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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:18 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 (XBOX)
11. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean (GCN)
12. DuckTales 2 (NES)
13. Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm (PS2)
14. Rocket Knight Adventures (GEN)
***15. Skies of Arcadia (SDC)***
16. Dragon Quest V (SNES)
17. Marvel Vs. Capcom (PS1)
***18. Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition (GEN)***
19. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II - The Sith Lords (XBOX)
20. Disney's Aladdin (SNES)
21. Flatout 2 (PS2)
22. Mr. Driller (SDC)

23. Blast Corps (N64)

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I beat Blast Corps on the Nintendo 64 this evening!

Like many kids my age, I remember renting Blast Corps and then stopping once I reached a Dump Truck level. I loved playing the game and the other vehicles, but the Dump Truck was the worst vehicle I had ever played. However, I still had fond memories of destroying all of the buildings with many different weapons. Fast forward to Adult Markies and I found a copy at a local game store several years ago. With nostalgia brimming, I decided to pick it up to play. Once again, I stopped at a Dump Truck level and then put the game on the shelf. Recently, on the Racketboy Forums, somebody wrote a review after beating the game. He talked about the game and how the Dump Truck levels were doable with time and patience. Deciding to finally put the game to the test, I decided to try and beat Blast Corps.

Blast Corps is a rather short game as there are only about 20 Levels before you technically beat the game. To unlock more levels, you have to go back and collect all of the gold medals. However, playing through it once is a breeze at the start. You are wrecking everything in sight. All of the vehicles feeling amazing and you are surrounded by pure destruction. Along with chaos around you, the game has a surprisingly good soundtrack with some pretty catch tunes. The controls aren't perfect, but the game is generous enough where it doesn't feel too bad.

And then you reach the final five levels or so. Three of them involve solely the Dump Truck while another two require such precision and timing that you have to memorize the levels. Eventually, I learned to get past the Dump Truck Levels. The controls were never perfect, but I could at least manage and the game is very generous with the time limit. Each of these final levels took me about an hour each which padded my run time with the game in double. Once the difficulty went up, the frustrating controls began to become more apparent. Most of the time, the vehicles never do exactly what you want them to do and you begin to loose precious seconds. You know what to do, but you are hindered in your execution.

Overall, I mostly enjoyed myself with Blast Corps. I was able to beat the frustrating levels, so it wasn't like they were impossible. Obviously, the earlier part of the game was much more enjoyable than the latter. It's a very short romp unless you are going for complete. Much like most Rare games, fun but frustrating!
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:54 pm

I'm glad you were able to push through. The Backlash is definitely a weird vehicle; it controls strangely but if you get a good slide it just plows through stuff like nothing else. And you definitely need to take advantage of the fact that anything airborn destroys anything. I recommend you watch the run of Blast Corps at on of the GDQs (I think it was an SGDQ); they had the lead designer for the game Skype in, so you both get to see some advanced play as well as getting insight into various things in the physics and why they did things the way they did them.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:48 pm

There were times when I thought I understood its controls. You have to find a pivot point and think further ahead of your turn then normally. I'd hit it with my back and then just bounce off doing nothing. Other times, I'd hit it and destroy an entire city block.

There was one level near the end that had these little bumps to get it airborne. Once I found those, the level became incredibly easier. I'd just hit the bump and the buildings would just collapse before me, so that was very nice. Also, they give you enough time on those levels, that if you miss a building, you can just bump into and it will slowly destroy it. I did that several times when I missed a building or two.

