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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:54 pm

laurenhiya21 wrote:Probably doesn't help that I really wasn't expecting it.


Nobody expects the ending to Klonoa!
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:57 pm

I mean seriously, who could expect the camera to zoom out and reveal Klonoa was just a sock puppet with Mario's hand in it?
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Xeogred Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:15 pm

Got the platinums for Dark Souls 2 (PS4) and Bloodborne this week. Woo! Also have the Demons' platinum. Not sure if I have it in me to do Dark Souls 1's though, lol.
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Sload Soap
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sload Soap Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:01 am

Holy hefty update, Batman!

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (VC)
I've seen a few people on this board champion Kirby 64, a game that I had until now thought was regarded as a pretty weak entry in the series (perhaps its weakest). So I took the plunge on Nintendo's overpriced digital storefront and I have to say, I have to agree with the naysayers. This is very light and airy even for a Kirby game.

My main issue is level design. A lot of levels are so straightforward and flat that I was getting some bad Astal flashbacks. Aside from a perhaps a level or two towards the end, there is very little what I'd call platforming. Yes, it's all very charming and colourful but charming and colourful is the lowest bar of entry for a Kirby game. It's the default setting.

I also had issue with the power up system. Now, I do agree it is cool to mix and match the power-ups to see what combinations come out of it, it is also a bit pointless. Few enemies will test you without power-ups so certain combos make an already easy game a total breeze. If there had been enemies with weaknesses to certain power-ups or could maybe take more than a single hit it may have been worthwhile but as it stands, the power morphing is perhaps only used to find secret crystals which I found slightly arbitrary.

Kirby 64 feels oddly lazy for a first party Nintendo game in my estimation. Between the short running time, the lackadaisical level design, 2.5D graphical style and late release date I get the feeling Nintendo wanted to push out full console release of one of their main franchises, but didn't want to spend too much on it.

Funny how two of the more expensive Kirby games (this and Kirby's Adventure Wii) are also the most underwhelming.



Hoshi no Kābī: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari (Famicom)
Now this is more like it. Known as Kirby's Adventure to most of us on this board this is about the most technically dazzling 8-Bit game I've ever played.

This will be a short review but a pointed one: this game is the tits. Aside from seemingly pushing the humble NES past what I thought capable, it plays sublimely, is an audiovisual treat, overflows with charm, intelligent design and replay value while also putting a bit of spine into the usually limp challenge Kirby games tend to offer.

Levels design is consistently brilliant and the game is a much more pleasing length. There is one section that harks back to to the GB games, there are fun little mini-games, the power-ups feel vital rather than optional, the game is always just giving you something new and interesting to do or see. It oozes quality.

Much as I said about Super Mario Bros 3 last year, Kirby's Adventure could be released tomorrow and would be getting top marks across the board. It puts most modern indie 8-bit games to shame with how far ahead of the curve it is. It really feels fresh and modern and tight, like the real A-Class new wave 8-bit games a la Shovel Knight or VVVVVV.

It also comes on a pink cartridge which is totally adorable.


Double Dragon Neon (360)
Double Dragon Neon starts out rough. It seems unfairly hard at first, combat is kind of slow and lumbering and the overbearing 80's cheese can be a bit too much for some to swallow. But if you stick with it you'll be rewarded with a very well made and occasionally funny brawler which combines arcadey replayability with more modern touches.

I'm not familiar enough with the Double Dragon series to place this one in the time line of that series, if that is even necessary. Needless to say the plot is simple: street punks spark your girl out and you have to get her back. Standing in your way to completing that goal are hordes of backflipping thugs, scantily clad dominatrixes and chief villain himself, Skullomania, a ninja skeleton who talks like Jim Sterling doing a Skeletor impression.

Gameplay wise it's fairly rote stuff bar a few additions. You can kick, punch jump and roll, and string these into combos. Standard fair. Where the game develops things and adds a hint of a meta-game to proceedings is with unlockable and upgradeable "tapes", items that essentially confer either a passive buff or a special move pulled off with a magic metre. You can have two tapes equipped at once, one of each type, and you can find adamantium to upgraded the effectiveness of said moves.

And you need this system because as noted, the game is quite standoffish to begin with. You will probably need to replay the first stage a couple of times to unlock a useful tape or two and to buff your stats. Don't get me wrong, it isn't horribly difficult, it's just the combination of slow character movement and lack of health early on will be off putting for some. Stick with it though.

It's also worth mentioning how much fun the developer (remake stalwarts, Wayforward) obviously had when making the game. There's a strong core of 80's cheese running through the game that is both playful homage to the series it is based on and neon washed send up of the era itself. Think Far Cry:Blood Dragon.

A solid beat'em up in its own right and a full blooded attempt to resurrect a long dormant series.



Super Puzzle Fighter 2 HD Remix (360)
Played for Together Retro and a thoroughly fun time it was too. Puzzle games aren't really my bag but Puzzle Fighter was sort of instantly gratifying but also seemingly quite deep.

I'll admit at first I didn't have a clue what I was doing and was just chucking blocks together and hoping for the best but with a bit of practice and some tips (thank you Noise and Flojo) you get much better sense of how the game works. Sometimes when it feels like your arse is getting kicked, you're actually closer to a crushing victory then when you have a empty screen. It's about balancing risk and reward.

I also love the art style, though not the HD presentation which makes things looks a bit cheap. I love Pocket Fighter on the Saturn and this uses the same cutesy chibified versions of popular Capcom characters of the era. And Devilotte. It also uses that style before otaku culture poisoned it with creepy sexually charged imagery so that's a plus.

My problem with the game then is not really anything that the game does badly. I guess it isn't as obvious or immediate as say Tetris but it is still fun. My main issue is my own indifference to the genre. I rarely play puzzle games and when I do I play them (like here) I quick half hour bursts but rarely go back after a few attempts. But that's me and you may find yourself addicted in very short time.



Battlefield 4 (Xbox One)
It's kind of strange to talk about a Battlefield these days in terms of reviewing it. Prior to Battlefield 3, and with the exception of the Bad Company spin-off series, Battlefield was a multi-player focused entity, an arcadey and explosive theatre of war. You were placed on to one side in this battle, you fought tooth and nail for that side and whether you won or lost, you were a part of the action. You could be American, Japanese, Russian, Chinese or Arabian it didn't matter. You choose your class and you fight. What you were fighting over was always kind of vague (aside from the WW2 set games) but it rarely mattered. Gameplay is what mattered as well as spectacle.

But that's multi-player. Single player is where all that falls apart and for the second Battlefield game in a row, EA have decided to bolt-on a wholly unnecessary, sub-COD single player campaign about a ludicrous war between heroic imperialist American forces and their sneaky Russian and Chinese enemies.

The storyline is like terrible. It plays out like the paranoid ramblings of a Dick Cheney fever dream with a Chinese general leading a coup d'etat and then instantly deciding to invade everywhere all at once. If you thought the Red Dawn silliness of Modern Warfare was pushing the limits of dumb US-centric military chest-thumping well you ain't seen nothing yet.

You play as the leader of a small group of what I assume are Marine Black-Ops specialists. I say you're the leader but since you neither talk nor give out any orders, your position in the team is kind of moot. Indeed the flashy Frostbite engine and its destructible environments make more decisions over your progress than you ever do.

The game starts with your group making a military manouver in a sovereign nation (Azerbaijan) where you kill some Russians because, er, Russia? Then you move to another sovereign nation (China) and kill some of their security forces in an attempt to interfere directly with the political situation in said sovereign nation. You fail, sort of, and then move through a ridiculous series of events, from a Midway rivaling naval encounter to a prison escape to a heated battle in Central Asia against more of those sneaky Russians (where you destroy their dam for obscure reasons and presumably kill tens of thousands of the local populace in the process) to a final climatic battle in the Suez canal (?) against the bad guy Chinaman. Oh yeah, and along the way the US invades Singapore like it's fucking 1945 or some shit. Jesus, help me.

