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Key-Glyph
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Key-Glyph Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:50 am

1. Pokémon SoulSilver (DS)
2. Sushi Academy (DS)
3. Alcahest (SFC)
4. Comix Zone (GEN)
5. Lost Vikings (GEN)
6. Beautiful Katamari (360)
7. Toejam & Earl (GEN)*
8. Final Fantasy Legend III (GB)
9. Toejam & Earl [2-player] (GEN)*

10. Mass Effect 1 (360)*
I've played the living daylights out of the Mass Effect games and yet I'm still as drawn in as ever. Since the first day I gave them a serious attempt in 2012 I've been in a more-or-less constant state of playing them. Every runthrough is unique and interesting, and by the time I finally see one of my Shepards all the way through to the end of the trilogy, it's guaranteed I've gotten the itch to pick up the first installment again. ME1 is above and beyond my absolute favorite, so it's always like a triumphant return home to start over again. #teammako #enemyiseverywhere #spectresagainstthermalclips #gogogo

I purposely mix things up with every Shepard. In the past I've played a Paragon Sentinel on Veteran, a Renegade Infiltrator on Hardcore, and an "uncharismatic" Vanguard on Insanity ("uncharismatic" = almost all middle dialog options, hardly any charm/intimidate options, hardly any interrupts in later games). This fourth time I went with Engineer -- reportedly the least popular class by far -- and deliberately saw through some major plot points I'd thus far avoided, which basically amounted to my being a cold-blooded space racist.

I'm always floored by how different each run feels based on my decisions, class, and squadmates (I haven't yet repeated a squad combination). The story somehow feels fresh through every new commander's eyes. I'll hate certain characters as a particular Shepard, then love them as the next. Missions will take on a new importance or triviality based on my chosen backgrounds. I'll even be suddenly moved to tears during moments that merely seemed "a shame" on previous playthroughs. I mean, I have a frickin' spreadsheet outlining each of my Shepards' choices. My best friend and I have exchanged tens of thousands of words on our Sheps' personalities, motivations, and inferred life experiences. If I could only play one game for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Seriously. And that surprises me just as much as it surprises you.

So, this was not an objective review, nor did it really have a point. My apologies. This game just rules, and it begs multiple playthroughs, and I'm still going to be discovering new stuff as I import this Shep into the later games -- and that's despite the fact that I don't even want to disclose how many hours I've sunk into this trilogy.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:17 am

1. Renegade Ops (PC)(Multidirectional Shooter)
2. Borderlands 2 (PC)(FPS/RPG)
3. Gunpoint (PC)(Puzzle Platformer)
4. Robotrek (SNES)(RPG)
5. The Tick (SNES)(Beat 'Em Up)
6. Alien vs Predator (SNES)(Beat 'Em Up)
7. X-Kaliber 2097 (SNES)(Action Platformer)
8. Metal Slug (MVS)(Run and Gun)
9. Shadowrun (SNES)(RPG)
10. Quake II (PC)(FPS)
11. The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang (SNES)(RPG)
12. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PC)(Action)
13. A Story About My Uncle (PC)(Platformer)
14. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (PC)(FPS)
15. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith (PC)(FPS)
16. Catacomb (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
17. Catacomb Abyss (PC)(FPS)


I've had a hankering to play through some of the Catacomb series lately. If any of you guys take an interest in the series, I recommend the Catacombs Pack on GOG. It contains the first PC top-down shooter Catacomb and the sequel The Catacomb, the four FPS Catacomb games, as well as the original Dangerous Dave game by John Romero.

As I just said, the first Catacomb is a top-down shooter. It was developed by John Carmack for the Apple II and later ported to DOS in a shorter 10 level form for release on the Gamer's Edge game subscription service along with John Romero's Dangerous Dave. As I had access to the Gamer's Edge version, this is what I played.

There are two ways to play through the Catacomb Gamer's Edge release: you either rush it, or you play for score. All of this will change how you approach the first level, because you are given a single key and two locked doors to level ending magic mirrors, one of which takes you to level 2, while the second takes you to a set of mirrors which will transport the player to levels 3, 5, 7, or 9. The door to the multiple mirrors is hidden behind a secret wall, of course, but there are many, many secrets in the walls of Catacomb, and you must uncover many of them to continue on your journey. The game even has a trick on level 5 to fool the unwary player who doesn't properly search for secrets. In the meantime, you must gather potions and scrolls to aid you while finding keys to unlock doors and shooting the various fantasy-inspired monsters that roam the levels.

The game is fast and intentionally designed to be, and the controls feel a little sluggish, making things that much harder for the player. The counter to this is a strafe button to let you lock a position to fire in, potions that instantly heal you to full, a chargeable base attack for a larger blast, and two different types of magic scrolls which unleash devastating magic attacks when triggered. You'll need these to get past the monsters, which steadily ramp up in power, size, and capability, until you finally find yourself up against the dreaded dragon outside the final mirror on level 10. Your total potions and scrolls remains constant between levels, and though there is a visual limit imposed on how many you can carry, the game actually tracks well beyond that, so you will likely end up with more than you realize.

