Saturday, 5 April 2008

Virtua Stick, Japanese oddities and Euro-greatness

I've been wanting to post about a lot of stuff lately, but for some reason I just didn't feel like writing, and when that happens I just can't force it. So, instead of doing whole post about each subject, I'll just cram it all in one, hopefully not too long, post. To start things off, the Virtua Stick. After countless hours of gazing at pictures of it, with the wallet too light to afford one, I finally found a deal too good to ignore. Having finally bought the hallowed controller, I immediately plug it in for a session of DodonPachi and it didn't disappoint me.

(this is not mine, just a random picture I found on the web)

Actually I was a little disappointed by the fact that the joystick is noisy as hell, but in terms of performance, the stick is tight and responsive, allowing for some bullet-dodging impossible to recreate with the regular pad. But the best was yet to come, for this stick obviously can be used as a 2nd controller, allowing for the first ever 2 player matches I've played with my Saturn! Yes, my friends, for the first time in my life I shared my Saturn with a buddy!

Going by the nickname of fredy, he had promised here to pass by my place to play a bit of Savaki, and indeed he did that yesterday. But oh, we didn't just play Savaki. We also played DoDonPachi, Battle Garegga, X-Men, Virtua Fighter and Virtua Figher 2, and it was awesome!

But moving on to the single-player side of the Saturn, before even thinking about the Virtua Stick I spent my time playing two very different, but equally great, games. The first was an hidden gem coming straight from Japan, going by the name of Tryrush Deppy, and it's times like this that I can't help but wonder about the brilliant future the Saturn could've had here in Europe and also in America, had we received all the great games that were exclusive to Japan. This, my friends, is a platformer capable of rivalling games like Rayman or Astal, when it comes to both awesome graphics and great gameplay.

But hey, we still had a lot of good games released here, and some even made here, like Firestorm: Thunderhawk 2 by Core Design (yup, the same guys from tomb Raider). Sequel to the great Sega CD game Thunderstrike, here you control a helicopter but don't think of it as a flight simulator, because this is a pure action game.

(the European cover is great, isn't it)

You choose the mission (from South America to Eastern Europe or Japanese waters), equip your heli with a vast array of different missiles and bombs, and then you're free to blast everything in your way. There are some different types of missions, like escort or protection, but the better ones are the "just blow everything up". The graphics are awesome for a early game, the gameplay is solid and intuitive after getting used to the controls, and overall the game is just plain fun.

That's all for now, folks :)


elend said...

About that stick: I got one myself, mainly for collecting purposes. After an offline try I was a bit let off by the non-micro-clicking joystick, if you know what I mean. Yet, after visiting Japan and playing some Shmups here and there in the arcades, I might give it a try again, since I noticed that playing with a stick is not too bad!

But there is also that OUTRAGEOUSLY HUGE 2-Player (!) Arcadestick for the Saturn. I really gotta buy one and post about it some day, it's just awesome.

About that Tryrush Deppy: I bought this one primarily because it was 2D and boy was I surprised, that it's actually VERY good! I loved the neat animations of the little car you control and the innovative ideas around the game. Yet, it was kinda hard. I wasn't able to beat the first boss yet (!). I have to give it another try, I guess. -_-;

nick944 said...

Firestorm: Thunderhawk 2 looks amazing! I would buy it now if I had money... just bought Karous for Dreamcast.

NebachadnezzaR said...

"I was a bit let off by the non-micro-clicking joystick, if you know what I mean."

Yup, I know what you mean. I have a (non-working at the time) arcade at home, so I know what real arcade controls are like.

"OUTRAGEOUSLY HUGE 2-Player (!) Arcadestick for the Saturn."

Yup, I've seen pictures of that, and it's a monster of a controller!

About Tryrush Deppy, indeed it's very good. It was no harder than your average 2d platformer, me thinks (rayman, from what I remember from my childhood, is hard as hell). Of course I had to replay certain levels, and specially bosses, but with a little luck and persistence you can beat it.

Or at least until you reach the final boss, that sucker is hard as fuck...

But yes, give it another try.

nick944, indeed it looks (and is) amazing. I don't know in which side of the pond you're in, but on this side it 's pretty cheap. Take a look at this:

ArugulaZ said...

The best part of Tryrush Deppy is that it's like Cars, except without Larry the Cable Guy. It's the dream we all dream of!

If you liked Deppy, give Super Tempo a spin. It's a much better game than its 32X predecessor, with memorable stages (don't spend too much time under that waterfall!), lots of variety, and expressive, cartoony animation.

Frederico said...

Oh thank God you didn't mention I got owned in all of the beat'em ups x'D

The stick feels great when playing DonDon Pachi. The sounds it make are horrible but as I advised you I advise everyone who has the same problem, try pouring a little portion of vegetal oil into it, i don't know if it might harm the electrical parts but i think don't. I'd say the most secure option is a multi-purpose lubber spray ;P

nick944 said...

That looks like a great cheap auction, but shipping to the US from UK is always steep...

elend said...

Maybe you can find the japanese version of it, quite cheaply. It's not worth anything over there and shipping from japan to US is quite affordable. And it should still be playable, even if it's japanese.

fatherkrishna said...

More stellar posting Nebacha! Glad you're enjoying your Arcade Stick!

I've got a post up my sleeve about one of my favourite Saturn games coming up this week. It'll surprise you!