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Messages - awbacon

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Hey Voodoo...I posted a Last Hope review in the forums, so that can be included in the update if you want

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Totally forgot a section

Loading Times The load times of Last Hope are very short. About a minute initially when you boot your NGCD, and about 20-30 seconds per level. Each level loads entirely into ram, so you never have mid level loads.

All in all, load times arent bad at all

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Voodoo - Consider this my next submission for the review section

Last Hope - Neo Geo CD

Having just recently lucked out and picked up a copy of Last Hope for half the going rate on a lucky ebay bid, I am not the proud owner of Last Hope for Neo Geo CD.

Having read reviews that went both pro / con on Last Hope, I wanted to throw my two (maybe three) cents in the fray.

Gameplay - Last Hope is the definition of 'Tactical Shooter.' There is absolutely zero chance you can just blast your way through the levels, hoping for the best.

Each and every segment requires visual memorization of attack patterns. You can breeze through a few continues easily on one checkpoint in any level before you can progress, but once you get the pattern down, you can finish a level on a single life.

Much like R-Type, you are given a 'partner ship' that you can rotate clockwise and counter clockwise, allowing you to block certain enemy projectiles. This adds an extra layer of complexity, forcing you to monitor both your ships placement on the screen, as well as your 'partner ship' and its usefulness to you.

Bullets fly everywhere, and sometimes do get hidden by the enemy debris that flies when an adversary is destroyed, upping the frusturation factor a bit. Short of this minor oversight, the gameplay is extremely solid.

Much like Pulstar, when you complete a level in Last Hope you really feel you have met an accomplishment. Sure its a ton of work keeping track of your ship, your 'partner ship' and everything else on screen at once, but when everything 'clicks' you really breeze through the stages and enjoy every bit of it.

The only disapointing point of the entire game are the boss battles. Anti-climatic and not very much 'fun'. Given the rush you get playing through the stage to get to the boss, some battles can be won within 10 or so seconds, really making these confrontations feel tacked on. Luckily its so much fun getting to the bosses, you barely even notice this downfall.

Note :
The NGCD version of Last Hope contains both the original AES release, as well as the Dreamcast version. The AES version is a **** in difficulty, and I cannot progress past stage two. Its the most challenging game I have played yet on the NGCD. The NGCD version of the game is more 'arcade' oriented, allowing your ship to travel faster and take a few hits before you die. The Dreamcast mode is a blend of both versions, and is what I based this review on.

Control - Last Hope is much better oriented to use the Original or New Joysticks, and not the CD pads. They work, but the fact that the buttons arent A-D on the CD pads means your fingers need way too much travel to play. Very hard to rotate your 'partner ship' with the cd pad orientation.

Short of that, the control is solid and spot on. Strangely enough the D button allows you to fast forward the game. Why, I do not know? It has yet to prove useful to me.

Graphics
- Last Hope doesn't feel like a homebrew game at all. Its very polished and commercial in its appearance, with excellent sprites and backgrounds across the entire game.

There are some very nice visual effects in the game, and it all runs without a hint of slowdown that I have seen.

I'd put it between Last Resort and Pulstar on the 'impressive scale'. Last Hope is an asset for the NGCD platform.

Audio - A full cd soundtrack accompanies Last Hope, and its all very well orchestrated and fits the game accordingly. Its a blend of synth techno and bass with some sci-fi mixed in, and its a pleasure to listen to.

There are only 8 tracks though, so it does get a bit repetitive after some time.

Packaging - I generally wouldn't spend the time reviewing the actual packaging of any game, as its really the gameplay that matters.

Yet in the instance of Last Hope, the fact its a new release and priced around 80 USD new, you really want to feel you purchased something that deserves a spot on your game shelf.

The developers did an excellent job making this look as close to a genuine release as possible without infringing on SNK's intellectual properties. Professional printing, a fun to look at but inconsiquential manual, and an excellent disc print really tie the whole package together.

Including in Last Hope is a special dvd which shows you some tactics videos, development insights, and a 1 life superplay through the entire game. Fun to have and quite useful.

The ONLY downside is the spine card. It's produced out of a cardboard stock, and does not match ANY spine card I have ever seen material wise. It really doesnt fit the case very well at all. An odd choice of materials in the end!

Overall - Last Hope has gotten a bad rep from some people. That stems in part from the fact that the developers are selling a Neo Geo AES cart version for well over six hundred dollars, and sacrificing an AES shell to produce the game itself. The price, as well as the fact they need to use parts from other AES games (and these shells are precious) , has really rubbed the Neo Geo community the wrong way in some instances. My review doesn't factor the above details in, as I wanted the game to be viewed on its technical merits alone.

Last Hope is a challenging and entertaining schmup which holds up well against the commercial schmup releases on the Neo Geo platform. Given the fact its a homebrew game, its even more impressive.

The longevity is great as well. With the inclusion of three different game modes, there is a ton of different ways to play, each more difficult than the next.

Its a brand new game for us NGCD fanatics to enjoy, and I fully recommend picking up a copy if you can




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Neo Geo CD Gameplay Discussion / Re: 'Guilty Pleasures'
« on: May 22, 2009, 09:31:37 PM »
I also really enjoy Puzzled / Joy Joy Kid. Bought it for my gf, but definately enjoy it myself. I just wish you could make it full screen when its a 1 player game

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Last Blade last night.

The loading isnt half bad if you turn 'Demo Cut' on. Completely bearable


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Neo Geo CD Gameplay Discussion / Re: The Spine Card
« on: May 22, 2009, 09:29:00 PM »
I look for spine cards when I purchase japanese games. If it costs a few more bucks, I'll spend the money.

I like the spine cards. Just feels like the 'total package'.

