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Thread: Alisia Dragoon

  1. #31
    Road Rasher EmperorIng's Avatar
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    Bump, but is there a way the flame wheel latches on to enemies (or you force it to)? It always seems like the flame hovers around me, perplexed about its lot in life.

    But as stated above, the animal companions, while cool, don't do much for you. Except for maybe Thunder Hawk.

  2. #32
    Master of Shinobi midnightrider's Avatar
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    If Ball O 'Fire(it's what the manual calls...it) doesn't auto attack, then you have to position it. Powered up, it just wrecks the 1st couple bosses.

  3. #33
    Road Rasher bigladiesman's Avatar
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    Sometimes one doesn't value a game accordingly until he's older and wiser. When I rented this game as a kid, I kinda liked it, but I was not impressed, mostly because I didn't understand that "companion creatures" concept, and, not being an English speaker back then, I missed the game's interesting plot. My eyes were not old enough to judge the quirky fantasy world-steampunk design (Gainax was on it, no wonder) as awesome. It sports an engaging gameplay style and the music is more than adequate to create an adventurous setting.

    I don't know if it's really a hidden gem, but it's a very good game, that's for sure.

  4. #34
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One DrunkenHigh's Avatar
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    This game isn't very good to me. Enemies respawn and constantly bombard you like a SNES Star Wars game. They appear out of thin air sometimes right on top of you. Didn't find much use of the little helpers besides the one that flashes on-screen damage. I don't get the lovefest for this game. None of the obvious flaws were pointed out.

  5. #35
    VA1LT CHIP ENABLED Master of Shinobi OverDrone's Avatar
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    The game is far from perfect even on a fundamental level. There's no trade off for camping while you charge the special attack - which is basically required in some sections to avoid tanking hits - so the game devolves into a bit of a stop-start affair. Minor enemies are seldom dispatched as quickly as they should be, allowing you to get overwhelmed and so fall back on the 'edge forward slowly' tactic which is at odds with the pace the game was trying to set.

    For me it saves itself with some interesting level design later on, and a shitload of secret areas to find. They sometimes have a lightning power up for you which helps ease the over-armoured popcorn issue a bit.

    As far as magic-user based side scrollers go, Jewel Master is the better game for my money. Heaps better music too, far better than the overrated AD soundtrack.

  6. #36
    Master of Shinobi Bottino's Avatar
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    I'll just quote myself here:
    Quote Originally Posted by Bottino View Post
    I think that a good deal of Alisia Dragoon's difficulty comes from the fact that the game tricks you into thinking that it's supposed to be played more aggressively, kinda like a STG game, since it draws so many elements from the genre ( suicide bullets from enemies, the Gradius options-like monsters, etc. ), when in fact rewards a more carefully approach, combined with a good deal of memorization, since most enemies aren't visible or active until you approach them.

    Take stage 6 ( the fallen spaceship one ) as an example: if you try to rush your way trough the area, you're likely to get killed.

    Ultimately though, I think that hurts the overall experience of the game, especially in the latter stages, since you have to stop - wait until your thunder is fully charged - use your monster attack - attack - and then repeat that pattern many times, which hurts the pacing of the game, something that's very important for an action game IMO.
    However, I'll add something that I should've said in my previous post: I really enjoy this game and the pacing issues that I described only become a real issue in some of the latter stages and also on Hard more. Despite it's shortcomings, I think that it's an unique game, with a great soundtrack and excellent artistic design.

    Finding out the best way and the appropriate time to utilize your monsters/options against your enemies and bosses is a lot of fun as well ( they certainly are not useless and can destroy bosses when used correctly ).

    In the end, a solid or a great game is one that manages to entertain you despite it's flaws. If you take away that key element out of the equation, there's a great risk of simply being pedantic in your analysis and forgetting the actual point of playing games after all - something that happens more often than not in these discussions, especially in the more "HARDCORE!" circles, where a lot of people try to come across as if he/she is the greatest expert and authority in the world and can't simply admit that deep down they like and have a lot of fun with a certain game, even though the "experts" opinion says that they shouldn't.

