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Thread: Landstalker: Treasure of King Nole

  1. #46
    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Alundra was also made by a team at least 3-4 times as big, for much more capable hardware.

    I'm always impressed that Landstalker has over 600 unique 3-dimensional screens (many quite large) in a 2 MB ROM. Size was a huge issue for the game, which is why there aren't many unique enemies.

    I do prefer Landstalker's bold attempt at an isometric perspective, though. I think it looks much better than Alundra's top down view. It's a given that there's no intuitive way to do controls in an isometric action game, especially one designed around 2-axis movement. But I thought Landstalker made a very satisfying attempt at it (I never even realized that people had a problem with the controls until reading the internet 20 years later).

    I also think that, in terms of charm and sense of fun adventure, Landstalker is hard to beat. Alundra's story is very dark in comparison.

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    I just feel like Landstalker has untapped potential, and to me, Alundra is an indication of the heights it could've achieved with a bigger team and more time. Sure, the hardware is less advanced than the PSX etc, but even within the MD's limitations the game could've been so much more.

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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    What improvements would you have liked to see in Landstalker?

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    Besides the obvious stuff, I guess just more polish in general. In my view, the game looks and feels kind of rough, and it's not really making optimal use of the hardware. Hard to get more specific than that, it's been a long time since I played it.

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    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    What improvements would you have liked to see in Landstalker?
    A shadow sprite that lets you determine otherwise invisible depth.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion View Post
    Besides the obvious stuff, I guess just more polish in general. In my view, the game looks and feels kind of rough, and it's not really making optimal use of the hardware. Hard to get more specific than that, it's been a long time since I played it.
    I'm surprised that you say this. I find it so much more polished than most of the other 1992 and earlier Genesis games. I think (but would have to check) that at the time it had the biggest (and most qualified?) development team for a Genesis game. In terms of making use of the hardware, I'm not really sure what you mean. It plays as it was designed to (i.e. no slowdown - for the most part!).

    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    A shadow sprite that lets you determine otherwise invisible depth.
    This wouldn't have really solved anything. The most annoying parts are where you're platforming over black gaps that wouldn't display a shadow, or you're 12 levels off the ground and wouldn't be able to see the shadow.

    By the way, as others have said in this thread, the number of times where you really can't tell the perspective of a platform are very limited. I feel like it's a bit exaggerated. For most of the game, the platforming is quite straightforward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    A shadow sprite that lets you determine otherwise invisible depth.
    This is number one. Second would be making objects transparent and/or removing them when obstructing your view. I don't consider the game's "ha ha you can't see crap" aspects as fun puzzles or interesting gameplay. Third would be revamping the combat system; it's dull and quite dated, even for the time. Nigel needs more moves and enemies which can pose a challenge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin View Post
    This is number one. Second would be making objects transparent and/or removing them when obstructing your view. I don't consider the game's "ha ha you can't see crap" aspects as fun puzzles or interesting gameplay. Third would be revamping the combat system; it's dull and quite dated, even for the time. Nigel needs more moves and enemies which can pose a challenge.
    Again, those are so few and far between (and most are just secrets) that I don't really think it takes away from the game. I always kind of thought they were clever puzzles within the limitations of the game.

    Combat is definitely not good. Early previews for the game portrayed quite a more complex combat system where you could possibly use magic and other weapons. In the end, all that remained was the different swords you could get that don't really change the combat. Enemies are simple and generally follow the same patterns. I always kind of thought the enemies were just annoyances getting in the way of the more interesting puzzles, exploration, and platforming.

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    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    If the game would warp you back to where you jumped from, like respawning after falling in a pitt with some games, then it wouldn't be a problem. The backtracking that is sometimes required in some of those "few and far between" spots is painful and tedius to overcome and it kills enthusiasm for the game when you're punished for a mistake the designer made.

