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RF Generation Message Board | Gaming | Community Playthroughs (Moderators: techwizard, singlebanana, wildbil52, GrayGhost81, Disposed Hero, MetalFRO) | July 2018 Shmup - Gradius 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: July 2018 Shmup - Gradius  (Read 8900 times)
Nefarious Wes
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« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2018, 03:01:42 AM »

Just got this score. Got to stage six of the 2nd loop, but lost all of my power-ups on the previous stage.


* Gradius high score.jpg (115.49 KB, 1905x1225 - viewed 73 times.)
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 03:04:26 AM by Nefarious Wes » Logged
singlebanana
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« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2018, 07:38:06 AM »

Sign me up FRO!  As soon as I'm done with DOOM, I'll put some time into this. For those who remember (I know that you do MetalFRO), we actually played this game as part of our shmup competition a few Decembers ago.
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RFGen Co-Director; pinball, 2600 & NES nutjob, co-host of the RFGen Retro Community Playthrough and the RFGen Playcast. Listen/Download on iTunes and Podbean: www.rfgplaycast.com

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MetalFRO
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« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2018, 08:19:05 AM »

The Moai stage is scary, but not because of the Moai. The giant frisbees are a menace.

-They take multiple hits.
-They shoot a spread shot.
-Their shots are big.
-Their shots pay your shield no mind. (A bonus for the arcade version: this means their shots will gobble up your entire shield.)
-Their shots block your shots.
-They rush you without concern. Vic Viper is no more than a splattered bug on their windshield.

I think they are the most fearsome ships in the galaxy.

Yes, those things are only vulnerable when they're front side is open, their shots block your shots, and for some reason, it seems as if the lasers actually do LESS damage to them than the standard shot does. The strategy I found is to get toward the right side of the screen, and once they appear, whip back slightly so your options are right in its "face" so you can blast it full force when it opens. If you don't destroy it then, back up and weave through their shots, then try and either get on top of them to bomb them, or just keep repeating that pattern. One frustration with those enemies is that, if you try to move past them, they'll back up and try to keep you engaged, so you really have to be careful how you handle them.

@Nefarious Wes - dude, nice score! I haven't hit the second loop yet, though I think I'm close, WHEN I get through the Moai level w/o getting killed. I have found it exceedingly difficult to recover in that level when you lose a life. I was talking with EZ Racer last night, and he remarked that Gradius is very much a "1 life" kind of game. I would tend to agree. If you die and lose your powerups, you're pretty much out of luck, and it's better to quickly dispense with your remaining lives and start over, unless you've reached some Jedi level of skill in the game and can recover to a reasonable level of power.  Otherwise, it's pretty futile.

@singlebanana - I'll put you on the list!
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Nefarious Wes
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« Reply #33 on: July 06, 2018, 03:12:32 PM »

Yeah, I always say, "The party's over" whenever you die in a Gradius game. I made it to stage five on the 2nd loop without dying, died a really stupid death, had a stock of ten lives, and then had to defeat stage five with NO POWER UPS whatsoever! Took about eight lives. I also captured the run, but I know I can do better.
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #34 on: July 06, 2018, 04:01:39 PM »

Yeah, I always say, "The party's over" whenever you die in a Gradius game. I made it to stage five on the 2nd loop without dying, died a really stupid death, had a stock of ten lives, and then had to defeat stage five with NO POWER UPS whatsoever! Took about eight lives. I also captured the run, but I know I can do better.

You are a Gradius beast! Awesome progress, and I would love to see a full 2-loop run at some point Wink
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Nefarious Wes
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« Reply #35 on: July 06, 2018, 05:54:45 PM »

I think that will be the goal to shoot for: no-death 2-loop run.
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Duke.Togo
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« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2018, 10:07:41 AM »



Playing on the PSP. I only had time for a couple runs, and of course stage 3 is my stopper. I need to learn a good path through this stage.
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douglie007
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« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2018, 11:05:43 AM »

Man, I think I just need to give up and just admit I suck at and won't ever be good at shumps, I tried this game on nes, tg16 and PSP, the only one I can get past the first stage in is PSP on easy.. nes is the hardest with only 2 options.
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2018, 09:45:04 AM »

Man, I think I just need to give up and just admit I suck at and won't ever be good at shumps, I tried this game on nes, tg16 and PSP, the only one I can get past the first stage in is PSP on easy.. nes is the hardest with only 2 options.

