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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Markies Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:17 pm

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2021!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Midtown Madness 3 (XBOX)
2. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (GEN)
3. Sonic Adventure 2 (SDC)
4. Mega Man 7 (SNES)
5. Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra (PS2)
6. Bust A Move 4 (PS1)
7. Phantasy Star IV (GEN)
8. Gunbird 2 (SDC)

***9. The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GCN)***

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I completed The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker on the Nintendo Gamecube this evening!

I know Wind Waker is a rather divisive game, but I always enjoyed it. The game sits third in my favorite Zelda games behind the original and Ocarina. I love the art style, the expressiveness of Link's face and the sailing aspect was so freeing, even though it could be a bit tedious. It is such a huge game on such a small disc as it has so much to discover and explore. I love the little bits of the game and it all adds up to an enjoyable package. Still a great game to play!
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:55 pm

1. Horace (Switch)
2. Ghostrunner (Switch)
3. Mickey’s Adventure in Numberland (NES)
4. Mickey’s Safari in Letterland (NES)
5. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
6. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Picross (3DS)
7. World of Illusion starring Mickey & Donald (Genesis)
8. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
9. Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
10. Legend of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
11. Portal 2 [co-op] (PS3)
12. Operencia: The Stolen Sun (Switch)
13. The Knight of Queen (Switch)
14. Q.U.B.E. - Director’s Cut (PS3)
15. What the Golf?! (Switch)
16. Prune (iOS)
17. Kenshō (iOS)
18. For the Frog the Bell Tolls (GameBoy)
19. Holedown (iOS)
20. King’s Field (PS1)

What can I say about King’s Field that has not already been said? You should play it. Play King’s Field! It’s an atmospheric first-person ARPG by From Software that laid the foundation for the immensely influential Souls series. Released exclusively in Japan in 1994 as a PS1 launch title, King’s Field is undoubtedly a little rough around the edges. Polygons frequently clip; the textures are blurry and repetitive; the enemies move mechanically; the control scheme is really awkward; it takes your character a good three to five seconds to rotate 360 degrees; the game requires unnecessary backtracking and grinding; etc. Moreover, the game, like life, is really cryptic, and your goals are never well-defined, with critical items sometimes hidden behind secret doors. (There is an item that shows you secret doors, but clipping polygons are usually the best way to find them!) Despite these drawbacks, and keeping in mind that King’s Field was released the same year as Doom II and Super Metroid, the game really is quite compelling. It has an overarching atmosphere of decay and dread; the dungeon is very well-designed; it rewards both experimentation and cautious play; and it is very, very challenging (at least at first...it gets easier as you go, until the difficulty spikes back up at the very end of the game).

My man Exhuminator got me into this series (and genre) years ago, and while he doesn’t visit here anymore, I am grateful to him for the recommendation. These are really great, underrated games, and first-person dungeon crawlers are now one of my favorite genres. (Thanks, Xumy!) If, like me, you like first-person dungeon crawlers, or you are curious about the games that led to the Souls series, I really encourage you to check out King’s Field. It’s a bit intimidating at first, but once you get into it, it’s really quite enjoyable. Highly recommended.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:29 am

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
* indicates a repeat

1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)
29. The Sunken City (PS4)
30. Lair of the Clockwork God (Switch)
31. Star Fox Adventures (GC)

32. Atelier Elie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 (PS1)

Even when I'm not marathoning several of them back to back, I co-stream on Twitch with a friend of mine every weekend and watch her play them X3. Well a couple weeks back, like the first time I started playing Atelier games, I got so in the mood to play more of them after watching her play them, I decided to finally play through Atelier Elie. I was so into playing Atelier Elie that I beat it in like two days over some of my last days of spring vacation, which likely speaks well to how much fun I was having X3. Using a guide to make sure I hit the flags for the ending I wanted, I got the best ending after playing for like 20 or so hours.

Atelier Elie is the second game in the series, coming out in 1998 when not much of the quite prolific series had been codified yet, and is a pretty direct sequel to Atelier Marie, although not starring her. You play as the titular Elie, a student at the alchemy academy that Marie was trying to desperately to not fail out of in the first game. Saved by Marie (who had gone to be a philanthropic, itinerant alchemist in the canon ending to the first game) from an illness thought terminal, Elie journeyed to Salburg from her tiny village to learn more about this powerful thing called alchemy that somehow saved her life. You have a few classmates whom you both have academic/romantic rivalries with as well as get into hijinks with, and there are a lot of returning characters from the first game peppered about the place (even Marie herself~). Your goal is to graduate the academy at the end of four years there, with a nearly identical normal ending win condition as the first game (which makes sense, given you're graduating from the same place only a few years later). However, there are quite a few beyond that as well, including a two-year extension that's effectively a grad school program if you've managed to do well enough during the first two years.