So as you can guess, I didn't like the horrible, awful, bro-tastic, imperialism endorsing, civilian ignoring single player storyline. The gameplay is drab as well. Yeah, it's the amazing Frostbite engine and plays like the multi-player, but it's reduced here to a shooting gallery. Stop, pop and shoot, through five hours of turgid campaign. There is a lot of spectacle and it looks glorious on the Xbone but it's so hollow and vapid. Modern Warfare is obniouxious and has an obvious hard-on for military tech and imagined wars between the great powers of the modern world that don't end with everyone being reduced to radioactive dust but it is also kind of camp and you like some of the people involved. Who doesn't like Captain Price and his Edwardian moustache?

But Battlefield campaigns are creepy, uncomfortable affairs. China never actually make an attack on US soil during the whole campaign and the most heinous thing their military does do is destroy an American battlefleet stationed 50 miles from its capital. Listen, I'm British, I know what imperialism looks like and this is it in gaming format. China isn't able to work out a military coup on its own without American intervention. Russians are sneaky and always up to something (okay that is kind of true). This awful campaign reduces both nations and cultures to cannon fodder in the ongoing battle for American unilateralism and makes ordinary soldiers into superheroes.

Eh, honestly I make it seem more interesting than it is. The story is broken probably more out of laziness than any real insidious attempt to push bizarre Neo-Reaganite ideals on the player. So enough about it.

The multi-player is where Battlefield truly shines, as it always has. BF3 on consoles had to be nerfed a bit compared to its PC brothers with both the player count and conquest capture locations cut down. Not so here as 64 player battles come to console, as glorious and terrifying as they were on PC. The maps are as well designed as ever (Battlefield as a series features some of my favourite maps) and various classes, vehicles and destructible environments come together to form a game that is somewhat harsh but always rewarding.

I've been playing it with a guy who is new to the series (and console FPS on the whole) and it's been difficult trying to explain all the little intricacies of how X weapon works better in this situation or on this sort of map, or how that gadget is useful or not useful, or how vehicles play off against each other. In the end I just said "pick a class you feel comfortable with and stick with it". :lol: You gotta learn it for yourself.

Of course Battlefield's multi-player can also be an infuriating mess of cheap deaths and shit teammates more concerned with their K/D ratios than playing the game as it was designed. But that's how it's always been. You have to plumb those lows to reach those incredible heights where you go on a mad rampage in a tank, then spot a jet someone landed and forgot about, taking it to the air and shooting down the enemy choppers, then getting into trouble so bailing directly into a tight stand-off in a high rise building, using your last grenade to punch a hole in the wall so you can jump to the bottom then come back up through the building and splat your opponents in the back. Very few other shooters I've played offer the sort of minute by minute situational variety a Battlefield game does.

So it's a big thumbs up for the multi-player once again but a massive thumbs down for that tacked on campaign. Please stop trying to make Battlefield into COD, EA. It's fine as it is.


Star Trek (360)
Sometimes people make dumb choices. In this case I made the dumb choice to download this crummy game instead of the newly added to GOG and (most likely) infinitely superior Star Trek point and click games. I am weak and I know it.

Based on Nu-Trek, this game is set between the enjoyable 2009 reboot and the execrable Into Darkness. You can play as either Spock or Kirk (fully voiced by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto) as you uncover a plot by the Gorn (yes, the Gorn, these guys) to invade the entire universe. Remember when Star Trek was just about finding weird planets or learning to tolerate the differences of others? No?

Well now it's about shooting the piss out of anything that moves while exchanging cosmic bro-fists with Spock before doing a totally radical space jump, weaving through the debris of exploding starships and then McCoy says "damn it man, I'm a doctor not a Royal Marine Commando". Look, I'm not going to criticise the game for not being Star Trek because it is. It's just Nu-Trek and if you like that style then more power to you. This game is visually as close an approximation of JJ Abrams interpretation of the Enterprise and its crew as you're likely to get. Problem is, it's still a shallow and repetitive Gears clone on top of that though.

While this particular license does give more room to legitimately turn Star Trek into a shooter, it doesn't do much to stand out other than that. In fact the license hurts it in a way as the reliance on phasers and lasers makes for weaponary that feels weak and ineffectual. You can see battles coming a mile off when you enter areas dotted with waist high rocks/barrels/pipes to hide behind and generally the enemies are uninspired, slotting neatly into medium, heavy, sniper conventions of other TPS of this type.

