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  • This is the MAME Random Of the Week #73

    The three random numbers for this week are: 1926 496 464

    Click here to vote! Which game do you choose for MAME ROW #73?

    The result of the poll is posted on Wednesday, so we have Monday and Tuesday for experimentation.

    1926
    Game Name: Thunder Cross II (Japan)
    Company: Konami
    Year: 1991
    ROM file name: thndrx2.zip

    496
    Game Name: Empire City: 1931 (bootleg?)
    Company: Seibu Kaihatsu
    Year: 1986
    ROM file name: empcity.zip

    464
    Game Name: Dribbling
    Company: Model Racing
    Year: 1983
    ROM file name: dribling.zip

    What is the MAME ROW?

    MAME ROW stands for MAME Random Of the Week. We randomly select an arcade game from the 0.78 MAME Reference Set to play on the week. The idea is to play games we've never played before, interact with other forum members, post hi-scores, share game strategies, fun facts, and (the most important) HAVE FUN!

    Notes:

    1. We usually post hi-scores screenshots after playing with only one credit. If you used more than one credit, please mention it on your post.

    2. There's no need to use RetroPie to join the MAME ROW! You can play it on any platform you want.

    3. Feel free to post your hi-score (or any content about the game) anytime you want on the previous rounds topics (link below).

    Every Monday we create a topic at the "General Discussion and Gaming > MAME Random Of the Week" forum section with the 3 random games to be voted. And on Wednesday we check the result.

    These "rules" are constantly being improved!

    Previous Rounds


  • Just a quick test :)

    Dribbling: the game has no sound on MAME2003. It seems to be 2-players only, designed for a cocktail table-style machine. It's clearly a foosball game, where you control a row of players, making it move 3 players at once. I didn't understand how to shoot, it seems to do that automatically, but horizontally only. Very hard to control with a SNES-style pad, no IA, useless in 1 player mode.
    From what I find with a Google search it really did look like a foosball table!

    Empire city: you're scanning building windows in hope of finding the bad guys before they shoot. You're helped by an arrow giving the general direction and a countdown timer, and you can "dodge bullets", but you have only one life. It's a lightgun shooter, but controlled with a stick. Very basic, it lacks any kind of action, it's just guys playing hide and seek behind curtains.

    Thunder Cross II: it's a regular shmup with powerups and no auto-fire. Not bad, but not great either. Were the enemies with a z-pattern movement mandatory in shmups of the era ? :D


  • Dribbling
    Like @cosmo0 I couldn't really get to grips with this one. It reminded me a bit of the old Binatone TV Games, except the players are slightly more animated! I did manage to score a goal, but I'm not entirely sure how.

    Empire city
    I had good expectations of this one, as in the YouTube preview it looks pretty good for the time (1986). Especially the first take-down of a bad dude hidng behind a hostage - RoboCop style! However it quickly becomes apparent that it's simply scrolling left and right (and sometimes up and down) in an attempt to locate the next target before the countdown reaches zero. I think this might work better with a trackball. The gameplay is a bit flawed in that there don't seem to be any up or down arrows, so although you can scroll to either side until the arrows disappear, you often do not have enough remaining time to scan up or down looking for the target. The locations of the targets appear to be the same every game, so I guess repeated play would improve performance, but only due to the fact that you had memorized the locations of all the targets.

    Thunder Cross II
    I must admit to churning lots of coins into this one back in 1991. They had it as one of only two arcade cabinets in the canteen of the science campus of Edinburgh University, so it was either play this, or I think the other one was Green Beret (named Rush n' Attack in other territories I think), which was much older.

    What is really weird is that that canteen also sold these bars that consisted of cornflakes with a chocolate base. I've never seen them anywhere else ever, and playing this game conjures up a really strong nostalgic memory of eating these bars, so I guess I spent every lunchtime munching those while playing this game!

    0_1518517717642_cornflakes_1200_1.jpg

    I was only based at the science campus for 1991, and I don't think I ever saw this game anywhere else.