Here lies the difficulty of the choice in that first level then: go to level 9, but have only a few opportunities to gather up needed supplies to take down the biggest horde of baddies in the final level and gain a pitifully small score, or go to level 2 and work your way through the catacomb level by level, with more gear and score but many more chances to fail? After all, a few of the floors also have puzzles or require you to use keys in specific ways. And since you cannot save during the game, if you screw up or die, it's back to level 1. Your call...

===============================================

Catacomb Abyss is a different animal, though one which still acknowledges its series' roots. The Catacomb games made a huge transition in the third game, from top-down to first person perspective. Catacomb 3-D is one of the first id Software FPS games, predating Wolfenstein 3D by half a year, though using the same perspective, the same perspective tricks, and even some of the same sprites as id's earlier vehicular combat game Hovertank 3D. After Catacomb 3-D, Softdisk took the series over and released the "Catacomb Adventure Series," Catacomb Abyss, Catacomb Armageddon, and Catacomb Apocalypse. All of the Adventure titles build on Catacomb 3-D but incorporate new ideas similar to Wolfenstein 3D.

So how does Catacomb Abyss compare? Well, actually, it's rather impressive. Instead of using Catacomb 3-D's cryptic head turning into a skeleton to represent health, the game features a 100% counter with a headshot that gets more beat up the more damage you take. The potions, scrolls, and keys are all back, as is the basic magic missile, but you can not charge it up like in the original game. While you play as the same character throughout the series, Catacomb 3-D also introduces the series' villain, Nemesis, and the Adventure series continues this story. In Abyss, you have to enter Nemesis' mausoleum because townsfolk feel something evil is coming from within. Once you do, you discover Nemesis has revived, and he has legions of monsters to attack you with!

What is really impressive about the game is the variety of textures it provides, giving every level a unique feel, as well as some nice effects with monsters, particularly the trolls that swim in the aqueduct and the skeletons that actually climb out of the walls in several levels of the game. I was amazed the first time I noticed a skeleton in the wall had shifted its position, only to start backpedaling and firing wildly when he suddenly popped out right in front of me and went on the offensive. And you do not want to fire wildly in this game, because your blasts can actually destroy many of the items you want to pick up! The healing potions, powered up spells, and treasure chests available can all be destroyed by your own magic, and often times the game will make sure to use them as a barrier blocking a monster to force you to either get in close or lose the opportunity to grab whatever the item is.

The later Catacomb games also feature a difficulty setting, either Novice or Warrior. On Warrior, enemies have considerably more health, do more damage, and I believe move slightly faster than their Novice counterparts, though I think the amount of enemies and items remains constant. There is a radar in the game, but I noticed that it struggles to track enemies that you have not fought before, and your own attacks appear on it, making it less reliable than I had initially hoped. Then again, there is an item that stops time for all enemies as well as your spells, and you then get to run around and set up massive waves of magic attacks before stepping back and watching it crash over the enemies on the radar once the item expires. That was a lot of fun to do.

If you like old school FPS of the Wolfenstein 3D, Blake Stone, or Ken's Labyrinth variety, the later Catacomb games are rudimentary but still a blast to play. The controls are unfortunately jammed together but aren't too hard to pick up, and it is possible using DOSBox to modify them towards a more modern scheme. I'm looking forward to playing through Catacomb Armageddon soon.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:44 pm

1. Grandia (PlayStation)
2. Jungle Hunt (Xbox - Taito Legends)
3. Jungle Hunt (Atari 2600)
4. Jungle Hunt (Plug & Play - ColecoVision Flashback)
5. Donkey Kong (Atari 2600)
6. Donkey Kong (Intellivision)
7. Donkey Kong (ColecoVision)
8. Bubble Bobble (NES)
9. Side Arms: Hyper Dyne (PSP - Capcom Classics Collection Remixed)
10. 1941: Counter Attack (PSP - Capcom Classics Collection Remixed)
11. Ys: The Ark of Napishtim (PSP)
12. The Ninja Kids (Xbox - Taito Legends)
13. Neutopia (TurboGrafx-16)
14. Golden Axe Warrior (Xbox 360 - Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection)
15. Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2 (Dreamcast)
16. Growl (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
17. Arabian Magic (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
18. Dungeon Magic (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
19. Gekirindan (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
20. Ys II (Saturn - Falcom Classics II)
21. Darius Gaiden (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
22. G Darius (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
23. Giana Sisters DS (DS)
24. RayStorm (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
25. Mr. Do! (ColecoVision)
26. Beauty & the Beast (Intellivision)
27. Boxing (PlayStation 2 - Activision Anthology)
28. Crystalis (NES)
29. Dragon Warrior (NES)
30. Faxanadu (NES)
31. Tombs & Treasure (NES)
32. Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy)
33. Kirby's Adventure (NES)
34. Kirby Super Star (SNES)
35. Hoshi no Kirby 64 (Nintendo 64)
36. Kirby: Triple Deluxe (3DS)
37. Dig Dug (Wii - Namco Museum Megamix)
38. Phoenix (Xbox - Taito Legends)
39. Phoenix (Atari 2600)
40. Pleiads (Xbox - Tecmo Classic Arcade)
41. Kangaroo (Atari 2600)
42. Final Fantasy Adventure (Game Boy)
43. Gorf (Atari 2600)
44. Richard Scarry's Huckle and Lowly's Busiest Day Ever (Pico)
45. Mickey's Blast Into the Past (Pico)
46. Secret of Mana (SNES)
47. Psycho Soldier (PSP - SNK Arcade Classics 0)

