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Gunstar Green
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Gunstar Green Thu Aug 26, 2021 11:44 pm

1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch Remake)
2. Super Mario Maker 2
3. Super Mario Odyssey
4. New Super Mario Bros. U DELUXE
5. Daemon X Machina
6. Turrican
7. Turrican 2: The Final Fight
8. SUPERHOT
9. Untitled Geese Game
10. Mega Turrican
11. Super Turrican (SNES)
12. Haven
13. Gunlord X
14. Super Mario 3D World
15. Bowser's Fury
16. Cathedral
17. Super Robot Wars T
18. Ninja Saviors - Return of the Warriors
19. Raiden V
20. Quake: Dimension of the Past
21. Quake: Dimension of the Machine
22. Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser


Quake: Dimension of the Machine

When MachineGames made Dimension of the Past it was just as a fun side project to be released to the community for free, but with the release of the Quake remaster for both PC and consoles they really brought their A game for an all new episode that stands toe to toe with the classic Quake expansions and even exceeds them in many places.

MrPopo already said it best, the level structure almost feels more like Half-Life at times, in a good way, as you're let loose in sprawling levels that sometimes have tricky elements to them but none so much as to slow down the breakneck pace of the game. The levels are also beautiful with architecture that you would have never seen in the game back in the day, probably partially because it would have brought computers at a time to a screeching halt.

The levels remain abstract enough to still be Quake but objects and buildings are very recognizable in a way the original game never really accomplished. There were moments where I just had to stop and take in my surroundings and say wow. Somehow they managed this without taking away the gritty creepiness that is Quake.

The levels are large and challenging while still remaining fair, I'd say more fair than their previous set of levels even while upping the challenge level. It's an excellent campaign with a fun boss fight conclusion. This alone is worth picking up the remaster for.

Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser

Astro Port, a Japanese indie developer known mostly for shmups and Assault Suits Valken clones, brings us this parody/homage of 70's super robots in shmup form. As a game it's fun but nothing mind-blowing. Where it succeeds is in its presentation. They nailed the feel of the 70's art style, with loads of little references to things like Mazinger Z and especially Combattler V and Voltes V which it most closely resembles.

The game's main gimmick is your robot, the Vulkaiser, can combine with four different fighter jets, each one giving you a different armament. Some specialize in crowd control and some are more useful in boss fights and of course one is a giant drill. You get two opportunities to swap between fighters each level allowing you to strategize your loadout.

The Vulkaiser does not succumb to a one-hit-kill but you only have one life to work with, thankfully you will regenerate some health between levels. The fighters that you combine with can also be damaged and if they're destroyed they're out for the rest of the game, giving you another reason to switch one out if it's sustained heavy damage. Between levels you get a small bit of cheesy dialogue with the pilot of the last fighter you used unless they've been destroyed in which case the scientist who invented Vulkaiser tells you they can't be repaired, not even with SUPER ELECTRICITY which he comically admits to having no idea of what it is despite inventing it.

This game won't end up on anyone's best shmups list but it's short and fun with loads of personality from the extremely 70's robot theme music that blasts the entire game to the wonderfully crappy burnt in yellow subtitles that look like they came straight from a Discotek DVD. A lot of love was put into the look and feel and if you're a fan of 70's super robots like me it's a delight.
Flake
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Flake Sat Aug 28, 2021 9:22 am

January Thru July:
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)


August

Yakuza Kiwami (Xbox Series S)
Megaman X (Xbox Series S)
Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope (Xbox Series S)
Metroid (Switch)
Metal Slug (Neo Geo MVSx)


There were all replays for me so I won't bother with mini reviews. It's good to be gaming again. The end of June and first half of July were probably some of the hardest weeks in my life. Juggling a massive, high profile project at work, trying to handle a 19 year old who is inventing boundaries to test, and cleaning,staging,showing,packing,moving a house from Texas to Colorado all during a Pandemic were just too much. It has really taken me until now to kind of recover from how much stress the wife and I were dealing with.

