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Flake
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Flake Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:59 am

Alright, 2018 here we go: My goal - no replaying games I have already finished until at least July.

January

Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)

I have never played a Yakuza game before. I've purchased and then sold a couple without even trying them out - the depth and breadth of the series is just off putting. But when the remake of the first game went on sale for $20, I felt like I finally had a safe jumping on point.

I really, really liked this game. It had a really great story with a surprising amount of character development and cohesion. The characters were surprisingly likable despite being gross simplifications of criminals or police officers - even the game's main trio of a former Yakuza, burnout cop, and a criminal mastermind in an open rob were brought together in a way that felt shockingly organic. There weren't many points where I felt that character development or narrative flow took an abrupt turn due to convenient deus ex machina occurrences.

The fighting system, in particular, kept me absolutely engaged. The flow of combat is fast paced but never feels out of control. There is enough variety and decision making that battles that feel truly dynamic come out of my button mashing. I am sure that a person who dedicates themselves to mastering this game can create truly John Woo style battles.

I recommend this game for anyone else who has thought about the Yakuza series but was turned off by the price/rarity of the older titles or didn't have a clue where to start.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:50 pm

There's one that goes between this one and the first one chronologically, but I forgot to upload screenshots to my OneDrive last night, so that one will get posted tomorrow.

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 2
* denotes a replay

January (1 Game Beaten)
1. Phantasy Star Portable - PlayStation Portable - January 1
2. Duck Tales - NES - January 10


2. Duck Tales - NES - January 10

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My first time participating in Together Retro! Duck Tales is a licensed platformer from back in day when that wasn't synonymous with "garbage shovelware." Interest in the game saw a resurgence a few years back when WayForward released their remake of the game (which was bloody brilliant), but those of us who played the original always knew what a gem this game was.

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For those who don't know, Duck Tales follows Scrooge McDuck - richest duck in the world - on his quest to get even richer. Like, there's actually no reason for Scrooge McDuck to be the hero of the game except that he's the protagonist and everyone loves Donald Duck (unless you're playing Kingdom Hearts). Regardless, though, Scrooge is presented as the game's hero, and with his nephews making cameos along the way, it's hard not to love this otherwise scummy capitalist mallard.

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The game's visuals are bright and colorful, a testament to what skilled programmers could do with the NES hardware. Even more enjoyable the the visuals, though, is the music. The soundtrack for the game is absolutely phenomenal, especially the music in the Moon level. In my opinion, the music is more nostalgic for me than the actual gameplay itself. The platforming is great, but the use of the cane both to attack and "pogo" felt really iffy to me, only responding the way I expected it to about 3/4 of the time. It wasn't bad, per se, but it didn't feel as reliable as I might have liked.

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The level design is much more in-depth than most platformers of the era. There are branching paths and dead ends in the level, and it's not always clear how to get to your destination in the level. Some paths will lead to greater riches but in the opposite direction of the boss, and there's a time limit working against you all the while. It's a great use of risk vs reward, and it makes the game good for at least a couple playthroughs before you run out of stuff you haven't seen before.

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Duck Tales isn't without its flaws, but it's an exceptional 8-bit platformer. The jumping is tight and responsive even if the cane controls aren't quite as tight as I'd like. The visuals are bright and colorful, and the music is an auditory delight. You can play the levels in any order, so if there's a particular level you really love, you can just pop in the cartridge and go straight to that level. I, personally, think WayForward's remake is an overall better game, but that's not to disparage the original in the slightest; it's still one of the finest licensed games on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:53 pm

1) Legendary Axe II (TG16) (6.0) (1/1) (2.5 hours)
2) The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse (SNES) (7.5) (1/3) (1.5 hours)
3) Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose! (SNES) (6.5) (1/3) (2.5 hours)
4) The Adventures of Batman & Robin (SNES) (7.0) (1/4) (2.5 hours)
5) The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minney (7.5) (1/6) (1.5 hours)
6) Phantom 2040 (SNES) (7.0) (1/9) (9 hours?)

Thoughts in TR thread.
Last edited by Sarge on Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by marurun Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:18 pm

Sarge wrote:6) Phantom 2040 (SNES) (7.0) (1/9) (9 hours?)

Thoughts in TR thread.


Why don't you include a link to the post for those of us who like to read your reviews?
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:42 pm

Linky added. :)
ESauced
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ESauced Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:46 pm

Beat Mario Odyssey. Going around collecting the extra power moons now. I’m around 350 now so a ways to go.

The main game is fantastic and more than enough to earn this an A grade. All the extra moons are just icing. Although I will say some of the bonus moons seem a bit phoned in. If you show me the bonus moon on the map and it’s just sitting out in the open, what’s the point really?
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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by marurun Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:53 pm

Sarge wrote:Linky added. :)


YAY!
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nullPointer
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:17 pm

The List So Far:
1. To the Moon [PC/Steam]

While To the Moon was a good New Year's palette cleanser (and a good reminder of 'the things that really matter in life'©), I typically like to start each year off with a 'landmark game' regardless of how many times I've played it in the past. For 2018 that was …

2. Super Mario All-Stars: Super Mario Bros. 3 [SNES]
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I'm certain that entire swaths of internet text have been devoted to lauding the greatness of this game, but I'm going to boil it down to the single concept that stuck with me this time around. Meticulous. Certainly not a groundbreaking revelation by any means and if you read no further that's probably all you need to know (as if you didn't already). This game is a masterwork that is simply meticulous in its execution. And it's this attention to detail, this fine-tuned gaming experience that makes SMB3 feel timeless, particularly in a sea of half-baked 'retro inspired' platformers. Even when cast under the gaze of the most discerning critical eye it's hard to find fault with this game. The graphical elements presented here codified what most of us would consider the 'gold standard' of Super Mario world building. SMB was too simple and too 'bricky' in appearance to be considered truly iconic, SMB2 didn't take place in the Mushroom Kingdom and was in fact a re-skin of Doki Doki Panic, but SMB3 finally gave us a set of immediately identifiable world building elements which Mario games would carry forward even to this day. The music is simple, catchy and memorable. The control is impeccable. It's simple enough for beginners, deep enough to keep veteran players on the hunt for its many secrets.

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In fact, if one were to find any 'troublesome' element here, it's that the game is almost too polished and refined. If you're looking for a quirky nuanced experience, you won't find that here (see SMB2). But this criticism is the very height of hyperbole and ridiculous conjecture. This is the gaming equivalent of Led Zeppelin IV; every note serves a purpose, every intonation is perfectly placed. If you wanted to listen to Black Flag you'd have done that in the first place, right? ;) Special shout out goes to the All-Stars version of the game which I feel is the very best representation of SMB3.

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Last edited by nullPointer on Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Xeogred Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:25 pm

Dude, yes. SMB3 is the best Mario aesthetics and take on the Mushroom Kingdom and its zany worlds by far to me. Nowadays I lean more towards SMW being the better game, the levels are bigger and the ideas constantly interesting, but SMB3 has the best vibes, all the cool power ups, and more variety between the worlds. I think I'm more partial to the NES original, but I'm big fan of both the NES trilogy and the All Stars versions.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:27 pm

I'm part of what seems to be a minority who thinks that, while Super Mario World is amazing, Super Mario Bros 3 is the absolute pinnacle of 2D platforming.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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