    As I said previously, the only other major thing the game needs is proper boss fights at good intervals. The final boss in particular is super disappointing. The regular bosses barely feel like mini bosses. They're single square sized like the player and just move around like a regular enemy or defensive element/traps/obstacles in similar games. Besides feeling somewhat epic, they should have included a bit of puzzle elements instead of being braindead hack 'n slash fests.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    I'm surprised that you say this. I find it so much more polished than most of the other 1992 and earlier Genesis games. I think (but would have to check) that at the time it had the biggest (and most qualified?) development team for a Genesis game. In terms of making use of the hardware, I'm not really sure what you mean. It plays as it was designed to (i.e. no slowdown - for the most part!).
    Whatever floats your boat, I suppose. But in my view, the color selection was drab and the pixel art unappealing. Granted, the palette limitations of the system were always a problem, but even within those strict limits, more could've been done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    If the game would warp you back to where you jumped from, like respawning after falling in a pitt with some games, then it wouldn't be a problem. The backtracking that is sometimes required in some of those "few and far between" spots is painful and tedius to overcome and it kills enthusiasm for the game when you're punished for a mistake the designer made.

    As I said previously, the only other major thing the game needs is proper boss fights at good intervals. The final boss in particular is super disappointing. The regular bosses barely feel like mini bosses. They're single square sized like the player and just move around like a regular enemy or defensive element/traps/obstacles in similar games. Besides feeling somewhat epic, they should have included a bit of puzzle elements instead of being braindead hack 'n slash fests.
    My understanding is that the developers very intentionally made the few (yes, few!) perspective-lacking platforming parts because they were running out of ideas as to how to make the game challenging. That turned out to be a pretty bad design mistake, though, and they took a lot of flack for it in Japan where the game was super popular. Everybody complained that it was too hard. So yeah, leaving that out would have been a good move.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion View Post
    Whatever floats your boat, I suppose. But in my view, the color selection was drab and the pixel art unappealing. Granted, the palette limitations of the system were always a problem, but even within those strict limits, more could've been done.
    Well, color was definitely a limitation, considering the entire field had to be made with 16 colors. But I think the result is impressive:



    Beautiful

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    Landstalker is one of the prettiest and most colorful games on the Genesis, so I don't see how it would have been better with a larger staff or more time / money. The team was already really large for the time. In the end, somebody is going to lead the art team, whether it's for characters or towns & dungeons. If you don't like the style, you don't. That's not going to change if there are more people doing it, since they're going to go for a unified look. I always thought the game played great, all things considered, and the parts that are actually frustrating are few and far between. Climax must have liked the isometric view, since they reprised it in Dark Savior.

    I do like Alundra even more, but that's mostly because of the surprisingly dark story; the top-down view does make it easier to navigate, but it's not as striking visually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    Well, color was definitely a limitation, considering the entire field had to be made with 16 colors. But I think the result is impressive
    16 color BGs are indeed a nightmare if you wanna do anything that looks even remotely decent. So yes, all things considered, they did a good job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jules Walter View Post
    If you don't like the style, you don't. That's not going to change if there are more people doing it, since they're going to go for a unified look.
    Very true, and indeed, I don't like it. It's not because I dislike the designs though, I'm very fond of those. And I think they would've been much better served by the Alundra approach.

  14. #59
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    that damn final sword (Gaia?) that interrupts gameplay EACH TIME you press the button! It's way more annoying than the cop car in Streets of Rage (which is cool the first 3-4 times you launch it and then just gets in the way of your fights)
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    Quote Originally Posted by chilled View Post
    that damn final sword (Gaia?) that interrupts gameplay EACH TIME you press the button! It's way more annoying than the cop car in Streets of Rage (which is cool the first 3-4 times you launch it and then just gets in the way of your fights)
    The Gaia sword only disrupts the fight when it's used fully charged. Then it triggers the earthquake magic. It shouldn't slow you down in the heat of battle if you keep swinging it and don't give it time to fully charge.

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