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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:55 pm

1. Grandia (PlayStation)
2. Jungle Hunt (Xbox - Taito Legends)
3. Jungle Hunt (Atari 2600)
4. Jungle Hunt (Plug & Play - ColecoVision Flashback)
5. Donkey Kong (Atari 2600)
6. Donkey Kong (Intellivision)
7. Donkey Kong (ColecoVision)
8. Bubble Bobble (NES)
9. Side Arms: Hyper Dyne (PSP - Capcom Classics Collection Remixed)
10. 1941: Counter Attack (PSP - Capcom Classics Collection Remixed)
11. Ys: The Ark of Napishtim (PSP)
12. The Ninja Kids (Xbox - Taito Legends)
13. Neutopia (TurboGrafx-16)
14. Golden Axe Warrior (Xbox 360 - Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection)
15. Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2 (Dreamcast)
16. Growl (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
17. Arabian Magic (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
18. Dungeon Magic (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
19. Gekirindan (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)

I'm not a huge shmup guy. I mainly play for survival and rarely get deep into scoring analysis. So I'll keep this brief.

Gekirindan is a vertical Taito shooter originally released in the arcades and then ported to the Saturn. I just looked up the Saturn port on eBay and then cried a little. Anyhow, the version on Taito Legends 2 is the arcade original, of course.

This is essentially a textbook shooter. One button for autofire, one for screen-clearing bombs. Get the power-ups (I like the homing gun) and don't die. The player has a choice between a spaceship, helicopter, and biplane. There are six characters total, though three are available to player 1 and the other three are for player 2 to chose among. I picked the cute bookworm girl who pilots a helicopter.

This is a time travel game! One level occurs in the futuristic dystopia of 1999 (I was hoping for 199X, shucks), another takes you back to 1942 perhaps as a Capcom shout-out, and then there are the distant future stages such as the final one (4580 AD). The graphics are pleasing. I especially enjoy the future stages, which look like robotic cyberpunk nightmares. Bullets are very bright and distinct from the backgrounds. The enemies match the stages well: there are WWII era planes to battle in 1942 and malicious androids in the future. As is typical for many shmups of this era, the bosses are really just larger variations of the regular bad guys. Massive planes, massive tanks, etc.

The soundtrack is unique. It technically consists of only one song remixed for each level. Thankfully it's an upbeat techno track that fits well with the overall theme of the game. I dig it.

Gekirindan isn't super challenging. Hardcore shmup dudes could 1CC this with some practice. My first run took about 7 credits. My second run: 4 credits.

Fun game overall. Probably not worth tracking down the Saturn port but it's yet another reason to own Taito Legends 2 (as if the inclusion of Alpine Ski wasn't enough of a reason, amirite?).

Speaking of Taito Legends 2, I'll be shelving that for a bit. Just changed my Saturn battery so I can dive back into Ys II!
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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by isiolia Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:42 pm

1.) Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (PC)
2.) Transistor (PC)
3.) Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death (PC)
4.) Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC)
5.) The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PC)
6.) Dragon Age: Inquisition (PC)

Thoughts:
Once the positive feedback started coming in, I actually pre-purchased DA:I, and have been playing it off and on since it came out. The general estimates for time to beat don’t seem to be exaggerated; I clocked 68 hours or so, and still have a fair bit I could run around and do.

In general, I really enjoyed the game – the massive, varied environments seem like a direct apology for DA:II. Bioware managed to tie together all kinds of past choices, along with a good number of major and minor characters from the previous games, DLC, and other media. The writing is excellent, especially for how it needs to adapt to the player – and it’s hard to tell just how good it is without replaying the game making different choices. It all seems to come back around, for better or worse.

By contrast though, a lot of the actual game mechanics sort of seem to just be there for the sake of themselves.
Combat itself is mediocre. Granted, I could have made it harder, turned on friendly fire, all that (or just not gone with Knight Enchanter, as it is disgustingly broken)…but I felt like that would just be frustrating, rather than interesting. The tactical view was infuriating enough to use just doing the handful of puzzles that required it. It’s been (further) consolized, and unlike Mass Effect, it’s not better for it.

By default, provided I wasn’t underleveled, it was just a sloppy hack and slash against largely repetitive enemies.
As I understand from other looks at it, the game originally had more tactical decisions to make mid-combat, but that stuff got dropped (or moved the the war table).

