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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:48 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)
60. Banished (PC)(Strategy)
61. Rune (PC)(Action)
62. Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (PC)(FPS)

Well, that was easy.

I kid, I kid! A few months back, ExedExes had the joy of playing through Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter(GRAW) for the PC, which resulted in him and Exhuminator having quite a few talks on the subject. It came up again a few weeks ago, and I indicated I would be willing to give it a shot if I got the chance. Well, since it's never been on GOG and has been pulled from Steam, Exhum decided the best thing to do was to mail me a copy directly, along with all relevant patch info, set up a few ground rules, and have me try out the GRAW challenge. I've completed it, and it was at times a bloody and bumpy wild ride.

First, a little background info: GRAW is the result of the ever increasing Tom Clancy line of Tactical FPS. There are also a couple of different versions of the game, depending on the format you pick to play it on. GRAW on consoles is a third person shooter cakewalk filled with gumdrops, rainbows, and unicorns, where enemies die at your squad's feet from your sheer force of good will and you can save anywhere you want at any time, even right before a sniper's chocolate bullet smacks into your skull and sends you down to the peppermint pavement. GRAW on the PC is an entirely different matter. Instead of a TPS, it's an FPS. Instead of saving anywhere, it's checkpoint saves only, usually with a lot of walking and shooting and explosions between. There is still a squad, but most of its members consist of hyperactive five year olds who have no idea what words like 'warzone' mean. Oh, and it's low-carb, so no sugar. No sugar at all! That's because GRIN developed it, and if you haven't seen the GRIN logo, well...the sweets have done their damage.

As an experiment, I went online to look up what other folks thought. Well...I'll just post what I found here:

The biggest difference is the PC version is PSYCHOTICALLY DIFFICULT

One thing about this game is that it is very difficult. Even on easy it can be very tough.

This has to be one of the worst games ive ever played. Mainly because even on normal difficulty if you end up getting shot even just a couple of times your dead. Not to mention the fact that you cant save on your own and have to rely on check points instead(which obviously isnt helpful considering you lose 10-30 minutes everytime your dead)


Words like 'impossible' get bandied around a lot when describing the PC release of GRAW. This seems to come from several important factors: distant checkpoint saves, bad friendly AI, good enemy AI, and for some folks whining in places like GameFAQS, a lack of familiarity with tactical FPS gameplay. Hell, I got through it and got pretty lucky with the AI a lot of the time, and there were still many moments when I just had to stop and shake my head at what my squadmates were doing. Even during my triumphant final run to the ruins of the US embassy in Mexico City in the final level, where nearly everything went perfectly, one of my squadmembers took a brief intermission to go run off like a loon for a few seconds before I pulled him back in. He nearly bit it in the process but thankfully recovered in time. I know what you're thinking, "How bad could it be?" Well, let me tell you a few things I saw my friendlies do:

Walk into machinegun fire and then start rolling around on the ground uselessly while they're being pumped full of bullets.

Take the long way around a building and get killed by a sniper instead of moving five steps to the right like I ordered.

Absolutely refuse to move to a safe spot and instead continuously stand behind slim cover getting shot at while repeatedly shouting, "Negative!" to my order.

Switch to a fully-loaded weapon and shout, "Reloading!" every five seconds.

Forget they are carrying a bazooka and assault a tank with a pistol.

Walk into a machinegun emplacement. Like right in front of it. While the gunner is still alive and shooting at them.

Run up and stand next to an enemy APC right as a friendly tank shoots it, killing my squadmate in the process.

Pull out a bazooka and hold it like a rifle, refusing to switch to anything else even though only enemy infantry is attacking us.

The list goes on and on. I eventually figured out that the absolute best way to deal with them was to treat them like children, with constant guidance, easy to understand commands, and often leaving them in a play pen or some such area while I went ahead and took care of the real dirty work on my own. But despite all of these issues, they often also did their jobs surprisingly well. It helps that I tended to keep them on a tight leash. All of their movements were leapfrogged over each other, I was always sure to overlap lanes of fire, and when attacking an enemy, I often would do my best to pull them to my location so I could go on the defensive and surprise them with the whole squad. A couple of times I even used them or myself as a guinea pig to draw fire. The thing is, the enemy AI apparently would rather attack me than the other squad members, so I often had to run interference to set up my sniper for a shot. When it worked, it worked gloriously. When it failed...well, back to the drawing board.

As for the enemy AI, it's not that I think they are necessarily better, it's just that I think they are more limited in what they can do. More than once I saw an enemy sprint out and then basically lie down in the middle of a street with no cover. At that point I would oblige them with a bullet because they were just begging for it. Also, since they were gunning for me specifically, I definitely set them up for a fall more than once. And enemies also have a limited range, so I successfully took out my fair share of tanks and machine gunners by skirting the edge of that range and taking them out from afar. Recognizing their limitations helped me get through more than a couple of tough scrapes.

