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  • This is the MAME Random Of the Week #97

    The three random numbers for this week are: 1259 1035 1957

    Click here to vote! Which game do you choose for MAME ROW #97?

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

    1259
    Game Name: Pac-Man Plus
    Company: [Namco] (Midway license)
    Year: 1982
    ROM file name: pacplus.zip

    1035
    Game Name: Mega Zone
    Company: Konami
    Year: 1983
    ROM file name: megazone.zip

    1957
    Game Name: Toki (World set 1)
    Company: Tad
    Year: 1989
    ROM file name: toki.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


  • We all know which game will win this. :D


  • @thelostsoul Not really IMHO.
    Both PacMan Plus and Toki are excellent candidates.


  • In light of it being posted late this week, the poll results will be announced on Thursday.


  • @obsidianspider said in MAME ROW #97:

    In light of it being posted late this week, the poll results will be announced on Thursday.

    Thats just fair.


  • My thoughts on this week's selection:

    Pac-Man Plus
    Well, despite having themed my PICADE around PAC-MAN, I didn't actually have this version installed. I gave it a go, and first impressions are they did the bare minimum they could to original PAC-MAN cabinets to try to convince arcade punters that this is a 'new' game worthy of some more coins! The changes to the power-pills are initially annoying - invisible ghosts, one ghost sometimes not turning blue, etc. However you do get extra power-pills in the form of the bonus 'fruit' which has now transformed into cans of Coca-Cola etc. I got used to it after a while, and the 'one ghost sometimes doesn't go blue' thing actually prevents my usual PAC-MAN tactic of using a pattern for the first five levels. So it IS more of a challenge than the original, and probably quite a good choice for a high score competition.

    Mega Zone
    Pretty standard-fare early 80's arcade shooter. Nothing spectacular, but it plays okay. Bumping into the greenery was annoying - I assumed I was a plane and could fly over all the background scenery, but I guess it's some special kind of shit plane that can't go higher than a tree?! Some strategy is required, deciding whether to take out the ground forces (and so stop them firing at you) or to leave them and avoid running into the awkward scenery features. It's okay, but it wouldn't have had me ploughing many coins in, even back in 1983.

    Toki
    I've heard about this one, I think there may have been a ZX Spectrum conversion, but I never encountered it in the arcades.

    0_1533123234558_yoursinclair6700018.jpg

    Ah, now this is interesting, apparently 'Toki' was advertised and reviewed for the ZX Spectrum, but never actually released! This is probably why I have vague memories of it existing but not having actually ever played it.

    https://programbytes48k.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/la-leyenda-del-juego-toki-version-spectrum/

    The initial startup screen looks unfinished, although that's maybe to do with the MAME emulation, or I have a bootleg ROM or something. The game plays pretty well, a nice smooth platformer, although I thought it was a bit too easy to fall off the bottom of the screen/be crushed, without even noticing the hazard. I liked how some parts of the bosses are destroyable, I'm thinking about the steam breathing heads as you climb up a green rope, which is quite rewarding when you discover it, they seem to have got the balance between a platformer and a puzzle game right judging from my early attempts. Not bad at all.

    So both PAC-MAN Plus and Toki are contenders in my opinion, but at the end of the day, I can't call myself a PAC-MAN fan (I wear a damn PAC-MAN lanyard to work!) and not vote for PAC-MAN Plus this week!

    0_1533123596940_pacmanlanyard.jpg

    Gotta vote for PAC-MAN (Plus)!


  • I voted Mega Zone, knowing full well I will end up playing Pac Man anyway. I have some beef with Toki since Amiga days, not sure why, just didn't like it. Pac Man is a classic, but...just lemme shoot something okay? ;)

  • Global Moderator

    @gtbfilms

    I believe I'll vote for 'Pac-Man Plus' as well, but just a heads up, the game is brutally hard. I remember when they replaced the 'Pac-Man' cabinet at my local Skate'A'Round with 'Pac-Man Plus'. I was very excited to see the new cabinet artwork, altered monster behavior and real world bonus items such as Coca Cola. After all, 'Ms. Pac-Man' was tearing up the arcades, but this was the first triumphant return of the Pac-Man character that people had originally obsessed over. After only a short time, my allowance was completely spent and I was left rolling around a large circle among strangers, wondering what had happened to my Pac-skills.

    While both 'Ms. Pac-Man' and 'Pac-Man Plus' were attempts at a 'Pac-Man' sequel by Midway, who actually didn't have the legal right to do so, the prior is now considered to be the high watermark of the series and was even recognized as an official sequel by Namco in 1996. However, the latter has mostly been relegated to the annals of obscure video game trivia. I believe this is because 'Pac-Man Plus' shares a lot in common with the Japanese 'Super Mario Broters 2'. Both are known as as being an incredible step up in difficulty and both are often cited as being borderline unfair to the player. While this doesn't make for a wide commercial appeal, I personally believe there's a welcome place for these types of games in anyone's library for those times when you're really looking to challenge yourself.


