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Key-Glyph
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Key-Glyph Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:01 pm

1. Pokémon SoulSilver (DS)
2. Sushi Academy (DS)
3. Alcahest (SFC)

4. Comix Zone (GEN)

Brief plot: Sketch Turner, along with his pet rat Roadkill, gets pulled into the comic book he's been writing by his own villain. Now the villain is the artist, actively drawing enemies in Sketch's path and doing other nefarious real-world things (like burning pages -- brilliant!) to torment and destroy our hero. Sketch teams up with Roadkill and one of his comic's fictional protagonists to attempt an escape.

Reflection: So, Comix Zone is one of those games that infuriates you until you've tripped all the booby-traps, identified everything that can kill you, and memorized the locations of all the hidden power-ups. What makes this learning process particularly awful in this case is that there are no "lives" to speak of. Run out of health and it's game over, and at most I've only been offered two continues after dying. There's never any indication of how one earns continues or whether there are any on reserve, either, which only adds to the feeling of "this game has me twisting in the wind... and it's enjoying that."

In a sense this is interesting, because the whole plot of the game does revolve around a villain who's being sadistically unfair to the protagonist. (The "continue" screen is literally the artist-villain scoffing, "Killing you was too easy! At least give me a challenge, why don't you," then drawing Sketch back into his comic book hell.) But that said, it's super unforgiving for a game that forces you to fail in order to understand how to navigate a stage. It got to the point where I was clearing the first few chapters fairly easily, getting about an inch further on a new page, dying from a landmine I didn't see, then starting from the beginning. Then I'd get two inches further before dying. Progress! :lol:

After all that, though, you mostly love it. It's a beat-em-up, so you can still have a challenging run no matter how good you are. The concept is great, the art and music are really fantastic. I can see myself replaying this a lot, actually.

Rant: But now, I must rant about the final boss for a second. There are two endings to this game: a good and a bad. The good requires that you rescue your fictional friend from certain doom in addition to everything else, and to do so, you have to flip a switch that 1) doesn't appear until you've cleared the final boss and all other enemies in the room, and 2) doesn't work like any other switch in the entire game. The first time I finished everything I had time to spare for the rescue, but I couldn't get the hit detection to take. My rat wouldn't even pull the switch, and that's one of his main gameplay functions. I had to watch a longplay to discover that I needed to inexplicably grab the lever not by facing it, but by approaching it backwards, to throw it.

I'm thinking this might have been a programming mistake, as the game is buggy in other areas... but a part of me thinks this might have been a Kaizo trap, and let me tell you: I was not happy about it. :P
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Stark
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Stark Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:44 pm

Key-Glyph wrote:1. Pokémon SoulSilver (DS)
2. Sushi Academy (DS)
3. Alcahest (SFC)

4. Comix Zone (GEN)

Beating Comix Zone proves something to me I already knew, you're a saint. :P
Let strength be granted, so the world might be mended...so the world might be mended.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:23 pm

Comix Zone starts out so awesome, but the game really starts to fall apart towards the end. The final half of the game feels rushed and repetitive.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:53 am

1. Painkiller - PC
2. Front Mission 4 - PS2
3. Wasteland 2 - PC
4. Arcanum - PC
5. X-COM Terror from the Deep - PC
6. Military Madness - TurboGrafx-16
7. Unreal - PC
8. Shadowrun - SNES

So I just finished the Together RPG game. I found it to be short but sweet. The game definitely didn't overstay its welcome which was a concern with the system in the game. It's basically an adventure game that includes a minor combat system. The combat is pretty simplistic; you simply switch to the targeting cursor, highlight an enemy, and mash the fire button. The cursor even follows enemies as they move; only if they're going too fast do you have to reaim.

