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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:00 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
31. Shadow Man Remastered - PC
32. Wing Commander: Privateer - PC
33. Salt and Sanctuary - Switch
34. The Elder Scrolls: Arena - PC
35. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall - PC
36. Resident Evil Village - PC
37. SaGa Frontier Remastered - Switch
38. Metaloid: Origin - Switch
39. SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions - Switch
40. Metro Exodus: The Two Colonels - PC
41. Metro Exodus: Sam's Story - PC
42. Panzer Paladin - Switch
43. Returnal - PS5
44. Dark Void Zero - DSiWare
45. Panzer Dragoon Saga - Saturn
46. Magic Knight Rayearth - Saturn
47. Cathedral - Switch
48. Final Fantasy VII Remake: INTERmission - PS5
49. Eterium - PC
50. A Street Cat's Tale - Switch

This is in the running for biggest surprise 2021 for me. A Street Cat's Tale is a little indie game that spent the entire time hitting me over and over again in the feels. It's an amazing how much they pack in to the minimal script. And it's cruel how if you want to be completionist there are a couple of heartbreaking bad endings you need to get.

You control an adolescent cat born on the streets. The game starts with your mom getting hit by a car while getting food for you; fortunately she gets picked up by a nice human to go to the vet. But that leaves you alone and needing to find a way to survive on the streets. You reach the age of adulthood in two weeks, at which point the game ends and gives you an ending based on how you spent the time. You need to keep yourself fed and be careful to not be hit by cars, and life won't be so lonely if you can befriend the other animals and humans living in your neighborhood. It takes time for you to understand what the humans are saying and for their faces to snap into focus. And as you interact with everyone you learn more about them.

The game's endings really got me; some are heartbreaking and some are heartwarming, but both kinds are magnificent in how they can catch you with just a little bit of text. The game is straightforward, but it manages to really get its hooks in you. A Street Cat's Tale is magnificent and I recommend it to anyone who still has a heart.
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Flake
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Flake Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:35 am

January Thru April:
January
Thirteen Sentinels: Aegis Rim (PS4)
Dark Stalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (PSTV)

February

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (PS3)
Metroid Prime (Wii)
King of Fighters 14 (PS4)
King of Fighters 2002: Ultimate Match (PS4)
Splatoon 2 (Switch)
Super Mario 3D World (Switch)

March

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Switch)
Bowser's Fury (Switch)
Triggerheart Exelica (Xbox Series S)
Guardian Heroes (Xbox Series S)
Megaman 4 (Xbox Series S)

April

Megaman 2 (Xbox Series S)
Megaman 3 (Xbox Series S)
Megaman (Xbox Series S)
Megaman 5 (Xbox Series S)
Megaman 6 (Xbox Series S)
Disgaea 1: Complete (Switch)
NiGHTS into Dreams HD (Xbox Series S)
Megaman Zero (Switch)
Megaman Zero 2 (Switch)


June

Mass Effect (Xbox Series S)
Mass Effect 2 (Xbox Series S)
Castlevania (PS4)
Super Castlevania IV (Switch)


Just a few thoughts about these games -

- Mass Effect is still a lot of fun. The remake didn't change as much as I thought it would but the update to the visuals is fantastic. On the Series S, I opted for the high framerate graphics setting and was surprised at how clean the graphics moved on my TV. Some bugs were fixed and I didn't have a single crash the whole way through.

- Mass Effect 2 remains one of the best games of all time and I don't see how anyone can dispute that. This game didn't enjoy as much of an overhaul as the original game did but it's still pretty and the increased framerate is a joy. I liked that the import tool for ME1's decisions was fixed so that you didn't have to input as much data in the beginning with an import character. Replaying this game was bliss.

- Castlevania is the game we all know and (hopefully) we all love. It is probably my most beaten game in the series. There's something about it that is just relaxing and familiar. There's not a lot of nuance required, just careful play and planning your jumps. The music is still fantastic. I played this on the PS4 release of the Castlevania Legacy Collection. The only thing really notable is that, for some reason, I was able to crash the game three times. There's some value that I was able to overflow when I was in boss fights using the 3x multiplier cross boomerang. I couldn't duplicate it consistently so I'm not sure what it was but it did make me laugh to see the PS4 Pro suffer while running a 30 year old game.

