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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:45 pm

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

1. Pikmin 2 (GCN)
2. Banjo-Tooie (N64)
3. Contra: Hard Corps (GEN)
4. Super Baseball Simulator 1,000 (SNES)
5. Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers 2 (NES)
6. Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection (PS2)
***7. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PS2)***

***8. Cruis'N USA (N64)***

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I completed Cruis'N USA on the Nintendo 64 this evening!

Cruis'n USA is the first in the series and it is also the worst in the series. The tracks run from insanely difficult to pitifully easy with really no in between along with half the game being in California, even though it is called USA. The backgrounds look fairly terrible and the game never controls perfectly. I do give it some leeway as it is the first in the series and the music has some really good tunes. But, I much prefer World and even Exotica to this one.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:32 am

1. Elite Dangerous - PC
2. Soldier of Fortune - PC
3. Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Defender of the Empire - PC
4. Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Enemies of the Empire - PC
5. Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter: Balance of Power - PC
6. Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - PC
7. Phoenix Point - PC
8. Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter - PC
9. Descent II - PC
10. Inbento - Switch
11. Ori and the Will of the Wisps - XB1
12. Doom Eternal - PC
13. Serious Sam 2 - PC
14. Black Mesa - PC
15. Descent 3 - PC
16. Darksiders II - PC

Darksiders II follows Death on his quest to save his brother War for being blamed for starting the Apocalypse early and fucking up the balance with a simple task; bringing back Mankind. In the process we find out more about the world of Darksiders and discover that RPG elements can really trivialize things when not properly balanced.

The game is concurrent with Darksiders I; it starts while War is trying to convince the Charred Council that he wasn't going rogue, with Death riding off to figure out how to bring back Humanity. This journey takes Death through the land of the Makers (a race of giant blacksmiths who can create golems), the land of the Dead, and outposts of Heaven and Hell (plus a short visit to Earth). This is in a more open world fashion than the first game; you start off with a horse and the maps are built around this. Think of it like every zone is Hyrule Field from OoT, and then you have various dungeons you can enter to progress the plot. The game dials back a bit on the obvious OoT ripping off; you don't have quite as many mobility options and the dungeons are smaller (but there's more of them). The bosses are about half Zelda puzzle boss and half action game be good at the combat engine fights.

The big change is instead of Zelda style finding life and magic extensions to power up you have straight up RPG leveling. You have a sets of stats and a bunch of equipment that can boost those stats, and you level up as you kill things and do quests. Leveling up lets you put points in a couple of skill trees; each of these trees has a handful of activated abilities using your mana and then a bunch of passive boosts to those abilities (e.g. the teleport slash can gain fire damage or increased critical chance). You only have enough skill points to deck out two active abilities, but the game has very cheap respecs, so don't feel afraid to experiment with what feels good.

The other mechanic of note with the equipment is the Possessed Weapons. These are weapons that you can sacrifice other gear to (in lieu of selling the gear for cash) to give them experience and level them up. Each Possessed Weapon can be leveled up five times, which increases their stats and lets you choose from various randomly selected stats. You can add up to four stats this way (or just strengthen existing ones), and this is where the game can really be broken. You can add elemental, crit chance, and life gain on crit, and combining all three makes you deal a ton of damage and rapidly heal up in fights. Once I remembered Possessed Weapons were a thing (they were introduced back when I first touched the game, then I stopped playing for half a year, so I forgot) I was able to craft an OP weapon and sail through the rest of the game, only having minor trouble with the last two bosses (and I didn't fight them skillfully, I just brute forced).

One final thing of note is that Death is a much more fun protagonist than War was. War treated the entire thing with deadly seriousness, while Death realizes that this game is a bit absurd and has a sardonic personality to match. He also is a bit pulled back design-wise compared to War being the living embodiment of every Rob Liefeld character ever.
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REPO Man
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by REPO Man Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:27 am

Beat the Borderlands 3 DLC, Moxxi's Heist of the Handsome Jackpot, on PS4 as Zane on Normal. Also have the Guns, Love and Tentacles DLC, so my level cap is 57 right now. I've also got Zane at 57. Really wish the cap was higher. And that I could buy more inventory storage, but I'm maxed out. Maybe I don't need a weapon type for each element (i.e a fire pistol, shock pistol, corrosive pistol, et al).
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:23 pm

