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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:02 pm

Games Beaten in 2020 - 29
* denotes a replay

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


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


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


April (7 Games Beaten)
14. Wolfenstein 3D - Steam - April 1
15. Doom Eternal - Xbox One - April 3
16. Age of Empires (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 4
17. Age of Empires: Rise of Rome (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 5
18. Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Switch - April 9
19. Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War - SNES - April 18
20. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX - Switch - April 20


Sometime in the Dark Ages of My Life Between May and October in No Particular Order (6 Games Beaten)
21. Battlefield 3 - Xbox 360 - July 27
22. Star Wars Squadrons - Xbox One - October 4
23. The Last of Waifus - Steam - October 11
24. Phantom Doctrine - Switch - ???
25. The Outer Worlds - PlayStation 4 - September 30
26. Resident Evil 3 - PlayStation 4 - October 14


November (3 Games Beaten)
27. Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War - PlayStation 5 - November 15
28. Astro's Playroom - PlayStation 5 - November 15
29. Gears 5 - Xbox One - November 19


29. Gears 5 - Xbox One - November 19

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Gears 5 is the infuriatingly named sixth game in the Gears of War series (don't forget the Xbox 360 prequel, Judgement), and it's a game that I had eagerly awaited despite then waiting a year to actually buy and play. I really came to dig Kait's character in Gears of War 4, so having her feature prominently in the promotional material really excited me even if I do hate that they randomly dropped the "of War" from the title making it look awkward on my shelf (bastards). A note before we get into the meat of this review, though; I absolutely do not count this as an Xbox Series X game. They can offer all the patches they want, if I don't see a box that says "Xbox Series X" that contains a disc that my Xbox One X won't play, it's just backwards compatible, not an Xbox Series X game. I will die on this hill.

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Gears 5's campaign offers gameplay variety in a way that a lot of cover shooters' don't. A lot of the missions are the kinds of battles I love - run in with my guns blazing and my chainsaw roaring and try to send as much blood everywhere as humanly possible. Other missions have you take a stealthier approach, giving you an enormous amount of enemies that you need to thin out via stealth executions before risking an open engagement. Some missions have you exploring on foot whereas others have you traversing large distances on a skiff. The story will run you through a pretty wide array of emotions, too. There's a lot of the funny "best bro" situations that the series is known for, but there are also a few points where your heart will ache for the characters, too. The Coalition definitely knew what they were doing here from both a character development and a game design perspective. That's not to say that it's perfect - I have some issues with JD's character development over the course of the game - but all things considered, this is another excellent narrative-driven shooter.

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As is usually the case with this series, multiplayer offers a plethora of options. You've got your traditional shooter multiplayer, the always welcome horde mode, and my personal favorite, the co-op campaign. The campaign's co-op allows for three players. You can choose between the two "main" characters for that given mission and Jack, the support robot. The two main characters are usually Kait and Del, but there are a couple of missions for which that varies. I played through about half of the campaign with Grant and the other half solo. I can confirm that this isn't like Destiny where it's boring and stupid to play by yourself; the Gears 5 campaign is equally enjoyable solo as it is co-op.

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I played half of the game on my Xbox One X and half on my Xbox Series X. My TV doesn't support 120 Hz, but it supports 2160p60, and while Gears 5 uses a variable resolution to maintain a higher frame rate even on Series X, it does hit a native 4K in less busy scenes, and it looks absolutely beautiful especially when coupled with a solid 60 fps frame rate. As I said in my review of the new Call of Duty on PS5, I never realized just how much ray tracing adds to a game, and it's used to great effect in Gear 5. Water ripples, lighting effects, reflections, and character models all look fantastic on the Series X. If you haven't upgraded to 9th gen hardware, yet, though, don't fret; it's still an Xbox One game, and it still looks amazing on Xbox One X. Honestly, as good as it looks at native 2160p and with the new visual effects, the biggest difference you'd notice moving from One X to Series X like I did isn't even with the gameplay; it's the load times. When I died and had to reload a previous checkpoint, it literally only took a couple seconds. I've said many times to various friends that I look at the faster load times the new SSDs bring as a "nice-to-have" more than a true game changer, but man, I have to admit, it's a VERY-nice-to-have.

