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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sarge Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:23 pm

I think Kirby's Adventure is still probably my favorite mainline Kirby game. I just have so many fond memories of it, the color palette is crazy awesome and looks much bouncier than a lot of NES games, the soundtrack is suitably catchy... I mean, I like the game better than SMB3. Probably my favorite NES platformer.

I've still got my complete copy, it was a birthday present many, many years ago. Very rare to get video games as presents, so this one was greatly, greatly appreciated.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:36 pm

Dreamland 3 is pretty awesome too. Gotta love every stage having its own puzzle and all the animals you can ride. Two player co-op is a lot of fun. And that living pastel theme is great.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:44 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Dreamland 3 is pretty awesome too. Gotta love every stage having its own puzzle and all the animals you can ride. Two player co-op is a lot of fun. And that living pastel theme is great.

Its not really a Kirby game, but Kirby's Epic Yarn remains my favorite game in the series.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Key-Glyph Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:14 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) *replay

8. Final Fantasy Legend III (GB)

This part is not a review, but a personal story:
This game. Where do I even begin?

Let's go back to the late 1990s and follow preteen Key as she and her mother take a Saturday drive to FuncoLand. Key has only recently become a SNES owner, and one of her internet friends has been tirelessly urging her to buy a copy of Chrono Trigger (a game Key has ever heard of), or at least a Final Fantasy, ever since. Key is still totally new to the console's library and has decided she'll try Final Fantasy III, a decision based entirely on a review in a gaming magazine that mentioned a boss fight with a possessed train. Preteen Key thinks that is very cool, and has even called ahead to make sure her local FuncoLand has a cartridge in stock.

When she gets to the store, however, she is shocked to discover that the copy of FFIII is going for twice the price of A Link to the Past, which is a game she'd purchased herself from this same location not a few months before. What was this all about? Were Past and Fantasy not both RPGs? They both had slanted bird's eye views, didn't they? How could they really be that different?

She asks the employee helping her about this. "It's a really big game," he explains, which seems to make perfect sense to him. Preteen Key is not sure it makes enough sense to confidently gamble away two games' worth of her money -- and this is even after considering the haunted locomotive angle.

"Do you have any other Final Fantasy games?" she fishes, not quite sure if this pricing situation is standard for the entire series.

So, guess what happened.

That's right: I opted to buy their copy of Final Fantasy Legend III for the Game Boy that day, which came with a manual and a comparatively attractive price tag, instead. I thought it was going to be the little-kid version of the SNES cartridge of similar title. And what an infamous mix-up this turned out to be!

Suffice it to say, I had no idea what I was doing in RPGs back then. But I found the game strangely compelling; the music was fantastic, the story dramatic. I gave up on it less than an eighth of the way through, but it gnawed on the back of my mind as unfinished business for years. I picked it up again in high school, not long after I'd finally played Final Fantasy VI. I got about halfway through before I inexplicably lost interest. But now I've finally gone and done it. I'm almost thirty... and I have closure.

Here's the lackluster review:
It's hard for me to know what to say about this game. It's huge for a Game Boy title, which is really fantastic. The story hinges on a time-travel element, which I always love, even when it doesn't quite make consistent sense. The music is fabulous, the graphics run the gamut from cute to impressive to rather creepy (there's a very simple artwork change in the final bossfight that really startled me), and there are a ton of locales and characters to deal with. There's also an entire race/class system that I haven't bothered with, but which is apparently deep and complicated if you dig into it.

But, it's tedious. Especially toward the end. You often can't walk two squares without hitting a random encounter, and this is supremely frustrating when you're trying to explore the different routes in a tower where pretty much every floor looks exactly the same. You also can't put this game down for too long lest you forget what you were doing. I was apparently two bosses from the endgame last fall when I decided to take a break (I was facing down another tower and felt like I just couldn't handle it), and when I fired up the cart tonight, I wound up having to look at a walkthrough because I couldn't remember where my flying ship was parked or where I was headed.