  • Why voting for PACMAN -- here is PACMAN!

    https://www.google.com/logos/2010/pacman10-i.html

    @GtBFilms Thanks again for your nice explainations ;)


  • Voted for Toki, not much 'plus' to Pac Man Plus. I really like a good shump, but Mega Zone isn't that great.


  • This week's winner is Pac-Man Plus

    0_1533210950002_Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 7.54.30 AM.png

    0_1533210959390_pf.jpg


  • @mediamogul you are not joking when you say Pacman Plus is more difficult than the original!

    The maze going invisible after level 2 is s particularly nasty trick. Only tactic I've found so far is to go for the middle bonus whenever it appears, as unlike the normal power pills it always seems to make ALL the ghosts vulnerable (although they are invisible).

    Best so far 16450

    0_1533243371783_pacmanscore.jpg

  • Global Moderator

    @gtbfilms

    Some of the random elements are particularly tough to deal with, as it removes a bit of skill from the game that came from the player being able to plan a reaction to a known action. For example, in this game, I don't dare charge at a power pill while a ghost is moving towards it too close from the opposite side. For all I know, it'll be that ghost that doesn't turn vulnerable. I also take a quick mental snapshot of the board layout just in case the maze goes invisible. My main play strategy so far has been to clear out the incidentals first, the bonus items as they appear and then dash from power pill to power pill until the stage is cleared. So far my highest is 22380.

    0_1533247285602_22380.png


  • I had a little go yesterday and that reminded me about one thing: I don't really like those games where your character does not stop upon choosing movement direction. So, while I like PacMan, I don't really like playing PacMan (if you allow for such heresy :) Add to that the fact this game really is designed as if everybody in the studio was heavily into amphetamines - hyperactive and cranky.

    In short, I guess I wanted to say I suck at Pac-Man Plus. Had ~7K score, don't think that will improve any further.

  • Global Moderator

    @youxia

    It's a tough game and without a doubt the version of Pac-Man that I've always been the worst at. My only minor saving grace is the evasion practice I've got from playing lots of 'Jr. Pac-Man', my personal favorite variant. There the game play is a real challenge, due to the extra large mazes and lack of warp tunnels, forcing you to always be aware of escape routes between ghosts. However, I personally believe that it's still much easier than this. Here, the random elements just make things much more difficult and can easily snag a life or two in no time. The game does allow you to pass through ghosts at times, which is unique, but it's not really much of a help because you never know if and when it'll work. Still, the anticipation of the unknown does a good job of getting the adrenaline going and really makes for an exciting experience overall.


  • @youxia said in MAME ROW #97 - Pac-Man Plus:

    I don't really like those games where your character does not stop upon choosing movement direction.

    That's interesting, I really like games which control like that. In PacMan it allows you to be pressing the direction for the next turn before you actually get to the turn. In my opinion it makes for a more 'fluid' play experience, once you get 'into the zone'.

    A similar thing happens with the old ZX Spectrum game 'Chuckie Egg' - the character at first seems to slide about all over the place, but once you get used to it, you can use the feature to sort of glide around the levels.

    I guess it's one of those features you either love or you hate!

    The control mechanism I really hate is the 3D one where left and right TURNS your character, rather than actually moving them left or right, and you need to press forward to get them to actually move. When the character is facing towards the player, that messes with my brain. That and the flight ones where they have set the UP and DOWN the wrong way round!

  • Global Moderator

    @gtbfilms said in MAME ROW #97 - Pac-Man Plus:

    The control mechanism I really hate is the 3D one where left and right TURNS your character, rather than actually moving them left or right, and you need to press forward to get them to actually move.

    That is the worst. I've always been a big fan of 'The Evil Dead' horror/action/comedy film series and I couldn't believe my luck when the announced they were making a Playstation game based on it that even had Bruce Campbell doing the voice. I saved my money and waited for months for it to release. When it finally did, I was so disappointed to find it had that control scheme. I didn't get very far in the game then and I recently revisited it and I can't get very far now.


  • @mediamogul That reminds me, must get A Fistful of Boomstick back out for the ps2:) Loved those games!

    But back to Pac-Man plus, I’ll be having a go at this for sure!

  • Global Moderator

    @fruitybit said in MAME ROW #97 - Pac-Man Plus:

    must get A Fistful of Boomstick back out for the ps2:) Loved those games!

    In your opinion, was 'A Fistful of Boomstick' or 'Regeneration' any good? I never gave them a try after my experience with 'Hail to the King'.


  • @mediamogul I did enjoy Fistful, but when I finally got my hands on it I was about to move to a ps3, so never completed it:( Hail to the King was a nightmare to play, I put it on my pi, but gave up before leaving the first room!!
    If you can get Fistful, it’s a blast! Score?- A full two barrels from me.

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