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Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:07 am
by Exhuminator
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 sim) (7/10)
Random dictators around the world are causing trouble. It's up to you as a hot shot jet fighter pilot to straighten them out!

Well the PS2 was hardly hurting for arcade flight combat sims when Heatseeker arrived late in the system's life. Critics at the time weren't too kind to this latecomer, mostly citing its unambitious graphics as the primary weakness. While its true Heatseeker's graphics are nothing to get excited about, its core gameplay certainly is. If you're looking for white knuckle turn and burn jet fighting action, Heatseeker will provide that without doubt. It doesn't take long before the player realizes Heatseeker is a far more demanding game than any Ace Combat on PS2 ever was. Thankfully smooth controls, copious checkpoints, nice plane variety, commandable wingmen, manual stealth cloaking, and quick time missile evades make things go a bit easier.

Don't get me wrong though, Heatseeker has its weak points. Loading is a bit slow, especially starting a new mission. The graphics mostly only get the job done, with little flair beyond the jets and explosions. Music in this game is absolutely forgettable, as is most the radio chatter. The plot might as well not even exist. Mission variety is barely there as well, with far too many escort and defense missions at sea for this player's taste. It's also annoying to play in normal difficulty (Pilot Mode) only to be constantly unlocking new planes for easy difficulty (Rookie Mode) instead! And it would have been really nice to have more control over the weapon loadout insofar as cherry picking exactly what you want.

Despite all that however, Heatseeker is still a complete blast to play. Somewhere along the line while visually busting the sound barrier, blowing up enemy planes, bombing enemy destroyers, and leveling nuclear reactors you will be amazed at the chaos and your own ability to keep up with it all. The action is even further amped up by random close up missile kill or evade shots. And it's not uncommon for a mission to end with over 70 kills. So while Heatseeker may forget the aesthetics and story a bit too often, it never forgets the core gameplay. In seeking out the fun factor, Heatseeker keeps the lock-on and fox twos right on target every time.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:41 am
by MrPopo
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
9. Warcraft III - PC
10. Dungeon Keeper - PC
11. Final Fantasy X-2 HD - PS3
12. Descent - PC
13. Quake Mission Pack 2 - Dissolution of Eternity - PC
14. Quake 2 Mission Pack 2 - Ground Zero - PC
15. Sokobond - PC
16. Hybrid Heaven - N64
17. Sonic the Hedgehog - Genesis
18. Castlevania - NES
19. Super Castlevania IV - SNES
20. Castlevania III - NES
21. Castlevania II - NES
22. Castlevania Rondo of Blood - Turbo CD
23. Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders - PC

I beat the original three episodes of Heretic last year, but this year I buckled down and beat the bonus two episodes that came with the retail release (and free download for people who spent money on the shareware version). They continue building on what was done in the first three episodes, but both start off incredibly difficult due to the Doom-era mechanic of starting an episode with only your default weapon and a pittance of ammo. The very first stage of episode 4 is an exercise in ammo conservation and not trying to kill everything (did I mention there's a Maulotaur in the large courtyard just to fuck with you?) The difficulty drops drastically once you get to the second stage of each episode because you aren't scrimping and saving just to get by. There's some pretty neat levels across the two episodes, though episode five introduces a few doors that can only be opened by shooting them, which you don't have any indication is a thing. And in the second to last level there's even a door that you need to shoot with a specific weapon (or at least not the crossbow). That part was frustrating, but fortunately it only shows up among the last few levels and sparingly. But I did have to look up a playthrough on Youtube to figure it out.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:19 am
by Ack
MrPopo wrote:
marurun wrote:
MrPopo wrote:I'm really on the fence about the three Gameboy games. I've watched some gameplay on Youtube and they don't seem very interesting, but maybe I just didn't see enough.

The 3 original GB games, the 3 GBA games, or the 3 DS games?

I can only speak to the GBA games, but I'd be happy to fill you in if you're interested.

The original GB games. I own and have beaten all the GBA and DS games.

What about the PS2 games? Have you gotten through all of the Modernvanias?

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:25 am
by MrPopo
I'm not interested in the Modernvanias. Modernvanias erased Sonia from the timeline and then rebooted instead of giving us Castlevania 1999.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:50 am
by Sarge
Well, to be fair, Castlevania Legends was pretty bad.

Was Castlevania '99 the canceled Dreamcast version?

Anyway, I wouldn't hold that against the rest of the series. Lament of Innocence was fun back in the day, and has a fantastic soundtrack. I didn't like Curse of Darkness as much, but it also has a wonderful soundtrack.