    It's pretty much a Gradius clone, and I do remember that it suffers a bit from the fact that when you die, you lose all the (hugely powerful) powerups and have to start over, but the difficulty by that point makes it next to impossible to get back to full strength. At least with Gradius you have the chance to grab some of the powerups floating around when you start a new life.

    So this week, for maximum nostalgia value, I'm voting for Thunder Cross II.

    Now, to find somewhere that sells those chocolate cornflakes bars......


  • @gtbfilms said in MAME ROW #73:

    What is really weird is that that canteen also sold these bars that consisted of cornflakes with a chocolate base. I've never seen them anywhere else ever

    I don't know where you live, but in France we've had thousands of variations of this bar. It was very common in the 90's, not so much these days, but it still exists in a slightly different form, like these ones: https://www.lu.fr/grany/produit/grany-noisettes-et-chocolat-au-lait?p=3283

    This also makes me want to eat one right now! :D


  • @cosmo0 I'm in Scotland, I never saw these bars anywhere other that that one place and in the 90's! There are cereal bars around now, even ones with a chocolate base, but they are all seeds and nuts. These were just crunchy golden cornflakes.

    Very nice they were too!

    Playing the ZX Spectrum game 'Trashman' brings up similar vivid taste-memories of cheap chocolate beans - 'Smarties' rip-offs. I guess I must have been into those when that game came out.

    And this is probably why I am classed as clinically obese nowadays! I was munching sweets every time I played a game!


  • Funny how doing one thing conjures some other sensations :) For me, it's the music I listened to while doing some involved activity when I was young, that comes back in a flash when I start the same activity today :)


  • I just discovered the second fire button in Empire City is a shield, if you press it just before the countdown hits zero, the enemy shots always miss. It appears the number of times you can use this shield/take cover option is unlimited.

    The only downside is it sort of moves your aim cursor away in the wrong direction for a second or so.

    This changes the game from being annoyingly difficult to extremely easy. I got to level three before I died, and even then it was just though not paying attention through boredom!


  • This week's winner is Thunder Cross II

    0_1518611497934_Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 7.29.56 AM.png

    0_1518611476501_tc2-flyer.jpg


  • @obsidianspider nice game.

    Having played it a few times tonight I noticed that it's not as bad as I remember when you die and lose all the power ups - the enemy bullets are slow enough you can still out manoeuvre them most of the time, long enough to get some new power ups at least.

    My favourite weapon so far is the reflecting <B> one. The golden superweapon power ups actually didn't seem as good as 4 pods all firing, plus the main ship.

    Like most of these games learning the level bosses weak points is a big advantage. Even so, they take some battering before they die, even on the early levels.

    I like the fact that there is a choice on level 2 whether to go up or down - I think up is easier.

    I got to level 3, which I seem to remember was about as far as I could get about 27 years ago.

    My best score so far : 139860

    0_1518656704552_thunderx2.jpg


  • I played a bit more.

    171740 the level 3 end boss got me with an unexpected big fat laser. Edit: It wasn't the end boss it was just a blast door.

    0_1518693191425_thunderx2.jpg

    Really enjoying this one, but I think the way they've avoided the problem of being outgunned every time you die and respawn is to reduce the enemy hit points depending on how many power ups you have. I noticed this on the level 2 boss, who usually takes a while to die. I reached him with only one drone thing and the <N> gun and he died with only a few shots.

    I also noticed the <V> gun (rockets) is pretty good, unlike the other weapons you can hold down the fire button for autofire with that one.

    Now I'm dying at the jumping pink spring things.

    175540

    0_1518715325668_thunderx2.jpg

    I'm, now preferring the <T> laser guns for level 2, to deal with those sneaky attacks from behind!


  • Well I didn't even get to the first boss of the first stage with one credit. I went to stage 3 but I might have used like 20 credits...

    This game is HARD. Everything jumps at you, enemies come from everywhere, you have to dodge a thousand things, and by the start of stage 3, my hand hurt from mashing the fire button. I went back to Change Air Blade from last week, and in comparison, it's so easy! :D


  • Ok, I managed to the level 3 boss. Reckon I could have beaten it without the distractions!

    187910

    0_1518967658420_thunderx2.jpg


  • MAME ROW #74 is live!

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