And unfortunately, the translation is odd. Many of the emotional scenes are hurt by the stilted dialog, and there were some sentences I had to scratch my head over for a minute before untangling what the writers were trying to convey.

Do I recommend it? I'm not sure. I love it unconditionally because it's had such a presence in my life, and you can really tell that the game was trying to say and do so much more than its limitations would allow. There's a kind of pressurized greatness to it, I suppose. And if someone is looking for a quirky Game Boy experience to stretch out over many months in short little bursts, I'd say go for it. But be prepared for a random encounter rate that will make you crazy so you don't burn out on it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:11 am

Nice review, Key. Those "Legend" games were pretty neat. You know they're actually SaGa games that were reskinned for the West, right? :wink:

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
BoneSnapDeez wrote:And best of all - Kirby is now pink!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really hope that you are working your way to Kirby Triple Deluxe. In light of your recent posts, I think that game will make you freak out. :lol:

Haha yes, I am getting there.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:28 am

Key-Glyph wrote:But now I've finally gone and done it. I'm almost thirty... and I have closure.

I love nostalgic gaming anecdotes like your story. Congrats on slaying your own white whale.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:19 am

Whenever Final Fantasy Legend comes up I always remember this comedy routine: ... ideo-games

That's right; Final Fantasy Legend as a reference point in mainstream standup (about halfway through the clip).
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:29 am

MrPopo wrote:That's right; Final Fantasy Legend as a reference point in mainstream standup (about halfway through the clip).

I find this culturally significant.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Fragems Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:29 pm

1. Injustice Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition(PS4)
2. Infamous First Light(PS4)
3. Drakengard 3(PS3) *Endings 1-4. Ending 5 I watched online due to BS boss.
4. Infamous Second Son(PS4)
5. Thomas Was Alone(PS4)
6. Uncharted Drake's Fortune(PS3) *
7. Uncharted 2 Among Thieves(PS3) *
8. Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception(PS3) *
9. Deadpool(PS3)
10. Red Dead Redemption(360)
11. Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare(360)
12. The Walking Dead Survival Instinct(360)
13. Fuse(360)
14. The Bureau Xcom Declassified(360)
15. Asura's Wrath(360)
16. Beneath a Steel Sky(PC)
17. Soul Gambler(PC)
19. Harvester(PC)
20. Coma: Mortuary(PC)

Coma: Mortuary

Piss poor Dear Esther wannabe set in hell. Really games like this are whats wrong with the indie scene it feels like a poorly polished demo, with lackluster design, and it clocks in at a whole 40 minutes to an hour yet the regular price is $5. At $0.57 I had low expectations, but the game was a total waste of time. The ending is also pathetic/abrupt and leads directly into part 2 which will probably never be made :P.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:23 pm

1. Devil's Attorney (Android) (strategy) (good game)
2. Resident Evil 5 (360) (action adventure) (good game)
3. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (360) (kart racer) (good game)
4. Dragon Quest VIII (PS2) (JRPG) (amazing game)
5. Gears of War (360) (cover shooter) (decent game)
6. Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita) (action adventure) (decent game)
7. Orcs & Elves (DS) (dungeon crawler) (good game)
8. From The Abyss (DS) (action-RPG) (decent game)
9. Army of Two (360) (cover shooter) (decent game)
10. Psychic World (Master System) (platformer) (subpar game)
11. Endless Ocean: Blue World (Wii) (adventure / simulation) (amazing game)
12. Journey to Silius (NES) (platformer) (decent game)
13. Sword Master (NES) (platformer) (subpar game)
14. Project: Snowblind (PC) (FPS) (good game)
15. Yakyuuken Part II - Gal's Dungeon (Famicom) (maze / puzzle) (decent game)
16. Bishoujo Sexy Derby (Famicom) (horse racing) (terrible game)
17. SiN Episodes: Emergence (PC) (FPS) (subpar game)
18. Seirei Gari (AKA Ghost Hunter) (NES) (puzzle / adventure) (subpar game)
19. The Guardian Legend (NES) (action-RPG / shmup) (amazing game)
20. Prey (PC) (FPS) (good game)
21. Ys IV (SFC) (action-RPG) (subpar game)
1993's Ys IV: Mask of the Sun for the Super Famicom was a bit of a departure for the series up to that point. With this game Falcom chose to cede publishing rights to Tonkin House, I assume with royalty payments as compensation. In turn Tonkin House farmed out the development of Mask of The Sun to a company called Advance Communication. Well I can tell you without question Advance Communication as a developer did not live up to the abilities of Falcom themselves. But before I get into what's wrong with Mask of the Sun, I will talk about what's at least okay with it.

