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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by RyaNtheSlayA Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:18 am

Yes, yes you do.

I've been eyeballing the PS4 release since I want to replay it - I'm not sure that it's worth $40 though, it doesn't even run at 60FPS and doesn't look much better than the PS3 version outside of resolution. But it's probably than what my laptop will do.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:46 am

I squeed when the Dishonored 2 teaser came out.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Fragems Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:06 pm

1. Injustice Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition(PS4)(Good)
2. Infamous First Light(PS4)(Good)
3. Drakengard 3(PS3) *Endings 1-4. Ending 5 I watched online due to BS boss.(Good except for the boss of the final alternate branch ending who can go burn in a firey hell :lol: )
4. Infamous Second Son(PS4)(Good)
5. Thomas Was Alone(PS4)(Great)
6. Uncharted Drake's Fortune(PS3) *(Good)
7. Uncharted 2 Among Thieves(PS3) *(Great)
8. Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception(PS3) **(Good)
9. Deadpool(PS3)(Great)
10. Red Dead Redemption(360)(Good)
11. Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare(360)(Okay)
12. The Walking Dead Survival Instinct(360)(Shit)
13. Fuse(360)(Okay)
14. The Bureau Xcom Declassified(360)(Okay)
15. Asura's Wrath(360)(Great)
16. Beneath a Steel Sky(PC)(Good)
17. Soul Gambler(PC)(Okay)
19. Harvester(PC)(Good, but disturbing)
20. Coma: Mortuary(PC)(Shit)
21. Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure(PC)(Good)
22. Freedom Planet(PC)(Great)
23. Tropico 3 Steam Special Edition(PC)(Great)
24. Far Cry 4(PS3)(Okay kinda meh)
25. Shellshock 2 Blood Trails(360)(Shit)
26. Grand Theft Auto V(PC)(Great)
27. Shadow of Mordor(PS4)(Great)
28. Call of Duty Advanced Warfare(PS4)(Okay)
29. Fallout 3(PC)- Great
30. Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage(DLC)(PC)- Crap
31. Fallout 3: Broken Steel(DLC)(PC)- Okay
32. Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta(DLC)(PC)- Buggy Crap
33. Fallout 3: Point Lookout(DLC)(PC)- Great
34. Dying Light(Xbox One)- Great
35. Sunset Overdrive(Xbox One)- Great
36. Murdered Soul Suspect(Xbox One)- Okay
37. Ryse Son of Rome(Xbox One)- Great
38. Halo Anniversary Edition(Xbox One Master Chief Collection)- Good
39. Halo 2 Anniversary(Xbox One Master Chief Collection)- Okay
40. Halo 3(Xbox One Master Chief Collection)- Great

Halo 2 Anniversary

I don't know if I really like the "improvements to the game. It does look a lot better graphically, but they changed some of the color schemes which kind of fudged some of the atmosphere. The new cut scenes are very nice, but they seem to have issues loading same as the hidden terminal videos in each level. Some of the cutscenes seemed jittery and I had a few that ended abruptly which at first I thought was just bad editing, but after a while I decided to reload the levels and sure enough upon reloading the cut scenes played for another 3-4 seconds longer then they had with the first load. The terminal videos are completely fudged though basically the game has to connect to the Halo Channel app to play them which is kind of slow and 99% of the time doesn't load the video so you have to back out and reactive the terminal a second time in order for it to play. Aside from that I also had issues with the AI companions they occasionally stopped following for no reason and I seemed to encounter a lot of friendly fire deaths especially whenever I had friendly covenant troops with energy swords :lol: .

There is once again the nice option to switch between the original and updated graphics on the fly. The game doesn't feel near as polished as the Halo CE Anniversary version though.

