Saturday, December 31, 2011

GM:HTML5 Test game

Very very simple game I threw together in GM:HTML5
Christmas was good this year, suffice to say. ;) I was initially having problems with Yoyo's pretty new toy; but it turned out to be no more than a subtle difference in how the two formats handle scripts.

- Sound is screwy. It might not work at all depending on your system/browser.
- 2X version may be significantly slower depending on your system
- use Chrome for the best results!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blast Works MegaFile re-upload

A kind Youtuber informed me the old link had died, so here's another one.
This file includes the movement editor, some of my finished levels and other miscellaneous stuff that may or may not be useful to you.

Transfering the MegaFile to your Wii:

First off, if you already have a Blast Works save file and you want to keep anything therein, BACK IT UP FIRST. Copy your save onto an SD card from your Wii, access it via your PC, then find data.bin in the directory "/private/wii/RBRE/" and set it aside somewhere outside of the Wii-specific directory structure, being sure to properly identify it should you want or need to access it again.

- If you don't already have Wii data on your SD card, unzip the entire menu tree to it's root directory. Otherwise, simply copy the game-specific folder RBRE into the Title folder.
- It should now be visible as save data on your Wii, copy it to your system from there and you're good to go!

And don't forget....BLAST WORKS FOREVER! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FLYING V - New demo!


- 4th level
- new music by Raigon
- bonus stages
- Arcade Extra mode
- unique weapon for each ship (Dual)
... lots and lots of minor tweaks

What still needs work:

- some sound fx aren't final
- difficulty settings may require balancing (ok..probably a lot)
- Level 4 still needs some graphical touches
- Bonus stages are functional but aren't quite 'there'

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Just felt like talking about World Heroes

I recently acquired a copy of World Heroes Perfect for my Saturn, so naturally I was up for sharing my thoughts on the game and the series in general. Kindly forgive my nostalgia. :)

World Heroes
was one of those games that unfortunately came along in a time where any fighting game that wasn't Street Fighter 2 or Mortal Kombat was automatically considered a "rip-off" of one of those, written off and only spoken of in derision afterwards. Why this is still case 20 years on, I don't know. Either folks just love SF2 THAT much or they are simply content in basing their judgment on a singular impression made long before, gleefully ignoring any biases that may have influenced it the time.

I just think it's a shame, because many of the 'B-list' fighters of the time (including Fighter's History) had very solid and fun sequels... and they went virtually ignored because of this stigma. Even Fatal Fury, now revered as part of SNK's great fighting game lineage, wasn't immune to this and was called an outright rip-off along with the rest!

Nevertheless, despite having a soft spot for the series. I have to admit the first one was pretty mediocre, even the art on the magazine ad for it looked pretty crap. Still, even from the watered down SNES port we rented one weekend (I never got to play the original in the arcades), I could see it had some worthwhile things to offer.
1. Flashy specials.
I think it says a lot that even on a system like the NEO GEO, which was known for it's eye-catching, colorful visuals, World Heroes stands out with some cool, imaginative effects for it's character's special attacks. Between Dragon's awesome fiery flying kick, Rasputin's giant hands and Hanzo and Fuuma's twirling dragons, it frankly made the competition look... boring. Personally, I don't think even SNK's own measured up until around the time Fatal Fury transitioned into Real Bout.

2. Off-the-wall characters.

Yes, it was argued that Brocken was essentially Dhalsim in M. Bison's clothes (or in hindsight, Dhalsim repackaged as a certain Kinnikuman character) but he was still pretty damn cool. There was just some undeniable appeal to playing as what was basically the fighting game equivalent of Inspector Gadget, who was complete with a hidden arsenal of guns and other devious machinery.

Fitting in with it's gimmick of using ersatz historical figures (Janne, J. Carn) and pop culture "heroes" of modern times (Muscle Power, Dragon), we also have Rasputin. Not only is he a tremendously unique character for a fighting game, he also reveals just how lighthearted and silly the game's general mood and take on history are. World Heroes just does not take itself seriously at all, and that's a quality I can admire in any video game.

Other than those and a few other positives, it played well enough; but it simply wasn't great. Once I happened upon the sequel in the arcades, though, I changed my mind about the serie
s pretty quickly. The game was faster, more fluid, and newcomers such as Jack and Captain Kidd were just too cool to ignore. Put it this way, before the sequel, I was just as content to ignore the 'Heroes as everyone else was; but that memory of playing WH2 easily ranks as highly for me as my first time playing Samurai Shodown or Mortal Kombat 2, games few will deny as being classics now.

I didn't get to play further incarnations of WH2 (Jet and Perfect) until arcade emulation had become widespread; but it made me happy to know that the series had lived on at least a little longer and I was hungry to seek out any console versions I could find. It turns out WH2 was just as excellent on the SNES - making up for any audiovisual inequalities by configurable controls and nifty speed options, Jet made a darn fine portable fighter for the Game Boy, and I probably would've been content with simply owning the World Heroes Anthology put out a few years back if my PS2 hadn't died shortly after. My Sega Saturn still works as well as it did the day I brought it home from a local thrift store, however, so I didn't hesitate when the opportunity came to own Perfect for it.

To be honest, it's not my favorite in the series. Sure, it has all the wacky finishers (Rasputin's Love Garden is LEGENDARY) and somewhat more smoothed and fleshed-out gameplay; but I still prefer Jet...if only slightly. Playing this version just made me remember some of the specifics why.

(Some of these may or may not be specific to this version..)

Certain moves are inexplicably difficult to execute when they could be easily performed before. Dragon's flying kick, for instance. This effectively neuters one of his most useful and combo friendly moves.

- CPU is very aggressive and downright cheap, even on the lower settings. They happily knock you out of moves every chance they get while you're struggling to figure out why they aren't working. I understand these may have been directly transported from the NEO version - the words "MVS difficulty" strike fear far and wide; but I still wouldn't recommend anything above Normal unless you consider yourself an expert.

- No configurable speed.

- No classic character-specific backgrounds (although the new ones are certainly pretty.)

There aren't many extras to speak of in this version either, other than a mode that gives gameplay tips and background info on the characters (I's all in Japanese); but practice modes and the like weren't exactly common in console fighting games back then, so it's forgivable. It does have a nice re-arranged soundtrack, though, always a big plus.

In conclusion, while I'd like to recommend a Virtual Console version of WHP or WH2J over this, they aren't available (not in the US at least.) Having another great fighting game for your Saturn is always cool; but I'd say get the Anthology
if you have a working PS2 instead, and while you're at it, grab Fighter's History Dynamite/Karnov's Revenge for the VC. Celebrate the unsung fighters of times past!

Let us never forget the immortal words of Muscle Power:


FV update

New videos courtesy of SSK. :)

This is the new mode (it's called "Arcade Extra" on the menu now), where enemy bullets change to medals if you clear the entire formation/wave - some of which only consist of a single enemy. There are some more differences from the standard game, too, such as a simple rank system that replaces the difficulty settings (the ones in the options menu do not apply in AE mode.) Basically, reaching a target number of completed waves - ie. 25/50/75 - will cause a subtle spike in difficulty; but being as the medal values increase alongside this, you'll ultimately have to tough it out with faster bullets and more aggressive enemies if you want the best score.

Speaking of score, AE mode has a much, much higher scoring potential than the other modes, I've made it just under 80 million on recent test runs. This also means the extend requirements are similarly higher - by at least 3x.

Also new (for all modes) is that the Dual weapon is now different for every ship. Hurray for variety!

Fire Eagle - Wide back/forwards spread, similar to the kind seen in Star Soldier games.
Gold Hawk - Focused, narrowing forward shot for concentrating all firepower on a single target.
Jade - Targeting shot similar to the Talon; but focuses on a single target.
Sapphire - Bits independently target enemies, same as the old default one.

Also also new is a bonus for destroying an enemy before they can fire. Right now you get 15x that enemy's value; but that may change.

ALSO ALSO ALSO... I just went back and added tags to all my previous posts here (not there was really that many), so it's easier to pinpoint info on specific games, videos, demo links and whatnot now. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Flying V lives!

I've been working on good old 'V again. Here's some of it's lovely new features!

- Horizontal panning added
- Player/enemy bullets sprites redrawn pixel by pixel
- Difficulty settings have been re-enabled, including fake 'bullet hell' ones, like in XYX
- Death's Head LUNA (level 2 boss) has a second attack phase and her wings are now destructible.
- MEGA MEDAL mode (difficulty 7), where stray enemy bullets turn into medals and the scoring potential goes through the roof!
- Old music tracks are being scrapped. Many thanks go to those who helped me with them, of course; but I'm aiming for greater consistency and refinement overall. Raigon mentioned possibly working on some music for this; but I won't hold him to it.

I've asked SSK to help me with a video for the new version, too, so keep an eye out. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Boss Attack

Regardless of the fact I only have 5/6 bosses so far (and some of those aren't even finished); Boss Attack mode is now in the game. I wasn't initially planning to have it 2P/Dual enabled; but I thought it would be strange to leave that out, especially as fun as playing with both ships is in the main mode. I've also rearranged the layout of the title menu somewhat, too, allowing the player mode (1P/2P/Dual) to be selected separately from the game mode itself. This should make adding additional modes easier as well.

As of now:
- Boss Attack is unlocked along with the Gallery and first secret ship by beating the game once.
- like the Enemy Test mode, checkpoints are temporarily disabled independent of them being active in the main game. No continues are given, either.
- Boss Attack has it's own separate hiscore table and end-stage tally
-- you are rewarded for less time taken (in place of wave clear bonuses)
-- perfect clearing the mode (1 life) gives you a HUGE multi-million bonus
-- remaining lives give you far more points than before, although bonuses are scaled the same way, with the amount you get per life depending on how many lives you start with.
-- hiscore table awards/medals are given for subsequently clearing bosses without dying, these are not reset when you die.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Map Builder, Medals, New Video

I've just made a rudimentary 'fake' scrolling tile system for XYX as well as a handy little map builder that lets me arrange them and export the arrays to a text file. Fake as in not using any of GM's predefined tile functions.

This just shows some plain colored tiles; but I'll substitute these as soon as I have some real ones made.

It remains to be seen, though, how efficient it will be to work with within the current system I have or even how well it'll run on my legacy PC. It might have to wait for another game... or a sequel.

I also introduced some post-game 'medals' on the suggestion of a friend over at Shmups.

New default Hiscore table, showing perfect clear medals counting down from 4.

Right now, they're only given for subsequent perfect clears and, unlike the character/ship unlocks, you lose them if you continue, so keeping them is an achievement in itself.

New video courtesy of SSK, showing off some new stuff on level 4:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thoughts on EDF : Insect Armageddon

Not much to report on my own games, although I have made some recent posts about it here. Expect a new video soon, though. :)

I just thought I'd chime in on the new EDF game. I was a HUGE fan of the original, although I didn't find out about the hype for it until I had already played it for awhile. Basically, I had seen X-Play preview it months before and thought it looked flat-out awesome. Even in a short video blurb, the grand scale of the game came across beautifully and even back then, it really stood out among plenty of same-ish action titles on the '360. Even with fairly high expectations of a game I admittedly didn't know much about, I was very pleasantly surprised when I finally got to play it.

There's just nothing quite like the joy of sending a giant spider into orbit with a point-blank shotgun blast and then juggling it's rigid, Styrofoam like corpse with repeated rocket blasts. NOTHING!

To say I played it a lot would be quite an understatement,too. I used to cart my Xbox over to my friend's apartment nearly every weekend and, with the help of his cousin and anyone else who happened to be there, we'd blast oversized alien bugs and robots til our fingers and eyes ached. We almost completed Inferno....almost! Later, I snatched up an import copy of The Earth Defense Force 2 for the Playstation 2 and played it as long as my poor, dying Sony console decided to work. Sadly, this was not very long.

Anyways, about the sequel.

I, as I'm sure many others were also, was very concerned the series changing hands to a western developer would be detrimental to the unique charm and fun that makes EDF what it is. I was worried that maybe they didn't really get what made 2017 and past incarnations so wonderful. I can confidently say now that I was very, very wrong to make this assumption.

Back is the tremendous sense of scale, with entire cities to level, back is a staggeringly large collection of absurd and overly powerful weaponry, back are furious, intense battles that are as long and hard as any seasoned action gamer can stand, and back is a rag tag team of fellow EDF troopers to act as bug fodder and spout some superbly silly dialog with enthusiasm. Also back are many subtle touches that further confirm that the developers really did "get it." I admit it doesn't make logical sense for a mutant insect the size of a Greyhound bus to suddenly act like it's made of hollow balsa wood once it dies; but somehow this manages to be tremendously entertaining.

If there's one important thing missing from this one, it's that bizarre and bizarrely sincere sense of b-movie authenticity EDF 2017 had. It just had some weird, wonderful and rare quality to it where all of it's obvious shortcomings made it seem that much more honest. To complement all the silly violence happening on screen, it was packed with so much funny dialog and terrible voice acting that it was nearly impossible not to laugh as you blasted wave after wave of bugs back from whence they came. It was, however, funny in a way that made it all seem unintentional, leaving you to wonder whether the translators, writers and voice actors were all in on the joke. You just honestly didn't know if they had done a crummy job on purpose.

In direct comparison, Insect Armageddon's humor has a much more knowing, tongue in cheek and clearly intentional flavor. It's simply much easier to detect that they're trying to be funny. I'll grant that the loss of an undoubtedly important x-factor in 2017's mystifying equation of supreme gaming joy is a blow; but I think the game is still funny enough that it ultimately doesn't matter all that much. I don't think you can fault them for falling short in conjuring the same writing and recording studio magic that D3/Sandlot's localization pulled off the first time, either.

Speaking of a loss of b-movie authenticity and flavor, the only other thing I can honestly fault Insect Armageddon on is the homogeneity of it's enemy and character designs. We know the evil space aliens that the EDF battles use giant insects to assault the Earth; but is it necessary that their robot arsenal should also feature distinctly insectoid features as well? Past games utilized truly weird and alien-looking robotic designs very much in sync with the 50's and 60's monster movies the series is obviously paying homage to, and the same goes for the troopers themselves. It wasn't long ago that we were playing as heroes that could've come straight out of an Ultraman episode, brightly colored jumpsuits and cool jet pilot helmets included. I don't consider this a huge fault, everything does look sufficiently cool; but I'd be lying to say the characters and creatures more than adequately stand out from ever-present action game menagerie of masked space marines in overly bulky armor and mechanized, killer bug monsters.

With that all out of the way, I'll do a quick list of my pros and cons for the new stuff (keep in mind that I've barely touched Survival mode and I haven't even finished the campaign on Hard yet.):

- More character types, each having their own unique weapons and abilities, marking the very welcome return of EDF2's jetpack trooper.

- New leveling system that streamlines the ever annoying task of weapon and armor collection. Your score counts as experience towards higher levels, which grants you more health, improves class abilities and a new selection of guns to buy. Large enemies still drop unique guns, though.

- Bugs will now do cool little things like knock vehicles towards your troopers, I love that!

- You can now be revived as long as you have any surviving teammates.

- Teammates are now....*gasp*.. USEFUL. They will actually finish off larger enemies if you're preoccupied with something else and will come revive you as long as they are able!

- You now have a separate button for running faster, so you no longer have to rely on the dodge all the time and it's easier to make a quick getaway while you reload.

- A well timed second press of the reload button allows you to cut reloading time in half. Very handy!

- Spiders are less of an all-encompassing threat now.

- Buildings crumble in cooler looking/ more interesting ways. A bigger budget isn't so bad for a low-budget game after all, huh?

- Less obvious filler levels. The action is better distributed for the most part, with some intense battles appearing much earlier than in past games.

- Vehicles are MUCH improved. They control better and are much more sturdy and useful in general now.

- Jetpack trooper is fun; but starts out VERY weak. I don't recommend him for 1P play at all until you've gone up a few ranks.

- Jetpack trooper is no longer a hot anime chick in a miniskirt. :'(

- Ticks. Fuck them.

- Less levels overall. While most tend to be 2x to 3x the size 2017's stages (minus some truly epic ones), the game's main campaign still feels much shorter than it's predecessor's.

- Less variety all across the board : environments, enemies, vehicles. Memorable monsters like the giant centipede from EDF2, the enormous mech walkers from 2017, the hilarious Godzilla doppelgangers that had been an EDF tradition until now, and good vehicles like the helicopter are very much missed.

- Some enemies take *way* too long to kill until you are at a high enough rank.

- (nitpicky) Completing a level on a lower difficulty automatically gives you access to it on higher ones, arguably giving you less incentive to tromp through the whole thing again. Completed levels are also not marked off/colored differently, also slightly frustrating the process of multiple playthroughs.

- (nitpicky) You can't perform a dodge while running.

- Anthills and spider mounds can only be destroyed by setting an explosive near them (simply hold Y or triangle.) This actually makes them somewhat easier to deal with, as you are now given more distinct 'openings' to destroy them. I like that they're less of a hassle to deal with; but I do miss being able to take them out from a long ways away.

In conclusion, I think this one is a no-brainer for die-hard EDF fans , although they may have some understandable disappointment with the shorter campaign and noticeably smaller creature variety. Regardless, I think Vicious Cycle has done an exceptional job with this game and come time for a sequel (pretty please?), I wouldn't mind having them in driver's seat again one bit. :)

People curious about the series and looking for an introduction to it might be more attracted to the high(er) budget look and sound of Insect Armageddon
; but I would easily recommend EDF2017 over it. There's just no denying it simply gives you more for your buck (quite a bit more than most games at any price) as well as a better a sense of what the series is all about.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Still alive...

Survived another monster tornado.... that's living in the south I guess. *shrug* Anyways, I'm still working on XYX; but here's a nice dummy shot of something I'm playing around with at the moment. :)

(Too much Rastan

So far, all it does is make the background scroll (which does not loop...yet) when you move left or right, and you can also swing the sword. Yay.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Flying V!

Well, not that there's really any new content, just a bit optimization and tweaking here and there. The main reason for this update is that I got it to go from running like complete pig shit to fairly smooth by..

A: Downsampling most of my sfx (which were almost all in 44k), I shaved off 2 megs or more from the .gmk just by doing this
B: NOT PRELOADING said sfx. Why oh why is that wretched box checked by default? I first tried this with XYX and the difference was NIGHT AND DAY. If my jaw could've dropped through the floor and knocked my downstairs neighbor unconscious, it would have!
C: The devastatingly awesome Cleanmem.DLL

Anyways, here it is. I doubt it'll make much difference if you have a decent PC, though.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Another one courtesy SSK:

Here you can see what little I have of level 5 so far and some new explosion fx I worked on this weekend.

Other new stuff:

-Got some awesome new FM-style music tracks for XYX from Raigon. I think they solidify the arcade feel flawlessly.
-XYX now uses score_under's DLLCrypt extension for saving scores, etc. I've noticed a slight speed drop using it on my netbook, though, so I'll probably leave it as an option.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Some new footage of ZPF courtesy of my buddy SSK:

The biggest news, though, is that XYX now supports 2 players! It took almost a solid day of GM'ing to hammer out the basic stuff (still working on the rest....slowly.) I doubt it will actually ever be played by two people at the same time; but it's fun to map the controls to the sticks on a USB gamepad and play dual style. :D

(I even put in a handy autofire function if you don't have a gamepad for your PC.)


Saturday, January 29, 2011


New video showing more of level 3 and the beginning of level 4. Thanks again to SSK for helping me with these.

... and here's a dragon enemy for level 5. The background here is only temporary; but the theme will most likely be of the classic hell/fire level variety. Chances are the boss might just be the friendly looking fella from the title screen. :D
I'm also getting art and page layouts ready for the game's manual... which I intend to have printed for a premium disc-based version of the game. More on that later.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


New demo up!

Level 1 : about 90% done
Level 2: about 90% done
Level 3: about 70% done

This version has 4 music tracks by Raigon.

To access the debug menu in the options screen, change the "?" value to 1 in the .ini file (after it's had a chance to make one and you've exited the game.) The debug display option shows the stage timeline in steps (1/60th a second) and other information pertinent to how/when each enemy will release the optimum amount of medals.

Thanks to s20-TBL and