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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:01 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
36. Command & Conquer: The Covert Operations - PC
37. Command & Conquer Red Alert: Counterstrike - PC
38. The Last of Us Part 2 - PS4
39. Exodemon - PC

Exodemon is a throwback FPS that has some neat ideas but also some flaws in execution, leading to an overall average rating. You can tell it's an amateur effort, but it's an earnest amateur effort, and it gets some points for creativity. It does have some amusing bugs, though, as well as what feels like a missing final fight. But it's not without its merits.

The game has a pretty bare bones story; it's all conveyed in a quick blurb by the protagonist in front of every level. Apparently you were a worker at a research laboratory and one of the subjects, the titular Exodemon bonded with you. You then go through 18 levels of shooting security bots or something; it's not really clear. Slowly your mind merges with the Exodemon and eventually you want revenge or something? The game ends with you taking a ship offworld. Obviously nothing to write home about.

In terms of gameplay it is fast paced; the longest levels are 15 minutes and you have a good move speed; slightly slower than the first AvP game on PC. You have six weapons plus your melee. The melee is well integrated into the game; your left hand is always available for melee (as well as showing your health on the back of the hand) and your melee attack is of middle strength. The melee attack also increases the chances of enemies dropping ammo/health, and since ammo is always tight doing a combo of a few shots followed by a melee finisher will be your bread and butter. The rest of the weapons are used by your right hand; they're various beams that act as standard FPS weapons. You have a pistol, shotgun, railgun, grenade launcher, machine gun, and a chargeable gun. The pistol quickly falls off in usefulness thanks to the game's recoil cone; it increases very rapidly and decreases very slowly. Similarly, the chargeable gun never feels like it does enough damage for the time spent on it. You'll find the shotgun and railgun are your go to weapons, with the grenade launcher being occasionally useful and the machine gun being a good backup when your ammo is low.

The game does an interesting thing with your health; instead of having some numerical total that different enemies reduce by different amounts you instead start with 5 and can gain up to 11 health, and every hit removes one health point. This ends up doing interesting things to the game balance; anything rapid is much more deadly no matter how weak it might be in another game. For example, the small hopping guys that die when you breath on them can quickly take you down because they will get ins several fast hits, while larger enemies hurt you much more slowly; their threat comes from the amount of ammo they require to take down. It's an interesting experiment, though it ends up demonstrating why you want traditional health; it gives you more fine tuning for balance.

The game is quite short; it took me three hours to get through on a blind playthrough. It has good level variety; a mixture of claustrophobic corridors and large outdoor areas, with the overall terrain changing every few levels to keep things fresh. The difficulty curve is mostly good, aside from the third through fifth level; this is the point of the game where enemies get tougher but you still are using the pistol, so things kind of suck for that portion. Once you get better guns it's smooth sailing.

Overall it's a decidedly OK game. If you can snag it for $5 and you enjoy fast paced FPS action I can recommend it, but I wouldn't spend more than that.
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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 Jun 28, 2020 11:57 am

First 30
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)
31. Minesweeper Genius (Switch)
32. Kuso (Switch)
33. 20XX (Switch)

