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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by noiseredux Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:09 pm

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)

In the last month I've run thru every single level of L4D1&2 with Ack, Fast and our buddy Xen. I don't even know where to start. These games are just amazing. There so much strategy to be found, and I love just how important the multiplayer really is in this game as far as communication, planning, and just helping each other is. I saw some incredible stuff playing this game with these guys and am thrilled to have run through it. There were some truly heart-pounding moments - the heavy rain sections come to mind. This is totally the kind of game I could happily run levels again when we don't have anything else to play.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:56 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)
20. Ys II (Saturn - Falcom Classics II)

You may have thought that I had run out of Ys I & II ports to play. You were wrong.

The Saturn version of Ys II is available on Falcom Classics II. It's a bit of a skimpy compilation as it only contains one other game: Asteka II. Think you haven't heard of Asteka II? Think again.

I won't write much about the actual mechanics and design of Ys II. Many folks here are familiar with it and I've talked about it extensively. Instead I'll look at what makes this port unique.

Ys II on Saturn is essentially the PC Engine CD port reworked for the 5th generation. The maps - as well as the placement of NPCs, shops, enemies, items, etc. - are identical in both versions.

The graphics have been updated for the Saturn. There's more detail in every environment - swaying grass in fields, torches on walls, and so on - and the anime portraits have been given a cleaner and less-pixelated look. It's one of the better looking 2D games of its era, though I still prefer the bright contrasting colors and 80s anime aesthetic of the PC Engine variation.

The soundtrack has taken a massive hit here. The songs themselves are still phenomenal, of course. Unfortunately it's hard to tell as everything is so compressed and muffled. Sound effects are also significantly louder than music so when Adol begins using his fire magic that's really all that's audible. The voice-acting has also been stripped out of Saturn Ys II, with the exception of a bit during the opening cutscene.

One area of (arguable) improvement is Adol's movement. He can move in eight directions now and can run while the B button is held. Enemies, however, are still (comparatively) slow and generally move in four directions. This huge advantage given to the player makes this an incredibly easy port. Level-gaining occurs much quicker here, which decreases the overall length of the game. I was done in under 5 hours. Oh, and Adol can still "juggle" enemies with the ever-broken fire magic.

Bosses are an absolute joke here too. Every one I faced went down on the first try with minimal effort. One exception was the final boss, who is quite annoying and tedious. Seems much harder than his PC Engine incarnation as well.

Ultimately I enjoyed Ys II on Saturn. No surprises there, as it's one of my all-time favorites. But I can't recommend this to anyone except for the hardcore retro RPG and Falcom fanatics. The TurboGrafx predecessor (which is also in English!) is so vastly superior overall. Check that one out.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by wclem Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:19 pm

1. Resident Evil 4 (PS3) Digital
2. Resident Evil 6 (PS3) Disc Version
3. Dying Light (PS4) Disc Version
4. Red Dead Redemption (PS3) Disc Version (Replay)
5. Batman Arkham City (PS3) Disc Version

Well it was an okay game. Some of the time you spent looking where to go next because it was not very obvious. Felt like I was wasting time by running around looking for the way to go in a manner that just added time to the overall play through. I would rather have been experiencing story than confusion. Also, backing out of buildings was irritating, wish they would have just teleported you out. It was pointless to try to backtrack like that in an empty building.

Combat was fun and worked well. The gadgets and such were cool to use. Wish Batman would pick up and use dropped weapons though. Having all of the side quest was nice and I did a few of them. You really do not need to do them but they help in leveling Batman up and make the main story easier. I also spent a fair amount of time just running around and beating up bad guys for experience. My suggested would be to level up his suit first against bullets and then melee and then fill in the other stuff.

I want to move on to Origins but it may burn me out before I finish it. Oh yeah, stick around through the credits, you get a creepy moment.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by ExedExes Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:24 am

1. Call of Duty United Offensive Expansion Pack - PC (January 16)
2. Dead To Rights - Gamecube (January 24)
3. *NEW* River City Ransom EX - GBA (February 21)

There's a whole lot of NEW in RCR-EX. Besides the graphics and characters returning to their Japanese style flavor, there's new gangs, new weapons, new items, new techniques, and much more. Plus the ability to recruit other characters and have them fight alongside you. This update makes it lots more fun.
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by noiseredux Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:05 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)

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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by alienjesus Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:28 am

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 *NEW*
9. Lost Kingdoms 2 GC *NEW*
10. Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon DS *NEW*
11. Code of Princess 3DS DL *NEW*

The Battle of Olympus
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This is the second game of my alphabet marathon.