All the crafting and enchanting systems seemed wasted, as outside of requisitions and throwing a few runes on things, I never even used them. Didn’t need to, and the plans/etc that I came across couldn’t produce items better than I ran across anyway.
‘course, there were still various things to harvest or pick up every few feet…

Even around the 50+ hour mark, I was able to initiate the last few missions, and held off because there were full zones I hadn’t even been to yet. Some of what I’d yet to do wound up helping or opening up other paths to take. Plenty of others didn’t connect (at least not yet) with main story stuff at all – something I found odd. Even with most Bioware games, it tends to be a matter of making the rounds to secure resources or support. On a design level, that serves to push them into different areas. DA:I kind of lacked that in a comprehensive sense.

What it felt more like was more of an MMO setup, where zones were there simply to have level-appropriate content, and possibly get added to later.

It doesn’t detract from the better parts of the game – and to a fair point, gives the chance to work in a ton of lore – but I feel like the game is a lot better when it’s being more linear. Still, a grand entry to the series that left me looking forward to the next one.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:45 pm

Knight-Enchanter is hilariously broken. On multiple dragons I ended up soloing them for half their health because my party decided to stand in the fire but my Knight-Enchanter was effectively invincible.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by dsheinem Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:31 pm

Games Beaten 2015

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call - 3DS
A Bird Story - PC
Quake - PC
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - PS4
Quake: Scourge of Armagon - PC
Quake: Dissolution of Eternity - PC
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis - NDS
Painkiller - PC
Gungrave: Overdose - PS2
Adventure -Atari 2600 (PS2)
Auto Racing - Intellivision (PS2) [1979]
Boxing - Atari 2600 (PS2) [1980]
The Count - TI99/4A (emulated) [1981]
Dragonstomper - Atari 2600/Starpath Supercharger (emulated) [1982]
Enduro - Atari 2600 (PS2) [1983]
Diablo III - PS4
Front Line - Atari 2600 (emulated) [1984]
Gertie Goose - The Lost Eggs - C64 (emulated) [1985]
Ocean Commander - Wii
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance - PS2
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PS4 *new*

Total: 21


Previously: 2014 | The First 400 Games

Finished the D3 expansion on the PS4, and again was really impressed by how well the game translated to the console. With the addition of local co-op and offline mode, the console can arguably be considered the best way to play. Like we did with the the base game a few weeks ago, we played through the expansion on "Hard" mode.

I let my son deal the last bits of damage to the final boss (Malthael: The Angel of Death), and he was beside himself with excitement...he even managed to stay alive for the requisite period of time in a few instances today when I died in order for me to come back without being bounced to a checkpoint. So proud.

I'd like to think he's one of the few five-year olds in the world to have played through all of Diablo 3 and its expansion, and to hold his own while doing it. I am not sure if that makes me a great father (yay bonding over video games!) or a bad one (scary demon themes!). Since he never had any nightmare or anything, I'll opt for the former. :lol:
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BogusMeatFactory
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BogusMeatFactory Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:21 pm

1. Jazzpunk (PC)
2. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2)
3. Grandia (PS1)
4. Hotline Miami (PC)
5. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon - I absolutely adored Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, the spectacular sequel to the gamecube classic that most people didn't realize they wanted. The magic and charm of the original Luigi's Mansion is back and better than ever. Luigi is animated phenomenally and is rich with character. Now, there are numerous mansions worth exploring and numerous missions to complete as you try to piece together the shattered Dark Moon, a crystal that kept ghosts complacent and happy in this haunted valley.

What makes this game so special is the sheer variety of locales and puzzles. Luigi's vacuum now can do numerous things like, reveal hidden traps and furniture, money can be collected to upgrade your vacuum and increase your ghost busting prowess, plus numerous environmental props can be used to your advantage like a bubble plant that helps lift you into the air as you navigate prickly hazards.

The only real downside I can say this game has is that the ghosts themselves are not nearly as varied as the original. They tend to be of the generic, cartoony Minion/Rabbid variety, but I do not mind so much as again the environment and Luigi himself is remarkably animated.