Kind of as a present to myself for getting through all this, I got myself the Neo Geo MVSx cab. It's about the size of an Arcade 1up and has 50 MVS/AES titles on it. It's not a genuine big red but it's close enough that I found myself lost in memories of an earlier time while I was playing Metal Slug, dying left and right, feeding virtual quarter after virtual quarter into the machine. For anyone that wants a semi accurate arcade experience in the home, I highly recommend 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 Sat Aug 28, 2021 3:28 pm

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

First 50:
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

51. Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling - Switch
52. Banner of the Maid - Switch
53. CrossCode - Switch
54. Total Annihilation: The Core Contingency - PC
55. Ultima Underworld - PC
56. Betrayal at Krondor - PC
57. Assassin's Creed: Origins - PC
58. Axiom Verge 2 - Switch
59. Elderborn - PC
60. Hellbound - PC
61. Wargroove - Switch
62. Eye of the Beholder - PC
63. Quake: Dimension of the Past - PC
64. Quake: Dimension of the Machine - PC
65. Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown - Switch
66. Anopek - PC
67. Baten Kaitos - Gamecube

Baten Kaitos is an RPG by Monolith and tri-crescendo for the Gamecube that uses a unique card battling system for its RPG battles. It is set in a world of floating islands above a sky that grows poisonous if you go too deeply. The humans have wings to aid in living in an environment like this, but still require flying creatures/machines to get from island to island. It's one of the few RPGs of its generation unique to the Gamecube an thus tends to garner attention. However, the game is deeply flawed in ways that it didn't need to be.

The plot is a fairly standard JRPG save the world plot. The empire wants to collect the five End Magnus to awaken the evil god, you need to stop them, you won't actually stop them in time, you need to defeat the evil god. Nothing we haven't seen before, though the game does have some pretty blatant ripoffs of specific Final Fantasy VI plot points. The game does add a minor narrative wrinkle in the presence of you, the player. You are cast as a guardian spirit who bonds with the protagonist. So every so often he'll turn to the camera and ask your opinion of things (and sometimes you can do so unprompted). In the ending the game tries to make the idea of the guardian spirit more important but doesn't really deliver.

Now, a generic plot isn't bad in and of itself; the problem comes in two places. The first is the characters themselves. The voice acting isn't great and the way the protagonist is written really grates. It's like they wanted an anti-hero but ended up just providing an asshole, and the only reason he has heroic traits is because otherwise you wouldn't have a game at all. Adding to this is the goofy sound filter over all dialogue to go with the guardian spirit schtick; the idea is you're listening from afar or something but it leads to it sounding like everyone is talking through a cardboard tube. The other characters are incredibly generic and the phoned in voice performances drags down the narrative.

The second thing that really brings the game down is the actual game systems. The minor one is the quest Magnus; you can interact with objects in the environment and capture their essence in a card (Magnus). You can then use it for puzzle solving or to trigger NPC dialogues and get rewards. However, you only have limited slots and there is rarely indication of what is and isn't important; there are several that have no purpose or can be collected over and over for a handful of uses. Adding to this is the Magnus evolution system that I'll go deeper into in a bit, but it causes some of the ones you collect for a rainy day to transform into an unusable form by the time you need it and you need to recollect it fresh.

The Magnus transformation is one of the key features that sounds potentially good on paper but in practice is annoying as shit. When the game is running but not in a menu time passes, and your Magnus can change. For example, a milk Magnus will eventually turn into cheese, and then that cheese can turn into green mold. Cheese heals for more than milk but then green mold is poison. The vast bulk of these evolutions are negative in nature; your food spoiling is the bulk of these evolutions. There's a handful of cards that instead have a cyclic evolution where they might transform between a damage and a healing item and back in a short time frame (minutes rather than hours). Oh, and without a specific item that requires the "crafting" system to acquire you won't know that a Magnus has changed unless you search for that specific one and discover it's different (details of the crafting system to come).

Now let's talk the battle system, because this is obviously going to be the bulk of the engaging part of the gameplay and also where the game falls hardest on its face. The game uses a card battle system for its combat. You build a deck of cards, then select cards to attack, defend, and heal. Your deck and number of cards played starts small and gets larger as you go through the game. Your hand is obviously randomly selected and every time you play a card a new card is drawn. When your deck depletes below a threshold (e.g. can't form a full hand) you take a turn off to shuffle the deck; enemies also will have this happen. Cards have elements; one neutral and three pairs of opposing elements. If you use opposing elements in a combo their damage cancels out, leaving only the excess (e.g. 50 water damage + 75 fire damage means you deal 25 fire damage). Additionally, all cards have one or more numbers on them, and you select which number when playing the card. Playing cards to create pairs or straights creates bonuses to damage/damage reduction. While initially small, these become quite massive and rewarding in the late game. To qualify for a bonus one of the following must be true; either all cards involve form an ordered straight (ascending or descending) or every card must be part of at least a pair (so a full house qualifies, but a five card two pair would not).