- This is actually the first time I've ever beaten Super Castlevania IV. I ran though it on the Switch release of the Castlevania Legacy Collection (Yes, I have purchased it multiple times) and I have to say that my opinions of Castlevania IV are at odds with what I think most people think. First of all, I didn't find it to be an easier Castlevania IV. The bosses weren't that hard (except for Death) but the levels really kicked my ass, especially towards the end once all of the insta-kill elements started trolling me. I was disappointed with the music overall. The first few levels had great tunes but the game goes quiet for quite a while until the clock tower level. I'm glad to have finally avenged 14 year old me who couldn't beat this game but I think that I prefer Castlevania I over Super Castlevania IV.
Maybe now Nintendo will acknowledge Metroid has a fanbase?
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Jun 18, 2021 4:27 am

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

Games 1~51
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)
35. Gargoyle's Quest (GB)
36. Rock Man 4 (Famicom) *
37. Wai Wai World (Famicom)
38. Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge (GB)
39. Mega Man (Switch) *
40. Mega Man 2 (Switch) *
41. Mega Man 3 (Switch) *
42. Rock Man 5 (Famicom) *
43. Mega Man 6 (Switch)
44. Mega Man 7 (Switch) *
45. Mega Man 8 (Switch) *
46. Mega Man 9 (Switch) *
47. Mega Man 10 (Switch)
48. Rock Man World 2 (GB) *
49. Rock Man World 3 (GB)
50. Rock Man World 4 (GB)
51. Rock Man World 5 (GB)

52. Wai Wai World 2 (Famicom)
53. Tiny Toon Adventures (Famicom)
54. King Kong 2: Ikari No Megaton Punch (Famicom)
55. Yume Pengin Monogatari (Famicom)
56. Rock Man & Forte (SFC)
57. Rock Man X2 (Switch)
58. Rock Man X3 (Switch)
59. Rock Man X4 (Switch)
60. Rock Man X5 (Switch)
61. Rock Man X6 (Switch)
62. Rock Man X7 (Switch)
63. Rock Man X8 (Switch)
64. Mega Man: Powered Up (PSP)
65. Magical Taruruuto Kun: FANTASTIC WORLD!! (Famicom)
66. Maken Shao (PS2)
67. Getsu Fuuma Den (Famicom)
68. Rock Man D.A.S.H (PSP)
69. Brave Fencer Musashi (PS1)
70. Joe & Mac (SFC) *
71. Atelier Lilie: The Alchemist of Salburg 3 (PS2)
72. Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link (Famicom)
73. The Bouncer (PS2)
74. Rapid Angel (PS1)

75. Atelier Totori: The Alchemist of Arland 2 (PS3)

The 7th game in the Atelier series I've beaten and the sequel to one of my favorites in the series, I had high hopes for playing through Atelier Totori (the 12th game in the series). I've been co-streaming Atelier games (watching as she plays the actual game) with a friend for over a year now, and this is the first one I've played myself that she more or less had also entirely played. While I did watch her play through most of Atelier Rorona Plus, that's quite a different animal from the original version. Atelier Totori is nearly identical to its later remasters though, with only a dungeon here or there and another playable character or two differentiating them. However, even despite having seen more or less the entire game before (I'd never seen the proper ending), this one still managed to captivate me all throughout playing it. It took me about 45 hours to get through the Japanese version of the game doing Rorona's ending, Melvia's ending, and (my favorite) Mimi's ending.

Atelier Totori picks up a few years after the ending of Atelier Rorona. Rorona has begun traveling the world researching alchemy as well as trying to teach potential students alchemy too. However, her attempts to teach are met with failure after failure save for one girl in the small seaside village of Alanya, which is where our titular alchemist comes into the picture. Dreaming of finding her long lost mother, Totori uses her newfound (albeit fledgling) alchemy prowess to set out for the capital of the (as of quite recently) Republic of Arland to become an adventurer just like she was. Her journey will have her meeting many new faces, some returning characters from Atelier Rorona but many all new characters to Totori's story as well.

