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Key-Glyph
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Key-Glyph Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:08 pm

01. Pokémon SoulSilver (DS)
02. Sushi Academy (DS)
03. Alcahest (SFC)
04. Comix Zone (GEN)
05. Lost Vikings (GEN)
06. Beautiful Katamari (360)
07. Toejam & Earl (GEN)*
08. Final Fantasy Legend III (GB)
09. 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)

20. Pokémon Y (3DS)
Ugh, my reviews are always way too long. I apologize:
I started this game about a year and a half ago when I was out sick for an entire week. All I did was lie on the couch, cough, drink tea, and play Pokémon Y. I think I slept sometimes. It's hard to remember specifics.

Although the distraction was greatly appreciated at the time, by the end of the week I had completely burnt myself out. I'd played through the main story and captured the legendary, and then I just... stopped. When I picked it up again earlier this month I only had to play for another hour or so to properly finish the game.

My feelings about Y all over the place and hard to articulate. I'd lost a lot of interest in playing current-day pokémon games after White, but a good friend convinced me to give this a try. I am glad I bought it, because I did have some fun. Being able to customize the appearance of your trainer is a huge perk (I don't know why the franchise waited this long to make it happen), the polygonal overworld visual style finally works for me here, and minigames like feeding my pokémon are kinda nice. It also felt good to stay updated on what the franchise is doing these days.

But the aspects that don't work for me personally are things that permeate the entire experience. The French setting just doesn't do it for me. I'm also so, so tired of the villain's motivation, which is a repeat we've seen in several of the games now.

The thing that might bother me most, though, is how this game absolutely falls over itself to try to have a super deep message, and how hugely it fails. The message here is about treating your pokémon with love and respect -- but the more realistic the games get, the harder it is reconcile a gameplay element that pits them against each other until someone lands a KO. Instead of tweaking something (e.g. instead of fainting, they could simply bow out and concede defeat) or confronting the problem (Black/White got so close to self-awareness but then copped out at the last minute), this game just doubles-down on the same old argument that no, battling really is all about trust and love. Really really.

This worked for me back in the days when the enemy sprites of wild pokémon didn't collapse with sad, pained expressions. Now I'm simply left feeling like the gameplay and the plot are fundamentally incompatible -- and yet the game is still trying to convince me otherwise with a constant barrage of "because I said so."

X/Y also tries to get you emotionally invested in the companionship of your four friends, who are all one-note personalities who constantly break immersion with bad dialog. All of these friends, even your rival, are super supportive and shower you with praise and team spirit at every opportunity. Even the random NPCs on the street defer to you immediately and keep saying you're probably the most special trainer who has ever trained. The fact that this is a constant drum beat, and the fact that I usually hadn't done anything that warranted that kind of attention, makes it seem insincere and forced.

I love pokémon games, and I love deep, emotional storytelling. The problem is that X/Y doesn't pull off the combination. The more it exaggerates the "trust and love" component, the more hollow it feels against the increased visual realism and the unchanged core gameplay.

Would I recommend this game? Yes. I think most people out there would love it. Will I ever play through it again? No. And believe me, coming from key-glyph, that means something.


* = replay
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Luke
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Luke Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:47 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Ninja Gaiden 2 is awesome, and the cinematics are great. If you like uncensored NES games, be sure to play Golgo 13 and NARC sometime...


Golgo 13 is kind of like the NES version of Killer 7. It's all over the place as far as gameplay, is quite erratic, and a good break from the norm. Even the box art is neat.
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Stark
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Stark Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:25 pm

Key-Glyph wrote:20. Pokémon Y (3DS)
Ugh, my reviews are always way too long. I apologize.

tl;dr in this case is Too Long; Did Read :P

Don't worry about it, I read it! :)
Let strength be granted, so the world might be mended...so the world might be mended.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:40 pm

Luke wrote:Golgo 13 is kind of like the NES version of Killer 7. It's all over the place as far as gameplay, is quite erratic, and a good break from the norm. Even the box art is neat.


Also, like Killer 7, it kind of sucks. :lol:
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Luke
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Luke Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:50 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Also, like Killer 7, it kind of sucks. :lol:


:lol: This is a point that should be well taken.
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nullPointer
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by nullPointer Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:56 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
Luke wrote:Golgo 13 is kind of like the NES version of Killer 7. It's all over the place as far as gameplay, is quite erratic, and a good break from the norm. Even the box art is neat.