But here's where the problems come in. First off, attack, defense, and healing all draw from the same deck. You can only interact with one target at a time, so if you want to heal that's all you're doing this turn (no splitting between targets). If you've drawn a bunch of defense cards then your attack options will be limited that turn; it's not uncommon to end up starting your turn with only defense cards. You can always play an ineligible card but it will end your combo (and in the all defense on attack case it essentially is just you discarding a card and hoping you actually get attacked before your next turn). Defense cards are powerful, though, as they directly negate damage so you are incentivized to have some. The whole thing plays out very clumsy.

But there's more issues. When you select a card your character goes into their attack animation and you can queue up the next card up until they actually hit the target. But you can only have one card queued up at a time; no building the entire combo in one get go. That would be mildly irritating except for the fact that different characters have different animation speeds for different cards. One character is almost all fast animations so you basically have to be mashing through new cards to not drop your combo (so heaven help you if you're trying to form straights). Another character might have slow animations except for a certain type of card, and if you forget it you can suddenly drop the combo because a fast animation came up and you weren't ready to queue a card. And for slow characters now you're just sitting there waiting to be able to select the next card.

This overall combat balance makes it very offense focused, which means sometimes you can get screwed by a boss because they decide to focus utterly on one of your characters. If that character doesn't draw sufficient defensive items and you don't find sufficient healing items they're just going to go down and take a ton of your damage with them. Also, every time the deck size increases you are required to fill up the deck, otherwise it gets filled with "do nothing" cards in the empty slots. The way the game doles out cards this means that every time you upgrade you'll have to toss in old low power cards to at least have something to do (unless you decide to grind for good cards). And just to mention, there are two bosses (one storyline, one optional) that are literally 100% luck. You're given a hand of 7 face down cards with zero indication of what they might be and need to match the face up card the boss shows; every miss causes a bit of HP loss and if you ever get down to one card left it refills you to 7 so there is no guaranteed damage. You literally just sit there mashing A and hoping you win (four matches) before you lose (no HP).

One positive thing to point out is the game's environmental design. We would see this again in Eternal Sonata, but tri-crescendo's environmental artists have a ton of imagination and the studio is willing to let them run with it. Skies of Arcadia was your standard "floating rocks" sky world, whereas here we have a bunch of very distinct areas, including one made entirely of clouds and another ethereal with one town being built out of sweets. The colors are bright and overall it's a visual treat (though the prerendered backgrounds lack FF7's feature to point out the exits, which led to me getting stuck a couple times early before I learned how they indicated where transitions were).

Overall Baten Kaitos is a deeply flawed game where they took what could have been a novel battle system and came up with ways to make it less fun. They could have instead given you all the time in the world and focused on the risk reward of trying to build your straights and high X-of-a-kind groups when you start with a handful and draw one at a time as you play. Or if they were dead set on the timer stuff at least keep it consistent between characters (as there isn't really any noticeable damage difference between characters and character agility determines relative order, you can't have a fast character lap a slow one). I've heard that Origins fixes some of these issues but I don't feel confident that enough was fixed to bother picking it up.
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Raging Justice
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Raging Justice Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:54 pm

Bugsnax - PS 4

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So this plays very similarly to games like Slime Rancher or Viva Pinata. That genre of game that is about trying to capture strange and bizarre looking creatures mixed with light farming elements. Like those other two games, there is a very interesting visual style to the game. It's very colorful and features creatures sporting a consistent visual theme. VP had pinata creatures. Slime Rancher had...well, slimes. This game has creatures that are a weird mix of bugs and food. It's...honestly kind of disturbing. Bugsnax is...a weird game

Characters eat these...Bugsnax, and then their bodies change. Usually, some part of their body will look like the thing they just ate. It's goddamn horrifying, yet the game tries to make everything look cute. It's a strange juxtaposition. The characters themselves don't seem bothered by this at all. Imagine eating a cheeseburger and suddenly your arm turned into one. That sure as hell would freak me out, especially if that cheeseburger was walking around and making sounds before you ate it. This weird, body changing stuff is a key part of the story though, speaking of which.