I also managed to simply avoid much of the enemy. The maps are pretty big in GRAW, and you absolutely do not have to fight everything. Often times I would take a long time at each objective to identify back alleys and narrow corridors where few enemies would hide and little resistance would be encountered. This worked surprisingly well, though I did occasionally have to work around snipers and the like. It also let me hit many of the enemy's defensive positions from unexpected angles, meaning I could easily take out dire threats from behind or the sides where they could not aim.

If I did screw up, it was back to a checkpoint though. That sucks, I'm not gonna lie. There's no way to make those easier, you just have to be willing to experiment at times and learn the best route from one checkpoint to the next. Occasionally these got pretty long and difficult to deal with, and there are quite a few places where I think the game would have sorely benefited from more of them. But every failure was an opportunity to learn too, and I managed to recover from all of my mistakes to obtain victory in the end. Oh, checkpoints can also get glitched. At one point I basically had to restart a level because my checkpoint would refuse to spawn in enemies properly that I had to kill. That was freaking annoying. Actually the whole game could get pretty buggy at times, ranging from messed up enemy spawns to trouble with the tactical map, to texture issues, to a whole mess of other stuff. Even fully patched, GRAW has some serious problems at times.

Here's the thing folks: I wouldn't recommend GRAW to most of you. I just wouldn't. It's not that it's a bad game, but I don't think many of you could hack it, truth be told. It requires a lot of patience, a slow and steady hand, and a willingness to learn from your failures, because you will fail a lot. I also recommend you have some previous knowledge of either tactical FPS design or squad tactics, so you have at least a basic grasp of concepts which are absolutely necessary to survive and make any headway. If you've never heard of terms like "slicing the pie," "interlocking fire," or even "stack-up," you probably shouldn't consider playing GRAW.

But for those of you who are interested in finding out if you've got the balls to beat GRAW, here are the rules: you play on PC, fully patched, Normal difficulty, no cheats. Good luck, and remember: no guts, no glory.

"No plan survives contact with the enemy."
- Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke, the Elder
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by noiseredux Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:07 pm

ohhhhh Ghost Recon. For months you guys have been talking about "GRAW" and I had no idea what that was.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:15 pm

I figured it was a misspelling of GWAR.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:29 pm

Ack wrote:But for those of you who are interested in finding out if you've got the balls to beat GRAW, here are the rules: you play on PC, fully patched, Normal difficulty, no cheats. Good luck, and remember: no guts, no glory.

As someone who has beaten PC GRAW using the criteria you quoted above, I know what you went through, and bestow upon you massive respect. Seriously people, what Ack just beat was no joke. He finished one of the most notoriously challenging FPS games* ever made. I put him and ExedExes in an elite club (for madmen only).

Awesome job Ack. I'd let you take point any time.

*I have only finished one FPS more difficult than GRAW was, but I wouldn't put that dare on my worst enemy.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:35 pm

Exhuminator wrote:
Ack wrote:But for those of you who are interested in finding out if you've got the balls to beat GRAW, here are the rules: you play on PC, fully patched, Normal difficulty, no cheats. Good luck, and remember: no guts, no glory.

As someone who has beaten PC GRAW using the criteria you quoted above, I know what you went through, and bestow upon you massive respect. Seriously people, what Ack just beat was no joke. He finished one of the most notoriously challenging FPS games* ever made. I put him and ExedExes in an elite club (for madmen only).

Awesome job Ack. I'd let you take point any time.

*I have only finished one FPS more difficult than GRAW was, but I wouldn't put that dare on my worst enemy.

Now I want to know what the more difficult one is.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:47 pm

MrPopo wrote:Now I want to know what the more difficult one is.

It's...
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:58 pm

ArmA: Cold War Assault is now wishlisted.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:28 pm

I don't know if there were any gameplay changes from Operation Flashpoint when it became ArmA: Cold War Assault. But one of the things that made the original game so challenging was you could only save once per mission. And these missions were often humongous and immensely challenging, so you constantly second guessed yourself about when to use that one save. (Also the helicopter controls were just a nightmare all on their own.)
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by ExedExes Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:24 am

Yeah, I beat GRAW on PC, and it doesn't mean I had to like it. In fact, I had quite the (frustrating) time with it. Ack has been added to the legendary pantheon.

Check out pages 133-145 in the "What FPS Are You Playing" thread for my month long GRAW experience (and yes, I even called it GWAR in a post). Another thing that wasn't mentioned by either of us 3, a problem I encountered from time to time during my GRAW playthrough was that when I reloaded checkpoints, in many places that seemed empty and clear at first, enemies would just magically appear, at times even just pop up, catching me totally off guard. That sucked.

Coming up in the near future: GRAW 2. This time it's personal. (and also developed by GRIN, but it should come as no surprise I really enjoy the Tom Clancy games.)
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:01 am

ExedExes wrote:Coming up in the near future: GRAW 2.

I plan to play it someday. One big change though is that GRAW 2 lets you save and reload any time you want. That should make it significantly easier than the first.
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