I cannot even imagine what a Blast Corps run would look like in the hands of somebody who has mastered. That would be amazing to see, so I'm going to search it out to watch. Thanks for tip!
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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:07 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)
24. Resident Evil 6 (360)
25. Skies of Arcadia (DC)
26. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch)
27. Star Fox 64 (N64)*
28. Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (SNES)*

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29. Perfect Dark (N64)

I received Perfect Dark as a Christmas gift during the 2000 holiday season, about six months after its original release. At the time of Perfect Dark's release, my friends and I had played Goldeneye 007 to death, racking up hours and hours of multi-player. I think I was burned out on the gameplay at this time, and that's most likely the reason why I didn't spend as much time with it as I should have upon release. I played a good way through it back then, but didn't recall finishing the game, so I wanted to get into it again and finally complete it. I haven't played many FPS titles this year, so I felt it was a good time to give it another go. I had a tough time with the last mission and put the game down for a few weeks, but came back to it this afternoon and finally completed it.

You'll need the N64 Expansion Pak to run this game -- just a warning for those who may want to play it on original hardware. The graphics look superb for the console, and is one of the best looking games on the system. Before many of the levels are impressive looking cut scenes which include voice overs. The environments are a step up in comparison to the title's predecessor, Goldeneye. The soundtrack is also a plus, with some ambient tunes during the menu selections and very dramatic music when the action is playing out and you're in a tight situation.

The plot and storyline is interesting, centered around alien warfare and rival human factions assisting each side. I like the sci-fi direction Rare took in this title, and I thought they did a great job with making the universe of a new IP come to life. There are some levels that reflect a cyberpunk universe, and I wish this theme was more widely used throughout but the variety of the levels is also a great touch, with most stages and their designs looking completely different.

There are also a lot of game modes to go through, with the regular set of missions having three difficulty levels, as well as a lot of training areas included. Once the main game is finished, there is also a set of three special missions to play through. I haven't tried the special missions yet, but this is something I may pick up down the line. I'm aware the game has a lot of multiplayer options, including the addition of bots to compete against. I wish I could write more of a review on this, but I haven't been able to try this mode out with a friend. Also, there's a mode where you can play the campaign mode with one other person in co-op, which is amazing. I would really like to try that out some day. Maybe when the pandemic is over in a year or two, I can get some people together for a Perfect Dark night.

Regarding the controls, I found the original N64 controls to still be fine for this game, but I've heard others complain they found it difficult to play and prefer a more modern control set. Being used to the N64 controller and the old controls that FPS games had in this era, I didn't mind it at all. But some may want to look to the Xbox 360 version if the old controller and control style is an issue.

In regards to the cover art, it's a bit odd that this game got a different box art in each region of release. The US cover art is decent, but I think the PAL art looks a bit better, and the JP art is just badass. I can see why we didn't get the JP art here in the states, with a realistic photo depiction of the main character in possession of a pistol and sniper rifle. It's understandable, especially since this game was released after the US's first mass shooting.

This is a great game and I really enjoyed playing through it and finally finishing it after all this time. I highly recommend it for anyone that's a fan of N64 games or FPS titles. There is a lot to play through here, even in just single player mode, and I think it's worth checking out. Hopefully down the line, I can get a few people together to try out the multiplayer mode. If you haven't already, give this one a go!
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:38 pm

For people having control issues with Goldeneye/Perfect Dark, set the 1.2 control style. That maps movement and strafe to the C buttons and freelook to the stick.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:22 pm

First 50
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)
34. Spooky Ghosts Dot Com (Switch)
35. Aggelos (Switch)
36. Quell+ (iOS)
37. The White Door (iOS)
38. Grizzland (Switch)
39. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Switch)
40. Silent Hill (PS1)
41. Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio (Switch)
42. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch)
43. Stories Untold (Switch)
44. Boxboy! + Boxgirl! (Switch)
45. R-Type Leo (Arcade)
46. Cybarian: The Time-Traveling Warrior (Switch)
47. Duck Souls+ (Switch)
48. Daggerhood (Switch)
49. Gravity Duck (Switch)
50. Biolab Wars (Switch)

51. Legends of Amberland (Switch)
52. Mega Man & Bass: Challenger from the Future (Wonderswan)
53. Double Dragon (Game Gear)
54. Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)
55. SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters Clash (NGPC)
56. SUPERHOT (Switch)
57. Dogurai (Switch)

Dogurai is a platformer in which you play as a samurai dog fighting mutants and robots in a post apocalyptic world. The gameplay is reminiscent of Mega Man and Ninja Gaiden, the platforming’s OK, the boss fights are really solid, and the game is made to look and sound like a Gameboy game playing on the Super Game Boy. (Only the last level pulls off some graphical tricks I’m pretty sure the Gameboy couldn’t have handled.) Also, it’s only $5, and it’s frequently on sale for less than that. (It took me a couple of hours to play through it, and I didn’t unlock all the secrets, including a second playable character.) You’re either sold at this point or not; so, that’s all I’ll say about it. Recommended.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:35 pm

135. Trojan (nes)
136. Renegade (nes)
137. Monster Party (nes)

135. Trojan
The best way I can describe trojan is that is plays like kung fu only with a sword and shield. Much like kung fu, you walk to the right and enemies come running at you and the main source of enemies are enemies that charge at you and enemies that throw projectiles (ie: the purple and the white guys from kung fu). You get to the end of the level and you fight a boss before proceeding on to the next level.

While the gameplay feels like kung fu, and the game is clearly somewhat inspired by that, trojan does a number of things that set it up apart from its source material and make it a much better game. First off, instead of having a punch and kick button you have a slash and shield button. Holding the shield button means you can block just about any attack but you do have to hold it at the right level, either standing, crouching, or overhead. The shield makes combat a lot of fun and smart use of the shield is absolutely necessary in order to flawlessly make it through these stages.

In addition to the shield, the levels have a lot more going on in them than kung fu does. While you walk sideways the enemies are constantly spawning in from all directions(the grabby and throwy guys) but there are a lot more enemies flying around overhead and peaking out of windows to throw projectiles at you, being successful requires you to quickly dispatch the enemies on the ground while skillfully blocking incoming porjectiles from enemies that you often cannot reach, in addition to all of this, many levels also possess stage hazards which must be avoided, the combat here is very hectic, but never feels cheap or insurmountable.

Each stage also has 2 bosses (a mid boss and a level boss), the bosses in this game are all well done, they are all fun to fight, and all of them can be beaten without taking damage once you learn their patterns. The combat here is definitely unique and most bosses will require you to block their attacks and take a few shots when they are vunerable.

Trojan is a short game, it only has a handful of levels, and can be beaten in less than a half hour once you know what you are doing, but fans of kung fu or hack n slash games should definitely check it out.

136. Renegade:

Renegade is a solid beat em up which is reminiscent of double dragon(and is made by the same company), with a move set somewhere in between double dragon 1 and 2 with a few extra tricks.

Much like double dragon 2, you attack in the direction of the button you pressed, so B attacks to the left and A attacks to the right. If you are facing left B punches and A back kicks and that is reversed when you are facing right. After stunning an enemy you can grab them and knee them in the nuts or toss them behind you. You also have can punch enemies on the ground(like DD 1), have some running attacks and a wall jump(like DD 3), and can do this weird stationary jump kick by pressing A +B at the same time which is incredibly useful. The moveset in this game is a lot of fun to use, but there are no weapons in this game which is a staple of the DD series.

Renegade is a relatively short game, You have 3 lives and no continues, but once you get the hang of it, you can run through the game in under 15 minutes. There are 4 missions here, a subway, a parking lot which leads to a bike combat level, and 2 different building levels which present multiple pathways through and annoyingly makes you replay sections of it if you take the wrong door, it all ends with a final boss that has a gun and will kill you in one shot, although he is much slower and easier to beat than machine gun willy in double dragon.

Fans of NES style beat em ups should definitely check this game out, it is definitely not as good as the double dragon series but it is a solid game and one of the more solid beat em ups on the system.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:50 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
58. Serious Sam 3: BFE - PC
59. Wasteland 3 - PC
60. Iron Harvest - PC
61. Serious Sam 3: Jewel of the Nile - PC
62, Homeworld Remastered - PC
63. Homeworld 2 Remastered - PC
64. Offworld Trading Company - PC
65. F-Zero - SNES
66. F-Zero X - N64

F-Zero X is a massive improvement to the F-Zero formula. While MK to MK64 was an improvement most of the courses could have been rendered in the old engine, and the biggest change is that the enemy races now act completely like the player, rather than having their own special attacks. By contrast, F-Zero X changes basically everything for the better while still providing the feeling of being in a high speed racing machine. It's an amazing sequel.

The roster has been expanded from four to thirty, and now you can do multiplayer. These thirty racers will be your opponents every race, and they now fully behave like the player does. No more random enemies who you "lapped" getting in your way; now it's the other assholes you started with. And they can be destroyed; they have health just like you and can be pushed off the track or rammed using a physical attack. Destroying them has two benefits. The most obvious one is they get no points for the race, which can give you a lot of slack in your performance if you take out a key opponent. The other is that if you take out five people in a single race (restarting resets the counter) you get an extra life.

Mechanically the game has much more interesting physics compared to the first game by virtue of being 3D and actually modeling the idea of a hovering ship. Like before you have your turn and the ability to lean into a turn more to make it sharper (but costing speed). You now also have a drift maneuver, where your lean the opposite direction of your turn which causes your rear end to swing wide. This is a much harder technique to use, as it requires you to lose your grip on the track and now your handling is very different. But it allows you to get the biggest speed, so the fastest times require it. And that's before you get into all the emergent techniques for getting crazy speed out of things.

The game also changes up how the speed boosts after the first lap work. In the original you gained a charge of a speed boost every time you completed a lap. Here you instead unlock the ability to boost on-demand, at the cost of some health. So there's a risk/reward tension with it, especially with the cars which have a better boost rating. Ideally you'll spend all your health on boosting between the sections that refill your health, but you have to account for making mistakes and hitting the rails or dealing with enemy racers.

The tracks are also far more interesting. The game takes the idea of "cars that levitate off the track" and runs with it. Unless you bounce airborn gravity is defined as wherever the track is, so they do things like having tracks that are half mirrored on top of itself or tracks with pipes that you either are inside or on the outside of. It both makes for interesting visual design and allows for them to have the track layout restrict your visibility. They also do a lot more with aerial stuff; whereas the original had the occasional jump plate these tracks include lots of launches and drops, and how you handle them will make a big difference on your speed (as you now have full control of your movement and tilting which will affect how you catch that air).

The game has four cups (the fourth is unlockable) and the same four difficulty settings as the original. Higher difficulties cause the enemy racers to run a tighter race, tend to favor top speed in setting their speed vs. acceleration curve, and possibly some other things which are more hidden (e.g. do they get more efficient boosts health-wise?) The enemy racers end up being your biggest stumbling block to doing well specifically because you will be starting every race near the back of the pack and don't have boost power. So you need to run a tight lap to try and get ahead of the bulk of the pack; otherwise they get in your way and massively drop your speed. Once you have boost power and are ahead of the main glut it becomes more like a time trials run and you can hopefully pull ahead. The nature of the race scoring system also allows you to hope for some good results; the scores for the thirty racers range from 15 to 100 so having your runner up get one bad race can give you a lot of slack to not have to come in first every race.

Overall F-Zero X completely blows the original out of the water and delivers on the promise of a high speed futuristic racer. There is a lot of depth in the mechanics and everyone will find their own driver who feels right. And for those who hate the items of Mario Kart you have none of that to worry about; if someone takes you out it's because they were good enough to get right next to use and execute a move that can majorly slow them down if they miss it. Fans of racing games should not miss out.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:51 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
58. Serious Sam 3: BFE - PC
59. Wasteland 3 - PC
60. Iron Harvest - PC
61. Serious Sam 3: Jewel of the Nile - PC
62, Homeworld Remastered - PC
63. Homeworld 2 Remastered - PC
64. Offworld Trading Company - PC
65. F-Zero - SNES
66. F-Zero X - N64
67. Gauntlet (2014) - PC

After lying dormant for almost a decade we got a new Gauntlet game in 2014. Legends/Dark Legacy was going to be a tough act to follow (let's not talk about Seven Sorrows), so the question was how would this game stack up? Ehh... about average. In some ways a step forward, in some ways a step back. And just a touch too long.