Atelier Elie is effectively the first game but "more and better" in just about every regard, and that also includes the story. You have more characters and more events with them, and following along for the best ending even sets you along a path of discovery that Atelier Totori would go on to pay homage to and evolve upon many years later (complete with your own sea serpent to fight!). In a bit of an odd turn compared to the rest of the series, you even have a few potential romance options. Though mechanically they're what would effectively become character endings in later games, it's still a neat oddity for the series. It's a sweet game with lots of fun slice of life goodness. It's still nowhere near the level where we have significant larger themes or character arcs quite yet, but what's there is entertaining and lighthearted in a way very similarly charming to the other handful of Atelier games, and I really enjoyed it~.

Mechanically with the crafting, Atelier Elie is also quite similar to the first game at first, but it quickly reveals that it has quite a bit more to the table aside from just having twice as many items in the game (200 compared to Atelier Marie's 100). As you progress through the game, you first unlock the ability to rebalance your synthesis, and then the ability to create entirely new "original" synthesis recipes. The rebalancing of recipes leans into the whole student aspect of the game, and it allows you to experiment with the amounts of each ingredient of a recipe to try and get better quality or effectiveness. This is pretty time consuming and trial and error-filled by design, so I never experimented with it much, but it's pretty neat. The original recipes are around ten or so in number, and they involve the game telling you Elie's hunches about what ingredients might be used in such hidden recipes as well as other clues you get from NPC dialogue or item descriptions. It's another idea that's more cool than actually fun in its implementation, but it all makes for a deeper mechanical experience around alchemy than the first game offered, and it's a great step forward in that regard.

Leaning into the whole "being a student" thing again, you even have tests annually (which you can just skip, if you aren't concerned with an ending that requires doing well on them) that you'll need to study up on your alchemy for. And this isn't just being good at crafting, this is also knowing what ingredients and tools are used to synthesize each item on the study list. It's a really neat, if somewhat overly difficult, feature, and just makes the game feel that much more like really being an alchemy student.

Other aspects of the game have also been carried over and/or improved a bit. You still pick areas around town to visit and walk around in as your little chibi-looking sprite, and you still simply travel to an area and auto-collect ingredients rather than having proper environments to walk around in. However, there's been quite a bit added onto that experience quantitatively. If you follow the story the right way, you get a whole second town to go to out west, and there are a bunch more places to go exploring for items there as well. You still get requests for items from the bar, but you're more likely to get requests for things you can actually get, which is nice. There's even a new kind of request you can take that request certain types of items, which are great ways to earn fame and also get way more alchemy EXP and money~.

The only thing that hasn't really been changed all that much is the combat, which is still quite simple. The only thing new about it is the ability to use money to augment the power of existing equipment, which is a nice feature, even if you can only do it once per weapon and the buffs it offers are at times difficult to actually get (some effects are pulled randomly from a pool) and the boosts aren't really that life-changing.

The presentation is good, as would be expected of the series, but it's also been cleaned up in a really nice way. The art style has been refined a fair bit, and character designs look much nicer and more appealing, and people generally have a less wide and abstract look to them. It's not necessarily an objectively good change (as what in art truly can be?), but it's an art style change I like at the very least. The music is also once again very good, and there are a lot of new tunes as well as really good remixes of tracks from the first games. My personal favorite tracks were some of the ones that play when different traveling musicians come to the bar~.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Part of my ease in understanding this game's mechanics may very well be because I've already earned my lumps playing the quite mechanically similar Atelier Marie, but nonetheless, I really enjoyed my time with this game. It's only the second of two games on the PS1 for the series, but it's a really solid sequel and a good capstone for the series up to that point. This is actually one (like Atelier Marie) that has a fan translation available, so if you're curious, it's well worth checking out if you're into PS1-era RPGs and want an RPG with a bit of a lighter flair to the story~.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Markies Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:10 pm

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2021!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Midtown Madness 3 (XBOX)
2. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (GEN)
3. Sonic Adventure 2 (SDC)
4. Mega Man 7 (SNES)
5. Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra (PS2)
6. Bust A Move 4 (PS1)
7. Phantasy Star IV (GEN)
8. Gunbird 2 (SDC)
***9. The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GCN)***

10. Fable: The Lost Chapters (XBOX)

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I beat Fable: The Lost Chapters on the Microsoft XBOX this afternoon!