Halo 3

Probably my favorite game in the Master Chief Collection most likely due to the fact that it's the one that 343 fucked with the least :lol: . This feels like a pretty direct port of Halo 3 and it feels 10 times better then the "anniversary" editions of CE and 2. Game runs smooth, controls feel good, and the warthog has a functional horn :lol: . Think the main issues with the two anniversary games is they use the code from the PC versions. Managed to play through it in the course of a day which is surprising since my interest in Halo was dying down after play Halo CE & 2 back to back. Will probably tackle 4 next.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Markies Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:10 pm

I beat Halo: Combat Evolved on the XBOX this evening!

When it comes to FPS, I really only enjoyed the Bond games on the N64 and Perfect Dark as well. I never saw the big fuss and I always was curious on how the genre evolved to the Call of Duty's and Battlefield's of today. I can now see how Halo was the bridge between those games. The game very much reminds me of a modern FPS with regenerating health, checkpoints readily available and a more cinematic feel.

The game really surprised as I really got into it after a while. The controls take some getting used to and driving a vehicle never feels good, but it wasn't too much of a deterrent. For a game that people only play for the multiplayer, I was kind of surprised at how good the campaign actually is. Nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering, but it was fun. I was rather pleasantly surprised.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Soldier Blue Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:04 am

I just beat Aladdin on the SNES! Great game! That being said, it is a tad on the easy side. Oddly enough, I remember as a kid struggling quite a bit with the game and I'm not sure why. Feels great to beat it and also will say that my sister completed it with me. This may be the only game we have beaten together. Good times
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Fragems Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:53 am

Well the nice thing about the first one is there is a mix of shield and health later games cut the health all together and just give you a stronger shield with faster regen.

The games are also really fun to play in co-op as well. I love doing co-op Legendary runs since you aren't punished for player deaths as long as you both aren't wiped out makes for some really fun experiences.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Flake Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:20 pm

1/3: Super Mario Bros 2: Lost Levels (Luigi Run) (3DS VC/NES)
1/4: Super Mario Bros. (Wii / All-Stars)
1/15: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
1/20: Super Mario Kart 8 (WiiU)
1/28: Super Mario 3D World (WiiU)
2/15: Luigi's Mansion 2: Dark Moon (3DS)
2/15: Super Mario Land (3DS VC/GB)
2/16: Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (3DS VC/GB)
3/3: Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land (3DS VC/GB)
3/13: Dragon Ball Xenoverse (PS4)
3/23: Metroid Prime (Wii)
4/18: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Wii)
5/3: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)
5/10: Donkey Kong Country (WiiU VC/SNES)
5/16: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Hyper Stone Heist (GEN)
5/23: Mario Party 10 (WiiU)
5/25: New Super Mario Bros 2 (3DS)
6/18: Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
8/9: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (WiiU VC/SNES)
9/5: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
9/11: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (3DS VC/GBC)

This game was a great change of pace after a long and involved campaign like Twilight Princess. It has a lot of great elements - fantastic dungeon design, a few interesting items such as magnetic gloves, and a pretty decent story even if it doesn't take many risks. There's a few things that would have been nice to have like better development of the game's cast of characters or an actual final boss dungeon but it's just an old GBC game so I may be asking for too much.

I am going to probably start the 'linked' game on Oracle of Ages soon so that I can see how the feature works and maybe finish the 'true' story of the two games.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by elricorico Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:34 am

1. Fatal Fury (GEN)
2. DuckTales Remastered (WiiU)
3. Final Fantasy IV (PSP)
4. Journey (PS3)
5. The Legend of Zelda - A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
6. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
7. Super Mario Kart (SNES)
8. King Oddball Ends the World (Android)
9. Street Fight II The World Warrior (SNES)
10. Secret of Mana (SNES)
11. McDonald's Treasureland Adventure (GEN)
12. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze (WiiU)
13. NES Remix II(WiiU)

14. Child of Light (WiiU)

I had been waiting to play this one, and when it went on sale recently I happily downloaded it. I played most of it with my oldest daughter as second player.

