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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Sat May 30, 2015 12:08 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)

18. Catacomb Armageddon (PC)(FPS)
19. Catacomb Apocalypse (PC)(FPS)
20. The Catacomb (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
21. Catacomb 3-D (PC)(FPS)
22. EarthBound (SNES)(RPG)
23. Quake II: Ground Zero (PC)(FPS)
24. Quake II: The Reckoning (PC)(FPS)
25. Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader (PC)(RPG)
26. The 7th Guest (PC)(Puzzle)
27. Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness (PC)(RPG)
28. Loom (PC)(Point and Click Adventure)
29. Castlevania: Dracula X (SNES)(Action Platformer)
30. System Shock 2 (PC)(Survival Horror FPS)

Once again I prove I'm the scariest son of a bitch in the room.

System Shock 2 is a gorgeous game. It's dark, it's eerie, it insults me while praising me and beckoning me forward. It had moments where I think it approaches the sublime and moments that made me hold up and cautiously analyze my next move in great detail. While there are elements I found a little clunky at times, nothing about the game drove me away in frustration. Instead, it sucked me in until I had lost track of time, only to find myself hours later knee deep in mutant corpses with a grin on my face.

Let's start at the beginning: I love FPS games, and I love horror games. I have a unique approach to them. I study them, analyze them, mentally rip them apart to see what makes them tick. If I meet an enemy, I don't run up to it or run away from it, I just sit and watch and see what it does. I listen to it, I stalk it, and when I feel the time is right, I kill it. And then I move on to the next. And the next. And the next. Learning, examining, memorizing, killing. This has been the way I have approached the genre since I first cut my teeth on Resident Evil 2. At one point in RE2, I could enter a room and then tell you both the types of enemies inside and their numbers, not from memorization but because I recognized the unique sounds everything made.

System Shock 2 continues this tradition. Every enemy made noise(and was kind enough to get louder the closer I approached, eventually giving a sense of position similar to echolocation), so even in the darkest corridors I knew what I was up against, and once I had fought a thing a few times, I knew it well enough to form tactics to fight it. I was cautious, though fast enough to try and avoid the surprisingly fast respawn rate. Over the course of the game, I only had one enemy respawn on top of me, and I had left his area and come back to grab something. And the game supported my method by letting me research enemies to give damage bonuses or learn valuable information about the kinds of weapons and ammunition most effective against them.

But the research aspect is only one piece of the content available in System Shock 2. For my run, I didn't use PSI, instead preferring to rely on my guns, my wits, and my technical proficiency. But if I wanted psychic powers, the option was there. So were a variety of weapon types that I never even touched, upgrade capabilities I hardly looked at, cameras and turrets I could hack, objects to feed into recyclers for more nanos, different OS upgrades to try out, a variety of materials to read and listen to...I was surprised at the amount of things I found and just how big the world was, even if I was confined to the limited expanse of a couple of starships. Even the character creation system is unique and inviting; I must pick a military branch and then choose the career I have experienced to obtain my starting stats. That's awesome!

I mentioned earlier that SS2 can be a bit clunky, and it can. Immediately upon booting up the game, I found I needed to modify my controls, some of which I never needed. I think I leaned around a corner once during my entire playthrough, and I walked...maybe twice? Going directly into the map brings up the inventory, but then closing the map left the inventory still open, and I could move to an extent with it open but still suffered a handicap...I would rather have not been able to move at all and been able to open certain menus without opening up my gearbox at the same time. Also, hitboxes get weird with some of the smaller enemies. Crouching helps, but against the monkeys and worms, I never really felt like I was entirely sure if I would hit the hitbox or not. I more just developed a feel for it over time.

So, just how scary is System Shock 2? Well...it's not. Or at least I never thought it was. It can be creepy and make you feel anxiety and dread, but I never felt actually scared. But I've played a lot of this genre, so I am heavily jaded. The days when a game really dug into my head and gave me nightmares is long past, and the few times I find games really scary nowadays, well, those games have really gone the extra mile and done something unique. Also despite being arachnophobic, I'm so used to squashing spiders in video games that they just don't seem that frightening in a virtual format anymore, and it's weird to think they ever might have.

But enough of that. Is System Shock 2 worth playing for FPS fans? Yes, absolutely. I loved it and had a blast playing it. It's an awesome game, and I highly recommend it to all of you who haven't tried it. If you like horror games or FPS games with heavy RPG elements, this is the game to check out. It has a great story expressed through email transmissions and audio logs. But is it better than Deus Ex? Yes, I think it is.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Sat May 30, 2015 12:12 am

Ack wrote:It has a great story expressed through email transmissions and audio logs. But is it better than Deus Ex? Yes, I think it is.

