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Thread: Shadow of the Beast

  1. #61
    Master of Shinobi
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    Been playing various versions of this recently, and to be honest, the Mega Drive version is a perfectly competent port of a not too great game. It's more faithful than the PC Engine version, although that version plays and sounds nicer. My only real reservation is the poor music. The guy who it seems converted it (Tony Williams) is credited on doing conversion work for a number of Sega ports, and most of it had quite a harsh sound. I did quite like the job he apparently did for Lotus 2: RECS though, and his rendition of the main theme of SotB 2 wasn't bad.

    I can only assume that some of the changes made to the MD version were down to ROM space limitations. One (?) enemy type is missing, as are some types of sprite, background details, and two cutscenes (one of which reuses graphics, so I'm not sure why that was cut). This is despite the game coming on a big for 1991 8Mb cart. The Japanese version found some space for a couple more sound samples, as well as a couple of bug fixes, but I'm not a fan of what it did to the graphics; they weren't improved, they were recoloured/redrawn to match the FM Towns/PC Engine versions and were too garish. It seems that someone thought that subtle colour tones wouldn't fly in the Japanese market. Maybe it was the Japanese publishers, or maybe it was Psygnosis themselves; remember, Wipeout 2097 was renamed Wipeout XL because someone at Psygnosis thought that American audiences might not understand that 2097 was a date.

    As for the speed issue: I play at 50Hz. Actually, I find marking the game down for that somewhat amusing; it's a reasonable thing to do, but does every game with a poor PAL conversion get marked down too? We had to put up with that shit for decades.
    Last edited by Silanda; 08-13-2017 at 07:32 PM.

  2. #62
    WCPO Agent LinkueiBR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silanda View Post
    Been playing various versions of this recently, and to be honest, the Mega Drive version is a perfectly competent port of a not too great game. It's more faithful than the PC Engine version, although that version plays and sounds nicer. My only real reservation is the poor music. The guy who it seems converted it (Tony Williams) is credited on doing conversion work for a number of Sega ports, and most of it had quite a harsh sound. I did quite like the job he apparently did for Lotus 2: RECS though, and his rendition of the main theme of SotB 2 wasn't bad.

    I can only assume that some of the changes made to the MD version were down to ROM space limitations. One (?) enemy type is missing, as are some types of sprite, background details, and two cutscenes (one of which reuses graphics, so I'm not sure why that was cut). This is despite the game coming on a big for 1991 8Mb cart. The Japanese version found some space for a couple more sound samples, as well as a couple of bug fixes, but I'm not a fan of what it did to the graphics; they weren't improved, they were recoloured/redrawn to match the FM Towns/PC Engine versions and were too garish. It seems that someone thought that subtle colour tones wouldn't fly in the Japanese market. Maybe it was the Japanese publishers, or maybe it was Psygnosis themselves; remember, Wipeout 2097 was renamed Wipeout XL because someone at Psygnosis thought that American audiences might not understand that 2097 was a date.

    As for the speed issue: I play at 50Hz. Actually, I find marking the game down for that somewhat amusing; it's a reasonable thing to do, but does every game with a poor PAL conversion get marked down too? We had to put up with that shit for decades.
    Agreed!
    I dont understand too why they converted all the songs but don't used (The Well, boss themes and etc...)

    Shadow of the Beast II is a better port but the lack of background graphics in the indoor places (They simple use the same open world background) simply bothers me a lot.
    VISUAL SHOCK!
    SPEED SHOCK!
    SOUND SHOCK!
    NOW IS TIME TO THE 68000 HEART ON FIRE!


    Shadow of the Beast II - Enhanced Colors:
    http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2275/

    Sunset Riders - Enhanced Colors:
    http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2287/

    Turrican - Fixed:
    http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2535/

  3. #63
    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    I've just barely played Shadow of the Beast in the past, found the too-fast speed as unenjoyable. I'll have to play the European ROM. Great artwork.

    The second game on CD has very colorful, enjoyable graphics... I never got anywhere though, but it's fun to explore. I'll have to put some time into this one someday.

  4. #64
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    Wow. I thought this game's thread was dead and buried. Guess I'll have to respond

    Quote Originally Posted by Silanda View Post
    As for the speed issue: I play at 50Hz. Actually, I find marking the game down for that somewhat amusing; it's a reasonable thing to do, but does every game with a poor PAL conversion get marked down too? We had to put up with that shit for decades.
    What you might be overlooking on the speed issue is that the hit detection is a bit iffy on its own as it is. At normal speed, that would be a mark against it. But had it been ported properly with everything moving slower like the Japanese version, it could be handled a little better as you played. But the game isn't running at the right speed. It's sped up and that makes the hit detection even worse because you have less time to react than the Amiga original or the Japanese version of the game. That hurts the game more. Add in how the music is also sped up and the grating music is made even more so.

    In my opinion, a game should get knocked down a point for not being optimized properly. In your country, it makes things slower than they should be and that affects gameplay, music and so forth. That's not fair to you as a gamer or a buyer. And in the case of Shadow of the Beast on the U.S. Genesis, it's the same thing, but reversed. So besides losing some of the traits that made the original Amiga game an 8 to me, it had issues that came about from some shoddy programming and a lack of real effort on the part of those porting it. So between the horrid music, the improper speed, the iffy hit detection and the lost visual/aural touches, the U.S. version got a 5 while the Japanese version got a 6.

    Anyway, I hope that explains why I mentioned it and scored the game as I did


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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Coop View Post
    Anyway, I hope that explains why I mentioned it and scored the game as I did
    Don't worry, I understand exactly why you marked it down, and I do agree that if played on a 60Hz system it was not a pleasant experience. Actually, I think there are a couple of enemies that still seem too fast in the Japanese version.

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