Firstly the plot in Mask of the Sun is far expanded beyond the games that came before in the series. Its beginning and ending are shown in nicely animated cinematics. Characters are much more verbose, and even Adol himself has plenty to say. Although the story is not amazing by any means, it is more complex than what had been seen before in the Ys franchise. Graphically Mask of the Sun does not push the Super Famicom's capabilities in the least. However the pixel work is at least clean and vibrant, and certainly consistent in its art direction. Mask of the Sun's music is above average for a Super Famicom game. While Ys IV on SFC certainly can't touch the TGCD Ys games' OSTs, what's there is not half bad and obviously much effort was put into the music. (Sound effects on the other hand are pretty bland and substandard.)


And that's about all the positive things I can say. Mask of the Sun overall is a rather bad game. The biggest problem is definitely its combat system. Ys IV on SFC uses the "bump combat" of older Ys games. That would be fine, except the programmers did a very sloppy job implementing it here. Adol has to be pixel perfect in bumping the enemies to hurt them, but the vast majority of enemies in this game make that exceedingly difficult. Most baddies in Ys IV SFC move far too quickly and erratically for the precision needed to hit them. Not only that, but enemies respawn constantly and will quickly surround Adol and kill him in about two seconds without any warning. These factors mean fighting in Ys IV SFC is always a chore and never much fun. Worst of all the developers fully expect the player to be at a very, very high level in order to beat the last few bosses of this game. To reach these levels the player will have to literally grind for hours. Ys IV SFC is by far the most grindy Ys game I've personally beaten, and I've beaten many games in this series.

Beyond the horrid combat and horrendous enemy balancing, Ys IV harbors other issues. Another big one is its level designs. They are often maze like with little payoff for exploratory expenditure, feeling very bland overall. In the last third of Ys IV SFC, the game suddenly decides it no longer cares to help the player understand where to go. This makes a walkthrough practically mandatory. (Probably done to sell strategy guides.) Weapons and armor in Mask of the Sun are extraordinarily expensive, and you will also have to grind for gold far too much. If I haven't made it clear yet, if you don't care for constant grinding stay far away from Ys IV on SFC. I won't even bother explaining how bad the pacing is in this game, but let's just say it's lacking.

Damn right Adol's leaving. He's had enough of this amateur hour game and he has nothing nice to say about it.

Ultimately Ys IV: Mask of the Sun is a massive disappointment compared to the Ys games that came before and after it. Despite having an expanded plot, the graphics hardly improved, the OST was held back by hardware limitations, and its actual game design was far too punishing towards the player. The developers show zero regard for their player's free time or actual enjoyment. It would seem Falcom learned their lesson though, because after Ys IV the studio never again farmed out another mainline Ys entry. (And thankfully it would seem Advance Communication never made another "game".) Some people say that Ys III is the black sheep for this series. But to those people I say until they've finished Ys IV: Mask of the Sun, they just don't know how bad Ys truly got during its nadir. Thankfully this series fully recovered, and eventually attained greatness again in subsequent sequels.

Thankfully Falcom themselves actually told the rest of them.
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