Also, like Killer 7, it kind of sucks. :lol:

Dat music though. It's fantastic. I really think Golgo 13 one of the hidden musical gems in the NES library.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQyfv_r ... 716C0DEA91
Also ... it wins for best sideburns appearing in an NES title.
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Gamerforlife
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Gamerforlife Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:18 am

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This is now my favorite warriors/musou game
RyaNtheSlayA wrote:
Seriously. Screw you Shao Kahn I'm gonna play Animal Crossing.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:34 am

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
69. Zelda II - The Adventure of Link - NES
70. Anachronox - PC
71. Faxanadu - NES
72. Adventures of Lolo - NES
73. Ninja Gaiden 2 - NES
74. Half Minute Hero: The Second Coming - PC

When it came out I snagged Half Minute Hero on the PSP. It sounded like it had a fun premise and I wasn't disappointed. Rather than being an RPG the game is more of a puzzler that utilizes RPG conventions. You get 30 seconds to beat a level or the boss blows up the world with his magic spell. To aid the player you get super speed (to blow through encounters and move around) and the ability to rewind time for the cost of gold. The general flow is to grind monsters until you are strong enough to beat the boss (which the game is nice enough to explicitly tell you when it happens). However, there is a practical limit to how high you can get due to the ever increasing gold cost to turn back time. Additionally, the levels like to include a variety of obstacles between you and the boss, and that's where the puzzle aspect comes in. None of them are ever challenging, and it mostly comes down to time management and taking appropriate risks.

The original game included three other game modes to keep things fresh. One was a shmup, one was an RTS, and one was you needing to protect your charge. They all involved the 30 second gimmick, which makes them all pretty easy to pick up and play. The Second Coming instead ditches the extra modes in favor of having a deeper story. Now, the story is never earth shattering, but it does give more context as to why there's so many bosses and why you have to murder them all. The levels themselves I think also get a bit more interesting. That said, it really is a case of if you enjoyed the first you'll enjoy the sequel, and if you didn't you won't.
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by noiseredux Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:52 am

1. Beavis And Butt-Head In Virtual Stupidity (PC)
2. Renegade Ops (PC)
3. Arena Of Octos (Apple II)
4. Beauty And The Beast (Intellivision)
5. Chivalry (Apple II)
6. Donald Duck's Playground (C64)
7. Left 4 Dead (PC)
8. Left 4 Dead 2 (PC)
9. Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered (PC)
10. Forward To The Sky (PC)
11. Elevator Action (MSX)
12. Quake (PC)
13: Talisman: Digital Edition (PC)
14: Dead Or Alive 5 Last Round (PC)
15. Dragon Age Origins (PC)
16. Hearthstone (Android)
17. Toren (PC)
18. The Great Giana Sisters (Amiga)
19. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo (PC)
20. Lego Jurassic Park (PC)
21. Borderlands The Pre-Sequel (PC)
22. Cities Skylines (PC)
23. Borderlands The Pre-Sequel: Claptastic Voyage (PC)
24. Her Story (PC)
25. Hearthstone: Curse Of Naxxramus (PC)
26. Half-Life 2 (PC)
27. 9:05 (PC)
28. Mercenary Kings (PC)

Like Ack said some pages ago, Mercenary Kings is a lot like Metal Slug 1st Mission. A lot. But with co-op. It looks fantastic. It has music both awesome and annoying. And... it just goes on for too long. I enjoyed this one, but I would given up on it hours ago had it not been for my buds.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sload Soap Sat Oct 17, 2015 2:41 am

And with that my Metal Gear marathon is done. Some brief thoughts.

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (Xbox 360)

Metal Gear 2 is a weird game and probably my least favourite in the series. It's not bad at all and in some instances is disarmingly forward thinking but it is also beholden to a lot of plain irritating gameplay design (that swamp) which kind of muted the accomplishments elsewhere. For an early nineties MSX2 game it is mighty impressive but as a Metal Gear game all the quirks and innovations kind of rub up badly against the basic game design of its predecessor.

