Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

After more than four years of painful waiting, we finally got Paplium-but is that something good?

Image: Nintendo Life / Damian McFerrand

Papriams To put it bluntly, the road to release was quite confusing. A product of Water Melon Games’ “Magical Game Factory” crowdfunding campaign, which began in 2012, this scroll fighter features Sega Mega Drive / Genesis hardware. absolutely Limited by custom chips and ingenious programming techniques. WaterMelon, as you may remember, is the indie behind Pier Solar, Another Mega Drive release that finally appeared on the Wii U. Given the recent growing interest in retro games and the mini-revival of side-scrolling action games, it’s easy to see why Paplium did so. When the pre-order was officially announced in 2017, it got a lot of attention. However, since then there has been a mountain of negative press surrounding the title and the current boss of Water Melon, Gwénaël Godde (well known as Fonzie).

We were one of the many who pre-ordered in 2017, hoping to soon play a brand new side-scrolling brawler on the Megadrive console. However, as I’ve already explained on this site, things aren’t going as planned and WaterMelon has been handling the situation from time to time. Completely terrible.. Paprium missed the proposed launch date, followed by a few months of radio prayer. As a result, even the game’s lead artists were left behind in the cold. Fonzie has put a lot of responsibility on the “PayPal Partner”. “PayPal Partners” have seized our funds for an unlimited period of time through a series of extortion techniques, including “subcontracting dirty business to China.” In 2019, it became clear that development was back on track after a truly disastrous’launch party’at the end of 2018, but in 2020 some people actually did with Paplium. The silence fell again until I started receiving copies. Not everyone who pre-ordered in 2017 got one (including us), so say “some”. Early 2021, Fonzie sent a rather nasty email that rarely stimulated self-confidence. He claimed that the game was being developed “for free” due to lack of access to funds, and Water Melon was instructing to sell the IP or raise cash.

In all of this already considerable turmoil, more problems have begun to surface.There are accusations of racism and homosexual disgust, and one of the characters Refer to unpleasant Chinese stereotypes The other is the gay stereotype (clearly based on a similar enemy design found in the Japanese version of Streets of Rage 3, but removed from the western version of the game). This was bad enough, but some eagle-eye critics who studied the early screens of the game said that many of the sprites were inspired by other titles such as the Streets of Rage and Capcom Vs. I realized that I seemed to be getting it. SNK2 and King of Fighters XI, Above all. This cheeky plagiarism is actually referenced in the limited edition art book that comes with several versions of Paprium, and given the focus of the game’s 90’s, it can be claimed to be genuine at that time. I can do it. Video games without their permission. But nevertheless, it’s added to the negative perceptions surrounding the game-it’s because, overall, Paprium is an effort that looks handsome given the vintage nature of the system in which it’s running. I’m sorry.

was there Many accounts What happened during the protracted development of Paplium (This oneEspecially good, but beware of colorful words on YouTube channels. Game sack When Slope game room Both have great videos about the game), but one thing is certain: this ride isn’t over yet. Despite Fonzie’s recurring guarantee that games will never be digitized, WaterMelon has been crowdfunding with the goal of bringing Paprium to the latest systems.Judging from the support message we received from WaterMelon regarding pre-orders that have not yet been fulfilled, the funds raised from this campaign are Also Used to make excellent copies for those who handed over hard-earned cash in 2017.

Throughout all this, one thing has been constant: Papriam Artist and Art Director Luis Martins (I’ve been working on something like everyone tomb Raider, Watch dogs 2, For honor When Rainbow Six Extraction), The same person who complained in 2018 contacted us and fought so that Paprium’s embarrassed development did not completely obscure the possibility that the game would find the right audience. Martins, who has rebuilt his work relationship with Watermelon, must be grateful for the copy of Paprium, now at the Nintendo Life Office. Realizing the fact that we haven’t received a copy of the game yet, he wasn’t just kind enough to send one from his own collection, but also signed it (details of other Martins works). You can check out’neo-retro games like Demons of Asteborg, which are also on Switch and MegaDrive).

Aside from the various problems WaterMelon actually had in getting Paprium into the hands of gamers like us, the question remains. Is there anything good? It is undeniable that the game itself is actually making the most of the Mega Drive. The sprites are large, smoothly animated, the audio is impressively clear, and the music provided by David “Groovemaster303” Burtonaka and Trevin “Jredd” Hughes is almost uniformly excellent. Indeed, it’s a side-scrolling fighter that looks and plays great, and is backed up by an ingenious “original” mode that does some cool things according to the conventions of this genre. For example, you can unlock new characters and routes during play, allowing players to become bad guys and occupy the vacant “throw” of bosses in each area. If you do so, the character will not be able to play until it is defeated. This is an interesting concept, perhaps a homage to the “bad” ending of the original Streets of Rage.

Paprium is designed to work with the original Sega hardware and includes Nomad. However, there are reports that it does not load on certain variants of the machine.
Paprium is designed to work with the original Sega hardware and includes Nomad. However, there are reports that it does not load on certain variants of the machine. (Image: Nintendo Life / Damian McFerrand)

It offers a repertoire of normal movements, including grabs, throws, blocks, running attacks, and the ability to damage enemies down with “bullying” movements (this is a unique button with a 6-button pad). Maps to. The game is encouraged). You can also flip the back of the enemy as you grab it and use it as a shield in the Streets of Rage style. With a neat touch, the player can ingest the drug BLU and quickly transform the character into a super-powerful invincible monster. The catch is that with continued use of BLU, the character becomes dependent on BLU and part of the lifebar turns blue, just like any other drug. If your health falls into this blue section, your character will suffer from the effects of withdrawal and will be slower and slower. Take advantage of the Golden Ax style “vehicles” and other power-ups to increase your attack power.

Forgetting the drama that has been around Paprium since its inception, it’s undeniable that it’s one of the most popular genres of the game and a very interesting take.The character is well controlled, the attack leads to a satisfying bang, the choice of movement is elaborate enough to keep things diverse and interesting-and sometimes the screen becomes aggressive. swimming With enemies without just a few hints of slowdown. Adding a second human player makes it even more fun (if you have a Sega CD connected, you can use the unit’s CPU to control the second player). There is also a 4-person “Arena” mode for unlocking.

So it’s a good time, but does Paprium match more recent products like the Streets of Rage 4? Honestly, that’s not the case, but when compared to the examples in this genre of the 90’s, it certainly retains its own, even if there are some totally weird design choices here. For example, when you exit the game, that particular save file will be locked along with everything you unlock. This is a really frustrating decision that means you have to start from scratch. Also, enemy AI is often painfully easy to overcome, even in the most difficult settings. Many enemies have taken root in place and are waiting for you to attack. Most enemies can be easily overcome with a jump kick (even a boss).Papriam even trolls you difficult At the first startup. Instead of showing the entire game, you’ll see a very simplified variant that makes you think there’s a compatibility issue.It’s only on The second Boots for which the game itself is provided. This simple version of Paprium also appears when running games on the Analogue Mega SG console (at least before a recent firmware update) – Fonzie isn’t 100% original Sega hardware. It is famous for denying. What a prank!

Much has been done with the “custom” hardware inside the cartridge itself, comparing Paprium with Sega’s own Virtua Racing, which includes an SVP chipset that enhances the capabilities of the host hardware. WaterMelon has branded the chipset “DATENMEISTER”, but when you look at the final game, you’ll see that off-the-shelf components such as Altera FPGAs, STMicroelectronics microcontrollers, Spansion microcontrollers, and ISSI semiconductor RAM are selected. ..

These are covered with a thick layer of epoxy to hide them, on which there is a completely extra metal plate (this plate is often loose in the cartridge and makes an amazing rattling noise- Martins kindly opened the cart and please remove it before mailing). One of the most interesting things is that there is a connector on the top of the cartridge that (eventually) allows the player to connect a “MegaWire 4”. This is what WaterMelon has assigned to the downloadable content application and the ability to post scores online. .. This port could allow WaterMelon to fix some of the game’s AI issues, but given what has happened so far, we’re not holding our breath. Such fixes are likely to be implemented in future ports to the latest formats, which promise many improvements over base games.

So, after feeling like a lifetime, we finally I have a papurium. It’s certainly an entertaining game, full of secrets, with some great visuals and sounds. But that’s far from perfect, and the winding route to the market, when officially announced in 2017, defiles people’s goodwill towards the project. Crowdfunding Campaign-Includes a “mini” version of the Sega game Gear-Successful. This will allow Fonzie and WaterMelon to fulfill pre-orders received a few years ago and offer even better versions of the game with a modern system that will reach more users. It is not yet known if that will actually happen. Fonzie’s previous actions certainly don’t build confidence, but apart from that, Paprium is a solid enough experience worth a look. Of course, suppose you can get a copy. Without the kindness of the game’s art director, we would still have been waiting for us.