Tag Archive for retro

Stream Thoughts: Seiken Densetsu 3: Sin of Mana

Seiken Densetsu 3 box art

We’ve been streaming for RPG Saturdays for a while now, but Sin of Mana was the first modded game we used. Perhaps I chose poorly.

It began with me, as Hawk, getting killed several times in one shot by an enemy on the way out of the starting area. The solution was to leave and return until one I could survive spawned. But in the course of these deaths, the death HP penalty kicked in. Oh, yes, this mod has a death penalty. 10% of your max HP. Your punishment for dying is that dying is easier. There’s a reason Final Fantasy XIV’s battle-res penalty dropped the Vitality reduction in favor of stronger offense penalties – if someone’s already dying, the last thing anyone needs is for them to die faster. Death spirals are not fun. This penalty is most punishing in the early game; revival with Angel Grails spares you the penalty, but those are expensive.

About an hour of frustration into it, we applied one of the lower difficulty patches, the Normal one (mid-range, 3 out of 5 with default being 5 and 2 being compared to the original, though I’m starting to have doubts given that praetarius5018 thinks the default is reasonable). At this point, the game was fun again. There was occasional grinding necessary, but figuring out what worked against the bosses was interesting and an improvement over the unremarkable slugfests I vaguely remember from my attempt at the original. On the other hand, Lugar was a straight-up brawl, but it was paced well enough to be fun – just two sides beating the hell out of each other at a steady pace. Healing wasn’t stressful but it also wasn’t too easy and the fight didn’t overstay its welcome. The God-Beasts is where the fights started to get unpleasant again, mostly for sheer length.

» Read more…

[Classic Review] Super Earth Defense Force (SNES)

Super Earth Defense Force box art

Developer: Jaleco
Genre: Shoot-em-up, horizontal scrolling

Before we begin, this is completely unrelated to the Xbox 360 Earth Defense Force games.

Aliens are attacking Earth, and you have to fight them off. Story generally is not a strong point of shoot-em-ups, especially in the days of the SNES, and there is in fact absolutely no mention of the story in-game. This is how it should be. No, what the game does mention is weapons, and this is where it stood out compared to some of its competition.

» Read more…

[Classic Review] DOOM: The Roguelike: The DOOM Mod – DoomRL Arsenal

Developers: Yholl et al.
Genre: Classic FPS with RPG elements
Where do I get it: ZDoom forums

Remember DOOM? Of course you do. DOOM is one of the granddaddies of first-person shooters. You are a lone survivor, a marine trapped in the Union Aerospace Corporation’s base on Phobos during an invasion from Hell. You must blast, saw, and RIP AND TEAR your way through hordes of zombies and various demons… for some reason that’s unstated, but probably because “eh, it’s better than dying.”

DOOM was released in 1993 and was a revolutionary game. It was followed up the next year by DOOM II: Hell On Earth, and later Final DOOM, a compilation of DOOM, DOOM II, and two feature length — and quite difficult — map packs built around the DOOM mythos and engine (TNT Evilution and The Plutonia Experiment). DOOM modding has flourished since the WAD format was originally reverse engineered not long after the game’s release. Even today, 22 years since the game’s release, new DOOM levels and mods are being constructed, released, and enjoyed by many. And with a new DOOM on the horizon, we thought it would be prudent to talk about our favourite DOOM mod.

Long ago in the early days of Cordilon Gaming, we wrote about DOOM: The Roguelike, which is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a roguelike game in the traditional sense of the term — designed to be played with a keyboard and terminal, with ASCII representations of the map and descending levels into the dungeon (though a tile mode is available) — built around DOOM, but with added mechanics such as weapon crafting and customization, classes, feats, and items and monsters galore. If you like roguelikes, you should give this one a try. It’s a blast. Literally, because it’s DOOM, and what kind of DOOM wouldn’t involve blowing shit up?

In 2013, some clever folks on the ZDoom forums led by lead developer and programmer Yholl released an early version of a mod for ZDoom called DoomRL Arsenal, with the goal of adding in the classes, monsters, and weapon crafting/customization system (called assemblies) from DOOM: The Roguelike into ZDoom. Development has continued steadily, and presently the mod not only implements all of DoomRL’s classes, monsters and assemblies, but adds several of its own, as well as two new difficulties called “Technophobia” and “Armageddon”, while simultaneously bumping the difficulty of the the game up across the board.

» Read more…