The Battle of Olympus is an NES game that I feel doesn't get much attention. It's not considered one of the classics of the system, it's rarely even mentioned as a hidden gem or a cult classic.

This is a real shame, because The Battle of Olympus is pretty fantastic. It takes the gameplay style of Zelda 2, plenty of influence from the likes of Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden and Metroid, and wraps it all up in a Greek mythology theme. It's pretty great.

In fact, I'd argue that in a lot of ways, it outdoes it's influences. The hints and tips villagers give you are actually useful to know, and not too cryptic like the NES Zelda games. Graphically it's a much better looking game in my opinion too. The music is also pretty great, although oddly sounds very Master System-ish - not necessarily a bad thing in my eyes, but it doesn't have that typical NES sound.

The game features a variety of power ups, most of which are very location specific. Some of them are interesting though, like the staff that shoots arcing fireballs, which despite being one of the weaker weapons, is still very useful until the end of the game. Another interesting power up are the shoes that allow you to walk on the ceiling.

For the most part, I adored The Battle of Olympus, but it had one major flaw which holds it back from being one of the definitive games on NES for me. Grinding. Battle of Olympus has several points where you need to buy items for rather large amounts of olives (the game's currency) and enemies only have a chance of dropping one. Grinding for 80 or so can be a slightly tedious 15 minutes, but it's only made worse by the punishment for dying - losing hyalf of your Olives. Every single item you need to buy is over a section of bottomless pits or surrounded by the games most annoying and powerful enemies - or both. One death to the game's equivalent of a fleaman and bam, theres another 10-15 minutes of grinding before you can try again. It's annoying, but I'm not sure it's any worse than, say, grinding for health in Metroid.

Battle of Olympus is fantastic. It should be amongst the msot remembered NES games, but it's largely forgotten. In the UK at least, it's one of the absolute cheapest NES games worth buying. Pick it up and play it.


Lost Kingdoms 2
Technically, I've beaten this game before, which would normally mean I leave it off this list, but this is the first time I've played it in 10 years, and the first time I've owned my own copy. I have an awful lot of nostalgia for this series, from borrowing it from a friend as a teenager.

Lost Kingdoms 2 is an action RPG by From Software for Gamecube where you use cards to summon monsters to fight for you. These come in several varieties - weapons cards which do a quick attack directly in front of you and can be used several times, summons that deal out one of two big attacks, independent cards which summon a monster who runs around and fights alongside you, helper cards which have many effects - healing , support, shields etc, and transform cards which youturn into, and often have skills you need to progress.

The story of Lost Kingdoms 2 is weak, and the voice acting is even weaker. Graphically, the game is below par. The music is pretty great though. Despite all the flaws, this game is an absolute blast to play. Building your deck is fun, exploring the levels is interesting and I enjoyed every moment. There are over 200 cards to use in the game, and by gaining experience you can clone or upgrade the cards into other cards. Finding the cards you like is a lot of fun.

There have been a few refinements to the formula in this second game, some of which are better than others. The expanded card selection is much appreciated, as is summon cards having 2 attacks to choose from. Capturing monsters has been made much harder though, as you must use a specific card which is very expensive, instead of any old basic card like the first.

The one mechanic that annoyed me on my recent playthrough, was the requirements for the best ending. I did basically everything there was to do in game, but because I did most of it near the end, I made it impossible to get the best ending. For that, you need to clear a certain sidequest (which is very, very, very well hidden and obscure) before about the half way point of the game.

I love this series - it's greater than the sum of it's parts. Both this game and the first are worth picking up, and some of my favourite hidden gems on the system. Buy them!


Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is a DS remake of the first game in the Fire Emblem series: Fire Emblem: Ankoku no Ryuu to Hikari no Ken - or Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light for Famicom.

Shadow Dragon negotiates an awkward position between being true to the retro mechanics of the series and adding in modern refinements, and it's not quite perfect at doing so. The game features the same characters and stages as the original (besides some new sidequests I'll discuss later), has no support conversation system, and has many of the old-school classes and class upgrades - Ballistae users are a unique class to archers, hunters and archers are seperate, peg knights promote into Dracoknights, Thieves and Lords don't promote - it can be pretty oldschool. There are also no support conversations to mention, so characters feel rather more disposable - each chapter throws so many new units your way that you never have time to connect with any of them. This can be an issue in Fire Emblem even with supports, but here, it's so much worse.

