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Thread: Jab's Builds!

  1. #14081
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    Rayman



    RAYMAN:
    Game Type: Side-Scrolling Action Platformer
    Release Date: 1995
    Developer: Ludimedia

    Jebus, this is what graphics have turned into these days...

    -Rayman is a curious one- he was created after the peak of the "Action Platformer" style of side-scrolling game, AND his debut was on the friggin' Atari Jaguar of all things. This made Rayman one of the only good games for that infamous system. In fact, I sort of associated the Jaguar WITH Rayman, like it was the Mascot/Killer App for the system... except the PlayStation version came out shortly afterwards. And funnily enough, it has some of the most beautiful graphics ON that system- Next Generation systems are notorious nowadays for having graphics that don't hold up- the Polygon Age was an ugly, UGLY transition period in graphical quality... so naturally, a cel-based game with Next Gen-power behind it would be amazing. The sound is great, too- an advantage of having a CD-based system.

    -Distinctive for the fact that his hands and feet float independently from his body, Rayman ALSO avoids the "Animals With Attitudes" thing, as he doesn't really look like anything in particular. His mission is to restore balance to the world when the evil Mr. Dark steals the "Great Protoon".

    -Despite coming in at the tail end of when Side-Scrolling Platformers were a big deal, the Rayman series is STILL AROUND- a testament to the quality of the series. The graphics are always excellent and cartoony, and they seem overall well done. However, the series was inflicted with a dose of "Annoying" when they introduced the "Rabbids"- a batch of loud, obnoxious, rampaging rabbit-like creatures. Naturally, as they were... well, loud, obnoxious and rampaging... they became enormously popular with young children (particularly boys, who LOVE that stuff. They're what made a smash of the Despicable Me series, which continued on to Minions, because as it turns out nobody cared about the human characters in those- seriously, those movies actually do damn near Frozen-level numbers). So naturally, the Rabbids are everywhere, overshadowing Rayman himself. Thankfully, they cleverly averted "Spotlight Stealing" status by simply throwing the Rabbids into their own game immediately, rather than replace the main hero.



    RAYMAN
    Role:
    The Hero
    PL 9 (107)
    STRENGTH
    1 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 5
    FIGHTING 10 DEXTERITY 4
    INTELLIGENCE 1 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE 3

    Skills:
    Athletics 11 (+12)
    Close Combat (Fist) 2 (+12)
    Expertise (Defender Of His People) 5 (+6)
    Deception 2 (+5)
    Perception 3 (+6)
    Persuasion 2 (+5)
    Stealth 1 (+6)

    Advantages:
    Accurate Attack, Improved Critical (Fist), Power Attack, Ranged Attack 4

    Powers:
    "Telescopic Fist" Strength-Damage +3 (Feats: Reach 2) [5]
    "Helicopter Hair" Flight 1 (4 mph) (Flaws: Gliding) [1]
    Leaping 1 (15 feet) [1]

    "Items" (Flaws: Easily Removable) [3]
    "Speed Fist" Strength-Damage +0 (Extras: Multiattack 4) (4) -- (5 points)
    • AE: "Golden Fist" Strength-Damage +2 (Feats: Improved Critical) (3)

    Offense:
    Unarmed +10 (+1 Damage, DC 17)
    Telescopic Fist +12 (+4 Damage, DC 15)
    Golden Fist +12 (+6 Damage, DC 21)
    Initiative +5

    Defenses:
    Dodge +12 (DC 22), Parry +13 (DC 23), Toughness +3, Fortitude +5, Will +8

    Complications:
    Enemy (Mr. Dark)

    Total: Abilities: 60 / Skills: 26--13 / Advantages: 7 / Powers: 10 / Defenses: 17 (107)

    -Rayman is a PL 8 Platformer hero who can boost to PL 9 with the "Golden Fist" that allows for extra power. In later games for the series, he seems to have developed a full-on Blast for his powers.