I really enjoyed this game. The mix of light platforming/exploring with turn based RPG play felt pretty good to me. The art is great, the story does the job. My wife made the comment that she didn't think games could be so "pretty". I liked how the main character changed not just in appearance but in confidence and attitude, it was well done considering how short the game is.

I enjoyed the battle system, it is deeper than it first appears, and with some thinking you can really keep the enemies pinned down. I did find that I didn't use 2 or 3 of the characters at all, because you only use 2 at a time and the enemies aren't terribly tough so swapping out isn't often necessary (at least on the normal difficulty that I played it on). Rubella, Finn and Oengus were really all that got much play time alongside of Aurora.

I did find the pacing got a little weird right near the end. I would have expected a little different structure between the last two bosses.

Altogether I really enjoyed it and it is definitely worth playing. I'd play a sequel without hesitation as well. I plan on playing a little more as it seems there may be some endgame content I haven't seen yet.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:34 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)
31. Final Fantasy V (SNES)(RPG)
32. Descent (PC)(FPS)
33. Mortal Kombat 2 (SNES)(Fighting)
34. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (PC)(Point and Click Adventure)
35. Alien Shooter (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
36. Alien Shooter: Fight for Life (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
37. Alien Shooter: The Experiment (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)

38. F.E.A.R. Extraction Point (PC)(FPS)
39. F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate (PC)(FPS)

40. Among the Sleep (PC)(Survival Horror)
41. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PC)(FPS/RPG)
42. Alien Shooter 2: Reloaded (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
43. Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (SNES via Super Mario All-Stars/Super Mario World)(Platformer)
44. Star Wars Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast (PC)(FPS)
45. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel: Claptastic Voyage (PC)(FPS/RPG)
46. Risen (PC)(RPG)
47. Shadowgrounds (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
48. Shadowrun Returns (PC)(RPG)
49. Mobile Forces (PC)(FPS)

Getting close to the 50 spoiler cutoff.

Shadowrun Returns

I went into this expecting a standup fight and got a bughunt instead.

Shadowrun returns takes the Shadowrun license but hearkens back to the style of the SNES game with its setting, characters, and viewpoint. The combat system has changed from real-time to turn-based(my girlfriend remarked on how nice it was that the enemy would stand there and let me shoot them), but I feel the game definitely deserves the "Returns" in its title; its a return to form for a classic roleplay that completely forgets the mid-2000s FPS and instead feels way more classic. And I had a complete blast with it.

To get into the game, first you have to build a character. I made a female dwarf named Meat who was a Street Samurai. For those not familiar, Street Samurai is a term from William Gibson's classic cyberpunk novel Neuromancer. In Shadowrun, the Street Samurai are the tanks, able to do lots of damage with a firearm and take a lot of damage. Let me tell you guys, Meat was murder. By the end of the game, she was super accurate and could knock the fang from an orc's mouth without him so much as noticing it happened. Other classes, such as the Shaman, Mage, or Decker, took a bit more to get used to with spellcasting, but once I figured out my way around the menu and actually got a couple of these types in my party, I was good to go. There is a fair bit of hiring parties in Shadowrun Returns, but I found the best choices usually consisted of some kind of caster and then other Street Samurai to round out my ranks. I brought a Decker a few times to let me hack into the Matrix, but the game tended to screw me every time I did this by either having no computers to hack or giving me a Decker somewhere along the way that was way better. It just didn't seem worth it to bring much else beyond muscle.