Back when I first got the original XBOX, Fable was one of those quintessential XBOX games that went straight to my Wishlist. I found other games first to satisfy my XBOX RPG style need, but eventually, I wanted to see for it myself. The lore and hype surrounding the game and the series I remember to be quite large. Thankfully, while walking around a Game Convention last year before everything was shutdown, I finally found a copy of the game along with all of the extra content. It was the first game I bought at that convention and made the whole experience worth while. Looking for an XBOX game to beat this year, Fable stood out and I decided that I would finally sit down and play the game.

The famous Peter Molyneux developed the game and I never really got into his games. I had played Populous and Theme Park, but they felt too SimCity like. With Fable being an Action-RPG in a fantasy world, it felt more my style and I was glad I got to play it. And Fable is very much in that Fantasy world as I think it hits every old school Fantasy trope that I can imagine. You fight goblins and orcs, you wield sword and magic and the setting is very Lord of the Rings. My favorite part of the game is the choices you make can affect your character and the world around you. By the end of the game, I was so good that I had a Halo around me and people cheered my every action.

Unfortunately, the game isn't as wide-open as you would imagine. Much like KOTOR, you are pretty much dictated to go down the path of good or evil. And the paths are so blatantly obvious that there is no gray area. But, my main grip in the game is that the combat is so dull. You are basically mashing one button the entire time. It works somewhat well when you are fighting one single enemy, but you are fighting multiple enemies throughout the entire game. You are constantly targeting the wrong enemy and getting stabbed in the back quite frequently.

Overall, I would say I had a mixed experience with Fable. I think the game is a little dull and gets very repetitive for such a short game. However, it still is an interesting experience and if you like High Fantasy and Action RPG games, then I think you would find some enjoyment here. I would just lower my expectation as Fable falls in the middle of the road for me with some good ideas here and there.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:44 pm

Games Beaten in 2021 - 26
* denotes a replay

January (12 Games Beaten)
1. God of War - PlayStation 3 - January 1
2. God of War II - PlayStation 3 - January 2
3. God of War: Chains of Olympus - PlayStation 3 - January 3
4. God of War: Ghost of Sparta - PlayStation 3 - January 4
5. God of War III - PlayStation 4 - January 6
6. God of War: Ascension - PlayStation 3 - January 9
7. God of War [2018] - PlayStation 4 - January 16
8. Epic Dumpster Bear 2: He Who Bears Wins - PlayStation 4 - January 16
9. God of War: Betrayal - Mobile - January 17
10. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - Switch - January 18
11. Muv-Luv photonflowers* - Steam - January 22
12. Muv-Luv photonmelodies♮ - Steam - January 27


February (5 Games Beaten)
13. Gun Gun Pixies - Switch - February 1
14. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS4 - February 8*
15. Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s - Vita - February 13
16. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4 - February 17*
17. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Steam - February 23


March (3 Games Beaten)
18. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC - Steam - March 4
19. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 3rd - Steam - March 7
20. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - PS4 - March 21


April (6 Games Beaten)
21. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - PS4 - April 5
22. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 00 - Steam - April 7
23. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 01 - Steam - April 10
24. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 02 - Steam - April 11
25. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 03 - Steam - April 13
26. Neptunia Virtual Stars - PS4 - April 18


26. Neptunia Virtual Stars - PS4 - April 18

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Oh Neptune, why do you break my heart? I've been so faithful to you, evangelizing your series and dishing out an obscene amount of money on your limited editions. Why do you betray my love with sub-par games? Sure, even at your peak, you were little more than a generic RPG that served as a vessel for fan service, but at least the games were solidly decent. Between Megatagmension Blanc, Super Neptunia RPG, and this, you're on a bit of a losing streak.

