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Thread: Landstalker: Treasure of King Nole

  1. #61
    Genesis Knight's Avatar
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    Dunno how the Gaia sword "gets in the way if your fights" when it usually clears the screen of enemies. Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly

  2. #62
    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis Knight View Post
    Dunno how the Gaia sword "gets in the way if your fights" when it usually clears the screen of enemies. Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly
    I believe he's complaining about the pause that occurs when you use the Gaia sword's magic. It never bothered me in the slightest personally.

  3. #63
    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    I have a feeling he's mis-remembering how it works. As you said, it only causes the pause when it's fully charged.

  4. #64
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    the pause was long. Long as in Sonic CD time travel transitions, that is. And the sword fully recharged itself very fast. The earthquake it caused didnt do that much damage to tougher enemies...
    Lists of MD games: officially licensed (~925) @ cart sizes @ Top 5 @ Top 250 @ Sonic hacks @ best title screens @ Arcade ports (150) @ best European games

  5. #65
    Master of Shinobi midnightrider's Avatar
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    Honestly, that thing can destroy the final boss without getting near it. If it has one issue, it's too overpowered. However if that pause bothers you, you can always switch back to another sword.

    I played through this one recently, maybe 3-4 months ago. Would have loved knowing then that Greenmaze is a 3x3 square block, where you start in the middle of one row. That took me a while. Also the end game wasn't as bad as I recalled. My first time, I thought I fell down a bunch of floors with a really long way back up, but it wasn't like that at all the last time I played it.

    Also, emulation won't do it justice, unless you're using a good 8 direction round D-pad like the Genesis. I know some complain about how the controls work, but the 8 directional D-pad makes a difference here. (that or you could look over the romhacking forums for the patch that makes each D-pad button move Nigel in a different direction, if you need to make up for a lack of diagonals)

  6. #66
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    I always switch back to another sword obviously. Yes, the controls are good enough, the complains come from people not putting it enough effort. Well, that and those moving platforms where you cannot know where they actually are until you try and fall back some floors at least twice... still my personal favorite game on the system, at least if you count the time where it was published (first 16 meg game!)
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  7. #67
    The Shadow knows Road Rasher Allard's Avatar
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    Decided to give it a go out of the blue. Seven hours in I've just got out of Duke's dungeon and I can't make up my mind about this game. It alternates between being 10 out 0f 10 and being so frustrating I want to punch a kitten in the stomach.
    Formerly known as -RT

  8. #68
    The Shadow knows Road Rasher Allard's Avatar
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    Just beat it and my stance hasn't really changed.

    I mean, overall it's a good game. Great even. But by Lord is it frustrating.
    And it's not really the difficulty, I only got killed once early on and once I figured out what is what I barely had to do any grinding, but it's just the little things that can drive you nuts
    Like, it has the same bullshit "You're standing near a wall so you can't swing your sword" idiotic bit of realism that would later plague Dark Souls
    You are knocked back whenever you get hit and if you go to a different location and there's an enemy spawning right in front of a doorway, they can knock you back into the location you just walked out of and it's really grating
    But of course, the biggest source of frustration in the game is its camera. The isometric perspective screws real hard with your ability to tell where everything is, at least some of which was clearly intentional.
    And some of the platforming... it reminds me of a Stephen King quote from his novel "Desperation":
    You said 'God is cruel' the way a person who's lived his whole life on Tahiti might say 'Snow is cold'. You knew, but you didn't understand. Do you know how cruel your God can be. How fantastically cruel? Sometimes He makes us do timed isometric platforming without drop shadows.
    And that honestly is the biggest flaw in the game. Otherwise? Fantastic presentation, gorgeous music and the writing is a ton of fun.
    Formerly known as -RT

  9. #69
    Benjamin's Avatar
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    The absence of a shadow really does hurt the platforming, and it seems so easy to put in and is a wonder why it's not there. You do get used to it, but that doesn't make it a good thing. In most areas you can reference other objects to help determine your position, but that last dungeon where it's just a couple of small floating platforms in a void is maddening. It's one of the games from my youth I think I'd like to go back and replay like Ecco, but then I think about it some more and it's like, nah. I don't think I have the patience for that these days, at least if I'm to play it directly on my Genesis. I'm sure it'd be manageable with save states.