1. ACA NeoGeo: Cyber-Lip (Switch eShop)
2. Pengo (Atari 2600)
3. Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
4. Knights of Xentar (PC)
5. Hoshi o Sagashite... (Mark III)
6. Dead Zone (Famicom Disk System)
7. Samurai Sword (Famicom Disk System)
8. High School! Kimengumi (Mark III)
9. Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom (NES)
10. Sindbad Mystery (SG-1000)
11. Steins;Gate (Vita)
12. Champion Boxing (SG-1000)
13. Squidlit (Switch eShop)
14. Skyblazer (SNES)
15. Tokyo Dark: Remembrance (Switch eShop)
16. Bubble Bobble (Famicom Disk System)
17. Steins;Gate Elite (Switch)
18. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Joe and Mac Returns (Switch eShop)
19. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Express Raider (Switch eShop)


Steins;Gate Elite
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In 2009 there was Steins;Gate the video game. In 2011 the Steins;Gate anime was released. And then in 2018 the world was blessed with Steins;Gate Elite -- the video game... based on the anime. Seems like Steins;Gate was pretty successful! Elite was released for various systems, with the PlayStation 4, Steam, and Switch variants all arriving in North America in 2019 (sorry Vita owners).

Being an adaptation (of an adaptation), the plot here is mostly identical to the original. The protagonist is one Rintaro Okabe, a university student living in the Akihabara district of Tokyo. He also goes by Kyouma Hououin, a self-imposed "mad scientist" alter ego. Okabe is seemingly paranoid and delusional, frequently ranting about being on the run from the "Organization" that tracks such brilliant researchers. He's also prone to engaging in phone conversations with absolutely no one, and bursting into fits of maniacal laughter. Okabe's mad scientist obsession has resulted in him renting a space above a CRT shop, where he tinkers on gadgets with his pals Daru, an otaku hacker, and Mayuri, the adorable and caring childhood friend. One day Okabe and his pals decide to attend a "time travel conference" -- which Okabe soon ditches after deriding the presenter as a fraud. He quickly runs into a girl named Kurisu Makise, who he recognizes as a brilliant young scientist who typically resides in America and has published some critically important work. On his way out of the building, Okabe stumbles onto Kurisu once again, murdered at the end of a desolate hallway. When attempting to inform Daru via text, Okabe notices a sudden shift in his surroundings, as hundreds of pedestrians simply vanish. Even stranger, Kurisu turns up again soon enough -- alive. The members of the "Future Gadget Laboratory" (now featuring Kurisu) pinpoint the cause: a modified microwave they've created, one that was designed to heat food remotely via cellphone, has the power to send text messages into the past. Said messages can influence the behavior of "past" individuals, thus causing immediate modifications to the current worldline. Naturally, the ragtag team begins to experiment liberally, with Kurisu making use of her technical acumen to modify the device further. Such actions, of course, result in some seriously unforeseen consequences, and bring the group into contact with some unsavory folks looking to monopolize time traveling technology.
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A visual novel is only as good as its writing. And the writing here is phenomenal. To start: the protagonist. Okabe, despite (and because of) all quirks, is probably the best male hero of any visual novel. He's kind, empathetic, and a dear friend to all close to him -- a far cry from the weirdo pervert trope seen in so many other VNs. The supporting cast is also extraordinarily memorable. The laboratory membership grows as the game progresses, each time graced with another distinctive personality. There's the hyperactive maid café employee extraordinaire Faris; the shy ever-texting Moeka; the androgynous shrine "maiden" Luka; the cyclist and CRT shop part-timer Suzuha. Finally, there are those that aren't affiliated with the lab: the crotchety rent-hiking CRT shop owner "Mr. Braun" and his young timid daughter. There's great cohesion among the "lab mems" and the constant banter is a sight to behold. The lab itself just feels so cozy and inviting. This is a strikingly funny game (at times) replete with plenty of corny net/hacker slang and tons of nerdy otaku jokes.