  2. #14082
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    Game Systems, Part 1- The Before Time

    ARCADES (Since Ancient Times):
    -Arcades are MUCH older than you'd think- named for the arches that made up the original arcades (as well as midways and dime museums), they included a lot of penny-games (hence "penny arcade") and assorted stuff as far back as the late 1800s- mechanized contraptions that sort of worked like carnival games. As these moved in and out of popularity, purveyors would add in other things, like movie-playing devices, peep shows (actual pornographic imagery, too!), shooting galleries, and more. In the '20s & '30s, they'd developed early pinball games, getting a reputation for dens of gambling. Eventually, pinball games became a constant sight everywhere- bowling alleys, laundromats, shops and bars... and soon they included actual early Video Games. In fact, pinball was such a big thing that until the mid-1990s, game companies as powerful as Nintendo, Sega and Sony were forced to hawk their wares and advertise at the Consumer Electronics Show- a showcase for pinball stuff as much as it was about video gaming (though the focus was meant to be towards VCRs, DVD players, and assorted other stuff). It wasn't until later that game companies forged their own show: E3.

    -Eventually, the 1970s saw the rise of actual Video Games as a major-league fad- Pong is by far the most famous of the early ones, though some games preceded it. The 1978 release of Space Invaders turned gaming from something done in other locales, to something done in an actual ARCADE- a specific place just for these things. With that game, Japan (its home country) hit huge into the arcades as well, forging their own culture.

    -Until the mid '80s, almost EVERY major game showed up first in arcades- Centipede, Frogger, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Dig-Dug, Joust, Q*bert, etc. It was a HUGE, HUGE thing. Arcades became known as the official "cool hangout" for kids, dens of sin and vice to their parents (I was not allowed to visit the local arcade by myself), and more... something that out-of-touch TV writers often extend all the way to MODERN fiction as well, long after the arcades have mostly died out. The early Console Systems were usually meant to create home versions of these Arcade Games, and in something that seems hilarious today, they were unable to properly replicate these primitive toys.

    -The Arcade industry faltered with the Great Video Game Crash of 1983 (though Consoles were mostly at fault there)- the "Video Game Fad" had seemingly died at home, though arcades stuck around. Nintendo came roaring back with the NES, which hurt business further- never before had such QUALITY games been available at home! And some of them weren't even available in Arcades- Metroid and Mega Man were only on the NES! Arcades were kind of hurting until the rise of Street Fighter II in the '90s- this allowed for competitive, person-to-person play on an unprecedented scale, and reinvigorated the system. Fighting Games were the official new Big Business, and the most-profitable game ever would be NBA Jam of all things.

    -"Arcade Perfect" was a mythical thing for kids back in the day, too. Every game put on the SNES or Genesis would be graded on how close it matched the original Arcade version- those giant cabinets with their high-powered whatsits were much too strong for a mere 16-bit system to compete against, especially graphically. Even Street Fighter II couldn't be done properly, though the SNES came kinda close (the poor Genesis had weaker colors and couldn't match it)- the best one overall was Super SFII Turbo for the $700-800 3DO. The final death knell for Arcades, however, came during the Next Generation- though the PlayStation and Saturn STILL couldn't quite compete with Arcade graphical power (they were upgrading faster than even the Consoles could), they were close- close enough that Arcades didn't seem quite so important. Eventually, the Sega Dreamcast became the first system (just after the Next Generation) to IMPROVE upon an Arcade game with Soul Calibur, and by that point, the Arcades were done as a thing. Eventually, you only saw Arcade games where they once were- bars, movie theatres and other places.

    -In Japan, however, the "Game Centers" (as they were called) retained their popularity, and even today you will find multi-story buildings FULL of Arcade machines- going there last year was eye-opening on this front, as each popular area around a Train Station would pack TONS of these things. They'd have floors for old games, floors for photo booths, floors for Fighting Games, etc. It was a bizarre relic to see a culture so thriving on this front, though many, if not most of the games weren't new in the slightest. They primarily seemed to be after-school hangouts for High School & College-aged kids- I was probably the oldest person there by a ways just about every time.

    -Arcades were never really common in my hometown- it had about 65,000 people when I lived there, and only two Arcades- one in a close by mall (I was too young to go, but it had the rad X-Men Beat 'Em Up game), and another halfway downtown. Sadly, that one was a BIT of a journey for me even in Middle School, so I rarely went (or had much money to blow in it), and it went out of business when I was in High School. They had another one downtown at one point, but it was ridiculously tiny (I recall it looking more or less like a hallway). The local College had a small room with some games, allowing me my first visions of Virtua Fighter (where I discovered that the hideous graphics were actually beautifully-smooth- the advantage of polygons) and Dark Stalkers- my friends and I went there for a short time on our lunches when we were in Middle School. Alas... the whole thing kinda died. When I moved to Edmonton, there were only a handful of Arcades left, and West Edmonton Mall's Playdium didn't last long (it was huge and high-tech... but was mostly competitive physical games with a few PlayStations set up on the upper floor). The mall still has a couple of Arcades in it, actually, but they're the same kind of stuff- a giant Trivia Game, a Connect Four machine, a giant Pac-Man four-player game, etc. But the good Arcade (which unfortunately got a bad rep because drug-dealing kids would hang out in front of it later at night) has long since gotten rid of its Neo*Geo and Street Fighter machines, keeping only the Dance Dance Revolution-type stuff. Because really... everyone just plays the good games at HOME, now.

    ---

    The Consoles:


    THE ATARI 2600 (1977):
    -Usually just called "The Atari", this system was omnipresent in the early days, and was the first REALLY big system. It was a monster seller that was also attached to numerous disappointments (none moreso than E.T., fabled as the worst video game of all time, and a major contributor to the Great Video Game Crash of 1983), which eventually sunk them, AND the industry. Still, however, games were made until 1992, making it the #2 longest-running system in history (behind only the Neo*Geo). When the NES arrived in 1985, the Atari redesigned itself as a "budget" console

    THE INTELLIVISION (1980):
    -Mattel, the creators of Barbie and He-Man, got into the video game industry in 1980 as rivals for Atari and their 2600. The graphics were better, but the roster of games was much smaller- they ended up producing a lot of Licensed Games.

    THE COLECOVISION (1982):
    -Well-known for being one of the iconic "Old Systems" thanks to its distinctive name. It was one of the most powerful systems of its day, but died in only a couple years, as the Great Video Game Crash of 1983 killed the market. Few of its games were exclusives, but they had the most-accurate versions of most Arcade games.

    THE ATARI 5200 (1982):
    -The Atari 5200 was a successor to the 2600, and an odd example of a system released TOO soon- the 2600 was still very popular, and so the "deluxe" version suffered in sales. Then you had competition from the Colecovision AND the aforementioned Crash of 1983. Also their joystick sucked, apparently literally rotting thanks to the cheap rubber.

  3. #14083
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    Re: Jab's Builds!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabroniville View Post
    Ah, I remember that one. I actually thought there was a girl in Sunset Riders, because I recall the Character Select Screen of this one. I'd actually played it eons ago, too! There's only the two characters, right?
    Yup. Annie, who is after the the main villain for killing her family, and Clint, the bounty hunter she hired to help her get her revenge. So she's actually the main hero, and can easily mow down as many enemies as Clint, which is pretty cool.

  4. #14084
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    Re: Jab's Builds!

    Still waiting anxiously for the Pong write up...

  5. #14085
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    Re: Jab's Builds!

    Man, I'd love to visit Japan and actually check out a full-blown arcade again, especially one as huge as you describe. Hell, I know I'd likely be the oldest person there, and I wouldn't even be especially good after all these years, but it'd just be fun, for nostalgia's sake.

    Arcades...yeah, some of them were seedy, or became places for drug dealers, other illicit business, or even opportunities for "chicken hawks" or child predators, but those were rare and mostly confined either to poor urban areas (which were MUCH worse in the 1970s and 1980s in terms of crime) or back-waters and the sticks. I keep thinking how today's teens don't really have places to congregate like that.

    And yeah, writers (television crime dramas are bad for this) seem to think arcades are still a thing, when they've mostly disappeared.

    All my best.

  6. #14086
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    Re: Jab's Builds!

    Quote Originally Posted by Spam View Post
    Still waiting anxiously for the Pong write up...
    Still waiting for Sarkeesian or one of her acolytes to write a screed about how phallocentric the two white bars in Pong are...

  7. #14087
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    Re: Jab's Builds!

    Quote Originally Posted by Batgirl III View Post
    Still waiting for Sarkeesian or one of her acolytes to write a screed about how phallocentric the two white bars in Pong are...
    I don't have the link anymore, but I read an article by a (male) blogger who successfully published several articles in Sarkeesian-esque places by deliberately writing over-the-top BS. He was very successful.

    I suspect someone could successfully write the very article you describe.

  8. #14088
    OPA Belta danelsan's Avatar
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    Re: Jab's Builds!