The story is threadbare, but it's Gauntlet, what do you expect? Let's talk mechanics. You have the original four classes again, and the devs took the time to try and make them mechanically distinct, rather than statistically distinct like previous games. Every character has a regular attack, a strong attack, a weapon ability, a personal ability, a potion ability, and a relic ability. Your weak attack is your bread and butter; it's your basic attack combo and is used for doing the bulk of your damage. Strong attack tends to have some property that makes it a bit unwieldy but gives you options. The Valkyrie's strong attack is a lance thurst which lets her dash through enemies. The personal ability is something unique to the character; for the Valkyrie it's a shield she can hold up to deflect attacks and take no damage (though the range is a bit limited, so you can still be flanked). Your weapon, potion, and relic ability are based on your equipped gear; you start with a basic weapon and potion ability and no relic. You can spend gold between levels to purchase different abilities for each slot. Your weapon ability cools down quickly and comes in various forms. For the Valkyire, one is a shield throw, the other is a wide sweeping attack. The potion abilities are more varied; the two I used for the Valkyrie were one that is a super powerful close range sweep, and the other is an invulnerability shield. These require potions to use and replace the magic of previous games. Finally, the relics are the same for all characters. I only used the one that gives you a move and attack boost. Relics have long cooldowns, so their abilities tend to be a bit more potent.

This system means that each character plays more differently than previous entries; the melee characters don't have a ranged weak attack and so must expose themselves, but as a consequence their attacks have points in the chain which stun heavy enemies. You need to learn how to manage the swarms. Which leads to another thing to point out; the game is much more arena based compared to previous games. You'll walk into a room, the edges with close, and then enemies will spawn. Sometimes this includes monster spawners which need to be destroyed like old games, though here they are more cycle based and have more health (but spit out large waves at once). So rather than slowly working your way through a tide you are pushed into combats where you are surrounded. This means you will tend to take damage more often in this game. Additionally, your health has a cap, so while food is placed reasonably generously you can't stock up on it like you could in other games if you do well. You also start each level up fresh; no potions, full health, no keys.

The game is divided into three sections with a boss at the end. Each section has a mixture of handcrafted levels, randomly generated levels, and arenas (a single large room with a fuckton of enemy spawns in various triggered waves). There are three of each, though three of the stages are optional (one random, two arenas). The handcrafted levels tend to be overly long (as they involve a lot of either backtracking or winding while you do switches) while the random levels can be either short or long depending on how the RNG is feeling. Also, sometimes Death is a stage hazard, which consists of him spawning, chasing you, killing you if he touches you, and despawning after killing you or a certain amount of time (only to respawn again in about 30 seconds). The game does throw the player a bone on the death mechanics; at the start of a level you have a single coin, and you gain more by killing enemies (a meter fills up). On dying you can spend a coin to resurrect, and the rate of gain is fairly high when you have no coins, so you can die several times in a level and still make it through. But it does mean you can't credit feed.

Overall the game ends up being better than the original games by virtue of having a bit more complexity in what you're doing, but not as good as Legends/Dark Legacy by having more unfair combats and not having the turbo attacks, which were used less frequently than the weapon attacks of this game but were more impactful. Here you need to just make them part of your attack combos, which makes them feel less good. Also, the level design ends up being less interesting due to the overhead view; the bespoke camera angles of Legends/Dark Legacy allowed the environments to be much more stimulating. Overall, it's not a bad game, but it's not great. If you're looking for some relatively mindless hack and slash with a bit of strategy and a bullshit last boss you can certainly do worse.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:16 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
56. Silicon Zeroes - PC
57. Warcraft - PC
58. Serious Sam 3: BFE - PC
59. Wasteland 3 - PC
60. Iron Harvest - PC
61. Serious Sam 3: Jewel of the Nile - PC
62, Homeworld Remastered - PC
63. Homeworld 2 Remastered - PC
64. Offworld Trading Company - PC
65. F-Zero - SNES
66. F-Zero X - N64
67. Gauntlet (2014) - PC
68. Gauntlet Legends - Arcade