The time travel mechanics are explained thoroughly, and remain consistent throughout the game's duration. The science, real and imagined, is rather fascinating, and the game tries its best to leave few questions unanswered. There's a "tips" menu that can lead the player into more in-depth explanations about various scientific concepts -- it's also used to clarify the seemingly endless manga, anime, and video game references as well. Some critiques of Steins;Gate (original and Elite) state that it starts off too slowly. I disagree -- it establishes a firm foundation of "ground rules" and then the story rolls along unencumbered. The game deftly avoids the "deus ex machina" pitfalls seen in many time travel stories; and though there are no obvious plot holes some of the "big reveals" seen towards the game's end feel a touch contrived. Elite, like its forebear, is one of those games that refuses to let background characters remain background characters. As any visual novel veteran could predict, the game's tone darkens as it progresses. There are many unsettling scenes, and, like the great Muv-Luv Alternative, Steins;Gate knows how to impose a tremendous feeling of anxiety onto the player.
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One unexpected and delightful aspect of the Steins;Gate Elite storyline is its willingness to blend fiction with not only science and technology, but also real-life mysteries and conspiracies. For instance: Okabe is ticked off at the game's opening lecturer, as he believes the man is plagiarising the works of John Titor. As in, the "real" John Titor, the man who made a splash on various message boards decades ago, claiming to be a time traveler from 2036. John Titor (both the "real" one and the in-game one) was searching for an IBM 5100 (renamed "IBN 5100" for the Steins;Gate universe though its likeness is identical), as it was said to contain crucial code necessary to avoid a technological calamity. And the villains of Steins;Gate Elite? CERN ("SERN") -- yes, the CERN, the French research institute and particle physics laboratory, is explicitly labelled as corrupt and evil. They're in the midst of mastering their own time traveling methods to order to rule the past, present, and future. There are also some more obscure references for the gaming/web nerds thrown into the mix as well. For instance, for his "super hacking" Daru utilizes the power of the Sharp X68000, the 1987 twin-towered 16-bit gaming titan. As for the Future Gadget Laboratory website that Okabe occasionally updates: it actually exists, complete with Engrish descriptions of various inventions and a classic Geocities style layout.

As far as actual gameplay goes, Steins;Gate Elite isn't a pure visual novel, but more of cross between a visual novel and interactive movie. So, instead of displaying story text alongside static sprites, Elite displays text alongside a series of short video clips and anime stills. It works reasonably well, though A-button-mashing speed readers will experience rapid jump cuts as they begin to outpace the speed of the animation. The art is gorgeous, but it does look something like "typical" anime, as opposed to the original VN which showcases some very unusual (and delightful) "grainy" visuals. The voice acting is once again exemplary (I believe the cast is identical to that of the original game and anime), as is the synth-heavy soundtrack.
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This all begs the question: if gameplay is minimal and composed of a bunch of anime clips plus the same ol' story, voice cast, and soundtrack... then what's the point of playing Elite when one could simply watch the Steins;Gate anime? The short answer: interactivity. While the anime featured a linear journey to the tale's best (and "true") ending, Elite allows the player to take those alternate pathways, to alternate endings that were seen in the original visual novel. New animation was developed for these routes, naturally. Navigation through the game is still based on the "phone trigger" system, where Okabe uses his cellphone to make and receive calls, and answer or ignore emails -- sometimes altering the flow of time itself. The system has been completely retooled this time around. In the original game, the player was left to pay attention to cues (such as a ringing or chiming phone), and then push a button to bring up the phone's display. Calls and emails could easily be disregarded unless the player consciously decided to interact. Such interaction was time-sensitive as well, as messages viewed too late lacked a response option. In Elite, the phone is always answered automatically, with its display filling the entire screen. Thus, messages cannot be received out-of-context, and the routes through the game become easier to parse. That said, achieving the true ending is still needlessly difficult, as it's dependent on an a seemingly arbitrary series of email exchanges between Okabe and Kurisu. Consult a walkthrough, seriously.

One perk of Steins;Gate Elite is the inclusion of a bonus game. Those who purchased it on the PlayStation 4 or Steam received Linear Bounded Phenogram, a decently meaty spin-off originally released in Japan in 2013. But here on the Switch, Elite owners instead get 8-Bit Adv Steins;Gate, a brief (no saves) tribute to the old Famicom detective stories. It's decent for what it is. Annoyingly, there doesn't seem to be a way to play both Linear Bounded Phenogram and 8-Bit Adv Steins;Gate without purchasing two copies of Elite.

In summation, Steins;Gate Elite is highly recommended. But I say this with a simple caveat: this isn't quite as good as the original, nor is it a "substitute" for that game. Play this after going through the original and viewing the anime. Too much Steins;Gate? I don't think so.


Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Joe and Mac Returns
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Well, the title of the game is grammatically incorrect. That's a good start, huh? Oh, I guess it makes sense if interpreted as "Joe & Mac (the game series) Returns" -- it's still pretty weird though. For the uninitiated, the Joe & Mac series consists of four platformers starring some goofball cavemen. The first game was a "console style" side-scroller, though it was released in arcades and then subsequently ported to a million different places. The SNES variant seemed to be the most successful, and indeed the following two Joe & Mac games were SNES exclusives. This fourth installment showcases the duo's triumphant "return" to the arcades. Though unported back in the day, our man Johnny Turbo resurrected it twenty-five later, now officially emulated on the Nintendo Switch.

Joe & Mac Returns is in fact the most arcade-y of the whole bunch. There's no scrolling here, just single-screen stages. It's highly reminiscent of Data East's Tumblepop, whose own roots can be traced back to the likes of Bubble Bobble. The goal of each stage is clear and simple: one or two players (controlling the titular cavemen) must vanquish all enemies before moving on. The environments should look familiar to anyone who's played one of the game's predecessors. There's the lush jungle, icy caves, skeleton-strewn dinosaur graveyards, rocky wastelands, and more. Gameplay is virtually self-explanatory, utilizing one jump and one attack button (though they're "switched" in typical Data East fashion). The bros are armed with clubs, which emit a shockwave for some extra distance. It's possible to hop down ledges with the classic jump+down button combo, and most stages are very easy to navigate. Power-ups show up sporadically, which increase speed and weapon strength. Each stage also features a "damsel in distress" cavewoman, who tosses out fruit (for points) when rescued.
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Enemies are not defeated automatically when bashed with a club. Instead, they're rolled up and can be tossed into their fiendish compatriots. It's possible to roll up multiple foes at once, allowing Joe or Mac to execute a "mega ball" type of attack and clear out rows of baddies. This game, like the others, disregards all historical and paleontological accuracy, as (bad) cavemen and a manner of dinosaurs coexist in their mission to the take the brothers down. Most stages contain tents that work like portals, constantly spewing forth enemies. It feels a tad clunky in this sort of game, especially since said tents can't be club-bashed out of existence but must be hit repeatedly with balled-up enemies. Bosses are ripped straight from the previous Joe & Mac outings: a T-Rex, a mammoth, an ichthyosaurus, and so on. These bosses are joined by their smaller offspring, who must be repurposed as projectile weaponry. The main villain and final boss is something of a mystery. It resembles some sort of time-travelling steampunk viking.

The graphics are solid, very crisp and colorful. The series is known for its humorous character animations, which are retained here. The music is the best in the whole series. It's heavy on percussion, with persistent caveman-chant vocal samples. Inspiring stuff; it's too bad the sound effects aren't quite as good. The frequent "I got the power!" proclamation (made when powering-up) is downright grating. "Cutscenes" pop up sporadically, and feature one of the cavewomen in some state of undress. The developers apparently thought these were hilarious, as they felt compelled to insert a laugh track.

This one's a bit on the easy side overall, especially with the ability to credit-feed. With fluid controls, a smooth learning curve, and a sixty minute run-time, Joe & Mac Returns is certainly worthy of a playthrough. It's not one of Data East's elite entries, but finally getting this type of thing on consoles is quite the blessing.


Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Express Raider
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Express Raider is a Data East arcade title that I totally missed back in the day. Released originally in 1986, the game received the Sly Spy treatment: it was ported, but only to a handful of European computers. This one's got a Wild West theme, as one could perhaps infer from the title. But, as the arcade marquee displays, the player isn't assigned to the role of sheriff. Instead, prepare to control a masked bandit, hell-bent on raiding trains for their caches of gold coins.

