Platformer recommendations?

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Door wyrdwad

Paladin (931)

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04-10-2015, 09:23

Hey all,

I've been in a side-scrolling (or side-flipscreening) platformer mood lately, and have been sating that hunger with some indie PC games, as well as some of the MSX titles I've amassed in this past year. Was just wondering if anyone could recommend me any others, though -- the MSX library is pretty huge, after all, and I'm sure there are some quality platformers I'm not familiar with!

These are the ones I own, and my thoughts on them:
- Goonies (how can anyone not love this game?)
- Vampire Killer (really fun and challenging, absolutely love it, though I have yet to beat the final stage)
- Tengoku Yoitoko/Welcome to Heaven (oddly addictive and fun, beat it a couple times now)
- Youkai Yashiki/Ghost House (also pretty addictive, beat it once)
- Cross Blaim (seems promising, but I just can't get into it for some reason)
- Maze of Galious (was spoiled by La-Mulana and Unepic, so I'm having trouble getting into the game that inspired them, but I'm determined to play it through to completion at some point)
- Treasure of Usas (was fun at first, but got progressively more frustrating until I eventually just gave up on it because I wasn't having any fun at all anymore)
- Romancia (seems cool, though it's a little obtuse; I'm looking for something a bit more straightforward)
- Zukkoke Yajikita Onmitsu Douchuu (has platforming scenes, so I think it counts; overall pretty fun and underrated game!)
- Xanadu (also has platforming scenes, so I think it counts; absolutely spectacular game that I'm slowly working my way through)

And others I've played via disk image, compilations, cassette, etc.:
- Thexder (fun but tough game; simple yet exceptionally well-designed)
- Psycho World (my favorite game on the system, I think -- they don't get any better than this!)
- Fire Hawk (...though this comes close; fighting with Undeadline for second-favorite game on the system)
- Bouken Roman (shockingly good for as "primitive" as it is -- really enjoy this one!)
- Magical Tree (great Konami game that really brings me back to my ColecoVision days)
- H.E.R.O. (a true classic, through and through)
- Adventure Island (hard to get into on MSX due to the jerky scrolling, but still a fun game overall)
- Valis II (pretty fun, need to play more of this one)
- Youma Kourin (simple but engrossing; not great, but I find myself enjoying it anyway)
- Athletic Land (kind of like an upgraded Pitfall -- fairly engrossing)
- Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family (a true Falcom classic; always loved this game, no matter the version)
- Sorcerian (MSX version is kind of janky, but the game itself is superb)
- Mid-Garts (level design is bland and the story reads like bad fanfic -- not too fond of this one)
- Golvellius II (the Zelda-esque overworld scenes are great, though the overhead shooter and side-scrolling platformer segments are relentlessly dull and repetitive)
- King's Valley (feels a lot like Goonies, so I enjoy it -- though I think Goonies is the better game of the two)
- Zero Gravity (fan-made game that plays really well, albeit VERY slowly; still like it a lot, but wish it moved faster)
- Ys III: Wanderers From Ys (actually never played the MSX version, but I've played SO MANY OTHERS -- I really love this game)
- The Castle Excellent (moon jump and obnoxious audio aside, this seems like a pretty fun game)

And games I'm aware of and really want to play, but either can't or haven't yet:
- Yuurei-kun/Mr. Ghost
- A Life M36 Planet: Motherbrain Has Been Aliving
- Lupin III (there seem to be two Lupin III games; the non-Cagliostro one looks slightly better, but seems much rarer and more expensive)
- Rastan Saga
- Super Tritorn
- XZR and XZR II
- Last Mission
- King's Valley II
- Star Virgin
- Mon Mon Monster

Since my MSX2+ only has 64kb RAM and 128kb VRAM, and I don't own any memory expansion cartridges or anything (yet), I'm unfortunately unable to get most larger roms running, and can't play most European titles (including basically anything from Parallax), so most of the games on that last list there are titles I've been trying to find on eBay for reasonable prices (with no luck as of yet).

But my real question is, what games am I missing? Are there any MUST-PLAY platformers on the MSX that you guys think I should try tracking down?

I'd love to hear your recommendations!

-Tom

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Van Manuel

Ascended (18958)

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04-10-2015, 13:15

If you get a memory expansion you could indeed try the Parallax games "Akin" and "Core Dump" (the latter was never finished, but it's still fun to play the demo). And a game like Blade Lords. I believe they all require 128kB main RAM minimum.

You can also check out this list: http://www.generation-msx.nl/software/result?q=&searchtype=#/q=&searchtype=&Platform=&ge[]=Platform&p=1

URL breaks up here, you'll have to recompose it, I'm afraid. Try to quote this message and you see it in complete form.

Van missumj

Expert (77)

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04-10-2015, 13:26

Platformer is my favorite Smile
I'd recommend Come On Becky (MIA), Hustle Chumy (Paxon), Step Up (Takara), Candoo Ninja (ASCII) and Pine Applin (ZAP).

Van Grauw

Ascended (10623)

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04-10-2015, 14:33

* Contra (Konami)
* Come On! Picot (Pony Canyon)
* The Cure (XL2S Entertainment)
* Montana John (Infinite)

Also Zemina’s Super Mario clones are worth a try, if just for the fun of it.

As for western games, have a browse through the MSXDev compo archives, there’s a number of nice platform games there that should run fine on your MSX with 64K RAM. (Though yeah… if you can get your hands on a memory mapper, there’s quite some worthwhile European MSX2 games to play.)

