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Thread: B.O.B.

  1. #16
    Raging in the Streets goldenband's Avatar
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    Ha, I'm glad to have sparked this discussion! In fairness to MrMatthews, I can totally imagine finding this game tedious if I tried to bulldoze through it quickly. Playing it three levels at a time was the way to go for me, and I did so sporadically starting last month. When I realized I was almost at the end today, I made a push to finish it off.

    There is something SNES-esque about the game, isn't there? I'm trying to figure out why the game's basic concept feels so familiar to me, but the only referent I can come up with is Harley's Humongous Adventure which isn't a worthy comparison. It must be a game I never beat, then, since I'm not spotting it on my list. (Skuljagger? Naah.)

    Either way the game feels closer to "flawed, perhaps rushed, but a labor of love" territory than "cynical cheapo Poochie cash-in" territory, which is what the review made me think it would be. I don't recall, were the developers British? For some reason I consistently seem to like the aesthetic/design of Genesis games developed in the UK.

  2. #17
    Rebel scum Shining Hero MrMatthews's Avatar
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    I'll be honest: I hated this game by the time I got done playing it, perhaps moreso because I was forcing myself to play it than with the game's actual flaws. That was the only thing I regretted about the review: I should never have written it in anger. Otherwise, I might have given it a five.

    But no game that doesn't grant you momentary invulnerability after taking a hit deserves more than a 6.

  3. #18
    Raging in the Streets goldenband's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMatthews View Post
    I'll be honest: I hated this game by the time I got done playing it, perhaps moreso because I was forcing myself to play it than with the game's actual flaws. That was the only thing I regretted about the review: I should never have written it in anger. Otherwise, I might have given it a five.
    Fair enough. I couldn't really fault a five.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMatthews View Post
    But no game that doesn't grant you momentary invulnerability after taking a hit deserves more than a 6.
    Ha, I've seen people say this (or something similar) before, and I strongly disagree (maybe you're not being 100% serious though). Of course it can be implemented in an unfair way, but I've played plenty of games that use that mechanic and I have no problem with it if it's done well.

    I absolutely don't agree that it's an automatic demerit; that's way too doctrinaire for my tastes, and there's already too much "a good game has to conform to these preconditions and preconceptions" around in the world as it is. Not trying to pick on you here, but it's actually one of my pet peeves since a lot of games get trashed for not being what the reviewer wants them to be, instead of being evaluated in terms of their own goals (and if necessary, having the reviewer recuse himself because he realizes that he's just not in the game's target audience, either in terms of gameplay style or just genre period: it'd be a mistake for me to review most FPSes, or most post-16-bit JRPGs).

  4. #19
    Rebel scum Shining Hero MrMatthews's Avatar
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    Don't worry, I see this as a pretty good discussion.

    While I agree that it's unfair to fault a game for not living up to preconceived notions, there are times when I feel it's appropriate to hold against a game its failure to uphold certain standards that greater games have more or less cemented into the general gaming consciousness. I think it's fair to say that most games will give you temporary invincibility after taking damage. And while I agree with you that this doesn't mean that all games are required to have this feature, it's absence should at least be considered when putting the finishing touches on the rest of the game.

    In other words:

    Don't make it possible to me to get stunned in a puddle of acid and to have my energy completely drained while I'm unable to control my character.

    That's not an oversight that challenges you to be a better player; that's the kind of neglectful design flaw that forces you to stumble through the game with frustrating trial and error.

  5. #20
    Raging in the Streets goldenband's Avatar
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    Well, the thing is that with B.O.B., I think it's a deliberate part of the gameplay design. The game intends to punish you for taking blind leaps and otherwise falling farther than your character can handle -- that is, it wants to make that behavior highly undesirable. If the lava or acid were instantly deadly to the touch, we wouldn't blink at getting killed by touching it, right? Or if it were like Bubsy, where falling too far just kills you outright, we'd adapt. But the game is designed so that you can risk it...you just pay a heavy and potentially lethal price.

