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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by marurun Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:50 pm

My total playtime for Borderlands 2 is 375 hours, and I have 359 hours recorded for Skyrim, but that cumulative playtime also took 1-2 years for each game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:25 pm

ElkinFencer10 wrote:SD Gundam G Generation Genesis (PlayStation 4)

Great review as usual Elkin!

The List So Far:

19. The Dame Was Loaded [PC/GOG] [Together Retro - 04/2018]

The Dame Was Loaded is a decent adventure game and a particularly nice example of FMV done right. What we have here is a classic hard-boiled detective story filled with wisecracking mooks and dames in snappy dress with even snappier comebacks. If you're thinking Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe, you're on the right track in terms of what The Dame Was Loaded is going for. And to that end it's pretty effective! In terms of the bar set by most FMV games from this era, the acting in this title is actually quite good! This isn't to say that we're dealing with any Oscar winning performances either, but for the most part the actors here perform well enough. The dialogue is also well written and snappy which goes a long way towards triaging any occasionally middling delivery. In reading up on this game, I've seen several sources citing it as the 'largest multimedia project produced in Australia' at the time of its release. I'm not entirely certain of the original source of this rather vague statistic, and equally I'm not certain what metric was applied to conclude that it was in fact 'the largest' (By budget? By volume of content? Number of cast and crew? Size on disc? … nullPointer has questions). Unfortunately the sources I've seen never seem to explain it any further than that. But despite some fuzzy data collection, I suppose that this is noteworthy trivia about the game, especially considering the number of sources which seem to cite it as a statistic.

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So this is a point & click adventure game of the sort that was very common among games from this era which utilized FMV for the explicit purpose of interactive fiction. Although where many FMV games from this era utilized QTEs as means of (or perhaps as a replacement for) pacing, The Dame Was Loaded really does owe more of its gameplay to classic point & click games (albeit first person in this particular case). So having a keen eye for on-screen details, prudent inventory management, and clever usage of items (occasionally in combination with other items) will all serve you well here. As you progress further along in this convoluted case of missing persons by way of a diamond heist gone wrong you may even find it prudent to take some notes, another hallmark from the golden age of adventure games. In terms of modern 'quality of life' improvements this game might have benefited from an automatic memo pad tracking any pertinent details of the case you've encountered. You'll find that in your various interactions with people you'll only be able to ask about any given topic/person of interest once, unless further discoveries are made in the meantime at which point the interviewee will respond with information about the more recent discoveries rather than repeating any of the previous details they may have revealed. As the case grows more convoluted, I'd say that having case notes on hand will be extremely beneficial. Sometimes your protagonist (Scott Anger) will make connections explicitly by way of spoken inner monologue, "… didn't <so-and-so> mention a brown jacket like this?", but often it will be up to you the player to connect the dots in order to truly crack the case. So if you're on top of your investigations, most aspects of the game should be fairly straight forward. That's not to say the game isn't without some elements of moon logic though, and I'll freely admit that I looked up clues in a couple of instances. At one point in the game you need to appear in disguise in order to investigate a hotel room. As it turns out there are several aspects of the disguise you need to have right before proceeding, and the game doesn't really clue you in as to what constitutes 'correct'. Among other things you'll need to have noticed a bell hop uniform hanging in a dry cleaners (unrelated to anything else at that point in the game), and then you'll need to forge a ticket to collect that uniform. I'm sure I missed some things along the way, but bottom line, don't expect this game to always serve up easily identifiable solutions.

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The obtuse nature of the case is somewhat compounded by an arbitrary time limit set at the beginning of the game in which you're given a certain number of days to solve the case. At one point in the game this timeframe gets extended a bit, but it continues to be mentioned and loom like a shadow over the proceedings. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand I'm sure it's intended as a means of establishing replay value (as well as increasing tension), but on the other hand and more crucially for me, "Hurry up and explore!" is just such a weird directive to have in an adventure game. It's entirely possible to miss a lot of the flavor text and fun little additions when you're rushing to meet this looming deadline. I find that some of the fun in adventure games is experimenting with the environment and environmental parameters, but this requires a more relaxed approach to gameplay.