Bold words. I'm going to have to disagree on this point but it's certainly something that can be argued.

I'd recommend you pick up the original sometime if you haven't played it yet. I felt like the original was actually more engrossing than the second. There's a lot more discovery and making your way through the world in the first as compared to the second. Just make sure you mod in some mouselook, unless you really like Ultima Underworld controls.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by CFFJR Sat May 30, 2015 7:43 am

1.Alien Isolation - Xbox One
2.Super Mario Bros. 3 - NES *
3.Popful Mail - Sega CD
4.Final Fantasy - PSP
5.Super Mario 3D World - Wii U
6.Actraiser - Snes
7.Final Fantasy IV - PSP
8.Batman: Arkham Origins - Xbox 360
9.Contrast - Xbox 360
10.Deus Ex - PC
11.Ghouls 'N Ghosts - Genesis
12.Earthworm Jim - Genesis
13.Dragonball Xenoverse - Xbox One
14.Resident Evil Revelations 2 - Xbox One
15.Sally Acorn in Sonic the Hedgehog - Genesis *
16.Endless Ocean - Wii
17.Star Wars: Dark Forces - PC


Resident Evil Revelations 2

Shades of Code Veronica here, and I loved every minute of it.

As much as I liked the original Revelations, 2 is better. Tighter, better level design and gunplay, entertaining boss fights and a more interesting story.

I liked the partner system too, where your partner wasn't really part of the action so much as a support character. There are a few occasions where I'd take control of the partner character, set her to work on some task such as prying open a door, then switch back to the main character to fight off enemies while she worked.

They will also heal you when you go critical if you stock their inventory with healing items. Its handy.

I also enjoyed the two bonus episodes which offer some new takes on the gameplay, one being scouting and stealth based, and the other a survival take where failure brings a game over and you start the entire episode over. It isn't long in the first place, so that wouldn't be a great loss, but it feels fresh.

There were also quite a few bits of funny dialogue, some of which called back to RE1.

For instance, after a bit where Claire narrowly escapes from a trash compactor, Moira asks her if she's ok.

And Claire jokingly says "Yeah. I was almost a Claire sandwich".

Moira follows with "God damn it, does Barry tell everyone that story?"

At another point, Barry comes across a huge locked gate in a lumber yard. He uses a bundle of logs hooked up to a crane to blow the door open, after which he yells, "Yeah! Now who's the master of unlocking?". Its a completely inappropriate time to make a stupid joke like that and he's the only one around who would understand it, and it honestly made me bust out laughing.

And on that note, it feels damn good to play as Claire again. Hopefully she shows up in RE7, whenever that comes out.

I still want to play with the raid mode, which I only briefly toyed with, as well as running the game co-op.

I was pretty hyped for this game and it really worked for me. Always nice when that happens.


Sally Acorn in Sonic the Hedgehog

This is your standard X character in Sonic hacked rom, so you can just consider this beating Sonic 1. Its also a hack I've played before. The fan who made this did a nice job with the character sprites, and Sally has her own quirks that make her different enough from Sonic that its fun. She can only attack once in mid air, so she can't consistently bounce off of enemies the way Sonic does. It changes the momentum of the game and makes you a bit more cautious, which doesn't slow the game down as much as you might think.


Endless Ocean

Game E for the alphabet marathon. Endless Ocean is pretty chill and relaxing, and the key element in the game is diligently exploring. I ultimately left the guide missions and quite a few other things undone after getting a taste of them, so I only completed the story.

In the end I only uncovered about a third of the map, so there's a lot to do here if you're so inclined.


Star Wars: Dark Forces

I've been meaning to play this for a long time, and after Bogus beat it recently, I decided to have a go at it.

I put my challenge and marathon games on hold in favor of this, and damn it it was worth it!

I really had no complaints with the game (outside of the bloody turrets). The Fueling Station was a tedious level and probably the weakest of the bunch. That or Anoat City, the sewer, which was a neat idea but not much fun to play.

In general though, I loved the unique look and layouts of the levels, and the goals were just enough to make each mission feel special without being intrusive on the action.

I also liked that the lives system actually did have some meaning, since you couldn't save mid level.

I just wish the final boss had been more of a threat. He went down like a punk and it was disappointing.

Anyway, it was every bit the shooter of its era, the sort that I love, and I'm very glad I took the time to play it.

Also, Kyle Katarn is a freaking badass.


I want to say I'll get right back to the challenge and marathon games at this point, but the truth is reading Ack's exploits in System Shock 2 have made me want to experience that series.