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Gears 5 is another solid narrative experience for the series and a definite must-play exclusive for the Xbox line. The multiplayer is the same top tier experience that fans of the series have come to expect, and the integration of co-op into the campaign is done with the same smoothness that usually accompanies games produced by an Xbox studio. The enhancements on new hardware definitely aren't enough to justify dropping $500 on a Series X on their own, but if you went ahead and upgraded to future-proof (or because you're an idiot like me), it's a definite plus and absolutely the preferred way to play Gears 5. However you play, though, be it on a steroid-fueled Series X or an oversized 2013 Xbox One, Gears 5 is a truly fantastic game that all Xbox gamers need to check out.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by TheSSNintendo Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:48 pm

Finished my first playthrough for Trials of Mana (Duran, Angela, and Riesz)
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:51 pm

157, Contra: rogue Corps

I wrote a longer review of this game and my pc spazzed when I hit click so I am now just going to give the abridged version.

Twin stick shooter with a bunch of flaws, not great, but not nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be. People calling this the worst game of the year, the worst game ever made, etc are a joke, its not even the worst contra game, let alone the worst game ever. It has its flaws, it is repetitive, the upgrade system is dumb, the sub weapons are a joke so you just wind up using the same weapon for the whole game, and you wind up repeating many levels (with harder enemies) multiple times.

Flaws aside, it is a competant twin stick shooter with lots of mayhem, good shooting, a cool dodge mechanic, very solid boss battles, and random 3rd person shooting segments which are fun and I wish there were more of them. I like twin stick shooters and this is far from the worst I have played.

Do I recommend this game? Not really, but if you are a fan of Contra and are curious about it you may enjoy it, for all of its flaws(and there are many) I still had fun with it and I'm glad I played it but you are not missing out on a classic if you skip it. Also, there is no pause which is beyond annoying. Press start and you get a pause screen but the enemies still attack you, press the home button on the switch and go to the switch home screen, guess what...enemies still attack you. This decision alone made me want to choke out the development team but outside of that its okay...I guess.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:33 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
69. Halo 3: ODST - PC
70. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - PS4
71. Star Wars Squadrons - PC
72. Serious Sam 4 - PC
73. The Bard's Tale - PC
74. The Bard's Tale II - PC
75. The Bard's Tale III - PC
76. The Bard's Tale IV - PC
77. Outbuddies - Switch
78. Ghostrunner - PC
79. Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict - GG
80. Zombies Ate My Neighbors - SNES
81. Spider-Man: Miles Morales - PS5
82. Demon's Souls - PS5

The game that started it all, Demon's Souls is back with a remaster on the PS5. This ends up being Demon's Souls as you remember it; the game is gorgeous in its dark and drabness, and going back and watching videos of the original it's amazing how much better it looks. But outside of looks it's basically the same game, warts and all. But considering it's giving a new generation a chance to experience it I don't see that as a bad thing overall.

The original game came out as a fairly niche localization by Atlus; the main reason I even picked it up was the newsletter hyped it up and it sounded interesting. What I got was a game that challenged me to be better; deaths for the most part were due to me being bad, rather than a game designer trying to dick me over. That challenge has been faithfully recaptured, and it's interesting to see how it compares to the games that followed it up.

One thing that stuck out was the level design. Now, I remembered that it was self contained worlds rather than the interconnected setpieces of Dark Souls and later games, but I didn't realize just how linear things are. For the most part you have a single path to go down, though it might twist and turn. You can usually unlock a shortcut when you get to the end, but as a consequence the levels end up feeling smaller. Dark Souls really pushed things forward with the constant branching paths meaning you get a lot more of that "what's waiting me down here?" apprehension, whereas Demon's Souls it's mostly just "more monsters appropriate for this strength".