The adventure game part is pretty good. You start off with amnesia but it leads to a pretty good discovery of what you were supposed to be doing and why you nearly got iced. And the game never just gives you a massive exposition dump of "here's what you were" or you suddenly remembering everything. It ends up feeling pretty good overall. The game also doesn't involve any of that Sierra logic that makes no sense; the worst it does is a few times you need to guess who's the right person to use the new keyword you learned on when it's non-obvious. There was also one or two moments where I missed something small in the background that was either a pickup or something to use. Once I knew to look for the items in question they stuck out so I think it was mostly a case of things being too busy in one instance and completely not expecting them in a second.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by alienjesus Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:59 pm

1. Star Fox 2 SNES
2. Sonic Advance 2 GBA
3. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Wii U
4. Advance Wars: Dark Conflict DS
5. Joy Mech Fight Famicom
6. Grandia PS1 *NEW*
7. Money Idol Exchanger Game Boy *NEW*

2 more games for the list.


Grandia

Warning, major story spoilers ahead:
I'm a bit late finishing up Grandia for January's Together Retro, but I'm glad to have finished the game.

Like a couple of other people here, I think that Grandia is far superior in execution to Final Fantasy 7, if not as ambitious. The story is better written, the mechanics are more interesting, the main characters at least are more memorable and overall I just find it a lot more likeable as a whole.

Grandia's story feels like it has emotional impact, even when it can equally be a little cheesy and predictable. Moments like Justin leaving home on the ship, Sue leaving the party and Leen's death actually feel like they have weight and are well done. Yes, they can be cheesy, but it's utterly refreshing to have your main character leave his home town by choice - no destruction of the village, no exile - he has reasons not to leave - his mum, his friends - and he makes a difficult choice to do so. It's far more impactful than the bigger epic scale most RPGs start out with.

I also love that despite how it ends up, the first chunk of the game is all about going on an adventure. For a while, there's no world ending threat, destined heros blahblahblah. Yes it does add those elements, but they come later, after you've been given time to appreciate the characters as they are without the pressures of being destined warriors etc.

Justin, Feena, Rapp and Sue, as well as Leen and Mullen, are all quite well written characters. They're not going to be winning an oscar or anything (and the voice actors sure won't - they're not the worst, but they're still pretty poor - ESPECIALLY Mullen, which can ruin the drama of some pivotal late game moments) but they're believeable, they have character and they even feel like they have arcs. The other 4 playable characters on the other hand seem to be just party filler, and I wish that we'd been allowed to just keep Sue for our final party.

The battle system is great. I'm not going to go into much more detail than thatother than to say that taking account of what attack is coming when, who can cancel who and the like is a lot of fun, and I really like the weapon and magic experience boosting stats and granting new abilities. It feels very active for a turn based RPG, and I like it.

Visually the game looks OK. It's not stunning, but it looks nice enough, and theres some nice diversity in the game environments. Dungeons can look a bit samey throughout though, which compounded by the poor camera angle, bad dungeon design, wide open areas and no map can make chugging through dungeons a chore sometimes.

My one gripe with the game is that it's too long - and it is quite a big gripe I feel. I've played a lot of RPGs, and I've played some for far longer than the 50 hours or so this takes (I put 130 into Xenoblade Chronicles). The thing with this game though is that it didn't need to be this long - especially towards the end of the game when big plot developments are happening, the constant new dungeon areas ruin the story pacing. The game has too much filler too - near the end of the game you go through one dungeon twice, only 3 hours apart. Earlier on you must go talk to a character after he leaves your party - two thirds through an earlier dungeon. Almost every major dungeon requires you to manually walk out after beating the boss - it's tedious and unnecessary, and it disturbs the games otherwise solid story pacing.

Overall, I really liked Grandia. I loved the world, the characters and the battle system. It's not my favourite RPG of the era though, just because of the incredibly tedious (and unavoidable) filler used to extend the games length. Final Fantasy IX probably wins out for me as far as PS1 RPGs go, but I had a lot of fun with this one, and I'm glad we chose it. Especially as our other JRPG option was Wild Arms, and that game sucks :wink:


Money Idol Exchanger

Recently I visited an arcade with a friend, and one of the machines they had was a head to head puzzle game which we enjoyed immensely. I had no idea what it was, but from the basic mechanics, I assumed it was a Magical Drop game. What it actually was, was Money Idol Exchanger.

Once I discovered what I'd been playing, I was determined to find a home port to play. Unfortunately, the only console port was on PS1, and was Japan only, which I had no way to play right now. I did find out about a Japan only Game Boy port though, and despite knowing that it wouldn't be quite the same experience as the multiplayer focused arcade game, I picked it up nonetheless.

Money Idol Exchanger is a puzzle game with Magical Drop mechanics - you can grab a bunch of the coins that litter the screen and place them on top of others to match them. The crucial difference is that instead of matching colours, you're matching currency value. Combine five coins worth 1 to make one coin worth 5. Combine two 5s to make a 10, five 10s to make a 50 etc, until two 500s disappear outright.

This makes for interesting pacing, as some coins are easier to clear than others. whereas 5s, 50s and 500s can be cleared by simply matching 2, clearing the 1, 10 and 100 coins requires making a chain of 5, which is trickier. There's a major balance in finding time to align 5 of the lower value coins whilst still matching the easier ones whenever possible.

In the Arcade version, matching fast, or making combos will push more coins down your opponents screen. This mechanic is sort of carried over into this Game Boy port, but you can't see the opponents screen, so it doesn't really feel like it's something to worry about.

Presentation wise the port is bare bones - it has a nice super game boy border, comes with 3 modes (no idea what 2 of them are, the top 1 is vs. CPU though), and only a few music tracks, which are OK but get annoying eventually. Theres not much else to it. It plays fairly well, although it really misses the shininess of the arcade ports sound and graphics, and I feel like the d-pad movement feels a bit less reponsive, although it's hard to compare as I haven't played the arcade game all that much.

It's a fun game and I enjoyed it, but definitely play the PS1 or Arcade versions if you can - the 2 player really is integral to the experience.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:20 pm

Oh wow that Money Idol Exchanger game is on MVS.

*looks at prices*

lol nevermind.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by alienjesus Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:29 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Oh wow that Money Idol Exchanger game is on MVS.

*looks at prices*

lol nevermind.



Yeah, I hate to even ask...


Apparently it's on PSN in Japan though?
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by dsheinem Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:09 am

Games Beaten 2015

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call - 3DS
A Bird Story - PC
Quake - PC
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - PS4
Quake: Scourge of Armagon - PC
Quake: Dissolution of Eternity - PC
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis - NDS
Painkiller - PC
Gungrave: Overdose - PS2
Adventure -Atari 2600 (PS2)*new*
Auto Racing - Intellivision [1979] *new*

Total: 11


Previously: 2014 | The First 400 Games

I decided to start my Alphabetical-By-Year challenge with a game from the year I was born that stated with A. I played a bunch (several hours) of Akalabethbut I suck at it and am giving up trying to beat it. I beat Adventure (2600), but most accounts have that coming out in 1980 instead of 1979 so its inclusion is spotty. I went with Auto Racing on the Intellivision (which I have on the original hardware but skipped b/c I hate the controller). I played "through" single player mode as best as one can, but in truth it is more about enduring the challenge of playing a poorly designed game than it is about the game itself. In any case, it is almost mid-February and I need to get cracking on this. Up next, 1980 & "B"...
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:49 am

Nice work.

Honestly the best way through Akalabeth (and the only way I've beaten it) is to exploit the BASIC code and turn yourself into a jacked-up Lizard Man.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by dsheinem Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:51 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:is to exploit the BASIC code and turn yourself into a jacked-up Lizard Man.


I played with that but it feels gimmicky and not really worth doing...it was also working inconsistently for me. In any case, I certainly got a good feel for the game and am glad to have it under my belt as something I now know about beyond just its name.
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