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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 2911 times)
MetalFRO
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« Reply #60 on: July 16, 2018, 01:44:08 PM »

So randomly on lunch at work today, I 1CC the 1st loop of Gradius! YAY!


Here's my score for the 1st loop, as you can see going into the 2nd (365,100):


I put my PSP into a low power state to go back to this and improve upon the game, but it will be a continuous run, in the sense that I'm not continuing from a save or continue, so when I post my next score, hopefully it will be significantly higher, assuming I don't succumb to Bacterian forces quickly in the 2nd loop.
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Golem
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« Reply #61 on: July 16, 2018, 04:15:49 PM »

Congrats on the 1CC! Impressive you've done it in the arcade version first.

Lunch is a great time for gameplay--not bleary-eyed in the morning or worn out at the end of the day. Claiming some of your productivity back from your employer. Some of my better Dariusburst sessions took advantage of this.

And this is precisely why I'm more of a survival play than a score player, at least with regard to classic shooters. I try to always err on the side of caution, knowing that death is around every corner, or at the edge of every enemy bullet. If I ever truly mastered a game, where I knew the mechanics and patterns well enough to know what the full risk assessment was for that kind of strategy, I might adopt it, to try to achieve a higher score, but I've never spent enough time with any one game to ever get to that point.

I believe they refer to this as Maslow's hierarchy. :b

EDIT: Gave it another run myself tonight and reached 427,300. This is a decent improvement over my previous best despite not getting any farther into the second loop (still stuck at 2-2). Lasers are amazing for points, but you need to really know the levels.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 09:00:49 PM by Golem » Logged
MetalFRO
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« Reply #62 on: July 17, 2018, 08:48:46 AM »

Nice! Now that I've found more of a rhythm on the arcade version via PSP, I need to boot up my Gradius Deluxe Pack on Sega Saturn, and give that a go. Maybe later this week, or this weekend...
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #63 on: July 17, 2018, 12:44:35 PM »

Well, the 2nd loop in the arcade version is quite a bit harder than the 1st loop, so I bombed out quickly, but did manage to break 400K:


Not half bad, considering it's my first time in the 2nd loop, and I managed to reach 2-2, though I didn't quite get to the boss.
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Golem
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« Reply #64 on: July 17, 2018, 03:59:41 PM »

Great work! Is there any chance you witnessed the horror of loop 2 cube rush?

EDIT: Do you guys see stuff like this happen?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 09:37:45 PM by Golem » Logged
MetalFRO
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« Reply #65 on: July 17, 2018, 11:44:32 PM »

No, itís simply the insane amount of bullets that enemies shoot out, and I had a hard time navigating through the milieu.
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #66 on: July 24, 2018, 08:23:39 AM »

Anyone still playing Gradius here toward the end of the month? I'm still rocking the PSP during lunch breaks, but haven't managed to top my score yet. I still get tripped up in the Moai level sometimes, and if I die in, or prior to, the 4th stage, which inverts the 1st, I have a harder time recovering, and usually only make it to Stage 5.

EDIT: One thing I wanted to add that I found interesting, at least in the arcade version, is that the Vic Viper's engine exhaust/flame will damage enemies. I haven't verified this against the NES version, but when you're in the thick of it, trying to weave your way through enemies, that is a strategic element you can employ.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 03:57:59 PM by MetalFRO » Logged

Golem
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« Reply #67 on: July 24, 2018, 04:35:58 PM »

EDIT: One thing I wanted to add that I found interesting, at least in the arcade version, is that the Vic Viper's engine exhaust/flame will damage enemies. I haven't verified this against the NES version, but when you're in the thick of it, trying to weave your way through enemies, that is a strategic element you can employ.

Holy shit! I kept seeing this, and I had no idea what was up. Part of me worried I had a hack, haha. I associate exhaust kills with Image Fight, a particularly brutal way of saying "eat my dust."

I'd wager it's not in the NES version. The change of the shield to a mere health bar is a significant compromise, so I take that as a sign that they put everything into keeping Vic collision detection as simple as possible.

I haven't had any time for Gradius myself lately Sad, but I'd like to put in some sessions practicing without autofire, just to remember what it's like.

The fourth stage is definitely one of the harder ones. When I die, I take this approach:
-Skim the bottom, popping up only to get powerups. You'll take out many turrets and hatches, and the remaining bullets should be few enough that you can dodge on reaction.
-Try to get one speedup and laser (laser being necessary for the enemy rush unless you absolutely demolish the rank by dying right before the boss).
-Remember, duckers will only chase you over to the right third of the screen. If you can occupy the right side of the screen, you're fine; if you're stuck on the left, you'll have to jump over them.

And then the laser usually puts me in a good spot to stick the landing by collecting powerups in the opening of stage 5.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 04:48:37 PM by Golem » Logged
Duke.Togo
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« Reply #68 on: July 24, 2018, 10:51:27 PM »

I had no clue the engine exhaust killed enemies. That is a great tip.
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Square_Air
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« Reply #69 on: July 25, 2018, 06:19:19 AM »

Sadly I was too busy with life being hectic to participate this month, but hopefully I can join in next round. I did clear this last year, but it would have been nice to bring up that score. I will share this video from Perikles though that showcases the game being played with only speed ups. It's pretty informative for displaying how recovery works at a low power state.

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MetalFRO
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« Reply #70 on: July 25, 2018, 11:56:29 AM »

The fourth stage is definitely one of the harder ones. When I die, I take this approach:
-Skim the bottom, popping up only to get powerups. You'll take out many turrets and hatches, and the remaining bullets should be few enough that you can dodge on reaction.
-Try to get one speedup and laser (laser being necessary for the enemy rush unless you absolutely demolish the rank by dying right before the boss).
-Remember, duckers will only chase you over to the right third of the screen. If you can occupy the right side of the screen, you're fine; if you're stuck on the left, you'll have to jump over them.