The absolute weakest aspect of the game though it the forced co-op. Somehow worse than Resident Evil 5's Sheva, either Kirk or Spock (depending on who you opted to be) will alternately ignore instructions, fail to heal you when you go down or just generally stand around in the open getting blasted. It also leads to too many occasions of paths being blocked by half opened doors that need to be pried open by both characters in tedious QTE's. In each of these instances the CPU player will, due to the shoddy animation, float Nosferatu-like into position before the door can be opened. It's pretty funny the first three times by by by door twenty it loses its charm.

The game is generally quite shoddily put together, barring some touches of inspiration here and there. Graphical glitches are frequent, bodies ragdoll unrealistically and the level design is surprisingly sloppy for such a liner affair.

It's about as fitting a game as Into Darkness deserves then but is generally too shoddy to be enjoyed by anyone, even fanboys (like me). Avoid.


Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition (360)
I'm not sure how many of you remember the slightly entertaining SNES/MD game Justice League: Task Force, a 2D fighting game featuring DC's biggest and best going toe to toe in awkward, sub-Street Fighter II styled combat. Well, Injustice is that, but with a much bigger budget and a team that knows how to make fighting games. And it does it with even moar characters...even if most of them are from Batman. Green Lanterns in it though. He wasn't even in JL:TF but is now one of DC's hottest properties. How times change.

Injustice is made by the same guys behind the most recent Mortal Kombat games and in a lot of ways Injustice is like a DC reskin of 2011's MK reboot. In some ways. Obviously it isn't as violent and the gameplay is altered to be less combo heavy and more about giving a sense of the heroes and villains engaged in cataclysmic battle. The arenas shake and crumble during exchanges of heavy blows and each character comes with a cinematic special move that range from the ordinary (Wonder Woman just beats you up a bit) to the iconic (Bane breaks you over his knee) to the ridiculous (Zod punches you through the moon). It's a nice system and reacts quickly, which was a relief as I've always found MK games a bit sluggish compared to their contemporaries.

Injustice actually gets one over on the Capcom produced games with its bevy of single player content. Aside from a ranges of different arcade challenge modes, there are also Gulity Gear-like special scenario missions called S.T.A.R labs missions, some of which are more like mini-games than a fighter.

Then there is the fully voiced, fully animated story mode which both provides a reasonable if very comic booky reason for Batman and Superman to want to slap each other while as being a pretty tightly written little DC story in itself. And as it goes on you are made to fight as a number of different characters so you learn a bit more about the game as well. Nice. You think Aquaman sucks? Well here he's a pretty handy combatant with a range of easy to pull off moves. It's a nice way to ease yourself into the world and the game before either taking yourself online or trying some of the harder challenge modes.

I'd actually go as far as saying it's the most complete single-player fighting game experience since Soul Calibur 2. Very neat and nicely done.

I'd say you don't have to be a DC fan to enjoy the game either. It's quite noob friendly and doesn't require the insane levels of dedication that a Marvel Vs Capcom game does to become somewhat proficient at. There is more depth waiting beneath the rote combos and special attacks for dedicated player but they don't completely subsume the game as they do in the recent Capcom offerings. Of course that means that in the long term you will tire of Injustice quicker but for the casual fighting game audience I think it's a smarter option.

The Ultimate Edition is the one to go for if you do decide to grab the game. As well as the six new characters (Zatanna, Batgirl, J'onn' J'onzz, Scorpion, Zod and Lobo) it also includes all the DLC costumes and S.T.A.R labs missions on the disc. No shady download codes.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by CFFJR Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:13 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
18.System Shock - PC
19.Strider - Genesis

Finished Strider, #3 in my Summer Game Challenge.

I liked it when it worked. Mostly it left me tweaked.