The weapon upgrade system is also so much worse than later games. Like, I remember trying to farm a Pure Bladestone in the original release, but I'd forgotten how bad it is to get all the other materials as well. With later games you were pretty much guaranteed to be able to upgrade one weapon all the way if you pick up all the fixed items, whereas here you definitely need to kill all the crystal lizards and still do some farming at low drop rates. One thing that they did seem to improve is they updated how the crystal lizard spawns work. Like before you get a number of given spawns for a lizard equal to 1 + bosses killed in that world, but unlike before if a lizard escapes it doesn't count towards that number; it's really a kill counter now. Which is nice, given how many of them you don't even know are there until it's too late.

Even though I never play casters I still prefer the magic system in this game; by making it MP based it feels more like it's something you can use judiciously. Consumables to replenish your MP are plentiful, same with HP, so the challenge is managing your resources inside a fight, rather than between fights. While Bloodborne had brought back consumables for healing, here the drop rates are much better, so you should never be running out and needing to farm more.

The Character Tendency and World Tendency system are back as well, are just as easy to screw up if you don't know what you're doing, but now there's an additional way to mess up. They added a system to teleport between bonfires, rather than needing to go back to the Nexus first. Great, right? Well, turns out that if you do so it counts as going back to the Nexus for the purpose of updating World Tendency. And unlike the original if you die you always spawn at the bonfire you spawned at, rather than the bonfire for the section you're in. So the intentional death to teleport to the 2-1 Primeval Demon doesn't work. That's how I learned that you can't safely teleport between bonfires, losing me my all Pure White World Tendency run (was doing a go all the way black, then do the black phantom and demon to get mostly of the way white, then bosses to pure white system). And since I refuse to pay for multiplayer I had no recourse. Oh well.

But this is mostly a whole lot of noise; everyone knows whether or not they want this game, because if you like the other Soulsborne games you'll like this, and if you don't you'll hate this.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:02 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
69. Halo 3: ODST - PC
70. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - PS4
71. Star Wars Squadrons - PC
72. Serious Sam 4 - PC
73. The Bard's Tale - PC
74. The Bard's Tale II - PC
75. The Bard's Tale III - PC
76. The Bard's Tale IV - PC
77. Outbuddies - Switch
78. Ghostrunner - PC
79. Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict - GG
80. Zombies Ate My Neighbors - SNES
81. Spider-Man: Miles Morales - PS5
82. Demon's Souls - PS5
83. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War - PC

Black Ops Cold War is the latest game in the series, set shortly after Reagan takes office. You spend the game as a member of a CIA black squad trying to stop something massive going down that will be bad for everyone. As a result of this setup you get two things; a bunch of 80s aesthetic and a more varied set of gameplay setpieces compared to the usual fare. This ended up being my favorite of the modern CoD games I've played so far thanks to that.

The setup could have been cribbed from a Tom Clancy novel; bad guy wants to cause a massive amount of chaos in the name of some vague principles and a group of CIA operatives are going to do a lot of wrong things for what is hopefully ultimately the right reason. How wrong are we talking? At least one mission takes place on US soil, a major no-no for the CIA.

Compared to the war-themed games this one embraces the whole "spies who sometimes have to get loud" thing. So there are a lot of segments of you walking around, interacting with things, maybe doing some stealthing. You frequently get access to quiet weaponry that can allow you to get through areas without pulling in the standard CoD infinite hordes, and even if you go loud (or the story requires you to go loud) the game is much better about not just flinging lots of guys until you hit a checkpoint; maybe one or two will spawn now and then to encourage you to move up, but you can usually clear out an area and relax.

