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Sloooooow Day

If it were any easier, it’d be on its knees before you pressed start…

So that gives me time to play ESPGALUDA II on iPhone/iPT1:

It’s fun and very well done, aesthetically, but, after only about an hour of concerted effort, I four-lived (one life short of 1cc’ing2) the game, which does not bode well for its longevity, but does bode well for those of you that fold like a blanket on standard Cave fare.

1 And, allegedly, work on my novel…but mostly play ESPGALUDA II on iPhone/iPT.
2 1cc: to beat a video game (usually arcade-type games) on one set of lives without continuing.

  1. kog3100_edw
    04/15/2010 at 20:32

    Big Cave fan, but I don’t use an iphone (Blackberry user currently) so I won’t get to check this out myself. Do you think that they just missed the balance on making it playable on iphone controls? I’ve found a lot of shooters on handhelds to have a similar problem for me.

    I can’t use my preferred controller (big as all f**k joysticks) and the d-pads on handhelds are just something I easily adjust to. But then shooters I can manage on the d-pad seemed dumbed down because the developer was aware of this shortcoming. Perhaps the best compromise for me has been Nanostray2 with its stylus control. Its precise but still far from natural.

    Is the game too easy because the iphone controls would make playing an Espagaluda2 like the full-size one just too hard?

    • ECM
      04/15/2010 at 20:44

      The problem is that with the touchscreen controls, they give you preternatural control over movement (they seemed to have mapped character speed to your finger at virtually 1:1 w/ almost no perceptible lag): whatever you can do w/ your finger, you can do in-game, e.g. you can do complex, figure eight moves and the like w/ nearly no difficulty, which allows you to ‘thread the needle’ with insane accuracy and speed–you don’t so much dodge bullets as run rings around them.

      Even better, you can do hyper-precise, granular, movements, simply by leaning your thumb left or right such that your avatar will only move the tiniest amount in any direction, if need be, allowing you to keep the hit box out of bullet range pretty much at will. This makes navigating a torrent of bullets (especially on bosses, where economy of movement is key) is as easy as walking through a minefield where all the mines are in plain view.

      Basically, it strips almost all of the challenge out of the game, at least on “Normal” difficulty–I’ll try “Hard” after I master the lower setting (which should be…sometime tonight when I get a few free minutes).

  2. kog3100_edw
    04/16/2010 at 13:39

    Interesting. It sounds like the movement/control arrangement is very similar to Nanostray. What keeps THAT game from being balls-easy (for me) is the fact that the stylus/finger use actually obscures part of the screen, so even though the control is precise you need to be somewhat clever as to what angle you play and view from. I find myself switching from stylus-up to stylus-side periodically.

    I don’t think this actually makes a good mechanic… the need to work around your controller, as it were… but it is certainly more precise than any other handheld control thing I’ve found. If you haven’t played Nanostray2 it isn’t a manic STG like Esp2 is. But the precision is still needed to react quickly or negotiate tight ‘tunnel’ levels.

    Are you quite the badass at console manic shooters?

    • ECM
      04/16/2010 at 13:45

      ESPII kinda gets around the finger in the screen way by blocking off the lower portion of the screen specifically for your finger, with no game elements on them. (You can adjust this in the options.) And, yes, I did enjoy Nano2.

      As for “badass” I’m not as good as I once was mainly because I got burned out on Cave-style (i.e.danmaku) shooters several years ago and if you don’t use it, you lost it.

      That said, I still buy and play them all, but I don’t put nearly the amount of time/effort into them as I once did however, upon a time, I could 1cc stuff like ESPrade, Guwange (own the PCBs for both of these), Gunbird 2, etc., w/o being obsessive about it. (What I’d really like to see is more shooters in the vein of Nanostray 2 i.e. shooters first, dodgers second sorta like WiiWare’s Star Soldier R.)

  3. kog3100_edw
    04/16/2010 at 16:19

    You don’t get to be as old a video game fan as I am w/out amassing a lot of shooters but there have been so many released that there’s always something that got missed. I still have whole swathes of old shooter makers who have pretty sparse representation in my collection. So in between all the recent Cave releases (YAY! Ketsui next week), I’m enjoying a lot of stuff that ISN’T so much negotiating between clouds of bullets. As I said at GUG, Psikyo is showing me a lot of love. Actually, I think I’m going to have to ejaculate a ‘blog entry out on this topic.

    • ECM
      04/16/2010 at 16:22

      I’m glad you have that option (seriously).

      I’ve played everything since, God, the 2600 so there’s nothing new under a hail of gunfire except, perhaps, doujin shooters every now and again. (Some of which are actually quite good and reasonably danmaku-free.)

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