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Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:57 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
The second quest feels a bit arbitrary and ROM-hacky in parts. Not completely necessary.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:03 pm
by REPO Man

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:09 pm
by Sload Soap
I have been a bit lax updating but in the last month and a bit I have beat:

Mega Man 6 (Xbox One)
Mega Man 5 (Xbox One)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP)
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (Xbox One)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Xbox One)
Metal Gear (Xbox 360)

Many games beginning with M not a bad game among 'em.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:41 pm
by MrPopo
First 50:

51. Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne - PC
52. Starflight - PC
53. Skies of Arcadia - Dreamcast
54. Aliens versus Predator Classic 2000 - PC
55. Super Star Wars - SNES
56. Shadowrun: Hong Kong - PC
57. Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel - PC
58. The Catacomb - PC
59. Azure Striker Gunvolt - 3DS
60. Mighty Gunvolt - 3DS
61. Catacomb Abyss - PC
62. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - PC
63. Strike Suit Zero - Director's Cut - PC
64. Wolfenstein 3D Spear of Destiny - PC
65. StarCraft - PC
66. Metal Storm - NES
67. Septerra Core - PC

Hah! Finished with you, you fucker. I'm so glad to have this bastard behind me. It's not like the legendarily bad games out there; instead Septerra Core is an exercise in a lot of good/interesting ideas with shitty execution.

Septerra Core is the work of a small dev team trying to emulate the JRPG with a western twist. And here lies the first set of problems; they don't go all in on their JRPGness. The game sits in between the understated nature of most WRPGs and the craziness of JRPGs, and that's a bad spot to be. Things are implausible but not implausible enough. Characters ham it up but they don't ham it up enough.

The second thing you see from the western influence is the game takes a lot of cues from adventure games. Throughout the game you will be having to keep your eye out for key items, some of which need to be combined with others, or taken to an NPC to be refined, and not all of the key items are really noticeable on the background (while others are only if you're thinking to look for them). Several end up being "hey, remember that thing from several hours ago? You should go back there and pick it up now that you have this doohickey". I highly recommend a walkthrough so you don't have to deal with that level of frustration, especially due to another terrible design decision they made.

And that is the massive tedious backtracking. The game likes to make you revisit areas now that you have some key item/party member, and it's never a fast trip. Even when you massively outlevel enemies combat is a slow affair. And to add to that is the fact that most dungeons consist of going deep into it, getting the item/event, then backtracking out through the way you came. Only occasionally will you have tunnel dungeons where you go from one end to the other and now you're in a new area you want to be in. And the game never gives you any fast escape (either through shortcut or magic), except in the final dungeon past the point of no return. At that point it's like the game is taunting you: "oh yeah, we just learned how to make dungeon crawling suck less".

Speaking of sucky dungeon crawling, the game includes the nice feature of an in game map that's prepopulated. Sounds nice, right? Well, the first frustrating part is you can't open it up while your character is moving. Since movement is click driven this means you'll frequently try to open the map to check where you're going and get the error message. You can open the menu while moving, just not the map, because fuck you. And there's the minor quibble that the map is always forced into filling the screen, even though the actual terrain might be some very narrow rectangle, which leads to terrible distortion. But the real sucky thing is that they decided that they still wanted you to wander around like a drunk monkey, so instead of just having confusing layouts (not so confusing when you have a map) they add in a ton of switches that open/close parts of the level. So even though you might know where you want to go eventually, you still have to figure out the locations of all the switches and the right order (and they aren't on the map).

Combat is another area where they manage to cock things up. The game uses a modification of the ATB system, where your bar is divided into three segments. Once you have a full segment your character can act, whether it be attacking, using an item, magic, or attempting to flee. Many attacks require more than one segment, and magic is more powerful if you have multiple segments. Each character starts with three attacks (basic attack using 1-3 segments) and can gain six more, giving you a 3x3 grid of attacks (3 for 1 segment, 3 for 2, 3 for 3). These attacks might be added area damage, status effect, or just a harder hit, but the non-basic ones also require MP as a balancing act. The magic system is based on cards, where you have a selection of basic cards such as elemental magic or a barrier spell and then a few modifiers, like hit-all or mirror. You can combine cards in several combinations that make intuitive sense, such as barrier-mirror-all to remove a barrier from all enemies. All this sounds like it would make for an interesting combat engine with lots of decision points, right? Well, they fucked up the balance. A level 3 basic attack does more than 3x the damage of a level 1, which makes level 1 attacks useless outside of situations where you need to tap an enemy to finish him off. Similarly, the various MP costing attacks either do too little damage in exchange for their aoe properties or come too late to be worthwhile, as in the last third of the game magic takes over. Speaking of, the first two thirds of the game magic is terrible due to extremely low MP and low power, and all of the good support magic only coming near the end. But in the last third you gain access to the best hit-all spell that utterly trashes everything outside of one dungeon on a level 1 charge (and in that dungeon you just use a level 3 charge instead). At that point combat goes from long and tedious and boring to short and boring and popping cheap MP items like candy.