The story is far and away my favorite part of Atelier Totori. People who've been reading my reviews for a while likely know that character writing is absolutely what I live for, and this game (as Atelier games often do (or at least did -_-)) has it in spades, but not quite like Atelier Rorona had. While Atelier Rorona had a more quiet, less directed story as you guided Rorona through adolescence, Totori's story is less conventional and has a more concrete beginning, middle and end, at least as far as Atelier games with time limits are concerned. It's a story very concerned with not only the general theme of the Arland series, the relationships between students and teachers, but also with a very present and strong new motif of loss, grief, and acceptance, and the powerful transforming effect they can have on people. The way Totori, her big sister, and her father get along in their day to day lives hit really hard for me. I don't think any game has made me cry as much as this one has ^^;. That's not to say it will definitely hit that hard for you, but this is a game whose emotional through-lines are laid well and thoroughly in a way that is stand-out excellence even in a series that's no stranger to good dialogue writing.

While the story is in the territory of "not just different but better too" than Atelier Rorona's was, I would say the gameplay is almost universally better. While Atelier Rorona was in many ways a re-imagining of the first Atelier game, following a girl and her workshop all centered around one town, Atelier Totori is something of a re-imagining of the second game in the series, as the ground Totori covers is a LOT larger than Rorona ever did in her game, and you even have two towns and two Ateliers to go between (somewhat like you did in the 2nd Atelier game). Items still have persistent and unique features respective to themselves, the maps you explore to collect them in have changed a lot. Gone is Rorona's "few areas with many maps" approach and here to stay is exploring nodes around a much larger world map which are each a (usually) quite small area to fight enemies and collect ingredients in.

Traveling between these nodes takes time, very similarly to how it did in Atelier Rorona, but there are much greater changes in how time management has been drastically altered in this game. Where before, once you got to an area, time effectively stood still as you fought whatever monsters and collected whatever materials were in that area, now EVERYTHING you do takes time, be it fighting monsters or gathering ingredients. This makes time management a much larger part of the experience, as the overall time crunch, even for the normal ending, is much harsher than it was in that game.

That greater difficulty in time management is increased also by the fact that you have two parallel sorts of progression tracking, with one being the greater quest to find your mother, and the other being rising through the ranks of the adventurer's guild. The guild ranks are handled in a really fun and intuitive way, as you receive points like they were mini-achievements for doing anything from killing an optional boss to just crafting a bunch or completing a bunch of requests (which are also in this game, in their very familiar forms of either killing monsters or delivering items). The tightly defined 90-day story quests of Rorona that make that game such a less stressful time management experience are totally gone. However, this is one of the few Atelier games with a time limit that actually has not just combat checks, but a genuine final boss, and letting time get away from you to the point where he's WAY to strong for you to kill is something all too easy to do (and is why I'd never seen anything but the bad ending before playing through this myself, and my friend's misfortune is why I was wary enough to use my time as wisely as I could during my own playthrough).

Atelier Totori is one of the first games in the series to both have a time limit and also realize just how broken a build you could make, and the bosses (especially the optional ones) really push to the limit just how tough you can get. No longer does the old strategy of simply grinding up levels or making a pile of really really big bombs do the trick anymore, as even normal late game enemies will require you to have a good stockpile of both defensive and offensive weapons to deal with them. Honestly, one of my only genuine complaints with Totori as a game (other than the writing having a little too much fan service for my liking, at least compared to Atelier Rorona) is that between the difficult enemies and bosses and the removal or nerfing of items that used to be very good (there are almost no full-party healing items in this game, for example), this game is just a bit too hard for its own good for what a game like Atelier Rorona or the earlier games like it in the series would've led you to expect.

However, just because the obstacles are built up higher doesn't mean you don't get anything new in your corner either. Sure, you have some smaller things like the removal of Rorona's "HP is everything, even mana" system in favor of a more traditional HP, MP, and LP (consumed when traveling) system, and you also can recruit Rorona herself into your party to give you not one but two item-using party members in your team of three. The battle systems have also FINALLY been given a visible turn order counter in the lower corner. Now certain moves taking longer to do than other moves and making your next turn therefore take longer is something the Atelier games have always had but have kept secret. It was something playing most any of the old ones you'd probably guess at the existence of just by virtue of experimenting with the combat even a little. But this game finally makes it visible and usable to your advantage by planning how you'll do each characters move, and it's thankfully a feature that sticks around. But while turn orders and HP systems are fine and all, the most important new addition is just knee high: Chims!