20XX is an action-platformer roguelike with gameplay inspired by Mega Man X that rules so, so hard. The gameplay is just fantastic. It plays like a dream, and it is easily the best “Mega Man X” game in decades. While I’m not a huge fan of roguelikes, the game has such a satisfying gameplay loop that rewards repeated playthroughs, even if you have to restart every time you die, and you are constantly unlocking new permanent and temporary upgrades that, in addition to your experience with the game, make it progressively easier. The game also has relatively varied level sets, with four sets shared by the games eight “robot masters” and two sets shared by the game’s equivalent of Wily’s Castle. As it should, the levels and bosses get progressively harder as you progress through the game. (This means that if, on one run, you fight a boss first, it will be much easier than if, on a different run, you fight the boss last. This means that picking your levels in the “right” order is key to a successful run.) The difficulty spikes when you reach the last two levels, and the final boss is a beast. A run takes about an hour, and you’ll be playing the first eight levels a lot until you really learn how to play and, more importantly, how to use the bosses’ weapons. (More than any other Mega Man game, this game requires you to use the robot masters’ weapons for something other than just fighting other bosses. In fact, the bosses are all pretty easy to beat with your standard weapon, and you REALLY need the bosses’ weapons to survive the games most difficult platforming segments.) There are two playable characters at the outset, one who plays like X and another who plays like Zero. Beating the game, unlocks two more playable characters, and there are three difficulty settings. (I beat the game with a single life on “normal” difficulty, but there’s an “easy” difficulty that allows you three lives and a “hard” difficulty that’s just insane.) Accordingly, the game has plenty of replay value even after you’ve cleared it. Finally, game sounds great, with really catchy music. My only complaint is that the graphics are a bit questionable, but it looks like this issue has been addressed in the upcoming sequel 30XX, which looks great and is now one of my most anticipated upcoming releases. If you’re a fan of the Mega Man X games, you really owe it to yourself to play this game, and I really can’t recommend it highly enough.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:04 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)
37. Singularity (PC)(FPS)
38. The Witcher 2 (PC)(RPG)

It's interesting how this series has changed and evolved towards the open-ended. Yes, Witcher 2 is still limited in its approach to this, but it builds upon what the first game wanted and serves as the bridge to the openness of the third. Much of what it changes, it changes for the better. Is it perfect? God no. But it's incredible in its own right all the same, and it's a step up in the right direction.

The game begins some time after the first leaves off, with Geralt's memory still largely missing and now in prison. He recounts the events that led him to be there, which is his framing for the assassination of King Foltest. Geralt then manages to escape prison so he can attempt to pursue the real assassin, who happens to be another Witcher. Old friends return (though not all), and eventually Geralt is forced to make decisions on who he'll side with as kings, sorceresses, and a virgin general engage in political intrigue and attempt to scheme and play each other with some nasty consequences. All this, while you also hunt a kingslayer. What more could you want?

How about larger, more open areas that the original game only hinted at? How about much deeper combat, including throwing knives and bombs, parrying and riposting, using magic Signs and traps, and the return of handy tools to help you become better at monster slaying? Combat has gotten a complete overhaul from the first game, and it's considerably more difficult in that you're no longer setting yourself up to fight in Group Mode and must actually strategize against opponents and use your levels to build out how you want to fight. I never learned to throw knives, for instance; I didn't need to, because once I got the flow of combat, I was fine just relying on my swords instead. However, the level cap is only 35, so you won't get anywhere near the points required to max our Geralt's skills, so build to what suits you. I barely touched the Alchemy and Signs trees and instead always favored straight combat and toughness skills. Do take some time to get the hang of combat too, because otherwise you're gonna get your ass kicked a lot.

The minigames have also gotten an overhaul. Bare knuckle fighting was how I made it through Witcher 1 and funded my need for gear and ingredients, but here the combat has been replaced with quick-time events that can be done a single time per opponent for a relatively simple quest. Since the QT events also correspond buttons to their general locations for the fights, I just zoned out and easily got through it. Dice poker returns, and it's even worse than before, as now you can toss dice out of the playing field and lose them for the rest of the match. I loathe that game. As for what's new, arm wrestling was added in, and it mainly consists of moving the mouse left or right as necessary; I got the hang of it and became the champion in no time. I'll happily take free experience.

There are a couple of issues I did have with the game. The first is that things aren't explained well, so even having played the first game and going through the information screens, I still wasn't always sure what kingdom was being talked about where and with who. I haven't read the books, and eventually I picked up some specific things, but if you had asked me at the end of the game to point out certain kingdoms on a map, I couldn't have. I've moved into the third game, and it's tackled that situation a lot better...but then there seems to be a lot of continued improvement in the series, which I appreciate. You know what? I'll chalk it up to Geralt's amnesia.

