Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
User avatar
prfsnl_gmr
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 11082
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:26 pm
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:37 pm

Awesome review, as always, Bone, I hope you have those collected somewhere. I’m not sure I’ll ever get in to VNs, but I do enjoy reading about your experiences with them.

.....

1. Her Story (iOS)
2. Elminage Original (3DS)
3. Legend of Grimrock (iOS)
4. Silent Bomber (PS1)
5. Crash Bandicoot (PS1)
6. Bust-a-Move 2 Arcade Edition (PS1)
7. Transformers Cybertron Adventures (Wii)
8. Squidlit (Switch)
9. Sydney Hunter & The Curse of the Mayan (Switch)
10. Mega Man Legends (PS1)
11. Revenge of the Bird King (Switch)
12. Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (Switch)
13. Gato Roboto (Switch)
14. Kamiko (Switch)
15. Night Slashers (Arcade)
16. Subsurface Circular (Switch)
17. Iconoclasts (Switch)
18. Wonder Boy Returns Remix (Switch)
19. Resident Evil 3 (PS1)
20. The Messenger (Switch)
21. The Messenger: Picnic Panic (Switch)
22. Samsara Room (iOS)
23. Heroes of the Monkey Tavern (Switch)
24. Sayonara Wild Hearts (Switch)
25. Gris (Switch)
26. Donut County (iOS)
27. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES)
28. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SNES)
29. Contra (Arcade)
30. Super Contra (Arcade)


I picked up the Contra Anniversary Collection for my Switch the other day, and since I’d never beaten it before, I immediately started playing the Arcade version of Contra. While it doesn’t hold a candle to its NES counterpart (or, as I discovered, it’s even better Famicom counterpart), it is actually a pretty solid run ‘n gun. After beating it on the “easy” difficulty, I gave it a shot on “normal” difficulty and, to my surprise, ended up 1CC’ing it. (Just got in the zone, I guess.) Although there is no 30-live code and although you’re limited to five continues, I think the game is ultimately much easier than its console counterparts once you learn how to play it, and I would like to try it on original hardware again sometime.

When I start to think I’m good at Contra, Super Contra comes along to remind me that I’m pretty terrible, which is OK because, you know what, Super Contra?! You’re pretty terrible too. I struggled to beat this game on even the “easy” difficulty setting, and I have no plans to revisit it now that I’ve rolled the credits. The game throws way too much stuff at you, and for some reason, there’s a slight delay when hanging the angle of your shots. (That is, it controls worse than its arcade predecessor.) The overhead sections are just bad, and a massive step down from Contra’s corridor levels. The game is also full of “cheap” deaths that are completely unavoidable unless you’re expecting them. Not recommended.
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 23152
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:14 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
18. Overload - PC
19. Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4
20. Trials of Mana (2020) - Switch
21. Persona 5 Royal - PS4
22. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered - PC
23. Sublevel Zero Redux - PC
24. Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age - PS4
25. Maneater - PC
26. XCOM: Chimera Squad - PC
27. Sakura Wars - PS4
28. Stela - Switch
29. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 - DC
30. Darksiders III - PC
31. Shadow Warrior (2013) - PC
32. Robotrek - SNES
33. Shadow Warrior 2 - PC

After the Shadow Warrior remake turned out to be quite well done I was looking forward to the sequel. Unfortunately, the gameplay and characterization/story changes makes it a poor follow up. The best that can be said is they licensed a brand new song from Stan Bush for the final boss music. And in fairness, it's a pretty bitchin song.

SW2 is set five years after the first game. The premise is that the actions you took during one of the boss battles caused the Shaodw Realm to partially merge with Earth. Cue demon war, followed by eventual uneasy peace. The immortals from the first game integrate with society in various positions of power, and now chi has been turned into chi tech and used to cyberpunk stuff. You initially are hired for another delivery job before getting swept up in events that involve another soul being stuck in your head and you needing to stop a big bad from their evil plot.

