Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: GOTD 5/30/2016: Sol Divide (PS1)

  1. #1
    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    2,774
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    8
    Thanked in
    8 Posts

    Default GOTD 5/30/2016: Sol Divide (PS1)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20160530_005457.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	80.6 KB 
ID:	9315Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20160530_001640.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	116.3 KB 
ID:	9316Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20160530_001817.jpg 
Views:	3 
Size:	108.4 KB 
ID:	9317Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20160530_001925.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	84.7 KB 
ID:	9318Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20160530_002041.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	76.8 KB 
ID:	9319Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20160530_002108(0).jpg 
Views:	2 
Size:	90.2 KB 
ID:	9320Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20160530_003536.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	91.8 KB 
ID:	9321Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20160530_004025(0).jpg 
Views:	3 
Size:	114.0 KB 
ID:	9322

    Toward the end of a console's lifespan, there's that fun little window in which small developers and publishers start pumping out quick, dirty little ports and budget titles with hopes to reap some modest sales to a niche audience. Sol Divide is one of those games, coming as a hastily done US port of a then five-year-old arcade game by XS Games. What it is, though, is an odd little shooter/beat 'em up hybrid from Psikyo, and while I don't usually dwell on developers and the like in these posts, Psikyo's reputation for quirky arcade games with severe flaws is as pertinent as ever in this one, especially when pairing that core with an inexperienced budget publisher.

    In Sol Divide, you can choose from a cast of three characters in a pretty straight port of the arcade game. Each character has the same basic abilities to shoot, employ melée attacks, and cast magic spells in their quest to take down the evil demon king. Each character has slightly different combos, firing weapons/patterns, and a unique magic spell all their own. There is a magic meter and a life meter, and using most spells simply uses up some of your magic, which can be replenished by attacking enemies or picking up restorative items. There are a few spells, though, that are simply one-off uses, and must be found again if they are to be re-used. Each character also has a unique opening stage.

    The game plays out like a horizontal shooter, but with huge, winged warriors instead of ships or dragons. They are big targets, but there is every bit as much focus on brawling as shooting, adding a bit of fighting flair to the mix that works pretty well. There are vague RPG elements such as leveling up your attack and extending your life bar, but much of success hinges on using the right attacks in the right situation. There is a branching path option as well, but it is almost insignificant, as Sol Divide is all but a boss rush in arcade mode. It can also be a little tough in later stages as well, since continuing restarts the stage instead of where you were, so you just have to get good enough to at least clear each stage in one life, no credit feeding through bosses. The toughest part of this is that life does not recover between stages, and you can only recover via power-ups typically earned through melée.

    Also included is an Original mode, which is not just an arrange mode... it re-emphasizes the RPG elements, tasking the player to clear a 17 level tower. You can earn items along the way, which are now used through a status screen, and you gai experience points from fighting to level your attack and life. Spells are all single-use in this mode as well, so loot collecting is big. Dying sends you back to base, where you keep your level, but lose your items like a roguelike. There is an item to be found that lets you return with items to store some, but the big problem here is that you can't save. Still, in the right mood, it's a unique mode with which to spend an afternoon.

    Sol Divide has an odd, pre-rendered look about it, which makes it dark and drab, yet not entirely ugly. To me, it recalls old movies like Sinbad or Clash of the Titans with their stop-motion effects, and carries a charm for it. The US port, though, omits the story scenes, preserving only the opening and ending, but not bothering to translate the ending at all from Japanese. It's sloppy work, but the gameplay is all there at least, and it's the cheapest way to play. There are also physical releases on Japanese PS1, Saturn, and PS2, as well as European PS2, though the 32-bit ports are the only ones with Original mode. It's a weird, fun little game, though it's also rough in nearly every way.

    Played this one?

  2. #2
    FPGA arm-based system Custom rank graphic
    bb_hood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    2,091
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    46
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    23
    Thanked in
    21 Posts
    PSN
    bb_hood99

    Default

    Such a badass game. Ive played the saturn version quite a bit.

  3. #3
    Great Puma (Level 12) skaar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    #vbender
    Posts
    4,723
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    SkaarDragoon

    Default

    I can tell you with certainty the goal was to release a copy of this game with the minimum amount of expense and effort, no thought was given to preserving anything. Translation costs time and energy, easier to cut it out.

    XS was not about preserving game integrity
    <Sothy> its the internet <Sothy> who cares

    Quote Originally Posted by Daltone View Post
    This is a classic gaming site and the most active thread is a load of people wanking off to my little pony.

  4. #4
    Cherry (Level 1) Custom rank graphic
    MetalFRO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    227
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    PSN
    The DudeGuyMan

    Default

    I'll preface what I'm about to say with this: this is strictly my personal opinion, so keep that in mind.

    This game is GARBAGE. Psykio released so many great shmups over the course of their existence, and Sol Divide is BY FAR the worst. Psykio games like Gunbird, Sengoku Ace, and the Strikers 1945 series were know for tight control, well defined hitboxes, and excellent gameplay overall. Sol Divide has none of that. I realize the budget PS1 version isn't the best example, and the Japanese Saturn version is probably better, but the nature of the game and the size of the characters and enemies make this game a total mess to play. Some fun can be had, and I've had a couple hours of "enjoyment" from my copy, but at this point, I own it as a shmup completist, and would not have held on to it for any other reason.
    Twitter Facebook YouTube Tumblr My personal blog
    Game Boy Guru project - I'm attempting to collect, play, & review every North American Game Boy release!

  5. #5
    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    2,774
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    8
    Thanked in
    8 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalFRO View Post
    I'll preface what I'm about to say with this: this is strictly my personal opinion, so keep that in mind.

    This game is GARBAGE. Psykio released so many great shmups over the course of their existence, and Sol Divide is BY FAR the worst. Psykio games like Gunbird, Sengoku Ace, and the Strikers 1945 series were know for tight control, well defined hitboxes, and excellent gameplay overall. Sol Divide has none of that. I realize the budget PS1 version isn't the best example, and the Japanese Saturn version is probably better, but the nature of the game and the size of the characters and enemies make this game a total mess to play. Some fun can be had, and I've had a couple hours of "enjoyment" from my copy, but at this point, I own it as a shmup completist, and would not have held on to it for any other reason.
    I get what you're saying, and we all like what we like. To me, it's less a shooter and more weird brawler, like a strange beat 'em up with flying characters. Viewed as a pure shooter, it's tougher to have fun with, as it can't be played with the kind of finesse that makes shooters satisfying.

  6. #6
    Banned

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nowhere
    Posts
    755
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Weird and ugly as funk. Like some of that nasty looking GBA prerendered stuff.

  7. #7
    FPGA arm-based system Custom rank graphic
    bb_hood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    2,091
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    46
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    23
    Thanked in
    21 Posts
    PSN
    bb_hood99

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalFRO View Post
    I'll preface what I'm about to say with this: this is strictly my personal opinion, so keep that in mind.

    This game is GARBAGE. Psykio released so many great shmups over the course of their existence, and Sol Divide is BY FAR the worst. Psykio games like Gunbird, Sengoku Ace, and the Strikers 1945 series were know for tight control, well defined hitboxes, and excellent gameplay overall. Sol Divide has none of that. I realize the budget PS1 version isn't the best example, and the Japanese Saturn version is probably better, but the nature of the game and the size of the characters and enemies make this game a total mess to play. Some fun can be had, and I've had a couple hours of "enjoyment" from my copy, but at this point, I own it as a shmup completist, and would not have held on to it for any other reason.
    I can totally understand how one might feel this way. Especially with Gunbird and Sengoku Ace in the mix. Those are two of my favorite shmups.

    Really disagree about it being garbage tho. Far from it I think.
    Last edited by bb_hood; 05-31-2016 at 07:49 PM.

  8. #8
    Cherry (Level 1) Custom rank graphic
    MetalFRO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    227
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    PSN
    The DudeGuyMan

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bb_hood View Post
    I can totally understand how one might feel this way. Especially with Gunbird and Sengoku Ace in the mix. Those are two of my favorite shmups.

    Really disagree about it being garbage tho. Far from it I think.
    I stand by my statement. Dodgy hitbox and collision detection, character sprites are WAY too big, and there's quite often too much going on to realistically be expected to dodge projectiles. I know it's been a couple years since I played it, but I distinctly remember being constantly overwhelmed and having nowhere to go, unlike a well designed danmaku, where there are usually either pathways, or small, exposed areas you can slink through. I just don't think it's well designed, and to me, is one of Psykio's few "misses".
    Twitter Facebook YouTube Tumblr My personal blog
    Game Boy Guru project - I'm attempting to collect, play, & review every North American Game Boy release!

  9. #9
    FPGA arm-based system Custom rank graphic
    bb_hood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    2,091
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    46
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    23
    Thanked in
    21 Posts
    PSN
    bb_hood99

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalFRO View Post
    Dodgy hitbox and collision detection, character sprites are WAY too big, and there's quite often too much going on to realistically be expected to dodge projectiles. I know it's been a couple years since I played it, but I distinctly remember being constantly overwhelmed and having nowhere to go,
    I played the Saturn version of Sol Divide yesterday for a little bit and its really not a bad game. I cant speak of the ps1 version and I agree its not the best Psykio shooter but calling it garbage might be a bit excessive.

    I diddnt notice any dodgy hitbox or collision detection, unless you are referring to the melee attack. When you use the melee attack there seems to be a few frames during which enemy shots cannot hit you. I would guess this is intentional, sort of like a parry or dodge. The character sprites are larger than most shooters but you are given a lifebar so its expected that you will take some damage. I wouldnt consider them way too big.
    I can understand how you might feel like being constantly overwhelmed. There are parts in each level where the enemy sprites come straight at you, and you have to use the attack instead of just shooting. If you rely only on shooting the enemies will overwhelm; using the melee attack puts them in hitstun and makes groups of enemies much more manageable.

  10. #10
    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    2,774
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    8
    Thanked in
    8 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bb_hood View Post
    I played the Saturn version of Sol Divide yesterday for a little bit and its really not a bad game. I cant speak of the ps1 version and I agree its not the best Psykio shooter but calling it garbage might be a bit excessive.

    I diddnt notice any dodgy hitbox or collision detection, unless you are referring to the melee attack. When you use the melee attack there seems to be a few frames during which enemy shots cannot hit you. I would guess this is intentional, sort of like a parry or dodge. The character sprites are larger than most shooters but you are given a lifebar so its expected that you will take some damage. I wouldnt consider them way too big.
    I can understand how you might feel like being constantly overwhelmed. There are parts in each level where the enemy sprites come straight at you, and you have to use the attack instead of just shooting. If you rely only on shooting the enemies will overwhelm; using the melee attack puts them in hitstun and makes groups of enemies much more manageable.
    This is very accurate. The thing about Sol Divide is that it isn't a pure shooter. It's a hybrid action game that doesn't fit neatly in a box, and so not everyone enjoys it that likes shooters. It's imperfect, but there's a neat, weird game to enjoy. If you play it like a shooter, you won't get anywhere.

Similar Threads

  1. GOTD 5/16/2016: Gunfighter (PS1)
    By celerystalker in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-17-2016, 12:43 PM
  2. GOTD 5/13/2016: The Super Spy (Neo Geo)
    By celerystalker in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-16-2016, 11:49 PM
  3. GOTD 5/14/2016: Rollerball (NES)
    By celerystalker in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-14-2016, 11:45 AM
  4. GOTD 5/8/2016: Astroblast (VCS)
    By celerystalker in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-08-2016, 01:04 PM
  5. GOTD 4/29/2016: Cyber Lip (Neo Geo)
    By celerystalker in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-05-2016, 03:53 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •