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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by alienjesus Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:24 am

First 50:
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
47. Final Fantasy VIII PS1
48. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 PSN
49. The Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse Game Gear
50. The Legend of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse Game Gear

51. Deep Duck Trouble starring Donald Duck Game Gear
52. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX 3DS*
53. Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush Wii U
54. Retro Game Challenge DS
55. Pop Island Paperfield DSiWare
56. Stranded Kids GBC
57. Bomberman 64 N64
58. Inazuma Eleven DS
59. Bust-a-Move 4 DC
60. Sega Bass Fishing DC
61. Mario Party 8 Wii
62. Sonic Chaos Game Gear
63. Sonic the Hedgehog SMS
64. Jet Force Gemini N64 *NEW*
65. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U DL *NEW*
66. Kirby's Ghost Trap SNES *NEW*

This weekend I beat 3 games. 2 of them were alphabet marathon games! It's good to make some progress again.

Jet Force Gemini
Jet Force Gemini was game J of my alphabet marathon.

Rare's output on the N64 is pretty legendary. Most of their games remain highly praised for tight controls, fun gameplay and tons of character - Banjo, Conker, Diddy Kong Racing, Goldeneye and Perfect Dark cheif among them.

There are also the other group of Rare games that are either not as well though of overall (Donkey Kong 64 - which I think is fantastic personally) or mostly forgotten (Blast Corps). Jet Force Gemini is one of this group.

Jet Force Gemini is a third person shooter with platforming and adventure elements, where you play as the Jet Force and help save a planet of cuddly koala-like Tribals from an evil army of killer ants. You mostly do this by shooting stuff.

The elephant in the room for this game is the controls, which are mostly regarded as awful nowadays. And I can understand peoples dislike of them, but I find them much better than the default control scheme of, say, Goldeneye for the same console, and once you get to grips with their foibles, they allow the game to play very fast and fluidly. You move around (and turn) with the control stick, strafe with c-left and c-right, and switch weapons with the d-pad, or, more commonly, c-up and c-down. By pressing R, you switch to aiming mode where you cannot move (other than by strafing), but you can more freely aim at enemies. This is essential from the outset and can confuse at first, but you quickly become accustomed to it and it works well. Of course, A jumps and Z shoots, with B relgated to making you duck down to crawl through gaps.

The aiming in JFG can be both twitchy and stubborn, which I understand seems an odd combo. The cursor moves quite fast, but if it doesn't go past a certain point you won't turn and the cursoer will pull back towards the centre. This can make aiming at distant enemies kinda twitchy, but I kinda like that as it feels more real somehow for it to be hard to hit distant foes. It makes sniping twitchy fun too. Some weapons have a homing function though, and there's some generous aim adjustment at work, especially outside of aiming mode that allows you to run n gun through large groups when need be.

Jet Force Gemini is one of those Rare games where it seems quite surprising what they slipped under the radar. Not Conker bad, but a little edgier than you might expect for the content. Enemies explode into showers of green goo, most lose their heads (which are a collectable), there's lots of silly British humour (one NPC rewards you for finding his pants) and some slightly suggestive text at times (like a lonely NPC who is delighted with the 'Specialist Magazine' you give him, asking you to 'lock the door on your way out'. As well as enemies dying, the cute cuddly koala guys also die very easily, and it's these guys who are the other elephant in the room for JFG.

After completing the inital story as all 3 characters (they have unique levels and a few unique skills) and 'defeating' the boss, he runs away and threatens your home planet. You now need to colelct 12 hidden ship parts in the levels, one of which requires you rescue all the tribals. Tribals are scattered around any level, with up to 16 on some levels. They can be killed by both enemies and you, and to rescue all tribals in a level, you need collect them all in a single attempt - no getting 5 and coming back for the other 5 later, you need all 10 in one go. One dies, sytart the level over. Plus, due to the unique skills of your characters, you may get 9 of the 12 tribals and figure out you need Vela to swim down and get the last 3, causing you to start over.

This mechanic is frustrating, and I personally recommend using a guide to at least tell you which character you need to be, as I did. That said, I rarely lost a tribal due to them dying, there's tons of new areas to explore in old levels and even a few cool new levels. The mechanic is a game lengthening collectathon (hooray, Rareware!) but it's still a ton of fun and I don't regret any of it. It does however make up 2/3rds of the game, so if it's not your thing, you might want to avoid this one.

JFG never takes itself seriously, even though it constantly presents it'self as doing so. It has serious dramatic cutscenes, but it's full of cheesy dialogue, bad puns, and characters with names like King Jeff and areas like the Big Bug Fun Club, a disco with dancing ants and arcade cabinets (which are playable - Rare love mini games). The ending has to be seen to be believed, it's so stupid. It's great.

Despite the flaws JFG has, and despite it not being considered the cream of Rare's crop, I loved Jet Force Gemini. It's fast paced, silly, fluid and fun, and I think it absolutely deserves to rank alongside Banjo Kazooie and Goldeneye as one of the defining games on the N64.


Tekken Tag Tournament 2
I love me some Tekken, and I love me some Tekken Tag Tournament. It's like Tekken, only twice as much Tekken. Great!

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is like Tekken Tag Tournament, only with even more Tekken Tag. Great!

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is Tekken, with two characters and a massive character roster. I'm not sure what to say about it mechanically - Tekken is a fun 3D fighter (which I greatly prefer to 2D fighters) with an interesting and diverse roster. I picked up this Wii U version on eShop on discount so it only cost me £6.50.

I've not had a chance to try the online play, but the game plays very fluidly on Wii U. There are some unique play modes for the Wii U version, but they're just a silly diversion really. As far as I know, everything else from the console versions is here, plus some silly Nintendo costumes for characters too.

I beat the game as Xiaoyu and Bob and I plan to play through a bunch more times with other characters. The final boss fight against Unknown was pretty cool and the difficulty was just about right for me.

This was kind of a crap review because I don't really know what to say about TTT2. It's pretty great though. You should buy it.


Kirby's Ghost Trap
Kirby's Ghost Trap was game K of my alphabet marathon.

Kirby's Ghost Trap, known in America as Kirby Avalanche, is a reskinned entry of the Puyo Puyo series released only in the west for Super Nintendo. Instead of the characters from Madou Monogatari featured in the Japanese version (such as Skeleton T.) it instead features you playing as Kirby in a 'Ghost Trap' tournament against characters such as Waddle Dee, Whispy Woods, Kracko and Dedede.

The game features 3 difficulty modes (as well as a seperate difficulty setting, meaning there's quite a lot of different difficulty levels here actually). I beat the game on the default difficulty setting, both on the Novice challenge (which features 3 easy tutorial stages versus Waddle Dee, Bronto Burt and Waddle Doo) and the Standard difficulty, which lets you play all 13 regular stages from Poppy Bros. Sr through to King Dedede. The last difficulty is the same as this as far as I can tell, only it starts you at stage 4 instead of stage 1.

The gameplay is the standard Puyo Puyo fare - match 4 coloured blobs together to make them disappear, and try and create a ton of combos. Big combos dump junk blocks on the opponents side which have to be cleared by making matches next to them. In this game, like Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine before it (are they ports of the same game?), by stage 6 or so you're mostly fighting against the puyo's drop speed, which gets ridiculous, with almost no time to think. Thankfully you get a little bit of 'spin' time when the puyos land where you can spin them still, but it's not infinite, unlike most modern Tetris games. Often a big combo early on wins you the match against the harder opponents due to the fall speed.

The game is a ton of fun sure, but the main thing that will stick with me is the games dialogue. Before each round, Kirby talks to his opponent, and damn Kirby is a sassy bugger. An example of the text:

Whispy Woods: Please do not stand on my roots. It would not be a wise decision
Kirby: *Stomps on roots* I feel like Apple Pie!

or

Buggzy: ROOOOOOOAAAAARRRR!!!!
Kirby: Oh I'm soooooooooo scared!

I have some screenshots saved which I'll post in the screenshots thread later. You can bet he has angry American eyebrows in every scene too! The game also has some voice samples saying the opponents names. These are of decent audio quality for a SNES game, but they are almost universally unfitting for the character they represent. The deep male voice saying 'Lololo and Lalala' in a really bored way might be my favourite, although Bronto Burt's deep growl of 'BRONTO BURT!' is great too.

Kirby's Ghost Trap is a fun game with pretty graphics. Depending on your view, the completely inappropriate characterisation of the Kirby universe either detracts from the game or adds to it through it's sheer ridiculous. I went with the latter, it was hilarious.

Kirby's Ghost Trap is a fun game worth picking up for a cheap price, which is what I got it for. There's a ton of Puyo games, and having only played 2 (which might be the same game) I can't recommend whether this is one of the better ones or not. It is a great game either way though, so pick it up!
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:02 pm

First 50:
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)

50. Tower of Guns (PC)(FPS)

51. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (PC)(FPS)
52. The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (PC)(FPS)

53. 9:05 (PC)(Text Adventure)
54. Mercenary Kings (PC)(Run and Gun)
55. Super Pinball: Behind the Mask (SNES)(Pinball)
56. Pinocchio (SNES)(Platformer)
57. Iron Brigade (PC)(Tower Defense/TPS)
58. Iron Brigade: Rise of the Martian Bear (PC)(Tower Defense/TPS)

59. Anachronox (PC)(RPG)

Oh, Anachronox, you are such a flawed gem of a game. I adore some portions of you and loathe others. I find you enticing, exciting, baffling, and enigmatic, brimming with wonderful ideas occasionally marred by execution or genre convention. You are at times both a great friend and a bitter enemy.

If you haven't noticed, I have some mixed feelings about this game. A part of me really does want to sing the games praises and expound upon why you need to play it, but...well, I just can't. The glaring flaws it possesses keeps me from being able to do so. There are problems here, ones I find significant enough to keep me from declaring this the top of the pile. Ones which I figured I should just go ahead and break down. But first, a note on the positives:

The story is marvelous and well-crafted, capable of reaching a variety of themes and intermixing light-hearted humor with dramatic intensity. If ever I have encountered a story that could hit all the points, this is it. Seriously, you get intrigue and betrayal, hidden sorrows behind masks of joviality, a neo-noir hero working alongside his femme fatale, alcoholic superheroes, a lesson in extreme democracy, religion vs. science(and science as pseudo-religion), rampant corporations, powerful criminal syndicates, prophecy, threats to multiple universes, and even a twist ending that will leave you shaking your head before the cliffhanger ending. I am in awe at how much game designer Tom Hall managed to fit into this, and I admit that all of it leaves me clamoring for more. It is a spectacular shame that a sequel never materialized, but what we do have features a cast of characters so intensely lovable that I will forever have fond memories of them. If this game had been an adventure game, I think it would have worked just as well.

Unfortunately it is not. Instead it is a hybrid of western game design in a JRPG, which makes for an interesting idea that unfortunately doesn't entirely hold up in execution. For one, it relies on a Final Fantasy-esque battle system, which means an attempt at an active time battle system. This means you'll be waiting...a lot. The camera occasionally likes to freak out during these waiting periods or during actions too. But combat also comprises of a grid to move around, meaning your melee characters may have to blow turns moving to get close to the enemy while potentially getting in the way of your range folks. This is at least partly mitigated by most characters using range weapons at some point or having special abilities which can circumnavigate this issue, but it is an issue nonetheless. These abilities also don't come with leveling but with performing secrets in the game, which must be explored continuously to be found, which ties into another issue...

...extensive backtracking. Some nights I would start up the game only to spend the next few hours retreading ground so I could get folks to certain places to talk to certain folks for a new weapon or ability. Each time I would then have to spend another ten minutes getting back to base to swap out characters so I could do it again. This quickly became a laborious chore as I tried to find all the secrets hidden within. I do not lament this portion being done. I also didn't end up finding everything either, meaning I missed out on a weapon for Paco, my aging depressed superhero. His best weapons involve you searching for obscure objects to grab or photograph from the start of the game, some of which are entirely missable. This is maddening.

Not only are these almost necessary benefits hidden, but the stats are obscure too. Your characters statistics are represented by bars, not numbers, with no real definition as to what they mean. Heck, the whole game is largely cryptic in its explanations of how things work and don't work. I had to have Popo explain the Elementor system to me because the game does a horrible job. Status effects also don't get much of an explanation, and I didn't figure out what some of them do until the final boss battle, when they became a crucial piece which artificial extended the game by half an hour for me. I like PAL, but he really let me down there. Actually PAL is probably the worst offender for some of the game's problems, as acquiring his best equipment involves letting the game sit for four hours at a time while he goes and plays. Seriously.

At the same time, PAL's minigame special ability was one of my favorites. Every character has a special ability they can use to attain secrets or occasionally further the plot, and all of them are upgradeable. Some are fun, like Boots' lockpicking minigame, and his upgrade is a huge improvement that effectively eliminates his time requirements. Unfortunately some of the other characters aren't nearly so great, particularly Paco and Stiletto. I loathed both of their minigames from the start, and upgrading them actually made them worse.

Ok, ok, I suppose I have leveled a lot of criticism at the gameplay here, but I don't want you to think I hated the game. No, actually, I really loved it. I do want to take a moment though and praise one particular aspect, which is character design. In fact, I want to praise one particular character, whom I will call the Big D. Big D is the greatest RPG character ever. I'm not kidding, the Big D is the reason why I want to play video games, because ideas that are utterly ridiculous can be executed with such awesome and incredible style and handled so well that it just seems normal. Unfortunately I don't want to ruin why the Big D is such an amazing character, so to find out, you are going to have to play Anachronox yourself. Really, if you love RPGs, you should at least give it a try. It has some massive problems, but the reward is a story worth exploring.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:19 pm

As someone who put in multiple attempts at getting through Anachronox, having many hours playing it, I think your review is on the money Ack. This game would have been better of as an adventure title, rather than a hybrid RPG-adventure. While I enjoyed the characters and story quite a bit, there really was too much aggravating game design and contrived time bloating inconveniences to competently keep me hooked. Honestly the most fun insofar as actual gameplay I had involved this:
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The OX Table


Anachronox really did have a cool story and lots of great humor, it would have made a great sci-fi mini-series TV show.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:29 pm

Exhuminator wrote:As someone who put in multiple attempts at getting through Anachronox, having many hours playing it, I think your review is on the money Ack. This game would have been better of as an adventure title, rather than a hybrid RPG-adventure. While I enjoyed the characters and story quite a bit, there really was too much aggravating game design and contrived time bloating inconveniences to competently keep me hooked. Honestly the most fun insofar as actual gameplay I had involved this:
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The OX Table


Anachronox really did have a cool story and lots of great humor, it would have made a great sci-fi mini-series TV show.


Thanks, Exhum. I believe Anachronox is ultimately a great idea that struggles with its design. For those not interested in playing the game though, there is the movie.

Also...
I admit I didn't care much for OX. I could never get into it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:34 pm

I ended up giving up on most of the sidequests and backtracking because the game is fortunately easy enough that you don't need the best gear or anything like that. If you get the chests in the current dungeon and keep up with the store inventories you'll do just fine. But I agree that it's a shame that I felt it was more worthwhile to skip the heaps of optional content.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by alienjesus Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:23 pm

I think I'm gonna stop spoilering my reviews. It'll mean my posts are ridiculously long, but maybe people will actually comment on them.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:49 pm

I read most everything that's posted here but I don't always comment because I figure people won't read my comments. :lol:
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:53 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:I read most everything that's posted here but I don't always comment because I figure people won't read my comments. :lol:

We do read them, but this is what we see:

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Ys ys ys ys ys ynots? ys ys ys
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:09 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:I read most everything that's posted here but I don't always comment because I figure people won't read my comments. :lol:


If it's a reply to me, I read it. I'm interested in talking about what I beat, so if people engage with my thoughts, then I want to at least consider replying.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by TSTR Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:25 pm

I actually have a handful of games to add here, but I've been too lazy to type up something meaningful about them.
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