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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:19 am

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

1. EYE: Divine Cybermancy - PC
2. Legend of Grimrock - PC
3. Legend of Grimrock 2 - PC
4. Shovel Knight - Wii U
5. Yakuza: Like a Dragon - PS4

Yakuza is a series I was aware of, but never bothered to get into because I wasn't terribly interested in a brawler with a ton of side content stuff. Then I saw the Honest Game Trailer for Like a Dragon; apparently now the series is a JRPG. And more than that, it's delightfully silly. I picked it up and I had a total ball with it. As I understand it all the silly stuff was things that were already in the series. The previous protagonist played the straight man against it. But this game features a new protagonist who leans into it hard, and as a result we get an incredibly fun ride.

The game stars newcomer Ichiban Kasuga. He goes to jail to cover for a fellow yakuza for 18 years, which conveniently means he misses out on the events of 1-6. So if you're new to the series you don't have to worry about being left behind; Ichiban knows exactly as much as you, so anything important gets explained. But this game serves as a passing of the torch, narratively speaking. And not just in the protagonist, but the overall plot of the series seems like it'll have a new direction.

Now, one of the fun parts of this game is how the JRPG stuff is implemented. There is a job system, which literally is a system of you taking on various professions that real people would have, but then use them for combat. So the Dealer class throws cards and darts, serving as the gambler archetype, while the Host class has you dish out birthday cakes and champagne as a caster archetype. And to give you an idea of just how much fun they have with this, let's talk the aforementioned cake. The skill is called "Birthday Bash", and consists of your character holding out a beautiful strawberry shortcake before shouting "OMEDETOU!!!" and bashing the opponent over the head with it. The enemies are similarly odd takes on people; besides the obvious yakuza there are things like punks with giant pompadours, trench coat exhibitionists, and shady ministers. What's fun here is that since Kasuga is such a Dragon Quest fanboy he starts to see the world through the lens of being a JRPG protagonist, which means when battle is joined the enemies take on a slightly more suitable form for combat (which generally is adding a layer of over-the-topness to what is otherwise a reasonable enemy that might exist in the real world).

Then there's all the side content. The game has a wide variety of sidequests which flesh out the world and the characters, with many of them being surprisingly mundane (one involved helping out someone who counts people on the street as part of urban planning). And some of them being weirder, like finding a crawfish, then saving the crawfish from the man who send you to find her because he was going to eat her (you thought it was a pet). And then there's all the minigames. Various gambling games, shogi, a "stay awake in the cinema" whack-a-mole game, a Mario Kart ripoff which makes the physics as if you were in real go-karts on real city streets (so it handles like garbage), batting cages, golf cages, crane games, old Sega arcade machines, and a business management minigame where you can put a chicken and a Roomba on your board of directors. There's always something to do, and most of it is pretty fun.

The story has some neat twists and turns, and it was enjoyable to follow. The characters are all well fleshed out, aside from the one optional party member you can get. She basically only exists in her own little world, though she does participate in a handful of party chats (events you can trigger when walking which are just fun bits of dialog). But outside the business management game (which is how you recruit her, and she is tied up with its story), it's effectively as if she doesn't exist, which is a shame. That's the main complaint; I would have preferred the game not make her optional and pull her in at the same level as the two party members you get later in the game. They don't get the same level of screen time as the core four, but they still play important parts in the adventure.

Overall, Like a Dragon is a gas. The combat has just enough going on that it isn't mindless, but at the same time it also doesn't get overly complicated. And there are some legitimately hard boss fights as you close up on the ending. Nothing too terribly cheap, but you definitely need to pay attention, keep your health up, and maybe use some of the buffs/debuffs you've been neglecting. If this is a sign for what future entries are going to be like then sign me up.
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Flake
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Flake Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:19 am

January
Thirteen Sentinels: Aegis Rim (PS4)
Dark Stalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (PSP)

Dark Stalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower is a really disappointing title that combines all 3 Dark Stalkers games in a meaningless way. It was in my backlog. Now it is not.
Maybe now Nintendo will acknowledge Metroid has a fanbase?
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:15 am

“It was in my backlog. Now it is not.” :lol:

This describes my feelings perfectly when I play through a mediocre game. It’s neither good enough nor bad enough to merit a long review, and you summed up “meh” games perfectly.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Flake Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:16 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:“It was in my backlog. Now it is not.” :lol:

This describes my feelings perfectly when I play through a mediocre game. It’s neither good enough nor bad enough to merit a long review, and you summed up “meh” games perfectly.


I remember buying this when it was super on-sale years ago so I don't feel too bad. It took me about 10 minutes to beat and I think I got it for like $6. So it was a good investment.
Maybe now Nintendo will acknowledge Metroid has a fanbase?
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Forlorn Drifter
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Forlorn Drifter Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:19 pm

I haven’t played Yakuza 7 yet Popo, but it’s suggested in cases like the character you say doesn’t really really exist outside their mini game, there’s been a lot of suggestions that was caused by the switch to RPG mechanics.