That's probably the biggest issue I have with the game. Stick with Street Samurai. Shadowrun Returns is mostly linear, so you feel railroaded, but you never know what you need in an upcoming mission. Because the need for a Decker was hit-or-miss and the game would always give me one when it was required, I eventually stopped using them. And outside of the few times when a Shaman was given to me, I stuck to a single Mage. Hell, the Adept I only used once when I was required(and I didn't enjoy his playstyle; melee just felt too reckless in a world where everyone else uses a gun), and I never bothered with a Rigger at all. In fact, I only saw one Rigger in the entire game that I know of(they use drones in combat, and I only saw one person with a drone). From what I could tell, the other classes were more expensive and just not as effective or useful until much later in the game, and by then Meat was dropping enemies so fast it didn't matter. And the final level requires you use guns anyway...mainly shotguns. In fact I think the final level is a joke, because you can get up to three characters armed with these super shotguns for taking down the big bag bug monsters, and unless you built your main character for it, none of the three have any proficiency with that kind of weapon.

Despite this, the game oozes style and charm, and every new karma purchase had an immediate benefit that I noticed. Plus I tend to prefer tanks anyway(I named my damn character Meat. Makes sense I would favor meat shields). And the world of Shadowrun is one that has always had great appeal to me, so I was happy to set aside any issues I had just to explore it.

Yes, Shadowrun Returns is flawed. I still had a damn good time with it. I look forward to revisiting this world in Shadowrun: Dragonfall.


Mobile Forces

This is a team-based FPS released in 2002 by Rage Software that uses the first generation of the Unreal engine. It emphasizes vehicular gameplay and multiplayer, but it still has a single-player "campaign" which consists of winning each of the gameplay styles each of the game's 11 maps, each of which has to be unlocked by earning a certain amount of victories. Once you unlock the final map, you have to continue going until you unlock a Congratulations screen. To do this, you have to play with and against bots. This creates issues.

First, there are a bunch of game modes, but many of them are similar. There are two traditional Deathmatch options: regular and team-based. And then there are the item-grab modes, such as Capture the Flag, Detonation, Safecracker, and Trailer. These involve you grabbing an item and then taking it to a specific point. Capture the Flag is pretty self-explanatory, but the others offer some changes. Detonation requires you find a key that spawns in specific places around the map and then use it in a device in the opposition's base, Safecracker has you shoot open an enemy's safe and then carry their gold back to your safe(before making you hold out), and Trailer involves you swiping a vehicle with a bomb attached and driving it into the enemy's base. Of all of these, Safecracker was my favorite because it rewards speed and precision: once one team succeeds in cracking the safe, the other team gets a chance to do it, but they only have as long as it took the first team, adding a new pressure to it.

But that's not all! There is also Captains mode, which involves you assassinating the opposite team's captain for points. And then there is Holdout, which ended up my least-favorite mode of the game because it took so long to play. In Holdout, you have to hold a point for a certain amount of time to win. When you first start playing the game, this time is 2 minutes. But as you work your way through the maps, this time requirement increases until eventually you have to hold the point for 12 minutes. Which're going to be standing around waiting a lot. These were the last gameplay type for me to beat in most of the levels.

Of course, if you were playing with friends against people, this would be more interesting. But instead, you're playing with bots! Stupid, stupid bots. Generally speaking, one bot on the enemy team will be worth a damn. Beyond that, they're all idiots. During one of the Trailer modes, I watched a bot grab the trailer and then drive it into a wall. Repeatedly. For five minutes. I eventually grabbed a vehicle and rammed him into the doorway he was failing to hit. I watched one bot glitch out on a ladder, while another hopped out of his car, jumped on it, and then jumped back in repeatedly. This was all during that one game of Trailer. Every game I played on every map had this happen in some way. Every. Single. One.

The enemy bots would often do this too, so I would shoot them. Unfortunately I just don't care for most of the weapons in Mobile Forces, so even this wasn't much fun. The game requires you go through an inventory system to pick your weapons, but it always felt cumbersome to me. I tried all of the weapons and ended up sticking to the M-16 and the sawed-off shotgun because nothing else worked. The sniper rifle couldn't drop anyone fast enough, the machine gun required setup to use, and the rocket launcher just didn't do enough damage to make it worth using, despite being the only real weapon to use against vehicles. And there are a lot of vehicles in Mobile Forces, it's kind of the game's thing. As a result, I ended up using vehicles to get many of my kills, by just running people over. Repeatedly.