The gameplay has been changed from a series of crafted levels that you progress through into a looter shooter. You get a series of main and side missions, click a map to teleport to an area with procedurally generated level layouts (justified by the realm merge making things chaotic and will shift when you're not looking), do your objective, and teleport out. This means the best way to go tends to be to just dash past everyone because there isn't much reward in fighting; the karma exp is still as hidden from you as ever so you never really get a sense of how much fighting is doing for your skill point gain. The looter part comes from the massively increased number of weapons and the socketing system. Every weapon can take three enhancements which can be swapped in and out at will, your standard stuff like increased damage, increased fire rate, changing a portion to an element, etc. You get roughly one new weapon per mission, and the damage banding means most of them are side grades. The main way you increase in power is through the socketed stuff. And it's a total pain; the interface involves a lot more clicks than the fast Diablo or Borderlands check the card vs. your equipped. Fitting in with this they also have enemies have modifiers; elemental resistant/weak, elemental aura, stronger, tougher, etc. Ripped straight from Diablo, but it just doesn't feel like it fits here. The way they do the procedural levels is different from most FPS's; rather than a bunch of small setpieces that can form large mazes they instead go with a handful of large setpieces with a handful of connection points. This makes the levels feel much better crafted, though their open nature (to allow them to spawn objectives in a bunch of spots) also means you're more likely to just skip past everything because they can't even block you.

On the story side they don't really do a good job of explaining how the immortals suddenly adapt to modern society in a handful of years. And everyone's characterization gets completely fucked up. Aside from Lo Wang (who just gets a bit more juvenile and erasing some of the character development from the first game) and Xing (who is just as much of a bro as before) every other character feels completely different from their portrayal in the original game. And the story loses the subtlety of the original game; it's much more of a standard excuse story. Weirdly, the good story bits still exist, but they're locked to the randomly dropped logs that aren't guaranteed to be dropped in order and require you to grind to get them all. It's weird how they split the content like that, because I genuinely enjoyed reading them; they do a lot of interesting world building and make me want more, while the game's main story is paint by numbers.

It's too bad that they lost their way with the second. They did leave a massive sequel hook, so depending on the gameplay I'd be willing to give the third a chance if they made one.
Image
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 23152
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:38 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
17. Resident Evil 3 (2020) - PC
18. Overload - PC
19. Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4
20. Trials of Mana (2020) - Switch
21. Persona 5 Royal - PS4
22. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered - PC
23. Sublevel Zero Redux - PC
24. Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age - PS4
25. Maneater - PC
26. XCOM: Chimera Squad - PC
27. Sakura Wars - PS4
28. Stela - Switch
29. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 - DC
30. Darksiders III - PC
31. Shadow Warrior (2013) - PC
32. Robotrek - SNES
33. Shadow Warrior 2 - PC
34. EVO: The Search for Eden - SNES

EVO is an ambitious platformer with RPG elements that unfortunately was not able to back up its vision with execution. The game is very rough and apparently was developed by the company's younger staff; their lack of experience shows. It mostly serves as an interesting historical piece; it doesn't really stand on its own all that well, but at least it isn't super long.

The premise is that you are a lifeform on Earth that needs to evolve until you're fit to be Gaia's husband or something. You will experience five periods of Earth's past; the period where all life was on the sea, as an amphibian during the early period of land life, during the time of the dinosaurs, during the post dinosaur ice-age, and finally during the time of the ancestors of humans. You will need to go through a bunch of levels, evolve yourself to be deadlier, defeat some bosses, and take a time game to the next period.

The evolution mechanic is fairly simple; killing enemies causes them to drop food, which gives you health and evolution points. You can spend those points to evolve a given body part; this is divided into mouth, horn, body, hands & feet, fins, tails, and behind-the-head. The last one clearly a more literal translation; a modern translation might be accessory or ancillary. Not every part is available to every body type; fins get phased out after dinosaurs, while mammals don't do anything with tails (and hands & feet tend to be for special evolutions like the evolution to human). The game doesn't give you any stats on the evolutions; there is a general note on what each part generally improves on you, but there are subtleties as you progress. While 80% of the time the most expensive part is the best, the times it isn't will really trip you up.