But if I want a game and cannot find it w/ spine card, of course I'll buy the game.

Good thing is that most NGCD games I see have the spine cards. Alot more frequently than Saturn imports

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Last Hope - On stage 5, but stuck

Last Blade

the NGCD has been getting solid play lately, mostly cause I find myself unemployed! I get a game in between resumes and walking the dog

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No it arrived yesterday, been playing it. Awesome game, which I completely suck at. Even on easy playing the 'more than one hit, slower bullet, fast ship' mode, Ive only made it to stage 3

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They found the game and it arrived today. Some genius in NY decided VT AND UT look similar, so instead of sending it one state over to Vermont, they sent it to Utah. Finally made its way back across the u.s to get delivered today.

Phew

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So it looks like the USPS lost the shipment that contained Last Hope for NGCD.

So pissed. It arrived in NY April 28th, and its now May 5th. I live in VT. Called USPS and they told me to have the shipper file the insurance claim, since it cant be THAT delayed.

So I still hold out some hope they will find it...otherwise, thats one less copy of Last Hope out in the wild, and I wont own a copy!

Son of a ****! haha

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Last I knew YOU were the last source that stocked anything relevant for NGCD.

I got my console from Play-Asia, but they dont seem to care much about Neo-Geo in general compared to all their other 'Classic' game categories.

Ever thinking about talking to the guys over at Risingstuff.com ? I know they are their own business, but having ordered from them before, they have the second biggest NGCD selection compared to your site.

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Game of the Month. List it, give some background info, and we can all play, compare high scores, and discuss the pros/cons about it.

A week is a bit slow, especially considering that we would run out of NGCD games quickly at that pace

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darn customs is holding up my Last Hope. It got to NYC on the 28th, now its the 2nd, still no game! Customs is Rooster blocking my NGCD play session this weekend

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Last Hope still not here yet...hoping tomorrow (fingers crossed)

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Neogeocd.net Information / Board announcements / Re: Review requests!
« on: April 29, 2009, 09:45:11 PM »
I'll do both.

I can do Pulstar tomorrow, and I have Last Hope being shipped from the UK. Hopefully by the end of the week I will have the disk

But id be into writing those reviews.

I want someone to review some KOF games. I have a ton of them, but I am not good at describing the in depth aspects of fighting systems.

I like really deep reviews for fighting games, so thats an interest

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I hate Last Hope coming from England this week, hopefully tomorrow, so that is gonna be my next play.

Some Last Resort last night

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Played a few rounds of KOF 96 yesterday, and some Pulstar today.

I suck at Pulstar, just throwing it out there haha

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Neo Geo CD Gameplay Discussion / Re: Neo CD Pad or New Style Stick
« on: April 20, 2009, 11:00:50 AM »
For fighters its 100% original stick for me. Strangely enough I actually unscrew the ball and use the joystick as just a small rod, as it seems to be more comfortable that way. (can this get any more sexual sounding? haha

For shooters and games such as Puzzle Bobble / Puzzled , I always use the cd pad, as it just seems better suited to those games.

So I use a combo of both really

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Neogeocd.net Site Suggestions / Re: Screenshot suggestion!!!
« on: April 20, 2009, 10:58:39 AM »
I agree. I have a pretty extensive collection across 9 diff. platforms, and I may purchase NEW (shrinkwrapped) games...

but as soon as I receive those games, I open the up, play the hell out of them, and enjoy them as much as possible. Just today I received a new copy of Zool 2 for the Jaguar. I already played it for about an hour. Opened it, played, back in case, on the shelf.

Will I sell them? Not unless there is a major financial crisis in my life...but I never just stash them away from the light of day.

But back on topic, I would totally be willing to do screenshots of the games I have

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Neogeocd.net Site Suggestions / NGCD Tech Support
« on: April 20, 2009, 10:55:58 AM »
I think we should have a tech support forum in this location, as opposed to the link to the alternative forum (that covers all systems) on the site right now.

Much like Neo-Geo.com , I would love to talk about the hardware, fixing it, and mapping out the internals so there is a concrete place to go and get info on the NGCD itself.

Some high res pics, videos, ect

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As a part time web designer (not coder, but visual guy) I have some slight issues w/ the page design.

To start, I feel that if the page was widened a bit, you could use a slightly bigger font without forcing the page to scroll too much lower. its right on the 'readability' edge size wise.

A few more screenshots, and perhaps some video, would really spruce the page up. All the words in the world cant equal one great Neo Geo screenshot.

I would totally be willing to do some videos of NGCD games I have for reviews. Since I am a filmmaker (www.anthonywbacon.com) I can get really pristine images and compression.

Also willing to do vids for games I dont have if you want to mail em a few freebies Voodoo!  ;D


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I would definately shop at the store again, but if you are going to slim down the shipping days, I def. think you should put that info up all over the place, so nobody feels screwed if the game takes a bit to arrive.

Some people are very impatient. Its like an ebay auction, when they say it ships in 48 hours, and it actually ships five days later. I dont mind if I have to wait for a game, but I always hate when I am promised a certain timeframe, and that timeframe isnt honored.


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Really strange it said Bust A Move for you.

I have a Japanese console and a Japanese game disc, and its always Puzzle Bobble.

Anyway...Puzzle Bobble is hands down my #1 NGCD game. I just submitted a nice review for the site itself. Hope people enjoy it


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no box for 3do or dreamcast unfortunately.

What games are good for the 3do? eh....none!? lol...it all depends on your definition of good.

It does have the best version of Road Rash though, plus its where Need for Speed got its start.

Its like hiding a few diamonds in a pile of horse crap. Sure you can find them, but alot of searching through crap is needed

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