In Rorona you had Hom the homunculus who was basically just another pair of hands to craft with, but they weren't especially convenient or easy to use in the original game. Chims, that's right, PLURAL, are chibi-homunculi who you can use in much more diverse ways. Unlike Hom, you can get more than one Chim by progressing through the story and doing optional quests, getting a minimum of two and a maximum of five. Also better than Hom is that not only can Chims collect specific ingredients when asked (where Hom just brought back a random smattering from wherever you sent them), a Chim doesn't even need materials to craft things! Sure, compared to yourself, it takes a while for them to craft much scarier items like big bombs or healing items, but not needing to get the resources to make that stuff is such a lifesaver. The only sticking point is that Chims, unlike Hom, need fuel to function: pie! If you don't want your Chim to get tired and laze about all day, you need to keep them supplied with a good supply of plain pie items. However, that's also just work you can conveniently delogate to other Chims, if you're so inclined. On a mechanical level, Chims and their function are my favorite new addition to the overall way these games play, and adjusting the military Chim-dustrial complex to suit your battling or crafting needs is a constant part of the larger crafting systems in this game.

The crafting and synthesis itself isn't thaaat different in this game compared to Atelier Rorona, but it is present in all its glory. You still have unique traits to each item, as mentioned before, but you also have a lot more qualities items can have. This is another little beef I have with how the game is designed, as a lot of these traits don't really have super intuitive effects, although you can thankfully see what the effect is on screen just about any time that effect would matter. Aside from that, using different qualities or varieties of ingredient to make your end result even better is just as much fun here as it was in Rorona, for the most part. The nicest overall addition here is the revamping of the UI to make crafting less of a menu headache, really.

The presentation of this game is as top notch as Rorona was and then some, even for an Atelier game. The 3D models have been touched up a lot, and while they still look a little chibi, they don't look anywhere near as different to the character portraits as the ones in the original Atelier Rorona did. Those 2D character portraits that do the job of most of the acting during the visual novel-like dialogue scenes are still here and as beautiful as ever, with each character having a large assortment of different expressions they can use. The music is also as excellent as ever, with Gust again not disappointing between the new renditions (or just outright unaltered inclusions) of old tracks as well as the oodles of great new songs in this game.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This is easily one of my favorite games I've played all year. Atelier Rorona (not to mention a lot of the other great games) set a damn high bar, and Atelier Totori soared over it for me. This is definitely not a great first Atelier game for someone, as it's just too difficult with how it uses its time management and boss battles compared to Rorona, but this is a stellar sequel to the original Atelier Rorona and builds so well on the piles that game already did right. This is definitely my new favorite in the series, and one I cannot recommend enough paired alongside its predecessor (or even just played on its own, if you're feeling brave enough). Perhaps one of the most evident signs of just how much I love this game is just how highly I considered doing another playthrough immediately after my first one to try and get the true ending (which is pretty damn tough to do). I almost never play RPGs twice, let alone back-to-back, and if I didn't have other more pressing things on my gaming horizon, I would've dove right back in.
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 Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:11 pm

Games Beaten in 2021 - 42
* 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


May (9 Games Beaten)
28. New Pokemon Snap - Switch - May 2
29. Resident Evil 8: Village - PS5 - May 8
30. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Switch - May 15
31. Torment: Tides of Numenera - Xbox One - May 18
32. Pepsiman - PS1 - May 20
33. Super Blackjack Battle II Turbo: The Card Fighters - Switch - May 20
34. Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure - Switch - May 23
35. Planetscape: Torment - Steam - May 26
36. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne - Switch - May 31


June (6 Games Beaten)
37. Hentai vs Evil - Switch - June 1
38. Troll and I - Switch - June 2
39. Zombie Army 4: Dead War - PlayStation 4 - June 5
40. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - Switch - June 6
41. Military Madness - TurboGrafx-16 - June 7
42. Puyo Puyo 2 - Game Gear - June 17


42. Puyo Puyo 2 - Game Gear - June 17

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Puyo Puyo 2 (Puyo Puyo Tsu) is a short, simple game, so this is going to be a short, simple review. Normally I don't put a lot of time into simple puzzle games like this, but as I was playing Yakuza 0 (that review is coming tomorrow probably), I found myself needing a simple little handheld game to play while I farmed money in the real estate minigame, so I figured why not give my oft-neglected Game Gear some love?