The general story stuff is also a really mixed bag. They had the cool idea of taking WRPG style conversations, so when you interact with an NPC you can ask them about several topics, or even have your individual characters talk to them (which might unlock new info, or items, or trigger an event). All the dialog is fully voiced, which consists of main characters voiced by external voice actors (with bad scripts and not the greatest delivery a lot of times) and side characters voiced by members of the studio (which is all kinds of bad). But going back to those key items, if you want to give a key item to an NPC you need to exit conversation and use the item interface to give it to them; there's no provision to do it in conversation, which is dumb. And as for the overall story, it starts off with your typical JRPG "must save the world from the bad guy who wants to rule it" but it kinda falls flat on a few key points. The two most egregious are:

First, after you get the twin swords of Marduk so you can kick the big bad's ass you come out and find out "oh yeah, we totally blew up his ships while you were gone and now his ship is crashed, go kick his ass", which is so anti climatic. Secondly, the ending is just awful. You spend the entire game trying to stop the big bad from destroying the planet while he tries to fulfill the prophecy. At the end you end up beating him in combat, he realizes YOU must be the chosen one, not him, then you let his plan finish, but now since you were involved it's good? And it doesn't really mention how the planet (which was supposed to be about to be destroyed from the work being done to fulfill the prophecy) suddenly isn't about to die. I guess the difference was I beat the selfish out of him and that made things ok? But aside from his motivations the exact same shit goes down if I beat him or if he would have finished his plan.

There is one thing I can say about the game that is 100% great: it has the best airship ever. The airship replaces your overworld character and can land on any spot you were able to walk into before; no hunting around for a spot you can land, get out, and go to the hotspot, possibly having to trek over a long area of unlandable terrain. You get it after having seen all seven shells that make up the world, and it really reduces the potential tedium that could have happened considering how much hopping around you do at that point. Oh, and I guess the idea behind the world is also interesting. It's a planet that consists of seven world shells. The outer six are essentially floating continents, and each one allows them to explore a variety of terrain and town types. So the scenery doesn't get boring.

Fuck, so happy to be done with this. Do not buy this game. Anyone who tells you it's good is lying to you.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:50 pm
by BogusMeatFactory
This makes me happy. At least you understood why you didn't like something. I agree and applaud you for your diligence. Bravo good sir!

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:53 pm
by MrPopo
The sad thing is that there's so much that could have gone well in the game. It wasn't just a utter trainwreck; there was a lot that if it had been handled better could have made for a compelling game.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:56 pm
by BogusMeatFactory
Doesn't that make it even more frustrating and less enjoyable when you could see exactly what went wrong. It used tedium in the worst way possible, which was common in that era.

This isn't an argument in game design like fps health bars versus health regeneration, this is more about making design decisions that bore and frustrate.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:46 pm
by MrPopo
First 50:

51. Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne - PC
52. Starflight - PC
53. Skies of Arcadia - Dreamcast
54. Aliens versus Predator Classic 2000 - PC
55. Super Star Wars - SNES
56. Shadowrun: Hong Kong - PC
57. Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel - PC
58. The Catacomb - PC
59. Azure Striker Gunvolt - 3DS
60. Mighty Gunvolt - 3DS
61. Catacomb Abyss - PC
62. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - PC
63. Strike Suit Zero - Director's Cut - PC
64. Wolfenstein 3D Spear of Destiny - PC
65. StarCraft - PC
66. Metal Storm - NES
67. Septerra Core - PC
68. Metal Warriors - SNES

Woo! Another quality game down that really makes you feel accomplished when you beat it. Metal Warriors is a mech game by LucasArts that plays similarly to Cybernator, although it has a lot of features that differentiate it. And it's all kinds of awesome.