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Neptunia Virtual Stars is an action RPG that sees the four CPUs team up with a group of "VTubers" all of whom have been summoned to Virtualand by the Digital Goddess Faira to save her planet, Emote. Rather than their typical melee weapons, the four CPUs all have guns. That's my first complaint; each of the four goddesses have pretty well established weapon preferences. My second complaint is that the voice acting is entirely in Japanese. Normally I don't have a problem with games that have only subtitles in English - hell, that's most of what I buy from Play-Asia - but not only is this an official North American release, but it's the first game in the entire series not to feature English voice acting, and the English cast they had was rock solid. IF said in response to a tweet of mine that it was due to licensing issues, but my gut tells me that they just cheaped out with the localization. My third complaint is that the whole game just looks a bit "off" to me. Character models looked lower quality to me than they did in VII, and cutscenes looked just a bit blurry as if a slight film were over my screen. My fourth and most significant complaint - the one that primarily earned the game the score I'm giving it - is the controls. They're horrendous. There's a noticeable dead zone with the control sticks before it actually registers that you're moving, and there's no option to adjust that. What sensitivity options I do get seem to have no happy medium; aiming always felt either too sluggish or too jerky.

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For those keeping score, the main characters' weapons feel out of place, there's no English voice acting, the game doesn't look that good, and the controls are atrocious. The story is also pretty rubbish, but that's par for the course for these fanservice games, so I'll let that one slide. As for the good...well, Nep's in the game? It is playable once you start to get a feel for it. Unfortunately, that takes a while as the tutorials only answered about three-quarters of my questions, so it took some fiddling and trial and error (or giving up and accepting ignorance) for me to figure out how parts of the game worked. Still, I did eventually hit a bit of a rhythm about halfway through the game. It never got "fun" per se, but it did cease to be painful to play. There's a rhythm mini-game that they kind of stuck on with scotch tape. Like, it seriously feels like they just plastered in on last minute because it's the clunkiest and least intuitive rhythm game I've ever played. Even calling it a "rhythm" game feels wrong because despite the tutorial's claim, there was no connection whatsoever between the song's rhythm and the correct timing of the button inputs. Button inputs, by the way, that seems completely arbitrary with whether or not they registered the timing. I'm bad at rhythm games - I'll be the first to admit it - but I'm not as bad as this would have you believe.

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Truthfully, I'm really not sure how much more I can say about this game. It's just bad. It's certainly not unplayable, but I can't see anyone getting any actual enjoyment from playing it. I dropped $100 on the limited edition for this game and played it through to completion including the Platinum trophy because it's Nep and I'm a cult-like superfan of the series, but unless you're a big fan of the Neptunia series, just skip this one. It's just not a good game. It finally replaced Megatagmension Blanc + Neptune vs Zombies as the worst game in the series (although that one still has the title for worst title in the series).
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:31 am

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
* indicates a repeat

1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)
29. The Sunken City (PS4)
30. Lair of the Clockwork God (Switch)
31. Star Fox Adventures (GC)
32. Atelier Elie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 (PS1)

33. Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg (GC)

This is yet another game I rented as a kid but never ended up beating. With all of the 3D Sonic games I've played over the past year, this is a game I've had in my sights for a while. Being from the same generation as the 3D Sonics I've played, I view Billy Hatcher as very much a sister game to things like Sonic Adventure and such. Just in time for Easter, I played this over two streams (one week apart) and beat it in around eight hours, and then played a bunch more after the stream to get 53 out of 60 emblems (all I could be bothered to get XP) for a total of about 15 or so hours.

Billy Hatcher tells the story of the titular character, Billy, and his friends. They're taken by the god of chickens to Morning Land, which has fallen to the might of the crows who seek to bring eternal night to Morning Land. If that happens, then eternal night will come to all worlds, so Billy is here to save Morning Land and defeat the crows! There's a bit of exposition and such in the levels from the elders of each of the worlds you explore, but really the story is pretty unimportant and is largely just here to set up the action.

What the action is, is simultaneously one of the best mechanically conceived games Sonic Team (Japan or USA) put out that generation, but also easily its hardest. Billy gets the chicken suit in the first level, and you use it to push eggs around to pick up enough fruit to get them big enough to hatch them. The eggs you find are your gameplay lifeblood, as they augment your speed and jumping abilities as well as allow you to attack at all. You can also hatch them to get power up items or little animal companion friends (some of which are even other Sonic Team characters like Sonic or even Nights!) whom you can use for special attacks to fight the many enemies you'll encounter over the seven worlds of the game.

There are seven worlds, and they have a very Mario 64-style to how they're set up. The first mission is saving the elder of that world, and then the second is defeating the boss of the crows in that world, and the other missions in the world are either one of a set of generics ("defeat 100 enemies!") or one unique to that world. The worlds themselves don't change, but your starting location and mission objective to get the courage emblem do. Like I said, very Mario 64.