As for the reboots, Lords of Shadow is the best of them. Mirror of Fate is a competent if unspectacular game, and Lords of Shadow 2 is good but very uneven, with some real tone issues as compared to the first game.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:58 am
by noiseredux
Sarge wrote:Was Castlevania '99 the canceled Dreamcast version?


Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:31 pm
by MrPopo
noiseredux wrote:
Sarge wrote:Was Castlevania '99 the canceled Dreamcast version?


It would be the tale of Julius Belmont as he defeats Dracula once and for all and seals Castlevania in an eclipse.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:36 pm
by Exhuminator
Have you already tackled this one?:


I mean it counts as a classicvania I would think.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:37 pm
by MrPopo
I have not. I always forget about that game.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:44 pm
by Sload Soap
Cyber Speedway (Saturn)
Cyber Speedway is an earlyish future racer which kind of plays out like Wipeout's gameplay married F-Zero's aesthetic. It's no way near as good as either of those two, few are, but it's a pretty fun way to spend an afternoon on the Saturn.

What makes Cyber Speedway somewhat different is a proper story mode, with little scenes playing out between races (fully voiced!) setting the tone. It's not a great story, somethig about winning the championship to free humanity from galactic slavery, but it's fun and adds character.

I think the main problem people will have with the game are the visuals. I myself have a it of a soft spot for janky 5th gen 3D but, yeah, this game has aged terribly. Lots of pop-in, terrible draw distance and flickering make it hard to deal with. The controls, sense of speed and soundtrack are all above par though so it's more about preference than anything else.

It's a small game and a short one. There are five tracks and a racer for each. The game has two difficulties, normal and expert and neither are particularly demanding. As I said it is a couple of rungs below classics like Wipeout 2097 and F-Zero X but I'd say it wasn't too far off the first Wipeout in terms of quality.

Also it's called Gran Chaser in Japan which makes me laugh. 6.5/10, would chase your Gran again.

Life of Pixel (PC)
Life of Pixel is to platformers what Evoland was to RPG's: a game that wants to be homage but is flawed in execution and ends up as replication instead.

In Life of Pixel you play as the titular Pixel who is a square that goes on an adventure through early gaming history, from the ZX Spectrum through to Snes and Amiga. And while the backgrounds change to reflect the graphical capabilities of each platform, the gameplay does not.

The game has a retro look (although I have to add that it isn't terribly authentic and very much flatters the abilities of the hardware it tries to replicate), but Life of Pixel plays more like the modern one hit death platformers of today (VVVVVV, Meat Boy, etc). As such it delivers a double blow of "me too" indie game design.It's not that it's technically incompetent, just utterly devoid of imagination.

There are cheaply placed spikes to catch you out, many bottomless pits and annoyingly placed enemies. Unlike VVVVVV and meat boy though the levels also sometimes want to be reasonably long and intricate like Sonic or Mario. This makes for some highly frustrating moments when you reach the end of a level, after collecting all it's crystals, only to die on a spike jutting out of a seemingly normal rooftop. It might not seem much, but some later levels reach up to two-three minutes in length which is a pretty damned long for this sort of game.

And I'm not asking for more checkpoints or anything, nor is this necessarily a complaint that the game is too hard. Rather it's that the two types of platformer the game wishes to be simultaneously, retro and modern, are basically incompatible with each other. If you want instakills and leaps of faith you need frequent checkpoints or you either slow things down and give the player a proper life bar so exploration isn't punished. As it stands Life of Pixel does neither and in doing so inherits the worst aspects of both gameplay styles.

Like Evoland, it starts off cute (I admit I liked the Spectrum themed levels) but as you progress you realise it's a hollow experience. I guess what I want is some critical thinking; why were Spectrum games the way they were as opposed to C64 games? It's just the surface you get here.

I don't want to pour scorn on an indie dev but in both cases a bit more effort could take a middling game into some truly groundbreaking territory. As is, it's okay for a couple of quid in a steam sale but a bit too in love with the past.

Final Fantasy Type-0 (Xbox One)
Much like Dsh I find there's a lot to love but also plenty to dislike with Type 0. Thankfully, while the story and characters are trite, cliche and mostly uninteresting throughout the gameplay and structure does a lot of the heavy work of pulling the player through the game.

Firstly the gameplay is refreshingly action orientated while not completely forgoing the traditions of the series. The battles take place in real time but there are still world maps, random encounters and the usual chocobo/airship/Cid trivium to connect it to the mainstream series.