Beaten- Astral Chain

Another Platinum game down. The story in this one isn’t particularly striking or interesting, though the cribbing from the likes of Evangelion is apparent. Gameplay wise, it’s a very interesting idea that gets some good use- your character is connected to another by a chain, and this plays into most of the combat mechanics. However, combos are limited, and I doubt it most effective to just use the combination attacks at the end of an attack stream, rather than playing with the wider mechanics.

I’d say overall this is B tier platinum. Not one of their greats, but not a game where you will be dissatisfied either.
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Flake
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Flake Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:22 pm

Forlorn Drifter wrote:
Beaten- Astral Chain

*Words*

I’d say overall this is B tier platinum. Not one of their greats, but not a game where you will be dissatisfied either.


What's the most you'd recommend someone pay for it?
Maybe now Nintendo will acknowledge Metroid has a fanbase?
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:31 pm

I'd say $40 is a solid price for Astral Chain. I certainly wasn't disappointed getting it at launch, but a game has to be in the "I guess I beat it for completion sake" for me to feel like I didn't spend my money well.
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Forlorn Drifter
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Forlorn Drifter Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:48 pm

I’d say in the 30-35$ range personally. I paid around $50 for my copy, which was a bit much. It’s enjoyable and worth a play through, though I doubt it’ll make any “best of” lists in 15 years.
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elricorico
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by elricorico Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:08 pm

1. Cosmic Star Heroine (NS)

2. Boom Blox (Wii)


Boom Blox was one of the oldest games I played on the Wii, after Wii Sports. I had played through about half of the Explore/Adventure levels way back in the day and just recently pulled it from the shelf to see about finishing up. I beat it last night just before going to bed.

Boom Blox is a puzzle game that uses the capabilities of the Wii Remotes in nearly as many ways as Wii Sports did. Pointing, flinging, tilting an waggling. It's not perfect, but it does a pretty decent job of showing what is good about motion controls and staying away from the bad. You knock things over by throwing things, point and shoot like a classic shooting gallery, pull blocks from more and more complicated towers like a jenga game and throw balls and bombs by flicking the wiimote. I will say that in the last couple of Adventure levels the need to quickly point and click in between "throwing" made the levels more difficult than they needed to be - it wasn't always easy to reacquire a pointer on screen after throwing a ball.

Audio and visual are simple and aimed at younger players, but they do the job and might even give a couple of chuckles with the cute blocky animals/creatures. I've also played some of the sequel, Boom Blox Bash Party, but more so focused on the party games in that one as I played with my wife and daughters.

This likely isn't anyone's favourite game, but it also is unlikely to fall on any "shovelware" lists. I'd say it is a good Wii game worth a try especially if you have younger gamers in the house.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by burningmice Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:05 pm

You all are putting so much effort into your posts, I'll look lazy but I'm off to a much better start this year than recent years so I'll join in anyway.

1. GRIS
Started this one on New Years Day and completed it a couple hours later. The first half had me pretty bored and uninterested, thankfully the game became much better in the latter half.

2. Streets of Kamurocho
It may be cheating to consider a freebie that takes 20 minutes to complete as beating a game but whatever, I'll take it!

3. Magikarp Jump
I played this a fair bit a few years ago, not sure what made me pick it back up. Turns out I was only a couple generations of fish away from beating it.

4. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD
The first game on my list that took more than just a few hours to beat! It was alright. The sense of exploration wasn't too great, but was entertaining enough I suppose.

5. Owlboy
Started playing this one on a whim randomly one day. I had heard good things but otherwise went in completely blind. Quite enjoyed this one.

6. 428: Shibuya Scramble
Another game I heard great things about but didn't actually know anything about it. This one had me absolutely hooked throughout the entire thing, absolutely loved it start to end!

6. Defunct
Another very short one, but pretty fun little game.

7. Yakuza 3 Remastered
8. Yakuza 4 Remastered
9. Demon Gaze 2
10. Barro
11. Strange Brigade
12. Yakuza 5 Remastered
13. Crash Bandicoot: Warped Remastered
14. Yakuza 6
15. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
16. DJMAX Portable 3 DLC
17. Path of Giants
18. 404Sight
19. A Whirlwind Heist
20. Titanfall 2
21. Dead Space
22. Jedi: Fallen Order
23. Mirrors Edge Catalyst
24. Nier Replicant
25. Ys VIII
26. Earth Defense Force Wingdiver
27. Need for Speed: Heat
28. The Witcher 3
29. Dishonored
30. Muse Dash
31. Darksiders
32. Darksiders 2
33. Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor
34. Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor Prophecy
35. Forza Motorsport 7
36. Deepest Sword
37. Red Dead Redemption 2
38. Donut County
39. Baldur's Gate
40. Phantom Breaker Battlegrounds
41. LEGO: The Hobbit
42. Phantasy Star Portable 2
43. Guild Wars 2
44. Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 2
45. Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns
46. Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 3
47. Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire
48. Alpaca Stacka
Last edited by burningmice on Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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