While you only NEED to beat the first two (of eight) stages in each world, you actually need 25 emblems in order to unlock world seven whose first stage hides the final boss. The game doesn't tell you that, though, and it'll be mean enough to let you FINISH level 6-3 and then just tell you you don't have enough (but not how many you actually need) and then once you have enough you gotta do that WHOLE (quite hard) stage again. It's not unforgivable, but it's a very weirdly bad piece of design considering that Mario 64 turned 9 years old the year this game game out.

The game is overall pretty darn tough, and even though you start the game with six extra lives, you can tear through them really quickly in later worlds because this game LOVES bottomless pits. It also loves pretty merciless checkpoints in its later stages too. Doing the bouncing on the eggs and dashing on the eggs across small platforms also takes a lot of getting used to, and my gosh do the last handful of stages love having you do that. The level design of the game is pretty solid, but as soon as the third world, it's very consistently unforgiving. There're also the rails your egg can ride along, which are awful in that if your egg is small, there's a good chance the egg will just bug out and pass right through the rail.

Controlling the egg itself can also be a pain, as you simply walk up to the egg to start pushing it, and then you walk away to leave the egg. The only issue is that "walking away" and "turning" are quite similar things in a 3D platformer, and there were many times when I didn't or did mean to leave an egg, but the controls conspired to make me to the opposite and I ended up dying. Given that the Z-button literally isn't used at all, a dedicated "interact" button for the eggs would've been really appreciated. Adding up all of that level design meanness, the control issues, and the bugs (which are present enough to be annoying, but not enough to kill the game overall), you will likely get quite a few game overs before you reach the end of the game's story.

As expected for a Sonic Team game, the music and presentation are pretty damn good. The game has a lot of really fun music, and all the character designs are great. Billy's friends and the boss enemies in particular are really well designed, and the boss fights too are (usually) really good fun (my personal favorite being the world 6 boss, with my least favorite being the final boss, as they do that whole "learn a whole new mechanic to beat this boss" nonsense and it makes the whole thing feel awkward and unfair). It feels weird that Billy's friends are restricted to their own special stages (rescuing each of them unlocks a 6th, 7th, and 8th mission in each world respectively) instead of just being generally selectable, given that all of them play identically, but it's not a huge horrible deal in the end.

Verdict: Recommended. Warts and all, I enjoyed my time with this game. It's definitely one of the harder 3D platformers I've played over the years, and certainly in the GameCube generation of consoles, but it's still worth checking out. If you can pick it up for a reasonable amount, or you just enjoy a challenge in your 3D platforming, this is one you will likely find worth your time.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:57 pm

Games Beaten in 2021 - 27
* denotes a replay

January (12 Games Beaten)
1. God of War - PlayStation 3 - January 1
2. God of War II - PlayStation 3 - January 2
3. God of War: Chains of Olympus - PlayStation 3 - January 3
4. God of War: Ghost of Sparta - PlayStation 3 - January 4
5. God of War III - PlayStation 4 - January 6
6. God of War: Ascension - PlayStation 3 - January 9
7. God of War [2018] - PlayStation 4 - January 16
8. Epic Dumpster Bear 2: He Who Bears Wins - PlayStation 4 - January 16
9. God of War: Betrayal - Mobile - January 17
10. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - Switch - January 18
11. Muv-Luv photonflowers* - Steam - January 22
12. Muv-Luv photonmelodies♮ - Steam - January 27


February (5 Games Beaten)
13. Gun Gun Pixies - Switch - February 1
14. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS4 - February 8*
15. Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s - Vita - February 13
16. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4 - February 17*
17. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Steam - February 23


March (3 Games Beaten)
18. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC - Steam - March 4
19. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 3rd - Steam - March 7
20. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - PS4 - March 21


April (7 Games Beaten)
21. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - PS4 - April 5
22. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 00 - Steam - April 7
23. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 01 - Steam - April 10
24. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 02 - Steam - April 11
25. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 03 - Steam - April 13
26. Neptunia Virtual Stars - PS4 - April 18
27. Before Your Eyes - Steam - April 18


27. Before Your Eyes - Steam - April 18

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Before your eyes is an indie PC game that I'd never even heard of before I saw a retweet from the developer talking about a Steam review from a guy who played the game, loved the game, and then refunded the game because it was short. A TON of people were like "Wow, screw that guy. I've never heard of this game, but that's a dick move, so I bought it to support the developer." Never one to miss a good pro-game dev bandwagon, I decided to go drop $10 on the game, too. For the record, the dick from the Steam review apologized and repurchased the game after the Internet Inquisition got its hooks into him.

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Before Your Eyes is one of the most unique games I think I've ever played. It's controlled primarily with your webcam to track your blinks; the only input from your mouse is to move a cursor, and the keyboard isn't used at all. You have a very limited amount of camera movement with the mouse, and you blink to interact with objects and progress to the next scene (there's not movement in a traditional 3D space). The game follows the life of Benjamin Brynn from early childhood through to the end of his life. The narrative is told as a frame story - think Heart of Darkness if you've ever read that - where Benjamin's soul has been fished up by a boatman who is going to plead his case to the Gatekeeper to allow his soul into her heavenly city.

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That Steam review was right about the length; my playthrough took me less than 90 minutes. This game exemplifies the phrase "quality over quantity," though. When most games look to make their games longer to cram in more "value," GoodbyeWorld sought to make a game that left an impression on the player, not just take up their time, and I can't think of a game that's ever done this quite this well or succinctly. All in the span of 80 minutes, I smiled, laughed, grew angry, felt anxious, and cried real tears of sorrow. I've never played a game that moved me psychologically as much as Before Your Eyes did without being straight up trauma porn like Doki Doki Literature Club. It's not just the aggregate whole that's superb, either; each element of this game oozes with love, care, and talent. The motion capture for the boatman is excellent despite the game's being made by a nine person team. The writing is superb with a script and story that would fit in seamlessly with classic short stories. I don't know how experienced the cast was, but the voice acting doesn't have even the slightest hint of amateur talent; the voice cast was either extremely experienced or poured in the hours of rehearsals needed to nail each and every part this perfectly. The art especially needs to get special mention. You never see the whole world during any given scene; the majority of the world stays obscured by an inky blackness that focuses in on the important elements of the scene, and the 3D art in the game mixes with this blackness in a way that evokes at least in me thoughts of impressionist and surrealist art with certain scenes towards the end reminding me almost of Dada.

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I'd love to talk about the story and analyze the symbolism of different elements and allusions in the writing, but the story is so damn well written that I refuse to risk spoiling anything for folks who might go on to play it. Suffice it to say that this is an extremely unique experience not quite like anything I've played previously. The love and care put into the development is readily apparent in every aspect from the visuals to the writing to the voice acting to the music. I just absolutely adore everything about this game and cannot praise it enough. It's a shame that the webcam is so central to the experience because I'd love to see this game ported far and wide so more people could experience it. I suppose it could theoretically work on PS5 if you had the camera, but having to sit close enough for it to track your blinks accurately makes this a game that probably needs to remain PC exclusive.

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A lot of people debate whether video games truly count as art or not, but I would challenge anyone to play Before Your Eyes and tell me that this isn't a masterpiece of art after getting to the end. It may be an extremely short game, but with choices to make throughout the game that can affect various elements, it's also not a game you're likely to play through once and be finished with. $10 may feel steep for a 90 minute game to some folks, but I give you my word that it's well worth every penny, and I'd suspect that I'll probably be at five or six hours by the time I've seen all that the game has to offer. Even if I did only ever spend 90 minutes with this game, the quality of the experience I had in those 90 minutes is still well worth $10. This really is a once-in-a-generation game in my opinion and a masterpiece of artistic expression. I've recommended a lot of games over my life, but this one is probably on my All-Time Top Five Must Play list.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:32 am

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
* indicates a repeat

1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)
29. The Sunken City (PS4)
30. Lair of the Clockwork God (Switch)
31. Star Fox Adventures (GC)
32. Atelier Elie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 (PS1)
33. Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg (GC)

34. Mole Mania (GB)

Known as "Moguranya" in Japanese (a portmanteau of the Japanese word for "mole" and the English word "mania", and also oddly enough the name of the main character in the Japanese version), this is a game that's been recommended to me for years, but I only just got around to finally giving it a go. I recently picked up a GameCube and a GameBoy Player, so I finally have a way to play GameBoy games again. I also found a copy of this for 300 whole yen at the resale place where I picked up my GameCube and such, so it was an easy choice to pick it up. Unfortunately, the save battery was dead, so I had to beat it in one sitting, but I probably would've beaten it in one sitting anyway because of how addicting it is X3. I 100%'d the Japanese version of the game over the course of a little over 6 hours.