What kind of sets Bugsnax apart besides it's general weirdness is that it has a heavier focus on narrative than similar games. The characters in particular are very fleshed out and you'll get to know them more and more as you play through the game. There are side quests for you to optionally complete if you want to learn more about the characters and get closer to them. This affects the game's ending too...almost like a damn Bioware game honestly. The story goes into a rather interesting direction towards the end of the game that is a bit surprising though smart gamers will probably see it coming if they are really paying attention. It definitely makes this game feel a bit subversive. In fact, the game does a borderline genre change.

Bugsnax and Slime Rancher both lack some of the depth and variety that Viva Pinata has. That game has an addictive gameplay loop where the farming and capturing of creatures keeps you engaged. Slime Rancher by comparison, got boring to me after a while, as the slimes all seem kind of the same. Bugsnax can get pretty boring too. The Bugsnax creatures are not that interesting and there isn't a ton of variation to them. You eventually run into creatures that are almost like palette swaps of creatures you encountered earlier. In Viva Pinata, every creature feels different. They are also much cuter and more lovable than anything in Slime Rancher or Bugsnax. Hell, most of the creatures in Bugsnax just creeped me out. There's nothing cute about weird insect/food creatures. This stuff is nightmare fuel. The animal capturing part of the game gets dull after a while and there's little in the way of farming. Some of the gameplay mechanics involved in capturing the creatures seem fairly interesting early on, but later in the game it feels like they ran out of ideas. I never shook the feeling that this part of the game needed to be fleshed out more, untapped potential.

What kept me going though was the characters and their stories. This is the one thing this game has over similar games. And for that, I think it's worth checking out. The cast of characters are all pretty charming and interesting and are the main driving force behind the game and as I said, the story takes things in an interesting direction later

Oh, and also, the game has boss fights. I really didn't expect that from this type of game

Interesting game to try if you maybe get it on sale or something
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Mon Aug 30, 2021 12:36 am

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

First 50:
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

51. Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling - Switch
52. Banner of the Maid - Switch
53. CrossCode - Switch
54. Total Annihilation: The Core Contingency - PC
55. Ultima Underworld - PC
56. Betrayal at Krondor - PC
57. Assassin's Creed: Origins - PC
58. Axiom Verge 2 - Switch
59. Elderborn - PC
60. Hellbound - PC
61. Wargroove - Switch
62. Eye of the Beholder - PC
63. Quake: Dimension of the Past - PC
64. Quake: Dimension of the Machine - PC
65. Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown - Switch
66. Anopek - PC
67. Baten Kaitos - Gamecube
68. No More Heroes 3 - Switch

No More Heroes 3 serves as the fourth game in the story (Travis Strikes Again is a non-numbered side entry that adds a lot of lore, apparently) that serves as effectively a better version of the first game. It removes a lot of the grinding and keeps you focused on the fun activities and adds more variety to the combats. It also goes much heavier on the story stuff and much heavier on the Suda51 redefining what auteur means.

The gameplay loop is pretty similar to the first game; you need to do three fights against mooks, get enough cash (which can be gotten in a variety of ways), then once both have been done you register for the boss fight. Go kick the boss's ass, rinse and repeat. You have a fairly sparse open world that mostly serves as a place for you to travel between the various small activities you do to get cash and qualify with the mook fights. So let's look at how the game smooths the experience compared to the first. While the first game was a cycle of do a handful of minigames to unlock a combat arena against a bunch of samey enemies, here you have more choices. There are both combat arenas and minigames, but both pay out similarly. There are also qualifier fights which are single wave, and you need to defeat a certain number of them to unlock the ability to pay the entry fee. And unlike the first game, here there is a lot of enemy variety. In fact, many of these mook fights can end up being harder than the boss fights for reasons I'll get into later. And finally, cash has been rebalanced such that you need to do very little grinding for it; just doing all the required stuff should give you enough. So you can engage with the side stuff as little or as much as you want.

