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Thread: Darius getting a cartridge release

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    The PCE CD version is basically the chiptunes of the arcade with even better quality:


    Which is undeniably superior to what we had on the Mega Drive so far:
    Yeah, this is what I was trying to get to, I don't care about what a console can produce via CD audio. This isn't a matter of which has better fidelity. I like the way the Genesis sounds, as in the actual hardware. A CD-based platform playing back perfect recordings of YM2203 tunes simply isn't what I'm into. This is why I prefaced this with it being about taste. If the same music by the same composer was composed on both pieces of hardware, I'd like the YM2612 more. It's just a matter of taste.

    I really like the way actual sounds produced by actual hardware sounds, and in that area, the Genesis is just my favorite.

    Also, it was well known/understood that the Genesis version of Darius sounds like butt, as far as how muffled it sounds. It didn't really get the love it would have gotten if a composer really got into what the Genesis could do. I agree it doesn't sound as good as the CD version on PCE, but it's damn decent, especially the percussion (I love the percussion in B Zone, actually more than the arcade) considering it was not really focused on in earnest. I'm pretty confident a composer that knows the hardware could absolutely kill this soundtrack on the Genesis.
    Last edited by SEGA-Jorge; 11-01-2020 at 12:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SEGA-Jorge View Post
    Yeah, this is what I was trying to get to, I don't care about what a console can produce via CD audio. This isn't a matter of which has better fidelity. I like the way the Genesis sounds, as in the actual hardware. A CD-based platform playing back perfect recordings of YM2203 tunes simply isn't what I'm into. This is why I prefaced this with it being about taste. If the same music by the same composer was composed on both pieces of hardware, I'd like the YM2612 more. It's just a matter of taste.
    I also prefer the MD sound over the PCE's most of the time and both over CD and sampled-based systems.
    But when it gets to the point that the MD rendition is just a bastardized version of the original and technically worse on many aspects, I gotta stick to what gives me the better aural experience.

    The MD version seems even off key at times and certainly muffled and less stereophonic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SEGA-Jorge View Post
    That being said, I'm bias as hell.
    That's for sure. And perfectly fine. But I do think it's a bit moronic to think that CD music doesn't belong to the 4th generation. We're just going to ignore PCE CD gaming since 1988? I mean just playing through PCE CD games, the sound tracks are clearly synth-y and definitely sounds like game music. Matter of fact, it kind of has its own 'game sound' compared to 5th Gen and later CD consoles. I personally don't like FM sound by default (especially the use of the YM2151 in arcade games), but I love quite a decent amount of sound tracks on the YM2612/Genesis. I guess I just can't seeing being so biased that you even like crap over something that's better overall simply because the sound is from the 2612. Do you not listen to other music outside of games because it doesn't involve a 2612 based synth? Do movie sound tracks annoy you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by turboxray View Post
    That's for sure. And perfectly fine. But I do think it's a bit moronic to think that CD music doesn't belong to the 4th generation. We're just going to ignore PCE CD gaming since 1988? I mean just playing through PCE CD games, the sound tracks are clearly synth-y and definitely sounds like game music. Matter of fact, it kind of has its own 'game sound' compared to 5th Gen and later CD consoles. I personally don't like FM sound by default (especially the use of the YM2151 in arcade games), but I love quite a decent amount of sound tracks on the YM2612/Genesis. I guess I just can't seeing being so biased that you even like crap over something that's better overall simply because the sound is from the 2612. Do you not listen to other music outside of games because it doesn't involve a 2612 based synth? Do movie sound tracks annoy you?
    I listen to all sorts of game music. The comment was in regards to the PCE sound vs the Genesis sound, not so much the CD sound, and there is a huge difference. To me, I like my chiptune to be chiptune, and my favorite sound chip for that happens to be the YM2612, and there's really nothing wrong or moronic about that. I did say that the PCE CD version of Darius sounds better. But if I were to get a version that is utilizing the YM2612 at a better quality, I would more than likely enjoy that more, as a matter of taste, because again, YM2612. As far as 4th Gen sounds, yeah man, I didn't have a PCE CD. So I didn't get CD sound in my games till the Sega CD, and even then, I just like the sound of FM synth in general. It's what videogames sound like to me from that era, as a result of spending so much time in arcade, and playing the Genesis. That's my experience with the 4th gen as a whole.