The game stars the main character Moguranya in a quest to save his family. The game opens with the cabbage farmer Jinbe angry that the moles keep stealing his cabbages, so he takes things into his own hands and kidnaps Moguranya's whole heckin' family, all seven children and his wife, and leaves Moguranya a taunting note daring him to try to get them back. Being a loving father, Moguranya of course immediately sets out on a quest to rescue his family and teach Jinbe a lesson. It's a fairly light story, but there's quite a bit of fun, silly dialogue given to you via signs in each level written by both the bosses of that world as well as from the elderly mole who serves as your tutorial giver as well as checkpoint bearer. There are also fun little vignettes of Moguranya and his rescued kids every time you beat a world (very much like older Kirby games have), which add to the silly fun of it all.

But the real meat here is the gameplay, and the gameplay that's here is basically a Sokoban game (warehouse block pushing), but probably the most fun version of that I've ever played (especially granted it's a genre I don't generally enjoy). The game has seven worlds (with world 8 just being a boss rush) of many rooms each, and the goal of each room is to get a boulder to the rock wall at the end to break it and allow you to progress to the next room. There are also 20 cabbages in each level to collect by rolling them into a hole, as well as a map, radar, and time trial mini-game against Jinbe which also add to the score you get at the end of each stage (although 100%-ing the game doesn't actually do anything, so far as I can tell).

What sets this apart from other Sokoban games isn't just the very forgiving difficulty, but the fact that it not only auto-saves after every room you complete (probably why the save battery in mine is dead ^^;), but it also has unlimited lives and you respawn at the start of a room just as you entered it. While there are enemies and tough, well-designed bosses, getting killed at the action parts will never send you way-way back, and they're just as much a part of the puzzles as the walls and boulders are. You also have a large degree of control as to how you manipulate the boulders, cabbages, and other obstacles you'll encounter. You can push them, pull them, and also launch them forward and behind you by flipping them over yourself. This means that while it may be possible to make a room unsolveable so you need to backtrack a room to reset it, you'll never get stuck or have to redo large swaths of content like so many other Sokoban games. You're also a mole, so naturally you can dig too, giving every room two layers to consider in your goal to solve the puzzle therein. The level design is really well done, and although the difficulty curve is a bit up and down in a weird way at times, it always feels so satisfying when you finally solve the room.

That difficulty curve issue, if you can even call it that, is really the only major issue the game has, if you can really call it that. There's a weird feeling to having one room that takes you some 15 minutes to finally wrap your head around and complete, and then have it followed by several that you almost instantly figure out, but it's not really a bad thing. Though this game does suffer from that Lemmings-style of "okay, I know what to do, now I just gotta DO it" that many action-puzzle games suffer from. The game should also really heal you whenever you complete a room, as there are heal rooms run by the elderly mole, so you can just backtrack through safe, completed rooms to get healed when you're really hurt, and it doesn't really make much sense not to just heal you every time you win a room. But again, these are really small complaints.

The presentation is also really what you'd expect from a first-party Nintendo game. It may only be a GameBoy game, but the sprite work is really excellent, as are the animations. It looked really nice even on a big TV~. The music is also very good, and has a very Kirby-like feel to it (despite not being a game made by HAL).

Verdict: Highly Recommended. I'm definitely not the first person to recommend people play Mole Mania, and I highly doubt I'll be the last. It's an excellent puzzle game with a super addictive "just one more room!" feel to it that is never consistently soul-crushingly hard. It's not a super hard physical game to find, and it's also on the 3DS Virtual Console, so this is a pretty easy game to pick up legit too. If you're a fan of puzzle games, this is absolutely not a game to sleep on~
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:38 pm

1. Horace (Switch)
2. Ghostrunner (Switch)
3. Mickey’s Adventure in Numberland (NES)
4. Mickey’s Safari in Letterland (NES)
5. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
6. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Picross (3DS)
7. World of Illusion starring Mickey & Donald (Genesis)
8. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
9. Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
10. Legend of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
11. Portal 2 [co-op] (PS3)
12. Operencia: The Stolen Sun (Switch)
13. The Knight of Queen (Switch)
14. Q.U.B.E. - Director’s Cut (PS3)
15. What the Golf?! (Switch)
16. Prune (iOS)
17. Kenshō (iOS)
18. For the Frog the Bell Tolls (GameBoy)
19. Holedown (iOS)
20. King’s Field (PS1)
21. My Friend Pedro (Switch)