Each stage (they loop with increased difficulty) is broken into two discrete segments. First comes the train-hopping fisticuffs. Yes, this bandit is merciful, and prefers not to shoot people at close range, opting instead for a series of punches and kicks. The A and B buttons are assigned to said attacks, while the up button is used for jumping. It all works... unexpectedly well, like a more refined version of Kung Fu. It helps that each train car contains but one enemy. The enemy attacks are pleasantly varied, too. Some engage in hand-to-hand combat while others fire guns, toss bottles, or fling shovelfuls of coal. Additional points can be earned by defeating grounded enemies before boarding the train: these include bank tellers(?) and, as the game calls them, "coyotes." I'm not sure if this is a mistranslation by Data East or just some sloppy artwork, as the "coyotes" appear to be cougars.
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Each skirmish comes with its own time limit, as a man will eventually start bombing train cars, so the player is forced to move along at a decent clip. Rather than featuring one-hit deaths (for the bandit or his foes), Express Raider grants the bandit a life bar. It's a life bar that actually increases as he pummels his opponents, which is kind of genius. Each fight feels surprisingly nuanced, as multiple "moves" can be executed in spite of the seemingly simplistic controls. And the time limits and wavering life meter create an addition sense of intensity.

Then there are the shooting (gallery) stages. Here the bandit rides a horse, blasting bullets at rivals who fire back from train windows. The controls here are rather fluid: the horse can be moved in eight directions, and the two action buttons are dedicated to shooting and ducking. A duck is an easy way to avoid an oncoming attack, but doing so causes the horse to drift to one side of the screen, so it's only a temporary remedy. There's a time limit once again, though now it's merely represented numerically. Now, there is a big issue with Johnny Turbo version of the game: for some reason the aiming cursor from the arcade original is completely absent. It's undeniably a setback, though not a complete deal-breaker: after a little bit of play it becomes relatively easy to "sense" where bullets will land.
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Aesthetically, the game's a bit questionable. The large sprites are impressive, but there's a grainy look to everything, which is further amplified by the Johnny Turbo screen-stretching and CRT filter. Music is rather stock, but the persistent train noises set the mood nicely. The game's oddly forgiving, featuring respawn continues rather than the anticipated checkpoint system. Overall, this one fits nicely into that "good but not great" category. A bit rough around the edges, Express Raider is no hidden gem but it is a rather amusing artifact.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:52 am

Yeah, about midway through I stopped doing the optional quests because it didn't really feel worthwhile; I didn't need the rewards and the combat was a solved problem at that point, so it would have extended things for no real reason. And I do plan on digging into 3 at some point; previews of 3 was what actually made me pay attention to the series.
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pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:00 am

@Bonesnap: I didnt even know that Joe and Mac game existed, I don't know if it is my cup of tea but I did really enjoy the other 3 games in the series

@MrPopo: I loved darksiders 2, I started darksiders 3 and it seemed ok, I was enjoying it, then I got too busy to play it and when I tried to restart it I had no idea where I was supposed to go because it had been awhile and just uninstalled it.

51. Pankapu (switch)

Pankapu is a visually excellent 2d platformer. It starts out simple enough, you are a little red knight with a sword and a shield. As you progress through the game you gain the ability to switch between 3 different forms, a knight, an archer, and a wizard. All 3 forms have their pros and cons in battle but the main thing you need them for is they each have different traversal abilities that are required to navigate through the levels.

The knight can smash certain blocks and stick to certain surfaces, the archer has a double jump, a dodge, and the ability to ride air currents, while the wizard has the ability to float, slow time, and teleport through certain obstacles. Each character controls well and is generally fun to use, and you can easily switch between them by pressing the L or R buttons.

Pankapu starts out easy but can get tough very quickly, sometimes for the right reasons, sometimes for the wrong reasons. At its best Pankapu has some great platform challenges that really use each characters ability to their fullest and puts out some really tricky sections that are really fun to navigate. At its worst the character switching becomes hard to keep track of and you wind up switching to the wrong character because there is so much going on and then instantly die down a pit. Checkpoints are fairly liberal so even when you do die you dont have to backtrack too much but it can be frustrating. Basically the knight is Red, the archer is Green, and the wizard is Blue. The switch Pattern is RGB so if you start at the knight and hit the R button you go to the archer, if you hit the L button you go to the wizard. Keeping track of where you are on the switching scale can be tough at certain times and I wish they implemented a slightly better means to switch in the heat of action as frequently you have to switch mid jump to get to the next area.

Other than that I did enjoy the game, it is fairly lengthy with lots of collectables and some very tough levels and bosses. I would recommend it for fans of the genre, but with a fair bit of caution.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:13 pm

PresidentLeever wrote:I see, I thought you wanted more challenge from the combat.