If you haven't noticed yet, I found the single player game annoying. In multiplayer I'm guessing this is way more interesting, and I admit that I had fun jumping around the levels and exploring them just to see where I could go. But I wouldn't recommend this to folks unless you plan to bring a dozen people to the party. It's just not worth it otherwise.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by alienjesus Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:13 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. Game & Watch Gallery Advance GBA
36. Metroid: Zero Mission GBA
37. Saturn Bomberman Saturn
38. Touch My Katamari PSN
39. Banjo-Tooie N64
40. Transbot SMS
41. Talmit's Adventure Mega Drive
42. Alien 3 SMS
43. Shinobi 3DS VC
44. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Vita
45. Super Street Fighter II X: Grand Master Challenge 3DO
46. The Curse of Monkey Island PC *NEW*
47. Final Fantasy VIII PS1 *NEW*
48. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 PSN NEW*
49. The Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse Game Gear *NEW*
50. The Legend of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse Game Gear *NEW*
51. Deep Duck Trouble starring Donald Duck Game Gear *NEW*

...A big update again today. This could take a little while to write up....

The Curse of Monkey Island

This was one of my summer games challenge games.

I'm a fan of point and click adventure games, especially those made by LucasArts. Day of the Tentacle is probably my favourite, and Grim Fandango is up there too. The Monkey Island games, whilst good, have never been amongst my favourites - the first two felt a little underdeveloped to me, and some of the puzzles just felt too obtuse.

The Curse of Monkey Island on the other hand, I loved. The new animation style fits the games tone nicely, and I liked that there was a difficulty option if you want to tone the puzzles down (I chose to play on the 'hard' difficulty though, so I didn't miss out on any puzzles. Whilst the lower difficulty doesn't change things too much it does streamline some of the puzzles nicely - on the occassions I had to look up hints, it was normally for Mega Monkey (hard mode) exclusive puzzles. Even then, I feel like this game is far less obtuse that the earlier games, and I was able to work through most of the game with less help than usual.

The story revolves around you trying to curse your fiance from a curse that has turned her to gold, whilst trying to avoid the Dread Pirate Zombie Pirate Demon Pirate LeChuck as he tries to steal Elaine away. It brings back many fan favourite characters like Stan the Used Coffin Salesman and the Voodoo Lady, whilst introducing some fun new ones, especially Murray the fearsome talking skull, who is hilarious. The whole game is very funny overall, and at about 6 -8 hours, it feels like it has a reasonable amount of content without overstaying it's welcome.

It's not perfect - a lot of areas are quite open meaning you can end up wandering back and forth a lot, and the walking speed of the game is really slow which can get annoying. The game splits up into chapters which can streamline this a bit, but it can still be time consuming. There's also a LOT of dialogue options here - if you want to hear everything, you'll be talking a lot. Mostly it's optional, but sometimes you need to choose the right one (or all of them) to progress. A common issue that caused me to spend a lot of time wandering around was items that are small or hard to notice - Often I'd know the solution to a puzzle, only I couldnt find what I needed, just for it to be right under my nose the whole time (damn you bar stool cushion and coffin nails!).

Overall though, it's easily the best in the series I've played thus far. It plays smoothly, the puzzles arent too cumbersome and the visuals and music are very nice (and feel like a higher budget version of Discworld II, I'm sure one of the games probably took inspiration from the other). Definitely worth picking up, although it helps to be familiar with the first two games

Final Fantasy VIII

This was also one of my summer games challenge games.

Final Fantasy VIII was a game that took my a long time to finish - both in terms of hours played (I hit about 65) and real time (It took me over 3 months from starting to finishing the game). Despite the length of time I took though, I actually enjoyed this one quite a lot.