There are two side missions available, and before you do them you'll want to solve a puzzle first. The clues for the puzzle come from reasonably acquirable collectables in the missions; you won't be hunting in random corners hoping to find a tiny spec. The puzzles are perfectly in that "requires a bit of thought, but aren't arcane" area of things. The only affect solving these puzzles and doing the side missions has is in the ending where they go over all that you do; you can feel better about having made things a bit safer through your actions.

Overall I think the game serves as a welcome change from the standard CoD formula. The gameplay variety and adjustments to the combat setpieces keeps it from geting too sloggy like previous entries do. And the Cold War setting makes the enemy troops more believable in terms of their numbers and loyalty; I still am bothered by that one mission in Modern Warfare 2 where apparently the entire population of a South American village is a hired gun for a guy you interrogate and are perfectly loyal. But here, you expect the Russkis to come in numbers and give no quarter.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:54 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
68. Gauntlet Legends - Arcade
69. Halo 3: ODST - PC
70. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - PS4
71. Star Wars Squadrons - PC
72. Serious Sam 4 - PC
73. The Bard's Tale - PC
74. The Bard's Tale II - PC
75. The Bard's Tale III - PC
76. The Bard's Tale IV - PC
77. Outbuddies - Switch
78. Ghostrunner - PC
79. Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict - GG
80. Zombies Ate My Neighbors - SNES
81. Spider-Man: Miles Morales - PS5
82. Demon's Souls - PS5
83. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War - PC
84. Wild Arms 5 - PS2

Wild Arms 5 is a game I got on release, played most of the way through, then dropped because of a boss that was a complete asshole and I still hadn't fully gelled with how to manage the combat system. I decided to knock it out for this month's TR and I'm glad I did; I was right near the end and it didn't take long to polish off. Overall it's a flawed but enjoyable RPG; the biggest problem is the PS2 has a lot of good RPGs that vie for your attention, so this one comes up short a bit.

The Wild Arms series is like Final Fantasy in that all the games are stand alone in different worlds but with shared thematic elements that tie them together. In the case of Wild Arms it's the Wild West aesthetic. The music, the clothing, the architecture, it's all designed to evoke the media's perception of the American West in the post-Civil War era. While the landscapes will have more varied vegetation (not all just dusty towns with cacti) that doesn't stop everyone from wearing either a duster or a vest. Wild Arms 5 was the last game in the series and served as the series' tenth anniversary, so it's chock full of cameos of previous characters who send you on side quests.

The most interesting thing Wild Arms 5 does is in its battle system. The system was introduced in 4 but refined in 5. The way it works is the battlefield consists of seven hexagonal shaped spaces that characters can occupy. In normal batles this is in an arrangement of one center and six surrounding, but in boss fights they tend to create more interesting shapes. Enemies and allies cannot both share a hex, but multiple characters on the same side can. All effects are directed at a single hex; buffs and debuffs are on the hex itself and affect anyone currently standing in it, while attacks will hit everyone in the hex (and healing heals everyone in the same hex). On your turn you can move to an adjacent hex and then make an attack (melee against adjacent, ranged can hit any hex that could be reached by a straight line of running). This creates a risk/reward system; if you stack up you can share buffs and are easier to heal but the team takes more total damage. This risk/reward also shows up with how elemental magic is handled; in order to cast an elemental spell (as opposed to a neutral spell) you need to stand on a hex with an elemental leyline in it; since the four elements are in opposition pairs if you stand in the water leyline to hit a fire enemy then you are extra vulnerable to its fiery counterattacks. Later on in the game you'll get more abilities to manipulate positioning, which ends up being a key in later boss fights (and once I finally figured that out the boss that had been roadblocking me was much easier).

The game has a reasonable level of customization available to your characters. Early on you'll get six equippable items that basically serve as your character classes; they teach you skills and give you a stat boost appropriate to your role. You will then get the ability to duplicate those items so you can double up on classes as suits you. You also will gain items which let you put bonus points into your weapons that can be changed at any save point; do you want to crank up physical damage, magic damage, or your ability to boost your special meter? As a result you can pretty much always use the characters you like best, though there are optimal choices for each character if you're looking totally min/max.