Grievances can be found here.
GameSack wrote:That's right, only Sega had the skill to make a proper Nintendo game.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:35 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
37. Castlevania: Bloodlines (Genesis | 1994 | platformer) 7/10
38. Bionic Commando (360 | 2009 | action adventure) 8/10
39. Vanquish (PS3 | 2010 | cover shooter) 9/10
Image
Russian terrorists have seized a space station's orbital laser and are using it to threaten the USA, so DARPA sends their best agent in an experimental battlesuit to stop them.

At its heart, Vanquish is a third person cover shooter, a rather prolific genre during this game's release era. However, Vanquish operates at such a fast pace and with such slick responsive controls, that it makes all of its other contemporary cover shooters seem to run in slow motion. Vanquish is chock full of furious insane action, barely ever slowing down to catch its breath. The player has the ability to take cover, use bullet time, launch melee attacks, shoot all sorts of guns, and best of all rocket slide all over the battlefield. Indeed this ultra fast rocket sliding is what makes Vanquish feel so frenetic.

The crazy action is further bolstered by excellent graphics, amazing backgrounds, and detailed character animation, all running at a consistent 30FPS. The soundtrack is made up of high energy electronica, intense sound effects, and convincing voice acting (especially the legendary Gideon Emery's work). The plot is enjoyable and simple but contains a nice twist and a great ending. From an audio, visual, story, and control perspective Vanquish is certainly top notch. This is a very well directed game by none other than Shinji Mikami.

I have very few complaints about Vanquish. I do wish it supported blind fire, a cover shooting mechanic that I believe should be integral to the genre. There are only a few boss type enemies in this game, and they get recycled a little too often. Vanquish seems to flagrantly support smoking cigarettes as a nice thing to do, which I do not agree with. I wish that as you made Sam backflip around the battlefield, he'd automatically backflip over a barrier, but instead you have to push a different button to do this, and that incongruity tripped me up more than once. That's about it for complaints.

If you at all enjoy third person shooters, or cover shooters, you absolutely must play this. If you enjoy action games, especially fast paced ones, this experience will blow you away. It's a tour de force of awesome game design with a fantastic sense of style and pure consistent atmosphere. If you are a fan of science fiction, cold war politics, or robot armies, this game has you covered. Vanquish any doubt in your mind that this game is anything less than amazing.

The E3 trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT5wg51JB8w

Image
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Xeogred Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:02 am

Vanquish is incredible. Absolutely destroys Gears of War and other take-turns boring cover shooters.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sarge Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:51 pm

Sounds like a Platinum game to me! Will keep my eyes peeled for it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by alienjesus Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:45 am

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
7. Money Idol Exchanger Game Boy
8. The Battle of Olympus NES
9. Lost Kingdoms 2 GC
10. Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon DS
11. Code of Princess 3DS DL
12. Discworld Saturn
13. Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru [For the Frog the Bell Tolls] Game Boy
14. 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 3DS DL
15. 3D Streets of Rage 3DS DL
16. Pokémon Shuffle 3DS DL
17. 3D Altered Beast 3DS DL
18. 3D Super Hang-On 3DS DL
19. 3D Space Harrier 3DS DL
20. 3D Galaxy Force II 3DS DL
21. 3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master 3DS DL
22. Sonic 3 & Knuckles Mega Drive
23. Bayonetta Wii U
24. Fighting Vipers Saturn
25. Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan 3DS
26. Super Castlevania IV SNES
27. Shovel Knight Wii U eShop
28. Discworld II: Missing, Presumed...!? PC
29. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo Saturn
30. Chameleon Twist N64
31. Live a Live SFC
32. Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland DS
33. Splatoon Wii U
34. Mega Man X Wii U VC
35. 3D Ecco the Dolphin 3DS DL *NEW*

3D Ecco the Dolphin
There was a period of a month or so earlier this year when I was playing a whole bunch of the Sega 3D Classis that were released on 3DS. If you had a keen eye, you might have noticed that I had played 7 of the 8 games released in Wave 1 of the 3D Classics, and there was a notable omission. That game was 3D Ecco the Dolphin.

Now, it wasn't for lack of willpower that that game didn't get put up with the others, it was simply logistics. I've been playing all of these games on the train to work, and whilst the others are short or easy, Ecco the Dolphin is pretty lengthy, and incredibly, incredibly hard.

