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Just played Sapphire for the first time...

 
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MegatronUK
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Joined: 09 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 4:52 pm    Post subject: Just played Sapphire for the first time... Reply with quote

WOW....

Now that is one awesome game for the tiny little PCE!

There are bits and pieces in there that remind me of more modern shooters like Gunbird or Battle Bakkraid.

I love the scaling and full screen video/bitmap background effects (the fire, for instance)... the sound ROCKS (although I've had the mp3's of the music for a few years now). The pre-rendered polygons and sprites (a la Blazing Star on the NeoGeo) look fab.

It's a shame that this didn't come out earlier in the ACD release cycle, we may have had more fantastic games as a result.
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tg_drifter
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fantastic shooter! Just imagine what could have been accomplished on SuperGrafx which has twice the sprite power of the PC-Engine...

Here's the review I posted on www.gamers.com :

User Review Submit Your Own Review

tg_drifter (3/29/04)
Rating:9

Pros: Extraordinary graphics not seen before on the system. Intense gameplay.
Cons: Can't think of something bad about this game. It's a winner!

Awesome!
This is definitely one of the most graphically-intense games on the system. The Turbografx/PC-Engine always had a plethora of great shooters - if you loved shooting games, this was the system to get.
The game features graphics that the system was not designed for when it came out back in 1987 (the Arcade Card that the game requires is nothing more than 2MB of RAM, the game still uses the same processors as every other PC-Engine/Turbografx game)- Scaling, rotation ,light sourced texture-mapped polygons and silky smooth real-time morphing during gameplay (..The first console I ever saw doing morphing was the Atari Jaguar and back then I wouldn't dare to even think that it could be done on the 8-bit DUO as well)!! And all this is accomplished with gazillions of enemies on the screen and huge bosses attacking in complex patterns!
There is some minor flicker at times when there's too much going on but it's no real problem - the SNES and Genesis systems would overheat and explode with all this intensity...
Great sounds and music also help keep your adrenaline level high. The soundtrack is reminiscent of Lords Of Thunder but is not as consistent - The music of Lords Of Thunder was pure heavy metal from start to finish influenced by bands like Iron Maiden and Omen while in Sapphire, due to the fact that each level is placed at a different time and place, the musical style varies.. so in addition to metal, the player is also treated to ala-Satrianni hard-rock tunes etc.
..But this game is not just about graphics and sounds. When it comes to games, what matters most is the gameplay, and Hudson (once again!) did a mighty fine job in this area as well. Adjustable difficulty level, tons of interesting enemies to shoot, enough continues to allow novice gamers to enjoy all the graphics in the game, and fast gameplay with no slowdown. In addition to this, two players can play at the same time!
A great title that looks like it's actually running on a 32-bit system. I just wish the PC-Engine had lasted just a little bit longer for a couple more shooters on it with intense graphics like these... Unfortunately, very few copies of this game were made (I believe 5000) so the price tag nowadays is usually very high, but if you can afford it, buy it! It's worth every penny!

P.S. One more thing: You've probably read some reviews on the internet saying that this game is easy... I GUARANTEE that it's NOT. In fact, the Hard setting in this game is MUCH more difficult than the hardest settings in Gate/Lords Of Thunder. The only thing making this game easy to complete are the continues. I'm sure that if there were no credits to continue the game, some casual gamers would complain about the difficulty even in the Easy setting...
BTW, the point in this game is to not necessarily complete it, but to reach high scores, just like the good old days... continuing resets the score counter. Let's see those scores rolling!!

Greatest Gaming Moment:
The bosses are VERY impressive.

Time Played:
10-20 hours

tg_drifter Recommends Sapphire to:
Genre Specialist
Multiplayer Gamer
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Black_Tiger
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Joined: 25 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:42 am    Post subject: Re: Just played Sapphire for the first time... Reply with quote

MegatronUK wrote:
WOW....

Now that is one awesome game for the tiny little PCE!

There are bits and pieces in there that remind me of more modern shooters like Gunbird or Battle Bakkraid.

I love the scaling and full screen video/bitmap background effects (the fire, for instance)... the sound ROCKS (although I've had the mp3's of the music for a few years now). The pre-rendered polygons and sprites (a la Blazing Star on the NeoGeo) look fab.

It's a shame that this didn't come out earlier in the ACD release cycle, we may have had more fantastic games as a result.


It's also a shame that neither the Arcade Card itself came out sooner or the system had another year or 3 of life.

Looking at the difference between the first generation of Super CDs and some the pinnacle titles later on, imagine the kinds of Arcade CarD games we could've seen if it had been given a chance.

I'm still holding out for 'fan developed'(Implode/Meteor Blaster DX) Arcade Card games that really push the system even further in the years to come.
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tg_drifter
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. If it had come out a year earlier then we would have seen more incredible games on the PCE. It's too bad the arcade card was released when next-gen systems were already in the market.
Because of this, it didn't get the attention it deserved from developers and most games supporting the extra memory (especially the hybrid SCD/ACD games) hardly take any advantage of it.
I too am hoping that some homebrew games will come out making good use of the arcade card.
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Black_Tiger
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tg_drifter wrote:
I agree. If it had come out a year earlier then we would have seen more incredible games on the PCE. It's too bad the arcade card was released when next-gen systems were already in the market.
Because of this, it didn't get the attention it deserved from developers and most games supporting the extra memory (especially the hybrid SCD/ACD games) hardly take any advantage of it.
I too am hoping that some homebrew games will come out making good use of the arcade card.


The best example is the jump between Fatal Fury and Fatal Fury SPECIAL.

At the very least, we would've gotten more quality titles that put the ram to good use, but with more and more reasonable load times.
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tg_drifter
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, Fatal Fury Special not only had faster loading times than Fatal Fury II, but the graphics and AI were also improved. Just goes to show how much optimization can be achieved within (not even) a year.
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