    In my comment, what I'm I'm getting at is that the sounds from individual chipsets in classic consoles are what I prefer to CD and sample-based game ost's. It's not a matter of disliking Sega CD or SNES or PCE CD OST's. It's just an observation of my personal tastes. For example, Lords of Thunder is an incredible OST, but I also really like the sound of metal-sounding OST's coming from the Genesis. I like my older games to sound like old games, and by that, I mean I really love chip tune. I like that it has it's own sound, that every chip has its own distinct sound, limitations, and examples of just how rich and varied they could be, but that certainly doesn't mean I don't dislike CD based systems or OST's, and I have collected and played tons of games on them.

    I certainly don't mean to ignore the PCE CD, but it was really never a thing in my youth. No one I knew had one, and I certainly wasn't going to be in a position to acquire one for myself. The occasions I had to play the TG16 were really infrequent, and I'd argue were more than likely not impactful enough to drive me to collect for that console. On top of that, it also seemed to me that the CD attachment had games that were rife with elements of 4th gen CD-based games that I sort of can't stand, that being, anime cutscenes, and fully orchestrated OST's. I totally understand that there are huge fanbases for this, and that's totally cool, it really felt like those were the transitional periods from a particular look and feel for video game presentation, especially on console, and having nostalgia for that is totally valid. It's just not what I prefer. I don't really need my shmups to have anime intros, people yappin' about stuff, and orchestrated soundtracks. I think that this is result of spending so much time in arcades, and all that ancillary stuff, although understandably cool for its time, was really never something I pined for in my arcade conversions. I wanted arcade accuracy, rapid menu interactions, and options (dipswitches). I know that the PCE CD has a lot of this too, but again, that wasn't something I had access to. Additionally, being in the states, and being so young when the PCE CD was around, it wasn't like I had access to the PCE CD library. It was really, really limited in the states, and the TG16 was way underrepresented in general in the US.

    That being said, I did get a TG16 mini, and that was fun, if not a bit underwhelming. But that's just a result of the library they chose to put on the mini console, as I'm aware there are tons of great games they really should have considered for that library that were omitted.

    All this kinda brings me to one thing I loved about the PCE CD. In some instances, the PCE CD Arcade CD-Rom2 games that basically just used all the added space to make arcade ports more accurately, are exactly the way I wish this kind of technology would have been used as a whole. Just making better games, that focused on more sprites/assets, etc. is ideal to me. The Sega CD leaned entirely too much on FMV stuff, and that's a damn shame. I think the PCE CD did that better, and I'd say I'd put up with silly anime cutscenes and junk, for more of the arcade games. The amount of games that should have been on the Genesis, especially considering the extra space and power provided by the Sega CD and 32X are better realized by the PCE CD/Arcade Card. I love that aspect of the PCE.

    Lastly, you're makin' an awfully large amount of assumptions based on me saying I like the YM2612.. Yeah I like other types of music, yeah I like movie soundtracks. You're kinda reaching, if me just having a preference for 4th gen hardware sounds somehow brought you to these conclusions.

    Anyway, like what you like. I can appreciate other types of stuff, but like anyone, I will have things I like/prefer.
    Last edited by SEGA-Jorge; 11-01-2020 at 06:04 PM.

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    Wait, are you guys really saying that you don't like how the Darius released on the Genesis Mini sounds? I thought it sounded great, for being FM based, and certainly in upper echelon of Genesis releases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zilogandmoto View Post
    Wait, are you guys really saying that you don't like how the Darius released on the Genesis Mini sounds? I thought it sounded great, for being FM based, and certainly in upper echelon of Genesis releases.
    No, I don't think anyone is saying it sounds bad, it's just not as good as the PCE CD version, but I'm arguing that I think it would sound awesome if it was remixed to utilize the YM2612 a bit more. I like the way the percussion on the Genesis version sounds, and I imagine it would only get better if the songs were handled with a bit more care. That being said, I would need someone more knowledgeable than I, because the ins and outs of exactly what could be done to make the Genesis OST sound better seem to require some better mixing of levels, and figuring out what is causing the overall muffled sound.

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    Headlines for easy reading:
    "M2 wanted to replace MD Darius audio driver prior to Mega Drive Mini's release"
    "XGM audio driver modified to support FM and PSG sfx for MD's Darius Extra release"
    "Barone says: explosions sound like shit in the Mega Drive Mini's version"
    "Also Barone: Hidecade's port of the Darius soundtrack had several technical issues; PCE CD's version is still the best sounding one by a wide margin"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Headlines for easy reading:
    "M2 wanted to replace MD Darius audio driver prior to Mega Drive Mini's release"
    "XGM audio driver modified to support FM and PSG sfx for MD's Darius Extra release"
    "Barone says: explosions sound like shit in the Mega Drive Mini's version"
    "Also Barone: Hidecade's port of the Darius soundtrack had several technical issues; PCE CD's version is still the best sounding one by a wide margin"
    "Jorge Says: Nuh Uh, I like Genesis sounds! YM2612 4 life!"
    "Turboxray Says: Oh man, you are moronic, you don't like any music, or movies, or sports, or popcorn."
    "ZilogandMoto Says: Jorge I'm sorry for my review about Pit-Fighter. I didn't mean to give it such a low score. It didn't deserve that, and I was wrong. A 1 start review is just totally unreasonable."