  7. #37
    VA1LT CHIP ENABLED Master of Shinobi OverDrone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottino View Post
    In the end, a solid or a great game is one that manages to entertain you despite it's flaws. If you take away that key element out of the equation, there's a great risk of simply being pedantic in your analysis and forgetting the actual point of playing games after all - something that happens more often than not in these discussions, especially in the more "HARDCORE!" circles, where a lot of people try to come across as if he/she is the greatest expert and authority in the world and can't simply admit that deep down they like and have a lot of fun with a certain game, even though the "experts" opinion says that they shouldn't.
    Wise words.

    I love in depth analysis of game design/mechanics as much as the next guy, but I agree people can lose sight of the inherent value of some games that succeed despite themselves.

    This phenomena is pretty bad on another site I frequent, seems to be getting worse IMO

  8. #38
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One DrunkenHigh's Avatar
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    A solid or great game is one that's well-designed. One with fair challenge and difficulty. And fun factor. Not because it has a bunch of flaws. I don't understand that.

    If there's a bunch of bull crap in a game then some people will just move on to one of the thousands of other games out there. It's not like being a kid and being forced to master a game because you only got 1 or 2 a year plus weekend rentals. Time and patience is limited when you get older.

    I'm certainly no expert and enjoy games that ain't perfect. But when a game assaults you with nonsense, it's impossible to just look past it and call it great because of art and musical stylings.

  9. #39
    Master of Shinobi Bottino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverDrone View Post

    I love in depth analysis of game design/mechanics as much as the next guy, but I agree people can lose sight of the inherent value of some games that succeed despite themselves.
    Yeah, me too man but sometimes it's just too much. Actually, that post was in fact a reminder to myself; there was a time where I was starting to become "that guy" you know? And that just sucks.

    Some examples of that attitude today:
    - It's now a capital crime to like any 3D Sonic game: THEY ALL SUX, the internet says. 2D Sonic is not good enough anymore as well.
    - For whatever reason, Cave is shit know.
    - An action game has to be balls-hard, otherwise it is no good. Gunstar Heroes ? Glorified euroshump-ish run'n gun.
    - A port has to be absolutely perfect, down to the minimal details; if there's something remotely different, even if it's for the best, then it is SHIT.
    - Who's the biggest gaming historian? This one is the specialty of the house.
    - A game is either good or shit - no middle ground to be found.
    - And also, let's not forget, the Japan fetish. I mean, I love their games but going out of your way to say Ougon no Taiyou: Hirakareshi Fuuin instead of Golden Sun or Daiku no Gen-san instead of Hammerin' Harry is just fucking stupid.

    You wanna see the bottom of this pit hole? Just take a look at that Insomnia website, run by that Icycalm criminal and his cult.

    This phenomena is pretty bad on another site I frequent, seems to be getting worse IMO
    Does that site also start with the letter "s" ?
    Last edited by Bottino; 01-21-2018 at 02:20 AM.

  10. #40
    VA1LT CHIP ENABLED Master of Shinobi OverDrone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottino View Post
    Some examples of that attitude today:
    - It's now a capital crime to like any 3D Sonic game: THEY ALL SUX, the internet says. 2D Sonic is not good enough anymore as well.
    - For whatever reason, Cave is shit know.
    - An action game has to be balls-hard, otherwise it is no good. Gunstar Heroes ? Glorified euroshump-ish run'n gun.
    - A port has to be absolutely perfect, down to the minimal details; if there's something remotely different, even if it's for the best, then it is SHIT.
    - Who's the biggest gaming historian? This one is the specialty of the house.
    - A game is either good or shit - no middle ground to be found.
    - And also, let's not forget, the Japan fetish. I mean, I love their games but going out of your way to say Ougon no Taiyou: Hirakareshi Fuuin instead of Golden Sun or Daiku no Gen-san instead of Hammerin' Harry is just fucking stupid.
    Pretty much summed it up with the above - most of the major ones there. I guess the last point is the only one I'd contest what with more and more differences between western/JP versions becoming known in the west, so it makes sense to differentiate them. Weeabooness be damned though, indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bottino View Post
    Does that site also start with the letter "s" ?
    You know it, buddy