The combat system will be familiar to the fans of the first. Light and medium attacks, a dodge, and the ability to suplex enemies who get stunned. New to the series (I think, it might have been introduced in Travis Strikes Again) is a series of four special abilities on long cooldowns; these all have some form of utility to them to help you shape the fight a bit and are critical in the harder fights. One thing I noticed (and I don't remember if it was the case in earlier games) is that your dodge provides no i-frames except in the case of a perfect dodge; in that case you become invincible for the entirety of the slowdown. This lack of i-frames extends to the special abilities, which is most noticeable with the one where you do a dashing jump kick into an enemy; if that enemy fires off a ranged attack right as you do it you'll run right into it and take the damage. This lack of i-frames ends up being the biggest source of difficulty in the mook fights, as they toss out enough projectiles and sweeping moves that it is easy to get juggled and taken out, whereas in boss fights there is usually less going on (or at least it's more dodgable).

As mentioned, the game goes much heavier into story. The bosses aren't just interesting characters you encounter for the fight; they also have some out of fight interactions with each other. Additionally, there is more stuff between Travis and his allies between each fight. It certainly doesn't actually try to have a story like a Devil May Cry game, but it's more than the first game's excuse plot.

One thing that will definitely stand out is all the weird Suda51 stuff The game's acts are presented as episodes of a TV show; there's an intro and an end credits wrapping each act, and then a Netflix logo and sound ripoff along with the "next episode in 3, 2, 1" box. And after the intro Travis and his buddy sit on a couch and talk about the films of Takashi Miike, because they can. There are more references in the game, including a few points where Suda51 has some references to video games themselves. They landed really well with me, but your mileage may vary.

All in all No More Heroes 3 is No More Heroes 1 turned up a notch. If you weren't a fan of the first you will HATE this one, and this is not one I would recommend you come into cold. The previous games all got Switch ports as I understand it, so start with those. If you liked them then pick this one up.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Aug 30, 2021 5:24 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)
76. Drakengard 3 (PS3)
77. Alwa's Awakening (Switch)
78. Hermina & Culus (PS2)
79. Atelier Meruru: The Alchemist of Arland 3 (PS3)
80. Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti (Switch)
81. Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana (PS2)
82. Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana 2 (PS2)
83. Mario Kart 64 (N64)
84. Super Mario Kart (SFC)
85. Mario Kart Super Circuit (3DS)
86. Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time (N64) *
87. Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64) *
88. Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap (3DS) *
89. Rock Man X: Command Mission (GC)
90. Pikmin (GC) *
91. Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GC) *
92. Far East of Eden 2: Manjimaru (GC)

93. Pikmin 2 (GC) *

After playing through the first Pikmin, my appetite for more Pikmin fun was not even close to satiated, so I ordered the sequel online post-haste! Both a game I wanted to play, AND a game for GameCube month, so win-win! I actually managed to find a copy that came with the Japan-exclusive e-Reader cards, but I tragically was not able to find an e-reader+ to use them with (I accidentally bought a vanilla e-reader instead XP). It took me around 20 hours to get 100% of the treasures (though I didn't touch challenge mode at all. I'm not that unhinged ^^;).

Pikmin 2 picks up right where the first game left off, as Captain Olimar arrives back on his home planet after being stranded on a mysterious planet (Earth) and helping the Pikmin escape. Unfortunately, the delivery company he works for has gone into unimaginable debt while he's been away all thanks to the royal heck-up of the other captain on staff, Louie. Everything seems hopeless until they discover that the bottlecap (half the height of Olimar's body) that Olimar brought back as a souvenir for his son is worth a small fortune! With their hopes restored, their boss orders both Olimar and Louie (on a trip to redeem himself) back to that mysterious planet to get enough other artifacts and treasure to pay off that horrible debt.

The story is quite simple, ultimately, but it does what it needs to and then some. The more entertaining parts of the story are messages you get after each day. Instead of Olimar's logs to himself that you got in the first game, you get messages from back on Olimar's home planet. Messages from Louie's grandmother asking how he's doing, Olimar's kids and wife wondering when he'll be home, and even the antics of their boss running from the horrible loan sharks he took the debt out from XD. Your new spaceship (they sold Olimar's old one to help pay for the debt) also comes with a built in AI, whose silly banter about your adventure is also a consistent source of fun.

The mechanics and design of the game are largely the same as the first but with some significant improvements and additions. First of all, you're no longer on a time limit, as you're not crash landed or anything. You have all the time you could possibly want to hunt for treasure and play with your Pikmin (and the game makes a very explicit point of telling you this almost as soon as your adventure starts). In addition, you can also multi-task more efficiently than you could before. As both Louie and Olimar are on this adventure, you can split them up and have them take care of chores on opposite sides of the map if you want. You can't actively control them both, sure, but being able to actively babysit some Pikmin tearing down a wall or constructing a bridge while the other captain does something else is very useful for time management. Pikmin AI has also been improved significantly, and they trip far less, stay in tighter groups when managed, and can also be thrown much more quickly to give you much more control in battle.

On top of all that, you also have two new Pikmin types to play with! You have returning from the first game your battle-hardened and fire-proof reds, your high-flying and newly electric-proof yellows, and your drown-proof blues. Newly debuting in this game are your super tough and super strong purple Pikmin. They're basically the Wario of Pikmin, having a heavy ground pound when thrown and having both the carrying power and punching power of ten Pikmin, they pack a powerful punch! The only downside is that they're pretty slow. On the other hand, you have the diminutive white Pikmin, who are a little weaker and a little faster on top of being able to spot underground treasure with their big X-ray eyes and breathe in poison. Overall, they're both fairly solid additions, but the fact that you can only get more of them by using transformation flowers in caves really neuters their usefulness by a lot. You can't just have them carry dead enemies to an Onion like the other Pikmin can, so you're basically never going to risk having them die by using them for combat, and it all makes for their cool ideas landing a bit flat all around.

Those underground caves are the last most significant upgrade to this game. While the game only has four large above-ground areas (the hardest and final of which is only unlocked in the post-game after you've paid off your debt) very similarly to the first Pikmin, there are three or four large underground caves to go through in each area. These caves have a series of almost Mystery Dungeon-style floors (they're sometimes procedurally generated) full of more simple cavern designs where you can fight monsters and hunt for treasure. They just about always have a big boss at the end, which always provide interesting and challenging fights for you and your Pikmin to try and conquer! They even drop special treasures that give you permanent passive upgrades as well (ranging from a wider whistling range to immunity to fire and even a stronger melee punch for Olimar X3). Add that on top of how you also have two special sprays you can use (one for making your Pikmin faster and stronger temporarily, and one for petrifying enemies to stone), and you have a game that's much more combat-focused than the first game. I don't really consider that a positive or a negative, so much as it's just the thing that makes this game different from the other two. You have a longer, more challenging adventure full of big boss fights instead of the tighter adventure of the first game, and it lets them both stand on their own as fine experiences.

The presentation of the game is as excellent as you'd expect a first-party Nintendo game on the GameCube to be. The music is excellent, both the new versions of old tracks and the scads of new music, and the graphics and monster designs are also really cool. The treasures you're finding are basically just trash and assorted items from our human world (quite a few of which are different in the Japanese version, I was surprised to learn), and the descriptions you get of them in your log as well as just the design of the world itself gives the whole adventure a wonderful charm and character that's totally unlike that of the first game.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Pikmin 2 is one of my favorite games of that generation. It was before this replay, and it still is now. It holds up excellently, and it's absolutely still worth playing if you're able to track down an (increasingly expensive) copy~.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Sep 01, 2021 11:36 pm

First 40
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)
32. Superliminal (Switch)
33. Shantae & The Seven Sirens (Switch)
34. Halo 3 (360)
35. Legacy of the Wizard (NES)
36. Robo Warrior (NES)
37. Blaster Master Boy (GB)
38. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (3DS)
39. Donkey Kong Land (GB)
40. Mario & Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (3DS)

41. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch)
42. Steamworld Dig 2 (3DS)
43. Mega Man: The Wily Wars (Genesis)
44. Streets of Rage (Game Gear)
45. Streets of Rage (Master System)


Ports! I’ll write about all of them in this month’s TR thread.
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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Note Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:21 am