    I'll never forgive you ZilogandMoto.

    Dude. You gave Altered Beast 2 stars. And Zombies Ate my Neighbors 2 stars... It's like you started a channel for the sole purpose of breaking my heart. That's what you're doing Zilog. You're breaking my heart.

    Keep up the good work. I'm subscribed. Do Atomic Runner. Really drive that knife in.
    Last edited by SEGA-Jorge; 11-02-2020 at 07:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SEGA-Jorge View Post

    I'll never forgive you ZilogandMoto.

    Dude. You gave Altered Beast 2 stars. And Zombies Ate my Neighbors 2 stars... It's like you started a channel for the sole purpose of breaking my heart. That's what you're doing Zilog. You're breaking my heart.
    Have you played Altered Beast recently? It's...not great. Still better than Pit Fighter, though.

    There's going to be a LOT of 2 stars by the time I'm done. 2 star to me, means it's "okay". Not bad, but there's better stuff out there. I thought that was fair considering a decent player will be done with it in half an hour, and it doesn't really have any replay value, unless you mess with the level bosses/beasts.

    And that explanation about how the Darius soundtrack is good but not PCE CD good makes sense, thank you for that. I just preordered the Extra version, so will be interested to see how it compares.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zilogandmoto View Post
    Have you played Altered Beast recently? It's...not great. Still better than Pit Fighter, though.

    There's going to be a LOT of 2 stars by the time I'm done. 2 star to me, means it's "okay". Not bad, but there's better stuff out there. I thought that was fair considering a decent player will be done with it in half an hour, and it doesn't really have any replay value, unless you mess with the level bosses/beasts.

    And that explanation about how the Darius soundtrack is good but not PCE CD good makes sense, thank you for that. I just preordered the Extra version, so will be interested to see how it compares.
    I've played both Pit-Fighter and Altered Beast like, in the last few weeks. Altered Beast is one of my favorite games on the console hahha. I'm messin' with you though. I really enjoy your channel, and look forward to seeing more.

    As far as Altered Beast as a game, I love it because it was made without the knowledge of Makoto Uchida, meaning that team ported it to the Megadrive without his help. That's why it is missing that Makoto Uchida "weight". One of the things I love about it is that the team left all the debug stuff in as a alternate options menus, which ultimately created the basis for some of the more full-featured menus that would allow for more focused training/practice options for games in the future. Stuff like difficulty select, stage select, life bar, and stock values, were all things you could set, and this was all stuff that was essentially built off dipswitch models. An arcade owner could set Altered Beast to hardest with 2 lives and 2 credits to start 1 credit to continue. This gave the arcade owner the ability to set the game to help them make the most money.

    The console version has its own version of that. What's even cooler is that it allows for silly stuff, like picking what monster you transform into in each level, but the most awesome thing, is that, in 1989, these guys inadvertently made one of the first easy to use practice suites. You could play Altered Beast, and for the most part, focus on key areas of your runs. If you were having issues on the 3rd loop on stage 3, well you could set the difficulty to Hardest, (remember, console version loops, and increased difficulty on each loop, up till hardest, then loops hardest indefinitely) start at stage 3, and set your lives to 0 and your health to 1. You could recreate the scenario that beat you and practice it till you got it right.

    What this ultimately created was the console arcade experience. The idea that the shorter play sessions expected in an arcade setting could be packaged in a way that would still provide the long replayability expected from a console game, while maintaining that exciting, brisk arcade feel. It also kinda created that sense in players that, they could practice, and that could, to some degree, be translated to arcade play. As games became more and more arcade perfect, you could practice at home, and take some that experience and apply it at arcades, and that was super rewarding.

    I personally think Altered Beast has tons of replay value, because chasing high-scores means looping play throughs, which means maximizing loop scores, which means utilizing the practice options. All this meant you had to know your stage layouts at different difficulty levels and know the traps that were set up to try to keep you from getting full stage bonuses. There was a lot to learn and optimize, and again, this was 1989. Anyway, Altered Beast is the freaking bomb-sandwich. I love it, but I totally understand people that don't. Optimization, memorization, etc. may be fun for some players, and not so much for others. I'm still glad you took the time to play it, and share your thoughts on it with us. It still adds to the conversation, and now we have a new pal to talk Genesis games with.