Psycho Soldier is the sequel to Athena. I've actually never finished Athena due to the fact that it's, ya know, pretty damn horrendous.

Psycho Soldier fares a bit better. You play as the same girl - Athena of the game Athena - and SNK has classed her up a bit. She's now wearing a Japanese schoolgirl uniform instead of a bikini. Gameplay is extremely similar to Capcom's SonSon. It's a scrolling platformer with several levels to hop up and down between. Athena has a standard weapon as well as a small arsenal of bombs. The game isn't particularly difficult. The enemy AI isn't bright and Athena can usually move/shoot her way out of anything. Bosses get a little trickier, mainly because the layered platforms disappear and the up button now causes Athena to do an awkward jump.

Athena herself may be a cutie but the levels get more demented as you progress. The final stage is a oozing pulsating alien lair - I was tempted to say it looks like something out of Contra but Psycho Soldier was released first! The soundtrack is interesting as it actually features a J-pop song complete with vocals (the American version is amazingly bad).

Shockingly Psycho Soldier had zero console ports back in the day (though it was available on C64, ZX Spectrum, and Amstrad CPC - yippee!). The game is worth at least one run-through so pick up a copy of SNK Arcade Classics 0 and go to town. Just avoid the original Athena.
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by noiseredux Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:51 pm

Athena (the game) isn't horrendous... the hit detection is. It makes the game unfairly difficult.

And you know that Athena has been in the King Of Fighters roster for years, and has made appearances in other SNK fighting games, right? She's actually one of my KOF favorites.



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Luke
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Luke Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:51 pm

Ack wrote: Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (PC)(FPS)[


If you haven't played Jedi Academy, please do. I love Unleashed, the super series, and just about every star wars game, but Academy has an incredible amount of progression as a Jedi in training. I've only played it on the PC, maxed out on settings as well, so keep that in mind.

But I still enjoy every minute of it, be it fps or 3rd person sith slaying.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:57 pm

noiseredux wrote:Athena (the game) isn't horrendous... the hit detection is. It makes the game unfairly difficult.

And you know that Athena has been in the King Of Fighters roster for years, and has made appearances in other SNK fighting games, right? She's actually one of my KOF favorites.


Well the bad hit detection makes the game bad in my opinion. :lol:

I will concede that the arcade original is better than the NES port. Haven't tried it on C64 nor do I plan to.

And I do surprisingly(?) own a few KoF games. I generally play as either Athena or Mai.
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by noiseredux Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:00 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Well the bad hit detection makes the game bad in my opinion. :lol:


What I meant was the game could have been awesome, if the hit detection didn't ruin it. The artwork is nice. The music is good. Etc. But yeah it's just not fun (on NES or arcade).

And I do surprisingly(?) own a few KoF games. I generally play as either Athena or Mai.
[/quote]

Athena, Mai and Terry are my usual team. I feel like if I had to really choose one, I probably play best w/ Athena tho.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by J T Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:53 pm

I'm playing as Athena in Rhythm of Fighter now. 8)
Last edited by J T on Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:55 pm

Luke wrote:
Ack wrote: Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (PC)(FPS)[


If you haven't played Jedi Academy, please do. I love Unleashed, the super series, and just about every star wars game, but Academy has an incredible amount of progression as a Jedi in training. I've only played it on the PC, maxed out on settings as well, so keep that in mind.

But I still enjoy every minute of it, be it fps or 3rd person sith slaying.


Some day I hope to. Maybe I'll get lucky, and this will be in the next batch of LucasArts games on GOG.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by wclem Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:59 pm

1. Resident Evil 4 (PS3) Digital
2. Resident Evil 6 (PS3) Disc Version
3. Dying Light (PS4) Disc Version
4. Red Dead Redemption (PS3) Disc Version (Replay)
5. Batman Arkham City (PS3) Disc Version
6. The Order (PS4) Disc Version
7. Valiant Hearts (PS4) Digital Version
8. DMC Definitive (PS4) Disc Version
9. Resident Evil Revelations 2 (PS4) Disc Version
10. God of War - Ghost of Sparta (PS3) PSP digital port

Needed an little mindless button mashing, served it purpose. If you ever played God of War then you know all you need to know. Usual God of War fare here. Tells some of the back story and such to fill in some gaps from other games.
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