See, one of the problems is that evolutions, unlike equipment in an RPG, cannot be sold back. So if you spend 1000 points on an upgrade and then want an upgrade that costs 2000 points you will have spent a total of 3000 points. This ends up incentivizing you to never do intermediate upgrades outside of your mouth (as you usually need to get at least one upgrade to grind in a reasonable amount of time for more evolution points). This becomes painful when you switch body types; this resets your evolution points. You will be starting from zero a minimum of three times; fish, amphibian, and dinosaur. From there you have the option of evolving to a bird or staying a dinosaur to finish out the chapter. When the ice age hits you can go from either form to mammal, and it is heavily encouraged. Non-mammals have almost no traction on ice, cutting your mobility to almost nothing. Birds can fly at ground level to overcome that, but any hit drops you out of flying. So if you're looking to experience everything the game has you will start from scratch five times; that's a lot of grinding.

And what makes that worse is just how janky the combat is. Your primary attack is to bite. The animation involves your head going forward and then your teeth coming out; when the head is out but not the teeth your hurtbox is extended but you don't get a hitbox until the teeth animation plays. And the range on the teeth is pretty crap. All enemies deal minor collision damage, so you'll find many attacks aborted because you were slightly too close. And the game has almost no mercy invincibility, so you can end up stunlocked quite easily by enemies simply deciding to run through you. Heaven help you if you get pinned in the corner by the yeti boss; you can't escape. You have two alternate methods of attacking. The first is to goomba stomp enemies. This is hard to control; the air physics are a weird committed jump where your velocity is committed when you jump but you can invert the X-axis component by pressing the opposite direction on the D-pad. So if you're doing a fast jump to the right and push left you'll instantly stop and start moving at the same speed left; this utterly trashes your precision when jumping. And landing on an enemy makes you do the same jump you initially did. But now that enemy is immune to your jump until you land on solid ground. So you can bop multiple enemies with one jump, but not the same enemy twice. And jump doesn't do a lot of damage. The final attack is with the horns; if you have evolved them and double tap to dash then running into an enemy you'll do damage. This actually ends up being the most reliable way to get in damage, but horns also break after three attacks. And horns are some of the most expensive parts, which makes them basically worthless outside of one special limited transformation that has unbreakable horns.

All of this ends up making the boss fights quite frustrating; enemy hitboxes tend to be extremely generous to them so you'll end up running into attacks when trying to attack yourself. Many bosses you can get into a damage loop, but being a couple pixels off will not only let them escape, but probably get you taking a major amount of pain. The one saving grace is the game has an extremely exploitable system; any time you evolve your HP is regenerated. And you always have the option of removing a part or going down to a low level base. Midway through the game you have the option of lengthening or shortening your neck for a pittance; most of the time it doesn't matter what state it's in (and the times it does it's a pittance to set the right one), so you can just spam that in fights to full heal over and over. The game even has a period where you are at 0 health but in midair to open the menu and evolve, as you don't die until you are on solid ground. Still, several of the bosses can combo you so bad that you can go from full to zero in a second if you get it wrong.

There's definitely a seed of a neat idea, and it's fun to see the kinds of weird creatures you evolve into (as it's pretty mix and match). But the gameplay keeps getting in the way of things; it would be interesting to see someone do a remake of this game with 30 years of learnings on good platformer physics.
Image
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
Markies
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1056
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:29 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:22 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)***
9. Arc The Lad Collection (PS1)
10. Halo 2 (XBX)

11. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean (GCN)

Image

I beat Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean on the Nintendo GameCube this afternoon!

After playing through Fire Emblem and Paper Mario, I was looking for my next great GameCube RPG to sink my teeth into. One of the major complaints about the GameCube was the lack of RPG's as they all migrated towards the PS2 that generation. While looking through the library, I stopped upon Baten Kaitos and I remembered that was a game my friend had played and stopped. Figuring it would be a good game for us to play together (it was!) and the fact that I had never played a card video game before, I decided that it would be a good test. After sitting on my shelf for several years, I finally decided that this was the year I would finally play it.

The first part of Baten Kaitos that caught my attention were the graphics as these were some of the most beautiful graphics I have seen of that generation. Without a doubt, it is the most impressive graphics I have ever seen on the GameCube. Each world is its own beautiful set piece as they look like a picture from a picture book. With great music and unique character design, the game has a beautiful aesthetic feel for it. Also, the story is surprisingly engaging as well. There are several twists and turns that I did not see coming and it kept me engaged throughout the entire journey. I think it had a few plot holes here and there, but nothing too glaring. The voice work, though, could be bad at times. Bad voice acting has never really bothered me, so I didn't mind it, but I can see where it would turn some people off. Finally, the card battle combat took a while to get into it, but once I understood, I was immediately hooked. I absolutely loved and I wanted to keep doing battles all throughout the entire game. It's not perfect as I felt some boss battles were a little broken and I felt like I broke the game at the end, but it was still a blast to play and kept adding new layers and depth all throughout the entire game.