I won't go on at length about the 3D edition features here. The game looks nice in 3D, the extra mode added is a super dolphin mode and it's crap - you just have inviniciblity the whole time, so you can only die by being crushed. Ironically, this means that the two hardest levels in the game are still horrendously hard. One issue I have with the game is that it's an adaptation of the Mega Drive game, not the Sega CD game which had different music, extra stages and checkpoints, which would have helped massively. You can choose to play the Japanese version though, which helps in a big way on one very specific segment of the game and also generally makes the game a lot easier by adding in halfway checkpoints, more hints, and making things respawn a lot less quickly.

I stupidly forgot this, and played the English version. When I first cleared the Mega Drive Ecco the Dolphin about 6 years ago for my alphabet marathon (the first one!) I vowed never to do it again. I like the game, but it was the most excruciatingly painful game I had ever played in how it tortured the player. Limited air supply, almost no invincibilty time after being hit, incredibly aggresive enemies, instant crushing deaths, maze like levels, precision based puzzles - Ecco is a mean, mean game. It's also a flawed game - issues like the lack of immunity after being hit can cause instant deaths, ecco doesn't stop isntantly so some precision puzzles are incredibly finnicky, enemies respawn too quickly and easily, the maos are full of dead ends just to waste your time (and thus oxygen) - it all feels unpolished.

But it also feels like they really cared about the product. The graphics and sound are stunning, the atmosphere of the game is incredible, the story is surprisingly interesting, and Ecco controls beautifully other than the slightly annoying lack of being able to stop instantly, which isn't a control issue per se, but rather an issue with level design not accomodating it all the time. Ecco is a game I find myself frustrated with constantly, but equally gripped by.

But Ecco is incredibly difficult. The worst of all is the final stage, Welcome to the Machine.

You think Mike Tyson was tough in Punch-Out!!?
Welcome to the Machine.

You think Ninja Gaiden Act 6-2 was torture?
Welcome to the Machine.

You think Ghouls n' Ghosts is the hardest game ever made?
Welcome to the Machine.

John Romero's going to make you his bitch?
Well Suck it Down John, because you aint got nothing. Welcome to the Machine, bitch. :lol:

Welcome the Machine is an absolutely torturous, 6 minute long, underwater, auto-scrolling stage, featuring respawning enemies that can INSTANTLY kill you coming out of the walls. The stage is also a maze. An auto scrolling maze. You will be crushed, over and over, and over, and over and over... The autoscrolling doesn't just go the right way either, it'll also scroll the wrong way, forcing you to duck into a dead end momentarily, then reverse course and cause you to move precisely through a tiny gap at speed to continue. Remember how I said Ecco drifts when he stops? This will kill you dozens of times on this stage. Oh, and those instant death enemies will still come for you when you literally cant move due to screen scroll. Hooray.

When you finally conquer this marathon, the hardest video game level of all time by my standards, you get to the boss. The boss is quite likely to instantly kill you, as are the small enemies who attack you at the same time. If that happens, you get sent back a stage, the only time it happens in the game. Welcome to the Machine.

In the Japanese version, you instead get to a shorter, easier level, and when you finish it, it's back to the boss fight.

Ecco the Dolphin is utterly flawed, stupendously unfair and difficult and frustrating to play. I also love it, because clearly I am a masochist. Ecco is enjoyable as an experience more than it is as a game, and frankly, most people won't put up with it. For the stupid few like myself, it might just be one of the more memorable games you'll play.

Now, hopefully that really will be the last time I play it for a while. :lol:
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:44 am

@Alienjesus

I once dated a girl who was an Ecco fanatic. She beat all three of the Genesis games on the actual hardware. I watched her play some of them, and they looked like beautiful games. But then I tried playing one and my "bad game design" alarms started going off near instantaneously. I keep wanting to go back and give them another shot though, because of the things she told me about the games. I watched her play a certain part of Ecco 2 with a giant jellyfish chasing her and that shit was INTENSE son. So I think the Genesis entries are likely good games if you have enough patience. Then there's that 3D Dreamcast / PS2 game... don't know if it's any good though.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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