    I talked about it a little bit in the Altered Beast Records Breaker thread. I love this game.
    https://www.sega-16.com/forum/showth...852#post759852

    On Darius, yeah, I ordered it too. I'm excited to get it. I'm gonna play the hell out of it.
    Last edited by SEGA-Jorge; 11-02-2020 at 08:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SEGA-Jorge View Post
    I've played both Pit-Fighter and Altered Beast like, in the last few weeks. Altered Beast is one of my favorite games on the console hahha. I'm messin' with you though. I really enjoy your channel, and look forward to seeing more.

    As far as Altered Beast as a game, I love it because it was made without the knowledge of Makoto Uchida, meaning that team ported it to the Megadrive without his help. That's why it is missing that Makoto Uchida "weight". One of the things I love about it is that the team left all the debug stuff in as a alternate options menus, which ultimately created the basis for some of the more full-featured menus that would allow for more focused training/practice options for games in the future. Stuff like difficulty select, stage select, life bar, and stock values, were all things you could set, and this was all stuff that was essentially built off dipswitch models. An arcade owner could set Altered Beast to hardest with 2 lives and 2 credits to start 1 credit to continue. This gave the arcade owner the ability to set the game to help them make the most money.

    The console version has its own version of that. What's even cooler is that it allows for silly stuff, like picking what monster you transform into in each level, but the most awesome thing, is that, in 1989, these guys inadvertently made one of the first easy to use practice suites. You could play Altered Beast, and for the most part, focus on key areas of your runs. If you were having issues on the 3rd loop on stage 3, well you could set the difficulty to Hardest, (remember, console version loops, and increased difficulty on each loop, up till hardest, then loops hardest indefinitely) start at stage 3, and set your lives to 0 and your health to 1. You could recreate the scenario that beat you and practice it till you got it right.

    What this ultimately created was the console arcade experience. The idea that the shorter play sessions expected in an arcade setting could be packaged in a way that would still provide the long replayability expected from a console game, while maintaining that exciting, brisk arcade feel. It also kinda created that sense in players that, they could practice, and that could, to some degree, be translated to arcade play. As games became more and more arcade perfect, you could practice at home, and take some that experience and apply it at arcades, and that was super rewarding.

    I personally think Altered Beast has tons of replay value, because chasing high-scores means looping play throughs, which means maximizing loop scores, which means utilizing the practice options. All this meant you had to know your stage layouts at different difficulty levels and know the traps that were set up to try to keep you from getting full stage bonuses. There was a lot to learn and optimize, and again, this was 1989. Anyway, Altered Beast is the freaking bomb-sandwich. I love it, but I totally understand people that don't. Optimization, memorization, etc. may be fun for some players, and not so much for others. I'm still glad you took the time to play it, and share your thoughts on it with us. It still adds to the conversation, and now we have a new pal to talk Genesis games with.

    I talked about it a little bit in the Altered Beast Records Breaker thread. I love this game.
    https://www.sega-16.com/forum/showth...852#post759852
    This is a great writeup/overview of the mechanics and some of the originality that went into the game.

    Another thing to note is that Altered Beast is really of product of the time. When you only had a couple games you owned, you would play them over and over to discover tricks and hone your skills on it. In today's world there is practically an infinite number of different games to spend your time on with almost no cost, so people don't want to continually replay the same game to become skilled, the mindset now is much more on the concept of beat it and move on. With that mindset Altered Beast does not offer much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xelement5x View Post
    This is a great writeup/overview of the mechanics and some of the originality that went into the game.

    Another thing to note is that Altered Beast is really of product of the time. When you only had a couple games you owned, you would play them over and over to discover tricks and hone your skills on it. In today's world there is practically an infinite number of different games to spend your time on with almost no cost, so people don't want to continually replay the same game to become skilled, the mindset now is much more on the concept of beat it and move on. With that mindset Altered Beast does not offer much.
    I fully agree. I don't want to threadjack, but Sega-Jorge's writeup is spot on. When I write the scripts for the reviews and try to rate the games, part of my mindset goes straight back to the days of Blockbuster Video. Usually, the games had three categories, there were games that you'd rent, and beat in an hour, and then be pissed off and feel like you wasted a rental. Then, there would be games that you'd play for the entire 3 days, and get enjoyment out of it the whole time, but you were okay with turning back in for something else when you were done. And then there were games that you immediately wanted to re-rent, and continue to play, either because you didn't finish them, or they were good enough that you wanted to continue playing them anyway. It's not fair to any of these titles to review them purely with a 2020 mindset, so I do try to think about what I would feel if I was playing them back in the day, and how they compare to other games that were out at that same time.

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