And then the laser usually puts me in a good spot to stick the landing by collecting powerups in the opening of stage 5.

Interesting strategy here, Golem. To me, since Stage 4 is just a harder version of Stage 1 (though less hard than 2-1), I tend to take a more aggressive approach with it, particularly because, by this point in the game, enemies will almost invariably shoot bullets at you as they fly away, if you've passed them. I find the best approach is to take out any and all oncoming foes before they get the chance to shoot, to minimize the amount of stuff you have to dodge. I have less trouble with 4 than I do with 3, generally speaking, so for me, making sure I'm taking stuff out to keep the screen clear from too many enemies and projectiles is the best way to better ensure my own survival.

Sadly I was too busy with life being hectic to participate this month, but hopefully I can join in next round. I did clear this last year, but it would have been nice to bring up that score. I will share this video from Perikles though that showcases the game being played with only speed ups. It's pretty informative for displaying how recovery works at a low power state.



I totally understand life getting in the way - it has a habit of doing that, sometimes! That 1-ALL is super impressive, despite the multiple deaths in Stage 7, because the maneuvering throughout the run was really precise, or at least appeared that way. It definitely helps having turbo in those situations. Hats off to Perikles for this run, because it must have taken a fair bit of dedication and persistence to achieve this.

Thanks for checking in, Square_Air! Maybe we'll see you for Raiden V next month?
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Square_Air
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« Reply #71 on: July 30, 2018, 05:40:37 AM »

Thanks for checking in, Square_Air! Maybe we'll see you for Raiden V next month?
I do own this on steam, I would just have to see if it runs well enough. I think it should work fine, but my PC is starting to get pretty old, so i'm never really 100% sure anymore with new releases.
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #72 on: July 30, 2018, 08:47:00 AM »

Thanks for checking in, Square_Air! Maybe we'll see you for Raiden V next month?
I do own this on steam, I would just have to see if it runs well enough. I think it should work fine, but my PC is starting to get pretty old, so i'm never really 100% sure anymore with new releases.

I know what you mean. My primary desktop is 8 years old at this point, and my laptop, while newer and has more RAM, isn't exactly a powerhouse. I'm in the process of building a gaming PC, but the graphics card is the most expensive piece nowadays, and since I'm looking at a GTX 1060 6GB, that's a $300+ investment. In any event, this is what I found for the PC requirements for Raiden V:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz.
OS: Windows 7 / 8 / 10.
VIDEO CARD: Graphic card with 512MB VRAM.
SOUND CARD: Direct Sound.
FREE DISK SPACE: 6 GB.

Seems pretty low, so assuming your PC meets or exceeds those minimum specs, you should be able to join in the fun Smiley
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #73 on: July 30, 2018, 01:19:41 PM »

I totally forgot to post this a few days ago, but here's my score from Gradius Deluxe Pack on the Saturn:


I reached 1-7, and while I didn't get too far into the stage, at least I got that far. Also, I bought the Arcade Archives version of Gradius on PS4, and found out very quickly that the later model PS4 pads have a terrible D-pad for precision movement, and that the game feels a bit too fast in that port. Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems as if that version is faster than the Deluxe Pack, and definitely faster than on PSP. Maybe it's my perception, because I'm playing on a bigger screen, though even when I shrunk the display down to approximate the size of my CRT (around 32"), it still felt way too fast. I typically go with 2 speed-ups, but on this port, 2 felt too fast. But then 1 felt too slow, so I was constantly fighting that battle. Stage 2, with all the stuff you have to navigate through, is quite difficult with a ship that moves too quickly and a D-pad that is imprecise. I kept careening into platforms, trying to dodge enemy fire. What fascinated me more, however, is the discovery that the US Nemesis arcade game has some very significant changes to the Japanese Gradius. When you die in the US version, you're given an opportunity to power back up to some extent, as the game throws several ships at you right away that will offer power-up capsules, but to counter-balance that, the game throws a lot more mayhem at you, with enemies being more aggressive, and shooting more bullets at you. It also seems as though the RNG element is more prevalent, as I didn't see a lot of consistency from one run to the next, in terms of enemy behavior. Nemesis (US) is brutal. I can see why the later NES port was based on the original Japanese Gradius, and I think it's better for it. I also found it odd that the European release of the game kept the Nemesis moniker, but moved back toward the Japanese level and enemy placement/behavior structure. I didn't spend too much time with the European version, but it seemed to play very similarly to the Japanese game. It makes me wonder if subsequent entries in the series got retooled for the US market, or if they came over relatively untouched for arcades.

Incidentally, I was told by someone on Twitter than apparently, the earlier PS4 pads w/o the lightbar have a better D-pad. I'm strongly considering either one of those, the Hori fighting pad, OR a Mayflash F500 stick, which works for PS3/4, Xbox 360/One, PC, AND the Switch. That would get me access to a stick to use with a fair number of shmups we'll be looking at. Anyone have a good recommendation for a stick I should also consider?
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #74 on: August 03, 2018, 08:24:05 AM »

Thanks to everyone who participated this month, and I hope you all enjoyed a trip back in time to the original Gradius! Even after I completed the 1st loop of the game, I still kept going back for more, so this game has an addictive quality to it that shows the staying power, even all these years later, and further demonstrates why the game went on to spawn so many sequels and spin-off games. Despite the state Konami finds itself in, I hope they can eventually find their way back to Gradius for a 6th entry in the series that will continue the tradition of excellence.
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