Final Fantasy VIII has a lot of vocal detractors on the internet. Some people think the combination of the magic junctioning system and the level balancing enemies makes the game too easy. They're right. Some people think that the game is too easy to break using the card mod and item modding skills. They're right too. Some people think that the magic drawing system is a tedious pain in the ass. They're also right. And some people think that the 'love story' the game is trying to tell is honestly not very well done and kinda silly. Yeah, they're right too.

But the thing is, that despite all it's flaws, I had fun with the game. The characters aren't especially well developed sure, but they're much more developed than other FF games before this one, and they're all generally pretty likeable overall. Even Squall, emo as he is. The world of the story is a little complicated with all it's evil sorceresses and time travel and mind control and blah-de-blah but the story still kept me invested. The ending sequence with all the time compression and decompressio was genuinely kinda cool, and the set pieces felt more significant than they did in VII. In VII, you go to space and it's like 'Woo, we're in space now for some reason'. In 8, it actually feels like it belongs in the game world.

The junction system in VIII is interesting. I liked the idea of adjusting your stats at will with magic, and I also liked the ability to gain new abilities with GFs. But they were perhaps too good - I broke the game over my knee early on by getting 300 demi spells from the diablos card and 300 curaga spells from tents, giving me ludicrous HP - around 3000 when enemies did 50 damage a hit - and attack - enough to one hit kill most regular enemies. They probably should have made your base stats higher and lessened the significance of magic junctions - even at a third of the effect they currently have they would be game breaking.

VIII is a Final Fantasy game that tries to mix things up in its story scope, mechanics, characters and gameplay and it misses just about all of them really. It's a bit of a messy game, but it's a fun messy game, and that's good enough for me. I actually ended up really enjoying it, and it's probably in my top 5 of the series. Now that it's done, there are no more PS1 era FF games to play, which makes me sad, but I still have games in the series to catch up on - II, VI, XII and XIII to go!

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1
It physically upsets me every time I have to write out this games title. Hyperdimension Neptunia isn't so bad, but every letter of Re;Birth1 is like a punch straight in the grammar. Hyperdimension Neptunia Spelling;is;for;Losers1 was game H on my alphabet marathon (remember that? XD)

I was apprehensive going into HyperD NepBirth1. I'd heard mixed things about the series, and I know some people on this forum love it and others can't stand it. I also knew that it was apparently kinda fanservicey (in more than one sense of the word) and a bit unrefined.

But you know what, I had a ton of fun with the game. It's a fun little RPG with a stupid nonsense plot with silly characters that is relatively short and focused and has a fun if basic battle system which I rather enjoyed.

Lets get the elephant in the roomout of the way first - fan service, The game is based on the video game console war - which is silly but fun. It references games and enemies and characters and stuff every so often. But it was much less often than I thought it would be. If anything, it was a little underutilised in my eyes. It could have used a few more of these jokey references, as it sometimes felt like it took it's world a tiny bit too seriously. Not a lot mind, it was still goofy and 4th wall breaking constantly.

As for the other type of fanservice, I thought the worst when 15 minutes in your character is bandaged up whilst wearing basically nothing else in a full screen animated image. But rather than setting the tone for the rest of the game, this seemed to be literally the ONLY time a scene like this occurred. Frankly, I've seen more fanservice in the likes of Street Fighter, and I think this game might get an unnecessarily bad rap in that respect. I've heard the sequels play it up more though.

The battle system is a fun system where you can choose moves to chain together into combos. Moves are split between rush moves, which fill an exe gauge faster, break moves, which lower enemies defence meters faster, and power moves, which do the most damage. When an enemies defence meter is empty, attacks do a lot more damage, so often break moves are your best option to start. Having your exe meter full gives you finishers for your combos which can add more damage, and you can spend your exe guage on super powerful super moves. Because of this, making good use of all 3 attack types is encouraged and recommend. It works really nicely, and whilst it's kinda basic in practice it helps keep you involved, and learning new combo attacks is always fun. In addition to combo attacks and exe moves, there are also your standard abilities which require you to spend magic for big attacks or buffs. These are weaker than exe skills overall though, so by the end of the game you wont use them much.