The first thing you'll notice in game is that it has some really awesome looking cutscenes between missions. Someone took the time to make a youtube compilation of them, check it out:

Like Cybernator, you pilot a mech through several missions with a variety of goals (though they all come down to either get to the end or blow something up). Your gun can be aimed with d-pad up and down and you have both melee and ranged attacks (melee does more damage). The big differentiator is that there are six different mechs to pilot in this game.

The main mech you will pilot is the Nitro. It has jetpack flight, a beam saber, a shield, and the ability to deploy a temporary shield in midair which can be useful due to being able to shoot through it. The Havok is the premier enemy mech and plays closest to Cybernator; you get a dash, jump boots instead of flight, a larger shield than Nitro, and a whip chain. The main gun also does not fire perfectly straight, which is usually an advantage (can sometimes hit enemies when they can't hit you). It's usually a toss up between which is better in a situation, the Nitro or the Havok.

The other four mechs are more specialty mechs. The first is the Promethius, which is an artillery piece. It's main gun is a solid projectile that flies until you release the fire button, then explodes into a starburst with a long range. The main shell does a ton of damage. It can release aerial mines that float above you that do a surprising amount of damage, it has a flamethrower, and a full body shield. It cannot jump; instead the jump button will spawn a platform in front of you. Levels with the Promethius tend to have a lot of elevators available, though your route can become circuitous as a result. The Promethius takes some getting used to but its raw power is awesome.

The Ballistic is one of the weirder mechs. It moves around in ball form and cannot fire in this mode. It can also do a spindash forward that does a bit of damage. When deployed it can fire a standard shot or charge up for a large plasma shot that can do a lot of damage. It's good for certain areas where you just want to get through fast, but if there's a lot of enemies it falls short. The Spider's claim to fame is the ability to walk on walls and ceilings. The control is a bit hard because the controls are relative to the cockpit, so as you rotate along walls and ceilings the controls do as well. It has a ranged web shield that flies out as long as you hold it to a max range and then deploys, blocking all enemy fire while it's up. Finally, the Drache is a pure flying mech; simply point the d-pad in a direction and it goes that way. The four face buttons aim your guns in that direction like you're playing a twin stick shooter. It also has a dive bomb attack that can one shot many things.

In addition there are a variety of temporary powerups that can be acquired and used in your backpack slot. These include missiles, grenades, gravity inversion, and speed boosts, along with shot powerups. Some of these are in fixed locations while other item boxes spawn random items. Sometimes you'll get exactly what you need and other times you get let down (usually by getting grenades).

Another thing that differentiates the game from Cybernator is the fact that you can get out of your mech mid mission. While on foot most enemies shut down (with the notable exception of the Havok and a late-game ceiling beam turret that will one shot you) and you can squeeze into tight corridors. There are many terminals you can activate while on foot to open doors throughout the levels; some are mandatory while others are to bonuses. While on foot you are equipped with a pistol and a jetpack, and you sometimes need to kill enemy foot soldiers. You can also jump into unoccupied enemy mechs while on foot, and that's how you experience most of the mechs available (you only ever start with Nitro or Promethius on one mission). Be careful though; enemies can jump into unoccupied Nitros and Havoks as well, though fortunately they can't operate the more interesting mechs (which is probably a safety feature due to many of them being mission critical to proceed).

Finally, rather than a health bar the game displays damage by the condition of your sprite. You start out a vibrant red and eventually turn into a dull purple, with progressive levels of looking beat up. When you're nearly dead you can even lose access to secondary features or even your primary weapon. There are health packs in the game, so it can be worth retreating in a near dead mech to heal up.

The game consists of 9 missions of varying difficulties. Things start to ramp up in mission 3, mission 4 is more annoying as you can consistently beat it once you realize what the failure condition is, but starting with mission 5 things heat up. Mission 6 is a three part mission to infiltrate a facility, steal the Drache, and escape. Mission 7 is a two parter that consists of getting to a target and defeating a trio of bosses. Mission 8 is the so-called secret mission where you must infiltrate a facility and steal codes. However, the condition for getting to it is supposedly never dying up to that point, but I get to it every time no matter how much I die. Mission 9 is the final mission and is another two parter. The first part is breaking into the enemy HQ and the second part is navigating through it to the final boss. After beating the final boss you have to race the pilot out of the facility to the last remaining Nitro to escape before it goes kablooey.

The game makes great use of giving players freedom to take multiple paths through levels and swap across mechs. Cybernator ends up feeling much more straightforward in comparison. The game also has some solid music. I highly recommend it, though I believe it's become expensive as fuck.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:41 pm
by Key-Glyph
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)*
8. Final Fantasy Legend III (GB)
9. Toejam & Earl [2-player] (GEN)*
10. Mass Effect 1 (360)*
11. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (N64)
12. Pokémon Diamond (DS)
13. Donkey Kong Country (SNES) -- Summer Games Challenge!
14. Earthworm Jim (GEN) -- Summer Games Challenge!
15. Phantasy Star III (GEN) -- Summer Games Challenge!
16. Super Mario Bros. (NES) -- Summer Games Challenge!
17. Metroid (NES) -- Summer Games Challenge!
18. Ranger X (GEN)

19. Paperboy (GEN)
Ah, now here's a white whale I've been meaning to properly beat for at least a decade.

My family never owned Paperboy for the NES, but we borrowed it more than once. I have almost no memory of a time when local stores stocked NES games for rent, but the one thing I do remember is the intense feeling of joy that resulted from actually persuading my older brother to pick Paperboy as his rental title one weekend. My affection for this game was srs bsns.

And this is why, sometime in mid-to-late nineties, I saw the Sega version of Paperboy on clearance in Toys R' Us and thought, "WOW! Paperboy! For only a few bucks! And it's on the Genesis so that means it has to be even better hahahaha!" As a Sega devotee I felt like I'd won some kind of small but respectable lottery.

Well, right off the bat I thought the game felt a little funny. I kept running into obstacles I thought I'd cleared, or running into obstacles that didn't seem to exist. I couldn't exactly tell what part of my character was the hitbox, and the controls -- especially when angling from side to side -- felt clunky and strange. Trying to slam on the breaks and winding up unexpectedly veering into something was a common problem. I played the heck out of the game because it was still fun in its way, but it didn't have the charm I remembered from the Nintendo version. I also believed I'd never be able to clear it on anything but the easiest settings, and in the end I'm honestly not sure I ever cleared it at all.

To be fair, it had definitely been a while since I'd played the NES port when I first picked up this Genesis version (and it's been even longer now). It's possible that the NES game possesses the same issues too, but that I'd been too young when I was playing it to really notice or care. What matters, though, is that I finally decided to pick up my Genny copy again and managed to clear each of the three levels on Normal difficulty. The only thing that the difficulty setting changes is the point number at which you earn an extra life.

What I've learned from my Paperboy experience is something I've always suspected: I greatly prefer games that rely more on player improvisation than straight memorization. So many crashes in Paperboy were due to my forgetting that the game had hidden an enemy behind another enemy after a certain day of the week, or that seemingly parked cars would start pulling forward on certain days and then back up on later ones. If you forget these details, basically nothing will save you. When I was a kid I would never have committed to this kind of direct memorization... which is probably why I never beat Paperboy until now.

The controls still handled weirdly, however. I'm really curious to compare it to the NES version sometime in the future.

* = replay

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:24 am
by Exhuminator
I am up to 57 games completed so far this year. Here's the up to date list:
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 / diving sim) (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[/b]
40. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3 | 2007 | cover shooter) 6/10
41. King's Field II (PS1 | 1995 | dungeon crawler) 7/10
42. Trauma Center: Under The Knife 2 (DS | 2008 | surgery sim) 7/10
43. Fairune (Android | 2013 | action / puzzle) 5/10
44. Metroid: Other M (Wii | 2010 | action adventure) 7/10
45. Red Dead Redemption (360 | 2010 | action adventure) 10/10
46. Army of Two: The 40th Day (360 | 2010 | cover shooter) 6/10
47. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (3DS | 1997/2013 | JRPG) 6/10
48. Bonk's Revenge (Game Boy | 1994 | platformer) 7/10
49. The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (360 | 2011 | action-RPG) 8/10
50. Valkyria Chronicles (PS3 | 2008 | SRPG) 9/10
51. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction (360 | 2010 | action adventure) 7/10
52. Sorcery! (Android | 1983/2014 | game book) 9/10
53. Sorcery! 2 (Android | 1984/2014 | game book) 8/10
54. Lone Wolf - Book I: Flight From The Dark (Android | 1984/2015 | game book) 8/10
55. Lone Wolf - Book II: Fire On The Water (Android | 1984/2015 | game book) 8/10
56. Island of the Lizard King (Android | 1984/2014 | game book) 7/10
57. Shadow and Ash (PC | 2015 | adventure) 8/10