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  1. #1

    [GG, NSW, PS4] Aleste Collection

    Got the limited edition a couple of days ago and I was able to spend some time with the new M2ShotTriggers collection. The limited edition comes with a white Game Gear Micro with the all the games included in the Collection, so I will give some impressions about that too. In fact, I'll do this right away.

    The GG Micro is smaller than a GameBoy Advance Micro, the d-pad and buttons are squishy but they haven't the worst feedback, and they work as intended. Volume at max is loud, and you get a standard 3.5" headphone jack. The screen at default settings is kinda dim, and it's easy to miss well...anything if you don't play with the console close to your face. The Big Window Micro comes to help, magnifying the screen to around GBA Micro levels. However the contraption is quite tall and you need to keep the console perpendicualr to your face, or else it's easy for portions of the screen to be cut off.
    Being small, the GG Micro is not the most comfortable thing ever, good for a very quick go here and there, but nothing more.

    The Aleste Collection includes five games: Aleste, Power Strike, GG Aleste, GG Aleste 2, and GG Aleste 3: some of the games include the Japanese and western versions, selectable after choosing the game.

    GG Aleste 3 is a brand new game made for the Game Gear, though by judging from the other games included, it is a bit above what the console can do: the colour palette seems fine, but stage lenght, types of enemies per stage, sprite size and detailing seems more than a GG/MarkIII could handle. It's also the only game with slowdowns, and the worst part is that these slowdowns feel artificial, like developers introduced them for no real good reason: Aleste 3 is not a bullet hell and everything is easily dodgeable. In fact, I feel slowdowns actually detract from the overall experience.
    Something I'm not particularly fond of is the weapon balancing: the D weapon is almost useless because it greatly reduces firepower and you don't really need an extra layer of defence, and the C weapon almost allows you to stand still and keep the fire button down.
    Some stages also do on for too long, like the fifth. Not that stages are devoid of action or interesting ideas, that same fifth stage is set around a rocket going to space and there's a constant pull towards the center of the screen, with maneuverability decreasing as farther away from the center you get; the local boss is pretty cool in design and mechanics too.
    Boss design is ace throughout the whole game in fact, and would have loved to see some of them realized in highres 2D graphics: some are a clear throwback to Cave's mechanical monstrosities, and the fourth boss looks like staight out of Ketsui.
    GG Aleste 3 is fun, not a masterpiece, but a solid addition to the collection.

    The other games...well, they are the old Aleste emulated with typical M2ShotTrigger flare. The main graphical option menu clearly shows what scanlines and filtering will look like, you can select which and how many gadgets are on screen, and even with everything deployed, they don't overwhelm the games; I've found the P bonuses indicator and the weapon reminder particularly useful, especially if you jump around games.
    Loading times are nonexistent, and there are online leaderboards.

    The Aleste Collection is done with M2's usual competence, though I would have loved to see other Aleste titles from other platforms (MD, MSX, SNES) included as well.

  2. #2
    GG Aleste 3 is an 8Mbit ROM which is surely the largest GG game ever made? It’s strange you mention there’s no slowdown in the older Aleste titles in the compilation as there is definitely slowdown in MkIII Aleste and Powerstrike 2. IIRC GG Aleste 2 isn’t bad for that though. I hope there is a physical release for GG Aleste 3 as I don’t fancy buying a digital download on the PS4 which includes 4 games I already own.

  3. #3
    About the slowdowns: the options allow you to remove them, and for some strange reason I wa able to disable them in the old Aleste games. Or they were disabled by default for some strange reason. Anyway, Aleste 3 without the slowdowns is oh-so-much-better.

  4. #4
    Aside from the cart size and the fancy side widgets you get from the collection, my understanding was that Aleste 3 was a proper GG game and could run on original hardware - I’m sure I saw them tweet a physical cart they’d made, even? I’ve dabbled with a few games on here and not being super familiar with them, am pretty impressed with Aleste 3 for sure.

    Def planning to spend some more time with this.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by fuse View Post
    Aside from the cart size and the fancy side widgets you get from the collection, my understanding was that Aleste 3 was a proper GG game and could run on original hardware - I’m sure I saw them tweet a physical cart they’d made, even? I’ve dabbled with a few games on here and not being super familiar with them, am pretty impressed with Aleste 3 for sure.

    Def planning to spend some more time with this.
    They sure did tweet an actual cart. Not sure if it was a working cart though. But yeah, the game is definitely keeping withing GG parameters.

  6. #6
    Been playing this quite a bit lately, it's a nice collection. After a lot of restarts on stage 1, I got the 1CC on GG Aleste last night - it's quite generous with the extends, I got to 20 at one point

  7. #7
    GG aleste 3 looks really nice, any whisperings of a follow up collection with MD/sega cd games?

  8. #8
    Nothing yet, and honestly I think it's unlikely we'll see anything like that, at least from the M2 team. They're still working on Aleste Branch, but aside from that they've also talked about wanting to get console ports of every Toaplan game going now that they've got the licenses.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by fuse View Post
    Nothing yet, and honestly I think it's unlikely we'll see anything like that, at least from the M2 team. They're still working on Aleste Branch, but aside from that they've also talked about wanting to get console ports of every Toaplan game going now that they've got the licenses.
    I wish they would do some toaplan compilation releases physically that would be a serious grail release if it happens. Not heard about aleste branch, is this a new game?

  10. #10

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