On the story end we see probably the biggest weakness of the game. It is an incredibly slow burn, and the first 2/3 of the game or so is mostly like the early parts of an anime, where they're doing a lot of world and character building. There's a vague goal that got people to start along the journey, but there's no obvious big bad and no "we must save the world" impetus. Then at about that 2/3 mark they suddenly drop a massive amount of plot on you at once, and it turns into your standard "there's a guy who wants to destroy everything and you must stop him." There are several tropey segments as you wrap up the plotlines of your party members in the end game and they pull something out of their ass for the big bad to try and make him more sympathetic, but it would have worked better by taking that trajectory without the thing pulled out of the ass. The whole story is entirely forgettable.

Overall you can do worse than Wild Arms 5 on the PS2. You can also do better. But if you've already done the better an still want some more PS2 RPG action and you can find it at a decent price you probably won't regret it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by TheSSNintendo Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:31 pm

Finished Gears of War 3.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:36 pm

First 70
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)
58. Ori & The Blind Forest Definitive Edition (Switch)
59. Alchemist’s Castle (Switch)
60. Dear Esther (iOS)
61. Framed 2 (iOS)
62. A Noble Circle (iOS)
63. Lit (iOS)
64. SPL-T (iOS)
65. Florence (iOS)
66. Wurroom (Switch)
67. Warlock’s Tower (iOS)
68. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (iOS)
69. Cally’s Caves 2 (iOS)
70. Paratopic (Switch)

71. Limbo (Switch)
72. INSIDE (Switch)
73. Electronic Super Joy II (Switch)
74. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
75. Haunted Castle (Arcade)
76. Streets of Rage 3 (Genesis)
77. Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U)
78. Phantasy Star III (Genesis)


Alright...here are some former “games not beaten” I played for this month’s Together Retro:

Haunted Castle is a Castlevania arcade game. It is terrible. The main character walks around like a child with a full diaper; the level design is extremely uninspired; and it somehow manages to be both too hard and too easy at the same time. For hardcore Castlevania fans only.

Streets of Rage 3 is a pretty good beat ‘em up that pales in comparison to its outstanding predecessors. It has some pretty good ideas, like secret characters, branching pathways, etc., but in the NA version at least, they’re hidden behind a wall of unrelenting, borderline unfair difficulty. Beat the game on easy, and use a level select code to try all the branching pathways at the end. Better yet, play the Japanese version, Bare Knuckle III, which I have read is better in every way.

Affordable Space Adventures is an inspired multi-player game in which different people control different aspects of a spaceship as it navigates a hostile alien world. One player pilots the ship, another manages navigation, and a third uses the Wii U’s touchpad to control the ship’s systems. It is a stupendous cooperative, local multi-player, puzzle experience unlike anything else that, unfortunately, gets just a bit too hard for multiple players in the last few levels. (My wife and I played 90% of the game together, but I finished it off solo.) Also, the game really, really great sound design, and I recommend playing with the lights down and the volume up. It is likely to remain a Wii U exclusive, and if you have the console, you really should play this game, preferably with two close friends or family members.