    So I think it's more of a psychological thing: however ostensibly logical it is that you'd be stunned after a fall, it's frustrating to feel like you "should" have control of your character -- and yet you're in a position of helplessness and are getting killed. Even in that situation, though, there are counter-tactics like triggering an invincibility item. And that adds an extra gameplay wrinkle: do you risk spending the extra time grabbing items in side areas, so that you have more defenses against falls and so forth?

    Honestly what I found much more annoying was the fact that, on first sight, it wasn't at all obvious that certain floor areas were damaging. Lava, yes, but areas that just happen to be blue instead of purple? That's scarcely intuitive, and while it's easily learned, it doesn't visually stand out enough. That's one of my least-favorite traits of 16-bit platformers, i.e. that playfield elements are often totally unclear as to their function and structure (cf. Pitfall: TMA for one example); B.O.B. mostly avoids that and is very clear, except in this case.

    EDIT: Also, getting stunned is definitely part of the level design in certain places, especially with the giant stone gorillas (or whatever they are) that can punch you clear across the stage...and are sometimes placed so that if you get hit, you'll always get knocked into a deathtrap. Actually, I don't remember whether that happens with lava (and its cousins), but it definitely does with the insta-death ball traps. I don't think that's the case with the power-blower things in the final world, though; they just buffalo you around the stage, as poor B.O.B. goes flying around, eyes closed, waiting for it all to stop.

  6. #21
    What? Shir is gone? Raging in the Streets StarMist's Avatar
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    What about the graphics? How much did they deduct from the score? (Not that I care about the score per se, I think the # given jives with the opinions expressed, a 5 would've been too high following what you wrote). How about that progressivist perception I mentioned earlier? Not to suggest that you were indoctrinated, it just seems to be how most S-16 reviewers think, ie "it's fine for a `90 game to look that way but a `93 game must be far better". Which matter interests me cz I dislike the overall tone Genesis games contracted later on and find earlier games look better in numerous ways, such as the usage of dark tonalities. In short I don't think graphics improved over the years. BOB's by no means a great looking game regardless of year but I wouldn't want it to look like a typical `93 game either and I'm wondering whether you felt oppositely.
    I don't believe I ever saw an advertisement. Perhaps the box made it out to be more run n gun but I went into it with no preconceptions. I did however go out of it (that rental) pretty pissed off with falls and dead ends owing to too condensed play.

    @ goldenband = the SNES feel comes for me from its being much more in the line of SMW and Super Metroid. The exploration first aspect is what builds it, aided (or abetted) by the bloodfree, robot, roughly Mega Man composition of its running and gunning. Not a particularly truthful label for the SNES but feelings are sometimes superficial.
    And I remember those floors. Bucky O'Hare's Blue (Ice) Planet has some parts like that, a totally innocuous purple that it turns out is just as slick as the ice parts (and that game has just as many 1 hit kills as Battletoads so it's vexatious. Besides the ice physics are broken: more like ice lathered with petroleum jelly). Where did you note such a flaw in Pitfall MA?

  7. #22
    Rebel scum Shining Hero MrMatthews's Avatar
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    Graphics don't really matter much to me, unless they are especially good (Disney's Pinnochio) or especially bad (Predator 2).

    Oh, and the magazine ad I was referring to actually focused exclusively on B.O.B.'s gun. I'll see if I can find it for you.
    Last edited by MrMatthews; 02-20-2012 at 09:46 AM.

  8. #23
    Raging in the Streets goldenband's Avatar
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    Wait a minute, MrMatthews -- I'm pretty sure I bought my copy of this game from you! Maybe you had more than one loose cart, but did yours have a seriously janky label? And was it the one you used to play through the game? If so, too funny!

  9. #24
    Rebel scum Shining Hero MrMatthews's Avatar
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    LOL... Yes! I could have sworn I sold that to Jessie813

  10. #25
    Raging in the Streets goldenband's Avatar
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    Ha! For all the pristine CIBs out there that never get touched, that butt-ugly loose* B.O.B. has gotten not one, but two full playthroughs in the past few years. Too funny. Well, as you can tell I'm very happy with my purchase!

    *(I did get a sleeve from bwild22, so it's boxed now)

  11. #26
    Rebel scum Shining Hero MrMatthews's Avatar
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    Heh heh. Did you buy my copy of Predator 2, also?