Metal Gear Solid (PS1)

Metal Gear Solid is still a stone cold classic and as far as the series goes only recently surpassed. Every single part of it is etched onto my memory, every part is so well known and remembered it's become part of the texture of the medium. I think it's also the only time that the story and gameplay were in perfect balance with each other. Yeah the stealth is actually pretty terrible but it still feels so fresh. The art direction is incredible, there are moments of genuine emotion and you generally get pulled into this outlandish and kind of campy world that's like James Bond crossed with anime. It's full of little quirks and tricks and I think it's one of the more replayable games of its era. Really, along with Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy VII I see it as one of the games that really shaped the destiny of the Sony gaming brand and therefore gaming on the whole.


Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Xbox 360)

MGS2 however is a mostly decent game before a last act curtain pull turns it into an extraordinary one. I hadn't played this game in more than a decade and it was the title I was least looking forward to playing as part of this marathon. Pleasingly I did rather enjoy it overall. Obviously what gets people talking these days is that final chapter but I found the rest of the game pretty agreeable as well. Some of the stuff I recalled being my bugbears with the game such as the bomb disposal and underwater section really weren't all that bad. And I like Raiden. It's funny how, for a guy who eventually becomes a superhero cyborg, he's probably the most human character in these games. There's all this madness going on around him and he essentially cannot handle it. It's a shame then that Kojima kind of decided to retcon the ending to MGS2 (which is kind of fair enough) to give Raiden a schmaltzy happy ending in MGS4.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3)

Ah yes, MGS4. I'm glad I've played it (and I absolutely tore through it) but it is definitely one of weaker entries in the series. It's not even just down the the excessive length of the cutscenes or the many bizarre attempts at humour (monkeys and poop) or romance (Hal getting his heart broke by someone he only just met again, the WTF Meryl and Johnny Sasaki wedding). It's the fact that the gameplay is actually very good but its many interesting facets are sidelined while the plot is pushing Snake and Ocelot into that climatic fist fight. There's some great stuff early on when you are required to sneak through an citywide battle, the Octocamo is a really cool and well thought out tool and there are moments when the nostalgia for the past that the game is drenched in actually hits home. There's some very silly but hugely enjoyable sections (Rex vs Ray) that really get you pumped up for the finale.

Unfortunately there are also times when that apparent need to tie-up every plot point, to have every character have their moment as well as spotlight, including those who don't deserve it like Vamp, as well as the new characters means that the game runs close to being a 50/50 split of gameplay to cutscene. I'm not even joking. It results in a situation where you are in control of Snake for as long as you would be in say MGS2 or 3 but with an additional 4-5 hours of cutscenes or mission briefings or codec calls on top of those games already lengthy intermissions. MGS4 wants to simultaneously be a sequel to all of the three prior MGS games regardless of the timeline and spends so much time explaining things from those titles and spinning more plates than it can keep its eyes on, it often loses track of itself in the process. That said, the CQC bro-hug is pretty cool though. Manly tears.

I have to say though overall Metal Gear is one of the more consistently high quality long running series I've ever played, especially considering some of the risks it has taken along the way. The nine canon games (with the exception of Ground Zeroes) all manage to be unique both from a gameplay perspective and a storytelling one, while also keeping the core themes and sneaking gameplay as the groundwork.

It all comes back to one man: Hideo Kojima, one of gaming's few true auteurs. He took what could have been a reasonably good but pretty generic stealth action series, spiced it up with some world building, some fourth-wall breaking playfulness, some downright weirdness and created a franchise that is truly memorable while also fully utilizing the medium to tell its story. I used to think Kojima was someone who seemed like he'd be more comfortable making movies than games, but now I see Metal Gear wouldn't work as anything but a game. Think of Psycho Mantis reading your memory card, or Big Boss telling you to "turn your MSX off now", or Snake telling Raiden he has "infinite ammo" while pointing at his headband. None of these moments, the ones that really stick with you would work outside of the medium. Truly a wonderful series. Shame we'll probably never get that WW2 set MGS where you play as the Boss.

Anyway, here is my pointless and subjective order of preference for the series.

Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid
Snake Eater
Peace Walker
Sons of Liberty
Metal Gear
Guns of the Patriots
Metal Gear 2
Ground Zeroes

Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 (Xbox One)

I also played Pro Evo 2016. It's not as good as last year. That is all.
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