    Well, considering content mills are almost entirely filled with bullshit behind click-bait headlines (including many things signed by the likes of doctors but in truth ghost written by rookie writers on short pay, short deadlines and no actual knowledge of the subject, if a certain Cracked interview is to be believed), that is not surprising.

    Churning out loads of clickbait-and-fabricated-outrage driven articles for views and addvertising money doesn't leave much time or interest for competent editorial practice, research, cares about truth and other such trivialities.

  9. #14089
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    Gex



    It's fascinating how ugly this looks today, when SNES graphics (which still hold up today) were considered old-fashioned and weak by that era's standards.

    GEX:
    Game Type: Side-Scrolling Action Platformer
    Release Date: 1994
    Developer: Crystal Dynamics

    -Gex is the star of a series of Platform Games that debuted on the 3DO- he's a standard Generic Animal With Attitude, but themed more around being a snarky Pop Culture addict. Gex is a passionate TV friend, and is thus targeted by a cybernetic being who wants to overthrow the "world" of television in The Media Dimension. Comedian Dana Gould (no idea) voiced Gex, who became the mascot of developer Crystal Dynamics, and is one of the characters I always associate with the 3DO, which was hurting for iconic games. The games feature lots of voice acting, usually with pop culture references. Though the 3DO soon died, Gex games came out for the PlayStation- the third one, Gex 3, doing the best with $6 million in sales.

    -Though I never gave the series so much as a look (it was one of like, fifty billion platformers around the same time period), the first one was apparently quite well-received. In 1994, it WAS incredibly-rare to have a snarky, Pop Culture Reference-spouting hero, so that must be part of it. In fact, both GamePro and EGM gave it "3DO Game Of The Year" during its release (and yeah, it was a weak system, but there was SOME competition). The Next Generation systems' versions of the first one didn't fare quite as well thanks to the technology leap (mostly scores in the high sixties or low seventies). In the end, however, the series kind of became a bit mediocre (watching gameplay of the later ones is rather painful, as its generation Polygon Graphics, and so looks plain and ugly). And apparently the original game had a horrible development process).

    GEX
    Role:
    The Hero, Pop Culture Junkie
    PL 7 (101)
    STRENGTH
    1 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 5
    FIGHTING 8 DEXTERITY 4
    INTELLIGENCE 0 AWARENESS 0 PRESENCE 3

    Skills:
    Athletics 9 (+10)
    Close Combat (Tail Whip) 2 (+10)
    Expertise (Pop Culture) 15 (+15)
    Deception 3 (+6)
    Perception 4 (+4)
    Persuasion 2 (+5)
    Stealth 1 (+6)
    Vehicles 4 (+8)

    Advantages:
    Accurate Attack, Improved Critical (Tail Whip), Power Attack, Ranged Attack 4, Ultimate Pop Culture Skill

    Powers:
    "Gecko Physiology"
    "Tail Whip" Strength-Damage +2 [2]
    Leaping 1 (15 feet) [1]
    Features 1: Extendible Tongue [1]
    Movement 2 (Wall-Crawling 2) [4]

    Offense:
    Unarmed +8 (+1 Damage, DC 17)
    Tail Whip +10 (+3 Damage, DC 18)
    Initiative +5

    Defenses:
    Dodge +11 (DC 21), Parry +11 (DC 21), Toughness +3, Fortitude +5, Will +6

    Complications:
    Enemy (Rez)
    Addiction (Television)- After his father's death, Gex has sat in front of the television endlessly, day after day. By the second game, he verges on insanity.

    Total: Abilities: 48 / Skills: 40--20 / Advantages: 8 / Powers: 8 / Defenses: 17 (101)

    -Gex is as generic as they come, putting in a Tail Whip and Wall-Crawling to differentiate himself from the Platform-Jumping Horde. There are Vehicles he can drive in the third game, as well as the occasional thing like Fire Breath from certain Power-Ups.

  10. #14090
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    Re: Jab's Builds!

    Quote Originally Posted by drkrash View Post
    I don't have the link anymore, but I read an article by a (male) blogger who successfully published several articles in Sarkeesian-esque places by deliberately writing over-the-top BS. He was very successful.

    I suspect someone could successfully write the very article you describe.
    This one here popped up first when I did a quick Google. It's meant to be a satire, but it runs into Poe's Law hard.

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