Based on the mechanics I can't see the combat getting more challenging in an interesting way. Dodge timing is very generous in the game and everything autotracks super hard, so harder would be either fewer pauses in between attacks (with more attack chaining) or adding in attack chains that are fast enough that you haven't recovered from the first dodge (which is then just cheap). The combat engine just isn't compelling to begin with for me to seek out harder fights.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by ElkinFencer10 Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:37 pm

Games Beaten in 2020 - 15
* denotes a replay

January (1 Game Beaten)
1. Pokemon Sun - 3DS - January 14*


February (2 Games Beaten)
2. Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order - Xbox One - February 15
3. Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! - Switch - February 29*


March (10 Games Beaten)
4. Pokemon Shield - Switch - March 1*
5. Doom [1993] - Switch - March 6*
6. SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays - PS4 - March 6
7. Lego DC Super Villains - Switch - March 19
8. Doom II: Hell on Earth - Switch - March 19
9. Doom 3 - Switch - March 20
10. Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil - Switch - March 22
11. Doom 3: The Lost Mission - Switch - March 23
12. Doom 64 - Switch - March 26
13. Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth - Nintendo 64 - March 28


April (2 Games Beaten)
14. Wolfenstein 3D - Steam - April 1
15. Doom Eternal - Xbox One - April 3


15. Doom Eternal - Xbox One - April 3

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Doom 2016 is, in my opinion, the best game in the entire Doom series, so when the follow-up, Doom Eternal, got announced, I was more than a little excited. The fast paced goregasm balls-to-the-wall action that the 2016 reboot offered with the promise of more lore and 4K visuals (okay, technically 1800p on Xbox One X, but close enough for console) had me positively salivating. When Doom Eternal finally dropped, what we got made some changes that has the fanbase kind of divided over which game is better, 2016 or Eternal, but is nonetheless an absolute masterpiece.

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The timeline can be more than a little confusing for Doom, but given how much world-building Doom Eternal does, something that the 2016 game started putting some real emphasis on, it's worth mentioning. For the most part, the games' releases are the order in which the timeline takes place minus Doom 3 which is almost certainly a parallel timeline. There's some debate over whether 2016 (and, thus, Doom Eternal) are another separate timeline or connected to the original timeline just 100 years in the future. Given how Doom 64 ends and how Doom 2016 starts, I say that 2016 takes place 100 years after 64, and that's backed up by some of the lore elements explored in Doom eternal. Or you could just disregard the story and massacre demons. Normally story is a core part of the experience in my opinion, but with Doom, I tend to make an exception for folks given how damn satisfying the combat is.

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I've seen a lot of folks including close friends of mine say that Doom Eternal is the absolute peak of the series if not the best FPS game ever made. While I don't quite heap that much praise on it, it is an absolutely phenomenal game. The visuals, obviously, are unbelievable on Xbox One X, so I can only imagine how impressive they'd be on max PC settings. The combat, as I've mentioned, is also extraordinarily fun and addicting. It's very different from your standard FPS, though, and that can take some getting used to. There's no aiming down the sights, there's no reloading, there's no crouch, there's no stealth, there's no cover system. You rush forward, guns blazing, chainsaw roaring, and zip from enemy to enemy to finish them off with a glory kills so brutal that some could put Mortal Kombat to shame. That actually brings my only major complaint with the game - the Marauders.

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These are new enemies introduced in Eternal. The Marauders definitely introduce some serious challenge to the game, but it's an addition that acts as a detriment to the game in my opinion. Unlike most enemies where the basic strategy is "throw an enormous amount of firepower while avoiding attacks," the Marauder is an extremely defensive enemy. If you're too close, he blasts you with a shotgun. If you're too far, he throws red energy blades at you. If you're at a perfect Goldilocks distance, his eyes will glow green just before he rushes at you for a melee attack. When his eyes are glowing green is the only time you can deal damage (preferably with the Super Shotgun); attacking him any other time will cause him to automatically raise a red energy shield, blocking all damage. Throughout all this, he repeatedly spawns a glowing orange ethereal wolf to attack you. The wolf only takes a couple shots to disperse, but the Marauder will keep respawning it throughout your fight. If it's just you and the Marauder, it's really annoying but doable; if it's you, the Marauder, and other demons, you're in for a fight tougher than most boss battles depending on what demons are there and how many. The biggest problem that I have with the Marauders is that they just break the flow of the gameplay. 95% of the game is frantic, intense, fast paced action, but the Marauder completely negates that, requiring you instead to take a slow and methodical approach of just waiting for an opening before getting off a shot or two. I loved almost all of Doom Eternal, but those Marauders were, in my opinion, distinctly NOT fun at all.

