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pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:23 am

@Bone: great review, basically every tg16 cd game had completely atrocious voice acting, they were so bad they were good when I was a kid and they have aged unbelievably well. If you haven't played last resort I strongly encourage you to check it out, it is a pretty fun top down shooter with some of the worst voice acting, if not the worst, the world has ever seen.

@Ack: Fun fact, when you enter the castle, not only is the level layout similar thematically to the opening level of the original castlevania, but the music is the same track that plays in the first stage of the original which is a great touch.

I completely disagree that death is the easiest fight here, in fact I would argue he is considerably harder here than in any of the other games. I may be desensitized to CV 1 death since I have played that game + rom hacks dozens of times, but even taking that out of the equation I struggle with cv 3 death far more than his incredibly easy iteratrion in cv 4 and his iteration in bloodlines where my biggest challenge is staying awake through that horribly boring fight.

I agree his second form is easy, but his first form always gives me a hard time since the layout of the level leaves little room to maneuver around the sickles.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:11 am

First 50:
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
41. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - PC
42. Halo 2: Anniversary - PC
43. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS3
44. Halo 3 - PC
45. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4
46. Command & Conquer Red Alert: Aftermath - PC
47. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 - Switch
48. Carrion - Switch
49. Ninja Gaiden - NES
50. Earthworm Jim - Genesis

51. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - Switch
52. Star Control Origins: Earth Rising - PC
53. Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX - Switch
54. Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith - PC

About midway through this I went back to my original review of to see what I thought. And it confirmed my feelings of the expansion; Jedi Knight is not a good game. It's a very awkward transition between Dark Forces and Jedi Outcast where you suck at both gameplay styles. Mysteries of the Sith compounds it by having worse level design than the base game.

The game has two protagonists: Kyle Katarn and Mara Jade. Each protagonist gets an intro level, then the rest of the game is done in three mission chunks that form a continuous bit of story. Kyle gets one of these and Mara gets three. The titular Mysteries don't even show up until the last of them, and even then it's mostly tangential (Kyle goes to Sith planet, turns Dark, Mara saves him, but there isn't really any Sith crap going on). Kyle starts off midway powered Force-wise, while Mara starts from scratch. The game also changes up how you get Force powers; now they are in tiers and you can only gain a certain number of powers in each tier. This is a bit annoying with Mara because you get forced into a couple of powers for puzzles.

Which brings me to the level design. The game really cranks up the puzzle level but the graphics aren't really suited for it. There are a lot of switches which you will miss because they get lost in the busy textures (not to mention they are just textures themselves). Not to mention grates that need to be sabered hidden in places that would normally qualify as secrets but here are the actual way to go forward. And the Kyle missions also start off with "you remember how to play this game, right?" levels of enemies. Not like you have any weapons when that happens. Then weirdly, when you do Mara they remember to have a proper difficulty curve.

This is no better than the base game, is maybe worse, and the only thing it does is give an excuse for Kyle to not have a lightsaber at the beginning of Jedi Outcast. So that's three strikes; it's out.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
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pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:14 pm

127. Castlevania 3 (nes)
128. Exception (switch)
129. Super Punch out (snes)
130. Return of the Double Dragon (snes)
131. Legend of the Mystical Ninja (snes)

128. Exception (switch)

Exception is a pretty unique 2d action platformer, that takes some inspiration from strider but definitely does enough unique stuff to stand out on its own.

The story starts out with you in a computer world, you play as one of many mindless threads that the program uses to run, one day you grow tired of all the rules that the system has in place and, with the help of 2 other rebellious threads, seek to free the world from its evil overlords. The story is told in comic book style cutscenes between each of the 16 chapters, it actually is a pretty unique and well told story with some solid character and world development and a pretty good twist at the end.

The game plays through 16 worlds, each with about 8 mini levels. The levels in this game are pretty short, many can be beaten in under a minute and the game is definitely designed with speedrunning in mind. Your character has a very long jump and a quick sword slash, both of which will definitely draw parallels to strider when you see them in action, as well as a slide (which is almost never needed or used) and a wall jump. Gameplay has you racing through levels which have an awesome bright, neon, techno feel to them. The twist is as you run through the levels you will come to dead ends with little orbs, grab the orb and the enire level twists and turns in different ways to open up new paths, it is a very cool visual effect that leads to some very interesting game design. For example, one level has you running down a hall fighting a bunch of enemies and avoiding obstacles, at the end of the hall you grab the orb and the hallway turns vertical and you now have to wall jump back up the same hallway you were just running down, any enemies you didnt kill on the way down will still be around to annoy you as you wall jump to the top. The game is constantly doing that and the level design is very inventive and not like anything else I have ever seen.

Combat here is generally simple, most enemies die in one hit, but in this style of game that works great because of the speed of the levels you wouldnt want to stop and slash an enemy repeatedly, the one hit kills makes for some very fast and smooth gameplay. At the end of each world is a boss, the bosses are usually giant robots that aren't too difficult once you learn their patterns but you cant just blindly run in and slash them to death. As a general rule the level with the boss is usually super easy which is nice for when you run into a difficult boss it is never hard to get back to them and give them another try.

The challenge in this game is just right, you will die, but you will not die that many times trying to beat any given level, and due to the short length of the levels and the instant respawns I never found myself frustrated

Overall, exception is a pretty fun and unique game, it is very fast paced and is one of those games that is hard to put down once you start playing it, definitely worth a playthrough for 2d platforming fans.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:46 pm

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

1-50
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)
35. Baku Bomberman 2 (N64)
36. Chameleon Twist (N64)
37. Gato Roboto (PC)
38. The Messenger (PC)
39. The Messenger: Picnic Panic (PC)
40. Baku Bomberman (N64)
41. Bomberman Hero (N64)
42. Blazing Lasers (TG16)
43. Neutopia (TG16)
44. Neutopia II (TG16)
45. Bomberman '94 (PCE)
46. Super Mario Sunshine (GC) *
47. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (GC) *
48. Shenmue 3 (PS4)
49. Wandersong (Switch)
50. Ratchet & Clank (PS2)

51. Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando (PS2)
52. Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal (PS2)

53. Nier: Automata (PS4)

I absolutely adored the original Nier when I played it around 5 years ago (right before I joined this site, as coincidence has it), and I was really excited when I heard they were making a successor game to it. It then took me like years to buy Nier Automata, and over another 3 years to actually play the thing, but here I am. A little over 40 hours later (and a lot of contemplative writing on my own dissecting its themes), I got all of the main endings and did almost all of the quests (all but the most labor intensive ones).

Nier: Automata is the story of 2B and her partner 9S, two androids in the YoRHa project, a fighting force operated out of an orbital bunker that is trying to take back the Earth from invading aliens. The aliens invaded thousands of years ago with an army of constantly learning and adapting machines, and its these machines that YoRHa fight against while trying to find the aliens behind it all to end the war once and for all. Nier: Automata is a game much more about its themes rather than the overall narrative, but the overall narrative that is there is solid. It's also a game that is more in the same universe as the original Nier, rather than a direct sequel in the traditional sense. Like 2018's God of War, while there are elements in this game that have meaningful callbacks to past entries, this game stands very well on its own, and playing the previous game(s) in the series is by no means required to get something really meaningful out of the story.

Where the original Nier asked questions about what it means to be alive, and what humanity really is, Automata takes that one step further. Okay, we're here, now what? What do we do since we're alive, and why should we? It's a very good companion piece to Nier 1, but I would say Automata on the whole does its storytelling in a bit of a better way than the original game does. While there are a lot of more obvious elements to the storytelling, there was a lot I didn't realize until I'd really sat down with it and thought about it for a while. Automata is a really well crafted piece of fiction, especially for a video game, that does something really interesting with the concept of replaying through a story (much like the original Nier did).

That said, Automata has a lot less outright replaying of content than the first Nier did. It has 5 main endings, but really 3 main routes. Route A, Route B, and Routes C and D are more or less different sides of the same route, with Route E being the final ending after completing C and D. Thinking about it like an old PS1 game, Route A is disc 1, Route B is disc 1.5, and Routes C, D, and E are disc 2. It is absolutely intended that you play through all the routes, especially since Route C/D is just the second half of the game with no repeated content of any kind. This confusing approach to endings is a deliberate choice, but one I think this game handles clumsier than Nier 1 does it (where they're just straightforward replays of content), and it's really my only meaningful complaint with how the game's narrative is constructed. Nier: Automata doesn't really present in an obvious enough way that the "new playthroughs" are quite as dramatically different to one another as they imply.

The gameplay loop of Automata is quite close to the first Nier, in that it's an open-ish world action RPG, but it's on a bigger scale with more to do and more quality of life improvements. Platinum handled the development of this game, and it really shows with JUST how much better the combat is in Automata than Nier 1 had (which was something much more simple like a Zelda game). In addition to the melee combat, there are also several shmup sections as well as a hacking minigame (which are really just more shmup-like sections). They vary up the gameplay in a fun way, and the tons of different weapons you can get really do vary up the combat as well. There's still a lot of walking around and talking to people, exploring for resources for quests, and upgrading weapons, sure, but it is all around a significant improvement on the first Nier. Great writing aside, I have no trouble saying that Nier: Automata is a game that is simply much more fun to play than the first Nier.

The art style for the game is also very pretty. I imagine it looks even better on PC, but on the base-model PS4 I played it on, Nier: Automata is still quite a lovely looking game with really cool looking enemies. The music, like Nier 1, is also fantastic, and does a fantastic job of setting scenes and creating atmosphere. The songs which evolve out of dialogue (such as "This Cannot Continue") are particularly fantastic.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Nier: Automata is not only a worthy successor to Nier, but succeeds on its own merits on being a fantastic video game and piece of writing. It is easily one of the best games I've played this year, and one of my new favorite games I've played. Yoko Taro outdid himself yet again and made a really fun game to play to boot, and it's absolutely a game worth checking out if you dig open world games and love a good story in your games.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:13 am

First 50:
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
41. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - PC
42. Halo 2: Anniversary - PC
43. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS3
44. Halo 3 - PC
45. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4
46. Command & Conquer Red Alert: Aftermath - PC
47. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 - Switch
48. Carrion - Switch
49. Ninja Gaiden - NES
50. Earthworm Jim - Genesis

51. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - Switch
52. Star Control Origins: Earth Rising - PC
53. Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX - Switch
54. Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith - PC
55. Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls - PS3

The Wizardry series has an interesting history; it was one of the original CRPGs that made a major impact when it was localized in Japan. It was such a big hit there that there are actually far more Japanese Wizardry games than there are US Wizardry games, and they kept the brand going long after Sir-Tech closed down. Labyrinth of Lost Souls is one of those titles, and is part of the Wizardry Renaissance project where several devs decided to get together and get more of a style guide to the brand. As a result, Labyrinth of Lost Souls feels a lot like a modern remake of the original Wizardry, going with a simple formula (rather than having a ton more options like more recent games).

The plot is pretty simple; the king disappeared in a dungeon and you need to go find him. You have a ten level dungeon that you can bring up to a six person party to, divided into three front people and three back people (which affects attack ranges). You have the same eight classes available as the original; Fighter, Thief, Mage, Priest, Samurai, Lord, Ninja, and Bishop, with the latter four being prestige classes which require higher stats and act as hybrids (Fighter/Mage, Fighter/Priest, Fighter/Thief, Mage/Priest). Unlike the original it is definitely possible to have enough stats to roll all the prestige classes from the beginning, which is nice because otherwise class changing resets your level and really interrupts your flow. Each class has a special ability, and this represents the main update compared to the original. These special abilities tend to be situationally useful, though the Bishop's Magic Wall is amazing.

The game starts off not too difficult but quickly ramps up, and the end game is full of a ton of bullshit enemies. On the final floor about half the enemies are reasonable and half are "just run or you will die". To give you an idea of how bad the latter camp is, once I got a preemptive against a couple of ninjas. This gives you a free round of melee attacks. I figured I could take out one and then Magic Wall to keep the other from hurting me. Instead, they dodged all six attacks, counterattacked, and did 1000-2000 damage (which is their normal attack damage), wiping my party. Other enemies on the floor can drain up to three levels per attack. It's such a drastic difference in difficulty from the previous floor, and it makes the final boss extremely anticlimactic (only one attack, so just Magic Wall and win). But that is in grand Wizardry tradition, so I can't be too mad.

Compared to the original game there's also a lot of quality of life. You actually can see equipment stats and when you use the automap spell or have a map item for the floor you can pull up your automap at any time and see where you've explored, rather than having to do it yourself. The map is especially helpful when in dark areas or hitting a spinner, or just after a teleport. The game also has an interesting distribution of its weapon drops (which is how you'll get all your worthwhile equipment). Several end game pieces also have early game drops available (at a low rate), which means you can stumble upon a great item and get a major power boost. But at the end of the day this is a punishing experience with some grinding required.