  10. #70
    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Kan Naito, the game's programmer, said recently on his Youtube channel that they did implement shadows at one point but they just didn't work well. Most of the more difficult platforming sections are so high off the ground (or over black pits) that a shadow doesn't really help.

    Common Landstalker criticisms are "the controls are too difficult" and "the perspective is confusing" but these are basically the very limitations of trying to make a 2D isometric game.

    There is simply no single "great" way to do isometric 4-direction character movement on a d-pad. You either do a mismatch where pushing up causes the character to move either up-left or up-right, but that is not really intuitive, or you rely only on diagonals, which is hard on the thumb, or you do something like Landstalker did (which I think works better) and use the diagonal to shift the forward-facing direction. I'd say Landstalker's solution is the best of bad options. The same goes for the platforming. There's no easy way to capture perspective when doing 2D isometric tile-based graphics.

    Basically, it's easy to criticize these aspects of the game, but the developers were well aware of the limitations and worked around them the best they could (and, personally, I think they did a great job; I've never once had a problem with the platforming or controls).

    If they had abandoned the isometric perspective, I think the game would have lost a lot of what makes it special. It's so rare to see a large 16-bit isometric world like this in a Japanese game, and I'm totally glad we got this attempt at it (even if it does highlight some of the limitations).

    Another game that of course has to be mentioned is Light Crusader. Treasure had several years to overcome Landstalker's limitations, and the results are not necessarily better. Light Crusader went with 8-direction movement rather than 4, and it added shadows to the player character and platforms. But the decision was made to simplify the platforming, and I don't find Light Crusader's platforming quite as fun as Landstalker's.

  11. #71
    The Shadow knows Road Rasher Allard's Avatar
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    I actually didn't mind the directional controls in Landstalker, they just take a bit of getting used to, but once I did, it was a smooth sailing and by the end none of the corner jumps were a problem to me. But while the controls between it and LC are a subject for a debate, I don't think just having shadows is "simplifying it". More like "making it fair". I do like to know where the hell I'm going after all.
    Formerly known as -RT

  12. #72
    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allard View Post
    I don't think just having shadows is "simplifying it". More like "making it fair". I do like to know where the hell I'm going after all.
    I don't mean the shadows simplify it -- I mean the platforming in Light Crusader is just generally not as complex as Landstalker (regardless of shadows). Landstalker has a lot of rather complex platforming sections with big falls that take a bit of time to work out, while Light Crusader's platforming feels much lighter.

  13. #73
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    I didn't have much trouble with the jumping or perspective either. The game is pretty much as good as it possibly can be, in my opinion.

    I listened to the arranged soundtrack on YouTube a few days ago and found out Kan Naito put a message on it. Does anyone know what he says?

    https://youtu.be/aowfJ1h3hGQ
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  14. #74
    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zebbe View Post
    I didn't have much trouble with the jumping or perspective either. The game is pretty much as good as it possibly can be, in my opinion.

    I listened to the arranged soundtrack on YouTube a few days ago and found out Kan Naito put a message on it. Does anyone know what he says?

    https://youtu.be/aowfJ1h3hGQ
    It's been a while, but I think he gives some hint about one of the game's secrets (probably the monster race?). I can't listen to it now to verify, but I'll try to later.

    By the way, this message comes from the CD single that was given away to people who pre-ordered (it's a mini-CD). It's not on the actual OST as far as I can recall.

  15. #75
    Master of Shinobi midnightrider's Avatar
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    A shadow would be useless anyway, since it would only be under the playable character(Nigel in this case, but I'm speaking on isometric games in general) the whole time. How does it help you find where to land a jump if you won't see it until just before he lands?

    If you want to destroy the challenge of a game like this, you'd need something of a compass-like image around the character, or an arrow in front of their feet, that shows where they'd land about 3-4 steps ahead if they jump in that direction.

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