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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Xeogred Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:56 pm

A definite feat. Doom 64 on its lower levels feels like vanilla Doom1/2 on UV haha.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:45 pm

1. Grandia (PlayStation)
2. Jungle Hunt (Xbox - Taito Legends)
3. Jungle Hunt (Atari 2600)
4. Jungle Hunt (Plug & Play - ColecoVision Flashback)


Jungle Hunt is Taito's landmark 1982 sidescrolling platformer. Released the same year as Pitfall!, it features a similar jungle exploration these.

The arcade version is emulated on Taito Legends. Note that the original release of the game featured a hero that resembled Tarzan. Taito was eventually sued and the protagonist was changed to a Pitfall Harry type explorer. The version presented on Taito Legends is the later one.

Like most games of the era, Jungle Hunt is a looper, but it features four completely distinct levels and some semblance of an ending cutscene before beginning anew.

Level one has our hero swinging from vine to vine. Relatively simple stuff, but precise timing is required.
Level two is an underwater scene. Things get a little more complicated here. There are crocodiles that can be taken out with a knife for points - but not when their mouths are open. Occasional bubble spouts can force your explorer up and possibly into a deadly croc. Also, frequent trips to the surface must be taken for air. The hit detection when jabbing the crocs can be iffy - so I say ignore them if you're playing purely for survival and not points.
The third level features an assortment of large and small rocks hurtling down a hill directly towards our hero. You have a choice to either jump over or duck under the boulders.
Finally, level four requires some precise jumps over two cannibals to save the damsel in distress. This is arguably the most difficult level as the jump controls are stiff and - since this predates Mario - you can't make little tweaks in the air to control movement.

Overall, Jungle Hunt is quite good. The controls are (mostly) solid, the soundtrack is catchy, and the graphics - complete with parallax scrolling - are very pleasing to the eye. I'd consider this an essential game of the pre-crash era and recommend it to all interested in pre-SMB platform design.

Jungle Hunt was ported to all of the requisite 2nd gen systems.

The Atari 2600 port is pretty faithful to the original with some small tweaks due to hardware limitations. The catchy song that plays throughout is absent. The transition between each level is very sudden and a bit jarring. Because the system likely couldn't handle two cannibals + our damsel on the screen at once they are split into three areas. The cannibals can also jump now. Lastly, you are displayed an ending message upon the completion of level 4 but no accompanying picture. This is one of the better Atari 2600 games. You can get it for a buck. Check it out.

The ColecoVision port - which I don't own but instead played on the recently released Plug & Play - is also quite good. The graphics are a huge upgrade from the Atari port. It's also much easier. The vines in level one are now diagonal lines as opposed to the pixelated "curves" seen in the original arcade and Atari versions. This makes jumping between them much easier. The bubbles are no longer present in level two. And some of the rocks bounce so high in stage three that you can simply run under them instead of having to duck.

One final aside: I also own, and attempted to complete, the Atari 5200 port.

This was not possible. The controls are mutilated beyond comprehension.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:08 am

1. Painkiller - PC
2. Front Mission 4 - PS2
3. Wasteland 2 - PC
4. Arcanum - PC

Well, I powered through. I think the way to best describe this is an attempt at doing Morrowind in the Fallout engine, but with a bunch of bad UI decisions tossed in.

The game's universe is very intriguing and I'd love to see more games set in this sort of aesthetic. You've got fairly standard looking villages and then the cities are more upscale with that Victorian look. They also did a good job with how much the dialog varies based on things such as your sex, your race, and where you are on the magic/tech spectrum.

The magic/tech thing is another great idea, if a bit unbalanced. The more tech you know the worse you are at magic. The more magic you know the worse you are at using tech. It lets your characters specialize and I feel like a second playthrough would play very different from the one I just finished. Another thing the game does very well is that there are a ton of solutions to your problems. Especially when it comes to the main quest it feels like it is very hard to lock yourself out of continuing; I think you would really have to be trying to screw yourself over.

Now for the bad. I've talked about how bad the UI is in the RPG progress thread. The camera control combines the worst parts of Diablo-style fixed and Baldur's Gate-style free cameras. The game offers both turn based and real time combat, but the real time has major problems (the game runs very fast and you're constrained by animation times) while the turn based stacks things way in favor of the player (you always start first since you control when you enter and once you realize speed is the god stat you can easily attack 10-15 times depending on your weapon, more if you chug a speed potion). Another downside of the combat is your companions are identical to Fallout's; you can't control them and they tend to do dumb things. The best companions have healing skills to give you a little boost in combat, but they don't really do a dedicated medic role.

Another major issue is the size of the world. Now, normally a big world is a good thing, as Morrowind demonstrates so well. But Morrowind has a lot of good decisions in terms of world and interface design that leverage that large world. In Arcanum the size of the world ends up getting in the way of everything. The first problem is that you don't know any NPC names until you talk to them, which when combined with every NPC having actual dialog written for them means it's an utter pain in the ass to track down quest targets and to discover quests in the first place. The next problem is that you don't get the ability to do real discovery like you do in Morrowind. If you're very lucky when you're moving on the world map you might trigger a waypoint that you can explore, but the radius on it is very small. Another issue is that if you're not within a designated area (such as a town) then you don't get the ability to get a map view of your immediate surroundings. What really makes this suck is how many times waypoints will drop you off with your target being out of view; if you start walking the wrong way you won't realize it for a while. This makes a lot of the "track down someone" quests extremely hard to pull off without a guide, since they usually involve wilderness areas.

Finally, the ending is kind of anticlimactic. You fight the final boss, kill him dead, then you get a very brief cutscene of you escaping the last dungeon and then it immediately goes into "here's the results of your sidequests"; you don't even get a "thanks to you evil has been stopped" or something similar beforehand.

This game is deeply flawed, but it also has a lot of really good points. I made a point of avoiding walkthrough help for the most part, but for the times I used it I didn't feel like I cheated myself out of an experience. The strength of the game is in the writing, so if you want to give it a try I'd say don't shy away from GameFAQs so you can experience as much of the content as you want.
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Sload Soap
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sload Soap Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:04 am

Good to see more people enjoying Doom 64. Excellent game.

@MrPopo, I've been following your thoughts on Arcanum with interest. I've been thinking of playing it this year but I've not got much experience in top-down CRPG's and from what you've said it seems pretty noob-unfriendly.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BogusMeatFactory Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:12 am

Sload Soap wrote:Good to see more people enjoying Doom 64. Excellent game.

@MrPopo, I've been following your thoughts on Arcanum with interest. I've been thinking of playing it this year but I've not got much experience in top-down CRPG's and from what you've said it seems pretty noob-unfriendly.


Yeah if you were deciding to play a good, accessible top down computer RPG, I would recommend games like the original fallout games. They are difficult, but provide a lot of room to experiment and try things out and overall, a new player can pick up the mechanics easily.

I also highly recommend Dark Sun: Shattered Lands. A game I have been touted a lot lately as I finally beat it late last year and have been a fan of for over 2 decades. It is a lot of fun and very easy to pick up and play.

Other games of note, would go to games like Shadowrun Returns and its expansion. It is a great top down strategy RPG with a lot of fan content to help make it last longer.

I don't recommend the likes of Baldur's Gate or Arcanum as a stepping stone into the Computer RPG realm as they have steep learning curves and a lot of trial and error make even a bit of headway into the story. They are phenomenal games, but they require a lot of time, patience and planning to get through.
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Sload Soap
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sload Soap Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:21 am

Cool. I did pick up Shadowrun Returns in the last steam sale so I'll start there then. I have tried both Baldur's Gates and Fallout but never could get into them despite my love of Morrowind and its aggressively standoffish design.

More humbling though while I fumbled with them, my brother was able to knock those games out when he was about 12. He then started to walk around with a stuffed toy taped to his shoulder pretending to be Minsk. It was a phase.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BogusMeatFactory Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:23 am

Sload Soap wrote:More humbling though while I fumbled with them, my brother was able to knock those games out when he was about 12. He then started to walk around with a stuffed toy taped to his shoulder pretending to be Minsk. It was a phase.


BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
Ack wrote:I don't know, chief, the haunting feeling of lust I feel whenever I look at your avatar makes me think it's real.

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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:15 am

MrPopo wrote:4. Arcanum - PC

You are literally the only person I know who's beat this game. Congratulations?

-

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I finished up Dragon Quest VIII tonight. It took me about 68 hours. I would give this game a 9 out of 10. My only true complaints are that it was a cakewalk and a bit too long.
Dragon Quest VIII represents the standard 1986 DQ formula polished to sheer perfection. With its languid pace, frequent loading, and incessant random battles, this classically styled JRPG is not for the impatient gamer. Vintage enthusiasts however will be enthralled with DQVIII's amazing cel shaded graphics, huge and perfectly scaled game world, orchestrated OST, charming protagonists, and massive overall experience. If DQVIII has any fault, it's perhaps too much of a good thing; many will burnout before the end. For those with the fortitude and verve for such a long journey though, a masterpiece draws near!

Now I need a break from RPGs for a while. Time for some action games.
Last edited by Exhuminator on Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:49 am

BogusMeatFactory wrote:I don't recommend the likes of Baldur's Gate or Arcanum as a stepping stone into the Computer RPG realm as they have steep learning curves and a lot of trial and error make even a bit of headway into the story. They are phenomenal games, but they require a lot of time, patience and planning to get through.

I think the real thing that hurts Baldur's Gate in terms of the noob experience is just how unforgiving the AD&D rules are. Baldur's Gate ends up being a giant tutorial for Baldur's Gate II, as II is when you reach that point where you don't feel like every combat is going to kill you and your characters have enough spell slots and spell levels to have interesting tactical choices. But the original you just have to treat like every combat is going to kill you (and in the first couple levels every combat probably will) and you'll do fine. Actually going through and doing the quests is not really an issue, unlike Arcanum. And it's even better if you're either doing the Baldur's Gate Trilogy mod (running Baldur's Gate on the BG2 engine since it adds some nice usability features) or using the Enhanced Edition (which I believe has the same usability features).

Personally I think Fallout is only a bit easier to get into than Baldur's Gate. Baldur's Gate does a better job of giving you a plot line to follow and you know you need to hit location A, then B, then C, with an option to explore all over the place if you want. Fallout is much more open ended and you don't really discover the main plot until midway through. Of course, if you prefer that then go for it. I also think Fallout wants you to do more research into its system to plan your character out, whereas the D&D system both forces halfway decent stats on you to play the various classes and since its random rolls people quickly realize they want to roll until they have a bunch of big numbers.

Shadowrun Returns is great, though. The combat is straight out of XCOM (in a great way) and you get a nicely balanced party in Dragonfall so you can focus on rolling a character you like, rather than needing to powergame things.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Stark Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:47 am

BogusMeatFactory wrote:
Sload Soap wrote:More humbling though while I fumbled with them, my brother was able to knock those games out when he was about 12. He then started to walk around with a stuffed toy taped to his shoulder pretending to be Minsk. It was a phase.


BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

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