As such, I've started up System Shock 1 (using System Shock Portable, check this out if you're interested in playing the game ) and I think I'm gonna work on that next.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by marurun Sat May 30, 2015 9:19 am

Ack wrote:So, just how scary is System Shock 2? Well...it's not. Or at least I never thought it was. It can be creepy and make you feel anxiety and dread, but I never felt actually scared. But I've played a lot of this genre, so I am heavily jaded. The days when a game really dug into my head and gave me nightmares is long past, and the few times I find games really scary nowadays, well, those games have really gone the extra mile and done something unique. Also despite being arachnophobic, I'm so used to squashing spiders in video games that they just don't seem that frightening in a virtual format anymore, and it's weird to think they ever might have.


Wow, you are jaded. The audio design is what really helped totally creep me out playing this game. I mean, on the one hand there was the resource starvation and the constant danger that came with zombie farming early on (because the wrench is a beast and that 1 shotgun shell is worth it). But on the other hand, protocol droids, distant monkey screeches, and the midwife... Guh *shiver*

I would love to go back through the game as a melee/psi build, but I'm not sure I have the balls. The game is tough, and part of it is how clunky it can be. But only part of it.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Sat May 30, 2015 10:32 am

Haha, no worries, marurun. You're the second person to tell me that the midwives in particular bothered them.

I guess the biggest issue for me is that the very thing which creeped you out is what let me hunt them down.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Sat May 30, 2015 10:50 am

Honestly I didn't find SS2 to be scary either. It didn't really get into creepy for me either. But I generally don't get that sort of emotional reaction from games; a notable exception is the STALKER series when you get into the labs.

CFFJR wrote:As such, I've started up System Shock 1 (using System Shock Portable, check this out if you're interested in playing the game ) and I think I'm gonna work on that next.

You are in for a treat. I look forward to seeing how you like this.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Sat May 30, 2015 11:46 am

Congrats Ack, on finishing System Shock 2. If we were in some weird military where you play games as missions, I'd pin a medal on you. Especially since you played the game with the respawning and weapon degradation still active, instead of installing the patch that removes those things.
Ack wrote:The days when a game really dug into my head and gave me nightmares is long past, and the few times I find games really scary nowadays, well, those games have really gone the extra mile and done something unique.

I wouldn't say System Shock 2 ever really scared me, but I do remember the entire time I played it, I always felt a strong sense of tension in my shoulders. It's a stressful game in a way that's not scary so much as it is intense.

System Shock 2 was created using a modified version of the engine that my all time favorite game runs on. If you have not played the game I am about to link, please do so. But what until the fall. This is a game meant to be played as the world is dying into winter, late at night, alone:

http://www.gog.com/game/thief_gold

That's right. Thief Gold. Thief is the best game I have ever played in ~33 years of game playing. And it's the scariest game I've ever played as well. Or at least, it was in 2001. To be fair, I have not played through this game all the way since then. But I'm willing to bet, it still holds up. Looking Glass were lords among kings. Anyway, if Thief doesn't scare you at least once, you're dead inside muh boi.

CFFJR wrote:Endless Ocean

Good on you for not only playing this gem but beating it as well. I want to recommend its sequel to you, Endless Ocean: Blue World. I don't mean play it immediately, wait until next summer (this is a summer series IMO). Blue World is much more game-y than the first, there's a lot more to do, with a more dramatic story, and more varied locations. I wouldn't say it's a better game than the first, but it's a different take on the formula. I loved both games but most folks prefer Blue World overall. I hope you give it a shot down the road.

As for System Shock vs System Shock 2... I love both of these equally as well. But SS is quite a different experience than SS2. The original is very much a cyberpunk sci-fi action-adventure, with a LOT of complexity. Whereas the second game is more of a sci-fi horror hybrid. The initial learning curve when you first play System Shock is tremendous, but once you wrap your head around its interface, you're in for a really, really unique and fun game. And it actually has cyberspace dungeons from time to time! Something SS2 regrettably dropped.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by CFFJR Sat May 30, 2015 3:39 pm

MrPopo wrote:You are in for a treat. I look forward to seeing how you like this.


Glad to hear it! It looks like its gonna be great. I'm usually not good about it, but l'll try to post updates here and there.

Exhuminator wrote:Good on you for not only playing this gem but beating it as well. I want to recommend its sequel to you, Endless Ocean: Blue World. I don't mean play it immediately, wait until next summer (this is a summer series IMO). Blue World is much more game-y than the first, there's a lot more to do, with a more dramatic story, and more varied locations. I wouldn't say it's a better game than the first, but it's a different take on the formula. I loved both games but most folks prefer Blue World overall. I hope you give it a shot down the road.