Overall, I really enjoyed playing Baten Kaitos. My major complaint would be the fact that you only have a few seconds to make your card selection in the game as that added unneeded pressure. That, some of the annoying boss battles and the weird voice acting would be my only faults in the game. Besides that, it was a beautiful game with a combat system that kept me engaged. With an interesting story and characters, Baten Kaitos is one of the best games I've played all year.
Image
User avatar
Note
64-bit
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:39 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:46 pm

1. Streets of Rage 2 (GEN)
2. The Ninja Warriors (SNES) [3x]
3. TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)
4. Golden Axe (GEN) [3x]
5. Beyond Oasis (GEN)
6. Super Double Dragon (SNES)
7. Shenmue II (DC)
8. Shining Force 2 (GEN)
9. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
10. ActRaiser (SNES)
11. OutRun (GEN)
12. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (GEN)
13. Captain Commando (SNES)
14. The Pirates of Dark Water (SNES)
15. Final Fight (SNES)
16. Gradius III (SNES)
17. Super R-Type (SNES)
18. U.N. Squadron (SNES)
19. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
20. Arrow Flash (GEN)
21. Forgotten Worlds (GEN)
22. Contra III: The Alien Wars (SNES)
23. Wonder Boy in Monster World (GEN)

Image

24. Resident Evil 6 (360)

I ended up picking up RE 6 on the cheap last year from a local video game store, simply because it was another two player co-op game on the 360 that my girlfriend and I could play through. We finished a few other couch co-op games on the system, and I thought this might be fun as well. I was aware of the mixed reviews of the game, but for $9, I figured I'd give it a shot. I had also not played any of the newer RE games, so it'd give me a chance to see what the more recent games were like.

Graphics wise, I think the game looks pretty good for this generation. However, the camera angles can be a bit of a pain from time to time. One scene in particular, where you have to run from a monster in Chris Redfield's campaign -- I remember we had to replay this section multiple times as it was tough to get down the pattern and see where you're going due to the camera issues in this section.

The gameplay in RE6 is mixed, as there are four total campaigns, and each one plays a bit different. However, the game overall feels like more of an action game similar to Gears of War (especially Chris Redfield's campaign), as opposed to a survival horror game like earlier entries in the RE series. As a fan of survival horror games you may be disappointed with this entry. Since I was aware of this going in and got the game on the cheap, I was fine with the gameplay, and the game ended up being a pretty fun co-op experience.

Throughout Ada's campaign, the co-op felt like it was a feature that was added at the last second, without much thought being put into it. During Ada's campaign the second player can not open doors, press switches, or any perform any key actions. This is a really odd design choice, and just seems like the co-op feature was rushed. However, this is not the case for the other three campaign modes, where the second character is a vital part of the game and the story.

Overall, I still enjoyed this game, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a cheap co-op experience on the system. We've finished a bunch of co-op games on the 360, and I'll have to do some homework on others I can pick up on the cheap.
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 23152
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:00 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
17. Resident Evil 3 (2020) - PC
18. Overload - PC
19. Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4
20. Trials of Mana (2020) - Switch
21. Persona 5 Royal - PS4
22. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered - PC
23. Sublevel Zero Redux - PC
24. Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age - PS4
25. Maneater - PC
26. XCOM: Chimera Squad - PC
27. Sakura Wars - PS4
28. Stela - Switch
29. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 - DC
30. Darksiders III - PC
31. Shadow Warrior (2013) - PC
32. Robotrek - SNES
33. Shadow Warrior 2 - PC
34. EVO: The Search for Eden - SNES
35. Blast Corps - N64

Blast Corps is an early N64 game which has the excusist of excuse plots so that you can destroy a bunch of buildings with a variety of vehicles. It feels like the sort of thing someone would make as their first Unity Engine game, which is made all the more impressive when you consider it was all done from scratch by three people just out of college at Rare. While the game does have some rough edges it's overall a fun time and quite beatable (though the platinum medals are something completely different).

