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Topics - awbacon

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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.

- 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

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

3 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 , 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

I had some downtime today since I am in between projects, so I thought I might catalog some of the items I have in my collection and post them for others to see. Its not complete, as my AES system w/ KOF 2002 is on its way, along w/ Puzzle Bobble / KOF 96 Collection / Puzzled / and KOF 96 (game disc) for the NGCD.

It is surely not a large collection, as I have only started in the last six months or so on the vintage side of things. Ive had the Wii / Xbox 360 for awhile, but the PS3 is a funny story.

I gave it to myself as a 'gift' to quit smoking. Well in reality I was in Wal Mart, really wanted a F***ING pack of cigarettes, and instead ended up buying the PS3 w/ LittleBigPlanet because as I said to myself "god darn walking out of this store with something I want!"

Happy to say I have been a non-smoker for four months, after being almost a 2 pack a day Camel Non-Filter Man!

Controller wise, I try to keep it neat and completely OEM. I hate after market controllers, always have, so everything is 100% OEM. The two NGCD pads were basically 'new w/o box' when I received them, and are in excellent working order

My favorite item in the whole collection is Killing Time for 3DO. My father was kind (and gullible) enough to buy me a 3DO during its launch, much to the ire of my mother. We were definately NOT wealthy, and she knew he wanted to play the system as much as I did.

It was pretty hard to find to find the whole game w/ all the original pack-in content, including the Map of the Matinicus Island and the warranty card as well. The box is in good condition, and while I'd love Mint, I have never found one.

This was the game that made me get into gaming, so It gets its own photo. Here is a link to it in action on Youtube, which is sadly enough crap quality. Some day I will do my own video, since I am a filmmaker and all

and the soundtrack is still hands down my favorite in any game

My NGCD collection, which I just started about 10 days ago, is my new 'play it all the time' system. I ended up being able to pick it up in its original box w/ manuals. cost a bit more and generally it is money 'not used that smartly' but I figured since it was available, why the hell not.

So far, until the rest of the games show up, the only non-burnt (which I either destroy if I dont like, or purchase if I do) is KOF 99 , which I got off

So thats about it. Next is a Jaguar w/ AVP and Bubsy :Fractured Furry Tales (not a great game, but I loved Bubsy growing up on the Genesis) and from there possibly a TurboDuo (although Im not sold on actually wanting it).

And I have access to a Centipede cabinet w/ original hardware and game enclosed for free, except the gf is balking at an arcade cabinet in the house. My uncle bought one for his sons years ago, and its now just chilling in his garage @ home. Someday...

thats about it. I know its not the largest collection, and its mostly comprised of current gen games, but for me its a start, expecially since its really only a few months in.

But if anyone has a nice quality Jaguar they want to part with, give me a ring!

hope someone found this entertaining

Neo Geo CD Items for Sale by Game Addiction / WTB - Neo Geo AES
« on: January 28, 2009, 10:12:19 AM »
I know this is a NGCD forum, but I am looking to see if you cant track me down a reliable AES system, so I can play KOF 2000 and on.

Just need the system, power adapters and av cables. Controllers arent a must, since I already own both the cd pads and Joysticks.

Bluevoodoo...if you know where one is, its reasonably priced, and above all else is in 100% working order, and hopefully cosmetically pretty darn nice, id love to pick one up!

Not looking for anything modded either unless its what you come across

But do let me know, cause other than importing from Play-Asia, I have nothing! (except ebay, and I have ebay more than anything)

Neo Geo AES / Looking for an AES system
« on: January 27, 2009, 12:11:35 PM »
I am looking to purchase an AES system, either Core or w/ games. I know I can find it @ Play-Asia, but Id perfer not to pay the premium on shipping that I just did for my Neo Geo CD system.

As long as the hardware is in full working order (and cosmetically I would like as flawless as I can get, but I am flexible) and has the power adapter, I am interested. Basically...if you have a working system w/ hookups, email me @ and we can talk

Serious buyer. If the price is right and the equipment is good, I am always interested!

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