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkenHigh View Post
    This game isn't very good to me. Enemies respawn and constantly bombard you like a SNES Star Wars game. They appear out of thin air sometimes right on top of you. Didn't find much use of the little helpers besides the one that flashes on-screen damage. I don't get the lovefest for this game. None of the obvious flaws were pointed out.
    Quote Originally Posted by OverDrone View Post
    The game is far from perfect even on a fundamental level. There's no trade off for camping while you charge the special attack - which is basically required in some sections to avoid tanking hits - so the game devolves into a bit of a stop-start affair. Minor enemies are seldom dispatched as quickly as they should be, allowing you to get overwhelmed and so fall back on the 'edge forward slowly' tactic which is at odds with the pace the game was trying to set.
    For me it saves itself with some interesting level design later on, and a shitload of secret areas to find. They sometimes have a lightning power up for you which helps ease the over-armoured popcorn issue a bit.
    As far as magic-user based side scrollers go, Jewel Master is the better game for my money. Heaps better music too, far better than the overrated AD soundtrack.
    Alisia Dragoon is a good game, some of the criticism here is a bit too harsh IMO; however, I wouldn't rate it as high as 9/10 as the reviewer did.

    You lose the original perspective you'd have of some aspects of the game when playing it in 2018 and having the whole library at your disposal regardless of release dates.
    Alisia Dragoon's presentation and production values are very good; actually great for the time:
    - Proper intro, story, ending.
    - Transition screens.
    - Distinctive visuals for each stage.
    - Tiles and sprites have good texturing.
    - Drop shadows, proper volume and depth to objects and characters.
    - Good animation.
    - Good use of stereo panning.
    - Levels have multiple paths you can explore and many secret rooms.

    Several of those elements are lacking or poorly represented in Jewel Master IMHO; for an example, it's looks super flat as if you're playing with two sheets of paper really.
    The OST comparison is debatable I guess; maybe one could argue that Jewel Master have better compositions but overall I think Alisia Dragoon's music is more atmospheric and fits the theme of the game better.

    Gameplay-wise, yes, Alisia Dragoon is certainly limited and probably less interesting than Jewel Master's; but I think it's far more palatable to most people than the clunky fest that Jewel Master is.

  12. #42
    VA1LT CHIP ENABLED Master of Shinobi OverDrone's Avatar
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    Alisia Dragoon is certainly good, solid side-scroll action. But yeah, 9/10 is just too high.

    On point with the comparison to Jewel Master, the game definitely doesn't give a great initial impression with it's grainy colours and stilted walking animation for the main character. For a '91 first party effort, the presentation is not great. The jumping feels a bit janky as well, until you finally realise the finesse in the gameplay - the second level, the desert one, makes sure you are pixel perfect in your placement and time your (still limited fire rate) shots perfectly to take out the flying enemies swooping at different heights. Arcadey as hell, whereas Alisia Dragoon has a bit of a 'computer game' feel to it to put it bluntly.

    Honestly, any clunkyness in JM is all in the way you switch rings on a separate screen.

  13. #43
    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverDrone View Post
    Alisia Dragoon has a bit of a 'computer game' feel to it to put it bluntly.
    Alisia Dragoon began life as Thexder 3, so that's interesting to notice.


  14. #44
    VA1LT CHIP ENABLED Master of Shinobi OverDrone's Avatar
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    Yeah, I thought I read that in a Game Arts interview on Shmuplations, although I've never bothered to check video of the Thexder games before now. You can certainly see the Thexder DNA in Alisia Dragoon, what with that auto-aiming laser and companion option that doesn't want to help out too much.

    Speaking of which, Silpheed also does the Euro-style multi-hit point zako thing too (probably staying true to it's computer roots there as well no doubt).

    Another game I associate with Alisia Dragoon - and another magical girl side scroller with it's own brand of imperfect excellence - El Viento. Has some of that trademark flaky Wolf Team physics to it, but killer bats in the last part of the game aside, one of their best IMO. The life gauge they give you is built to tank a ton of hits, and yet with practice you can avoid most enemy attacks.
    Last edited by OverDrone; 01-23-2018 at 01:28 AM.

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