Well, after being disappointed by the latest Gauntlet I decided to go and push through my ongoing character on my Gauntlet Legends cabinet. And now, 8 hours and 99 credits since I started, I have beaten Skorne and brought peace to the realm with my Blue Falconess. And you know, aside from the level right before the final boss it's a pretty enjoyable experience. That last level is bullshit, though.

Gauntlet Legends takes the original formula of Gauntlet, kill lots of dudes and open locked doors looking for the exit while taking out monster generators, and brings it into the modern (at the time) era. It's a similar upgrade as OoT or SM64; using the upgraded technology to take the core formula in new and interesting directions. Now you have much more intricate levels that represent a variety of environments, like climbing a mountain or exploring a pyramid. Enemies come in three strengths based on the size of their generator, and the generator is first weakened before destroyed. There are ranged enemies who are the primary source of your health loss (aside from the ticking timer that I disabled when I first got the cabinet) if you play well. Keys are used to open doors and chests, and the levels usually have multiple paths in them. This also includes multiple exits; if you see an exit early you can bet you should probably keep going and looking for a second one, as there will be important things to do between where you are and the second exit.

The game features a persistent character system. You first start by entering your standard arcade initials and a three digit numeric password; these combined are your account. You then select a character, and as that character levels up and collects key items those are saved on your account. If you switch character types you'll have to start leveling all over again, but going back to the original character gets you back those levels. There are very noticeable increases to your power at certain levels, so this system ensures that over time you can get further and further on a credit. A pretty ingenious way to get people to keep coming back.

The goal of the game is to defeat the four bosses at the end of the four realms so that you can get their keys and enter the temple where the big bad is. But there's one other thing you need to do; you need to collect the twelve rune stones (three per realm) in order to rebuild the summoning circle used to summon Skorne in the first place. When you defeat Skorne you need to have all twelve runestones to get to the true final boss, which is one more level (the aforementioned bullshit level) and the true final boss fight. Many of these runestones are well hidden and reward exploration. Weirdly, in this game the bosses are fairly easy while the stages are much harder. The bosses are all static and have a limited number of attacks with obvious tells. Once you learn these tells you can snipe them down without taking damage. Meanwhile, the stages are filled with hordes that can get through your defenses and a bunch of ranged enemies which snipe you and are the lowest targeting priority of the auto targeting system, so you will drain health. As a balance it makes sense, as the stages get you to spend money, but the bosses are fair so you feel like the game is reasonable.

I have two complaints about the game. The first is that one of the runestones is unreachable playing solo. The trigger to spawn it is behind a bridge which requires two players to activate. Bad form. The second is the last level. So the two levels before the two Skorne fights both feature just a massive horde of monster spawners that you just need to get through. The first one spawns level 2 regular enemies. It's a slog, but very manageable. The second one spawns level 3 alternate enemies (the ones from the one level that used different enemies). And one of those is an aggressive ranged enemy. This drains your health like crazy, and since the enemies are level 3 they take a lot of damage to go down. And the spawners tend to be clustered in such a way that the only way to make progress is with your level 3 turbo attacks. I think I spent 10% of my credits on this level alone.

But otherwise, Gauntlet Legends is a very solid arcade game with a lot of play value that rarely feels like it's causing cheap deaths. Cheap damage, yes, but you tend to feel like if you just did things a little better you wouldn't take it. It's pretty much a model design for a fun arcade experience to bring players back again and again.
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