I found the mission system to be a very welcome benefit to the portable medium as each can be finished in roughly 10-20 minutes, with tons of secrets and collectibles to uncover. The game was superb and I can honestly say that it will stick with me as one of the more enjoyable non-Mario games. I can not stress enough how much I enjoyed it.
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J T
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by J T Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:21 pm

A Wolf Among Us (01/03/15)
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ (All courses S ranked on 01/08/15)
Distance (beta 3315, 01/11/15)
Shantae: Risky's Revenge- Director's Cut (01/16/15)
Sega Bass Fishing (01/17/15)
Fairy Bloom Freesia (01/17/15)
BasketBelle (01/18/15)
Tiny & Big: in Grandpa's Leftovers (01/20/15)
Sideway: New York (01/22/15)
Doom 64 EX (01/23/15)
Shadow of the Ninja (NES, 01/29/15)
Shatterhand (NES, 01/30/15)
S.C.A.T. (NES, 01/31/15)
Abadox (NES, 02/01/15)
Never Alone: Kisima Ingitchuna (02/05/15)
Sine Mora (02/09/15)
Red Faction (02/19/15)

I didn't expect much from Red Faction. I honestly didn't know a lot about the game, and with the title and the logo, which I mistook for a sickle rather than a pick axe, I had mistaken this for a game about Communist Russia. I was wrong, as it is instead a futuristic game set on a mining colony on Mars. I had passed it over in bargain bins for the PS2 for many years, but eventually picked it up on GOG.

I'm sure that when the game released, it felt a bit like a wannabe Half Life, but I have enough distance between me and Half Life, that this doesn't feel played out. The story telling isn't as well done as Half Life, and the A.I. can't compete at all, but the destructible environments are a pleasure. I even enjoyed the silly "Glass House" bonus feature where you are given a glass house, a machine gun, a rocket launcher, and remote explosives. Bang, boom, crash! So few games let you burrow tunnels with explosives that this still feels like a satisfying novel concept, even 14 years after Red Faction was originally released. I like that you can even ignore certain "get the key" quests by just blasting a hole through the walls to get into your destination room.

The other major element is the pacing. This game never slows down or gets boring. It whisks you off from one mission to the next, actually leaving you with a few unexplored corridors that you just are too propelled forward to return back to without another play through.
I later realized from restarting older saves that many of these moments were branching paths that all ended up leading to the same path, so it didn't matter which one you picked, but I didn't know that while I was playing so it gave the illusion of the world being bigger than it actually is and it gave the gameplay a sense of urgency because you had to make path decisions that would be too time consuming to reverse. When you don't know that your decisions don't matter because the outcome will still be the same, this feels risky.


My only major gripe with this game was that the enemies often have perfect aim, making it far too easy to die, especially in the later segments of the game. The final boss was particularly difficult because she was highly agile and required about 20 shots to kill, but she could kill you with about 3-4 shots fired in quick succession. I only beat her because I discovered an exploit that when I climbed up a ladder when she was in a particular spot, she froze in place and I could peg her with a scoped precision rifle repeatedly while out of her range. Despite the over-perfection of enemy aim though, the game is definitely doable and remains fun throughout. Again, that pacing made the game a nonstop thrill. I was actually surprised and disappointed when the credits rolled because I didn't feel ready for it to end, which I think is the hallmark of an enjoyable game. Thankfully, I own the sequels, so there is still more Red Faction ahead of me.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by dsheinem Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:23 pm

J T wrote:Thankfully, I own the sequels, so there is still more Red Faction ahead of me.


Red Faction Guerrilla is probably my all time fave sandbox-style game. So fun.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:30 pm

I remember spending lots of time with the glass house test room when the Red Faction demo came out all those years ago. But I always felt like the game itself was pretty meh and the GeoMod effects underutilized.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Fragems
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Fragems Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:00 pm

J T wrote:Thankfully, I own the sequels, so there is still more Red Faction ahead of me.


Red Faction 2 is almost completely different. There is little to no destruction aside from some breakable cover and the story focuses around super soldiers and a government conspiracy on earth. It is a good game though they have some really creative weapons, good set pieces, and a decent story. Multiplayer with bots can also be a ton of fun.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Xeogred Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:34 pm

Red Faction II is 80% on rails with worse "GeoMod" destructible environments somehow. I think it's one of my least favorite FPS sequels next to Perfect Dark Zero. It was awful. I agree multiplayer was kind of fun though.

As someone who didn't have the best PC for years I had to stick with the PS2 for FPS's and Red Faction was one of my top favorites. Great stuff, love the Total Recall vibes.
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