Phantasy Star III is an old JRPG with big ideas and extremely flawed execution. It has a pretty neat “generations” system where you choose someone to marry at the end of the first and second sections, and since you play as your previous character’s son, your choices in the previous sections determine the game’s outcome. The game has a solid storyline, by archaic JRPG standards, and the enemy sprite look really, really cool. The game also has dynamic music that changes during battle based on how you’re performing. Unfortunately, however, the gameplay is incredibly dull. In 99.9% of the battles, you just have everyone attack, and only the final boss required any sort of strategy. There is also a ton of backtracking, and you don’t get any sort of fast travel until the end of the game. The towns are also strangely empty, and the villagers act, basically, as sign posts. (“Go to this dungeon to get this thing, and then go to this other town!”). The emptiness, whether intentional or not, gives the game some atmosphere at the expense of personality. There are also some other issues: enemies don’t drop equipment or items,, inventory management is a chore, equipment is distributed throughout the game somewhat arbitrarily, the spell (er...technique) names are non-sensical, whole areas are blocked off, etc. Overall, the game feels half-baked, and I think another year in development would have resulted in something special. (It is my understanding the game was rushed out the door. Oh, Sega!) That didn’t happen, though, and we’re left with a pretty boring JRPG that’s hard to recommend to anyone not running the series.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:20 pm

Games Beaten in 2020 - 30
* denotes a replay

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


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


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


April (7 Games Beaten)
14. Wolfenstein 3D - Steam - April 1
15. Doom Eternal - Xbox One - April 3
16. Age of Empires (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 4
17. Age of Empires: Rise of Rome (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 5
18. Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Switch - April 9
19. Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War - SNES - April 18
20. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX - Switch - April 20


Sometime in the Dark Ages of My Life Between May and October in No Particular Order (6 Games Beaten)
21. Battlefield 3 - Xbox 360 - July 27
22. Star Wars Squadrons - Xbox One - October 4
23. The Last of Waifus - Steam - October 11
24. Phantom Doctrine - Switch - ???
25. The Outer Worlds - PlayStation 4 - September 30
26. Resident Evil 3 - PlayStation 4 - October 14


November (4 Games Beaten)
27. Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War - PlayStation 5 - November 15
28. Astro's Playroom - PlayStation 5 - November 15
29. Gears 5 - Xbox One - November 19
30. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity - Switch - November 29


30. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity - Switch - November 29

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As a big fan both of The Legend of Zelda as well as Koei Tecmo's musou series, I was really excited for the original Hyrule Warriors for Wii U. When that game hit, it was straight up Dynasty Warriors but with Zelda characters and a Zelda theme. I loved that, but at the same time, it looked more Zelda than it felt. Age of Calamity is absolutely a different beast. This game is so much more than just "another Dynasty Warriors game" with a coat of Zelda paint slapped on it. From presentation to controls to gameplay, this feels like a true hybrid of the two.

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Age of Calamity is a prequel to Breath of the Wild. It takes place 100 years before Breath of the Wild but in a separate timeline. In the opening cut scene, you see a tiny little Guardian get flung into a portal as Hyrule Castle falls to Calamity Ganon that sends it 100 years into the past, changing the timeline into an alternate universe in which Calamity Ganon was defeated. There are some other time travel shenanigans in the game, but I won't divulge more than that.

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As far as visuals go, the game looks pretty good despite the relatively low resolution. The game uses a variable frame rate. When docked, it hovers around 720p with a maximum of 810p and a minimum of 570p; handheld usually sits around the maximum of 540p but can dip as low as 380p. All things considered, it looks better than I would expect from a game that never hits full 1080p. The problem comes in with performance. The game targets 30 fps, but it frequently dips down to 20 with dips even lower during a handful of especially intense moments. Truthfully, the frame rate seemed to stay sub-30 more often than not. That was really disappointing for me, but it wasn't terribly surprising given how relatively underpowered the Switch is compared to the PS4 and Xbox One. Thankfully the frame rate drops are rarely drastic and abrupt, so it's pretty easy to get used to it, and after a while, I barely noticed that it hung around 25 fps.

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As you go through the game, you'll be given a handful of opportunities to do side quests and resource drop missions. In the side quests, you do some shorter battles in exchange for experience and resources. Some of these quests will have specific limits - time limits, restricted characters, no healing, auto-fail if you take a hit, ect. The resource drop missions involve collecting and donating a specific set of resources in exchange for an upgrade. Most of these are upgrades for your characters like extra hearts, extra combos, and an extra special attack gauge. Others will be more general upgrades like shorter cooldown on your rune attacks, lower shop prices, or even unlocking a couple of optional characters. You can blow straight through the 20 campaign missions if you want, but you're missing out on the majority of the gameplay experience if you skip the optional quests.

