Cosmic Cop / Gallop (cosmccop)

Shoot’em’up from Irem, which will later produce In the Hunt. And the resemblance is clear, from the design of your craft to the bosses.
The special mechanic there is the particle laser, that targets enemies automatically, but overheats, so you need to let it cool.

The game is brutal. One hit, and you’re done, the enemies can literally teleport on top of you, and the projectiles are fast and give you very little space to maneuver. I am not good in those kind of games, to be clear.

I found that the second boss is much easier than the first one. But then just getting to the 3rd boss was a struggle to me.



Ninja Masters (ninjamas)

I continue to discover new games on Neo Geo all the time. This one is from the authors of World Heroes series, but instead of being “inspired” by Street Fighter 2 / Fatal Fury series, it draws its inspiration from Samurai Shodown. The mechanic where you can knock the weapon out of your opponent hands is here, for example.

One interesting detail is some of the characters start with their weapon drawn, while others have it holstered. And you need a rather obscure combination of buttons to draw it.



“20 Criminally Overlooked Arcade Fighting Games From the 90s”

I didn’t like the video in particular, there are spelling mistakes in the captions and the facts are mostly from Wiki anyway. But I’m surprised that after almost 20 years, I still find fightings like Dragoon Might that I’ve never heard of, but look good.

Emulation History

King of Fighters Retrospective

A monumental work, hours of footage on evolution of King of Fighter series.
This series always was one of my less-favorite on Neo Geo, since I never liked the tag-battle 3×3 format.
But the retrospective is still brilliant. For one, little did I know that the storyline didn’t make much sense to me, because SNK were creating their own universe. So a lot of the critical plotlines were told only in manga, for example. Even if you finished the game and managed to get through terrible English translation, you still wouldn’t understand a thing, and this is the way it was intended.
Next surprise: KoF ’99 has a different style, because the lead designer worked on another postapocalyptic fighting game… Fallen Angels. Yes, the unfinished fighting game I wrote about some time ago. And a lot of new characters, including K’ (hate that name) are straight from Fallen Angels.
And KoF 2001 had the artist from Real Bout Fatal Fury. That’s why the character portraits are much more anime-like than in any other game in the series.



Daraku Tenshi

Another obscure fighting game. Uncharacteristically gritty: edgy characters, dimmed palette, even blood. Plays like SNK’s Art of Fighting: rather slow, almost no projectiles.

Rare case where prerendered backgrounds actually look good. The animations are outright impressive. There’s one particular stage, in a bar, where one of the tables is flying into the camera. That’s something Metal Slug pulled, but I don’t remember other games trying to do it.


Virtua Fighter

Surprisingly for a very well know game, it isn’t emulated well at all.
MAME has collision issues. And I mean real issues, like a lot of strikes passing through opponents. Saturn emulation is iffy as well.
The game is impressive to this day, though. It’s a game from ’93, and they modeled all fingers, animated hair and fabric, like Sarah’s ponytail or Akira’s headband.

Unfortunately all of the versions lack training mode. It’s pretty hard to practice moves while fending off the opponent.
My impression is that although animations are super impressive, the mechanics are somewhat lacking. I was able to beat most of the opponents by simply crouching, and many of them, except Akira, Jeffrey and maybe Sarah, had a hard time hitting me.



Something I think I knew, but forgot, and rediscovered only with Rival Schools. MAME is extremely sensitive to ROM quality.
Some ROMs will play on some versions of MAME and crash others, because someone didn’t put all the right files inside.
The correct albeit slightly more annoying way is to get an entire romset, look up the names of the games you want (they are usually 8 characters long and not very descriptive, so you’d better use an online DB) and keep only those.
Another peculiar bit is that MAME doesn’t differentiate between BIOS and ROMs. So you need to put your BIOS in the same directory. And of course you need a lot of BIOS, for different platforms.

Also, Retroarch by default doesn’t write logs. Which is a problem, since different games crash MAME for different reasons. Logs can be enabled in Retroarch settings, though.


Rival Schools Art

Rival Schools marketing team was focusing on what’s real important, it seems.


Rival Schools

Another rather obscure fighting game series, which I thought about due to one of the characters, Akira, appearing in Street Fighter 5.

And who doesn’t like bajiquan fighter? She’s not to be confused with a male bajiquan fighter Akira from Virtua Fighter series, though.

As far as the game goes, it resembles Street Fighter Ex a lot. Awkward 3D models, QCB/QCF moves, projectiles and all that.

There’s a tag-team element to the game. Once you pick your main character, you can pick one of two teammates from their school. Mate participates in tag attacks that act as powerful throws (get close, wait until opponent blocks). You can also switch between characters before round starts.

One bit that really impressed me was that they tried to emulate reflection in Akira’s motorcycle helmet. They got the reflection totally wrong, of course, but just the fact that they went to all that effort is impressive.

The second game in the series first released on PSX only in Japan, with a crazy name “Shiritsu Justice Gakuen – Nekketsu Seishun Nikki 2”.
That’s why when you look for “Rival Schools 2”, you only find the Dreamcast version. The Dreamcast version, though, is an entirely different game!
While “Rival Schools 2” for PSX was basically the same game with a new story and a few new characters, Rival Schools 2 for Dreamcast has new game engine, new models and even the movesets for characters are different.
Akira, for example, doesn’t have a second stance anymore.

Comparing to the arcade version, there’s no significant differences compared to PSX:
Rival Schools PSX
Rival Schools Arcade


Hibiki from Last Blade

Let me make a confession. I dislike ShoryuGame videos. I don’t like his accent and his sense of humor. But this video was an exception:

It was a surprise that the authors of Last Blade 2 included an alternative ending for a character. After all we’re talking about a 2D game on a space-limited cartridge. Drawing and storing stuff is expensive.
And what’s even more unexpected, that they kept that feature over all those years.


Tekken 3

The differences between Tekken 3 for Playstation 1 and for the arcades turned out to be quite astonishing. Even more than Virtua Figher 2, I must say. I didn’t notice that previously, even though I’ve seen Tekken 3 arcade cabinet live a few years ago.

If there’s one detail to note, it’s the fingers. In PSX version most characters have stubs for their hands.

But in the arcade version you can see fingers, which is very impressive, considering the age of the game.

It plays fine on MAME 2016. The difficulty isn’t overwhelming, like in some other arcade titles, and I even managed to beat the entire game with a few retries.
Funnily enough, the final boss, Ogre, went down quicker than pre-final boss Heihachi. And the second phase for Ogre was easier than the first. Maybe that’s just because I’m a natural with Hwoarang, though. It’s the only character in Tekken series I grasp pretty well.


About Buriki One

Obscure fighting for the Hyper Neo Geo 64 arcade:

The craziest part is that the author of the video actually bought the arcade and made his own fighting stick, it seems.


About Primal Rage 2

Today I discovered that there were plans for a sequel of Primal Rage fighting game. And apparently there’s even a playable version of it.

As some may remember, Primal Rage was basically Mortal Kombat with dinosaurs (and a couple of huge apes).
Interestingly here they switched to humans that sometimes turn into dinosaurs from the original game. They even switch names when that happens.
Can’t say it’s a shame that fighting never came out. But it’s a wonder someone managed to preserve as much.

Emulation XBOX

Project Gotham Racing and Forza Motorsport

I already wrote that I tried out Forza Motorsport on Xemu emulator a few days ago. Now, I decided to compare it with Project Gotham Racing, another predecessor of my much beloved Forza Horizon. And I was surprised how a more realistic Forza Motorsport plays better than “arcadish” Project Gotham Racing.

Now, to be clear, I suck at racing games. The only two racing games I ever finished, I think, are Need For Speed: The Run and Forza Horizon. And that’s only because both had rewinds.
But still, Forza Motorsport feels so much better thanks to its guidelines mechanic.

It also is emulated better at the moment. Project Gotham Racing has some issues with either depth of render or transparency, but on one of the tracks I’ve seen trees disappearing and appearing again. And also it seems there’s an issue with shadows from the cars, so cars seem to hover, never touching the track.

An issue both games share, and that’s because it’s the same engine, I would guess, is that during replays there are strange black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Guess it’s some transparency issues again.

Emulation XBOX

Xbox Emulation

Discovered that there’s an alternative to Cxbx Reloaded emulator for the original Xbox. It’s called Xemu. annoying part is that Cxbx wants XBE files, while Xemu only accepts ISO. So if I’d want to keep testing both, I’ll need to have two version of each game.
Dead or Alive 3 is fully playable, and I even managed to beat the entire story mode, as it’s relatively short and easy.

Kakuto Chojin is also playable, although there are some minor slowdowns, and when fighting Ying FPS drops to single-digit values.

Tao Feng – doesn’t load at all.
Forza Motorsport – fully playable, although I think that are some glitches during replay.

Emulation XBOX

Cxbx Reloaded

Decided to check on Cxbx Reloaded emulator development, and the progress is quite impressive.

Dead or Alive 3 is fully playable at 60fps and x2 resolution. And I’m honestly surprised how excited I am about this. The game hang on me after the 3rd fight, but still, it’s already far more than what I expected.

Kakuto Chojin runs at 9fps now. A couple of years ago it would hardly render at all.

Tao Feng – still no luck.


Breakers Revenge

Everyone knows I love finding obscure fighting games. Some of them has cool ideas. Breakers Revenge is not one of them.
This feels like a proper Super Street Fighter 2 clone. With a very predictable set of characters and set of moves.

There is a Blanka clone.

A Ryo-karateka (literally called Sho!).


A Bruce Lee.


And a Chun Lee, or a combination of Chun Lee and Cammy, to be honest.

And a Dhalsim, who’s now Egyptian. A couple of characters have weapons, but this doesn’t influence the gameplay, as far as I can tell.

The animation is not bad, though, which surprised me. Animation is the most expensive part of every fighting game.


The controls are also kinda okay. I mean, most of the moves are regular QCF/QCB, and I was able to execute them quite consistently.


Emulation Hardware

RetroTINK 5X

About a month ago got my hands on RetroTINK 5X. What can I say? It’s amazing.
Two main things I ended up missing in my RetroTINK 2X were better PlayStation 2 support and SCART port.
You see, I was planning to buy RetroTINK 2X mainly for Nintendo 64. Which ended up being a huge disappointment.
But PlayStation 2 library proved to be still fantastic. And once I decided to realize my childhood dream and buy a real Neo Geo, it was really a no-brainer.

One of the most interesting features of RetroTINK 5X are the CRT-emulating filters.
You can see some of those cool effects here:

Or here:

Emulation Nintendo

Ninja Warriors

Благодаря CRTPixels узнал о beat’em’up’е для SNES Ninja Warriors:


Для beat’em’up’ов я обычно слишком криворук, но этот зашел хорошо. Быть может потому, что он не изометрический, сложнее промахнуться. Или он просто очень щадящий. Там кажется даже бесконечные continue, причем иногда прямо перед боссом.
Для SNES тут феноменальные спрайты. И в плане размера, и в плане качества. Особенно впечатляют боссы. Мой фаворит – помесь пожарника и самурая.

Так же очень крутые задники. Он некоторых просто таки веет 90ыми. Особенно крутой эпизод с вертолетом, который пытается расстрелять героя на парковке небоскреба. Ну и там где танк выезжает не хуже.


О Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Shodown

Sega вот уже пятнадцать лет продает один и тот же Virtua Fighter 5. Очевидно, что все, кто был способен сделать файтинг такого же масштаба, ушли работать над Dead or Alive, и ожидать от Sega чего либо еще бессмысленно.
Но хоть что-то положительное в этом есть. Тут выпустили прекрасную подборку роликов по всем бойцам. Обязательно посмотрите: