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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:03 am

1. Streets of Rage 2 (Sega Genesis Mini)
2. The Ninja Warriors (Super Nintendo) [3x]
3. TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (Super Nintendo)
4. Golden Axe (Sega Genesis Mini)

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5. Beyond Oasis (Sega Genesis Mini)

I originally played this game through emulation in the summer of 2007, and was really impressed by it. I remember getting a few hours into it that summer, but unfortunately I got distracted by other things and never got back around to finishing the game. Now that I had access to play it again on the Genesis Mini, I wanted to sit down and play through the game.

I really like the graphics in this game, I think it's one of the best looking games on the Genesis. I also enjoy the combat a lot, since it leans more towards a beat 'em up style, with a variety of button commands for different attacks, as opposed to just one attack in a lot of action RPGs. The other unique feature that sets it aside from other action RPGs is the use of elemental magic, and the integration of elemental magic in some of the puzzles. The difficulty of the main game is on the easier side, and I think most people familiar with this genre will find it a breeze to get through. The puzzles in the dungeons are usually simple as well, and even a few of the boss battles are easier than expected.

The more difficult sections are in the side quests. For example, the 100 level dungeon, the secret waterfall, and the secret cliffs with platforms. I found the platforming to be a pain, it took me a while to get it down. Also, I could not complete the secret cliffs side quest. I was able to get through the first few portions of it, but I was totally outmatched by the platforming obstacles in this section. I was getting too frustrated with the platforming here, and pivoted back to the main story. My total playtime for the game was just about eight hours. But to be fair, I attempted to beat some of the side quests multiple times, which I think is probably an additional five hours of game time.

I thought the soundtrack and sound effects were good as well. I found the soundtrack to be atmospheric, and thought it went well with the setting. For something that Yuzo Koshiro produced, I don't think it lives up to the other works he is known for, however, the music is still enjoyable IMO.

Overall, I think this was a great effort by Sega and Ancient. I'd also like to try the sequel Legend of Oasis on the Saturn down the line. I highly recommend this one!
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:55 pm

1. Elite Dangerous - PC

I was originally going to wait to call this beat until I had triple Elite, but the grind for combat Elite is stupid long and doesn't have any difficulty progression at the point I'm at; it's entirely down to how much time I sink into it. I'll still be working on it, but it's going to be much more of a background activity (say, an hour a day), rather than the full time I've been devoting to the game since the holiday break.

Elite Dangerous is the fourth game in the Elite series, which is the granddaddy of the space trading open galaxy sim. Originally on the BBC Micro, Elite basically defined every single convention that open ended space games has had ever since. Elite Dangerous was a Kickstarter for the company to gauge interest in the space genre (the company was mostly doing Tycoon games at the time). It launched around the same time as Star Citizen, and while it didn't bring in the same amount of money they also scoped themselves well and were able to release a product that's still going strong years later.

Elite Dangerous drops you into a model of the Milky Way galaxy approximately 1300 years in the future. The devs replicated the scientific knowledge of approximately 100k stars and then used procedural generation based on what we know about the composition of our galaxy and stellar formation to generate the other ~200 billion stars. Human civilization is spread out in an area centered on Sol that is colloquially known as "The Bubble", but you are free to explore the entire galaxy. The game is basically directionless; there are no real story plots, though some universe background stuff does progress over time, such as the Thargoid invasion.

You have three options when it comes to playing the game; solo mode, where no other human players show up, private group, with persistence instances for groups of invited players, and open, where you can run into anyone. All three use the same background galaxy and thus require you to be online. This allows solo players to interact with some of the background galaxy features (like faction influence and power play) without being at risk of the gank squad. And you are free to drop in and out of each game mode with the same character.

The game lets you trade commodities, mine asteroids, map systems and planets to sell to cartographers, bounty hunt, join in localize conflicts, engage in piracy, or transport passengers on either short distances or long sightseeing tours. You can do these activities either freeform or by taking missions from the mission boards in stations; the latter provides various rewards on top of the credits you would get doing those activities solo. You can build up reputation with three major factions and a host of minor factions that exist in the star systems; the major factions are the stellar empires while the minor factions are frequently local to a star system. Engaging in these activities builds up your rank in either Trade, Exploration, or Combat. Getting the max rank of Elite for one of them unlocks the Founder's System where you can get a shop that sells ships and components at a 15% discount and it has everything for sale, while getting triple Elite gives you a bonus decal.

The game has a more realistic flight model, as opposed to the WWII dogfight model you see in games like X-Wing. Ships have a LOT of inertia, and you can turn off flight assist so that it stops auto compensating for your movements (this lets you do the move in one direction shoot in another if you cut your engines, while flight assist on will slow you down if you set throttle to zero by engaging retro thrusters). The game also requires you to manually do things such as slow down to meet a station after a long supercruise, enter into orbit at the right speed and angle, and land on stations on the designated landing bay. You can purchase modules to automate these, but it takes up valuable slots in your ship customization, so it's up to you to decide whether that's important or not.

The game has a bevvy of ships of various sizes and specialties. The largest ships cannot land on small space stations, but they also have the largest capacities for weapons, cargo, and shields. Some ships can have impressive jump ranges, while others have amazing handling for combat. A player will likely want to own several, each customized for a given role and hop between them as you want to switch activities. A generalist build usually isn't worthwhile (though a generalist ship can be quickly converted between roles by swapping modules).

The game has had one paid expansion, Horizons, which added in two major features. The first is the ability to land on airless planets and moons and drive around in a buggy. This is half for fun, half for scavenging materials. These materials can then be used in two ways; you can synthesize things like ammo and temporary engine boosts on the fly, but you can also use it for the second major feature; the engineers. These are various NPCs you can unlock and then have them tweak your modules. Each engineer is located on a planet, so people without Horizons cannot access them. They all require you to meet some requirement to get an invitation and then gift them something to gain access. Then you rank them up by tweaking your modules. These tweaks are usually of the form of boosting one parameter for a penalty on another (as well as adding on a secondary experimental effect if you have the materials). These engineer tweaks are critical for really getting the most out of your ships, as they can do things like greatly increase your jump range or DPS, or let you cram more stuff on a ship that you wouldn't normally have enough power for. The difference in capabilities is stack between a stock ship and a fully engineered ship, though fully engineering is quite the grind.

Most interesting is the community that has sprung up around the game. Unlike EVE the players of Elite Dangerous take a more "we're all in this together" mentality, and so while there are people who gank they end up on a global shit list. There's an organization called the Fuel Rats who have made it their mission to save pilots stranded in deep space without any gas, and another that works at fighting the alien incursions that pop up from time to time. Players have organized pan galactic expeditions of hundreds of players that cross 50k light years round trip.

It's definitely a game that comes down to you needing to be able to set goals to give yourself direction. It's also a great game to drop in and out of over time and see what has changed. It fortunately is never too difficult to earn money, so you won't find yourself just sitting in a crappy low-tier ship for ages like some other space sims. I'd recommend it for fans of open space games.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:59 pm

1. Elite Dangerous - PC
2. Soldier of Fortune - PC

I remember playing Soldier of Fortune back in high school, though I don't know if I ever beat it. It was in that mess of games I played thanks to the magic of warez, so a lot of the details blended together. I do remember it's selling point though; you could blow limbs off of people. Now that it's on GOG I decided to come back to it and see how well it performs looking back. And unfortunately the best I can say is "mediocre".

The premise is that you are a UN sanctioned mercenary who goes and shoots dudes that the UN can't without sparking an international incident. The game starts off with four nukes being stolen and sold to various countries. You are hired to neutralize them, and now you have the first half of the game. While you do so you get reminded that Kosovo was a military conflict of the late 90s; it turns out the War on Terror was a godsend for modern FPS designers for providing a much more memorable venue for their games. Once you finish this section you see some plot and find out who's behind the theft, and they are your stereotypical Bond villain organization and you have to go stop them from their even more deadly plot.

The main selling factor of the game is the detailed damage system. They took the time to model a variety of locations on the body; arms, legs, shoulders, head, neck, and groin. Nailing enemies in these various areas will cause them to go into a unique flinch for each one, or if you do enough damage blow it off entirely (or in the case of throat cause them to do that blood gurgle thing). However, the main gun of the first half of the game can't blow off limbs, which immediately reduces the draw of the game; while the shotgun CAN, it's not really very usable in most of the first half of the game due to ammo concerns and the fact that it has shit range and the levels have longer engagement distances. But at least in the second half you can engage in the limb destruction, and it's reasonably cathartic.

Otherwise the game is very middle of the road. The level design is mostly fine, but sometimes it has some bad signposting, generally when it wants you to do some stuff that is more Quake-style traversal and secret hunting, rather than the more modern FPS "shoot the dudes and go into the next door". The game can't make up its mind on which side of the FPS realism scale it wants to be on. The game also makes use of monster closets far too much, and not just "look, enemies came out of this locked door as reinforcements". Sometimes it's literally "an enemy was chilling in this 2'x3' room, waiting for you, and you can go in the room and see how pitiful his existence was up until now. The game also has a poorly executed noise system, wherein as you engage in combat you raise the noise level, and when it maxes out reinforcements spawn. But to actually max it out you need to toss like, four or five grenades, rock and roll with your assault rifle, AND be facing a couple of rocket launcher troopers.

Speaking of, the game has mostly reasonably balanced enemies, but starting about halfway through they introduce these heavy rocket launcher troops that take far too much ammo to put down, in a way that isn't very satisfying. The last level has enemies that can two shot you with their railgun-esque weapons (though they die fast, sometimes the CPU reflexes just bone you). And the final boss is both a massive bullet sponge AND when he's down to a third health several automatic invincible turrets spin up and rapidly kill you. The only way to deal with them is to be crouched, as they can only depress so far. The boss also stands in one spot at this point. But if you don't know one of the handful of safe spots to crouch and be able to lean in and out to shoot the boss you're just screwed; the boss's health is such that if you aren't in a safe spot when the turrets spin up you have two seconds to get safe before losing, and he takes FAR more than two seconds of fire to kill. It's a pretty major shitty end to the game.

It's unfortunate that the game is so blah, since Raven's got a pretty good pedigree otherwise (Heretic, Hexen, Jedi Outcast).
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:17 am

1. Her Story (iOS)
2. Elminage Original (3DS)
3. Legend of Grimrock (iOS)

Legend of Grimrock is a first-person, grid-based dungeon crawler inspired by Dungeon Master. This means that the game has real-time ARPG battles and more of an emphasis on exploration and puzzle solving. (This is in contrast to Wizardry-clones, which are all about random, turn-based battles, grinding experience, and getting rare drops.) As a dungeon-crawler, the game doesn’t have much of a story, but it looks fantastic, sounds great, and plays extremely well. The enemies and puzzles are often very challenging, and conquering them provides a real feeling of achievement. (Killing the game’s first ogre, on the dungeon’s sixth floor, was a fantastic experience.) Moreover, the game is packed full of secrets, and hunting the, down is very fun. I enjoyed the game immensely, and at only 20 hours, it really didn’t wear out its welcome. The game has inspired me to seek out its inspiration, and other games like it, and I really can’t recommend it highly enough.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:32 am

King post. Inspired me to (re)download the game.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:56 pm

It’s a pretty awesome game. The sequel is, apparently, even better, but it’s PC only...Playing The Legend of Grimrock portably on my iPad was pretty awesome, and I think both games would be well-suited for the Switch. (A physical combo pack....<swoon>)

I rolled my own party, and I played with two human fighters, a lizardman rogue, and an insectoid mage. If I were starting again, I’d play as a human fighter, a minotaur fighter, and two insectoid mages. Unlike Wizardry, you don’t need rogues/thieves to disarm traps and open chests. They just use ranged weapons, have a backstab technique (that isn’t that great), and have a high evasion stat. While they can attack from the back row and from a distance, they do low damage, and I think I’d have been better off with two casters specializing in different types of magic. I would also “specialize” my characters stats a bit earlier on in the game: the human fighter would gain just enough armor stats to use light armor without impacting evasion before specializing entirely in swords, the minotaur fighter would gain just enough stats to use heavy armor without impacting evasion before specializing in unarmed combat, axes, or maces (probably unarmed combat, because you don’t find good axes and maces until very late in the game, and not having to carry a weapon gives you capacity to carry more food and items), and as I mentioned earlier, my insectoid mages would each specialize in different types of magic (i.e., one would specialize in earth and fire, and the other would specialize in ice and wind). I would also boost the mages’ spellcraft stats to the point where they could use some of the “quality of life” spells (e.g., light and dark) and the weapons that enhance casting.

I’m probably not going to play through it again, though; so, this is just advice in case you’re thinking of starting a new game! (You can beat the game without doing these things, of course. It just might make some of the more difficult sections a bit easier.)
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:09 pm

Ahhhh, Legend of Grimrock is SO good, and I can assure you the sequel is absolutely excellent as well. Real shame to hear it isn't on iOS :cry:

You have made me really wanna play it again, and that very well may be next on my plate, post-Puzzle Quest, at this point :lol: . Great review, Prfsnl ^w^
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:33 pm

Puzzle Quest is awesome. A few years ago, I poured a ton of time into that game. As much as I loved it, though, I’ve not yet picked up the sequels. (I mean...I own them, of course, but I’ve never started playing them.) Someday...
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:45 pm

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2020!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Pikmin 2 (GCN)
2. Banjo-Tooie (N64)

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I completed Banjo-Tooie on the Nintendo 64 this afternoon!

I picked up Banjo-Tooie basically right after I beat Banjo-Kazooie. Even though it frustrating in many parts, I really enjoyed Banjo-Kazooie. It had some amazing music and I really enjoyed the characters and the worlds to explore. I had always heard that Tooie wasn't as loved as Kazooie, so I went in with my expectations a little lowered. Maybe that is one of the reasons the game sat on my shelf for a few years. Finally, with a nudge from my Fortune Cookie Marathon, I decided to make Banjo-Tooie as my N64 game to beat this year. I finally started playing the game and I was able to finish it today.

I must say that Banjo-Tooie is probably Rare's nicer games. People always complain about Capcom/Konami making incredibly hard games, but for me, Rare games are the hardest I've ever played. Most of them are just downright mean to the player and it was nice to see them go in a different direction. With deaths not having a huge penalty and cheats that help you through the game, Tooie was not as painful as I was expecting. The game is basically a continuation of the first game with the same characters and same basic game play. You go around trying to collect everything in the level so that you can move onto the next level. You see familiar faces and the game loves to break the fourth wall. In a way, it is very similar to Kazooie.

The biggest problem is the game isn't as fun to play as Kazooie. The worlds and music just aren't as memorable. The best parts about the game are references and characters to the previous game. Very few things feel original in the game. Also, everything takes forever. The game is dependent on these spots that specific characters can do. So, you are constantly changing characters, changing them back and splitting up Banjo & Kazooie. The later levels take hours to beat and some Jiggies just take forever to get as you are constantly running around the level and backtracking to previous levels. Also, the game has so many moves that its hard to remember them all.

Overall, Banjo-Tooie is the perfect example of game with too much going for it. I wish they trimmed some of the fat to make the levels more memorable and enjoyable. It's not exactly a bad game as it is still fun to play, but it's not one I will remember by the end of the year. Unfortunately, the game just never surpasses the first game.
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REPO Man
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by REPO Man Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:59 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Puzzle Quest is awesome. A few years ago, I poured a ton of time into that game. As much as I loved it, though, I’ve not yet picked up the sequels. (I mean...I own them, of course, but I’ve never started playing them.) Someday...


I enjoy Puzzle Quest 2 and Marvel Puzzle Quest (I have it on PS4 and my tablet), though I don't care for the MtG one.
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