Thanks! Blue World sounds like good stuff. It probably will be a while, but I'll definitely check it out.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Sun May 31, 2015 2:44 am

1. Devil's Attorney (Android | 2012 | strategy) (7/10)
2. Resident Evil 5 (360 | 2009 | action adventure) (8/10)
3. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (360 | 2010 | kart racer) (8/10)
4. Dragon Quest VIII (PS2 | 2005 | JRPG) (9/10)
5. Gears of War (360 | 2006 | cover shooter) (6/10)
6. Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita | 2012 | action adventure) (7/10)
7. Orcs & Elves (DS | 2007 | dungeon crawler) (7/10)
8. From The Abyss (DS | 2008 | action-RPG) (5/10)
9. Army of Two (360 | 2008 | cover shooter) (7/10)
10. Psychic World (Master System | 1991 | platformer) (4/10)
11. Endless Ocean: Blue World (Wii | 2010 | adventure / simulation) (9/10)
12. Journey to Silius (NES | 1990 | platformer) (6/10)
13. Sword Master (NES | 1992 | platformer) (3/10)
14. Project: Snowblind (PC | 2005 | FPS) (7/10)
15. Yakyuuken Part II - Gal's Dungeon (Famicom | 1989 | maze / puzzle) (5/10)
16. Bishoujo Sexy Derby (Famicom | 1988 | horse racing) (2/10)
17. SiN Episodes: Emergence (PC | 2006 | FPS) (5/10)
18. Seirei Gari (AKA Ghost Hunter) (NES | 1989 | puzzle / adventure) (4/10)
19. The Guardian Legend (NES | 1989 | action-RPG / shmup) (9/10)
20. Prey (PC | 2006 | FPS) (7/10)
21. Ys IV: Mask of the Sun (SFC | 1993 | action-RPG) (4/10)
22. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (GameCube | 2001 | combat flight sim) (3/10)
23. Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand (SFC | 1995 | action-RPG) (7/10)
24. Bonk's Adventure (TurboGrafx-16 | 1990 | platformer) (6/10)
25. Lost Kingdoms (GameCube | 2002 | CCG-action-RPG) (8/10)
26. Bonk's Revenge (TurboGrafx-16 | 1991 | platformer) (6/10)
27. Blazing Lazers (TurboGrafx-16 | 1989 | shmup) (7/10)
28. Heatseeker (PS2 | 2007 | arcade flight combat) (7/10)
29. Castlevania: The Adventure (Game Boy | 1989 | platformer) (3/10)
30. Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (Game Boy | 1991 | platformer) (7/10)
31. Castlevania Legends (Game Boy | 1998 | platformer) (5/10)
32. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (Game Boy | 1994 | platformer) 7/10
33. Bonk's Adventure (Game Boy | 1992 | platformer) 7/10
34. Brandish: The Dark Revenant [Ares mode] (PSP | 2009 | dungeon crawler) 9/10
35. Castlevania Special: I'm Kid Dracula (Famicom | 1990 | platformer) 7/10
34. Brandish: The Dark Revenant [Dela mode] (PSP | 2009 | dungeon crawler) 8/10
35. Soul Calibur V (360 | 2012 | fighter) 7/10
36. No More Heroes (Wii | 2008 | action adventure) 7/10
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Be an anime and Mexican wrestling obsessed manchild who decides to become the number one assassin because he thinks he'll get laid if he does so.

Good stuff: Very unique game with an outrageous sense of style. Crazy plot with plenty of laugh out loud moments and top tier voice acting. Visceral highly frenetic combat with heaps of cartoonish gore. Assassin missions are pretty fun with a nice bit of variety as they progress. Reaching #1 assassin is done by a series of super cool boss fights. Pulse pounding music at times. Fun characters to interact with.

Bad stuff: Having to vigorously masturbate the Wii Remote in order to charge your beam sword every 30 seconds. Grinding for cash inbetween assassin missions to afford the next mission and the upgrades you need to handle it. This is done via simplistic and boring side jobs and repetitive assassin jobs. A huge city that is bland and pointless, serving as little more than an inconveniently slow menu in reality. Lots of idiosyncratic game design elements that don't value the player's free time. Technical shortcomings like bad framerates and a wonky camera persist continuously. Graphics are pretty rough around the edges and merely get the job done. WTF ending that didn't make much sense but that's Suda for you.

Overall: If you're looking for a wild slash 'em up with a great sense of humor, No More Heroes fits the ticket. But you will need a bucket of patience to deal with the constant grinding for cash. A sad factor that in reality was simply a way to artificially lengthen the time it takes to complete this game. No More Heroes would have been a brilliant 5 hour experience, but it's merely a good 10+ hour one. Will you like this game? I'll put it like this; you have to poop in a toilet to save your game. If that sounds cool, this is for you.

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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sload Soap Sun May 31, 2015 3:43 am

Nice to see the kitten from Shenmue is still getting work.
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