Charcters in the game are fun, and I liked nods to the developes in their character design - the busty Senran Kagura style ninja for MarvelousAQL, and the female version of Adol from Ys for Falcom. The CPUs who represent the game consoles (Wii, PS3, Xbox 360 and Sega Neptune) are all nicely realised and have good design features too, although I think their characters were inspired more by anime tropes than by any of the consoles characteristics.

Overall, I had fun with Hyper-Birth1. It's simple, silly fun and it was a good mindless game to play when I wasn't in the mood for something deeper. I'll probably play the Vita sequels eventually. Not as bad as people say, that's for sure.

Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse
I'm not a huge fan of the Sega Game Gear. I got my first one at a boot fair in about 2008, but as you might expect the capacitors had gone, no sound, poor screen, the works. I picke dup another in 2012 that was just as bad. Earlier this year though, I finall got the capacitors replaced and got to experience the Game Gear in all it's glory.

It's blurry-screened, battery guzzling, paperweighting glory.

I tried to play The G.G. Shinobi on the Game Gear for my summer challenge earlier this year and decided agains it, instead picking the game up for VC instead. This weekend, I gave the Game Gear a second shot though and played through a bunch of new games on it. And you know what, I don't regret it, because they were great.

The Land of Illusion is a sequel to the Master System/Game Gear game Castle of Illusion, which is different to the Mega Drive game. It allows you to move and throw blocks around to attack and create platforms, instead of just jumping on enemies (you can still do that though) and has different levels to the original version. Land of Illusion follows the same base mechanics, but builds a new game around them which innovates in fun ways.

The story goes that Mickey wakes up in a mystical land and must save the citizens by working through levesl to defeat the evil phantom which has cursed the place. The interesting thing about these levels is that some of them reward you with new abilities, which can be used to find new paths in old levels - sometimes for rewards, and sometimes because it is essential to proceed. Such items include a rope to climb up walls and a potion to shrink down so you can bounce on enemies without killing them and pass through small passageways.

The level design is solid and the game feels just right at 12 stages long - a little over an hour of gameplay. Difficulty wise it's fairly easy, but it'll be more difficult early on due to the health system. Mickey starts with 2 hits before he dies, but this can be increased up to 5 by finding stars hidden in levels - one extra health per star. Although there is a star in each level, many require items from later levels to find them. Once you have full health, the game becomes notably easier.

Land of Illusion is perhaps a little slow paced, but that's a perfect fit for the GG screen. It's zoomed out enough so you can see stuff coming, without making everything look tiny. The music is solid, if not entirely memorable. Overall it's a great fit for the console. That said, I think if you can do so, it's still a better option to play this on the Master System.

And there remains the flaw with Game Gear - most of the best games are available elsewhere, on the master system or the 3DS or on a Sonic collection, so there's no point putting up with the consoles flaws when you can have a better experience elsewhere. That said, Land of Illusion is great no matter tha platform, and being on Master System didn't stop me playing the next two games on Game Gear either...

Legend of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse

Legend of Illusion is the sequel to Land of Illusion, and this time it mixes things up a little. The story involves the laundryboy Mickey being made honorary King by Pete so that he can send Mickey on a dangerous quest to restore the Kingdom in his place. Although you can still pick up and throw blocks around, you now attack mainly by throwing bars of soap at people. This means attack is easy than it has been before, but I do miss bouncing on enemies to get to higher ground. The soap arcs down when thrown, so it's not really long range and is often better thrown when jumping.

In addition to your new attack method, Mickey feels sprightlier in general. He moves faster and jumps faster and can even cling on ropes overhead to swing across gaps. He can also pick up blocks in mid jump now, which is crucial to the final boss. His wall climbing from Land of Illusion didn't make it back though.