Another issue I had with the game was how buggy it could be, specifically regarding doors. For some reason, I constantly got stuck trying to open a door with Geralt entering a walking animation and never actually reaching his destination. Every time this happened, reloading was the only way to resolve the issue, and it happened consistently throughout the game. I eventually just saved every couple of minutes and continually made sure to delete no longer necessary saves too, as this game loves to clutter things with them.

As I said earlier, the game isn't perfect; it suffers a few issues of its own, but it's also the second title in a trilogy, so it's best to play the first to understand what is happening in the second, and then the third to see how much better it gets. Also, certain decisions made in the first game do impact things in the second, but the biggest choice, the romantic decision, surprisingly means little because one of those characters was effectively written out of the games after that, not reappearing until an expansion for the third. This trend continues from the second game to the third too, with some of my new favorites not appearing or even being mentioned in Witcher 3. Poor Iorveth, stuck in the Two Towers equivalent of the Witcher game trilogy.

I have since moved on to the third game in the trilogy, and it's interesting what matters and what great things I did that don't. By the time Witcher 3 comes about, six months have passed in the storyline, and the world has changed incredibly from what I had held as important. Much of the work I had done in Witcher 2 is now undone by kings and empires...but I'm still glad I did it. Witcher 3 has continued the improvements of the second, and while I'm not done with it, I'm adding this last paragraph to say that I now adore this series and have greatly enjoyed playing these games and seeing how the series has evolved.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:40 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2020 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019
* indicates a repeat

1. Invisigun Reloaded (Switch)
2. Human: Fall Flat (Switch)
3. Shantae: The Pirate's Curse (3DS)
4. Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (PC)
5. Splatterhouse (PS3) *
6. 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)
7. Tokyo Jungle (PS3)
8. Pictobits (DSiWare)
9. Puzzle Quest: The Legend Reborn (Switch)
10. WarioWare Gold (3DS)
11. Disaster: Day of Crisis (Wii)
12. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
13. Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point (Xbone)
14. Sleeping Dogs: Year of the Snake (Xbone)
15. Dynamite Headdy (Genesis) *
16. Shovel Knight: King of Cards (3DS)
17. Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope (3DS) *
18. Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows (Switch) *
19. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Switch) *
20. Shovel Knight: Showdown (Switch)
21. Dragon Quest Builders 2 (PS4)
22. ActRaiser (SNES)
23. Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth (WiiWare)
24. Mega Man X (SNES)
25. Breath of Fire II (SNES)
26. Ape Escape 2 (PS2) *
27. Doubutsu No Mori+ (GC)
28. Ape Escape (PS1)
29. Ape Escape 3 (PS2) *
30. Maken X (DC)
31. Cubivore (GC)
32. Wario World (GC) *
33. Hatoful Boyfriend (PC)

34. Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (SFC)

I played through this for this month's TR, as it was one of the only retro SRPGs I own. SRPG is a genre I've enjoyed in the past but am not a massive fan of. Even Fire Emblem is a series I'm not a super huge fan of, despite having beaten half a dozen of them over the years. I have this game on my Super Famicom Mini, and I honestly really didn't expect to finish it. I ended up using save states and rewinds a fair bit, and ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. They were a great way to make the game's difficulty far more appealing to me, and more like the puzzle-ish design of Advance Wars where losing a unit feels a lot less dire (and it also thankfully lowered the time commitment for me significantly). That said, it still took me over 43.5 hours to beat the Japanese version of the game, and that's just the end time on the SFC Mini and ignores all my restarts XP.