Re. Lupin, I bought them both on eBay for less than 10 bucks each (maybe I was lucky). I like Castle of Cagliostro best (though to be fair that was the only one I played when I was little Smile).

Van Manuel

Ascended (18958)

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04-10-2015, 20:23

Particularly:
- Caos Begins
- Dahku
- Elidon
- Major Pistoletov 1 and 2
- Koedoli
- Haunted House
- Inca
- Malaika
- The Shrines of Enigma

Van pitpan

Prophet (3152)

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04-10-2015, 20:58

Don't forget the following:

- Zombie Incident (MSX1, Nenefranz, ROM - freeware at MSXdev)
- Temptations (MSX1, Toposoft, tape)
- British Bob (MSX1, Relevo, ROM - freeware at MSXdev)
- Caverns of Titan - a colorful version of Manic Miner and even more difficult (MSX1, JLTur, ROM - freeware at MSXdev)
- The Cure - a SD version of Vampire Killer (MSX1, XL2s, ROM - freeware at MSXdev)
- Dynamite Dan (MSX1, Mirrorsoft, tape)
- Starquake (MSX1, BubbleBus?, tape)

And many others, but these are awesome!

Van sd_snatcher

Prophet (3557)

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04-10-2015, 21:55

Tip: Zero Gravity runs a lot better on MSX Turbo-R. Smile

BTW, which MSX2+ model do you have?

Van wyrdwad

Paladin (931)

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04-10-2015, 23:40

My MSX2+ is a Panasonic FS-A1WX. I was wondering if Zero Gravity ran better on a turboR, since I've heard a lot of other games do too (Xak, Sorcerian, and Undeadline, for example), but I don't see myself upgrading anytime soon -- the 2+ was expensive enough, and I'd rather spend my money on games for it than on another system altogether! Wink

Would more memory help any of these games run faster, though?

Also, I assume if I were to buy the megaflashrom with 512kb RAM upgrade, I'd be able to just pop it in and run a lot (or all) of the games you guys listed without any trouble, right? And even run roms of the larger cartridge games? I've been holding off on purchasing a megaflashrom, but I'm thinking it may be time to invest in one soon so I can get the most out of this awesome system. Wink

Thanks for the detailed responses, BTW, everyone!

-Tom

Van Grauw

Ascended (10623)

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04-10-2015, 23:51

wyrdwad wrote:

Would more memory help any of these games run faster, though?

Not really.

wyrdwad wrote:

Also, I assume if I were to buy the megaflashrom with 512kb RAM upgrade, I'd be able to just pop it in and run a lot (or all) of the games you guys listed without any trouble, right?

Yeah!

Van RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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05-10-2015, 02:05

  • Green Beret
  • Manic Miner
  • Blagger

Tbh the Spectrum versions of the above are better, Tongue but they're great games in any case.

If one's definition of platformer is stretched, Wink have a look at the original Boulderdash I or II, or (personal favorite) Blow-Up.

Van sd_snatcher

Prophet (3557)

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05-10-2015, 06:16

wyrdwad wrote:

My MSX2+ is a Panasonic FS-A1WX. I was wondering if Zero Gravity ran better on a turboR, since I've heard a lot of other games do too (Xak, Sorcerian, and Undeadline, for example), but I don't see myself upgrading anytime soon -- the 2+ was expensive enough, and I'd rather spend my money on games for it than on another system altogether! Wink

The good news is that your machine also has a turbo feature built-in. It boosts the Z80 speed to 5.37MHz. While that not a blazing fast speed, it's a 50% increase that is enough to give many games a bit more speed to breath better. ZX-Spectrum ports will run just like in the Spectrum, i.e.

But it has an unfortunate side effect: the PSG frequency is also lifted up by 50%, changing the pitch of the notes. The FM sound OTOH is unaffected. I know it helps to play Valis2 and Firehawk HDD version. You should try it with MicroCabin games too, but there's a chance that the FM routine of these games won't support this. Anyway don't get your expectations too high with its turbo, ok? It's just a bit better than the usual speed. Smile

If you're still interested, get the Fudeba Turbo Changer at this page. It's the easiest way to enable the turbo on Panasonic MSX2+ models.

Quote:

Would more memory help any of these games run faster, though?

No, because the MSX doesn't do swapping to the disk when it's out of memory like a PC. :)

Quote:

Also, I assume if I were to buy the megaflashrom with 512kb RAM upgrade, I'd be able to just pop it in and run a lot (or all) of the games you guys listed without any trouble, right? And even run roms of the larger cartridge games? I've been holding off on purchasing a megaflashrom, but I'm thinking it may be time to invest in one soon so I can get the most out of this awesome system. ;)

This (and the turbo) is one of the reasons I asked which machine you had. The Panasonic MSX2+ machines block the reading of external memory mapper registers. This means that if you use an external memory mapper, a lot of European games that don't follow the standard coding guidelines will fail to run on such configuration.

Your best choice is to expand the FS-A1WX internal memory. It's not that hard and there are many tutorials out there showing how to do it. If you don't have soldering skills, find a skilled technician to do it for you.

Then, after upgrading the internal MSX memory, buy the MegaFlashROM without the memory-mapper expansion option. The MFRSCC+SD is the best choice for any MSX gamer nowadays, as it's a combo cartridge that combines a SCC+, a PSG, and both disk and megarom emulation.

But, if you don't mind that the European games won't run, you can just buy the MFRSCC+SD with the built-in 512KB of memory mapper.

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