Image

If you've ever played a Puyo Puyo game, you know what the core gameplay is like. Actually, if you've ever played a Dr. Mario game, you know basically what the core gameplay is like. Pieces drop in pairs from the ceiling, and you can rotate them before they land. Connect four of the same color, and they pop. The more your pop and the better combo you build, the more obstacles you build up on your opponent's side; eventually, they drop as blocks that impede your opponent. They can do the same to you, though. It's simple, but like Tetris, while the concept is super easy to pick up, it takes a lot more thought and strategy to master than you might expect at first.

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The structure of the game is a lot like a fighting game. You're trying to battle your way up this tower, and on each floor, you have a different opponent to face off against. Each opponent is, as you would expect, a little tougher than the last. The console ports, if I remember correctly, have a story tied to this tower ascent, and to be fair, the Game Gear version might have had some kind of story framing the game, as well, but I didn't notice a great deal of text that would indicate any significant story, and I can't read Japanese anyway, so it would have been a bit of a moot point for me. I got "Fight opponent, move to next tower floor, fight next opponent, repeat," and that was pretty much all I really needed to know.

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Puyo Puyo 2 on Game Gear isn't a game with a ton of depth, but like Tetris, it doesn't need to be. It's a colorful puzzle game that can provide some great fun in short bursts. Taking the subway to work? Perfect time for Puyo Puyo 2. Just finished eating Taco Bell and need something to take your mind off of the agonizing hell your bowels are about to endure? Play Puyo Puyo 2 while you're pooping. This is not, however, necessarily a great game for an epic weekend gaming marathon. It's a lot of fun, though, and while it's not as addicting in my opinion as Tetris or as robust as some of the later console Puyo Puyo games, it's a solid entry in the Game Gear's library.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:11 am

Games Beaten in 2021 - 43
* 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


May (9 Games Beaten)
28. New Pokemon Snap - Switch - May 2
29. Resident Evil 8: Village - PS5 - May 8
30. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Switch - May 15
31. Torment: Tides of Numenera - Xbox One - May 18
32. Pepsiman - PS1 - May 20
33. Super Blackjack Battle II Turbo: The Card Fighters - Switch - May 20
34. Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure - Switch - May 23
35. Planetscape: Torment - Steam - May 26
36. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne - Switch - May 31


June (7 Games Beaten)
37. Hentai vs Evil - Switch - June 1
38. Troll and I - Switch - June 2
39. Zombie Army 4: Dead War - PlayStation 4 - June 5
40. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - Switch - June 6
41. Military Madness - TurboGrafx-16 - June 7
42. Puyo Puyo 2 - Game Gear - June 17
43. Yakuza 0 - Playstation 4 - June 19


43. Yakuza 0 - Playstation 4 - June 19

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Yakuza 0 is the seventh game in the Yakuza series to be released in North America, but as the title suggests, it's actually the first game chronologically, taking place nearly 20 years prior to the events of the first Yakuza game. It was the first game in the series to release the PlayStation 4, and according to US Gamer, it's been attributed to the growing success of the series in the West, Yakuza having been a fairly obscure series outside of Japan prior to the release of Zero.

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Gameplay is split between two protagonists, Kazuma Kiryu in Kamurocho, Tokyo and Goro Majima in Sotenbori, Osaka, but these two protagonists are caught up in two threads of the same larger event. The Dojima Family, a subsidiary of the mighty Tojo Clan yakuza group, has been gobbling up land in Kamurocho as part of a massive real estate revitalization project, but they found a kink in their plans - a plot of land called the Empty Lot whose owner can't be located. Without this tiny sliver of land, their plans are kaput and the billions of yen they've already sunk into the project wasted. Thus two seemingly unconnected events in two seemingly unconnected cities - Kiryu's being framed for a murder he didn't commit in Kamurocho and Majima's being ordered to perform a hit job on one Makoto Makimura - turn into pieces of a massive conspiracy with the potential to tear the Tojo Clan apart from the inside.

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While I own the entire series (at least what's been released in the West), the only Yakuza game I'd played before 0 was Kiwami, the PS4 remake of the PS2 original game. With that background in mind, the first thing that jumped out to me here was how out of character Majima was acting. Well, it turns out that before he was a batshit crazy lunatic, Goro Majima was a pretty calm and collected guy, and this game shows you what made him the lovable psychopath we all know and love. Kiryu, on the other hand, was the same stoic hero-yet-in-organized-crime protagonist I had come to love in Kiwami, and it was great getting to see him as a young man and the bond that he and Nishikiyama shared before the events of the first game. Prequels can be really hit or miss, and I usually end up thinking they fall on the "miss" side of that, but Yakuza 0 is absolutely an exception; this is probably the most brilliantly executed prequel I've ever seen.

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Another thing to note about Yakuza 0 is that it's long as hell. I spent probably three times as long on 0 as I did on Kiwami with my final playtime clocking in at 102 hours. Granted, a LOT of that was mindlessly grinding in minigames I'll explain in a moment, but it's just a long game all around; the consensus among my gaming Twitter friends is pretty unanimous that this is the longest game in the series up until Like a Dragon, and if How Long to Beat is to be believed, a completionist run of 0 is still longer. Either way, buckle up and get ready to spend a few weeks on this game. Keeping in mind that I'm a teacher and played this during summer break, I spent ten days on this game, and that's spending about ten hours per day gaming on average. A solid half of that time was spent on two totally optional storylines - Kiryu's Real Estate Royale in Kamurocho and Majima's Cabaret Club Czar in Sotenbori. Not only are both a lot of fun with super interesting stories, but they're FANTASTIC ways to grind a lot of money really quickly; with Kiryu, I ended up bringing in well over a billion yen every ten minutes.

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Yakuza 0 also has the full host of minigames you'd expect - karaoke, dancing, pocket racing, bowling, etc. You're still swarmed repeatedly by a seemingly endless sea of enemies in the street. There's very rarely a dull moment in Yakuza 0; despite spending over 100 hours on the game, I was never bored, and I never found myself thinking "Man, I'm so ready for this game to be over." Sotenbori and Kamurocho are both rich albeit not particularly large areas to explore and are filled to the brim with things to do. There are dozens of little side stories, there are restaurants to try, weapons to collect, fighting abilities to unlock, and completionist tasks to complete.

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The game isn't just stellar at a narrative level; it's brilliantly made on a technical level as well. Admittedly, I played using the PS5's backwards compatibility, so your exact mileage may vary a bit if you're using a PS4 or PS4 Pro, but as far as I could tell, the frame rate was a flawless 60 fps. From what I can tell online, it runs at 1080p regardless of what Playstation you're using, but the amount of detail in that world is amazing. You can see the fibers on Kiryu's jacket, the lines in Kuze's face, the tear's on Makoto's cheeks; if this is what a game released on Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 looks like, I can't wait to see what a Yakuza game built specifically for Playstation 5's hardware generation looks like. The voice acting as well is incredible although that's pretty par for the course with Yakuza (excluding the Western releases of the two PS2 titles, that is). Truly the only word to describe Yakuza 0 that even begins to do it justice is "cinematic." This is a game that you don't just play; this is a game that you truly experience. It's definitely got me itching to dig deeper into the series.

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Yakuza 0 is a masterpiece. The fighting is fluid and fun, the sound design is rich and immersive, the visuals are astoundingly detailed, the story is deep and engrossing, and the world feels alive and lived in. There are very few things I can find in this game that I would improve. Enemies will stun lock you on occasion. It can be a little annoying having to run from one end of the city to the other and back. Inventory space can feel limited. That's really about the best I can do when it comes to thinking of complaints; they're all extremely minor, petty things like that. This is an S tier action game, an S tier story, and an S tier technical showcase of the Playstation 4. Regardless of if you're playing on Playstation, Xbox, Windows, or (gag) Luna, you're doing yourself a disservice if you pass on Yakuza 0.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Note Sun Jun 20, 2021 6:13 pm

ElkinFencer10 wrote:Yakuza 0 is a masterpiece. The fighting is fluid and fun, the sound design is rich and immersive, the visuals are astoundingly detailed, the story is deep and engrossing, and the world feels alive and lived in. There are very few things I can find in this game that I would improve. Enemies will stun lock you on occasion. It can be a little annoying having to run from one end of the city to the other and back. Inventory space can feel limited. That's really about the best I can do when it comes to thinking of complaints; they're all extremely minor, petty things like that. This is an S tier action game, an S tier story, and an S tier technical showcase of the Playstation 4. Regardless of if you're playing on Playstation, Xbox, Windows, or (gag) Luna, you're doing yourself a disservice if you pass on Yakuza 0.


I've only heard positive things about Yakuza 0 -- great write up on it. Just curious, how many hours did it take you to complete the main game?
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:31 pm

First 25
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)
22. MO: Astray (Switch)
23. EQI (Switch)
24. Foxyland (Switch)
25. Carrion (Switch)

26. QUBE 2 (Switch)
27. Aaero (Switch)
28. Portal 2 (PS3)
29. Alwa’s Awakening (Switch)
30. Alwa’s Legacy (Switch)
31. Mega Man 11 (Switch)

Mega Man 11 is another charming Mega Man game. It’s not the best in the series, but it’s easily in the top five. The levels, while a bit long, are imaginative. (The one that’s like a Cub Scout camp for evil robots is my favorite.) The robot masters are challenging, but fair. All of them can be beaten with the Mega Buster if you take some time to learn their patterns, and their weaknesses to other weapons doesn’t make them too easy.

The game introduces a neat “gear” mechanic, where you can temporarily power up your weapons or slow time. It’s fun, and it’s actually quite helpful. The best new mechanic, however, is the one that automatically charges the Mega Buster. It’s just a nice touch in a well-designed, friendly game.

Aesthetically, the game takes a lot of cues from Mega Man 1. (The power ups look the same, and a lot of Mega Man’s oldest enemies reappear.) Still, a few enemies from later Mega Man games make comebacks, and it features the slide from Mega Man 3 and the Mega Buster from Mega Man 4. In a way, it feels a bit like Mega Man Powered Up 2, which is great, IMO.

As a long-time Mega Man fan, I really enjoyed Mega Man 11. It was a lot of fun, and quite challenging. Mostly, however, it was just good seeing my old friend back in action, and I hope Capcom doesn’t make us wait too much longer for Mega Man 12.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:49 am

Note wrote:
ElkinFencer10 wrote:Yakuza 0 is a masterpiece. The fighting is fluid and fun, the sound design is rich and immersive, the visuals are astoundingly detailed, the story is deep and engrossing, and the world feels alive and lived in. There are very few things I can find in this game that I would improve. Enemies will stun lock you on occasion. It can be a little annoying having to run from one end of the city to the other and back. Inventory space can feel limited. That's really about the best I can do when it comes to thinking of complaints; they're all extremely minor, petty things like that. This is an S tier action game, an S tier story, and an S tier technical showcase of the Playstation 4. Regardless of if you're playing on Playstation, Xbox, Windows, or (gag) Luna, you're doing yourself a disservice if you pass on Yakuza 0.


I've only heard positive things about Yakuza 0 -- great write up on it. Just curious, how many hours did it take you to complete the main game?

I couldn't tell you strictly main game, but I'd guess around 40. I spent a little over half of my 102 on side stuff
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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Raging Justice
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Raging Justice Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:22 pm

You guys are speaking my language now. I've been wanting to check out the Yakuza series, but I might go with Like a Dragon since they say it's newbie friendly

I also plan on playing Mega Man 11 at some point. I really, really, would like a new Mega Man X game from Capcom though. However, there is some cool indie fare to scratch that itch like Smelter and the recently announced Berserk Boy
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:24 pm

One of my friends started with Like a Dragon, but its worth noting that its the last so far in the timeline. I personally recommend stating with Zero or Kiwami.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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