Mystery of the Emblem is actually two games jammed into one. The first is a remake of the original Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, but with some new mechanics tossed in (mostly re-balancing leveling, as far as I can tell) that help make it easier and less dependent on RNG like the original was. The other changes to it are to make it fit mechanically alongside the second game on the cart, which is actually FE: Mystery of the Emblem, a direct sequel to Shadow Dragon with much of the same cast. The stories are nothing to write home about, especially in the first game, but it's serviceable in both cases. Mystery of the Emblem is a really jarring thing to go to after Shadow Dragon, given that there is just so little text at all in the first game and SO much more in the second, even if it mostly amounts to larger exposition dumps at the starts and ends of chapters. They're quite sad stories compared to later FE games, with far less happy endings beyond the few most central characters. Even most of the end-game resolution text for characters who live (especially in Shadow Dragon) amount to "they disappeared" or had a not so great life after the war. I did enjoy the story that was there, especially in Mystery of the Emblem, but it's hardly a main selling point of the game or anything.

Being that it's SUCH an early entry in the series, and this is also the only pre-GBA Fire Emblem game I've ever played, I expected it to be quite different and my goodness is it. No weapon triangle, no supports of any kind, and the ability to dismount and mount up your mounted units to name some of the biggest differences to later games (a lot of that being innovations introduced in FE4, after all). The mounting/dismounting thing is easily the most annoying mechanic, and mostly seems to be an arbitrary way to hamstring your movement on some levels, and it's something that wouldn't be so annoying if it didn't make mounted units SO much worse (not to mention it's really annoying since you need to swap out their lances for swords whenever you do it).

Beyond that there are just lots of weird design decisions or lacking quality of life features, like there being no way to check threat ranges of you or your enemies (which REALLY sucks in a game with so many long-range casters and ballista to worry about) as well as you needing to do all the math yourself for how much damage you're gonna do across menus on two different screens (and the same goes for hit chance, quite often). At least if there IS a threat-range checker (or even a range-stat-checker) feature, I could never find where it was. Most of my resets and rewinds were down to frustrations with "oh, I didn't know how far this could hit me, so I moved forward and now I'm dead." Then other weird things like some characters like Marth and the entire fighter class (that being anyone who uses an axe, of which you get 3 in Shadow Dragon, one of whom was one of my best characters in that game) simply having no promotion items at all. Thankfully for the latter aspect, Mystery of the Emblem remedies this by simply never giving you any axe-users. and the absence of any weapon triangle makes it fairly inconsequential on an overall mechanical level.

The map designs and such are good fun, and the music and graphics are excellent and hold up great. I usually end up turning off the battle animations in FE, but I never did in this game. Part of that may have been down to me playing so much of the game streamed to my friends over Discord so I could have the anticipation of getting a hit or a miss, but part of it was also just how pretty and nice the animations are~. There are never any missions that aren't "capture the throne", but there are a lot of neat setups for missions that make them have more interesting aspects around that (like a mission where most of the enemy soldiers don't actually fight you, and if you don't pick them off for easy XP, you get more recruitable characters out of it). There are some problems with the game actually giving you the information on how to recruit many characters, especially in Shadow Dragon (you basically need to guess a TON who is actually related to whom so they could talk to and recruit them), but MotE has a lot less of that. Either way, especially if you don't wanna miss the extra final levels in MotE, playing this game with a simple recruitment/item guide to make sure you don't miss people is something I did and I would also recommend doing to help alleviate any stress over missing recruits.

Verdict: Recommended. I think it's age has not been super kind to it, but that's also because of what a definitive game it is. The mechanics and design philosophies laid down in FE3 and then FE4 helped establish the future of the franchise in a big way, and even though it's lacking in a lot of QoL features, these early games still play in a very familiar way as a result. There will likely be some frustrations and resets in both parts of the game, but if you're into SRPGs and want something that isn't too brutally hard, this is yet another game from Nintendo's 16-bit catalog whose main failings come from how well Nintendo and others have innovated on it since.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:41 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
34. EVO: The Search for Eden - SNES
35. Blast Corps - N64
36. Command & Conquer: The Covert Operations - PC
37. Command & Conquer Red Alert: Counterstrike - PC
38. The Last of Us Part 2 - PS4
39. Exodemon - PC
40. Halo: Reach - PC

I first played Halo when the PC version was released way back when. A combination of some bugginess and some design decisions meant I never bothered to beat it and shelved it (the fact it was warez meant I didn't mind just pitching it). Now that Microsoft put out the Master Chief collection on PC I figured I'd give the series a real try. And I'm not sure I'm happy with what I signed up for.

Halo: Reach is the fifth game released but the first game chronologically. It sets up the backstory of how the first Halo starts. You are one of the Spartan super soldiers on Reach who discovers the alient Covenant invading and get caught up in the conflict. While you have some early victories it is clear that they are pulling out all the stops to get SOMETHING that is on Reach, and the end of the game has you delivering that thing to the Pillar of Autumn: the AI Cortana. Then you finish off your doomed quest by dying in a post-game mission.

Now, since it's the fifth game released it's on the Halo 3 engine, but it mimics the capabilities of the first Halo. Based on the control configuration Halo 2 adds dual wielding and secondary fire; both of those are absent in Reach. I'm hoping that these deliberate "be like Halo 1" things indicate that Halo 2 makes some needed changes, because while I know Halo 1 is going to play similar I hope things get better in 2.

My biggest complaint is the gunplay. All the guns feel like ass, except the ones that launch explosives. There's no real sense that you're hitting things and everything has WAY too much health. I'm talking emptying a full clip into an enemy face (and I'm at point blank, so I know I'm hitting the face) AFTER their personal shields are down and they still aren't dying. Sure, that happens to be an obvious "tough" version of a regular enemy, but it's still incredibly out of whack. And I wasn't even playing on a hard difficulty. You end up having to do a fair amount of meleeing to be able to take out enemies in a reasonable amount of time, but that is fraught with peril both because enemies are shooting you but also because they have the same heavily damaging melee you do.

The other thing that stuck out at me was the surprising number of enemy attacks that instant kill you at full health and shields. Now, they are all avoidable, but many times in a firefight you won't necessarily be able to keep track of that. It's a major feel bad when an enemy you didn't see instantly deletes you. And this ends up combining with the previous "enemies have too much health and your hit feedback is shit" issue; you might think you took out a high danger enemy only to have them backstab you because it turns out they were just in a hitstun. It's frankly garbage balance, and as I recall Halo 1 had the same issue. Which makes me wonder how it got to be so well regarded.

In terms of storytelling they also kind of drop the ball a bit. The game gives essentially no background as to what is going on, just a lot of "we know this is the fifth Halo game you've played so we'll just tell the bare minimum". And most of the dialog is passed through a "low quality radio" filter without subtitles which makes you miss half of the story critical dialog. Like, this part was a gimme guys and you failed at it.

Now, I'm being quite negative, but I can't call it an objectively bad game. And I'm willing to believe that things get fixed come Halo 2, but I'm expecting my playthrough of Halo 1 to be full of the same complaints. It's a bad sign when Goldeneye's gunplay feels better than what this game delivers.
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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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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:56 am

Good posts dudes. You kings are killing it.

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)
20. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (Genesis)
21. Sword of Vermilion (Genesis)
22. Steins;Gate: My Darling's Embrace (Switch eShop)
23. Oink! (Atari 2600)
24. Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (Famicom Disk System)
25. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
26. Phantasy Star Online (Dreamcast)
27. Chaos;Child (Vita)
28. Scar of the Doll (Steam)

29. Kirby's Adventure (NES)
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The coolest thing about Kirby's Adventure may be the simple fact that it's on the NES. With a release date of 1993, Nintendo could have crafted a slick new SNES title, but instead went for broke and dropped one of the biggest and baddest 8-bit games ever seen.

In many ways, Kirby's Adventure represents the game some people wish Kirby's Dream Land had been. Yes, Dream Land was quite good in its own right, but many (not me) found it wholly lacking in content and replay value. Adventure builds on the Dream Land foundation mixed with the Super Mario Bros. 3 blueprint, with Kirby traveling through an array of "worlds" each split into discrete levels, with some optional bonus games to be played along the way, and a boss door looming at each world end. Interesting to note that the "world map" remains sidescrolling, rather than the top-down variety seen in similar platformers.

There's a charming story here. The residents of Dream Land no longer receive any semblance of restful sleep, as the mystical "Star Rod" has been stolen from the Fountain of Dreams. King Dedede, the antagonist of Kirby's previous outing and vaguely penguin-esque creature, is assumed to be the culprit. The rod, much like the Triforce of olde, has been split into segments and scattered across the land. Each boss is, naturally, an associate of Dedede and a possesses such a segment. Kirby's plan is to unify the rod so he and his pals can once again slip into pleasant slumber. There's a twist at the end, however -- I won't reveal it, but anyone who's played one of the later Kirby games can likely guess what happens.

Nintendo platformers tend to have flawless control schemes, this one included. Kirby retains his old moves: he walks, he ducks, he climbs ladders, he jumps, and he flies with a push of the up button. Pressing B while in midair once again causes Kirby to "deflate" while emitting a lethal air puff. Enemies can be inhaled and subsequently swallowed, or spit out as a star-shaped projectile. Kirby's got a couple of new tricks up his sleeve too. Double-tapping a directional button commences running, and Kirby can initiate a slide kick if an action button is pressed while ducking. Once again Kirby's granted a six-block lifebar, which can be replenished with specific items. Collisions with enemies and their attacks will deduct one block of life, and contact with a hole means insta-death. Some very specific enemy attacks actually trigger "knock-back" damage, which can send Kirby careening into a pit, where he'll presumably unite with Simon Belmont and Ryu Hayabusa.
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The most important innovation seen in Adventure, which would become integrated into future Kirby releases, is the addition of the "copy" system. By inhaling and swallowing certain enemies, Kirby is able to absorb their powers, which then supplants the traditional "suck and blow" method of attack. Not all enemies grant powers, and an ability can be abandoned with a simple flick of the select button. Moreover, if Kirby gets hit he looses his current ability: it abandons his body in the form a bouncing star, though the game provides a brief window for Kirby to inhale said star and regain his power.

Not all powers are created equally. The most immediately advantageous ones are those that grant Kirby a long-range attack (cutter and laser). Others can be executed quickly, but lack distance (sword and hammer). Some alter the way Kirby maneuvers and transform his body into weaponry (wheel and tornado). There are oddballs like crash, which destroys all enemies onscreen but can only be used once, and UFO, which is ultra-powerful but also stripped from Kirby automatically when he completes a level. Sleep is the game's "troll" ability: it literally puts Kirby to sleep for a limited period. Utterly useless, but also painfully cute, so it's worth getting once. Certain abilities are clunky to the point where it's better to simply pass them by: I never found any use for ball, backdrop, or throw.

The stage layouts are brilliant. Environments that twist and turn vertically and horizontally, replete with hidden passes, without ever resorting to frustrating labyrinthine mazes. The game alternates smoothly between on-land segments, flying stretches, and endurance swims (many of Kirby's powers are useless in the water). Each world is given a food theme -- Vegetable Valley and Ice Cream Garden kick things off -- which is reflected in the graphical design. What's most remarkable is how the levels are cleverly structured with Kirby's powers in mind. There are racetracks built for wheeling, cannon wicks to be lit by fire, angled "reflectors" begging for a laser hit, widely-spaced platforms designed to be navigated via the hi-jump ability, coconut trees shedding fruit that can thwarted by a parasol-carrying Kirby, and so on. That said, nabbing special abilities is never mandatory, and the game can be played start to finish with "vanilla" Kirby.

In addition to the standard levels there are varied bonus games to be played, the rewards ranging from the ever-useless "points" to clusters of extra lives. Upon completing a stage, Kirby is launched into the clouds via a moving platform. A perfectly-timed button press leads to a one-up. Other bonus games are found scattered about the world map. There's a gunslinger competition (Kirby with a gun?!) which is once again predicated on precise button presses: too slow and Kirby himself is blown away. The "crane game" emulates those found in the real world, where Kirby goes for plushies made in his own likeness. In the "egg catcher" rounds Kirby must swallow the eggs rapidly launched by King Dedede while avoiding the bombs mixed in. Arenas house minibosses that can be slain for both abilities and health refills. The world map additionally houses museums, where Kirby is freely granted an ability or two, as well as the "Star Road" which can speedily launch Kirby to areas he's already visited.
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Upon reaching the third world, players will notice that certain bonus games are locked behind walls. Such walls are cleared by finding hidden switches in the standard stages. These are easy to locate at first. As the game progresses switches can only accessed if Kirby possesses a certain ability (like the hammer, which can clear blocks out of the way). Some of the final switches are quite devious, requiring Kirby enter a stage with an ability not contained within its boundaries. It's a shame that the switches merely unlock bonus games and not entirely new stages à la Super Mario World. And 100% game completion doesn't grant any substantial new content. Instead, a "hard mode" version of the game is unlocked. It's a neat challenge, though most gamers will probably be feeling the Kirby fatigue at that point.

The enemy design is lovely. Those old foes from Kirby's Dream Land are back: these are the most standard baddies and grant no powers. Added to the mix are what would become the series staples (and allies in later Kirby installments): the cutter-tossing knight Sir Kibble, the beam-spinning Waddle Dee, and many more. Minibosses are encountered occasionally. These big dudes take a couple of hits to take down and always grant a power upon defeat. The main bosses showcase some instances of recycling; it was here that the developers decided an apple tree and a giant eyeball would forever bless Kirby games with their presence. Also included in the the boss roster are a painter who brings his creations to life, a tag team consisting of the sun and moon, a digging mechanical "mole" battled within an autoscrolling tunnel, and the "Meta Knight" who demands Kirby face him with a sword.

Aesthetically, the game is gorgeous and very "late stage NES." It's inundated with color: blue skies, orange oceans, white icebergs, green forests, starlit deep space. Graphics are detailed but not overly so, maintaining that "soft" Kirby look. Animations are smooth, and there exists a plethora of cutesy artistic touches. For example, the game opens with a Kirby-drawing tutorial "cutscene." Pausing the game at any point displays Kirby, pencil in hand, attempting a self-portrait. A beefy status bar covering the screen's button also displays an image of Kirby utilizing whatever special ability he happens to possess. This "box" also displays a special "Ouch!" image when Kirby takes damage and a bummed-out Kirby whenever a "powerless" enemy is swallowed. Each world is introduced with a humorous visual: usually of Kirby finding himself in some sort of mishap due to his excessive need for food and/or sleep. The music is just delightful. Perpetually cheery and upbeat, it keeps pace with the gameplay perfectly. The variety of tunes is mind-boggling; each section of the overworld is granted its own song and stage themes rarely seem to be recycled. Sound effects are also notable, with each ability resonating in its own way, harmoniously blending into the stage themes themselves.

Kirby's Adventure takes about two and a half hours to complete, but does not demand the player sit for a single session. Autosaving occurs after each and every individual stage, though it's that classic "Nintendo save" that keeps track only of location, not net lives. That said, difficulty is kept to a minimum and one-ups are easy to obtain. All told, this is just a phenomenal game. One can nitpick, sure, but mechanically and aesthetically speaking it's essentially perfect and overflowing with charm. It's right up there with Super Mario Bros. 3 as being the best NES platformer, though Kirby may get the nod due to quality of life improvements. Anyone even remotely interested in 2D platformers needs to take this one out for a spin, and it's well-suited for those little Waddle Dees among us, who prefer things easy and breezy.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:45 pm

Dang, dude. That's the most detailed write up on Kirby's Adventure I think I have ever read.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:28 pm

I take Kirby very seriously.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:39 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:I take Kirby very seriously.


Amazing review of a great game, Bone. I hope you keep these somewhere.
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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by marurun Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:20 pm

Kirby's Adventure is a masterpiece. Bone is a masterpiece. The two deserve each other.
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