The combat itself is excellent. You choose a team of three out of fourteen cadets and Square have done a great job of making each one play differently from the other. Even characters in the same class have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example Trey and King are both ranged characters but whereas Trey favours waiting for an opportunity to take a powerful and precise shot from his bow, King is more about keeping enemies under pressure from his twin pistols.

Strangely one aspect you'd think would be a weakness turns out actually to be a plus, at least for me. Having such a large party provides variety but also brings with it a lot of potential for grinding as each character gains EXP only when in party (or occasionally from lessons taught at the school they attend) which means a lot of time in the field. So yes it can get quite grindy but it also gives you time to get a good feel for each character.

You may initially pass off a cadet for being too slow or weak only to find out that they have a talent that may work best against a certain enemy type of when paired with another cadet. For example I had passed over the slow moving but heavy hitting Jack for being unable to get in on faster moving targets only to realise his game is all about waiting for enemies to come to him and then countering.

And through experimentation you will find a squad that suits your needs. It's fun and while there aren't a great many enemy types it doesn't get overly repetitive nor does it feel like busywork like JRPG grinding often can.

To keep things more lively in combat most enemies can be killed or critical hit with one blow if you wait for the right opening. This means just mashing away will usually result in fights lasting longer than they could if you cool your jets a little.

Type 0 is structured differently from your regular FF outside of battle as well. Your characters are students at a military school and as such the school functions as the hub you return to after missions abroad are completed. It's a place to learn new skills, gain side-quests, buy goods, interact with the team and generally bum about. There are other towns of course but none are so detailed or grand as the school and none become your base of operations.

It all moves along at a good clip although sometimes I felt I was being rushed past some interesting side-missions or location on the world map because of that.

Those side-missions themselves can be a bit of a mixed bag and I'm not sure if they are scripted or randomly generated as you start to get quests that are either too far above your level or in a part of the world you haven't opened up yet. Too many of them also provide slight rewards and annoyingly you are limited to taking on one quest at a time.

So I enjoy the gameplay and how the game sets itself out and I also enjoyed the world of Orience which like the game on the whole is tradition with a twist with it's crystals and dragons and what not.

What I didn't enjoy was the weak narrative, poor voice acting and fumbled themes (which I guess actually is a FF tradition at this point).

It starts out quite well telling a fairly unsubtle but straightforward story of nations at war and the people caught in that war, but soon takes a kamikaze dive into tedious teenage drama and high school level philosophical musings ending with yet another end boss that wants to destroy the world for reasons beyond rational comprehension.

There are intriguing ideas here and there, one that using magic essentially deletes peoples memories of the dead or that summons are used as magical WMD's, but at each step they are hampered by a clunky script and sub-par voice work.

The script also makes the egregious error of chucking in a load of the l'Cie, fal'Cie bullshit that tried its best to ruin FFXIII trilogy and terms like these are used without context or full explanation. I'm still basically unsure of what being "Agito" actually means. More worrying is that Type-0 has three credited writers so, unlike say the end to ME3, it's not something you can pin on lack of rewrites or workshopping, but rather a group who are so involved with what they are writing they can't take a step back to see it from an outsiders viewpoint.

This poor script is then further lost in translation by some lousy voicework. Nine for example ends sentences by dropping in "hey". I guess this was meant to make him sound dumb or something but because it's not something that'd you'd end a sentence with in English (aside from perhaps in Canada, eh) and because it's obvious the voice actor thinks it sounds weird as well, it just comes off as, well, weird on the ear. And that's when the VA's are actually trying and not just delivering their lines flatter than Mr Flat of Flat Lane.

And don't mistake my praise for the characters as gameplay systems earlier on for praise of them as actual characters because they aren't. With fourteen player controlled characters to go round the grab bag of JRPG stereotypes is spread thinly between them all. I went on the Type-0 wiki and it was my great surprise to find out that the quiet Ace also had a reckless side, despite never once displaying such traits in the game.

Comparisons with boy/girl bands are apt I feel; Eight is the cute one, Trey is the clever one, King is the moody one etc. I find it quite the feat on the writer's part that they can create characters you spend so long with but learn so little about.

But enough plot bashing. As I said the story is the wobbliest pillar holding up the Type-0 roof but it's not enough to bring the whole thing down. The world and especially the action flavoured combat more than make up for it. If I gave out scores I'd say it's a solid 7/10. It's flawed but it's fun and I'd like to see a bigger budget version of the game with more attention paid to the script. That'd be something special.