Legend of Illusion is a smaller game than Land or Castle. The levels are shorter, and there are only 10 of them one of which is just a boss. On the otherhand, it feels like a very ambitious and creative 8 bit game. There are levels where the entire stage changes colour over time (with sweet as fuck parallax scrolling too - seriously, we're talking Shinobi III shit on a 90s handheld, it's stunning). There are levels where you fly on a dragonfly and levels where you make platforms appear by reflecting beams of light. There's even a small bit in one level where mickey falls through a portal on the floor and out of one on the ceiling - Mickey thought with Portals 12 years before Valve made it cool. For a game running on the Game Gear, it truly is stunning, easily one of the most technically impressive games on the system. It blows my mind that I can play an 8 bit game from 1995 and still go 'wow' out loud at the technical aspects of the game, but this game made me do just that.

And worthy of note is that this IS a Game Gear game. Yes, you can get it on Master System too, but only in Brazil, and it's a port of this version, reduced aspect ratio and all. It's still debatedly a nicer way to play it due to the GG screen, but it's not as clean cut as most.

Legend of Illusion is a fun, well designed, visually and technically impressive game, and one of the best games on Game Gear in my opinion. The music is perhaps a little unremarkable, and it's very short and easy, but it is an absolute blast to play through, and everyone should own it.

Deep Duck Trouble starring Donald Duck
This was the last of the Game Gear games I played through on my mini marathon of it this weekend, and it's perhaps the best argument for the Master System over the Game Gear. We'll get to that later though.

Deep Duck Trouble is a sort-of follow up to The Lucky Dime Caper on Master System and Game Gear and Quackshot for Mega Drive. It draws aspects from both, though much much more from the former. The story goes that Uncle Scrooge found an amulet on a treasure hunt, but it was cursed and caused him to inflate like a balloon (like Lanky Kong, but less optional). Donald must retrace his steps and return the amulet to remove the curse.

The game is a standard platformer for the most part - Donald attacks bu jumping on enemies, although he can also kick rocks to use as weapons and platforms. It's touches like this that lend to the games character though - Mickey opens chests the classic way, but Donald gives them an impatient boot. Donald gets pissed off if you wait around too long, and rages when he gets hit too. It has a lot of character, Even better are the ways Donald shivers when he stands still for too long on the icy stage and sweats on the volcano stage - it shows a lot of attention to detail.

The game plays well, and the levels are fun enough, although one or two are quite frustrating (the ice cavern is especially infuriating). The game is short, with 10 stages and a final boss, and the levels are kinda predictable - lava world, water world, ice world...

One unique innovation the game has are it's bosses, which all play out as a chase scene. Donald runs for his life as he's chased through a jungle by a gorilla, or down a cliff by boulders, or out of a gorge by a shark. Get away and they'll run into a tree or something and give you the treasure you need. The only traditional boss fight is against the final boss, which feels like a bit of an anticlimax - the game probably should've had another chase sequence after you beat the boss. The chase sequences are a nice change of pace for the game, but they highlight the flaws of the Game Gear a lot. The blurry screen looks blurrier than ever due to the fast scrolling graphics, and the zoomed in aspect ratio gives you only a small window to react to upcoming hazards - both of which wouldn't be an issue on the Master System hardware (although admittedly the scrolling might not be as smooth).

One other technical issue this game suffers from is regular and constant slowdown. It happens right from the start of the game, and whilst it'd not game breaking, it does cause button presses to sometimes go unregistered during the most extreme stuttering. I don't know which is stronger out of the SMS and GG, so I don't know if this is endemic to both versions, but it is a bit annoying.

Deep Duck Trouble is a good game, and I happily recommend it to people. For my money though, it pales in comparison to the Mickey Mouse games for the system, which just feel a bit more ambitious, a bit more polished and a bit more creative. Give them all a go though.

Just, you know, probably on the Master System instead.
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