On the other hand, some classes have been changed since the original - Fighters can upgrade now, horsemen promote from hunters, myrmidons and dark mages have been added. Units can reclass aswell. They've also added the weapon triangle - swords beat axes and so forth, which wasn't prevalent in the original. They've also added a new tutorial and a bunch of side quest missions where you can recruit new characters.

These sidequests are my least favourite thing about the game by far. Rather than being unlocked through skill as in other Fire Emblem games - exploring the rkight village, beating a chapter in a certain number of turns etc - this time, they're unlocked by being crap. Every single one of them requires you to have lost a certain number of units - the general requirement is to have less than 15 units left in your team. This is pretty extreme - some of the later ones would require you to have lost 30+ units to be able to go into the sidequest. I get that this is trying to encourage you to continue if you lose a unit instead of resetting as most people do, but this is too extreme - it punishes good players or forces you to deliberate kill everyone.

Another issue of the game is that the online is no longer available, and content is now lost to new players. There was an online wifi shop which sold items, amongst them the brave weapons which are not available to your units any other way, and, importanly, the Elysian Whip, an upgrade item that allows Peg Knights to become Falcoknight. This is now impossible to obtain, so an entire class is unavailable.

Graphically, the game is really ugly with horrible low quality pre rendered sprites and muddy colours and textures. The music is solid but not especially memorable.

That said, despite this game's numerous flaws and odd negotiation between old and new mechanics (it really should have gone one way or the other) it's still fun, which is a testament to the series mechanical quality - the polish is nice, but the basics hold well. This is the 1st of 3 times I'll be playing this game this year probably - I have the Famicom original and the SNES remake/sequel to play too. Like all the games in the series, it's worth a play, but it's still one of the weaker entries for sure.


Code of Princess
This was game C of my Alphabet Marathon.

Code of Princess is a fun beat-em-up that's very reminiscent of Guardian Heroes for 3DS - and if I recall correctly, it's developed by some of the Guardian Heroes staff.

Code of Princess has a lot of merits to recommend it. The music is awesome, and I knew I was going to like the game as soon as the intro video started playing. Visually it's not spectacular - the character models look a bit blurry, as do the small snippets of video in the game. On the other hand, the 2D character art is lovely.

The gameplay is very fast paced and fun - missions are divided into 2 minute long chunks, and so have a much faster pace than Guardian Heroes or other beat 'em ups. Characters could use some more moves - they're not as versatile as Randy from Guardian Heroes for example, but there's enough here to keep it interesting. The upgrade system is straight out of Guardian Heroes too - when you level up you can choose which stats to boost.

The story is silly and the game knows it - the script is equally silly, and got mopre than a fewe laughs out of me. Characters acknowledge that the main character is seriously underdressed, talk about gaining exp and changing class etc - it's stupid, but it's fun.

As you enocunter new characters and enemies, you unlock them in free mode - this is like Guardian Heroes multiplayer battles but more fleshed out - you can unlock slimes, old ladies, living tress and more, and take on any mission in the game as them.

My biggest complaint about Code of Princess is that it's digital only over here in Europe, thank's to Atlus terrible rate of localisation to the region. Whilst it's not as good as Guardian Heroes or some of the other beat 'em up greats, Code of Princess was a lot of fun, and I definitely recommend it.
Last edited by alienjesus on Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:33 am

Whoa. Nicely done aj. All stuff I do/would enjoy playing.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Opa Opa Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:21 pm

alienjesus wrote:My biggest complaint about Code of Princess is that it's digital only over here in Europe, thank's to Atlus terrible rate of localisation to the region.

Atlus hasn't done Europe any favors, that's for sure. When was the last time you guys got a game on time (or relatively close, for that matter)?

Didn't NIS have to step up and publish some Atlus titles?
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Stark
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Stark Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:48 pm

@brad, all we get from you beating Indio Prophecy is a clapping gif? Lame.
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BogusMeatFactory
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BogusMeatFactory Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:02 pm

Stark wrote:@brad, all we get from you beating Indio Prophecy is a clapping gif? Lame.


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