  12. #27
    Raging in the Streets goldenband's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenband View Post
    I'll have to try the SNES version.
    Well, I beat it today, and:

    Quote Originally Posted by StarMist View Post
    The SNES has this covered better; a shame as BOB would've made a nice Genesis exclusive
    StarMist was absolutely right, the SNES version is pretty much superior across the board (except for the music, which I liked better on the Genesis and, bizarrely, suffers from slowdown whenever you scroll). The framerate is higher (or at least the scrolling is cleaner), the user interface is dramatically easier to use (thanks to the additional buttons), the enemies are more distinctively drawn, the "blue floor" issues are gone (I don't remember what they've changed into, but it's far easier to spot), and the play control is quite a bit better.

    Still, I'm glad I played through the Genesis version first, and enjoyed it for what it was.

    Quote Originally Posted by StarMist View Post
    Where did you note such a flaw in Pitfall MA?
    I'd have to play it some more, but from memory, it was mainly just that the playfield design didn't make it clear what was a platform/wall and what wasn't. Perhaps there were damaging areas, e.g. thorns, that were initially hard to spot?
    Last edited by goldenband; 06-13-2012 at 05:08 PM.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenband View Post
    I'd have to play it some more, but from memory, it was mainly just that the playfield design didn't make it clear what was a platform/wall and what wasn't. Perhaps there were damaging areas, e.g. thorns, that were initially hard to spot?
    Are you sure that it's a design flaw?

    Pitfall has tons of secret passages and hidden items. I think that most of the dubious stuff is there on purpose... Sometimes you have to jump into the abyss to reach a platform with an extra life, for an example.
    Pitfall MA prizes the memorization. Once you memorize the areas and its secrets, everything feels perfectly designed. The controls are flawless in the Genesis/Sega CD version IMO.
    About the SNES version I can't say the same. That version was made by another company; they improved the graphics but some platforms and jumps aren't as they should be anymore. You'll face some frustration with the controls even after memorize all the stages.




    Quote Originally Posted by goldenband View Post
    StarMist was absolutely right, the SNES version is pretty much superior across the board (except for the music, which I liked better on the Genesis and, bizarrely, suffers from slowdown whenever you scroll). The framerate is higher (or at least the scrolling is cleaner), the user interface is dramatically easier to use (thanks to the additional buttons), the enemies are more distinctively drawn, the "blue floor" issues are gone (I don't remember what they've changed into, but it's far easier to spot), and the play control is quite a bit better.
    Exactly. The SNES version is something that I would keep in my Everdrive...
    B.O.B. on the SNES feels less generic and more pleasant to play IMO.

  14. #29
    What? Shir is gone? Raging in the Streets StarMist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agostinhobaroners View Post
    Are you sure that it's a design flaw?

    Pitfall has tons of secret passages and hidden items. I think that most of the dubious stuff is there on purpose... Sometimes you have to jump into the abyss to reach a platform with an extra life, for an example.
    Agreed.

    Pitfall MA prizes the memorization.
    Really? It never struck me that way at all. I'd say something like Lion King demands much more memorising, and even more for something like DKC.

    The controls are flawless in the Genesis/Sega CD version IMO.
    Should we have a third party settle our difference whether it controls just like Aladdin or not? (And that the majority of the engine is the same). If there is an interested third party note that it's my observation and Agostinho was staunch against it.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarMist View Post
    Really? It never struck me that way at all.
    Probably I phrased it poorly... You don't need to memorize the stages game if you just want to finish it. But if you want to collect all items (or most of them) or go for a speedrun without frustration, memorization is just what you need. The design of the platforms is top class IMO (unlike many other western games).

    Quote Originally Posted by StarMist View Post
    Should we have a third party settle our difference whether it controls just like Aladdin or not? (And that the majority of the engine is the same). If there is an interested third party note that it's my observation and Agostinho was staunch against it.
    Would be interesting to hear someone else's opinion.
    Compared to Aladdin, I feel the collision detection more polished and the jumps better balanced in Pitfall.

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