My Friend Pedro is an action platformer in which you play as a loan gunman with an imaginary friend (the titular Pedro, a sentient banana) on a blood-soaked quest for justice and/or revenge...maybe. The hook here is that you are an extremely skilled gunman, and the game allows you to pull off the sort of gunplay you’d see in something like Hard Boiled, John Wick, or The Matrix. For example, you might approach a room full of assassins by sliding down a zip line through a window, jumping off the zip line, targeting two different assassins with the uzis in each of your hands, before taking out a third by ricocheting a bullet off of a sign and into a gas tank, all, perhaps, in slow motion (or not, if you’re really, really good at the game). You get more points for killing a lot of enemies in rapid succession and with as much style as possible - kind of like pulling off tricks in a Pro Skater game- and you receive a ranking at the end of each level. (I mostly got C rankings, but I managed a few Bs and As too.) It’s a lot of fun, and while you can beat the game in a few hours, I suspect it’d take quite a long time to get A rankings in every level.

Pulling off all of those awesome moves requires a really unique control scheme, however, that I am not sure is suited to a game pad. It took quite some time for me to get used to it, and even then, some actions, like changing weapons while behind cover or jumping and aiming at the same time, were still awkward. Worse, playing the game actually made my hands hurt after a while. (Maybe I’m just getting old, but I think they were aching due to the extreme gamer’s claw required to play the game effectively with a game pad.) Accordingly, if you have sensitive hands, this might not be the game for you.

Still, I enjoyed my time with My Friend Pedro even if I didn’t find ithe game quite compelling enough to spend time chasing high scores or quite worthy of its glowing reviews. If, like me, you are curious about it (and can manage a little hand pain), however, you should check it out.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:41 pm

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
6. Yoshi's Island - SNES
7. Vectorman 2 - Genesis
8. Super Mario Sunshine - GC
9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest - GC
10. Bomberman '93 - TG-16
11. Cannon Fodder - PC
12. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Saturn
13. Dragonborne - Game Boy
14. Rock n' Roll Racing - PC
15. The Lost Vikings - PC
16. Blackthorne - PC
17. Contra III: The Alien Wars - SNES
18. Bravely Default II - Switch
19. Axelay - SNES
20. Ryse: Son of Rome - XBOne
21. Killer Instinct (2013) - XBOne
22. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition - PC
23. Thief: The Dark Project - PC
24. Killer Instinct - XBOne
25. Killer instinct 2 - XBOne
26. Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth - PC
27. Thief 2: The Metal Age - PC
28. Wing Commander II - PC
29. Wing Commander III - PC
30. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - Switch

Cold Steel IV wraps up the Cold Steel series, as well as several plot threads from the previous game. The game is massive; I haven't spent this much time on a JRPG since Persona 5. It serves as a major reward for sticking with the entire Trails series this entire time, and while it doesn't necessarily do anything new mechanically compared to the last game the narrative catharsis is worth it.

The game picks up shortly after the massive cliffhanger of the first game. Just like how Cold Steel III shared a lot of narrative similarities to I, this shares a lot of similarities to II. You revisit all the old areas with a bunch of new areas available that had been locked off previously, and you will need to get the band back together. But it's not just the band you've had for the past three games; this game features guest appearances from both previous Trails series. And though their time is limited, you will get a chance to use everyone at some point or another.

If Dragon Quest serves as JRPG comfort food then Cold Steel serves as anime comfort food. The game celebrates all those standard anime tropes, like the power of friendship to overcome, forgiving enemies, people opposing each other to test the strength of their convictions (and becoming fast friends after), and more. The game does it with such sincerity that you can't help but be caught up in it.

One thing worth pointing out is that the game features a lot more geopolitics of the Trails world than previous games. The climax of the game is a massive event for the world and the ending informs you of the fallout; there will be no "we beated the big bad and then everyone was happy" in this game, and I expect to see more after effects in future games in the series (as they are not done yet with this vast plot they've built).

Here's the thing, you already knew if you were going to get this or not a long time ago. If you enjoyed the previous Cold Steel games there was no way you weren't going to pick this one. All you really care about is whether or not it drops the ball in the end. I can happily state that it doesn't. It's the payoff you were hoping for. If you're completely new to the series you have a few places to jump on. For the best experience start with Trails in the Sky. If you're put off by the older engine (and if you are what the hell are you doing on this site?) then start with the first Cold Steel game. That said, you CAN start with the third one and be mostly ok, but a lot will not be as impactful as it would otherwise. But sure as hell don't just jump right into this one; it would be like watching Return of the Jedi as your first Star Wars film.
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