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When you finish the last story mission and beat Calamity Ganon, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the game is over. The last battle is epic, challenging, and it feels like the end of a long road. You're not done yet, though. There are new side quests and a lot of them. If you want to 100% the game like I did, you've probably got another 8 to 10 hours' worth of gameplay ahead of you. When I finally finished the game at 100%, my game time clocked in at exactly 60 hours. There are a couple of extra characters that can't be unlocked until the post-game, and they're absolutely worth the extra gameplay. You would expect from post-game content, the side quests that unlock after finishing the main game get pretty tough, and the last one is downright brutal. The feeling of accomplishment, though, was well worth the effort in my opinion, and I'm hoping that Nintendo and Tecmo will do some DLC for Age of Calamity down the line.

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Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity took the core concept of Hyrule Warriors - a crossover between Dynasty Warriors and Legend of Zelda - and refined it into something brilliant. The original game was good, but this is truly great. It's definitely a musou game at its core, but it feels different from any other musou game I've played. If you're a Zelda fan but didn't care for Hyrule Warriors, definitely give Age of Calamity a shot; it's unique enough that it might pique your interest. If you loved the original Hyrule Warriors, then DEFINITELY check out Age of Calamity. In every way, this game is better than the first, and that's not a knock against the first game. This one is just that good. It's not perfect; the performance issues are a big let down and definitely a problem. With that said, the overall product is still amazing in spite of the performance issues, and you're doing yourself a disservice if you let the less-than-ideal frame rate dissuade you from playing this otherwise masterfully crafted game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Wed Dec 02, 2020 12:30 am

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)
24. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (GCN)
25. Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse (PS2)
26. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
27. Jet Set Radio Future (XBOX)
28. River City Ransom (NES)
***29. Wild Arms (PS1)***

30. Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love (PS2)

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I beat Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love on the Sony Playstation 2 this evening!

Earlier in my gaming days, I used to always play a Strategy RPG for the PS1 and the PS2. I had an entire stack of the games that I would go through as I was playing multiple other games. Eventually, the system of playing multiple games at once changed because my life changed as well. I began to focus on one game at a time to make as much progress at once. However, I still had a SRPG backlog and I would still buy games for the genre. Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, I bought over a decade ago because it was a SRPG. I never got around to playing it and it sat forever on my shelf. Looking for a PS2 game to play, I decided to give it a shot. I had only bought the game because it was localized by NIS and I used to buy anything of theirs.

Besides NIS, the only other thing I really knew about the game was that it was a mixture of a SRPG with a Visual Novel and some Dating Sim elements. I had played games with small aspects of them, but this was my first try of the genre. And I really enjoyed that part of the game. The characters are all unique and extremely likable. I had my favorites, but there was no real girl that I truly despised and I loved the look of every single one of them. They also felt like somewhat three dimensional characters instead of caricatures. My favorite part of the game is the setting. The game takes place in 1920s New York City with this Steam Punk aesthetic. When the main ship is shot out of the ground from a large crossbow in the middle of New York City, the game is worth playing. For the SRPG part, it's only a minor aspect until the extremely long final battle. You only do two fights per Chapter, while the talking and interacting with the city takes up the majority of the game. The fights are interesting though a little easy. Each character can heal, so that takes much of the challenge away. A few are difficult, mostly because the barrage of enemies, but none of them were truly frustrating.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Sakura Wars. It brought me into a genre that I had never experienced before and I was happy for that. The game is very silly and never takes itself too seriously. It falls into several tropes, but it is all in good fun. I had a smile the entire time I played the game and I think that was worth something. If you want something truly unique, different and enjoy these genres, give it a shot!
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