The plot is simple; there's a truck with some nuclear warheads that is on autopilot driving in a straight line. If it contacts anything it will explode, which would be bad. So you need to demolish a path for it to make its way through in every level until eventually you can safely detonate it. Along the way there will also be a bunch of bonus levels (do a task in X time) and race levels (finish a course in a certain threshold). According to the game's designer (who called in for a run at AGDQ2016 and gave fantastic commentary throughout) the reason for the truck was to give you a reason to be destroying the buildings, as well as providing a sense of urgency which would become important in later levels.

Things start off fairly simply; just destroy buildings along the way. But later levels will have puzzle elements; maybe you need to take an alternate route to get where you need to go, maybe you need to manipulate things in the environment to build a path (such as moving a barge in a river to make a path), maybe you need to switch between vehicles in order to properly take out various buildings. The game is always giving you something new to keep you engaged.

The vehicles are a pretty good selection. You've got a good all rounder in the bulldozer, the specialist sideswipe which destroys things to each side, the missile firing rocket bike, the jet powered buggy which likes to land on buildings, and three different mecha. One of them has a jetpack and divebombs buildings while the other two will do spins into buildings. And finally, there's the backlash, the horrible dump truck. If you get really really good at it it can carve a path of destruction without stopping, but it's incredibly finicky. What's worse is that it has the worst handling of any vehicle and is most impacted by terrain; you can't even gets its sideswipe going right if you aren't on the right terrain. Unfortunately, the game also likes to give it to you more and more often as the game goes on (and it even calls out in the tutorial level for it that you'll need it later on). This is the primary sticking point for players, though with perseverance you can make it through.

In addition to clearing the path the game has Rare's trademark collectathoning. You need to destroy every building, light up every RDU (little lights on the ground), find every beacon (to open bonus levels), and find the six scientists. Once you do so you'll get the credits roll, but the game isn't over yet. First you clear a landing path for the space shuttle, then you hijack it and visit various bodies in the solar system for fun games. Each of these bodies involves lowered gravity, which leads to hilarity as you bounce around the landscape, demolishing things as you go. While a couple of them can be tricky they have a ridiculousness to them that keeps them fun. Once you finish those you unlock time trial mode for all stages where you can grind for the elusive platinums. This is the point to turn off the game if you value your sanity, as the times are extremely tight in many levels and there is no real reward to doing so (even Goldeneye gave you cheats of various qualities for meeting some of its nasty level times).

Blast Corps is an extremely fun N64 title that provides a lot of fun destroying things and a good amount of challenge at a reasonable curve, though some of the later levels can be quite a pain to deal with. But if you believe in yourself you can push through and enjoy one of the N64's real gems.
Image
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
Ack
Moderator
 
Posts: 21570
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:33 pm

1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch)(Adventure)
2. Final Fight [Japanese Version] (Switch)(Beat 'Em Up)
3. Ziggurat (PC)(FPS)
4. Magrunner: Dark Pulse (PC)(FPS)
5. The King of Dragons [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)

6. Captain Commando [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
7. Knights of the Round [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
8. The Witcher (PC)(RPG)

9. Tenchi wo Kurau II (Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
10. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands (PC)(RPG)

11. Lichdom: Battlemage (PC)(FPS/RPG Hybrid)
12. Star Wars: Republic Commando (PC)(FPS)

13. DOOM 64 (PC)(FPS)
14. Half Dead 2 (PC)(Adventure)

15. Powered Gear - Strategic Variant Armor Equipment (Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
16. Torchlight II (PC)(RPG)

17. Battle Circuit [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
18. Hard Reset Redux (PC)(FPS)

19. The Stanley Parable (PC)(Walking Sim)
20. Waking Mars (PC)(Adventure)
21. Requiem: Avenging Angel (PC)(FPS)

22. Night Slashers (Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
23. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD (PC)(Action Adventure)

24. Strikers 1945 (Arcade)(SHMUP)
25. SiN Episodes: Emergence (PC)(FPS)
26. Crysis Warhead (PC)(FPS)

27. Metro 2033 (PC)(FPS)
28. Good Job! (Switch)(Puzzle)
29. Blasphemous (Switch)(Action Adventure)

30. Two Worlds: Epic Edition (PC)(RPG)
31. Chex Quest HD (PC)(FPS)

32. NecroVision: Lost Company (PC)(FPS)
33. Icewind Dale (PC)(RPG)

34. Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter (PC)(RPG)
35. Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster (PC)(RPG)

36. Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession (PC)(RPG)

Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession is yet another SSI role playing game for PC that is based on 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons. While it traces its design heritage back through the Eye of the Beholder line, Strahd marked the beginning of a new engine that was used for only three games: Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession, Menzoberranzen, and Ravenloft: Stone Prophet. As Strahd is the first game in this line, it's also the most rudimentary in design, so the UI is simpler than Menzo and Stone Prophet and the game world is of a much shorter scale, literally; later games incorporate an amount of vertical movement not present in Strahd. Yet at the same time, Strahd also dropped a lot of the more linear nature of Eye of the Beholder and Menzo, embracing a more go-as-you-like approach that could sometimes get you into trouble if you weren't careful. And that's half the fun.

In Strahd's Possession, you start with a party of two characters, both level 5, who are in pursuit of a possible assassin who has stolen your king's holy symbol of Helm. Upon catching and killing the thief, you discover a hideous relic and are suddenly transported to the realm of Ravenloft, specifically Barovia, a land overseen by Count Strahd von Zarovich. As you progress, you can pick up additional NPC characters, find and complete sub-quests, and generally help the people of Barovia, all while trying to complete your end goal of getting the hell outta Ravenloft, because Ravenloft is a gothic nightmare.

If you're unfamiliar, Ravenloft is actually one of the most prominent horror settings for the Dungeons & Dragons series, and this portion pulls particularly from the Hammer Horror production Horror of Dracula. In truth, this is but one small domain of Ravenloft, and there are numerous monstrous entities and dark lords that pull inspiration from Universal Monsters/Hammer Horror as well as myth and folklore. Strahd happens to be the most famous and in some ways straightforward, so it's off to gothic dark fantasy land we go.

In practice, this game is effectively an anti-undead campaign. While you'll find a few brigands, werewolves, and wargs along the way, the vast bulk of what you'll fight are undead: vampires, ghouls, zombies, skeletons, wights, so on and so forth. While these are no strangers to D&D video games, many of them have skipped over one of the nastiest elements in these creatures repertoires, so you may not be accustomed to level drain, but these critters can do it. What is level drain? It's literally the enemy touching you and dropping your character by a level. This is how D&D symbolizes the life being drained from your body, but in truth it is also a frustrating mechanic to deal with and not a particularly fun one, which is why it's often dropped. However, it is something that can be restored if you have the money or magic power...

...except you're in Ravenloft, son, so you ain't getting that kind of help. Instead, you have to take preventative measures and savescum. The spell Negative Plane Protection is your best friend, so you better have brought a Cleric with you. In fact, don't even bother playing the game if you lack a Cleric; you need the healing, you need the protection, and you NEED the Turn Undead ability. Whatever else you want to bring is fine; I brought a Fighter/Thief that was only useful as a Fighter and completely unnecessary as a Thief, so I wasted a dual class on something useless, but I brought a Cleric and therefore survived. Also, combat is real time, so if you're gonna use range and magic to face your foes, get used to backpedaling and trying to click through your spellbook as fast as possible, because the game only pauses when you're selecting spell targets or looking at your inventory. Screw up, and that wight has just dropped your front line by several levels as you choked on your own Magic Missile page.

Yeah, that's right, Ravenloft ain't easy. Nor should it be. It's a horror campaign setting, so to get through, you're gonna need guts, gumption, and grit. However, it's not all pain and sorrow; there are some interesting sidequests, like helping restore a fallen paladin's faith and rescuing a repentant werewolf. Even the main quest has fun moments like the time you get possessed by a pissed off ghost so he can get revenge on a ghoul king that murdered him back when they were both still alive. You also get some fun undead encounters that aren't commonly seen outside of Ravenloft, like the dreaded Zombie Golem, which will mess you up unless you use Turn Undead. Because you brought a Cleric, right?

Also, the game has some elements that can easily be abused, such as fooling enemy AI into being unable to come through a doorway. Instead of attacking you, monsters will often get stuck running back and forth because they can't quite figure out how to progress, making them juicy targets. Also, Turn Undead generally causes them to flee, but do it point blank, and the AI will often freak out and simply spin in a circle while you hack away without a care in the world. It's a great way to improve your survivability and knock the crap out of enemies that would otherwise turn your face into meatloaf.