If you've been interested in the Wizardry series this is not a bad intro to it. I'd say this is one of the more approachable entries, so you can see if the general conventions are something that interests you before you dip your toes into the less forgiving ones.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:44 pm

The First 50:
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)
39. Still Life 2 (PC)(Point and Click Adventure)
40. Myst IV: Revelation (PC)(Point and Click Adventure)
41. Gato Roboto (Switch)(Action Adventure)
42. Painkiller: Overdose (PC)(FPS)

43. Battle Realms (PC)(RTS)
44. Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf (PC)(RTS)
45. Terminator: Resistance (PC)(FPS)
46. Picross S (Switch)(Puzzle)
47. The Witcher 3 (PC)(RPG)
48. Dragon Quest (Switch)(RPG)

49. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)(Adventure)
50. Castlevania: The Adventure (Switch)(Platformer)

51. Kid Dracula (Switch)(Platformer)
52. Castlevania (Switch)(Platformer)
53. Akumajō Dracula (Switch)(Platformer)

54. Akumajō Dracula [Castlevania IV](Switch)(Platformer)
55. The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone (PC)(RPG)
56. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (Switch)(Platformer)

57. Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (Switch)(Platformer)
58. The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine (PC)(RPG)


Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge

Someone at Konami must have been paying attention to how poorly the original Game Boy Castlevania game went, because instead of simply rehashing the terrible gameplay of the series' first handheld outing, the company took the basic ideas and rebuilt something incredible. You still have some of the quirks of Castlevania: The Adventure, such as climbing ropes instead of stairs and much of the same enemy design, but now it's better balanced, more interesting, and plays way better.

Dracula's power has taken Christopher Belmont's son, Soleil, and is using him to try and bring about the vampire lord's return. Instead of a short and frustrating linear adventure, now Chris Belmont gets to choose how he wants to proceed, Mega Man style. Belmont's Revenge begins with your selection of four different levels which can be beaten in any order. Each of the four levels offers something different and unique in their approach, based on the nature of the castle, but all offer some tight platforming and interesting if not always difficult boss battles. Once the four castles are finished, Dracula's castle rises from the lake for a more linear set of levels that still throw interesting puzzles at you. Already, this is a far more interesting package than the previous Game Boy game.

To add to this, we still get the fireball whip upgrade of the previous game, but now we also get the option of a couple of sub-weapons. The NTSC-U release features the ax and the holy water, and while I generally found the ax more useful, both can play critical roles in improving your survivability. However, even if you do die, you can always continue, even mid-level. That said, it probably won't happen that often, as Belmont's Revenge is fairly easy compared to its handheld and console siblings.

How so? First, the most annoying enemies of the previous game do come back, but they've been toned down; they attack slower and have larger projectiles and hit boxes. Second, bosses aren't much of a challenge and follow relatively straightforward patterns...at least up until the final level. The Dracula fight in general is only tough until you find the best places to stand based on where he shows up, and if you brought the ax and enough hearts, it's simply a matter of time. He does still offer a learning curve, but as he has only one attack, it's all about learning how to avoid it.

Still, with some good music, interesting level design that incorporates some quick-thinking, and background work that I found stunning considering the tech, Belmont's Revenge turned out to be a fantastic experience. I recommend it.

The Witcher III: Blood and Wine

Blood and Wine is the last of The Witcher III's expansions, and therefore ends the entire saga. It takes place in the picturesque land of Toussaint, heavily influenced on the wine regions of southern France or Italy. It is a land of song and music, of sunshine, and of heavy drinking, where knights showcase their chivalry, love is a major driving force, fashion is a crucial player, and the night casts long shadows...some of which have fangs. Of course, this isn't a social visit, as Geralt's been hired to track down a strange and magical serial killer known as the Beast.

Toussaint adds an entire new region to the game, every bit as large as areas like Skellige and Velen, thus making for a significantly larger new adventure than the other expansion, Hearts of Stone. Everything of the base game comes back: new and variant monsters, a whole array of side quests, new armors and weapons to seek, and a main plot with several branching options which can have important consequences not only for Geralt but all players involve. Old friends appear, though not from the games; instead, the histories woven here are lifted directly from the series' source material. There are even dyes added in for changing armor colors as well as a mutation system to further build up your character at a somewhat prohibitive cost. Heck, there's even a new Gwent faction if you love playing in cards and a major sidequest involving it.

Most important of all, though, is the house you are provided. Never before has Geralt owned real estate, and this is what leads to his eventual end. After several hundred hours across three games and several expansions, this is the retirement I felt Geralt deserved, in an idyllic setting with the final romance I had spent the series building towards. Blood and Wine is where the game series ends, and frankly it's where it should; that is its greatest contribution to the series, and it is one that feels genuinely earned.

If you played the Witcher series, play Blood and Wine last, and know that it will end where it should. The finality of the game is bittersweet, as all endings are, but it is the best way that it could be. I'm happy to say that everything ended on a high note, and though I was ready for the series to be over, I'm pleased, both with it and myself for seeing it through.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:23 pm

First 50:
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
41. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - PC
42. Halo 2: Anniversary - PC
43. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS3
44. Halo 3 - PC
45. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4
46. Command & Conquer Red Alert: Aftermath - PC
47. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 - Switch
48. Carrion - Switch
49. Ninja Gaiden - NES
50. Earthworm Jim - Genesis

51. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - Switch
52. Star Control Origins: Earth Rising - PC
53. Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX - Switch
54. Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith - PC
55. Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls - PS3
56. Silicon Zeroes - PC

Silicon Zeroes is a puzzle game designed around eventually building your own CPU. You have a series of components which need to be put together to get values to emit or be written to memory, and you need to account for the fact that a latch will only update every tick. Then in the last third of the base game the idea of propagation delay and synchronization come into play. Weirdly, they first start off in a way that is harder than the later stages in terms of clock management.

From a theory standpoint this game ends up being a bit more abstract than actual hardware design (you have an addition module rather than needing to implement binary addition) but still keeps in a bunch of things that are low level (latches, muxes/demuxes). It ends up being an awkward middle ground if you are familiar with actual hardware design, especially since several of the puzzles involve optimizing for your dataset size, rather than the general case. Many times I found I had to do things that felt "wrong" in order to meet a component or time requirement.

It's definitely one of the weaker programming games I've run into; if you want to have to think about hardware stuff then Shenzhen I/O is better. The fact that I felt like I was penalized for having learned this sort of thing in an academic setting doesn't feel great. Maybe if you're coming in blind you might enjoy it more.
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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.
Flake
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Location: San Antonio, TX

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Flake Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:20 am

January through August:
January
Shovel Knight: King of Cards (Switch)
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (Switch)
Super Metroid (Switch)

February
Megaman X (Switch)
Nekketsu Highschool Dodgeball Club (Switch)
Super Dodgeball (Switch)

March

Garou: Mark of the Wolves (SNK Pro Stick)
Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch)

April

Batman The Telltale Series (Switch)
Street Fighter Alpha 2 (Switch)
SNK Gals' Fighter (Switch)

May

King of Fighters 97: Global Match (PS4)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

June
Megaman X3 (Switch)
Megaman X4 (Switch)
King of Fighters 98: Ultimate Match (PS4)
King of Fighters 99 (Switch)
Injustice 2 (PS4)

July

Donkey Kong Country (WiiU)
Cadence of Hyrule (Switch)
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (Switch)

August

Shovel Knight Showdown (Switch)
Street Fighter Alpha 3 (PS4)


September

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (Switch)
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (WiiU)


Ultra Street Fighter II is an absolutely bonkers thing to exist. A re-release of Super Street Fighter II HD, exclusive to Nintendo Switch, with a joycon specific sub mode, featuring a version of a character that was created by SNK for a Neo Geo game. What even is this? But I'm not going to lie, it is my favorite Street Fighter game after Street Fighter Alpha 3: Saikyo Dojo. I appreciate the refined SFII experience, the lack of convoluted BS that SFV has introduced, and how fast everything moves. I still cannot conceive of what series of discussions at Capcom led to this being a product but I am so glad it happened.

REDEMPTION! I finally beat Donkey Kong Country 2, a full 20 years after the first time I played it. The level near the end with the rising poison was something I just could NEVER beat. I ended up giving up on it around the time I finished high school. Every now and then, when the game would be released for one of Nintendo's virtual console platforms, I would give it another try and give up in the same place. So what changed?

Save States.
The PSTV is amazing.
---------------
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PS Network: jace-flake
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BoneSnapDeez
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Location: Maine

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:36 pm

Flake wrote:I would give it another try and give up in the same place. So what changed?

Save States.


King.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:46 pm

First 50:
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
41. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - PC
42. Halo 2: Anniversary - PC
43. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS3
44. Halo 3 - PC
45. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4
46. Command & Conquer Red Alert: Aftermath - PC
47. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 - Switch
48. Carrion - Switch
49. Ninja Gaiden - NES
50. Earthworm Jim - Genesis

51. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - Switch
52. Star Control Origins: Earth Rising - PC
53. Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX - Switch
54. Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith - PC
55. Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls - PS3
56. Silicon Zeroes - PC
57. Warcraft - PC

My first RTS was Warcraft II; my cousin brought is disk over and we played it for a bit before he went home. Eventually I got the Battlechest which came with 1, 2, and the expansion. I would keep plugging away at Warcraft II, but the first game never gelled with me. But I decided over the weekend to finally take the time and make it through. And while Warcraft II is better than it in every way there is still some historical worth to playing the original. You can see just how much of an improvement II is, as well as just seeing the beginnings of the franchise.

The story is pretty bare bones; there's orcs and humans and they're at war. The orcs did come here through a portal, the start of Blizzard's policy of always leaving a sequel hook available to their games. Over the course of twelve missions you will need to build your base and defeat your foes. The sides are neigh identical, though the differences end up being shockingly important. Each side as a worker, a melee unit, a ranged unit, a mounted unit, a catapult, a support caster, and a war caster. It's only the ranged unit and the spells of both casters that differ. The human ranged unit is MUCH better than the orc one; they gain one extra tile of range in exchange for the orcs dealing 25% more damage. But since that is a single damage point while units have 60 HP to begin with it is clear the human archer is so much stronger. This ends up being a bit of a pain in the orc missions as your defense has to be much more active; you can't just set up a line of spearthrowers and leave it alone because the archers will snipe you from afar.

The casters are very different between the two sides, and again the orcs get the short end of the stick. Each support caster has a primary ability, a vision ability (same for both sides), and a support ability. The cleric heals on primary and turns a unit invisible on secondary. The necrolyte raises skeletons from corpses as a primary and makes a unit temporarily invincible as a secondary (at the cost of them being at 1 HP when it wears off). Again, the human caster is so much better. As a human player the heal helps you manage your defenders, though the invisibility isn't worth the trouble. The CPU is fantastic at spamming heals in combat and the invisibility adds annoyance of enemy units randomly sniping your base. The skeletons are garbage, and the invincibility requires a large force of necrolytes to do it to a bunch of units to be worthwhile. And on the CPU side they tend to only do it to a single unit, so you can just heal through its attacks and then watch it die.

On the war caster side the orcs finally achieve parity. Each has a weak summon, an aoe spell, and a giant summon. The weak summon is garbage, with its only saving grace being that it summons up to four dudes that take up a fair amount of space, which is theoretically useful for body blocking. The aoe spell is decent, and effectively the same for both sides, but it's also not really worth using once you get the giant summon. The giant summon costs all your mana but gives you an incredibly powerful unit. The humans' water elemental is not as strong as the orcs' daemon, but it has a ranged attack, so it ends up being a wash. Late campaign strategy is to build several casters and just spam the big summon; their duration matches up with the time it takes the mana to regenerate, so you can save your resources for keeping your base up.

The controls are the hardest thing in the game to get used to. While the game is able to be fully mouse driven, this requires a lot of clicking. To scroll the screen you move the mouse to the edge and click; you can instead right click to center the view on your mouse pointer. If you want to do something with a unit you have to click one of the buttons and then click a target. Fortunately those have hotkeys. The selection limit is four, and in order to multi select you need to either ctrl+drag to box or shift+click to add units one by one. And there are no control group hotkeys; those won't come until Starcraft. This fundamental limitation will end up dictating your pace through the game. It is basically impossible to manage a large army, especially with melee units. This leads to a couple of useful formations. The first is 2-3 groups of ranged units (maybe with a couple of catapults as support) that leap frog each other. As enemies come into range your units will auto fire, and you can quickly tear up enemies as they come in. The other is to just build four or eight war casters and spam the big summon. Managing a couple groups is doable, and they are so powerful that you don't really need to micro them much. But trying to make use of the regular melee units is an exercise in folly.

Warcraft is a very primitive RTS and if you want to pick it up you should go in knowing that you will be frustrated with it. Fortunately, the actual campaign difficulty is pretty low outside the last orc level (due to unfavorable terrain and the aforementioned fundamental balance against the orc army. And even the last mission doesn't compare to the difficulty of some of the later Warcraft II missions (not to mention the expansion). Blizzard, fortunately, did not make the AI too relentless, so the pressure is about right compared to the controllability. Still, only RTS historians need apply.
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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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