Don't give up! I have been in the place you seem to be at right now, and still often find myself there, with shmups that are particularly hard. A little practice can go a long way. Also, Gradius can be somewhat unforgiving, in that, if you die and lose all your power-ups, you're kind of done, and it's better to quickly dispatch the rest of your lives so you can start fresh. That's one of the most frustrating aspects of the game, along with the need for speed power-ups that makes the game a bit harder than it already would have been. Many of the later games we'll be looking at either have a balanced speed, and no need to upgrade it yourself, or many use an adjustable speed option, so you can set it how you like. Also, some of the later games rely much more on twitch reflexes, and are a bit easier to get into. I wanted to cover the original Gradius for historical context, as we move forward with the genre, but it's definitely not for everyone. I would argue that pretty much every Gradius game past the first one surpasses it, but it's important to get a sense of where a series started, and especially at Gradius, because it's such an influential game. Hang in there!
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2018, 09:47:40 AM »



Playing on the PSP. I only had time for a couple runs, and of course stage 3 is my stopper. I need to learn a good path through this stage.

Yeah, the Moai stage is brutal. One thing you can do to help with success is to switch to the Double weapon there, and then try to position your options so they cross into a Moai head underneath you, so you're using Double to get what's above, and the option's own fire directly into the mouth of what's below. It's easier on the NES version, because the hitbox for the Moai is larger. In the arcade version, which you're playing on PSP, I've noticed that you have to have pretty direct hits to the center of their mouth area for it to properly register, so it's definitely more challenging to take them out than on the NES port.
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Golem
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« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2018, 10:16:16 AM »

Keep at it Duke! I found the save states in Gradius Collection particularly useful in practicing for the 1CC. For a while, I'd suicide on stage 3 just to keep the rank on stage 4 down. Plus, when you have a bare Vic Viper, there's much less going on. If you're going for a full guns-blazing run of stage 3, I agree that the double is great.

I just concluded a run of the NES version on 3-3. The second loop is really nice, I wish you could just start there. I also broke 1 million!

1,121,600

Video of the 2-all:
Stage 3 recovery:
Stage 6 recovery:

After my time with Gradius, I have learned to appreciate what is truly important in life: speed-ups.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 07:37:39 PM by Golem » Logged

Duke.Togo
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« Reply #41 on: July 08, 2018, 11:12:57 AM »

You're killing it Golem. I just need some practice on stage 3 for pathing. It seems like there are always paths that are much more troublesome in the stages that allow vertical scrolling.

I hear you on the speed-ups. Having zero speed-ups make the game crazy difficult, but I also rarely want two speed-ups. If you couldn't crash into terrain I would feel much better about more speed.
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Duke.Togo
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« Reply #42 on: July 08, 2018, 01:46:24 PM »

OK, made it through level 3 and got a new high score.



I also save scummed my way through the game just to see the ending and check out what's ahead, and the difficulty is definitely not linear in this game. Also, the blob monsters in stage 4 won't shoot you if you just hang in the upper right corner of the screen. You have to move a little when one comes on screen that can hit you with its arm, but otherwise you can just wait them out, at least on the arcade version for PSP with default settings.
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2018, 04:01:52 PM »

Thatís an interesting strategy. Good for survival, naturally, but not for score. I wasnít aware they would ignore you in that scenario. One thing I will say is, donít go up against them with the Double weapon. Youíll struggle (big time) to get out enough shots to take them down.
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Duke.Togo
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« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2018, 04:38:28 PM »

I'm amazed at how situational Double and Laser are, and how you really need to know which to set up with ahead of each stage to stand a chance.
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