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One of the things I love about Doom Eternal is the upgrades and collectibles (including secret unlockable cheat codes that you can activate when replaying a previously cleared mission). Each weapon except the Super Shotgun and BFG-9000 has to weapon mods that can be unlocked, and each of these mods have two or three upgrades that can be unlocked. If you unlock every upgrade for a mod, you can complete a challenge to unlock a "master upgrade" for that mod. Likewise, your suit has five categories each with a handful of upgrades to unlock. Some of these suit upgrades are directly combat related, like faster grenade cooldown or freezing enemies longer with ice grenades, whereas some are more passive upgrades, like a wider area of auto-map fill-in or faster ledge grabbing. There are also upgrades you can get with Sentinel crystals which will let you upgrade your max health, max armor, or max ammo a few times as well as giving a few other bonuses depending on what specific upgrades you choose. Lastly, there are runes to unlock that can change your gameplay experience. You can have three runes active at a time, and they provide upgrades like doing a glory kill from farther away, having a chance to survive a death blow once, etc. All of these various upgrades and options really allow you to mold the game to suit your preferred playstyle in a way that a lot of games don't allow.

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Doom Eternal may not technically be perfect in my book, but it's pretty damn close. Take out the Marauders, and it would pretty much be a perfect shooter in my opinion. It's also hard as balls; as a long-time champion of playing games on Bitch Mode because I'm a busy adult with too many other games I want to play, I feel only minimal shame in admitting that I played this game on the lowest difficulty and still got my ass handed to me a few times. Granted, a huge part of that is because I suck at video games (despite how many I play), but this game's overall challenge is legitimately a lot higher than Doom 2016. That's not a bad thing, mind you, but man, it really drives home the hectic insanity of the combat. If you like Doom, shooters in general, or just gore for the sake of gore, you owe it to yourself to play this game. Play it on PC if you're a graphics whore. Play on PS4 or Xbox One if you're a regular gamer. Play it on Switch once it comes out if you're a cool kid like me. Whatever you do, though, play it. It's fantastic.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:51 pm

1. Elite Dangerous - PC
2. Soldier of Fortune - PC
3. Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Defender of the Empire - PC
4. Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Enemies of the Empire - PC
5. Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter: Balance of Power - PC
6. Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - PC
7. Phoenix Point - PC
8. Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter - PC
9. Descent II - PC
10. Inbento - Switch
11. Ori and the Will of the Wisps - XB1
12. Doom Eternal - PC
13. Serious Sam 2 - PC
14. Black Mesa - PC
15. Descent 3 - PC
16. Darksiders II - PC
17. Resident Evil 3 (2020) - PC

Hot on the heels of last year's Resident Evil 2 remake comes Resident Evil 3's remake. We knew Mr. X was a warmup for the Nemesis chasing Jill through the streets of Raccoon City, and Capcom does not disappoint. Interestingly enough, RE3's remake takes more liberties with the original game to make something that is more tonally consistent and involves less obvious video gameisms in what you need to accomplish. Depending on what you're looking for in a remake this might end up being a good or bad thing for you.

RE3 follows Jill Valentine prior to and after the events of RE2; she's at ground zero in Raccoon City when shit hits the fan. You start in her apartment and this is where the differences first manifest; the very first thing that happens is the Nemesis comes for you. Cue the first of several chase sequences that appear in the game. While Nemesis in the original could follow you from room to room, he still was more of a patrol-based obstacle; at given points in the progression he would show up and cause you problems. Here he shows up at similar story moments, but now you have a much more exciting chase. Sometimes it's a fixed chase with lots of setpieces, other times it's just a way to force you to hustle back through an area you've explored. In the latter we get to see his upgrades compared to Mr. X; the Nemesis can do things like jump over your head and in front of you, or use his tentacle to get you from range. He will constantly be a threat you need to pay attention to until you get to the next safe zone that despawns him. One thing you'll definitely need to use is the new quickdodge (which is also great for getting past zombies).

Now, after your first couple linear segments that are sort of like the walk to the police station in 2 Carlos will show up to save you from the Nemesis. And that's the second noticeable difference from the original. Originally you had a longish progress through the streets segment with puzzle solving and the like before you run into the UBCS team. But when you stop to think about it, why does Raccoon City have a bunch of obtuse gates that need random doodads to open? They had in-universe explanations in 1 and 2; 1 was designed to be a trap house by its builder and 2 was originally an art gallery that again was designed with lots of goofy stuff (and being a single structure means it makes sense for it to have keys). The puzzle elements in 2 drop off once you're out of the police station, with only the chess pieces sticking out as "we have a video game puzzle". With RE3 being confined to the city streets for the bulk of the gameplay the designers decided to just drop that element. You'll still have gates barred by key items, but they are things like cuttable chains, pickable locks, and the door to the next area being gated by whatever your current MacGuffin is. The zombie placement and behavior is still based off of Resident Evil 2's behavior, so you still are incentivized to dodge when you can, so you still have that survival feeling (as opposed to 5 & 6 being kill all the dudes along the path).

This change does mean that the clock tower gets cut (though you still have the boss fight outside it). They also rearranged things so that Carlos is the one who goes to RCPD, rather than Jill. It keeps to the theme of Jill is going to act like a sane person during this outbreak, rather than stumbling into random areas which magically have the weird key items she needs. RCPD is part of the mission of the UBCS was sent in to accomplish, and it occurs right before Jill fights the Nemesis outside the clock tower. From there things progress as you remember, though the worm boss is also cut (again, to keep things focused on the Nemesis, and there is an extra Nemesis fight earlier to make up for it). The game ends with the same pair of Nemesis fights, though this time the rail gun is something Jill picks up and aims directly, which adds some catharsis.

RE3 remake is another fine example of a remake that takes the spirit of the original game but doesn't feel like it needs to slavishly adhere to the letter of the original. The cuts and changes create a tighter, more focused experience and involves less video game logic. But at the same time, the overall feel of the classic titles is maintained; you're just trying to survive, rather than somehow stop a zombie outbreak in a midsized American city. So if you liked the remake of 2 I highly recommend picking up the remake of 3.

One other thing to note; I'm suspecting that the next Resident Evil game is going to be set between 3 and 4, and following the story of Chris and Jill taking down the Umbrella corporation. Unless they decide to remake Code Veronica first.
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pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:33 pm

Nice reviews of doom and RE3make, definitely both games I plan on playing sometime in the near future.

@MrPopo: I would love a code veronica remake, it is the only RE game I have never played and I just dont think I would be able to get into the classic style of RE at this point. I also hope they don't remake 4, after just freshly playing it that game is still a blast all these years later and feels great.

52. Cursed Mountain (wii)

Cursed mountain is a survival horror game that is exclusive to the wii. You play as Eric Simmons, a legendary mountain climber who is on a quest to rescue his younger brother, Frank, who has gotten lost hiking a mountain. The mountain is a holy mountain, and Frank, being the cynical westerner that he is, proceeds to hike the mountain while completely ignoring the ancient rituals required to please the goddess pre-hike. This of course angers the goddess who then sends hordes of ghosts and a few demons to terrorize all the mountainside villages.

By the time Eric arrives all the towns are abandoned and you have to navigate through the abandoned towns, slowly unwrapping the mystery of what happened to the towns people as well as your brother. The story is told through a mix of cutscenes and documents that are found laying around the villages. The story is definitely engaging and the character development takes a nice arc.

Gameplay is on the slow side, but not in a bad way. This is a game about taking your time and exploring and taking in the environments. The environments are a mix between snowy mountains/caves and abandoned villages. Each area has a good number of story bits laying around so you will always be stumbling upon notes that keep you engrossed in the story.

As you progress you also have to fight ghosts, you wield a variety of paranormal attachments, aiming is done with the wiimote and after you shoot them enough times you can freeze them, conduct a ritual on them, which will destroy them and restore a little bit of your health. Rituals are done with various waggle prompts, which mostly work well but once in a while it wont register and you will have to blast the enemies again before performing the ritual.

Cursed mountain is not a game for everyone, it is much slower paced than your average survival horror game but there is a good story here and the combat is generally fun. I discovered this game on a MetalJesusrocks wii hidden gem video and I feel this is definitely a game that fits that description. I never see anyone talking about it, and while it is not the best game in the library, it definitely is a fun experience for fans of the genre, and it is still pretty cheap and can be found for around 10 bucks
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