As nasty as the enemies can be, I had a lot of fun with Strahd's Possession, and I'm looking forward to porting my two main party members into the next game, Ravenloft: Stone Prophet. While that's unfortunately where the Ravenloft games end for SSI (there is a PS1 fighting game too, but it's not good...and I've already beaten it), I still want to experience the adventure. Plus that one has mummies.

If you haven't noticed a theme as I make my way through Dungeons & Dragons video games, it's that YOU ALWAYS BRING A CLERIC.
Image
Image
I have a movie review website now: https://moviereviewsbyamook.com/
User avatar
Markies
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1056
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:29 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:50 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)***
9. Arc The Lad Collection (PS1)
10. Halo 2 (XBX)
11. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean (GCN)

12. DuckTales 2 (NES)

Image

I beat DuckTales 2 on this Nintendo Entertainment System this evening!

As a child, I used to rent a ton of NES Capcom games from the local video store. I remember renting the entire Mega Man series, Little Nemo and all of the Disney Capcom games as well. One of my favorites was DuckTales as I was a large fan of the Disney Afternoon shows at the time. We stopped renting video games after the NES died down, so one of the last games I rented was DuckTales 2. I remember actually beating the game over the weekend. My gaming skills were improving and I found the game rather easy. Because of that, I never felt the need to go back to the game or buy it for myself. Well, that was a giant mistake as by the time I was interested in purchasing the game, it had skyrocketed in price. I searched for DuckTales 2 for several years as the game become my white whale of gaming. Last year, I was walking around our game convention when a guy was selling several copies of super expensive NES games in terrible shape. He had a DuckTales 2 that had a terrible back. Considering the condition, he was offering decent money, so I decided to jump on it. After buying a cheap NES game, I switched out the backs and I had a near flawless copy of DuckTales 2. After spending so much on the game, I figured it was time to actually play it.

DuckTales 2 is pretty similar to the first DuckTales game, but they do add some nice improvements. For one, you can upgrade your can several times to get through several different areas. It is interesting and adds a bit of strength to the cane. Also, there are significantly more treasure to find along with pieces of the treasure map to get the best ending. You need the upgrades and to explore the entirety of the levels to find everything you need. The levels aren't as memorable as the first game and I would also say they are significantly easier than the first game, but they are still enjoyable and the game is fun for the short experience that you have.

Overall, DuckTales 2 is not as great as the first game, but is still a fun game by itself. It is game that you can beat in less than an hour, so the value for the game is just not there. It's a fun play, but it is hard to justify the price for the game. However, for me and the price of being able to relive some nostalgia along with finding the game I had been looking for so long, the game was worth every penny that I paid for.
Image
User avatar
Note
64-bit
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:39 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:26 am

MrPopo wrote:Blast Corps is an extremely fun N64 title that provides a lot of fun destroying things and a good amount of challenge at a reasonable curve, though some of the later levels can be quite a pain to deal with. But if you believe in yourself you can push through and enjoy one of the N64's real gems.


Great game. I purchased and finished this game around the time it was originally released, I forget how I heard about it but it was most likely through Nintendo Power, since I was a subscriber at the time. This is game I haven't revisited since then, and I'd like to check it out again eventually.

Markies wrote:Overall, DuckTales 2 is not as great as the first game, but is still a fun game by itself. It is game that you can beat in less than an hour, so the value for the game is just not there. It's a fun play, but it is hard to justify the price for the game. However, for me and the price of being able to relive some nostalgia along with finding the game I had been looking for so long, the game was worth every penny that I paid for.


Awesome story about finally finding this game and switching the backs of the cartridges. I didn't have a NES growing up (but did play it at family or friend's homes) and haven't looked into purchasing much for the system, so I was unaware of the going price for this game. Glad you were able to finally grab a copy and enjoyed revisiting it. I gotta try out the first one.
User avatar
Markies
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1056
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:29 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:56 am

The first DuckTales is a classic and a game every NES owner should own.

To be able to play The Moon level while that beautiful music is playing, there is no experience like it. Utterly Classic!
Image
Return to General Gaming

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests