't just keep playing because you feel like you need to make progress.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: Addicted on January 16, 2019, 11:05:04 AM
You forgot to mention how the game tells you whether or not you're doing damage. If the explosion is blue you're not doing any damage. If it's red/orange you're doing damage.

Here's the stage order I use:

1. Strite - 1up in the ocean right after the mid-boss
2. Ruin - no 1up that I know of
3. Air-Raid - 1up right before stage boss on one of the fast moving ships
4. Daser - 1 up near the top of the dunes after mid-boss
6. 1up top path. you have to squeeze between an iceberg and a ceiling. The thunder sword will make short work of this boss.
7. Take the bottom path at the beginning for a claw/craw and blade or top for a 1up and snake. The snake weapon is great for taking out the robot dropping canisters quickly.

The Hunter weapon you can grab in Ruin will help you make short work of Air-Raid and the end boss in Daser (Desert Planet)

It's easy to get sidetracked during the Strite/Gargoyle Diver boss fight but you need to pay attention to his mouth and tail. His mouth will open and glow when he's about to shoot a string of laser shots.



Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 17, 2019, 12:11:01 AM
I did it! I managed the 1CC of Lightening Force on Normal difficulty, final score 3,797,220 points:
(https://i.imgur.com/co64VHP.jpg)

I also managed to pull that off on stream, so here's the timestamped section of the video that starts my victory run:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqLEerijS70

Everyone help me decide - should I stick with Lightening Force, and try for a clear on Hard, or move to Thunder Force IV, with its more aggressive bosses and enemy AI, and try to clear it on Normal?


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: louisG on January 18, 2019, 01:04:45 AM
OK, I gave this a go tonight and that Bio-Base boss ended my game. I thought I had gotten the sword but I missed it! BTW I'm finding it a lot easier to track movement of objects on my Genesis with CRT than on the Switch. Interestingly enough some stuff was happening that I only remembered from the Japanese version, like really aggressive enemies and fast missiles in the Air Raid level-- maybe there's rank..?

(http://extentofthejam.com/TF4Score.png)


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: louisG on January 18, 2019, 01:08:00 AM
Hmm it says that level is Wall.. I thought Bio-Base was that miniboss-heavy level with Metal Squad and Wall was the next one..? I must have it backwards. Congrats on the 1cc BTW! I've only managed that with continues. I say you do Lightening Force on Hard next. IMO it fixes a few memorizey situations from the Japanese original, like the opposite of Contra: Hard Corps :D.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 18, 2019, 09:34:13 AM
OK, I gave this a go tonight and that Bio-Base boss ended my game. I thought I had gotten the sword but I missed it! BTW I'm finding it a lot easier to track movement of objects on my Genesis with CRT than on the Switch. Interestingly enough some stuff was happening that I only remembered from the Japanese version, like really aggressive enemies and fast missiles in the Air Raid level-- maybe there's rank..?

Either it's rank, or adaptive difficulty. I never noticed this as a kid, but since I've been paying closer attention to it the last couple weeks, I've noticed that in various spots, on Normal difficulty, there are some enemies that won't appear if you don't have a shield, or if you've died and are back to default weapons, there may be fewer enemies in different places. It's an interesting detail that somehow I missed out on all those years ago, and fairly innovative for its time.

Hmm it says that level is Wall.. I thought Bio-Base was that miniboss-heavy level with Metal Squad and Wall was the next one..? I must have it backwards. Congrats on the 1cc BTW! I've only managed that with continues. I say you do Lightening Force on Hard next. IMO it fixes a few memorizey situations from the Japanese original, like the opposite of Contra: Hard Corps :D.

Thanks! The 1CC was a hard-fought victory. Bio-Base is Stage 8 with the mini-boss rush, and WALL is Stage 9.

And yes, I'm leaning toward Hard on Lightening Force, because it should be an easier transition, and possibly easier for me to quickly get a 1CC, now that I have relearned a lot of the details.

Speaking of 1CC, I also did a quick 1CC of Thunder Force IV on Easy, on my Switch, so I could unlock the STYX ship for use, since that feature is included in the Switch port.
(https://i.imgur.com/nNnafpq.jpg)


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: louisG on January 18, 2019, 01:12:46 PM
OK, I gave this a go tonight and that Bio-Base boss ended my game. I thought I had gotten the sword but I missed it! BTW I'm finding it a lot easier to track movement of objects on my Genesis with CRT than on the Switch. Interestingly enough some stuff was happening that I only remembered from the Japanese version, like really aggressive enemies and fast missiles in the Air Raid level-- maybe there's rank..?

Either it's rank, or adaptive difficulty. I never noticed this as a kid, but since I've been paying closer attention to it the last couple weeks, I've noticed that in various spots, on Normal difficulty, there are some enemies that won't appear if you don't have a shield, or if you've died and are back to default weapons, there may be fewer enemies in different places. It's an interesting detail that somehow I missed out on all those years ago, and fairly innovative for its time.

Yeah, I never noticed it until this playthrough either. Being used to the pace of the Switch release minus slowdown, I was able to use the slowdown time playing the Genesis original to take full advantage of switching weapons to nail more enemies. That's when I started seeing the game play harder. I remember Air Raid used to be the level I was best at of the first 4, and now I just explode!

Quote
Hmm it says that level is Wall.. I thought Bio-Base was that miniboss-heavy level with Metal Squad and Wall was the next one..? I must have it backwards. Congrats on the 1cc BTW! I've only managed that with continues. I say you do Lightening Force on Hard next. IMO it fixes a few memorizey situations from the Japanese original, like the opposite of Contra: Hard Corps :D.

Thanks! The 1CC was a hard-fought victory. Bio-Base is Stage 8 with the mini-boss rush, and WALL is Stage 9.

Huh! I guess that means the high score table is wrong.

Quote
And yes, I'm leaning toward Hard on Lightening Force, because it should be an easier transition, and possibly easier for me to quickly get a 1CC, now that I have relearned a lot of the details.

Speaking of 1CC, I also did a quick 1CC of Thunder Force IV on Easy, on my Switch, so I could unlock the STYX ship for use, since that feature is included in the Switch port.

I was thinking that it would be a harder transition than TF4 on Normal. Re Styx on Switch, I *think* I might've unlocked it with continues.

BTW, for people struggling with Bio Base...:
https://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=63491

That level hung me up for years. Hah, I guess it still does since that's where I game-overed! But that was at least because the boss kicked my butt.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: EZ Racer on January 19, 2019, 12:06:21 AM
Admittedly, most of my gaming for January has been influenced heavily by the NES challenge. But the past week I've gotten into Lightening Force, and finally feel like I'm beginning to get the hang of it. Still working on clearing the first four stages.

I know most doing this have nostalgia attached, but as someone that hadn't seen it before until recently, I feel like the graphics, sound and fluidity of gameplay are extremely well done. It's just really hard (not unfair, though) because I feel like you have to first learn where everything's going to be as far as items and enemies on each level, then learn how to properly react to everything before you can make progress.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 19, 2019, 04:17:43 PM
I know most doing this have nostalgia attached, but as someone that hadn't seen it before until recently, I feel like the graphics, sound and fluidity of gameplay are extremely well done. It's just really hard (not unfair, though) because I feel like you have to first learn where everything's going to be as far as items and enemies on each level, then learn how to properly react to everything before you can make progress.

Bold for emphasis. And yes, the game is very memorization heavy, which some consider a detriment. For me, though, I like being able to decipher predictable patterns and experiment with different approaches, until I get a good outcome. I do enjoy some element of random, but when RNG is too high up in the mix, it can hamper the experience (for me), because it makes you rely too heavily on reaction time and quick thinking, rather than analysis of the situation, and the possible solutions you can devise.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: louisG on January 20, 2019, 01:01:34 AM
It doesn't quite get into R-Type territory, but there is a fair amount of memorization, I agree. I think Thunderforce III was lighter on it. IMO the level of memorization required doesn't reflect the randomness in the game, but rather elements like the speed at which enemies move or attack, the "trappiness" of the level design (how much it tries to corral and trap the player-- for lack of an actual term :)), and how many hits enemies take (do you have to be shooting them the instant they come on the screen?). I guess overall it's how much give there is in the gameplay, right? TF4, for me, is a bit in the middle as that stuff goes: Most levels have one or two things you have to be aware of, but everything else you can react on the fly to. But it's not one of those games where every second of every level you need to know what's about to happen.. IMO. 'course, I only played it after TF3, so I was already pretty used to the general play style.

I find top view shmups in general to be less likely to need a high degree of memorization (there are some exceptions, like Nexzr or Grind Stormer).

I sat down to play tonight and just exploded over and over! I guess it's one of those days... I do want to 1cc this thing finally before the month is out! It's only been 19 years.. jeez :P


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: EZ Racer on January 25, 2019, 04:16:52 PM
So I got on a good run, but didn't get a pic taken until right after the screen switched back to the title screen, hence an intentional death to get back to the high score screen. I'll admit it was on easy, but I can normally get to the boss of stage 6 (the ice level). I continue to love the look and feel of this game, even though I'm not very good at it. Interesting bosses and unique environments.

The route I usually take for the 1st 4 is: Strite, Ruins, Air Raid, then Dazer partly because the first three I can get through with minimal deaths, but the boss on Dazer continually gives me fits. I have noticed that when that boss shoots the orb that follows you, if you can get in the position to hit it with Rail Gun it's pretty effective.

Other brief side note, I know MetalFro has said it but I have to agree, I love the metallic (and sometimes inaudible) voice that announces your weapon upgrades. It may not have been intentional, but it adds some fun character and levity to an otherwise intense game.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 28, 2019, 09:59:49 AM
How's everyone else doing for score? I've been working on Hard difficulty in Lightening Force, and feeling the burn. Last night I streamed a few attempts, and it was pretty rough. Still hoping to find a groove and make the 1CC on Hard by the close of the month, though.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 29, 2019, 09:15:17 AM
I managed to make it to Stage 8 on Hard last night. It seems like it takes me a lot longer to find a rhythm on Hard difficulty, because there's so much more thrown at you. Still hoping to get the clear on Hard by the end of the day Thursday, but I'm not hopeful I'm going to make it. Still, this is progress!
(https://i.imgur.com/ammrdHs.jpg)


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: Addicted on January 29, 2019, 12:21:37 PM
I played on the Saturn for a short go at hard. No slowdown makes the game harder than I initially thought. I also tried maniac and it lives up to it's name.

(https://i.imgur.com/h5rZrkf.jpg)


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 29, 2019, 02:36:12 PM
Still, that's a pretty good score for just jumping into Hard! And yes, Maniac certainly lives up to its name. If I end up getting a clear on Hard, a Maniac clear might be something I have to shoot for as a long-term goal.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: EZ Racer on January 30, 2019, 12:00:33 PM
While I enjoy this game a lot, I haven't been able to make great progress, always dying on the stage 6 boss. Since it's nearing the end of the month, I tried something just for kicks. Maniac mode with 99 lives. It was extremely intense, extremely fun, and... I still didn't make it to the end. Died on stage 8. (Also have to say the music on Stage 8 is awesome)


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on January 31, 2019, 09:38:03 AM
While I enjoy this game a lot, I haven't been able to make great progress, always dying on the stage 6 boss. Since it's nearing the end of the month, I tried something just for kicks. Maniac mode with 99 lives. It was extremely intense, extremely fun, and... I still didn't make it to the end. Died on stage 8. (Also have to say the music on Stage 8 is awesome)

I should totally stream this! That would be hilarious, I think.


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: MetalFRO on February 01, 2019, 02:41:23 PM
Please submit last minute scores, and for anyone who hasn't submitted yet, please do so! I'd like to make sure I compile them all by tomorrow evening. Also, does anyone have any final thoughts about the game they'd like to share?


Title: Re: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV
Post by: Addicted on February 01, 2019, 06:35:30 PM
Metal Squad  :nod: