Best virtual worlds in games?

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Por RetroTechie

Paragon (1482)

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23-07-2018, 00:15

Imho MSX library is a little thin on games in the maze / exploration / adventure genre. Read: where wandering around is a prime (if not the) feature of playing the game.

For comparison: I remember from my ZX Spectrum days games like Roller Coaster where you'd explore a theme park (with many elevators, ferris wheel, carts etc), Knight Lore, Scuba Dive, Terminus, Avenger, and many more where you'd have vast worlds to explore, items to collect, and enemies to slash. The Sokoban style maze-puzzler Thunderbirds (not the Grandslam one!). Or the mazes in Maziacs that would be auto-generated & therefore different each run. Yeah I know some of those titles have MSX version... Tongue

What do you consider the best virtual game worlds that exist for the MSX, and why? "Best" as in: largest, most interesting, most beautiful, most fun to explore, most unique theme / layout / behaviour / items in it, etc? For all I care you can include other games like shoot-em-ups where you think the map / graphics design warrants a special mention.

Any ideas to take the "MSX state of art" in this area a step further?

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Por wyrdwad

Paladin (729)

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23-07-2018, 00:41

Do more Metroidvania-esque games like Maze of Galious count? Because if so, Maze of Galious is definitely a prime example, and something like Golvellius would probably count too (there are the "stages" in that game, but 90% of your time is spent exploring the overworld, and the overworld is massive!).

In terms of more obscure games, the first two that come to mind are A Life M36 Planet, and Borfes and the Five Devils. The former is kind of like a sci-fi take on Maze of Galious, but with more of a story, and its world is very well-realized and laid out in a very unique way that makes it really fun to explore and endlessly atmospheric. And the latter is a Golvellius/Zelda-like game, but with an absolutely MASSIVE world to explore that just... honestly seems like it never ends. It's the most open-world of open-world games I've played on the whole system so far, I think.

Casio's Youkai Yashiki (Ghost House) is pretty good for this too, though the world isn't particularly HUGE in that one.

Technically, I think the Metal Gear games would both count, since your primary goal in both of them is to infiltrate a base -- and "infiltrate" is just a fancy word for "wander/explore, but be secret about it." Wink

Inca seems like it would count for sure -- that's a lesser-known but pretty OK tape game.

Another good tape game that would count is Livingstone Supongo.

And another is Time Trax, which is definitely the best of the three I've named here.

Jackie Chan's Project A2 is a pretty great example of an adventure game where wandering around is a primary goal, since you're trying to explore various buildings and find missing people in their various rooms.

Midnight Brothers isn't a great game IMHO, but would also count.

Then there's Iligks Episode IV, Sofia (great underrated game!), and a whole slew of homebrew games like Slender, Teodoro No Sabe Volar, La Corona Encantada, Children of the Night, Caos Begins, Sword of IANNA...

...Really, I think the MSX has a lot of games that fall into this category, though the parameters of the category are a little tough to nail down, since I'm not sure how many of the games I've just named actually count for what you're suggesting.

-Tom

Por wyrdwad

Paladin (729)

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23-07-2018, 05:30

Oh, yeah, how did I forget Dragon Slayer, Xanadu, Romancia, and Dragon Slayer IV? Falcom's Dragon Slayer series was ALL wander/explore-style games until Sorcerian, and even Sorcerian kinda counts (though that's more mission-based).

-Tom

Por jepmsx

Rookie (27)

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23-07-2018, 10:04

I love Maze of Galios. It has a lot of exploration. For me it is the previous game of Castlevania.

I also agree with livingstone supongo, I have never finished it.

Another game with a lot of exploration and puzzles that I did not finish is Head over heels. Another isometric game following the same philosophy is Batman.

Por wolf_

Ambassador_ (9733)

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23-07-2018, 10:06

When it came to exploring and map making, I always liked Randar III.

In general, the larger the map: the more interesting it should be, visually. And that's where MSX kind of hits the wall. You really don't want to walk through screen after screen looking exactly the same. But to add interesting graphics will cost you precious memory.

Also, extremely large maps may not work with sudden pop-up enemies like in Dragon Slayer TLoH, it would really take way too long to get to places if you are required to fight a stupid blob every few yards. Xak/SD-Snatcher at least have visible enemies and in Randar III they're visible as well (though in the shape of ghosts). That's better for larger maps, although the Xak method would be better compared to a turn based fighting mode (very time consuming).

Por wyrdwad

Paladin (729)

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23-07-2018, 10:12

There are certainly MSX games that managed to have huge maps with lots of graphical diversity, which brings up an RPG that might qualify for this list: Pumpkin Adventure 3! That game's world is pretty enormous, but also incredibly varied and detailed. And it really impressed me how well it managed to retain its sense of place throughout -- you always knew roughly where you were in relation to everything else, because the maps all fit together really well.

I don't think RPGs are quite what the TC had in mind with this topic, but if any RPG I've played on the MSX counts, it has to be Pumpkin Adventure 3.

...Though honestly, Rune Worth is pretty good in that sense as well. It, too, has a really distinct sense of place to it, with each town and each dungeon having a very distinctive feel that really makes it clear where in the world you are.

Also, good call on Batman and Head Over Heels! The other classic isometric platformers would all quality as well, too, I think: Knight Lore, Alien 8, etc. (Though I could never get into them as much as Batman and Head Over Heels due to how NOISY they are! I wish every enemy and action in the game didn't make annoying high-pitched beeping sounds!)

-Tom

Por Feiraco

Expert (105)

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24-07-2018, 12:08

wolf_ wrote:

When it came to exploring and map making, I always liked Randar III.

Also, extremely large maps may not work with sudden pop-up enemies like in Dragon Slayer TLoH, it would really take way too long to get to places if you are required to fight a stupid blob every few yards. Xak/SD-Snatcher at least have visible enemies and in Randar III they're visible as well (though in the shape of ghosts). That's better for larger maps, although the Xak method would be better compared to a turn based fighting mode (very time consuming).

Dragon Slayer VI - The Legend of Heroes also has a certain item with which you can show the enemies :-)
I think this game is a prime example of wandering around and trying to figure out freely about what to do next.

Por Manuel

Ascended (15206)

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24-07-2018, 13:12

I think Pumpkin Adventure II and all following Umax RPGs were directly inspired by Dragon Slayer VI.

Por Kai Magazine

Paragon (1241)

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24-07-2018, 13:28

Other games where the premise is to explore big maps and pick up items:

-Terramex
-Tales of popolon
-Deadwish 3
-Life on Mars
-Malaya's treasure (Malaya no hihou) but I am not sure if this one applies

Por wyrdwad

Paladin (729)

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24-07-2018, 17:12

I almost mentioned Malaya no Hihou! That game is really underrated. The only reason it might not apply is because it's split into stages, but each stage is SO HUGE. You really spend a lot of time exploring them, and it's incredibly engaging!

Good call on Life On Mars, too. I wonder how you know about that game, though? Heheh! (Life On Earth is looking really nice, BTW!)

-Tom

Por Kai Magazine

Paragon (1241)

Imagen del Kai Magazine

24-07-2018, 17:27

I belive malaya no Hirou is underrated only because it is necessary to understand japanese, but I played it on my youth when I was able to finish any game in japanese (burai, dragon slayer 6, sd snatcher, golvellius, hundreds of orhers) without understanding it, and for me it was love at first sight.

Life on Mars? I am not sure, I might have seen some video on youtube Wink

Life on Earth is totally different, while L.O.M. is a metroidvania, L.O.E. is a "Shinobi" arcade game.

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