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Still, any quibbles I can find with The Dame Was Loaded are fairly minor. I didn't have a lot of high expectations from this era of FMV gaming, but The Dame Was Loaded exceeded them in most regards. Recommended for adventure game fanatics; especially so if you have love for this classic era of detective stories as torn from the pages of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.
Last edited by nullPointer on Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:45 pm

marurun wrote:My total playtime for Borderlands 2 is 375 hours, and I have 359 hours recorded for Skyrim, but that cumulative playtime also took 1-2 years for each game.

Numbers like that are crazy to me. I was OBSESSED with LoZ: BOTW and DQIX, and I still invested “only” 120 - 150 hours into each.

If you can do it, though, power to you!

Also...I don’t want the numbers to detract from the discussion. Great reviews, as usual, Elkin and Null. I have to live somewhat vicariously through your unique and interesting gaming adventures. :D
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:48 pm

I think by the time I stopped playing WoW my in game time was a couple hundred of days.
Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:56 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
marurun wrote:My total playtime for Borderlands 2 is 375 hours, and I have 359 hours recorded for Skyrim, but that cumulative playtime also took 1-2 years for each game.

Numbers like that are crazy to me. I was OBSESSED with LoZ: BOTW and DQIX, and I still invested “only” 120 - 150 hours into each.

Haha yeah.

A couple of years ago I felt like I was "living" Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst. Consumed tons of my free time, for many many months. Total gameplay time -- a "measly" 75 hours. :lol:

I never tried to tackle anything big when I was young and single.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:06 pm

I stopped playing Breath of the Wild at about the 108-110 shrines mark. I ended up just shy of 100 hours (timer is still stuck at 95). There aren't many games that will get me to invest that kind of time. Xenoblade saw me put in 99.5. Dragon Warrior VII was 93 + whatever the last dungeon clocks in at. I've put down a lot of RPGs, though, in the 50-hour range, so I suppose I can't say I don't put some time in. I've just had a lot less patience as of late, barring those supremely transcendent experiences.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Markies Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:49 pm

Sarge wrote:430? :shock:

I'm pretty sure I've never spent that much time with a single game in my lifetime, much less over the course of a month. Tecmo Super Bowl might be the only one that comes close, and I figure that at 200-250 hours in all. (I did go through season mode with every single team, after all, over the course of several years.)

I was about 3/4 of the way through that and then I lost interest and then my list.

So, I applaud and congratulate you on achieving an accomplishment that I always wanted to do.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PresidentLeever Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:05 pm

36. Mr. Ghost (MSX) (click for full review)

I gotta say it's pretty cool how many of the MSX games I've played recently have put their own spin on things in some way, for better or worse. This one's a solid action game at its core, with excellent presentation for the MSX2 (sadly there's no FM music option but they really did what they could with the humble AY-3 chip at least). The obvious difference to the vast majority of contemporary games, I can only think of Mr. Heli right now (and it's not unlikely this is an homage now that I think about it), is that you're controlling a flying ghost. Now, he doesn't have the arsenal of Heli and his main weapon (a sort of spirit boomerang thingy) is kinda weak even when fully upgraded. Instead, the best way to deal with enemies and to explore the levels for power ups is to use a fast, stamina-based butt slam attack.

While this is a funny and oddly satisfying way of dealing with your problems, it brings me to my main complaint - having to slam your way around each screen to get to the goodies (there's no other way to tell which block or background tile is breakable) doesn't really gel with a stamina-meter that's quite slow to regenerate, especially not when every screen has respawning enemies that tend to be hard to just avoid. It actually led to me trying to find safespots, then frameskipping until I was recharged so that I could continue playing without being heavily disadvantaged against the enemies and many bosses of the game. The game does try to fix this with purchaseable power ups that increase the stamina meter temporarily, but these are rather expensive and you need to know the levels well to make proper use of them while maintaining a good flow.

Anyway, it's not a dealbreaker and there's more to like here. Enemy variety is very good, the game mixes things up with a couple of auto-scrolling levels, and the boss fights make pretty creative use of the butt slam move, which also serves as a dodge move. There's a lot happening on screen with little to no slowdown and some large and detailed sprites are sure to impress 8-bit fans. I also found the length to be just about perfect for this kind of game, about 50 mins should be enough if you're good at it. All in all this is one of the best MSX games.

Edit: Apparently there's also an english translation patch which makes an easy mode accessible, I'll have to try it out soon. - Mini-reviews, retro vgm tribute, rom hacks, chip music, mockups, misc. lists
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Tue May 01, 2018 1:01 am

1. Ultima V - PC
2. Ultima VI - PC
3. Might and Magic VI - PC
4. Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny - PC
5. Pool of Radiance - PC
6. Curse of the Azure Bonds - PC
7. Secret of the Silver Blades - PC
8. Pools of Darkness - PC
9. Gateway to the Savage Frontier - PC
10. Treasures of the Savage Frontier - PC
11. Champions of Krynn - PC
12. Death Knights of Krynn - PC
13. Dark Queen of Krynn - PC
14. Into the Breach - PC
15. Lords of the Realm - PC
16. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands - PC
17. Lords of the Realm II - PC
18. The Alliance Alive - 3DS
19. Shattered Steel - PC
20. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition - PC
21. Battletech - PC

So those of you in Slack are probably sick of hearing about this, but Battletech is awesome and I highly recommend it to every fan of turn bases strategy games. By all accounts the game is doing fantastic and we are likely to get more entries/DLC campaigns. I can only hope that this plus MechWarrior 5 later this year help revitalize the overall IP.

Battletech is a turn based strategy adaptation of the original board game, though it is a pragmatic adaptation. It is set in 3025, and the timeline doesn't advance even though the days advance (don't expect to hear about the Capellan Confederation getting reamed if you wait three in game years). It is set in a piece of space in the Periphery, between the Taurian Concordant and the Magistracy of Canopus, called the Aurigan Reach. You play the part of a mercenary company hired to help during the conflict, though you will also be doing a lot of other missions for other powers in the region. The basic gameplay loop is for you to do missions for random employers until the conflict has progressed to the point that they need your special skills, then you get to do a story mission to advance things. Eventually you bring an end to things and are given leave to explore the entire map and work for anyone (prior to that you tend to be restricted to portions of the map).

The game has a pretty extensive management system for your company. You have monthly maintenance and salary costs, it costs money to customize your mechs (both to purchase items and to place them), and the major expense is fixing mechs that have taken serious damage. Additionally, it takes time to do all the work on your mechs, and you can only work on one mech at a time, so it helps to have a few extra chasses in storage. Additionally, you hire pilots who can take damage in battle and will be laid up in the infirmary, though they heal in parallel. Over time your pilots gain experience and gain stat boosts and special skills. With the skills you have to pick and choose, as you only get three (two first tier, one second tier of the same line as one of the first tier ones), so you'll find yourself customizing pilots to types of rides. When you take a non-story contract you also have the ability to negotiate the terms of the contract. You get two sliders to set how much you want the payout to be in cash and how much you want to be salvage rights; raising one lowers the other. You do also have the option to take minimal amounts of both for a large reputation boost with the faction giving the contract, which gives you more access to contracts (better contracts need someone who likes you) as well as shop discounts. The salvage rights at a minimal level are 0/2, which means you get 0 priority picks and 2 random picks. But if you max them out, they can be 2/10, 3/14, or 5/18 (depending on the contract), which not only gives you more raw salvage, also gives you a number of first picks. These are important for getting mech salvage, as you need to have three mech parts to get one mech. Whole mechs in stores are both incredibly expensive compared to your income and incredibly rare, so building out your company comes through salvage. Balancing cash payouts vs. salvage is one of the major management aspects of the game.

As for the actual turn based strategy part, the game is inspired by the original tabletop but does its own thing. The original tabletop had a cadence of each player moving one mech at a time (with the person who loses initiative going first), then everyone attacks at once (damage is marked but doesn't take effect until all attacks are resolved). This game is a more traditional turn based, but it is split up into several phases. There are five phases in a turn, and inside a phase the factions alternate one unit at a time. Units are sorted into the phases based on their size (light units are in a higher phase than heavy units), with the very first phase reserved for the lightest units that are piloted by someone who has a special skill that bumps their phase up by one. When your turn comes in a phase you can either move a unit or have all the units in that phase wait until the next phase; this gives you the opportunity to force moves for your opponent while your units still have their stacks of evasion or cover. When you move a unit you can have it move and then attack, move and melee, move and hunker down (increase defense), sprint (move half again as far, but no action afterwards), and if you have jump jets you can jump instead of moving in all of the above (jump and melee is the Death from Above attack). The movement is very based on the tabletop; the game is a hex grid, and every unit has a number of (hidden) movement points, though if you know the tabletop game's stats you won't be surprised. An interesting thing is that turning from one hex side to another costs a movement point, same as moving from one hex to another. This means that jump jets (which at max can only be equal to your walking movement points) can sometimes let you go further; generally when you're looking to go side to side or when there are harder terrain in the way (forests).

As for resolving combat, it also is mostly ported straight from the tabletop with one change that's mostly because computers are faster at computations than people by hand. When you target an enemy unit you will get to pick what weapons to fire, and then every weapon rolls a chance to hit, and then if it hits it rolls a location to hit. Mechs have eight locations that can be hit, and if a part takes too much damage it can have its components damaged or be entirely blown off. Some weapons also deal damage to a stability stat; when this gets too high you first become unsteady and lose any evasion bonuses. If you take full stability damage while you are unsteady (so it always takes two attacks on an empty bar) then you fall over; this deals damage to your pilot and moves you back a phase for your next action. Also, while you are knocked down you are now vulnerable to called shots; you get to pick a part to focus your attacks on and it increases the chances that to hit rolls hit that part. This stability system replaces the system in tabletop of just taking enough damage in one turn you have a chance to fall. Missiles is the big change from tabletop; instead of rolling once for hit, then a second time for number of missiles that hit, then grouping those missiles into clusters (number in a cluster depending on the type) and rolling location for each cluster, now it rolls once for every missile for hit and hit location, with the caveat that a given launcher only gets one chance to hit the head, and only gets a fixed number of missiles in the salvo that do hit the head if it gets the head roll.

Now, all that damage stuff sounds good, but there's also a management aspect to things; ammo and heat. If you take low hit probability attacks you risk running out of ammo by battle's end. But more important is heat. Everything you do generates heat; standing still generates none, moving generates a little, sprinting generates more, jumping generates even more. Every weapon (except machine guns) generates heat when fired. If your heat gets too high you first take internal damage (which can lead to bad things), and eventually shut down (which also makes you vulnerable to called shots). Combating this is your heat sinks; in a given turn you will automatically get rid of so many points of heat. So balancing when to run hot and when to pull back is another aspect of the strategy. And sometimes it can be worthwhile to go into shutdown to get that last bit of damage in before things go completely south for you.

The random missions come in varying types; you have basic "kill all the dudes", but then a series of missions that have some mission objective that you can do and then bug out to an evac zone, though you also can get a bonus for wiping out enemies. You might have to assassinate an enemy commander, wipe out a base, ambush a convoy, or extract something from a location. The story missions are also pretty varied, and they tend to evolve over the course of the mission.

The game definitely has a "one more mission" quality to it. The finances are balanced incredibly well, such that you never really get into a situation of having a runaway coffer and you stop caring about money; things are pretty much always tight (and if you run out of cash at month's end that's game over). There's a great power curve both through the mechs you salvage and your pilots getting better, and sometimes you can get lucky and get something big early from something like a risky assassination mission; it will become the cornerstone of your lance. I put in a good 45 hours over the past week and really had trouble putting it down.
Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Tue May 01, 2018 3:07 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2018 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017
* indicates a repeat

1. Tyranny (PC)
2. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PC)
4. Hotline Miami (PC)*
5. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC)
6. Mario X Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Switch)
7. Nine Parchments (Switch)
8. X-com: UFO Defense (PC)
9. Chocobo Racing (PS1)
10. Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak (GBA)
11. Dragon Quest Builders (PS4)
12. Dragon Quest (3DS)
13. Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below (PS4)
14. Dragon Quest II (3DS)
15. Kirby Star Allies (Switch)
16. Hearthstone Dungeon Run (PC)
17. My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (3DS)
18. Tales of Legendia (PS2)
19. Retro City Rampage (3DS)

20. Hearthstone Monster Hunt (PC)

Hearthstone's new solo-content for its new expansion came out the other day, and I enjoyed the last one so much that I had to dive right into this one. It took me WAY shorter a time to complete it, like a tenth or an eighth of what Dungeon Run took me, mostly because there's a weird combo of much more new content than the last one but also far less actual objectives to shoot for. Monster Hunt is ultimately a kind of easy-mode for the AI-adventure X Arena Draft that Dungeon Run started, and I'm A-okay with that. There's nothing wrong with a more accessible version of an already great fun game mode :)

The "more" of Monster Hunt are the new classes that you play within it. Instead of making drafts of decks of the standard 9 classes like in Dungeon Run, Monster Hunt has 4 all new custom classes that you play within it with their own hero powers and deck-draft archetypes. A Tracker who can Discover a class card previously used that match, a Cannoneer who has an indestructible cannon on the board he can fire to damage enemies in front of it, a Houndmaster who can summon a 1/1 hound with Rush, and a Time-Tinker who can reset to the beginning of her turn for free once-per-turn. This leads to very cool deck varieties that you just won't find in other parts of the game, as there are even passive treasures that are unique to each class, like permanently buffing the cannoneer's cannon shots or allowing the tracker to use her hero power for 1 mana twice a turn.

Each one has their own "nemesis" final boss AI that will always be their 8th boss until you beat Monster Hunt with them for the first time, and each class character has a bunch of fun dialogue with the other bosses and a lot with their nemesis. Beat the hunt with all four of them and you unlock a final battle with the leader of the monsters. That final boss is really hard, but you don't need to go through any bosses to get to it. You can retry it as much as you like easily until you beat it to unlock the new card-back for it (which is thankfully far less ugly than the Dungeon Run card-back).

The only bad things I could really say about Monster Hunt are things that really aren't inherently bad. While there are another 40 bosses to fight, they are on the whole far, far easier than any in Dungeon Run. You can win almost every fight you go up against as long as you play well and have been trying to make a deck that works. I beat two of the classes' challenges on my first try, and the other two on their second and third runs respectively. On that note, the classes themselves don't feel terribly balanced to one another, even though that doesn't really matter as none of the game isn't against AI. Tracker is clearly the best though, followed closely by Cannoneer with Houndmaster a distant 4th, so the first wins on some are far more irritating than others. And again, because it's pretty easy, it's not terribly long, but it's really different from the last one, easier and more accessible, and also free, so it's hard to complain about it legitimately, tbh.

Verdict: Recommended. If Dungeon Run was too frustratingly unfair for you to tolerate (and believe me, it was frustrating bullshit :lol: ), Monster Hunt is a much more satisfyingly easy romp. If you like the silliness of the Hearthstone solo adventures and the challenge of deck-building in arena and want an easier version of Dungeon Run, this is a great addition to the Hearthstone solo adventure content :)
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