1. Golden Axe II (GEN)
2. Time Crisis [Special Mode] (PS1)
3. Streets of Rage (GEN)
4. Time Crisis: Project Titan (PS1)
5. Rayman Origins (360)
6. Borderlands (360)
7. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch)*
8. King of Dragons (SNES)
9. Wild Guns (SNES)
10. Star Fox (SNES)
11. Guardian Heroes (SAT) [2x]*
12. World of Illusion (GEN)
13. Raiden Fighters Jet (360)
14. Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive (360)*
15. Streets of Rage 3 (GEN)
16. Street Fighter III: Third Strike (Xbox)*
17. Mushihimesama Futari (360)
18. Guwange (360)
19. Star Fox 64 (N64)*
20. Soul Calibur (DC)*
21. Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition (GEN)
22. Xeno Crisis (GEN)
23. Galactic Attack (SAT)

Image

24. Die Hard Arcade (SAT)

As a big fan of beat 'em up games, especially those made by Sega in the late 80's and throughout the 90's, Die Hard Arcade was a game I played briefly at the time of original release and was something I wanted to spend more time with on the Saturn. I'm also a fan of Dynamite Cop on the Dreamcast, which is the sequel (without the movie license) to this Saturn release, originally titled Dynamite Deka. I decided to fire up this ridiculous beat 'em up in single player mode and was able to make my way through the game.

For starters, Die Hard Arcade includes a mini-game called Deep Scan. The mini-game has the player controlling a battleship in which you need to drop bombs on submarines and avoid the projectiles being fired up at you. Kind of a strange inclusion in a beat 'em up, but your score in the mini-game lets you rack up continues for the main game. So, if you'd like to get through the main game, it's a good idea to grind a bit in Deep Scan and stash a bunch of continues.

Die Hard Arcade includes both a punch and kick button, similar to a fighting game control scheme, and the playable characters have a good set of moves at their disposal. In addition to the regular attacks, there are a ton of crazy weapons stemming from the environment that can be used against opponents. Some of the weapons include brooms, missile launchers, pistols, axes, golf clubs, TVs, and a lighter and hair spray mixture, if you can find both items. Sega threw in everything as a weapon here!

Another unique feature of Die Hard Arcade is that as opposed to a long scrolling level, similar to the 16-bit beat 'em ups, this game has you fighting room to room. After a room is clear, you will be presented with a cutscene or a quick time event, in which you'll have to press the command listed relatively quickly. If you are unable to, you might lose a good chunk of health or get stuck fighting an additional enemy. I'm a fan of the QTEs as it keeps you on your toes, but there's one detail about them I find confusing. I have a US copy of the game, but a JP Saturn and the text for the QTEs come up in Japanese. I would think a US copy of the game would defer to English, so I'm not sure why this game defaults to the language based on your console's region.

Regarding the graphics, I think Sega did a good job of transitioning the beat 'em up genre into a 3D environment with this game. I believe this was the first beat 'em up game to make the leap. A fun inclusion with the graphic details is that your character's outfit starts to look more ripped up as you take damage. There's also a variety of rooms/levels to fight through, and while everything takes place in a skyscraper, similar to the Die Hard movie, there's a good variety in the look of the levels. For the music, I really like the soundtrack -- the music is dramatic and adds to the atmosphere and amps up the chaos of the rumbles that ensue. Regarding the plot, it doesn't follow the movie at all, but I don't think that takes away from the game.

Overall, this is a wild and very fun game. It's on the short side, but anyone whose a fan of the genre would enjoy this and I think this is one of the best exclusives on the Saturn. I'd love to play this in co-op mode with a friend and hope to do that later in the year. I recommend giving this one a go!
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Sep 03, 2021 11:28 pm

First 40
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)
32. Superliminal (Switch)
33. Shantae & The Seven Sirens (Switch)
34. Halo 3 (360)
35. Legacy of the Wizard (NES)
36. Robo Warrior (NES)
37. Blaster Master Boy (GB)
38. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (3DS)
39. Donkey Kong Land (GB)
40. Mario & Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (3DS)

41. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch)
42. Steamworld Dig 2 (3DS)
43. Mega Man: The Wily Wars (Genesis)
44. Streets of Rage (Game Gear)
45. Streets of Rage (Master System)
46. Streets of Rage 2 (Game Gear)
47. Streets of Rage II (Master System)


These games are bad, and you should not play them. I did, though, and I’ll write about them in the TR thread tomorrow!
Last edited by prfsnl_gmr on Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Sep 04, 2021 9:22 am

lol "2" vs. "II" huh? Gotta love the consistency.
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